Monthly Archives: November 2010

Turn the Page…

This Saturday I will wear a dress, do my hair, slip on a black robe, and place a square hat on my head with a tassel on the right. I am graduating!

As I sat here comtemplating how to sum up all of the years I have spent at the University of Nevada Reno, I came to the conclusion that I would have to write a really long blog…or at least a few of them. Instead of boring you to death writing about my college life, I decided to pick a few things that have stood out in my mind over the past several years (yes, I said several).

In the past years I’ve spent a lot of money on books: $4,320

I even bought a few parking passes before I started parking below the University : $800.00

And with my in-state tuition and scholarships I still managed to pay approximately: $13,700

Yet here I am seven years later (four and a half if you don’t count the three-year break I took), in a melancholy mood.

I remember my first years at college, walking through the quad lined with trees, listening to the bell ring in Morrill Hall, eating lunch in the old Jot Travis Student Union (The “JOT” or JTSU), studying (or trying to…) in the very old Getchell Library, taking the shuttle bus to my car in the far North parking lot, and struggling to concentrate in my classes as I stared out the window to watch the snow fall quietly on the ground. 

I spent four and a half years on campus figuring myself out.  I went through many rites of passage: gaining my own independence, finding romance and heartache, educating myself, learning personal finance, engaging in college drinking rituals, and much more!

I was 18 years old as a Freshman at the University of Nevada Reno when I first fell in love.  I remember all of the things I did for him on campus from leaving candies on his truck on Valentine’s Day to writing the words “I ♥ you” in leaves on the concrete  next to his parking spot.  I was 21 when we broke up and I remember every day of pain thereafter.  I would always look for him in between classes; just one glance was all I needed..

From long nights in the library with the help of plenty Redbulls to all-nighters at home, I learned the importance of not procastinating.  As I recall the many papers I wrote at the last minute, each of them were written exceptionally fast! I am happy to say that even though that was the case, I wrote them with the same quality as if I had written them days before.  This assured me that I can do anything I put my mind to, even with limited amounts of time and increased amounts of pressure.

Numerous nights were spent studying with friends around kitchen tables or alone in my bed by the light of a small lamp. Sadly, I must admit all of the chapters of Economics, Math, Finance, Chemistry, Accounting, and other various subjects that I didn’t read for class!

We all know that college would not be college without parties! I was never much of a drinker, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I remember underage drinking at houses, all of the plastic cups and games of beer pong.  Or what about that time I went drinking at bars with my old roommate’s I.D. and the night that it got taken at Bully’s Sports Bar?

I made many friends throughout my college experience and I am thankful for each and every one; whether you were a “study-buddy,” someone to turn to and ask a question, or a lifetime friend, you will never be forgotten.

As I begin a new chapter in my life, I know I can always return back; that is the great part about education…it NEVER stops! However, this ending of an undegraduate life is a little bitter sweet.

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Sugar Skies

Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery” – Bill Watterson

First snowfall of the year on the valley floor and I couldn’t be more excited! I am a winter baby through-and-through, born on a snowy day in January 1985. It was Superbowl sunday and the 49ers were playing the Dolphins when my mom headed to the hospital ( I just added that because I think it is pretty cool).

I wake up for work every morning between 4 and 4:45 a.m; I know, it’s early huh?! This morning it was raining and I could hear the pitter-patter of the drops as they hit the pavement outside my room.  As I walked out to start my car in the early dark hours, the rain had changed to snow. It was such a beautiful sight.

There is something so peaceful about the winter and I think that is what draws me to it. I feel more energized in winter months than I do in the summer, which most people feel is weird.  Maybe it’s because while everyone else is tucked away in their houses, sipping hot chocolate and watching movies, I like to be alone taking in the beauty of the great outdoors. It makes me feel like I am in the “olden days” out in the woods or sitting on the dock at Donner Lake. I just watch the snow fall, listen to the silence, and take it all in.

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Lessons of Forgiveness Part III

Photo taken by J.B. Lundemo

This last lesson is forgiveness (if I can even call it that since I know there will be no end) actually was one of the first. I guess I should have started from the beginning huh? I would say I am doing it Tarantino style, but that is not the case either since I didn’t start with the most recent story.

I was living with my best friend at the time (for verification purposes this is a different best friend from the previous forgiveness lesson). We had many good times together, shared many laughs, watched Finding Nemo together when we couldn’t sleep, cried on one another shoulder’s, and did things best friends do.

He lost his job right after he moved in with me, and being the kind hearted person I am, I let him stay under the condition that he pay me back when he found a job and help me around the house. Well, time passed and neither one of these obligations was filled. I was working two jobs and hardly had time to breathe. When I came home one night he said he was moving out in a week into an apartment with his girlfriend. Not even a month’s notice…

The final straw wasn’t when he gave me the news, but what I saw when I came home from working both jobs a few nights later. It was late, like 1 a.m., as I walked into the house. The door to my spare room was shut, when it had always remained open. As I opened the door, I saw a bed, multiple boxes, and other random furniture. The room was full with his girlfriends stuff!! I was now a personal storage for a roommate who owed me rent! I was furious. I stormed into his room and immediately started yelling to get all of the things out before I threw them out.

I was upset. REALLY REALLY UPSET. I think it was the worst temper I have ever displayed in my life. I felt totally taken advantage of.

After he moved out, we didn’t talk; except for the time someone cut his break lines and he accused me of being the culprit.

After losing my house I went through a healing stage. It was honestly probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me in so many ways. I changed as a person.

I contacted my old roommate and told him I didn’t want anymore hate in my life. I wanted to clean the slate. We wound up talking quite a bit and although I fear we will never again have the bond that we once did, I am happy I faced that resentment.

It was honestly a rain cloud hanging over my head; people would constantly ask me if I still talked to him. Everytime  he was brought up, all the emotions of hatred and anger started to boil within me. Now when people mention his name I just smile…and think back on those days full of laughter and nights of watching a little clown fish try to find his way home.

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Lessons of Forgiveness Part II

Photo taken by J.B Lundemo

I had just finished my evening Entrepreneurship class at UNR and headed up the stairs. At the top stood an old friend whom I haven’t spoken to in years. I had called her many times over the years, wishing her happy birthday, calling her to say that something small had reminded me of her, etc and not one phone call was ever returned or answered. Eventually I gave up trying, assuming that she no longer wanted to continue our friendship.

As I approached her from the back, I gave her a big hug. She swung around and looked suprised to see me, but not thrilled.

We started talking randomly about our lives and the like, then out of nowhere she said that the reason she had ignored me was because there was a rumor that I had tried to hook up with her ex. I was hurt that she had ignored me because of that rumor. Her ex was a friend of mine who even dated another friend of mine a long time ago. I am not a friend hopper and I would never double cross TWO of my friends. I was never interested in him and although I may have been friendly when I saw him out one night, I was not trying to go home with him.

So I stood there in shock at the top of the stairs, yet also in admiration. It takes a lot of courage to face someone and tell them why you were angry. It also takes forgiveness to have that conversation. She could have ignored me and kept walking; instead she chose to have a heart to heart with me and tell me what was going on in her head. In return, I forgave her for not speaking to me.

Another lesson in this story is the importance of communication. If she had confronted me right after she received the news, I would have been able to clearly recall the evening and fill her in on all the small details. Then we could have salvaged our friendship right then and there. I do not blame her for choosing the option she did, although I truly did miss her.

We went our separate ways that evening, and although we may not speak again, I admire her courage and I thank her for setting a small part inside of me free.

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were” -Unknown

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Lessons of Forgiveness Part I

Photo by J.B. Lundemo

I have had an overwhelming amount of individuals over the past month or so re-entering my life and asking for forgiveness.  It’s actually quite strange how they all seem to have popped up at the same time.

A few years ago, my best friend (who was also an ex) completely walked out of my life because he was getting married. Although he had some excellent rationale behind it later, he went about it in the worst way at the time! He never even called me to tell me and instead he decided to ignore me. Since I did not know he felt that way, I continued to call. That’s when the threatening letters, texts, and calls came from his fiance. Some of the most hurtful things anyone has ever said to me, came from her mouth. Because she does not know me, I tried not to let it get to me.

Years passed and I began to accept the fact that we were never going to talk again…that is until he messaged me on Facebook asking to see me. I was immediately flushed with anger and resentment. How could he turn his back so easily on me and expect me to be here waiting like a lost puppy?!

When it finally came down to speaking face to face, it was like hardly any time had passed at all. I couldn’t be mad at him; I couldn’t hate him for abandoning our friendship. I have no room for hate in my heart. Sometimes friendships last forever, no matter what conflicts and issues come between.

Forgiveness is hard to give when you feel like you have been wronged, but  it truly is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It forces us to grow, and also takes an enormous weight off. Although I had every intention of not being taken advantage of, nothing inside of me was holding back the forgiveness. I just wanted to let go of all of the hurt, and all of the feelings and emotions that had accumulated over the years.

I’m glad that he finally came to his senses! And I’m happy to have him in my life as a friend again. Hopefully next time he will realize that our friendship is worth saving and that it’s not worth risking in the first place.

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