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Thoughts on Boston

These are my thoughts on Boston. I don’t really have any recollection of what I was writing, and what I was trying to say while writing. Hopefully you will still understand.

Bad things happened in the world when I was a child. There were school shootings, robberies, murders, and acts of terrorism.

I could separate myself from these events, there was no need to care about war or evil when you are so little. I’m sure I was aware that there were “bad things” going on in my world. I was still warned that bad people lurked in dark corners, alleys, vacant parking lots. Bad things happened because bad people existed. Guns are bad. Knives are bad. Killing people is bad.

Now that I’m almost 20, I can’t begin to grasp this “bad” world that I live in. It’s no longer acceptable for me to go into my room and play with dolls, entering a fantasy world where there is peace for everyone. When I was little, this could be my escape. I could enter a different world and pretend that the things I didn’t want to exist, didn’t.

I can no longer do that. I can’t hide in my room pretending like these things don’t exist. They do, and how do I live knowing this?

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I thought of all the people I know who have kids in elementary schools. I thought of how the school district of my town cut down on security guards due to the budget. I thought of how my mom works as an aide in an elementary school, and how if there was a “Code Red” that wasn’t a drill, she would be responsible for protecting the children. I thought of what I am supposed to do when I have kids, and need to send them off the school. I don’t want them to go.

I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay inside, and pretend that the world is a place of peace. Where are my dolls when I need them?

I’ve been following the updates on the Boston explosion for days now. I don’t know what it is about this event that has made me so drained, so angered and sad. I don’t even know anyone who was at the marathon, not anyone who was hurt at least. Why should I care? I don’t live in Boston. I don’t know anyone there.

I care because I am no longer a little girl in her room. I go outside, to class, school, the store—I walk the streets alone. I am aware of the world. I am aware of these happenings. I can never forget.

I can see myself years later. I can see myself remembering that I was a young girl, too young, to witness 9/11.I will talk about Iraq, Libya, Egypt. I will talk about Sandy Hook. I will talk about Boston. What else will I talk about?

We can’t predict the future. But we are supposed to move on regardless. You live and you learn. I don’t want to live, at least not in a world like this. But what choice do I have? What choice do any of us have?

I listened to a talk show yesterday, my favorite talk show (Elvis Duran and the Morning Show), and Elvis talked about how even though it’s necessary to listen to every detail of an event like Boston’s, at some point you just need to get off the computer and pull yourself away. I can’t pull myself away.

I’m drawn to news like a moth to a light. When the light is cut off, I’m fluttering around unsure of what to do. It drives me crazy. I need that light. I need the news.

I get so angered when people sit and pick apart the media, telling me they are too involved. They are too involved, reporters are annoying, they don’t know anything, the news is bias, they cover what they want to cover (shut up shut up shut up shut up)

My professor told me I need to have a thick skin to be a reporter. I am getting there.

I used to play Call of Duty with my brother. I got pretty good at it. I liked using the machine guns that would shoot a lot of bullets in a second. I thought it was cool to scope out an enemy, the shoot them in the head from so many miles away. I could plant bombs, playing “capture the flag” in the meantime. I threw grenades hoping I would get more kills than my brother.

What the hell is wrong with me?

What’s wrong with the world we live in? Why do people target schools or malls or marathons? I will never know this answer.

Hash tags on Twitter suggest I #PrayforBoston. I don’t include this tag. I keep Boston and their people in my thoughts. The runners run through my minds, make laps in my brain. The eight-year-old is someone I can’t get out of my mind. I cried so hard when I read that article. I still cry. I will never stop crying. I don’t even know him.

I think my breaking point was this event. I just want so badly for me to walk the streets without fear. I want to walk down dark alleys in a short skirt and be safe. I want to send my kids off with no thoughts in the back of my mind (is this is the last time I will see them?!). I want to not be worried when my boyfriend walks at night with his laptop. I want to go to big parades, concerts, marathons, and be unafraid.

I have to have a thick skin. What if my writing is recognized by a big newspaper, and they send me off the a story like Boston? What if I am one of the reporters that writes a story that lets a parent know their son/daughter in Boston is okay? What if I honored Martin Richard with a moving story? What if I was at the scene, tweeting away, letting people know what was going on?

That’s what I want to do, to write and let people know what is going on. This girl is grown up. I still choose to go into my fantasy world where everyone is safe, but I am aware of the real world I live in. I want to become fearless, but I think that is something that doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe you’ll read my byline one day, and remember what I wrote here, on this day. I want to show people that we can get over our fears. That despite all the “bad things” that will not change, there are the “good things” to recognize. Good people reside in hospitals, fire stations, police stations, (and news rooms). Good things happen because good people exist. Helping hands are good. Hugs are good. Helping people is good.

‘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 

Don’t Go Towards the Light!

Living in Pennsylvania is really irksome sometimes.  Especially when it comes down to weather.  I’m not sure what it is like in other states or countries, but on the East Coast the weather is very bipolar.

It is so deceiving when the weather is terrible for a week, and then Mother Nature decides to be beautiful for a few days.  You would think this would be a good thing, but no sooner does the weather become nice, does Mother Nature snatch that wonderful sunshine-y goodness away from us.

Can I have this everyday, please and thank you?

“Ha ha, I got you now!”

I can just see her laughing.

You think that it is going to be so beautiful for a while longer, and you think, “Hey, this is the best fall ever!”  Don’t do it!  Don’t believe the rays of goodness!

The reason this comes about is that I can actually pleasantly sit on my computer without scowling at the draft that is seeping through my window.  It has been a wonderful 60 degrees this weekend, and I am sure that when this next week gets moving, it will be freezing again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this nice weather, especially during fall.  It’s just depressing because I know it will not last.

“Muahahaha….” said Mother Nature.

I’m still trying to pretend that it isn’t November.

 

Oh Barnacles: A Post for Ernest Borgnine

“Eviiiiiiil, Evvvviiiiiiiil!!!!”

This is what I thought when I heard that Ernest Borgnine, voice of Mermaid Man, passed away on Sunday.

Unless you lived under a rock like Patrick Star, Mermaid Man was a popular character in the hit Nickelodeon show, Spongebob Squarepants.  

Mermaid Man is an aging superhero who is downright hilarious, and also has a goofy sidekick called Barnacle Boy.  They had playful banter on the show, as well as Mermaid Man acting constantly confused like a typical senile old man.  I always enjoyed the episodes with Mermaid Man.  Borgnine’s voice was perfect, and really made the character come to life.

According to an article, Borgnine never retired.

Borgnine was also known for his Oscar winning acting in Marty, back in 1955.  I personally only know him from Spongebob Squarepants, but it sounds like the man had it going on.

We should take this time to relive our childhod, and watch re-runs of the classic 90’s cartoon.  I will forever love Spongebob Squarepants, and never forget the man who was Mermaid Man.

You have made many children laugh Borgnine, and for that I say, “You did it, you old coot.”

Taking Pets to the Vet is the Least Bit Purr-fect

As I countdown the minutes until I take our seven month old cat to the vet, I realize how important pets are to me.  I’ve always had fish growing up, but they don’t qualify as a pet.  We upgraded to hamsters, which are pretty fun, but they get too crazy and won’t sit still for more than a minute.  Then, we got two guinea pigs and unfortunatley (but fortunate for the kids) the one had babies.  We then had a happy family of four guinea pigs, until years later the father passed away.  We all were devastated.  He acted so much like a baby.  We could cradle him and feed him carrots, and my sister taught him how to beg.  We still have four guinea pigs, but the parents have since died.

What my family really needed was a pet that could actually be a pet.  One that could roam around the house, sleep in our beds, and relax with us on the couch.  That is when my sisters got a kitten for Christmas.  We named her Florence, after our all-time favorite musical artist, Florence and the Machine.

Since I am home at odd times because of college, I became pretty close with Florence.  As I would get ready for school she would sit on my bed or play in my room.  She is our first real pet, and we love her so!

My love for cats (obsession?) made me want to get my own kitten, and that allows me to introduce Zooey (not Zoh-ee, Zoo-ee).  I have realized that I look at our pets as part of the family, and I hold them very close to my heart.  This post may be solely for my benefit, I feel the need to keep myself occupied as I wait to take her.  We are unsure as to what is wrong with her, but she has not been acting well.  Wish her some luck, fellow cat lovers.