Wednesday, November 14, 2012

roman numerals

i. I keep starting posts and abandoning them. I hate fragments; I like for my writing to be long and focused, but I don't have the time or creative energy for that these days.

ii. You can think of these as poems if it makes you feel better, or a list, or just one long essay chopped up. This is meant to be cathartic; we'll see how that goes.

iii. Right now I have a headache because I accidentally slammed heads with someone and because I'm an idiot. That's two things that need fixing. The first will go away with sleep and water; the second, I'm afraid, may linger a while.

iv. I've lived in this body for sixteen years and four months and two days and I still frequently feel like a newcomer to this planet.

v. It was cold yesterday morning (today, too, though not as much). Cold enough for boots and jeans and a jacket over long sleeves, but not quite see your breath, wear two pairs of wool socks to bed cold. Not quite cabin cold.

vi. Incidentally, they've sold the cabin. I haven't really thought about it all except for now, realizing that there won't be any more winters up there, and if there are, they won't be the same. Ordinarily, maybe, dwelling on this would make me kind of sad, but I am so done with being sad.

vii. Well, I mean, I would be if I could be. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I'm done being sad over silly, small things like that, like changes I can't control. Instead of being sad about things changing, I'm trying to be excited about the new things that the change means.

viii. For instance: my mom just told me that today she bought our tickets to Paris for next summer.

ix. If we're really being honest here, talking about traveling to places like Europe makes me feel a bit uncomfortable because I'm all too aware a lot of people don't get that opportunity and it makes me feel like a spoiled rich kid when I say it. Or rather, other people make me feel like a spoiled rich kid when I say it.

x. Today my friend asked me, jokingly, what I did last summer, so I, jokingly, mentioned everywhere I had traveled, and then my other friend replied, with an edge in her voice, "Well, not all of us are rich." ("Yes," I almost said, "that's why I live in a mansion and am getting a car for Christmas and have had an iPhone since I was 13...oh wait.")

xi. I hadn't really been to Europe until this summer, and I remember thinking the same exact things about my cousin, who's lived and been all over the world. We'd talk and I was always surprised when she said she was jealous of me, that she hated moving and would rather just live in America.

xii. But I think I understand her now. Traveling doesn't mean a thing if you don't have a place to call home. I could visit every country on every continent and see the most amazing things but I'd still rather belong to one place than wander everywhere.

xiii. I dislike it when people generalize and say things like, "I hate everyone" or "I've lost faith in this generation" or other such ignorant and depressing comments. Maybe you've been annoyed by a few people but I bet my life you don't hate everyone. Similarly, just because some people enjoy listening to music like Justin Bieber doesn't mean that society is completely ruined and hopeless or even that music "isn't what it used to be." I mean, have you heard "As Long As You Love Me"? Chills.

xiv. Similarly, I dislike it when people say, "I hate this school." I don't know but I'm pretty sure that you don't have to go to school here. You applied to go here, and if you don't like it, you can leave, and you won't hear me protest.

xv. Okay, maybe that's a little counter to my previous, albeit, implicit argument that everyone should just love each other. But we wouldn't have this problem if we were all more positive, right?

xvi. I like my school, for the most part. People care too much about grades and freak out over small things, but I think they have a lot of passion and it comes out at events like football games. I like how for the most part we are able to maturely and independently handle situations. This morning, for instance, in physics, my teacher had to go to another class, so he just had a student run the class. He went over the homework just like our teacher normally does and then we broke into groups. A substitute came in about halfway through and saw the kid at the whiteboard and was like, "Oh, sorry to interrupt." I just thought it was kind of funny.

xvii. Forum (advisory, homeroom, what have you) operates more as a music history and appreciation class than anything else. My teacher basically just shows us a variety of music videos, and sometimes we talk about things like Field Day, which is next Tuesday. Today we watched/listened to this song and I actually recognized it because somebody played it at cross country practice a few weeks ago. Now it's stuck in my head.

xvii. Interestingly enough, I've been invited to three parties in the next few weeks, so I guess my worry that the social atmosphere was dying down or whatever was somewhat unfounded. I'm pleased.

xix. While we're on the subject of nothing in particular, can I just say that, "Don't be afraid!" is pretty terrible advice? It is. Fear is such a primal, irrational thing -- it's so hard to just stop being afraid of something. There's only one way, really, and that's to just to do it, to face your fear. So, I think that's a lot better advice. Be afraid, but don't let that fear paralyze you. Be brave, not fearless.

xx. I feel better now. I think I've said most everything I want to say for now, and it makes me feel good. My head still hurts, but it will go away. The important thing is that the blogger's block has gone away.


  1. Kendall, we were completely joking about the rich thing, though rich doesn't necessarily have to mean living in a mansion and have a fancy car. The only trip I've ever taken that wasn't to see family - ever - was on a cruise, which is $250 per person, so it's about the cheapest vacation you can take (it costs more money to fly to Minnesota). As someone who lusts over other countries, of course I'm going to be jealous that you get to go to Spain and Paris and Italy and Mexico and everywhere while I'm stuck here, praying that my college tuition is under $5,000 a year because that's all I think my parents would ever be able to pay for - and that would still put me in debt. Don't be offended if some of us don't have the same opportunities you do and wish we did. I literally wrote part of my Amigos application on what it was like growing up poor and having to spend every other weekend in a trailer park where the big shopping excursion was buying yummy smelling shampoo and conditioner.

    1. tl;dr: Of course we (maybe just me idk) are going to be jealous you get to go places. That doesn't mean you should feel bad about it.

    2. Hey, you don't have to mount an offense -- I understand where you're coming from, though I feel like you missed some of the points I was trying to make. But no matter -- we are different people from different situations so it's only natural that we have different feelings on and ways of viewing certain things. It doesn't make either of them less valid.

  2. this was brilliant. i mean it... wow. i legitimately love this. i've been reading some of wendell berry's poetry, and this is how he writes a lot of his work -- with roman numerals. regardless, i hope your head feels better soon.

    p.s. you are not an idiot.


  3. You have this way of talking about so many different things in such a cohesive way. I love it. And I feel the same way about going to Europe...I've been over there so many times, but it's only because of my family that lives there. And my family lives pretty frugally too, so that we can afford trips like that. I feel like people so often just look at the surface of things but don't look underneath. (although, I'm guilty of that too.) Oh, and yes on not being afraid. I can't NOT be afraid sometimes. But I don't think that's a bad thing, either...fear motivates people do to things they wouldn't otherwise have the courage to do. Or maybe the fear comes from committing to something in one courageous moment and second guessing yourself the next. I guess people have had enough philosophical debates on fear, though, so I'll shut up.

  4. Of course I am totally jealous. :) I have never been out of this country, but I don't think of you as a bratty rich kid (trust me,I know my fair share of those and you aren't one). I have just simply never had that opportunity and my parents aren't into international travel, so I'm completely on my own when it comes to finding my way there. Some people get to go to all these wonderful places and that's great and exciting, and some of us grow up in dozens of different cities and live all over and when we finally find a home we fall in love. And even though I would absolutely love to travel to Europe, I want it more than anything; I realize that in most ways, it's not going to be better than here, home. Someday, I will have that opportunity and it will be worth the wait. And I really do appreciate the fact that you think about that: A lot of people get annoyed by all the travels of the people around, they are either blind to it, or actually think it makes them better. This is why you are not a bratty rich kid. Because you get it, I'm willing to bet you've been that annoyed, slightly jealous kid before. And you just wanted to slap it out of 'em. ;)
    As always, great post.

  5. This post was amazing, Kendall. Your posts are always so relatable and REAL, but I never know what to say. Mostly, I guess, I just want to say that you're an incredible writer and amazing person. If we could sit down in a coffee shop and talk in person, I'd have a much better chance of actually telling you my thoughts, but my brain just doesn't work how I want it to when writing, so this is all I've got!

  6. This was really wonderful and I really enjoyed reading it. Oh, and your blog is awesome.

  7. this really hit me in a way that helped me overcome my blogger's block. so thanks very much.

  8. This is just a wow post, and I love how you compartmentalized everything so perfectly and it all flowed together.

    I'd like to talk about the "oh you must be rich" because they're awful.
    My dad is a dentist, though having a huge family kind of evens that all out. Friends have said things that imply I must always have everything i want and it makes me just sort of stare and shake my head uncomfortably.
    What I've come to realize is that most middle class families have different priorities. Some of my friends that have smaller houses drive way nicer cars. Some people have all the latest technology or travel the world. My family is really into snowboarding/skiing but I never can talk about that without this sort of guilt.

    So ignore the comments. Summer in Paris sounds life changing.

    Sweeping generalities are awful. And when people hate their schools they usually just aren't trying hard enough. Enjoy your parties.


  9. some of my favorite blog posts of yours are the ones where you just ramble. sure, having a "set topic" is nice, i suppose, but the ones where you talk about everything without really talking about anything are my favorites.


Hey, you. Be nice.