I wanna open a bakery. Any advice?
The past couple of weeks have been ridiculous for me. After all the excitement of meeting with my advisor and being told that I’m gonna graduate on time, the university emailed me my senior checkout and told me that with the amount of credits I have left to take, I won’t graduate on time.
Prior to this, mind you, I’d gone to visit my advisor who (was supposed to have) looked over my grades and classes and confirmed that I was all set to graduate in the spring. Now because of two D’s that he neglected to tell me wouldn’t fulfill my major requirements because C- is the lowest accepted grade, I have to stay an additional semester.
Yes, it is my own fault that I got D’s. But I struggled in both of the classes I got D’s in, and there was a lot going on in my life at the time. My mom continues to tell me that she’s not disappointed in me, but I’m disappointed in myself. I’m supposed to be the one that sets the example for everyone else. And here I am graduating late because I fucked up. It sucks. So now I have to retake two of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I haven’t taken a Japanese class in a year; I nearly failed it the first time, so I have no idea how I’m gonna pass it now. And French poetry was a monster of a class, mainly because of the professor. If I can find another professor to take it with, I may do better. I guess we’ll just have to see.
I’m also pissed because SO many people told me that with the major I chose, there was NO WAY I’d be able to finish in four years. I wanted to be able to tell them all to kiss my ass cuz I did it, but I won’t get that chance. It’s childish of me, but it would’ve felt nice.
I ran into a friend a few weeks ago that I graduated from high school with, and she told me that she’s graduating late, too. It made me feel a bit better talking to her, and I’m glad I ran into her. It’s nice to know that life’s been beating other people up too, and not just me.
Not getting to go to WrestleMania…that I’m still hurting over. I’ve been planning this trip for a year now. It was supposed to be a sort of gift from myself for graduating from college, and with Axxess and all, it was my (admittedly slim) chance to meet Randy Orton. I wanted SO DESPERATELY to at least be able to see him again and give him a birthday card and tell him that he inspires me, and now I don’t have that. I was CLINGING to that trip; it was what was getting me through, and now it’s gone. …I don’t even wanna talk about it anymore.
It’s been a couple of weeks since classes started, and I’m…I’m in a good place. I went to see my advisor yesterday, and he lifted a HUUUUGE burden off my shoulders. He pretty much told me that is IS possible for me to graduate next spring. That I’m on the right track. This is HUGE for me, especially since everyone I talked to when I was a senior in high school told me I would never finish a Three Language degree in four years. Dr. Selimov’s convinced I’ll do it. I can’t even begin to describe how awesome it feels to know that. I was so worried for so long that I’d be a five year senior, but now I know I won’t be. All I really have to worry about is my DLE credit, but if I can’t find anything on my own, he said he’s got a project that he’s had on the back burner for a long time that he would push through to be a DLE-approved option for me. I’m PSYCHED. I’ll have to take at least one winter class, which doesn’t really bother me, but I’m on the right track. I’m so happy to be able to say that.
I thought I’d be struggling a lot more with French than I actually am, and it’s really encouraging. For a while I was mad at myself because I know I could’ve done so much better last semester if I’d done what I’m doing now, but I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t in the right place to do six months ago what I’m doing now. I’ve actually grown a lot in the past few months, and I can definitely tell. Now that I’m motivated and determined to do well and to make my education my first priority, I actually take the time to sit down and put an actual effort into what I’m doing. I’ve never done that before because to be honest, I never really had to to succeed, but I’m doing it now and it’s good for me. Last semester I was so concerned with doing what other people wanted and making other people happy, and I lost my focus. I lost any motivation to be in school, and it showed in my work. My attendance was AWFUL, and I all but abandoned doing homework. French was especially demanding, and I didn’t wanna make the effort to get through it, so I didn’t. I ended up with a D or a D+ in that class which is so disappointing, but it’s a reflection of where I was then.
Now I’ve realized that I have to come first. I have to focus on my education and bettering myself. So I actually take the time to do my work. Or my French work, at least. I’ve been putting aside my other work to get through French which is what’s frustrating me. I realize that now I just have to sit down and dedicate more time to my studies. This means I won’t be reading or writing fic or scrolling through Tumblr or Twitter or watching wrestling stuff as much as I have been; I’ll actually have to pull back from that to get myself through this last year. This isn’t the most appealing of ideas since I won’t have my weekends to catch up on stuff I miss since I’ll be working like I have to do tonight unfortunately, but it’s what I need to do to succeed. I’ve said before that I’m gonna do what I have to do so I can do what I want to do, and this is me sticking to that.
And yes, I am watching Randy Orton’s DVD as I type this. Motivation. <3
I don’t really know how to get started, so I guess I’ll just jump right in. There’s a reason I started this tumblr and the associated Twitter account (that I’m not really sure I’ll need). There’s a reason the URL is ortons, and the reason is actually not that I think Randy Orton is gorgeous and hot and beautiful and sexy, OMG (even though all of that is absolutely true). It’s actually a lot more personal than all of that. With the release of his DVD yesterday (FINALLY) and my first week of classes as a senior almost at an end, I figured I’d try to put down in words what’s been swirling around in my head and in my heart for almost ten years, the past month or two in particular. I’m not entirely sure anybody really cares what I think, but I need to get it out. So here it is.
I’ve been watching wrestling my whole life. My older cousin Shawn got me into it, and my parents used to watch it before they split up when I was four. So it’s always been a constant for me; it blends in with a bunch of other things I grew up with and just becomes something I’ve lived with for a long time. But in 2002, this tall, skinny, wonderfully adorable boy with a kinda funny last name and wearing sweats and a hoodie shows up on my TV screen being seduced by Vince McMahon’s “personal assistant” Stacy Keibler, and my attention is piqued like it really hasn’t ever been before. Said adorable boy hits the ring in teeny-tiny blue and yellow shorts, a Backstreet Boys-esque haircut, and some pretty cool tribal tatts, and the bell rings…he and Hardcore Holly knuckle up…and I’m HOOKED. DRAWN IN. DONE. I’m not sure I breathed once during the whole match; once it was over, I couldn’t catch my breath as if I were the one who’d been wrestling. My clear, recall-able memories of wrestling start on THAT NIGHT. I knew I’d just seen someone special, but I had NO idea that I’d just lain my eyes on a boy who would grow into the man who would have a greater influence on me than anyone I’d ever encountered before.
In August 2004, I was 14 years old and still pretty stuck on Randy Orton. By then he’d gotten injured, made a heel turn with the poorly timed and pretty damn funny RNN updates (which I LOVED and miss terribly to this day), joined Evolution, and won his very first singles title. SummerSlam came and went, and of course, I couldn’t watch because my mom didn’t order pay-per-views though now she insists that she would have if I’d asked her. When I tuned in to RAW the next night and saw Randy Orton with the World Heavyweight Championship sparkling on his shoulder, I was ELATED. Of course, my happiness quickly turned to devastation when Evolution came out and beat the crap out of him, but I was still so very excited that MY guy, the guy most other people were booing, had become champion. I recognized at the time the history he was making as the youngest World Heavyweight Champion, but I didn’t truly understand it or connect with it until much later on. A little while later, I actually stopped watching wrestling regularly, as is the story with a lot of the people I know, but I always made a point to scan SmackDown for glimpses of Randy. I remember the Divas Lingerie Fashion Show. I remember seeing glimpses of Rated-RKO. By then, though, I was so caught up in how horrible my life was at school and at home that I didn’t pay much attention to wrestling although Randy was always floating around in the back of my mind.
By 2009, I’d met my best friend. It wasn’t until two years into our friendship that I realized that she liked wrestling, and I was STOKED. I hadn’t ever met another person who was as into wrestling as I was, ESPECIALLY not another girl. She told me about going to see RAW in Philly with her dad and about how she remembered some huge, super oily man was beating up her boy John Cena (who I also loved cuz who DIDN’T love the Doctor of Thuganomics) and leaving splotches of oil in the shape of his body all over the floor. She said she asked her dad who that guy was (because she, too, had taken a holiday from wrestling), and he told her it was Randy Orton. I, of course, flailed in true fangirl fashion and shouted “I LOVE RANDY ORTON!” Her reaction was like that of any other wrestling fan who grows up only liking the good guys: “OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” She was scandalized to hear that not only was Randy Orton someone that I liked but that he’d been my FAVORITE wrestler for…well, forever, really. She has since been converted into a loyal and diehard Ortonite. Thanks to moi.
And so began anew my obsession with wrestling. I watched Randy and John battle and was absolutely giddy to see two of my favorites in the ring together, even if they were against each other. I was saddened to see Randy lose the match that would’ve made him Superstar of the Year of 2009. But I missed face Randy, simply because I wanted to see everyone cheer for him, love him, and appreciate him the way I did. When that “face” turn came in early 2010, I was flipping thrilled. My best friend and I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, got tattoos at Gas Chamber Ink, and saw Randy live at RAW in what, we thought, were pretty awesome seats. Then something happened that I hadn’t been around to witness before: Randy entered the title picture. Not the United States title. Not the Intercontinental title. Not the Tag Team titles. The WWE title. THE. TITLE. When he beat Chris Jericho and Edge in what was an AWESOME match to become the #1 contender for Sheamus’ WWE Championship, I was super excited because I knew something that my best friend didn’t: that championship match was going to take place at SummerSlam, EXACTLY six years to the day that Randy had won his first World Heavyweight Championship. The poetry of it was BEAUTIFUL, which is why it KILLED me when he didn’t leave with the Championship that night. By the time Night of Champions came around though, I was totally caught up on Randy’s career up to that point. I KNEW that Randy had been awarded, then lost, then regained the WWE Championship at the Allstate Arena. Finding out that NoC was gonna be held in the same place brought a little bit of my hope back because there was a chance that destiny could still be fulfilled in a really fantastic way, and Randy could once again be champion. Of course when he won, I cried like a baby, and my mom and my best friend laughed at me. But that moment was so important to me; even now I look back on it and well up a little bit because it was the first time I got to watch him ascend, and it meant SO much to me.
Early this year, I found out that SmackDown was coming to Philadelphia, so my best friend and I bought tickets. By this time in my life, my mom had gotten married to a man who turned out to be….a destructive force in our lives, I’ll say, graduated with her master’s degree in counseling, gotten divorced, and was on her way to starting her own private counseling practice. I was completely unmotivated to try to succeed or even stay in school. I hated (and still do) working at Target where I was treated more like a slave than a “Target team member”. But I watched her work her ass off at a job she vehemently hated that was tearing her body apart to provide for me and to support the two of us while she took steps to do what she really wanted to do: counsel adolescent girls and women who were affected by abuse. As I watched her practice take shape, I began to really think about what I wanted for myself, and one thing kept coming to the forefront of my thoughts: Randy Orton. I began really thinking about the path of Randy’s life (as I knew it) and his career, and it began to really resonate with me. I didn’t really have my epiphany, however, until my best friend and I went to see SmackDown.
In July of this year, we went to see our second SmackDown show, but our first recorded/televised SD. We knew we had good seats; we’d been to two shows at this point, and our seats had gotten progressively better. This time, though, we were pretty shocked to learn we were seated in the first row behind the announcers’ table. We were all stoked and excited and flailing and screaming when my bestie looked at our tickets and realized the seats we were sitting in were wrong. So we got up and went to our REAL seats which ended up being DIRECTLY by the entrance ramp. Of course, we REALLY freaked out then because every Superstar scheduled to appear that night would be walking RIGHT PAST US. Naturally, my thoughts shot immediately to Randy Orton and the possibility that I might get to touch his arm in passing or something like that. Anyway, the show went on and he came out and performed amazingly as he always does. Then the recording stopped and the dark match came on. And then the dark match was over. And then Randy started shaking hands. EVERYONE’S hands. He made his way around the ring, stopping to sign a little boy’s poster and to take pictures with a baby boy and his dad. I lost sight of him for a while as he came around the right side of the ring and then suddenly: BAM. There he was. All six feet, four inches and 245 pounds of him. And he reached out and shook my hand. It wasn’t a “Hi, I’m Randy Orton, nice to meet you” shake, but it wasn’t just a slap or a tap to my palm either. He looked me in the eye, in passing of course, and shook my hand, thanked everyone in my section for coming, and moved on. It hit me with all the force of a freight train right in the sternum that the man whose career I had been following for half of my life; the man whose journey through hardship and self-destruction and triumph and prosperity transformed him and bettered him and strengthened him; the man who set a record that will more than likely stand for the rest of time; the man who at 19 wasn’t sure what he’d do with his life and at 31 is one of the greatest men to ever step foot in a wrestling ring; THAT MAN was a real, honest to God person. He’s not a figment of my imagination. He’s not just a character on TV. He EXISTS. He’s REAL. Which means his struggle was real. But so is his triumph.
I fell back in my seat and sobbed after I shook his hand. The girl sitting in the row behind me comforted me while I cried, then I got back up, tears still falling, and watched as a man who, by this time I’d already identified as my hero, took his bow and left the arena.
At 24 years old, merely three years older than I am right now, Randy Orton was crowned the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the history of the WWE. At a time when most people are trying to figure out what the hell to do with their lives, Randy Orton was MAKING HISTORY. Most older people look down on the young; he had older people looking UP to him. He was at the TOP. At 31, he’s been at it long enough to be considered a veteran in the industry but is still young enough to be considered its future. I don’t really know how to make anyone understand the tidal wave of emotions that crash over me every time I see or think about him, but they all came to a head when I saw him at SmackDown. My mother who at 44 is JUST NOW coming to a place where she’s happy with her life. She’s still at a job she hates, but she’s taking steps to happiness. I realized that I didn’t wanna take that path. I don’t wanna wait until I’m halfway through my life to find what makes me happy. I wanna be like Randy. I want to break barriers. I want to shake things up. I want to make history. I want to let what I’m good at become what I love, how I make my living. I want to be healthy. I want to be strong. I want to be graceful. I want to be mature. I want to be happy.
So I’m gonna stay at my job. I’m gonna graduate from school. I’m gonna eat better and work out as much as I can with feet that are collapsing. I’m gonna do what I have to do so that I can get to a place where I can do what I WANT to do. I’m gonna use this blog as a way to manage myself so that I can get there. And I owe my motivation, my determination, and my inspiration to Randy Orton.
He will probably never read this, but that’s okay. I still just wanna say thank you. I don’t really have any words to express my gratitude for his honesty and his genuineness, his struggle and his success, his downfalls or his comebacks. I can only say that I’m more inspired and motivated than I’ve ever been, and he will be a part of me for the rest of my life.
Today was my first day of class as a senior. It didn’t feel particularly good or bad to be back. I’m just happy I wasn’t at work. I had three classes: Spanish, chemistry, and French.
My Spanish class should be interesting. It’s a study of Latin American culture through contemporary art which sounds AWESOME. It was good to get back into an environment where I have to use my Spanish. I don’t speak it nearly as much as I should, and I can’t really learn if I don’t practice. I’m always afraid of saying something incorrect which is dumb because you can’t learn unless you make mistakes, but there it is. I’ve always been like that, so my progress is zero. My Spanish has been relatively stagnant the past few years, I think, and that HAS to change. Especially if I’m going to use Spanish as a way to earn money while I figure out what I really want to do with my life. Hopefully this semester is the beginning of me stepping out of my comfort zone and making an effort to learn more.
Chemistry wasn’t bad either, to be honest. It’s more an analysis of environmental issues from a chemical standpoint. …I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s a university requirement, so I HAVE to take it, but I’m not dreading it as much as I dreaded taking math last semester…which also didn’t turn out so badly. Maybe the lesson here is that I should just stop dreading everything and go with it.
I was most worried about French. Last semester I struggled with my French class more than I think I’ve ever struggled with any class I’ve ever taken, high school or college-level. It was definitely hard, but I was also SO unmotivated and had a lot happen to me in addition to working at a job that wants slaves more than employees. It was rough. I ended up getting a D or a D- in that class which is the lowest grade I’ve ever gotten. The class I’m taking this semester is almost like a companion class to that one as it was French poetry and this is French prose, so naturally I was freaking out. From the introduction to the class, it shouldn’t be quite as bad as last semester, mainly because the workload seems smaller and the professor less…intense? Demanding? I’m not sure what the word I want is.
Anyway, I’ve already got homework, which I expected. I think I should probably do it tonight since tomorrow’s Friday. I DEFINITELY won’t be doing homework tomorrow since I work from 1-9, and if I leave it for the weekend, I’ll probably end up putting it off until Monday night since I don’t have these three classes again until Tuesday. I don’t want to get back into that habit. So tonight it is, I guess.
I have to sit down and do some serious academic and financial planning. With WrestleMania tickets going on sale November 5, I need to save up for those. But if I want to graduate this spring, I’m probably gonna have to take winter classes which means I’ll have to find more money somehow. This will be increasingly difficult considering the fact that I’m about THIS CLOSE to quitting my job. I have to figure something out because I don’t want to be a five year senior. I CAN finish this in four years. It’ll just take work.
I’m starting my fourth and (God willing) final year of college in less than twelve hours. This tumblr and the connected Twitter account (@_ortons) are hopefully gonna help me vent my frustrations, plot my course in school and the rest of my life, and explore, develop, and reach my dreams.
Come along for the ride if you’d like.