Life Changes (FC)

dink, dink, dink.

BOOM!

What is this? Where am I? I’ve wanted to break free from that sphere for so long but now I’m scared and I want to go back. I want to be back inside my safe gel-like bubble that nothing else could reach me in. There are many others who look like me swimming by my side, but we don’t converse. We do not interact with anyone but our own mind, for we all are feeling the same thing. Confined for so long… but now I’m free. And very very scared. And lonely.

That feeling!! Right in between my tail and my head, something is missing. Something needs to fill that empty feeling. I am scared. And lonely. And empty.

This green stuff appeals to me. Can it fill this empty feeling? If only I could somehow swim up to the translucent green glow above me and somehow get it to that empty feeling. What is this? Where am I?

***

I’m hopping along the nature given cobblestone of my home pond, and I recall this strange vision. I can’t tell if it’s a memory or simply a dream. If a memory, it must have been from before my transformation into the long-legged hopper that I am today. Sometimes I look around and I see others like me, but nothing compares to the vision of the brown, finless, gilled things that swam alongside me.

I wonder if they too, went through a phase of change, or if I am the odd one out. I wonder if they’d ever send a croak my way. Probably not. I’m not social, by nature. For now, I will continue to hop along. Just keep hopping, just keep hopping.

Whether it is dark or light, day or night, I will just keep hopping. It’s almost as if I’m searching; searching for something. I have no idea what that something is but I will keep hopping and hoping, hopping and hoping. This routine has been going on for days and I have found nothing, but that’s no reason to give up on the fight. The fight for what? The fight to find out what I’m searching for.

I think one day I’ll stop. When I –

SCREEEEEECCCHHHH! 


The light… the light is fading… a dark circle is beginning to enclose around the center of my eye. Smaller, bigger, smaller, bigger. Maybe this small tunnel of light will lead me to what I’m looking for. I think I have finally found direction. A voice. I hear a voice.

“Brian! Did you just hit a frog?”
“Erin, I think I did. I feel so bad…!”

So this is heaven….

Pass The Flame From Wick To Wick (FC) (PB) (SSR)

Hey friends. I love you all more than you realize and more than I show sometimes. I pray that you can all remember the things that these photos speak to and hope that you can all be content with your life; family, friends, relationships, and all. Don’t hold onto things that aren’t bettering the world and yourself. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! (Read the book – buy it here) Seriously. Don’t stress if it’s not something that will matter a year from that moment. Don’t argue silly things or take things personally that aren’t meant personally. Don’t be too quick to get defensive. (But hey, we’re all guilty of these things! No one is perfect and gets it right all the time. But try to be aware of your actions 🙂 ) Instead, if you MUST stress, stress about real issues, like which schools you’re applying to and what you’d like to do for a career. Still don’t argue, but maybe be expressive of things that you truly believe in and stand for without shame and offense. Realize that someone may be trying to stretch you as a person and grow you in a positive way; their criticism isn’t something that you need to defend yourself against.

Upset that people seem mad at you? Upset with you? Maybe they’re mean to you? Just remember: treat people like you’d like to be treated. If they don’t respond to friendliness with friendliness, does that mean stop being friendly? No. Do what you can to show others what being a friend is all about. A kind word, hug, or smile can change a person – maybe for a moment and maybe for a lifetime. You have an impact… use it! Be the reason that someone will come to school. Be the friend that they go to when they’re broken. Be the person that you’d like to have in any situation… even if they wouldn’t do the same for you. Be the friend you’d like to have. BE KIND. Don’t joke around with someone’s insecurities or failures. Sarcasm is a fiery whip that stings because it always stems from somewhere. Even “just a joke” can be the reason that someone isn’t happy. That’s bullying. So again, you have an impact. Make it a positive one.

Remember that forgiveness isn’t for the other person. Forgiveness is a selfish act and the first step to sucking the bitterness out of your heart that has been injected from an interaction with someone else. If you have beef with someone, don’t let it build up in your gut before it festers into the biggest thing in your life. If someone is hurting you (physically, emotionally or spiritally) LET THEM KNOW. Use kind words and a non-accusing tone, but TELL THEM. They probably don’t even know that they’re hurting you, and if you don’t let them know, a big monster will grow inside of you and come out in the worst way with the worst possible timing. Don’t let that hurt monster become you. Tell them. If they decide that your hurt isn’t important to them… forgive them anyways. Maybe find someone new to hang out with. But forgive them and move on with your life. What someone’s opinion is of you really doesn’t matter – good or bad.

So back to where I started… Don’t sweat the small stuff. AND IT’S ALL SMALL STUFF! You guys, it’s SENIOR YEAR! As if you didn’t already know that. Let’s do what we can to be positive and enjoy these last bits of high school life that we have together. Don’t let bitterness, sadness, and hurt feelings overtake you; you’re stronger than that.

Sorry for a similar type post, I’ve just had a lot laid on my heart this week. Is it possible to attempt to create a world of love without hate? I know where it starts. It starts within us. We must make the choice for ourselves to be loving, and if everyone does the same, we will have peace. Be an example. Spread the love!

Here are the lyrics to a song that I sang with Katie Steiner and many of you in the second grade. Remember these child-like words and apply them. ❤

If I light just one candle and you light just one, too, and we pass the flame from wick to wick, from us to you and you..

And if we keep it going around the world, you’ll see the world is glowing with the light that came from you and me!

duet:

With one candle, just one candle. .. Yes, one candle burning bright. With one candle, just one candle, we can fill the world with light.

all:

If we light just one candle and pass the flame to you,

all our light would glow from place to place, ;and we would glow there, too.

And when we keep it going, the light will show the way to touch the people ’round the world by shining night and day!

all (opt. div):

With one candle, just one candle. Yes, one candle burning bright. With one candle, just one candle, we can fill the world with light.

all with duet:

With one candle, just one candle. Yes, one candle burning bright. With one candle, just one candle, we can fill the world with light.

solo:

With one candle, just one candle,

duet:

we can fill the world with light. With light.

The Vision (CRR) (PB)

(So this is a lengthy post but hang in there as you read, guys!! It’s worth at least a skim!)

We all go through times when the expectations and deadlines of this world are crippling. There are times when nothing is enjoyable and simply the thought of going through the motions for just one more day is unbearable. Sadness is a strange thing, and is irreparable when you let it be. Sadness can be one of the most damaging things to the human soul, if allowed. Sadness isn’t something forced upon us, but it is a natural human reaction to a change of plans. Knowing that life will change due to a specific event renders emotions of denial, disappointment and anger. But letting these feelings completely deplete you and dwelling on the plans for the future can be devastating to life.

In the The Bell Jar, we observe Esther as she continues going through the motions of life, never really being present and refusing to decide a path for her future. It’s almost as if she’s becoming numb to events around her and people walking in and out of her life, which is terrifying. I assume that her position was brought on by a great disappointment in the plans she had for herself and her life. She’s purely not happy. The fact that she is resistant to choosing a path shows that she’s afraid of the disappointment that seems all too normal for her. Humans have a tendency to resist change because they’ve become comfortable with how things are and how things are going to go. Esther has experienced that this isn’t how life works and her sadness is her way of expressing that she’s not really okay with how life works. Sadness is almost her rebellion to the typical roller-coaster of life.

Sadness is something that isn’t forced upon us by anyone or anything. As stated before, it’s a natural reaction to a change of plans. Everyone has a vision of the future. Maybe the vision is the roars in the stadium when walking out onto the freshly mowed baseball field, or maybe it’s the child who looks so much like his father running around the house while dinner is being prepared. Maybe it’s that hug from mom at graduation when she whispers, “Congratulations, I love you”, or that walk with dad down the aisle towards Mr. Perfect, who will obviously be the perfect husband and father. Whatever the vision is, it’s there. The problem with visions are that reality doesn’t always agree, and here is where we have the option to choose sadness.

Maybe the vision was ruined by a car accident injuring the pitching arm, or infertility. Maybe it was ruined by the passing of a loved one, or it turned out that “Mr. Perfect” wasn’t so perfect after all. Clearly these events can crush the imaginary events that were scheduled, and by human nature, it’s disappointing. These events can be devastating if we were latched tightly onto those visions as if they were memories waiting to happen. This is a time to let go of the previous vision that was grasped so tightly. It’s time to see things as they are and move on. It’s time to create a new vision of how your future will look now with the variable of the change included. This is also perfect opportunity for sadness to creep in and consume who someone is. It’s easy to let sadness take over and allow it to become the new normal and the new comfortable… because it’s easy. It’s what comes naturally. In Esther’s case, the sadness of her life has taken hold of her and she continues to be completely okay with that. She doesn’t take any steps towards happiness, because she fears feeling this unreal disappointment becoming fresh again.

Latching onto ideas of the future is necessary for happiness. While settling with sadness is easy and safe, grasping a new plan for the future creates hope. Hope is vital when pursuing happiness. Maybe a new vision could be hearing the roars of the stadium while coaching the baseball game, or being blessed with a child who didn’t have the best life in Ethiopia. Maybe it could be knowing that mom would’ve been proud and she’s watching from a healthier place, or realizing that travel is a passion that’s hard to pursue with “Mr. Perfect” always right there anyways; maybe our plans aren’t always realistic, but they stir hope in our souls and help us to keep pursuing something. The day we lock away any plans, dreams, and goals for the future is the day we lock away motivation, hope, happiness.

Change, change, change. Going, going, going. Life doesn’t have to stop until death. While that seems like a “duh” statement, it’s true. Life continues to happen even if it appears to have stopped because everything that seemed to be life is changing and gone. To choose to be sad is to choose to live dead in a lively world. Sadness is the decision to not accept a new reality and resistance the happiness that’s to come from any current circumstance. Just because change isn’t accepted doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Denial and sadness about something doesn’t diminish the fact that it happened. It is what it is, and as people we can choose to accept the new, incorporate it into our vision, and move on or we can chose to reminisce about how things were prior to the here and now. Reality check: we LIVE in the here and now. We LIVE today. We LIVED yesterday and we HOPE of living tomorrow. Aimlessly living without any desires KILLS us. Slowly but surely, we begin to die from the lack of pursuance to live.

Don’t get stuck like Esther; continue to live. Resist the path that’s the easiest to go along with, because it won’t create happiness. Sure, the feeling of disappointment will never occur again, because there’s nothing to be disappointed about. But remember that happiness can be created when a vision becomes reality and our plans pan out just like we thought they would, and not all plans go wrong. So without an optimistic attitude about the blessings that have come along with a change and accepting them into a new vision of the future, happiness is unattainable.

If you’re always looking back at the bright colors of the past, you will never see how much brighter the colors are now.

Choose happiness.

🙂

And I Stormed Away… (CRR)

Ugh. It’s 7:20 already?! I guess I can roll out of bed and stumble my way into jazz band. Why do I do jazz band anyways? I hate getting up early. My bed is so comfortable right now… why wasn’t it this comfortable last night when I couldn’t sleep? Maybe it would help if I hadn’t gotten in bed so late. But it’s so hard when there’s so much expected of me and I can never disappoint. I had to finish my assignments and practice my dances! Maybe I can doze for another five minutes or so…

z

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Alright. 7:30. A little over five minutes… but that’s okay! I can just get ready really fast. This shower will be one of the fastest showers ever! Shampoo, shampoo, shampoo… condition… wash my bod… aaaand face. Okay! Five minute shower, done. Time to find a matching outfit. Alright, these jeans don’t have any spots on them, and this shirt doesn’t smell funny. Oh, I better brush my teeth. Having bad breath all day is the worst. Whew! 7:54. Better leave soon so I can be in class and ready to go by 8:05. You know, I should start waking up earlier… then I wouldn’t be in such a rush every morning. Those extra 10 minutes really didn’t do anything. Again… why do I do jazz band? I hate waking up to go to a class where I just get yelled at. The constant nagging of how awful I am at playing the saxophone is really frustrating. We are a first place jazz band! That must mean we don’t all suck TOO bad… right?

Well… here I am. Outside the school at 8:03. Better hurry up, or I’ll get marked tardy. For a 0 period band class. Why am I here? What an awful start to my day. AND it’s raining! The worst! Running through the lake in the parking lot always soaks my feet. Awful. Wow, I am just in a negative mood today. Being more positive about everything should start now so that the rest of today isn’t as sad. Okay. Positive mode activated.

Oh shoot, everyone is already out on the stage… am I late? Not again… Okay, awkward. They’re all just staring at me. Grab my stand, grab my chair, grab my music… walk. Walk of shame to my place in the jazz band. I’m all about that second alto life. Why is Nick looking at me funny? He’s always there on time. Go him! That’s why he’s the first alto. Hm. I wonder where Abe is! I guess it’s only 8:09. He’ll show up soon.

“Good morning jazz banditos! Let’s get up A Warm Breeze. And a one and a two…”

Playing. Oh shoot, that was supposed to be an F sharp. I finally hit that rhythm correct, yes!!! Oh.. but I missed that one. Look! Abe! Oh I’m so glad Abe is here. He makes this whole jazz thing not so bad. And I least I wasn’t as late as him. You know, every morning that I actually show up here, Abe brightens my mood. We joke around with each other a bit and do small little dances in our seats when we aren’t playing, which makes me feel a lot better about the fact that I’m here. Why am I here? At least Abe is here too.

“Alright, get up Blues in Hoss Flat. Trumpets, you mess this up every single time. Learn your part, you guys are supposed to be the good band…”

Playing. Wow this sounds pretty darn good. Dancing with Abe. Small swing left, small swing right and stare at Abe. Small swing left, small swing right and stare at Abe. Good thing we only do this when we’re resting, otherwise that’d be hard to play.

Music stops. We were cut off by the HUGE arm movements and angry red face glaring at us. What’s wrong? Why does he look so mad? I guess he gets mad about a lot of things and I see that look a lot… but usually it’s directed at the trumpets. Why is he glaring right at me? Why am I here?

“Erin!!!” Okay.. so it is directed at me…
“Yes..?” Crap… I hate this feeling. My face needs to stop telling everyone when I’m embarrassed. I hate that awful warm sensation creeping up my cheeks letting me know that I am uncomfortable.
“I cannot believe you. All you do is screw off in this class and I have had enough of it. If you do dumb things like that in class, you will do them in the performance-”
“Well I-” Tears are building… but I won’t let them well up. I won’t let them fall.
“Ah! Don’t interrupt. You are distracting to the whole band and aren’t paying any attention at all. You are always late and I need to you step it up. You are not being productive to this class and need to stop distracting.”
“No, that won’t happen in the performance. I have done this all year and have never-”
“No you always do. Just stop.”
I’m leaving. I can’t take this embarrassment, especially because it’s uncalled for. Sure, Abe and I have a little fun in class and I’m a couple minutes late every now and then… But is that reason to call someone out in front of their entire class and yell about how they’re a distraction all of the time. I was so frustrated. But at least he didn’t see my angry tears. Why am I here?

Really…. Why am I here? I’m leaving. In between 0 and 1st period, I’m out. I’ll just run out to my car and drive away because I can’t take another band class with him today. Why is today going so horribly?

And that’s exactly what I did. I left school, talked to my mom, and came back for 2nd period.

Ps this teacher apologized the next day for his outburst and recognized that his actions, words, and tone were all uncalled for, especially at that time and place. He realized that he didn’t have a reason to be upset with me OR call me out in front of everyone. I then received a side hug and we were cool… Until the next time. The question of why I was there can be answered like this: he asked me to be there. And so I was. I hope you’ll be pleased to hear that I am no longer enrolled in jazz band at HHS. Go hawks. 🙂

Pps I am writing this as I sit outside of Music World in Battle Ground. I was purchasing a lyre for my saxophone and a technique book for my flute, being the wonderful, on-top-of-it, band student that i am. In the midst of this, my keys somehow managed to get trapped inside my car and I am trapped outside of it. The joys of doing dumb things. Karma maybe? 😉

Coffeescopes

Railguard

In my beautiful Pacific Northwest world, everything is perfect. We read our books on kindles, tweet every last detail of our lives, and basically our entire plaid world is contained to our computer. With our world on our personal devices, where are we to live? Simple. Coffee shops. The epicenter for wifi hotspots that star as our sun. With a solar system that is only as large as the World Wide Web, do we still rely on the cosmos for guidance? I say we no longer look for this by means of horoscope or Zodiac sign, but instead something a little more relevant to the times. What we drink.

Double Shot Americano- Ordered by the tallish man in the Armani suit. You are most likely to succeed. The nights spend practicing that new proposal to the man in the mirror will be far worth it in the end. Keep persevering!

Chai Spice Latte- Ordered by the woman in…

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The Root Angle (CRR)

As of late, I don’t read literature a lot. I used to constantly have my nose in a book and have a book with me everywhere I went. High school kind of ruined that for me, with my crazy schedules and consistent lack of sleep. The only time that I have recognized myself to be reading is to grow myself as a person or to grow my knowledge of the world around me.

I am totally a non-fiction kind of girl. As much as I love fiction, I love non-fiction even more. Reading books on spirituality, reading the bible, or reading the news are my favorite things. Generally, most people find this kind of odd, and then there’s the occasional person who agrees. These types of writing really get me thinking and really change me. They help me form my roots about life and opinions about the world around me.

I’ve been trying to apply this to literature. It totally applies, if I let it! Looking at a character’s life and empathizing with them, learning with them, and adding their circumstance to our repertoire of memories DOES help to grow. After reading Harry Potter, it was always and obvious duh that I should  “follow the spiders” to get what I want. Sometimes doing the scariest things life are exactly what need to happen to make life better. As I read Twilight, I can recognize that I never ever ever want to be a part of that couple. Certain themes or ideas constantly jump out at me and help shape the way I live my life because generally I can see how these themes already fit with how I am living and they remind me of my roots.

I’m trying to get back into reading more. I truly do miss it and I wish that there were more than 24 hours in the day. Getting back into growing my roots through reading is necessary to continue to grow as a person. If I didn’t do this, I would be stagnant and stay at 17 forever… and NOBODY wants a 17 year old Erin around forever. Yikes!