Tuesday, October 30, 2012

life lately

Pre-Homecoming. Stolen from my friend.

Let's see...what's happened since the last time I wrote? We had our homecoming football game against our rival on Thursday. It's the most fun game by far because pretty much everyone wears purple to school and at the game the student section is like three times as big as it usually is, and it usually is the best by far anyway. I don't know why they even bothered having classes: they were all cut short because of the pep rally and we spent like half of Spanish just putting on war paint and glitter. To add to the excitement, a bunch of seniors spend the night at the school to guard the campus from any possible pranks from the opposing school. When I got to cross country that morning, there were a ton of cars in the parking lot and I was quite confused until my coach opened the door to the training room where there were a few dozen people sleeping on ground. We may have lost the game, but we definitely had the most spirit.

Then Saturday was our homecoming dance. I didn't go the past two years so I decided to finally get my act together and go this year. It was interesting and I don't really know what else to say on that subject. I had fun. My friends volunteered to clean up afterwards, and since they were my ride home, I had to stay too. It's weird, but being at school at 1 AM is actually not that different than being there at 5:50 AM. I spent the night at my friend's, staying up until about four, and woke up the next morning to go straight to volunteering at my sister's school's carnival where I made cotton candy and sold people corn dogs for four hours.

That's been life lately and I've been enjoying it but now it feels like we're transitioning again. Cross country is over, and our football season is basically over, and it seems like most of the things I'd been looking forward to are over. After Halloween, I don't really have anything to look forward to until Thanksgiving. It's kind of a dismal prospect for me. I like to have something to anticipate each week to keep me going: mostly social activities like meets or games or dances or festivals. It seems like with November approaching, the world is gearing up to hibernate, and it makes me sad. I guess I'm just going to have to work harder to make sure that I still get out and do stuff and don't become depressed.

Oh yeah, November. That means NaNoWriMo. I've been equivocating for the past month or so over whether or not to participate this year and I finally decided to just give it a try. I've never actually written 50,000 words, only smaller goals with the youth version, so I'd like to have that in my repertoire. My reservations are, admittedly, somewhat strange. It's not the usual "I'll be too busy" excuse, because as I've explained above I'll probably have more free time, but I'm worried, perhaps irrationally, more about the content. You see, I'm so terribly self-absorbed that I'm afraid if I start to write a novel, it will come out at least partially autobiographical and I'll end up spilling all my secrets to the computer screen and not be able to share it with anyone lest they guess.

Of course, I'm still not completely sure what I'll write about. You know me, I don't decide things until I absolutely have to. I have a very foggy general idea for a subject and I guess come Thursday I'll just sit down and write something. My approach to life is generally one of "take it as it comes" or something. I'm not really sure. Whatever happens, happens.

So it goes.

(It'll all be fine, and no one's even died so there's that.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

you won't be sixteen forever

These past few days have been kind of emotional for me and I don't know why. I guess it was mainly just stress and my tendency to make big deals out of things that aren't big deals and smaller things triggering feelings of inadequacy, but sometimes you just fall apart and you don't even have a good reason.

This morning in physics instead of paying attention to the lecture on forces and equilibrium like a good student, I wrote three pages and played pretend that that my science notebook was my diary. I wrote about second chances and secrets and things that weighed on my mind, trying to talk myself out of the seemingly purposeless unhappiness that was clouding my head. And because I'm sixteen and I can get away with not caring about consequences beyond the short term, I don't regret it.

When you're young, you can get away with stuff like that. You can get away with crying over dumb things and getting emotional over pop music and spending too much time worrying about homecoming dresses. You can get away with texting your friend seven times in a row before she can respond and going out to the parking lot at lunch to watch people attempting to drink a gallon of milk in an hour throw it all up. You can get away with executing dumb pranks to the amusement of your friends and writing long journal entries about everything and skipping the second half of the workout to just lie on the track and talk (or listen to people talk, if you're more like me).

You're allowed to do those sorts of things when you're young: dumb things, silly things, things fueled only by what you feel now without any regard to the future. I guess when you're grown up, you can still do some of it but there's not the camaraderie of teenagehood, not the excuse of, "oh, I'm still just a kid."

I just think there's something kind of nice about this weird stage in life. Everything is exaggerated; bad news is the apocalypse, good news is the happiest moment of your life. One could say it is both miserable and magical. Beauty through the pain and whatnot. Writing about it, though, I feel kind of strange, removed, like I'm looking back on this time of my life instead of living through it, like maybe I'm not supposed to have this sort of level of introspection yet since I don't have the hindsight. I don't know.

I mean, thank God we do grow up. I'm just not particularly in any hurry.

It's like that one Metro Station song that came up a few nights ago when I was listening to playlists on 8tracks and feeling moody. You won't be seventeen sixteen forever and we can get away with this tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2012

who would have thought?

You ever have those moments when you're so far from what you'd normally perceive as your comfort zone, when you're doing something you never really pictured yourself doing, and you kind of feel like you don't really belong but it's not necessarily a bad feeling?

I had one of them this summer in Florida, sharing a hotel room with people I barely knew, miles and states away from everyone and everything I did know, and I had another one of them today.

I was sitting in the second row of a minivan, being driven around by someone who last year was just another girl in my art class I occasionally shared looks with, surrounded by people whose names I hadn't known a few months ago. I was thinking, this is weird, because I've never really done anything like this. I was thinking, I feel like more of a teenager than I usually do. And I was thinking, I am happy.

I suppose I should back up for the sake of clarity. Today was our cross country district championships and we got to skip school (second Friday in a row for me...) to compete. My school did quite well: first place in both varsity and JV boys, and second place in varsity girls. JV girls (that's me) got an honorable mention, at least.

Right before we ran, our coach told us, "Have fun!" And I did have fun; not for the seventeen or so minutes I was running, but pretty much the whole rest of the time. I enjoyed dancing to the music (the people in charge really liked Rihanna today) and chanting & cheering right before the start and clapping so hard at the finish line my hands turned red. I enjoyed all the high fives I gave & got after running and watching people's faces light up as they received their medals & trophies and, yeah, the fact that I was there instead of in APUSH writing an essay analyzing the effectiveness of Eisenhower's administration in dealing with foreign and domestic issues.

Afterwards some of the team went to Jason's Deli where I had lunch and a laughably awkward conversation and a complimentary soft serve ice cream (it's all good). Then we kind of circled the city for a bit and that's when I found myself thinking about situations that a lot of other people probably don't dissect to such lengths.  We ended up at a park and I sat back and thought some more. I thought about how some people say you should always carry around a notebook so you don't forget anything, but I think that sometimes it's best just to let things play out without interruption. I thought about how taking opportunities almost always ends up better than not taking them. And I thought some other thoughts that I don't remember because they were halted by loud noises. By that I mean there was a man in the creek by the park playing the fricking bagpipes. In the woods. By himself. Playing the bagpipes. So that was the background to much of my afternoon.

It's so weird the way the world works, isn't it, how one decision made several months ago can have so many implications later on. It can affect what you accomplish and who you talk to and how you feel. Even though my head hurts and I have new blisters, today was a good day. And I am happy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

music festival times

Yesterday, I went to ACL, which stands for Austin City Limits, which is a big music festival that happens every year in town for all y'all non-natives without a clue. I went when I was in fifth grade, because you're free when you're 10 and under, but I haven't been since. A ton of people at school always go so I always hear about how great it is and whatever and this year I finally got a Friday pass for my birthday. I didn't go to school yesterday, because I mean, why bother, so my friend and I arrived at ACL around noonish. We first listened to Los Campesinos for a little bit, and they were good but I don't know many of their songs at all. Then we headed over to First Aid Kit, which I was really excited about.

They introduced themselves as "two Swedish sisters...from Sweden" and they both wore awesome dresses and they played all my favorite songs and even one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs!

Ben Howard! We were pretty close up since my friend wanted to get there early, and I'm glad we did. I don't know a lot of his songs but he was so good. Also I'm pretty sure I heard someone scream out, "I want to have your children!" at one point so...that was interesting.

~interlude of milkshakes and long lines for the disgusting "bathrooms" and listening to a bit of Tegan and Sara from far away~

Then....Florence + the Machine! It was the greatest. She is the coolest person ever and I can't even really describe it. Just, uh, you should have been there. Seriously.

The Black Keys! Since they played at the same stage as Florence, we just stayed there and waited for like 2 hours. It was so crowded and uncomfortable -- literally so packed with people I could barely turn around --but whatever, I survived, and it was cool.

The disco ball came down during "Everlasting Light", and also during that song a lantern descended from the sky (?? I didn't really know what was going on?) right behind us and it smelled like smoke and then all these people were stomping on it to make sure that nothing caught on fire. So then I was like, "Well, thank goodness that wasn't an everlasting light," because I can never resist a good bad pun.

Well, that was my festival experience, although if you wanted to be more accurate, you'd have to mention the awful sunburn I got from the hot hot, blazing sun, and how sweaty and smelly everyone was by the end, and how my feet felt like falling off by the end of the night, and, you know, the random strangers who were definitely under the influence of various substances, offering vodka and acting generally inebriated (and also very excited). But it wouldn't really be a festival without all of that, would it? No, it most certainly would not. And I wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, October 08, 2012

hikes & home

This weekend felt like fall. It actually felt more like winter at some points, even. It got down to jacket-jeans-boots weather, though of course I was unprepared for this and fooled myself into thinking that wearing a shirt with three-quarters length sleeves was basically the equivalent of wearing a sweater. Yeah, no. This morning, though, I was more prepared with my fleece jacket and sweatpants over my running clothes. 

Anyway, I spent the weekend doing seasonal appropriate things like attending our school's football game which we won (well, that was Thursday but it felt like the weekend) and huddling under blankets at the cross country meet when I wasn't running and scarfing down doughnuts (can you believe I used to not like them?!) and doing lots of reading and drinking hot chocolate and going hiking a bit. I don't think I've given Texas enough credit. Yeah, it's not a typical autumnal picture like you find on Tumblr, with red and orange leaves lining a sidewalk path where a girl stands wearing an oversized hoodie and holding a Starbucks cup as she smiles to herself about the beauty of sweater weather, but it's still pretty, and more than that, it's home. I've found myself starting to appreciate my hometown a lot more lately. Maybe because it's starting to hit me that I don't have an infinite amount of time left here. Maybe because I feel like I finally have something that makes me want to stay, something tethering me here and something that makes me feel like this is right, this is where I belong. Or maybe because I've just pulled my head from out under a rock and finally realized how great it is. I mean, whatever. The heat sucks in the summer and other things suck sometimes, but overall, I'm just glad I live here, okay? It's home.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

it's my specialty

I'm sitting here in Delta, my free period (basically), a fact that has instigated some serious thinking over things like how much of our future is determined by our own action and how much is outside of our control.
Making decisions is not my specialty; never has been. I am indecisive and ambivalent and all too eager to embrace the duality and expendability of human nature, as evidenced by my last post. I can't pick favorites and I can't make a strong affirmative statement without tacking some sort of caveat onto the end of it. I can't choose between two things, so very often what ends up happening is I choose nothing. I choose nothing, and so something is decided for me. I don't know, but I've been finding lately that I'd sure rather do something I chose and have it kind of suck than do something that was decided for me and have it really suck. But it's hard.
It's hard to know what the right thing to do is. I can equivocate until my mind explodes and I'll never be closer to a decision. What's right, what's wrong, what will end up being the best choice? I can't see the freaking future.
Should I just go with the flow and let whatever happens, happen, because obviously, it was meant to be, or should I get involved and mold my future with my own two hands and do anything to get what I want? What if I don't know what I want; what then?
Should I risk the comfortability of complacency for the possibility of greater things, or should I work hard for something even if it turns out it's completely wrong for me?
Is what's supposed to happen going to happen just by itself, is it completely determined by my own action (or inaction), or is it a mix of the two and you just have to know instinctually what to do?
Well, I don't know what to do, and I hate making decisions. What should I do?
Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements?
Sometimes I think some sort of higher power knows what's best for me and while I thought about it differently before maybe they really did pick the best thing for me. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I can see lights at both ends of the tunnel but this one is just a little closer to me, a little easier to get to. Maybe it's entirely contingent on me and all the choices I have to make. I know it'll be okay, no matter what, but I want to know if there's going to be someway it will be better than okay. Stupidly hopeful humans.
I realize this is quite vague and all over the place. Well....that is my specialty.
You know what's also my specialty? Lists.
Things that have made me happy recently:
listening to 90s music in Painting + cross country: "OH MY GOSH NO guys you go AGAINST traffic not INTO IT!" (coach leaves for five minutes and half the team nearly gets run over) (not me, though, I know how to cross a street!!!) +  visiting my teacher from last year +  this beautimous weather (most of the time; it was a high of 91 today so) + texting my friend on the bus home + brownies
Things I'm looking forward to this month:
ACL festival + football games + cross-country district meet (we get to miss school....) + homecoming + homecoming/spirit week + Taylor Swift's new album (don't judge, she's the best) + Halloween + seeing The Perks of Being a Wallflower + taking more pictures + hiking + sleepovers?
May it be a month of good decisions, or at least just some decisions. I think it'll be a good one.