Shine Until Tomorrow

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I know I haven't written in ages, I know.

I'm not even really writing now, though re-reading all my three-month-old entries did inspire a need for documentation again. I just stopped by to say that being 21 is everything I hoped it would be.

...I thought someone might like to know, given my last update.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

am I a terrible, no-good rotten human being for looking forward to alcohol consumption as a means to develop my social life?

exhibit A: I am THE ONLY employee at my hotel that is not 21. do you know how draining that is? do you know how often I hear about my coworkers going to bars and clubs and having a drink after work? do you know how much I miss out on? THEY don't even know. they forget, constantly, that I'm still three months away. they go, "oh that's RIIIIGHT, you're not 21 yet, are you?" and then I sit at home with a diet coke and a box of cheez-its and family guy reruns while they spend a night on the town.

exhibit B: I'm sure I will be happier about this later, I know I will, when all my friends turn 30 before me, or get a gray hair before me, or whatever. but I'm also the absolute youngest member of my group of friends. by far. so more than half of the people I grew up with and with whom I have always spent my free time now have a social life that is far outside anything I've ever experienced... wine tastings, pub crawls, happy hour, cocktails, just the FACT that their night doesn't end when the movie theater or mall closes means so much.

my parents aren't drinkers at all, and I really don't plan on being one either, but the fact stands that at my age a lot of social interaction depends on the ability to legally enter a bar or dance club or what have you without needing to be snuck in or have a fake ID or some nonsense. and frankly, I cannot WAIT.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Even just five years ago, my mother and I were at odds so often that it felt foreign to me when I WASN'T mad at her. I was the perfect, textbook example of the bratty teenage daughter who thought her mom was old-fashioned and uncool and didn't know anything about anything... but they say the older you get, the smarter your parents get. and boy, they aren't kidding. my mom has become one of my best friends and most trusted confidantes (within reason, of course), and if I told my fifteen-year-old self that I would ever have that relationship with my mom, I would flat-out called me crazy.

I just wish I could go back in time and shake myself by the shoulders and say "you IDIOT, she's your MOTHER, she knows BETTER than you do, stop being such a twit and give her the respect she deserves." or better yet, I wish I could do that to my little sister... or any girl who had the same mentality I did. but then, when I think back, I probably WAS told that a time or two and it didn't do anything to change me.

I'm just glad I came to my senses, now, at age 20, and can give my mother's advice the attention it deserves. I just had a long conversation-filled dinner with her (one of many, now that I'm getting older) and I cannot stress enough how much I love this woman, and every time I notice a quirk about myself that reminds me of her I am literally thrilled. because she is amazing, and talented, and resourceful, and kind, and wise, and caring, and generous, and I could go on and on. and even if it means I'll have to go through the better part of a decade fighting with my OWN daughter down the line, I will still be incredibly honored if I turn out to be just like her.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Accounting is a strange thing. It's very appropriately titled, to be an accountant. My job entails, most prominently if not oversimplified, accounting for things... primarily money. Which mostly means that a really big part of my job are those little window-envelopes that say "Attention Accounts Payable" or "Bill to:" or something invoice-interpretable. And I slice them open and stack them and sort them and ACCOUNT for them on a spreadsheet I type up weekly.

Something sprang from this process, a quirk about myself that I didn't even know I had. I need color. I don't mean I prefer it, I don't mean it brightens my life but I can live without it, I mean I need it. Flipping through hundreds of invoices, all in black-and-white, 12-point Times New Roman font is exhausting if I don't get to decorate my life with little splashes of pink post-it note or neon green highlighter.

Color has taken on a whole new importance to me lately. For one thing, my little colorful set of office supplies serves its primary purpose: They catch my attention. If there's a 3'' orange post-it note on a stack of faxes I know it means I should read that before I do anything else. Or if one word is highlighted on a document I know my eyes should be drawn to it before trudging through eight paragraphs to get to it. But it's also done wonders for my organizational skills: pen-wise, my boss always signs things off in blue ink. So if I see a blue set of initals at the bottom of a page I know that this stack of whateveritis is probably ready to be sent out. Blue, then, has become a color of purpose. Also: the brighter the color I choose to mark something or highlight with, the more important it probably is. Green highlighter is really just for my own knowledge, not anything I need to worry about but more of just an FYI. Yellow highlighter is a little more severe... put it on your to-do list but it's nothing to write home about. Orange highlighter means I should probably take care of this before I leave today, because someone is probably waiting for whatever it is. And if I use pink or red highlighter, oh my gosh I had better get on that as fast as my puny typing skills will allow.

It's also more of just a welcome relief than anything, though. Paperwork after more paperwork after more paperwork and emails and faxes and invoices and memos and blah blah blah gets really old really fast without a bright green paperclip to hold it all together. I sent reports to our corporate office held together with colored paperclips, and I hoped that someone opened our interdepartmental delivery envelope and had a moment of satisfaction thanks to the departure from the traditional metal nonsense. I'd like to believe I brightened someone's day that way.

In any case, let's hear it for color. Because honestly, I don't know how the real world, let alone the corporate world, could ever do without it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I won employee of the quarter!

...I keep going back and forth on whether or not to be excited about it, or feel super geeky about it.

so far I basically feel super geeky about the fact that I'm really excited about it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

you will watch me go through best friend stages... number one is always kyle, but my number two fluctuates based on who I'm hanging out with most. but pretty standard are the twins, Catie and Cara. Catie just came home from Missouri where she's been away at college for two years, so right now I'm going to refer to her as my best friend.

the other day she and I had a long talk walking on the beach, and we both agreed that it was time for our lives to start coming together in a positive, healthy way. we talked about energies and how you have to give positive energy in order to receive it, and how we should be more focused on generating positive energy in our lives.

it all sounds very new-agey, I know. catie's more into that than I am. but I still agree with the basic principles of it. it's about making positive choices, healthy decisions. it starts with body but eventually leads to balance in the mind and soul as well.

in any case. I really took it to heart, and I actually have been trying to incorporate it into my life. my road rage has subsided, if not entirely disappeared. I'm trying to eat earlier in the day, and I'm trying to establish an acquaintanceship with vegetables, something I have not had a desire for in over 20 years of life.

so, bottom line, positive changes. I'll keep you posted with how long this lasts.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I remember very vividly the point in my childhood when I realized nobody used the words "boo boo" and "owie" anymore. I remember absolutely stressing out about what I would say the next time I fell down and hurt myself. what do big kids SAY when they're in pain, anyway? I figured it out pretty quickly... you just have to be more specific. you don't say you have a boo boo, you say you have a paper cut. or you don't have an owie, you fell off the swing set and landed on your butt.

I feel like moments, realizations like this punctuate my existence, and they are the absolute only evidence I have that I am maturing in any quantifiable way. without these little epiphanies, I swear I am still a kindergardener desperately taking mental notes in attempt to lessen my ever-too-numerous social inadequacies.

I am reminded of this, every day, on a constant basis, by guests at my hotel. part of my job is chit-chat, building rapport, getting to know the guest, inquiring about their likes/dislikes/needs/interests so as to become as a better customer service representative. now don't get me wrong, I can do my job and I'm good at it. and most guests who deal with me will say that I was charming and polite, and I smiled courteously when I greeted them and they got an overall sense of well-being from me. but some of my coworkers, gosh, they're just so good at it. they know how to react when a guest says something funny... they know which people will react well to a joke and which will not... they can sense what kind of person they are, what kind of questions they should ask, what they're probably looking for, why they're probably in San Diego. and even if they can't sense all that, they know how to carry on a small talk conversation long enough to find out.

and I honest to god just have no idea how they do it. I WANT to know the guest. I want to help them. I want to build rapport, I want them to like me, I want them to go home after their vacation and tell their friends about the girl at the front desk who was just so delightfully helpful and social. I just don't know how to do it. I lock up when it comes to anything past checking people in and printing them out directions. sure, I can smile and make eye contact and chuckle politely when I know I'm supposed to (they have to sign saying whether or not they have a pet... and inevitably, if there's a spouse/child standing next to them, they'll say "does he count?" hardy harr harr. I get it.) but beyond what is immediately required of me as a front desk agent, I have no idea how to make conversation. I have no idea how to begin talking to this stranger about anything other than their reservation... or on rare occasions, perhaps the weather. and I'm hoping this will be my next big step in becoming a real-life, purse-carrying grown-up: learning how to talk to people.

because it isn't just the hotel. this social defect of mine has begun leaking into even my day-to-day life. all my friends flirt with waiters at restaurants, make small talk with the people next to them in line at barnes and noble, introduce themselves to people at the concession stand at the movie theater... and I just sit there, examining the loose threads on my jeans until it's my turn to order, then go back to my distraction-oriented comfort zone. it's pa-freaking-thetic.