Rainy, Reflection

When the truth is, I’m just getting started.

The potential for a Texas snow day when I was a kiddo was a sacred thing. Everyone knew about even the slightest possibility of wintry weather the night before, and I went to sleep with my fingers crossed, hoping my parents would wake me in the morning and tell me school was cancelled. And when morning inevitably came, I ate my cereal staring at the scrolling list of school closures, willing mine to appear in true Matilda mind-control form. I remember watching every name of the entire list multiple times, just to be sure I didn’t blink for a moment too long. And once or twice a year, the roads would freeze just enough to scare all of us into staying in for the day, or at least until ten when it would warm up enough to melt the ice, but leave the sloshy, frozen mess for us to have snowy/dirt-ball fights and build, let’s be honest, some very, very pathetic snowmen. But to me, those days were perfection.

My freshman year of college, we had an entire week cancelled due to what we melodramatically referred to as Snowpocalypse, a winter storm that covered the roads with ice and didn’t unfreeze for the entire week. I was living in the dorms at the time and we all spent the week watching day-long movie marathons and eating Ramen noodles. My roommate and I made a treacherous afternoon hike across the icy roads and sidewalks to a grocery store nearby, and I learned how to make snow ice-cream with condensed milk and vanilla extract.

I’m particularly clumsy in the rain, let alone the frozen kind. So when I pushed my front door open this morning, fumbling to balance my bicycle and the backpack full of books falling off my shoulder, and saw that my little stoop was covered with a thin layer of snow, I turned around and thought nah, better not. I traded my barely-warm-enough-to-be-considered-gloves for the real deal and spent an extra twenty minutes walking to work, breathing in the quiet morning.

As you may have learned from my post last week, winter and I aren’t exactly closely acquainted. I would happily live in parts of the world where winter is a season that passes  quickly and shows little sign of its presence. Wintertime in Texas means the formerly green and living world blends to a dull beige, which is a lot like summer, but everything feels a little heavier. Like Oskar and his heavy boots. And I feel a little lonelier, which I hate to talk about but maybe you feel the same.  And I say this because we only speak of loneliness when we’re laughing about our Netflix-watching habits, ice cream over-consumption, and late-night cigarettes. But winter is a little lonelier, and maybe Spring is like “the end of missing someone,” or if nothing else, a little more alive.

In any case, we’re not friends, winter and I. And while it was far earlier than I wanted to be awake and out of my cosy (and warm) sanctuary, the beautiful morning felt like a personal peace offering from Mr. Winter himself to this grumpy cold-weather-hating twenty-one-year-old. It felt like my own, however selfish and frivolous, and the snowy morning mostly melted away early before most of this little town was awake.

It was beautiful, and maybe even a bit magical, cliché and all. I was thankful to be reminded that while my love of winter is more of a one-morning stand with snow, it’s something that makes the tiny speck of life I get to call my own feel a little less heavy.

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Reflection, Relevant, Remembering, Ridiculous

‘Round My Hometown

It’s interesting going to college in my hometown. I say interesting because that’s the word we use when things are neither good nor bad. And I suppose Denton, TX is my hometown, although I don’t know if I’ve acknowledged it as such until recently. I don’t have any family here or anywhere close to here besides my parents and sister. And as a whole, looking to generalizations about Texas and Texans, I don’t see where I fit in. But in this quirky little town that, in reality, is not all that little anymore, I certainly found a place. And I love it most when I feel I’ve made a home here as a young adult, separate from the one I grew up in.

I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about home lately. Summer and winter breaks from classes prompt this, with old friends and acquaintances returning from school or their newly-established homes to visit family. College towns have seasons like beach towns and ski resorts do, instead marked by the beginning and end of the semester, not the weather. The local coffee shops close early, streets around the university are empty, and the bars become filled with Dentonites, those of us who stuck around and those who come back.

You find yourself in restaurants and grungy bars with people you once shared bleachers and classrooms with. Everyone looks a little worn around the edges, even you. Especially you, it seems. In any case, you don’t know how you’re supposed to feel about them. Obligation? Regret for not keeping in touch? Complete apathy? To complicate matters even more, your college friends will mix with your high school friends. The girl you studied abroad with works at a Victoria’s Secret with a girl from high school who you recently deleted from Facebook, so that’s awkward. While they seem to be two worlds completely, space and time has continued as it always does completely outside of your life.

I vividly remember the summer before I began college, before many of my friends moved to various parts of the country for college. I was scared of change and probably still am, but I wasn’t worried about losing my friends. I thought the ones that mattered wouldn’t disappear, nor would our friendships. And the people I lost touch with wouldn’t be a huge loss or we (presumably) would have worked harder to stay friends.

But growing up is never that easy, and growing apart is certainly not painless.

As I’m about to begin my last semester as an undergraduate, with plans to move away in a few short months, I’m realizing more and more that sometimes we change as individuals too much for our friendships to survive solely because of history, of shared experiences from our pasts, of once being friends. It takes hard work, and sometimes it can’t possibly work. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do plan to continue working on a few goals I set for myself in the middle of last year, one of which was to not keep friends out of obligation. You may disagree with me on this one, but I decided that friendship was too important to me to reduce to facebook stalking and a text message on their birthday. While it’s not ideal, I think it’s okay that we get caught up in the lives directly in front of us, and that work and school keep us so busy that we don’t acknowledge each other for months at a time. I am certainly not immune and I have many friends where this is the case. But what is there behind all of that is a mutual level of care, an understanding that we’re invested in the other, we think about each other, and there is love motivating a friendship, not obligation to something that once was.

***

I remember how our worlds once connected, how they intertwined so tightly I never imagined they would ever do otherwise. But I want to both recognize how they once did and no longer do, to be kind to one another, but not regret the directions we’ve moved. We forget the capabilities of time to change us, neither for better or worse, just significantly. In this town, everyone seems to know everyone. But in reality, no one really knows anyone at all. We may not know each other at all.

But if we want, we could re-meet, without presuming we know everything about each other because we shared hallways and glances across tables of coffee shops four years ago. As lame and aphoristic as it sounds, I think friendships begin with discovery, and that’s a pretty spectacular thing worth shooting for.
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Rainy, Reflection

Has time driven our season away? Cause that’s the way it seems.

I think this is the longest blogging break I’ve taken in quite some time. It was certainly not a planned hiatus. I suppose I’ve been recovering from all the writing I did for the end of the semester and the first wave of grad school applications (wave two unfortunately comes in a few days). I have a handful of beginnings of posts I jotted down in my notes when I didn’t have time to write during finals week. I’ll sift through those and hopefully find some substantial things to say here soon. We’ll see, I suppose. For the first time in a very long time, I haven’t been writing at all. I have been doing lots of other lovely things though.

I woke up Christmas morning to loud thunder of an early storm. The dreary morning was met by a crazy cold wind that blew in mid day and turned the heavy rain to snow and we had the afternoon to enjoy a beautiful white Christmas, an extremely rare thing in Denton, TX. And because of how rarely it snows, of course, we’re not exactly prepared to drive in it. I made a treacherous trip as the leftover puddles from the morning and the newly fallen snow began sticking to the roads to go take care of a couple pupsters I’m babysitting right now. I was moderately terrified. I mean, when in the five years I’ve been old enough to drive would I have had any practice driving in snow/on ice? The answer is never. Luckily, I survived and took a few pictures along the way. I hope you and your families/friends have enjoyed and continue to enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate! Life is pretty grand, guys.

This is as good a time as any to mention the links on the right. If you like seeing little bits of my life including a few of the hand-lettered doodles I spend far too much of my time making, you should check out le instagram. It’s fun and sometimes I take pictures of pretty things like making Christmas cookies or sweet animals. I almost never tweet, but my sister and I took a bus to Houston last week and I live-tweeted things I overheard on the bus. So if any of that sounds mildly fascinating to you, the options are yours!

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Rainy

Sunsetday

I have my first big story of the semester due tomorrow, but i’m coming out of the writing cave just long enough to write this post.

I wish I carried my big camera with me at all times. Fortunately my iPhone usually does the job pretty well. After a cool, rainy weekend, the sky greeted us for a few moments this evening with the most beautiful of rainbows and an incredible sunset to end this week and begin another.

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Relevant

To you, and you, and you all

Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart becomes more and more relevant as months pass and I get comfy as a twenty-something.  I listen to it over and over again, stalk youtube for new live versions, and refuse to delete the video I took when I saw them in Houston. Julia and I learned this song months ago, and since then, it’s been my absolute favorite to play, but only with her. I can’t sing it alone. No words I type here could come close to expressing how wonderful it is making music with this girl. So much love.

 

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Ridiculous

Missed Connections Poetry

If you’ve never experienced the magic that is the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist, you’re truly missing out on a vital part of life. Missed connections are an extremely intriguing thing to me. For one, is anyone actually successful at finding whoever they post about? And who thinks to even do this? You know you’re a creep (or just really desperate) if you post a missed connection on Craigslist. Truth. I think you’d have to be equally as creepy and desperate if you’re looking at missed connections to see if one is about you. So, inspired by this bizzarre practice, I bring you Missed Connections Poetry. I went through the missed connection posts that came up on Craigslist when I searched Denton (just to narrow my search down a bit) and found these three gems from which I wrote three poems. The poems are most effective if you read the listings first. I hope you find this as ridiculous as I did.

Not a Mini-van Man

Lookin’ good working drive-thru
of that Chicken Express,
I smiled, you were shy
I hope I made your day better nonetheless.

The extra dough I dished was a surprise to you,
More than twenty percent for that box in yellow.
For you, I’ll be eating fried chicken every day.
Girl, you made me a happy fellow.

Red-light Conversations

Over the river and through the woods
To grandmother’s house you were trying to go.
My lane you were taking, you turn signal was ‘a breaking,
Like an asshole, I said “Whoa.”

I didn’t mean to be rude,
I hope you’ll accept my apology
With drinks and dinner or both,
Maybe we’ll talk about human biology…if you know what I mean.

Cheeseballing Whore

No Oedipus Complex here
To the ground is where you fell,
Knocking out your teeth,
Bitch, I hope you burn in HELL

Coconut slurpees proved to be your vice,
You should sew a letter “A” to you sweater in dark scarlet.
And now you’ll pay the price,
The lord knows you’re a damn stinking harlot

The lord’s house doesn’t need
A CHEESEBALLING WHORE like you.
You know what, Shanniqua?
PRAISE GOD
And fuck you!

Screenshots from Craigslist were from here, here, and here.

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