I’m beginning to wonder if each house we live in should get a name rather than a number. House #1 was a series of bad-decision-trailers that leaked, lacked AC, and had way to much hidden mold (the trailers have thus been named Squib and Honkey). House #2 was our duplex in Michigan, located next to the “Doggy Styles” pet boarding and grooming business that kept us up at night and woke us up too early on Saturday mornings with incessant barking. House #2 has been given the title Chateau Levrette. This week, we officially moved into House #3, an apartment in Columbia, medium in size with a pool and a fitness center. No name yet for the new apartment, but I’m sure we’ll come up with one as soon as we learn all of its quirks. Continue reading “The Reinhard Chronicles: House #3”
There’s something burning in me. Something burning wanting to burst forth and incinerate the whole world. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for so long and I still don’t quite understand it. I don’t really like fire. Mostly because of the damage it does when it touches the skin. I’ve seen what it can do and how such a small flame can destroy so severely. And yet….
The metaphor of fire is burning in my brain and I want to use it. Our lives come in snapshots and moments and sequences of events that weave together to form the days that turn into years. Maybe it’s because I’m getting married in 25 days and I want that new chapter of my life to begin. Maybe it’s because I hate routine. I like it at first because it gives me structure to who I am and what I’m supposed to do, but then somewhere along the way I only end up feeling trapped by it. It’s the excitement of shopping for school supplies but dreaming for Christmas break only a month later.
I’m supposed to be doing something with my life but I don’t think I know what it is anymore. I’ve had dreams and plans and actions I want to take, and like waves plowing into the sand, new ideas sweep the old ones away. What if I am never satisfied with where I am, constantly shifting like the flickering of flames? What if I will never be satisfied with the me that’s under my skin. That scares me most of all. I never want to look back and hate my life or the decisions I made. Life it too short to live that way. I want adventure but I’m terrified to take it. I want normalacy, but am too afraid I’ll be trapped by it.
That fire in me leaves me tapping my foot impatiently for something, ANYTHING, to happen. If a bear walked by my window, I’d go outside and hug it. I feel like a hot-headed Disney princess singing about wanting more than this “provincial life”.
What am I doing? What do I want out of the world? Why do I hate walls and ceilings so much?
Being mediocre at most things leaves no lasting impression on the world. The things that make me stand out like a sore thumb only make me angrier. Having pink hair and a nose ring doesn’t change the world. Wanting to write, yet never writing, can achieve nothing in retrospect to the giant globe we’ve been thrust into. Going to school to be a designer means nothing if your talent is next to nothing. Coloring doesn’t make you an artist, and answering the phone with a smile in your voice doesn’t make you a good person. Copy and paste has no meaning in a world where your own ingenuity can make or break your career.
The ticking of a clock can be so slow, and the pounding in my head can be so fast- there isn’t a good medium for the two. My fingers don’t type fast enough and my brain can’t form coherent sentences fast enough.
The thoughts jumble together and i don’t know what they even mean anymore. what if they stop making sense to you and me and the world and everything crumbles into…..
I have to stop. Go back and fix my capitalization and spell check the mess I’ve just written. Because one misspelled word can be the difference between “a beautiful stream of consciousnesses from a brilliantly jumbled mind” or “the rant of a whiny lower-than-normal woman”. I should go back and read what I’ve written before sending it to the void. I debate it even as I write this sentence. If I do, I might just erase it all…
Am I even allowed to want something more?
Everyone everywhere wants more. Does that make it selfish? or human? To yearn is human; to lust is hypocrisy. I thought in writing this, I would be able to work through my own thoughts. In the end, I’m only more frustrated with my own inability to make sense of the jumble in my mind.
I had dreams of different things at different times in my life. Each one has been pushed away be the understanding of how the world works. Reality is a painful mistress. I’m not talented enough to grace the stage. Not driven or disciplined enough to be a writer. Not smart enough to be a veterinarian. Not artistically inclined enough to be an artist. Not adventurous enough to be a world traveler. I used to feel like I had purpose. A goal I was striving towards. Now I feel like a ship with no course, a car with no tires, a flame with no fuel. My dreams are fading away. And I don’t know what to do about it.
As we grow, I think there must be something in our brains that works as an evolutionary constrictor, so that we never repeat certain parts in our lives. In a way, our brains are saving us from that embarrassment. Because sometimes fashion choices really don’t need to be repeated.
I shall provide for you a for-instance. In high school I used to do this thing where I dressed up weird on Wednesdays. Maybe it was a weird homeschooler thing, but I called it Wacky Wednesdays and wore toe socks with flip flops and that sort of thing. I’m talking blue eyeshadow, pigtails, suspenders, leggings. Every. Wednesday. It’s really no wonder I didn’t have many friends. To save us all, I won’t post that one. But I will post a couple that take me back down memory lane….
This was me freshman year of high school. This was the day after meeting my best friend, Jenna. The first day I met her, I was getting picked up from the bus station for a MK co-op event and was meeting all these new people for the first time. It was news to me that there was another girl my age who lived near by, so my brain spazzed and I tried to shake her hand. Like an idiot. She also thought I was an idiot (not ‘sophisticated’, which is what I had been going for). A day later we were inseparable.
This was my first real show. I played Rona O’Toole who was a postal worker, tangled up as a suspect in a murder. It was an interactive show that involved the audience and broke the fourth wall. At the end of the show, the audience would vote (by clapping) as to who they thought the murderer was. The louder the applause, the guiltier the suspect. Opening night, I was deemed the murderer, and it was my proudest moment on the stage. I loved playing Rona because she had a huge temper and got really mad at people all the time. Her best line was “I’M NOT YELLING!” as she shouted it across the stage.
Then of course there’s always THIS little gem. As you can see, the rainbow hair started young. I showed up at the bus station after being gone all weekend and looked like this. My dad wasn’t impressed. I remember the drive home, and my mom commenting on my snarky attitude. I believe the phrase “That dye’s leaked into your brain, young lady,” was used more than once.
And my baby faced self on day one of seventh grade in public school. Mom and dad had walked me to the bus stop and I was terrified. It was the year of way too many horrifying moments that crippled me for life. It was also a year of firsts. First detention, first crush, first breaking down and crying in the hallway between classes. Oh yeah, it was a fun year.
Ok so if I’ve learned anything from being me, here’s the thing. The embarrassing moments, the hysterical stories, the crazy hair, all of it, is part of a great story. My story. Sometimes I get so caught up in where I am right now that I forget the past moments that have brought me here. I’ve learned from all those times, and the people and experiences have brought me to where I am. And I wouldn’t change that for the world. Sometimes even the bad stuff leads to good.
I realize a while ago that I don’t like being told what to do. Being told to be quiet and just listen has never made me a happy pickle, and I hate the “it is because it is” answers. Being more aware of my stubbornness doesn’t always help me though, and I find myself questioning people’s methods all the time. I suppose there are good things and bad things to this, though usually I get into more trouble than I know what to do with. If only I could just go with the flow instead of thinking for myself.
There’s a comedian I enjoy listening to named Rachel Feinstein. If you look her up, I’m warning you now, she is far from “family friendly”. My favorite bit is from one of her shows where she goes off on a whole story about her nanny and her nanny’s dad. She imagines her as a girl where she was little and her father coming home one day. It goes a little something like this:
Papa: I hear you skirts want to work…in buildings with men?? I told you, you don’t need to work, you can stay home and make cupcakes and giggle. You like giggling, don’t you?
Nanny: It’s true Papa, we do want to go outside sometimes. It’s not just a nasty rumor, I’m afraid it’s true. Why, sometimes we get bored at home.
Papa: I told you if you get bored you can practice looking at a pretty pattern or doing a twirl. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Nanny: Yeah we twirled for a lot of hours, Papa. But I wanna go out and do something. Wouldn’t that be exciting? Me doing something! Come on Papa! No, Papa, I want to do something exciting. I mean sometimes I get bored. I know it’ll be hard outside, but I’d like to be a pilot. Imagine that, Papa! Me! Awww sure, it’d be scary, but let me try it!
Papa: Are you crazy? What’s next, you start wearing wristwatches and having opinions?
Nanny: Well then maybe I could be a stewardess. Imagine that Papa, me, a waitress on a plane! I’d like to try it. Come on, Papa, please let me try it…
Papa: Sounds like an opinion to me! Why don’t we take that on down to the old lobotomy factory and take a nice sweet chunk out of your brain…The talking back part.
Nanny: No, I don’t want to go to the lobotomy factory! Ever since Mildred came back, she’s useless! Now all she does is flap around and spit in the corner!
I laugh when I hear it, and the voices she does are hilarious. But it makes me think. Imagine if my stubbornness, my I’m-not-satisfied-with-your-answer-so-I’ll-keep-looking-for-one-myself-ness got taken away from me? Brought on down to the lobotomy factory to remove the talking back part. The think for myself part. The “I wanna do something exciting” part. What then?
I realize this all doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with my blog name or explaining the meaning behind it. But, I promise, if you hang with me for a sec, I’ll explain it to you.
When I was coming up with the name for my blog, I was trying to think of something creative that would catch people’s attention, and be something they would remember. I wanted it to stand out but also tell a little about who I am. Not much rhymes with Hannah, except for banana, a few made up words, and a couple US states. Not much to work with. In the end, I made a list of all the ones that were kind of functional.
My top favorites were:
- Partly Cloudy
- Sometimes I Do Stuff
- Sometimes I Put On Pants
I finally decided on Hannarchy for two reasons. Anarchy and Monarchy.
Anarchy is defined as a state of society without government or law. Monarchy is defined as a state or nation where the supreme power is held by a single person. The combined force of these two words (while being opposites) made sense to me. I’ve always been my own person, never a huge fan of the rules, and never a huge fan of being governed by them. Especially when the rules didn’t make sense. I know what I want (unless I’m ordering food at a restaurant) and usually go for what I want. Sometimes apologetically. And these things can be good! They drive me to do something out of the box and creative.
Unfortunately, with both of these words there comes a consequence. Anarchy never seems to last, as chaos rules and order is ignored. Living without boundaries or control can lead to a complete disruption of life. Monarchy can lead to a huge ego and a falsified sense of superiority. Knowing these things was important to me too. How better of a reminder than history to show what happens when anarchy and monarchy go bad? This it also is a reminder to myself.
If I become too enthralled with the idea of being unbound by the rules, or above them, I too can become another example of bad leaders in history. So where is the line? Where is the medium between the two extremes of my anarchist and monarchist tendencies?
The middle, I realized, is Hannah. Me. The girl who cares about people and about telling the truth. The writer, the artist, the lover, the fighter, the creator. The whole purpose of my blog was to write and tell the truth. Speak life into the mundane and shine light on pain. If I can combine the different aspects of who I am (anarchist, monarchist, and hannarchist), all while remaining true to myself, doesn’t that present a pretty clear picture of what I’m trying to do? I thought so.
“Introduction” is such a bad title. It doesn’t say what you’re introducing, just that you’re going to introduce it. Boring.
If you hadn’t noticed by the photo, THIS is the beginning of my 31 Day Blog Challenge. It began because I realized that writing is hard, and I want to write a lot of things. The hard part comes in when I sit staring at my computer for over an hour, struggling to write something that doesn’t sound like fluff.
I decided that I needed a subject. Something that made me want to rant about things that matter rather than meaningless filler posts. I saw a Pinterest post titled “31 Day Blog Challenge” that contained a list of 31 things to blog about every day. It was created for people who blog, but don’t know what to blog about. Now, let me say this up-front. I don’t like this list. I think the things are stupid and trivial and remind me way too much of marshmallow fluff than steak and potatoes.
I know that I need to be writing every day, and so I’m hoping that while I work my way through the list, I can actually turn it around into something meaningful. Thus, adding stuff to the fluff. Notice what I did there? Ties into my header image all fancy-like.
I’m really going to need help getting through this. I know already that day 5 is going to make me gag, as well as day 10, 14, 15, 25, and 31. I may end up switching some of these out and adding in my own, mostly because I can’t bring myself to talk about my “First Celebrity Crush” for a whole blog post.
The bit I need to focus on is this: If a writer never writes, is she still a writer? I miss writing. I miss writing about things I care about. I miss feeling like the words I string together will have an impact on people. When I read back on things I’ve written, there is a mix of emotion. Loathing for the pieces I skimped on and compromised just to get the work done, and pride for the pieces I poured my heart into.
I wrote a piece once, called “What’s In A Name”. It was a project for college called The Gospel Simply. You had to present the gospel without using biblical or “Christian” terms. I loved every second of that project. I created my own version of a Narnia-esque world, smothering in darkness, seeking a deliverance into light. I cried as I wrote the last pages, seeing myself in the main character as she struggled to continue on her journey without her dearest companion. I’ve wanted so much to write a sequel to the short story, but haven’t. I like that the story ends with Darcy unsure of what to do next with the wide wide world staring back at her. The piece spoke to my own wandering and searching, with revelations and dashed hopes. That’s why it meant so much. In a way, I yearned for the type of relationship Darcy had with Kiran, the same way I yearn for a relationship with Christ.
Another piece was a historical fiction short that I composed about Margaret Schilling, a woman who died in an insane asylum in Ohio during the 1970’s. There was a short little paragraph about her ghost and the stain her body had left on the floor where she was discovered. Most of the articles I had found on her were story after story of her ghost haunting people. Something made me mad about that. I hunted (and I do mean HUNTED) for clues about her actual life rather than her death. I eventually found some hospital records, and even went so far as to try contacting the man who discovered her body. I poured everything I had into that piece. I remember pacing in my friend’s room, ranting about how mad I was that no one ever seemed to care about her as a person. I couldn’t even find where she was buried. I did as much research as I could, and then filled in the blanks from my own imagination. Let me tell you, researching how it feels to slowly freeze to death isn’t fun. Not even a little. The passion I had for telling the truth, her truth (or at least as much as I could find of it) was so important. If no one else could tell about her, then I would.
THESE are the kinds of stories I want to tell. THESE are the kind of truths I want to write about. Not merely jabber on about My Guilty Pleasure. (Though I think we all know, the answer to that is simple. Pudding.)