Put To The Test

During our primitive school years, we get used to taking tests.  Whether they involve using a #2 pencil to fill in little bubbles or getting each letter correct on a spelling exam, we learn quickly that we must pass in order to succeed.  We can’t get our driver’s licenses without both a written and in-car examination.  We can’t get through college without passing midterms and finals.  And we get used to the act of taking tests.

Tests

As adults, the tests become about so much more than academia.  We struggle through tests of willpower when coworkers bring in donuts and we are trying desperately to fit into that special occasion outfit.  We are forced to hold our tongues when people test our nerves.  Our patience is tested as we wait for good or bad news and when children push our buttons.  Heck, we even test our own limits by jumping out of planes and taking professional and personal risks.

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Fear Is Everywhere

**If you haven’t entered the latest Wonderland Giveaway, I am extending it another week.  I will be announcing a winner next week.  Check this post for details.  Good luck!**

Quotes-Fear

Fear exists in all of us.  Every day, we are confronted with a dozen things that scare us.  Maybe it’s the spider scurrying across the floor or the darkened room after the light has faded or the rejection if a first move is made on a date.  There is a lot in this world that is utterly terrifying, but let me tell you a little secret, fear is a learned behavior.

That’s right, we learn to be afraid.

There are only two natural fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  It’s true.  I forget where I learned this little tidbit, but I do remember raising my hand to answer the question about a natural fear in a school assembly when I was a prepubescent girl.  Don’t believe me?  You can test it out on any infant.  When a baby thinks it’s falling, it will grasp for something to hold onto.  When there is a sudden, loud noise, a baby will jump.  Babies aren’t afraid of fire or small spaces or animals.  The only thing that has been inherently passed down through generation and generation is fear of falling.

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Ten Years And 165 Days Of Love

love-writing-in-the-sand

This is a story about love. It is not a love story.

Ten years ago I met a man. He was a friend of a guy I dated, the first guy to ever break my heart. Through many group outings, my boyfriend’s friend became my friend too. Despite a shared love of goth culture and music, he was completely different from my boyfriend in a thousand awesomely wonderful ways. He was funny and sweet and I genuinely enjoyed his company, sharing inside jokes about his harem of women (I was jokingly the “Thursday Night Girl”) and spending one-on-one time with him to dye his blonde hair black or to talk on the beach.

I didn’t know then just how important he would become to me.

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The Secrets That We Keep

SecretsHow many of us huddled together on the playground and cupped our hands over a friend’s ear to whisper hidden words that we had never uttered before?  We shared our innermost thoughts and dreams to our pals after they pinky promised to “never tell anyone so long as I live.”  Perhaps we divulged our feelings for a classmate or confessed to something embarrassing.  Whatever the reason, we decided to unleash the truth and almost immediately felt a weight had been lifted.  There’s a reason websites like PostSecret are so popular.  People need to let it out, to ease the burden of secret keeping and be honest, if not with others than with themselves.

As adults, we all keep secrets.  It’s just the way it is.  Some people hide feelings about their best friend’s spouse or what they did last Saturday night.  Health conditions, past mistakes, and relationships are concealed under the cloaks of omission and lies.  We portray rosy dispositions when we may be struggling with something that gnaws at our emotional core, but that we feel we must keep to ourselves.

We hide parts of our lives from those around us for so many reasons.  We’re afraid of how people will react to the truth or how their opinions of our character will be changed once the secret is out.  We worry that people won’t understand the truth or how/why we’ve tried to protect them from it.  Maybe we’re even a little ashamed.

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The Accelerated Crawl Of Time

Time is a pretty strange concept when you start to think about it.  It’s one of the few things in life that no one really has control over, yet something that everyone possesses at one point or another.  We hold onto it, we waste it, we give it to others, and we can never get it back.

Time

With twenty-four hours in a day and twelve months in a year, time is a fixed idea.  Sixty seconds tick by and before you know it, a minute is gone then another and then another.  The sun rises and sets each day at variable times, but the pattern persists for most individuals.  Wake up, exhaust the daylight hours, go to sleep, repeat.  Sure, the activities of each day will inevitably vary, but we intrinsically are living just as the ancient cavemen did.  Granted, we have technological advances that can keep us up well into the night.  I’m looking at you, Internet! Continue reading

Unromantically Yours

Last night, I met up with a friend for what is becoming our quarterly check-in into the other’s life.  With busy schedules, meeting up for drinks a few times a year is about all we have time for and sometimes we even have a hard time penciling that in.  Tucking into one of our favorite local bars, we ordered pints and settled into a table for two with house-made potato chips and the delightful charm and camaraderie that only an Irish pub can offer.

As it turns out, the past few months have been great for the both of us.  We happily chatted about our jobs, our hobbies, and then got down to the exceptionally good stuff: our relationships.  Toasting to our good fortune and thrilled that karma seems to have finally found us, we began to gush about our significant others in ways that seemed very adult for two people who quite recently had been wondering why we seemed to be the only two singles left on the planet.  We talked about how we journeyed into coupledom and where we saw things going.  Then he said something that completely took me by surprise.

“I think she could be The One.  I really do.”

The One.

Other Half

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A Time To Celebrate

When life has swapped out your lemons and given you a free pass to all things fun and exciting, it’s hard to keep the happiness inside when all you want to do is scream from the rooftops, “Life is awesome!”  And the best part is, you can.  It seems that as we get older we often forget to celebrate ourselves.  It’s completely normal to attend a birthday or graduation party, but outside of bridal or baby showers, when did we lose the art of celebration?

I’m here to tell you all to go ahead and celebrate.  There is nothing wrong with cracking open a bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion or treating yourself to a hot stone massage when the boss tells you what a great job you’ve been doing or you reach a particular milestone in your blogging journey (Happy blogiversary shout outs to LauraRian, Tobi, and Jules!).  Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate.

The Wonderland Registry (Mar)

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A New Year, A New Start

2013

Happy New Year!  Today is the first day of 2013.  Are you all excited?  Have you made your resolutions and are you ready to stick to them?  I’d love to hear about what my Wonderlings are planning on accomplishing in the New Year.

I know I talked about resolutions yesterday, but I didn’t really get into what mine are.  By now everyone should know that I started this blog last year and resolved to write a minimum of one post a week.  I achieved that goal and I am so glad I did.  Resolutions are a great way to start a habit.  It takes many attempts—I once read the magical number was 21—before a behavior/activity becomes routine and it is practically effortless from there on out.  Plus, when you tell other people, you subconsciously hold yourself more accountable than if you were to keep your resolutions private.  Now that I’ve got the blogging down, but here are the things I’m planning to work on for 2013.

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Rushing Towards The Holidays

Is it just me or is the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier each year?

At the end of August last year, I marvelled that Costco, a local warehouse store, was already selling Christmas items when most people were gearing up for Labor Day barbeques.  Wrapping paper, artificial trees, and pre-packaged gift sets were out for all to see and purchase.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, but, given that I was a new Costco shopper, I figured that the brand had a different retail schedule than the stores I was used to.

Clearly, I was wrong.

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Tragedy And The Ugliness Of The Human Race

Are there ever times in life where you start to lose faith in your fellow-man?  When people’s characters seem so ugly that you wonder how it is we got this far and why we seem to be getting worse and not better?

Today has been one of those days.  But before I get into the details, I need to share a little back story.

A week or so ago, I received a friend request on Facebook from someone I went to junior high with.  Now, my middle school years were my ugly ones.  Quite literally.  I was a geeky girl with frizzy hair, a mouth full of metal, skin that made the Proactiv ladies millions, and glasses that took up half of my face.  Needless to say, I was not popular and don’t look very fondly on those formative years.  So when I got a request from Peter, I didn’t immediately accept it.

I was a little surprised to even get a request from him.  He was one of the popular guys who was actually decent and not a total jerk to everyone.  We went to the same high school though I rarely saw him and I can honestly say, I haven’t thought of him since I graduated.  Since I did have fond memories of him, I went ahead and accepted the request as I figured he was trying to reach out to people from our class in lieu of our ten-year reunion next year.  I checked out his profile, found out he was living a few hours away, and put him back in that we’re-not-friends-but-I-don’t-hate-you imaginary box that is reserved for most folks you only see on Facebook and never interact with in real life.

Sunday I learned Peter had been in a fatal car accident.  He was 27.

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