Friday, May 2, 2014

Drafting is Overrated Anyway

I haven't written in awhile. Well, that's not entirely true, I've done nothing BUT write the past two years. I guess what I mean is I haven't written just to write in a long time. All the writing I've done over the past two years has been for a grade so, no matter how much time I spend on it, it still lacks something of me - it's still missing something essential. 

I've been at the University of Idaho for two years now. Two years. On one hand it doesn't seem that long and on the other it feels like an eternity. I've seen people come and go from my life, some of them of their own accord, some because I practically gave them no choice. Let me explain.

I live my life very much like I write. When I have a paper due I sit down, usually the night before, and write until I'm through. I throw everything on the page at once, there's no brainstorming, outlining, or drafting, it's just all at once, all or nothing. Everything I've ever been taught about writing tells me this way of doing things is wrong, that nothing good can come of it. Unfortunately, we're not graded on our process, just the end result. So my professors continue to give me good grades on bad work ethic. I've discovered that my life tends to mirror this. I throw everything out there all at once, I don't ease into anything. I don't have the patience to go through things in stages, to let a situation develop and grow. For better or worse I throw caution to the wind and write it all at once, live it all at once. Yeah, I know, this coming from the girl who swore she and her family would all die the first time we went white water rafting. 

So I guess it's not my whole life really, it's my relationships. I decide I want something or someone and I go for it - all or nothing. Maybe I overestimate myself and my charm, maybe I assume people will love me and they must be forced to realize it. 

I can't decide if it's a good or bad quality to be honest.

Either way it has a way of getting me hurt. Despite my projections of cynicism, I have faith in people. Once I get attached I get attached fiercely - which is scary as all hell. Truth be told I've never known disappointment like I've experienced over the past year. People change and it's terrifying. I've lost a friendship I didn't think I could lose, I've been told in a thousands ways why I'm not good enough, and yet the craziest thing is that I wouldn't do anything differently. Yeah, yeah, it's a cliche, I know but it's true when you really think about it. Those choices made, those disappointments experienced, they're what make a life. Who doesn't want one of those. Whether it gets me hurt or not, I'd rather go through life by throwing it all on the page the night before than living life behind a wall of caution. I'll get hurt, sure, but rather than building walls in response to the pain, I'll just have a better understanding of who is worth writing it all down at once for. 

Besides, as much as I try, I'll never be very good at the whole drafting process. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pardon me while I untangle my brain...

I took my dog out for a walk just now.  The air is insanely crisp for June but refreshing non the less.  Besides, it's amazing what fresh, cool air can do for one's head.  I either needed to breath or scream.  Unfortunately, living in a residential area makes the latter socially unacceptable so I had to settle for breathing.  Life becomes too much sometimes, like it all gets stuck in the tangled mess of tissue that's supposed to be my brain.  Clearing it would take more than a walk down the street with a 120-pound yellow lab that's less than inclined to listen, but it helped with the pressure.  As I walked I stared up at the sky, at the stars really, and began to feel a release.  Began to feel as though it really would all be ok, like the loans I'm taking on for school won't overwhelm me, like I really am doing the right thing by going away to school when it makes more sense to save my money.  For a couple moments I believed... And then I walked under a street light.  Zoned out as I was, I never saw it coming and in that moment of physical blindness I felt as though reality had slapped me across the face.  It's not all going to be all right, life will really suck sometimes, probably a slim majority of the time, and that's just life.  I'm not going to pretend that it's all going to be character building, like it'll all be for some really important life lesson.  And those loans?  They will be overwhelming, they will be a huge burden, but that just means I'll have to make it worth it.

Simply put, I have to get away.  I'm tired of being the peacemaker, tired of feeling like I have to cover for everyone and smooth everything over.  Home is feeling less and less like home.  As horrible as it sounds, I feel like I need to go out and find my own home, a new home where I can worry only about myself for awhile.  This doesn't mean forgetting my family, or ignoring them, this simply means not trying to fix everything all the time.  It means that I can do whatever I want without constantly worrying about how it will affect everyone else, what everyone else will think.  I'm 20 years old, it's time to start concerning myself with myself.  That's not to say I'm selfless right now by any means, I'm one of the most selfish people I know, but the thought of sticking to no one's schedule but my own is the most amazing prospect I've had in a long time. I love my family but I'm slowly going insane.  Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder right?

Here's my point; at some point we have to stop being consumed with who we may be disappointing and start worrying about whether or not we're disappointing ourselves.  Life's too short with absolutely no guarantees.  So I won't apologize for offending the too-conservative, or for looking like a snob to the too-liberal.  I have my own views and opinions and I plan on expressing them, however I want.

I realize that this whole blog makes me sound incredibly selfish.  I swear that's not my intention, I don't want to be an egotistical, self-consumed brat.  I'm just fed up with worrying about how other people are living their lives.  It's not my job, at least not anymore.

      

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tonight I met a story...

I came across this blog from almost two years ago.  I had completely forgotten about it and for whatever reason, I never posted it.  Reading over it again just now, I was insanely encouraged by it.  This story was dear to me at the time, and now, knowing the outcome, I still feel it's worth sharing.  So here goes; Sammy's story.

We all know a story or two, we've all met them.  We've all heard about stories and we've all wondered what people think of our story.  Tonight I met a story that I don't want to forget, because this story is almost over.
Grace goes to walk every night at Love Beach and sometimes I tag along.  Tonight, Grace didn't walk.  She stood and talked to a mother and a grandmother for close to 2 1/2 hours.  I sat, reading my bible, listening to the waves, and enjoying the feeling of a 5 minute downpour on my face.  For the final half hour of our extended stay at Love Beach, the grandma came to talk to me, apologize for her daughter keeping me from leaving, etc.  And then she told me about a story, one very dear to her.  This story's name is Sammy.
Sammy is 15, her grandma says, beautiful inside and out, and dying from cancer.  She was clean, the doctors said 'give it 5 years' and Sammy made it 2 1/2.  This past May, they found 5 tumors.  So Sammy did what any normal 15 year old would do if they got the news they were dying; she made a bucket list.  The very first thing that she wanted to do was to return to Nassau.  She had been here once before, for her Make-a-Wish, and she loved it.  Her grandmother, who's from Grant's Pass, Oregon, said that here, on the beaches of Nassau, Sammy is comfortable.  Really comfortable.
Sammy is only here until Monday and there're two more things she wants to do before she goes home; she wants to go to church, and she wants to find someone.  She wants to go to a black church and "feel the rhythm" and listen to the music.  She wants to go "over the hill" to 'that' part of town, and experience genuine people.  This girl, who's barely begun to live and already has most of her life behind her, wants nothing more than to know how other people live.  She also wants, more than anything, her grandmother said, to find a woman named Pearl.  She met Pearl at the straw market the first time she came to Nassau and Pearl told her something, something that Sammy won't share with anyone.  They haven't found her yet.
I didn't meet this girl, Sammy.  I don't know what she looks like, what she sounds like, what she likes or dislikes, but I hope that if someday I'm faced with my death, I can be that brave.  I hope that I can have that kind of courage, the kind of courage to know what I want, and who I am.  I hope I can be like the story I met tonight, the story with the tattooed foot that says; "One rule..no tears."

I wrote this two years ago, when Sammy was still alive.  I'm not a hundred percent positive, but I believe I remember Grace telling me that Sammy had died something like 3 months later.  But the really encouraging component of this story is that Sammy found Pearl.  She found her and they talked.  Sammy never told anyone what Pearl said to her but Sammy's mother told Grace that Sammy was so much happier after talking to Pearl; she had a new peace.  Also, before Sammy and her family left Nassau, Pearl took them to her church.  Sammy got to experience a Bahamian church service, one of the items on her bucket list.  I don't know what was left on Sammy's bucket list when she died, maybe she finished it, but it really isn't important.  The important thing is that this woman, Pearl, impacted this young story, a story that was coming to it's end, so deeply that the ending was peaceful.  Sammy left this world much too young, and in the cruel grip of an indiscriminate cancer, but she was given the kind of peace many of us strive our whole lives to find.  And we'll never know what it was.  Maybe, just maybe, that's because we're all supposed to find our own Pearl's.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Land of Oz and other adventures on Nassau.

It's incredible here. Really, I'm finding new things to tickle my fancy every day.  The other day, feeling somewhat restless, I had Grace drop me off at the beach by myself.  In pursuit of a lemonade, I walked down Love Beach, the private beach where the Holdom family (the family I'm staying with) spends their beach time.  There's something romantic about walking down an empty beach by oneself, nothing following you but the waves.  This beach is...indescribable.  When I think of tropical beaches, I think of this beach, I did even before I saw it.  The pretty 'reef' (really just an outcropping of rocks acting as a reef, fish and vegetation included) adds variation of color to the water and some protection from the 'bigger fishies' as Luke put it.

Anyway, I followed this beautiful beach for about 15 minutes, seeing only a friendly, elderly couple and a dozen or so sea snails.  My destination, Compass Point, is at the end of Love Beach, where a grayish-black sea wall prevents the sand from going any farther.  Compass Point is on top of this sea wall, which stands maybe ten feet high at its lowest point, and concrete steps (much too larger for my short legs, I might add) lead up to a wooden gazebo with a roof made from what I believe is dried palm leaves.  A sign beckons visitors; 'Without hesitation, follow the footsteps to Compass Point!' indicating that the path you're about to follow is not private property, no matter how much it may look like it.  Now this is where it got interesting. Walking along a pathway, right in front of someones house, was interesting enough but the footprints led to an even stranger world; the land of OZ.  I kid you not, I walked past that great white house, followed the footprints around the back of a round building, squeezing through a tiny space between the wall of the building and stone wall on my right, no doubt put there to mark private property, and entered into the brightly colored land of OZ.  Tiny huts stood on stilts, all painted in pastels; blue, yellow, pink, each with little wooden stairs going up to the door.  I followed the stone pathway feeling like Dorothy on the yellow brick road.  I expected at any moment to be confronted by tiny men and women, or to hear the cackle of the wicked witch of the west.  It was the strangest moment of my life.  But I finally emerged on the patio of a small restaurant and realized I had just walked through the Compass Point resort cottages.  The view was spectacular and the lemonade I ordered tasted like straight lemon concentrate, with a healthy dose of sugar in it (delicious).  Needless to say, I took my time on the walk back, kicking myself the whole time for not bringing my camera.  But I'll be back there, trusty plum-colored camera in hand, to prove to everyone that Dorothy was most certainly not in Kansas anymore.  No, she was, in fact, in Compass Point, on the island of Nassau, in the Bahamas.

P.S. I drove on the wrong side of the road yesterday!  Well, the wrong side of the road by my standards. The right side, of course, by European standards.  Grace let me drive the boys to their swim lessons (with her in the car, of course. I felt like I was back in drivers ed all over again).  I didn't drive us off the road!  Well, only once, to avoid an oncoming car.  They seem to be a lot closer when the steering wheel is on the right side instead of the left.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daydreams and Novels..

So I've been doing a lot of listening lately.  Listening to the ocean (my favorite), listening to Jack Johnson (a close second), and listening to my daydreams (this could either be good or bad, time will tell).  This concept of listening, waiting, dreaming is new to me.  I've always liked to listen but I think this is something different. This is a quiet listening, not a think-of-a-response kind of listening.  And this dreaming, I could get lost in it for hours.  I won't lie to you, I've always been a big dreamer.  Daydreams keep me sane.  I dream of the possible, the impossible and the downright absurd.  If anyone ever had an opportunity to enter my brain mid-daydream their very sense of reality may be offended.  It offends mine because in the end, I'm a realist.  I try not to get my hopes high for something that may never happen and at the same time do everything in my power to make it true, often thwarting it in with my desperate, often childish attempts.

Whether I like it or not, this is who I am.  And honestly, who ever said there was anything wrong with hoping?  Granted, there is an argument for being realistic but one can also believe there is something greater.  Either way, daydreams are a part of my life, an escape that offers relief and solitude.  In loneliness, however, daydreams also offer companionship.  Into a daydream, I can stick anyone; current friends, former friends, lovers, liars, villains, and complete strangers.  This is what I love, it's my own customizable novel.  The ending is always exactly what I want; a beautiful tragedy that would rival Romeo and Juliet, or a happy ending that would make Cinderella jealous.  Which ever it is, it's personal, totally and completely me.  A world where reality can't tell me something isn't possible.  It's unrealistic, crazy, childish, bliss.

As you can seeing, I've thought quite a bit about this because I've been doing quite a bit OF it.  Analyzing myself is something that I like to do in my spare time :)  Anyway, this is what I've been working on recently, what I've been thinking about between daydreams.. and the funny thing is, when I daydream it's almost like I'm reading to myself, like reading a novel starring me.  It's fantastic.

Hope this wasn't too random, just thought I'd let all the other daydreams and those with crazy over-active imaginations know they're not alone :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

For those of you who don't know me, that's ok I'm not sure I know myself that well either.  I know I'm blonde, inside and out, and I know I love my God, my family, and my friends more than anything.  And I know I like to write.  That doesn't by any measure mean I'm good at it.  But I'll do my best :)

So here I am, in Nassau, Bahamas.  In April I was all set to go to UBC, excited and ready to go off on that adventure.  You know, do what all good students do, go on to college.  And then the opportunity came along to come here and I couldn't turn it down.  Traveling has always been my dream, and school, as awesome as it would have been, was a definite second.  Anyway, the how, what and why are really not that important, the point is that I am here, not at school, and I honest to God don't know how I feel about that.

I envy those of you at school.  I feel like that little homeschooler, always a little behind on social activities.  Everyone is going to school.  They're going to come home at Christmas with awesome college-y stories and I'll sit and smile, listening to everyone, envying the experience.  Not that I won't have my own, it'll just be a year later than everyone.  Don't get me wrong, at this moment, there is no where I'd rather be than here, in Nassau.  I just know myself and know that little fingers of doubt and regret will undoubtedly weave their way into my brain at some point.  But I know that I would sorely regret not capitalizing on this chance to get out.  Out of Blaine, out of Washington, out of my routine.

So there's an idea of where I am.  I know that was long and I promise to try and be shorter in the future :)
Thoughts, prayers, and criticisms are beyond welcome!