Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday Night Lights

The night was full of smiles, loud music, video games and too much caffeine. The room was full of old friends and new friends. And despite smoke being blown into every pore of my body from the cheap Winston's of which "tasted like ass," according to one boy there still making smoke rings because his wallet would not allow a trip for his favorite brand, I could not have chosen a better lasting memory for the end of my summer. I am certain it is the last time our large group will see each other again, collectively, before the sun rises to autumn. As a result of the adventure and drama that occurred over this season's expanse, I have even more people to which I can return on the few weekends I have to sneak away from campus. They make me smile. They give me a reason to sincerely laugh. That is all I ultimately ask. A life of only humoring others leaves little time for genuine enjoyment of one's own. And I like killing two birds with one stone.

The host's parents arrived home tired and kicked the bulk of us out of their humble home only an hour after midnight. I proceeded with three others to the park where we would be until 4:30 in the morning. In this town, the only lights on this Friday night were the few headlights whizzing by and one baseball field still lit up due to an unforeseen overtime lasting into the wee hours of the morning. Rescued from the smells of smoke and my ears now adjusting to the normal silence of the night, I was perfectly content to sit on the park bench with these three guys--my best friends--and do nothing but talk. Talk about the nothings of our short lives that made us laugh and swap war stories of the folks back home from which we were running, hiding in the shadows of the longest night I can remember spending with someones.

I was just trying to savor it all.

It was not until 5:30 I arrived home. The sky was already beginning to brighten and I still wreaked of smoke and the pancakes we ate at a nearby diner before deciding to call it a night. My pillow felt fluffier than I remembered; as if the cotton stuffing was made of clouds meant to carry me away for the next 12 hours of sleep. The afternoon was alive and bright when I awoke, and my family had already started their day without me. With the stench of yesterday still glued to my shell, I threw on some jeans and went out the door for my meager needs and routines of a Saturday afternoon: grocery shopping with my stepmother. There I would be bored out of my mind, but relaxed and happy. Sometimes, shopping to stay alive is not quite as bad as others make it seem. All you need is a complete grocery list and the discernment to know which brand is the best peanut butter. I am going to miss this--the late nights and the grocery shopping. At school, I am on my own for it all. Between exams, no one has time for such luxuries as togetherness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Everyone Changes

***Here I go again with bold writing... Today's post inspired by Hellolyndsey's latest blog post, "The Evolution of Hellolyndsey."***

The past few years have been more recognizably considered the "defining years" of my life. With small changes in the length of my hair and my style of dress, I have likewise been on quite the distinguishable journey with my emotions and how I carry myself. And as I press forward, onto my more definitive years of adulthood, little traces of who I was then follow me now, reminding me of where I have been, and the person I want to be.

Three years ago, I would not have been so easily persuaded to walk away from a fight or to ignore the small things. While I cannot always suppress said feelings with my younger brother--natural sibling rivalry, I suppose--I am better about not saying every thought that passes through my mind. Three years ago, I was a homebody, and my only form of rebellion to aspects of life I pretended I enjoyed, was by dying the bottom-most layer of my hair blue with cheap, jarred, semi-permanent hair dye. This, of course, eventually faded to green and I found myself too lazy to even buy more of the blue gunk to cover the mess. My punk style from middle school had yet to leave my wardrobe, and I was falling to some of the more trendy style-mergers of the time: plaid shirts and Converse shoes. I wore the shoes down to the soles, learning every block and alley to my hometown in existence at the time, and even tracing my steps through the dirtier parts of Atlanta. I would even adventure through wooded areas and endanger myself near train tracks just for a good picture. Photography and writing had consumed me in ways I did not conceive possible at the time.

Two years ago, I had no intentions to think seriously of college. I knew it was in my future, but I did not bother stressing over it. My photography was advertised more cleverly during this time, and it was from that I discovered the downfall to advertising: business. My art was no longer art, but a service, and it was shortly after I cut off the requests and all offers to take pictures. I quickly lost interest in the news photography department of the school newspaper. My inspiration and will dwindled and all I could do was turn back to my true love, writing. It was from two years on the school newspaper I knew in what direction I wished to write and I knew what I had to do to get there. I took the precautions my friends had made and took the right steps to get to a place perfect for me. After graduation, I packed my bags, and, for the first time, moved far away from home.

Over the past year, I spent time in a new town, and felt more alone than I had in a long time. But it was not the type of loneliness one writes in a cliché song. It was a peaceful time to myself to contemplate and learn. The people I met along the way only made my time there more enjoyable and taught me more than they probably realized. It was a place my new Converse were allowed to explore. A town full of a different kind of life and breeding. I took more pictures there than I had at home in just one year. I found out just what it means to have a personal style. I found it in my clothes and in my art. If it were not for that town, I would have stayed in a rut and would only be dreaming, never doing. There is a difference between taking a rejuvenating vacation somewhere and coming home, and planting your feet in new ground. That town is my second-home, and I found out this summer I cannot leave it so easily and never look back. I had to fight just so I could return.

Life moves forward even if I am not there to witness it. And I am sure I have missed a lot with the friends I made in that town. However, I am glad I got away from the coffee addiction and textbooks and came back to familiarity where life moves in strange patterns, but I am always comfortable, and it never moves so quickly I feel left behind. This is home. And when I have to go back to school and use my brain for more than the sloth routine I have become accustomed here, I will be thankful for the chance to miss home again. On campus, I find inspiration and surmounts of motivation. And when I go back, I can only hope for a rekindling of the fire life lit under me while I was there. I hate leaving, but it is not forever. In a couple of weeks, it will simply be a repeat of what I experienced last year, when I left for one of the biggest moves of my life.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When Everything Is Falling Apart

***So, this blog post follows some of my more recent, personal posts, but I take back nothing I have said with those posts, because those posts involve situations I do not regret, but lead up to this problem with an unrelated, third party. And, I may have used this picture before, but I do not quite remember. I just know that the title of this photograph I took is called "Frost Bitten" and felt rather appropriate. Hopefully, I won't have a disclaimer or something to say before every blog post from now until I die. I'd like to stop the bold-writing.***

I hate those moments when I realize just how capable I am of making mistakes; those moments when I realize I am just another thin-skinned human being like the rest of them—pathetic, small, selfish and insecure.

I am seeing where some of my friends were not really the best people with which to keep company. It is a slow process everyone must endure. However, instead of dealing with the situation at hand, I just walked away. No words, no good-bye letter. I just left. The one I left did not ask questions and he has yet to try and keep in contact. He has not wondered where I have been. And while I do not care, because it really makes me happier that I am no longer pulled down by him, it is sad to see how much I seemed to really matter. After I ran, I felt relieved to not have him around, and a part of me, not being used to being able to just run away from those that have hurt me or just cause me great frustration and the possible future of a tumor on my left temple (small joke), liked being able to just walk away and not look back.

And I think I never thought about the consequences.

I have been making big errors in judgment lately with my friends. My running away shares great semblance with the same selfishness I just expressed to my friend tonight when I felt she had been lying to me. She had her reasons for keeping things from me, and it was not just me, it was everyone, and I had no right to point it out to her unless she wanted me to know--and she did not. I was not thinking about her, I was thinking about myself. I have my own secrets that no one will ever learn. Everybody gets one chance to do be selfish, and I am hoping I will not go over my making-an-ass-of-myself quota for my lifetime, because I do not like how I felt afterward. Especially after a friend of mine messaged me and we started talking; he just had to be right--the "great advice giver" (me, being slightly less humble since assigning such a title to myself) was wrong and had to take advice from someone else for a change. And if it had not been for his words, and his faith in the girl whose friendship with me might be permanently damaged, I would still be mad and selfish.

But I am not anymore... I am just sorry.

I can never just walk away, and there is no such thing as having the final word. And eventually, that friend will realize that I am not there, and he will probably wonder where I am, and I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do then. For all I really know, he could just be too busy to talk, and he is not trying to be negligent (as much as I still agree I made the right move in that particular situation).

Regardless, she was my best friend, and I hope she still is by morning. But my hopes are not high anymore. I rarely let my temper flare. In fact, most of the time, I am too stone-cold and when something does hit me, I can only cry about it, because it has festered for too long. But with this friend I considered so dear at one point in my life, I found myself wanting to just run away, and when I thought she was lying to me, I remember telling myself, "You just wanted a reason to get out of the friendship, anyway. This is your chance." And part of me still believes such a thing, but for different reasons now. I have gone from wanting to keep everyone close, to wanting to rid myself of everyone I know. I got too caught up in running away and too selfish with my feelings of relief. Sometimes, I am going to despise someone I love dearly, but I will get over it. Not everything is perfect. I am sure I have been despised in the past. If not, I have despised myself for much longer and for enough people to fill a stadium.

For a split second in my life, because three weeks is a mere blink of an eye, I refused to fight and I refused to make things work. If it was not what I liked, I would leave, and now here I am, having to face the selfish decisions I have made, uncertain that I have someone to call a best friend. I have always been the type to have more than one best friend. But even having another one to which I can turn, does not make losing another any easier. And when it is my fault, all I can do is hope the tears run out and I can sleep for a night. Because I, the queen of passion and one who is ruled by her emotions, turned them all off so I could fulfill some selfish void I had yet to fill in my short life. All I can say now is I am happy to have learned this lesson, and caught myself before the summer ended on such a bitter note, even if it is just a little too late.