My 6-second Vine loop

I’m not scared to be alone anymore.

I’ve found happiness in myself and I carry it with me on my evening bike rides and runs. I sit on benches, swing on swingsets and pedal through now-familiar neighborhoods.

My single room at Bonaventure, while a colorful space I sought solace in at times, became a lonely prison. I never went out and did anything on my own. I always had to have company. I always had to be in a group of friends. I felt like a lonely, boyfriend-less loser if I went to the dining hall alone after getting out of work at nine o’clock. I entered, I ate, I left. And when he found someone else, I felt even worse.

Being alone meant rethinking every decision I had made; everything I had done. Being alone meant a constant, 6-second Vine loop of things I wished I could take back and pictures I wished had never been taken.

College and the hunger for friends made me yearn for constant company and being “in the know.” I feared the thought of missing out on something or not knowing about an inside joke the next day. Now I’ve realized I just don’t care. 

I’ve been set free.

My group of friends here can hang out as much as they want to –– I don’t feel obligated to stick around like I normally would. It doesn’t bother me to be excluded from what they talk about. I have so much fun by myself that I feel like they’re the ones missing out. And I don’t feel bad for myself and I don’t feel even the slightest twinge of homesickness like I did my freshman year of college. I feel content. I feel happy. I’m seeing more, noticing more and experiencing more. I make time for friends and save time for myself. My hour-long breather at the end of the day consists of a bike ride with the sunset as its conclusion.

It helps knowing that, though I’m alone, it’s never complete solitude; the person who matters the most is always thinking about me.

The view from my favorite bench in the park.
The view from my favorite bench in the park.

Questionable behavior, apparently

He really brings the best out of me. Isn’t that what they –– significant others –– are supposed to do?

I promise not to get all mushy. But, seriously. He’s…he’s…himself. And I’ve never met anyone else quite like him.

He challenges me. He doesn’t accept my behavior, he questions it. He makes me think, and that’s exactly what he wants. (I think part of this is because he’s a few years older than I am.)

For example:

Me: “When I pull up to intersections I always turn my music down.”

Him: “Well, why do you do that?”

Me: “Uhh…I don’t know… I guess because I don’t want people to hear what I’m listening to and I don’t want older people judging me and thinking I’m just another stupid teenager.”

Him: “Why do you care what other people think?”

 

…yeah. I never know how to answer him when he calls me out on stuff like that. He’s made me realize just how self-conscious I never thought myself to be. Now that I’ve become aware of this little self-esteem problem, I’ve been trying to rid myself of it completely.

He’s also trying to slow me down so I can appreciate the little things. When we went for walks this past weekend, we walked at his pace rather than mine. You wouldn’t believe the difference. Miss Busybody always has something to do and somewhere to go. He’s slowing down the busybody in me. She’s still here, sure, but she knows that she doesn’t always have to be in a hurry just because her chosen career path forces her to be in certain situations.

When I look forward to something, I feel dread mounting up on top of the anticipation. I’m always anticipating the end of things. So, when I found out he planned to visit this past weekend (I looked forward to it for days), I told him how I already felt dread toward Tuesday, the set day of his departure. He told me to focus on enjoying the moment, instead.

“Don’t think about what comes afterward,” he said. So that’s what I did. I focused on the way his hand felt to hold, his musical laughter, his smile and our many conversations. It was hard to watch him leave, but I just smiled. I’d focused so much on the moment that, by the time this morning rolled around, it felt right. It needed to happen, much to my chagrin.

On top of the plethora of deep thoughts and conversations,  he makes me laugh like an idiot. Oh, and he plays guitar and sings to me.

I’m doing just fine. : )

Giant flip flops

I just tossed and turned for over half an hour. On nights like these, I tend to get out of bed and do something somewhat useful while my eyes are open. Why waste perfectly good time?

I read for a little while until the clock’s proclaimed time of 1:00 a.m. alarmed me. I should be sleeping, I thought. So I tried. I lay there, changing positions, switching arms, fluffing up my pillows.

Smoke wafted in through my open window. I fight the urge to scream out my window every time I smell it. Before our old R.D. left, people were not allowed to smoke outside on the stoop outside my window. Now that he’s gone, they don’t seem to care anymore. Sometimes marijuana floats up and into my lungs. I’m left with a headache and the prompt to deliver a nice “fuck you.”

I got up and shut my window, stifling the scream I wanted so badly to shriek. I heard the outside door open and close. Footsteps up the stairs next to my room followed. I opened my window again.

It’s quarter to 2:00. I haven’t seen this hour since Easter break. I spent all day today (technically yesterday) studying and stressing about statistics. It struck me as funny that, though I loathe statistics, I obsess over viewing “My Stats” on my blog.

On a different note, I squashed an ant today. It approached my foot, so I squished it. I heard it crackle under my grey flip flop. To my surprise, it scurried away as soon as I lifted my foot. It looked damaged, sure, but it still managed to get away from me and further harm.

I yearn to have the resilience of that ant. It sounds silly, but I gave it a lot of credit for carrying on. Too many people give up after little things. At least we never have to deal with getting crushed by a giant flip flop.

 

One month later

I can’t recall a month in my life that could possibly be happier than the one I just lived. Robby and I have been nearly inseparable for a month now, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

We’ve been together 11 times in the past 11 days. We see each other at least once a day, no matter what day it is. We do something different everyday, too, and we never have a plan. He comes over or I go over to his house and we just do whatever. It’s as simple as that. There is no prep time to take into account. We’ve watched a million movies, played a million games and had a million conversations. Last night, we walked my dogs and visited my grandparents before he watched me dominate in Guitar Hero in our “rumpus room.”

I’m always thinking about him and always get ideas for things to do for him. I got a great idea today while we were in Target after we went to the movies to see The Crazies (it was okay…just a little gory, but I had Robby there to protect me), but couldn’t tell him what it was. When he asked to know, I simply shook my head and said “you’ll find out soon enough!” He also has something he’s saving for today to celebrate one happy month together, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store!

We have so many plans. This week, we’re going four-wheeling with his dad (who is awesome) and in the very near future we’re going to go on camping trips with both his family and then mine. Summer will be great as long as he can come over everyday. We’ll spend the first month of vacation looking forward to those Yankees games in Cleveland we’re going to in late July with his dad, my dad and possibly one of my brothers.

Which reminds me of another thing. Our school’s baseball teams haven’t had a single game yet, but I’ve already seen Robby play baseball twice. The other day after track practice, I headed over to the baseball field and watched him play for an hour without him knowing. I saw his dad too, but neither of them knew I was there. When I went into the JV dugout to say goodbye to him, the look on his face was one I’ll never forget. When he told his dad later that I had been there, his reply was: “why didn’t she come over and see me?!?!?” That’s when I knew, once again, that I’ve got it good.

Right now I’m listening to my playlist of songs that remind me of him. I just can’t get enough. I’m pretty sure he fell asleep, because he was supposed to call me at one o’clock, but that’s okay. We have a whole day stretching out ahead of us once I get my research paper done today. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll see each other. I love that.

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.

It’s nice to have her back

I’m weird. That’s what I have learned over the past few days.

I had a few birthday parties to attend this past week (because it seems that everyone’s birthday falls on the SAME DAY). I had to celebrate my grandma’s for a few hours before attending the first one, so that’s what I did. We ate my mom’s special dessert, and I was itching to go, so I hopped on my bike and away I went. I arrived and they were watching a movie. And a really stupid one at that. I’m not a fan of stupid humor movies, so I obviously really didn’t like Airplane. I was also busy focusing on the boy behind me who was hugging me and running his hands through my hair. That can be distracting.

Because I’ve discovered just how much I love being all in my lonesome, I hate being around people. Even people I usually enjoy being around. I couldn’t wait to go home (well, of course, I stopped by my grandparents’ before going home).

The next day is when I found out how weird I am.

I went to another friend’s house (and was kind of dreading it because she doesn’t exactly invite all of the greatest people in the world), and was seriously like a little social butterfly. I went from group to group, just talking to everybody. I suddenly turned into my old outgoing self. I haven’t seen that part of me in quite awhile. It was nice to have her back. There was a specific group I hung out with (with didn’t include my boyfriend, oddly enough), and we even walked to my house to get my Pretty Pretty Princess board game we’d been itching to play. So, we did. In the dark of the trampoline. And swore at the game to make it more exciting.

After a summer of just wanting to be alone, feeling the urge to mingle and be around people was nice. I found a best friend in a girl I haven’t taken the time to talk to lately, and we’ve made plans to hang out all the time. I’m sorry I dreaded what turned out to be an awesome night.

I’m So Sick

I can’t think of anything to write… and this inability to think of anything is giving me something to write and think about. I like this… I’m going to keep going.

Last night was the “farewell seniors” chorus concert. To be perfectly honest, I cannot wait until they are all gone. Sure, I’ll miss a few, but I feel absolutely no remorse for the majority of them. Most of them are off to some community college somewhere where they can embark on thirteenth grade. Whooo. Congratulations. Some people were crying while we were singing the farewell song. I was rolling my eyes. It’s not like they’re dying. C’mon – give it a rest. I hope we don’t do the farewell thing for my last chorus concert. That’s just overrated.

My head has been pounding lately with meaningless knowledge. I don’t care about the sediments that make a rock. All I need to know is that rocks exist – I’m not going to ask why or how they got here. I don’t think New York State should ask me this question. I don’t think New York State should ask me many things. Like how to find the measure of segment AC after giving me only the measure of AB and DB. Where is this going to take me in my aspiration to become a well-known journalist? Nowhere. Exactly. As for Global history – it’s in the past. Let’s just forget about it, shall we? If New York State can’t even spell Touissant L’Ouverture’s name the same way on every exam they pass out, why should I even have to learn about him? Sounds pointless to me. If the people that make me take these pointless examinations can’t even spell his name right then he must not have been worth learning about, correct? Ugh…it’s frustrating.

I’m sick of school. I’m sick of people. I’m sick of the people in school. I’m sick of the way people act in school. I’m sick of improper etiquette at chorus concerts and bad manners. I just want summer to come so that I can remain in my own little bubble for three months. I can choose who I want to see and avoid future annoyances. Only 8 more full days of school left!

No, Miley. I don’t ever wish to be a “Fly On The Wall”

I feel like ranting. Hope you’re ready for this.

I just viewed Miley Cyrus’s video for “Fly On The Wall.” Now, I didn’t mean to watch it, I was perfectly happy with the 3OH!3 video that was before it, but I cannot control the playlist on Playlist. Though I wish I could, sadly I cannot.

She is so annoying. I hate all of these pop artists that think they are hot shit and stuff. They think that absolutely everyone loves them, even though quite a few people obviously don’t. Another example is Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.” Now, I respect Beyonce more than Miley, but the whole “I could have another you in a minute” really cheesed me off. Yes, Beyonce, now we know that you are a whore and like it. Good for you! Now shut up.

Anyway, back to Miley.

It just feels like the perfect time to rant about her again. Remember my post from over the summer? Ha… well, here’s more.

I didn’t mind her when she first appeared out of nowhere. I watched Hannah Montana every once in awhile and kind of liked it. After some time, she definitely didn’t grow on me. SpongeBob did, but she didn’t. After the whole Vanity Fair fiasco all I remember thinking is “ew.” I never was a fan of hers, but after the magazine thing, I didn’t care for her at all. Here she is, this role model on Disney Channel for all of these young kids that love and adore her, and then she has to do something like that. Gross.

Her voice is awful, I don’t think she’s that pretty, and her chipmunk teeth annoy the hell out of me. The part in the music video when the “paparazzis” start dancing really got to me. She’s just standing there with her mouth part way open and her teeth sticking out. Very attractive. She’s obviously trying to break free of “cute little Miley” and trying to be “bad ass Miley.” It’s not working. All of these Disney people seem to think they have to prove that they aren’t as “goody goody” as they seem. It’s starting to get a little annoying, to tell you the truth.

I feel bad for all of the young kids that look up to this Miley character. Pretty soon they’ll be wearing really tight jeans and throwing their hair about in an attempt to be like Miley, who tries to be sexy. She’s a little older than I am, but she is acting like she’s in her twenties. If being a “Fly On The Wall” means having to listen to stupid gossip and hair products and clothes and shoes, well, I hope they see me and swat me. Or…I could buzz around her head and annoy the hell out of her. Yes, that sounds much better. In the meantime, I’ll stick with only ONE “Fly On The Wall.” Instead of watching Miley’s horrible video, go read the book Fly On The Wall by e. lockhart. It’s far better than any song Miley will ever sing. (Attempt to sing…)

School

It seems to me like summer never even happened. Now that I am in the day-to-day “school” routine, everything is back to normal. My iPod (PANDORA!!!) sings me the song I picked out the night before at around 5:45 every morning, and then I wait for the playlist to run out before I get up (usually around 6:20). I get up, take a shower, eat breakfast (well, drink some coffee to prevent future headaches), and wash my face before I let my hair down and mess around with it. I walk out the door wearing some crazy outfit (today it is a pair of crazy colored Bermuda shorts, brown high top Chucks with pink shoelaces, a red Hollister 3/4 polo and a white tank top underneath – I know! Hollister! *gasp!*).

School is just okay. Being a sophomore is definitely different. I open up the day with band, then either English or Earth Science for eighty minutes, lunch (yes, at ten o’clock in the morning), Spanish (which has been simple so far because the regular teacher is out sick and our substitute does not know a single word of the language), Global (my teacher is hilarious!) and then Chamber Choir. After Chamber Choir comes either a study hall (where I am right now) or PE. Then, the dreaded Geometry. I have found it easier to focus this year in math. I already got a 100% on our first test, and was the only student to receive said grade (YES! I put it on the fridge! xD).

The end

Today is over. It came and went. Everything that I predicted came true, but there were also a few twists.

I woke up at ten o’clock, just like any other gorgeous summer morning. I rolled around on my bed for a little while before I decided that it really was time to get up. No use wasting the day, right?

The sky today was crystal clear, as was yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. Absolutely no clouds in sight. I wallowed around the house, munching a bowl full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and looking out the window. I finally stepped outside at one o’clock to get my hair cut.

I walked out of The Chop Shop (local hair place – run by a family friend) a whole new person, my hair shorter and more wild with curls. Of course, I had to ruin it by putting it into tiny little piggy tails for cross country practice.

Practice was hell. H-E-double-hockey sticks. We ran over to Prison Hill, and did hill repeats… In the blistering heat. We did six and then my friend and I ran back to the school together with our shirts lifted up, trying to catch even the slightest hint of a breeze.

I got home and took a dip in the pool (which was FREEZING), and then made breffast fo’ dinna. I barely had enough energy to enjoy the meal I had made, I was so wiped out from practice.

As promised, after dinner my mother drove me to the gravel pit to get a good view of the sun drowning in the sky. We had a hard time getting a good view without burning our eyes out of our sockets, but we eventually settled in and watched the sun disappear.

Now, here I am. My tummy is full, my body is tired, and my eyes are droopy with sleepiness. My hair is wild, my nails are perfectly groomed and polished, and my eyebrows have been plucked to perfection (by who else but moi?). My mother is talking on the phone behind me, I hear the sounds of the TV displaying baseball in the next room, watched by who else but my baseball-crazed dad. I can hear the movie my brother is watching from here because of the insane surround sound system he hooked up. I am tired, and there are noises all around me. I am so glad that I actually did keep my promise and watch the sunset, but now, all I want to do is curl up with a book and read until I am cross-eyed. My body is tired, and I am ready to retire to my bedroom where I will greet the new day. My friend instant messaged me and asked me if I am ready for hell tomorrow. I guess I will have to live through a day and decide whether this year will be hell or not. As of now, I really cannot judge.

Quote of the day:

“When it rains, it fricken pours!”