Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Lesson in Blessings.

It's recently popped into my head that I might be... No. I am really bad at this whole blogging thing. I'm actually surprised there isn't dust on my keyboard. However, this surprise really isn't a surprise as I write from a laptop. If you close the top, there's no dust. Ta-da!

Alright, now that my sad attempt at levity via sarcasm, which didn't sound so well in my head, turned out even worse typed you, it's time to move on to more important things... Well, thing: Life. More specifically, My Life.

It's strange to think that I've graduated. It really doesn't feel any different. I don't look different. I don't feel smarter. In fact the only thing I'm feeling right now is broke. Something I didn't acutely feel when I was going to school.

Before you run off to college, everyone tells you that going to college opens windows and doors of opportunity. Now that I've graduated, I feel like the windows are too small for me to squeeze through or too high for me to reach while all the doors are being slammed in my face. Two months of unemployment was not what I had in mind.

But now I have a happy little job working part-time where I stand on my feet for 8-10 hours one day a week. Exciting? In a manner of speaking. I interact with so many interesting people that the fact that I woke up this morning hardly able to move because I was so stiff didn't really bother me. Actually, it made me feel like I made a difference somehow. I'm not entirely sure how yet. But it's there. I know that.

My mother pointed out that I needed to stay positive. And I'm trying. But it is that time of year again. And I think the fact that I've graduated may be settling in. I look at the people around me, mostly Peter and Elizabeth, and I see them trying to figure out things for school. I see them sorting out paperwork and deciding on job things for while they're in school while I sit here with writer's cramp at all the applications I fill out. Needless to say, it's a little disconcerting.

I suppose the thing that is really getting to me is that the semester ended so quickly that maybe there was no closure. Maybe that's why I didn't feel any different. Why I don't feel any different. I finished classes, graduated, took my finals, and moved out in a matter of five days. There was no goodbye. No see you in a few months.

So far the weirdest thing was driving to see my best friend in her apartment. As she still lives in York, it was weird to drive back. The first time I'd driven that direction in months. The whole drive there, all I could think about was how I wasn't going to have to make that trip to move my things in. I would be making the trip to help Peter move back in. But I wouldn't have to wait in line to have my photo taken. I wouldn't have to climb stairs to move my things in. I wouldn't have a visit from my lunch buddy asking when the soonest we could hang out.

There's nothing.

And I don't say these things to be sad or depressing. At least I hope that isn't the case. I say them because I'm coming to terms with my new reality. Something I didn't have time to grasp. But as of right now, I'm okay with it all.

Three schools in five years taught me that things change. It isn't always what you want. Sometimes it isn't even what you thought you needed. In my three years at York, I grew close to so many people. Though I won't see many of them or be able to keep in touch as frequently with the rest as I would like, I know we are all going to be okay. We're all going to learn things. And we are all going to move forward in our lives. In the good moments and the bad. This is our blessing. Whether you believe in it or not.

I've heard it said that education will teach you all you need to know. I think for some, the learning and reflecting hits harder after the pursuit of education. Because you never stop learning. You may not be in the formal educational setting, but you are always leaning.

And that is what I've learned and will continue to learn. My Life. A lesson. A blessing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Things I Never Thought I'd Do...

So, theoretically, I should be studying for a COM Theory test, but I'm a little hyped up and writing is a stress reliever, so you are once again graced with the presence of my sarcasm. That is assuming that people actually read this. And you've heard what they say about assuming. But let us pretend for a few minutes that I live in my happy delusional world…

The reason I'm not studying is probably a good place to start. It could be said that I'm just being a procrastinator, but that's not the case. And I'm not just saying this because I know my mom reads this (Hey, look. One reader.). I'm saying this because I submitted a form to make my first chapel announcement. Granted, this should not be that hard, but when you're afraid of speaking publicly, it's like taking a small child to the top of the diving board, pushing them close to the edge and saying, "Hey kid. Sink or swim."

Not so much.

But as president of my chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (what a mouth-full), it was going to happen because we don't technically have PR people. [Please insert dramatic sigh here.]

But I'm trying to panic too much. The announcement is scripted. Bonus, right?


You know what happens to a nervous person when they have something scripted. They can't read it. Their eyes flitter across the page. They lose their spot. They stutter. The "Um"s come out. The "Er"s and "Uh"s quickly make an appearance. They fidget. They talk too fast that no one even knows what just came out of their mouth. And sometimes they don't even read what's on the page and embarrass themselves even more.

Now you don't have to wonder why my anxiety kicked in a little bit. You've all been there. But this leads me to my point.

Two and a half years ago, I'd never thought I'd be doing anything I'm doing right now. I never thought I'd be president of my chapter of the English Honor Society. I never thought I'd be president of my social club. Heck, I didn't even think I've be part of a social club. I never thought I'd have made the friends I have now. I didn't think I would have conquered my fears. I never thought I'd work the night shift. I never thought I'd have a blog. I never thought I'd be very open on my blog. I never thought I'd have taken a train 36(ish) hours. I never thought I'd be in a relationship. Normal, everyday drama aside, I never thought I'd be this happy--that there'd be a smile on my face before I went to sleep that night.

But I am so very lucky.

And as this week progresses into next, I have to keep that in mind. Painful memories come and go, but I have to hold on to the happy ones that kept me going through the rough. I have to look at the memories where things were good and not focus on the bad and utterly depressing. I have to look forward.


Because no matter how bad, things are good.

Life is good.

And I never thought I'd be this optimistic.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finding Something to Write About

Most people complain because they don't have the idea. They embrace the idea that their muse has left them and they are lost and alone in a work of jumbled words--waiting for something to come together to make sense before their mind explodes and they are left with the ashes of plain nothingness.

Others complain they don't have the time. Life is too full of events and activities that claim the spare moments they used to take and express themselves. There is a want for a pen. A want to feel the white grains caress the palm of their hand as they draft pages upon pages of thoughts they couldn't keep bottled up any longer.

I'll admit that I've suffered from both. I felt like my muse had left me. I felt alone and a longing for a character to whisper a small fragment that I could weave into a full-blown idea.

I also suffer from not having enough time. Being a student is never easy (unless you take putt classes). And the further along you pursue your degree, the less time you have. You add obligations. You get elected to be in charge. You take upper level course. You build on relationships. You start relationships. You ask yourself why do you still have high school drama in your life. You work. You don't sleep. You go and go until you're exhausted and think you can't go any farther…

And then you go some more.

It's a hard life.

But everyone does it.

And there are those other moments. The ones that are rarer. They are usually of the writer's own accord. Those are the moments when you don't want to write. It's not because the inspiration is gone. It's not because there isn't time. It's something much more. Something deeper.

It's a loss of the will to write.

Sad, I know. But so often true.

For some writers this is paralleled by a loss of the will to go on. Depression has set in and you are slowly losing your mind.

For others it's a loss of self-worth. They think their writing holds no value. They think every word scribbled on paper is nothing. There's not merit. It's just trash.

And this is what kills the writer.

Everyone can write. I don't care if they believe it or not. They can. It's finding the right thing to write about. Each person can say something in a way that no one else can. They hear and see words in a way no one ever thought of. Each person is individually unique.

I'm always awed when I read a post by a woman who's blog I follow religiously. She struggles up and down with depression and other social disorders. But she fights to write. She found what she needed to write about and she made her story heard. I can only endeavor to one day be like that. To stand up and tell the world that I have something important to say in regard to myself.

But until then, I'll just write on a thought that comes to mind. Hoping that someday I'll be able to help someone the way others have helped me.

Until then I leave you with words of wisdom.

A friend of mine once said something in class that I'll never forget. One young woman told a group of us that the story we were reading was not her best. She had reservations about the whole project. He looked blatantly at her and told her, "Embrace your trash."

So this is my encouragement to you. Find something to write about. Write it. No one will see it the way you do. No one will feel it the way you do. Write about it. Talk about it. Tell the world. Even if it ends up no good, keep it. Hold it for everyone to see. Keep it for no one to see. It's yours.

Live for it.

And embrace your trash.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Uncharacteristically Optimistic

Lately, I’ve been trying something new as life has thrown me a curve ball. It’s a good, well more than good, practically excellent, curveball and because of that I have had to expand my vocabulary in search of words to describe my elated mood.

This change, however, has been brought about by the simple fact that I am genuinely happy as a whole. Granted there are those trying moments where I would just like to crawl into a ball and hide under the covers all day or where I’m running on four hours of sleep, but these hitches are nothing in comparison to the grand scheme of things.

Every night before I go to bed, I find myself relaxed and at peace no matter how tall the stack of unfinished homework is. And every morning I wake up to find myself in a good mood, looking forward to beginning my day.

This may make me uncharacteristically optimistic considering the heavy pessimism that looms over my head every day. But I find myself distracted from everything bad. I find myself looking forward to leaving the darkness behind. I am more trusting, more relaxed, more confident that this grand scheme can only be better.


It is elementary, my dear Watson. It’s because Art and Literature go hand in hand. ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Best Friend is Awesome

So, if my title doesn’t say everything it should, then I blame the internet. But all in all, it’s true. My best friend is awesome.

And she knows it.

When I sat down to write a new blog post, I wondered aloud, “What should I write about.”

Her snappy answer? “Write about me. Write about how awesome I am.”

Although she may have been joking, I have taken her seriously. My best friend is awesome. If eleven years of togetherness hasn’t proved this, the fact that she’s still around should.

She has been around for everything and will hopefully be around for an undeterminable amount of time. Aside from the rough moments, the sad moments, the ridiculous moments, the fun moments, the challenging moments, and the moments filled with nothing but giggles, I have to say I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

We may not be sisters by blood, but blood doesn’t always contribute to the people who mean the most to you.

So, Happy I’m-Going-to-Appreciate-my-Best Friend-For-No-Reason Day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reflections of a Wandering Mind

Sitting in my apartment listening to the absolute silence gives me an opportunity to reflect on things. It’s odd to think that I’m a senior in college. It’s odd that this semester marks the longest consecutive stretch of my enrollment at school. (Oh, the joys of being a transfer…). It’s odd to think that my apartment is empty and completely silent…save my Pandora station.

As this never happens, I find myself lost in the deep folds of my mind—a scary thought most days—looking over the events of my small break.

First, I find that I’m lucky to have my health in its current, if defeated, state. Over break, I read an entry by a blogger I find fascinating: The Bloggess. The reason for my fascination with this woman is the fact she writes about her life. The topic is seemingly ordinary, but the things she does are so bizarre that reading her blog has become a sort of addiction. I’m always struck by her inventiveness and the things that happen to her by pure chance.

A giant metal chicken? A flying pig statue appearing on top of said chicken? A cobra and mongoose statue delivered to her home? The very fact she forgot she ordered it?

I always enjoy her creativity and sarcastic wit. However, over my Christmas vacation, she wrote what she entitled the hardest thing she had ever written. She wrote of her depression and her struggle with self-inflicted harm and her journey to overcome it for her daughter.

I admire this woman exceedingly.

Firstly, for her courage to write to hundreds upon thousands of strangers, bearing the dark side of her own inner workings to the world. Secondly, for the impact she had on everyone who read what she had written. She often makes an impacting post, but the enormity a moment she might have started astounds me.

The second thing over break to stay with me was a blog entry a friend of mine wrote. She’s a poet who is extremely good at what she does. I’ve told her before, but I’ll say it again, that I admire her for posting her work online. She’s writes what she knows and there’s something very personal about writing poetry. In many cases writing poetry is pouring your own broken soul out on a sheet. Sharing it with the world is brave. Whether she realizes it or not, I have more admiration for her all the time.

My third incident was during our choir’s tour this last week. To cut a long story short, I passed out right before intermission on the first night. If it were the first time I’d done this it would be shocking. That this is the second time it has happened in two months is a little aggravating and extremely disconcerting. What strikes me about this is not that I passed out, but the supportiveness of those around me.

Every person in my family is very self reliant. There happen to be very few times in which we ask for help. Call it what you will, but it’s a trait I openly admit that I’ve inherited. It’s genetic.

It’s the reason for my disappointment. No matter how many times my parents told me who I was and who I came from, I never felt the same. I felt broken. I was surrounded by people who cared and their concern touched me, but I never felt any closer to being myself because failure is not an option.

And here I’d already failed.


In my extreme disappointment, our director told me something I will never forget. He told me that he was set in his ways and he knows these things happen. He said that I would be more disappointed in myself then he would ever be of me. It was after those words that something clicked in me.

I knew I could make it.

The first three attempts were progressively better. On the fourth night I was still exhausted and there were only two more concerts on tour. So, being my stubborn self, I told them, come Hell or high water, I was going to make it.

And I did.


It’s just moments like these that I need to remember I’m not alone in my struggles, personal or otherwise. By the grace of something far bigger than myself, I’m blessed with people around me who care. People who would drop everything just to ease a rough patch.

I’m astounded by their greatness.

And there will never be enough words to express my gratitude.

But Thank You.

For everything.

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” –William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene V

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Oxymoronic Statement

Oh, December, how long has it been since you’ve last flown by?

I think it’s funny, in an ironic and not so humorous sort of way, how fast December comes and goes. As cliché as it sounds, it seems  like only yesterday December 1st was staring each and every one of us in the face telling us there were only thirty more glorious days until December and 2011 were over.

I suppose the real reason behind December’s hit and run is the dreaded Finals Week. A person would think that after seven semesters of going through this process, I would be used to it. I would remember that Dead Week is named properly and my finals will slide by because I’m taming the exhaustion monster in between each test.

I say this because my roommates just told me to go back to bed for the second time today.

As much as I would like to just crawl back under my warm covers and not come out again until Christmas, I can’t. My mind just won’t let me.

ADD? Perhaps, ADHD?

No, not a chance. I just need focus. I need to be doing something.

Because of this my college dorm room, or rather my apartment bedroom, which by all accounts should be a pit during finals week, is spotless except for the shoes scattered across the floor from when I came back from lunch. My parents would be shocked to see that my bed is made and my clothes are actually put away instead of sitting folded in a basket.

Shocking, right?

I know my mind is semi-blown. When I go home in a couple of days things are going to be even worse because as time has progressed, I may have gotten worse. My work has become more meticulous.

However, in response to all of this, I am still a procrastinator.

Iconicity scale? The awkward little red needle is sitting on about an 8.5, pushing 9.

A procrastinator who has the unexplainable need to focus—that has to be one of the biggest oxymoronic statements out there. But, for clarification’s sake, I need to state that I’m only a procrastinator when it comes to writing a paper and usually it isn’t my fault. Well, it is but it isn’t. I write better under pressure. It reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. Several in fact, but the one I’m thinking of explains my mind explicitly.

Of course there are always the moments during that last-minute panic where my muse is gone anyway. All I have to say is that the next time it goes, I hope it take me with it. Hopefully somewhere nice. England. France. Italy. The list of possibilities is endless.