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Archive for June, 2012

Summer Success

I think I had truly underestimated my laziness until these past two weeks.  I forgot how to relax during the school year.  3-am nights, kicking back and watching movies, incessantly blogging—summer is a dream come true .  This is who I am—this is who I want to be.  This is sad.

I have, however, accomplished quite a few things in the past few weeks–

  • Finished 2/100 pages of my Chem homework!
  • Read 8 pages of the first book of three books for English.
  • Completed one book.  (Oh man, I’m working on this)
  • Resisted Starbucks
  • Got in my first car accident (okay, it was minor—I was rear-ended by some woman who claimed she was distracted by the passing scenery…I guess this isn’t an accomplishment, per se)
  • Researched science fair projects for next year
  • Cleaned my room
  • Worked out (….maybe I missed a few days here and there…..)

And this list continues—I plan on accomplishing much more.  I’m living vicariously through my summer motto—beyond Hakuna Matata and the trite “YOLO”, I’ve decided that this summer represents no regrets.  More clichés, I suppose.  This is what I get for choosing chick flicks over other films—I’m becoming a teenage girl!

Unfortunately, my life hasn’t been interesting enough since Boston to blog about anything worthwhile.  Besides the overly-enthusiastic posts about inspiration, life is simple and easygoing, and I think I’m okay with that.  I’m heading to Bar Harbor, Maine tomorrow morning—a new adventure that’ll bring many new stories and pictures!  The last three weeks of July are spent at Lyric Theatre, the first week working as a counselor, and the second rehearsing for Bye Bye Birdie.  First week of August is Reveille, the week-long VYO camp which is unarguably the most awaited and exciting week of the summer.  I have to remember to fit in 98 pages of Chem somewhere within all this business.

Last summer, we finished our basement after months of painstaking labor—the end result being a permanent hide-out for me, my music, and my books.  I’ve probably talked about my cave, decorated with pillow pets and stuffed animals that have collected dust in old bins, bringing back a sense of childhood, almost.  I joke that this cave is my way of being Harry Potter (minus the wizard part), but I think it truly represents my introversion.  Sometimes I’ll curl up with my notebook or a book and hide out under the basement stairs in my oh-so perfect cave, concealed by the lack of lights and endless walls.

Lately, I’ve created a stack of old yearbooks on the floor of the cave, starting from 1st grade all the way to this year.  The first place I turn back to is the signature page, where many wrote things like the stereotypical “HAGS”, “thanks for being my friend!”, “you’re nice”, and plain old names.  There are other signatures that stand out to me—ones that talk about small, insignificant memories that were once so important.  Those are my favorite.  High school yearbooks are different, I’ve learned.  This year, it seems that yearbook signatures consisted of novels, woven with heartfelt words, inside jokes, and endless “love you”‘s and XOXOXO’s.  Perhaps this is because many of my friends this year were graduating seniors.  I can’t help but feel grateful that a) I have such good friends and b) I’ll have these signatures to look back upon in a few years.  It’s almost like capturing a piece of the past on one page.  My own little time capsule.

In other news, I haven’t cooked, like I’ve promised myself.  Rather, I’ve gone to Healthy Living, eaten balanced meals (mostly to save my wallet rather than myself), and driven back home with my gas-guzzling car.  I also started an “internship” at the VYOA office, typing in information about chamber music into their online database.  It gets to the point where my fingers become jelly, and I’m sick of the mundane drone of pipes in the room.  Yet, there’s something I love about that place—the feeling I get whenever I remember all the memories from all the years.  The people, too, give me reasons to come back.  There’s just a certain je ne sais quoi about Elley Long.

I have this problem where I have begun to depend on TR as more than a blog—we’ve progressed to the point in our relationship which entails greater commitment, trust, and listening skills.    Lately, my life has begun to revolve around my blog, rather than the opposite.  Isn’t it funny how these things happen?

I never know how to end my late-night posts.

-B

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Moments of Impact

This long-needed post is dedicated to everyone in my life right now—I mean everyone as in people I’ve just met, people who’ve known me for years, people I’ve unintentionally hurt, people who I’ve been brutally honest with (many times resulting in broken friendships), and people I love in general.  Everyone listed above means something to me—regardless of the past, present, or future.  

Moments of impact.  I have heard this phrase more and more recently—or maybe it’s my intrigue in the way it sounds, looks—in what it means.  Truth be told, I don’t know what it means.  I suppose it’s one of those things that has its own meaning—a definition molded by the personality of its interpreter.  If we’re talking in clichés, we could always go with Channing Tatum’s rugged narration in the Vow

 “My theory is about moments, moments of impact. My theory is that these moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down actually end up defining who we are. The thing is each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play and replay in our minds over and over again.”

(Although I don’t particularly like him, this quote stands out to me more than the movie itself).

But I’m not necessarily Channing Tatum.  To me, moments of impact are moments of….inspiration, something I use as an excuse for my excessive photography, angst poetry, and overwhelming awe with the world.  I look at mountains, and they mean something to me—I don’t know what exactly, but something.  Yet, lately I’ve been talking about how people are my inspiration—meaning that they, themselves, cause my moments of impact.

I’ve realized that the true reason I’m interested in journalism is because I’m intrigued by stories—by new people.  Perfect example is the people from the Stockholm Science Fair—in two weeks, I’ve learned more about their lives than I could’ve imagined—and this, itself, is a way to learn about the world.  I’ve begun to see the world from different perspectives, and simultaneously become more aware of who I am as an individual.

But most of the moments of impact in my life are caused by the people who are in it every day.  By this, I don’t necessarily mean the cashier at Healthy Living or the UPS guy, though we have had some riveting conversations about grapefruit juice and fresh packages.  Rather, I mean the people who have made their ways into my heart, and created moments of impact in there  (this entails all the people highlighted in my author’s note).  Their stories have struck me in ways that the mountains or clouds used to, and made me pause and wonder about the world.  And sometimes wondering about the world makes you wonder about yourself.

To get to my point (when is there ever a point my posts……), everyone in my life has changed it in some way, shape, or form.  Sometimes, the end result has had negative connotations, but in my experience, every relationship leaves behind positive imprints.  I am who I am because of everyone in my life—because of these positive moments of impact. People are the way they are because of their own experiences—their own stories.  They live life with a certain persona, influenced by what they’ve seen in the world.  They have reasons for their actions, reasons for their feelings, reasons for things they say.  And sometimes we forget about other people’s moments of impacts, and become the prejudiced beings we were, unfortunately, born as.  But once you begin to understand reasons, you begin to understand stories, and people—finally, the world.  That’s what separates a truly compassionate, worldly, and educated person from anyone else.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we combine our moments of impacts–our stories–we create more to learn from.  We learn from each other when we share.  And everyone has made their way into my life with the moments of impact they’ve had on my life—the way they’ve changed who I’ve become, for the better.  I remember, love, appreciate, and value people for these positive impacts—and solely these.  And learning more about the world, I guess I’ve slowly begun to let go of all the negativity and regrets of the past to make room for more moments of impact.

In a sense, this is a thank you note, and simultaneously, an apology.

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Almost Lover

Made a cover to this a while ago, but here’s a better version 🙂

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Oliver,

I have realized that I write letters in times of loneliness, times when the void within me is evident.  I used to close my eyes and feel the wind tangle the ends of my hair, feel it release me from my chains, liberate me into the world.  I used to feel like I could fly, mostly when I was young.  And youth, to me, means you, Oliver.  Yet in my growing up, I have become worn down from the weight of the world, worn down from the weight of this irrevocable love, worn down from this remorse.  I am, figuratively, tied down by the ropes of my loneliness.

There was a time when I was a leader.  I had the world on my fingertips.  There was a time when I used to be fearless of life, of things people typically fear.  I was the spider-killer in our relationship, the girl you followed around.  When things began to matter, I became, for lack of a better word, a coward.  That’s all I am, I suppose.  I buried myself within my turtle shell, wore out the shell with the burden of my emotions, and emerged on the world’s fingertips.

Isn’t it interesting how life changes?  Life changes in the way that people change, and in my few years of experience, I’ve seen people change because of fear.  They change because they fear who they are,  whether it’s a matter of self-acceptance or change for a better cause.  They change because they fear the world, the people in it, the environment, their societies.  People change.  I changed, Oliver, and you know that—I know that.  I changed from the fear of letting my guard down and acquiescing in trite feelings.  I changed from the fear of society’s concept of broken hearts.  I changed from the fear of someone leading me for once, having to follow, and ironically, this fear itself made me a follower.

Yet, amidst all this fear, I have not forgotten about my roots.  My roots are intertwined with the roots of that old oak tree, the epitome of fearlessness in our days.  I am my roots and you are the sunshine that keeps them growing.  Without you, there are no roots—there is no fearlessness.

I suppose what I’m trying to say, Oliver, is that without you, I’m just a hopeless romantic.  There’s a part of me that’s slowly disintegrating, a part that you have taken with you.  As the wind floats us along our respective journeys, I lose more and more of myself.  There is no one but you, Oliver, and not even the world can question me on this.

There’s only the matter of my fear.

 

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Oliver,

If I remember anything about our last summer together, it would be that summer was a symbol in its own, magnificent way.  It was a symbol in the sense that every facet of our time together carried weight.  Ice cream was the euphoria that our relationship entailed—never-ending scoops of chocolate & vanilla that slowly blossomed from treats to traditions.  Baseball caps were the freedom of youth—the carelessness we used to bask in.  Flowery dresses were wishes that had yet to fly away—ones that lived within the flowers as I twirled and twirled on these rare occasions.  The oak tree was rebellion—the very word we lived by that summer.

Winter, too, was a symbol.  It symbolized anniversaries—the anniversary of when we first met, the anniversary of when I first fell in love, the anniversary of us—our birthdays, surely you remember.  We met on the day of our biggest snowfall, seemingly miles of snow that set the stage for new relationships.  The snow wrapped you like a present, and opened up right when I needed something to lift my spirits.  Presents have always been able to do that.  Maybe you were unwilling to play with a girl, maybe you were content in your isolation, maybe you were repelled by my intimidation factor—but all in all, you turned my world upside down, while the snow did so in its literal sense.

Five was a big year for me.  Besides the blatantly obvious joy of having made a new friend, it was the start of something new—a new stage in my life, I should say.  It wasn’t quite the advancement of, say, sixteen years, but it fell close enough to it.  I usually don’t remember dates, but the day we met is as clear in my head as is my first impression of you.  Timid is an understatement.  Rather, you were bundled beneath layers upon layers, shielded from the world, until I came along.  It was both of our birthdays, and I think this itself built upon a friendship.  You were five, I was five—we were practically fraternal twins.  When you finally peered from your tortoise shell, your oceanic blue eyes glimmered in contrast to the white-as-can-be snow—and Oliver, I believe this was the first time I fell in love.

I must admit that these mature emotions didn’t truly arise for years, but they were buried somewhere inside.  Oh Oliver, this is so unlike me.  I’ve never been one for overly-felt emotions and trite words.  Genuine words, Oliver, are the only explanation for this.  I’ve also never been one for dreams—for overly-optimistic dreams.  Yet, I dream of us.  I dream of what us may have implied, dream of the flying chances of the future, dream of my heart speaking in words, and, most importantly, dream of you.

Now that I think about it, the only times I used to dream were when I was with you.

 

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Veritas

The clouds dip into my thoughts like you do once a day, trickling in like raindrops in our oh-so frequent rainstorms.  You are at the door, peering in—mostly into my heart, where letters of your name have cozied themselves up within the chambers.  And you are the stars on a winter night, light that dances down in non-clichés and makes its way to my muddy-brown eyes.  When the water crashes upon the shore, you are the glimmer between the rise and fall.  When the sun has settled into its cove, you are the city that emulates Northern Lights on late June evenings.

Once I used to believe in love, know love, be in love—but this is an illusion, in itself, that preys on the naïve, much like the endless sea.  I am worn out from predators and bruised from the tossing of the water, yet I find myself crawling to where I used to be.  And now I stand on an island surrounded by freshwaters, waters that have immersed the idea of happiness all throughout—waters that are borne with alleviating powers.

I am bad at these letters—in the sense that I use metaphors to conceal raw emotions.  I use twists & turns & colors to shade over lightly-written, penciled-in words.  But I see these shades to symbolize fear—fear of the past, fear of the present, fear of the future—fear of pain, fear of shattered hearts, fear of promises.  I see this as a fear of illusionistic love–a fear of being fooled by its cruel fate.  Most of all, this is a fear of you and your heart and who you are—-

who we are.

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Beauty Everywhere

Every time I lose faith in Vermont, I have to remember to make it down to Lake Champlain.  There’s something about the lake that changes everything I feel—about Vermont, about people, about the world.  It’s like the rustling blue waters can change the way fate works.  If there’s anything I love about Vermont, it’s the serenity of the lake—the feeling of escaping from the bustle of Church Street on Friday nights, high school shenanigans, piles of summer HW, demands from everyone, and the weight of the world is unreal, and seemingly only possibly on the shore of this lake.

I think my most feminine aspect is my obsession with the beauty of things.  And this has become more prominent in the past few weeks with my photography-craze.  Everything is about emotions—the way the clouds are hooded shadows over the placid lake, the way the sailboats bob with the undulating waves, the way couples configure themselves on lush lawns—everything is expressive; picture-perfect moments.

The boardwalk that lines itself parallel to the shore of the lake is the place for lovers on sunset evenings, as they swing on hanging benches and breathe the organic lake stench.  Behind the boat launch area lives a dock, where my friends and I parked ourselves on our night out, overpow

ering the clash of the waves against the rocks with memorable laughs.  I had my camera (surprise, surprise), and there was always something to take a picture of—taken at various angles to really capture “emotion.”  [I’ve progressively become more of a paparazzi these days—I blame it on my journalism aspirations].

In stark contrast, Church Street on 6 pm-Friday-summer-evenings brings the vitality to Vermont that barely ever makes a presence.  Sometimes I forget that people actually live in this state (blame it on the cows).  Yet, there’s always something new on Church Street.  In a way, it resembles a minor version of New York City, perfectly balanced by people with questionable personalities, run-of-the-mill families and folks, rowdy teenagers, and miscellaneous animals.  Most striking lately has been the man on the rainbow bicycle with the afro hair, flaunting signs that say “Burlington Police are scumbags.”  There are also the blatantly obvious drug dealers with leather jackets, who you would expect in Long Island or something.  At times, the life on Church Street can become too much, and walking in parking garages at 10 pm by myself can make me fearsome and on guard (I’ve perfected a method of holding my keys defensively when in said situations).

But Church Street pulls me back to my roots of loving this place—the cafes on cobblestone streets, the dresses & heels, the familiar faces—all bits and pieces that assemble to create a historical city.  I might as well live in Europe.

11:37 pm on Saturday night, and I have yet to become inspired for my second story in my “book of short stories.”  At this point, I just want to curl up with The Great Gatsby and a cup of tea, and just forget about the 24 more books on my reading list & four chapters of chem homework.

-B

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