The Infamous James

In seventh grade, I met a guy named James. That’s not actually his name, but I’m going to spare him of unwanted Internet fame (just kidding, I’m not famous) no matter how horrible he was to me. So, James, if you ever read this, which you won’t, you should be very grateful.

To me as a twelve-year-old girl, James was beautiful. I loved his eyes, his devilish smile, and most of all, his smooth mop of golden-blonde hair. Naturally, as a boy-crazy preteen (and a hopeless romantic since birth), I started daydreaming about our life together. And by life, I mean two months holding hands in the hallways. While most girls my age were secretive about their crushes, I wasn’t. After all, those girls never got the guy! Naive and gullible, I chose to believe that I was ready for a “relationship” at the tender age of twelve.

I’ve always had this way of developing fifteen-minute crushes. The only difference between me now and me then was that I did not ignore these yearning, romantic thoughts–I acted on them in hopes of finding my “knight in shining armor.” My romantic, imaginative side combined with my reckless naivety was a terrible mix. I liked my friend, Marcus (not his real name), who rejected me saying I’d “ruined the friendship.” Which was probably true, I’ll admit. Then I liked this guy Daniel, whom I’d never met before. I’d just seen him in the hallways, and according to me then, in a dream. I remember approaching Daniel in the lunchroom like this: “Hi, I’m Abigail.” I paused a little, then added, “I’m free on Saturday.” I was insane. Word of my craziness got around, and pretty soon kids I knew, some I didn’t know were walking by me, snickering, and saying “Hi, I’m [insert their name here].”

But I was sure that James, Daniel’s friend, absolutely loved me. I had no idea of anything at that point in my life. What a terrible, terrible mistake I made by liking him. James used me as a source of laughter, yet I never acknowledged it. I simply told myself it was his way of “telling me he loved me.” He’d IM me things like “nobody likes you,” “you’re obsessed with sex,” “f— you” and others. We had a note-passing conversation in class (basically me begging him to love me), after which he threatened to post the entire thing on his social networking (he’d blocked me from seeing his profile when I tried to check, so I’ll never know if he did or not). He’d mock me and taunt me from across the room. He gave me his number, trying to trick me, which turned out to be the number of his friend’s mother. At lunch one time, I saw him passing one of my many silly notes to him around to all his friends. I remember snatching it from their hands, angry, and the entire group laughed at me (my first reaction was to flip them all off and run to the library and cry. Not the smartest thing to do). James told all my friends that I was a “freak that nobody should talk to” and that they should stop hanging out with me–a slut. Ugly. A stalker who’d never get a guy. This kid actively searched for ways to harass me. He never missed an opportunity.

The final straw was when I intercepted a note he was passing to his friend–a drawing of me. I can’t describe the drawing, but I will tell you that it was incredibly degrading and humiliating. I finally realized that no, this snot was not a friend or a potential “boyfriend”; he was a bully. He was destructive. It took me far too long to stop lying to myself and realize it.

I wish I could say that James left me alone after I stopped obsessing over him. He’d still throw bits of paper at me in class, try to trick me into believing he liked me, make his friends laugh at me, and make very inappropriate and uncomfortable comments at me. The difference was that I’d stopped allowing myself to just “bear the pain for the sake of love.” Love. Love?! Hardly!

The pain that James had caused me had turned into hatred and loathing anger. The hatred, believe it or not, eventually turned into a twisted sort of confidence. I felt that as long as I hated James, he’d never be able to hurt me. He would approach me, say something, and angrily I would say “No. Sit down.” If he wanted to pass me notes, he’d have to move his lazy butt and give them to me himself. Some of the things he said still found their way past my blockade, but I absolutely refused to let him dump crap in me like a dirty plastic bag. I built a high, strong wall that I would hide behind for the rest of the year and into the next one.

I have not seen or contacted James since the last day of seventh grade. I hope I never will. One person who hurt me immensely in the past has actually apologized, and I’ve wholeheartedly forgiven this person, but not James. Never him. I don’t believe he will. He’s one of those people who I can see growing up to be a slick, slime-bucket Congressman. Maybe he’ll change. I sure hope so. James caused tremendous damage in the short year he was in my life. The heartache that he left behind is still very real to me. Every once in awhile, he’ll show up in my nightmares, with the same devilish smile and cruel laugh I once foolishly adored. I still brace myself emotionally when I hear his name, even though I know we’ll never speak again. If I were to ever see him in a store or public area, I’d probably run the other way like a wounded gazelle.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to keep my head up and walk right on by.

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Apathy, Pizza, and Smoothie King

The dictionary definition of apathy is “a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern,” and the definition of numb is “deprived of the power of sensation.” While that’s true, I prefer to combine the definitions into one: When one wants to do nothing but lay around all day eating pizza and searching for a Smoothie King of emotion, not even bothering to brush the crumbs from their bed.

One Saturday earlier this year, I woke up and didn’t want to do anything. I’d been sick, so that definitely contributed to it, but my fever had been coming and going; my physical strength had been mostly regained. Still, I didn’t want to see anyone, go anywhere, or engage in any sort of activity that involved getting out of my pajamas and/or the house. So I didn’t. I laid in bed with a slice of pizza by my right and my iPod by my left. My day was spent trolling the Internet and pretending it made me laugh, eating more and more pizza without bothering to take care of the plate or the crumbs on my sheets, and staring at the ceiling wondering what the point of anything was. The next day, after I was recovered from the illness, I spent the entire day watching movies on the couch. The day after that was spent staring deep into the harsh light of my laptop, eyes swirling around as I faked a chuckle at my own trolling and added exclamation points to the end of my texts to make people think I was enthusiastic.

Guess what I did the next day? And the next? And the next? My days became the same, as if they were cookies with the same shape day after day. Cookie-cutter days. A day cut-out. Whatever you want to call it. I wasn’t really feeling; rather, I merely existed and pretended to smile and frown when appropriate. Smiles weren’t as smiley as they once had been; they were simply facial contortions. I’d lost my spark.

Yet somehow, in the middle of my pattern, I had a period of two “feeling days.” It was unusual. The exclamation points just might have been real, the smiles might have been a true reflection of my emotions–emotions! Real, actual feelings! I somehow stayed off the Internet, read a book, wrote a little, and tried to discover who I was instead of letting my shell of human being rot away while listening to the same angsty song for the fifteenth time in a row.

It felt amazing.

But it didn’t last. To be completely honest, it intimidated me. I was walking through a desert–no feelings, no feelings, no feelings–and then boom! A Smoothie King showed up out of nowhere. It was frightening. I wondered if it was real, or simply a mirage (though that would be a strange mirage to have). Not knowing what to do, I took a few sips of my emotional smoothie and left. Maybe it left me, too. I don’t know. The Smoothie King and I parted ways for awhile, and I returned to my crumb-littered bed, piles of laundry and stuffed animals strewn about my floor, and time-wasting videos of parakeets dancing to “Call Me Maybe.”

Then, something happened. Something happened, and I felt a feeling. The feeling was pain. The pain turned into anger, the anger into disappointment. With these emotions, however, came so much more. With these emotions came happiness, wonder, contentment, and a time of discovery. The more emotions I felt, the more inspired I became. The more inspired I became, the more emotions I felt. It was a cycle of feeling. I found the Smoothie King, swung open the doors, and ordered every single emotion smoothie on the menu.

Eventually, my emotions evened out a little so I could become more productive and functional (it’s hard to get work done when you’re crying over spilled milk–literally). Even so, I consider myself an emotional person. My happiness is euphoric; my lows feel deep and engulfing. So, when I’m dealing with sadness, I try to at least be grateful for the fact that I have feelings. I’m thankful that I’m not wandering a desert, yearning for a Smoothie King to quench my emotional thirst.

Maybe one day Smoothie Kings can appear everywhere, for everyone, at all times. I don’t like apathy or numbness.

Anyone want to go with me for smoothies now? Seriously. I mean it. Text me.

P.S. And of course, I removed the crumbs from my sheets eventually…when I started feeling again, that is.

Give me a reason to be hopeful.

I’m sick and tired of crap. Really. Whenever I hear these overenthusiastic, cheery, and often untrue statements, I want to fly into a rage and punch everyone.

“Look for the light at the end of the tunnel!”
“The day is always darkest before the dawn!”
“Life gets better! Just hold on!”
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about dancing in the rain!”

Can’t you imagine the cheesy smiles and fake sincerity? I can. I’m so tired of hearing this. I want a real reason to be hopeful, not because some stupid quote told me to walk blindly and just “believe.” I don’t want to just believe, I want to see it for real. Give me evidence. Proof. Tell me why I should hold on.

Excerpt: Chapter One of an Untitled Story

It’s all planned out—all I have to do is go through with it. My bags are packed; the only thing left to do is break free. The bell rings, and everyone floods out of the classroom to their lockers. They’re screaming, laughing, goofing off—but all I hear is noise. I’ve grown numb to the sounds of immature children. The only thing I hear is the screaming of my own heart.

Pushing through the crowds, I slip into the girls’ bathroom and hide in a stall. I’m safe at least until the janitors come, I think. Before I know it, the school becomes eerily silent, except for the occasional low chatter of teachers and the click-clack of high heels.

Mr. Aarons, the gym teacher, always forgets to lock his office. Every day he leaves at exactly 3:15. I know this because I stay after school on Tuesdays for math help to make observations about who stays late and who doesn’t. Since this escape has been my dream for a while, I’ve taken great care to make sure every detail has been worked out. Late buses only come on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays—today is Friday. I check my watch—3:25. If I don’t get out of here soon, the janitors will catch me and foil my entire plan.

Just as I expected, the door to Mr. Aarons’ office has been left ajar. Stealthily, I open the door just enough for me to slip in, crouch down, and hold the knob. All the lights are off, and the only thing that can be heard is my pounding heart. Calm down, Cassie, I think, trying to ease my nerves. You’ve planned for this. My mom thinks I’m at my friend Gina’s house for a sleepover. There is no Gina. I made her up about a year ago, partly so I could make this escape, and partly so I could trick my parents into thinking everything’s okay in the deep, dark world of Cassie Evans.

It is now 8:00. My legs have become numb from crouching, and my mouth is dry from nervousness. The doorknob has sweat on it from hours of holding it still. All the teachers have gone home, most likely. Slowly, I poke my head into the hallway. Coast is clear. Grabbing my backpack, which is full of water bottles, granola bars, and other survival necessities, I cautiously close the office door and tiptoe towards the exit. Almost to freedom, I think. Just as I’m about to push the door open and breathe in the cool, fresh air, I hear footsteps.

 There are two choices. I can run while I can, or hide under a nearby bench. Either way, I can’t just stand here frozen. Running seems like the best choice. If I open the door quickly and calmly, whoever’s in the hallway will think I’m just another teacher going home. But I have to act fast—the footsteps are getting louder, and as soon as the person sees me, I’m toast. Taking a deep breath, I lean against the door and break into a steady run. Step one, accomplished. Once I’m off school grounds, I slow into a brisk walk. Only a few blocks to the bus station, where I can finally sit down and think. About four months ago I bought an unlimited bus pass in preparation for today, so I don’t have to keep track of change.

I sit down on the bench and wait. My feet aren’t tired, and I’m not out of breath—it’s just nice to take the fact that I’m actually, truly running away. There’s another person hunched over on the bench next to me. She’s an old lady in a long skirt and a loose blouse, with beady little eyes and thin, chapped lips. She seems like the chatty type.

“You look an awful lot like my granddaughter!” the woman exclaims, pushing her thick glasses further up on her thin, pointy nose.

“That’s nice,” I say absentmindedly. I can’t let my guard down, certainly not before the bus comes. And even then, I’ve got to keep one eye open.

“How old are you? I’m going to guess you’re twelve. You’re twelve, aren’t you?” The old lady’s voice is really starting to annoy me. Something about that high-pitched yap, almost like a tiny dog.

“I’m fifteen.” This isn’t the first time I’ve been mistaken for someone younger, but to call me twelve is a little extreme. I’m only a little bit shorter than my peers. Maybe it’s because I’m not the curviest girl out there, I don’t wear any makeup, and I don’t dress like a prostitute.

“Oh, heavens! I was sure you were twelve. My granddaughter will be twelve next month.” The woman starts rambling on about her granddaughter and how she’s going through a hard time. From what this old woman describes, I conclude that the girl is a spoiled, sheltered little brat with no idea what it’s like to be in despair every single waking hour. She’s probably whimpering about not having the latest iPhone, I think, disgusted.

The bus finally arrives, and I show my pass. Sighing, I take a seat away from the old woman and lean my head against the window. I’ll just ride until the last stop, I think. It’ll be awhile, so I get comfortable. And whenever I’m comfortable, my mind starts to wander. When my mind starts to wander, I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into my mental prison.

I don’t really know what happened to me. Somewhere along in life, I became obsessed with perfection and success. No matter how hard I try, I can never live up to my own inflated standards. I could get a 99 percent on an assignment and only focus on the one percent I lost. Sometimes I want to fling myself into the sea to end my constant struggle against myself for perfection, but there’s no such ocean in Forestdale, Ohio.

Forestdale. What a forgettable suburban town. There aren’t any landmarks or attractions, great sights or interesting cultures. Just plain, mundane normalcy.

The bus passes the playground I played on years back. I really miss those days. Back then, you could go up and ask another child what her favorite color was, and no one would think anything of it. But usually, I never interacted with the other children. When I went to the playground, I would climb on top of the monkey bars and just watch. Watch what the other children did, what they said, what they played with. After a few years, I started to notice different friendship groups forming. It was no longer acceptable to randomly approach someone and ask a question. The moment I was no longer invisible, when people started to laugh at the little girl on the monkey bars—that’s when I stopped coming to the playground.

The bus drives by the Forestdale Library. Once I stopped coming to the playground, I started spending all my time there. I got off the bus in the afternoon, and then rode my bike to the library and stayed there until 8 o’clock sharp. The library was my safe haven—no screaming, no swearing, no immature kids. Shelves and shelves of books, portals into different worlds, were my friends, and that was just the way I liked it.

When I was about eleven, the other kids stopped coming to the playground and started hanging out where I was. The librarians were always shushing them as they made a racket, scolding them as they ripped books off the shelves and spilled soda on the tables. They started to notice me, that young girl in the corner with an ever-growing stack of books. It was then I knew that my daily times at the library were over.

From then on, I stayed at home when school let out. My parents both worked late, so I made my own dinner and put myself to bed. Occasionally one of them would come home in time to kiss me goodnight, maybe even make me a late supper. Some days it was sickeningly lonely, but after a while I grew accustomed to it. After all, being alone was always more appealing than being out with a group of friends at the skate park or the ice rink. So I read books at home. Anything lying around, I picked it up and read it—cookbooks, magazines, philosophy books, old dusty novels on the basement shelves, the dictionary—even my own diaries from years past. There was a day when books weren’t enough anymore, when the endings weren’t what I wanted them to be, when those few sentences weren’t written right. So I picked up my pencil and created my own stories. I built entire cultures and universes all inside my head. After a year, my room was cluttered with books, notebooks, unfinished stories, and ideas scribbled on the wall with pencil. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading. When I wasn’t reading, I was blogging, hiding behind a screen, the only place I could release my true feelings.

“Excuse me, where would I get off if I want to be in Antonville?” a pregnant woman with two young children clinging to her legs interrupts my thoughts. I know the moral thing to do would be to help her, but I don’t feel like interacting with people, and I can’t answer her question anyway.

“I dunno,” I mumble, leaning my head against the cold, greasy window. “Use a map.”  I realize that I’ve probably come off as rude, but it doesn’t bother me. I’ll never see this woman again anyway.

“Oh,” the lady sighs and tries to hold on to her little son, who is now wrenching away from his mother’s grasp. “Okay. You have a nice day.” Before she starts walking to the front of the bus, probably to ask the bus driver for help, a young man seated in front of me clears his throat.

“Ma’am, East Antonville is in three stops. West is in five.” His voice, something about the expressive, almost musical tonality, is strangely familiar. I can’t place it, though.

“Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you.” The mother squeezes into the nearest seat, bouncing a child on each knee. The young man, whose blonde head just barely peeks over the top of the seat, twists around and faces me. I know him when I see his eyes—bluish green, almost a turquoise color.

“Leo.”

Abigail: a rubber band dog

I’ve been wondering a lot about my “love intolerance” lately. What causes it? When did it originate? It’s really unclear to me when the intolerance started. I’m going to conclude that it was a gradual onset, probably beginning sometime in fifth or sixth grade. The causes are still unclear, but I’m going to take a stab at it and link it to repeated rejection and verbal attack. Seems like a lot stems from those experiences. Who knew so much damage could occur in a time span of three to four years?

One thing I’ve observed is that love intolerance almost never arises around adults. I’ve been blessed with fairly stable adult influences, and I know my family loves, even as screwed up as we all are. Peers, on the other hand, are a different story. This is where my love intolerance becomes an issue. This is where the problem arises. I try not to let it get in the way…

I know I’m loved, accepted, all that. I have the knowledge in my head. Somehow, though, I can’t etch it in my heart. I don’t feel it. I can tell myself twenty billion times, but it’ll rarely sink in. I could be showered with love and acceptance, then start freaking out whether or not the person even likes me two hours later.

Love does make a difference. I’m overjoyed when I feel wanted. What I’m saying is that I can’t make it last, no matter how much I want it to. I’d like to feel at peace knowing I’m accepted–peace in both my heart and mind. I don’t want to live like “I know you love me, but you don’t really.” It’s terribly confusing.

To me, love is performance-based. A high performance receives a greater quantity and sincerity of love than a lower performance. Sort of like a dog. The dog performs the trick and gets a treat. If he fails, the treat is withheld.

The dog analogy came to me sometime this past July. It felt true to my issue, so I ran with it. I’m going to extend and analyze this analogy now. It’s funny how I see myself as the dog and my peers as the humans. Deep down, do I feel inferior to them? Absolutely. A lot of this is rooted in inferiority, I think. Life, to me, is a ladder. Other people happen to be further up on it than me. When I fail or mess up, I’m knocked down a rung.

It’s scary how performance-based I’ve become, not only with peer acceptance, but with everything. Especially grades. I’m getting straight A’s. By most people’s standards, I’m doing really well. But I don’t see that 97 percent in English. I see the 3 percent I failed to get. A perfect score on that French test isn’t enough, because I missed the bonus point.

In eighth grade, I failed to achieve. Academically, I accomplished little that year. Most of the time, I was failing almost all my classes. Only by getting partial credit for late homework and retaking tests and quizzes did I manage the grades I did. At the end of the year ceremonies in June, almost everyone in the auditorium got up to receive an award, even if it was just the A/B Honor Roll certificate. Not once did I move my butt from my seat. It was then that it really, really hit me–I’d failed. No, I didn’t fail the grade, but I had in my mind. The pressure I put on myself to achieve, or as I put it, “bounce back”, increased dramatically that day. Now, I’m in ninth grade. For most, the slate is clean. But not for me. I have an entire year to make up for.

That’s why I’m retaking Algebra 1. And even then, I’m still only scratching an A minus. I’m ashamed of that A minus. What would’ve been excellent last year is scum now.

There you have it, folks. I cannot fail. Not when I have friendships, college, expectations, self-esteem, and so much more on the line. I’m walking on a tightrope, and I really, really, really can’t screw up now.

Please. Somebody. Show me that it’s okay to fail. Give me a reason to believe that. I’m afraid I’ll snap from the stress, like a rubber band at its breaking point.

I guess I’m a dog and a rubber band. How does that work?

 

 

Everyone in the whole world…

I remember keeping a prayer journal in third grade–a little green and blue notebook with pages full of nine-year-old hopes and dreams. My prayers usually started with my list of requests, and they ended like this.

“…and please help everyone in the whole world who’s hurting right now. Amen.”

Even back then, before life really slammed into me, I knew that there were people out there going through pain unimaginable to my young heart. I knew that the world was a hurting place, and I wanted it to be not as hurt anymore. It was just like that.

I’m constantly trying to help people, even if it’s just smiling at them or having a quick conversation with them. When I see someone else crying, I want to start crying, too. I wish there could be some way for me to reassure them, just be there for them. People, humans in general, are so broken. Everything’s upside down, and it hurts my heart.

I think I’m going to pray like a third-grader today.

 

 

Attack with potent verbs!

On February 6th, I started writing something. Yesterday, while clearing out old emails, I found about a page-and-a-half of the story. Is it possible to impress oneself? Because I was impressed. Maybe it was because this specific piece of writing was different. Usually, I write in past-tense. That’s my default. This story, however, was written in present-tense. It feels fresh reading it, like the writing part of me is awakening from a deep sleep.

The story doesn’t continue to be great. I remember the only reason I kept writing it was because if I stopped, I’d basically be admitting to myself that I was depressed, and I didn’t really want to do that. Consequently, the story became a soupy mess of goop. I think I stopped writing it sometime in March.

Guess what? Seven months later, I’m continuing the story. It shows a lot of potential, so long as I delete everything beyond the first page-and-a-half. The idea has sparked in my mind again, lighting the bright fire of inspiration that lies within me.

While continuing the story, I’ve made a brilliant discovery. Descriptions and good adjectives are very important to good writing, but so many people forget another crucial part of this–the verb. Especially in present-tense stories, where the focus is action, good verbs are needed to keep the reader involved. Oftentimes, verbs can give descriptions that are just as good as adjectives. For example…

The mother squeezes into the nearest space on the bench, bouncing a child on each knee. The young man, whose blonde head just barely peeks over the top of his seat, twists around and faces me. I know him when I see his eyes—bluish green, almost a turquoise color.

What if I had written it like this?

The mother sits in the nearest space on the bench, putting a child on each knee. The young man, whose blonde head is only a little visible over the top of his seat, turns around and faces me. I know him when I see his eyes—bluish green, almost a turquoise color.

It’s kind of blah, right? There’s nothing that grabs you there. I used weak verbs like ‘sit’, ‘turn’, and ‘put,’ whereas in the other sample I used stronger verbs like ‘squeeze’, ‘bounce’, ‘peek’, and ‘twist.’ Doesn’t it give you a clearer image?

Imagine verbs as weapons. If you’re in battle, are you going to attack with nail-clippers and safety pins like ‘says’ or ‘does?’ No! You want to have a strong, powerful effect on the reader, so you’re going to use heavy maces and swords like ‘sniffs’ and ‘croaks.’

So, attack with potent verbs! Go now, march!

 

 

 

Rediscovery Day Four: I’m a crier.

At one of my birthday parties (I don’t quite remember what age I was turning) a friend gave me a card that had a poem about friendship written on it. For some reason, the birthday card really touched me, so I started weeping in front of my entire party. Everyone was wondering what was wrong, gathering around me and patting my back, trying to find out why a birthday card could evoke such emotion in a person.

That’s the kind of person I am. A crier. Yet, no matter how often it seems to happen, I hate crying in front of people. Something is so vulnerable and exposing about it. I try to help it, but sometimes it cannot be controlled. Before I know it, I’m sobbing as hard as I did when Carl’s wife died in Up.

I’m trying to accept the fact that I cry a lot. Some people are big feelers, and some aren’t. I just happen to be one of the big feelers, and that’s okay. After all, for anyone whose childhood revolved around VeggieTales…

“My mother was a caterpillar; my father was a worm. But I’m okay with that now.”

I’m a crier, and I’m okay with that now.

Rediscovery Day Three: French!

Who can guess what I’m wearing today? That’s right, a sweater–a thick green one from my mom’s closet. Anyway, it’s time for my daily rediscovery. Here’s what I wrote today in free period.

French. I absolutely adore French with all my heart. Always have, always will. It’s graceful, gorgeous, and comes so naturally. In seventh grade, I took an Intro to Foreign Language class. We were introduced to French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Japanese. That’s when I discovered I had a natural talent for languages. (Except Japanese. For whatever reason, it didn’t make sense to me.) I hated Latin. Spanish was easy, but I didn’t like it. German was quite natural for me, but because my older brother was taking French, I decided to take it, too.
     It was the best decision of my life, and I haven’t regretted a second of it. In eighth grade, I started my first year of French. Even while I was depressed, apathetic, and nearly failing all my other classes, French still squeezed its way into my mind and made a permanent place there. All year, I got 100 percent or higher. (Actually, one quarter it dropped to a 99.80, and I started crying.) The thing with me is that if I start out really well, I have to keep doing well. I feel obligated to. If I start off on the wrong foot, I’m doomed.
     This is my second year of French, and I’m getting something like a 98. I love when my classmates look at me, amazed, and ask “Are you a freshman?!” or “Are you French?” Yes, I am a freshman; and I am part French. I don’t think being part French really makes a difference, though. My mom is more French than I am, and she doesn’t have any aptitude for the language. Besides, I’m more Swedish than anything else.
     Anyway, if you know me, just come up to me and say something in French. Have a conversation with me. I will love you forever and ever, and I’ll do my very best to continue the conversation with my limited knowledge.
     You know what I really want? I want to wear a nice, thick sweater, drink creamy hot chocolate around a fire with my friends, and speak French. Can this please happen? Like, a French Christmas party? We can have baguettes, and I’ll make myself a croque-monsieur.
     I’m going to write something really random in French.
     Cette pizza est mauvaise. Je suis malade! Excusez-moi, je vais vomir maitenant. Est-ce que je peux aller aux toilettes?
     It translates to: this pizza is bad. I am sick! Excuse me, I am going to vomit right now. Can I go to the bathroom?
     Ha ha. I’m cool.

I’m enjoying these rediscovery days. I need to do this more often.

Rediscovery Day Two: Musical Tastes

Rediscovery Day Two: Musical Tastes

My music tastes have drastically changed through the years. Well, sort of.

Before fifth grade, I didn’t really listen to music on my own. It was pretty much whatever was playing in my parents’ car, and also High School Musical. Well, I was introduced to music (and YouTube) with “Fireflies” by Owl City. Then in sixth grade, I got into Justin Bieber. That was all I listened to–Fireflies and Justin Bieber. By seventh grade, I had branched out into One Direction, Bruno Mars, and even some rap. Don’t judge me.

In eighth grade, I had this music-changing realization that pitch-correction exists. That drove me away from pretty much all pop music ever (which is sad, because there is some good pop out there). I wanted music that I could relate to, so I got into the screaming “there is no love” stuff. Also some classic rock, which is good. But mostly the darker stuff. I developed an unnatural hatred for the music I used to listen to, and I liked to shove in people’s faces that I hated what they listened to and that they should stop. I did that for several reasons. Here are some (not in any order).

  1. I was ashamed of my old self and wanted to destroy any remnant of who I was.
  2. I was angry with myself and wanted something to take it out on.
  3. I was angry at everything and everyone.

I want to make it clear that I no longer care what other people listen to. If someone loves One Direction, or even Nicki Minaj, I’ll let them do that. Everyone has different preferences, and criticizing them for liking a different genre or style would be like criticizing them for wearing a different brand of clothing. I’m not an angry little fireball anymore. Live your life how you see fit.

Back to the music. By the end of eighth grade, my music tastes softened, along with my heart. I got back into Coldplay (always been a Coldplay fan, always will be) and into some New Age-y relaxing music. That stuff is beautiful! I discovered The Eagles, Chicago, Bob Seger, and others through listening to the radio.

Now, I like almost anything. I don’t typically listen to the screaming, angsty stuff anymore, but I’ll give it credit for being well-done. My attempt to destroy my old self only ended up broadening my tastes, which are now quite eclectic. Bread is still the best, though. I love their sweet, melodramatic melodies. I’ve always had a romantic and borderline melodramatic personality. Bread appeals to that side of me. I also love Coldplay. Listening to Coldplay makes me feel like I’m flying.

Okay, and a confession. I like the song “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. Sometimes we all like that one song that we don’t have a reason for liking, but we just like.

I’ve got to get back to listening to Bread. And eating bread. And bread pudding. Yeah, I just really like bread, don’t I?