Monday, January 24, 2011

100 Words: Make your own happiness.

My mind goes into overdrive, and my heart collapses. I suddenly feel defeated.
But there are photographs strewn everywhere of people who love me, and they are all the proof I need to believe I can make it through anything. With a bit of prayer and those smiles gleaming back at me, I am ready.

There is a light within us all. Happiness is momentary, but joy is eminent. Joy wakes me up and gives me hope when things fall apart. So, with all I have and all of this joy, how can I be unhappy?

Make your own happiness.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011



When I first came back to town and gazed upon the campus, I was not smiling. It was vacant. I knew I would be coming back to a quiet place. If anything, I had time to reminisce. Classes were going to start Monday, and I was not looking forward to it. My books were not purchased, I was stuck believing failure was my only option in French class, and my boyfriend was sick so I could not even see him after being apart for a month. These were all pathetic complaints, and rather selfish, to some degree, and I had to push them aside, anyway. With a bit of help from Chelsea, we moved in all of my things into the narrow bedroom and I began the horrible process of unpacking. Fortunately it is not as horrible as actually packing. The walls are cream-colored, there is a lock on my door and my bed, after a few moderations and an added memory foam insert, is comfortable—as comfortable as a dorm can be, that is.

After a night and a day with silence in the room—except for the few times Chelsea disrupted it all—my roommate stepped through the door with her brother. Blonde, tall, and she seemed kind. The name was Brittany. Her brother was even taller. His head seemed well above the top of the door frame. (I could have been imagining it.) We said a few pleasantries and she moved her stuff into her room. After awhile, she closed her door and did whatever it was she did and I closed mine. There was not much sense to open my door to a world closed off from me. Some time after she was, presumably, done unpacking she left and I did not see her for the rest of the weekend; which was fine. I had not seen anyone other than Chelsea the whole time; the loneliness was not "loneliness" after some time to gather my thoughts.

It was not until Sunday people began rolling in, crowding parking lots, and taking up too much space in the halls. Before all of the students moving in, the slightest thump through the halls rattled the four floors of the residence hall in which I reside. It is not exactly a pleasant experience. However, the building and I both adjusted to the thousands of thumps echoing throughout the halls, making my peace seem less disturbed, and then the herd trampled each other and screamed and shouted and laughed and cried all throughout the halls. And the noise was so suffocating, it did not even echo, it merely became one loud whir of noises filling the once void of my weekend to myself.

Monday I woke to someone's television a floor below me, and five minutes before my actual alarm. The morning before, my alarm clock was not set, but I fell out of my bed hard enough to wake up at five—like a child who just made the transfer from a crib. I am officially frightened my children will, by God's on humorous will and my bad genes, be born with my severe lack of coordination, and a confidence at that. I got up and showered and made an attempt to get ready in time to eat. I was not successful. My classes were back-to-back and they felt like just a whirlwind of uncertainty, syllabi and new faces. Of course, that is how it always feels at the beginning of each semester, I suppose. My French teacher expected conversation and I am not one who can converse even properly in English on days like Monday. My political science teacher expects us to present as a group twice during the semester. I am already dreading it. My journalism class was what I expected, and I am trying my best to not screw it up this semester—I fell flat, as did my want to be a news writer. Students swarmed the halls, trying to make a good impression before they all either drop-out or begin sleeping in. Math was a waste of time and the teacher was unfortunately stereotypically Asian. There were lots of snickers in the back of the classroom. I pray to God they were out of her earshot.

Amidst all of this chaos, I still found time for Trey, which was a more than desired reprieve from the panic erupting from my experience in French and my realization (along with the realization of my partner from two semesters ago) that I was unprepared. Taking a semester off of a foreign language was not the best idea; as if I could have avoided it, anyway. But Trey calmed my nerves and I missed just sitting next to him and having him there. It was for no more than fifteen minutes, but it was enough to keep me going.

I went through the rest of the day as I would have last semester, and eventually met up with Eric and Christina who live conveniently down the hall from me now. I got a bite at Nathan’s and they went into the university bookstore to look for their textbooks—I was still putting it off. The day came and went, we talked and laughed, I avoided buying a drink from Starbuck’s as they had and instead took a free sample from the tray. I am sure the workers would not have been too thrilled had they paid any attention at all. Later in the evening I was picked up by Chelsea who drove to the mall and to her house just for us to sit around without any inclination as to what we really wanted to do together. We played our verbal sparring games and discussed things we could do related to art without actually doing much of it at all. It was the laziest I had been all day, though. I welcomed it with open arms.

The next day I was greeted with the warmth of sleeping-in. My schedules indicates only one evening class Tuesdays and Thursdays so I took the opportunity to be irresponsible, even though I woke at nine and had to force myself to sleep another two hours. The day went by slowly, but I found odd errands to fill the day. I bumped into people I wanted to see and some I did not. All either headed to a room out of the cold or a class, exchanging nothing but casualties with me. I swiftly went in and out of the stores on campus and back to my room to get away from the textbook-buying frenzy. Freshman and upperclassmen alike worried they would not get their book if they did not ambush the store the same as everyone else. I went in only to find my French book was still not on the shelves. The clerk said it was in transport. The class will come the same time as yesterday, tomorrow. I am more than a little worried.

The evening rolled in and I had done little-t0-nothing besides go back and forth between a couple of places and my dorm. I gathered my things, ate dinner and walked over to the hall housing my grammar class. The teacher was upbeat and nice. He, to my excitement, shares distaste for linguistic teaching such as sentence diagramming. I just hope that is not the only thing we have in common. Despite saying “um” more times than any of the class wanted to hear, he seemed relatively friendly and his PhD does not stop him from asking his class to refer to him simply by his first name. I could get used to this semester, after all.