After significant scientific research, I have discovered I can change the name of this blog. Nothing, not one picture of a porta-potty, not one of your awesome comments, shall be lost. I hope :) I'm planning to do the shiftaroo on Tuesday of next week. The new blog address will be natalielloyd.blogspot.com ... unless somebody comes along this weekend and snatches it up. Should that situation arise, I shall propose the offending party and I arm wrestle. Winner take all. If I lose, then I'll think of a new plan. The only thing changing about this blog will be the name. I hope it isn't confusing. I hope it's as easy as I think it will be ... just type in natalielloyd.blogspot.com on Tuesday. And, ideally, I'll be right there waiting for you.
In other news, "Our Time Is Running Out" (by Muse) just came on my iTunes. This song is fantastic, but it is not conducive to sleepy making. Please hold while I change songs ...* Better.
I have much I want to write about. I want to write about Julie&Julia, and how it made me cry (!). It inspired two blog posts; one on the identities we assign people via our imaginations (identities that are nothing like the real person). And two, about how Julie&Julia convinced me it would be fun to dedicate one of these posts to my baking savvy. So I baked. It involved blueberries. "Blueberry tart" is what I was going for. (Have you ever seen this blog? It never stops being funny. Unnecessary quotations are fantastic.) However, I ended up calling it the Blandberry Tart. More on that later. Just know that, from now on, when I see puff pastry in the store, I will give it the stink eye.
For tonight, I'll jump the lonely thought train**. All week now, I've seen Facebook statuses (is that the plural of status? Statusi? :) from people heading back to college. Or going to college for the first time. The lonely posts make me wish I could reach through the screen and hug some people. One, because that would freak them out and thus be hilarious. And two, because I remember how mortified/terrified/sad I was at my freshman orientation. I held it together through the boring sessions and then immediately found a place to cry. My cell phone didn't work. The phone in my room wasn't hooked up. I used to drive to a gas station near campus, call my parents, and sob. I didn't know anybody there. I thought everybody hated me. Nobody would talk to me, which made me sad (though it is hard to talk to someone who is persistently hiding in her room crying :). I was terribly shy, which made it all worse. My dorm room was across from a graveyard, which I thought was kind of a gloomy way to start my college career. Also, girls would put on their bikinis and go lay in the graveyard trying to procure a tan, which I thought was just bizarre. It was a hard beginning.
This morning my mom gave me an old journal she found. It was full of stuff from my first year in college, including a long page where I kept praying for a few friends. In the margin of that page, I eventually wrote: Thank You, God for Hannah!!!!! :) And reading it today made me a little sappy. Hannah is still one of my closest friends. (And today is her birthday! Love you, Han! :) Even though there were parts of college that stunk completely, and even though I would not repeat the experience if someone paid me to do it (though, ironically, I will probably be paying off student loans for the rest of my life ... ;), I had the three coolest roommates ever. I'll show you a pic. Here we are at our most recent roomie reunion:
How gorgeous are they? Way. This year was big for the Fab 4. Hannah (front left) got married to a sweet, handsome guy named Jack. Carrie (front right) got her Masters Degree (she remains the most brilliant individual I've ever met. How we became friends is beyond me.). Roya (back left) had a baby girl, Addison (thus making the Fab 4 the Fab 5 :). And I ... hmm. Well. Paperdoll came out but that doesn't really compare to weddings, babies, and fancy degrees. :) They still had a big year though! And I'm so thankful they're in my life. I'm confident I wouldn't have survived the stank of college without them.
My point is this: whether you're a freshman in high school, or a freshman in college ... your terror is way more common than you think it is. Very soon, I realized I wasn't the only person who was intimidated and lonely during those first few weeks. There are other people who don't know anybody, who feel kind of clueless, who are putting on a brave face to try and stop the tear spillage. Put yourself out there as much as you can and remember: this time next year, you'll be an upperclassman. And you'll be able to hug a few lonely freshmen who are hoping for a friend. And at least one or two of the friends you make might just be one of the best friends you'll ever have. I hope you have a fantastic year. May you dork out at every opportunity, meet some new people, and get zero parking tickets. And when you're lonely, remember you're incredibly loved. For those of you who are no longer freshmen, is there anything you know now you wish you'd known then? Feel free to share your high school or college survival tips.
Reading Facebook Statusi also made me think of how weirdly fast summer goes by. One day I'm yammering away about the heat, the next day ... I'm still complaining about the heat. But summer starts to simmer down. The days get shorter. The fireflies stop blinking. The crickets don't sing me to sleep anymore.
In most regards, this summer hasn't been extraordinary. I finished The It. Watched a space shuttle sail over the house. Saw some good movies and read some good books. I drove downtown with the windows down, looking at the lights, listening to the music. I clipped white roses and put them in my room. Drove to Harrison Bay to watch the sunset:
Drank sweet tea on the porch. Took a roadtrip with my mom. All in all, the summer was really normal. But as I sit here thinking about it, it seems like it was sort of incredible. Like something special happened this summer that I'm not thinking about, or don't get just yet. It's like there's this one, warm, starry memory tucked deep down in my heart I might not realize for a long time. Sometimes you don't realize a good moment when you're in it. I think this summer will be like that for me. (Or maybe my Tylenol PM is just kicking in now and I'm not making any sense? :)
I would love to hear from you. What was your favorite part of the summer of 2009? (And if you have more than one favorite part, that is also okay! :) I can't wait to hear your answers.
Happy weekending. Don't forget ... Tuesday we're moving to a new place.
*Flightless Bird American Mouth by Iron and Wine
** That sounds like the title of a country music song. :)