Posted in Mrs. Idealist, Uncategorized

On the Road of Life

Recently I have taken my Driver’s Education class and I am now waiting for my chance to drive with an instructor. So in the meantime I am driving with Mrs. Idealist in empty parking lots. Yeah. So I found that driving is a lot harder than it looks. I keep pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake, which, as you can imagine frightens my mom and myself tremendously. If there were any cars in the parking lot (thank goodness there aren’t) I would somehow find a way to crash into them. My greatest fear is tight turns. I press hard on the brake and take them at a crawl. That’s not going to be great when I’m actually on real roads. The winding roads and sharp turns of the Carolinas are not the best suited for beginning drivers.

I am also terrified of the semis I know I will have to encounter when I finally do get to drive on the roads. What if a semi driver doesn’t see me and crushes me? How do I know I’m far enough over on the road when a semi comes my way? What if the brakes on the semi fail on a hill and they crash into me?

Okay, so maybe I’ve thought a little too much about this, but I can’t help it. My mind has a mind of its own. My biggest question though, is how can people react so quickly on the roads? How can people see a danger and immediately know what to do? Of course not everybody can, as we see from the many accidents that happen daily, but I have witnessed a few close encounters with my parents that would have been accidents if they hadn’t reacted as quickly as they did. I think the key to this is defensive driving. By this I mean always assuming everybody else doesn’t know what they’re doing and you are therefore anticipating what could go wrong in order to always be prepared to prevent an accident. This is a hard thing to do especially when you are first learning to drive and there are so many other things to remember, but I personally think that it is the most important thing to do in order to be safe. The most dangerous thing on the roads is assuming that another driver knows what they are doing when they really  don’t.

This may be taking it a step too far, but I believe that in a way, we have to “defensive drive” so to speak, in life. I don’t mean assuming everyone is stupid or infantilizing them, but rather always being a step ahead in order to avoid the “accidents” of life. We must think forward to the future and be prepared with the appropriate reaction  when things go wrong in life. Angry driving is a great risk to the driver and to everybody on the road. Overly cautious or inattentive driving isn’t much better. Staying calm and ready to handle anything is key. On the road of life, we must always stay alert and prepared. Don’t let life catch you off guard.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Step Forward

” The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”

~Proverbs 15:31-32

I am a sensitive perfectionist which is a terrible mixture. I always want what I do to be perfect, and if it isn’t, I start feeling like a worthless pile of goo. (Okay, so maybe I’m a bit dramatic). But what is even worse than failing is when someone points out my failures even if it is in the spirit of kindness.When someone criticizes me I feel like I can never do anything right ever again and that I failed myself and everyone. I go into self-doubt and moping mode. It’s pitiful.

Two days ago I was criticized by someone whom I admire while at the same time I am slightly intimidated by. I took the criticism as a reminder of all my flaws and was miserable. But I was reminded by a faithful friend (the Word of God) that I was looking at it all wrong. This isn’t a time to feel bad about myself. This is a time to do better. I’m never going to be perfect, but there is always room for improvement.

I have to use every word of criticism and every pointer as a step forward instead of a step back. I realized that I am actually doing myself more harm by taking every piece of advice and doing nothing with it. So I’ve decided to use criticism as an incentive instead of a discouragement. And while it may still hurt when someone tells me that I pretty much suck, I know that it does no good to sulk over it. Besides I love proving people wrong. With dedication, passion and strength from God there is nothing you can’t accomplish even if the world says that it’s impossible. So don’t let criticism make you give up. You can accomplish anything. Turn the impossible into the possible.

 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13

Posted in Uncategorized

Three Lovable Companions

There are a lot of things in this world that make me smile. But there is one thing that does it without fail every time. Well…okay except for the times when they bark. Yep, it’s my dogs. There are three of them to be exact. One nerdy scaredy-cat, a princess who thinks she can take on the world and a big doofus who stumbles over his own feet. They are each different and every moment they surprise you by doing something adorable, or more usually, entertaining.

Take right now for an example. I gave the big doofus (a golden lab by the name of Niko), a horse treat as a substitute for a dog treat since we are currently out of his big treats. He brought it over to his bed and instead of eating it, he is rolling on top of it, batting with his paw and trying to figure out what in the world it is.

The Princess aka. Tatiana (yep, she is literally named after a princess) is barking at Niko from a distance of about 8 ft., wanting to play, yet wisely afraid of Niko’s large size in comparison to her tiny Papillon build.

The strange anorexic and nerdy Papillon is called Pippin. As you might’ve guessed (or maybe not depending on your level of geekiness) he was named after the character from “Lord of the Rings”, Pippin (Peregrin) Took. Unfortunately, he turned out to be very different from the lovable, funny and happy character from that amazing trilogy. Pippin (the dog) is a bit of a grump who sleeps all day and doesn’t really like to be touched. In fact, he is more like a cat than a dog. At the moment he is sleeping in his favorite spot on the back of the couch and is completely oblivious to the fun just a few feet from him.

Niko is now finally attempting to eat the horse treat, though by the looks of it, I don’t think he likes it. Dogs continue to amaze me in their ability to completely change my mood and to make me smile at the times when I really need it. Sure, a lot of the time they can be annoying, but the times when they’re not are worth every “accident” you’ve had to clean up and every deafening bark you’ve tried to quiet without success. Dogs are special and I thank God that He gave them as loyal and lovable companions to human beings.

Posted in The Extrovert, Uncategorized

The Extrovert

There is a saying that all blondes are dumb. That statement however is a gross generalization and is frankly, False. Yes, it is true that a lot of blondes are a little shallow, but that is only because the world has made them that way. But the Extrovert is different. The Extrovert is spunky and fun, yet not without a brain. She is a blonde and smarter than most people I know. She is quick to learn things and isn’t afraid of anything (at least so far as I know). There is something about her personality that makes you immediately like her and want to hang around her. She has the amazing talent to make a boring social gathering suddenly the most fun you’ve ever had and she is definitely the life of the party.

However, the Extrovert has the terrible tendency to see herself as nobody in particular and not to realize how special she is. She herself hides behind the common phrase “dumb blonde”. Whenever she fails at something she will use her hair color as a shield. And though she meets insults (especially those meant as a joke) with another joke, she actually takes each one to heart. And while on the outside you could never guess that she cares what other people think, on the inside, it matters a lot to her.

Now don’t go and get the idea that the Extrovert is vain; no, that is not why she cares so much about how she is viewed. Rather, she is always trying to please people and meet their expectations for how they think she should be, when she is actually perfect (well, as perfect as you can be in an imperfect human world) just the way she is. The Extrovert cares about everyone and the special thing about her is that she always knows the right thing to say to comfort or encourage someone. She can walk the line between funny and serious with a perfect balance that few can accomplish.

In conclusion, the Extrovert has made an impact on so many people, myself included and I hope one day she will be able to see what a difference she has made. Blondes can be funny, caring and smart. And not just smart in the way of schoolwork (which the Extrovert is also), but on a much deeper level. The Extrovert isn’t just smart, she is witty, perceptive, and discerning. I am so glad that she is there to make the party a little more fun.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

24 Degree Drop

The heat is Burning. 92 degrees and humid. Our black Acura with its black leather seats has no air conditioning and feels like an extreme sauna. Windows down and hair blowing we make our way to my violin lesson. The sun wraps me in a baking embrace and by the time we reach my violin teacher’s house I’m pretty sure my legs are six shades darker. I always cringe when I have to bring my violin into the black inferno. If the violin becomes too hot it could crack or melt the varnish, which, let’s just say would be very bad. Thankfully, neither of those things happen and my violin is all right, if a bit out of tune.

My violin lesson is without incident until booming thunder growls around us. Now normally thunder isn’t something that is that surprising, but when there isn’t a single cloud in the sky and the sun is bright and cheerful, it can be a bit shocking. We peer out of all the windows, but there is no looming darkness either above us or in the distance. We shrug and continued on with my lesson. As we finish and are walking out, we hear the sky’s loud grumbling again. There is still no cloud in the sky. We drive away in the still scorching heat and try to make an explanation for the thunder.

“Maybe it was heat thunder or something like that”, I suggest, though that doesn’t really make sense either.

As we are talking we suddenly come upon a dark vertical cloud. Rain gathers in puddles in the road and the temperature drops from 92 degrees to 86. We look back over our shoulders and see the sun shining over our small town completely untouched by the rain.

The temperature continues to drop until it reaches 68 degrees. 24 degrees different from the original temperature. It feels like we have been teleported to a completely different place. A few minutes ago I was burning and now suddenly I am slightly cold. In our small town in the Carolinas you never know what the weather will be. Your neighborhood could be in perfect sunshine while just a mile down the road there could be a major storm. I guess I’ll always just have to be prepared.

Posted in Uncategorized

Everyone has an Accent

I never thought I had an accent. I thought that Wisconsinites were the neutrals as far as pronouncing things went. We didn’t sound Northeastern nor Canadian and especially not Southern. We were just in the middle. That was until I moved down to the South. I was constantly teased about how I pronounced certain words, especially words that had “ag” or “eg” next to each other in the word. For example: flag. I have always pronounced it with a long A as in “made” instead of the Southern way in which the A sounds short like in the word”tack”.

My friends tried to teach me how to talk like a Southerner, but I liked the way I pronounced things. My accent was neutral. I didn’t want to change it. My friends told me that I sounded Canadian but I was pretty sure they didn’t know what Canadians sounded like. I mostly ignored the comments and continued to believe that Wisconsinites didn’t have an accent.

That was until today. I was listening to myself in a video from a month ago and was shocked. I heard my accent. I really did sound Canadian. I’ve heard myself in videos before and never noticed my accent. So why was I noticing it now?

My only explanation is that after living in the South for three years I have adapted to hearing the Southern accent and that has become my normal. The honey sweet tones are digging themselves into my brain and changing the way I hear things. But for some reason they have decided to leave my Canadian accent alone. We’ll see how long that lasts. And who knows, maybe I will always have a Northern accent and will be endlessly teased for it,  or maybe just as my hearing tuned to the Southern accent, my voice will also. Whatever the case, I realized that everyone has an accent, it just depends on where you go.