Silly Little Girls

I’ve been wanting to use this blog for more than just a place to spill all of my thoughts out. I’ve been wanting to also use it as a way to share some of my writing in an attempt to become more comfortable with people other than myself reading it.

I will never claim to be a poet. In fact, I’m already dreading any future poetry classes I’ll need to take for my degree, and those are quite a ways off. I’m much more comfortable writing in essay form or even short stories. Poetry is probably my least favorite of all writing styles for me. I love reading works by others, but it’s not something I enjoy doing for myself.

But I’m trying. I’m making an effort and branching out. Experimenting with other mediums is what creating art is all about.

This is part of a collection I’ve been working on for over a year. Mostly inspired by my experiences, some just inspired by observation, I want it to eventually be a solid representation of the counterculture I had the privilege of being around the past thirteen months or so

Silly little girls.
You naive, pretty things.
One day, you’ll learn. One day, it won’t be all sugar and dancing anymore.

Silly little girls.
You who know almost nothing of true hardship and suffering.
You love things you’ve yet to understand.

You stand, you cheer, you shout praises for the man on the stage.
When he screams from the front of the room, it’s partially for the recognition, but most of all, it’s to expose his soul.
He shouts pain, for darkness and struggle are his prided muses.
He pleads for someone, anyone, to bring him the drugs, and your praise is deafening.
Your adoration is blind.

This is what he claims to want- this blind celebration.
Without it, his intentional anguish means nothing.
Without it, his self-inflicted torment is for naught.

Take heed. Be careful. Count yourself lucky for not knowing that pain.
For one day, the world could come crashing in.
Those easy days could turn into a long-forgotten fantasy.
Treasure the good, the calm, the innocent.
Take hold of your own soul.
You can’t know that you’re giving parts of your own self away until you’re running on empty.
At least then, when the word master weaves his web of tormented phrases on stage, you can feel at one with his words.
Just wait.
You’ll see.

Tyler, TX - Summer 2015
Tyler, TX – Summer 2015

listening to: Damien Rice

Back Again

I’m moving soon. I realize I’ve declared an intention of moving before and not followed through with it, but this is a move that is 100% for me and nobody else. It’s a move to reflect the changing of life seasons, a move of growth, and a move of necessity.

In 2006, I visited Fayetteville, Arkansas for the first time on a campus tour during Thanksgiving break. I think I fell in love with the town just in the drive up there. There are all sorts of winding road for the last hour of the drive, and during that time of year, all the hills are covered in red, orange, and yellow trees. For a girl who had been stuck in Texas for five years, the idea of living somewhere where seasons existed was a dream. The University of Arkansas was the only school I even applied to when it came to college, mostly because I’ve got a major stubborn streak and was determined to only go there for school.

Fayetteville was a town I chose just for me. It’s the town where I first began to come into my own. I experienced so many firsts, both good and bad, but every first is interwoven with growth. I think there are some places that are somehow tailored to fit a person’s personality, and Fayetteville is one of those towns for me.

After my divorce, I moved back to Texas for a month before spending most of 2014 in Germany. I remember crying as I drove away from Fayetteville, not because of the divorce or some of the broken relationships tied into that, but because I was leaving a place that truly felt like home. I’ve visited a few times since then, and that strange combination of peace and excitement washes over me during every drive up there.

I’ve now been back in Tyler for ten long months. Ten months of adjusting. Ten months of struggle. Ten months of fighting that depression-monster again. However, it’s also been ten months of learning who I am. Ten months of finding what truly makes me heart happy. Ten months of growing into the person I want to be. It’s been a strange ten months, but I think that it’s a chapter in my life that needs to end as soon as possible. It’s necessary for the growth of the character, but you struggle through every word.

I’m taking control of my story. In just about two months, I’ll be moving back to Fayetteville. This week, I started back to school in the form of one online class, and in the spring, I’ll be back to going to school full time. It’s going to be a struggle. I’ve never been very good with going to class or studying or even really staying disciplined enough to complete many things, but I’ve got a long-term goal this time. I got accepted into the English department, studying a combination of creative writing and journalism, which is a perfect fit for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to translate that degree into a job in the editing/writing/publishing industry back in Frankfurt in a couple years.

To say I’m nervous would be an understatement. I’m scared of so many things. I’m scared that I won’t do as well in my classes as I hope. I’m worried that school will wear on my psyche again. More than anything, I’m terrified that the depression that has been consistently lurking in the semi-shadows these past few months will step out and try to take over my life again. However, I think that this is the best time in my life to do this, to take these chances. I’ve got nothing tying me down, no reason to keep me where I am. In any case, moving back to Fayetteville is a temporary step in the grand process of moving back to Germany. And anything that can allow me to live in Germany for more of a full-time experience has to be worth the effort.

Old Main at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas - May 2015
Old Main at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas – May 2015

Love and Writing

One of my favorite quotes lately is one that I discovered reading Donald Miller’s newest book, Scary Close: “Being afraid to love and being paralyzed at the keyboard both involve a fear of being known, a fear of making mistakes, a fear of being found lacking.”

I’ve been working through this idea of writing a collection of short stories based on some character descriptions I did a couple months ago. However, as I delve deeper and deeper into these different story threads, the harder I find it to continue. The paragraphs I originally did were all based on people I know and have come to love, but I’ve been wanting to take those characters and fictionalize them a bit more to create more interesting narratives. However, their stories are already interesting. The struggles and the triumphs that I’ve seen them go through are incredible, so I’ve found myself writing much more truth than fiction.

I’m an observer. Even if I can’t claim to be talented at much else, I know that I’m good at reading the emotions in a room and understanding the back stories that shape people. That’s partially why I’ve come to love writing so much…because I can use that skill. However, in stories, not everybody can have a favorable role. There has to be conflict, there has to be struggle, there have to be antagonists. And this is where I’ve hit a wall. I want to write as exposed and vulnerable as possible, but the people that will read these stories first are the ones who inspired the characters, and it worries me to think about the fact that some of them might not appreciate the path I want to take those characters down.

Most of all, sometimes I fear that writing a character that is inspired by some of my life experiences might paint a too-real picture of myself, and the people who really understand how to read between the lines might decide I’m too much, too complicated, and filled with too many issues to really invest time in anymore.

It seems like I’ve been struggling with this thought process more this week than I have in some time. Wednesday night, it hit a boiling point. It was one of those moments that I actually verbalized the reasons behind why I don’t think I’ll ever find someone who can actually stick with me through all the bad, why I absolutely do not want to have children, and basically just word-vomited all of my insecurities out to two people (one being a complete stranger, and the other being a person who I used to exhaust myself wanting to impress). The more that I’ve reflected over those hours of excruciating emotional pain, the more I’ve realized that it’s not as much of an issue of trusting somebody else to love me, but it’s the worry that I’ve lost the ability to wholeheartedly care for someone the way that I want to. The worry that there will always be fears to hold me back, and the idea that I could cause someone even a fraction of the pain that shoots through my heart and soul.

The more I read the quote at the beginning of this post, the more it resonates with me. It is a fear of being known. It is a fear of making mistakes. It is a fear of not measuring up. It’s a debilitating fear.

Bluebonnets at Black Rock Park, Texas - April 2015
Bluebonnets at Black Rock Park, Texas – April 2015

listening to: eastmountainsouth

Making Sense of Late-Night Musings (and Something About A Crush)

I get a lot of my blog post ideas late at night, but they don’t often make too much sense. For example, I met a girl this week who opened with the line, “I’m really good at making out” and my mind was blown. Maybe I’m just a bit old fashioned, or maybe just somewhat reserved, but I don’t ever recall a situation where stating that fact gets you lots of high quality friends. So I came home and started the beginning of a micro-story attempting to understand the psyche behind her…at 3 in the morning. Needless to say, I fell asleep before finishing and woke up completely lost as to where to go next.

That same night, I was somehow mixed in this feud of friends. This has been going on for quite some time and it almost physically hurts to see people on both sides of the issue that I care for deeply that just keep hurting each other. In my private journals, I’ve been exploring friendships and what that idea actually means. That still hasn’t gone much of anywhere yet either.

Rewind a couple more weeks, and I’d started a piece all about my dad and all these crazy stories I’ve just learned about him involving the 1950s, a tiny town out in West Texas, and a bunch of synchronized cherry bombs. This guy, the one who’s always been such a stickler for the rules and kept a stoic face for the majority of my life, was a hilarious teenager.

Most recently, I woke up a couple mornings ago with a message on my phone (from myself, of course) that read, “THE END OF A CRUSH. WRITE IT. BLOG IT. DON’T FORGET IT.” I obviously felt that this topic was incredibly important in the moment, but all week, I’ve been struggling to expand on the idea.

It’s true that for the past several months, I’ve been dealing with a bit of a crush on this guy that I know. It’s been a strange experience, a feeling I haven’t had often. While I’ve had feelings for various people and felt emotional connections throughout the years, this was the first crush I’d had in seven years.

I’ve never enjoyed the word “crush” because it’s far too accurate for describing the emotional state involved. It’s the overwhelming sense of excitement when he says he wants to spend time together followed by the even stronger feeling of being let down when he just doesn’t show up. It’s literally a crushing feeling, and it’s not enjoyable in any way.

The odd thing is that one day I woke up and could almost physically feel the relief crash over me when I realized that nothing was to come out of this crush. I had known this in my mind, but the self that is in control of emotions kept whispering “maybe the next time, maybe he’ll change, maybe the timing is just bad.” Despite my mind, my emotions kept my heart hopeful, but at some point my mind had become fed up and shut off the ability to feel anything but a friendship for him.

I’ve been so emotionally fragile in other parts of my life lately that I find the switch in feelings quite beautiful. The way the mind can protect from harmful things is fascinating to me, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. It was just as if my mind snapped back into control, slapped me in the fact with a curt “get over it”, and the rest of my being followed suit.

As with the rest of my writing lately, my thoughts on the subject just end there. They end abruptly. Even my journal entries have paragraphs and paragraphs of musing, then just trail off without a conclusion of my thoughts. Perhaps I really enjoy cliffhangers. Perhaps I like the experience of someone’s mind ingesting the ideas I write about and then taking off on their own with a different thought process. Or maybe I’m just lazy and never finish the things that I start. That’s the most likely explanation.

Old Main at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas - May 2015
Old Main at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas – May 2015

listening to: Letts

I write to…

Even without meaning to, there are always reasons behind every action that we make. We might not be aware of them at the time, and sometimes it takes a lot of reflection to decipher our own mind’s intentions, but they’re there if you dwell on them long enough. Thinking about why I’m so passionate about writing and why I want to make it my life lead to a few reasons why I spend so much time holed up with a pen, a journal, my computer, and some music; why I write.

I write to make sense. My thoughts are so often jumbled and disorganized and don’t make a single drop of sense. However, when I get those thoughts and emotions out on paper, everything makes a little more sense. When I can re-read my thoughts, I can find motives and reasons behind actions.

I write to remember. I make the same mistakes over and over and over again. I feel like I’ve fallen in love with the same person three different times, but writing down all the experiences the last time around has helped me keep a more practical view. My memory hasn’t been the same after a hit to the head several years ago, and writing keeps me on track.

I write to inspire. I’m not good at a lot of things. In fact, I’m pretty terrible at most things. The one thing I’m good at is writing to be relatable. In everything I write, I want people that might be struggling to know that they aren’t alone. I want people to feel like they can conquer their demons because I’m doing an okay job at that through writing.

I write for therapy. I write because putting my hurt into words helps to remove myself from a bit of the pain. There’s something wonderful in the healing process of looking back to when the pain was fresh and seeing how you’ve made it through the worst parts.

I write because I have to. I write because if I don’t, I get incredibly irritable and cranky. I get frustrated and rude. I get so emotional, but when I finally get that pen and paper back out, the bad feelings just flood out of me and I feel peace and contentment again.

I write to keep myself sane.

A collection of journals, stories, and poems
A collection of journals, stories, and poems

listening to: Muse, Father John Misty