SUMMER SO FAR

Lipstick pressed onto the rim of a glass,

the crackle of the record player, the first sip of lemonade,

two cups of tea in the morning, allowing myself time to exhale,

crying on the interstate,  folding papers, sifting through old letters of a woman i will

never know,

the last line from books you aren’t sure you enjoyed,

a kettle without water, the first lines of a movie,

salt water, blueberry, sand slipping beneath your feet,

sunlight as you tip your face towards the sky.

 

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Sign of the Times

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These are the carrots I grew! They came out super messed up and weird looking and I couldn’t be more proud of them. What a metaphor for the year.

It’s cheesy to start a blog post about Junior year by talking about a song, but sometimes you need a little cheese. French cheese if you can swing it, but since my accent is terrible I’ll just give you some craft slices…

Two days ago I packed up my room, said goodbye to my friends and hit the gas pedal, driving as far away from Junior year as I could get (only a 40 minute drive, but the poetry sounds good). Then I slept for fourteen hours. Then I did nothing but watch SNL videos on youtube. Now I’m looking over the last year and contemplating, as I always wind up doing, successes and failures and all that junk. I’d like to think I’m a Chill Individual, but at my hearts of hearts, there’s a very anxious perfectionist shrouded under layers of procrastination. So. That’s fun.

Harry Style’s released a song a bit ago called Sign of the Times. It’s a throw back tune with a lot of elements of 70’s rock in it. Now, maybe I don’t understand the lyrics that well, but to me, it’s a sad, bittersweet song about letting go of something. There’s a lot of very angsty lines but ultimately, it may have become the soundtrack to my last few days of junior year. The night before finals ended I put it on repeat and just walked around.

There’s a lot I’m proud of this year. I directed my first show. I got cast as a lead in a musical. I finished a five class workload. I learned how to grow bell peppers. I’ve made amazing friends and had some pretty fun nights (possibly to the detriment of that five-class work load).

Mostly though, I’ve gotten a little better at loving myself. It’s hard to let go of the mistakes I make, and while I was wandering around campus listening to ‘just stop your crying have the time of your life, breaking through the atmosphere, things are pretty good down here’ I realized, once again, how unbelievably lucky I am. I did a lot this year that was good and bad and everywhere in the middle. Looking back though, it’s just one more chapter of my ongoing life. I’m going to look back on this year and not remember the stress or panic I felt near constantly, but snapshots of the good times. Laughing with my friends, dancing like an idiot to Earth, Wind and Fire, playing DnD for the first time. It’s been a whirlwind of a year.

I’m working on living life in the moment instead of constantly worrying about what’s coming next. I’m trying to forgive myself a little more. It’s been a rough journey so far, but junior year was so valuable to me for giving me some of the best friends and memories a girl can ask for.

Thanks to everyone who’s been reading my blog. I appreciate everyone of you. Do yourself a favor and give Harry Styles’s new album a chance. I’m going to put it on blast and enjoy being young – after all, it only comes around once.

(Or at least until we invent transferring human consciousness, but that’s a completely different blog post entirely)

Have an excellent summer – see you soon.

XOXO

 

we can’t all be elizabeth…

Last year I took a class where we analyzed romance novels on film, and my professor said ‘We all want to be Elizabeth, don’t we?’. We were in the middle of watching the 2005 version, with Keira Knightley’s beautiful hair pearls and the ridiculous white shirt and every girl in the class agreed: ‘yes, we want to be Elizabeth’.

When I was twelve or thirteen, I was given a dvd of Northanger Abbey. I don’t remember who gave me it, although I suspect it was my theater teacher in an effort to help me with my english accent. All I know is that I put off watching it until I fell ill with some cold or another, and decided on a whim to watch the weird stuffy film. And then I fell in love with it. I watched it over and over. It was the BBC’s production, starring Felicity Jones (pre-star wars) and JJ Field, who kicked off a long list of middle-aged British actors I find incredibly attractive. It was probably Field’s turn as Henry Tilney that set me up for my impossible goals in a man (he knows muslin? swoon).

So when I said that I wanted to be Elizabeth, I wasn’t lying. Who wouldn’t want to be smart, kick-ass Lizzie who wins the man? I’m not a Lizzie though, I’m a Catherine.

Around two years later I ran across the actual book version, read it and discarded it. Sure, it was great because it was Austen, but it didn’t live up to my beloved film. Apparently, Austen wrote it as a direct criticism of the gothic novels that were known for  being ridiculous. ‘Not every castle has a dark secret’ is the lesson Catherine learns over the course of the book. There’s other junk too, about putting aside childish things and marrying Henry and having a million babies.

In a lot of ways, I think we are drawn to the characters we see ourselves in, for better of worse. While I’m no Felicity Jones, I am a Catherine. Silly, prone to overblown dramatics, romantic to a fault, often unable to read social situations, and constantly, constantly day-dreaming. There’s a scene where Catherine imagines her friend (played by Carey Mulligan, because there are only eighteen actors in England) being kidnapped by a rake and she stumbles upon them. It’s a ridiculous fantasy based on nothing but a quick aside from her aunt. That’s me. It’s embarrassing, but there you go. There’s always some weird narrative happening in my head.

It’s been ten years since this movie came out. I still love this movie, it’s soft and quiet and a small, simple love story. But I always disliked that Catherine had to put away her books at the end of it. I haven’t had my realistic moment yet – although I’ve had plenty of moments that could have been my social-embarressment-nearly-accuse-Henry’s-dad-of-killing-his-wife moments. I’m still Catherine at the beginning of the movie, lying in a field holding a book to herself and imagining all the ways her life is going to unfold. Except it’s a kindle and a dorm room and trying to believe that internships aren’t the end-all-be-all of getting a job. I daydream and read young adult novels still and spend an embarrassing amount of time pretending I’m an powerful superhero whose husband has been kidnapped (it’s the only way I can motivate myself to run).

Sure, I wish I could say I was an Elizabeth. Or a Jane, or a Elinor. Sure, I’m a little brave and a little kind and a lot sensible, but I know who I am at heart. After all – I still can’t help but wonder if there’s a ghost when I go down to the laundry room. And if I ever spent a night in a castle? You bet there’d be a dark secret or two. It’s what I do.

10 Lies I’ve Told Myself This Week

  1. Jetlag is an illusion.
  2. Time is an illusion, at that. Time does not exist, and you have no immediate deadlines to worry about.
  3. You are not tired, you are perfectly fine. Drink more coffee, ignore the pounding of your heart.
  4. It is perfectly acceptable to take two naps in one day.
  5. You are chill about all things. It was not weird for you to yell about National Treasure Three in the middle of the cafeteria.
  6. That essay is going well.
  7. Writing a blog post is definitely a productive use of your time.
  8. In a pinch, black sweatpants can be classy.
  9. Chocolate is an acceptable substitute for dinner.
  10. Seriously though, National Treasure Three would be such a good movie.

So This Is Where…

It always seems like I start these posts with an apology. It’s not like I forget about the blog, it’s just difficult to stay on top of it with college and life and everything.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. After everything that’s happened it seems hard to consider a future at all. And yet I’m in my Junior year, and internship season is coming up. It’s hard to think past the overwhelming pressure of ‘figure your life out! NOW’.

There’s so many people screaming on the internet right now. About politics, about current events, about pain and suffering and anger. I certainly know. It’s hard to go on Facebook. It’s hard to pull up the news. I can’t have a conversation with anyone without mutual feelings of helplessness and pain and fear coming up.

“What now?” Seems to be the question of the day. How do we proceed. How do proceed, to be microscopic. “What’s the point?” is another thing I keep asking myself. Maybe there isn’t one. But I enjoy creating. I enjoy writing. It helps. I always feel a little better after I post something here. I can’t guarantee that my posts will be all that positive or cheerful. Or even that coherent.

Sometimes there isn’t a reason people write things. Sometimes it’s just enough to do it for yourself. I look forward to posting here again.

Be kind to yourself.

XOXO

The Importance of Star Trek.

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I hope you readers will forgive the massive geek out about to happen.

I was talking to a friend about Star Trek today and just got really sad all of a sudden. For me, Star Trek has been a part of my childhood – my dad introduced me to it, and I grew up watching it. One of my earliest memories was watching Jean Luc Picard assimilating into a borg and feeling scared out of my wits. Another is laughing with glee at Kirk and Spocks reunion. But more than that, I remember how inspirational it was, to watch this old junky show with it’s bad special effects and terrible costumes. It had so much heart, and hope. How wonderful to imagine the future and see humanity looking forward, establishing peace with other planets, not just races. To imagine technology so advanced that it could connect loved ones across the reaches of space, or medicine capable of curing plagues.

For me, Star Trek was a love letter to the future. It was like someone wrote down all the hopes for the future and truly believed that it could come true. That humanity could persevere against all of the horrible things we commit against each other and rise above. That humanity wouldn’t ever be perfect – but by god we could try to be better.

Halfway through the conversation, I realized that it had been so long since I last read anything that seemed hopeful about the future. Almost every novel I read within the sci-fi or young adult world deals with dystopia, or apocalyptic scenarios. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the importance of such narratives, and the conversations that erupt around them, especially when pertaining to current events. I guess I just got sad because it seemed like we’ve all given up on dreaming about the future. Whenever we look forward, it’s to a black and merciless sky. How tiring to always be facing such a bleak bleak future. How frustrating to keep believing in humanity’s brilliance, or compassion, or hope.

In times like this, I think it’s easy to become dispirited by all the awful, awful things you see and hear near constantly. That’s not to say that we should turn our eyes away from the many important issues our world faces. There are so many problems, but there are also so many wonderful, ordinary people fighting to create a better tomorrow.

I suppose halfway through my conversation I started wondering when I had forgotten to look at the world the way Star Trek had taught me to – as one wonderful, broken, unimaginable vast cosmic mystery.

XOXO