Tag Archives: life

happy days are here again.

18 Nov

This school term’s been a little trying for me… well, okay, more than a little trying.

While the work load hasn’t been much different from term’s past, the fact that I’m going through some serious Senior-itis has made it pretty unbearable. Not to mention I’ve been dealing with a three month long existential crisis (something I’ve never truly experienced before) and it has not been going very well. Notice my lack of entries on here? Yeah. Blame the existential crisis.

But I’ve been doing a lot better recently. Nick came back into town (thank the powers that be), so I’ve actually been getting out of the house. This last Wednesday was the best. I didn’t have work and all my classes were canceled (save one, but I skipped it), so Nick and I hung around the apartment for a bit and then went on a three hour walk all around Ashland. It was just the thing I needed to pick my spirits up. Three of my classes were canceled last week, and two are canceled this week (and then Thanksgiving happens) so I’ve had a lot more free time. Meaning? I’m currently way ahead on all my homework, and with the exception of two projects I’m basically set until after Thanksgiving. This is the first time all term that I haven’t felt incredibly bogged down by homework. It’s pretty wonderful.

Today’s been a great day though. It’s one of the few days all term where I haven’t felt down in the dumps about things that are far out of my control. I went to Starbucks and finished going through the second half of a hard copy of my screenplay, and when I finished that earlier than expected I went around and got some early Christmas shopping done. I bought all my gifts for three friends and a couple for my dad, leaving just one more friend, my brother, my five little cousins, and a few more things for my dad. I figure I’ll wrap up the rest of my Christmas shopping once Thanksgiving is over. I’d really like to get most of my Christmas shopping done early this year, so I don’t have to fret about running around and getting it done the week before. (Well, except for Anthony. Dad and I tend to go out and get his gifts together, so I’ll take care of that one later.)

My dad called me up and told me that he liked my Pumpkin Snickerdoodles so much that he’d like me to make them for Thanksgiving. Is it silly that I’m proud over that? This is the first time I’ll actually making something on my own for the family to eat when they’re together. I did tell my dad that instead of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year I want to help him make food, so I guess this is a step in the right direction.

Otherwise, yeah! Today’s been good. My first really good day this term, if you don’t count the couple days I’ve spent with Nick since he got back in town. I think it helps that this term is coming to a close. Plus I’ve been eating pretty healthily and found a new way to do my hair, which sounds silly, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a positive thought about my appearance, so that’s nice. Friends are also a good thing. I’m probably gonna see Nate the Friday after Thanksgiving, then go out for drinks with Kathleen that night. I can’t wait for Christmas break. I’m hoping to spend a lot of time with friends and relish in the Holiday Season.

The moral of this story is that Christmas time makes everything better because it’s my favorite time of the year.

shoe-less girl.

5 Nov

I wanted to ask her why she wasn’t wearing shoes. As I followed in her footsteps, my eyes gazed down at the bare soles padding across the college campus. So many questions floated around in my mind.

Aren’t your feet cold?

Don’t they hurt against the hard concrete?

Do you always do this, or did you wake up feeling like going shoe-less?

Why?

I’ve been going through a quarter life crisis for the past several months of my life. I haven’t talked much of it, because how would it sound coming from a healthy twenty-two year old girl that she’s terrified of dying someday without ever finding her purpose and making a name for herself? Pretty ridiculous. I’m young. I’ve got time. Why need I worry?

But this is something that’s been haunting me lately, which has, in turn, made me reevaluate how I’m living my life. It’s why I’ve begun to exercise daily and eat better. It’s why I’ve tried to be kinder to strangers on the street. It’s why I’ve cut out certain people in my life who never treated me well, and why I’ve brought the people who love me closer. Life is so fucking short. Our job should be not only to make our life the best it possibly can be, but the lives of everyone around us as well.

Last night I watched the movie Into the Wild for the first time, and it instilled in me this will to get up and go. I’m not saying I’d like to go live off the land (because I’m fairly certain that would end rather poorly), but the idea of traveling across the United States, all of Europe, and maybe India… That sounds absolutely wonderful. After I finished the film last night, I found myself looking around at my room and asking myself, “Why do I have so many things?” Why do I have an electric sudoku puzzle that I never play? Three stacks of magazines I’m never going to read? Why do I hold on to old clothes that I’m never going to wear again? I’m looking forward to next summer, since my brother and I have discussed having a yard sale. I just want to purge all things I do not and will not ever need. I’m tired of being materialistic. I know my love of Muppet memorabilia, clothes, and books will never die, but I have this urge from now on to cut out everything else.

So maybe the shoe-less girl has got it right.

The Universe Acts in Mysterious Ways Sometimes

23 Sep

I went to breakfast this morning with my dad at the bed and breakfast he stayed at in Ashland… and… a cute Russian boy asked me to go see Romeo and Juliet with him this afternoon… and I said yes…

…WHAT?

Okay, let’s get a couple things straight: 1) This is not a date. I’m paying for my own ticket. 2) I’m expecting nothing of this, since he’s from San Fransisco. 3) I know nothing about this guy, except he’s traveled all over and works with computers for a living. 4) This does not change the feelings I’ve been going through the last couple days, remembering the man I will always be in love with.

But all that aside, I cannot deny that this is a really nice way to end a (kind of crappy) summer. Seeing a Shakespeare play with a cute guy from a foreign country? Not bad, universe. Apology accepted.

(Side note: I keep meaning to write up a long entry about my time in Portland and at Cannon beach, but my dad’s been in Ashland with me these past few days and I’ve had absolutely no time to myself. School begins tomorrow, but tomorrow evening will be my first night free, so hopefully I’ll finally get around to writing it up.)

it’s all about the perks.

10 Sep

When you’re an adult you can stay up as late as you want reading as much fanfiction as your heart desires and no father is going to barge into your room yelling at you about it being three in the morning and you having school in five hours while you cry because he doesn’t understand your rebellious teenager persona.

Because you’re a goddamn adult.

Yup. Adulthood. I’m doing it right.

never too late to say thank you.

6 Sep

I had a really great start to my morning today. I want to explain, but first a little back story.

All throughout middle school and early high school I took classes and did playlabs with Portland’s well known Northwest Children’s Theatre (NWCT). Though I participated at a time when my acting was less than stellar (ie. downright awful, as I didn’t really become better at acting until I was a junior in high school) my time at NWCT was one of the highlights of my childhood. I made so many friends there, some of which I’m still in contact with to this day, and I was in a handful of productions that are incredibly memorable.

While there, I had many different teachers and instructors for each class I took. Most of them left an impact on me at the time, but as the years flew by I lost my memories of them. All of them, in fact, have been lost in the depths of my awful memory, and I can’t seem to recall a single face of any of my NWCT teachers.

Save one.

I just wrapped up the book Wrinkle in Time, which was my favorite as a kid. It sadly didn’t meet my expectations upon this reread, but I still have many good memories attached to it. As I was reading, I was struck with the memory of seeing a staged version of Wrinkle in Time at NWCT some odd years ago. I remember the awful costume for Aunt Beast, the over acting of Meg as she cried out for Charles Wallace, how cute I thought the guys playing the twins were, and so on.

This, needless to say, put me in a spiral of flashbacks for a long while. I sat in my bed, my mind suddenly bursting with hundreds of memories. Classes I had taken, costumes I had worn, friends I had forgotten, pranks I had pulled, crushes I once had. I was surprised that, when I closed my eyes, I could remember every square foot of that building. The break room, every classroom, the basement, the stage, the lobby, the parking lot. Everything came flooding back to me, except for the teachers I had once known… with the exception of the one.

There was one teacher I had at NWCT a couple times by the time I was thirteen who has stayed fresh in my memory throughout all these years. There are reasons, of course, that his face and name are imprinted in my mind, despite it being nine full years since I had any contact with him. I made a note before dozing off to dreamland to look him up on Facebook. The next day I conducted my search, which was a lot more strenuous than I had planned. His first and last names are pretty common, so I kept receiving dozens of results, none of which matched the man I remembered. Finally, after some advanced searching, I came across his profile. The picture seemed to match up with the teacher in my mind (beard and long hair), his credentials implied that he was a participant in theatre, and he seemed the appropriate age. After finding proof on his page that he had, nine years ago, taught at NWCT, I knew it was him.

What follows is a message that I wrote up to him. After writing it I deliberated if I should send it or not. Not because it was rude or anything, I just get so flustered when it comes to opening up to someone on this level, especially when it’s someone you’ve never been close to and who you haven’t seen in years.

But I knew it had to be said. I knew I had to thank him for what he had done.

Hello,

So I don’t know if you remember who I am, and it was a long time ago so I honestly wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t, but many years ago you taught me in a couple different classes/playlabs at North West Children’s Theatre. Last night I was suddenly hit by a wave of nostalgia and began reminiscing about my NWCT days. Even though I haven’t stepped foot in that building for probably seven or eight years now, those playlabs were really one of the high points of my middle school years.

Anyway, as I was reminiscing, I realized the only teacher I could recall from my time at NWCT is you. Maybe it’s because I had you as a teacher for multiple playlabs, or maybe it’s because you were my favorite instructor (I remember thinking you were really silly, funny, and nice when I was a kid), but you are literally the only teacher I can honestly remember from my playlab days. I can remember countless kids I lost contact with, almost every show I was in, every square foot of that building, but only one teacher.

I guess I just wanted to say “hello” and that I hope you are doing well in whatever endeavors you’re currently pursuing. I snooped around on your Facebook and saw something about you writing plays now, which is awesome as playwriting is one of the things I’m currently studying in college. I’m not trying to reach out and put you back in my life after all these years, I just wanted you know that you crossed my mind and I genuinely hope life is treating you well, as you are, from what I can remember, a really great person.

And I suppose the other reason I felt inclined to write this to you is because I felt the persistent need to say thank you. Not just for directing a couple plays which were some of the most fun I ever had as a kid, but because you were the first adult who ever saw a glimmer of potential in me. Again, you may not remember me, but I was in your Titus Andronicus and Dracula playlabs (as well as some classes). I was kind of a goofy/weird kid, and I’m pretty sure my only setting back then was “hyper”. Anyway, after Titus Andronicus wrapped up you pulled me aside and told me to sign up for the Caucasian Chalk Circle playlab you’d be directing the next season. So I did, and you gave me the part of Grusha, the first lead I ever had in a show. While the show wasn’t exactly my award winning moment as an actress (since I was, I admit, pretty terrible in it (though Griffin totally messed up the entire second half of the play by not memorizing any of his lines)), that doesn’t excuse the fact that it was an important moment in my life because of you. It’s the first time someone ever saw me for something more than I was and gave me a chance. It was the first time someone believed in me; something I had never experienced before then. It was a really defining moment of my childhood. So I just wanted to thank you for that. That gesture has stuck with me over these last nine years and is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget.

Anyway, as I said, I hope you’re well and that life is treating you splendidly.

Thanks for making my childhood 100% more awesome.

Julia

I sent that message to him on Sunday. Three days passed and I hadn’t heard a word back from him. I assumed it was because he hadn’t signed onto Facebook in that time frame, but I was too nervous to go to his page and find out he had logged on and had chosen to ignore me.

Then, this morning, I woke up to find his response waiting in my Facebook messages. It took me an hour to pluck up the courage to read past the preview Facebook notification gave me. I’m not going to share the entire message he sent me, but here is a snippet of what he said:

hello there! in fact, i do remember you. you were a hilarious, (and i’ll use your word) goofy (in a delightful, sincere way), dedicated and thoughtful student in our playlabs and a pleasure to work with. for sure. it’s really great to hear from you.

That’s just the very start of a rather long response I received from him. I don’t want to share any more and get into too much detail about what was said, because I think some things are sometimes too personal to share, as this message he sent me is. However, he did go on to say how kids like me made NWCT worth teaching at, how much my message meant to him, how he’s never received a thank you from a previous student before, and how my words came at the perfect time.

That’s the funny thing. Whenever people open up like I have, it tends to always be the exact thing the other person needs to hear at that time. Two spring terms ago, when I was going through a crucial depression, someone who I never expected to reached out to me and it was just what I needed to hear. When I sent my previous instructor this message I wondered to myself if maybe this would help him with something he’s currently going through. And it (kind of) did.

I’m just happy that he took the time to sit down and respond to my entire message, and I’m thrilled he didn’t shrug it off with a simple three or four sentence response. I was so nervous upon sending it to him, and almost just as nervous when I saw he had responded, because this is something I’ve wanted to tell him for the last nine years of my life. It’s not every day that you meet someone who effects you so powerfully, and I’ve always known that one day I’d need to reach out and tell him how much his gesture meant to me. I really wasn’t expecting a seven paragraph response from him, but that’s what I got. And I’m so happy for it. And I’m so happy that he was thankful, kind, uplifting, and even a little nostalgic. He shared what’s going on in his life, and he encouraged me about the things going on in mine. It’s everything I had hoped for after all these years.

I don’t think I’ll respond back to him, just because I pretty much said all there is to say in my first message. He didn’t ask any questions or say anything that requires me to respond to him, so I wont. I think having it end on this note is perfectly all right, because we both got something incredibly positive and uplifting out of our exchange of words. I’m going to save his message to me, as he said he would save mine, so I’ll always have it. After nine years it just feels so good to get it all off my chest and say “thank you”.

It just goes to show you, nine seconds or nine years, it’s never too late to thank someone for an act of kindness they did unto you.

Technology || We’re Probably Doing it Wrong

7 Aug

Tonight my writing group met for the first time in close to a month (though it’s been over a month since we’ve had an actual meeting that circulated around writing). We talked about what direction we wanted to take the group in for the duration of summer and we shared what we’ve been writing about (I gave a pretty crummy summer about my screenplay because, hell, I’m the worst when it comes to talking about my work). Eventually we got off topic, as we tend to do at times, and we talked about films, books we’re reading, future plans, politics, etc. One topic that came up near the end is technology. Everyone began talking about how frustrating the dependance on technology has become and how they purposefully try to avoid using it sometimes.

I sat there, arms folded, not saying a word, and could not thinking to myself, “I am definitely the most technology dependent person in this room.”

It’s not that I didn’t agree with any of them, because I did on many levels, I just also knew that the first thing I’d do when I got home would be to check my Facebook, Gmail, and Tumblr, and I did. I often advocate the need for people to get out and live their lives, which in turn makes me the biggest hypocrite on this planet, because it seems like all I ever do is sit glued to my laptop and cell phone.

I’ve gotta make a change, and I know eventually I will, but right now I guess I’m kind of waiting for college to end. It’s so hard to not be tied to your phone and/or laptop constantly at this age. Especially for me. I write for two (possibly three soon) web-sites that I need to keep up with. I maintain this wordpress and four different tumblrs. I’m friends with people who live all over the country, so I depend on Facebook and Tough Pigs to stay in touch with them. I check Gmail frequently for important emails from teachers/bosses. It’s basically impossible for me to get away. Not to mention I have a job where I sit in front of a computer for five hours a night.

A couple weeks back I was hanging out with Kaylyn and we went to this small ice cream stand in town. As we sat their eating our delicious food, we got to talking with the guy behind the stand. We started talking about travel and all the places we’ve been over in Europe, and then the guy asked a question that has stuck with me ever since:

“Do you think they’re happier over there?”

I’ve been rolling that question over and over in my head these last couple weeks, and the answer I’ve concluded is simply: yes. I think that they are. I’m mainly applying this logic to Italy, since that’s the country I’ve visited most, but I do truly believe that they are happier there. Those people weren’t glued to their phones all day long. They weren’t constantly checking laptops for updates. Hell, I talked to one woman who owned a shop and she explained how she finally got her shop up on Facebook even though she doesn’t have a Facebook of her own. That amazed me that someone couldn’t have a Facebook. It’s a dumb thing to be amazed by, but when you’re on Facebook as frequently as I am, yeah, you’re amazed.

When I traveled to Italy last spring break it was sort of like a mini vacation from technology, which was wonderful. True, I still had my phone on me at all time, but the only times I used it was to listen to music and to check the time. We had Wifi in the villa I stayed in and I did have my Kindle with me, so I guiltily admit that I still went on the Internet while I was there, but I think I did it right. I only checked in on everything first thing once I woke up and then at the end of the day when I was lying in bed. I guess I did check it once or twice during the day, but it was really only if I was killing time before my family was going out somewhere.

I have this distinct memory of Italy though. My brother, dad, and I would be walking downtown, we’d go into the shop we had set out for, we’d grab gelato, and then the boys would start to head back to the villa. When I asked my dad why he wanted to go back already he’d say “Well there’s not much else to do in town.” I was always flabbergasted by this. I’d then refuse to go back with them and, instead, I’d walk around the town on my own. I went in every shop at least once, I walked all the side streeets, I people watched, I sat on random stairwells and wrote in my journal, I photographed everything, and I did all of this while my brother and dad went home to go check in on their phones and computers. This was the first time in the history of ever that my family was more dependent on the internet then myself. (My dad and brother also turned on the Data Roaming on their phones, so sometimes we’d be at meals and they’d both be checking emails, and it made me want to cry. My dad actually got really angry at me for refusing to turn my phone off airplane mode whenever I’d go on walks by myself, because he’d have no way to contact me, but I would not relent because I knew once I did I’d get all the text messages that people had sent to me while I was away. I did turn it on once, but that’s only because I got off a train in Rome and the doors closed before my family could get off, but that’s a story for another day.)

THE POINT OF ALL THIS IS that when I travel I feel more alive and thus I don’t feel the need to constantly be on my laptop/computer. I remember going to Disneyland two spring breaks ago and while I did bring my laptop with me, it really only became something I’d check in on at night. This is why I want to travel more. When I’m out seeing things, doing things, living life, suddenly Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, all of it falls away and doesn’t matter.

I know I’m not going to be giving up the internet anytime soon and I know it’s going to be a constant in my life for, well, forever, but I am genuinely looking forward to the day where it doesn’t became a must. Where I wont die if I can’t check in with Tumblr. Where I wont cry if my iPhone wont let my 3G connect. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll always be a technology based person, but when the day comes where I can go a whole 24 hours without checking Facebook, well, I’ll really, really like that.

reflecting: two weeks with short hair.

7 Jul

A couple nights ago a friend and I were out drinking in downtown Portland – which has become sort of a ritual – when another woman approached us. I was surprised when she began to ask me questions about my hair, which I had just gotten cut about a week and a half prior. She kept asking an assortment of questions, until finally she stopped beating around the bush and bluntly asked me, “Are you getting hit on as much with it?” I guess the most truthful answer I could have given her is that I rarely ever get hit on when I’m out in public, but I simplified my answer by telling her I hadn’t gone out much since I got it all cut off (which was pretty true). My friend and I then tried to convince her why getting her hair cut short was a great idea, which seemed to please her and she went back to her table.

This made me draw into question my journey with short hair thus far.

I’ve had my hair cut short for approximately two weeks now, and I’ve spent a lot of time questioning whether or not it makes me feel more butch or more feminine. The answer, it would seem, is that my hair makes me feel both..

The fact of the matter is, I have never looked so much like an adult as I do with this haircut, which in turn makes me feel super womanly and feminine and kickass. Leaving my hair salon after it was chopped up, I was invigorated with this new sense of confidence and power, that only a major look in one’s appearance can give a person. I find great joy in playing with my hair at this length as well. I love stylizing it in the mornings, combing the bangs to the side and giving the right amount of volume to it. This hair makes me, most days, feel beautiful, which is a rare feeling for me. I love rediscovering my love for some of my wardrobe because it looks quite different on my person with short hair. So, on one hand, I do still feel very feminine with this hair.

On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as masculine before either. I went camping when I was up in Portland, and there was one morning where I was decked in jeans and a red flannel shirt, wearing absolutely no makeup and no hair product. I caught a glimpse of myself in my friend’s car window and I thought, “Jesus. I look like a guy.” I was always a tomboy growing up, wearing baggy shirts/pants and beanies, but this was the first time I thought someone could ever possibly mistake me for a guy. Not to mention my dad told me one morning that my hair, when I just wake up, makes me look like Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club and/or Jon Cryer. in Pretty in Pink. (Thanks for the compliment, Dad. You sure know how to flatter a girl.)

This is what I love about short hair. There are so many facets to it. Besides the fact that it’s easier to maintain, there are so many different ways you can be perceived with it. I love the idea of playing with gender identity and flipping it on its head. I feel like it’s the perfect look for me, because I often go back and forth between being a girly-girl and trying to be one of the guys. I love, love, love this haircut, and it seems like everyone else does too (with the exception of my dad, who claims to like it but I suspect otherwise).

I am thinking of growing it back out, but who knows. Maybe this is something that will stick. I guess we’ll have to see.