Monday, December 22, 2008

.:I don't wanna be an old man anymore:.

Dad was watching "Exodus" when Kelsey and I got home from Savannah tonight. It's about how Israel came about, and how the Jews and British were fighting around 1948. It's an interesting look at how terrorism got started, actually, but what I was more interested in was the ending. The ending centered around an informal funeral service for 2 people who were killed in the fight, the main character and a supporting character. The man giving the "sermon" said in his message that he hopes that those in the earth can share a peace that hopefully those who live on the earth can have one day. His speech was filled with sadness that fighting could cause so much pain in certain people's quest for peace that is must spare lives, including innocent ones.

I had this same speech in my head today as I decorated the memorial tree for Nathan. Kelsey went with me, and I am so glad and grateful that she did. We talked about him a lot as we drove to Ft. Stewart, reminiscing the past and all of our shared memories of him. I drove my mom's van over there and registered at the checkpoint on the base. The man issuing the registration told us where to go for the memorial trees. He asked, "Is there a lighting tonight?" And I said, "No, my friend has a tree there." He paused for a moment and said, "I'm sorry," but showed emotion for only a second. I'm sure it's difficult for him to think about it. He has to live with it every day, I'm sure, but for that moment, I appreciated his sympathy.

We made our way to the field where they had the trees and it brought me back to when he came back from his first tour of duty. I remembered going there to see him, with my cookies in tow that Mom bought to replace the ones that she ruined while he was deployed (long story). I was nervous. I was young. I was crazy about him. I was there, at this place, where Kelsey and I walked side by side, her arm over my shoulders and mine around her waist. My heart was pounding a little bit because I wasn't sure whether to turn around and pretend it never happened or to keep going. It was getting darker, so we knew we should find the tree quickly, but it wasn't numbered as I had imagined. I was glad for that, actually. Kelsey took one row and I took the other, and we read the names to find his tree. In a few minutes, I heard, "It's over here." I went slowly, studied the faded flowers from baskets placed there what seemed like months ago, and tried to look for signs that someone else had remembered him this holiday. It didn't appear so, and that made me glad that I was there.

I stood there in disbelief. It seemed so cold, so unlike him. I cried at the thought of him being represented by this tree, at the thought of him not being remembered as I thought he should have, but mainly at the thought that I should not have been there in the first place. Sweet Kelsey came over and hugged me. We had a moment, and then began to dress the branches in the long strand of lei's I put together, the tiny, glittery Christmas ornaments, and beachy air fresheners I bought to resemble larger, beachy-Christmas ornaments. We were proud of our work. I was proud of my friend. I was grateful to have the opportunity to remember him, even though I would rather have him alive.

Cherish the ones you truly love with every moment you get.

I hope your Christmas is bright and filled with warmth and love and peace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

.:But I can sing this song and you can sing this song when I'm gone:.

My recent days have been occupied, and in the alone times, there has been much reflection. My birthday was not too long ago, just over a week, and it feels like I've been resetting. I've set up some healthy challenges for myself, taken some time to evaluate important things and relationships and goings on in my life, and been more attentive to what I may feel She whispers to me in the quiet of my days and nights.

On our journeys, we wind around such beautiful moments in our lives. To be able to take a pause to digest our daily happenings seems rare in the time we live in, but those moments have been more abundant lately than not. This direction I am headed in gives me so much excitement, yet so much peace at heart. It just feels organic, finally, and the upcoming decisions I need to make I hope will be supported by the hands and hearts who have made me. Each return home, I carry with me some very large issues and come back with some sort of compromise.

If there is a word to capture my current feeling, I would choose "melodic." Perhaps, this may be due in part from the fact that I keep repeating this song. It's a really lovely feeling. I am happy.

My friends have done the "16 Things You May Not Know About Me" list, so I figured I would do it as well. Those things are fun.

1. I constantly wonder about how I will die, when I will die, and what will be the last thing I say, listen to, etc. Sometimes, while driving down the road with the radio on, I think, "Will [insert song title here] be the song I die to?"

2. I really love waking up really early in the morning and having breakfast. I reflect a lot during these times, and I get closer to myself and sometimes Her.

3. I talk to Nathan. I also talk to g-ma Mary and g-pa Ray, both whom I have never met. They are all dead and I talk to them. Sometimes, I feel like I can feel them listening. I do this at night usually.

4. A long time ago, I used to sing the "If you wanna be somebody" song from Sister Act 1 every single day until I told someone. I don't sing it every day, and I wish I had never told my secret because I liked it.

5. One of my secrets got into Berry's Yearbook PostSecret last year and it made me cry.

6. I have a secret fear that everyone is talking about me all the time. This stems from high school. I really, honestly, truly wish that I could get over that part. For some reason, it still lingers. Maybe it's because I know how fake people really are, and I feel like I fall into that category more often than I would ever care to admit.

7. I want to move to a random foreign country and live there for a year just to see what would happen. I want to do this with my family one day.

8. My favorite spot in my parents' house is sitting on the floor in front of my kitchen sink. There are carpet mats in front of the sink and the tile floor is usually really cold. The perfect moment for me there is when there is no one in the house, the lights are out, it's quiet and still, and it is a summer afternoon when it had just rained. The light is perfect, the room and floor are cold, but I see it for what it is and I sit there in amazement and silence. . . but then the moment is ruined a few seconds into it because the phone usually rings. The phone is always ringing at my parents' house.

9. I hate talking on the phone for the most part. I don't answer my parents' phone very often because it isn't for me anymore and I hate telling people I am not my mom.

10. I am great at organizing for others, terrible for myself. (I'm sure this isn't unknown to some, though.)

11. People talk to me about religion a lot, and sometimes I wish they wouldn't. I would rather talk about other things with certain people, only because I wish we could get past that one topic and actually get to know each other. It's not that it is a deep subject, I like deep subjects, but sometimes I would rather know what they think about a really beautiful and gripping film or why they picked their favorite color.

12. I'm afraid that I will be cheated on when I'm married.

13. I'm attracted to much older men but afraid of them at the same time, for obvious reasons.

14. I want to be a pro surfing photographer more than I will ever tell anyone. I feel like I wouldn't get the chance if I were even remotely ready for it.

15. My interests/talents/passions enthrall me and terrify me at the same time. It's difficult to be that vulnerable all the time, but also liberating. Artists are tortured souls at times, it seems, and I wish that were not true in some aspects.

16. I want to be in love more than anything in this entire world, but I want it to be with the real one. I know that is commonly known, but it is constantly on my mind. I won't stop until there is magic. I cannot live without that magic. I agonize over it at all times of the day, whether I admit it or not.

And there you go.

P.S. Happy 105 years of beautiful aviation!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

.:I'm glad to be here with you on this heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly day:.

There is not a clean surface in my house (my part, anyway). This disgusts me right now.
I'm about to go clean it up.

I'll write more later. I've been busy, and quite overwhelmed, but happy. :)
Very, very happy.

Oh, and I believe I will be gauging up tomorrow or Tuesday night. I'll be going from an 8 to a 6, so that will be really cool. It will hurt like a mother, though. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

.:Down on the corner, out in the street the poor boys are playin' so bring a nickel and tap your feet:.

Although it was unbearably difficult to sleep last night, this morning has been nice. Gina is taking the GRE as I write this, and I got to take her car for the next few hours. I'm weighing the consequences of whether I should run errands or sleep for a little while. Running errands would be most beneficial as I have not done any since Saturday (and I'm somewhat an errand-aholic), but I'm already in my bed, yawning. I can see how this is going to play out.

Cleanliness has never been my forte, but my home is turned upside down. In attempt to organize my guest/studio/sewing/office room, I took everything out of it. I would rather just leave it out (i.e. throw it all away), but I do need most of the things that were in there. My discernment for what I do not need is forever lacking, but since this situation is somewhat stressful and extremely counter productive as I am unable to sew in these conditions, I may need to make some decisions soon.

I enjoy this time in the morning where I can sit and think. It's really quiet, I usually have coffee, and I am able to put a ton of thought into my day when I have a full morning. I write a lot during this time, so it feels really nice. I enjoy writing much more than I ever imagined I would, though I would like to keep it as a hobby.

Since starting over with taking care of myself, I've implored my friends (and acquaintances alike) to spend time with me actively. I've sent mass text messages about Happy Hour Yoga on Mondays and Wednesdays, informed my friend Fido of $5 Salsa lessons on Wednesdays and Sundays, whored up a guy at Vox's Facebook wall with tennis-related inquiries, and made plans to walk with some of my really awesome friends. I've gone on 2 walks this week and today will make 3, and it gives me a sense of pride in the fact that I have such wonderful people who earnestly wish for me to be healthy and are genuinely interested in joining my efforts. For some reason, though, I really, really want to do yoga with Heather! I just have this idea that yoga with her would be enlightening or something - I'm not sure what is going through my mind, really - but I get excited at the thought of busting out in tree pose with Heather P.J. I'm strange.

Through First Samples, I met a sweet, sweet lady named Amanda. She is the owner of Montage, an eco-friendly and vintage women's clothing shop. Yesterday, I met with her because she was interested in displaying my photography in her store. We looked through my existing work, and overall, I wasn't as impressed with my old photography. I was, however, inspired to embark on a new photography experiment involving shoes. She doesn't sell shoes in her store (that I noted, but maybe she does), and I think it would be interesting to have photos of shoes in the store while she does not exclusively sell them. I hope this works out. It's great to be inspired again! It makes me feel whole.

Monday, December 1, 2008

.:And if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die freeeee:.

A week from today will be the anniversary of my birth. This is the first year I haven't been particularly excited about it. I haven't heralded it like I usually do. The sad thing is that I want to be excited about it. I'm not sure what is holding me back. This, obviously, is unlike me. The part that makes me sad is that I always told myself I would be excited about my birthday, especially because it's annoying to hear how people hate their birthdays. Hearing someone groan about something that inevitably happens every single year is obnoxious. It is to me, anyway. I don't hate my birthday, I'm just not excited about it this year. I think it's because I feel like no one will care. I have no reason to feel that way, but I do.

Sarah and I have challenged each other to get healthy. We have a 6 month "bet"/experiment going. Loser has to visit winner. Either way, it's gonna be an awesome ending. I am, coincidentally, excited about this!

My first goal is 15 by the time my friend Karen and her lover come visit me around Valentine's Day. I think I can swing it.

Because of this, I've been asking all of my friends (and some acquaintances) to spend time with me actively. I figured that would be a good way to get myself out there and hang out with people at the same time. I hope it goes as well as I would like!

Cleaning this place is overwhelming me, but I will do it. I will not have a messed up place on my birthday. I refuse!