Thursday, April 21, 2011

Disjointed Ramble To Eloquent Epiphany

NOTE: Please, PLEASE read this through to the end. It's worth it, I think.

Owl City makes me want to write. I don’t know why. Maybe because he’s just so weird and the lyrics don’t exactly make much sense except they do… Maybe because my mind works in a very odd way. Who knows.
People naturally want to belong. Be accepted. Find their place in the world. They search and search and conform and change trying to fit in with certain people or make people like them. It’s never ending, it seems. And school just makes it worse. Kids try to fit in with their classmates and everything. And that continues for 12+ years of school. And then college. But college changes up the game a bit. At that point, you’ve pretty much found who you are. When you get to college you tweak a bit and finalize things and make those last shifts according to the new community. And then you declare a major and get to know others with the same major and be friends with them and eat lunch with them. It’s wonderful.
But when you get to college and it’s a bit of a bigger shift than average (like a homeschooler going to a big college or a public school kid going to a “Christ-centered learning environment” college) it makes refining the character you spent those 12+ years defining a bit more difficult.
I spent 5th grade to 12th grade at a public charter school (which basically means that we didn’t get a lot of funding). It was a shift from the private Christian school I had attended previously. And I spent those 8 years in public school floundering and struggling with my faith and swaying and solidifying my character. I went from not very committedly religious to getting baptized and joining a church. But all that time, I had become someone. The situations I was put in due to public school, the relationships I had formed me. I had created memories, done things I regretted, had my heart broken, been alone, found friends, switched friend groups, bloomed into a social butterfly so to speak, realized just how many people I knew. And most importantly, became comfortable with who I was.
When I left for college, I left behind everything I knew. I moved 5 BIG states away to a tiny Podunk town in the middle of cornfields. No joke. 1.1 square mile is this town. Well, village technically. But I left behind friends, family, love, respect, everything I had spent nearly 18 years building and finding and gathering. I knew one person at this new school. I didn’t realize it at the time but I would have to gain it all back.
I’m gunna stop right now.
And tell you all that this is nowhere near what I had planned for this blog post. I had planned to write about how I want to belong, how I want to declare a major and have a purpose… Maybe that will come.
Ok. Continue.
I probably only survived those first days, weeks and months at Cedarville because I didn’t realize that. Sure, it was rough. I wanted my mom to turn around and come pick me up. I cried myself to sleep a lot. But… I dunno. I survived.
I was put in a new environment. I was living in a hall with 18 other girls that I had never met before. I was at the bottom of the food chain again. I had to get used to new bathrooms, food, humidity (ew), living situations, relationships. I stuck close to the people I vaguely knew – girls who I had seen in my hall, girls who had introduced themselves to me, things like that. I ate lunch alone a lot, didn’t know where to sit in my classes…
I got to know new people. I sat with one girl who was in my hall but also in my Intro to Lit class. And through her, I got to know another girl who lived in my dorm. And now we’re pretty good friends. I got to know my neighbor really well. And she introduced me to her “breakfast buddy” that she got to know through eating breakfast at an absurdly early time in the morning. My little network of people grew a bit. And then I got to know people in my classes, my brother hall, more girls in my hall, etc. And it grew a little more.
And then I worked on Hello Dolly.
AHA! This is where I’ll put that bit from earlier in. ;)
Wait. Let me back up.
Through this entire networking process, I also wanted to declare a major. Just another way to network myself and get to know people and feel a sense of belonging. Somehow, I stumbled upon Theater. I think it was Prince Eric in my brother hall. Who knows. But it was a bit of interior design, fashion design, make-up, hair, being a princess… It was a bit of everything I wanted to do when I was a kid. It seemed perfect! I dove into my second semester with a couple of theater classes on my plate. One required me to work on one of the shows. I planned to work on Hello Dolly with Prince Eric. It didn’t work out that those hours would count for my class, but… That’s another blog post.
Suddenly, my hours were consumed with whip-stitching, ironing (and lots of it), hemming, and a blur of new faces. I got to know Molly and Holly and so many cast members. I felt… Justified, I guess. I was working toward something tangible. I was accomplishing something I felt was worthwhile. I was out of my little dorm room of a shell and networking. I was blooming. I was belonging.
Just read a couple of my previous blog posts to see exactly how I was doing during those weeks.
I got to know and love not only the people but the work, the atmosphere, the situations, the experience. I was there and actively participating! I was having a blast! But… I wasn’t a major. I wasn’t a minor. It wasn’t a hobby. I had very little history in theater. I had no way of justifying my being there. Everyone in authority in my life was telling me it wasn’t right or that I shouldn’t be a theater person or that I wouldn’t be good at it – that I needed something less all-consuming. I didn’t feel like I could, or should, belong. I was just there to meet requirements for a class (that didn’t work out) that I was taking to try on something that many people were telling me was foolish.
We all feel this need to belong. We all have this need to network ourselves and have relationships – friendships, significant others, family, a community that we belong to. And when you get to college, your major is one HUGE way that you do that. When I worked on Hello Dolly, often many of us would be eating transfer meals from the Hive in the hallway with cast members who were passing time before costume checks. I have a music major friend who often eats with other music majors. Sometimes I’ll have plans to eat lunch or dinner with her and then suddenly it becomes not just me and her but me and her and six random music majors that I don’t know. I think, through writing this, I have just realized why it bothers me so much. When I am eating with her and then suddenly there are so many other music people, she belongs. She understands their comments about various music professors, she understands the music lingo, she understands the certain community that comes with being a music major. I don’t. I don’t belong to that community. I’m not a part of that group. And I don’t have a major, a community, a group that I do belong to. I feel incomplete in my identity as a college student.
Major epiphany.
Haha, no pun intended.
Now I think that my secret resentment for them (them being my taco group made up of Pineapple, Mittens, and Alpie), my slight cold-shoulder treatment toward all three of them is because they belonged in a way that I didn’t. I was chalking it up to them being similar (in totally arbitrary ways) to the group of friends I had in high school that I left to random personality quirks. I knew in a way that I was the odd one in the bunch. Like the “which one of these is not like the other” puzzles you give to little kids. I was the one they were supposed to segregate out. I was the one that didn’t fit in with the rest. I knew that I did not belong in quite the same way as they did. I think it’s because of that.
I’ve only got a couple more of General Education classes left to take before I need to start taking classes relevant to my (non-existent) major. As that time grows closer, I was realizing more and more that I didn’t belong.
Now I just need to figure out where I belong. There’s a sever difference in loving the idea of something and actually loving that something. For example, I’d love to be the kind of sophisticated soul that loves tea. However, I actually hate the taste of tea. So I need to figure out if I love the idea of being a part of that elusive Theater Major community or if I actually love being a part of it. As of right now, given my current situation and my past with working on Hello Dolly and See How They Run, I really do think that I love being a part of the productions. Of seeing my name in the programs. Of seeing the jacket I hemmed the sleeves up ¼ inch (yep. It was INSANE. So tiny. And pointless in my opinion :P ) on an actor. Of being able to locate the parts of the set that I helped paint.
This started as a rather disjointed ramble and turned into a rather eloquent epiphany.
I think I am done for today.

Day 4 (version 2.0) and 5 and 6

Whoopsie! I guess I did day 4 twice.

Haha, I’ve TOTALLY fallen behind!
I think I’ve decided that April is NOT my month. Wait… March isn’t my month. April is just busy.

Days 4, 5, and 6.

Day 4 – A movie that makes you sad. Woah. Well… My heart breaks every time during Speak, Tristan and Isolde, and A Walk to Remember. Tristan and Isolde the most, probably. It lacks a very proper resolution. Unlike Speak and A Walk to Remember. They both find peace. Tristan and Isolde doesn’t have that.
(Edit: I like this one better of my two day 4 movie entries.)

Day 5 – Favorite love story in a movie. … Really? I’m a girl. I can’t pick that. Hmm… Love story. I think plenty of love stories are cute. But sometimes I just hate how they fall in love. Like… It happens too quickly or stupidly. So not Tangled or Twilight (I’m sorry. I ADORE Tangled but Rapunzel fell for Flynn in about 24 hours. That’s worse than Romeo and Juliet [the entirety of which takes place in about 72 hours]. I think it’s a wonderful story but not simply because of the love angle). Let’s see… Anastasia, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Ever After, Just Like Heaven, Stardust… That’s what I’ve got out of my own DVD collection off the top of my head. And I adore how quirky and awkward Flint and Sam’s romance is. Ever After is just sweet and true and adorable. Just Like Heaven is innocent and deep. Stardust… Possibly too mainstream. So you get animated (Cloudy With a Chance) and live action (Just Like Heaven takes the cake, I think).

Day 6 – Favorite made for TV movie. Oh, boy. I don’t know! Which ones were made for TV? You know, I don’t really know which ones were made for TV. So I’m going to go with favorite Disney Channel movie. Yes, I’m a dork and still watch Disney Channel (No, I am not some crazed Hannah Montana fan. That would be my 7 year old cousin). Well, we’ll go with best. Because that’s what I seem to remember sticking out. Jump In sticks out in my mind. (I looked up a list). I do enjoy the cheesiness of them.
But that was just a bad question for me.

Day 4 – A song that makes you sad. Well. Farewell by Yiruma can break my heart so quickly.
(Edit: I like the other post more out of both day 4 music entries.)

Day 5 – A song that reminds you of someone. I have a lot of those. Obsesion by Aventura reminds me of my best friend Jami. :) That’s a happy one.

Day 6 – A song that reminds you of somewhere. Well… I dunno? I don’t think I have one. Well, Ok. Fences by Paramore reminds me of the King Soopers that my brother used to work at. I had my headphones in one day while shopping or something and that song came on and I just broke out dancing like an idiot.

Yeah. There are those!! I’m such a visual person. I remember movies better than music… :P Oh well.
That’s it for now. I think.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 2 and 3 and 4

Day 2 and 3

Haha! I told you I’d fall behind and fail!!! :P
Ok. So. I’m gunna do… Maybe 5 today. We’ll see.

Movie: Most underrated movie.
Ooooh, hard one. Most underrated movie that I have seen? … WAIT. Neptune’s Daughter. It was made in the late 1940’s and it’s a WONDERFUL movie. You should watch it. ;P P.S. <3 RICARDO MONTALBAN.

Music: Your least favorite song.
Oh. Easy. Rebecca Black’s Friday. She gives me a whole new appreciation for Justin Beiber.

Day 3
Movie: A movie that makes you really happy.
Oh, wow. Tangled. It is my princess movie. :P Let me explain. Back home, my group of friends that I hung with in high school (they’re two years behind me) and I all picked Disney princesses to be. Danielle, my super awesome BFF cheerleading captain with the drummer boyfriend is Ariel, Liz is Cinderella, Summer is Jasmine, Danae is Belle, Chelsea is Aurora, and I… At first I was Mulan (but I’m not Asian or boyish or going to join the army… I wouldn’t mind Shang, though. (; ). Then the fairy godmother because I’m older than all of them and sort of… Well a fairy godmother to them. Then I was the magical “thing” in all their movies. Mushu, Fairy Godmother, the Genie, the 3 fairies in Sleeping Beauty, etc. Then when I heard Tangled was coming out, I claimed that one. I have fantastic hair. And it’s blonde. So I claimed Rapunzel. Now having seen it… I couldn’t be more Rapunzel. I love art, I have a strange attachment to the Sun and lights… And I want to marry Flynn Rider. So. It all works out.
Many others make me really happy. I love just about any Barbie movie (I adore the cheese), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is awesome, I adore the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the list goes on.

Music: A song that makes you happy.
Go figure. Uhh… I dunno. Haha, I could be totally lame and say a song from Tangled. That would be ironicish. … Maybe… Maybe it’s just the simple lullaby that my best friend wrote for me. Or Clair De Lune. She would always play that for me.
WAIT! You Probably Shouldn’t Move Here by Five Iron Frenzy. It’s a song about Colorado. And I LOVE Colorado. Or Flashlight (The Cullen Song) by Eleventyseven. Trust me. Just listen to it.

Ok. Fine.

Day 4
Movie: A movie that makes you sad.
Go figure.
Uhh… A Walk to Remember. Tristian and Isolde. Speak. Of all of those… Probably A Walk to Remember?

Music: A song that makes you sad.
Woah. Saw that coming.
Love Hurts and Farewell by Yiruma. Trickling by SG Wannabe (it’s Korean. It was in the Korean Drama Cinderella Man which I loved. 16ish episodes. It was really good).

The next two are more interesting. So I’ll save those. :)

It’s 11:11!

An Old Proposal (Of Sorts)

I wrote this quite some time ago. Probably 3ish years. I was a delicate, changing creature.
It's a bit different from my bedtime stories but I hope you'll enjoy it in all of it's teenage, crazy, silly, cheesyness.
Here goes.

I heard the door click open.
"Hazel, wake up!" Valery called. "Hazel!"
I stirred lightly from my warm and comfy resting spot on the couch. "Go away," I called. Snuggling back down in my make-shift bed, I sighed, still enjoying the warmth and very much wanting to go back to my dream. It had been something about Ian, hot rocks and I think a cave behind a waterfall. I'm not too great at remembering my dreams.
I had just closed my eyes and gotten comfortable when Val yelled at me again. "Hazel, come on!" She was practically right next to me. The door clicked shut. Odd. That door had to be pushed shut and Val was too close to me to have just shut it.
"Val, who else is here?"
"Aurora, Damian and Brice. We're going to the beach today, remember?"
That woke me up. "What?!" There were four people in my apartment with me asleep on the couch? Crud! "Val! Why didn't you tell me?"
"Well, I tired to," she said, pulling back my blanket. "But you were too insistent on sleeping!"
"When was this plan even decided?"
"It was Damian's idea," Val said.
He popped into my vision. "Sorry. I wanted it to be just us but somehow word got out," he took a moment to glare at his sister, "and once Val decided to come along Brice was right on board and Ash thought volleyball sounded like fun."
"Well, fine. But can you all get out while I get ready?"
Everyone filed out reluctantly except Val.
"What bathing suit are you gunna wear, Hazel? Ooh, are you gunna take a shovel and bucket so you and Damian can build a sand castle? That would be so romantic."
I let Val continue her talking while I dug around in my closet for my swimsuits. There was that cute one-piece. And the electric blue bikini Val had bought me. As I searched, my mind went back to my dream. What had I been wearing in that dream anyway? I thought hard, trying to will my mind to focus on a minute detail that it had come up with. Green. That was it. A deep green bikini that matched Ian's eyes. It had a large leafy pattern on it. Too bad I didn't have that bikini. Ian would have liked that one.
"Hey," I called to Val who was still rambling on about something, maybe Brice. "Help me choose a swimsuit."
"Huh? Oh, sure."
She didn't even seem the slightest bit offended that I'd interrupted her.
"Why don't you wear the one Aurora and I got you?"
"What?" This was news to me. "You and Ash got me a swimsuit?"
"Yeah. She said something about today being special and you'd want to look your best."
Val shrugged but pulled a suit out of her beach bag and handed it to me. It was deep red in color with a tiny, delicate floral pattern stitched in silver thread. The top had a scoop neck gathered in the middle by a silver O but was still a halter and the bottom was plain except for the matching silver O that joined it on the left side. Not nearly as pretty as the one in my dream but still very pretty.
"Do you like it? I helped Aurora pick it out."
"It's beautiful! I love it. Thanks so much."
"Well, go put it on!"
I yanked a white cover-up dress out of the pile I'd made and ran into my bathroom. A few minutes later I walked out, my hair up in a ponytail and my make-up kept to a minimum. I spun around, modeling the suit for Val.
"What do you think?"
"Darling, you look stunning!"
"Thanks! You guys did a great job picking this out!" The top was a bit shorter than I would have liked but it did look fantastic. I quickly threw the white tube top cover-up on over the suit and grabbed my beach bag (that did indeed have some buckets and shovels for making sand castles). "Let's go!"
Twenty minutes later we were all set up t the beach: We had three umbrellas, five towels laid out on the sand and 3 beach bags. Ian and Brice had brought towels but not much else. I sat back on my towel and watched Val, Ash, and Brice make a bee-line for the waves. Val was wearing a white bikini with splashes of all sorts of random colors while Ash was wearing a black one-piece halter with big circles takes out of both sides. There were silver rings at the center in the front and at the bottom of both the side cut-outs. Brice was wearing blue trunks with black stripes down the sides while Ian was wearing brown trunks with white flares with brown leaves on the sides. I turned to him to say something but his muscular back was to me though he was looking over his shoulder and holding a bottle of sunscreen out to me.
"Do you mind?"
"Uhh," I faltered. "Sure."
I shook off my jitters and squeezed some sun block onto my hand and began to rub it into his muscled back. Starting in the middle, I worked my way down his back and found a tiny tattoo on his right hip, just above the waistband of his shorts. It was a small and simple cross.
"How," I stumbled over my own words. "How long have you had this?" I pressed the cross lightly to indicate what I was talking about.
"The cross? I got that on my 18th birthday. Partly because I wanted the tattoo and partly to spite my parents."
"Huh." I smiled. Nice sentiment he had going there.
I finished rubbing the sunscreen into his shoulders before I smacked his back. "Done."
"Thanks." He turned around and smiled. "Want me to do yours?"
"There's not much skin showing. Besides, I need a tan."
I eyed the tattoo on his left pectoral. That one I knew about. The strange oval with 5 beads of color circling inside. Black, red, white, green and gold. I smiled at the meaning of it.
"Hey, wanna build a sand castle?"

I’d had her ring, of course, custom made. The engagement ring was a mass of intricate spires done in fine silver that together looked almost like a hazelnut flower (though flatter) or an artistic, silver sun though it was no larger than dime. The spires tapered down into two separate silver bands at the bottom. A small, round diamond on a simple silver band made up the center of the wedding ring, though the two could be put together and taken apart so that the simple diamond band would be her wedding ring. That is, if she would have me.
The spires were so intricate because I’d requested them that way: I wanted to have the ring made into a key for a music box. The music box maker had been very helpful and willing to try, he’d never tried to make a ring a key. He’d toiled though and finally called me in to show it to me. All I needed now was a song. Smiling, I handed him the sheet music for (Swing Life Away by Rise Against, the song Haze wanted played at her wedding) a lullaby that Ash had written for her. A few days later he called me in and showed me the box, done in silver with many swirls and white and grey gemstone beads of many shades strung on randomly. And, of course, the lock for the ring key. I wound it up, fit the key in, unlocked and listened as tiny plinks sounded out the song. After thanking the man profusely for all his hard work and paying the large sum that could keep Ash in school for well over a semester, I set off to my trip to the beach with Haze, Ash and Val.
With the extra key the box-maker had given me, I unlocked the box and set it down to play on the beach towel while Hazel, with her back turned, applied sun block. Hearing the (familiar) tune, she turned. Mouth open, ready to ask a question, no doubt, Hazel was a girl with an agenda when she saw the box. Stunned into silence, she looked from my laying body to the box and back again. “This is (my favorite song) beautiful,” she finally whispered softly, not wanting to disrupt the tune.
“I know.”
“And the box,” she still whispered. “It’s so beautiful.”
Haze waited and listened as the song continued to plink itself out, eyes fixed on the box the entire time. When the song ended, Haze had another question ready. “Is this for me? The date, the song… Did you do all this for me?”
I knew she was only talking about the situation, too modest to voice her burning curiosity about the box’s intended owner. Still, I had to make her say it. “Yes. Though Ash, Val and Brice tagging along wasn’t part of the original plan. But yes, this whole outing is all for you.”
She apparently had to know, modest or not. “And the music box?”
I sat up and stared into her eyes, causing her to sit back a bit in an attempt to avoid the intensity. “Yours. On one condition.”
Always cautious, Haze had more questions ready instead of agreeing unconditionally as I knew she would. “What?”
“Marry me,” I whispered, adverting my eyes, finally shying back myself.
Hazel’s jaw dropped and, like the intruders they were, Ash and Val ran up and dropped themselves onto two of the five towels, Brice not far behind.
“The waves,” Ash panted “are awesome.”
“Fan-tastic,” Val agreed, the single word sounding more like two.
Brice smilingly observed the scene.
Hazel’s mouth remained open and her eyes stayed fixed on the music box and the ring in my hand.
My head whipped around to catch Ash’s eyes and strongly direct her away. She finally got it and started to suggest that we leave but not before Val could get a word in edgewise.
“Hey, why does Ian have a silver hazelnut flower?”
Everyone was silent. I hadn’t been sure that anyone would be able to tell what my inspiration had been for the ring design. I guess Val did her botany homework.
“It’s a hazelnut flower” Haze half asked, half stated as if she had to get used to the idea and saying it out loud would help.
My attention immediately turned back to Haze, afraid to throw the delicate situation off balance. I was also very afraid of hurting her in any way. “Yes,” I answered, ignoring Val’s question (them both quietly).
“But Hazel always hates it when I buy her hazel-anything.”
Ash, as if reading my mind, punched Val in the arm. I bit back a smile.
“The sentiment of this one is a bit more sever, Val,” Hazel whispered, still in awe.
Full attention on Haze, I opened my mouth to apologize and attempt to make amends for my brash proposal. However, Valery, who obviously had a death wish or something today, opened her mouth again.
“What could be more sentimental than a Christmas-Birthday present?”
“He just proposed,” Ash whispered harshly in Val’s ear.
“Maybe we should leave them alone for a bit,” Brice spoke up. Bless his soul. He was probably the only one who could drag Val away from her best friend receiving a wedding proposal.
They walked away and Haze’s eyes had still yet to leave the box and ring. “Haze,” I put the ring away and put my face in her line of sight. “Haze, please say something. Say you hate me or that you want me to leave the music box and walk away myself. Just say something.”
“Why,” Haze swallowed back her whisper before finishing her sentence. “Why on earth would I say something like that to you?” Her eyes looked deep into mine with an intensity that made me feel completely known to her. “Why on earth would I tell you off when you have just done something so sweet and so thoughtful for me?”
I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to feel.
“I’d say yes even without the music box. Even without this whole event planned for me. It means a lot, yes. But it doesn’t mean more than you.” Hazel said. “It couldn’t mean more than you. The only thing I’m wondering is ‘why me,’ and ‘do you really mean it.’ (But for the one question, I have one answer.)”
I looked at Hazel shocked myself. I wanted to say something but there weren’t words. Instead, I hugged her. Hugged her tight and hugged her close. “You, Hazel Lynn Albred, are beautiful and strong and warm and accepting and so many other things that I can’t name because there aren’t names for them and that is why you. And of course I mean it. I wouldn’t be here asking you if I didn’t. There is no joke crueler and I would hope that I would never be so cruel as to play it on anyone, especially not you. Haze, I want to cheese-ily and clichĂ©-ily spend the rest of my life with you. And there are no other words to express that desire.”
“Then yes,” she answered my question. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
I was sure she had said the second sentence just to say it and hear the words out loud but it didn’t matter. I was engaged to a beautiful girl and it had gone no where near as planned but wonderful all the same. She held out her left hand and I finally took off the ring that I had accidentally run away with what seemed like so long ago and replaced it with the silver spires of Hazel’s engagement ring. I leaned over to hug her once more, deftly shutting the music box while I did so.
“You’re music box,” I presented it to her, pulling away. “My fiancĂ©.”
Smiling, she also covered a blush while taking it from my hands. After fiddling with it for a few moments, she finally asked me, frustrated how on earth she was supposed to open it (the darn thing). I took her hand and knowingly slipped the ring into the key-hole, twisted slightly and it popped open. Haze gasped.
“You,” she accused “went through all the trouble, time, and money to get a music box that this ring would open?”
I guess she wasn’t quite used to the idea of the ring being hers.
“Of course. But it was worth it.” I smirked and watched her. “This, your reaction, is priceless.”
She reached over and hit my shoulder playfully. “You jerk!”
I reacted the only way I could. Rising, I nudged her knee with my foot and raced off towards the others in the splashing waves, Haze not far behind.

… And then Haze gets a terrible sunburn. : P !!!!!