Welcome home

Home doesn’t feel like home anymore.

Sure, the dogs greeted me and Weezie the cat made a few appearances, but it’s not my home.

My childhood bedroom with its lime green, sky blue, raspberry pink and orangey orange walls close me in after branching out too far.

I can’t relate to 13-year-old Emily anymore. She’s the one who picked those colors and the bedding. I’m still very colorful, but I shed experiences every time I walk through the doorway. I’m back to the beginning, making the glow-in-the-dark flowers on the ceiling into triangles of Mickey Mouse’s nose and ears. My drawers are full of abandoned poetry books, cellphones and hair accessories. My bedroom door took a beating during my “nobody understands me!”, braces-clad phase. Returning is a bit debilitating and a hit to my morale.

I’m so happy with where I am now.

It’s a new place I am making my own. I’m discovering the area’s quirks, little by little. Thirteen-year-old, metal-mouthed Emily used to gaze in wonder as her oldest brother, Jordan, showed the family around the Chautauqua Institution, an area unbeknownst to us. Now 19-year-old Emily is doing what Jordan did.

I run and check out the neighborhoods. I brought my bike back with me from home this past weekend and discovered a really neat park tonight where I plan to spend a lot of my summer. And you just can’t beat the main, bustling street full of family-owned shops and boutiques. I find something new every time I walk/run/bike down it.

I’m secure with being alone and doing things for me. Running for me. Biking for me. Finding new nooks and new swingsets to swing the evenings away on.

And then watching the sun set every night:

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All settled in

You’ve read this post before – the one about how much Emily has changed. This one’s different, I promise.

I’m going home for winter break tomorrow (technically today). But, in all honesty, I don’t even want to. The idea of packing, lugging my belongings to Bubbles and then unpacking makes my body ache.

Yeah, I miss my mom, dad, JuneBug, Reggie, Weezie and Ruby, but I’m finally finally happy here. I’m all settled in, I love my room and I should (fingers crossed) get a pretty nice-looking GPA this semester to complement my overall grade. I found a group of friends I can be myself around and became closer to people I already had established friendships with.

I used to be a homebody. I used to cry a lot from homesickness.

This new contentment must be what they call “growing up.”

The bulletin board

You can tell a lot about a person by what they have on display in their room/home/office/wherever.

All of these items were deemed worthy enough to go on display on my bulletin board. Tell me what you think.

  • Three dried roses (purple, yellow and red).
  • A picture of my daddy with a little puppy version of Grady.
  • My best friend Kevin sitting on a steeple and looking out at our mud-covered track (this is quite possibly the best photo I’ve ever taken).
  • A picture of Robby and me at our favorite place: the waterfall.
  • A seeing eye dog calendar I got for free from the JMC office because nobody else wanted it.
  • The ticket to that hockey game we went to a couple of weeks back for my daddy’s birthday.
  • My name tag from Communications Day 2011.
  • My name tag from the Board of Trustees dinner two weeks ago.
  • Three fortunes (two you’ve seen in a recent post).
  • A card from my mama (it reads “Emmie  – you are the sprinkles on the donut of life”).
  • A framed article I wrote for  The Buffalo News NeXt  quite a few years ago.
  • A photo of my best friend Kevin and I at graduation.
  • A photo of Papa and me; the second-to-last photo we ever took together.
  • My movie ticket for the latest Underworld movie.
  • Three valentines.
  • Ticket to the SBU women’s basketball game at Binghamton in November.
  • SBU Hip Hop show tickets.
  • “IOU PIZZA” card from Denny (still have yet to see said pizza).
  • A leaf caught before it hit the ground. (“This leaf has never touched the ground before” – Sarah Mars.)
  • Two pictures of Robby and me.
  • A heart made from a gum wrapper.
  • A picture of my favorite tree.
  • A card that reads “CHOICES” and another that reads “MOTIVATION.”
  • One of my business cards that came out wrong, as a reminder that things don’t always go as planned the first time around.
  • My Denny dollar.
  • A10 Honor Roll certificate.
  • Coloring page from Sarah for my birthday.
  • Certificate of Achievement for last semester.
  • Name tag for the JMC Honors Dinner.
  • A picture of Papa in an angel frame.
  • A letter from Robby for my birthday.

Can you figure out what kind of a person I am through these items? Probably not, but you’ll probably at least get an idea.

Shedding flip flops

It’s been nearly four weeks since I was last at home.

Four weeks since I last took a shower sans flip flops.

Four weeks since my puppies have kissed me, my kitties meowed at me.

Four weeks since I’ve heard my grandma’s voice (sorry I haven’t called you…I’m afraid I’ll get too sad).

Four weeks since I’ve watched the regular TV programming I fall into the habit of doing when I am at home.

Four weeks since I’ve cooked a meal and loaded a dish washer.

This is the longest amount of time I’ve ever spent away from home. In the fall, it was convenient to go home after several cross country meets, plus my birthday weekend in early November was spent at home. Before this, it was three weeks. Now I’m up to four.

I haven’t seen JuneBug, Reggie, Oliver, Weezie or Ruby since the Sunday I left to come back to Bonaventure. The other morning, I woke up and swore I felt Reggie on my bed next to me (I woke up picturing his funny feet, with the sprazzy hairs poking in-between the worn pads on his toes).

I can shut my eyes and pretend the road outside and the sounds emitted are from the hill near my house and Route 62 just below it. The bass from the third floor is Adam down the hall, driving me nuts as I try to read a book. My friends are my moms, and I don’t seem to have a dad.

Here I lack a dad, older brothers and five funny pets (plus one more for Grady). But I make up for the missing pieces with friends, relationships with my teachers and upperclassmen who seem to believe in me. Oh, and the wall I’ve dedicated to those five pets – plus one Grady – might help a little bit.

A week from today, I will be able to shed my flip flops, kiss my puppies and kitties, talk to my brothers and be reunited with my two best friends: my mom and dad.

I’m a GEEK, I’m a weirdo

I am a true choir geek. I am definitely not ashamed to admit it.

I take my Chamber Choir folder home with me every day. Every day. It’s been awhile since it has been left in its slot to spend the night. When I get bored or when I am feeling slightly ambitious, I take out my folder and practice my music. I have the French down pat in “the French piece,” the notes down in “True Light,” and often go over “Bogoroditze Dievo” just to hear the gorgeous alto part.

I sing in my room. I sing in the shower. I sing in the hallway. I sing during track practice. When I am getting changed in the locker room, guess what I do? What a stupid question to ask – you already know the answer. My friend and I just got a piece on Wednesday, and I already have all of the notes and words memorized. There is a spot or two that he and I need to clear up, but that will all be taken care of on Monday. Today was one of those days where I felt ambitious. I took out my music, went through almost all of the pieces, and then tackled trouble spots with my flute in hand. (My flute. My flute. A silver instrument I hadn’t touched in months until I touched it today – yes, the case was rather dusty.)

Give me a random piece of music and I will be able to tell you what key it is in and be able to go into the solfege right away without writing it in. I look forward to period 9/10 every day. I also look forward to those days when I am alone at home, that’s when my true voice really shines. My dogs and kittens are the only audience I have for those special performances.

Last year chorus was absolutely unbearable (of course, the seating arrangement I am in right now in Chamber Choir is killing me way down deep, but hey, I’m not one to complain XD). This year has been a total learning experience. Maybe it’s just that I am paying more attention, or maybe it’s because of the new teacher we have this year. *shrugs* How am I to know? (I’m leaning towards the second choice.)

Emily’s poetry, a history

I’ve been writing poetry for years. My mother named me after her favorite poet, so why not carry it on? I started out with a composition notebook that I decorated with stickers. Everyone just assumed it was my diary, as if it couldn’t be anything but a shallow notebook with all of my deepest secrets and fears hidden inside. Nobody gave me enough credit. Boys would steal it from me, but I managed to get it back without any harm done. They were only teasing. Teasing is harmless, right?

After that was filled, I moved onto a pink camouflage notebook that had pens attached to the front of it. It was nifty because if I had an idea I didn’t have to hunt for a pen before being able to write it down. The pens were just there. That notebook was also known as my “diary” and even a teacher asked: “why do you bring your diary to school?” To which I simply replied: “it’s not a diary.”

I poured random thoughts and whimsical dreams into those notebooks. Within about a month, the pages started ripping out of the pink camo notebook, so I saved the paper, but threw the rest of the notebook in the garbage. It was time to move on again.

I found a regular old yellow spiral notebook and plastered it with quotes, stickers, drawings, and pop-up sunflowers that I ripped off a thing I had at home. Poetry was transferred from my head onto the pages of that thing for about a year. I entered the seventh grade with the same notebook, and only showed the ones I was proud of to my then English teacher (who is now a teacher in the high school). The boys in my grade grew up a little and stopped calling it my diary, and I continued writing.

For my birthday that year, one of my best friends (we barely speak anymore…) bought me a hardcover spiral notebook with puppies on the front. Said notebook lasted me for nearly two years. That notebook taught me something important. Because I wanted the notebook to last, I only wrote poetry when I really really felt like it and had a good feeling about an idea. I decided that I didn’t have to write about everything – but there are some things that I will always wish to remember. I still have one page left in that notebook that remains empty. If I fill it in, the notebook is done forever. I always want to have the option of being able to fill it up totally. It’s amazing to go from the earlier poems in that book to the last few. It’s like traveling through two years of my life in thirty minutes.

Eventually, I took a little notebook that was a party favor at some birthday party I went to (I think it was Carin’s) and ripped out the used pages. I then covered it with duct tape, and voila! New notebook.

Using the duct tape notebook, I rewrote some of the ones I am really proud of, but I also wrote a year’s worth of new material. I am still busy filling it up with my life, so it’s a work in progress. It’s crazy to see how much I have grown in the past year. There are some poems in said book that are extremely naive and young-sounding. I know I will say the same thing in the future when I look back at what I wrote when I was fifteen (the present… for now), but I like what is exploding out of my pen at the moment. Maybe I will post some examples in the near future (which is defined as: later today).

What gives you the right?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately. Mostly about life, death, murder, killing… etc…

Where am I going with this? Well…

I have been thinking about people that have taken another person’s life. Murderers, crazy people, people that should call a jail cell home as punishment for what they’ve done… What gives those people the right to take someone’s life away? Do they think that they are important enough to do something as horrible as that? How can someone stand up, point a gun at someone, shoot, and then still be able to live with themselves afterward?  I have future spreading out in front of me, or so it seems. What if I don’t? What if someone suddenly decides that they are good enough to take my life because they are not happy with their own? Yes, I am full of “what ifs,” but that’s just how I am.

I think guns should be illegal. Yes, they’re useful for hunting and whatnot, but these instruments can end someone’s life with the pull of the trigger – what gives a person the right to do that?

Frustrated

Writing can sometimes be frustrating. I have been surrendering every study hall period to writing my TWLOHA article, but something tells me that it’s not even close to being finished, and I had hoped to send it once I got home today.  First period, I open up my Trendy Wendy folder (which contains all of my NeXt articles and papers and such) and work on my article. I have so many ideas, but not enough time and not enough creativity to host them all. I have been reading the article that I have so far, and it honestly does not even sound like me. I have a certain voice in my papers (or so I’m told) and I am afraid that I just cannot find it in this article.

Well, anyway, I guess I’d better get crackin’ at my article or my Geometry homework. I’m thinking Geometry might actually win today – I am having so much trouble with this article. When will it ever be finished?!?

All grown up

The boys are home for Thanksgiving. It’s as if Adam has been awakened from a long slumber. His best friends are home, and they are suddenly little boys again.

He was so excited to have them home that he cleaned out the basement so they could play hockey together again. They used to include me in their games…but maybe they think I don’t want to play with them anymore. As if I am too mature. Pshaw!

I got chills when I saw them standing next to my dad. Here’s this guy that they used to look up to their whole lives, and now if they want to look at him, they have to look down. That made me laugh because I have to look down at him now as well. As much as I do not like it, my brothers that used to tease me and tickle me and make me cry are big protector dudes now. They are all so big and tall…and grown up… I just cannot believe it.