Hiraeth

Hiraeth

Sometimes I find myself so incredibly alone. Alone and tired. I miss…something. I want to go back but, like a fading dream, it slips away from me before I can remember. Sometimes I think I know what it is and where I last left it, but I’m afraid that if I go back it won’t be the way I remembered it. It’ll be different. And worst of all…maybe it’ll be the same, and I’ll be the one who is different. Continue reading “Hiraeth”

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Aaaaaaaaand She’s Back!

Aaaaaaaaand She’s Back!

Who knew that the month of your wedding would be so stressful, eh? I mean, I had figured it would be, but had kind of hoped I would have some time here and there to do some writing. Unfortunately for my blog, the little pieces of time from “here and there” ended up being spent going over arrival times for the wedding party, planning out exactly WHAT I was going to do with my hair, and lying in bed till 3 am worrying about the weather.

The only comfort that remained (as the wedding date loomed, and my blog began to accumulate dust) was the thought of our two week honeymoon after the wedding. A cabin in the woods with plenty of books to be read, stories to be written, and wine to be sipped (in the hot tub). Cheshire and I planned on doing a ton of writing. There were, after all, no distractions in Blue Ridge, and we could get a lot of work done. Thank God I married an introvert who’s idea of fun is to seclude ourselves from people for two weeks solid. (I say this with absolutely NO sarcasm. After having a million people to talk to and hug and interact with at the wedding, two weeks of foresty silence has been the BEST.)

There are, I think, a couple things I have already realized about married life, having been married for a grand total of one week and one day.

  • The bed will not often get made.
  • Cheshire and I will not go to bed at the same time.
  • There’s never enough milk in the fridge.
  • It takes a while for the “wife” title to really kick in.

Allow me to explain.

I, much like many other women of all ages, love Pinterest. I can create my perfect board with my perfect pictures of my perfect house of my perfect life. And Pinterest, my lovelies, can be a beautiful pedestal of happy thoughts that NEVER come true. Take, for instance, my favorite picture in my “Dream Home” board. This photo is of a beautiful bed with cute, comfy looking pillows and a throw that is carefully folded at the foot of the bed. The headboard, the rug, and even the hallway, look beautiful and clean and cozy. It’s lovely. I want to crawl through my laptop into that photo and curl up with a cup of tea on that bed. But. It has occurred to me (7 days into my honeymoon), that having a made bed will not be common. If ever. I have made the bed once. No, actually twice. While I am not opposed to having a made bed, I don’t think I really want to do it every day. I would just rather go drink coffee on the couch and watch Cheshire play (insert game here). Does that make me a bad wife? I sure hope not.

Another connection to the “made-bed-thing” is the “going-to-bed-thing”. Cheshire is a night owl. He doesn’t like to lay around and let his mind wander. Sometimes it goes places he doesn’t like. So instead, he’ll stay up and do something else until he gets tired enough to go to bed. I don’t mind. My dad does the same thing, and it makes perfect sense to me. You go to bed when you’re tired, not when it’s “bed time”. I, on the other hand, can get tired at 10 pm and have no problem announcing that I’m tired, and doing just what I mean to do: SLEEP. I heard once that couples should go to bed together because then they can talk to each other about their day before drifting off to dreamland. To me, that seems strange since the question arises of “what have you been doing all evening?” You should be talking to each other WAY before “bedtime for Bonzo.”

Thirdly, we’ve gone to Walmart three times to get more milk. Three. We’ve only been here 7 days and have scored through a whole gallon already. Not really surprising though, if you consider all the cookies we’ve dunked, and all the hot chocolate and coffee we’ve slurped. As someone who has been dubbed as the “baby cow” for how much milk I consume, it really should be no surprise that the two of us (the baby cow and the cat) could drain through all of that 2%.

And lastly, but not leastly: It really DID take a bit for my new title to sink in. The morning after our wedding, I found myself muttering to myself: “Wife, wife, wife. I’m a wife. This is my husband. I’m his wife. Wifey, wifey, wifey. Weird….”
And it still is weird.
BUT. It’s kind of an awesome feeling. Cheshire isn’t just my boyfriend or fiance anymore. He’s my HUSBAND. And I’m a WIFE. Makes me really happy thinking about it. Every once in a while, I’ll catch Cheshire staring at me, and when I give him a look that says, “What are YOU staring at??” He just smiles and says, “Just looking at my WIFE.”
I think it’s still kicking in for him too.

Well, now that it’s OFFICIALLY time for me to sleep, I’ll leave with this last word: Life is awesome. Freaking awesome. And the things you do and the choices you make, can really make life awesome. But honestly, it’s the people in your life that make life worth living.

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Stream of Consciousness

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.

The Last Book I Read (Day 5)

The Last Book I Read (Day 5)

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Wanna guess the last book I read? WICKED! As a theater nerd, Wicked is at the top of my list of Broadway must-see’s (closely followed by Hamilton and Next To Normal). I’ve been singing the music since high school, and after finding the books at Goodwill, I realized it was finally time to read the series that inspired the musical. I had already read Gregory Maguire’s “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” and enjoyed the twist on the classic Cinderella story. When I found out that “Wicked” was only the first in a four part series, I was excited! And THEN I found the final three at Goodwill! It took me a bit longer to find “Wicked” and when I did, I couldn’t wait to start.

Now. Let me just say this. If you enjoy the musical, and love the connection of characters  and relationship between Elphaba and Glinda, I should warn you now: The book is not like the musical. Not even close. If you loved the ending of the musical, you’ll hate the book. In fact, I was halfway through, and had to stop for a couple months just because I was so heartbroken by the “real” story in the book. When I finally picked it back up last month, I had to resolve myself to the fact that I would not be happy with what I would find.

I’ve said before that one of the keys to being a good writer, is the ability to create characters that leave an impact on the reader. That power to impact the reader and (in a way) manipulate them, is a super powerful thing.

Writing gives me peace. It gives me power. It’s violent and urgent and grotesque and REAL. I am both creator and destroyer. I am both life and death. If a character is too weak, kill them off. Make the reader suffer like I have suffered; like the character has suffered. I can offer hope on a silver tray, and then snatch it away just as quickly. That power that comes with writing is probably one of the reasons I do it. When I have no control over the pain I feel, or the emotions that have gone numb in my chest, I can write. I have control over that. Much like someone who slashes lines into their skin just to feel something, I can control everything, when I am the one writing the script. If I didn’t have my writing, I honestly don’t know if I would even be here. That’s the God-sworn truth. (Excerpt from Why I Write)

I love to write. I always have, and I hope I always will. There’s something to me about being able to create a world that doesn’t exist. I can put whoever I want into that world (including myself), and anything can happen. Not only can I create worlds, I can also invite people into them. The biggest compliment you could give to my writing is that I made you laugh out loud, hurt with my protagonist, or maybe even cry in the end. I love that by piecing words together, I create a whole new universe that has the power to seriously mess you up. In a good way. (Excerpt from Self Doubt & Other Things That Go Bump In The Night)

We’ve all seen it. The main or side character is dying. Maybe in the rain with blood streaked across their face. They’re being cradled and told “Don’t speak. You’re going to be fine!” as they choke out their final words. In movies and books, when we see a character die, there is a long moment where the tears are slipping down their cheeks as they say goodbye and then slowly drift away. But death, much like sex and exploding cars, doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. Death is quick and leaves you reeling. You think, “It all just happened so fast.” You can hardly believe you didn’t get to say goodbye. You need time to process their death and you feel numb. Gregory Maguire doesn’t write fluff. If a character dies, they die. So quickly that you wonder if you missed something. I re-read the final page of a chapter seven times and then googled it to make sure before I realized my favorite character was dead. It’s awful and the pain leaves you sitting in shock. There is no three page description of their passing into the void. They maybe get a sentence. If that.

But then again, does life offer a three page goodbye? The answer is no. No, it doesn’t. At best, death hits at the worst possible time. Gregory Maguire captures this so well in his writing. The way he treats and presents death and loss, he gives the reader no “page therapy” to work through what they just went through. There is no room to process in his pages. To do that, you have to put down the book and handle your grief in the real world.

Grief hits us all in different ways, and they even have stages worked out, so that you can better understand what you’re feeling. No one knows this better than a writer. To write good characters, to create good emotional connections, you have to understand your character and what they are feeling. The power that a writer exhibits over the creation of their character also exhibits that same power over the emotions of the reader. The more attached the reader becomes to the plot or character, the more they can be impacted by the overall story.

Whether you’re a fan of “Wicked” the musical or not, reading the book is something I would recommend. Just prepare yourself for a totally different side of The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

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“Introduction” (Day 1)

“Introduction” (Day 1)

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“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.

BUT.

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.)

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Drafts on Drafts on Drafts

My “Drafts” number of blog posts has almost reached the number of my “Published” blog posts.

Every day I open up my site and stare at those drafts and wish that they were actually something worth reading. It’s probably the reason they’re only drafts and not published yet. I’ve talked before about self doubt, and while that might have something to do with it, I think the key is that I don’t want to just write to write. I’m afraid the things that will come out will be trivial and stupid. I want to write about things that matter.

I need a subject. Something that makes me want to rant. For pages and pages.

I saw on Pinterest a page titled “31 Day Blog Challenge”. It has 31 days worth of blogging, with examples for each day.

  1. Introduction
  2. 20 Facts about me
  3. Meaning of my business name
  4. Earliest childhood memory
  5. My guilty pleasure

And the list goes on…

Part of me wants to do it because I need to get into the habit of writing every day, and also because I don’t have any other topic ideas at the moment. But the “deeper” side of me aches for substance rather than fluff. So what do I do?

I’m hoping maybe as I write trivial fluff, I’ll hit something of meaning that gives me the chance to rant about it. Hopefully.

So that’s the plan. I’m going to go through the list. Much like Julie Powell did when she blogged through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, I’m going to do it. Maybe having a goal to go one way, will lead to a whole other road of subjects I want to write about. Maybe.

I already know I won’t do this every single day. But, I’ll do my best to write one at least 5 times a week. We’ll see how that goes….

Oh! Cake!

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Lines

Lines

Sometimes I don’t know how to deal or how to function. It usually hits me out of the blue and I don’t really have it calculated down to an exact science. I wish I knew what could trigger it. I wish I could know why lines are so important or why I crave them. Isn’t that weird? I guess it only needs to matter to me that I think lines of red are so beautiful. But I’m selfish in my thinking. I hate them on others and want to kiss them away. But red lines on myself? Quite promising.

I wrote the above paragraph while trying to make sense of my brain. I still have yet to discover the key to unlocking my mind’s clockworkings, and yet the above paragraph helps. Even if it’s just to me.

I really do wish I knew what started me feeling a certain way, or what made my feelings vanish all together. I remember when I first tried to explain to my parents what my depression looked like. To them, Nothingness isn’t an emotion. And they’re right. It isn’t an emotion because you don’t feel anything. It’s the lack of emotion; the lack of all feeling whatsoever.

My dad asked if it was like a nothing box.
No.
But nothing boxes have nothing in them, right? And that’s what you’re saying, right? That you don’t feel anything. Doesn’t that just mean you aren’t thinking about anything?
No. You aren’t listening. It’s not that I’m thinking nothing, it’s that I’m feeling Nothing.

It’s like when the sun is suddenly covered with a cloud even though there’s been a cloudless sky all day. Or when you drink your coffee and discover it’s ice cold even though you JUST pulled it out of the microwave. It’s like when there are less steps than you thought, and your foot comes to contact with the ground out of nowhere. Or when you reach for a hand that you expected to be there and it isn’t. It’s like talking to a loved one and then realizing they’ve been gone for a week now, and you’re left picking up the pieces all alone.

You could be sitting in traffic, thinking of nothing in particular when you suddenly seem to wake up to discover how alone in the car you are. How still the air is. How meaningless the radio is. You aren’t sad or lonely or angry or happy or tired or excited or bored or annoyed or hurt or forgotten or anything. Just Nothing. And the Nothingness scares you. And just like attempting to wake from a nightmare by jumping off a roof or laying down on railroad tracks, you draw lines. Somewhere that no one can see how scared you got. Because pain is better than the Nothing. Anything is better than the Nothing. In that moment, driving your car off a bridge is better than the Nothing.

I wish I knew what triggered it. But I don’t. It helps to talk about it with people, though. Later, when I can feel things again, like shame and sadness, I feel like I can talk about it. But by then, usually I’m much better. Back to normal, even. Sometimes the Nothing lasts 30 minutes. Other times the Nothing lasts for weeks. My friend Jacqueline was great at helping me hide my sharp things when the Nothingness lasted for weeks. She saved me from a lot of lines in college.

Chesh hasn’t really had to deal with it much, because for some beautiful reason, the Nothing doesn’t come around like it used to. I think it has to do with feeling safe with Cheshire. Nothing can’t hurt me when his arms are around me and everything smells like applesauce. He helps me feel less alone when I re-surface from my Nothing. He calms me down and helps me breathe. And I am so thankful I have him.

I don’t have a conclusion to this post because I haven’t found a conclusion to my Nothing. Just more lines and less alone.

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