Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Where has my inspiration gone?

I feel like it's right there, just beyond my grasp.

Although it's not like I've been stretching too hard to reach it.

It's like I just expect it to be there.

Sitting, waiting patiently at my feet.

Waiting for me to be ready for it, whenever I feel like it.

But that's not true inspiration.

Not if it's there all the time.

That's too easy.

Too simple.

No, real inspiration--and the products and results and emotions it produces--that's rare.

And something to strive for and work towards.

Every day.

Not something to sit around, complaining about how I've lost it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Winners

I haven't been getting my camera out very much lately. I don't know why. I just haven't felt inspired. Nonetheless, here are a few shots of my week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My days are long.

They are filled with life.

All the little things that entails.

And one of the bigger things, too, every once in a while.

Three classes a day.

So far, it's working.

The other two....are in progress.

And I am working on not freaking out. Getting overwhelmed by the details. The bureaucracy. The list of pros and cons that each option carries with it.

I'm sitting here, and I see that Hope has fallen down. I smile. Not to worry, I get some new tape and stick it back up. My fingers pause on the green painted wood.

I breathe.

It will be alright.

I believe that's true.

Sometimes I just have to work harder than others to remember that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

on some of the nicest compliments i've ever received

I love your bag.

You're wise beyond your years.

You look really pretty today. That color brings out your eyes.

The little things do matter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy and Giddy

I'm sitting on the carpet in the living room. My grandparents are sitting on the couches, and we're talking. I'm doing something, maybe making a collage. I'm happy. Content. It's summer and it's going to stretch into forever.

My mom comes in and off-handedly remarks that we need to go school supply shopping. I burst into tears.

She does have a point. It's two weeks before the start of seventh grade and I have done nothing to prepare. I am in my blissful state of denial. Denying that I will have to spend the next nine months in classrooms with peers that I don't feel comfortable with and will always be worrying about superficial things that I really don't care about, while learning absolutely nothing.

I'm embaressed, because I'm generally not a burst-into-tears type of gal. But I'm too upset to stop.


For the four years after that, I didn't burst into tears. I knew that school was coming, and that I couldn't just ignore it. I got ready and bought supplies and saw the date rapidly approaching on the calendar. But I didn't talk about it. And school was a bad word in our household.

But a funny thing has happened.

I'm excited to go back to school. Actually looking forward to it. And I can't get over the strangeness.

I used to love learning, and it makes me sad how much school has become the enemy of that. I learn. But mostly because I want to. Because I put in the effort.

This year is my senior year. My last year of high school. I'm beyond excited. To be done, and have it over with. To get out. Hopefully go someplace better.

I'm also excited to be taking actual classes at school. I don't know if it will last; if my energy will be able to keep up. I want it to so badly. So I'm going to try.

And yes, I am actually excited about the learning aspect of school. Anatomy and Physiology and Spanish. They make me happy and giddy.

I love being happy and giddy about school. I really do. And I've missed those feelings. I'm filled with hope.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011


This map confuses me. I have no idea where we are. But that's not exactly new.

I finally find a street name on the map that I see out my window, but by the time I look up again, it's long gone. My dad makes an executive decision to park and just start exploring. The worthless map is left in the car; hopefully we won't be forever lost in the world of dorms and green grass.

I walk slowly. I'm telling myself it's so I have time to take it all in, but really, I'm just tired. I'm full of greasy pizza, ready to get to a hotel that I'm hoping has a comfortable pillow. I'm on my third, and thankfully last, campus, and sadly aware of how they are starting to blend.

I like Grinnell, not Knox, but the little details, the ones that seemed so important while I was there? They're fading. Already blurring with the beautiful flowers I see ahead of me. The brick buildings lining each side of the path I make my slow way down.

Greek letters adorn houses further behind me. A shiny new building catches the last remnants of the setting sun.

A long sidewalk leads me around behind a big building. It looks like the sports center, but I can't tell much from the uniform exterior. The sidewalk ends next to a busy road and a power plant. Clearly we've left the manicured side of campus, left behind the part that we, as visitors, are supposed to see.

The sidewalk feels long and slightly endless as we head back the same way we came.

Tomorrow I will see the poetry garden, with the cool shade offered by huge trees, strategically placed benches, and little gazebos tucked away. I will see the inside of the buildings, each with their own character and flair. I will talk to people who describe Beloit as the best place on earth, the perfect college.

I will smile and nod, knowing it's a sales pitch. I will be slightly turned off by the fact that I am getting a well-rehearsed show. All movements and voices carefully choreographed. I will remind myself that it is what it is, and try to focus on the positives.

The beautiful campus, the strong academics, the tales of welcoming people, the study abroad opportunities.

Yet I can't get away from the first feeling I had. That it's a great campus. A wonderful school. But it's not the right fit for me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I stare out the window, waiting eagerly for the appearance of green grass and manicured flower beds and academic-looking buildings. I keep referring to the map in hand, trying to figure out where we are, and where we're supposed to be going. We cross some streets with inventive names like Main and Cherry before finding the correct one.

I step out of the car into the heavy air. I try to tell myself I'm used to it by now.

I'm lying.

There are more tall trees, unfamiliar to me, the Coloradan, and cicadas abound.

I leave the map in the car, wanting instead to figure it out for myself. I strike out in a promising direction, my parents a few steps behind. I cross the street, heading for a sidewalk that leads to the most prominent building in sight. Its large frame and old stonework give it the appearance of extreme age. But instead of seeming imposing or regal, it just looks tired. Like it needs a long nap, and maybe a face-lift.

All the doors are locked, but I'm not surprised. The campus seems dead. I haven't seen so much as the shadow of another person; we are clearly the only people here. I wander around the building, and reach its front doors. Plaques on either side of the entrance proclaim its status as one of the oldest buildings in town, as well as the historical debate that was held here.

The sidewalk dead ends the way I was going, so I turn around and head back. I run into construction tape and dirt when I try to turn left, so instead I turn right.

More brick buildings stand silently in front of me. Their faces are impassive. They've seen too many young, eager students to be impressed by my presence.

I turn and stop, waiting for my parents to reach me. They have stopped to read more plaques that are mounted by an old bell tower.

As they reach me, I indicate that I am ready to head back to the car. They nod, and we make the detour together around more construction. Back at the car, I give the campus another searching look. I can't articulate, even to myself, what I'm looking for, but I don't find it.

I return my gaze to the car, and settle myself in for the drive.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We walk side by side, three of us on a sidewalk built for two. Weeds line each side of the cement, encroaching on the straight lines. Cicadas sing their noisy song, growing louder as we approach the larger trees. Sweat drips down my back before it gets caught in my waistband. I lift my hair off my neck, trying to catch a non-existent breeze on my sticky skin.

I tie my hair back. We cross the street and are greeted by tall prairie flowers. They line the street, bursting with color and life.

I walk ahead, not sure where I'm going. There are large brick buildings on my right, smaller houses on the left. The green grass tickles my ankles as I step off the sidewalk. Under a big maple, I sit down on a bench. The wood is old and warped, but the rest it offers is appreciated.

Joined by my parents, we sit quietly. I swing my feet, scuffing the ground that hundreds of students before me have scuffed.

Ahead of me I see a large statue, a sidewalk cutting diagonally through the grass, and a low brick building, partially hidden by greenery.

I stand up and wander towards the statue, curious. Many of the trees I pass are marked by plaques, in remembrance of loved parents, spouses, and alumni.

The statue turns out to be a giant sundial, donated by a class from before my parents were born.

The doors make a quiet sucking noise as I pull them open. I step into a cool room. A tiled floor, signs pointing me to classrooms and professor's offices, wooden doors with small windows. Steps leading up and down. I explore further into the building, away from the door.

It no longer feels cool; my hair is still stuck to the back of my neck and my feet slide around in my flip flops. A large glass display case greets me, filled with old cameras and phonographs. A person walks by us; someone who looks like they belong, probably a student here to do research.

I leave the air-conditioning before my parents are ready. I spend some time smelling the flowers, taking grainy pictures on my phone, and soaking in the feel of the campus.

I point my feet back the way we came. I slowly make my way back to our car, waiting to pick up my pace until I hear their footsteps behind me. I run my hand over the sign that announces "Grinnell College" that sits proudly on the main intersection. The stone is rough under my fingers, saying good-bye, until next time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

dot dot dot

I think I killed my Next button. It's very sad, and also? How did I manage to kill it?

(You haven't met the magical Next button? You should. It's in Google Reader. And to get more info than that, you'll have to Google it.)


 I'm all over the place today.


We got back from another trip a few days ago. I don't even remember when it was. Third trip this summer. They're starting to blur, slightly.

This time, I was looking at colleges. Yep, one of those big, important, life-altering decisions. I'm trying hard not to think about it like that.

Baby steps.


The house is quiet. Very quiet. And cool. But also, it's very quiet. Which in many ways I love. But the past few days have been full of driving and meeting new people and talking about the future. So it's a bit of a shock, for it to be quiet.


Pandora is keeping me company. I love Pandora.


I had crepes for lunch. Blueberries in one, feta cheese and olives in another. One plain, just to break it up. A scoop of ice cream in the last one to top it off.

(Don't worry, they were small crepes.)


It's August. Obvious, I know. But it's still worth mentioning. Because August means the start of school. My senior year.


It's supposed to be 100* today. I'm not even going to comment on that.


I'm making my way through my lists. The ones that remind me about websites I want to look at, songs I fell in love with when I heard them on the radio, people I need to email, those things. The little things that fall out of my head so easily if I don't write them down.


Last night in bed I had two post ideas in mind. But they did that irritating thing where they disappear by the next morning. I missed my blog, though, so here I am.