some other beginning’s end.

9 08 2010

While I was in Memphis, I talked everyone’s ears off about how much I missed being on campus.  This summer was weird for me because I had stayed on campus the past two summers. That means from August 2007-May 2010 I lived somewhere on the FSC campus. That made moving home this year reeeeally fun. Three years of junk that had accumulated in the five residence halls I have lived in.

Since Memphis,  I’ve found a number of excuses to crash on campus, to see the place and the friends that I missed so much this summer. I was barely home for three days before I had to make a trip to Lakeland. I’m aching to be back and start another year with my friends, my sisters, and Jeff.

However (did you really think I could go an entire post without second-guessing myself?), I’m not ready to go back and start my senior year. My last year. And as anxious as I am to go back, I know as soon as the school year starts, it will fly by.

It’s inevitable that on April 30th, 2011 (it’s been in my planner for a month) I will be a college gradute. This is both exciting and terrifying, and lately I’ve let the terrifying part get the best of me. Graduating scares me for two reasons: uncertainty of what’s next, and leaving my FSC bubble.

I don’t know what will happen after graduation. I can’t tell you how many people have told me how sucky the economy is, how hard it is to find a job in my field, how today’s college degree is what a high school diploma used to be, blah blah blah. You’re not encouraging, stop it.

What I’m probably dreading the most is ending a chapter in my life that has been more amazing than I ever expected. I cannot stand the fact that I only get one more year with my sisters. One year of causing a ruckus in the Eat Suite, living two minutes from my boyfriend, eating way too much underbelly and killing time in the JRB.

And as I sobbed all of this to Jeff on the phone one night, he asked me a question.

“Did you feel like this before your high school graduation?”
I sniffled, “No.”
“You’re lying.”
“Were you sad to leave your friends, to go to a new place, to do new things?”
“It’s not the same.”
“Were you uncertain of what college would be like and if you would be okay?”
“Stop being right all the time.”

He reminded me that I went into Florida Southern knowing no one, scared of what would be next, and now it’s about to end and I’ve had such a great time that I’m crying about leaving. Life is about new beginnings and experiences, and it’s a waste of my time being sad about graduation because it will only lead to something greater.

Nautilus much?


Serious Sunday.

1 08 2010

Why yes, I did steal the title idea from Stuff Christians Like. Please don’t click the link unless you’ve got at least an hour of free time. That site is highly addictive.

This post is a little more serious; I don’t have anything quirky to say, just something I need to get off my chest. And it doesn’t matter if 2 people or 200 people read this, just the act of typing it out will (hopefully) make me feel better.

Two weeks ago my mom and I made the drive home from Memphis. Correction, I made the drive home from Memphis and my mom came along for the ride. My mother’s driving completely terrifies me, so I drove 80% of the time for my own sanity. But I’m getting off topic.

The day after we got home, when I was still overjoyed to be home, in a state I like to call Florida euphoria (say that ten times fast), my mom knocked on my door and said she had something to tell me. My grandma had been diagnosed with colon cancer and would need a surgery to remove the cancer. My mom hugged me for a long time and I assured her I was ok before she left and pulled my bedroom door closed behind her. The instant the doorknob clicked, I completely broke down crying.

I know you’re not supposed to have favorite family members, just like parents are supposed to love their kids all the same. But I’ll tell you flat-out that this is my favorite grandma, one of the best ones out there. For as long as I can remember, my birthday present from her has been a shoe shopping date. We’ll hit up the mall, grab lunch, and wander around until I find the perfect pair of birthday shoes. So perhaps ya’ll can blame her for the 75+ pairs of shoes taking over my closet.

My mom made plans to stay with my grandma in the bustling city of Live Oak, Florida until she recovered from surgery. Within a few days, we found out that the cancer was more serious, so the surgery date had been pushed up by a week and that the doctors would also have to remove part of grandma’s intestine.

I watch way too much Grey’s Anatomy to be comfortable with the idea of surgery. I’ve seen way too many (fictional, I know) people go into Seattle Grace for some simple procedure that takes a turn for the worse. I mean, Meredith’s mom went in with hiccups and then she just died. Hiccups. I know it’s not real. But turns me into a worst-case scenario kind of person, which I’m usually not.

I know my mom has more details about what’s going on, but I’m too scared to talk about it. Maybe knowing more would make me less of an emotional wreck. The other day I was frustrated because my dear dear boyfriend gave me some slightly confusing directions that I slightly did not follow and got slightly lost. When I finally arrived at the correct destination, he hopped in my car, squeezed my hand and apologized for yelling. But I was already in tears. And the more I cried, the more I realized it had nothing to do with the fact that I got lost, I was crying about my grandma.

So now, unfortunately, the smallest mishap triggers a meltdown, which I’m not ok with. I’m a control freak, I’ll admit that to anyone. I have no control over what happens tomorrow in my grandma’s surgery. And being a Christian control freak isn’t good either, because I know I’m supposed to give these things up to God and have faith. But it’s kind of like how I wouldn’t let my mom drive on the road trip. I think I’ve lost faith in a lot of people and a lot of things, so if I don’t completely take over something will surely go wrong.

I was hoping to tie this up with some nice little resolution, but I’m at a loss for one right now. Also, Lucy is very needy for attention and if you don’t give it to her, she eats your laptop charger for revenge.

More to come.

No Forrest Gump references, please.

29 07 2010

I’m a runner. It started in high school. In 9th grade I took a tennis class taught by the cross country coach. He was desperate for girls on the team, at least that’s what I tell myself because otherwise I’m not really sure why he invited me to join.

So the summer after my freshman year of high school, I would run every now and then to prepare for cross country, which would start once I returned to high school in the fall. I was pretty stoked; by the end of the summer I could do a mile pretty quickly without stopping. Imagine my surprise when I showed up to the first day of practice and we had a one mile warm-up. Oops. The first ten minutes of practice had been my entire workout over the summer.

I really liked my coach and one of my best friends was on the team with me (EinsGlick for life), and the idea of quitting never really crossed my mind. I fell in love with running, and cross country is definitely one of my favorite memories of high school.

I don’t know if it was the running or if it would have happened anyway, but I started having trouble with my left knee during my junior and senior years of high school. Yes, my injuries go way back, before falling beds and ugly broken foot boots. During my last season I was our team’s manager because I wasn’t able to run full-time like I wanted to. I practiced with the team as much as I could, I rode a bike on longer runs, and I helped out at meets because my knee wouldn’t let me compete.

My kneecap is rotated and out of alignment. After a series of knee braces, physical therapy, and electrical stimulation (this really great thing where it feels like fire ants are eating your knee) I still couldn’t run even short distances without severe pain. Last week I visited an orthopedic doctor once again just to check up on everything. There’s still nothing they can do, but he gave me some anti-inflammatory lotion to use after my run, which makes my knee tingly. Sure.

I went for a run tonight, which bugs the crap out of my dad. He thinks I’m making it worse; I think there’s nothing to make it better so why not run? Which brings me back to my original thought: I’m a runner. I do it voluntarily and I enjoy it. I think I enjoy it because running is probably 90% mental.

Tonight as I jogged through my neighborhood, I kept telling myself “keep going until you pass that house” or “don’t slow to a walk until this Jonas Brother song is over” and I did it! Not to mention that I run better when I’m not by myself, when I have Jeff running 15 feet in front of me as I pant, “I’m walking – I can’t – I’m gonna walk now,” and he laughs, “nope, you can keep going.”

There’s something incredible about putting one foot in front of the other, over and over, and pushing yourself to the limit. Running is what I do when I’m sad, happy, stressed, tired, energized or bored. It’s my thing. I may not be in the same shape that I was in high school (indian runs? no thanks) but has the same effect on me now that it did back then. Slip on some sneakers, blast some boy bands, and give it a shot.

New state, new color scheme, new introduction.

28 07 2010

My blog needed a makeover, so I’m going to do that really dumb thing where I introduce myself like you don’t know me. Maybe you don’t know me. Maybe you’re one of those creepy pedophiles that Oprah (slash Dane Cook) warned me about. You could be a pedophile. Right now.

You can call me Amanda Joy. I like short walks on the beach. I’m addicted to dying my hair really dark brown, organization, and Mountain Dew.

I’m a Communication major at Florida Southern College working towards a degree in Print, Broadcast and Online Journalism (thank you, Transformational Curriculum). I’m obsessed with visual literacy, whether it’s photography or video editing or graphic design. This passion led to me applying for a video production internship with my sorority, Kappa Delta. Long story short, on May 25th I started an incredible internship at Kappa Delta Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. I had never been on my own in another state, so before starting I felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness at the prospect of being in a new place.

This blog was originally created to keep track of my adventures in Memphis and its surrounding areas, mostly areas that included shopping malls. I’m an only child, and I’ve been a little overprotected these past 21 years, so I was in the mood to do quite a bit of exploring in the great state of Tennessee. I had a blast, and obviously you can read all about it.

So now I’m back home in my wonderful Sunshine State and I’m a little hooked on this whole blogging thing. WordPress is pretty obnoxious about letting its users change their URLs. They gave me plenty of warning of this, but at the time “walkin in Memphis” was too cool of a URL for me to pass up. So I’ve decided to keep the name, and tell you something deep like “walking in Memphis is really about a state of mind; a sense of opportunity and lightheartedness.” Yeah. I’m gonna go with that.

Blogs have been popping up all over. Get ready for some mad hyperlinks. My beautiful KD twinnie Lauren and her brand new hubby are writing about their adventures as newlyweds; Bryant is blogging about Steve Jobs, the church, aaand… Steve Jobs; and my incredible seester Allee is off saving the world, or at least certain parts Africa.

I kind of feel like now that I’m back, it’s a little silly for me to keep a blog. Especially when I compare myself to those three. I don’t have cute quirky newlywed stories, I’m not super smart when it comes to tech stuff or church stuff, and I wouldn’t last fifteen minutes in Africa.

However! I went to all the trouble of deleting my beautiful Memphis header, so I might as well give this a shot. Maybe something exciting will happen in Seffner for me to blog about. Don’t hold your breath.

Sorry for being a slacker.

20 07 2010

So here’s the deal. The fact that I stopped blogging is actually a good thing, because I was having too much fun to find time to write daily posts. And if I wasn’t having fun, Meg and I were watching seasons 1-4 of Grey’s Anatomy for hours on end.

I really want to sum up my final month in Memphis. Obviously I’m only gonna be able to touch on a few key points. Even if I had written every single day, certain details would’ve been left out. But the point is, there are some Memphis memories that simply must be recorded.

So, in no particular order… my final 5 weeks in Memphis:

NLC. Every year, Kappa Delta holds some sort of national conference. The even years are NLC (National Leadership Conference) and the odd years are Conventions. This year NLC was held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before I got the internship, I was really bummed about not being able to attend NLC. But because my job is amazing, KD paid for me to go! I worked my butt off, but it was still a lot of fun. One night Meg and I literally slept for an hour and a half. Overall it was incredible having over 600 sisters together. Working at headquarters gave me a much better sense of the national scope of KD, but I actually got to SEE it with so many of us in one place. And I’m sure you want to watch a video of our journey to Williamsburg.

Emily. The Devil Wears Prada. Watch it. Meg + Amanda = Emily.

Food. My Memphis experience was probably mostly enjoyable because of the food. I’m not ashamed. Huey’s, Lenny’s, Commissary and McAlister’s became my best friends. I tried fried pickles,  had a lot of BBQ and sweet tea, and came home with a dozen souvenir cups from restaurants. I also probably gained ten pounds, but we won’t get into that.

Turning 21/Beale Street. I won’t go into the intimate details of my 21st birthday extravaganza… I will say that I went into this summer feeling really sad that I would be in a strange city for what’s supposed to be the biggest birthday. However, if you’re gonna be in a brand new city on your birthday, Memphis is a good choice. My first Beale Street experience took place while I was wearing a Disney Birthday Princess pin. It was pink. Plus, now that I’m home I get to have multiple belated birthday celebrations. Win win.

Ding dong ditch. This was a fast event, but it’s just too perfect for me not to mention. During my last week in Memphis, us 5 interns attended a dinner/desert/wine/Hills finale party in Shady Groves, which is a fancy schmancy neighborhood. The house that we went to was on the same street as Leigh Anne Tuohy’s house. Hopefully you’ve heard of her. I still haven’t seen the Blindside (I know, I know) so I really have no room to judge if you don’t know who she is. Anyway, she’s a Kappa Delta, and we kept joking that we should just walk across the street and say hi. When we were leaving the part around oh, 1am, the girls had the brilliant idea to ding dong ditch Leigh Anne Tuohy’s house. What happened next, I will never forget. A slightly tipsy sister of mine bolted out of my car, slinked toward Leigh Anne’s house, pushed the doorbell, and sprinted back to the car screaming at the top of her lungs “get ready to GOOOO!”

Vera Bradley, a new camera, and Huey’s

10 06 2010

Tuesday, June 8

It’s really hard for me to remember specific things about work if I don’t write about them on that day. On Tuesday we continued to work on some of the presentations for NLC. In the afternoon we were given the task of sorting through hundreds of Vera Bradley notepads.

When you order the notepads from the Vera Bradley website, they come with a plain white notepad inside. However, HQ wanted us to replace those with Confidence Coalition Post-its. It didn’t seem like it would take very long, but pretty soon our office was littered with Vera, notepads, post-its, plastic wrapping, and cardboard boxes. There were like 672 notepads when all was said and done.

Staff and CDCs kept walking by the office and telling us their print preferences. Like we’ll remember when we set tables at NLC. But Meg and I will be sure to get our favorite prints (Call Me Coral and Make Me Blush, of course). We did that until it was time to leave. The good news is, with all the leftover notepads that Vera supplied, HQ doesn’t need to buy notepads for a good ten years.

When we got home we inhaled frozen pizzas and watched the Glee finale.

Wednesday, June 9

Today was the day we’d been waiting for. We knew we would have an intense meeting with Melanie at some point, but we spent most of the morning – you guessed it – working on presentations for NLC. After lunch Melanie stopped by our office and told us it was time to meet. We sat down with her, Ruth (who’s pretty much in charge of all things concerning NLC) and Lynn (who does graphics and photography for HQ and is gonna be with Meg and me at the conference if we need help).

Can I please say how freakin cool I feel to say that I’ve had a meeting with the Executive Director of Kappa Delta? Since none of the National Council officers are in Memphis full-time, Melanie really calls all the shots at headquarters. She’s brilliant and I’m still a little in shock that I get to work with her.

Anyway. Gushing over. We ran through the entire itinerary for NLC and talked about specific A/V needs. We were given quite a few things to add to our to-do list. One thing Melanie is really excited about is a video that we’ll shoot on the first day of NLC. I won’t go into detail and ruin the surprise, but we will need video equipment for it, and HQ doesn’t have any cameras or tripods or anything. So next week Melanie will give us the company credit card again so we can go on a little Best Buy shopping spree. Yup.

When we got back I was completely exhausted, too tired to even eat dinner. I went to bed at 8:30 and slept like a rock.

Thursday, June 10

On the way to work Meg told me that Alexa, another intern, wasn’t coming in today because she has strep. Great, and I was feeling like crap last night (hence the ridiculously early bedtime). After a pit stop at Starbucks (second time this week!) we headed to headquarters. After our meeting with Melanie we had a better idea of what needed to be accomplished before we leave for NLC. We both got to work on some projects. Lynn sent me the information for KD’s iTunes account, so I went to town downloading the songs we need for the slideshows. Meg made a super cute powerpoint for the CDCs to use during an NLC presentation.

For lunch we placed a to-go order at Huey’s, which apparently is a Memphis staple. We stuffed our faces and it was wonderful. After lunch Brooxie and I went to find Melissa, who’s in charge of the KD boutique, to find gifts for some of the NLC speakers. We went to the basement and sifted through boxes and boxes of Vera Bradley items, trying to pick something out for them. As we were leaving the basement, Melissa told us to pick out a Vera Bradley lettered shirt for ourselves. SCORE.

Meg and I worked on a slideshow until it was time to leave. Now we’re back at home and I had dinner but my throat feels awful. I’m hoping it’s all in my head, because if I get strep before NLC I’ll hate myself.

Professional Shoppers.

7 06 2010

Crazy silly long day. Meg and I went in to work expecting to be crazy busy with videos, considering NLC is coming up pretty soon. But no, we sat on our butts for the first hour and a half of work.

Around 10 me, Meg, Alexa, and Brooxie (one of the UoM girls we met who is now also interning at HQ) met with Melanie. She showed us the outfits that the National Council officers will be wearing at the NLC opening banquet. It’s all like colonial/Victorian old timey dresses since the theme is  “Your Story, Our History.” They were ordering all of the dresses from this website, but they needed accessories like gloves, fans, hats, chokers, parisols, etc.

We were told to go to this costume shop in Memphis to complete the outfits, and to spare no expense. I literally had Melanie McMillan Schild’s credit card in my wallet today. SURREAL. So we drove like 30 minutes to this place and we were there forever looking for stuff. We tried on hoop skirts in the process. Please see the Facebook video of Meg staring at herself in the mirror while she twirls in her hoop skirt.

We got a ton of stuff, but not everything we needed. After a lunch break at Panera, we went to the mall to find some accessories that the costume shop didn’t have. It was so strange to just swipe Melanie’s credit card and sign a receipt for shoes for Beth Martin Langford. I bought our National President a pair of shoes. Get real.

We also went to this 50s/vintage shop that had a ton of cool stuff, just nothing that really matched what we wanted. Meg had researched vintage shops and found one called “West Coast Flava.” It was somewhere deep in the ghetto but we never found it, we just drove up and down what Alexa and Brooxie told us were dangerous streets. Awesome.

After 6 hours of hardcore shopping, we got back to HQ. We were showing off what we’d bought when Melissa came in and told us she had just gotten off the phone with the dress company. Apparently the dresses they wanted to order would take 5 weeks to be sewn and shipped. Ummm, NLC is in two weeks. Not gonna work. So all of our hard work was pretty much for nothing. We’re not really sure what they’re gonna do.

After work Meg and I went grocery shopping and came back to the townhouse for din din. We relaxed and ate and watched Mean Girls. I’m having fun here but missing Florida a little, mostly because I’m desperate for a beach day. I’ll probably go to bed pretty soon because I’m exhausted.