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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in butteredtoast11's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
10:58 pm
erik left this morning to go herd sheep on ranch in a town three hours from here. he's going to be gone for six weeks - until mid-December - and we won't have any contact until then. i find myself feeling surprisingly indifferent and mostly excited. finally i'll have time. time to reach out to people more, time to work out, time to not always be scheduling my life, time to do things for me, time to not smoke weed and watch tv all the time.

i'm reminded of last fall around this time when i was in bellingham and erik was in patagonia and i was experiencing for the first time what it felt like to have my life completely separate from him. i was both lonely and happy. i listened to meditation tapes every night, took a kayaking class, wrote in my journal, played guitar, played cello in the band, and made a few more connections before i moved back to missoula. a year ago this weekend i took the wilderness first aid class that completely changed my career goals and encouraged my decision to go back to montana to study nursing. who knew that a first aid class one weekend a year ago would be so influential in my life? but i'm glad it has been.

when the time comes that i'm single again, and who knows when that will be, i think i'll be just fine. these next six weeks will be proof of that.
Thursday, October 26th, 2006
9:59 am
oh, medicinal plants class. things we learned about today: the efficacy of male birth control pills, the volatile oils they used to bury Jesus, the raising of beavers for the extraction of the male sex gland, and the crazy hippies who used to buy morning glory seeds because they have the same properties as LSD. god i love that class.

it has become increasingly clear to me, more this semester than any other, just how interconnected everything is in the world... watching the "Inconvenient Truth" and researching malaria recently has brought up a lot of questions for me about the morality of medicine. if we can save lives, we should. but what about the population increase this causes and the subsequent damage to the environment, the famines, and the wars over land? does saving lives ultimately help things? maybe it is a good thing that nature kills 4 million people by malaria every year. maybe?

the thing is that morally, one cannot just save lives without addressing the problems that are caused by saving lives. because if, for example, a vaccine for malaria is someday developed there will be 4 million more people on earth every year. if more people are surviving malaria, then we need to educate them about birth control so we don't have a population surge. beyond birth control we need to teach them about conservation of resources and sustainable living. and the list goes on and on...

i feel like the world is opening up to me and there is so much i want to do, learn, and solve. i don't know where to begin. but it's exciting. it really makes me want to go to grad school eventually. and it's really cool to start drawing connections between medicine and the indirect impact (good and bad) it can have on the mountains and wilderness i love.

Current Mood: excited
4:31 am
and so begins, and so begins my odyssey of doing nothing but studying for another freaking anatomy test. a week from tomorrow, people. a week from tomorrow. i'm convinced my teacher is crazy. but i also love her and think she's hilarious so it's ok that sometimes that she makes me want to rip out my eye balls.

my adviser told me today that she thinks i can probably go to Venezuela next year in the spring without having to reapply for the upper division nursing placement. that would be really, really nice.

maybe instead of being a snakes on a plane flight attendant for halloween i should be a zombie, because that's what i feel like right now. if i had to act out how i'm currently feeling i would be slowly stumbling around, gurgling gibberish, and occasionally biting other people. but only in a loving kind of way. but in all actuality, my flight attendant costume is far cooler than being a zombie. yeah, snakes. and peanuts.
Thursday, October 19th, 2006
4:35 pm
soy loca
i'm feeling really good about things right now.

i don't have any big decisions to make any time soon. i don't have to worry about being accepted into the nursing program. my leg feels nice. living at home is great - i love my mom. classes are challenging but interesting and finally relevant to my future. i'm making friends and appreciating the ones i already have. i know people who like to mountain bike. i love playing cello.

i spend a lot of time alone, but i feel more at peace than i have in a long time. i try new recipes, i write in my journal, i lay on the floor and listen to music really loud. i feel like i'm becoming far more at ease with being by myself. it's comforting, because being alone has been a big fear of mine for a long time. lately i've started talking to myself out loud. i read my mail out loud and ask myself study questions. i feel like i'm really bonding. me and myself, we're becoming good friends.

Current Mood: content
Monday, October 16th, 2006
9:46 pm
what is with all this darkness and rain? didn't nature get the memo that it's supposed to be a pleasant fall for as long as possible?

the plate is out, my leg is naked, and it feels good. this weekend was a good reminder that pain killers are not as fantastic as i had remembered. mostly they made me grumpy and groggy and it was utterly impossible to do anything i was supposed to be doing this weekend. i guess if i'm supposed to be eating ice cream, wearing sweat pants, and watching trashy tv all day then pain killers are the way to go. however, studying organic chemistry? not so much.

talking to hannah about christmas during spanish class today made me very excited for the holidays. i know they are relatively far away, but i'm looking forward to snow and family and good food and free time. i am happy with my classes this semester but so, so overwhelmed. it will be so pleasant to finally have days to myself and play in the snow and curl up and read something that has no assignment attached to it. when anatomy is over and i have survived, there will be tears of joy.

Current Mood: sleepy
Tuesday, October 10th, 2006
3:39 am
sleepy, sleepy, sleepy. i tried to take a nap between classes in the honors college study lounge but a rude boy sat down next to me and loudly shuffled through his papers while i was dreaming. i awoke feeling grumpy and even more drained than before. i just have to get through tomorrow's anatomy lab exam. then i can sleep and have surgery and no longer have a plate in leg. that will be nice.

my teacher and i improvised through most of my cello lesson today. it was such a creative release. i felt i was floating and free of thought. i couldn't thank him enough for being willing to sit back and explore instead of attempting to make me play a detailed piece perfectly. the last thing i needed tonight was to try to be perfectionistic about music when it feels like everything else is in my life right now is dependent on perfection.

is this extensor carpi radialis breves? no! you're WRONG. it's extensor carpi radialis longus.

sigh.

p.s. i sold my soul to a credit card company survey today for a free pita. it was delicious.

Current Mood: exhausted
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
3:43 pm
there is probably nothing better than coming home after five hours of lab and a devil quiz on anatomy and being able to devour the leftover pesto pasta with italian sausage that i made two days ago. nope, nothing better.

as i was riding my bike home today it struck me that for the first time ever, the school aspect of college is finally the way i always wanted college to be. i have cool people in every one of my classes to study with. and they're good students! they care, they study, they don't laze around and expect me to pick up the pieces. i hated being one of the only motivated kids in high school. my classes now are challenging, but pleasantly challenging, like a mind puzzle that i get a thrill out of solving.

i love finally learning things that i feel will be applicable to my life outside of college - speaking spanish, knowing anatomy, being aware of edible and medicinal plants. last semester with gen chem and molecular biology was incredibly draining, but this semester i feel alive. i'm excited to learn!

p.s. i can't wait to get my hair cut. i'm tired of eating it.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
11:04 am
my mom just called me, crying, and i had a split-minute panic until she said that it was because it just finally hit her that amy is moving back to seattle this weekend. mom always wanted another daughter and i always wanted a sister and this summer has been an awesome experience of the utopia that we could never have. so many nights i've come home to mom and amy sitting at the kitchen table sharing their latest quilting or knitting projects. so many nights mom has come home late from work just in time to eat our latest cooking experiment with us. i will always remember this summer as the summer that amy lived with us. amy, my best friend since we were six years old.

there is this song by rocky votolato that i've been listening to constantly this summer and it goes:

"please slow it down/there's a secret magic past world that you only notice when you're looking back at it and all i wanna do is turn around/i'm going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean because i couldn't let go of the passing moment gone."

it's hard to let go. i don't know when we'll be in the same place again. her and nick are talking about getting married in a couple of years. my little childhood friend, all grown up.

and as for me, i like being in a committed relationship but marriage is the last thing on my mind right now. there are too many adventures to be had before that.
Friday, August 18th, 2006
2:56 pm
so my birthday is over now and i don't feel ready for it to be. it feels sort of like the let-down i feel the day after christmas, except at christmas i always have new years eve to look forward to. ah, how silly.

i got awesome new rain pants and a camp stove and i spent quality time with my parents and amy and erik. after dinner and peach desert, erik and i snuck onto the golf course and filled our pockets with stray golf balls for fun. the nice boy at the video store gave me my movie for free for my birthday. but i was too stoned/tired to watch all of it and i was quickly asleep on the couch until erik gently woke me up and took me to my room.

it feels splendid to be playing cello again. so many memories are held in the curves of that wood. me, age 9, sitting on the couch with my dad wondering how the strings should be played.

my thoughts are scattered and disjointed today. i am happy for this weekend of summer freedom. i hope to soak it up every way i can.

Current Mood: content
Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
2:09 pm
i can't remember why i thought it was a good idea to chug a ridiculous amount of beer, walk home by myself at 2 am, and sleep approximately 5 hours before going to a job where i have to stare at a computer screen all day. talk about a headache. i can barely keep my eyes open.

at least there are two very big things to look forward to today:

1. a cello lesson with my old cello teacher whom i haven't seen for two years

2. a Galactic concert that is going to kick ass

yes, Galactic is actually coming here and yes, i am going to start taking cello seriously again. i miss feeling really good at it, like it was an extension of my body. oh music, here i come.

Current Mood: hung over
Monday, August 14th, 2006
1:26 pm
Memories of backpacking in the Beartooths this past week give me peace among the stormy, restless thoughts in my head. Being outside still does it to me - restores a sense of purpose and belonging in me that I feel nowhere else. I could have stayed indefinitely. I could have swam in the blue lakes, climbed the cliffs, listened to the water falls, watched the stars, and explored the forest forever. I didn't feel homesick because I was already home.

In my house last night I showered and scrubbed the mud and blood from my body and hurried to join my friends. Beer cans littered the ground and bodies swayed to loud noises by candle light. Chatter, chatter everywhere. And I tried to convey the delight I had experienced in my journey in the mountains, but all words fell silent on deaf ears.

I crawled into bed feeling very alone as I stared at the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling wondering where, where life is taking me. I'm watching all of my friends disperse for "bigger and better" things in cities where concrete replaces the earth. I sent Laina off to Portland this morning. I waved at her from her driveway as she drove away. She's the first of everyone to go. And when they're all gone, I'll still be here. Here, to pick up the pieces and keep on going.

They say that when one door closes, another opens.

I really hope so.

Current Mood: uncomfortable
Tuesday, August 8th, 2006
11:51 am
i have so many things to do before i leave tomorrow to backpack for five days in the beartooths near yellowstone. i need to buy last minute supplies, pay for school, and say goodbye to friends who are returning to their other lives in the anticipation of september. i feel like i'm supposed to be leaving with them. it's a quiet relief not to be packing up my life and shipping it 500 miles to bellingham again, but there is a certain emptiness i feel by being the one left behind. life is changing all around me and i am tripping and stumbling, struggling to catch up.

i may have found the adventure i've needed to look forward to. it's called "hiking for humanity" and it's based in the backcountry of mexico and nicaragua. medical students can volunteer and backpack around in groups for 2 weeks to 6 months to the most rural areas of these countries delivering medical supplies and doing home visits. they even teach a medical spanish language class so you can communicate medical terms better. when you're not volunteering your home base is in a tree house community. welcome to the trip of my dreams. i am extremely excited and i'll anything i have to do to get there.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, August 4th, 2006
12:07 pm
I can't do this job anymore. I can't sit at this desk in this empty office by myself all day, reading articles that mean nothing to me and all say the same thing. I don't care if this job is giving me valuable research experience. I don't care anymore that it looks good on a resume or that it is super flexible and pays well. My eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen, my butt feels permanently flattened from my chair, my mind is numb, and I am incredibly lonely.

I can't do this next summer. I just can't.
Monday, July 31st, 2006
12:18 pm
I just returned from a family reunion in Port Townsend. None of my family lives there - my aunt and uncle just have a time share condo deal there where the nine of us stayed comfortably.

Being around my Dad's side of the family can be kind of a downer because of the incredibly predictable lives of all of my relatives. They're all kind, mild-mannered people but they lack zest and life. My grandparents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and while that is incredible and extremely special, I can't help but look at them and think that if for 50 years I had lived in the same house in the same tiny town playing Scrabble for 3 hours a day every day I probably would have ended up in the nut house a long time ago with a very weak will to live.

As my 20th birthday approaches, I find myself reaching a sort of "quarter-life crisis" that is very unsettling. I've been looking at all of the marriages - failed and successful - that I've known and realize that I don't ever want to lose myself to another person like that. I don't ever want to be a nice little wifey who does her family's laundry on Sundays and forces green beans down her husband's throat. I don't want to compromise my dreams and goals for the sake of the comfort of being attached to someone. And most especially, I don't want kids. Not even a little. They're expensive, loud, needy, and embarrassed by you for half of their childhood.

I'm feeling very bitter about the whole "American dream". Basically if I lived like my Dad did I would go straight to grad school after college, marry at the end of grad school, have a kid a year later, and secure a full-time job that I would stick with until 35 years later when it was time to retire. That's not the life I want.

But the problem is, I don't know what I want. I only know what I don't want. And that makes everything about as clear as mud. Hooray for mud.

Current Mood: exhausted
12:17 pm
I just returned from a family reunion in Port Townsend. None of my family lives there - my aunt and uncle just have a time share condo deal there where the nine of us stayed comfortably.

Being around my Dad's side of the family can be kind of a downer because of the incredibly predictable lives of all of my relatives. They're all kind, mild-mannered people but they lack zest and life. My grandparents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and while that is incredible and extremely special, I can't help but look at them and think that if for 50 years I had lived in the same house in the same tiny town playing Scrabble for 3 hours a day every day I probably would have ended up in the nut house a long time ago with a very weak will to live.

As my 20th birthday approaches, I find myself reaching a sort of "quarter-life crisis" that is very unsettling. I've been looking at all of the marriages - failed and successful - that I've known and realize that I don't ever want to lose myself to another person like that. I don't ever want to be a nice little wifey who does her family's laundry on Sundays and forces green beans down her husband's throat. I don't want to compromise my dreams and goals for the sake of the comfort of being attached to someone. And most especially, I don't want kids. Not even a little. They're expensive, loud, needy, and embarrassed by you for half of their childhood.

I'm feeling very bitter about the whole "American dream". Basically if I lived like my Dad did I would go straight to grad school after college, marry at the end of grad school, have a kid a year later, and secure a full-time job that I would stick with until 35 years later when it was time to retire. That's not the life I want.

But the problem is, I don't know what I want. I only know what I don't want. And that makes things about as clear as mud. Hooray for mud.

Current Mood: exhausted
Friday, June 23rd, 2006
11:50 am
I survived the river! I kayaked and I didn't drown! And also, summer school is FINALLY over and it's actually summer now. But I think the progressive lack of sleep is finally screwing with me. I've been on the verge of tears for a good 24 hours now. I felt like crying last night when Mom said how grown up my cousin (whom I haven't seen in three years) looks now. I almost cried this morning when my teacher explained to me why carboxylic acid is deprotonated in the cell. And I had tears in my eyes a couple of minutes ago when I was talking to my dad's girlfriend about Yellowstone Park in the summertime. I think there may be something wrong with me. Seriously.

Also, I have been listening to the Titanic soundtrack non-stop at work and it's making me nostalgic for when I was 11 years-old and believed that loving relationships were always rosy and uplifting and never ever frustrating or confusing.

I really like the Irish music on the Titanic soundtrack and it makes me want to jump over to Ireland right now. Maybe somewhere there's a band in need of a string bass player. I had a dream last night that I was in a band trying to play the bass but I couldn't remember how and everyone was staring at me. I think I need to practice cello this weekend and get reacquainted with myself.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
11:50 am
erik, amy, and i went to the pond last night with our kayaks and i finally got my roll down. on the first try. it was so satisfying. erik and amy are fearless and impulsive. i am cautious and methodical. they make fun of me because they both know me so well and they can see right through me. they know when i'm fiddling with my paddle because i'm trying to avoid rolling. or when i'm making excuses. it's funny being around them. today i'm going to go on the river with them for the first time. i'm pretty nervous, but they say the water is safe right now on the blackfoot. i'm probably going to have diarrhea. that's what happens when i get nervous for kayaking.

i'm feeling pretty optimistic about life right now and i'm trying to keep it that way. i think often my boredom (and often, depression) stems not from a lack of things to do, but from a lack of people to do them with. i've been spending more time with a variety of people who are back for the summer and it feels good. i don't think i was meant to be an only child. i like being surrounded by people. i like being in the center of things. i don't like the idea of being married and living with just one person in an isolated home. i want to live in a commune full of people and love and laughter. hmmm, maybe i should join a cult?

Current Mood: peaceful
Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
2:18 pm
mountain biking this weekend with dad really lifted my spirits. we biked/hiked ten miles into a huge 200 foot tall waterfall. the sky was deep blue, the sun was hot, and i felt strong. if i just keep pushing myself, eventually...eventually i will get even better than the way i was before i broke my leg. it's just really hard for me to be patient.

that's what life seems to be like right now: a time of patience. waiting patiently to get stronger, waiting for it to get warmer so i can swim in the river every day, waiting for summer school to be over, waiting to save enough money so i can finally travel.

but life is good and i'm not complaining. amy has been teaching me new delicious recipes every night and i recently just bought new bras and underwear (for the first time in at least a year), so i feel like i am claiming a piece of my femininity. i've been influencing amy by taking her whenever i go running or hiking and she's holding up astonishingly well. living together this summer should be good for us. we balance each other out and we have so much to share.

three more days of organic chemistry! then i'm free, free, free.

Current Mood: optimistic
Sunday, June 11th, 2006
6:07 pm
on friday night i took laina and morgaine backpacking for the first time just the three of us. no boys. we felt quite bad ass cooking, setting up the tent, hanging the food. what a liberating feeling. i was exhausted, as they had extremely tiny packs that allowed them to carry virtually nothing and i carried virtually EVERYTHING (i.e. all the food for all three of us, tent, stove, pots and pans, water filter). it poured on us all night as we lay in the warm, dry tent, having necessary bonding time.

old friends are gradually reappearing in town and i feel far less alone. last night i went to two parties that lifted my spirits and got me quite smashed. my best friend since childhood, amy, got home yesterday and she is living in our basement while her parents work out a complicated divorce. i'm sad that she's living with us under such bad circumstances, but seeing her whenever i want to makes me smile.

erik's parents just got a 9-week old border collie puppy. she's so adorable she makes me squirm all over the floor and make ridiculous puppy noises. pictures soon to come...

Current Mood: calm
Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
2:21 pm
i am
burnt out.
i don't want
to be
in school
anymore.

i've had enough.

every weekend i soothe my soul in the sweet air of the mountains.
and every week i come back, jolted rudely awake to a subtly meaningless world.

i think i need some more hobbies.

desperately.

Current Mood: tired
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