Monday, March 22, 2010

A Grief Observed

This post is about a week late, but I definitely have thought about it frequently. It's been over a month now since my grandma's funeral. It's still so surreal to me that she is gone. In fact, I have sort of "replaced" her in my prayer- for 24 years she  has been in my prayer in the same place!- and so now I have to remember that she is gone and I put other people in her stead. But oddly enough, she is still in my prayers, as I'm hoping she is watching over me and knows that I am thinking of her. And that right there is so surreal. I still can't believe she is gone. It just does not seem like there was time for her to get ill and die. I wonder how it is for her, what she's doing and if my prayers get delivered to her. I always hoped that when she died, I would "know"; that I'd get some sort of premonition or feeling. Well that didn't really happen. About the moment she died, I was walking through a mall- I checked my phone to see the time, and she crossed my mind. But it wasn't really a thought of death; rather, I thought "maybe she will end up living for longer than we think. Maybe she will be around for a few more weeks". Wishful (and selfish) thinking I guess. Instead she died at that moment, because when I got back to my hotel, my mom called me and told me the time of death, and it was just about when I was thinking of her. But I didn't get a burning kiss on my cheek, I didn't see her in the mall, nothing like those stories you sometimes hear.

Anyways, C.S. Lewis penned a memoir called "A Grief Observed", in which he deals with the grief he has for his recently-deceased wife. It's an interesting piece, and probably the most interesting thing about it is that his experience is really nothing like mine. And that is what this piece is usually heralded for: that everyone's experience in grief is different.

Granted, I lost it at the funeral. I couldn't hold back anything, I just felt so hopeless as I blubbered away. But other than that, I've stayed pretty controlled. Except when I think about talking to her. I hope she knows I'm thinking of her. It's just so weird to experience grief, because I've never really had to deal with such a close death. My other grandparents died when I was significantly younger, and while they were amazing, the relationship was just not quite as developed. Anyways, I hope time will heal the wound.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It seems so weird that life should be one of our biggest pre-occupations. I think we sometimes focus so much on making sure that life is lived correctly, instead of just living life. There's no going back. Sometimes that scares me, to think that I won't ever get to re-do high school or college or now. That has passed, no matter what I believe. But at the same time, I wonder if we focus too much on how to live life, thus we don't really enjoy it.

Like, when you graduate college, you are put in a couple of different categories: There are the over-achievers who either get into Harvard, or do enough internships to get some hot shot job in NYC, and their lives are set. Or, there is the other group, who don't really do a lot of internship, but they graduate and live a simple but successful life. I always kind of wondered, am I not successful, because I didn't automatically get the hot shot job out of college?

Or, why is it, that women are NEVER satisfied with their body? No matter what age, they're always scrutinizing. I mean, you can be 50 years old, and be a little heavier than your 20 year old self. Yet women will complain? Why can't we be satisfied? I mean, at 50, the body is never going to look like 20 ever again. I'm 24, and I am realizing I will never have the same body/energy/etc as an 18 year old. So why are never at peace?

I just wonder, are we ever satisfied at just living life? Or are we trying to live up to a standard for so long, that we don't really enjoy life? We just sit there scrutinizing ourselves, debating at what could be better?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Annoying Sales Person

So I mentioned the other day how I am getting a little burned out and how I'm ready to be finished with our job out on the road. Tonight we had an event, and I realized that, although I'm burned out of being on the road, I think the content of our presentation really helps me from being burned out on our sales pitch. Like, I'm really not a sales person. I hate "selling" things, and have often thought that I'd probably be horrible if I had to do Multi-Level Marketing or something like that. But, I also feel that if you believe in what you're selling, it makes a huge difference. I think I could safely sell Volvos, because I am enthusiastic about them and think they're awesome cars. I could sell MAC Cosmetics, because I gush over everything they make. As for Holland America Line's Alaska Cruise Tour product, I truly feel it is the absolute best way to see Alaska. I think if you do any research, you'd be a fool to choose any other way to see Alaska besides Holland America. If I didn't truly believe this, I think my job would be really hard. It would be hard to convince someone to take a tour if I felt guilty for tricking them into buying a not-so-great experience. So it's a good thing that Holland America has given me an excellent product to sell. It makes me enthusiastic every time we tell people about it, and I have learned so much about being able to sell something.

On the same topic, Alaska for me is just 1 1/2 months away- I can't believe it! It's weird too because though I am looking forward to it, I am also a little apprehensive. I feel this way every single year. I think it's because every year, I have a new/different job, so it's not just tea and crumpets. But yea, I look forward to being in beautiful Skagway. It's such an amazing place!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blah Blah Blah

Ok I'm back with yet more random ramblings...This is actually a thought I had a few weeks ago, when that guy rammed that plane into the building in Austin, TX. It's at times like that where most mildly crazy people aren't so bad. Like, you know when someone goes through a break-up or has a break down at work or something- whatever it is- and they do some admittedly "crazy"? Like a guy who is so infatuated with a girl that he acts a little stalkerish, or a co-worker reams out everyone who walks into his/her office for no obvious reason...We usually think that person is a little crazy, right? But I think these people should get a free pass. Because as long as they're not crashing planes into buildings or bringing bombs on planes or shooting up campuses, I think it's okay to be a little crazy in moderation- after all, everyone has acted a fool at least a few times in their life. Most of us look back in shame at those moments and think of how horrible a person they are that they acted that way, and how no one else acts that way, but let's face it- everyone has.

I really don't know what I am trying to say, other than everyone should be allowed to act a little crazy sometimes, and get a free pass. haha wow.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eeyore Moment

Why are some days just so much better than others? Today is one of those not so good days. I dunno, I just feel depressed. I slept in til 1:00pm. Second day in a row. That is so sucky. We got out of the hotel room long enough to grab some food, hit up Target and Nordstrom Rack. I was going to do laundry to keep myself and my mind occupied for a bit but they don't have a laundry facility at this hotel. So now I'm back to sitting around, on my duff in the same spot. I'm sooo bored! And I know these things I'm complaining about is all so petty, but it really does add to my feeling of hopelessness. I kind of wish this job was over. I'm getting a little burnt out. Not really burnt out of the job, but of sitting around so much. We have a lot of off time, whether it's a travel day or day off, just time to sit and wait and wait and wait. I'm just really eager to get through this last month, so that I can feel a little more fulfilled in life...I dunno...It's just hard to be away from friends and family for so long, and to be constantly moving around. I like visiting new places and seeing new things, but I think I'm done. It's hard to enjoy these new places when your mind is somewhere else. Sorry to be such a debbie downer today, but this is my blog right, so I guess I can complain every once in a while. :(

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Totally Random (But not altogether worthless) Rant

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, I've been thinking that there's not much to say lately! haha. No but this is a totally random thought that's been on my mind today. It has nothing to do with anyone, so don't worry, I'm not being passive aggressive. But I was wondering, why is it that so many men and women out there are willing to be active participants in home wrecking? Like, why are women so interested in married men? Why would you even consider feelings for a married man? And, why do men do the same?

In NYC, there were a few married men (all quite gross looking as it stands) that tried to get me to go out on a date with them. One guy that I worked with even called me AT WORK, yes on the work phone, and he was like, whispering, saying something about how he couldn't talk long because his wife was in the other room but when could we hang out. I was just like "Umm, first off, I'm at work. Second, wtf, you're gross. Third, you are married and your wife is in the other room! Could you get any creepier?" Ok I might not have been that confrontational, but I definitely was so weirded out. I thought it was messed up. There was another married guy that showed interest me and yes, I thought him good looking, but I could not even imagine going down that path. I just think my conscience would feel like crap! And to also think that you'd have to deal w/ all the drama of keeping things secret-annoying! But mostly I just couldn't go behind another female's back. I don't owe her anything, sure, but that is just, in my opinion, one of the meanest things you could do to someone. And I like how people always say, "oh but our feelings are just so strong" or they act like the fates brought them together in an inconvenient but intended way. To that I say, b.s.! You have control over your feelings. And as soon as you see the ring, turn those sorts of feelings off. Just say to yourself, "I will acknowledge that this person is good looking/nice/funny/charming/a catch, etc. I am allowed to admire and admit those traits. But just because I find good traits in someone doesn't mean I have to mount him/her". It is a weak and selfish person that says they "can't". I think a lot of marriages would be around still if people just didn't walk away with every person they're attracted to.

I know, this is totally a random tangent. Where did this come from? I have no idea. But a friend recently commented that it is way too easy to have an affair, like easier than easy. And that made me sad, to think so many people can live with that. I mean, there are certain "sins" if you will, that if I do, I don't feel an ounce of guilt. That's the truth. But cheating on or with someone would truly make me feel dark and unhappier than pretty much anything else. I don't think I could live with myself. But then again, maybe some people feel truly guilty about things that I don't, so maybe it's an equal exchange.

Anyways, random rant over!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

To an Athlete Dying Young

So, I'm watching a show about John Lennon's assassination. They showed a few clips of some fans that are totally incapacitated due to grief for the loss of their favorite musician. At first glance, I think this is kind of weird that people get so emotional over a celebrity's death- someone they've never met before. But, I think that even when someone isn't physically in our life, they can still play an important enough role to elicit grief. One of these examples is Heath Ledger. I was never a die-hard Heath Ledger fan. I think he was a good actor, but that's about it, I never followed his career or anything. And yet, even today, when I see a clip of something on t.v. about him, I kind of feel a pang of sadness about him being gone. It's kind of surreal because seeing his image on t.v., it doesn't seem like he should be dead; he's still fairly relevant in pop culture. But he's dead. And it's kind of a shame, and I think that every time I see him on t.v.

But then sometimes I think death immortalizes people so much, and if they had lived out their life, would they be the angels we make them out to be? The answer is clearly no. I mean, MLK was an amazing man and did a lot of great things for the human race. But if he'd lived long enough, would he be considered too radical? Would he have said something totally outrageous? Would he be the stuff legends are made of?

Or if JFK or heck, even JFK Jr. had lived long enough, would they have had secret lives and all sorts of scandal to scar their image? Would JFK Jr. cheated on his wife? Would he be the John Edwards of today? I know, these things seem like sacrilege to some, and obviously it's all unsupported speculation. There's no evidence that JFK Jr. would've been a bad person. But if they hadn't died young, would we still feel the same way?

There's a poem by A.E. Housman called, To an Athlete Dying Young. It basically talks about the town's star athlete who dies in the height of his success. The author states "smart lad, to slip betimes away, from fields where glory does not stay". In essence, he died during his success, so he was forever immortalized in the last memory of him- as a star athlete. But if he'd lived to become fat, bald, ugly, poor, old, etc, his image would've vastly changed. So the author says, it's better to die in your prime than to be remembered as the bed wetting invalid geriatric.

What do you think? Is it better to die young in your prime, or live a long life and maybe be a little humble?

In my opinion, I'd rather live a long life than one focused on how people will remember me. Yea, I want people to remember me as a good person, but I also don't live my life to impress or please other people. I've never really been super exceptional at anything anyways, so it's not like I'm failing anyone, hahah.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Early Memories

What is your very earliest memory in your life? I'd have to say, mine is when we went to California when I was 4 years old. We stayed with my aunt and uncle, and we went to Disney Land. I remember Disney Land- the teacups, the dumbo ride, the small world ride, and one that took you up into a mountain and there was this white abominable snowman at the top, and then you go coasting down the mountain. Oh and I think the Back to the Future ride is in there somewhere, along with being in a gift shop. I also remember this funny thing, where, when we were at my aunt's house, my cousin Cameron (who was probably 5 at the time) and my older brother were eating marshmallows early in the morning, and Cameron yelled down from the second story, "Hey mom, we ate the marshmallows, so don't buy anymore, ok?" and she was like "ok", but that night we had hot cocoa, and she had bought more marshmallows, and Cameron was all upset about that whole thing, hahaha. It's such a weird memory, I don't know why I remember it. In fact, the whole thing is so fuzzy that when I look back, I sometimes find it hard to believe that it ever happened.

So, I've always kind of assumed that the above was my earliest memory, but I have also had this memory of a movie, where this girl and her dad were out of their bodies and were ghosts, and the dad was freaking out b/c he wanted his daughter to go back to her body but she wouldn't. I remember it kind of spooked me out. Well over the years I have occasionally (though admittedly rarely) looked back and recalled this movie, but I never knew what it was- until, the other day, I was flipping through the channels and saw it on tv! I recognized it immediately. It's called Ghost Dad, and after watching a couple minutes of it, I realized that it was so stupid. haha. But I'm not the only one, the IMDB rating for it is also horrendous- I think it got a 3.8 out of 10! haha sucky. 

I just really like coming full circle and making some sense out of my earliest memories. In fact the other day, we went to Disney World, and they have a lot of the same classic rides as Disney Land, and we got to go on a few of them. While on those rides, it was almost like my memory was jogged and/or new details were recalled or at least added. I liked coming full circle and going back in my mind. :)

Ok I'm done rambling but one last early memory: When my great-Grandma Martindale died. I remember being back at my grandma's house after the funeral, and thinking how lucky Grandma Martindale was for dying of old age (she was 90 at the time), and how she was lucky that she didn't get shot, as I thought that's how most people died...sad to think a 5 year old thinks it's lucky if you don't get shot dead in life!! 

Now, tell me about your early memories, what are they?