Monday, December 31, 2012

There's Been A Change In Me

Dramatic- yesh. Fitting, very much so.

Let's take a look back, shall we?

Since it’s been about a year since I started blogging, I took a few minutes to look over the past year and what I wrote. That’s really painful as a writer to look back over a semi-personal public journal that I made to record the basic facts of what was going on in my life. I glossed over a lot during my posts. As I reread them I remember things that I didn’t even talk about because of my “publishing ethics” and rule of “Don’t post anything that could come to back to bite you.”
Those first few months that I started blogging were miserable. Dealing with changing relationships, starting college, and my first job seemed to be all that I posted about (except that relationship thing, I tried to avoid talking about things that involved people I was growing distant from). I think I was a little repetitive. I’m hoping to change that in this next year.

I’ve changed so much since last fall.

I was at a Christmas party a few weeks ago and the way I described this new school year was that “Life is still hard, but I’m better equipped than I was last year.”
Last year I did not have the vast network of friends to hold me up. I had a handful of astonishing friends, who love me dearly, and they held me up. They got me through many a though day and let me be mopey and dramatic and work through my struggles without telling me to “man up” unless I was being unreasonable.

So to Shelby, Teegan, Kady, Colin, Mom, Dad, and anyone else who held me up during last fall (and through last year), thank you. Yes I am breaking a rule and using real names. You deserve to be known.

Then came the most frightening and amazing thing that pulled me out of myself and dropped me back here, more myself than I ever thought possible.
That was Bristol.
There is no way to thank all of you who took me in and befriended me this summer. Anyone who gave me any word of encouragement or smile or hug, you all changed me. You let me be myself and, honestly, forced me to be myself. I simply could not be false or hold back around you all.

The encouragement and support I’ve found from my Bristol Family has helped me to go out and pursue the things I love, and to admit that I love them without fear of judgment or rejection. Or, even if I am rejected, I know that I have a support group who believes in me.

I couldn’t have admitted these goals at the beginning of summer. Or even at the middle of summer. Now I am going to open up a few very close to my heart goals that I want to accomplish.

1)                   I want to go back to my youth theatre group, where I felt so much pressure and became insecure in my own talents, and teach children in a pressure free environment where they will not be judged or typed.
As a side note- I learned many character-building things from this theater group and made many friends there. I had some of the best and worst times of my tween/teen years. There were a lot of negative things that I came away from this group with. I had insecurities and a lot of self-doubt as to whether or not I could follow my dreams. I want to make sure that in my teaching I am not creating the same type of environment. I want to teach improvisation without any pressure to be funny. I want to teach dance where the shy child can shine. Most of all I want to take the negative things and turn them into something positive.

2)                   I’ve wanted to play Queen Elizabeth I since I was little. I think it’s about time for me to start making that a reality. Starting this year I’m going to be doing more research and figuring out how and where I can play a young Elizabeth. It will be a start.

3)                   I want to value others and be a good example. Not in the “I’m a goody two shoes” kind of way, because I’m going to make mistakes and break the rules some days. I just want to learn from my mistakes and come out on top. I’ve been inspired and mentored by so many astonishing people over this past year. I want to be that to someone.

All of this I want to accomplish along with going to school (and hopefully transferring to another school by fall 2013), being apart of a musical, working, taking dance classes, writing, and any other social life that manages to fit in somewhere.
Looking over this last year. God has taken care of me in ways I could never have imagined. I've been stretched and molded and tested in my faith and principles. I'm still standing by what I fundamentally believe to be true.  God is still good, and He's blessed me and given me the strength to make it through some rough times that are by no means over. I'm just learning to thank Him for the small good things (and the large ones, though they are more rare) that make life sweet.

Thank you all for a roller coaster of a year. 2012 I bid you Adieu. 2013, I can’t wait to see what you have in store.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My little scribbles

After a long dry spell, I'm writing again. I love it.

My mother commented on how writing has always been a constant for me. Even throughout the wet and dry spells of dance, performance, history fads and obsessions, writing has always been there for me.

I don't know what I'll do with my little bits of rubbish and scribbles. I've been publishing some Anne-fiction on my "creative" blog. People don't seem to mind the stories that I write. I've started a series of 12 short (only a page or two per installment) stories based off of the song The 12 Days of Christmas. I'd hope that if my writing was awful that someone would tell me. I love it too much to give it up, but I'd keep it private and to myself. If people like (and truly like) my bits of rubbish from my brain, I might try and get something published one day. That's a whisp of a daydream, but I'll let it waft around for a while.

I'll confess, I feel like Jo March. It doesn't take much for me to feel like Jo on any day. I named my blog "Astonishing" after Jo's song in Little Women the Musical. Jo seems to be the character that I relate most too no matter what season of my life I'm in. I'm not saying that I'm going to follow in Jo's footsteps and do everything that she did. I don't think I am Jo March.

I'm Kait. I'm complex, clumsy, confusing and a bit too rough rough the edges Kait. I'm making my own path, and some days I find comfort in reading about the paths of others.

I'm writing my "big" story once again. It's taking me so much longer to write this story than I thought. I've gone through revisions and plot holes and dry spells where I didn't write for moths or couldn't write because of a block.
I think that it's because so many of the characters are taking so long to show me who they really are, and they're evolving as I evolve. I like to think that when I was fifteen and first started experimenting with these characters that they were just hatching and now I'll be able to actually take them and transform their interactions into something worth reading.
I like the story that I've planned out. I love my characters, so many of them have traits that my dearest friends possess. A few characters are semi-portraits of some of my friends. I started this story as a character letter writing exercise with UnassumingAzure. Her character, sadly, is not able to make it into the story anymore. I fought to keep her in, but Azure told me that she was just getting in the way. We'll see though, maybe one day this missing character will get her story told.

I wonder what my story will be once it is accomplished. In the meantime, I'll keep plodding, keep on with my Anne fiction and maybe a few Anya stories will surface too.

Until I'm able to get a real rough draft done, I'll keep plodding with the intention of finishing this story one day. Maybe this coming year.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Funny how in hindsight you can see a theme underlining what is going on in your life.

It seems as if, when I asked God to give me strength and perseverance because I've been having a slightly rough time of things lately, I didn't fully realize the implications of what I was asking.

Example, when I asked God to help me live out my faith and take the next step from being a player on the bench to actually going into the game, He sent situations to me where I had to choose between some things that I really want, but won't do because of what I believe. I've been asking Him to mold me into the person He wants me to be, and He's been showing up in remarkable ways to get me to lean on Him and not rely on myself. I think there was a request about learning to trust in God too.

So to cope with some of these rather painful decisions, I asked God to give me strength and perseverance.  See example above as what happened when I asked God for something last time. Didn't I learn the first time? Oy, when it rains it pours!

Lately I've been coping with not as much grace as I should have right now. Anger is too easy an emotion to choose when your feelings are strong and you are hurting and frustrated and confused about life. Unfortunately, it seems that I was starting to choose that emotion as my outlet instead of working through whatever is presented before me to work through.

Something else I realized is that while the things in life that I am going through right now may be trivial and small compared to many of my other friends, this is the first time I am dealing with some more grown up problems and situations. While I keep in mind that my friends have worries much more heavy than mine, I'm still learning my "young" lessons that will make me capable of learning bigger lessons.
I've already made a few minor mistakes during my lessons this fall, luckily only my pride has been bruised and nothing lasting has come of them. I'm switching perspectives and tactics on a few matters, and learning to juggle a much fuller life than I have been used to.

So please, my friends, have patience with me when I'm struggling with a concept of reality. Hold me accountable and help me to learn. Give me hugs, seriously. I don't ask for hugs, or any sort of physical affection, much. Sometimes I need a hug and I just don't ask for one.

To me, life is a series of lessons that we learn in one way or another. We don't all learn the same lessons, but we all have shared experiences that help us relate when another person is learning something much like what we had to learn at a previous time. If you've already learned some of the lessons that I'm learning right now and have some advice, I'd be happy to listen.

I know that once I learn these lessons, I'll be much farther along that I was before. Even with the small difficulties (because in one year's time I'll look back and laugh at some of this), this fall has been ridden with happy times with new friends and old friends. I'm hoping to mesh a few of the new and old friend groups because I think everyone would be crazy enough to actually get along.

Now to try and figure out how that will work! Onto plotting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Parade of Events

Snapshot time!

Things that I've accomplished lately-
I finished the school semester as of this morning! Due to presentations going overtime in my Western Civilization class, I had to give my presentation to my Professor over the phone this morning.
Oy Vey. Am I glad to get done with that class. Moving on.

I finished a "doublet" or "jerkin" type costume piece. I'm also putting a tiny bit of embroidery onto my white Ren Shirt and I'm hoping to start on my trousers and skirts in the new year, unless I find something awesome at GoodWill, which is where I get a lot of my re-purposed costumes. Really, with a little sewing and some trim, you can make anything look fantastic!

I was cast in my school's production of Parade! Had the first meeting on Monday night and I'm super excited. More on that in a minute.

Personal Update-
Life isn't easy, but I seem to be doing better. I think that's mainly because I have amazing friends who care about me and let me rant from time to time.
Teslacon was a much needed pick-me-up. I had the best time there and got to know some of my friends from Faire better. I don't know how, I came back from Teslacon and the difficulties in my life haven't changed, but I've been able to weather through a little bit more easily. Still having my moments from time to time, not nearly as bad as earlier this fall.
I've been trying to get together with some of my friends a little bit more too, or at least talk to them. I'd love to try and see as many friends (Bristol, College, and Otherwise- even all together!) as possible during my break from school.

Performance Update-
Teslacon was awesome as far as performing went. I got to play a very girly character which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Playing Anya did have it's challenges but I enjoyed every minute of it and am going to work on her character more throughout the year for the next Teslacon!

I auditioned for my college's production of Parade, and was cast as an Ensemble character. At first I'll admit that I was a little disappointed at first, but I honestly didn't expect to get a big role because my audition didn't go as smoothly as I had wanted and I didn't get a callback. My voice dried up a little bit during my audition and I was very nervous, but I was glad I put myself out there.
Looking through the number of people cast (about 35ish), and the number of people who auditioned (93), I realized just how fortunate I am to be in this production. Over 46 people were cut, and I made the cut. I'm used to being in productions of 80-100 kids. I always got dancer/townsperson roles, didn't get lines or solos in the musicals or anything. So to be in a cast of only 35-38 people is such an achievement for me.
It helps me think that maybe I am on the right track, maybe I can go places with my passion.

Writing and Characters-
I'm still writing, things just got pushed around a little bit with finals week and a few events. I'm hoping to write a few things on my AnneDrew blog about various things (not necessarily AnneDrew, but she might pop up a few times).

Many more things to come! Hopefully I'll have more time to post within the next few days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So, when did I get pretty?

Something happened over the past year, and I don’t know what caused this, but here’s the fact of the matter.

Somehow, in some strange way, I became physically attractive and people started noticing.

Now this isn’t going to be about how I have a “horrible” (aka, fishing for compliments) self image or how because of my acne I never thought anyone would be able to think of my physical appearance as appealing. I might have had moments like these at various times throughout my life, but everyone does.

I think part of what happened was that I distanced myself from a lot of the people who made my insecurities problems and I began to make friends who really build me up and encourage me. In short, I got a confidence boost. Privately, I’ve always thought that I am not bad looking (the threat of vanity and pride prevents me from saying anything further), but throughout the last year I have been blasted with compliments and remarks about how I have become an attractive young woman. Most of these comments come from males, as well as some of my female friends whom I hold in high esteem and trust their opinion. It’s been overwhelming, interesting, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it was flattering. 
Yeesh, ya'll are turning me feminine.

To me, being attractive is as much about having a genuine personality that reflects positive traits and intelligence as it is about being physically appealing. Actually, let me retract that statement. Being attractive is much MORE about having a genuine personality that reflects positive traits and intelligence as it is about physical attractiveness. I happen to believe 100% that I have beautiful friends; each of my friends is a beautiful person inside and out. I can see the promise of each human being and there is always a redemptive quality in everyone on earth (except for maybe a few truly evil people, but that’s another topic for another time). This weekend while some of my friends and I were out at dinner I voiced my opinion that I don’t think anyone is truly ugly unless they have a horrible personality.

Part of what we regard as “beautiful” to our eyes is personal preference. For instance, I know several people who adore red hair, and others who go ga-ga over blondes with curls, and some who really like brown eyes, or they find tattoos attractive. The other major part is what society dubs as conventionally beautiful. Unfortunately, society seems to say that you really only need to be beautiful in the shallowest way possible. Be a decoration with a decent GPA and you will go far. Change yourself to match our standards and you’ll be happy.
Let me scoff and giggle and pull out my hair at the absurdity of it all.

If I am beautiful, I want to be beautiful because I have a light in me that shines through my personality and transforms me from the inside out. I’d rather be attractive because I show kindness, than because I have the kind of hair that everyone admires. I’d rather be pretty because my actions reflect grace and thoughtfulness than be pretty because of my makeup.
If I am thought pretty or beautiful or attractive I want it to be because I am smart, and willing to admit my faults as a person, and willing to be better by learning new things and correcting my errors. If I happen to be pleasing to the eye on a physical appearance basis, I hope that no one mistakes that this is the most I have to offer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thank you, for letting me be young.

And now for that post where I pretend like it's exciting and scary to be another year old and I feel completely different from all my years before because I have a NEW DECADE ahead of me!!!

Or not. It is exciting and a little scary to be getting older. The idea of my sand clock letting the grains slip through my fingers is so mind boggling that I have to stop or else I swear I can feel the world spinning around me. I try not to think about that too much. I'm still young and I still have plenty of time. I have accomplished much, and will accomplish much more.

Guess what- I'm over being bitter about having my birthday on Thanksgiving, or dangerously close to the holiday. My mom told me a couple stories about how some family members tried to lump some birthday and Christmas gifts together since my birthday and Christmas are only a month apart. I think somewhere in my toddler and young child mind I grew to resent having my birthday lumped with anything resembling a holiday. After pondering this Thanksgiving night (after asking people to keep my birthday low key because I didn't like the holiday association), I've decided that it's not too big of a deal. Just never give me a Thanksgiving themed cake, okay? Besides, French Silk pie is much better than birthday cake! I still have one piece left. That will be gone tonight.

Getting Birthday wishes from all my friends, all day on my birthday made me feel really loved. Just getting the little texts on my phone and facebook wall posts made my day. I had to work from 7:30-11:30 and I got over 30 messages in those 4 hours. I also got a singing birthday message from my friends who went swing dancing (I couldn't because of work) the night before.

It occurred to me recently that there has been a shift in my friendships. Most of my close friends are all older than I am, be it by a month or many years. Some of my friends are more than twice my age. I have a good amount of friends who are about my age, or a little bit younger, but for the most part I am the younger one in my groups of friends.

The most wonderful part of that? They let me be young. Part of that is I have friends who are young at heart. They're very mature and reasonable adults, but they are all young at heart. They don't push me to "grow up" in the sense that the rest of the world might. I can simply be "my age" (whatever that number really is, and not how many earth-years I have) and be accepted. When I'm playing a character, they tell me to milk the years I can play a young character. I'm playing characters 4 years younger than I am! I enjoy that a lot because when I was 4 years younger, I was very different. I had a lot more holding me back.
My friends don't hold it against me when I don't have the same "life experiences" or don't know all of the references, they teach me. For the most part, I get to feel like I'm the younger sibling, but at the same time I'm treated as a peer.

Thank you all, for letting me be young. Thank you for letting me discover things and learn things. Thank you for knowing that I don't know it all and for taking me in. That is the thing I am most thankful for this year, all of my friends who keep me going.
I'm going to give back to all of you for a moment (it's part of my new thing of trying to not leave things unsaid when I need to say them).

To all of my friends, no matter how well I know you,

I don't know if I will know all of you in two months, two years, ten years, or twenty years. Maybe all I will have known you for is a summer, or a winter, or a school year.
You have all made an impact on me in some small (or large) way, and I'm glad you have. I hope however long we are friends that our times together will be wonderful and shape us into better people. I'm beyond grateful to know you. Thank you for adding to my life.

And that's what I was thankful for on my Turkey-Day Birthday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dear Grandpa Jones

Dear Grandpa Jones,

It's that time of year again. Our birthdays one right after the other. Two and a half years exactly have gone by without you in my life (earthly you, of course). It's getting a bit easier now. I didn't bawl my eyes out yet today. Tomorrow will be my third birthday without you. I couldn't believe it when I turned eighteen and you weren't there. Your birthday that year was really rough for me.
Each new milestone I make, I can see you somewhere in the background. You've been there in your own way, watching over me. I sincerely believe in that. Remember all those owls I saw and heard this summer? I knew you were watching me grow at Bristol. I knew it was the right place for me to be the minute I heard that owl hooting on my first rehearsal day. I remember wearing a gold chain that belonged to you for my graduation day.
I guess I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that you won't be here for some of my life events that I was looking forward to having you here for. The one that is still painful to think about is the fact you won't be at my eventual wedding. I'm still working through that one, that's maybe the biggest disappointment I have to work through.

I was listening to the song Time Heals Everything, sung by Bernadette Peters. I know you really liked her voice. I like her voice too.
As time has gone on without you, I've come to realize how true the song is. At first I was just counting the days without you. One week, two weeks, a month, September, November, our Birthdays, Christmas, etc. Then somehow a year rolled around and I found that while I still missed you with a tangible ache, the grief was slowly getting less. I say slowly because there are still times when the impact hits me just as hard as it did when my dad told me you had died and all I want to do is to curl up into a ball and cry.
Somehow it gets easier. Now I still have moments where missing you is unbearable. One day at Bristol I couldn't face the fact that you weren't going to be there. Suddenly everywhere I went I saw owls at the faire. Every time I hear a southern accent I think about you, I still need to practice mine.
I've learned that these things just take time. I hate that these things take time, but I don't want to rush this either. It wouldn't be fair to my memories of you.

I remember sitting on your lap in your chair, feeling very important.
I remember sharing our birthdays and blowing out the candles on the cake. 
I remember going to the zoo with you and Grandma. You loved the zoo.
I remember playing at your carving desk, drawing pictures.
I remember sitting in the high chair at your house.
I remember you voice when you called "hey beautiful."
I remember your scratchy beard.
I remember your gold eagle necklace, I never asked you what it meant, I wish I had.
I remember you watching the nature specials on TV.
I remember your eyes sparkling when your face crinkled up in a smile.

Time will heal everything, but loving you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Being sick and feeling cared about

I certainly learned something about the life expectancy of seafood salad before it goes bad.

First time I've ever had to call in sick to work. I didn't even feel bad about calling in (which means I really was feeling ill). Yipee. Spending most of the night in a haze of dark nausea because I don't want to risk opening my eyes and possibly throwing up, even though part of me really just wants to upchuck and get it over with, is tons of fun. Sarcasm.

I finally risked puking and got up around 4AM and shuffled myself to the living room, turned on the television and tried not to look at the food commercials. Full House was on Nickelodeon. Never have I been so glad of that TV channel, cause there was nothing else on except the news and I didn't want to watch our world falling apart while I wasn't really sure if I would puke up an empty stomach (because at 4AM I don't think there is much left in your stomach).

Fell asleep on the couch from about 5:30 (after calling in sick), to 8:30. Then I spent the morning watching American Pickers while napping and trying to not move. Every time I did move I got another lovely wave of nausea. This finally started to subside around 10 in the morning and I was able to sip some Sprite.
Then came the stuffy nose and headache. I have no clue what the heck my body is trying to tell me. I understand that we don't eat any more seafood salad that is over one day old. Can we not get sick with a cold though? I'd really appreciate that. I have a college visit at the end of the week.

Something on a slightly different note that I want to mention.
November has been a slightly better month for me that September and October where. Maybe because I'm finally trying to stop doing everything on my own, or maybe my Grandpa is watching over me. It's our month, after all. I still miss him a lot.
I've noticed a lot of friends using terms of endearment for me lately, mostly among my friends who are older than I am (which is completely fine with me).  Lately I've heard the words "sweetling, sweetie, darling, baby, hun, sweetheart" and probably a few other words that I'm blanking out on.
All my life my Grandpa called me "beautiful." It's a special term that I associate with him. I'm especially sensitive about these things during November because our birthdays are in this month. I used to hate terms of endearment, but lately I've been finding them to be comforting. This morning there was a small outburst of "feel better" well wishers on my facebook page and even though I still felt awful physically I felt a lot better emotionally because of the family I seem to have landed myself in. I don't feel like I collected some of my new friends (as I used to think), I feel more like they took me in to their circles and collected me.

Now that my slightly sick state has made me go all mushy (because that above is about as mushy as I get), I'm going to try cooking some Mrs. Grassy's chicken noodle soup. I've grown up with this as my "post stomach upset" food and it's never failed me so far. I haven't been queasy since 10AM and have been keeping the Sprite down. I think I can do this. 

Other than feeling like a lump all day, I got word from my Creative Writing Professor about my mid-term grades. I'm pulling an A in her class! Now if I can manage to get through History with a B I'll be happy with this semester.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Confronting Myself

Alright, we're going to get to the nitty-gritty here.

You just had a decent day. You had a few laughs with your classmates during Creative Writing. You got complimented on your writing. You turned in that paper for your history class and you feel pretty good about the possibility of getting a decent grade on that. The dance class you taught for that youth theatre group performed and did fantastic! Even your dance class tonight went well and you felt that you were doing okay.

Oh wait...only okay?

Self- are you tired of simply being "okay?" I know that's the phrase you are using when people ask you "how are you doing" because to be honest, things aren't "good" right now. You're muddling through things though, and this is only a season. There will be better seasons.

You're scared about upcoming auditions. You're scared because you don't know where you are going to go to college and you will probably need to go on an audition if you even want to attend Roosevelt. The program calls for intermediate and advanced levels of ballet and jazz. You know your jazz, and maybe you can push your way through the ballet. But you're not nearly as good as you want to be. You're not nearly as strong as you think you should be. Do you even have "it," whatever it is, that will make you stand out in a crowd of auditioning performers?

Besides the dancing, you'll have to sing, and recite a monologue.

You don't know if anyone really believes you can do this. You don't know if you believe that you're good enough. You don't know if you're good enough.

Remember that theatre group you were apart of growing up? They taught you a lot of things. Some of them were good, but some of them have hurt you more than helped.
Somehow, you learned that you were good, but not good enough. You could even be second best, but not first.

Now opportunities are arising for you! Auditions for clubs and productions and colleges that will help you along your path to that tricky and slippery world of performance! You've met wonderful and talented people who have helped you become so much better than you were.
But that feeling still looms over you, doesn't it? You still hate auditions and callbacks, even though it's a clean slate to show what you can do! You know the positive, why can't you believe that it is true?

Why do you doubt that you are good enough? Why does that question haunt you every day? Why- after a summer of being shown that you are good enough- must you still ask these questions?

Am I a good enough singer to sing a song by myself or with only one other person?

Am I a good enough actress that I could be chosen for a part?

Am I a good enough dancer, at 19, that I could turn my passion into a career?

There are so many more questions about self-worth that I am working through right now. I really don't know why my self esteem has hit such a low point. I think I'm getting intimidated by the caliber of the people I am currently surrounded by. I love being surrounded with intelligent, talented, amazing people. I don't like being the "best" because then I have no motivation to grow. I'm simply at a point where I am scared that I do not have what it takes.

Tonight is a night where I took comfort in snickers and dried mango. I don't usually use food as a comforter, but then again I was also hungry so let's not label that as a habit yet. I probably cried a fair bit too because this is a really painful fear of mine and a very deeply rooted lie. I should know that I have worth, that I can achieve these things. At the end of summer I felt ready to go out and take on whatever college or other thing came my way. Now I feel like I'm being broken down bit by bit.
I made such big strides in actually believing myself, and now I feel like I'm back at square 1.

An author's Note:
Please know that I wrote this as an attempt to get this out of my system. I am not fishing for compliments, nor am I trying to be angsty. This post was an attempt to call myself out on some things that have been eating at me and get them out in the open. I figure if I name the things that are bothering me and tearing me down, I can better work through them and get past them.
Also- I know God has a plan for me and is in charge. I'm asking him a lot of questions right now and I'm not very clear on what the answers are (if I am privileged enough to receive answers). I am currently working on that idea of "no man's opinion matters, only God's opinion does." I've been working at that for years and only now do I have moments where I am grasping this.

Last note- I want to thank all of you who have been giving me support through this season. I know I wouldn't be able to make it through all this without you and you all mean the world to me. Thank you for bearing with my through these posts and whatever comes up in person/texting/facebook. Thanks to your support I find myself opening up more, actually asking for help, and generally doing things that a year ago I would have taken on all by myself. There IS progress, it's just a very slow climb.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Haunting We Will Go!

In which I tell the story of my first Haunted House.

I thought I was going to go to Fear City a couple weeks ago, but it didn't quite work out. Life can kind of smack you in the face, you know? Anyways, I got an invite from a Bristol Friend by the name of Elizabeth to go on Monday night and I wasn't about to let this second opportunity pass me by.

Well the first thing that made me at home about this place were the Tardis blue port-a-privies. It was cold out and, man, was I glad I made sure to make that little trip at home.
Now, being a theatre person, I walk into the lobby and start going nuts over how cool the atmosphere is. Very nicely done. I even liked the promos about the zombies and the walk around characters' make up was SO COOL!!! Unfortunately, none of them would break character and tell me what brand of stuff they use...or fortunately because their job is to creep people out before they even get into the Haunted House!

The first haunted house (of the zombie variety) was cool. I think I jumped only a handful of times and honestly thought that it was super creative. I don't think anything genuinely scared me. I mean, there was this zombie pimp guy that was kind of nasty, but he also reminded me of the MC from Carabet, so it was funny too. I really liked the neon circus part, and the maze, and the white strobe light room, and the "dementor." I think the dementor (whatever that was) was the only thing that genuinely gave me even a hint of the willies.

I'm trying not to give too much away of what was in the houses because why spoil it for someone else?

The second haunted house had much more potential for a scare factor in my opinion. Unfortunately, since I knew a decent amount of people in the house, I was too busy playing "spot the rennies" and shouting out people's names when I saw them (or thought I saw them) to actually get scared. Plus, the second house was a bit more "spectacular" so I was appreciating all of the creativity and use of strobe and black lighting. I wish I could have gotten a better look at some of the rooms, but because of the strobe effects it was a little difficult.

To be honest, the things that scare me aren't zombies or black lit ghosts and people following me. I mean, it was a lot of fun to try and figure out if there was going to be someone around the next corner, but after that first thrill I simply saw straight through to the person screaming/growling/staring at me.

What scares me more are the people in this world. Somehow, a zombie with a plastic machete isn't nearly as terrifying as waking up not knowing if today will be your last day. Someone following you in a haunted house isn't as scary as someone you think might be following you while you're walking home in the dark. Wandering through a maze without any idea of direction isn't worse than wandering through life thinking that you're going somewhere, only to have your plans come crashing around you.
Haunted houses are a joke compared to life. Maybe that's why we love them, because they make us think that life isn't the scariest thing out there. I'm not calling the Haunted House I went to a "joke." Let me make it clear that I loved the Haunted House and thought it was awesome! I'd totally go again next year!

Now for a conscience check-
Tuesday I did something I'm not proud of. I didn't sleep at all Monday night (and it wasn't due to the fact that I had been to a haunted house) and I skipped my second class of the day to go home and sleep because I just couldn't deal with the world. I wanted everything to just stop. I had the worst sense that the world was spinning around me and there was nothing I could do. All that on a normal day would be difficult. On a day without any sleep the previous night? I caved and skipped Western Civilization.
Did I need that sleep? Yes, I really did. I felt 80% better and was in a much better state of mind.

I also had trouble sleeping on Wednesday night, so I'm wondering if there is something at school that is really stressing me out. Thursday was actually an ok day, my writing class was fantastic, I met with an adviser and got my classes for next semester picked out (such a load off my mind!), and my history teacher wasn't as immature as usual except for one or two brief moments (as opposed to a full half hour-45 minutes of class). 

Let's hope this pattern continues for a few more days.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Acne Then, and Acne Now


I'm trying really hard right now to find some things to be "bright" about because life seems to insist on throwing beets my way. Not lemons, because I like lemons. I don't like beets. Nor do I like beet juice. I'm going to feed these beets to the beetles and then make BEETLEJUICE by squashing the little evils.

Erm...let's pretend that never happened okay? 

Today we're going to take a look at my acne over the past few years. I've struggled with acne for since I reached my teen years. It's a genetic thing, and it has held me back from having a good self esteem for a long time. I've always felt like I couldn't be pretty with acne on my face, shoulders, neck, chest, and back. It has been like that since I was about 14/15 years old. That's really tough for a 14 year old.

I will let the photos speak for themselves with only a few comments.

Here's me, before I ever dyed my hair, probably sometime freshman summer. It doesn't show up much in the picture but I had a pretty bumpy forehead. This was a good day.

These next two photos are from when I went to Estes Park in Colorado for a family vacation.
 This was probably during some of the worst years for my acne. Super embarrassing for me when all of my friends had clear skin. Didn't stop me from wearing tank tops or anything, but for a while I did wear stage grade make-up to "hide" my acne.

What did I try to get rid of my acne? What didn't I try is more like it. I've tried over the counter stuff, I've tried natural remedies, I've tried Proactive and Mural (didn't work at ALL). I saw one dermatologist and he wanted to put me on a medication that has actually caused people to have heart problems later in life when the first medicine failed. It's called Acutaine. I did consider taking it at one point I hated my face so much. I hated looking like a pepperoni pizza. I also hated my friends telling me that it wasn't too bad. Granted they could have been blind because they were my friends, but I was a little cynical that someone could be that blind.

To be honest. I gave up for a while. I didn't go on Acutaine, and we stopped seeing that dermatologist because, frankly, he was a jerk.  Part of me thought that wanting clear skin was a "vanity."

This picture is from my senior summer when I was not dying my hair and trying to grow it out. Yes I have paint on my face, I was working make-up for a production of The Jungle Book. At the time this was a "good day." Not fun to think of this as a good day.

This is perhaps the most honest picture of my face I could find of "before." There was plenty of acne on the sides of my face too. By now I also had cystic acne to go with the everyday redheads and whiteheads. I'm sure this grosses some people out, but I've ceased to be bothered.

Then I found the most wonderful person in the world, my current dermatologist. She took one look at me and within ten minutes of consultation, I had a prescription and a lot of bottles of things to put onto my face.

Then things started to slowly get better. There was some trial and error. I had to get my prescription changed because it wasn't working as well as the Derm' and I wanted. 
This is me sticking out my tongue in defiance. I never was one to go down without a fight, even if there were a few times I wanted to just give in and hate my face (anyone recognize this place? No I was never a RenQuester). This photo was the year BEFORE I worked the Ren Faire. I had just started to dye my hair red. This was just before I started to see my current dermatologist. You can't really see it, but there's a lot of red along the side of my face and on my neck (not due to my clothing OR hair).

Here's a photo of me from this February when I took headshots pretty much two weeks before Ren Fair Auditions. When I still had bangs to hide my forehead.

This classified as a "bad day" for me at the time. Today that would be classified as a "horrible" day. I have a great friend who cleaned up my face in a photo-editing program. This is before I switched medications to the one I am currently on.
 This next lovely portrait was taken this past July at the dance camp I helped out at. Notice how clear my skin is! This is after we changed the prescription to something that has actually worked! It's called Amoxicillin and it has worked wonders.
Anyone else love the mustache? 

And this "lovely" self portrait was from about a month ago. Btw- this is a medium day. Today is even better (no I don't have a photograph). I saw the Dermatologist today and she doesn't want to see me for three months because I'm doing so well! To go from seeing her each month, to two months, to three months, this means I am finally improving!

Will I have to deal with Acne for most of my life? Because I am a woman, probably. Will it get better? I'm hoping it continues to do so. I finally feel like people see me and not my acne when I'm around them. The dermatologist thinks that my skin will continue to improve and we're really hopeful about more progress.

I know I posted a few frustrations about my acne last year, and I just wanted to give a "current" update about my little journey with my face.

Now where are those beets?........

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My little dream

Time to think positive thoughts, at least for today.

While my future is something that is currently overwhelming me, it is a sea of possibilities. I'm starting to formulate tentative plans for next semester that involve a lot of Arts training and not much else (well, maybe an Algebra clep test, but let's not talk about that scary thing).

I scheduled a visit to a college that a dance teacher of mine (look back at my posts about dancing with Melinda) told me to apply for. I was accepted last year, but put the school on the shelf.
Technically it doesn't have the exact program I'm looking for, which would a Theatre degree with a concentration in Dance, so I could minor in History. I want to talk to the admissions board there about how we could work that out. I see many possibilities, one of them being that it doesn't work out. That would be okay though, because I want to go to the college that God leads me to.

For those of you who say to major in History and minor in Dance....well...I've thought about that. I don't like the idea. Yes, I know it's more "practical" but seriously, since when are most college students actually getting jobs in their degree field right now? Unless that changes dramatically in the next few years I think I'm better off going for what I love and training in performance.

I've never been one to dream about the big house on the hill with the four cars and lots of cash in the bank. I don't need designer clothing. I love thrifting. I like Aldi's, except for their produce section which makes me cringe. Bargains are awesome, but I also know that sometimes you need to shell out the cash for a quality item.

I'd be happy in an apartment in Chicago. I'd be fine with having a roommate or two to split rent. One day I'd like to be sharing that space with a husband, but that will all come in good time. I'd be happy with a cat, or two, or three. I hear they're pretty addicting. I'd be happy without a car, or a nice used car. My family has only bought one brand new car (to my knowledge). Our "newest" car is a used car. It runs perfectly fine!
Of course, I don't think I could give up my obsession for books. However, I don't think that's too much of a problem other than finding shelf space.
I'd be happy working for a Museum, Performing, Writing my stories (maybe getting paid for them), and having a group of friends who are as intellectual (and more so, because that would stretch my mind) as I am. 
One day, very far away, I'd like to adopt a child. I don't know where from, but I've wanted to adopt for a long time.

That right there, that's my little dream. I don't need the American Dream. I don't need to be a millionaire. It's not about the quantity, it's about the quality.

Now I've just got to find my way there.
I think I needed this moment of Hope, all I have to do is hold on to it and see where it goes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Closing up

I have this great talent for shutting people out to protect them, and then punishing them by being moody because I won't open up about what's going on in my life. I can also minimize my worries and troubles (as silly as they might be, at least, in my opinion they all are silly).
Not that I'm going to post all of my dark secrets here. On the internet, for everyone to see. That would be unwise and idiotic.

I finally started venting to my parents my frustrations and insecurities about college and where I'm going to end up. This is only one of the things I am grappling with right now (see, that clever avoidance of continuing on about my college worries?).
My mom pointed out (or rather, called me out) that I have been acting in such a way that makes the rest of the family tiptoe around me on eggshells because they don't know whats going on or why I'm being so moody all of the time. I need to find a better word other than moody.

Adjective- temperamental, emotional, volatile, capricious, changeable, mercurial; sullen, sulky, morose, glum, depressed, dejected, despondent, doleful, dour, sour, saturnine, manic-depressive; informal blue, down in the dumps, down in/at the mouth. ANTONYMS even-tempered, cheerful.

I think that all of these words have applied to me at some point in the past weeks. I've felt lost, unsure of my future. I've felt lonely, some friendships seem to be changing and I don't like what's happening. I've felt frustrated with maintaining a balancing act between work, school, and a minimal social life.  I've also gotten frustrated with myself that I'm causing my family, and maybe others, to tiptoe around me. I don't want that.

And all of this is vague enough so that you, dear reader, will feel like I'm merely politely blogging without going in too deep about personal matters that I do not wish to put out on the internet.

I posted a status on Facebook about how this year simply cannot be as hard as last year. I refuse to think that this year will be a repeat of broken friendships, miserable days at community college, and lots of complications about figuring out my future.
I didn't expect the outpouring of support I received from my friends. Friends who I had only known for a little while where sending me private messages to make sure I was okay and offering a shoulder to lean on, making me feel supported and loved.
I shied away from all of it. I gave the answers I needed to give and I got everyone to shut up. I opened up the bare minimum to one friend and felt a little bit better, but there was still that voice inside my head saying "This is YOUR burden, don't heap it on others. Keep Calm and Carry On. If you talk to all these people about what's going on you're going to just end up venting hot air and that's something needy people do. Be strong for Pete's Sake. You've always gotten through things and you don't need to go telling everyone your problems, they've got enough of their own. Actually, see if they need any help. You like giving help."  

It's true, I love helping my friends. I love being the strong one. I love being the slightly offbeat loner who has her own little niche and is constantly expanding it. I love being able to hold it together. I've been the shoulder to cry on, the older sister, the one who helps people figure out their problems. And I won't let anyone help me. 

I thought I was getting so much better at this. Maybe I am. I was able to have a very good chat with a friend during the drives too and from Stronghold. I was able to open up a bit then.
But, when I am confronted with so much love and support that it overwhelms me, I go hide.

This past Sunday at church the choir was singing a song. Some of the lyrics were "Don't give up. Just hold on. Joy will come. You be strong."
Talk about a wrecking. It just floored me and pierced my heart. I can't think that God isn't going to use this time of my life for some reason down the road. There's got to be some reason for all of this. That's really the only thought getting me through this. Soldiering on.

In other news- I'm hoping to get a "general events" update on this and make this blog a bit more cheery than it has been of late. I'm genuinely sorry that I haven't been able to post about better things. I also am planning on (aka- haven't had the time yet) posting some fiction on my Ship's blog.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I think I posted something like this last year.

I think there should be a rule against time travel, particularly where feelings are concerned.

Fall is my favorite seasons, it's a time for endings and beginnings. It's a time for color and life and vibrancy. Fall is the time of year where you can eat pretty much any food you want, wear whatever you like because the weather is changeable as the tides, and it has so many things to do. Corn mazes, bonfires, Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving, School starts (yes, I like learning), so many things that I love.

Fall is also one of the hardest seasons I have experienced. I used to hate summer. I'm much more a cool weather person than a warm weather person. I hated summer for other reasons, but then I had two good summers in a row and that sort of got fixed. I learned that seasons are just seasons.

However, when we put a season on repeat. I get a bit testy. When I have to make choices that I don't like, I get angry and frustrated and sad. When I don't know what to do and feel helpless, I feel like running forever and ever. 

Right now I want to run and run and run until I'm out of breath and can just drop down and not get up until everything is back to normal. Except that I think that normal is a myth. Normal has never existed for me, therefore it's a useless word used to describe a conformity to a routine defined by someone years ago. I despise normality, and yet I crave some semblance of the wretched thing. Stability might be the real world I'm looking for.

The stupid truth is, I'm lonely again. I have more friends than I think I've ever had in my life, and I'm lonely and overwhelmed by life and the things I'm facing right now. Before this summer, when I would get overwhelmed I would shut down emotionally. It was just easier for me to turn off all emotions and exist in a semi-alive world. It sucked because it meant I couldn't deal with the things I needed to deal with in an efficient manner.
This summer I learned to feel. I learned maybe too many things this summer, but none the less I learned a lot. I healed a lot.
I promised myself I would not shut down again. I'm sticking to that promise and right now, it sucks. I hate emotional pain, I hate fear, I hate stress, I hate uncertainty. I hate not knowing what the heck I'm doing!

I don't hate people, I just hate dealing with myself after interacting with people. I don't hate myself, I just don't like processing things. It's messy and I hate crying and I hate feeling because I'm not used to these things. I never thought I would be able to feel so much. I felt some wonderful emotions in the past few years that I thought would make me burst from their power, that means that there must be equally powerful emotions that could drag me down.

It seems like a lot of people are feeling this way lately. I don't like seeing my friends hurting. Doing something that you know is going to hurt someone close to you is the worst thing I can think of. Maybe I'm just too loyal and care too much about my friends. All I want to do is to console and fix my friends. I want to be able to hug them and say "let me hurt for you."
I once told my best friend that I thought I was going to be the one who hurt enough for both of us. It didn't really work out that way, but I sincerely believed that for a long time.

"Too much" was my cry last year, everything seemed like too much. Now I feel like it's mixed with "not enough." There is too much and not enough in my life. I can't tell you what of. The lines seem to blur together like text on a page.

I will not go back to being a shell of myself. It took me months to learn how to smile, nearly a year to relearn how to laugh. My laugh still sounds foreign in my ears. I surprise myself when I start to laugh.
My parents keep talking to me about finding a faith community. They fully acknowledge that it's not easy to find. In my experience I haven't made friends in my faith community very easily. It takes work. That's not a bad thing, I just don't know where to look where I would be accepted.

God, I need you to carry me, because I can't walk anymore.
Surrender is the hardest thing for me to do.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Yes I feel very guilty for neglecting my "real life" blog.

Here's what happened- real life.

Bristol ended, and school started. Along with school, I am working part time as a barista and earning more in one week than I earned in two weeks at my old job. Part of that is they pay me a little bit better, and I also have a minimum of 12 hours a week because it's a union job. Along with schooling and my job, I teach dance on Thursday nights and take dance on Monday and Thursday.

Oh, and I went to one audition on Saturday, and am planning on going to another a week from tomorrow. I didn't do my best at the audition on Saturday, but you win some and you lose some right? I'm actually okay considering that I think I won't make the show. I have only been cut from something once, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to getting some rejections.

Along with dealing with the lovely stress of auditions, I have the lovely stress of having a teacher in my Western Civilization class who likes to stress me out. That is all I will say on this topic because I do not want this blog to turn into a ranting spot.

Add on top of that, trying to maintain the friendships I started this summer at Bristol. It's tough. I miss people. I miss a LOT of people.
I remember one of my friends from Bristol promising me that they'd have a movie night and have me come and visit. Now, with some "theater type people" saying that "we should have a movie night" is like when you meet an old acquaintance and promise to have coffee without really ever meaning what you say. I've learned to take promises of future events with a grain of salt and try not to hope too hard. I also try to follow through on my promises of this type of nature, or at least acknowledge that these speculative ideas are simply ideas.
However, I had a good amount of faith in this person and they made good on their promise. So yesterday I hoped onto a train and got myself to the city for a Pirate Movie Night. I think I was almost looking forward to this too much.
To put things briefly- this week has stressed me out more than most weeks. On top of social complications, work, school, auditions, and a queasy stomach, I've had to make some hard choices about how much my faith comes into my life. This does not make for a very sane me.

Last year I relied on coffee as my pacifier, this year it is Chai Tea.

It's amazing how seeing just a few dear friends can make a difference. I was actually able to eat a decent sized meal for the first time in about five days. I found myself able to relax without having to remind myself to release the tension in my shoulders. I was up until about 2 AM playing a board game that still doesn't make any sense, but it was fun and I was with people I've been missing for weeks. This was a promise fulfilled.

As I was thinking about this today, I've been wondering about what has God promised me? I can't say I like all of the challenges put in front of me recently. Some of them have been downright painful and I want to know why. Have you ever felt like just asking God, WHY?
A few weeks ago I made a commitment to go further in my faith and welcome the challenges that would be brought to me. This week's challenges made me remember exactly how miserable I felt last year, because that's how I felt for a few days this week. There was lots of Chai Tea and teddy-bear hugging. Now we're back to just the Chai Tea stage.
I remember hearing the small voice that said "I can't wait to show you the plans I have for you." and I knew it was God talking to me. That was only two weeks ago. My life has certainly become topsy truvy in the last 14 days.
If last year was about learning to trust God no matter what. I think this year I'm hearing the word "Obey" and "Surrender." Not easy concepts for me to grasp. However, I want to see what promises and plans God has for me this year. 

Now I've got to get back to more of that stressful history homework for that "wonderful" professor who is currently driving me up a wall.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:30

This summer my faith has been challenged in ways I didn't think it would be. No one has outright challenged me as to why I believe what I believe, but questions have been coming up in my head every now and then and I actually have to think about "Why wouldn't I go along with that?" or "Is this what I really believe?"

Unfortunately, some of these things I don't know the answers too. I just don't know what I think about some maters when it comes to the world around me. I don't think this is a bad thing either. I like things that make me think and grow and form my own opinion.
Something that I want to strive for is basing my opinions and beliefs on what I have discovered and researched and come to believe, rather than just relying on what I've been taught all my life.

Let me clarify that I am NOT saying that what I've been taught is wrong. A lot of what I've been taught growing up I believe to be right, but I've come to that decision based on researching the answers for myself and "double checking." What can I say, I like to learn and research. I want to know the reasoning behind why I believe what I believe.

"So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16

Since I am firm in a few things about my faith, I know I cannot bend the few principles I am firm on. If I bend them, what is holding me up? What standards can I have if I don't uphold the few things I am certain of now?
Sometimes it's really hard and I don't want to say "no." I've had to say no and pull back a couple times. More than a few times I've thought about bending. You can only bend so far until you break.

One thing I do know, is that I am firm in the essentials of my faith. I believe that Christianity is about love. Ultimately that's what my faith is all about. I am a failing human loved by a perfect God who I love as my Abba-Father. I will make mistakes and screw up (a lot) and He will still love me and forgive me.

I am really nervous about posting this. I've never posted anything so blatant about my faith before. 

If anything, this summer has taught me that I will be okay in the world and still maintain my faith. I might be going through an upward climb, but it's going to be okay. The first week of college was much easier than last year, and I already know I'm going to grow in many ways.
Last year was trusting that God would get me through each day. Now I've been able to get through that hard year and I know I will be provided for. This year is going to be new challenges and I'm looking forward to finding out what my Abba-Father and I will be working on this year. 

Hopefully I will be posting again soon on my Astonishing blog. I know I've been really heavy on the Anne blog this summer, but that blog has been there to chronicle my summer at Faire, and for the most part that's what I've been doing other than working (new job as Barista).
We have one weekend left for the Faire and I hope that if you haven't gone yet that you will come this weekend! It would mean a lot to me. I love the people that I am working with and they are the kindest most genuine people on earth. Look on my Anne blog for the last few posts I will be writing, including what will happen with my Anne blog once Faire is over, which I still need to think through.

Thank you for letting me be vulnerable through my writing, even if I'm hiding behind the mask of the internet.

Friday, August 3, 2012


I've been having a lot of fatigue lately. So this past Thursday I manned up and went to see a doctor. Not the Doctor, my friend, a real doc (sorry Doctor, you're not a doc yet). I do not like going to the doctor. Specialist type doctors like dermatologists, podiatrists, and other such practitioners I have no problem with. Sign me up for a routine physical check up and I run in the opposite direction. My mom had to coax me into agreeing to the appointment.

After getting asked a lot of questions about my diet and weekly activities, the doctor starts talking about juicing green stuff. Green stuff= cilantro, parsley, lettuce, spinach, etc. I guess we're going to try and get my system more alkaline and less acidic since the doc thinks my meds are running havoc with my system.
I was tired before I started taking amoxicillin. I was on DORYX when I started having the fatigue. I'd actually been taking the DORYX for 6-7 months when I started noticing my fatigue. Fatigue is not in the main listed side effects of amoxicillin or DORYX. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but I've only been taking amoxicillin for about a month. My face is looking tons better, so I don't want to go off the drug right now.

However, I have no problem with trying to add more nutrition to my diet. I also have no issue with taking probiotics and fish oil to try and help me feel better. Goodness knows I'd like to not be tired all the time.

I did not know that the juicing of the green stuff would taste so strongly stuff. Today I made a concoction of lettuce, spinach, cilantro, a few carrots, and some lemon juice.
Next time I will remember to only add a LITTLE cilantro and not three freaking stalks of it! Other than the overwhelming taste of cilantro (I do like cilantro, I've just never eaten it by itself and so am unaccustomed to the flavor) the juice isn't that bad. Just something to get used to drinking.

Also fund out that when they take your blood at the doc's office, they tell you "This will only pinch for a second." They lie. It pinched the whole time the nurse took blood from my arm, and for a good few minutes afterwards. I have a high pain tolerance, but I appreciate when people tell me straight up how long it will hurt/pinch/whatever. I have a lovely bruise on my arm and hopefully when they test my blood everything will be a-ok and the juice will even out my energy and we'll be right as rain!

If you'll excuse me, I have to go gag down another quarter glass of green stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Halfway Through Summer

It's been an eventful time of late...

Ren Faire is most amazing place in the world. Now onto the rest of my life.

I changed jobs. I'm not working in a shop anymore. I'm a barista now at Vero and just had my first day of practical training. I worked a lot on the register and made a lot of mistakes but my coworkers said that I was doing really well for my first day. We serve other things besides just coffee, so I'm learning how to serve gelato and make fried dough puffs. It was a slightly difficult first day and I felt like I failed a lot, but as someone (or many people) have said to me, "If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough." I guess I'm trying really hard because that register hates me. I shall not let it conquer me! I shall prevail and win it's affection!

I'm still making a lot of reconsiderations about which direction to go in. Right now I'm still dancing, but I want to explore my writing, my passion for history, and my passion for general performance. I'll probably take a history and a creative writing class this fall as part of my college studies. Being in Ren Faire has made me take a step back and really look at the realistic aspect of some of my career ideas.

There's been a recent learning curve on "How do I react to certain things?" I recently found out that if I'm boxed in and "attacked" without a determinable exit- I'll turn into River Tam and possibly hurt somebody. That was a scary thing to realize. I think I scared myself more than anything. Now I get to learn how to deal with that and make sure that I take care of myself and the people around me so that I don't have another River Tam "Miranda" moment.  Oh well, we live, we learn, we grow, and we work through things.

God is challenging me on a lot of things. My health hasn't been the greatest. I've gotten a lot of fatigue and I'm going to be getting a general physical on Thursday to make sure that there isn't anything wrong. Hopefully it will just be an imbalance on my vitamins and I'll take some supplements and be A-ok. It's hard to be not at my best and I just have to trust that this is only a season. Change will come, hopefully for the better. Slowly I'm turning more and more over to Him and He's brought some great things into my life. I've also had a lot of mini-lessons that haven't been too fun, but God is going to carry me through it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Debate in my Head

Goes something like this:

I want to dance.
I want to work at a museum.
I want to be a writer. 
I want to be a Library Scientist.
Science? Are you out of your MIND? You HATE Science.
NO I don't, I just don't like how it was taught in high school.
Weren't you homeschooled?
Yes.....and your point is?


The more I work with the people at BRF, the more I am learning, the hungrier I get to learn more. I want to study history! I want to learn about people and their lives and what was important to them! I want to work in a place where I can see history and possibly even touch it! Museums work that way right?

The more I write, the more I want to tell stories. I want to inspire people with my books! I'm a freaking Jo March in almost every way!

Dance has lately taken more of a back seat in my life. Not intentionally, but I have to think about what seriously perusing a career in dance means. It would mean performing, but it would also mean a lot of auditioning and rejection and training and possibly a very lonely life.
Then again I could be totally off my rocker. I could have a very friend filled life if I danced. It also means I might not be able to do Ren Faire every year.


Cycle and Repeat until my head spins and I start crying because I don't know what to do. Nothing I want to do pays, so I'm fine with that part of my life. I always knew that the things I wanted to do are not money-makers, but they are amazing jobs in their own ways.

Please, pray for me as I think about my choices. This could mean going in a very different direction than I've thought about all year. I've been discovering so many passions that I have and I'm trying to figure out if I will have to choose between them. Honestly, the biggest questions are about museum work/history , and dance vs other types of performance.

In other news, my life is really good right now. I'm having the best summer of my life. I've got some little bumps along the road but I'm working through them. I just really need God working in my life to give me direction and I need Him to show me the door he wants me to walk through.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Waking Up

I have encountered a new phenomenon that happens when I wake up.
I feel anxious. Like going to an audition sorta-kinda-not-really wanting to throw up anxious.
It happened every day when I woke up last week, and it happened through the weekend and it was here again today. Lovely. 

Last week I also consistently woke up with a Sea Shanty stuck in my head. Today I woke up with a "Dernnit it's only 6:30!!!!" and not being able to go back to sleep because of said stomach anxious feeling issues.
Yesterday at BRF (go see the post at Tales of Anne Drew), I also did not feel like eating ANYTHING. I would take a bite of something, be chewing it, and would feel absolutely sick. Then I would force myself to swallow and I'd be fine after a few seconds. My mother tells me that this is because of the heat. I think it sucks because I kind of need to eat to keep going through the BRF days.

But I will stop that rant and move onto what's been happening in the past week.
I got some hours at work! It's still not enough to keep me going all summer, and I have picked up some babysitting jobs, but I filled out 5 applications for various places and am praying that I get a job at one of these business establishments. Business Establishments....sounds so official, don't it?
Just to be clear- I love my job. I love the people I work with. I would be very happy if I could get a few more hours, but I don't think it's possible because I was told that the company cut back on the hours and I can't work weekends. I don't know, one of my fellow workers is leaving because she never got enough hours.

 Other than sorta working, I helped a lot around my house to pay of the gas money that I contribute as the carpool to BRF instigator. My family had a garage sale this weekend and I helped my mom sort out things, price things, and helped with the actual selling of things for a morning. It's nice to know that I won't actually have to pay for my gas from this weekend.
I also when to dance class after a two week break last Monday and it was great! I loved being back at it and I was on such a happy-high afterwards until I sat down on my train seat and was like "What did I just do?" Then I woke up sore and very happy on Tuesday. My other dance class starts this week on Thursday (I think). I'm hoping that it will be as good as the one that I took during the school year on Tuesday nights. 

I need to write more in my story. I have a problem because the part that I have to write is not the part that I want to be writing. Ergo I procrastinate. But the part that I need to be writing is very essential for certain character developments and relational standings. Still I am seriously procrastinating. This week I am aiming to get to a certain point in my writing.

Now it's almost the time that I thought I would wake up at. I think it's time to start getting the day going.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I really do have the weirdest dreams.

It's rare that I dream about people that I know. It's even rarer that I have the same dream twice. Usually my dreams take on plots (that shift and change with the dreams). If people that I know show up, they don't always act like themselves. Places that I know like the back of my hand, suddenly are brand new. Most of the time my dream takes place somewhere I've never been but am totally familiar with.

Once I did actually have the same dream twice. When I was very little I had a dream where I was in this huge building (we'll call it a house, but I don't even know what type of building this would be). I wandered from room to room, and each room was pretty cool. I think one room had a dinosaur party with real dinosaurs, and one room was a gymnasium, etc.
Then I got to a room that was just a spinning swirl of blue and purple. There was a large black bulk in the room and I was really scared because I had no clue what that bulk was. I woke up and labeled the dream under "nightmares."
Years later, I was probably 11 or 12, I have the exact same dream. Same rooms, same everything (or enough of the same that I recognized when I woke up that it was that dream). Then I get to that blue swirling room.
The black hulk is replaced by a person! Guess who?
Floop. From spy kids. Random much? I woke up from that dream thinking "What the heck?" But that's not really a strange thing to have characters from books or TV or movies show up in my dreams.

My favorite dreams often have been about Robin Hood. I've had many Robin Hood dreams over the years spanning back to when I was pretty little. I blame the Ren Faire and Errol Flynn.
I also have had numerous dreams about and taking place in the Ren Faire. I've dreamed that I've lived there in a tree house before. I'm have sailing dreams, I've had flying dreams.

I've also had dreams where things in real life come to pass. Once, when I was sick I had a dream about a friend who was looking for me at the homeschool co-op I went to. They actually called me a short time later and asked where I was. Upon questioning (at a later time), I found out that they were wearing exactly what I had dreamed that they wore, and they had been looking for me in the exact places that I dreamed about.
This is just one example of a very rare occurrence. I do not usually dream about people and what they are doing in real life. The fact was that I knew that I hadn't told this friend that I was sick. I knew they would be looking for me, and based upon their dressing habits it wouldn't be too surprising that I actually got their clothing right in my dream.

The annoying thing is that when I dream about people that I know, they don't usually act like themselves in real life. So if they do act like themselves and do something....I don't know....NORMAL, I get mixed up and sometimes forget that the particular thing didn't happen in real life.
Last night I had a dream about being at the Ren Faire and talking to some people, and I found out that one of the veteran performers was going blind and wouldn't be able to perform for much longer. Now all of the people in my dream last night were real people. This does not usually happen. Second of all, the veteran performer is in very good health and I don't expect them to go blind any time soon. This is one of those "realistic" dreams that drive me bananas. I wake up feeling like the things that happened in my dream are facts, and then realize how absurd my dream was.

Funny how a dream about a person going blind is labeled and absurd dream, but a dream where I'm chased by death eaters in white robes through a banquet hall/office building until I'm trapped and can't rescue any of my friends is a "normal" dream.
By the way, that death eater dream was not labeled as a nightmare. My nightmares are extreme and vivid and I often have woken up and cried. Unless it's a bumble bee dream, then I wake up with a sore neck, paralyzed.
I haven't had a nightmare for a long time. I'm beyond thankful for that. There was a time where I hated sleeping because I had a nightmare every night. Horrible nightmares, think the worst nightmare you've ever had multiply it by five. I'd wake up around 3am and start sobbing until I calmed myself down and coaxed myself back to sleep for a few more hours.
Huh, that's probably why I was so keen on after lunch naps for a while.

All this to say, I woke up at 6am and couldn't fall back asleep so I decided to write a post about my weird dreams. Ask me to tell you about one of them sometime. They're actually pretty cool for the most part and I get a lot of story ideas from them.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

BAPA- Day 1

Friday, I was terrified that I wouldn't be good enough. I was scared because I had no idea what the heck I was doing.
Here is an example of what was going through my head.

I feel sick. I can't wait to go to the potluck! GAHHHHH I"M GOING TO BE MEETING PEOPLE WHO I"VE WATCHED FOR YEARS!!!! Why am I doing this? I'm not talented like they are. They're amazing and I'm this little newbie who has NO IDEA what she's doing and can't improv to save my butt. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!

If you have ever seen the scene where she is freaking out about leaving her tower. That was really what was going on inside my head.

Thank goodness The Doctor came and went on a walk with me, I think I was driving my mom nuts.  I haven't been so nervous about anything since the audition for BRF.

So I get to the potluck and guess what- THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING!!!! Totally insane like me- only cooler! Seriously, these people are weird crazies. I can already tell that we're going to have the BEST times this summer.

Then this morning I drag my body out of bed at the unholy hour of 6am (ewwww). I leave my house at 7:45 so I can get to BAPA (Bristol Academy of the Performing Arts- it rhymes with Appa for you Airbender fans).
I get to BAPA at 8:30- WITH A STOP FOR COFFEE.....will someone tell me how I did that? It took me over an hour to get there on Friday, and less than an hour on Saturday. What does this say about the time I'm going to make driving up there tomorrow for rehearsal?

In short (cause you've got to jump over to Tales of Anne Drew to read about my BAPA day ((maniacal laugh)) today was SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS!!!!

Now go read Anne's blog.

Friday, June 1, 2012

BNRC- Across the Universe

Book Nook Review Corner! 
Today's pick: Across the Universe
By: Beth Revis
3/5 Pens 

(Summary from Amazon) Fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense.
Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock
Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

To be honest, when I picked this book up, I couldn't help but hear the Beatles song (of the same title) playing in my head. Then I looked inside the cover, read the summary, and saw the quote from the a fore mentioned song. And after looking up the lyrics, the song works fairly well with the story. But back to why I like and don't like this book.

I liked the way it was written, you alternate between Amy's and Elder's perspectives. I've read a handful of books that take this approach and I think it can either show a lot of depth or totally wreck the book.

I'm a fan of a good dystopian novel. This had many elements that can make a fairly good one.
I'm also a fan of almost any retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Amy wakes up from a (almost) 300 year slumber, though not from a kiss. However, I like looking at this as a fairytale dystopian retelling that just happens to be in a Sci-Fi setting.
I was not very impressed with the Sci-Fi elements. Actually let me scrap that. I was impressed with the Sci-Fi elements because they were so "normal." Revis wrote them in so that you could understand how things worked and the "weird space stuff" was kept to a minimum. I mean, unless you're going to go all out Star Wars, Trekkie, or Firefly, sometimes I think subtle is the better way with Sci-Fi. There were no page-and-a-half descriptions of how things worked, simply because all of the technology was familiar in one way or another. Fingerprint scans, floppy disks (I know right?), simple medical terms without a lot of strange substances.
Everything was plausible, and that made it a little scary at times because I can see how that might work out in the future. Shudders.

The reason why the book only earned 3 out of 5 pens, is simply because I didn't like the characters. Eldest was a mediocre villain at best. Elder was a little too scattered for me to find any balance in his character- until the end when he seemed to get his act together (but only a little bit). Amy was good, but if the book had just been written from her perspective a LOT would have been left out.

My biggest peeve was that Revis totally threw in a character loop at the end that wasn't carried out well. If Eldest was a bit cheesy at times, this character was even cheesier with an extra helping of cheddar.

So every element was carried out well, and the characters (while a little wishy-washy at points) were well made. I think my biggest deal with this book was that it needed to be a touch more suspenseful, or a touch more romantic to make it work. It just didn't hold my interest for long. All in all, it's worth a read during a lazy summer day when you don't want to get too invested in something.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bumpy Road

So I've been telling myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.
The next day I'd tell myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.
Then the next day I'd tell myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.

Needless to say- there's been a LOT of life going on. Some good, but lately I've been hit with a lot of conflicting stuff.

First point of Life- My old youth theater program split ways with the main company and now, while still holding the same values (essentially), it's a mess. No one knows what's going on and there is a ton of uncertainty. I'm slightly glad that I've graduated from this program and only teach there now and then.
Many good things happened in this theater group, and many challenging things. So there's a lot that I'm just waiting to "see what happens" on the subject. To be honest I'm tired of seeing all of the notifications on Facebook about this. I know it's important, but I feel like there's just too much confusion right now. Everyone needs to simmer down for a while.

Second point- I will not be working for two weeks. This week, and next week I am not scheduled for any hours. This is very worrisome. I'm supposed to be able to pay for gas to get to and from the RenFaire(See point 3). I was also hoping to accumulate some savings, and start paying for most of my expenses. Guess what's not happening?
This is probably the worst thing I am dealing with right now. I actually had to go into work and check the schedule. I started crying once I got back to the car.
I know the company has cut back on hours, but not getting any hours when I know my coworkers are getting 12-20 hours a week stinks. The only redeemable part of this is that my parents have agreed to let me do extra chores and stuff around the house to pay off my gas money. If my work hours keep up like this I'm going to need to find a new job.
I'm really praying hard about this. I don't know what to do. I know God's in charge and that he's going to take care of me, but I don't know what I am supposed to be doing right now. That annoys the heck out of me.

Third point- I'm starting RenFaire training and I'm scared stiff. I have no idea what I've got myself into. I'm gradually getting more and more terrified. Everything about the process has felt completely paralyzing, but at the same time, it feels like home. How warped is that?

Fourth point- I don't know if I'm going to be able to dance this summer at all. I don't know if I can take time out of my work schedule to dance. This makes me want to punch a wall.

The stupid thing is that I work so that I can have money to dance and participate in RenFaire. If I don't work- what gets eliminated? The dancing, RenFaire, or the work?