What a difference a year makes…

Exactly one year ago, I logged in to my blogger and wrote this:

Ryan and I broke up last night.
My heart is broken.
I feel so lost and empty.
He’s coming to get his clothes in an hour.
I feel sick.

This is crazy to me. Nuts. It seems so very long ago. So much has happened, and stayed the same. I processed a lot this past year. I checked in at the six months, and felt pretty good, even if sometimes it didn’t feel like I was moving forward at all.

This year

This year I recovered so much of what I had lost.

Family,

friendships,
myself.

Not just recovered. Recovered and then I was transformed by what I found.

I am not the same girl I was a year ago.
I am changed;
and so are my relationships.
So is my faith in myself,
God,
the world.

Hemingway once wrote “The world breaks everyone, and afterward some are stronger in the broken places”.

I am so much stronger in the broken places.

And the scars are reminders that I have lived.

Day 4, The Person I will Be.

As a 24 year old, sometimes I get the feeling that these things I do, the decisions that I make… they’re dictating my future far more than any other time period in my life has. The people who I call my friends. The place I decide to work. The person I decide to be everyday.



Are any of you completely FREAKED out by this? I have a secret, it scares the crap out of me sometimes.


This is the first time I have ever lived alone. The first time I have been in a new place as “an adult”, meaning I didn’t move here to be in school. Being in school is completely different in terms of experiencing new places. You are basically thrust into a group of people– a dorm, a graduate school cohort– who are comprised of people who may be vastly different but are in the exact same place you are. It’s all so new, this freedom and responsibility… and knowing that this is it. This is my life, and now I get to make of it what I will.




Moving here, there wasn’t the safety net. And I decided things. Joined things… and I know, already, that they will be considered turning points in my life when I am old and grey. Joining the Junior League, for example… life changing. Not yet perhaps, but it will be. It will be something that defines me.


Here’s the thing. I don’t want to screw it up. I don’t want to be 34 and not like the person I am. I don’t think I will dislike the person I am, but that thought it always in my head. I think it generally is really beneficial. It forces me to really think about the kind of person I want to be– do I want to get into a career that makes boatloads of cash? or do I want to be somewhere where I am challenged, appreciated, and may not make as much? What kind of friend do I want to be? And what standards should I have for the people I call my friends?


Anyhow, here is a piece from Oriah, Mountain Climber via Dog-Eared

I just love it, because it really captures all the questions I’ve had as I become who I am going to be…


The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for

and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.


It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.


I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.


I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.


I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.


I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
Yes.”



It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.


It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Busy Bee.

After a break-up. There is a lot of advice out there. There are time lines, to-do lists, steps, and guides. There are friends, family, co-workers, Oprah, and Dr. Phil– all with their own wisdom, insight, and advice.

I think it’s all, mostly, crap. I don’t mean that there isn’t value in other people’s experiences and advice. What I am saying is that there is no way for anyone to really understand the uniqueness of your personal story and how a break-up is affecting you. And, for the love all things good in the world, there is no “right” way to break up. There is no deadline or time frame that has any real truth to it.
In, some ways, I am doing freaking fantastic after the break up. It has been five months… and I am in a new place with new friends, and a job that I freaking LOVE. (I love my job so much, I hardly right about it! It’s just so great I barely think about it) But, I still haven’t cooked dinner in my apartment. Or been able to finish reading an entire book. Or been able to buy strawberries. Isn’t that BIZARRE? From most angles, I am doing so great and then I have a few weird things that I have not confronted. I cooked dinner most nights while I lived with Ryan. I was all about the cooking and the domesticisity………….. but the idea of cooking for-one is just too depressing to actually do. I don’t know how important cooking is to my process.. but I am not really in a hurry to do it. If I cooked dinner tonight it wouldn’t be because I wanted to, it would be because people tell me I should or should want to. I’ll do it when I’m ready. I’m not ready tonight.
I have kept myself ridiculously busy. And I am on the fence on the motivation for it. On one hand, I LOVE being with friends and doing things. On the other hand, I know that I don’t particularly like being alone and the activity is an avoidance of sorts. So, am I busy because I like it? Or busy because I’m avoiding the loneliness? Okay, probably a little bit of both. But it’s the only way I know how to do it right now. And I am not apologizing for it. I am HAPPY. And if I am happy because I’m filling my days with things… well, then that is just the way it is right now. I am not going to sit at home, because someone told me to. Just like I am not staying busy because someone told me to- I am doing it because it is working for me.
_________________________________________________

Wanna know something that royally sucks about living in the bay area? I could not get the Chargers game yesterday. Oh the flailing that ensued. But I did have a glorious time with my friend Stephanie and her roommate. We had dinner and went to church, and it was really awesome. I am looking forward to spending more Sunday with these girls. :)

Testing 1, 2, 3

From the desk of Spencer

Hello, I am not Brianna. How can you tell? I have yet to use an exclamation point. *winky face*

I asked Brianna if I could take over her blog for one post, without her permission. She gave me permission. So here I am.

I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to this young woman and I must say that what ever amusement, and wonder, and sunshine, and glee that you’ve absorbed from this young woman’s posts is more than tripled when shared in closer company.

This woman is capable, and persistent, and friendly and strong. All the words you would want to use to describe a woman you would want to be president, with the exception of that ugly word: politician.

I gotta say that the things she’s gone through in the past, have not phased her good nature or spirit, and that is the sign of truly fantastic character. She has taken only knowledge, and NOT pain, from these situations, a skill only the craftiest of us are capable of.

Very recently she’s gone through a transitional period in her life. She’s done the whole heartbreak thing that always feels unique in its own special way. Its a feeling you refuse to believe anyone else has gone through, at least for a while. But she didn’t take this time to close her heart, no no no! That’s not this story ladies and gentlemen.

She dived right in to life, more than ever. That by no means mean she ignored her feelings. She let it affect her in the right ways (respectively) at the right times (respectively). It hurt just as much as any other, but wouldn’t you know it, she’s still as sweet as a cookie of YOUR favorite flavor: Brianna flavored!

Brianna is chalked full of chocolate chips but is not fattening at all.

Look, I am not in to the whole blog scene. I am kinda anti-social networks. Sorry, its nothing against you all, its just not my scene. I guess I just never found anyone interesting enough sounding “on paper”; in person is a different story. However, then there is Brianna, who is more interesting than anything printing on any paper, ever (except the Declaration of Independence, sorry Brianna, but freedom rocks my socks).

I don’t pick very fun pictures…

This probably sounds like the ramblings of some love stricken (fill in the blank), but the purpose I am trying to serve is to fill in any blanks you may have had as to an opinion about someone you know only so much about. People tend to (in my harshest experiences) put only what they want seen on the exterior. Social networks make that easier (again, nothing against the users of such things). For me, it seems unfair to have someone like Brianna pared down to so little per day, per month, per whatever, especially when its NOT any type of front.

But I am sure she is just one of your many blogs. One of the many lives you dip delicately in to. I respect that. I do. If anything, I am happy for you that you found this one. One of a young woman who is MORE than eager to live life, and share every quirky, funny story that pours out of it.

I doubt you’ll ever be having a bad day and see a negative post on this blog. I doubt you’ll ever see the day where she posts about not smiling. I doubt you’ll ever want to stop following her blog. And I KNOW that nothing can bring a precious soul like hers down.

Align Center
Make sure to wear sunscreen when reading her blogs

So to you readers/bloggers/commenters/well wishers/romantics/dreamers/believers/lovers of life, you’ve found a soul mate in this young woman. Enjoy it! Share it! And hopefully a piece of her will make you smile, laugh, and love if even for a second.

Thanks for reading,
Spencer

P.S. She told me not to make this post boring. Did I win?

An update via bullet points…..

I can’t believe it’s Tuesday. And I am sitting in my new office in a brand new city. Things definitely moved quickly! But I am REALLY happy. I have meetings ALL morning, so this is going to be quick. So here we go. An update sponsored by the symbol “bullet”.

  • On the subject of driving for ten hours in a Uhaul with two cats. It sucks. Sedatives made it mildly more bearable. Except for Lucy peeing in her box, and then rolling in it. She smelled like a hobo.
  • My brother and Clarke unloaded the ENTIRE truck while I went into sign HR paperwork. Then Clarke put together my desk and my tv stand. Saint of a man he is.
  • My bed was delivered and is GLORIOUS. My couch wouldn’t fit through the hallway (Insert sad face), so I had to go pick out a new one. I can’t find the one I picked out….. but I will post pictures when it gets here on Friday!
  • Being able to stop by my grandparents house for dinner on Sunday night was amazing. I love being so close.
  • Ryan will be staying in our old apartment until the lease is up at the end of the month. He text messaged me the other night and said “Staying here is way way way harder than I thought it would be”, I responded “Welcome to the last two months of my life”
  • I freaking love my job. Love my boss. Love my office. I am really excited about all the great things I get to do here.
  • I have meetings all days today!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
  • I also have over 1000 blogs unread on my reader. Oy.

The End.

Some New Apartment Buys.

This next is going to be pretty hectic for me, finishing papers and packing all my worldly possessions and all. :)

I did have time to go pick out some furniture on Sunday though. I am so excited. I was going to keep the couch I have for a little bit, but its SO heavy (because it’s dual-reclining). Instead, I ordered a couch and a bed that will be delivered the day after I move in. Genius I tell you.

There’s no super exciting picture of my mattress… it looks, well, like a mattress. It’s just a plain ol’ bed, but its MY bed. And that will be exciting. I am currently still using Ryan’s bed. He’s coming to get it after I move, which is super nice on his part.

Anyhow, the couch is AMAZING. It is literally the same one the Jimmie and Anthony have. It’s a sleep sofa and it really the most comfortable couch ever.

This isn’t the color I got, though Sale Girl tried to sell me on a red one. I got one called “stone” which is basically just a lighter neutral brown. I figure this is best long term because I can change colors easily. Can’t you picture napping on the couch? I can. I will. This is probably where all of my blogging will take place. Honestly.

I also got a new desk!! I got it because I am currently using a dining room table, which made sense while in graduate school— but is kind of 10 types of ridiculous in an itty-bitty apartment.

I also kind of want to give my Grams my huge fat leather office chair in favor of this glorious one from IKEA.

What do you think? Goes well with my comforter, which I never got around to posting. It’s from Anthroplogie, and I am obsessed with it.

Don’t you love picture posts? Takes way less time to write and is more visually stimulating for you!!!!!!!

BTW, I cannot wait for this weekend. It’s graduation and my birthday- which translates to Medieval Times and Disneyland. Lots and lots of pictures will follow.

Apartment Hunting

I am so tired. Spontaneously driving to the bay area– kind of rough. Especially because I didn’t have time to stop by the library for a books-on-cd. Make fun of me all you want, but 16 hours in the car is WAY better when you’re listening to a story. And I have only listened to crappy girly books, I highly recommend it.

When I arrived at my grandparents house, my Grams and I sat and went through possible apartments and locations… because I had been eying some via the internet which are not in great parts of town apparently. We have our list of four possible complexes… but there is one that I love the most already. Let me know what you guys think of these four options– and then I will post more pictures tomorrow after actually seeing them. This way I wont actually have to make a decision “alone”… the internets can do it for me.

OPTION 1.

In the town over from where I will be working.
5 minutes drive,
near the closest Target
and a really really nice area.

500 square feet.

It’s also right on the water (That’s actually the complex in the distance). I can see myself running here.
Option 2:
In the same town as where I will work.. 504 sq. ft.


Option 3

Is in the other adjacent town… but doesn’t have a floor plan… but the pictures make it look like it is more upgraded…. I will have to post pictures tomorrow. :)

Option 4
In the same town. 1 bedroom. 640 square feet.

I will keep you posted!!!!