friendship

Thank You Bloggers

One of my very close friends, and fellow wordpresser (see her blog here http://thoughtfullywritten.wordpress.com ) went shopping today. She’s one of those friends that no matter what you are doing or what time of the day it is, you can always have a decent conversation with her. No matter how much time goes by where we don’t talk (we blame college) whenever we get back together it’s like nothing has changed.

Anyway, we both were discussing our writing with our blogs, and I think we both agreed that one of the most important part of having a blog is caring about other avid writers. It’s one thing to manage your own blog and write everything you are feeling, several times a week. It’s another to stumble upon other writers who share the same passion as you.

I know I devote a lot of my time trying to get more followers and other people to view my site, but I think I want to spend more time viewing other blogs. I think as a writer I need to learn from others as a part of my journey to (hopeful) success.

I’ve come across so many amazing bloggers on this site. It is truly a wonderful thing to realize how many other people are out there that either share a passion for writing, or something else, or both. I love coming across blogs where the person not only is amazing writer that I can learn from, but they also share a passion for something bigger. There are so many cooking blogs, photography blogs, music blogs, and personal blogs that I have found this past year. I really wish I could meet some of you, to just shake your hand and thank you for giving other bloggers like me inspiration and courage to keep going. My friends and family have backed me up with everything I do, but without the amazing people on WordPress, I probably would have quit two years ago. So thanks to every random person who has followed me, liked my post, or shared a comment. You’re part of the reason I keep on writing.

There is Only One “You”

Sometimes I wonder what I would define as friendship. I just look at what I value in all of my closest friends. A true friend is there for you no matter what happens. Every bump in the road, they are right there beside you. They don’t judge you for who you are, or who you are becoming.

Over time, we all will change, and it’s those true friends that will stand by you through these tough times. I know that through the end of college I will become a completely different person, and I hope that I still will share good relationships with the people that mean the most to me.

I’ve realized that close friends can even do things wrong. The smallest thing can upset you in the biggest way. But, if you truly care about a person, you will not throw away the relationship. You will only try that much harder to make it better.

I know that I have said things to my friends that they may have disagreed with, or even started a fight over. I can only hope that one day they will see I have meant no harm and only have tried to make myself a better friend. I’ve found that holding things inside only makes you an angry and bitter person. It doesn’t help the relationship, only hurts it.

But sometimes telling people how you really feel is equally as bad. Sometimes when you tell someone how you really feel, whether it be for something big or small, can cause more problems than good things.

With my new year’s resolution of caring about myself and my feelings, I think that I may be misunderstood by someone close to me. I only hope that one day they can see the reason for what I have said or done. Taking care of your feelings should come first, because there is only one “you.”

Christmas is too Fast

The worst part about Christmas is that it goes by too quickly. Everything is one big blur.

You spend an entire month preparing for this one holiday.

You make sure the family can come over, or you figure out how many houses you need to visit. You make sure you can fly into a certain town the night before, or if you can drive all the way to so-and-so’s house to make it in time for dinner.

You decorate your house with garland and goofy knick knacks that only show their faces every December. You select the perfect pine, or maybe you drag one up from the basement, and fill it with every ornament that was packed away.

You watch your dad balance a stapler in his mouth as he climbs a ladder, all to string some lights that will sparkle when the sun goes down.

You make your lists and check them twice as you enter the stores, trying to find that perfect gift for your loved one. Then you go ask your boss for more hours because how the heck are you going to afford that…

You whip out every cookbook you own, call up your mom and frantically try and figure out what you should make for the eve and the day of Christmas.

Then finally, Christmas morning arrives. I don’t care how old you are, there is no way you can sleep in on Christmas morning. As you slug down the stairs (where’s the coffee?) and watch the young kids bounce into the room filled with goodies, you realize this is the moment you have been waiting for, and it doesn’t even matter that the sun isn’t up.

Soon everyone is done unwrapping and hugging, and there is still much to do on Christmas day. But the worst part is when everything winds down, and you realize the day is over. You realize the much anticipated day has arrived and left, just like that. It’s another Christmas to remember. Thankfully, everything was worth it, and now you can just start thinking about next Christmas!

 

Thankful for Thanking

Although I try to value the little things in my life everyday, it is nice to have a holiday devoted to thankfulness.  It’s great to gather with friends and family and realize the things that matter the most.

So, for all of the people who are near and dear to me, this is for you (and perhaps other fellow WordPressers can find enjoyment out of this post):

Throwback! My sisters (twins). I also have a brother, who is not pictured.

I am thankful for all of the necessities I have.  Food, water, a house, and my health.  You don’t really think about how all of that is important, but it isn’t a right that everyone has.  There are the less fortunate that may lack food or water, which some of us waste everyday.  I try to not waste food or water because I know that there are those out there would jump at the opportunity to have what I have.

I am thankful for my friends and my family.  When I have a rough day or I feel under the weather, I know there are those special people waiting for me to feel better.  Sometimes when I feel a bit sad, a hug from my mom will make it all better.  My boss knows I am coming straight from school and I don’t have time to eat, so she will sometimes bring me in a snack.  My friends always listen to my stories, no matter how long and boring they will be.  There are people out there who may have a rough home life, and they may not have loving arms to walk into after a rough day.  Some people may not have close friends to get them through the day either.  I am happy that I have both.

I am thankful for a strong relationship with my boyfriend.  I am thankful that he only lives an hour away instead of being in a

Goofiest couple there is.

different state or country.  I am happy that he has helped me on my journey to becoming a better person.  He is not only my boyfriend, but my best friend.  I know not every girl can be as lucky as I am, but I am thankful everyday for what him and I share.

I am thankful for my kitties, of course.  I know it sounds weird to be thankful for them, but they are the best pets a girl can ask for.  When you don’t have a human around you for comforting, they are there ready to comfort you.  I am thankful for the fact that I am even allowed to have a pet, and I value their warm little presences every day! Meow!

Florence and Zooey

I am thankful for the fact that I can further my education with college.  I know that not every young adult has this option.  I know that at one point I was not sure if I would even be able to go to college.  Although some days I dread going to class or I feel overwhelmed with what I have to do for school, I am thankful that I can look forward to a brighter future.

Lastly, I am thankful for my jobs.  The economy is rough, and blame whoever you want, but those of us that have jobs (no matter how small) should be thankful.  There are some people out there who struggle to get by with what they have, and I am thankful that my two small part-time jobs are helping me pay for what is important to me right now (which sometimes may include coffee in excess).

Five years later, she’s still my best friend.

These are the most important things that I am thankful for.  I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving can have a wonderful day filled with what matters the most (okay, pumpkin pie can count).  If you are in a place that does not have this holiday, I hope that you can take the time to at least think about what you value, and let them know.

 

Text This, Tech That: Where’d the Conversation Go?

It is safe to say that a majority of people have cell phones.  At&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint; they are huge companies for a reason.  Snail-mail is beyond dead.  We have the fastest way of staying connected, and it is something we should value.  One would think that because communication has become easier, staying in touch with friends and family would be simple.

Well, it’s not.

I’ll have to start at the beginning.  There are some people that I know, most of whom I do not speak with anymore, who cannot stay in touch with me even though their cell phones are glued to their hips (as the older folks say).  They have these fancy phones with huge screens, chic cases, and they are always tap tap tap-ing the day away.

It certainly is a challenge to try and strike up a conversation with people like this.  I try to make eye contact with them, but instead their eyes are popping out of the sockets to look at their tiny screens, nodding at the appropriate time just to make me think they are paying attention. 

Since the person appears to be readily available to answer a text, call or an email, you would assume getting a hold of them would  be a walk in the park.

No answer.

Maybe then you try again?

No answer.

After frantically typing profanities or calling them endlessly, you give up.  They finally realize you exist and reply with something like, “Lol sorry I didn’t have my phone on me :D”

You would think that since the person always sesms to have their phone out at any social gathering, meeting, school, or car ride, answering you would be no problem.  Yet, they seem MIA when you try to get a hold of them.

Have you known someone like this?

I have had acquaintances that groan to me about how “we never text anymore.”  Since I care about the relationships I have, I had decided to text my “friends” more often.  Yet when I would reach out to them, their messages were so mundane I wanted to hurl my phone across the room and never speak to another soul again.  We didn’t even talk about  anything.  It’s just “hahahah” this and “omg i know” that.  What is the point of making my fingers work for no reason?!  I’m tired of hearing that we don’t text anymore.  What about conversing face-to-face?  Where did it go?

I guess perhaps the reason I am so disgruntled with the texting world is because my major requires a somewhat platform of communicating with others properly.  I believe in correct grammer and work choice, and it’s a shame to see what is becoming of me because of my texting.  Everything is abbreviated and slang, and all we do is laugh.  I normally don’t “hahhahahaha” to all of my friends, but what else is there to say in the text-o-sphere?  I have no desire to waste my time talking to someone who won’t talk back.  “Lol,” “haha” and “okay,” is not a conversation in my book. 

Like my dad always says in his old-man-manner, “Cell phones are ruining the generations.  No one really wants to talk to each other, they just can.”

Dad, I may have to agree with you.  All we care about is what is happening online, or virtually, and when it comes time to talk face to face, everyone seems clueless.  Believe it or not, there is a world outside.  All we need to do is look up from our phones every once and a while.

Wanting to Go the Distance

Sometimes you just need a sappy post.  Maybe my lack of sleep and the fact that I am coming down with some sort of plague is why I am all emotional.

My friend was on the phone the other day with her fiance.  They were having a normal conversation, but I could tell they weren’t going to talk for long.  This was probably one of their last calls before he went back out to sea.  Her fiance is in the navy, and they have had a long distance relationship since the time they met. 

I think any long distance relationship is different.  There are some couples that see each other a few times a month.  Others have to go long periods of time before they can get together.  I think that when you have to set aside a day to hang out with your significant other, or drive a long distance just to hang out for a few hours, or even visit another state for them, it is considered a long distance relationship.  Basically, if you don’t have the means to see them every other day, it is long distance (purely my opinion). 

My boyfriend lives in Philadelphia and I live about an hour away from the good city of brotherly love.  He’s finishing up college, and I am in my hardest semester, juggling two jobs.  We both have very busy lives. There is no possible way to talk every second of the day, nor is it feasible to see each other every day.  I think of my relationship as long distance, but when I look at my friend’s relationship, I really can’t complain, can I?

I hate hearing a girl or guy complain about how they don’t get to see each other every day. If you live and attend the same college as each other, you shouldn’t act like you never see each other.  It is that much easier to visit or get together.  You have the convenience of being in a close proximity of each other, so if your lives are too busy and you can’t see each other, maybe you should reasses your priorities. 

Despite those complaints my friend has to hear, I know that she and her fiance must be really strong.  To have a relationship like that, where sometimes you go months without hearing from each other, is a sign of true love.  Any couple out there who has a significant other in the service, kudos to you both.  I don’t think I could ever do that.

Every time I am with my friend, and she gets a call from her navy fiance, I have to smile.  No matter what mood she is in, her brief phone call or Skype chat with him instantly cheers her up.  You have to admire couples like this.  They still manage to keep their love and admiration for each other, even at such distance.  After all, they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I think with relationships like my friend’s, and sometimes my own, you really get to appreciate the little things.  Even if you get to hang out for a day, or a couple hours, we would take that over nothing.  Sometimes it is hard, whether you are in a relationship or not, to be seperated from the people you love.  Sometimes even a day is hard.  Learning to cope with the difficulty, and having people near you who care about you, can help you more than you would ever know. 

I guess you never really know what people are going through until you truly get to know a person.  My friend has been there for me since my freshman year of college (even though I was a lowly freshman, and she was older!).  Once you get to know a person, and see them dealing with their hardships, you can really, truly respect them. 

“I am on my way – I can go the distance!
I don’t care how far – Somehow I’ll be strong
I know every mile will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere to find where I belong”

I know Hercules meant going the distant in a different way, but I love this part of the song, and reminds me of the strong relationships.

http://www.disneyclips.com/lyrics/lyrics57.html

Staying Drunk on Writing (Somewhat of a Celebratory Post)

As you are reading this, you must know that it is my 50th WordPress post.

*Applause*

Thank you, thank you.  I have been blogging since March of 2011, which to me seems so very far away!  I have definitely improved as not only a writer, but a journalist, and an individual.  But, I have still kept the backbone of who I am and who I will always be.

I thought about what would make a great 50th post.  I know it’s only 50, but I started out with a meager one-post-a-month a year ago.  Now, 54 followers later, over 7,000 hits, a Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr account to boost my ratings; I’m fairly satisfied.

Without anymore stalling, I decided to celebrate this mini stepping stone, and to do so I will enlighten all with the many interesting facts of Madi (that’s me by the way).

Let us begin…

I was named after the movie Splash.

I used to not eat bananas because a girl told me the little brown parts in the fruit were actually spider eggs, and they would hatch inside my brain.

I have three Pillow Pets.

I have a huge obsession with Winnie the Pooh, which I show with a homemade “Pooh’s Corner.”  I have stuffed animals, cards, Pez collectors, all of the books, puzzles, mugs, snow globes and paintings (I’m really an adult, I swear!)

I snort when I laugh.

I am currently reading A Game of Thrones, Franny and Zooey, Martha’s American Food, Dare Me, Shiver, Peanut Butter and Jeremy’s Best Book Ever, A Brief History of Thought, and The Consolations of Philosophy. 

I commute to college, and work part-time (even though it feels like full-time) at a library.

I love to meet new people, as long as they aren’t going to potentially kill me, stalk me, etc.

Lists are my friends.

I probably should be diagnosed with some form of OCD.  I am always organizing things, especially Colin’s room (which he never keeps clean).

I LOVE KITTIES.

Pigs are my all-time favorite animal. And manatees.

I’m really loud, laugh a lot, and of course, talk a lot.

I am addicted to coffee, and to fuel that addiction, I have a collection of mugs from a variety of places (I’m over 50 mugs!)

I want to be a reporter, work for a newspaper, and write for as long as I live.

Before deciding I wanted to write forever and a day, I wanted to be a marine biologist.  Then I got a C in biology….that career choice defused quickly.

I hate constructive criticism.

I am a girly-girl.  I wish I could wear dresses everyday.  Although, yoga pants would suffice.

I love my boyfriend Colin with my whole heart!  And all of my very close friends who read my blog and put up with my shenanigans.

I wish I could sing, paint, take amazing pictures, and could solve a math problem without crying.

I think I’m amusing.

Fin?

“I’ll show you all that I am.”
-Rob Thomas

No matter where I go in life, I will remember these weird quirks and traits I have.  I think whenever someone asks me, “Tell me something unique about yourself,” I freeze up.  What do you mean unique?  What does that mean?  So, I tell the person what they want to hear, not the funny facts like I listed.  Some people are good at sports, others science and math.  I just think I’m a charming girl a majority of the time.  Someone who is always kind to others, even when they don’t deserve it.  Someone who loves to talk, and meet others who share the same passions.  But mostly, I’m a girl who loves to write, and even at 50 posts, I know I’ll never stop.

Cheers to those who have been here for me every step of the way.  I couldn’t do this without you.

 

Life is a Highway: My Journey of Self Discovery

This is a personal reflective essay I wrote for my English class this year.  I was pretty pleased with the grade I got (an A!) and decided to share it with bloggers, and my close friends.  Hope you enjoy reading it (disclaimer: It’s pretty long!)

            My whole life I have had experiences on roads.  It could be a summer evening in a back alley with friends, a highway drive to the mall, the slow walk to high school, or a dirt path that leads to a park.  I have spent my life traveling on different paths, with different people.  Even in the movies I can relate to characters that are trying to find themselves down this road of finding one selves.  In Pixar’s Cars, the main character Lightning McQueen goes from being a hot-shot racecar driver, to having to help a small town with kind folk.  He starts off on the fast track, and has to travel down a much simpler road.  Along the way he meets a friend named Mator, who is a truck that just wants to have fun.  McQueen also falls in love with a car named Sally, who teaches him to be your own person, and not always worry about fame and fortune.  I look at my life as a journey down different paths.  McQueen and I have many things in common even though he is a fictional character.  One thing is for sure, we spend our lives trying to figure out who we are, and we are constantly on that road.

***

            My heart pounded like hooves in a stampede.  I peeled away the adhesive on the crisp, white envelope and pulled out a bulky letter.  Don’t get upset, you know what it will say.  It says no, no, no.  As I read, time stopped.  There was no way that I was conscious; I must have been in a dream.  But I kept on reading, and realized the purpose of the letter.  I was accepted.

***

            From the day I opened the acceptance letter, to every train ride, my mother was there for me every step of the way.  My attendance to college was not only a commitment to myself, but it was also a commitment to her.  I had to be willing to keep my job back home, and to make sure I saved up enough money each month to afford the commute to Delaware Valley College.  That was my commitment.  My mother on the other hand had to be willing to spend countless hours dealing with the financial aid websites and offices, scholarship websites, and FAFSA forms.  I have heard financial aid people say college students should do this on their own, but what young adult knows finances that well?  I am sure most college students do not handle all of their college funds themselves.

It’s hard for a family to afford college for their kids nowadays.  Not to mention hard for me as well.  The college work load is hard enough on its own, and adding a six-day-a-week-part-time-job is unbelievable.  My mother has helped me get through that, however.  She will make my dinner so I can have something to take to work, or she will stop at WaWa so I can pump caffeine into my system.  She’s done everything for me and I would not be in school without her.  A lot of kids that cannot afford to go to college end up going to a community college for a few years, so they can save up some money.  While I think that this is a good idea, I desperately fell in love with Del Val and wanted to go there as soon as possible.  My mother knows I would have been heartbroken if they told me I could not go to Del Val just yet.  She did not have the opportunity to go to college because her parents did not support her.  They did not get to go to college, so why should she?  Bitter, yes.  The right thing?  No.  My mother surely had the brains, just not the ability to do anything with them.  That is why she spends so much time trying to find reasonable loans for me to take out, and tries her best to be able to put me through college.  She wants me to have the life she could not have.

People focus on the bad things they experience in life, when they should focus on all the positive things that happen.  My mother has to constantly be happier for other people, where sometimes she wants to be happy herself.  The greatest joy she sees is her children getting things in life that she never would, or will.  Although it may be hard for my family, I know that I should be happy that I at least have the opportunity to go to college.  While I may not get to go on trips, or shop every day, I know that I am becoming a more responsible adult managing my funding for better usage.  My mother has helped me realize that you cannot give up, even when it seems like everything in your life is an obstacle.  She has taught me to look at the positive things in life, which has made me persevere even in my toughest moments.  She will always be there for me, and she has helped me travel down the right path.  I can see a sign that says, “Driven Students: Head This Way.”  I know what turn I am making today.

***

            I was not always on the right path.  Sometimes as a young kid I got involved with the wrong crowd.  I was never a delinquent, but I did some typical acts of a disobedient child.  I had a friend who would trick me into doing things that I was not supposed to.  One time when we went to go get our nails done, she said we would have to walk down this road, past a WaWa.  My mother told me not to go past the WaWa because it was too busy and dangerous.  My friend convinced me it was not that far down, and that we would not get in trouble.  Of course, the nail salon was farther down the road than I was allowed, and my parents were not happy.  I felt ashamed as I looked down at my brightly lacquered red nails.  I had disappointed my mother, and she was the last one I wanted to hurt.  From then on I made sure I asked my parents if going down a certain street was acceptable.  I did not want to end up on the wrong road, in a heap of trouble.

***

            Entering high school, I merged into a different group of friends.  They acted silly and laughed a lot, just like me.  However, I still did not have that “best friend” like a lot of teenagers did.  I was in English class one day, and scanned the room to look at the students I would be associating myself with for the next few months.  That is when I met that “best friend,” and her name is Courtney.  Nobody calls her that; she likes to be called Court.  That is just one of the many things that we have similar.  We both have nicknames, like the color purple, and prefer Chinese food even though it makes us sick.  We fit that stereotypical best friend status.  She has been in my life for three years, and I do not think she will ever go away.  Unlike most of my friends, Court has been there for everything I have experienced.  Every fight with a parent, every boy-crush that failed, every wardrobe malfunction, and anything else in-between.  Court is just a girl that wants to have fun, much like Mator is in the movie Cars.  Mator is a happy-go-lucky car that has a great sense of humor and just wants to have a good time.  Court is very similar to Mator.  I however, can be compared to McQueen.  Before McQueen met Mator, he hung out with hot-shot cars that cared more about money than they did friendship.  Before I met Court, I cared about what others thought and how I dressed, instead of worrying about having a fun time.  McQueen and I both needed to meet our best friends and travel down a different path.  We needed something new. Besides being best friends, Court and I are also dreamers.  I want to have a career that is difficult to get into, and so does she.  While I am a writer, and she a musician, we both experience similar let-downs and disappointments in life.  People are always telling us our music and writing isn’t good enough, and that are dreams are too far-fetched.  But we are always pushing forward, and we never give up.  We are each other’s support systems.

***

            Court went out of her way to read my posts on my blog, and even set up an account so she could read them in her email account.  That encouraged me the most because I knew some people actually cared about what I was writing.  While most friends briefly scrolled through the website, Court thoroughly read it and told others about it.  Thanks to her, I have over 4,000 views on my page.  It may be a small amount, but it is nice to know that someone cares about something I love.  Of course I return the favor and support her with her music career.  She has always supported me and made me believe in myself.  She helped me travel down this path of perseverance, and taught me to never give up.  I am still on that path.

As I continue down the road, trying to figure out who I am supposed to be, Court is there with me every step of the way.  She has always been the more confident one in our duet, and I always looked up to her in that way.  I would get jealous (in a non-serious way) that she would have guys flock to her, practically begging for her number.  She radiates confidence, and people are attracted to that.  However, I was the sheep dog, and the guys ran away from me like cattle in a field.  It took a while for me to be the lucky one.

***

            I got a job at a library back in May 2010, the summer before my senior year of high school.  I threw on some yoga pants, and a shirt, and trekked off to work down the road, in the hot June heat.  Who gets excited for work on a Friday?  I certainly was not on that day.

***

            Little did I know that Friday would be the best shift of my life, because that day I had met my current boyfriend Colin.  As I look back on the day we met, I think of how I looked in those casual clothes.  I was always the kind of girl to have perfectly coordinated outfits, and to make sure my face and hair looked “perfect.”  Colin did not need all of that.  He fell in love with me from my natural beauty and my personality.  Colin helped strengthen that confidence that I had longed to have.

As a young adolescent, I seldom cared what others thought of me.  I loved who I was.  I loved how I snorted when I laughed, my one tooth that was too far back, and how I was the smallest kid in my grade.  But with the transition to high school, I found kids were more interested in being “cool,” then having a personality.  I was always the girl who was too outspoken, and too full of life.  I remember laughing with a guy and he put his finger over my mouth to shush me, and told me I was talking too much.  I became focused on what others thought of me, and I lost sight of who I was becoming.  I was on the road that was leading to my individuality, but I took a back road, and got lost.  Becoming Colin’s girlfriend, and best friend, allowed me to love myself again.  He taught me that we are our own unique person, and if we try to change that we are not ourselves.  He knew I was destined to be something great, I just needed to see it for myself.  I should accept how I look, and embrace it.  I cannot be somebody I see in a magazine, or on the streets.  I can only be myself, and that is what I am trying to figure out throughout my years.  Who am I supposed to be?

Everyone has that one person in their life that they can go to at any time of the day, and know that they will always be there for them.  I am lucky because I have three people in my life that will always be there for me, and have been from the start.  I do believe that we go through life traveling on roads.  As we are young, the roads are dirt paths and back alleys, where we are carefree and can go wherever way we choose.  As we get older, we see the forks in the road.  Do I choose left, or right?  We have to make those decisions that could be right or wrong, and could render us in the wrong direction.   We may have to turn around, and start over, but it is all a part of life.  In our adult lives, we travel down busy highways, filled with confusing exit signs and colorful street signs.  From the time I headed out on that dirt road, to my current state headed on the highway, I realize that I have turned into a young woman who is continuing to find her individuality.  I am shooting for my dream job, no matter what people say to me.  I will persevere through my life even though I am faced with many obstacles every day.  I will love myself for who I am, and who I am becoming.  The road can end wherever you want it to, or you can continue traveling for miles.  You will always find out new things about yourself, and your friends and family.  Go ahead and bring your loved ones on the road with you.

I know I will.