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.