goals

Remember How Important 100 Is

Remember the times in elementary school when we would celebrate the “100 days of school?”

If your school didn’t do that you were missing out. It was a time when school children and faculty and teachers and parents would come together and celebrate the monumentous number that is 100 and more importantly what the number 100 means. In relation to school, 100 meant that the year was almost over, so like any sensible educational system would do, a party would be held in order to recognize what an exciting number 100 is. I remember having to bring in 100 of some sort of small item, like Cheerios or M&M’s. I would count them out at home (ever so carefully) and my mom would double check my math (which was needed). Then we would go to school and do some super-fun activity with our 100-counts of an item.

To celebrate 100 once again, because this is my 100th post on WordPress, I decided to count out, or write out (I should say) 100 things that I want to do (in no particular order of importance). It’s not a bucket list because I don’t know if a) I will want these things to happen in the future or, b) if they will indeed end up happening.

Feel free to skip around, just know I slaved over this for you, and then number 100:

Madi’s List of 100 Things She May or May Not Do

1. Read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books, short stories, etc.

2. Make fairy houses

3. Learn to not be grossed out by raw meat (touching, smelling, looking at)

4. Hold a piglet (again)

5. Buy a ceiling-high bookshelf and fill it with a lot of my favorite books, keeping them alphabetized and following the dewey decimal system

6. Get my license

7. Eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting, and don’t give a darn in the world about it

8. Own three cats at one time

9. Name pets or potential car literary characters or novelists (Zelda, Hemingway, Theodore, Ophelia, Montresor, etc.)

10. Jump off of a high rock, swing, bridge (landing in water, preferably) and yell YOLO

11. Have a bigger closet

12. Complete a marathon, race, or something, all for a good cause

13. Help a chicken cross the road

14. Keep up a blog

15. Learn to forgive

16. Learn to forget

17. Learn to love

18. Marry a really cool guy who will most likely have a good job (or can at least cook and touch raw meat)

19. Cut down on saying “like” and “um” whenever possible

20. Pretend that books are dominos and knock them down

21. Have a lemonade stand for Alex (cancer)

22. Do some yoga

23. Ride a horse

24. Master Magic the Gathering and make everyone think I’m so cool

25. Beat my boyfriend at Mancala (seriously though, he wins everytime time)

26. Pull an all-nighter

27. See Lady Gaga in concert

28. Volunteer at a food pantry

29. Host a writing workshop for kids or young adults

30. Write a novel

31. Laugh at the fact that I think I can write a novel

32. Get a chocolate facial

33. Spend a whole day with my mom

34. Donate money every month to help homeless pets

35. Pet every cat I see

36. Strive for equality

37. Graduate college

38. Consider going for my masters

39. Think of all the people that wronged me, write a song about it, and get someone who can sing better than I can

40. Become Zumba certified

41. Learn how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner

42. (to go with 41) Cook for a big group of people (and don’t cry)

43. Ponder the idea that no one will read this post

44. Donate gently used clothing to help someone who needs it

45. Pay for someone’s groceries

46. Name a ficus fern (0:50)

47. Look for the bare (bear) necessities

48. Travel to Italy

49. Accept the fact that there are bad people

50. Try a raw tomato again and see if I like it

51. Overcome my phobia of stinkbugs

52. Live in a city

53. Become a reporter

54. Write thank you notes to everyone who has impacted my life

55. Be a foster home for cats that are moving from shelter to shelter, and hopefully get some adopted

56. Read Anna Karenina 

57. Do a juice detox

58. Continue to drink immense amounts of coffee

59. Visit places on BuzzFeed’s list of areas to visit before the world ends, mainly stopping at “The Lost City of the Incas”

60. Pick up trash alongside of a highway

61. Learn to crochet

62. If 61 is completed, donate homemade crocheted scarves to homeless shelters

63. Host a 1920’s party and make everyone dress and act the roles of a famous 1920’s character (I’ll be Zelda Fitzgerald)

64. Bake a lot of cookies every winter

65. Save up money so my children can afford (so I can afford) college

66. If college tuition is higher (much higher) in the future, forget 65 and run away to a different country or planet

67. Build an igloo/snow-fort so amazing, an eskimo would shed a frozen tear

68. Get another tattoo

69. Continue collecting mugs (I think I’m almost at 100!!)

70. Listen to a Justin Bieber album (or some other artist I don’t like) and see if I can appreciate their music

71. Finish painting my room

72. Sky dive

73. Bungee jump somewhere tropical

74. Ride on one of the fastest trains in the world (take that Septa!)

75. Climb a tree to the tippy-top

76. Grow a garden

77. Write a short story for WordPress

78. Get my eyebrows waxed

79. Learn to surf

80. Take a road trip after I graduate college

81. Make a quilt

82. Quit my bad habit of biting my nails

83. Go yard sale hopping and try and find really cool things

84. Take a pottery or ceramics class

85. Swim with the manatees

86. Try one of the hottest peppers in the world

87. Go to Nifty Fifty’s (haven’t been there in probably 14 years)

88. Stay in a cool hotel just because

89. Order a coffee at Starbucks with a long name

90.  Partake in a flash mob

91. Convince everyone that I’m actually a princess from a faraway country

92. Visit museums

93. Build a tree house

94. Steal a Madison Avenue street sign

95. Eat at an expensive restaurant

96. Get a book signed by any of my favorite authors (the ones that aren’t deceased)

97.  Be on television

98.  Go dancing

99. Puddle jump in a rainstorm

100.  Be myself

Now that you’ve read this all the way through, it’s time for you to know what you’ve earned…nothing! But in all seriousness, you did get to see how cool the number 100 is. Just knowing that I’ve spent countless hours, minutes, probably well over 100, on this blog is something worth noting. See if this compares to counting out candies for your seven year old to take to class.

Those Beautiful Numbers

It is finally here. The moment we, mainly me, have all been waiting for.

It’s taken quite some time, and now that it is here, I don’t know what to say.

But, I have to say something…

What is it that I am talking about?

Well, if you look over to your right, you will see something that says “Blog Stats.” Underneath that, you will see a five-digit number. That five-digit number means that I have finally met my goal of two-plus years: 10,000 hits.

Look at Zooey, even she couldn't control her excitement for the 10,000 hits!

Look at Zooey, even she couldn’t control her excitement for the 10,000 hits!

I don’t really know what made me want 10,000 as my goal. I guess it is just a good number to aim for. I think we like numbers that have zeros in them (as long as it isn’t zero by itself!) They just seem important.

I set these odd goals because I find joy out of every like, comment, question, or recognition that someone read my blog. The fact that people care enough about me, or what I write, to stop by my page means more to me than what I am actually writing.

I know it seems a little unnecessary to hope for a certain number of hits, or likes, or whatever you want to call it. I know I shouldn’t be hoping for a number on the right side of my page, but I can’t help it. Seeing the numbers go up, seeing the comments in my dashboard, and seeing all of the people truly caring about the words on this webpage is something that can’t be monitored without numbers.

So, this moment means a lot to me. It showed me that every time I posted my link to my page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; you name it, it was worth it.

Sometimes, because I want a lot of traffic on my page, I will try and go through my old posts and purge what seems outdated or boring. But, then I stop. I shouldn’t try and correct what is already “said and done.” I should move on. I should try and become more expressive with my writing and make meaning of what I am trying to say through my words.

I think that is why I look back at all those old posts because it shows how far I have come. I saw that I had things to write about, but it wasn’t what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about loss, love, friendships, heartaches, funny moments, cats, coffee, and everything in between. I think that is one of the joys of writing. Anything is possible; you just need to right words.

This moment of recognition of making my goal of 10,000 hits is something that can’t be forgotten. As much as it seems like a stretch, it shows how much I have grown as a writer. Thanks to all my readers, you know I couldn’t have done it without you. Every writer needs an audience. I

I won’t stop writing. I look at Moore With Madi as an outlet to tell truth, share my stories, get people to laugh, and most of all, try to make it big with the written word.

‘Leaving a Mark’ on This Blank Page

Although much of my complaints is work or school work, I have to say this semester is the best one yet. My Theory of Writing course is showing me how to become a more expressive writer, critical thinker, and excel at reading between the lines.

We finished Blankets, an illustrated novel by Craig Thompson. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read something with images, think deeply, cry a little, and feel every emotion in the book (a bit ironic, right?) Long story short (again), this book is Thompson’s narration of his life, his struggles with his art, and the story of first love and disconnected families.

One moment stood out to me the most in this book, and relates mostly to current situations in my life is the following, “Even a mistake is better than nothing.” The context is that one of the characters wanted Thompson to paint for her and he was afraid he would mess up.

What stands out the most in that quote is how bold it is. While it may be in a completely different context, I still took this moment to heart. Even a mistake is better than nothing, wow, is all I could think.

We have this idea that making mistakes is such a terrible thing. But, aren’t the mistakes we make a way to make ourselves better? There’s sayings like, “Have no regrets,” and “Everything happens for a reason,” because they are true. There have been so many mistakes and regrets I have, but I take them with me and make meaning from them, much like the novel Blankets discusses.

Throughout high school I had this idea that the people I was close friends with would stay true forever. At that moment where I graduated, the only true thing I was thinking about was how the sun was directly in my eyes; giving me a migraine, but I also was thinking about how this is it. That was the moment I never had to see the people who wronged me, the people who hated me, or the people who I loved.

It sounds like such a depressing way to look at graduation, but I disliked high school so strongly. I had always been a different kind of girl, someone who wanted to stand out rather than fit in, and we all know how disconcerned people are to differences. College is a growing experience for me, and I highly recommend everyone try it once in their life. In all seriousness, it has been a time where I realized who I want to be. All I do is try and reach that goal, and at the moment, I’m doing a pretty darn good job. But, the person who I am doesn’t start and stop with me, it’s the people I have encountered and spent my life with that have shaped me.

I have found, much like Craig Thompson, that even though friendships and relationships may not last forever, the mark they have on us never truly leaves. Thompson falls in love with a girl in the novel, and even though they are young and need to discover themselves, I can’t help but feel something for them. The fact that they both make such an impact on each other, even being a teenager, is astounding. The idea that someone can make such a powerful impact on your life is true to my life. Sometimes all you want is for them to stay and be with you, but eventually you come to a point when you realize they can’t.

There have been those friends who have come and gone and have meant nothing to me, and there have been those friends who have stayed but then drifted away (college does this, I have found). There have also been those friends who still remain, and always will.

It wasn’t until very recently, I discovered that finding yourself means making sacrifices with these relationships. It’s a sad realization, cruel and bitter, but it’s also something that I needed to bring to my attention. I start my real story here, and it’s much to my satisfaction rather than all of you reading.

The falling out I recently had with someone was certainly no easy one. This person has meant more to me than any other person on this planet. She had been there through every failure, every mistake, every heartbreak, every detail of my life; she knows it. Likewise, I have been there for her every step of the way.

We have watched people come and go, laughing, saying, “That’ll never be us.” But, if there is one thing I have learned from heartbreak it is you can never predict it. You want life to be perfect, candy-coated, but in reality no one plans out the bad things that may happen.

I never thought I would have a feeling where our friendship wasn’t worth it. I never thought I would think about her constantly, miss her, wish she would text or call, wish she would just reach out. I never thought I would stop trying to connect. I knew the conversation would be mundane, the same old, “What have you been up to?” The person she was becoming and the person I have become do not match anymore. I think as harsh as it may be, if she were reading, I have grown and learned and become who I want to be and I think she is still discovering that. I know there is someone who will change her, make her who she needs to be. Or maybe she won’t ever find out.

There are these moments in our life where we can’t breathe, and it feels like we can’t do anything but sit and stare at the wall. All the memories come swirling back to you in these moments, when you want to forget but you can’t. A break up, a falling out, a death; you won’t ever forget them. You can paint over the memories but there is still that tiny spot in your mind that reminds you it’s more than a memory, it existed.

I’ve always had a hard time saying I’m sorry, or admitting my mistakes. I know I’m stubborn and I hate to be told I am wrong. But, I refuse to sacrifice what I believe in for someone else and their satisfaction. I know I have said things in my past and present that I regret. I am so sorry to everyone. I am sorry that I never went to your graduation party. I am sorry I didn’t want to go on a date with you. I am sorry you didn’t love me. I am sorry you turned out you needed a therapist and I couldn’t help you. I am sorry that we couldn’t be what we dreamed of being. I am sorry I said those mean things to you. I am sorry we are over.

Life is meaningless without mistakes. I know she thinks I made a mistake. I know she thinks that I was the worst friend anyone can have, and I know for awhile, maybe forever, she will think that. I can only thank her for the memories. Thank you, for all that you have given me and all that you will continue to give me. I will miss and always love you, like the sister you were to me. You can’t ever understand what I went through, my inner-termoil, because you never listened. It is all my fault that I couldn’t try harder to reach out, that I gave up. I wish I hadn’t given up, but it’s what I needed to do. I hope that you can understand one day.

If I could speak to her, although I think I will never be given the chance, there are so many things I would say. I could lash out and yell at her for making me look like a villain, when I know who is at fault. I know that’s what I want to do, but I think now I would say to her, if you have to be mad, be mad not at me but at the fact that we need to change. We can’t be the same person we were at 14. We will never be the same. We thought that change was an okay thing to accept into our lives, but the truth is it’s a hard concept. You can’t stop it, and you can’t predict it. We can only live from it.

I want to continue to grow, to make meaning of this life I have been given. I can’t take everyone with me on this journey. I’m constantly on this journey to find myself, and even though I think I have reached a high point in my life, I know I will never end the journey. I know I will continue to make mistakes, but I have accepted it’s a natural part of life, of living.

 

“How satisfying is it to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement–no matter how temporary.” –Craig Thompson, Blankets