Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

On days like today, when the air is hot and thick and unmovable and the monsters inside my head are being fed by the voices of those around me, I think about what it would be like if I was gone. Absent. Vanished. Plucked from the fabric of this world and sent somewhere else. Would anyone look up? Would I have made anything better by being here? Would anyone feel any great loss? Or would the world just keep on spinning, everyone distracted by their own lives and the universes that they hold in the palm of their hands?

Don’t you selfishly feel the need to touch people and to know you’ve left a piece of yourself with them? Like you were two separate colors before, but a bit of you bled into them and now they’ll never quite be the same shade. We all crave that, the feeling that we matter, to some degree. Whether it be to one person or to a million people, we all have a hole inside of us that we need to fill. We all want to feel like we’ve left a lasting impression in some form. To look around at your life and the people in it and feel completely and utterly insignificant is quite possibly the greatest torture of all.

I am often stricken with the feeling that I have nowhere to go. That there’s nowhere to run. There’s no place to escape to. There is no one out there that would cross heaven and earth for me. I would be ready to lie down and die for the people that I love in an instant, because I often feel that the air inside my lungs would be of better use in someone else’s. But I wonder about the roles being reversed and if there would be any hesitation, a moment of second-guessing whether or not it would be worth it to keep me breathing for just a little bit longer instead of themselves, and that thought keeps me up at night. I’m not saying I want everyone I love to be willing to die for me, but I would like for one person to love me that much. Just one.

I suppose I’m just feeling like I’m not doing enough. I’m not giving enough. I’m not laughing enough. I’m not sharing enough. I’m not dancing enough. I’m not reading enough. I’m not inspiring enough. I’m not exploring enough. I’m not creating enough. I’m not contributing anything to anyone and if I were to disappear, it wouldn’t be a loss that anyone would really feel. It might even be a relief. And what do you do with that?

I am in the desert. There isn’t a soul around. I’m standing in the middle of a crossroads, four marked paths stretching to the ends of the earth. Which way do I go? Straight? Left? Backwards? Or should I just step off the road and run into the nothingness, dodging the unforgiving needles of the cactus plants while trying to outpace the coyotes? Does it matter? Does anything matter so long as you just keep moving?

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Misha Collins is a toxic mixture of dreamboaty weirdness. Most well-known as the beautiful and vaguely gay (at least for tortured golden boys named Dean Winchester) angel of the Lord, Castiel, on the show Supernatural, Misha flew into our hearts with his giant black wings and nested there indefinitely. But I’m not here to talk about Misha and the fact that I’m gonna be meeting him with my friend Amy in just 3 short months (my heart just stuttered), I’m here to talk about…. well I am here to talk about him. But not just him. What he represents and how he’s changed people’s lives by simply being who he is and not apologizing for it.

A few years ago, he started this thing called GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), which is this week long scavenger hung that people all over the world participate in by doing absolutely ridiculous things from a list created by Misha himself. If that isn’t cool enough, it’s sponsored by Misha’s charity, Random Acts, an organization whose mission is “to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time.” I haven’t gotten to participate in it yet for one reason or another, but I always check in through out the week of the hunt to see what kind of shenanigans these people are up to. This year, I know that NASA had to release a statement basically asking participants to leave them the fuck alone, William Shatner got involved at one point… it got pretty ridiculous. Anyway, what I’m getting to is that I came across this introduction that Misha wrote for the GISHWHES coffee table book, and a few parts really struck a chord with me:

“When we see a nun, arms raised, gleefully racing down a waterslide, our world is momentarily shaken. We respond by laughing at these incongruous things. But who says that nuns shouldn’t be on waterslides? Who says we shouldn’t try to talk to the astronauts on the space station? Who says we shouldn’t tour particle accelerators in costume? By doing these unexpected things, we’re actually in a strange way being reminded that life is full of possibility. A nun on a waterslide is a reminder that we do not need to be confined by an arbitrary normalcy. We can choose freedom. We can carve out our own path. We can actually talk to a homeless person on the sidewalk or we can gather the courage to sing in public. An entirely different version of reality is open to us if we make ourselves available to it.

In adulthood, opportunities for wonder are curtailed. We often unwittingly sign on to a set of interpretations, rules for behavior, ideas about ourselves and our world. We go into a shopping mall, pay the cashier, leave the store. We know how the interaction will go, we’re on autopilot. And decades from now, when we lay breathing our last breaths on artificial respirators, we may wonder “What was that? Was that a life? Was my life something that I did or was my life something that was done to me?”

Something happens when we shock ourselves with the unexpected. Seeing a nun on a waterslide takes us, even if just for an instant, off autopilot. It causes us to pause and for a moment really see the world around us.”

My entire life, I’ve been a little bit off. And I’ve always been aware of it. I know that the way my mind works and the way I see things and the way I feel about things would by no means be considered “normal” to the vast majority of people and I’m completely okay with that. I learned to embrace it some time ago, really. The thing that I think is so beautiful about Misha Collins and GISHWHES is that he’s this public figure that is using his status to give people a place to belong. People who grow up not knowing why they can’t fit in, people that feel alone in their own mind, he brings those people together. He’s like, “Hey! I’m totally insane! And so are you! Let’s be totally insane together and have a shit load of fun and make other people wonder what’s wrong with us!” And the truth of it is, strange people are so often judged. They’re teased and made fun of and tormented a lot of the time but in all honesty, the strange ones are who keep everyone else entertained. They give the “normal” people something to talk about. They give them a reason to laugh and they do it willingly. They keep them on their toes. And without those weird ones, the ones that are slightly out of tune with reality, the world would be so horrifically fucking boring.

I don’t know, I just really appreciate Misha and all those other people out that that stand up in front of everyone and are so unapologetically themselves, and I’m so thankful that people like him are around for people my age and especially those that are younger. When I was in elementary and middle school and I wouldn’t get invited to parties and I would be left out of groups and picked last for projects and I hated that I couldn’t just be normal and get along with everybody else – I really needed someone like Misha to let me know that I would be okay. And now I do.

The moral of the story is just… be nice to people. Appreciate those that are different from you. Take in that new perspective. Don’t be so quick to judge and maybe, just maybe, if you try to see things the way that weird person sees them, an entirely new world might open up before you.

And to all you weirdos, do me one single solitary favor? Never, ever, under any circumstances sacrifice who you are or what you love to fit in.

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Home.

I think sometimes you have to leave your home and the people you love to realize how much you love it all – how much you need it all. While I’m currently in the relief phase of being home and trying to soak in everything I missed as much as possible, I’m sure I’ll want to leave again at some point. But knowing that I’ve been gone before and come back and it was still here, my home, almost untouched and waiting… it sure does make leaving a whole lot easier knowing that I can always come back and fit right back where I’ll always belong.

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The last few months have been the best of my entire life, and every time something happened I found myself thinking, “I really need to update my blog.” The trouble is that I’m lazy. Also, it seemed like whenever I would get back from a trip I would have just enough time to work 24/7 to save up enough money for my next trip. Whenever I wasn’t working, I was sleeping.

That said, I am currently sitting in a tiny, one bedroom apartment with my family waiting to leave Kansas forever and head back home to Virginia (yay!!!!!). I will be home by the end of the week. It hasn’t even had a chance to sink in yet. Anyway, I’ve decided it’s the perfect time to play catch up (I mean it, this time). It’s not gonna be very thorough. I’ll probably just hit the highlights, but here goes:

Dallas.

In June, we took a trip to see Fall Out Boy during their “Return-From-Hiatus” Tour. In short, it was awesome. The show was incredible. I hadn’t seen them since…2009 I think? When they were touring with Blink during their “Return-From-Hiatus” Tour (these damn bands and their drama). So yeah, if you ever get a chance to see Fall Out Boy live, I highly suggest you do it. They’re fabulous. Patrick came out to say hi afterwards and he’s basically just the nicest human in the world.

Me and Patrick Stump, 2013.

Anyway, that night we stayed in the nicest hotel in the history of the world so naturally me and my brother lurked around in the middle of the night ogling at the indoor pond and going up and down the 50+ floors in a glass elevator because we’re 5. The next morning I got to have breakfast with my dear friend Amanda that I knew when I went to high school in Texas and that was just so nice. I love getting to see old friends. Before we left, we stopped at Elm Street – the street where JFK was shot. You can’t be a Kennedy enthusiast and be in Dallas and not see it. That was my logic. All in all, it was pretty morbid… they’ve turned the School Book Depository into a museum and you can stand in the window that Oswald shot him from? Yeah, I didn’t do that. But I did stand on the grassy knoll and look at the street and had a chilling vision of actually being there and seeing him get shot and I burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying to save my life. It wasn’t necessarily a “good” experience, but it was moving and eye-opening and I’m glad I did it. All in all, it was an incredible roller coaster of a weekend and I made some wonderful memories with my mom and brother.

June/July 2013:

Jon Cozart, Joe Moses, Hank Green

A few weeks after that, I headed up to Idaho to visit my friend Leah. Idaho is hands down one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been – North Idaho anyway. I can’t speak for the rest of the state. Anyway, once I was in Idaho we road-tripped down to Portland for this year’s LeakyCon! Four whole days of getting to revel in nerdiness. It was awesome. I met so many people and made so many memories and sang so many songs and danced so many…dances. I also got a lil bit drunk and tried to hit on a gorgeous gay guy. I’ll never forget it.

I think maybe the best part about the road trip to Portland though was driving through Oregon. Talk about beauty. The Oregon Coast is somewhere everyone must go before they die, I mean it.

Oregon Coast

After Portland, the rest of my stay in Idaho was awesome. I got to hang out with all of Leah’s friends. Smoked some hookah, saw some movies, went to an amusement park and fell in love with a magician, the usual. Next summer, Leah’s coming out to Virginia and we’ll get to go on more adventures! Possibly LeakyCon Orlando? We’ll see. 🙂

July-August 2013:

I honestly can’t think of anything that happened during this period of time so I’m assuming it was one of those “work until I have money for my next trip” periods because September was AWESOME.

September 2013:

In September I finally got to do what I’d been waiting years to do… I got to go home and see my friends. I flew out to NC and stayed with my friend Taylor for a few days before we (along with her boyfriend Topher) drove up to Chicago for Riot Fest. Literally a carnival with bands playing everywhere. Taylor and I stayed up watching the entire first season of American Horror Story the night before, so we accidentally slept in Friday morning. After leaving late and driving 12 straight hours, we got to Chicago and checked into our hostel about an hour before Fall Out Boy went on (Yes, I got to see Fall Out Boy AGAIN, which was awesome because it was Chicago and I love seeing bands play in their hometowns). We explored Chicago on Saturday. First we walked down the street to Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and went all the way up to the Skydeck which stands 103 floors above Chicago.

Taylor and Myself, Skydeck Chicago, 2013

After this we went to Giordano’s for lunch which is a place one of my college friends took me to in Florida once and I fell in LOVE. Deep dish Chicago style pizza. Heavenly. Then I think we went back to our room and took a nap before we continued exploring. We went out to Cloud Gate and walked from there to The Field Museum, which was closed. Then we took a cab out to Riot Fest to see Taking Back Sunday and Blink-182. I got lucky and had my own body guard standing in front of me during Blink… that shit was insane. A few days later we heard that a few people were hospitalized and maybe one person died? I can’t remember… it was intense though. Even still, I’m glad I got to see them again. Favorite band since I was in elementary school!

Blink-182

Cloud Gate

It decided to rain cats and dogs the entirety of Sunday, so we spent the afternoon at The Field Museum. So many incredible things there: Sue, the most complete T-Rex fossil ever, mummies, you name it. You could probably spend days in there. Later that afternoon, we went back to Riot Fest but there weren’t really any other bands I wanted to see, plus it was muddy and I had gotten sick and my feet were wet and aching from walking so much and I was miserable so I headed back to the room while Tay and Toph stayed to see Brand New.

Sue

We left at around 5 AM the next morning because Topher had to work the next day. We drove through Gary, Indiana but we didn’t have time to track down Michael Jackson’s childhood home. We got to see the old steel mills and get a feel of the city though. We did, however, make time to stop in Point Pleasant, WV to see the Mothman Statue. We even poked around this hole in the wall museum that has props from the movie and old letters and manuscripts from the original story. It was pretty cool, although Point Pleasant itself is kind of… strange. It’s super tiny and all the people seem to do is sit outside and talk about the Mothman. It is their claim to fame, I guess. You can only expect that place to be strange considering the story it’s famous for. Anyway, still a really cool experience.

Mothman Statue, Point Pleasant, WV

After we got back, I spent the rest of my time in NC seeing all my friends and remembering how it feels to be me and to be surrounded by the people I love. I seriously have the most incredible people in my life and I don’t understand how I got to be so lucky.

October 2013:

That brings us to now. I’ve spent the majority of October working and getting ready to move. After 3 years, 2 of which have been spent living in the hell that is Kansas, I finally get to go home. My dad retired and he’s taking us back. I’m finally going to be where I belong. Where I grew up, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my friends. I think I even get to get lunch with Taylor this Sunday since she’ll be in town (her boyfriend is from the same area as I am). I’m just in such a good place now. This year has had it’s lows, but the highs have made them seem so small. And the year isn’t even over yet.

TL;DR – Keep your head up. The sun always rises, you just have to survive the night.

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twenty-one.

I’ve tricked myself into thinking you’re not real, into believing that I just made you up in my head. I think I must have because the you that I knew would never have done what you did. Jim Morrison said, “People are strange.” I think people are just assholes.

The other day an older man I sort of work with asked me if I ever get upset or angry. He said that if I did he would never believe it, and that if anyone ever needed cheering up that they just had to walk on over and visit me. It made me feel so good but at the same time I felt guilty. I’m not the person he thinks I am. I guess it’s true that we are only how we are perceived by others. That’s good. I’d hate to be who I really am.

I have so many things to be grateful for, so many people to cherish and so many plans to make and so much love to share, yet my mind always drifts back to you and suddenly all the good stuff just doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all you. I wish I could fix it. I wish I could fix myself and not care but I do and I always will whether you let me or not.

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While I was taking my Sunday trip to Goodwill today there was a lady on NPR talking about (from what I gather) how she wrote a story but she didn’t actually write it – it was shared with her by a dead loved one. She said she technically wrote it, but she woke up in the middle of the night and heard this loved one’s voice talking so quickly in her head that all she could do was start writing it down. She said that they are the one actually responsible for this piece of work. I just think that’s amazing… the idea that even after we’re gone from this earth, we don’t stop creating. We don’t stop sharing and influencing and expressing ourselves. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch this woman’s name or the title of this piece of writing and I’m so bummed about it.

I did, however, find myself sitting in the Goodwill parking lot listening to the rest of her interview. She had a thick accent which she said was “from the mountains” or something, and she said that when her mother was younger, she was living in Mobile, AL and would get teased so badly that she stood in front of the mirror and actually changed her accent. She started speaking so differently that no one could tell what part of the world she was from. This woman being interviewed said she held onto her accent on purpose and it had kind of become this known feature for her, and her mother found it funny that when she was younger she went through all this trouble to change her accent and here her daughter was being paid to speak that way again. Anyway, the point here is that there was a lovely quote from her mother that she shared and that just kind of struck me:

“As you get older, you return to that which is real.” 

I’ve never heard truer words in my life. I know I’m only twenty-two, but I’ve already felt myself getting “back to my roots” in a sense. There are moments of clarity I’ve had throughout my life where I’ve just sort of stepped outside of myself and thought, “This isn’t me… this isn’t who I am. What am I doing?” It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the superficial, to take the opinions of our peers and carry them around with us and let them alter the way the act, the way we look, the way we think. It’s only when you get older that you realize what bullshit all of it is. And let me tell you, there is no better feeling than that of reconnecting with yourself. Realizing who YOU are and what YOU like and reveling in what an absolutely wonderful and unique creature you are.

I just got an image of Jack Skellington singing in the graveyard and having that incredible epiphany that he’s the Pumpkin King and it’s such a euphoric moment for him and that’s exactly what it’s like. I’ve been rambling for too long.

Anyway, I got some awesome stuff at Goodwill and I’m gonna be crafting away all night! Yay!

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11 months.

You know that scene in The Nightmare Before Christmas where Sally jumps out of her window and hits the ground so hard that her limbs fall off and she just kind of lays there in a shattered heap for a few minutes before she collects herself, pulls out a needle and thread and stitches herself back up again? I feel like that’s where I am right now. Last year I was just a torn up mess laying helplessly and hopelessly on the ground, waiting for someone to find me or for the wind to  just blow me away. Now I’m getting myself together. I’m pulling my strings nice and tight and double knotting them. I’ll be back on my feet in no time – albeit a little wobbly at first.

I just realized that the first month of 2013 is already over and I never even made a proper post about my hopes and dreams and all that other bullshit. It’s okay, though. The way I see it, January is just a hangover month – a time in which we rid ourselves of the weight of the prior year, forgive ourselves for our failures, figure out why we made the decisions we did and (hopefully) learn from them, pop an Advil, throw on some shades, and embark on the next 11 months. I hear water helps.

I don’t really have any specific goals outside of just living my life. Going on adventures. Seeing my friends. Drawing pictures and writing songs. Doing more of what makes me happy and getting the hell out of Kansas. I also want to learn how to long board but that’s neither here nor there.

I feel really good about this year. I have lots of plans and lots of travelling and lots of people to see and I don’t know. I feel good. And feeling good feels good.

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