Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2012: Ellie's New Year

 You have the Chinese New Year and, well, everyone else's new year, and now we have Ellie's New Year. I am headed over to the Wal-Green clinic to get checked for a sinus infection. I called and made two long-over-due doctor's appointments. Tomorrow evening at 6:30 I am going to the gym. When I get my antibiotic, I am going to PLAN MEALS and then cook them. Today - November 29th - is my new year.

The good news is I am already on the road to self-improvement. I am FINALLY getting my finances in order, I own an iPhone, and the majority of my laundry is clean. I am coming to terms with the fact that Joel genuinely loves me, which means that he wants me to be happy with myself apart from him. I met with the executive director at my school to discuss other potential career opportunities at the school besides a classroom teacher. Progress is being made, and I feel like I am finally climbing out of this rut that I have been in for the past 18 months.

There is, of course, the ever-present fear that all of these things will change - my diet, my adenoids, my exercise - that I will become this "self-improved" individual that I so long to be - but my happiness level will not change. Honestly, I think that is oftentimes what holds me, and a lot of people, back. We want to be happy, so we make a list of the things that will make us happy. We start doing them, everything is looking good, but then we get afraid - afraid that when we reach our goals we won't be happy. So, we start screwing ourselves over - instead of continuing towards our goal, we just stop because we are so scared of what accomplishing our goals will, or won't, bring us. I guess this is pretty common because, well, there are numerous quotes/songs/books/poems with this theme.

Anyways, so I'm thinking about this, and I think about the Gospel and how it is intended to steer us away from this type individualistic thinking because our ultimate goal is not happiness, but pursuing God's will for our life. And then I think about what my cousin Jered told my mom about Vietnam - about how people were concerned about social responsibility over individualism. I think about how in America it seems that we associate social responsibility with God's will, and I wonder if in Vietnam they think of God's will as being individualistic since salvation is granted on an individual basis. And then I realize that God's will is neither about individualism or socialism - there is no definition for what it means overall, except that it looks different for every person, but the result, the goal is the same - to bring God glory.

I realize that in my current state I am not bringing God glory; instead, I use a lot of my weaknesses as excuses. Because I am not operating within God's will, I am not happy because, when we are living in God's will, I think He makes us feel satisfied, which, in turn, makes us feel happy. I suppose I should change my goal from self-improvement to being disciplined.

So, I suppose if I could "sum up" Ellie's New Year Resolution it would be to be disciplined.

And because it's a new year, I am starting a new blog. Ellie in Memphis has been wonderful; I've divulged secrets, started drama, and entertained about 5 or 6 people. But I'm ready to move on, grow up, start something new. So, you can now follow me now through Ellie's New Year blog! (Sorry for the promo!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

That one feeling...

So I've been getting that one feeling again - you know that feeling that you got when you were about to graduate high school, and then again when you were about to graduate college. It's that feeling of "What am I going to do with my life?" Yes, right now I am a teacher, and I do enjoy my job. But I cannot see myself carefully crafting lessons, creating projects, grading papers, etc... for the rest of my life. Some people do it, and it's awesome - more power to you - but I don't think I'm one of those people.

There was a time not long ago that teaching seemed like it was what I was made to do. I mean, I have all of the qualifications: I'm bossy, I like to be in control, I love telling people about things I love, I'm fairly dynamic and interesting, I like kids way more than I like adults (yes, they inadvertently insult me in some subtle way every day, but at least they are accepting, encouraging even, of my holiday socks)... And I do really like it. But I also see the value in a job that lets me leave my work at work. I see value in being able to have a job that does not consistently require a 10 to 12 hour work day, with a few extra hours on the weekend. Many awesome, dedicated, passionate, talented people do and have done it day in and day out for years, and love every second of it. I wanted to be one of those people, but there comes a time when I finally had to admit to myself, "Ellie Shea, you are not one of those people."

This seemingly terrible discovery has sent me through a loop, and I feel like I did almost 3 years ago when I was about to graduate from college without a plan for the future. Do I move back in with my parents? Do I stay in Memphis and transfer schools? Do I just stay in Memphis at the same school? Do I move to Boston to be near lover-boy? Do I sell all of my possessions, donate the money to a notable charity, travel across Northern America to Alaska, live in the wilderness of Alaska for a few months, and die alone of starvation after eating poisonous berries only to be discovered a few weeks later by moose-hunting men? Do I just work at Starbucks until something better comes along? What to do, what to do...

This "realization" has also affected my ability to remain "in the present." I have to constantly remind myself, "You are meant to be here. No matter how much you want to do something else, you are needed here. Be here." It sucks. Again, I don't hate my job - I don't hate my life. I actually really enjoy teaching - I would just rather do something else.

However, tonight my mother reminded me in a totally indirect way that there is always something that you would rather be doing.

For instance, I would always rather be...
  • Snuggling with Joel
  • Eating ice cream and not getting fat from it
  • Watching endless episodes of Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Modern Family, the Toyota Sienna commercials with that one family, and the 2008 Gator football season
  • Enjoying Harry Potter World with my bffs
  • Holding my sweet niece, Lily-Pie
  • Listening to the Backstreet Boys with my sister
  • Eating dinner at the table with my family
  • Sleeping on the beach
  • Getting a full-body massage from that one girl at that one place on Cooper Avenue in midtown
  • Eating Yo-Lo with T.L.
  • Narrating the events of Wiffle J. Landy's life
  • Narrating the events of JJ's life
  • Getting my hair cut, my nails done, and my brows waxed (the last one reminds me that I'm alive)
  • Shopping for a sweater dress
  • Singing in a perfectly warm shower in a perfectly heated bathroom with a perfectly heated floor
  • Drinking Harp Pumpkin Beer
  • Going on an adventure my Aunt Lisa, Uncle Gordy, and whoever else decides to join
  • Recording songs in my dad's studio ("Let's weather together...")
  • Eating waffles with my grandparents
  • Waving to the neighbors with gpa Phil
  • Hanging out at Melanie and Ryan's wedding
  • Water skiiing
Bottom Line/Lesson/Moral/Theme: I have to stop focusing on what I would rather be doing than on what I am actually doing. Because, let's be honest, my life is not really that bad.

Links to articles of people's lives who are worse than mine:

For those who haven't seen the movies yet
Jennifer Aniston
One good reason to not to go back to the "good old days"
I would cry too

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer is here

Welcome back, Avid Readers and Fans. "Ang-Joel" (Landy, 2011) told me about the lack of EIM complaints. So, guess who's back? Ellie in Memphis is back.

A lot has changed in the life of Ellie of EIM - mostly, I have moved back to midtown and now live with the best 6th social studies teacher in the state of Tennessee (I have data to prove it) and the world (unfortunately, I cannot provide data to support this at this time.) Living with a person again has been glorious. I now have a reason to throw away my ice cream wrappers and wash the dishes.

The second change that has occurred is that I am off for the summer - that is right - summer is here.

The first sign of summer appeared yesterday when I stayed in bed until 11 on a Monday. Soon I realized that I had nothing that I HAD to do that day.

In life there are two, well actually three, lists - "I have to do this now," "I should do this now," and "It would nice if I did this at some point" (if I lived in Arkansas, there would be a fourth list [Ms. Vassar] - the "I might should do that" list.) My goal is to keep most of my activities on the "It would nice if I did this at some point," and the really important activities (paying bills, eating vegetables, etc...) on the "I should do this now" list. In fact, sometimes I move my "I have to do this now" activities to "I should do this now" (For consistency sake, I then add an item from "It would be nice if I did this at some point" list to the "I have to do this now" list [I understand that it seems to make more sense to exchange it with an item from "I should do this now," but I really like to keep the items on "I have to do this now" as non-urgent as possible] - usually it's something like "Buying new brown flats" or "Watching another episode of Heroes" or "Googling engagement rings" or "Shopping for things that say 'I love my auntie.'")

Another sign of summer is that it is warm enough for me lay out and get a tan. At 11 a.m. (do not be confused), I decided to go tanning on the roof-top patio of my new apartment. A few things I didn't take into account:

1. I hate sweating
2. It's a billion degrees outside even at 11 in the morning, and I cannot comfortably take a nap in a billion degree weather
3. I have lost all of my sunglasses
4. I get bored very easily (Attempt to watch a movie with me - well, unless I'm very confused [X-Men: First Class - who are all of these people who aren't in the other movies?] then I get quiet...)
5. I don't have a fifth item, but having a list of 5 is so much better than having a list of 4

I know that I should have brought a book, and I did (7th Harry Potter. I keep not finishing it because the idea of it all being over makes me sad.) But then I remembered as I was walking up to the roof that reading and tanning do not go together. People just pretend that they do, but they really don't. If I don't want awkward book tan lines, I cannot read while I tan. (I suppose that this comment might should have been #5...)

However, I have formulated a plan for tomorrow so that I can a) tan and b) finish unpacking -

8:00 - Wake up, eat breakfast, watch an episode of Heroes

9:00 - Lay out

10:00 - Come in to cool down from tanning and watch another episode of Heroes

11:00 - Take a shower

11:15 - Watch another episode of Heroes

12:00 - Begin cleaning up bed room

2:00 - Reward all my hard work by watching another episode of Heroes

3:00 through the Rest of the Evening -  Various "It would be nice if I did this at some point" activities

Go Wednesday! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clearly...

You gotta play hard to get sometimes... you know, after months and months of intense interaction, you just need to back off - give him the cold shoulder - make him beg for more...

So, that is what I have been doing - making my readers beg (and by "readers" I am referring to my sister... and Taccarra, who will not actually have time to read my blog because of the birth of Taryn [aka cutest baby I've seen in a long time]) for more EIM.

Really, there are others (or really just one, but I'll make it plural so that I don't have to go back and change my verb tense) reasons why I have not been blogging, primarily (or singularly) one J.G.R. (Js and Gs next to each other is kind of weird, isn't it?) Who is this J.G.R.? Well, he is my boyfriend. Yes, Ellie in Memphis has a boyfriend. Shocking, I know.

Having a boyfriend, who I really like (and I mean really - I would make out with him in front of my grandmother), has changed my perspective on about 10 things (the "on about" was to make it sound more epic). In true, EIM form, here is a list (or a partial list) of the 10 (or nearly 10) things:

#1: PDA - I used to hate it. In fact, it used to gross me out. One time I saw this couple kissing in public, and it made me vomit (not really, but I wanted to.) But now I love PDA - as stated earlier, I would make out with JGR in front of my grandmother. And my grandmother is not one of those ex-hippie, free-love, stop-the-war, no-bra grandmothers - she is ultra conservative, top-button buttoned, pretends-not-to-know-what-French-kissing is grandmothers. I feel sorry for Landy who has to live with me next year because, well, there will be RSODA (Roomate's Significant Other's Display of Affection), and it will make her angry. Ooops.

#2: Proper hand-holding. I used to think that the only type of appropriate hand holding was interlockitication (see picture below for clarification:)


But now I know that hand-holding is as diverse as acceptable teenage-boy hairstyles (I mean, I love Justin Bieber, but we do have the same hair cut, and I am not the one who is gender-confused...).

#3: Facebook stalking = Love. What I means is that if I didn't care about him, I wouldn't care which girls he talked to on Facebook. I mean, I do it, but I'm not a psycho (or maybe I am, but by my definition [I wouldn't request to be flirty-wall-writer's friend, find her address, follow her for weeks to learn her schedule, and then confront her with a taser gun and duct tape on the street after she returns from the Library (a classy club where you dress like a sexy librarian - lots of tight pencil skirts and sweatervest - aka, my secret fantasy) at 3:00 in the morning (okay, this is starting to sound like a bad porno - or a good one)])



And that's all folks - at least for right now. I know, I know - you are dying to find out what 4 - 10 are (so am I!) However, it is 9:30, and I have to watch Glee from last week so that I can watch Bones from last Thursday tomorrow night.

On that note (and in closing): the one bad thing about having a boyfriend - they really do mess up your TV schedule - I mean it's Monday, and I am just now watching Glee (instead of waiting until Wednesday at 12:01 PST.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I mean...

OMG, I have lost my touch. Ever since I started shaving daily and regularly wearing lotion, I have lost my "funny" touch. I typically blog(ged) when my life is (was) a big, huge pile of steaming shit, which, as evidenced by the many blog posts prior to this month, was pretty much every day (especially in January/Early February - badddd.) Well, obviously my life has turned around a little bit - things have been looking up...

Except for one dark, looming cloud that follows me everywhere - the TCAP.

As far as I can tell, standardized tests are just the devil, conspicuously disguised in a Number 2 pencil and vague questioning. The TCAP is the pretty, rich girl in school who nobody really likes, but you have to be on her good side, or she'll spread a rumor that you slept with all the members of the basketball team and that you don't shave your bikini line or your armpits and that you're really fatter than you look, but you wear a girdle and that you were born a hermaphrodite...

I mean, you have dreams about getting those test booklets, ripping out the pages, and burning them in your classroom as you roast 'smores with the kids and sing "Camptown Ladies" while watching Blazing Saddles. 

Okay - exaggerating just a little bit. But I had to get that out - it's out. I mean, I don't really hate the TCAP in practice, but I most definitely hate it in theory...

I'm sure that some TCAP patrol man will find this, kill me in my sleep, and dump my body in the Mississippi... or the flood plains of Arkansas. Regardless, it will never be recovered...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frustrated

You know, I was stuck between naming this blog entry "Flustered" and "Frustrated"; then I thought for a brief moment about calling it "Flustrated," but then I remembered that I hate words that don't sound like words, and I hate nonexistent words that are a combination of two existing words (why not just say "Sneeze" and "Burp" instead of "Snurp"?)Anyways, flustered does not sound like a word to me... and it probably wasn't a word until, I don't know, a few centuries ago. But frustrated - I think that Jesus probably said frustrated... in Greek, at least.

What is frustrating me? Or, should I make this a statement and write this - What is frustrating me: 
  • Putting words in mouth or actions in... action? You know, people who take everything you say really seriously and then read between the lines to draw their own meaning and then they attach some sort of action to it. So, a "That's what she said" joke turns you into an evil slut, who prostitutes herself out to sailors on the weekends.
  • Creepiness. I have nothing else to say.
  • Servers (not the kinds that actually serve...) - I mean, why does it take 2 seconds to go from 91% synced, but then it takes 5 millions years for it to get to 100% from 91%? Stop lying to me - just stop!
  • People talking at the same time - how many times a day must I remind my kids that when they do this it sounds like static on a television? (Answer: about a TRILLION!!!)
  • The burnt biscuit smell that has now plagued my apartment. I burned the biscuits on Saturday - do you have to let it linger?
  • People who use hyperboles on a consistent basis...
In other news: 
> Spring break needs to be here like now. It could not get here soon enough. I am counting down the hours (465.5, to be exact).

> I have no self-control... like I used to have no self-control, but now it's become negative self-control... or the opposite of self-control. I need to eat more fruit...

> I need a pedicure like I need to eat more fruit - exposing my toes today was a BAD idea!

Questions I have about life:
> What makes it dating... and what makes it more than dating...

> What are the qualities of an impressive person, and how can I attain those qualities?

> Why did I just now, at 23, begin to wash my mouth out with hydrogen peroxide?

> Does Clorox bathroom cleaner contain bleach?

> Who is Alex Trebec?

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    A Slight Figure of Speech

    Today is my 23rd birthday. 23 is a big year because 23 is the number of chaos... and everything in the universe is related to the number 23 somehow, right (any numerologists out there?)

    Parts of Speech on Ellie's Birthday:

    Noun: It is my birthday.

    Prounoun: My name is Ellie; birthday like to read books.


    Preposition: The rabbit went birthday the log.


    Adjective: Give me some of your birthday cupcake.


    Adverb: She ran birthdaily around the school.


    Verb: I birthdayed at the gym this morning.


    Conjunction: I think I love you, birthday what am I so afraid of?

    Interjection: Birthday, I am so pissed!