Sunday, January 27, 2013

all secrets sleep in winter clothes

I took a nap today. Usually when I do that, it's accidental, the result of not enough sleep and a textbook that's less than intriguing, but today it was intentional. In a way, winter just makes me want to take one long nap. Sometimes I wish it were socially acceptable for humans to hibernate, but then again, no. I'd miss too much. Not a ton, right now, but some. Enough to make me keep dragging myself out of bed each morning.

So, yeah, if it seems a bit quiet here, that's because it is. The world is quiet here. I'm actually kind of busy, with what track starting and the usual abundance of schoolwork, but we've not fully awakened from our faux-hibernation yet and my brain is still kind of frozen and I don't know if I can really explain anything sufficiently right now. Oh well. Come spring it'll thaw. Hopefully.

We'll see.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

it's almost midnight but I have to ramble

I don't think I've ever written about "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" on here but I just watched the movie and now I really want to.

It's one of my favorite books. Actually, it's one of many, many people's favorite books, but I am especially selfishly possessive of it. I try not to let that show because it's very annoying behavior, very hipster-esque even though I didn't discover it first or anything, not at all. It's just that the story and the characters and the words feel very personal to me. And though the fact that it's relatable is probably why so many people like it, I still find myself feeling like it was written just for me. Selfish, I know, but what can you do?

I first read the book last March, during spring break. I had been looking for it for a while in libraries and bookstores and I finally found it at a Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles. I read it less than a day, sitting cross-legged on the threadbare carpet of the hotel hallway, sitting on a plastic lounge chair under the fake shade of a palm tree while airplanes thundered overhead, circling around the nearby airport. Some books you always remember where you first read them and that memory of where you were, and how you were, to an extent, too, gets tangled up in the story forevermore. That's how it is for me a little. 

When I first read the book, I was fifteen and I was a wallflower. Charlie really resonated with me, maybe unlike any fictional character had before. Here was someone who thought about things as much as I did and who didn't always speak up, either. Here was someone who was just as sentimental and shy and scared as I was. Here was someone who knew how I felt. I was half in love with him but I knew it wouldn't work out because we were too similar, and also, he was fictional. 

And then at the end, when he said he might not write anymore because he would be too busy participating, I almost felt betrayed. Why do characters always have to come around and change by the end of the book, when in real life it's not like that at all? I'm still waiting for my ending, I guess. 

Anyway, that was almost ten months ago that I first read Perks. Since then I've gone back and reread my favorite passages periodically, the kind of thing you do when you need something to comfort yourself. Specific parts make my heart hurt in good ways. Like, "You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't." Ouch. That one hits home. I remember writing in my journal the day after homecoming, thinking about that quote, feeling so confused, feeling all at once too selfish and too selfless, the latter of which seems like a stuck-up thing to say but if you knew, you'd understand, how what you need is a happy medium but what I have is too far weighed down on both sides. I was thinking about that one and about what it means to truly be happy for someone and it reminds me of this now: "It's like when you are excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad. And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means that you're happy too." I still find new things every time I skim through.

The thing is, I'm sixteen and a half now and I'm still something of a wallflower. I see things, I keep quiet, and I understand. Maybe I'll always be like that. I don't know. But the other thing is? I'm also learning to participate more. I'm starting to try new things, to speak up more, to not be so afraid of dumb things. The way I process life brands me an introvert -- I think too much and analyze things beyond comprehension and use writing to help me figure things out. But I also feel happiest when I am doing stuff with people, y'know? When I'm living. When I have something to write about. Moments to enjoy, moments that will later be stories. 

I'm still just a confused wallflower with a lot of feelings I can't always sort out, but I'm getting there. And I'll always love this book and this story for helping me to get there. Thank you.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I sometimes go to extreme measures to avoid spending money. For instance, I bought the VSCO Cam app this afternoon (99 cents) and have been using it to edit actual photos. It involves a lot of emailing myself, but it's too fun. So this is my friend Adriana (you may recognize her) from a little photo shoot we had a week or two ago, on the last day of winter break.

The laughing ones are my favorite. A lot of people don't like pictures of themselves laughing because they don't look perfect, but I think they're so beautiful. They're what make me want to keep taking photos.

 After all, happy girls are the prettiest. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

last night

Last night was a long, miserable night.

Last night was promising never to get drunk if a hangover involves throwing up because throwing up is the most disgusting, vile, degrading form of sickness I can imagine. I haven't done it years and I'd be perfectly happy to never experience it again.

Last night was cupping hot tea in my hands on the couch at 12 AM, and again at 3AM, praying this would be the last time.

Last night was lying in bed but not being able to sleep.

Last night was being seven years old again and needing my mom but my mom wasn't there.

Last night was a lot of "why did this have to happen now?" and "this isn't fair" and struggling to find the grace amid the discomfort.

Last night is over but I'm still kind of miserable because I'm home and school goes on without me and track starts today and I've always hated missing out. But sometimes you have to decide to take a break and cut your losses because you can't always keep going, not always. All my life I've been told to never ever give up, but I'm finding it's a balance. Sometimes you have to give up for a while if you want to get better. No sense in looking dedicated if it's going to hurt you.

So today I am home. Today I will catch up on my homework and sleep and regain my strength. And today, also, my parents come home.

I am not where I want to be, today. But it's alright.

Tomorrow I will start again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

pens and (pain)ts

Here are some low quality iPod pictures of some low quality things I've painted recently. I dug out my watercolors over winter break and I've filled more pages in the past week than I have since I got this sketchbook last Christmas. I haven't been writing a ton lately, so it makes me feel good to know I'm still creating something, though I'm finding myself invariably drifting back to words. I'm also realizing that, in the traditional sense, I'm not much of an artist, and I'm okay with that. I don't like drawing as much as I thought I did, and it's generally a struggle, and I don't know if I'll even take art next year (maybe I'll do printmaking or something for lulz), but I like stuff like this, where I can just do whatever. It's very therapeutic, and writing with paint is fun.

(Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

We're just going to ignore South America, mmmmk?

The hand clearly got messed up but I like the bird so it can stay.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

so, this is the new year.

It's too cold here. It's not even that cold outside (after a week in Kansas City with 20 degree temperatures, I have taken to saying "It's not that cold" every time I step out my door), but when I'm inside I have to wear a sweatshirt, pants and socks, as well as pile on many blankets when I'm in bed, and that's just not okay.

Everybody seems to expect that, living in Texas, I would embrace this reprieve from the heat. "Enjoying this cold weather?" my dentist asked this morning, before proceeding to rip apart my gums and make my mouth sore for the entire rest of the day. "Not really," I responded. I turned my gaze from the blinding overhead light to window showcasing the sullen gray sky, which is the other half of why I don't like winter. Not enough sun.

There's apparently a 30% chance it will flurry at 2 AM tonight. I'm a little skeptical. I think it might snow this year, but only in February. It only ever snows in February, if it snows. It's just one of those facts of life.

Another fact of life is: I've had tomato soup for 3 out of my past 4 meals. Maybe that's one of the saving graces of winter: soup season. And baking season, too. It's just the food in general, although I professed the other day to hating winter fruits. I like grapefruit, but I'm sick of oranges. Probably because I ate one every single morning during cross-country season. Hmm. But anyway, baking is one of the only good parts of it being cold, although it makes it a bit harder when you can't just set the butter outside for a minute to let it melt. Perhaps I'll make something on Sunday to take to school the next day, to help alleviate the numbness of being back at school. Oh, and Downton Abbey comes back on Sunday, doesn't it? I can't wait. I still haven't seen the Doctor Who Christmas special, because it's on our TV and our TV is generally hogged by Disney-channel-watching little sisters or bowl-game-watching dads, but Downton Abbey, yes, that will be watched on time.

What else have I been up to? I saw The Hobbit last night with Elizabeth, in 3D, and even though she laughed at me when I jumped at the scary parts, it was still really good. Long, though. My mom also found the first two Lord of the Rings books at Half-Price Books yesterday and so I've at long last begun my foray into what everyone else has read/watched years ago. Just making up for lost time, I suppose.

New Year's Eve my parents had a little party so some of my friends came over. Then we went to Deborah's house to sleep over. It rained for a while and at midnight we ran outside and listened to the fireworks and screamed a little, which you're allowed to do on New Year's Eve because no one should be asleep at that time, anyway.

And now it's 2013. A part of me wants to write about resolutions & such and a part of me doesn't. I haven't given it a ton of thought, but I do have some goals for this year. Some are more concrete, like get my license, and get better at running, and say more nice things to people and let them know they are appreciated and loved. Mostly, though, I just want to continue stepping out of my comfort zone. I want to work hard and have adventures and make my outsides better match my insides -- be more sincere, maybe. I want to be the person I want to be, the better version of myself, because what's stopping me from that, anyway? I know all that's hard to quantify which is why resolutions are difficult, but I'd like to be able to look back in a year and say, "hum, wow, what do you know, I did a lot of cool stuff this year and I feel like I've grown through these experiences a little." Who knows what this year will bring?

This wasn't supposed to be a very long post, but once again I have proved myself inadequate at being concise and staying on topic, so this'll have to do.