College is a Lot Like Laser Tag…

…And other graduation speeches I won’t write.

Last night a group of friends decided to race to the nearest Laser Tag arena after work. Unfortunately, most of us had work, so we managed to only get there an hour before closing. I’m sure the workers were more than delighted to see nine very loud and foul-mouthed college students come pouring in the door just to catch the last session.

I’d thrown out the suggestion that we go play sometime at the beginning of the summer, and found myself incredibly nervous to actually play. I’d only gone once (a birthday party where I believe I was the only girl) and the combination of not-knowing, imminent possible physical activity and tiny children was a sure-fire way to get my anxiety going. 

Needless to say, we got our collective asses handed to us by a group of kids and their parents, who seemed to take even more delight in just following us around constantly tagging our vests while their kids ran into home base. You know the arrogance of a child that knows they’re truly good at something? Like they aren’t being pandered to by adults or let win? There were approximately 800 of them there and they were all running and yelling in the dark while fog machines went off and ALSO there were lasers.

It was when I was leaning against a wall, four tiny kids constantly shooting at me with their later guns, laughing hysterically as I heard my friends yelling things like ‘HAVE WE STARTED?” and “I DON’T KNOW HOW THE LAZER WORKS” that I realized something. Lazer Tag is a lot like college.

At the beginning, you’re funneled into a dark room with a assorted group of people you don’t know, told to get somewhere, given vague rules and sent on the way. You enter into a confusing maze of walls, and don’t get a starting bell. On our team was a mom who had to tell us that the game had started, right as three of us got tagged immediately. There’s also the imminent fear that you’re doing nothing right (we weren’t) and there’s no real point to it (there wasn’t) but it was extremely important to us suddenly to win (we lost both games). To add to the metaphor, people younger than us seemed way more qualified to be playing and knew way more about the game than we did (in my convoluted metaphors, these are high-schoolers). The parents are bored alumni who sometimes helped us out but mostly seemed to have fun watching us mess up. There was also a employee who would intermittenly  wander through and offer advice to me that mostly constituted of ‘gotta say out of the lasers’ and ‘listen to the team leader’. The team leader, in our case, was a small child nick-named Panda who enjoyed screaming incomprehensible  numbers at me regardless of whether I was firing, moving, or standing still. I’m not sure where he figures into the narrative of college, but I’m sure he’s there. 

On the other hand, it was incredibly fun. Sure we lost, but it was incredibly worth it – and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Those kids were ruthless, and earned their victory. It’s always fun to do new things, especially because I don’t know the next time I’m going to just be able to run into a laser tag arena. When we left, all of us were doubled over in stitches remembering highlights from the adventure.

It was great getting out of the comfort zone and doing something a little silly, a little embarrassing, and yes, childish. But that’s what being an adult is about! I can choose when and where to play laser tag, whenever I want to. Oh, and also I can drink. So I do win in the end.

XX

Advertisements

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.

 

Sign of the Times

IMG_7733

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

 

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.

2.17.17

There is a boy who sits across from me,

I like to watch him.

His round face, flushed cheeks,

The mop of tousled hair.

He looks like I portrait I saw once in the

Museum of Modern Art, of a boy during the American revolution.

Beside him sits a girl whose ears remind me of raphaelites painting, and the delicate pink shells of her ears are Aphrodite rising

Everywhere there are echoes of eternity in the curve of your lips.

it is like watching

infinity

birthing itself.

 

 

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

Joan and Johnny in the Garden of Heaven

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-38-31-am

Last night the fan went round and round. The night had cooled the days desert heat, sticky and relentless against the concrete. Outside the fountain burbled, the girl next door having a conversation with her boyfriend bleeding through the walls. I tell myself a story

A rusted sword propped outside an old western house, next to an old Martin D-35. Joan of Arc and Johnny Cash, sitting in the garden of heaven talking quietly. They call each other Jean.

His hands do not hurt when he plays the guitar. Joan learns to play the opening bars to Daddy Sang Bass. She sings the chorus again and again. He talks about Folsom and the real prison, and she does not speak of Rouen. She does not need to. There are flowers in her hair. The circle goes

Unbroken. God’s word is close now, and it does not burn. They harmonize with Jack right next door. Joan speaks not of war, but the sunshine of Domrémy. Johnny teaches the rolling rhythm of walking the line. Every Monday June Carter comes over. There is always a freshly baked apple pie. Joan’s banner waves gently in the summer breeze.

Last night the fan went round and round, the fountain burbled, and a girl yelled at her boyfriend through the paper thing walls. I like the idea of a country boy from Arkansas singing to a country girl from France in a deep bass baritone.  I dream of

Two Jeans, sitting together in the garden of heaven in the shade of a fig tree.

Amy VS. The Sophomore Slump

IMG_3358

So I guess I’m an upperclassman now. Time flies, and all that jazz. It’s a bit…odd, looking back over my sophomore year and what I think of it. When I was putting together this post, I don’t think I truly appreciated how much of a wringer sophomore year was. Honestly, if my second year at college were an album, it would get mixed reviews. The bands just starting to get it’s sound together, but there’s a long amount of work ahead before a billboard 100 number.

And this metaphor has completely escaped me.

In retrospect, it’s been the most tumultuous year I’ve had since, well, freshman year (pause for cricket noise in place of laughter). Alright, that’s simply not true at all. Freshman year was a blur of ‘i’m at college’ fueled with desperation tinged adrenaline rushes. Sophomore year was like getting sucker punched by reality after getting off that roller coaster. I think the thing I struggled with the most was how transitory and stationary it felt – no one warns you about how much things change. All of a sudden you’re off this high and trying to figure out what’s actually happening – do you really like your friends? Or your classes? Are you sure that’s what you want to major in?

IMG_4819

I’ve lost contact with friends I could have sworn would one day attend my wedding. I experienced the biggest emotional downswing I’ve ever had. I felt frustrated at virtually every point – with classes, with art, with friends, with myself. I suffered a injury that meant I couldn’t exercise anymore, which had a profound impact on my happiness. More than anything else, sophomore year has been about getting over myself and what I envisioned and getting on with things. I literally like like that last grim faced survivor clambering out of the evil cabin into the watery light of a new dawn (or I’ve been watching too much Evil Dead with my dad).

On the other hand, sophomore year has kind of rocked. I’ve spent so much time focusing on the negative that when I was looking over the year, I couldn’t believe how much love and beautiful things I was able to experience. I pushed myself harder this year than any prior, but here’s a quick recap for future posterity (and when I start feeling whiny about my life). I wrote a ten minute play. I was in my first musical. I scripted, directed and acted in a web series. I was the editor for the school journal. I got my writing published in a literary magazine. I was given a grant to do special research that still gives me inspiration and opportunities today. I started a new job – and learned how to sew. I started a podcast. I was able to travel to Siem Reap. I saw my best friend more than once. I saw my other best friend nearly everyday. I saw BEYONCE. I was lucky enough to have my life filled with amazing people – many new, extraordinary friends – who continually pushed and supported me. This may sound like a paragraph full of bragging but I’m proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the way I pushed myself, and struggled to improve. But more than anything, I couldn’t have done it without the never-ending support and love of everyone in my life, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciated them.

IMG_4715

Anyway we’re all beautiful butterflies who are constantly in a state of metamorphosis and self growth blah blah blah whatever you get it. Thank you to anyone who was involved on my journeys, or simply for being there and reading this jet-lagged fueled spew of words. So mostly my mom and the friends she forwards these things to. Hi Mom’s friends! And also Junior year, apparently. I get to do this all again!

From the bottom of my heart – thank you, I love you, goodnight.

XX

 

Slumps

Been working on several short stories and trying to get into the mindset of sharing my writing. Recently finished polishing this piece (or at least it’s in a place where I feel ok sharing it). XX

Slumps

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I know I am in a slump because that is when I cannot look away from my flaws, and I pick at the ugly sensation hiding behind my collarbone until I feel raw and sadder than before. I have put on seven different outfits, and my cheeks are flushed from exertion. I pick until I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I pick at myself until I forget that I actually love my body, I pick until I cannot anymore because I need to go to class.

It is hard, because I am a rational person, so I say ‘You know that’s not right. This isn’t what you really think. Be kind to yourself’. But I don’t want to be kind to myself, or love my body, or do what all my caring friends tell me to do. I want to nap and be left alone.

I cannot look in mirrors, or be around people, or be left alone. Looking in mirrors will only mean I see more flaws. Being around people means having to pretend I’m not in a slump. Being left alone only lets me fall deeper into it. Slumping is hard.

I am in a slump and feel chubbier than I deserve to think of myself. I chastise myself for not exercising, for going for the extra fry that I didn’t really want to eat. In the mirror, my shirt doesn’t fit right. I eat a salad – not because I think it’s delicious, but because I’ve been taught that lettuce will make me thin. Later I will eat three cookies to quell my hungry stomach, and feel even worse.

Slumps happen regardless of rain, of time, of work and rest. I am always working. I’m working on class assignments, I’m working on my friendships, I’m working on becoming gentler with myself. But on slump days there is also anger. I am angry because I cannot do enough – because I am not as talented, or beautiful, or smart as my classmates. I am not as nice as I want to be. I do not like myself in a slump; my personality, my soft stomach, my laugh.

When I am in a slump, it feels like a day destroys a lifetime’s work of loving myself.

The thing is, it doesn’t.

I am not writing about my slump because it is a cry for help. I am not scared of my slump. This is a bad day, and I am a person who feels bruised on the inside. But I am better than I was a year ago. That helps, the knowledge that I can be flawed and feel bad, but know that I have made changes to move forward. The nice thing about slumps is that they remind you that you are human, and imperfect.

“I will be okay,” I think as I eat my third cookie and wish that I didn’t have to go to class “Bad is ok.” Maybe tomorrow I will like my laugh again.

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I feel bad today, and that is alright.

Wolves

Just something I wrote around Halloween. Playing around with story telling modes.

Wolves

When we bought the house, they assured us the wolves wouldn’t come near us. They told us not to worry. Of course, you’d think it foolish of us, but we bought the house anyway.

Who could blame us? You’re here after all. You see our house, with it’s fine interior. Of course, it’s so nice of you to drop by, we rarely get visitors. So lovely to have new neighbors. It’s been quiet since the last family moved out. It’s what was best for them, I like to think. After what happened to their little boy. I shudder to think about losing a child like that.

Come sit, have a cup of tea. What was I saying? Time slips away from me nowadays. Oh the house – yes we bought the house. Me, my husband and our daughter. Around your age now, aren’t you such a darling? Yes, it’s good tea. Look how it shines through the cup. Thin as bone. Thin as bone. My mother always told me that was the sign of quality china.

We bought the house. Isn’t it lovely? Yes, I think so. Look at the way the floor boards shine. Never a creak with these floorboards, even after all these years. I like the wallpaper as well, though we’ve had to reply it a couple of times. Accidents happen all the time my dear. Sometimes the stains show through though. No matter how much you scrub, there’s a lot that won’t come out of these walls.

Oh that noise? No, don’t worry about that. Old pipes. Old walls. There’s history around this place, don’t you know? They told us that when we bought it. Surely they must have told you. Sometimes the creaking gets a little loud, but after all these years I’ve learned to ignore it. I’m sure you will too. My poor daughter had such a hard time the first couple of years.

While I have you here, I may as well show you a photo of her. Indulge an old woman, won’t you? Yes, there she is. What a beauty, just like you. She won’t ever pose for photos any more, mores the pity. Shy, I guess.

Do you have children? No? Such a shame, such a shame. My daughter was the apple of my husband’s eye, don’t you know. Spoiled her rotten he did. When she wanted to go camping she’d go. When she wanted to sleep under the stars, she did. Used to worry me sick, thinking about her outside. Wrapped up in nothing but a blanket. There’s something unbearable about the thought of the stars, such cold, unfeeling things. My daughter loved them though, surely she did. She used to go outside all the time, even when the wolves howling was a little too close for my comfort.

It was such a tragedy, what happened to that little boy. I’m surprised they didn’t tell you about it when they sold you the house. Such a tragedy. Still, children get into scrapes all the time. Why, one time my daughter came home with such a bite on her shoulder, you wouldn’t believe. It was around two weeks before the accident. Still, it healed up right nicely it did, even if she was a little twitchy when the wolves howled. Still, They told us not to worry about the wolves, and we didn’t.

Forgive an old lady for bringing up the past. Strange, the way that lantern light turned her eyes gold. Gave my husband and I quite the turn when she came home that night. It was only the day after that we found out about the little boy. Can you imagine if it had been my daughter? It still makes me shudder, even after all these years. Oh yes, old walls in this house. They’ll remember that night long after I’m gone.

You look a little worried. Don’t worry, there hasn’t been a wolf attack in years. I remember because the last one was right before my daughter left for college. I’m quite excited you know. She’s coming back for a visit. She’s going to be arriving any minute. I’m sure she’ll be so interested to hear about our new neighbors, after all, she did love that little boy so. I shudder to think that such an accident could happen again.

Oh you have to go? What a pity, I hoped you’d stay. But it is getting dark out, isn’t it? Let me lend you a lantern, it’s a lonely walk back to your car. No it’s no bother – walking by the stars light is all well and good when you can’t see what’s in the shadows. Be sure to drive carefully dear! Come back and visit soon, it is so nice to see new faces.

Don’t forget to worry about the wolves my dear, when you’re looking up at the stars.