The First Seven

I have a project that I’ve slowly been working on. A project that will hopefully chronicle the growth and strength of the culture I’ve mentioned a couple times prior in this blog. When the writing course I’ve been going through prompted us to work on some character descriptions and development, I was so excited because this was the perfect shot of adrenaline that I’ve been needing.

These are all based on people that I know and love dearly. The descriptions might be embellished here and there to create more interest, but this was an incredibly fun exercise. I only made it to seven people, but I’m hoping to expand this and possibly do some extra characters each week.

She flitted from group to group as if she knew everybody. She looked young, but seemed ageless. When she chose to, she could turn those crystal blue eyes on you and flash the brightest smile like you were the greatest person on the planet and her best friend. She was free, a hippy child born far past the era she belonged to. Under the freeness, however, was a vulnerability. If you took the time to get to know her, you noticed the expressions of uncertainty that flashed across her face when nobody was really paying attention. Through it all, she loved. She loved more fiercely than anyone I had ever encountered.

He had an aura of serenity enveloping him. His smile was slow and steady, and although he looked quite young in general, his eyes were ancient. When he chose to grace someone with his undivided attention, he looked as if nothing in your soul could be hidden from him. As terrifying as that should have been, his air of total acceptance put even the most unsettled person at peace. He was attractive in the traditional sense, but there was something oddly majestic about the way he carried his tall frame. You could see that he had dealt with many demons throughout his life, but his utter acceptance and love for everybody he met was proof of his strength.

His hair was untamable. His laugh was infectious. His smile was proof of his love for life and the people he surrounded himself with. He looked like the kind of person who could instantly befriend anybody, but it betrayed a little of his uncertainty if you looked carefully.

A third man sat in the corner with his phone in one hand and a pitcher of beer in the other. He hardly glanced up at all, but when he did, there was an attitude of melancholy that radiated off of his entire self. He wore a red beanie that sometimes served as a form of armor- a protection that prevented him from being completely vulnerable.

She walked in with the guy with the untamable hair. She knew his feelings- she knew that he wished they could be together and have a happily ever after, but her actions showed that she just didn’t care if she hurt him or not. She was careless- careless in a way that many viewed as attractive, but not in a way that brings any sort of value to a community. She lived her life without remotely caring about the feelings of people who dreamed of caring for her, so she left a path of destruction in her wake.

They were the ideal rocker couple. He expressed all of his emotions through his guitar, and she showed her love and support by being front row every single time he was on stage. He was the most introspective-looking man around, one who had thoughts running through his head constantly, but was only able to express those thoughts through music. He always looked as though he was under the influence of something, which he might have been, but you could also tell he was constantly fighting demons- demons of addiction and overindulgence. She loved him despite all of this- she loved him so selflessly. It was a pure sort of love- a love that was constant and battled through the demons, a love that most people could only dream of. They shared a love that was pure despite all of the dirt that tried to fight them.

Tyler, TX- January 2015
Tyler, TX- January 2015

listening to: Portugal the Man

Happy Challenge: Round 2

A little over a month ago, I completed the 100 Happy Days challenge on my instagram. I used it as a way to count down until my trip to Alaska and as a way to make sure I appreciated as many moments as possible in those hundred days.

Challenges like this help to remind me that days are made up of different moments and experiences, and it’s our choice to focus on the good or the bad. For someone who struggled with severe depression for quite a long time, remembering to seek out the light and the good is a very important task. While it’s not a crippling fear of any sort, I do know that for someone like me, it can be easy to sink back into the unhappiness and self-isolation if I’m not conscious of my daily well-being.

All of the seriousness aside, I also enjoyed my first 100 days challenge because I started to find joy in simple things that previously I had taken for granted. A sunny day or simply having some quiet time to write became things that I learned to appreciate far more than before.

I’ve also always been known as somebody who doesn’t tend to finish what she starts. If I was even able to count how many projects I had started and hadn’t finished, I’d be appalled with myself. To say I have commitment issues is putting it lightly. To have completed the photo challenge without skipping a single day or dreading having to post a picture was a huge change for me.

Because of all of this, I decided to do a second round of 100 Happy Days. I’m only three days in as of today, and lot will be happening in the next ninety-seven days, so it should be another fun challenge. The final day (if I did my math correctly- which I didn’t do the first time) is scheduled to be December 31, so I will have moved from Germany to Texas, visited New York City with friends, seen Damien Rice and Jason Mraz in concert, visited family, and moved from Texas to Alaska by the time the hundred days are up. With all the moving and traveling that will be going on, it will also be a good way to keep me grounded.

I wanted to show off a few of my favorite moments from my first round of the challenge. I could have easily picked twice as many photos, but settled with five good memories, because they helped shape my growth during those hundred days.

day8

A few of the girls that quickly became my family while in Frankfurt. I know without a doubt that these three are lifetime friends and I wouldn’t trade our laughs and deep talks for the world.

day11

I visited Berlin for the first time nine years ago, and my visit in May this year was just as wonderful. I got to show off the unique city to my parents, and the East Side Gallery of the Berlin Wall will probably always be one of my favorite sights to visit in the world

day30

My job isn’t always just fun and playing games with the kids I watch. Sometimes, it gets very stressful and overwhelming. This Wednesday was one of those days of constant running around with no break in sight. The host mom I work for sent me out for drinks with friends, and being able to spend all night talking about everything under the sun was just what I needed.

day67

Another photo tied to a memory of a day that didn’t start out all that well. It was the 4th of July, and the only day where I was painfully homesick. I wanted to go out and celebrate with fireworks and barbecue, but without any Americans to spend the day with, I felt completely isolated. I ended up traveling to the American air force base close to where I live and spending the evening out there. It was one of those emotional days, but I ended up enjoying the evening and learning I can celebrate a holiday without needing to be surrounded by friends or family.

day90

Paris. All of Paris will be a fond life memory, but being able to just sit and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower from my friend’s apartment was the most serene I felt the entire time I was in France. Oh, to be able to go back there and spend hours writing on that balcony. A girl can always dream.

listening to: Alt-J