Tag Archive: life


A Flowering Canoe

My official last day at Starbucks was Friday. I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by; but even more unbelievable is how much I’ve changed. When I first started working at Starbucks I was this timid person with a bad case of anxiety and I don’t know how I managed to survive the first month. I felt like I should quit every day because of how stressful it was, but somehow I managed to push through and I’m really glad I did. Next week I’m going away to school, and instead of being nervous about it I’m actually kind of ok with the whole idea. I recently decided it was time for me to stop being so reserved and have a little more fun with my life. I’ve always been a very stoic person, with a fixed personality and a tendency to judge people a little too harshly. I’m not saying I’m any less judgmental, but I think Starbucks definitely help bring down that wall I’d had up for so long. I had fun almost every day at work, and even when I was bored I was still glad to be doing something.

Since it was my last day, and I was closing with my best friend in the store (the assistant manager), we decided to try and beat my record closing time of 25 minutes. The schedule always gives us 45 minutes to close, but during those 45 minutes you’re not earning any labor for the store because no customers are coming in. So the faster you close, the more hours are available for people during the day time. I had gotten into an argument with a coworker earlier this week who no one likes because she’s got a horrible attitude, and she critiqued the way I closed because I did things that hindered work during the hour before we close the store. She would rather we leave everything until after we close, than do things early and have to change the way we move in the store for a short time. She was part of the reason I wanted to beat my closing time of 25 minutes. As if breaking the record wasn’t challenge enough, we got a new person in 3 weeks ago and he’s still too new to fully understand what we have to do in the store. I wrote him a list and he’s actually pretty fast (he closes in 35 minutes) but I still have to take time to explain things to him and that slows me down. I decided to close bar side (the side that makes the drinks) because that’s my fastest side and I knew the new guy would get help from our assistant manager with the other side of the store. Can you guess how long it took us to close the store? A whole 15 minutes. It’s the fastest close of any other employees on staff.

I know its something silly, but I honestly feel so proud knowing that I started that job with the self confidence of a naked mole rat and ended up being genuinely the best barista that store has seen. Customers were hugging me goodbye and wishing me well all week, and I even got a “we’re all proud of you” from the coworker everyone hates (though I learned later there were ulterior motives for her). This job was one that went against all of my beliefs and in the end it made me a stronger person with more skills and an even sharper wit. I’m sorry if this post sounds arrogant, but I really haven’t had too much to be proud of in my life and this job was one that made a huge impact on my life.

I’m truly hopeful that it’s given me the tools to succeed in this next stage of my life. I’ve only got a week left before I have to be properly moved into my new place, and before school starts up. I’ll be in a completely different part of the state, with no ties to anyone, and nothing holding me back except for myself. I often dream about living in a world where the only thing holding me back is my imagination, and I was so busy with that concept I overlooked that I was holding myself back in every other way. This new school might be a challenge, but if there’s anything I’ve learned this summer its that nothings impossible. I juggled two jobs and was working 60 hour weeks without days off at one point this summer! 2 years ago I could barely bring myself to do yard work!

Oh, I forgot to mention. I cut all of my hair off. It hasn’t been this short since I was in elementary school. When my aunt saw it she actually had to get some pictures of me as a toddler out because I haven’t had my hair shorter than 4 inches my entire life. The edges and back are shorter, but the top is about three inches long and still has some curl to it. I’ve got a lot more freedom with this style. And today my mom and I went shopping, so I’ve got a few new clothes for school. I bought a pair of red pants even. If you knew me in real life, you’d know that red pants are something I’ve never been up for. I’ve actually always hated the color red. I decided it was time for a change though, with me moving out and going to a new school, and getting a new job (not sure what yet) and finding new friends. Why not wear something I’ve never worn before? Get a haircut I’ve never had? My life is in a state of such chaos that it’s actually not even scary. I’ve got more opportunities today than I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I finally have enough confidence to go and utilize them.

I always said 19 would be the hardest age for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I actually kind of promised myself it would be, in that way I have of promising things. I know this is going to sound silly, but if I set my mind to it, I usually can get things to happen the way I want. Things I don’t even have control over. I like to joke with people about being able to cast spells, which I don’t do in such an artistic way, but I do like to think I have a certain sway over things if I empty my mind and frame a thought a certain way. “To think without thinking”, if you remember me talking about that from years ago when I was rereading the Eragon series, haha. What I’m getting at is that when I was younger, 14 or 15 perhaps, I decided 19 would be the year I struggled with the most. Whatever I faced before then, whatever I faced afterword (if I survived it), nothing would be as bad as the year I was 19. I think about this a lot, because I really almost didn’t make it through to my 20th birthday. There was nothing special about being 20 as far as I was concerned, it was all just about not being 19. So over the years, as I thought about what my life would be like and what growing up might mean for me, I half-consciously “cast a spell” on that year. Or rather, a curse. If we’re being honest, I’m actually better with curses than I am with spells. If you can even call what I’m doing by thinking a certain way about the world “magic”. I only really call it that because I have no other word for it, and it sounds so much more fun to me than anything else I can think of.

19 was my cursed year, in which I would be tested to the point of breaking, and if I made it through I would be happier. That’s the curse I set for myself. I can’t tell you why I did this, and I knew it was going to be hard, but at the time it sounded like a good idea, and having made it through I really don’t think it was all that bad of a plan. Survive one year of misery and live the rest of your life knowing you can weather anything. I’m not saying the years before being 19 were easy, because they were only slightly less terrible than being 19, but I can say that 19 was the hardest age for me without a doubt. It was kind of like tempering steel really. I’ve started rambling a bit, haven’t I? And worst of all I’ve lost my train of thought.

What I’m trying to get at is that I think the worst is behind me, and that I’m extremely thankful for everything this summer brought to me. Before now I felt like a lost little canoe, caught on a rock in a great wide river. Unable to move, crushed under the weight of the passing water. But now I’ve dislodged from that rock and there’s nothing holding me back. With paddle in hand, I go bravely forward into uncharted waters confident in myself but willing to change. A flower who has been hindered by the passing storm, but whose brilliance bursts forth in the sun that follows.

School Sometime Soon?

I’ve decided to go back to college. I’m thinking I’ll go to Evergreen in the fall. I have nothing to do right now because I don’t qualify for any of the jobs that look interesting to me. Evergreen is a weird college, in that you don’t have to take specific classes to get your degree. You don’t even have to declare a major necessarily. If you want to declare a major, you take classes that relate to your field of study, and that’s kind of it. And its a pass-fail system. Either you pass the class and get all of the credits for it, or you fail and you get none.

Anyway, they have an environmental studies degree that looks interesting. And they would take half of the credits from my Associates in Arts and Sciences and apply it to my bachelors, so I could potentially have a bachelors in a year. Which would make job hunting a lot easier. I think its something like 98% of people with BAs have jobs in their chosen field. Part of the problem right now is that I don’t know exactly what I want to do. There hasn’t been a job listing that I’ve found that fully encompasses what I think I want. I like working outdoors. I could help restore areas of land that have been effected by construction by replanting trees. Or I could work in the water department for the city. As much as I hate people, I like knowing I’m helping others have access to resources. Water management isn’t really that exciting, but it would give me a sense of purpose I think.

For the most part I’ve just been sitting at home. We got rid of our leather couch on friday. We’ve had it for about 13 years. My cousin got a job in Oregon, working for some company or other to help build helicopters. I’m not quite sure of his title. I think the word “rotor” was in it. Anyway, he needed some furniture. He took the couch and an end table from our house, and a couch and a few other things from my aunts. The green couch that was in my room went downstairs to replace the leather one. Now that’s its being used we’ve realized how much it stinks. Its older than I am, and has seen more pets than I have. Its thread bare, and when we took the seat covers off to wash them we saw that the cushions themselves were badly stained (my mom thought it might be mold). We can’t afford to replace it, but I’m hoping we can just replace the cushions and wash the rest and that will be enough. We’ll also be making/buying a slip cover because we definitely need something washable with 4 dogs running around.

Oh and our housemate has given his one month notice. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned him at all. Potentially…? He’s my sisters best friend from elementary school? Moved in a couple of months ago? Anyway, he’s decided to move out and live with he and my sisters other friend. They’re getting an apartment together and they’re both gonna go to school. He was a decent housemate, but I won’t lie and say i’ll miss him. I don’t like having so many people in the house. It makes things too crowded, and we have so much stuff that it’s hard to move around comfortably. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have that couch out of my room. I have miles of empty floor space to walk around in. And I rearranged my bookshelves so it’s not as cluttered looking as it used to be.

I’m getting bored with being at home all the time. I don’t like people but I also hate feeling like i’m not contributing to society. I’m also really sick of being so antisocial. I just have such a hard time relating to others. And I never have any idea what to say to people. Learning to not be so closed off is really what I need to be working on. I’ve been trying really hard to make more small talk with people. Its something that I hate doing, but if I don’t then I’m just stuck in silence. And In all honesty I’m perfectly fine with that, but I know other people hate it so I feel like I should make more of an effort. Ugh, why is being human such a difficult thing. I feel like an alien sometimes. I’m down to just 3 friends again. With the third “friend” being a rotation of about 3 people. Jordan and I talk all the time, but she often gets on my nerves and I sometimes wonder why we’re friends. We have very little in common. Amber is someone I still talk to regularly, but its pretty much only about TV shows (sherlock, supernatural, doctor who) or movies. Melanie is a part of the ‘rotating third friend’. We exchange a couple of texts every few weeks and thats about it. Any time we try to hang out she ends up canceling on me. Jessica is the second ‘rotating third friend’. She’s back from Spain, and I talk to her even less than Melanie. She and my mom and I went to a vietnamese vegetarian Buddhist dinner several weeks ago, but that was the last I’ve heard from her. And then I have a second friend named Amber who lives in the next town over. She and I actually share a few ideals in common, but for whatever reason we don’t talk hardly at all. I’ll get together with her every couple months and that’s it. Oh and Sid, the guy I intern with. I haven’t seen him in months. I’ll send him a funny thing if I find it online occasionally, but we don’t really talk at all beyond that.

I just need to stop being… myself. I don’t even know what it is that drives people away anymore. I’m not very funny, I’m smart but in a way that puts people off, I disagree with a lot of the things that people do, and I have trouble finding people with similar interests. I have zero gay people in my life. Amber (the one who lives nearby) is bi, but like I said I never see her. I feel like the black sheep in every setting. Part of the reason that I want to go to evergreen is because its such an open minded school, and because its known for its environmental department. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find someone interesting to hang out with down there. And it’s only a year, so I won’t be trapped at school forever.

I should get a job. I just need to go and do a meaningless thing until the fall in an effort to save up some money to help pay for tuition. Which is about $20,000 a year.

I need to go to bed. I’m getting a headache. 

A Wind Bath

 

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned one of these. They’re probably my favorite thing. All you have to do is go and stand outside in a good windstorm and you feel nice and clean afterwards. The stronger the wind the better, and any time of day is acceptable. When its really windy like it is today, when you can feel the house shaking and the wind is whistling through the gaps in your house, that’s the perfect time for a bath.

I like to go and stand at the top of the stairs in my back yard and look out over the city. There are some trees in my neighbors yard, and the wind rushes through them before it makes its way to me. It ruffles my hair just the same as the pine needles it had tickled not a moment ago. I love it.

The wind seems to go right through my skin and straight into my heart. It washes away all of the turmoil that’s been boiling up in there, and makes me feel clean. All of the pain, the grief, the confusion, the hopelessness, the guilt, the worry, the fear, the shame. All gone on a single gust of wind.

There’s absolutely nothing like it.

I haven’t decided if I like wind baths better during the day or during the night. During the day you get to watch the birds floating in midair on the currents, the grass as its ruffled, and the clouds racing past that old snail of a Sun. At night you may get lucky and see the stars, or be kissed by the moon. Have you ever been kissed by the moon? I can understand why people used to talk about moon-madness. It’s such an invigorating kind of light. It’s almost a bath by its self, but not quite as thorough a scrub I think.

I love the wind. Air is my element. Even when its cold; forget that, especially when its cold. It reaches through your clothing and nips at your skin. At your soul. Those layers of grime you had picked up throughout of the course of your life are chipped right off and carried away on the breeze. And suddenly you’re glowing like those stars, or the moon. Your troubles are gone and you’re floating right off into the sky, propelled by the winds of change and hope. Winds strong enough to move the clouds and the stars and the sun and sky. And with this knowledge, the knowledge that these great celestial objects are affected by the wind just as much as you, there is nothing you can’t do.

The wind has cleansed you, and you are alive once more.

Last Day Of College

Today was my last day of school. I’m relieved its over, but am also panic stricken at the thought of now having to deal with real life. These last two weeks have been an absolute nightmare for me. I had an essay, a speech/group presentation, and a quiz all due within a day of one another. And they were all huge chunks of points. My essay was the final assignment for the quarter for my Communications class, and then the quiz was the last test of the quarter. I did really well on both of them thankfully. My group project for history was another story. Not that I didn’t do well! I got the second highest score in the class, with a 94/100. I worked harder on that project than anything else I’ve ever done. My other group mates weren’t doing anything, so I did all of the research myself and summarized it to be print out and put up on a poster board. I read through a whole book in 3 days and summarized it, with quotes and citations, for the 10 minute speech we were required to do. I spent hours upon hours working on it, and had 6 pages of notes for my speech. Come presentation day, the team member responsible for our poster board didn’t have it done. We had to move the presentation to the next day. My anxiety levels built up to astronomical levels; I’m amazed I was even able to make it through the speech the next day! I took 25 minutes to get through all my material, and somehow managed to get people to laugh a few times. I could barely see straight through the whole thing, and had to ask someone how long I had taken the next day because I couldn’t remember. 

I had 2 break downs this quarter (that I can remember), and I was on the verge of tears all day today. I was so burnt out from everything else this quarter I just did not have the energy to study for my final today. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t bring myself to study. My defense mechanisms had kicked in and my brain was trying to forget everything that was stressing me out. If you had asked me at noon today, I couldn’t have told you a single thing we learned this quarter. I went in and took my 25 question test in 15 minutes. I managed an 80, which was as good as I did on my midterm (which I had studied for). Keep in mind that means I only missed 5 questions.  And with the extra credit I did I was still able to maintain my A in the class. So between my history and communications classes I managed to get a 4.0, a first for me. All I feel like doing is crying. I’m so emotionally drained and overwhelmed at the same time. Yesterday I was still a “kid”, and today, all of the sudden, I’m an adult. I have to get a job, I have to face the world every day, I have to be truly productive for society. I graduated with the best grades I could possibly get this quarter, making my cumulative GPA something just above a B average. And it was so hard. It was impossibly hard. I’m a smart person, I think anyway, and this quarter was still incredibly hard. Facing my final today really was almost too much for me. I don’t know what it was about it that I couldn’t face, but it was mostly my lack of preparedness that immobilized me. And I think that became a metaphor for how unprepared I feel for the real world.

When I got home I made myself lunch and then I replied to some emails I had been ignoring for over a week because of the stress of school. One of them had information about a job application, from the Garden Coordinator at my internship. I’ll definitely apply for it. It’s too serendipitous not to. Tomorrow I have to run to the post office to get Amber’s christmas gift shipped to her, and then I’m meeting a friend for coffee. I also have to go in to see an orthodontic surgeon about getting my wisdom teeth removed. They’ve started to erupt and they’re hurting my jaw. This week is actually a full one for some reason. Wednesday I’m doing watercolors with my friend Melanie. I saw a thing on Tumblr from my childhood that reminded me of the fun of water painting, and decided I should do that just to be spontaneous. Thursday is the Office of Sustainability Movie Night, which several members of my family have decided to go to. I found 2 other beekeepers who were willing to answer questions with me. I hope I’ve calmed down enough by then to be relatively presentable to the public. And then Friday a friend is coming back from school and wanted to get coffee, so I’ll be spending an hour or two catching up with her. The 17th is when I’m getting my teeth pulled, and then pretty much from then until new years will be family time.

This year seems to have rushed by. I always knew it would be my hardest. I’ve never liked the number 19. It always seemed so uninteresting and in the way. This year really was my hardest year I think. I struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide more this year than any other. But somehow I managed to make it through, and now I’ve finished! I’m the youngest person in my family to get an Associates Degree, and I like to think that counts for something.

If I could just have a good cry to get all of these emotions out at once I think I would feel a lot better about everything, haha.

I’ve been doing much much better since watching Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Yesterday I cried a bit, because M and I talked. We had hung out earlier in the day and played video games with her boyfriend K, and I was perfectly alright during that. But she texted me afterwards and sort of just word-vomited all of her recent fears and concerns about her future onto me and it made me miss how we used to talk all the time. I don’t know who came up with the ‘third wheel’ concept, but I don’t think it fully captures the idea of being the odd person out at all. I think of M and K more as two stars who have found each other after a squiggly i’ve been doing much much better since watching Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Yesterday I cried a bit, because M and I talked. We had hung out earlier in the day and played video games with her boyfriend K, and I was perfectly alright during that. But she texted me afterwards and sort of just word-vomited all of her recent fears and concerns about her future onto me and it made me miss how we used to talk all the time. I don’t know who came up with the ‘third wheel’ concept, but I don’t think it fully captures the idea of being the odd person out at all. I think of M and K more as two stars who have found each other after a journey through the dark of space and time, and who now orbit each other. I think of myself as a moon, still incapable of producing my own light; once something that traveled with M, but has since been cast out with the new gravitational forces at work. I drift alone through the dark of space now, beginning to find my own glow all the while, and occasionally being touched by the glow of other stars.

Tears And Toy Story 3

I’ve been trying and failing to do my homework for the past 4 hours now, and I’ve been wanting to blog like crazy so this is what I’m going to do instead. I’m already failing this stupid assignment anyway, so what another five minutes of putting it off?

I watched Toy Story 3 today. I came home and saw that it was on Netflix and had to watch it. I think the Toy Story films are one of the few Disney movies that make me cry. But it’s a Pixar film so of course it’s good. Pixar always does good stuff. But I watched it and pretty much cried for the last half hour. There’s a reason I can’t watch those movies in front of other people lol. It’s made me sit and think about my life since I watched it though. I always feel horribly guilty about keeping all my old toys locked up in the attic. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of them. I’ll save them, probably in those boxes untouched for years and years. But I’ve got no more play in me. My creativity has all gone. I’m just some cold empty shell with no kid in me anymore. I feel like anyway. And the worst part is that I can’t remember any of the names of my toys. I’m sure I named them. I couldn’t tell you what I used to do with them either.

That’s one thing I do regret about my childhood. There were a few short years of really being a kid, but they were when I was so little I don’t remember them too much. We moved when I was six and then my life became a constant ferry ride. We were always going back and forth between my parents. I wish my dad would’ve not been so selfish and just said, you know, the kids deserve to have a regular childhood. They should get to live at home. Not in the car between houses. Toys weren’t transported back and forth because they were too easily forgettable. I did have a few beanie babies. I still have some of them. A turtle, walrus, peacock, police bear, sea horse, kangaroo, rhino, deer, duck, and a fish. And a silly stuffed pink octopus. And my blue tree frog! And the tadpole that you turn inside out so it become a frog. And my blue ringed octopus from the Zoo. I feel like I’m forgetting some but those were the main ones I think. But I don’t remember setting them all out and playing with them. I mean I do a little, but not the huge skirmishes like in Toy Story. I look back on my childhood and regret it. I wish someone had sat down and made me play with my toys. Made me be a real kid.

I know there’s something off about me. I’m not quiet so normal. I spend my day at home, alone. Always. That’s all I do. But I feel guilty doing anything else. I can’t leave my dogs home alone. I’m the only one who gives them any bit of attention. And even then I really don’t give them as much as they deserve.

After the movie I came upstairs, still crying of course, and got out my pink octopus. He was probably one of my most played with toys. He’s the perfect hand sized toy. I got him on an island I think. Though which I can’t remember. I just held him. God I’m so silly. Blogging about holding some silly object with no life in it at all. I put him away and that was that. And then I grabbed my blanket and my pillow and curled up on the floor with my dogs for a nap. Buttercup curled up next to me. Sam got up and left of course. He’s not much for snuggling. He did sit next to me on the ground for a while though. Silly old thing.

What am I going to do with my life? The entire world is out there but I don’t want to face it. There’s so much to see and do, but I don’t want to leave behind the things I love most. I know I’ll be fine once I’m out on my own, but I’ll feel horribly guilty about my dogs. And I can’t take them away from my mom. The house will be empty once I’m gone. My sister’s never home really. I suppose it’s empty now though isn’t it. I’m always home, but I’m not really alive. I’ve- well lost is the only word I can think of. I’ve lost something inside myself. The spark that made me loud and boisterous and full of energy. It’s gone. I’m quiet and reserved and blank faced for the most part. My laugh is silent, my eyes dull. I’ve gone from myself. I spend most of my time trying to pin point the time I changed, but I’ve yet to find the specific moment or reason. I hope this is just a teenage phase. I can live the rest of my life like this though. That’s the good thing about being this way. I don’t need constant stimulation from the outside world. Then again, I’m not really doing anything when I’m alone, so maybe I do. *sigh* I need to find a project or calling or something. I need a reason to live.