He has shown me how

Normally when Spring rolls around, I open my window, freshen up my room, enjoy the sound of birds singing and sit on the front porch to soak it all in. It’s been years since I have actually gone outside to play and run around and get some exercise. I have gotten back on track with my life.

I started eating breakfast again. Every morning, I dig out the Rice Krispies, pour myself a bowl along with a glass of OJ and then settle down with one of my daily vitamins that I need to up the iron level in my body. I’m a girl, you see, and girls need more iron than boys do. I have established a rather strict routine to keep up with everything. I don’t scramble to get homework done anymore; I get it done right after it’s assigned and then I don’t have to worry. It’s fun not having any worries. Hakuna Matata!

Last Sunday, I was sick, which is odd for me. I’m NEVER sick. The last time I missed school was when I had pink eye – that doesn’t qualify as the queasiness I’m speaking of now. I get plenty of Vitamin C, take cough syrup when I feel a cold coming on and suck it up when I have a tiny stomachache. But, on this day, I woke up, felt awful, vomited a couple times and then took to the couch for the rest of the day, with only my pillow, a blanket, a heating pad and the drone of a television to keep me company. That one day was the first day in well over a month that I was completely miserable. Part of it has to do with the fact that I felt like I was going to die. The other part was the fact that it was the first day in a streak of nineteen that I hadn’t spent the day with Robby. Yeah, you read correctly. We are inseparable. When I told this to some people in my English class the Monday after that dreadful Sunday, one girl (who was astounded, I might add) asked me, “how do you get all of your schoolwork done?” because, well, Robby is over at my house or I’m over at his every school night. I replied with “well, while you guys are all talking during the free time we have in Chemistry, I sit down and get all of my homework done.” This relates back to the routine I now have down pat. I get all of my homework done and then I don’t have to worry about it, and plus, I get to see Robby. Which yeah, I could get my homework done after he leaves, but that’s generally around 10 o’clock and lately I’ve been getting to bed around 10:30, which is very, very early for me. But hey, it’s all a part of wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.

Now, back to the part about Spring. Normally, I watch it happen. This year, I’ve been a part of it. Robby has shown me how. If it’s nice out, you’d better believe we’re outside doing something. We spent March 21st jumping from cliffs into pits of sand. I definitely lived that day. It felt good to live. Since then, we’ve taken countless walks, gazed at the stars, swung on the swings behind his house, jumped on the trampoline, played catch, ridden our bikes and sat out on the porch with smoothies that I surprised him with. I saw him three different times today, much like I did yesterday. He surprised me by stopping by this morning on his bike before heading out to practice. After practice, he rode right back, and I welcomed him with a strawberry banana smoothie I’d made up for him in my hand. Then, back he came for the real plans that we had made for today. My feet get covered with dirt everyday, and it’s such a great feeling.

I feel healthy. I feel free. I feel fun. I’ve felt the sun on countless occasions already, and Spring has hardly even started. I have a good feeling about everything, and I hope this never stops. I’m the old me with a new twist, and there are so many people out there that are happy to see that I’ve returned to my happy, bubbly self. I’m back.

Dear March, come in!

This poem by Emily Dickinson leaves me praying for March throughout the winter. Well, it’s finally here. And here’s the poem for your viewing pleasure:

Dear March-Come in-
How glad I am-
I hoped for you before-

Put down your Hat-
You must have walked-
How out of Breath you are-
Dear March, Come right up the stairs with me-
I have so much to tell-

I got your Letter, and the Birds-
The Maples never knew that you were coming-till I called
I declare-how Red their Faces grew-
But March, forgive me-and
All those Hills you left for me to Hue-
There was no Purple suitable-
You took it all with you-

Who knocks? That April.
Lock the Door-
I will not be pursued-
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied-
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That Blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame-

I don’t know why there are a whole bunch of hyphens. Ignore those; that’s not how it is in my book of Emily’s poems. I just love this poem. The way she personifies the months and the trees “The maples never knew / That you were coming, – I declare! / How red their faces grew!” That is probably my favorite line in the whole poem.

Last year, I kicked myself for not appreciating March like Emily does in this poem. I spent all winter reviewing that poem, just looking forward to March and the changing of the seasons, when it suddenly passed by me without even saying goodbye. This time, I plan to enjoy it.

Today brought my dog’s birthday. He turned eleven years old today and it’s scary that he’s really getting up there in years. He’s laying right next to me as I listen to Psapp (a band I just found today), text Robby, read Emily’s poetry, check my facebook and write this blog entry. He’s in his own little dreamland and kicks every now and then. I can’t believe that it has been 11 years since that day that I was five years old and we went to visit that litter of eleven puppies. One of Reggie’s sisters wouldn’t stop licking me, and I wanted her, but my mom came out of the sea of puppies with Reggie in her arms, and we never looked back after that.

Other than that, today was any other day. Yesterday Robby (you, reader, might as well be aware of my boyfriend’s name, since I will probably be writing about all of our adventures in the future) and I built a snowman out in my front yard. The snow was the perfect packing snow, and Robby rolled a ball around until it turned into the huge base for our snowman. From there, we messed around with my brother’s dog and tackled each other because, in the snow, nothing hurts. Amidst the tackling, snowball-throwing and occasional kiss or two, we managed to finish the snowman. Well, not totally; we still have the to put stuff on the face and give him arms, but the framework is standing securely in my front yard. All we have to do is get our butts out there to finish it sometime this week. That should be no problem.

I’ll miss the fun times in the snow Robby and I have had, but I won’t miss the white stuff once it’s gone. March is now here (come in!) and I can’t wait for that first real warm and mild day where the birds are out and I can finally open my window without a risk of catching pneumonia. That first day where the birds singing accompanies a chorus of dripping icicles and drainpipes is my favorite day of the year. After that day, I look forward to when our lilies pop up again. I can’t wait for that, either.

For everything there is a season

It was like greeting an old friend as soon as my feet found the pavement. The snow had melted just enough and the air seemed balmy in all its glory of forty degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve always found it amazing just how different forty degrees can be, depending on the perspective you’re taking. When the seasons change from summer to fall, 40 degrees seems like the coldest temperature on earth. But, when the winter chill backs off a bit and lets in some of that 40-degree air, it’s as if spring has come early. It’s the same temperature and yet, it’s different.

I had considered making up a quick playlist of songs I could listen to while I ran, but I opted to leave my iPods at home, instead. The birds sang as I left the cul-de-sac I have lived on my whole life and let my legs carry me out to the main road and down the hill. I was surprised at how good I felt and let that carry me through the pain as muscles were put back into use after remaining dormant for nearly two months. The pain gave me something to think about and something to distract me from the mountain of homework I had to do and the hardships I had been dealing with on a regular basis.

When I was running, I didn’t have to feel anything but the pain from the exertion I was putting my body through. When I thought about it hard enough, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, but if I just let my mind wander and let my legs do my thinking for me, nothing really mattered. I ran by a business that owes my dad money and considered trashing it. But, I didn’t. I kept running and made my way toward the hill that stood menacingly in the not-so-distant distance.

My energy deteriorated once I reached the top, but I kept on running. I reached my halfway mark and kept going. I thought about how natural it is for me to run and how effortless it can be once I am in good shape to do it. I thought about the summer and how the three of us took part of this same route in an effort to be in shape for cross-country season. I thought about how fast the time goes and how it doesn’t make sense to try and cherish every moment. If you’re too busy cherishing, you’re not living. You’re just trying to keep it in your memory forever. A memory should be something you remember effortlessly, not something you save onto the desktop in your brain so you can click on it and wait for it to load.

I decided against taking a shortcut and instead went the whole way around and back to my street. I took a left, ran down to the green Pennysaver box and then took a right, thinking in my head about that last 200m that I face with every race I run on the track. I ran halfway up my slushy driveway and then bent over to catch my breath. I always do this, and then I bend my knees carefully before reaching my full height (5’2″ if you were wondering) and then walking around a little bit, my hands over my head.

I entered through the side garage door, made my way through the traffic blocking my way to the house door (sleds, snowshoes, etc) and shed my running sneakers (New Balance this year – a brand I never really gave a chance until over the summer), grabbed my already-full glass of water off of our butcher block-esque island and downed it in a second.

My ears stung from the cold and my breathing was wheezy with each inhale and exhale I made.

“How’d you feel?” my dad asked.

“All right,” I replied. “I started out too fast and was dead by the end, but it felt good to run. I’m gonna go lay down now.”

I entered the family room and plopped onto our brand-new couch to catch my wheezy breaths. After thirty minutes passed without my daddy turning on the TV, I went upstairs and grabbed The Lovely Bones and continued reading from where I had left off right before daddy had picked me up at the school just barely an hour previously. We sat there, father and daughter, reading our books of choice: his a Yankee book that someone had gotten him and mine a novel that had been made into yet another movie based off of a book. He wore one of his many pairs of $0.99 reading glasses and I wore the sweat and dirt of a girl who had almost made it through one of the toughest weeks of her sixteen years of living, and was coming out on the other side unscathed and perfectly fine.

At 4 o’clock, I tossed my book down and ran the shower upstairs in the bathroom that all of my brothers had vacated and bestowed unto me (we painted it a light brown and pretty light blue and got rid of the old Mickey Mouse theme that had previously reigned).

Before shedding my clothing, I focused on the length of my hair in the mirror. Back in ninth grade, it was a shock of bright-red curls. Now, it’s back to its normal color (brown/blond/red depending on the season and amount of sun received), though the curls have been kept (I have not dyed my hair since November 2008). I’ve decided that I want it to be long for when I take my senior pictures. I thought to myself Oh yeah, it will be long enough by the summer after this one!

And then it hit me.

I will be taking my senior pictures this summer. It’s crazy just how much time flies and how one change in your thoughts can create a chain-reaction of changes throughout your entire mind. At the moment, I am halfway through my junior year of high school. In June, I will sing in the Chamber Choir and watch some of my best friends ever don those white and blue robes and graduate from our little sliver of the universe and move on to bigger (and better) things. This hit me hard because I realized that I haven’t exactly enjoyed my high school experience that much. In recent months, Misery had taken over my entire being and forced me to look at everything pessimistically. But now, happy little Emily is back, and she plans on staying happy and little until she is forced to grow up in a year and a half.