sadness

Summer

Her eyes tried to focus on the spreadsheet that was opened up on her laptop, but she was too anxious. Her heart fluttered and she felt lightheaded every time she looked at the time. She tried focusing on each cell, slowly adding data to the columns, avoiding the righthand corner where the clock ticked. Her lunch break was coming up and she knew she would have to talk to him.

Kiss me hard before you go*

After she saved her document, she saw him stand up and walk over to her desk and heard him say he was going to get lunch, as expected.

Summertime sadness

“Are you coming with me?” he asked.

“Yes.”

They walked to his car and drove to a sandwich shop the town over. The radio played softly, but it was loud enough to drown out the beating of her heart which she was sure he could hear.

I just wanted you to know

 He pulled into a parking spot and turned off the car. She started to get out and he put a hand on her shoulder.

“Wait,” he whispered.

She looked at him, and waited.

“I just want you to know that I care about you. But this opportunity is what I need, and I have to take it. I’m sorry,” he paused. “What we have is special, but this is all I can give. You deserve more.”

“I understand, really, don’t worry about me,” she forced a smile on her face.

They got out and ordered sandwiches, the same way they did every Thursday. Except it was the last Thursday he was working in the office, and she never saw him again.

 That baby you’re the best

* “Summertime Sadness” Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

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 

Everything Passes With Time

It is a sad day in the Moore family. Unexpectedly, one of our guinea pigs, mine to be more specific, has passed away. It was the last of the “original four” guinea pigs we have had.

His name was Cheech. He was a skittish Abyssinian guinea pig that loved carrots and his building block hideout.

It’s a funny story how Cheech (and his brother) came into our house. My sisters had gotten an exciting gift of guinea pigs, probably around their eighth birthday. Since they are twins, that means double the pig and double the fun!

Their names were Chilli and Cha-Chi. I’m not sure where those names came about, but I had the feeling my parents were part of the persuasion.

Of course, pet store employees don’t have credentials, and it turns out Chilli was a boy, and Cha-Chi a girl. And we all know what happens when you mix a boy and a girl together. Clearly, there is no sex-ed for rodents.

Some time later, Cha-Chi gave birth to two adorable baby guinea pigs (both male, we checked). My brother and I were delighted because now we both could have our very own guinea pigs. So as you already know, Cheech was mine, and my brother named his Ozzy (again, do you think there was parental persuasion?).

We had some great times growing up with our guinea pigs. They were one happy, rolly-polly and fuzzy family. They loved to eat grass in the sun, and they weeped around in our hallway as they playfully chased each other. We called this “The Running of the Pigs.”

After the other three died, Cheech remained. He had some other friends of course, what, you thought we wouldn’t get more pigs? Although, the original four is where it all started.

As we get older, I think we fail to neglect childhood memories, which sometimes may be pets. As a child, having a small pet like a hamster or a fish is the greatest thing in the world. As we get older, we tend to lose the excitement we once felt. Although it is never truly lost, just dormant. Those memories are still there, and so is that excitement. The memories come out of dormancy once we realize that they are gone. Then all we want is to go back in time.

Of course, just because I was older and my priorities changed, my guinea pig was not left in the basement to starve. My mother took great care of all of our guinea pigs because she loved them, probably more than we loved them.

All my siblings, and I, have our memories now. The memories are more than just the pet, it is everything else that came with the pet. It’s having to go and clean them out on a hot summer’s day and making an event out of it. It’s cutting up vegetables in the kitchen for the guinea pigs to enjoy. It’s begging our mom to let us do the “Running of the Pigs,” and video taping our laughter. It’s carefully watching the mama guinea pig give birth, trying our hardest not to make a sound.

It’s our childhood, my childhood. It is the knowing that time has passed, and it is time that we will never get back. I just wish I had realized how important those memories are, because maybe I would have cherished them a little harder.

Rest easy, Cheech.

 

Nothing Left to Say: My Heart is With Sandy Hook

There are so many things I want to say about the recent, and tragic events in Connecticut. Each time it has been shown on the news, or my Twitter or Facebook feed, my stomach has twisted up in knots. I have been meaning to write about how precious life is, both for my sake and others. I cannot imagine being a mother, or even a sibling or relative, who lives in Newtown, Connecticut. What these people have just gone through is unrealistic. Every time I read about deaths in the newspaper, or online, I can’t think of it as real. I can’t believe it and I try not to. But it is real. I will spare you the details of what has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. If you are not up to speed on the happenings, please do so. It is important to know the whole story. It is also important to realize that these shootings, these massacres, have to end. How many times will we have to connect the dots, and determine how truly mentally ill a killer was? How many times will we hear, “We never thought he would turn out that way.” How many lives will be lost until we realize we have a serious problem relating to the gun laws? The President mentioned “meaningful action” will be taken, to which a reporter said that it should be immediate action. I agree. The gun laws have always been overlooked, and there have been cases where people have tried to fix the gun laws, but nothing has been done. I get it. You want protection, and you deserve that right. You want to hunt too, which I have begun to support more since my school has a lot of students to do so. Sometimes in life, the things we want the most can’t always come so easily. People want to own guns, and I think a majority want it quick and fast. They don’t want waiting periods or background checks, or perhaps even mental health tests. And who would want to go through all that trouble? I can assure you that all of the parents, relatives and friends of lives lost at Sandy Hook would go through that trouble. Although, I am sure all they really want is their 5-10 year olds back. If something is not done about the gun laws, I don’t know what will happen. How many more schools will be taken over? How many reputations of institutes ruined? How many young lives destroyed, or gone forever? It saddens me to think that government officials, or whoever is in charge of the gun laws, would rather push this under the rug, then deal with it. Think about it logically. Is it right that anyone (of the age with state identification) can purchase something that kills oh so easily? Does the drive to face a problem have to start with high schoolers and end with toddlers getting murdered? I’m not pointing the blame at one organization, one group of people. It is our nation as a whole that has failed to pay attention to this ongoing problem. I never thought of even bringing up the gun laws in a blog post. It’s as taboo as abortion, or politics. People will argue with you for the sake of arguing, and many fail to see reason in your side. I want people to have their guns, and I want people to be able to continue hunting, a pastime many enjoy. I also want my future kids to be able to go to public school without fear. I want to be able to tell them all the great stories about school, not Columbine or Virginia Tech massacres. Perhaps we need to make a test so that before you purchase a gun, you can be evaluated to see if you are “unstable.” It is easy to pretend you are “healthy.” And if someone who seemed “a little off” came into your store and wanted to purchase something as expensive as an assault rifle, would you turn them down? Many may read this and only see that I have slightly bashed the gun laws. But read between the lines. What am I really saying? Am I just some girl who thinks she can write whatever democratic piece of crap she wants? Do I even have any say in this matter? Of course I do. I have younger sisters, and I couldn’t imagine being at my college and getting a phone call from my mom saying, “Something has happened at the junior high school…” I just honestly couldn’t imagine what I would do. Just this year someone “suspicious with a gun” was walking on DelVal’s campus (turns out it was just a paintball gun). My boyfriend’s friend lived in Colorado over the summer, and when I heard about the Aurora shooting, I instantly thought of him. I knew he liked comics and video games, and I was sure he would have seen Batman. Thankfully, he was a few hours away from the town. Most importantly, when I read about how 1st graders were told to cover their eyes so they wouldn’t see blood and glass, I can’t help but feel sympathetic. What are your views? Do you think nothing should be done? Is there anything we can do? Should we leave it up to government officials, or in the hands of parents and guardians to watch over their children so they do not develop a mental illness? I want change, and now, more than ever, is the time.