Archive for July, 2001

The Other Side of Dan – 07.28.01

Saturday, July 28th, 2001

Quote of the Day:
“Maybe if you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.”
Meg, A Wrinkle In Time

After conspiring with Dan’s friends I got a couple of pictures of him that show more of his personality than a generic photograph. The pictures from Long Beach I posted just don’t do justice to the amazing guy I have the privilege of spending time with. You’re going to have to copy and paste the links below into your browser because Tripod won’t let me “remote load” pictures to this site. What a pain.

1) http://lcgleason.tripod.com/danelvis.jpg – Dan dressed as Elvis at Kona Lanes on karaoke night
2) http://lcgleason.tripod.com/dans23rd.jpg – A picture from Dan’s 23rd birthday
3) http://lcgleason.tripod.com/fourscore.jpg – A serious moment also from the same birthday

What Makes Me Smile – 07.08.01

Sunday, July 8th, 2001

Quote of the Day:
“It’s always been the children who have saved the universe from the previous generation and remade the universe in their own image.”
High Wizardry

It’s hard to be confident all the time. As a female born when women were struggling to break into a world dominated by men I was always told to believe that I could do anything. That was never my problem. When I was in elementary school I knew I wanted to be an engineer and I knew I could do it. I’ve almost reached that goal now and I never thought for one moment that I wouldn’t see it come to pass. Believing in my abilities is easy but believing in my character is another matter altogether.

Two of the best years of my life I spent single. In my senior year of high school I can’t remember having any free time in between chorus classes, math competitions, musical rehearsals, and ballet lessons. It’s a good thing I didn’t have a boyfriend because I didn’t have any time for one anyway! I could go home at night after an exhausting day and not have to worry that I was neglecting anyone (except my best friend who I called daily, of course). That’s exactly how I felt during this past year at UF also. My over programmed fourth year of college was a killer and I hardly remember sleeping at all. However I do recall weekends spent sitting on my bed with papers and books spread all over the place, studying and watching TV. The only person I had to think about and worry about was myself. I did whatever made me happy without having to consider the impact on anyone else. I loved every minute of it was the time of my life.

Nothing is better for self-realization than being single. Introspection abounds when you are the only person on your mind. I had a hard time accepting myself until my senior year of high school because I hadn’t ever spent time figuring out who I was before then. My character had been hidden behind a shy smile and whatever boy I happened to be dating at the time. I had no idea what an opinionated, talkative, and determined person was underneath my insecurities until I didn’t have the usual shield between myself and the world. It makes me smile realizing how far I have come since then. In the past year the thought of impressing anyone was the last thing on my mind and I felt comfortable just being myself. Not that I had much opportunity, but if I met a guy I wanted him to like me for who I was and not who I was pretending to be. That standard is easy to follow when your eye hasn’t fallen upon the one you’ve been looking for. Being yourself is difficult when you aren’t sure if it’ll be enough to hold his interest. Character is much harder to believe in when you know you aren’t the only one considering it.

Sometimes getting what you want is scary. Yesterday I was reminding myself that eventually I will meet someone who will adore me and want to spend time with me when I realized that maybe I already have. Two emotions flooded my body at that moment – excitement and fear. Of course I was excited since everyone wants to meet someone like that but the fear was unexpected. No matter what kind of life you imagine for yourself nothing ever happens exactly the way you planned. I never planned to meet someone while I was in California but life has a way of changing your perspective without a moment’s notice. This also makes me smile because the change couldn’t have been better. The biggest transformation has taken place inside, however, and that’s where the fear comes into the picture.

Maybe writing about my fear would be the best thing to do but I don’t think making it a public display is a very good idea at the moment. It really doesn’t involve anyone but myself and, that being the case, I have to deal with it personally. Confidence is what I need right now and it seems that is the hardest thing to find when you could most benefit from it. No matter what anyone says there is no way you can be confident all the time. Remembering all of the things about yourself that make you special is very hard and you are allowed to have moments of self-doubt. On the other hand remembering all of the things that make someone else special is easy. I think that’s the key to happiness. Having someone around that always recalls your best attributes is the way to bring back the confidence that you momentarily lost. Being able to put that thought I had this afternoon into words makes me smile.