My Life With Ben

Somewhere between procrastinating in school and hating my job, my life changed. It changed one night when I was doing my usual event photography for one of the groups I’m on the board for. Whilst taking my photographs I happened upon two people sitting together, a Tunisian boy and a Chinese girl. After asking the two if it was okay to get a picture of them together, the Tunisian boy stood up, took my camera, gave it to the Chinese girl and said, “No, let her take a picture of us together. You are beautiful, I want to be in a picture with you.” So I stood with him while the Chinese girl tried to figure out the Nikon D7000 I had brought with me that night. After the picture the Tunisian boy introduced himself as Ben. Ben asked if I was single, but mostly stood in front of me, just staring and telling me how beautiful he thought I was. He continued to do the same throughout the rest of the night. All of this was a huge shock to me. I hadn’t received any attention from anyone of the opposite sex for at least 3 years, and the attention I did get was very degrading. So I assumed he was like all the rest of the guys I had met previously that would only hurt me with cruel  intentions.

Thinking I’d never see him again, Ben added me on the oh so famous Facebook that night. The next day he asked me when I was free and if he could take me on a date. I agreed and was extremely nervous and excited at the same time. For years I had felt unattractive and unlovable, so I was sure the date would end without a chance for a second one. The date came and after talking for three hours before we even ordered dinner, I realized there would be a second date.

After only a few weeks of dating, we were laying around talking when I said something that made hime laugh. That was the first time he told me he loved me. Afterwards, he said it in five other languages. On May 27 we’ll be getting our marriage license, though our weddings will be held next year, one here and the other with his family in Tunisia.

Sometimes we fight like crazy, but he definitely worth it. I believe I have found the one whom my soul loves.

Expectations and Outcomes: Becoming an Art/Design Major

I never originally intended on attending college at all, but the morning of my high school graduation my grandparents took me out around town. After weighing pros and cons on laptops, my pawpaw picked one up, handed it to me and said, “Here, this will help you in college”. He knew I hadn’t applied anywhere, but I was the first person in all of my family to graduate high school and he wanted me to go. When my pawpaw tells you to do something, directly or indirectly, you do it (though I would appear the only one to actually do what he says). My grandfather was a marine, he served three tours in Vietnam. I love him, he is my absolute favorite person the walks (tries to walk) this earth. So when he asks me to do something, I do it.

I started college with an undeclared major, it was rather awkward, professors and fellow students looked at me like I wouldn’t last, like I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, but college seemed like the right idea at the time. Since, I didn’t yet know what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, I started out taking academic classes, which I enjoyed and excelled in. With the way perquisites work for most majors, I would have to declare one soon to save my time in Troy. So I sat down with my catalog browsing through all the majors Troy had to offer. I highlighted interesting subjects like Environmental Science, History, Early Childhood Education; I highlighted many diverse interests. I ended up choosing Print Journalism with a contract in Public Relations because  since my dream for working for Nasa will brutally murdered, I had wanted to move into advertising and that was as close as I could get.

A degree in Print Journalism required knowledge of photography. So the very next semester I started my degree by taking Photo 1, Technologies in Journalism, and by jointing the school Newspaper. Technologies was an enjoyable class, it briefed over Microsoft and Adobe programs I would later on be using. I had never had the slightest interest in photography, and in-fact detested it to a degree because everyone that can afford a camera considers themselves photographers. Writing for my school newspaper made me realize how much I would hate being a journalist. So needless to say, I dropped the major I never officially declared.

The next semester I went back to finishing my academics while I figured out what my major would be. I kept in touch with the photography professor and he worked with me to help figure my life out. In case you’ve never experienced it, college can be very stressful. At this time in our lives our society expects us to, overnight, change from an immature child to a decision making adult. My photo professor, Bob, helped me cope. Every interest I expressed he helped me explore and weighed the pros and cons of choosing to live my life exploring that interest.

At this same time I had a job working at a theater, two of my coworkers shared a major. For one of them, this would be her second degree. They said she was scared of growing up and leaving Troy and leaving behind the boy she’d been in love with for five years, the boy that couldn’t find it in him to love her back. The other girl with this major was a good friend, an honest, good-hearted human being. Girl number one saw no problem with this major because to be honest, she really had no interest, it showed in her senior thesis. Girl number two was very passionate. She lived and breathed her major. Every night she would come to work in tears because of a very harsh professor. She would describe her projects to me and in these descriptions, I found love. I couldn’t help but crave to do the homework she was assigned. It was a magical feeling and the perfect solution for the confused twenty-year-old me.

I looked through my college catalog and found this program. I had overlooked it because I didn’t now what it was, I didn’t know what type of jobs it landed. Right after I had made this discovery the time for picking the next semester’s classes had approached. With all the joy I had, I signed up for the beginning classes to graphic design. I explored all types of art; 3D, 2D, the history. I enjoyed my work and expanded it. I now build/refurnish all of my furniture. I have created all of the artwork in my home and continue to do so outside class. Winter and Summer breaks are time for my own projects.

As for my minor, it is required that I have one. It originally started out as Photography. Mostly because I had such a wonderful professor, but he soon retired and couldn’t finish my classes with him. The new professor had moved things around and I won’t be able to finish the program, nor do I care to with all that is new. So I changed my minor to Political Science. It’s a huge interest, and it feels right.

I finally feel like I know where my life is going. I know what I want to do and who I want to be. It fascinates me how everything fell into place. I look forward to my life as a designer.artist and all that I am to create. I hope you all find your calling and the relief/happiness that it brings!

Should I stay or Should I go?

Right now I have the opportunity to stay in the college town for another year or simply just another semester. This summer I will be flying across the country to do an internship in California. After that I only have two on-campus classes I have to take. Should I choose to, I can take the rest of my classes online while working/living somewhere that is not here. The plan was to do just that while living in Florida. It would be a start on a life away from where I am now, which is already a start on a new life away from where I was.

The problem with the plan is I have a good friend that is currently living with her brother and his girlfriend. She’s a good friend, one I expect to keep for life. Our leases expire around the same time and we were looking at apartments together. While I would love to be her roommate, I don’t want to stay here any longer than I have to, mostly because my job stresses me out beyond all measures.

So, any advice? Stay in this tiny college town until I graduate, but while living with an awesome roommate? Or get out, find a job in Florida, and an apartment on the beach? I still haven’t made up my mind yet, but I know in time I’ll know.

Catch Up!

I have neglected my blog since June, forgive me, it was a long semester. I had a semester full of major, minor, and elective classes that took control of my life, but I quite enjoyed it. It was nice to come out alive. Originally I was going for my Bachelors in Fine Art but, the head of my department talked my into graphic design and I have absolutely fallen in love. How did I not not know about this program earlier?

I’m enjoying my major and looking forward to another hardcore semester of graphic design classes. I only have two more of these hardcore semesters and one soft semester before I flip my tassel and throw up my cap again. To be completely honest, I never wanted to go to college. It was never in my future, but upon high school graduation my grandfather made it very clear that he wanted me to go, I was the first in my entire family to graduate high school and the first on my dads side to attend college. I was already getting bored of not spending countless hours in a classroom anyways. So I applied for college about a month before starting. And how happy am I that I did. I have not only made amazing grades at my university, but I have enjoyed it, not the college experience part, I’m not the partying type, but learning and the honor of fantastic grades; this part I have quite enjoyed. During your freshman and sophomore years in college it is hard to imagine that one day you will have the joy of being paid doing something you love, of not having a job you call work. But this time next year I will, and it is frighteningly exciting. 

Another update, recently my mother scored a job in California, just outside of Los Angeles. She has already put her current house up for sale and my family will be moving across the country January the 6th. While I am happy for her, I am also quite frightened. While she has previously lived in New York, and other places, she has never really done so on her own and I am more worried of her living in such a foreign area to us then I am living alone in Alabama. I’ve been researching a decent town for her to live in, but her options either have horrible crime rate and poor education for my sister, or bizarrely expensive housing. I understand she would like to get out of Alabama after living here for about twenty years, but I’m afraid of her living so far away.

As for me, I have the option to leave my small college town this time next year, and I plan on it, but she would like me to pack my bags and move out there with her and I’m thinking that is just not the life for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to Los Angeles, but as lovely as it is, it is not somewhere I would ever want to live. I feel my place is in the South. This time next year I hope to move to Mobile, or somewhere around Gulf Shores. I know how it sounds too, the young Twenty-two year old moving to the beach? Yes, that is exactly what I want. I grew up poor in north Alabama, I saw three different oceans with different opportunities. The college I attend is a decent 1 1/2 – 2 hours away from the beach, I go often and am completely in love. I’m sorry, but I cannot resist. If I can get a job there, I’m taking it. I have been dodging hurricanes all of my life, I can handle that aspect. I have been extremely responsible with handling my finances, taking care of myself, and having good judgement, I’ll be fine. It is almost time for this bird to fly! 



Les Mis, Les Mis

Since I haven’t posted a blog in so long I have decided to review a movie I watched last night/this morning: Les Miserables. This isn’t my forte so don’t expect much.

I was required to read this in high school. In French, I should mention. Torture to the wild teenage soul. I didn’t think much of it back then, but now I see how truly great and meaningful a piece it is, it’s importance to history and Literature.

As for the actual movie, my opinions are quite diverse. On one hand, the actors, all of them, we’re truly magnificent! Bravo to those talented souls! On another, just because it’s a musical doesn’t mean that everything said has to be sung, that got annoying. Also, most of the actual songs sang were not too memorable. Of course Anne Hathaway’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ was truly stupendous and the best! There were other pieces that stood out such as the opening song, ‘Look Down’. Besides that it wasn’t much for music. I’d have to say that Sweeney Todd had better lyrics than Les Mis. But that’s my opinion.

Overall, was it a good movie? Yes. Was it worth two and a half hours of my time? Sure. Would I recommend it? I feel everyone should see it. Would I watch it again? Maybe in parts.

I don’t wish there had been more French speaking in the film, or any, I’m not sure i remember hearing any French besides common words anyone could pick up on. French really is a beautiful language.

Boobs, boobs, where art thou boobs?

To be perfectly honest, I always thought people never saw me as a woman, or even a female for that matter, not even my own mom. I’m not gay and I don’t dress like a guy. (Not that I see anything wrong with that). This all comes from the extreme embarrassment I suffered as a teenager. It actually started at the age of twelve when I started the 7th grade. Unlike every other girl at my school, over the summer my body forgot to grow a pair of boobs. That year I started hating my body. My own ‘friends’ would make fun of me for being so flat chested. Honestly at that age I wasn’t even thinking like that. I was still building forts and camping out in the woods, I didn’t care about bras, periods, or dating. I liked boys, but I didn’t think I needed a Mariah Carey figure for that to be an okay concept.

I remember walking with my mom and sisters in Target and seeing a cute pair of undies that just so happened to have a matching training bra. I asked my mom if she’d get it for me. Her response was, “Why, what are you going to put in it?” Yes, I was twelve when this happened. And no, my mother and I still do not get along. I can still remember someone pushing me in a pool and being laughed at by a large group of people because my tiny nipples were then visible through my shirt. Someone asked why I didn’t wear a bra. Some guy yelled out it was because I didn’t need one.

Eventually I was so ashamed of my nonexistent breasts that I stole my sister’s padded bra. I was still small, and still got made fun of, but I felt a little bit better. A couple years later I actually added on another padded bra. Yes, I wore two bras at once. I had even sown them together. I wore them everywhere at all times, even in my sleep. To this day I haven’t told anyone about this.

Regardless of my double bra technique I was dumped by my high school sweetheart. One of his stupid reasons was that I didn’t have boobs. (No, I’m not making this up). At some point I started to get some little bitty lumps on my chest, they weren’t much, but they meant the world to me at the time. Finally my senior year in high school, I went out and bought a single bra my size. It was padded, wired, and a push-up, but it was actually my size. It made me feel like I was finally being honest with everyone about my body, but it also helped me realize something. My body is none of anyone’s damn business. I can’t believe I was 18 when I finally realized this.

After I had done this I did one of the stupidest things I have ever done to this day. I started sleeping with an ex. I thought we were dating, he knew I thought this, but for him it was just casual sex. It was the first time I had allowed myself to be completely naked around someone else. He never said anything directly about my chest, but it tore down the confidence that I had finally built up.

I’m finally at a point where I’m at one with my body. Although, this feeling still floats back and forth. Sometimes it’s still hard to take that glance in the mirror after getting out of the shower. And sometimes it still seems like a legitimate reason I haven’t been asked out in three years. But for the most part, I love my body just the way it is. As tiny as it is, it’s mine, it is me. And deep down, I love me. It also helps that I’ve finally met other girls with the same problem that have Pamela Anderson confidence. It’s a long road to being completely happy with my little nuggets, but I don’t need a nice rack to have confidence.

Ingredients of me.

Today I have realized very many things about myself.

1. I’m not as spontaneous as I thought I was. I was going to randomly get a tattoo, but decided I didn’t want to regret it later.

When I was younger I thought a lot about what tattoos I would get. One was a dream catcher, something dear to me. And another was a series around my body and not very noticeable. You know the teeny, tiny, harmless spiders that live around your bathroom? For some reason I always wanted to get some of those cuties tattooed around my body. Yes, I am very scared of spiders, but they are the gentlest kind of my biggest fear.

After I hit the age I could get a tattoo without parental consent I decided I never wanted to get any ink. I still think about it from time to time, and very much adore them, but they’re just not for me.

2. I am more desperate to figure myself out than to finish school. Lately I’ve been debating taking a full course load during the summer and extra credits during the other semesters…. Or taking the summer off and cooling it down with the classes in the fall. I’m just not sure how bad I want to graduate early.

I would LOVE a new job. I know it sounds bad since I quit my last job for almost the same reasons I want to quit this one. I’m not a job hopper and I’ve always just dealt with things that drive me absolutely insane, but once again my sanity is at stake here. And also I feel like there are things I shouldn’t have to put up with. I know if I quit the person who replaced me would have to deal with the same things. Regardless, I’m also looking for a job and apartment in walking distance of each other. I’m also trying to shoot for at least a company in my field, and just work myself up, but I don’t require that right now.

My main problem with figuring myself out is that I feel completely different since I moved to my small college town. It comes from many different reasons: I didn’t know anyone down here, it’s a different environment, people are rude as hell different, I left my home city during somewhat of a crisis in my life without bothering to work it out.

I want to graduate as soon as I can, but I also want to pause and work things out with myself before I move on. How am I suppose to be successful or happy if I’m not at one with myself?

3. Although I have always naturally tried to be a people pleaser, I make more/better friends when I release my personality. Taking my art classes has helped me realize this, mostly because I have found people as weird as I am. I’m weird, I accept it and I love it. And I love being around other humans who are constantly letting their weird show.

4. I’m not as stupid as I think I am. Most of the time I feel stupid because there are a TON of people in the world that like to belittle others (my work). Yes, I have every opportunity to explain myself, but I don’t feel like arguing with assholes. I heard on John Tesh radio that arguing with them stresses you out more, it’s best to simply ignore them. I’m not stupid, your just ignorant. Most people dont listen to reAson anyways. With that being said I’d like to end this section with a nice little quote.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Einstein

5. If I don’t want to do something, I’m going to find a way to not have to do it.

I have a test in Art History in two days. I studied very hard for the past two tests, but didn’t do so good. I have not at all been motivated to study for this next one. Thankfully I have all day tomorrow since I don’t have class or work. I’ve also scheduled a couple study sections with friends, it should help, it usually does.

But I’m pretty sure everyone gets into that habit. You have a test in a few days and you want to sit down and study but, what’s that? My kitchen floor is dirty! Oh look, the dishes need to be put up. I’ve been wanting to watch this movie for ages. Lets see what’s up on facebook. The clothes are done drying, better fold them!

Yep, we’ve all been there!

6. I love my nose ring. I had to take it out when I started my job and I was okay with it at the time because I thought I was too old for it. Now I just miss it and I feel like a part of me isn’t being shown. Though I still have mixed feelings. So I’ve decided to just wear a clear stud until I get that figured out.

As a side note I’ll share my day!

Today, while in class around noon, I realized it was April Fools day. I’ve never pulled a prank on this day before and decided immediately that I should do so. I googled a picture of a sonogram and posted it on facebook. Since a portion of my Facebook friends are here in my college town, I searched for a sonogram of a young pregnancy, so I wouldn’t need to have a prego belly. I made sure my sonogram didn’t have a mommies name on it, but neglected to check the date. A friend of ‘my baby daddy’ noticed and commented all too soon that the sonogram took place back in 2008. Oh well! A ton of people bought it. His family members called him screaming and asking how he was going to support a baby, someone even asked him when the last time he had sex was. Meanwhile, my family members called to congratulate me. It was a pretty nice day overall!

Sweet dreams!