Friday, October 6, 2017

Senior Updates I


It's already a month and a half into senior year, and the fact that I'm a senior still hasn't gotten any less weird. It's been crazy, and things have gotten super overwhelming recently, but overall it's gone pretty well. I know that soon, I'm going to blink and the semester is going to be over, and then I'm going to blink again and find myself at graduation, so I just want to try to enjoy everything as it comes.

I'm sorry if this post isn't remotely coherent my brain is so fried.

If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a complete memory hoarder. One of the things that I knew at the beginning of the year was that I wanted to try my best to remember everything that happens this year. I was inspired by my lovely friend Rachel's series last year to write a series of senior year updates here on the blog. I apologize in advance if they bore you to death, but I'm excited to be able to look back on these later.

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L A T E L Y

School has been going well so far. I have a fairly light load for senior year, thank goodness, and classes have been going well for the most part. I've been doing a decent job of getting assignments done early instead of waiting until the last minute, and it's definitely saving my sanity. Here's hoping that this lasts for the rest of the year!

because gifs just make things better

Theatre wise, things have been busy prepping for our fall play. I'm in charge of props, which I always love doing. It's crazy, but it's a lot of fun. We only have a couple weeks left, which always is nerve wracking, but it's super exciting! We've also started working on some choreography pieces for our Christmas show, and I'm pumped. I think they're going to be really, really good. Fingers crossed!

Here on the blog, I've been kind of absent, which I hate, but I've had to devote my attention to other things, and I'm learning that that's okay. I did share two posts that I really loved, though, so if you missed them, you should totally check them out. For Suicide Awareness Month, I joined with Elissa for her "Stay" series, and shared something that's super close to my heart. Then, later in the month...I GOT TO MEET AIMEE!! It was the most wonderful thing ever, and I miss her already. ♥

In smaller happy life-y things, we had a bouquet of sunflowers in our kitchen for a week, and it added so much sunshine to life. I finally managed to find a planner that I love, and that's just been an overall highlight. Elevation Worship's music is a blessing to life and basically is what keeps me sane at this point. A terrible group project is *finally* coming to an end, and I could cry tears of joy. Overall, my schedule has been ridiculously busy, but it's been peppered with lots of small, happy moments, so I'm thankful for that.

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G O A L S

-Rewrite rewrite rewrite rewrite REWRITE. So far it's not going super well, but I really want to get this second draft finished.

-Outline for NaNo. I haven't decided which project I want to work on yet, but I'm determined to take part in NaNo again. 

-Survive the SAT. I'm taking it a second time, and I can officially say that standardized testing is the worst.

-LOTS OF SNAIL MAIL!! I have so many people that I want to send some snail mail, but I just haven't had the chance yet. Several super sweet friends sent me things this past month, and I hope you all know that you made me cry happy tears and I love you very much. :') ♥

-College apps. They have to happen and I'm absolutely dreading it, but it's got to be done. 

-Start a habit tracker. I finally got a new planner (!!!!), and it comes with a few sheets of graph paper every month, so I want to use those pages to start a couple bullet journal type pages, including a habit tracker.  

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R E A D - S E P T E M B E R

Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston- Not a bad book, but not one of my absolute favorites. It's written very stylistically similar to Austen, but it just wasn't a book that I loved.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams- I had to read this play for school. It's actually really good, with a ton of fantastic subtext. Naturally, reading it for school always dulls things a bit because you have to worry about whether you're comprehending it correctly, but it really is a good play.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway- I've wanted to read this forever, but I was really disappointed. I wanted to like it so badly, but I just didn't enjoy it at all.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger- Honestly, I loved this book. It's not a super deep read or anything, and if you're looking for a clean book, this isn't the best option, but oh my goodness it is hilarious. It was just so entertaining, I couldn't help but love it. A definite guilty pleasure.

Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner- I ended up DNF'ing this one. It just wasn't a book that I enjoyed. The writing style wasn't my favorite, and the plot went in a far different direction than what I expected. Just not one that I was a fan of.

We'll Meet Again by Mary Higgins Clark- I'm still in the middle of this one, but so far it's really good. I love Mary Higgins Clark novels, and this one has not disappointed.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman- And now we have arrived at the reason that I haven't finished We'll Meet Again. My friend Aimee absolutely blessed my life by sending me a copy of this book, and I have fallen in love. It. Is. So. Good. It's intense and it's sobering and it's thought provoking and it's absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.


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L I S T E N I N G

Car Radio- Twenty-Øne Piløts
I Won't Let You Go- Switchfoot
CAGES- NEEDTOBREATHE
Sun- Sleeping at Last
Here as in Heaven- Elevation Worship
How to Save a Life- The Fray
10,000 Miles- Sleeping at Last
Ireland- Legally Blonde
Stones Under Rushing Water- NEEDTOBREATHE
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic- Sleeping at Last

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So, tell me- how has life been going for you lately? What's been making you smile? What have you been reading and listening to? I want to hear everything! HAVE AN ABSOLUTELY LOVELY DAY, MY FRIEND! ♥

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The First Impressions Project #2 // Aimee

hello yes don't i have such a cute fren

Sometimes, internet friends become in-person friends, and it's the most wonderful thing ever. 

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Honestly, I could not tell you how I started talking to Aimee if my life depended on it. Neither of us can remember. We've been reading each other's blogs for over a year, but I feel like it was really only in the last six months that we started to talk a lot. (Aimee, if I'm completely wrong here please forgive me.) This began, as many fantastic internet friendships do, through Twitter. We soon after realized that we had a mutual love for writing letters, and Twitter developed into snail mail. Then, through a rather complicated chain of events, we realized that we were going to end up within a couple of hours of each other, and The Great Fren Meetup was planned. 

It was the absolute most lovely thing. 

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Last month, I posted about getting to hang out with Mary Shelley. A lot of you seemed to enjoy this post, which I dubbed The First Impressions Project, and so I thought that I'd bring you along for my adventure with Aimee. (Because you all need to see what a fantastic human she is.)

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Aimee is one of the coolest, most genuine humans that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Some people you just click with, and Aimee is one of those people. I learned lots of things in the four hours that we got to hang out. I learned that we have the same Starbucks order. (A java chip frappuccino, in case you're curious.) I learned that she is the absolute QUEEN of Pinterest, and if you are not following her, you need to be, because her boards are so aesthetic, I can't handle it. I learned that we both have a habit of sitting in chairs any way but the traditional way. I learned that she is much better at taking selfies than I am. And I learned that she is just overall an absolutely wonderful person. (Even though I already knew that tbh.) Aimee is one of the most passionate, driven people that I've ever known, and I love that about her. She told me about her different projects, and it was honestly the coolest thing to listen to all of her amazing ideas. You're going to see her novels in a bookstore one day, I guarantee it. She is honest and straightforward and blunt, but she is also so super kind. She has an endless list of book recommendations, and talking stories with her is one of the most fun things ever. She is so encouraging and will get super excited about your stories with you and for some crazy reason get mad at you when you're being mean to the lovely characters. She will also then discuss the best forms of hidden knives with you, so she has no room to talk. xD I could ramble for ages about how unbelievably awesome Aimee is, but we'd be here all day, so I will just say this- I am so thankful to have her as a friend. She is such a lovely human, and if you don't know her, you are missing out. I love you so much, Aimee! ♥

↠↠ FOLLOW HER↞↞




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

STAY



hi.

i don't know you, not really

and you don't know me

not really

but i do know something about you

you were born to run

it's woven into your veins, as innate as breathing

"the fight or flight instinct", science teachers tell us

our reaction to stress or fear

and sometimes, you're just too tired to fight

so you take flight

you run and run and just want to keep running, trying to escape the echoes in your head

and you're gasping, not knowing where to go, just knowing that you've got to run, got to get away

stay

stay, darling, stay

when it all feels like too much

and you can't see two feet in front of you

and everything is closing in

stay

i know i know i know it's hard

and you don't want to fight anymore

because what's the point? it never gets better, so what's the point? what else is there to do?

stay

because let me tell you a secret

you're not going to be stuck here forever. you're not trapped in the dark forever. light breaks through, night turns to day, and that string pulled tight around your lungs breaks and you can finally breathe.

but how can you feel the warmth of the light on your skin if you don't stay?

stay

stay, because there is hope. stay, because there is joy. stay, because there is healing.

stay

stay, because the number of people who love you far surpasses anything you would probably even imagine. stay, because there are sunsets that you still haven't seen and music you still haven't listened to and adventures you still haven't had. stay, because you have so many more things to do. so many people to meet. stay for those dreams still curled up inside you. stories to write, places to go, things to create. stay, because even when everything feels like it's falling apart, you have a heavenly Father who loves you more than you are physically capable of comprehending and wants nothing more than to gather you in His arms, who has so many plans for you. Who has a future for you. Who created all of the stars and constellations and oceans and rivers and skies, and still knows the number of hairs on your head, because you are His, and He calls you His child.

stay

stay, darling, stay.

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It is estimated by the World Health Organization that one person dies by suicide every forty seconds. That number is staggering. My heart breaks for every individual who even has those thoughts enter their head, and even more for those who have chosen to end their lives because they didn't see another option. Those who couldn't bring themselves to stay. For all of those who have been left behind to deal with losing sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends, loved ones. I've personally witnessed friends grapple with the devastating effects of suicide, and I've seen how mind-blowingly difficult it is. There are not words to properly express how serious of an issue this is, and how deeply I wish that no one would ever have to go through that again. That people would see that suicide is not the answer.

As you may be aware, this week is National Suicide Prevention Week in America. About a month ago, my dear friend Elissa reached out to me with an idea to spread awareness about this issue. After dealing firsthand with the crippling pain of losing a friend to suicide eleven months ago, she discovered To Write Love On Her Arms, a really great organization who made their theme for this year's National Suicide Prevention Week "Stay". Elissa wanted to spread this message across the blogosphere, and I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it. She is sharing posts every day on this topic on her blog, and I really encourage you to head over there and check it out. I also really want to encourage you to spread the message as well. Write a blog post. Take a picture of you holding a sign with a reason to stay, or the word "stay" written on your hand, and post it on social media. Talk to your friends about it. Let's keep this going, even after National Suicide Prevention Week is over. 

In the words of To Write Love On Her Arms-

"Stay. Find what you were made for."



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hello, Senior Year


I have had so much trouble writing this post. 

I've come back to this document time and time again over the course of the last four days, and here I am, on Wednesday, when this post is supposed to be published, still unsure of how to get the words out.

This post has been on my calendar for a month, yet I still don't know what to say and how to say it.

And honestly, I think it's because I still don't know how to feel.

Tomorrow is the first day of senior year. 

The final first day of high school. The culmination of the last eleven years.

Senior year.

The year that I've been looking up at for as long as I can remember. The seniors were always so intimidating, and now all of a sudden...I'm one of them. It doesn't feel like I should be here yet. I still feel like that quiet freshman, not someone who's old enough to drive and get a job and choose a college. I guess it's just weird to know for years that something's coming, and to finally be there.

It's almost like even though you know in your brain that yes, senior year is a part of life, you almost don't expect it to come. Which makes no sense, but it's the best way I know to describe it. I would say that in a way it feels right, because I've gone through the last three years, I've made it to this point, but it still doesn't. Maybe it's one of those things that you just have to get used to.

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I've always dreaded the thought of senior year coming. Whenever my friends would sigh and talk about how they were just so ready to graduate and be done, I would laugh and nod. Inwardly, however, I would think, I'm not. The thought of having to leave my safety bubble and go out into a whole new environment filled with new people and new experiences has always scared me to death. I'm a creature of habit. I hate change with everything in me, and graduating brings on every change imaginable.

And yet at the same time..I'm getting closer to being okay with it. Don't worry I'm still terrified. I haven't undergone a complete personality alteration. But I mean...everything changes constantly, whether you graduate or not. This summer has been full of things changing, and so honestly, graduating won't be a massive difference. It will be different, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that it won't be horrible and it won't be the end of the world. It will hold lots of new things, scary things, but also really good things. Opportunities and experiences. So for now I'm trying to focus on that. Which is totally just my way of avoiding thinking about all of the things and people I'm going to miss like crazy, but y'know, it works.

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I honestly don't know what this year is going to look like. I'm sure that it will be busy, and I'm sure it will be stressful, and there's a high likelihood that I'm going to be a nostalgic mess. But I really don't know all of the specifics yet, which is strange for an obsessive planner like myself. It's been kind of hard not knowing and having things change and whatnot, but I'm doing my best to just wait and see what the year has to hold. And naturally, me being me, I'm setting goals for myself. Whether or not I'll actually reach them, I don't know yet, but I'm going to set them. Maybe I'll do a post on that later? We'll see. But I'm trying to stay calm, and stay positive, and be excited. After all, senior year only happens once. And even if it doesn't meet a single one of my expectations, and even if it's a hot mess, train wreck of a year, I want to be excited, and I want to enjoy the year. I don't want to put so much pressure on anything that it stresses me out like crazy. I guess that's my biggest thing. I don't want to look back on senior year and just remember how stressful it was, y'know? I want to be able to have good memories of the year. 

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So here I am. Nervous and curious and wondering and excited and ready. As ready as I'll ever be, anyways. I'm thinking of following in Rachel's footsteps and doing a senior year updates series ever so often, if y'all would be interested in following along. I'm sure that it's going to be an adventure. 

Hello, Senior Year. Let's do this.