Friday, December 25, 2009

The 5am Discovery

Christinapalooza at Disney was great, and I could write a whole blog about it. And I will. But not right now. Now is not the time. If there's anything I've learned in my 20 years of life, it's that life is unexpected. No matter how much you think you know what's going to happen next, the truth is, you can never be certain. And my "two week happiness theory" never fails. (My "two week happiness theory" states that I can never be happy for more than 2 weeks before something goes wrong and takes that away from me). In times of struggle and sadness, I reflect and write. It's what I know best.

Wednesday night (12.22) was supposed to be incredible. And for the most part, it was. I went to Alico Arena with some of my Chi Omega sisters to watch the wish of Patrick "P.J." Chester, Jr. come true. He was hit by a drunk driver in 2007 and now suffers from seizures. He had to relearn almost everything. He was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation (which happens to be Chi Omega's philanthropy), and his wish was to become a basketball star. And Wednesday night was the night that his wish would come true. To see P.J.'s face when he arrived to screaming fans at Alico Arena was the greatest feeling in the world. He is truly amazing, and it's a night that I know he'll remember for the rest of his life.

As I was sitting in Alico Arena during the game when I got an unexpected text: "Mom and I are taking grandma to the hospital so we won't be home for a while." The words hit me hard and fast, and I wasn't sure how to react. And I know for a fact that if I hadn't been sitting in a crowded arena surrounded by my sisters that I would have broken down. Earlier that day she had fallen down and wasn't able to get up for 2 hours. Now she was weak and dehydrated...but that was only a prelude to the underlying condition.

I'll be spending most of my Christmas in the hospital. Despite what my grandparents want to believe, the rest of us know the truth. My grandmother is dying. The doctors said she should have been dead a long time ago, and that all they can really do now is to keep trying as long as she wants them to. My grandmother doesn't want to die. She's afraid of the unknown. And my grandfather seems to be in denial. If he was given the option to pull the plug, he wouldn't do it.

For me, the holiday seasons are always full of reminders...both of the good and bad. And while this year is no different, it kind of is. I haven't been reflecting on this year, but rather the past 20 I've spent with my grandmother. I've been reminded of the things we've done together, and the things we never got the chance to do. My mom says she doesn't see her making it through the year; I don't know if I see her making it through next month. It makes these moments so important because I never know when it's all going to be taken away from me.

I was just reading a blog posted by Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, titled "For Empty Seats and Elephants in Rooms and Dreams that Feel Impossible." If you haven't read it, go to and read it. His words hit home to me, and they're what I needed to hear on this not-so-merry Christmas Day.

John Mayer said it well in a tweet yesterday - "Sending a heartfelt Merry Christmas to those who feel loneliness this time of year. You're not alone. Hang in there."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christinapalooza 2009

Today it hit me that the semester is really over. I'm not sure whether I'm happy or not. On one hand, I'm so happy that Intro to Law is finally over (I pulled off a "B"!!). On the other hand, I'm really sad that my other 4 classes are over. I loved my classes this semester, and I had amazing professors. I'm the saddest about Creative Writing. I was finally starting to open up with my writing, and I was finally able to see that I'm a much better writer than I give myself credit for. I won't take another writing class until fall 2010, and it saddens me. I love to write, and I'll continue doing it, but not having that "driving force" will be weird for me.

I'm just glad that it's winter break! By the end of my finals I was literally burnt out.

Today kicked off Christinapalooza 2009 (aka: my weeklong birthday festivities). This is the first time I've ever had a "birthday week." Originally, I intended to go up to Disney for the day and use my free ticket. When my dad found out, he got super excited and turned my 1-day "all by myself" disney trip into a 5-day Disney extravaganza with him and my sister. My mom has to work, and I'm pretty bummed out. But it will be a fun week, to say the least!

Here's the rundown of .C.H.R.I.S.T.I.N.A.P.A.L.O.O.Z.A. 2009:

Monday: Christinapalooza t-shirt making & birthday dinner part 1
Tuesday: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party @ Magic Kingdom
Wednesday: MY 20th BIRTHDAY! Magic Kingdom
Thursday: Epcot
Friday: Hollywood Studios
Saturday: Animal Kingdom
Sunday: Birthday dinner part 2 & birthday cake!

I won't have internet access all week (except on my Blackberry), so I won't be able to respond to all of the birthday wishes I get on facebook. Rest assured, I'll respond to all of my amazing friends individually when I get back.

Hope everyone's been having a fun (and safe) winter break so far!!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

I've come to the realization...

I cannot begin to explain how much I've enjoyed the past 4 days of my Thanksgiving Break, and I am saddened that it's about to come to an end. I haven't had this much free time or been this relaxed since August. I'm sad that this break is about to end, but only a week-and-a-half until I have an entire month off for Winter Break :)

I've used my free time to spend time with family, shop & buy new clothes (I haven't done that in about a year!), write, but most importantly, remember what is most important to me. Here are some of the most important things I've come to realize over break:

I've come to the realization that I'm way too involved on campus. I love all of the organizations that I'm involved with, and I love being busy. BUT, I don't have time for the things that matter most. I don't have time to give myself an hour a day to do what I want to do. I don't have the time to totally take care of myself - like cook a fresh meal or go to the gym or waterfront. I don't have time to sit down and write out my emotions. I don't have the time to sleep at night (most college students don't). And to be honest, this over involvement isn't doing much for me. I'd rather be great at something than be good at everything. I've known that I needed to drop a few things for awhile, but I was so worried about disappointing people that I didn't want to do it. But I've come to the realization that it's not about them, it's about me. I shouldn't cry myself to sleep every night because I'm overwhelmed, overworked, and under appreciated. I need to involve myself with the things that overwork me, but appreciate me. I need to involve myself with things that give me something in return, and that "something" does not need to be tangible. I need to involve myself with things that make me happy. I guess I've come to the realization that my happiness does in fact matter.

I've come to the realization that my story does matter. My 20th birthday is quickly approaching, and I'm starting to realize that I've been through A LOT for someone my age. And at the same time, I've also overcome a lot. Some people are afraid to tell their stories because it makes everything real, and to an extent, I definitely feel that way. But I also feel like my story can help a lot of people - whether it be by giving them hope or just giving them information so they can write an essay. I'm open about my life and what I've been through, and I'm starting to feel like I need to share my story with more people. Writing is a good way to do that, but so is speaking about it. Most importantly, it's about speaking out.

I've come to the realization that I am OBSESSED with To Write Love on Her Arms. If you haven't heard of it, TWLOHA is a "non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide." I've struggled with all of these things so TWLOHA hits very close to home for me. I found this organization when I was at rock bottom back in early 2007, and I seriously don't know where I'd be without it. I utilized a lot of their resources, including the suicide hotline, and they literally saved my life. Their message is so inspiring, and it makes me want to do so much more. It makes me want to speak out and share my story. I know that sounds so lame, but people relate better to personal stories than anything else. When I was at rock bottom, I counted on TWLOHA as well as the stories of people I didn't know to give me hope. I spend at least an hour a day on this website, reading blogs and stories as well as creating my wish list of their merchandise. I seriously love this organization.

I've come to the realization that I am a terrible Little. My Big is amazing; I love her to death and she's such an incredible person. Coordinating the schedules of two busy people is tough, but I've come to the realization that maybe I don't try hard enough. More than anything, I want our Big/Little relationship to work. And it kills me that right now it's not. We never see each other, and if we do it's usually for 5 minutes. We never talk, and I don't feel close to her at all. And it's my own fault; I haven't opened up to her the way I've opened up to many of my other sisters. I've come to the realization that I'd give up everything to have a better relationship with my Big. I remember Big/Little clue week and revelation; I wanted her to be my Big so badly and when I saw her at the end of that tunnel, I was the happiest girl in the world. I want that feeling back again.

I've come to the realization that I have the most amazing friends in the entire world. They are my world. They are there for me when I feel like giving up. They are there congratulating me after I've accomplished something. They are there when I just want to hang out and laugh. If I'm ever alone and just want to be around someone, my friends are there. I don't deserve to have such incredible people in my life, but I'm so thankful to have them around. I love them all so much, and I seriously don't know what I would do without them.

I've come to the realization that I love Chi Omega and need to make more time for it.

I've come to the realization that all of the stress has taken a huge toll on me.

I've come to the realization that I need to be a better friend. They deserve better than what I give them.

I've come to the realization that I need to make time to take care of myself.

I've come to the realization that writing is the most relaxing thing for me, and I need to make time to do it every single day...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Usually I dread Thanksgiving. It's just one of those days where I'm forced to spend time with family and eat way too much. For some reason, this year was different. This year, I was excited to spend time with my family, and I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.

About a month ago, my aunt died of brain cancer. It was the first time I cried when a family member died, and it really hit me hard - partially because I volunteer with the American Cancer Society and partially because I have a deeper appreciation for my family. My family seems to be "getting smaller." It's not that more people are dying, it's that more people are fighting and not talking to each other. It's always bothered me, but it bothered me even more after the death of my aunt. My aunt was healthy and lived an active lifestyle before she was diagnosed with brain cancer. But when she was diagnosed, her health quickly deteriorated. Life was taken away from her so quickly, and it could happen to anyone. You'd think that this would bring my family back together, but it didn't. And that's what bothers me. Life is too short to not talk because of the DUMBEST things. I'm sorry, but their arguments are ridiculous. I've learned that life is too short to hold grudges, and I've learned that the people you love can be taken away from you without notice. You might as well enjoy and appreciate the time you have left with them. It's unfortunate that it took my aunt's death for me to realize this, but I'm thankful to have finally learned this valuable lesson. And I'm thankful to have been able to spend my Thanksgiving with part of my family.

And I can't forget about my friends. I am so thankful for each and every one of my friends. I cannot even begin to describe how much my friends mean to me. Never in my life have I felt such a strong connection to my friends. I love each and every one of them, and sometimes I don't think I tell them that enough. My friends have been there for me through some of the hardest times, but more importantly, they've been there for me through the great times too. In the past, my friends have been there for me during the tough times but abandoned me when I just wanted to have fun and laugh. But these people are different. Sure, we've had some incredible heart-to-hearts, but we've also had some amazing and fun times together. They are hands down the most amazing people I have ever met, and each one of them has a very special place in my heart. I don't think they will ever know how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now. I have an amazing family, incredible friends, and beautiful Chi Omega sisters. All of the material things don't matter when you have such awesome people in your life. This Thanksgiving, I have absolutely everything to be thankful for.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Want

I want to take it all back
Every sip of alcohol and every bad decision last night
I want to remember my fun
and forget my mistakes
I want my space back
and I want to rid your scent from my bed
I want you to stop sprawling your sweaty body
all over the place where I'm trying to sleep
so I can be fully rested for Blink-182
I want my clothes back on my body
instead of lying on my floor
I want my money back in my wallet
instead of in the cash register at WalMart
I want "no" to mean "no"
and not "as long as you don't remember it"
I want to know what you did to me
and I think I have every right to know
It doesn't matter what my mental state was at the time
You knew what I wanted and what I was totally against
I want to take back those text messages
so I don't have to explain what happened
(because I don't even know)
But most of all,
I want what I could never truly get back
because you stole it from me last night
And the reason I care so much
is because I know you don't care
Not even a little bit
Not at all

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Well, you've made a lot of mistakes..."

Bad decisions. I’ve made a lot of them over my lifetime, but they’ve become more frequent since entering college. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m on my own now, or maybe it’s because I’m getting older. I can’t really be sure of the exact reason. I used to be so ashamed of my mistakes, but I’ve come to realize that it’s our mistakes and how we recover from them that shape who we are. But what’s always hard is being constantly reminded of the mistakes I’ve made. Often times I don’t hear it from friends or family, but rather from myself. I beat myself up over my mistakes in fear that others will do it as well. And while I know that my mistakes make me stronger, I can't help but feel guilty and ashamed every once in awhile. The first few days after one of my many bad decisions is always the hardest because it’s always like “well, where do I go from here?” I’m starting to learn how to quickly put it behind me and move on. I know who I am, and I’m starting not to care what judgments people make about me. One bad night does not define me as a person, nor does one bad day define my outlook on things. It’s about moving on and letting go, and not caring so much about what others have to think. I know that I am strong because of the pain I have suffered, and I’m happy because I’ve known extreme sadness. I am who I am not because of one day, but because of nearly 20 years of experiences.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Raw Emotion

It's been nearly a year since I "stopped writing" after a little incident back in Composition 1. This is the one and only poem I've written this year...and it's from December 6, 2008. I don't know what compelled me to post it, but I'm taking Creative Writing this semester, and I need to learn to open up again with my writing. So maybe this is my first step...I don't know.

Raw Emotion

Enclosed by my barriers no more
Bricks surrounding my face
Have turned to dust lying at my feet
Letting the world see into my soul
Wearing my heart on my sleeve
For the world to use as they please

Beaten down and tormented
By my demons and by yours
Smothering me, leaving me there to die
Dashing out the door and out of your grip
My heart was broken and then was fixed
I thought I was free...but then this

What a whirlwind you've created
Stirred up emotions inside of me
No barriers to protect me
Just raw emotion out in the open
Can't seem to catch what you throw at me
No matter how predictable it should be

Dazed and confused to the damage I have done
Don't understand where this is coming from
One day you love me, the next you delete me
Leaving me to wonder why
Why did I come back to you?
Why did I stay after all you've put me through?

First it was sorrow, but has now become anger
It's a flashback to seven months ago
Only this time I learned before it was too late
Told myself "only one more time"
You had your last chance
Now I'll be having the last dance

Take your time, make up your mind
You don't realize what you're leaving behind
When you're ready to come back
I'll already be long gone
Moving on, once and for all
No more backing down, I'm standing tall

Strength has filled my muscles and bones
It's strange since fear is all I've ever known
Don't deserve the games you're putting me through
Since no matter what, I've been there for you
Regardless of what you want I've made up my mind
I'm strong enough now to look forward and never behind

Friday, July 31, 2009

Part 1: Dealing with Roommates

Last year, I started writing something I liked to call "Confessions of a College Freshman." Basically, I wrote about the important things I learned during my freshman year at FGCU. Some of them were silly, like, "what not to tell your parents." Others were more "planning for today...not tomorrow or next year." It's still not done yet, but it's a work in progress. I've still never shown it to anyone, but with the new school year approaching, I feel that now may be the best time to start sharing it. In each post, I'm going to post one of the entries from my "book" (I don't know what else to call it!). So now, I present to you...Confessions of a College Freshman: Dealing With Roomates.

Going into college, I thought that my roommate(s) were going to be my best friend(s). I had that expectation because of what the movies showed and what everyone I knew told me. The truth is, your roommate could be your best friend but they could also be your worst enemy. Mine is somewhere in between. We can talk to each other in a civil manner, but you will never see us hanging out. We’re two different people with two different lifestyles. She’s got a job and buys tons of expensive (and materialistic) things. She’s so into her looks that I rarely see her without makeup and her hair done. Her boyfriend is always around. I’m the opposite. I have no job, I don’t care about buying expensive things, and I rarely do my hair or wear makeup. Not to mention, I am so single (as of today, at least). We have the same views on a lot of things and have gone through a lot of the same things, but at the end of the day that’s not enough. She’s messy and disrespectful and it ultimately causes a lot of problems (most of which I never tell her about). But there’s nothing I can really do. She’s never around for me to tell her what I think of her boyfriend using my towel or her leaving hair and dirt from the floor in our foyer. The only thing you can really do is make the best of it. If that means pulling innocent, harmless pranks to get a good laugh, then so be it. Just don’t pour so much water into your roommates face wash that it comes out as water (I felt really bad about that one). Regardless of how you feel about your roommate, you have to live with them for 32 weeks (unless, of course, you decide to switch rooms). So just make the best of it!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm back! :)

Hello blogging world! I'm back from my cruise, and it was absolutely fantastic! July 4th was the most fun I've ever had...and I was in Cozumel, Mexico!! I could write a million blogs about that trip; that's how wonderful it was. I was planning on dedicating this post to the cruise, but I've decided against that idea in order to write about a few other things.

Today's topics include: The Secret Life of the American Teenager episode (Season 2, Episode 2) and the Michael Jackson memorial service.

Michael Jackson's Memorial Service
Now, I know talking about Michael Jackson has gotten me a lot of negative feedback, but I swear I have nothing negative to say about him personally. I didn't plan on watching the memorial service, seeing as I was never a big fan of MJ. And to be honest, I didn't watch it at first, but after seeing that there was nothing else on TV tonight, I decided to turn on the re-run of it on VH1. From the way everyone was talking about it on twitter, I truthfully expected something better. The speeches are very heartfelt, but there are so many of them that I feel like I'm constantly hearing the same thing over and over again. And the performers, to me, are just mediocre. I think they got a lot of talent, but I don't see the talent in these performances. MJ was (and always will be) a musical genius, and I think some of these performances don't do him nearly enough justice. But the fact that all of these artists, Hollywood stars, athletes, fans, etc. came out to honor him is incredible. Putting his personal life and all of the scandals aside, I think he did incredible things during his 50 years of life. And through all of this, I try to remember THAT Michael Jackson. Back to his memorial. I think the best speech came from his daughter, Paris. I was SHOCKED that I got to see his daughter's face since he always hid his children from the media. For the first time, I saw the kids behind the "masks" (so to speak), and it made a lot of things more real. His kids were no longer just names in the tabloids or bodies with no faces...they're finally real people, and I got to see his daughter talk about how much she loved her father and how much she'll miss him. I wish that during his lifetime, I got to see more of that. I can't imagine what it must be like for his 3 children, and my heart goes out to them.

Secret Life of the American Teenager (Season 2, Episode 2)
Okay, so there's a bit of confusion as to whether this is season 2 or 3, but as far as I'm concerned, this is the 2nd season (and that's how I'll go about referring to it). This season has me torn so far. It's not as predictable as the first season, and that's what I love the most about it. What disappoints me, though, is that I feel like it's kind of "promoting" sex. When the show began, I thought that this show would discourage teenagers from having sex, but almost every single character on the show is having sex. What kind of message is that sending out? Of all the characters, I thought that at least Grace would be the one to say "no" and stand up for what she believes in. But in the first episode of the season, she gives in and haves sex with Jack (who she's been on and off with throughout the show). And her reasons for having sex aren't even reasonable ones. The characters on this show are 15-16 years old...and they're all having sex!!! Now, this episode (#2) seemed to drag on a little bit too much. We were told from the 1st episode that Grace felt like she was responsible for her father's death because she had sex, and to restate it throughout the ENTIRE 2nd episode wasn't all that necessary. It got to the point that hearing it made me extremely frustrated, and I wanted to go into the screen and tell Grace to just shut up already and that it's not her fault! I feel like the show has steered off it's tracks a bit, but I'm still looking forward to this season.

Time to watch one of the worst shows on television...Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Will that be one of tomorrow's topics? You'll just have to wait and see.

Until next time....

"Dream as if you'll live forever; Life as if you'll die today." ~James Dean

xoxo Christina

Thursday, July 2, 2009

From videos to writing...but why?

A week ago, I embarked on a journey to start video blogging as a way to express some of my opinions. I understood what I was getting into and was fully prepared for some brutal criticism. My first blog was titled "Michael Jackson, Perez Hilton, and Farrah Fawcett." I discussed the deaths of Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett, as well as my opinions of Perez Hilton's hypocritical nature in relation to the death of MJ. I will admit to saying some pretty harsh things about MJ, but those were my opinions regardless. I was soon flooded with "hate comments" (you know, kind of like hate mail), but it didn't shake me or anything. People called me uneducated for not stating facts to backing up my opinion, and said that I shouldn't start out my video blogs by saying bad things about MJ. Hey, it's my opinion...and at the same time, they have their opinions.

There was only one comment that bothered me, one which stated that it would be unfortunate for my friends to see the real me. You don't know me; who are you to call me fake? I'm real all the time, and there's certainly nothing fake about me. But today's new comment pushed me over the edge. Here is the comment, in verbatim, before I deleted it:

"wow ur so brain wash on media open ur eyes and maybe u will see the truth .. they can say ur mother was a fucking slut porn star that loves to fuck dogs!! and u would probably believe it!! so young so stupid no wonder ur fat u watch to much television and on the net most of ur time!! ur a fucking loser better stop making video .. ur just wasting ur time..just my opinion...have a nice day!! fat ignorant bitch!! ohh that's just me i believe that ur fat and insecure and u need a life!:)"

I didn't post this comment to get your sympathy, but rather to show how ignorant and rude some people can be. I value other people's opinion, but I don't condone rude (and low) comments like that. Yes, I am slightly overweight, and I'll admit to that. But I'm not insecure. That's a fact. And nobody has the right to judge me or my lifestyle, especially if you don't know me. Anyway, this comment is the reason I stopped posting my videos. If I'm going to be judged on that level, then f*ck it. So from now on, I'll be doing written blogs...and I think it will be easier for me to keep up with these.

Well, I'm leaving on 4-day cruise later on today, so I think I'm going to get some sleep. I don't know how much time I'll be online in the next few days, but I'm sure I won't have any time for "serious blogging." But I'll have lots to write about when I come back :)

Thanks for reading! And here's a quote to leave you with...until next time.

"Those who judge people on the outside prove how shallow they are within." -Jordan Taub

xoxo christina :)