Saturday, June 22, 2013

mountains beyond mountains

I just got home from camp this afternoon and I'm trying to fathom everything that happened into one post because tomorrow I leave again for France. I don't know how exactly I'm going to do this considering I wrote around fifteen pages while I was gone, but I'm sure going to try.

It was a good week. I went to work camp in Denver (last year we went to one in Orlando) with a group from my church, along with other teenagers from churches all over the country. We started the sixteen-or-so-hour bus ride last Friday, spent Saturday night in Colorado Springs, and then rolled into camp on Sunday. Monday through Thursday, we spent the day doing work on people's houses who can't afford it or aren't physically able to. This mostly involves a lot of painting, scraping paint to prepare for painting, and yard work like weeding. Among other things. We also had morning and evening program which included singing, dancing, and praying. Among other things. Then Friday was our free day, which we used to go white water rafting, before heading back home.

My favorite part of camp and traveling and maybe life in general is meeting all different kinds of people: talking to them, hearing their stories, and just hanging out with them. Everyone from George, the 94-year-old driving a golf cart around the neighborhood we were working in, to the boy on the bus to our work site, ironically also named Jorge, who talked to me about running and school. Everyone from the lady whose house we worked on, who had the cutest two dogs and who bought us pizza for lunch one day, to the people from my church who I already kind of knew but got to know better this week. It is the people who make the experience and it is the people you will remember.

That's what I love about camp: one day you can be complete strangers and the next day you're acting like siblings, dumping water over each other's heads, singing along to the radio, making fun of everyone's accents. You start to talk like a farmer from Illinois and you pick up slang from Nevada. You learn people's stories, sometimes all at once and sometimes just through who they are. You work together, scraping paint and weeding, you pray together, and for a week, you live together. And then you go your separate ways, but you don't forget.

It was a good week. There are lots of things I will remember: Laughing outside a rest stop at five in the morning. Visiting the sketchiest Pizza Hut ever. Listening to the radio while scraping paint and hearing Justin Timberlake literally ten times a day. Trying to find out how the Spurs were doing and realizing they had lost when I looked over at the guys and they all looked like someone had died. Watching someone carry a duffle bag sprinting down the street like some comical scene from some movie. Traveling with a group of 50: "While they probably have the authority to kick us out if we all started chanting "Food!", they don't have the manpower." Screaming as we went through the rapids while rafting and shivering and huddling like penguins afterwards because the water was freezing. Breakfast at IHOP this morning and an incident that was probably illegal. Laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and had to sit on the ground. Yes, it was a good week.

Here's to the next great adventure.

I didn't take that many pictures at all, but these are from our little side trip to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs last Saturday. Those mountains.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

summer snippets

wednesday. last (half) day of school. we went to magnolia for lunch and then to deep eddy for the first swim of the summer. later, we went back to Claudia's dad's apartment, sat on her bed eating mangos and carrots and oreos and listening to vampire weekend as the sun streamed in from the window. I just appreciate the aesthetics of those moments, you know? we spent the night at her house, watched classic last-day-of-junior-year movies such as high school musical 2 and dazed and confused, except the latter wasn't really working. that bet on it scene, though.

friday. first (unofficial) cross country practice of the summer. it felt super early but was actually the time I usually wake up for school. we ran around the lake, a trail I'm familiar with, and jumped in barton springs after. it was freezing and we screamed but you just have to do it. it's not the same otherwise. breakfast at magnolia afterwards with the team; it's ironic how I hadn't been there for years but I went memorial day weekend and twice this summer already. my friend drove me home and we blasted the radio and it occurred to me that this was my idea of a perfect morning.

saturday. went to bull creek to swim and explore. (pictures in previous post.) followed the water past painters, young people with dogs, kids in the water, families having barbecues while blasting the radio (I definitely heard thrift shop), more dogs, etc. found a lot of little spaces in the woods. the world is so beautiful.

monday. I watched amelie, you know, in preparation for france. once someone told me I looked like her in a certain picture and while I don't think that's necessarily true, I think there are other less physical commonalities. it's a good movie. (I don't think I've ever watched a movie set in paris that I didn't like.)

wednesday. I went to the library for the first time in weeks. months is more accurate, probably. I haven't read in a while. but I got four books, including the massive les miserables, keeping with the french theme, and I've already read one of them. it's ridiculous how excited new books and new running gear can make me.

today. I leave tomorrow and I need to pack. packing is my least favorite; I always unpack straight away when I get home, but somehow preparing is so much harder. the clothes just sit in messy piles on my floor until I absolutely must stuff them into a suitcase. I don't leave until seven tomorrow night, my procrastinating voice reminds me. that's, like, eons away. I know I need to do it. but I have a whole other list of things to do before I leave, and blogging is one them. (also: put new music on my iPod, go swimming, run a 5K, babysit. and also pack. oops.)

it's been summer for a week. I can't decide if it feels like more or less than that but I think I'm past the phase where I keep expecting to go back to school. the first few days were weird because the seniors were graduating and it was all so strange and out of place but now it feels more normal.

I've slipped into the predictable pattern of summer laziness, days consisting of little more than sleeping in, staying in pajamas all day, and reading/watching movies until late at night, rendering me semi-nocturnal. it's a routine that's okay for a few days but it gets old real fast. I get so dissatisfied with everything if I'm in the house too long with no plans. I need plans and adventures. so, yeah, I guess I'm ready to leave.

off to colorado on a mission trip for a week. see ya when I get home!*

*except I will literally not even be home for 24 hours before I leave again so actually we'll see about that

Monday, June 10, 2013

bull creek

We went swimming and saw: several dogs, two turtles, some fish, lots of bugs, and a snake. You couldn't get me out of the water fast enough after that last one. Snakes in the wild are the most terrifying thing ever and if you don't agree you're wrong.

Oh, summer.

Friday, June 07, 2013

all apologies (sorry/not sorry)

I'm sorry I didn't throw away my empty container of leftover pancakes tonight and instead left it on the counter for you to deal with.
I'm sorry I do that a lot.
I'm sorry I don't always answer the phone or respond to texts on time.
I'm sorry that sometimes I flinch at human touch and I don't know why.
I'm sorry I don't always look up when you talk to me and that sometimes I have to leave the room so I don't smack someone.
I'm sorry that there have been times I haven't left soon enough.
I'm sorry I'm so strange and weird in ways that aren't always endearing.
I'm sorry I get so attached and that I can't stop staring.
I'm sorry I act elitist about things I have no right to act elitist about.
I'm sorry that everything is such a big deal to me. 
I'm sorry that I never seem to be on time to anything anymore and that I don't care.
I'm sorry I look in the mirror too often; I'm sorry for my vanity, but not really.
I'm sorry for all the things I said to be funny that weren't funny. 
I'm sorry that there will always be things I cannot tell you, even when I want nothing more than for you to breathe the same truths as I do.
I'm sorry I always try to make everything into a story or a poem.
I'm sorry for my temper, for the hole in your door you still haven't fixed and for the paint on your jacket which I still believe was partially fair payback.
I'm sorry that silent love can't ever be enough.
I'm sorry, every time, for all the things I did not say that could have changed everything (I could have changed everything).
I'm sorry that sometimes I have to excuse myself from the table to write something down, and I'm sorry that I get jealous unfairly of people who aren't afflicted by this constant need to divulge and document.
I'm sorry that the future makes me panicky and that I can't listen to people talk about their plans without some sort of a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I'm sorry I'm so selfish, pure and simple.
I'm sorry that my unwillingness to let go can get in the way of my being happy and excited for the future.
I'm sorry that sometimes I listen to sad songs when I'm not even sad, simply because I like the predictability of crying.

I'm sorry I'm so liberal with my apologies when all I want is to be one of those people who is so unapologetically herself.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

sometimes I doodle

It usually involves lots of song lyrics and triangles, as well as whatever I happen to be thinking at the moment.  It's like writing except more like my brain.  

Saturday, June 01, 2013

time it was, and what a time it was

There are three times a year when I deem it appropriate to fully indulge in my tendency to be extremely sentimental and nostalgic and reflect on the past several months or so. These are New Year's, my birthday, and the end of the school year. And so here we are again.

I have this spot on my desk where I've been keeping little mementos all year -- ticket stubs, programs, receipts, that sort of thing.

Since August I have collected:
  • ticket from my school's fall production of "Love's Labor's Lost" 
  • ACL program
  • receipt from Jason's Deli with cross country (w/ my name spelled wrong of course #classic)
  • photo booth pictures from Homecoming
  • little art cards from the East Austin Studio Tour
  • Regina Spektor concert ticket
  • tag from Secret Santa gift
  • fortune cookie that says, "The road to riches is paved with homework." 
  • "The Hobbit" movie ticket
  • receipt from that froyo place on South Congress we went that one day during spring break
  • receipt from P. Terry's the same day
  • Coffeehouse program 
  • Texas Relays ticket
  • Threadfair (student fashion show) program
Man, what a year it's been. It had its ups and downs obviously, but I think junior year was a pretty good year overall. I had a lot of fun times with some fun people and there were some not-so-fun times too but that's life and you've got to have a balance and I'm cool with it. I can't believe I'm almost a senior, and I can't believe all the seniors are about to graduate and leave, and ahh life. times. events. wow. So many things happened.

I've just got to write this paper and study for physics and then come Wednesday, school's out. I should go now before I get all emotional.

Ah, what a year it's been.