What to Expect:

nothing but the worst.

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”

― Lady Gaga

In the long run, none of this will matter. Leave your feelings at the door. It’s okay to learn lessons twice. Set backs are to be expected. If only one: your personal life, or career can be going well, choose the career. People never change, and if anything, I can count on you to disappear and to hurt me. At least this lesson was much quicker to learn than it was last time. But it doesn’t stop me grinding my teeth whenever I think of you.

In other news, I joined a gym.

reconnections

“you should tell me a story!”
“you know, I could just tell you when I post something so you don’t have to keep that tab open all the time,” I said.
“I’m not willing to take that chance,” you said, and I know you meant it.

February 2015.

Hey Future Lauren! (alternatively, Dear Reader)

It’s a late April evening and you are trying to reflect on what you wrote for this semester. I am sure that you (well, me.) will look back on this and say “god lauren why were you always such a dweeb?” You’re not a dweeb, you’re trying to be genuine. You had feelings that matter, damn it! And you wrote about them! Maybe not well the first time but that’s what drafts were for! I’ll look back on this letter and say “were you drunk?” to which I will answer my own question: no. I’m not. I’m exhausted and burnt out.

I have been in school for 16 out of my 21 years on this earth. Not even 21 years! My birthday is the first which is before this will be due. Keep this in mind as you read your own writing, and cut yourself some slack- you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Long division scared you once and that passed, so this will too. The burned out feeling will pass. You will get some of your traction back, you will hopefully feel like to start to matter more. Hopefully you will stop grumbling at people who tell you to stop stressing out. They try to care about you, they just didn’t have sixty pages of revisions to do in less than a week. They just don’t understand. Cut them some slack.

As far as writing, you did pretty well as far as you can tell. You struggle with poetry but with every draft, you tried to write more images and put them in there. You tried to show a lot and tell less than you had in the draft before. You strived especially to be concise in your writing, which you struggle with in other classes. You hated poetry significantly less than you do with other classes. Your rhythm is still off but hey, you will survive. You can always revise. You probably won’t, but you can.

Go take a nap or something.

You(rs,)

Lauren J. Hurlock
April, 2013.

up to date(s)

I haven’t written for fun in a long time. I have excuses and reasons why, but do any of them matter, really? (No.) I always try to do and be better than I have been.

I ended up sitting and reading a coworkers blog for a long time… Not reddit, or the news, or even something remotely educational, but just her personal blog. I have always wanted to be able to see into someone’s head– I spend so much time in mine, I wonder what it’s like for other people. Do other people end up almost trapped in their thoughts like I do? I’m sure they just aren’t as obvious about it.

I’m always amazed at how powerful writing is, and how much good it can do. But really, writing only matters when someone reads it.

0:15:00-0:19:55

“talk to yourself for thirty minutes and record it, then transcribe it.”

0:00-10:00 10:00-15:00 0:15:00-0:19:55

I have come to accept that I will be fine. I’m relatively healthy, I have a family that loves me, friends who are there most of the time, and have enough hobbies to keep me busy. If I want to reject the idea that I am a GYPSY, does that make me one? I work for those people, girls who break their phones a couple times a year, drunk, doing laundry. I have to tell them no, we can’t take your mom’s credit card information over the phone. But am I that girl if I drive a BMW? What if I told you it was falling apart, fifteen years old, and I only got it when my dad got a better car? What if I told you we had to move six hundred and sixty seven miles away once my Dad’s company was bought out? My dad’s company consisted of my dad, a desk, and an office chair in our basement. They didn’t want the company, they just wanted him. What if I told you about how when I was little we had to live in my grandmother’s two bedroom rancher because we had no money? I shared a bed with my Grandmeré, but if I was going to be technically correct, I slept on my grandfather’s side of the bed. They had two twin beds pushed together, fifties sitcom style.

In the almost twenty two years since his death, I have slept in that bed almost as much as my grandfather did. Sometimes I would hold her hand when I was scared of her old pipes creaking. She would mumble Tony under her breath, (predictive of the dementia that was developing but still asymptomatic,) and squeeze my hand a little. Instead of giving her a kiss in the middle of the night, like Tony might have, I would lean my head close and listen if she was breathing. She has been every time I’ve checked so far, but one day she won’t be. She’s been forgetful for years now – showing significant symptoms for at least four years. I will miss her, but I miss her already. She’s not the same person, instead a stubborn child in a wrinkled skin that tells off color jokes. But what really worries me is that I will have to do it all again, but with my mother. One day, maybe someone will have to take care of me that way. But until then, I will be fine. I will be as happy as I can be, and if not, I will do what I need to to be happy. If that means getting over my fear of needles to be inoculated against the unfiltered world, so be it.

At this point, depressed and tired, I turned the recorder off.

0:10:00-0:15:00

0:00-10:00 10:00-15:00 0:15:00-0:19:55

Thirty minutes of silence. I stopped talking to figure out what to say next, and had fallen asleep. I am still exhausted on the other side of a nap.

I don’t know what to talk about for another fifteen minutes, but I will wing it. I have thought about writing this almost every day on my rides to and from downtown, but I haven’t been able to get the words to flow cohesively out of my mouth. I actually thought I recorded myself for ten minutes before realizing that I had not hit the record button. C’est la vie. I wanted to tell you about the lightening storm I drove through – rain drops the size of grapes smashed against my windshield and the sky turned purple and white with lightening. I wanted to describe it to you, and maybe make some sort of poetic declaration about the entire experience. The way the street lights reflected off the wet street was beautiful, and as dark and shitty as it was outside, the world was full of colors and washed clean again. But then I realized that “you” were no one in particular, and that really “you” didn’t exist at all. There are boys that have come and gone, friends that have come and gone, but when it’s late and I’m driving, I hesitate on who to call and talk me home. I often don’t call, just turn the radio up and think about people I used to call. People I still could call, but I didn’t want to bother them on a rainy, shitty, friday night.

I worry a lot that this isn’t healthy. I have been “single” for a long time, and have come to accept it. I don’t find myself lonely often, and in fact, people annoy me. Couples annoy me. When dates run out of things to say, turn romantic to fill the silence, reciting lines about how beautiful my eyes are or my smile is, and I roll my eyes. Oh, please. Except I want someone around so bad, it twists me up when someone with promise comes along. Someone with potential will ruin my week and invade my brain. Figuratively, I will erect a shrine to a man with a great smile and who laughs at my shitty jokes. I’ll look at the shrine for a day or two, notice the shoddy workmanship, take it apart, and be over it by the week’s end.

This week’s flavor of the week is a single ladies mix of sky high standards and our signature sauce: biting sarcasm sprinkled with self criticism. Ask for the “fuck that guy” sundae. For a limited time, or until the vacation days are up, is the West Coast Cutie, an orange sorbet made up of delicious, refreshing sweet and tartness. The West Coast Cutie seems like a contender for a permanent flavor addition — smart, makes sharp nerdy jokes, shares your interests, fantastic smile, well dressed, shy, and has an impressive job that takes him around the world for one of the biggest companies in the world. And he’s handsome, to boot. Now that you want it, you can’t have it- it’s only available in California locations. You always want what you can’t have.

Vonnegut’s Eight Rules of Creative Writing

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Well, I guess this is growing up

It’s been almost three weeks since I officially became an alumnus. I walked across the Cistern, bought a car, and got an internship at an awesome local company. I’m incredibly lucky and so excited for everything life has in store. I don’t feel any more like an adult though… But I don’t know if I ever will. Maybe that’s the secret to life, knowing that you can’t know everything, but trying anyway.

oh god please no more pictures

Cheesin’

meeting of the goobers

“The Handshake” (really, he told me I had finally reached the fun part, and he loved my nail polish. Go figure.)

but I still kick his ass

my little brother (who is, admittedly, much taller than me.)

sleeping

I don’t know why I can’t sleep. The answer leaves me wide awake for the first time all day.

I dream only of monsters,
and arctic stormy seas.
The odor of anesthesia
seeping through my skin,
gathering condensation.
greet the morning with a cry,
soaked in sweat and trembling