The Little Things

If you’ve ever read the book “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green, you know that the main character, Colin, has a weird habit of anagramming words. He can do it on the spot, instantly, with any word or phrase thrown at him. Weird, but also awesome at the same time, I think.

Though I don’t have any special talents like anagramming words or discovering theorems for “Dumpers” and “Dumpees”, I do I have a quirk that I’ve been doing for a few years now. I notice idiosyncrasies.

I’ve always been fascinated with humans. I like to watch, study, and think about individual people who I find interesting (and no, that’s not weird). In my head I notice little things that they do. I notice their idiosyncrasies.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, an idiosyncrasy is a behavior or thought that is peculiar to an individual, kind of like a strange habit. For example, when I first learned of this word in a psychology class, the instructor told the class that she had an idiosyncrasy of counting to 5 whenever she went up the stairs. She would number each step, 1-2-3-4-5, and then start over until she reached the end of the stairs.

Since learning of this, I’ve kind of grown to be obsessed with people’s idiosyncrasies. Again, not weird.

The more I get to know someone, the more I become aware of their peculiar habits. For example, I’ve been working in this same office for a little over 2 months now for this internship that I have, and the more time I spend in the same room as my supervisor, the more I notice she does funny things without even knowing it. For one thing, she reads aloud. No matter what it is she is reading (email, text, Facebook post, etc.), she reads it aloud. Luckily, this doesn’t bother me because I prefer not to work in silence, but it is funny to pay attention to sometimes. She also makes noises like “hmm” when she’s working. It’s like whenever she reads something (aloud) and thinks about what just happened, she comments on it to herself with a quick, “hmm”. As if to pause and let what just happened sink in.

Though I pick up on idiosyncrasies with a lot of people, the one person I have picked up on the most is my boyfriend. I’ve spent a lot of time with him in our 3 and a half years of dating, and he is one of the most interesting people I know. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend and I have to. While some idiosyncrasies that he has are cuter than others, every little thing that he does without even knowing it I like to pick up on. I watch him when he’s not looking because I want to remember every little thing about him. We live apart as we go to different colleges in different states, so when we are together I try to burn memories of him into my head to save for a rainy day. I’ve always thought that I should put these things in a list to keep as a record, but I’ve never put my thoughts into action. Probably because there is a little part of me that knows this is slightly creepy, but I guess one of my idiosyncrasies is that I just simply like to notice other’s.


Idiosyncrasies of my boyfriend:

  • When he used to drive a manual Jeep, he would hover his hand over the shifter-doodle-thing before shifting.
  • After shifting, he would have to reposition himself by sitting up straighter because he is a slightly short human being.
  • He chews on the inside of his cheeks. A lot.
  • He sniffles. A lot. (And not because he has to)
  • He sticks his tongue out when he is concentrating on something.
  • When he is scrolling on his phone, he doesn’t use his thumb like most people, he uses his pointer finger.
  • When he cuddles he makes groaning and moaning noises as he shifts positions. (I like to tease him by telling him to “stop growling at me”)
  • When he sings he squints his eyes and tilts his head slightly up.
  • When he is is talking about something in a slightly sarcastic tone, or trying to make a joke, he bobs his head side to side, just like his dad does. (As a way of being proud)
  • When he’s seriously trying to describe or teach something to anyone, he takes pauses and swallows.
  • When he eats ice cream he flips the spoon over in his mouth before pulling it out (we both do that, actually, and our love grew by 10 miles when we discovered it)
  • When he eats french fries he doesn’t finish chewing one before popping another into his mouth. It’s one single motion of chewing, swallowing, and popping all at once. You have to be there to understand.
  • Every time he puts on a hat he squeezes the bill together with one hand.
  • When he throws a ball he purses his lips together into a straight line.
  • He only uses his hands to talk when he’s telling a story.
  • When he calls his dog’s name (Jersey) he says it like (JAR-sey).
  • Whenever I laugh at him he always says, “what?” because he likes to hear me say I think he’s funny.
  • He shakes his head and goes “brrrrr” when he eats something strange/intense or when he gets a chill. (Just like his mom)
  • He always misspells “good morning” he makes it into one word. (Yes, this bothers me. (“Good morning” is just like “good night”. 2. words.)
  • When we haven’t seen each other in a long time, he approaches me with slow movements and a closed smile. But with the kindest eyes you will ever see on a boy.
  • When he hangs up the phone he says “buh-bye”.
  • He never goes down the stairs slowly. It’s always fast and with high knees.
  • He wakes up with one eye open and the other closed.
  • He jogs with his hands low.
  • He never takes sips of anything. It’s always a chug.
  • He drives with his left hand on the top of the wheel. Usually to hold my hand, but no matter what.
  • Every time he sits up or sits down he sighs.
  • He never unties his shoes to take them off or put them on.
  • He tends to sleep with one hand under his face and one in-between his legs.
  • He snores even when he’s awake.
  • He answers the phone “yyyeeellow”.
  • His casual movements are slow.
  • “Hiya!”
  • “Bye-cycle!”
  • When he hangs up the phone he always says, “bye, I love you” instead of the usual, “I love you, bye”.
  • He hugs with his fists closed.

There’s probably countless more that he has that I have yet to pick up on. But by the time we’re old and gray, I expect this list to be full. I want to know every little thing.

 

Far from “Spoiled”

A lot of different people, throughout my life, have used a lot of different adjectives to describe me.

Malorie: kind, funny, short, animal-lover…

The list goes on.

Unfortunately, one word that has been used (particularly by certain members of my family) is one that hits me the hardest in the gut…

Malorie: spoiled

Out of any word in the entire dictionary that you could use to call me, spoiled is arguably the worst. Scratch that, it is the worst.

But I’m not just here to talk the talk because I’m defensive. I’m here to walk the walk because I want to prove you wrong.

I did not grow up in a wealthy family. My parents worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known to support my brother and I. I remember a time when my dad was working multiple jobs. Teacher by day; retailer by night; with other side jobs here and there. And before that, both of my parents would work at a newspaper warehouse. Getting up in the middle of the night to go sort newspapers to be delivered before the sun. I remember my brother and I would have to go with them to this job because we couldn’t afford a babysitter. 2am, mom would come in and wake us to go to the warehouse. At the time it was fun for us; we though it was a treat. Looking back I realize how hard that was for my parents; taking their two young children to a warehouse in the middle of the city and try to keep them wrangled while tying papers together before the deadline. Sometimes dad would have to leave early for his other job and mom was stuck finishing the rest of the work on her own. Just in time to take my brother and I to school and her off to work. From the very beginning I was surrounded by hardworking people. I never knew anything different.

Flash forward 15 years later and my parents are still those same workers. Dad now retired from teaching but far from retired from working. I can’t even count how many jobs he’s had since being a teacher. Mom’s still at her same job fighting every year to keep her hours and the hope alive for a 10 cent raise. 20 years at the same place and she’s never once had insurance. My brother and I never had any kind of insurance until we went to college. That’s foreign for some people.

Flash forward and now I’m 16. The day after my birthday I was applying for a job. Cart kid at a golf course. For the next 3 years I will be there. Working every holiday but Christmas. Using every cent of my paychecks to buy a car and ride horses.

Horses.

My passion since I was a freckle in the sky.

I’ve never owned a horse, but I have done everything in my power to ride. I can’t even count how many horses I’ve managed to swing a leg over just by finding people nice enough to let me. I never started taking real lessons until I was in high school and was able to pay for them on my own and drive myself to the barn. Every year since before I could remember I’ve put a horse on my Christmas and birthday list. 20 years old and I still do it. 20 years and I’ve never expected it to happen. I just write it down to remind myself what I’m working towards.

Flash forward: now I’m in college.

I wasn’t supposed to end up at the college I’m at. I wasn’t supposed to be a University of Wyoming Cowgirl. I wasn’t supposed to move out of state. I wasn’t supposed to take out student loans. I was supposed to go to community college and live with my parents because that’s all we could afford. I wasn’t supposed to go behind my parents’ backs and apply to my dream school and get accepted. But I did because I knew I could do it on my own. I knew I could apply for scholarships and win them. I knew I could score high on my ACTs and graduate top of my class to make myself stand out for even more scholarships. I knew I could make it work on my own because I had to. And here I am.

I’m going into my senior year of college and I’ve done it all on my own. Every book bought, every tuition payment met, every loan paid on time. I’ve done it. I’ve had help along the way when I got stuck, sure. But it’s been me the whole way.

I’ve managed to get scholarships every semester for the past 3 years. I’ve managed to be an important and successful member of my equestrian team and continue my love of horseback riding, without ever once owning a horse. I will have lived in 3 homes throughout my college career, paying for them all with minimal help from my family.

Flash forward: today.

July 19th, 2017.

I’m sitting in a chair at a job that I hate, just coming from an internship that I worked so hard to get and almost had taken away from me.

Since the moment I stepped foot back in Colorado for the summer I’ve been working. 40 hours a week making minimum wage at two jobs.

Before walking into work today I watched a Snapchat of a friend of mine on a hiking trip. What I would do to be hiking at this very moment. My friend hasn’t worked. She does everything that I’ve always wanted to do. She has no worries.

And yet, I am spoiled.

No, friend. I am not.

I am working these mediocre jobs right now so I don’t have to later.

I am going to college so I can find a career doing something I am passionate about. I will be successful. I will make enough money to buy a car that doesn’t shake rattle and roll around every corner. I will be able to afford to buy myself flowers just because I want to. I will live in a house of my own with a barn in the back filled with horses that I worked hard for my entire life. My future is going to be sweet, my friend. I am not spoiled.

I am blessed.

I am blessed because I know the true meaning of hard work. I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck and not be able to rely on my daddy to send me money every month. I know what it’s like to cry in the middle of the night because I don’t know how I will be able to afford rent and horse show fees and bills from a surgery next week.

Life has not come easy from me. It’s been a guessing game for the majority of my life.

But I’m proud of it.

I’m proud because I know while you, my friend, are having a wonderful summer full of hikes and sunshine, my summer, full of long days and artificial lighting, will pay off when I get to truly spoil myself later.

 

 

Treat him like a stranger

While I should be working, I’m instead browsing through Pinterest.

My mom and I are going to do a 5 day taco cleanse (yes you read that correctly) so I’ve been looking at recipes to make. More to come on that adventure later.

Anyway, while scrolling I came across a pin that peaked my interest even though it had nothing to do with tacos. It was a picture of a beautiful bride with a caption that read, “Do you treat your wife worse than a stranger?”

As someone who has been planning my wedding since the ripe age of 10, I’ve always been interested in marriage, so of course I had to click on this link.

It took me to a blog titled, “Confessions of a Terrible Husband”

Who is the last person you held a door for?

Who is the last person you thanked for doing exactly what you expected from them and nothing  more?  For doing exactly what they were supposed to do?

Like a real thank you.  Not just “thx” in a “txt msg.”

Sadly, both of my answers were “a stranger” for a long time.

As I read on this got me thinking about my own relationship. Being the girl in the relationship, I didn’t really ever do things like hold doors open for him like I do with strangers (though I could), but I realized that there are things that I do towards strangers that I don’t always do towards him. Mostly these things revolve around my beloved attitude.

Towards strangers, regardless of my mood, I’m always happy and positive. I will always flash a smile or give out “have a great day”s like they’re candy. I like to be the girl that someone walks away from and thinks, “wow, she was a nice”.

So how come that’s not always the case around my boyfriend? I tend to be moody around him. I notice myself frowning when I should be ecstatic to be with him, or sometimes I talk with the hidden mood that I get from my mother. The more I think about this the more I realize the underlying issue: comfort.

I’m comfortable around my boyfriend. He’s the one person in the world who very truthfully knows every single part of me and still loves me enough to stick around. I’m not ashamed of how I look around him and I don’t feel obligated to act a certain way when I’m with him, because I know it won’t change the way he feels about me. I am no longer in the phase of trying to impress him with my charm and wit, I know I’ve already done it.

While being in this phase of a relationship is amazing, this comfort comes with a price. Just last week my boyfriend and I had this exact conversation that sometimes we don’t seem to act like a couple. The “honeymoon” phase ended a long time ago for us, but does that mean we have to stop acting like it? We aren’t even married (yet) and this has already posed as a challenge.

I want to start treating my boyfriend like a stranger again. Though we’ve never really been strangers because we grew up together, I want to treat him as if he’s brand new to me and I’m desperate to keep him. I want to show him how much I love and appreciate him not in just the little things I can do for him, but mostly in the way I act around him. I know he didn’t fall in love with me because of my strikingly good looks. I know that he loves me because of my humor, the joy I find in life, my hardworking attitude, and my kindness. I know these things because he’s told me. Now, I want to prove it to him that I haven’t lost those things in the 3 years we’ve been together.

It’s time to start crushing on my boyfriend again. We still have a long life ahead of us together, and the most exciting thing about our relationship is that it’s still barely the beginning.

What are some ways you still treat your significant other like a stranger?

 

Puppy Love

Next to pickles and the mountains, dogs are my favorite thing.

You know those stupid memes that you see on Facebook that show someone with sweet little tears in their eyes and the caption says something like, “me when I see any kind of dog”? Yeah, that’s me on a spiritual level.

There are two things in life that are almost guaranteed to make me emotional: children and dogs. And I’m not saying that to try to be funny, it’s the truth. Children make me emotional because of the little things they say without even knowing it. Dogs make me emotional because of the little things they do to make humans happy. I could go on a tangent just about those things, but I’ll save that for another day. This post is about the turn of emotions I’ve had this week about dogs. And trust me, it’s really stupid.

Since last Thursday I’ve had the responsibility of house/dog/cat sitting for my neighbors across the street. I’ve been living there for almost a week to mostly take care of the dogs, and I don’t go home until late Saturday when they come back.

This is the PERFECT opportunity for me. I get a house all to myself, two doggies to play with all the time (one of which is still pretty puppy), and they stocked the kitchen with everything that I love.

For the first few days, I was living. I was having such a great time being alone again and I loved when my boyfriend would come over and hang out with me. On Friday I caught a walleye at the lake and I cooked an amazing dinner for him and I on Saturday. Everything was going great.

Until Sunday.

Sunday evening the most exciting thing happened for my boyfriend. They got a puppy. Brand new, 6 weeks old, golden retriever. Literally the most adorable puppy I have ever seen in my life. They named him Dudley.

I was so excited when he called me telling me that they got a puppy. Without even thinking I made the decision to drive over there and see it. But then I remembered about the other dogs I was responsible for. I hadn’t been home all day on Sunday, so the dogs had been locked up that entire time except for the one time I let them outside before I went to the pool with a friend. I told myself that I was going to let them outside and give them a bone to distract them just for a little bit while I went to see the puppy. But as soon as I saw them, I couldn’t.

They were so excited to see me and they had ALL OF THE ENERGY that they would not settle down enough for me to interest them in a bone. How was I supposed to once again leave them? I called my boyfriend and said the puppy would have to wait.

This is when things turned bad for me (remember: for a stupid reason).

As soon as I hung up the phone with my boyfriend, it seemed like all of the jealousy in the entire world hit me like a freight train. Jealousy about what, though? Dude, I don’t even know.

Here’s the thing about me. I have what seems to be zero control over my emotions. One minute I am in a good mood and all smiles, and in a split second one thought comes to mind, or one little insignificant thing is said, and BAM! Pissed.

I thought I understood the reasoning behind my jealousy at the start of it, but now that I’m putting it into words, I don’t understand a damn thing.

I was jealous because my boyfriend was with a puppy and I wasn’t, first of all. The one thing that I love the most in this world was with the other thing that I love dearly (you can decide which is which, hehe), and I wasn’t there with them. That was the initial jealousness that hit me. But, because of who I am as a person, it didn’t stop there. Once one thing is on my mind, 50 other things follow and make me even more upset. Thoughts that I swear I pull right out of my ass that I use just to make things worse for me.

So, the jealousness about not being able to visit the puppy was followed by my dear friend that seems to pop up at any time for literally no reason: “find a reason to be mad at him [boyfriend]”.

Hi, I’m Mal, and I’m a terrible person.

Get a load of this. Now I’m mad because the puppy is going to get all of the attention now and not me.

Hi, I’m Mal, and I’m an idiot.

Of course because of this exciting new addition to his family, he wasn’t going to come over and hang out with me like I was hoping. And now when I hear from him it’s going to be a picture sent of the puppy and texts saying “guess what the puppy just did” and “isn’t he the cutest thing EVER”. No, I’m the cutest thing ever, talk about me.

Naturally, these emotions have stuck around as the week is going on. And even though I know with all of my soft, sensitive heart that they are stupid and I’m being ridiculous, I can’t seem to shake them. Before I go to sleep at night I pray that God helps me get ahold of my dumb emotions, and I’m sure he chuckles when he hears my pathetic prayer saying, “please help me not be jealous of the puppy”. Even I roll my eyes when I say it.

I hate these feeling that I have toward something so exciting. This should be such a fun time for everyone, including me. (Because I did go over and see the puppy yesterday and sweet Jesus that thing is cute).

My boyfriend even came over last night anyway when I knew deep down he would rather stay home with the pup. And he said such sweet things to me like he always does about how beautiful I am and how hard I work and that he loves me so much. But yet, as soon as he left I was back to the grump I am because he was going home to his new love.

I’m the type of girlfriend, I’ve come to learn in the past 3 and a half years of this relationship, that wants to be the center of attention. As much as I like to think that’s not true, it 100% is. So when something so cute and small and adorable comes along like this sweet puppy and takes the attention of my boyfriend, I guess I get upset. The underlying reasoning behind this mess is the fact that I want to be his only love. I don’t want another cute creature coming into the picture and stealing my thunder.

Just like the beginning stages of any relationship, I know the puppy love will wear off. The newness of the puppy will simmer down and normal life will take over again.

In the meantime I just wish I could learn to be happy and not so jealous over something as silly as a puppy.

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Here’s a picture of me holding the new precious, absolutely adorable Dudley while hiding the fact that I have something against him.

 

To the Career-Minded Girls like Me

 

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To the Career-Minded girls like me,

I know how hard it is when the realization hits you that adventure may not be in your blood after all.

I know how heartbreaking it may be when you come to the conclusion that there are more important things for you than taking trips to Mexico for spring break and “making memories” that you won’t even remember.

I know the feeling when you wake up Monday morning before the sun to get ready for your 40 hour workweek and think to yourself, “is this it?”, while you send the text to your friend telling them you can’t go to the movie tonight because you have to work.

I know.

But I also know the fire you have in your heart and the eagerness to get stuff done. I have that fire and eagerness, too.

I know the finish line that you have in your head that keeps you going to your multiple jobs everyday instead of to the lake with your friends to kick back with a beer. I have that finish line too.

I know the endless amount of work you’ve put into your multiple jobs since you were freshly 16-years-old, and haven’t stopped since. I’ve put in that work too.

I know the feeling of emptiness you feel when you look outside your office window at the summer sunshine knowing you won’t ever feel it today except for in the car on your drive to your second job. I feel that emptiness too.

I know.

But I will also know how you’regoing to feel a year from now when you have your diploma in hand and a job lined up right away.

I will know the feeling you will have when you wake up before the sun to get ready for the career you love and have the eagerness to get there and get started.

I too, will know the feeling of satisfaction when you get to drive your new car that you bought yourself and park it in the driveway of the house you own.

We will know.

And we will know thesefeelings because of the hard work we put in now, and didn’t put off until it was too late.

We will know because instead of “living while we’re young” we will get to live for the rest of our lives, exactly how we want it.

We will know the feeling of pride when we look back at our youth and not feel bad about the missed opportunities to adventure, but look back with a smile because now we can have an adventure whenever we want.

There will be no regrets at our hard work that we put in now.

We will succeed. We will conquer. We will go places.

Keep grinding, Career-Minded Girl. The best is yet to come.

 

 

 

Big Changes

This is the post excerpt.

I’ve started this blog as a personal project with 3 reasons in mind:

  1.  To use as a way to express my sarcasm in a healthy way that likely won’t offend others
  2. As a way to keep my writing fresh and my interest peaked
  3. To have something to add to my currently useless/nonexistent portfolio**

 

**Most important reason.

 

It will soon become clear that not only am I a girl with a plan, but I am also a girl who has that plan carefully written out in a well organized list.

I. Love. Lists.

I love the organization of lists, the clarity of them, and the satisfaction of crossing off completed tasks.

Every Monday I list out my week on my nerdy little whiteboard that I have sitting on my desk. I write down the homework I have to do, the classes I can’t miss, and the miscellaneous tasks that I need to get accomplished in the next seven days. I recently started doing this in college when I noticed that (*spoiler alert*) college is very busy and you can’t always remember everything you have to do by memory. Especially when you’ve somehow signed yourself up for 16 credit hours, Bible study, and being an officer on the Equestrian Team, all while trying to juggle a social life, drink enough water, work out, and still sleep for 8 hours a night.

Nothing gives me as much satisfaction as crossing off the last thing I needed to do on my list and having no responsibilities for a solid 20 minutes before something else comes up that must be done.

The thing about my beloved lists that I love so much is the fact that everything on them is planned. I know what I need to do, how I’m going to do it, and when it will be done. This is how my brain properly functions. There’s a catch, though.

*Spoiler alert*

Life doesn’t always work that way.

Before life decided to hit me square in the face with unplanned circumstances when I started college, I thought that life worked liked lists. Events happened in the correct chronological order, deadlines were always met, and rarely would unexpected things come up. I was wrong.

I have learned quickly – and harshly – that though my lists may be good reminders of things that I need to do, life doesn’t always follow them in the ideal order.

Sometimes Monday night practices go a lot longer than anticipated and now I have to stay up until the wee hours of the night to finish homework.

Sometimes the student that was supposed to meet me for their tutoring session never shows up and an hour of my precious time has now been wasted when I could’ve been doing a million other things to get ahead.

Other times you get a phone call from your boss for the summer saying that they’ve been fired and now you’re out of a job and internship that was going to allow you to graduate an entire year early.

Sometimes a change in plan is small and no big deal. Other times it’s huge and potentially life changing.

What do I do in almost all situations, though? Panic.

Anyone who knows me will agree in an instant that I love to worry. I like to think it’s my true favorite hobby. I worry about every little detail. If one thing is not perfect how is it going to affect me? Probably a lot and now I’m doomed forever.

Looking back at roughly the past three or so months, changes in plans have increased dramatically in my life. It started with registration for fall classes. Turns out I only need 36 more credits to graduate, and I’ve only been in school for two years. My advisor saw this and ran with it (maybe a little too quickly if you ask me) and within two minutes of sitting in his office I was hearing words like “graduation” and “spring” and “one more year”. This was a change in plan I wasn’t expecting.

To wrap things up before I start to ramble about my life story in one post, here’s what you can expect from me:

  1. A lot of panicking
  2. Big changes in school
  3. Big changes in jobs
  4. Potentially big changes in relationships
  5. More panicking

 

Stay tuned, this is about to get really interesting.