The Burdens of Two

I think you should know that my deepest desire
is to mend all your hurt and illumine your fire
Do you see that you’re able to love and inspire,
that you’re really a person to trust and admire?

You won’t give yourself kindness, which you so deserve.
You won’t give yourself credit for all that you’ve earned.
I do miss your smile; I await its return.
For you know I can’t bear when you crash, fall, and burn.

Remember the giggles, the dolls and the bees,
and running through grass on a warm summer’s eve?
No matter the weather, we can both can agree
that burdens and trials aren’t our cup of tea.

But alas, we got older. Yes, this much is true.
Sometime in our lives we matured and we grew.
I tried to be someone of trust and virtue.
I’ve tried and I’ve prayed, so what more can I do?

My heart, it hangs open and wide like a door.
There’s so much to treasure, to love and live for!
I can trust; I can hear; I can plead and implore
But the burdens of two aren’t so light anymore. 

 

 

I can’t believe I used to hate reading.

If you go to school with me, you’ll see me reading. It’s inevitable. During lunch, free periods, spaces during a lecture…every day. If I finish a book, I must have another with me immediately. Today, in fact, I finished a book during lunch and rushed off to the library before my last class. I could not go one minute without having something to read. 

It wouldn’t have been so during most of middle school. I actually used to hate reading, and I was even proud of it. How foolish was I! The fact of the matter was that I just wasn’t reading the right books, and I wasn’t reading them in the right environment. You can’t read Pride and Prejudice while having sappy pop tunes blasting through earphones. And also, I’m not sure a Harlequin romance is the best book for a boy-obsessed, hormonal twelve-year-old. 

In March of my eighth grade year, I was forced to pick up a book. I’d finished a test (we were taking it in the library) and I had nothing to do. The book was wonderful. For the first time in years, I cried over literature. I read during class, during lunch, at home…I lapped up those wonderful words. When I finished, I picked up another. It was just as good. And so began my obsession…

Please tell me I’m not the only one to, from time to time, skip showers for reading. Everyone does it…right? I mean, feeling gross for a little longer is totally worth it for pages and pages and adventures. 

I can’t be the only one.

My First Kiss (awkwardness included)

I was writing about a topic that’s actually important, but I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, so I just quit. Lacking inspiration, I googled things to blog about. One of them was to describe your first kiss experience, not leaving out any of the awkwardness. 

All through elementary school, I was obsessed with getting my first kiss. I imagined it would be in a wonderfully twilit park, with a fountain bubbling in its center. I’d be wearing a formal dress, and he’d be dressed accordingly. Really, I had it all planned out. I even practiced kissing windows (admit it, we all did). It was going to be perfect. 

The moment finally came when I was twelve, in seventh grade. I’d been “dating” this guy for just over two weeks. We were both in the Advanced Chorus, and we were on a field trip for a singing evaluation. I’ll admit that, being a twelve-year-old girl, I was immature about it. I convinced my friends to ask him to kiss me. I don’t think he was going to originally, but we’d just been given great scores for our singing. We had a winner’s high. Back on the school bus to come home, we sat together. My friends, in the next seat over, started telling goofy ghost stories. Determined to get kissed, I pretended to cry, putting my head in my hands. My “boyfriend” leaned over and asked what was wrong. I looked up, his face was right there, and we just sort of…leaned. I have no recollection of who leaned in first. It just sort of happened. While we were kissing, my friends in the seat over started squealing, “Aw, they’re making out!” We weren’t making out. We were two seventh graders putting our mouth holes against each other. That was all. 

Afterwards, we were both in such shock (it was his first kiss as well) that we both just stared at the front of the bus with blank gazes. When I finally wrapped my mind around what had just happened, I became ecstatically happy and began to beat quick rhythms into the seat in front of me. Once I’d calmed down a little, I tried to lean my head on his shoulder. He thought I was falling over and quickly scooted forward. I landed with my head on the seat right next to his butt. I was mildly mortified.

Like I said, awkwardness included. 

We “broke up” thirteen days later. Yes, it was a short-lived, as most middle school couples are. (I put everything in quotes because I don’t exactly count it as a real dating relationship.) 

It wasn’t perfect. But hey…we were both wearing formal attire. Whaddya know? 

 

Sorting Controversies (Harry Potter)

Some people are unhappy with, or perhaps unsure of, their placement in one of the four Houses at Hogwarts: Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff. Because the Sorting Hat doesn’t actually exist (sadly), the next best option is taking the quiz on Pottermore. 

The thing is, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the four Houses. Gryffindor is known for chivalry and bravery; Hufflepuff is known for loyalty and kindness. There’s some obvious overlap right there. Not everyone who’s intelligent and loves learning is placed into Ravenclaw–take Hermione, for instance. 

I love learning and trying new things. I’m creative and intelligent, too. Does that make me a Ravenclaw? With only that information, one might say so–but I’m not a Ravenclaw. I’m undoubtedly a Hufflepuff. In my opinion, one is Sorted based largely on what he or she values most. I deeply value loyalty, kindness, fairness, and hard work. I consider myself a good and fiercely protective friend. My greatest wish is to be liked, to be known as accepting and tolerant, and most of all, to make others feel loved and appreciated. Sure, I show qualities that could be considered Ravenclaw, but I think to some extent everyone shows qualities of other Houses. Even Harry was nearly placed in Slytherin. 

As Dumbledore said, it’s your choices that make you who you are. What do you value? What do you consider yourself? Pottermore may be correct most of the time, but sometimes it may be wrong. For instance, sometimes it asks you to choose between heads and tails, black or white, dawn or dusk. I can’t see how that would determine your House placement. Also, the assortment of questions asked may affect your Sorting. I have probably about four Pottermore accounts. Three of them Sorted me into Hufflepuff (one gave me a choice between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw), and one sorted me into Ravenclaw. As I said before, I’m undoubtedly a Hufflepuff. It’s just possible that the questions presented to me happened to be asking questions that would play on my intelligent qualities, incorrectly placing me into Ravenclaw. For example, one of the questions asked me which subject I’d most like to study at Hogwarts, and I chose all of them available to me. Another question asked which path I’d travel down, and I chose the cobblestone road lined with ancient houses. Yes, I’m intelligent and I love to learn–but Hufflepuffs, and any other House, that is, can be so just like Ravenclaw. Again, what do you value? Who do you think you are? 

The Idea of Running

It’s a warm, clear afternoon. Having nothing to do, I pull on some tennis shoes and head outside for a run. It is wonderful, freeing, and blissful–for the first fifteen steps. Then I become frustrated and head back inside.

I want to like running, I really do. The idea of running is wonderful. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s embarrassing. It’s tiring. In the comfort and safety of my own mind, I go for runs all the time. When I finally make the decision to do it for real, I…well, I never make the decision to begin with. I don’t know where to start. I’m intimidated by people who actually know how to do it right. You know, the people who run a 5K every morning, who think it’s fun and enjoyable. I want to be that person, it’s just that I’m probably the worst runner you will ever meet…and I mean ever.

The first memories I really have of running date back to fourth grade or so. It was gym class, and we were forced to run the mile. That class, I realized how much I hated it. Running, I mean. I finished in fifteen minutes. Later in the year, I finished thirteen-and-a-half minutes. Still terrible, right? 
Fifth grade was worse. Not in the time amount necessarily, but in the shame associated with running. “You all should be able to run a mile in nine to twelve minutes,” barked the gym teacher, glancing over at me. I really thought I could do it, I really did. I went out on that field with an optimistic outlook. Once we began to run, however, I felt differently. It hurt. I was slow and awkward compared to my peers. Every time I slowed to a walk, the gym teacher would scream at me from across the field. Eventually, only three or so kids were still completing the mile–I was one of them. Fed up, the teacher asked the “faster runners” to chase us so we’d be forced to go faster. I was already embarrassed, and then had to endure being chased by people who taunted me and put me down. 

Yes, chased. I still chose, however, to join a running program that year. For whatever reason, I don’t know. I was the slowest one in the group. Nobody clapped for me at the end of the practice 5K–except the adults, of course. When I ran the real 5K, I finished in just over 57 minutes. 

The last time I checked (which was probably a year ago), I ran a mile in 12:40. I still haven’t reached the gym teacher’s expectations. Every sport I’ve tried has been humiliating and an awful experience. I’m just no good at them. My mind can outrun my body any day. 

I will read articles on running for hours. I will listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, spend an hour trying to look like I know what I’m doing, and buy awesome new shoes–but I’ll never run. I’ll never do the work. Like I said, I want to like it. It’s a wonderful idea, but it’s never really gotten further than my imagination. 

Glorification adding to stigma?

If you’ve ever been on any sort of social media site, specifically tumblr, you’ve probably seen some of the depressionspiration. Yes, depressionspiration. You’ve probably heard of thinspiration–more commonly known as thinspo or pro-ana–the glorifying of anorexia (by glorifying, I mean painting it as desirable, when eating disorders really aren’t). D-spo (I made up that term, by the way, and I’m going to abbreviate it like so) is doing the same thing for depression. I might even venture to say that it’s being treated as hip or trendy. 

To be blunt, this pisses me the hell off. A lot. Depression isn’t glamorous. It isn’t some cute little clique where everyone wears blue shirts that say #TEAM DEPRESSION written on them. I don’t understand why society is trying to tell us that this mental illness is a cute, graceful, quirky thing. It’s actually not. And this is just my experience, but there’s really nothing glamorous about being sprawled out on the couch with greasy hair feeling like a miserable piece of feces. 

This D-spo doesn’t help end stigma. In my opinion, it just increases it. In the eyes of others, why would we need recovery when our lives are these pretty black-and-white pictures? It minimizes the actual, legitimate problem of depression. I’m not necessarily saying that all those who reblog or post the D-spo are not depressed; they very well could be. I’m just saying that these posts are not helpful in any way whatsoever. 

Not only is D-spo a smattering of glorifying posts, it is also a bucket of lies in that it makes those with depression (and any other mental illness, really) out to be freaky monsters. You’ve seen it–the ghastly girl chained to a dirty bed crying tears of poison–stuff like that. It’s harmful. These images are not only frightening and potentially triggering, they’re completely false. It’s not like you can walk into a crowd of people and point out the people who are depressed and those who aren’t. You’re never going to be able to know. The same goes for the portrayal of psychiatric hospitals in society. We don’t live in the 1880’s anymore. If you’re imagining a tiny little cage with a screaming child chained inside it, you’re wrong. If you’re imagining a room full of people whose eyes roll around in their heads and turn different colors, you’re wrong. Portraying such things like this isn’t helpful. It isn’t working to end stigma. It’s just adding to the lies society puts in our heads about depression. 

One last thing–it’s a good idea to unfollow D-spo blogs, especially if you’re struggling with depression, self-injury, suicidal thoughts, or pretty much anything else. They’re really counterproductive. I personally have taken a recovery-centric approach to blogging. I’ve followed a ton of encouraging bloggers. It doesn’t always work, and I don’t always feel it, but it’s always good to surround yourself with positive people and images. 

That’s about it for tonight. Goodnight lovelies! 

I’m different and I talk about silver linings and stuff

I want to stop seeing myself as so much of a victim, and more of an overcomer. I don’t have to be what troubles me. I’m not my past. I’m just Abigail, and I want to define myself differently. I want to be able to laugh at myself, to not care so much. Honestly, the only one judging me is myself. Nobody’s talking about me behind my back. Nobody secretly hates me (as far as I know). I’m trying to take on the attitude of summer. Yes, the season. Summer doesn’t care. It’s forgiving and warm. If somebody doesn’t like me, they can screw off. I’m just different. I’m Abigail. I don’t deserve to be looked at rudely or talked down to, bullied or mocked. Nobody can make me different. Let’s face it, I do weird crap. I don’t make any sense. And you know what? That’s okay. Making sense isn’t any fun. 

I should start seeing the things I beat myself up over as good things. My clinginess, for instance. There’s got to be some good in that. What’s the silver lining? Sure, I’m clingy, but is that perhaps because I care deeply for people? Maybe every bad quality is just a twisted form of a good quality. Clinginess is a twisted form of loyalty and love, perhaps. Maybe my being easily wounded is because I have a sensitive soul? I’m sensitive to other people hurting, too.

I’m not trying to use this to justify bad behavior. I mean, if you kill people, you can’t really twist that. I’m really talking more of things we’re insecure about, things we hate ourselves for. Hey, I should make a list!

I don’t really know how to end this, so…hey, you! You are loved! You are special! Everything is going to be okay, I promise.