21 February 2011

let it go.

This past weekend I moved into my apartment and I just have to share a few of the funnier moments with my audience (yes, I like to think I do have an audience as I write, as I often find myself wondering if you - yes, you, the reader - will enjoy what I have to say). 

While I was able to move most of my "stuff" on Saturday, I am not exactly living in my apartment yet. I made a very last minute decision to upgrade from my twin size bed, that I've been sleeping in since, let's see, I moved out of my crib 26 years ago, to a full size bed the night before the big move. So spontaneous, I know. And for those of you questioning, "why not a queen size, bed," my answer to you is "baby steps, people!"  Well needless to say, I can't pick up my bed until tomorrow evening, so here I am, still at home with the parentals for another "one last night at home." 

Moving on...

One of the biggest challenges of this whole move was going from a decent size closet to an incredibly tiny, hole in the wall space (literally) that would cause Carrie Bradshaw heartbreak. But, fear not, my "closet" comes equipped with a light! Something my old closet did not have. I'm attempting to see the bright side in every circumstance (no pun intended). Obviously I had to engage in some serious downsizing. In comes Saadia - not only my best friend from college, but an incredibly talented fashionista who belongs working the runway.  First, we tackled my purses (to a guy, a purse may not seem like an article of clothing, but to a woman, a purse is something you actually match to an outfit and wear!). As Saadia went through each of my purses, I kind of felt a bit like a hoarder (not as bad as the people you see on TLC, but a hoarder nonetheless). Some of the bags I was holding on to left Saadia downright speechless. Being the queen of excuses didn't even help my case, and one by one, my purses went from my wardrobe into a gigantic Salvation Army box.  

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, I want to insert a little disclaimer here. I am not fashion illiterate.  I have a strong sense of style and I completely own it. The only problem is that sometimes I hold onto things for a bit too long. I don't suffer from separation anxiety. I suffer from what I like to call "what if" syndrome. Symptoms include the all too familiar, "what if this comes back in style in a couple years!?" or "what if I just absolutely need this one day!?" 

So when Saadia and I moved from purses and accessories to my actual wardrobe, I was a bit nervous. And rightly so. The next hour went something like this:

Saadia (holding up a very tiny tank top I've probably had since high school): "Court! Really!??! Mehreen (Saadia's 10 month old niece) could fit into this!"
Me: "Well, it's a tank I use for layering!"

Saadia (presenting me with a button down): "umm...I'm not even going to ask."

Saadia (holding up a tube top circa 2006): "What is this!?!?"
Me: "umm...a tube top?"
Saadia: "Court, it barely covers your chest! this is a belly shirt! Why would you own such a thing!?"
Me: "umm...(silence)...i don't know?"

Saadia (picking up a black, bedazzled tank top Ashley bestowed upon me after she claimed it was a bad luck shirt): "Court...I could understand if you were a rocker chic, but you're not!"
Me: "Saad! I could totally be bad ass rocker chic! Blow out my hair, pair it was skinny jeans, it'd be hot!!" (clearly I was floundering for an excuse to hold onto a stupid tank top)
Saadia: "Yes, you could...but why?!?"

Saadia (picking up a pair of black dress pants that were clearly several sizes too big): "ummm....these are about a million times too big for you!"
Me: "What if I'm having a 'fat day'!?'"
Saadia: "Court!!!! You have an excuse for EVERYTHING" (told you - queen of excuses!!)

Much to my initial chagrin, many of those items (and more) went straight into the Salvation Army box. Every once in awhile Saadia would surprise me when she picked up an item and told me how fabulous it was! To give you a visual, picture me sitting on my bedroom floor for a majority of this downsizing session and sheepishly begging Saadia to understand my reasoning or cringing as she picked up an item and rightfully so gave me a look of disgust. Little did she know, there were a few cardis and tops that I snuck into the "keep" box, only because I couldn't bare to part with them. But in the end, I probably eliminated 50 articles of clothing and felt so.much.lighter! 

And, while, no my teensy tiny "closet" still can't fully handle my wardrobe, I must say it's very nice to actually own less. I suppose sometimes less really is more. Letting go can be *so* refreshing. I can only begin to imagine how it would feel to tap into the notion of "letting it go" and channeling it through to other areas of my life...

PS. Thank you so much, Saadia! I can't think of another person I would have rather spent my "letting it go" process with than you! You truly are a remarkable person with an amazing, vogue sense of fashion that many should be envious of. I know I've said this before, but you truly are my Christina and I don't know what I'd do without you!

15 February 2011

the days of the shared wall.

In four days I will be moving out of my parent's house for the third time. First was for college. Second was for California. Now is for...well...good. (Mom, if you're reading this. I love you, but we both know you are just as excited for me to move out as I am). 

So you can probably imagine my excitement for the big move. It may not be quite as big as my move to California was, as it is only right down the road (less than a mile, by pure coincidence), but it's still a move. A move toward regaining the independence that's very difficult to maintain while living with parentals. While living with the parentals has been great - most of the time, okay, some of the time - it's just not the same as living out on your own. I'm so appreciative of the fact that I could move back in with my parents when I returned from college and from Cali, but it's time to move on. To move forward.

Sadly, I only have four more days of sharing a wall with one of my best friends - my sister. For my entire life - minus college and my short lived time in Cali - I shared either a room or a wall with my sister. For some, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me, it's enough to bring a tear or two to my eye and create what Ashley calls a "Full House Moment" (By definition, a "Full House Moment" represents any scenario that is reminiscent of a time when Danny Tanner would sit down with DJ, Steph, and/or Michelle and engage in an incredibly awkward conversation about some altruistic life lesson resulting in a TV moment that Ashley can't bare to watch due to its extreme level of wholesome corniness). 

Living in such close proximity to my sister - we shared a room until I was 18 - has been a roller coaster. She is, without a doubt, one of my absolute best friends, and always will be, but my God, we really know how to get on each other's nerves. We tend to have a love-hate relationship, even at the ages of 26 and 22. One second, we'll be having the time of our lives together, and the next moment, bam! everything is out of control and we hate each other. And yes, I do mean hate each other. We are both such passionate people that we get to that point where we simply cannot be around each other. The beauty of it is that it lasts for a few minutes, an hour, maybe a day, and then we're back to being best friends. 

When I think of our sisterhood, my mind is flooded with memories - both good and bad, funny and serious, happy and sad - and I'm a bit overwhelmed with sheer gratitude that I am lucky enough to have so many memories with such an amazing person. And to make sure that in the event my sister is actually reading this - she's already confessed that my blog is "way too Full House" for her to read - I'll share one of our rather ridiculous, over the top stories:

We were six days into our road trip across country. It was just the two of us and we were tired not only of driving, but of sharing the already way too cramped space with my one too many boxes. So there we were in South Dakota. Tired. Hungry. Irritable. and Lost. (For the love of God, please do not ask how you get lost on a straight shot across country). Things went from bad to plain ugly within minutes. I remember I was on the phone and probably not using my inside voice as Ashley likes to call it, while she was trying to nap. I woke her up, rather abruptly, and expected her to help me with directions. Cranky from being woken up from her nap, she snapped at me. That's when it got ugly. First the yelling began. Then the classic, entirely immature name calling began. Before I knew it I pulled over and we were full on fighting. Physically fighting. A  20 year old and 24 year old pulling each other's hair and attempting to hit each other. My God. Talk about embarrassing. But no, does it stop there? Of course not. After five minutes of a full on girl fight (the kind that you'd see in the girl's locker room in high school), Ash was out of the car and walking around a pretty desolate neighborhood in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, crying on her cell phone to my Mom, while I sat in the car, crying on my cell phone to my Dad, insisting that he buy her the first ticket possible to ship her back home. Oh, and then, as if that wasn't bad or embarrassing enough, I looked up to see a cop knocking at my window. I slowly rolled down the window and weakly whispered "Hi, Officer." He proceeded to tell me that a neighbor had reported us to the cops. (Seriously people?! You have nothing better to do!??!). I desperately tried to stop the tears as I peered up at him innocently and babbled away about how my sister and I had simply had a little tiff (Really, Court? Hair pulling counts as a tiff?!?). Clearly, Mr. Officer did not buy my story. However, rather than making the situation worse, he gently explained to me that he had two daughters of his own and empathized with me, offering kind words of advice on how to make amends. Eventually the kind officer drove away and my sister returned to the car. For the next six hours, we drove in silence. We even sat at different tables at a hole in the wall diner we stopped at for lunch. Pathetic? Yes. Embarrassing? Completely. Sad? Absofreakinglutely. We had made complete fools of ourselves. It wasn't the first time. And, sadly, it wasn't (isn't) the last time. But, by the time the sun had set that evening, and we had secured a decent hotel for the night, we were back to being...us. Sisters and best friends. 

So, while that story had nothing directly to do with this unexpected sadness I'm experiencing about moving away from my sister, it just goes to show that, despite a fight like that, my sister is still the one person that I simply cannot live without. She is the one who loyally called me almost every morning for 14 months while I lived in California to serve as my wake up call. She is the only one who can convince me to not only watch and love the Jersey Shore, but then get choked up with me when Ronnie breaks up with Sammi Sweetheart for the twentieth time. She is the only one who can make me laugh over the most *ridiculous* things that any normal person would not find even remotely funny. She is the one who will knock on our shared wall and whisper "Good night Court, love you" even after we've had a bad fight. 

In four days, I will be packing up my things and moving out of my parent's house for good. I won't be far from my family...just a mile down the road. It's something I've needed to do for some time now - quite frankly since I moved back from the West Coast. But now I realize that maybe there was a reason I spent the last year and a half back at home. Not to pull a Dr. Phil, but maybe I was here to share the wall with my sister one last time. 

I'm sure I'll see Ash every week once I move, if not every day. And I'm absolutely positive that our friendship will continue to grow and strengthen over the years. But the days of the shared wall are over. But cherished forever.

Love you, Ash.

07 February 2011

be happy.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it." -Elizabeth Gilbert.

If you're wondering who Elizabeth Gilbert is, do yourself a favor and read Eat, Pray, Love. This book is a necessity for any girl trying to figure out life and love. And that's all I'll say about the book for now.

The quote is what I just *have* to talk about.  Over the past few weeks I feel like a weight has been lifted and I have an extra bounce in my step. I am.so.excited to simply live and be happy. However, despite what you may think, happiness is not just handed to you. It doesn't fall out of the sky and land on your doorstep. You actually have to pursue it and then maintain it so that it doesn't slip between your fingers like the sands of time.  Talk about an oxymoron.  But that end result - that ability to relish in all that is positive in your life - is so worth all of the effort it takes to get there. 

A little over a month ago, I was having a bad day and summed up my life to one of my friends, maybe a bit too dramatically. Basically, it went down like this, "I'll be 27 this year (why I couldn't simply say I'm 26 is beyond me), I live in a 10x10 bedroom that is directly across from my parents' bedroom, I live paycheck to paycheck, I'm newly single and so overdue for a good make out session, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Woe is me."  A bit dramatic? Of course. Would you expect anything less from me? Ha, of course not. 

Really, Court? Woe is you? Please, save the drama for Bravo.

Fortunately, I'm a fairly positive person, so I didn't let my over the top sob story hold me back for too long. We all need a good venting session every now and then, just as long as we snap back to reality and realize that Robert Pattinson isn't going to sweep you off your feet or Samantha Brown isn't going to back down and offer you her job. So, I did what any girl would do. I got on the phone with my best friends, one after another, indulged in way too much chocolate, drank some fabulous wine, and cried it out. And that was that.

The next day I vowed to get over myself. I needed to let go of the negativity holding me back in order to find peace and happiness with myself. I knew I could either sit and sulk some more about all of my pretty minute "problems" or do something about it. And so I did. I didn't find happiness overnight. But one day at a time, I became more positive and, as a result, happier. I searched on craigslist until carpal tunnel nearly set in to find myself a roommate (so *thankful* for Kaitlin!). I started to get my act together and worked on my master plan (which just so happens to include a little move back to California next summer). I forced myself to go the gym even when we were enduring the 23895357th snow storm of the winter (my arms are toning up quite nicely if I do say so myself). I'm meeting up with friends who I haven't seen in what feels like forever. I'm making sure I take time - make the time - for the people I love and care about. In doing all of this, I have found happiness. Did this happiness simply fall out of the sky? Absolutely not. But the effort I made was worth every minute of my time.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering how I'd sum up my life now...

I'm 26. I have an awesome job and will be going back to school for pediatric nursing or a MPH. I found an awesome roommate and signed the lease for our apartment yesterday. I am single and ready to mingle (cliche? yes, but *so* true!). And more than anything, I am happy.