I, Erica Baker, am a planner; and I, Erica Baker, have a very hard time letting go of plans that fall apart.
I don’t think I could even count the hours I’ve spent muddling over the “what if’s” and the “why’s” and the “where did I go wrongs”. I am not a person who can just let my plans go. Even as they go up in flames in my hands you’ll see me holding on and getting scorched in the process. It may be a plan as simple as getting lunch with a friend that turns into a last minute cancel or the complete end of a relationship that was supposed to be forever. Plans gone awry throw me into a tizzy of anxiety and self doubt. Sadly, sometimes there is no real why or where I went wrong. You can do everything right and still fail because when a plan involves more than one person your 110% means nothing if they only give 2%. Wondering over and over again, “what if things had been different,” will not repair any broken plan because things just weren’t different.
One day they will be different though. Stop asking yourself “why” and start thinking “when”. When you, and I, get what we truly deserve and worked for. Create a plan for the when instead of recreating a plan to figure out the “why’s”, “what if’s”, and “where did I go wrong’s”. They don’t matter anymore, walk away to tend to your wounds and let the old plans go up in flames on their own.
Do people every really mend, or are our wounds always just lingering there right under the surface waiting for someone to come along and, like the rest, rip us open? I thought I had healed, one year and many drunken mistakes later I thought I healed, but here I am. Six months into someone new and a year and six months gone from you, even if it doesn’t quite feel that way right now. My wounds are being reopened as I sit here typing wondering why yet another is pushing me away like you. Not loving me the way he used to just like you did. Why another is packed and ready to depart leaving me behind to deal with a new pile of baggage alone, and to “mend” of course.
“Pay attention to the signs, it is what it looks like” is what I was told, but what about when what I’m seeing just doesn’t seem to add up. How can love turn so sour so quickly? I’m still seeing us laughing at my utter clumsiness or silently, but blissfully doing absolutely nothing. I see the adventures and I see the fights but with both of those what stands out is triumph. The desire to never give up; the desire to be able to say, “we made it.”
Sometimes, “we made it,” needs to turn into, “I made it,” but I just don’t think I can.
I have not posted anything here in a while mostly because I have not felt as if I’ve had anything to really share. I had a crazy finals week and now I’m spending my summer working. I did have two final papers that I scored high on so I’ve decided to share those.
The first was a personal essay I wrote for my “new journalism” class. It mostly details my parents divorce and how I dealt with that. The second was a story for the same class. My professor urged us to play around with different story structures in order to push us to the edge of our comfort zones. I have not shared these stories with anyone other than my professor and I originally wasn’t planning on it but as a writer that is another area I need to push myself from my comfort zone. If I don’t share the things I write then there is no way to get critiques and make improvements. With that being said please give me constructive criticism and feedback.
A Man’s World
In recent weeks I’ve been having a very hard time with my plans for my future. It’s about that time that my college starts to hold advising appointments as students begin to plan their schedules for the next semester. For someone like me, who is so extremely passionate about my major this shouldn’t be hard, but lately I’ve just felt so defeated.
Let me repeat, I am very passionate about my major and I truly love it. I could go on for hours about the importance of communication and journalism and how exciting I find it all. I light up when I talk about it, which is why I’m feeling so hurt and discouraged right now. I do not understand how someone could look me in the eyes and just squash my dreams or tell me that my major is easy because I don’t need to take science classes and everyone knows how to communicate, or mention how any job (that I probably won’t even get) won’t pay me very much. How can you look at anyone as they talk about their passion and basically tell them that, that thing they love, that thing that makes them feel like they have a purpose in this world, that thing that makes them feel special isn’t actually important or worth it just because you simply don’t understand it. The ignorance is infuriating.
My mom always told me as a kid, “we’re not ‘rich’ but we’re rich in love.” I’ve decided to simply start ignoring the people who are too ignorant to understand my passions. I know that if I’m doing what I’m passionate about in my future I may not be rich with a mansion and a boat but I’ll be happy and I’ll find another passionate person to share my life with and in the end all will be well and we’ll be rich in love.
In hard times it’s nice to look back on happy memories and know that the hard times will pass. This can become difficult when the once happy memories become tarnished. In recent months I’ve had a lot of once positive memories turn negative; my views of the people and places permanently damaged. I no longer can look at the pictures and see something I love but instead something I loved.
I am a person who loves change, I truly thrive on it. I think it’s exciting and I often look for it in my life but, certain things are supposed to remain constant and when they don’t I take that hard. I believe that every person has their childhood self tucked away inside themselves. That little imagination and hope. The thought that some things in life are just purely good and magic does exist. I don’t plan on letting that hope go. Instead I would just like to think that maybe I put some of my hope in the wrong places, people, things, and ideas. I do have some purely good things in my life right now (and in the past). The things that no longer seem so magical and great can now just serve as lessons. I’m learning who and what to put my faith and trust in and who I can count on to value my happiness. Those are the things I can focus on during the difficult times. Those are the things that I will keep to be my happy memories in the past present and future.
Here are some pictures that capture happy memories for me. I hope you can recall some of your own.
Every single Sunday night I sit in my bed panicking about what the upcoming week will hold. Sundays have a way of making the impending five(ish) days until the next weekend just seem completely unbearable. I truly hate to think this way but I cannot help myself from stressing and wondering what this week has in store for me. Currently I know that I have one exam and for that exam I will have to study quite a bit. I also know that I will have another photo assignment that I will most likely put off until next Sunday. I have sorority events and a story to work on for SP-TV as well as an interview for a multimedia journalist position with The Pointer, our student newspaper. Truthfully this all seems very daunting, but to me the most daunting part of the whole week is what I don’t know. I don’t know how my exam, events, story, or interview will turn out. I don’t know what other obstacles will unexpectedly arise throughout these next few days. I do know that I did this same exact routine last Sunday and the Sunday before but somehow those weeks turned out okay and I am still here about to take on yet another week. I’ve decided to change today’s Sunday routine though; I took my time to panic but now I am going to take some time to find a few positives about the previous week and the upcoming week.
- Last Tuesday was Valentines and it was the best I’ve ever had. Yes I know, I haven’t had many Valentines Days yet and I’ll have plenty in the future BUT for now this years was the best.
- Wednesday I turned in my Personal Essay assignment. I don’t currently have a grade for it but when I turned it in I felt confident and I knew I gave it my best shot.
- On Thursday my sorority extended bids to 8 new girls (who were all very excited to have received them). That night I was also able to get half-apps and share laughs with my sisters.
- Friday I got to hang out with Bri and Ben
- Saturday I got to take my little (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) to clay corner and she told me she had a lot of fun.
This Upcoming Week
- Ben said he would help me study for my exam which makes me feel a lot better about the whole thing.
- On Monday I’m getting dinner with Liv.
- On Sunday I get to go to Appleton and see my mom and sister and introduce them to Ben.
I may not currently have many things in the upcoming week to look forward to but last Sunday, had I tried to create a list, it would have looked the same way. The unexpected little things are what make life interesting and I’m sure this week will be filled with them. For now all I can do is finish off this Sunday by sleeping and starting Monday with a clear head ready to make this ordinary week extraordinary.