Saturday, May 21, 2011


Just from reading the title, you are probably already bored.  Linguistics sounds like a required gen ed course at a liberal arts college.  I'm not talking about analyzing the Greek and Latin roots of the English language (been there, did that--trust me, its not fun).  So stick with me on this one.

I feel like the ability to carry on a conversation is extremely limited nowadays.  In my opinion, a conversation is not: 

a contest to get in the most brag points as possible
an argument
a five part report
a string of questions
topping someone's stories with a better one of your own
constant connections to your own life, often unrelated to what the person was really trying to say
talking about the weather or teachers
inserting "lol" or "haha" at the beginning and end of each sentence

Conversations are precious and beautiful.  They are an effort on the part of two people to better understand each other, themselves, and the world around them.  They are about philosophies and ideas, hopes and dreams, silly thoughts and deep ones.  They aren't all intellectual exchanges, but with some inconsequential small talk mixed in.  They are a give and take.  They involve more listening than talking. 

 A true conversation is one where you are actually hearing and following up with the person you are talking to, not waiting impatiently until you get to have your say.  A true conversation can be both enlightening and confusing.  It is not limited to a list of topics.  It is not limited by social barriers that dictate what is appropriate for conversing.  It can make your heart soar with new ideas and freedom.  It can weigh your soul down with the burdens of another.  But its worth it. Every time.

Talking to someone else could be the key you were looking for that opens up their soul and saves their life.  And, at the same time, you are saving your own. 

The Best is Yet to Come

Many times during the day I begin to compose a post, journal entry, essay, random prose, if you will, in my head.  One of the recent ones was bemoaning the fact that my life was a series of to do lists and as soon as one major goal was finished (ie AP tests) another one quickly bopped its head up to request, no demand, my complete attention, time, and energy (ie getting a summer job).  It inspired a mental essay on the futility of life, and the continual tasks that will never cease to rob life of meaning and joy.  I'm so glad that idea never got onto paper.

Next mental musing: Something sweet and nostalgic about the future and the past and the present (those three always go nicely together)  After all, this is the time of last tests, last classes, last hugs, last friendships, last everything, right?  It is only appropiate that something sickingly sweet drip from this post.   Again, I'm so relieved that one never came to fruition.

So now I've got two ideas that I don't want to write about.  You might be wondering if this post is ever going to have any meaning.  Here it comes.  While I was wrestling with these very different ideas in my head (rat-race life vs. kind reflectings)  I had a new thought.  My mind was turning around questions like....

"Can I be happy just living off a to-do list and fleeting memories? Is this the best it is going to get?"  In the midst of this self-interrogation came a refreshingly clear and simple sentence. 

The best is yet to come.

Not tomorrow, or in 10 years, or when I am retired. As long as I am me, things will be quite the same.  No, the best will come after this life.  How could the best possibly be in this world that is filled with brokenness and pain?  If we continue to believe that the best is just another day away, we might just never get there.  There is a bigger picture than this life.  It's not only bigger, its better.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I am still here.

I've had a splendid childhood.  However, there are parts that I now have negative associations.  The odd thing is, whenever I think of those parts of my life, I tend to feel like I am thinking about someone else's memories.  It doesn't feel like it was me that couldn't talk properly until she was 12 or danced for 10 years of her life or used to make excellent pottery in her spare time.  This is possibly because I can currently talk coherently, can't dance to save my life, and my last pottery experiment looked like, well, an experiment.  I have changed yet that doesn't mean that who I was isn't part of who I am now. 

My eager anticipation for everything and anything.  I still get flutters every time I check the mail even if I am expecting absolutely nothing.  You just never know. 

My ability to talk to inanimate objects.  Most of the clocks, shower curtains, and lamps in my house have personalities.  They don't talk back anymore sadly but there is still an aura about them.  For example, the clock in the downstairs bathroom is incredibly lonely while the living room one is quite shy.

My desire to talk in general.  To be quite honest, my estimation of you will go up tenfold if we can hold a decent conversation that moves past weather and school.  I am not completely against small talk but I prefer discussing something that actually has value.  Personal preference.  I will overuse the word conversationalist when describing someone I respect and enjoy.

My inability to stop.  Stop thinking, stop wondering, stop working.  Productivity fuels me.  Complacency stifles me.

My insatiable desire for books.  I may have moved from historical fiction to biographies but I still sneak down to my basement and pick up a few Goldenbind books once in a while.  Nothing but the classics.

So, yes there are things that seem so un-Chloe that I cannot believe that I was the same girl as the one in the picture.  Yet if you look past the straight hair, I am still there.  I am still here.  And I always will be.