attitudes

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Observation one: A lot of times, my attitude kind of sucks.

Observation two: That’s because I consciously decide not to be happy. 

The past couple of weeks, I performed an experiment.  Every time I mentally complained to myself, I tried to counter it with a positive thought.  Examples below.

I can’t believe I’m working overtime this week — isn’t full time enough?! My job is such a blessing.  I have great coworkers, and I really get to form relationships with people I’d never meet otherwise.  It has taught me to genuinely love people.  My job is awesome.

Textbooks are slaying my wallet.  Who invents these prices?  I am grateful to live in a country where I have the opportunity to learn.  Also, a country that has access to Chegg.  (They even give you a can of Red Bull with each shipment!  No joke, folks.) 

Ugh, it’s morning.  *hits snooze button four times*  Yay, it’s morning!  I am T minus 3 1/2 minutes away from coffee and kitty cat.  *hits snooze button only once*

My cat just peed in my shoe.  At least I have a cat.  At least I have shoes.  At least one of the shoes is still wearable.**

All lame joking aside, I am being for real serious.  Choosing to be happy actually works — it brightens your outlook!  Now that being said, I’m sure that 99% of the population is aware of this, and I am reiterating an already well known fact and sounding like a pretentious hippie while doing it.  But what can I say.

– Tress

** I am pretty sure that this is what I thought in retrospect.  I am fairly certain that I was not thinking very positive thoughts at that point in time.  Also, maybe my cat was trying to tell me that my taste in footwear is somewhat lackluster?  I refuse to take that kind of crap by an animal that prefers Meow Mix to Fancy Feast.  I’ll shut up now. 

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books on books on books

I am greatly enjoying this summer.  Partly because a great deal of it has been spent among close friends — and partly because almost as much of it has been spent pouring over textbooks, and picking out dorm room decor.  (Eeep!!  More on that later.)  

But one of the undeniable best parts has been visiting the library several times a week occasionally, and filling up on words.  Finding the time to read for pleasure throughout the school year is pretty much impossible, so during the summer I tend to turn into a rage monster that consumes every literary work in sight. 

Right now I am currently in the midst of three different books.  Yes, I may have a problem.

I know, this is a really horrible collage.  Also, I took all of the pictures from Google Images.  Please no one sue me.
I know, this is a really horrible collage. Also, I took all of the pictures from Google Images. Please no one sue me.

Catch Me if You Can is a memoir about a 16 year old con artist.  The book follows him as he masquerades as a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer.  (He may take on more “vocations” but I haven’t actually finished the book yet.)  Gulp, which I have just started, appears to be a very, umm, informative book about the functions of the alimentary canal.  And Orange is the New Black is Piper Kerman’s memoir concerning her 15 month stint in prison.  It’s now a show on Netflix, and has an almost cult like following on the interwebs…  But I thought that the book might be a more accurate, less glamorized depiction of her actual experience.  (And on a side note, I apparently like to read books about criminals.)

Oops, another bad collage.  I has mad editing skillz.
Oops, another bad collage. I has mad editing skillz.

And this summer I discovered…  Drumroll please…  Books about ballet!  I am positively obsessed with ballet, and I’ve been going through withdrawals ever since the summer intensives ended.  I read Bunheads, a book about a young dancer in the New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet.  (It’s fictional, and it’s a good light read for dancers.)  And then I read Life in Motion, the biography of Misty Copeland — who just so happens to be the American Ballet Theater’s first African American soloist.  Finally, I read Dancing Through It, Jenifer Ringer’s biography.  (She is recently retired from the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer.)

I loved, loved, LOVED both of the biographies; particularly Jenifer Ringer’s.  While Copeland’s focused more on the racial discrimination in the very white world of ballet, Jenifer’s focused on the unrealistic pressure to be drastically thin, as well as her experience as a Christian working in the performing arts. 

misty1
Misty Copeland
misty
Misty Copeland
jenifer1
Jenifer Ringer
jenifer2
Jenifer Ringer as the sugar plum fairy – the very performance when she was called too heavy to dance.

  I found both of their stories to be extremely interesting and inspiring — especially Jenifer’s.  She speaks candidly about faith and body image, which are both topics that do not pertain to ballet exclusively.  Jenifer was publicly criticized about her weight (in the TIMES no less,) and handled the whole situation with grace.  You can watch her awesome interview with the Today show here: TODAY: ‘Fat’ ballerina: “I’m not overweight”   Watch it!  She’s the real deal folks. 

I still have a mountain of books I’m hoping to work my way through before school starts in August.  Right now The Color Purple, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Flowers for Algernon, A  Moveable Feast, and a book about Ben Carson are included in the pile.  (Ugh, why does school have to start in 3 weeks?  I have such mixed feelings about this.) 

I feel as if I have rambled enough for one day.  What have you been reading?  

– Tress 

summer update

No, I am not dead.  But my dear friend Harry, (aka my well beaten used loved laptop) bit the dust last month.  I put off replacing him because of monies, but now I am the proud owner of a white HP Pavilion.  It was love at first sight my friends.  Her name is Eva.

Anywho, this summer has been pretty fabulous thus far.  I had my last high school recital in June — I was casted as the lead role, and had two solos as well as a pas de deux — and it was extraordinarily fun.  I’ve been jamming out since I could toddle, but the past year I’ve grown insanely.  It’s something that I can really see myself pursuing in the future, either through performing, choreographing, or teaching.  I’m genuinely obsessed in love with it.

this was actually taken right after curtain call, while i was trying not to cry. i obviously am an adult who has her emotions under control. don't look at me.
this was actually taken right after curtain call, while i was trying not to cry. i obviously am an adult who has her emotions under control. don’t look at me.
taken during rehearsal.
taken during rehearsal.

I also had an opportunity to visit Chicago with a group of fellow 4-Hers.  (We all won an achievement trip through Junior Leaders last fall.)  I am very fond of that city, I tell you.  I like the energy.  I like the feelings of ambition and drive the locals give off.  Also, walking and taking the ell everywhere TOTALLY beats driving.

 

Plus, it’s gorgeous.

 

the american girl store -- the girl of the year is a dancer!
the american girl store — the girl of the year is a dancer!
giant forever 21
giant forever 21
the joffery  ballet was just a few blocks away from our hotel!
the joffery ballet was just a few blocks away from our hotel!
the shedd aquarium
the shedd aquarium
on our way to see a musical... in a taxi. no, it wasn't the cash cab. we were all very disappointed.
on our way to see a musical… in a taxi. no, it wasn’t the cash cab. we were all very disappointed.

Ever since all that craziness has died down, things have been pretty quite.  I’ve been working 9-5 and been taking online classes to get my insurance license.  I’ve also been helping my younger siblings prepare for 4-H fair judging.  But beyond that, things have settled into a smooth, enjoyable routine. 🙂

Tress