Annoying Grammar Freaks

Back in eighth grade, I was a pretentious little bitch. (Yes, this includes the era during which I began this blog.) One of the many things I was arrogant about was grammar. I had it in my mind that anyone who didn’t write with impeccable writing mechanics was inferior to me. It was terrible. In the last days of school, people wrote nice little goodbye messages on the whiteboard–and I went up and corrected the grammar mistakes. Yes, I actually erased people’s writing and wrote it back in with corrections. I remember spending my free periods taking up an entire whiteboard with  “Grammar 101” lessons. In my free time. Yes. I constantly nagged people about their mechanics, especially online. The summer after eighth grade, though I was beginning to simmer down at that point, I wrote this:

“Okay, confession time. I used to be a horrible butcher of grammar. My realization didn’t happen until a few months ago, but I assure you–I’m never going back! One cannot call herself a writer and not know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”‘

You know what? You actually can. If you write, you’re a writer. It doesn’t matter if you mix up “your” and “you’re.” It doesn’t even matter if the actual content of your writing sucks. A writer is one who writes. Would you go up to an aspiring author who messed up with the possessive “your” and tell her that she’s a phony? Fucking no.

There is a time and a place to correct grammar. If someone has asked you to proofread their paper, you correct their grammar. If you have a friend who’s a grammar enthusiast, and you’re having a non-serious conversation, you might correct their grammar. But you know what? Most mistakes should honestly be ignored. We all make them. Everybody has stuff they have trouble with. For some (me), it’s math. For others, it’s proper mechanics. That doesn’t make them stupid. You’re not stupid for making a mistake, or for having trouble with a certain subject. It makes you a fucking human being.

If you enjoy grammar, this doesn’t mean you should just give up your interest. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I still enjoy it myself. Yeah, I’ll like those silly little posts on Grammarly, because they’re kind of up my alley. But it’s important to keep your enthusiasm to yourself unless you’re asked for it. You’re not helping anyone by adding “actually, it’s they’re instead of their” to someone’s Facebook status. And, I know this one is overused–but please, call Elsa, because you need to cool down and let it go.

If you want to continue being an arrogant asshole who goes around making people feel bad for their mistakes, then fine. I can’t force you to do anything. But I hope you know that by doing so, you’re just adding hurt and frustration to people’s lives for terribly petty reasons. And for someone who’s trying to go around solving everything, it should be humbling to know that you’re actually creating more problems.

Another Blissful Peak

I looked up at the night sky and began to cry with joy. It was a perfect evening, dark and mildly chilly. God was with me. I know because I felt him. My mind was completely at peace, free of worry or regret. For one rare evening, I lived completely in the moment. I felt the night surround me, clearing my mind. No past reflections. No future daydreams. Just that one, delicious slice of here-and-now.

I had been living so wistfully in the sweet past. Constantly dancing around in my memory, passively wishing that those moments would once again become reality. I had given up seeing the future as full of even better possibilities. To me, the peak of my life had already come and gone. But on that one evening, that one beautiful evening, my eyes were finally opened to the blessings lying before me. I finally fell all the way in love with my life as it is right now. I realized that I stand upon another blissful peak. It is different from the one I stood upon before, but of course, because nothing is ever exactly the same twice. But this peak is no lower. The view is not any less gorgeous. Different does not mean inferior.

I am proud of myself. I am calmer and more contented than I was six months ago. I feel less insecure. I am less childish, but still just as childlike. It’s as if all the troubles I endured have sanded me down into a finer, softer work of art. Finally, truly, I feel like those troubles have paid off and subsided.

It is beautiful.

An Evening

This morning, I had my first AP exam. It was mentally exhausting. (Extreme mental exhaustion also leads to physical exhaustion for me.) When the proctors announced that we were dismissed, cheers erupted. Most of us opted out of continuing the rest of the school day–and rightfully so. When I arrived at home, my mom and brother took me out for IHOP. Happier with a full belly, but still worn-out, I curled up on the sofa with my cat and took a mini nap. When I woke up, I took my computer upstairs, wasted a bunch of time on the internet, and slipped in and out of another nap on my floor. I had a pillow and several blankets, with which I used to wrap myself in a human burrito. Still groggy and burrito’ed, I got to Skype call my best friend. I acted drunk–silliness is a product of exhaustion–but it was still very much an enjoyable call. After that, I slept a wee bit more on my bed, which I had fortunately moved to before the call. Still exhausted, I decided that a run would wake me up a little. It was a wonderful run. I divided it into two parts, with a playground swing break in between. When I returned home, I got to taste some of my brother’s interesting squid dish. It was good! And showers are always great. My body wash is coconut, my shaving gel is mandarin orange blast (whatever that actually means), and my shampoo is Moroccan argan oil. I smell like a freaking beach cocktail. Then I spent more time relaxing on the internet.

I guess I didn’t really have a purpose for writing this. It’s just been an good evening. I finally feel completely refreshed. You know, it only took twelve hours. 🙂

Just Strangers

I lied on a sloping hill and stared up at a dark, starless sky. A few yards up the hill was a large soccer field. Those few yards and a fence were the only things separating me from that field, and thus the players on it. As I listened to the cheering and the blowing of the whistle, I drifted off into a world of speculation. I went home with each of those soccer players. One boy loved orange Gatorade and relaxing in denim bean bag chairs. His parents were divorced. Another had Batman posters in his room, because he loved comic books. Every time he played in a game, he always had a nagging thought that he just wasn’t good enough.

I didn’t want to be on that hill anymore. I wanted to be on the other side of the fence, in the bleachers, under the blinding stadium lights. I wanted to be drinking orange Gatorade and reading Batman comics. I wanted to look into the eyes of each one of those players and tell them that yes, they are enough. I wanted to meet their families, to understand to their hurts, to know them deeply and personally. My heart was filled with loneliness and longing. In an hour, those players would be gone. Back to their denim bean bag chairs. Back to their posters. I would never be on the other side of the fence with them. I would never be able to unravel their needs and speak life into them. They would forever be just soccer players, just faces. Forever strangers, up the hill and behind the fence.

Things Go Stale

Bread. Water. Things become stale over time.  There’s science to back that up–chemical reactions and such. But science can’t explain everything. It can’t explain the gradual deterioration of non-material things.

Take a marriage, for instance. Obviously, I know nothing about it firsthand, but I can make assumptions. Everything starts out wonderfully. Holding hands on long, moonlit walks. Bringing home roses for no reason. Going on drives to nowhere. Hugging on the couch and sharing popcorn while watching a stupid movie. Sex. Laughing at each other’s dumb jokes. Surprise kisses. Somehow, as time wears on, things become like old bread. There’s no more affection or desire. They stop trying to win each other’s hearts; instead, they just bitch about the last piece of meatloaf and how much their jobs suck.

School is another example; this one I can attest to. At the beginning of the year, everything is in order. Pencils are lined up, folders are shiny, homework is turned in right on time. Then things go stale. Papers are shoved at the bottom of backpacks. Every due date is missed. Pencils are broken and collected from the floor. The motivation is gone.

Another–writing stories. At the beginning, inspiration is plentiful. Fingers race across the keyboard until late in the night. Plot lines lie just a daydream away. Characters come alive. Then things go stale. The ideas wither away. Characters breathe their last. Sleep comes quicker. Pages of writing sit in a dusty notebook or a never-used folder on a desktop.

Everything good seems to spoil. Why? Why can’t we hold on to good things? Why is everything so fleeting? It all slips away, and there’s no chemical equation to explain it. All beautiful things just crumble to dust, and there’s nothing we can really do…

is there?

The Worst Wedding

Recently, I’ve secretly taken an interest in my future wedding. Well, not that it’s any surprise. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about how great it will be. How about I imagine a different wedding–the worst one I can possibly imagine?

The wedding is set on a beach. Contrary to the weather forecast, it suddenly begins to rain. First it’s a romantic downpour, but then it quickly turns into a miserable drizzle. The decorations were all rustic paper, so now they’re ruined. The bride ordered her wedding dress online. It only arrived on the morning of the wedding, and it turns out that it’s a completely wrong size–and wrong color. The dress is five sizes too small and in a loud, pepto-pink. There is no time to do anything else. There are no other dresses.

On the groom’s side, he is running hopelessly late. Attempting to get to the wedding on time, he pushes 60 on a 30 mph street. He is pulled over and ticketed. The poor groom shows up late to his own wedding. He accidentally spilled ketchup all over his white seersucker suit (he was having a quick snack).

Half the wedding party has to bail due to severe food poisoning. The photographer is included. They find a sympathetic teenager off the street to take their wedding pictures with her phone. None of them turn out right at all. Both the bride and groom have a nasty cold. He has mostly lost his voice, so he can’t say the vows. When they kiss, she sneezes in his face. The bride also forgot to go to the bathroom before the ceremony, so the whole time she really has to pee.

But ultimately, it isn’t the worst wedding. Why? Because the bride and groom are in love. They are committed to one another. Isn’t that what a wedding is supposed to be, anyway?

Still So Loved

My name is Abigail, and I am a deeply flawed individual. I am self-absorbed. Too often, I put myself before others and become oblivious to anything other than my own thoughts. I am lazy. I’m too preoccupied to complete my tasks. I shirk my duties. I am a hypocrite. There are times when I catch myself in prejudice. I claim to be tolerant, but that isn’t always so. I am insecure. Many times, I rely on others for validation. I am neglectful of my relationship with God. I become caught up in my pursuits, and I forget to pray or read my Bible. I am a frequent sinner. I am and have been greedy, gluttonous, envious, lustful, wrathful, slothful, and prideful. I have fallen short of the glory of God.

I am Abigail, a deeply flawed individual. Deeply flawed, and deeply loved. 

Yes, I am selfish, but I have been granted mercy. Yes, I am lazy and a hypocrite, but I have been cleansed by Jesus. Yes, I fail to remember my relationship with God, but time and time again, He welcomes me back. Yes, I am a sinner–greedy, gluttonous, envious, lustful, wrathful, slothful, prideful–but I am made new in God, and nothing in the world can take that away. I’m a sinner, but I am accepted.

I am still so loved.