Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of Another Year

It is the last day of the year.

I'm sure most of you are aware of that. Given this special date, I felt like I should say something. Something reflecting on the past year, looking ahead, making resolutions, choosing my word for the new year.

This year has been fantastic. Truly. Filled with huge changes. Filled with health and friends. New experiences and old comforts.

2012 really brought it.

Some of 2013 I can see.

In typical Tela fashion, I have it all mapped out.

Some of it, though, I can't see. It's impossible to plan it all out.

It will be full of surprise and love and heartache. I think that is a given for any year.

I will be challenged. I will continue to grow and figure out who I am and where I belong.

It will be a good year. Of that I am sure.

And, to all of you who maybe didn't have the best 2012 (there seem to be an awful lot of you):

I hope this year improves things. I hope you can find the laughter and love in between the hard times. I wish all the best for all of you.

Each and every one.

Happy 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

this crazy world

The truth of our world is that there is a lot of bad. There are unexplainable, bad, sad, evil, awful things that happen.

I feel like they've been piling up a little bit lately.

It is so incredibly to let them bury me.

To get caught up in the news of the bad.

All the negative reporting, the focus on the tragedies.

The deaths that happen around me. Some expected, some not.

Both ways, they still leave an impact.

For me, it's a matter of balancing the bad with the good.

It's a matter of living with my eyes open and allowing myself to feel pain and sadness. It's also a matter of finding the good. The in spite ofs.

The fact that in spite of all this, this awfulness, there is good.

There is joy.

There is love. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

a break

Last night was wonderful.

Last night was like a Friday in the middle of my week.

It was a night where I let myself off the hook.

It's been a hard few weeks. So I stopped. I did things for fun, I didn't worry about the papers to write or the fact that I had to wake up at 7 this morning.

I finally, finally, got back to the hospital.

Even though I was only being trained to volunteer, it invigorated me.

There's something about hospitals that brings me alive.

Even this unbelievably small hospital, that was "very full" with the same number of total patients that is an average day for the floor I volunteer on back home.

I can't wait to be back. In that environment, helping people, doing what I love.

Then I went and ate cookies and listened to Christmas music and made paper snowflakes.

Then I made some more paper snowflakes and talked and watched Doctor Who.

Then I wrote a letter to a friend. A long overdue letter. Telling her I love her. Because I do. I love them and miss them, all those people back home. Sometimes it's just easier and quicker to not think about that, to not stop and take a moment to actually think and feel.

Last night was wonderful. Just the break I needed, to be able to push through these last days of the semester.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

from the weekend

Hello again. What is this craziness? Posting two days in a row? I think it's me being stressed and needing some small relief from homework.

It's possible, just maybe, that I'm letting the stress of finals getting to me.

We are fast approaching what is known on campus on "Hell Week" so I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised.

It's just that, well, a lot of things.

My mid-sems weren't that bad, I skated through high school (mostly because I was much more focused on my health than my education) and so haven't experienced hard core finals, and a bunch of other things too.

Anyways, I'm getting off topic.

I came here to talk about finding the funny amidst the stress. And how time management includes self-care.

Which I'm doing. Today I went for a walk with a friend and got a coffee and then watched SNL.

I think that encompasses all of the above for stress-relievers.

But I still had my freak outs.

Mostly because my internet decided that today would be an appropriate day to die.

I'm sorry, this post has no point.

You deserve a medal for reaching the end of it.

Because this is the end, promise.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home, Part 2

Last time when I wrote about home, there was a very clear delineation in my mind.

I had my first home, the home where I grew up.

It's the place where my parents are. Where my kitty lives. Where I know everything and everyone. I have my routines and things are comfortable.

I had my new home.

My college home.

The place I was still figuring out, where I was constantly meeting new people and learning new things.

In the past two months, those lines have been blurred. Those lines between one home and the other are no longer quite so clear.

I now have friends here. Close friends, real friends. They're my people. The ones I laugh with and cry with. Ones I know I can lean on when the times get tough. It took the times getting tough for those bonds to form.

We live together and share so much. We learn and we grow and we whine and complain.

This is my home.

Yet, I still want to go home.

I want to go to my house, I want to see my parents. When I think of that home, I think of being wrapped up in the biggest hug. It's my comfort place.

I know that I will miss this place too.

I'm all confuzzled.

I guess I can have two homes. If that's what works for me, then it's perfect.

I've also really learned that it's the people that make a place what it is. It's the people I love and miss, no matter where I am.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

far away

The worst thing, I have decided, about being far away from some of the people I love, is the lack of hugs.

Sure, I can write to them. I can talk to them. I can even see their beautiful faces.

But those times when I want to run around screaming because I'm so happy, or wrap them up when I'm sad, those I can't communicate.

Sometimes words aren't enough.

They can't communicate what I'm feeling.

Hugs are what I use when the words "I'm sorry" aren't enough.

Sometimes they just don't cut it.

So right here, these paltry words on your screen, these will have to do.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Weeks

Currently, I am many things.

There are many me's. 

The one at the forefront is the stressed version of me.

The exhausted version.

Yet this me does not stop, because she cannot stop.

This me does not see any other option than to continue.

To make it through the next three weeks. To not lose it, completely. To be awake and mostly present. To work and write and plan and talk.

To be a student for three more weeks.

Then, I don't know which me will take over.

Probably the exhausted one will kick in after a few days. After I realize I no longer have to be "on" all the time. When it sinks in that I can relax; there's no where to go, no one to see, and there are other people who will take care of the rest.

I can't let myself go there yet, though.

I have to keep going.

I have to let the stronger me's take over, and keep me going.

Three more weeks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I didn't quite make it to 10

I had every intention of participating in 10 on 10 today. Really, I even took the first three hours' shots. But then I was in Bio lab for the next three shots, and there's nothing like pippetting yeast to kill your photographic creativity.

Nonetheless, I thought I'd share some peeks into my life, from today and a few other times when I've pulled out my camera.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I desperately wanted a pen pal as a child.

I thought it was the coolest thing, sending letters back and forth across the world.

Even then, it was a novel idea.

The internet was already taking over all forms of communication.

I never let go of that dream, though.

When I was thinking about leaving for college, I thought it would be the perfect time to start writing letters. Not to go out pen pal shopping, but to use letter-writing as one way, in addition to all the technology, to stay in touch with my friends.

Surprisingly, some of my friends were on board.

We're actually writing each other real live letters.

Ones with stamps and everything.

I love it.

Every time I see a letter in my little box, it completely makes my day. I read my mail over breakfast and usually head off to face my day with a smile on my face.

It has been a wonderful way to connect (and reconnect) with friends.

There's something about putting pen to paper that makes it feel so much more personal.


I wrote a letter to friend, a long overdue one, last night.

And then this morning, I saw that the first task for The Happy Day Project was to write a letter. So perfect!

Unfortunately I sent off my letter before I could take any photographic evidence, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Monday, October 22, 2012


People laugh when I say "home" in reference to my dorm room. They think it's funny that I call it that, when everyone else says "dorm" or "room". But to me, that just sounds awkward.

And it's true, it has become my home.

Not just my room, but the whole place.

The campus, the people, the community that I have become a part of.

Feeling like I fit in a place, that's what makes it home to me.

That's not to say that my other home, the one I inhabited for almost 18 years, is any less of a home.

It's just....different.

In ways that I can't describe, that I wasn't really even aware of, until I got here.


This too, is my home.

This place where I fit and I know the routines and ways of existing.

I know this community as well.

It's been interesting, these few days of figuring this all out.

This fact that I now have two homes.

Two equally important places, but so completely different.

I also think that part of the difference stems from me.

I hadn't really thought I'd changed at school, not that I'd given it much thought.

I was still me.

Yet being here, I can feel the differences. The parts of me that don't quite fit with how I used to exist in this space.

I'm different.

And now it's a matter of reconciling the two different me's, within the two different homes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

on optimism

In general, I think I'd say I land somewhere between an optimist and pessimist.

Mostly because I think an optimist has to be someone who smiles constantly and is irritating in their constant happiness and positivity.

I am all for positivity, I just don't think it needs to be constant. We're all allowed to be negative and feel bad. That's part of life. Part of the balance.

However, I do choose to see the good in people.

I see the good in situations.

I really firmly believe that it will work out in the end.

One of my favorite quotes is Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

I love this.

I'm finding that here, though, it's not necessarily the cool or expected thing to be an optimist.

Just like you shouldn't talk about it if you don't have much homework.

You're expected to always be swamped, and always talk about how swamped you are.

I get that.

I need that sometimes. Desperately.

I also get really sick of it.

We all need, and deserve, a break.

A place to be happy or positive or optimistic or without homework.

An environment in which I feel like I can talk about my good day, without glares or the need for apologizing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Make It a Priority

I am a firm believer in choice.

(I'm not talking in the political way, I don't really want to get into that here.)

I mean in the way that we go through our life making choices.

Big ones, small ones, ones we don't notice, ones that consume us.

All these choices come together to form a whole.

Our choices cannot be denied or pushed off onto others, because they are wholly and completely ours.

Now to some this may seem a daunting concept.

The idea that we must take responsibility for every little thing we do throughout the day.

I agree.

That's terrifying.

It's also incredibly liberating.

It means that I have the choice to say no.

I have the choice, it is all mine, what I do when.

I got this very simple, but amazing idea, from a nurse at the hospital.

She was talking to a patient, who had come in for something small, but actually had much bigger, chronic medical problems going on.

These were problems he was choosing to ignore.

She took his hand and told him he needed to make his health a priority.

That "make it a priority" is what I love.

It is what reminds me that I choose what is important and what is not.

And that if something is truly important, I will find a way to make it happen. 

Because that is my choice. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012





I can do a lot of things I couldn't before.

Many of them I have no interest in doing.

But that's beside the point.

I can.

In the eyes of the law, I am now old enough to be a part of this society.

I get to help make decisions, and I'm also responsible for my own decisions.

I'm legal.

It's all on the record now.

This feels like a big one.

Some are just another year.

A good reason to celebrate.

This one, though, this one feels different.

Maybe that's just because I'm told it should be different.

No, but it is.

And that's about all I know.

I know I am so ridiculously happy for it to be my 18th birthday.

And really, what more do I need to know than that?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I really don't know why this would be interesting to anyone other than me. But here it is. Because I've wanted to do this for a while. I wouldn't necessarily call these my favorite songs, but when I look back, they're what I remember listening to on a constant loop. I think it's interesting to look back and see what the music I was listening to said about me. 

6th grade:
Wake Me Up When September Ends

7th grade:If I was being honest:
I'm With You.

If I wasn't:

9th-11th grade (aka when I was sick):
World Spins Madly On
Bicycle vs. Car
That Time of Year

11th grade: Ring the Bells
Awake My Soul

Senior year:
It's Time

Prom/graduation/end of senior year:
We Are Young

Summer after senior year (driving home after late nights at the hospital):
Somebody That I Used to Know

End of summer/beginning of college:

Now: ???

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Things have changed around here because I've changed.

This started even before I got to college.

I don't know how much it came through here, but I certainly felt it.

I had all these huge life changes and a busy life and amazing things and hard things.

But somehow it seemed like I didn't know how to put them into words.

Or if I even wanted to.

I didn't have the desire to share every detail here.

Well, I did, but it would have just been a laundry list of what I'd been doing. There's no point to that. No one cares. It's the stories behind the things that matter.

My theory (just because I haven't been here doesn't mean I've stopped psycho-analyzing myself) is that I started experiencing, instead of watching.

My senior year I feel like I reentered the world.

I became an active person who could participate and truly live.

I started to find my own people, ones who I saw every day.

And that led to me not being here as much.

This blog started as a way for me to express myself and feel like I was connecting and interacting with the world in some way.

I'm not saying you or this space are no longer important, I'm just saying I've changed.

And I'm still trying to figure out what that change means for this space.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Can I just say this again?

Because it's still true.

Except this time it's the biggest party of the year.

Trust me, I'm not just "tired."

I just don't have a better word to describe it.

And also some other stuff.

Less bloggable stuff.

Because you know, they are actual people, these people who are taking up so much of my head space.

And, you know, I would like to one day be employed.


Good night.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

the difference between what is right, and what is easy

this is what runs through my head as I walk back.

as I leave the party before everyone else.

when I'm going back to my room, not out to the next party.

when I'm not dressing up for the 80s theme.

when I say no, I can't.

or no, I'm tired, and people don't get it.

they make fun of me for being lame.

or nerdy.

it's the feeling that I know I will appreciate this action I'm taking in the future, but right now, it sucks.

right now, I'm the only one walking back, not heading out.

the only one in my PJs, getting ready for bed.

at least it feels that way.

but I am doing what is right for me.

it's not always the fun thing, the cool thing, but it's what will allow me to keep this up.

I am making the right choice.

Friday, September 21, 2012


People are important.

Relationships are important.

I think this is pretty obvious.

Sometimes I forget this though.

I like to imagine how much easier it would be to go through this world as my own little community. Of one.

But then I connect with people in a way that just goes so far beyond what I expect.

These people that I somehow have the pleasure of knowing are amazing.

They get me.

It's also important to note here that a relationship through the interwebs, as the result of technology, is just as real as anyone I may have met in person.

That is all, for tonight.

People are amazing. Keep at it. It is worth it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I think there's worth to be had in learning to love my own photos as they are--straight out of the camera, no editing. I think it's also easier. And stems from my confusion about what software/program to use, now that Picnik has abandoned us.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Today I left my room smiling.

Today I feel beautiful.

Today I read two letters at breakfast, letters that wrapped me up in a big hug.

Today I have things to do, places to go, pictures to find, homework to finish, essays to start.

Today I will take time for me.

Today I will take time to let the smile spread from my face through my whole being.

Today I am happy.

Today is better than yesterday.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hello World

I am [insert adjective here].

But mainly avoiding homework.

Turns out I have nothing else to say.

Because all I've been thinking and talking about is Bio and it would really be nice if I could just forget about it, even for just a little while.

My big Saturday night plans involve some friends and a yet-to-be-decided-on movie.

Until then we are supposedly doing homework.


I think I've done as much organizing as I can. Which is my go-to mode of procrastination.

I'm an interesting mix of always being on top of and ahead of things, while also being a very good procrastinator.

I much prefer how I feel when I'm ahead of things, but, you know.....

Okay, I'll make you a deal.

I will sit down (wait, I'm already sitting down) and work on this essay for 40 minutes. And then I will do something else. Something fun. Like reading blogs. Except I've been such a good procrastinator that my reader is empty and that's just sad.

So while I'm hard at work, you all work on some blog posts! My procrastination needs you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Yesterday I was asking myself if this was sustainable.


The living this far away from home.

The being utterly responsible for my health.

The homework and expectations.

The workload.

The social aspect.

The responsibility for my life.

The everything.

Is it? Really?

Last night I wasn't sure.

Last night I knew that all I could do was stop. Continuing to stare at the page wasn't helping, neither was the pretending to work while reading blogs and Facebook and email.

Last night I made popcorn and sat in bed and watched Grey's Anatomy.

Yes I did.

And just now, when I asked myself the same question, it still didn't really have an answer. And I thought how nice it would be to have something to look back on and say "Yes! This will work! Because I survived that."

And then I thought to myself, well, I do have that. Not years or months, but I do have something. I have yesterday. And the day before. I've had good days and bad days. In-between days. But I've survived. 

That gives me hope for today, and tomorrow, and the next day. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

on the road (a week ago)

All taken on the roadtrip from home to college. Which yes, did happen over a week ago. Also all SOOC.

Friday, August 31, 2012


I have never thought of myself as someone with a disability.

I have always referred to it as, well, "it" or "getting sick" or "my illness".

Just not a disability.

I didn't really like that word, actually.

It made it sound like this was something I was going to have for the rest of my life. Something that was going to negatively impact things I wanted to do.

I guess I just thought of it as my own version of my furry little problem.

(A thousand bonus points if you get that reference.)

But now, here, I'm a student with disability. That's just the terminology the college uses. And somehow I'm okay with that. It just is. It's one word of many that can be used to describe whatever it is I have.

It might not be my first choice, but it's what works. It's also helping me see that yes, in some respects I do have a disability. There are people I need to meet with and paperwork I need to have in place to protect my right to an education.

Without those meetings and papers, my illness could and would stop me from getting the education I am not only paying for, but deserve. So yes, I guess that does make it a disability.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

one sentence paragraphs, among other things

I don't know when I started changing how I wrote.

But at some point I made the unconscious decison that I liked to write in short paragraphs. As in paragraphs that are one sentence long. That's how my brain works; I think every little thought deserves to be special and get its own paragraph. But I also like how it reads because then it makes each thought, each sentence, important.

However, this is not the college style of writing.

Nor was it the high school style of writing.

And I managed to display this lovely skill of mine on the first college homework assignment.



In other news, I'm slightly, okay, a lot, afraid of my Bio class now. After one class.

Again, awesome.

There was just so much. 

So much material, so many pictures that don't fit nicely into my notes, so many new procedures, so much responsibility, so much "figure it out yourself". I always have liked that style much more than the "let me spoon feed you" approach, but right at this moment? My mind is spinning. I'm scared and overwhelmed.

Also, did I mention the classes are three hours long?

If you weren't aware, that's a really, really long time.


It really is enjoyable to write with terrible grammar and syntax and whatever-it's-called and not care and be able to call it artistic expression.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Know It, and Yet Clearly I Don't

I sit at the long table, coffee cup in one hand, pen in the other. My bag is by my tapping feet. Occasionally I lean forward to jot an important point down. I love how smoothly the ink runs out. It makes my handwriting look nicer than it actually is.

I listen to the staff and to the students. They talk about accessibility and being your own advocate and communicating with professors.

I listen and nod and silently think that I know this stuff. I know how to be assertive. I've been doing it for the past four years.

I know how to talk to professors; I should, I've grown up with one.

I know there are things to learn. There will always be things to learn.

The only piece that strikes a cord with me is when one student talks about stigma and bringing up your disability with peers.

And then another student talks about educating people about what your disability is. Making sure they understand.

This is all I can think about. The making people understand. It feels like a huge weight has just appeared and set up camp squarely on my shoulders.

Because yes, I've been doing this for a while. I know I need to be up front with people and not pretend like it's going to magically go away now that I'm at college.

It's thinking about the people who don't believe me that scares me.

I can handle educating people. Most people need it, because they have no idea what half the words I'm spewing out mean.

What I don't handle is people not believing me. Whether they think I'm making it up, or that it's all in my head, or that I don't look sick, so therefore I'm not.

No amount of explaining complex medical terms can truly educate someone as to what it is like to live with this. To live in my body.

I'm scared that if I don't address it with people, they'll think I'm just reclusive and sleep a lot.

And that if I do address it, they won't understand, even after I've done my best to explain.

That my illness (I don't personally consider it a disability, but that's something else entirely) will come between me and other people.

I've dealt with these questions before; again, none of this is really new.

But it's not like I know it all, because I did somehow assume, or at least forget, that I will have to deal with this.

I am meeting a huge number of new people, who, once I start to spend time with, will notice something is different. Then I have to have the not overly comfortable talk. And hope that they not only believe me, but see past it. Add my illness to the end of a long list of things they know about me. And then keep on adding to that list.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I'm here!

And not only here as in still alive, but here as in here at college.

As in I am soon to be spending the night in my room for the third night.

As in all the upper classmen arrive tomorrow and it's a little scary.

Because I feel like I'm just starting to get the hang of things, and then tomorrow, everything's going to change. Again.

And classes haven't even started.

That's a whole new ballgame, I know.

As was registering for them.

I sit here typing this, at my desk that is next to my dresser, both of which are tucked under my bed. My desk is messy. Or at least messy in my book. I know that doesn't always translate to messy in other people's worlds.

My light is on, hurting my eyes a little bit.

The room is quiet, except for some people coming and going out in the hall. Not in a loud obnoxious way, but in a other people live here sort of way.

My alarm is set late, all things considered, for tomorrow morning.

I will try to sleep, even though I will probably sacrifice breakfast in the process.

And then I will fill the hours until 2, or whenever that one meeting that that one paper said I needed to go to.

Then I will ask directions to this new building, because as much as I feel like an experienced college student walking across campus to the dining hall, I know I'm not.

After all, I'm just a first year. And it's just my third day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

a cardboard sign

I sit at the light, sipping my coffee, my blinker impatiently reminding me that it's time to go.

There is a man to my right. Standing on the curb, holding a cardboard sign. Saying that he is a homeless vet. Asking for kindness. Asking me, WWJD?

I sit in my air-conditioned car, headed for home. Groceries to stock my fridge. A $2 dollar coffee in hand.

I don't know this man's story.

I don't know where he comes from or if he truly has nothing to go to.

I hate that when we were traveling, mostly in India and South Africa, we were told to never look beggars in the eye. Because this would encourage them.

Practical advice? Yes. Heartbreaking? Yes.

By not looking people in the eye, I am taking away their humanity. I am denying them the right to be recognized and their worth as human beings.

I hate that whenever I see someone standing on the corner, this advice flashes through my mind.

And that sometimes I heed it.

I don't want to acknowledge harsh truths, to literally look them in the eye.

It's much easier to continue my easy, comfortable, sure lifestyle in ignorance.

I don't want to be ignorant. 

I don't have the solution.

I just know I don't want to walk through this world with blinders on.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

the hospital

I'm not sure how to put this into words.

I will try.

I was sick.

Sick sick sick.

Hardly left the house, except to see doctors.

Then I went to the hospital.

For the first time, I was not a patient, but a caregiver.

This in and of itself was huge.

I felt like I was doing something important. That I was contributing to a greater whole.

I became part of a team.

The people on that floor took me in and gave me a place where I belonged.

I can't really describe what it's like or why I love it so much.

Which is hard, but at the same time, it makes it feel like my special place. One that's just for me.

These people gave me an education about what it is to work in a hospital, to work and have a family, to take care of other people,

They taught me the more tangible things as well.

The medical jargon that I now speak relatively fluently.

The procedures and surgeries and hourly checks. The IVs and wheelchairs and shots and blood.

All I can tell you is that I love it and will miss it more than I can possibly imagine.

Friday, August 17, 2012

where to start?

I don't know where to start.

Last night was a late night.

Not so much with the sleep, but lots of packing. Organizing. List writing.

As was this morning.

My last fish is gone. His new home is a first grader classroom. Where I am sure there will be debates over whether he is, in fact, a he.

My room is really quiet. No filter running.

I can't bring myself to take my posters off the walls.

Not yet.

I can't bring myself to think about the fact that my friends are spreading all over the country.

That soon I'll be in a whole new state.

I can't believe how fast this is all happening.

All at once.

I want to be in that place of "I can't wait!!"

I want to be excited and ready and jumping out of my skin to leave.

I still seem to be stuck in shock.

Disbelief and sadness.

What have I gotten myself into?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Crisis of Blogging

I guess you could call it a crisis of blogging, this thing I'm having.

I don't want to write just for the sake of writing. I don't want this place to become some place I have to come and have to write for.

I also feel an obligation to my readers. The amazing people who have supported me and written to me and encouraged me. The ones who, even though we've never met in person, I have included in my extended family.

I have ideas. I have things I want to say.

I just have no drive or desire to come here to share them.

I came up with this theory the other day. After getting home from a trip and wanting to come here and share where I'd been and what I'd done and all the pictures I'd taken. I wondered if this was something I did to reassure myself, or to work things out (I know this is true. I only said a hundred times.) and that now I go out and live and work it out as I go.

I have more people in my life, physically, day to day. I work things out with them. They have become my sounding board.

Except I'm realizing as I write this that I still have stuff to work out. Obviously.

And I'm still pretty fond of psychoanalyzing myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

Just wanted to let you know what's going on.

Except I didn't really say anything, did I.

Friday, July 20, 2012

how to deal

I woke up this morning with my Facebook feed once again filled with thoughts and prayers and horror over what just happened in our beautiful state (the last time being the fire).

And there it is, splashed across the front page of every news site.

I couldn't stop saying "ohmygod ohmygod". Because really, what else is there to say?

And it's eery because the rest of the posts on Facebook were about friends going to see the movie. Different theater, different town. But still, too close for comfort. Way too close.

So I'm sitting here asking myself what I do now.

My life can't, won't, stop. That's not how it works.

And I am fortunate enough to not personally know any of the families affected. But that doesn't mean they aren't in shock and pain.

My life won't stop. Even though it feels like it should. The world keeps going.

As I see it, I have two choices.

Try to make the world stop. Hole up at home and obsessively read the news. Refuse to go anywhere. Talk about it ceaselessly. Mourn the loss of 12 wonderful human beings.

Or I can go out and return that dress. I can drive with the windows open and play the radio a little louder than usual. I can keep going with my life. But in the quiet moments, in-between songs, I'll stop. Stop to remember the ones who are no longer living this life. And stop to send a wish for comfort, for peace, for something, to all the families and people affected.

I can live my life; what else is there to do?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


So I finally sent in that advising form. Let's focus more on the "yay, you did it!" rather than "ohmygosh that took you how long?", ok?


I'm having a going-away-off-to-college party in about a month. I so wish you all could come. All of you who have supported me and read my nonsensical rambling for the past however many years.


It's incredibly easy to become anti-social.

It's not that I don't want to see people, it's just that it takes an awful lot of effort. It's so much easier to stay at home and read books and paint my toenails.

But I need people.


I have re-discovered books. Not that I ever gave up on them or anything, just that I got busy and sort of forgot how lovely it is to completely lose myself in someone else's story.

That also means I've been staying up very late. And sleeping in very late.

It's been wonderful.

Although I am a little worried for August 30th, when I'll have to start getting up for an 8am class at least twice a week. That might be a little ugly.


I've missed my blog. I've missed you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Groove

I can't seem to find it.

My groove.

My mojo.

It's lost.

It's gone.

It's having all these post ideas running through my head.

It's having thoughts and ideas and feeling like I have no one to share them with.

It's staying up late even though I'm exhausted.

It's all that is out of my control.

It's all that is in my control that I'm not bothering to take control of.

It's my messy room.

It's this one last college form I've been putting off for weeks.

It's everything.

It's that I know that this won't last forever, but I don't know how to make myself snap out of it.

It's reaching endings.

It's missing my friends.

It's smiling so huge, but not being able to keep that feeling.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Night on the Town

We went to see Mamma Mia! (absolutely no photography allowed) and the city at night.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Big Stuff

There are big things on my mind.

Things like what classes I should take this fall.

And how I should be filling out the "All About Me" form.

The one that asks deep questions about me that will require some actual thought.

I'm really not interested in thinking. At the moment.

Things like this fire.

The hundreds of people who have lost their homes.

How lucky I am.

How I actually feel about it all.

Because I think it's pretty well known that to get through I go into "don't think about it" mode.

Which is great, because it gets me through the moment.

It allows me to do what needs to be done without being emotional.

But still, looking around at my house and knowing that what I might never see it again--that's big.

I know, intellectually, that it's big.

But I don't think that emotionally it's sunk in that it's big.

Or maybe I just think it should be big.


Big stuff on my mind, so I am going to continue listening to show tunes and not thinking about the big stuff.

Because it's big and I clearly don't yet know how I feel about it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I was blissfully unaware, sleeping until 1:30, curled up in my own little bubble.

It wasn't until my neighbor called, wanting to know about the fire, that I knew something was different.

And then that bubble popped.

Even though I couldn't smell the smoke, I imagined I could.

Imagined it wafting ahead of the flames.

My parents drove home from their weekend away.

As much as I love my time just to myself, I was so incredibly relieved to have them home.

To no longer be the only person responsible for myself, the cat, our belongings, and our home.

I actually slept, although I know people who didn't, because they had gotten that call, and were packing up their cars and families and heading out.

I have had time to walk through the house, to consider each piece.

Everything holds a memory.

Every little thing makes up my home, my safe place.

Yet I realized yesterday when I was madly dashing around, trying to grab it all, that I didn't need to grab it all.

I need myself and the cat.

End of story.

I would miss it all, but all I really need are my parents and my cat.

Of course there are things I would grab; that I have grabbed.

Of course I'm terrified of this being the last time I'll see all my things.

But at this moment I am safe and so are my family and friends.

And that is all I need.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Staten Island Ferry

New York City, continued.

On our first day we took the Staten Island Ferry.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Last Night

I so needed that.

A friend with whom I can laugh and beat at Monopoly and share secrets and feel completely comfortable.

Utterly me.

It is so refreshing to be me, without any reservations.

It was a time of comfortable silences.

Of honesty and not looking away.

Of discussing in great detail things that don't matter.

But they do.

I keep saying this, but it's the little things.

Sometimes there are big things, but all the big things are made up of little things.

And I just crossed the line from being vague and poetic (or maybe it just sounded poetic in my head) to completely confusing and ridiculous.

But please keep in mind here that I'm going on three hours of sleep.

Probably the most restful three hours of sleep I've ever had.

Although my hip hurts and back aches and I did something funny to my knee (when did I get old?), my mind is fresh and clear and my heart is full and happy.

I am content. At peace. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I used to know it. 

I used to be okay with it.

It was more than I ever thought I would be able to do and so it was perfect. 

And then something happened. 

Maybe I conveniently forgot, or maybe it was the rush of graduating high school. Maybe it was the energy surge that comes from no school.

It crept up on me, this truth I used to admit so freely.

It came up and smacked me in the face.

I’m not sure why I was so surprised. 

After all, I’ve been filling out forms and calling doctors, trying to make sure I have what I need.

But, without even thinking about it, maintaining that it would be normal.

Because why shouldn’t it be?

Now, I don’t like the idea.

It is what haunts me during the quiet moments late at night.

I don’t want to be different.

I don’t want accommodations.

In this, yes, I want to be like everyone else.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Breakfast and the Subway

I am making my way slowly through New York photos. Instead of waiting (possibly forever) for me to finish all of them, I thought I'd post them in chunks.

These are from the first day;eating breakfast from a cart in a little square, surrounded by water and traffic and then starting to figure out the subway.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Two Ways to See

It took a long day of travel to get where we were going. Driving and flying and taxiing. Only to arrive at the hotel and find that our room wouldn't work because....and it just sort of went on and on.

Or at least that's how it felt.

I was exhausted. I wanted to curl up and sleep. But I was also hungry. So we went out to eat.

This tiny little Indian place that was long and very very skinny. With very excellent food.

All through dinner I had been staring at the beautiful lights that didn't match the intricate Indian lanterns. The fun, bright wall colors. The simplicity of plates and glasses and napkins, just waiting to be used.

So when our ice cream arrived, I just had to get out my camera.

And even though they're horrible pictures, dark and grainy and very orange-y, I don't care.

They're perfect.

Because they're what grounded me. Made me feel like I had really arrived.

Suddenly I was dancing down the streets, irritated by my slow parents and the necessity of stopping for cars.

Photography is what I needed to really be present.


After just a few short days in the city, I was tired. I was ready to leave.

As amazing as it was, it was constant movement and stimulation.

All I wanted, and needed, was to curl up with a book and just be still.

It was really perfect timing because the next day we took the train out to Long Island.

A beautiful place that reminded me of where my grandparents used to live.

Small towns and strawberry festivals.

It smelled clean.

And as beautiful and photogenic as it was, I didn't take out my camera once. Not once.

I had been with it, behind it, almost constantly during our time in the city.

I needed a break.

I love to be behind the lens. It helps me to see the world in a different way and to see things I never would otherwise.

Yet sometimes I need to leave it behind and let my own eyes take it in. The beauty in my surroundings.

I am so incredibly glad I brought my camera to capture memories and to center my brain. I am so incredibly glad I let it sit in it's bag for the last three days to let my brain calm down, and to let the memories seep into my pores.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Yesterday was a long day. I somehow managed to be awake and packed and out the door by the time I had been waking up for a week. Sleep is a wonderful thing.

I ate another muffin. Really really good blueberry muffins.

I put off calling the hospital, to tell them I wouldn't be able to make it in.

Mostly because I still wanted to believe I would go. Which of course, was completely ridiculous.

A car ride, two trains, a taxi, a looong flight without a movie, and another car ride, and we were home.

Home to our house.

Shriveled orchids and purring kitty.

Comfort and routine and internet that works.

I unpacked at night. When the house is quiet and I'm listening to music on my iPod that is once again fully charged.

I create a scary pile of laundry to add to the already scary pile.

I dig some coins out of my hairbrush.

I flip through the playbills from the shows. I finger the tickets.

I breathe in the salty smell of the sea.

I run my hands over sandy shoes.

I love to travel.

I love going to new places and exploring.

I love being a tourist. Once I can get over the "I look like a total tourist" thing.

And I love coming home.

I love feeling wrapped up by familiar smells and sounds.

I love both.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Tomorrow I will wake up at 7 am. About three hours earlier than what I have become accustomed to.

I will double and triple check everything, convinced I have forgotten something. I'm sure I have, but hopefully it won't be something vital. Like my boarding pass or camera. Or underwear.

I will trek through an airport, mourn the loss of the really-good-muffin-place, and settle in for a three hour flight.

I will disembark into a new airport that I have only heard about. I will get on the subway and thank my father for doing so much research.

I am sure I will want to curl up and go to sleep and go out and run around with my camera like a crazy person.

I don't know what to expect. This is a city I have heard so much about, yet I really know nothing about it. I don't know the people. I don't know what it sounds like or smells like.

I only know what it looks like through other people's eyes. I have yet to see it with my own.

I have left much undone, here at home.

My bulletin board is half-full, waiting for me to print out all the pictures of smiling people and laughing faces.

My pictures are a mess. My camera rearranged its numbering system and I lost my editing program.

Yet tomorrow I will get in that plane and let go of it.

Someone else will, literally, be in control. I am there as an observer, to soak it all in. And to do that, I cannot remain attached to here. I can't be focused on my messy room while I'm in the city that never sleeps.

Friday, June 1, 2012


A new month.

I've been out of school for I-have-no-idea-how-long, and it has been lovely.

There is nothing on my schedule that I don't want to do.

There are friends and shopping trips, errands I can run all by myself, hours at the hospital, trips to see new places and old friends.

This freedom is exhilarating.

The getting bored and everything.

But really, I think my favorite parts have been at the hospital.

Not only do I now get to spend three nights a week asking questions and observing, I have the choice to stay as long as I want. That little piece of plastic that tells the world that I am capable to drive all by myself.

It's wondrous. All the possibilities are still surprising me.

I know the next few days will be busy.

A fast pace that I have grown unaccustomed to.

Full of the hospital, sleepovers and smores, parties, packing, and flying off to a new city.

I just want to remember to rest up before it starts, and to slow down to really take it all in.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the frenetic pace of a big city that you miss the character of the place; the little things.

Happy June.

Friday, May 25, 2012

That one place where a title's supposed to go

I don't know what I'm feeling.

It's up down left right.

All over the place.

And changing constantly.

I've written a few posts and then promptly deleted them.

Because they didn't say what I really meant.

Which is funny because I don't know what I mean.

I graduated high school.

Don't ask me how I feel.

I don't know.

I had one year with these people.

These amazing, beautiful people.

Who, on the one hand, I may never see again. It was one year.

On the other hand, I feel like I really connected with some of them.

There are times where I feel left out and unknown.

Times when I'm grateful for this opportunity to have met everyone.

Times when I feel so loved and included I can't believe it's only been a year.

Times when I regret I didn't have more time.

I haven't written because I haven't known what to say.

But I miss it.

And I think while sometimes stepping back and just letting things be can be beneficial, I think in this instance, I've hurt myself.

Writing is my way to process.

Without it, I've only been spinning my wheels.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

a break

I have found that lately, I haven't had much to say.

Or just not here.

Okay, none of that is true.

I haven't been writing. At all.

And I miss it, sure, but it's also been a lovely break.

Sometimes I love something so much that I want to do it all the time and forget to give myself a break.

This time life intervened and made me take a break.

I just didn't have the time, or energy, or brain space to write here.

And now?

Well when I think of it, it still feels like a to-do.

So I've continued to eat popsicles and read and do a whole lot of nothing.

Which has been quite fantastic.

I'll be back.

You know I will.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the end of the year sappy-ness is starting

In my room, my graduation gown is hanging. With my dorky mortarboard and colorful cords. Just waiting.

Two weeks.

Tomorrow I take my AP Calculus test. I don't remember how much I've said about all that business here. Mostly because I've been talking about it incessantly everywhere else. And it's been sort of nice to take a break from thinking about it all.

Friday is my last day of observation in the hospital. Writing the final essay is just making me sad.

But also confirming everything that it's taught me.

But mostly the sad thing.

Maybe that's where all this end high school emotion is going. Because I gotta say, I'm not feeling much of it about high school. It just feels like another stepping stone, or some days, a big hoop to jump, on my way to something new. Something bigger.

It feels like I've only been at this school for a year. This one year where I've really started over in many ways. With friends. With classes.

Leaving everything else behind.

Or at least trying to.

Pretending to.

And although I've made some friends, some really great friends, actually, I'm ready to move on.

I'll remember them, think of them fondly, send them Christmas cards. But I don't feel very attached, at least in the long term. I knew going in that it was going to be one year. And so, while I didn't hold myself back, I also knew this was coming.

And now that it's upon me, I am more than ready.

Monday, May 7, 2012

where do I start?

How am I supposed to sum up this experience in just three pages? Where do I even start?

I got lost, I learned, I saw. I found a place for me, I met people who reminded me a lot of me. I met people who I never would have met otherwise.

I stayed up late. I refused to miss those precious four hours. Just four hours each week.

How am I supposed to write three whole pages? I don't know where to start.

It has been such an intense, and in many ways, very personal experience, that I don't know how to put it into words.

Let alone words that are going to be read and graded.

I saw more than I ever anticipated.

I asked questions and got more complete, enthusiastic answers than ever before.

I never knew what to expect. I thrived on the atmosphere of taking care of people.

I will miss it. I will never forget it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

the dance

What I'll remember won't be the dance itself. It was just another dance. Albeit, one where I wasn't terrified to take off my shoes. What I'll remember are the people. Walking around in our underwear. Trying to paint my nails crazy fast. And failing. The 44 bobby pins my friend managed to put in my hair. And afterwards, lounging around in PJ pants, playing charades and laughing. Just because sometimes, life is just so funny.