Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I need a checkered bandanna.

I was driving to church the other day in my usual habit of thinking over all the things that must be thought over.  I was driving along when something caught my eye.  Turning onto the road was a person on a bike.  I couldn't tell their gender because they had a checkered bandanna pulled up over their mouth and a big floppy denim bucket hat on.  Their orange backpack clashed with the tomato red shirt.   As they turned the corner, they looked back behind themselves.  I knew that look.  They were watching to see if someone was following them.   I don't know if they just robbed a bank or were escaping a psychopath or just simply paranoid.  All I know is that in the five seconds it took for me to take in this oddity I had this crazy yearning inside of my heart. 

"I want to be that person!"  my soul was screaming at me.  They might have been in trouble or causing trouble but I didn't care.  They were having an adventure and they were living.  Not that going to church isn't living, this really has nothing to do with faith or religion.  It's just that my drive up this road is so incredibly routine.  Here are some things I want:

I want to hold a mug full of warm tea and drop it and watch it fall and hear the ceramic crash into a million pieces and possibly cut myself on the sharp edges.

I want to throw my gum out the car window when I am done using it and not worry about littering.

I want to refuse to show up where I'm supposed to.

I want to hop on my bike and pedal and not stop until I physically can't go any further and not bring a cell phone just to be safe and get lost and have to figure it out. 

I want to do all these completely unreasonable things.  Yet there is that annoying rational voice that keeps my mug securely in my hands and my gum in my mouth and my empty body at its appointments and my feet planted firmly on this mundane ground.  I know this all sounds rather out of character but I'm sure you've felt like this before.  Sadly, I am quite too sensible to show up somewhere late or not study for a test or stop being responsible and stop being me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


In a retrospective and introspective mood lately, I decided to read through some of my personal rants, poems, narratives, and essays.  For the majority of them, I completely understand why the past me didn't share them.  However, a good deal of my wrirtings were direct letters and notes towards people and this makes me a bit sad.  I regret now that I did not share them sooner.  So to those people, I apologize.  I should have shared my thoughts.  It would have made us stronger. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Changed Forever

"And then my life was changed forever."

The words dangle in the air, ready to fall into anyone's mind that might be listening.  But no one really is because we've heard it all before.  We've heard the tragic childhood stories and inspirational climbs to success that inevitably climax at some event and causes one to utter that they were "changed forever". 

There is nothing wrong with this, I just feel like the forever part really isn't necessary.

What change isn't forever? 

How can anything return completely to its original state after it has been changed?  You can replicate the setting, circumstances--and if you are lucky--the people that surrounded you.  Yet as time moves on, life moves on, and you have been changed.  Permanently.  No matter what you do to return external circumstances, you can never fully revert your mind to where it has once been.  There are new ideas, thoughts, and experiences in your mind and your life will be inherently different because of that. 

The smallest event can completely change your perspective on life.  The life that I face right now is somehow different than the life I faced a week ago.  Not because I had a momentous epiphany or a soul-bending experience, but simply because a week has passed and I now have a week's worth of thoughts and experiences that have ingrained themselves into my brain and become a part of its permanent collection, whether I am aware of it or not.

This is not to say that we are simply helpless pawns in the face of destiny.  Every small detail of life changes you somehow, whether it is a glimpse of pure beauty or a snippet of a strangers conversation.  Yet we have some decisions to make.  We can allow a hurtful remark to embitter us or enjoy the freedom that giving the benefit of the doubt gives back to us.  We can listen to the wind rushing aimlessly or scowl as we pick up the papers it scattered. 

Don't wait for the events that society has labeled as milestones to realize that you have been changed forever. 

You are forever changing. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Thinking can be dangerously self-absorbed.  Of course, this depends entirely on what you are thinking of.  This morning, I woke, moved around, then laid on my bed to think.  Sometimes thoughts are enlightening, wonderful, and inspirational.  Other times, they are simply self-suffocating.  I keep thinking the same things over and over and the monotony threatens to kill any creativity I have left but my brain is set on repeat and I can't stop.  I was in this stifling cycle this morning so I decided that going on a run would be helpful. 

I have an odd malady where occasionally I will have shooting pains in my lungs and won't be able to breathe.  If you know me personally, and I happen to freeze in the middle of a conversation or action, this is probably why.  It isn't that much of a problem, I can usually resume breathing after a few moments and keep going.  Sadly, this morning, when I most needed to run away from myself, my lungs would not cooperate and I was forced into a fast walk.

I had been doing this run for a little bit, stop running to start breathing again, start walking, forget why I couldn't run, start running, stop breathing, and so on for about an hour and had no less separated myself from my thoughts than when I was lying on my bed.  This made me very frustrated and I was on the verge of considering my run/walk a waste when a very well timed friend sent a text saying that they wanted to know the real me.

It then struck me.  God wants to know the real me too and is daunting as that may feel (the idea that the creator of the universe and savior of mankind cares at all about me), He already knows the real me.  All my efforts to sculpt my outward self into the person I wish I could be are pointless.  The fact that I was letting personal battles and distractions get in the way of being intimate with God who already knows all about my shortcomings and failures suddenly seemed quite foolish indeed.  If I must think myself in circles, then perhaps refocusing myself on living for God and Him alone could release me from this trap of thinking. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Right Now

Right now, its so quiet. The house is still and dark because no one else is stupid enough to be up right now. But I love the right now.  Its so peaceful. The lists and lists of things that must be done have been set aside because, really, 1:48 is not a time of night to be doing anything productive effectively. What I can do right now is write. Freed from pesty to-dos, freed from the pleasantries and the pains of the day, this is my time. 

Sometimes I have something I want to say but not enough courage to make it known. This particular post was originally titled "Vulnerable" and it was started on March 9th but never continued. There are some things which I write about with ease. This is not one of them.

I read somewhere that great epic poems do not start at the beginning or the end, but in the middle. So in the style of the classics, here we go.

I developed a very odd habit around the age of 8. Whenever there was a prevailing emotion, mood, or aura around me, I would immediately assume the opposite. If there was great pessimism, I would see the sun shining through. If there was great impatience and anxiety, all the peace and tranquility in the world would flow through me. If there was anger and hatred and misunderstanding, I would suddenly be filled with empathy and love. See, this only applied to the negative emotions around me. Thankfully, if there was happiness and kindness and puppies and rainbows, I wouldn't automatically turn into a rain cloud.

This habit is both helpful and destructive. It allows me to stay calm when others are panicking and it allows me to think rationally when logic is nowhere to be found. What it keeps me from doing is being vulnerable. There are those moments when everyone else is falling apart and yet I can't help but be stoic and strong. In those moments, there is nothing I want more than to join in and cry and show that I can fall apart too, but I can't. My eyes remain dry while my heart breaks on the inside. 

So its not that I can't be vulnerable because I am bent on maintaining an image of strength and resilience but that I've trained myself to balance out the sentiments in a given area. This also can make me infuriating to some when in argument and my calmness is be mistaken for arrogance.  I can drive people crazy when positivity is the last thing someone wants to hear. So I'm learning there are times to look on the bright side and to remain logical but there are also times when I need to simply agree with the person that yes, sometimes life sucks and when I need to skip the rationality and just admit I was wrong.

What I haven't yet mastered is how to be vulnerable, let go, and be human. It's a work in progress, just like this post, just like my life, and just like you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Standing on my Shallow Soapbox

Now is the time to write.  In the past, my creativity was being forcibly taken from me by a busy schedule and projects.  Conversations have also drained my ability to put coherent thoughts on a page, yet these I do not regret.  Typically, I have at least one nugget of an idea a day which I'd like to write about.  If I'm lucky, I write it down and don't lose the scrap of paper.  Lately, however, I have had some very decent talks with some very decent people which gave me another outlet for thinking.  Good for myself and my friendships, bad for a blog.  To be honest, though, I'm not writing for whoever is reading this. 

I can't talk.  I'm always talking.  But not today.  And it's killing me.  My soul is restless, I can feel the words, thoughts, phrases, and clauses, trying to come together.  They keep missing each other, like a failed high-five, an inch away from collision, a centimeter away from forceful contact.  This is my attempt to put them together so that I can feel the impact of words once again.

Today my blog is my soapbox.  I have completed high school which gives me a relatively shallow box to stand on and give advice, but it is my box and I am going to use it. 

As a result of scholarships, senior awards night, and making an obnoxious amount of display boards and scrapbooks, I have come to two conclusions:
1)  I find myself quite annoying at times.  I feel like the poster child for anything and everything and if I could be someone else and know me, I'm not sure I'd want to.  This is the last time I will spend a concentrated amount of time reading about myself.  I much prefer reading about others.
2) It is my sincerest wish that my time in private school, home school, and public school does not simply add up to a resume of accomplishments, awards, and certificates.  I was looking at a sheet with all of those listed and realized that those things did not embody the success of my schooling, not by a long shot. This led me to reflect on the things that I did in high school that actually did matter and this is where things get a little soapbox-y. 

I have met some of the most incredible people in high school, particularly in the last two years.  They aren't the people that I was supposed to be associated with.  They weren't friends because they boosted my outward reputation.  Sometimes we didn't have that much in common.  The majority of them started off with poor first impressions and misjudgements.  So my word to the wise:  never overlook anyone.  Never write someone off after the first conversation, first month, or even first year.  People continue to surprise me with how much they add to my life and much of their value you probably won't even realize until they are gone.  If you want to limit yourself to the people that approach you first, that are accepted by others, or don't require you to exit your comfort zone, feel free.  You'll miss out on knowing and learning from some of the most original and wonderful people you'll ever know, but hey, at least it won't be uncomfortable and you'll always have that little group of friends that are exactly. just. like. you. 

We are now drawing near to the end of my writing abilities.  Significant events generally spur on significant writing and while these past few weeks have certainly not been lacking in significance, I have only brushed the surface of their impact on me in this post.

 Until I have more time,