rabbit hole

how is it possible to be such a mixture of emotion
a combination of messes, drowning in the ocean
one day you're fine, the next day you're not
never understanding or knowing what will be brought
and how is it possible to feel this alone
in the midst of beautiful people you love to the bone
to try to cry out but not really know how
so instead listen up & let them take the show
and how is it possible to not know yourself
to be constantly shocked by the lack of self help
confused & overwhelmed by the feelings within
so to cope you just dive into the past full of sin
and how can it be that old habits are so easily renewed
knowing they're a lie but willing them to be true
because what else do you have but those deep dark secrets
to keep you warm at night, even if in the morning they'll be regrets
and why is the default to pretend all the time
being so happy & crazy, but honestly not being fine
because you just feel that you're lost within yourself
so you fake a smile instead of asking for help
and why is life spent trying to impress 
instead of focusing on things that matter, that last
hiding yourself in the opinions of others
rather than dealing with issues, you let them be smothered
and how did i end up here in this rabbit hole
this dark place i swore i'd never again go
but here i am once more, without a light for some hope
unsure of where to go, how to cope
but with one foot forward i have to trust it's the right way
to get me out of this underground, into the light of day
because i just can't stand the thought of dying down here
this can't be the end, i won't give in to the fear
chin up buttercup
the rabbit will find its way home eventually


the mileage of an out of shape runner

Holding on to hope is hard. And forgetting it is far too easy.

Life is full of ups & downs, relieving endings & frightening beginnings. Each day plays into a bigger part of a story we usually barely stop to notice we are responsible for writing. We're so caught up in downloading the latest version of whatever we think the world expects us to be that we forget to pick up a pen & write it for ourselves. And as a result, we live behind a mask--a version of ourselves that we've compromised for.

It is then, with a face painted on, that hope seems the farthest away.

It is then, when that face can't handle the pressure anymore that it runs. Far.

It is then, when her lungs give out from running so long that she realizes it's time. Time to remove the mask.

Because she's known it's been a problem for a long time. And she's also not a very fast runner. The masquerade always catches up.

For too long I've tried to escape reality by running from it. I ran by closing myself off from people. That hurt. A lot. It still does.

I ran away to Italy. The best race I've had yet. But it was temporary. I had to come back--and face myself again.

So I ran by becoming so involved in other people's lives that I could forget about my own. And that worked. For a while I thought I was cured--I had crossed the finish line! Oh, just kidding, there was a hill just up ahead that'd be the hardest yet.

I nearly gave up. The hill was too hard. I had been pushed beyond my limits, tripped too many times. But somehow, & not by my own strength, I made it to the top.

Currently I'm resting somewhere on the top of that hill. I guess this is the phase of life I'm calling limbo. I'm surviving, but not thriving. But you know, that's ok. For now. I'm learning to be content with just sitting on a grassy hill instead of sprinting full force toward something I know can't be achieved. There is no finish line in this race. Because running from myself isn't a success.

The past few months, my life has been pretty boring. Pathetic, if you will. I've struggled with getting out of bed each morning, painting on my mask & lacing up my running shoes. I didn't want to do it anymore. But it seemed like I had no choice.

I know now that I do have a choice. I'm the one holding the pen to my story, the one responsible for tying the laces on my shoes. All those dreams I aspire toward are disappearing into a far too distant future because I'm much too busy watching my footsteps on a path into a forest of fear. A path I'm creating for myself.

I'm done. I so badly want to stop. But a race can't be quit that easily. So I'm starting to slow down my pace a bit--a jog may not be a bad idea. At that speed I'll at least be able to go off the path & explore things I couldn't [and wouldn't] during the sprint.

I wish I could have things figured out, could be comfortable with a peaceful skip through the fields but I've never been one to take the easy path, obviously. More adventures to be had, I guess. But for now I'll be found sitting on the couch writing blog posts about sitting on the couch writing blog posts, reading & singing. Boring? Maybe. Frightening? Oh yes. But it's a chance I'm willing to take. And it just might be one of the last times I'll be putting on my running shoes. On your mark, get set, go.


what i found at the end of the tunnel

after reading too many inspirational quotes, procrastinating so much that it should be recognized on my transcripts, & wailing "i can't do this anymore, i have senioritis!" for the past 3 1/2 years [yes, even freshmen get senioritis...or is that laziness? heh...] i. am. nearly. done. this girl is soon to be a college graduate, baby! i've done my time, signed my signature, and can finally say "Peace out!" to the textbooks. so much relief. and terrifying excitement.

now that i'm finally allowed to move on, i get to be that college grad girl i dreamed about. i can't wait to stock up my fridge with healthy food. to finally put my mad pinterest skills to use & DIY my entire house. to walk the city streets confidently in a blazer & heels...wait, what am i saying?! i don't own a fridge, much less a house & definitely not the budget to afford buying gluten, dairy, corn, GMO & high fructose corn syrup free locally grown food every week. i also can't walk in heels in case you wanted to know.

the other day i found myself wondering what kind of shampoo i should start buying now that i'll be a working professional & an individual fighting for her "individualness" in the real world. SHAMPOO, people. i don't know where these ideas came from-- i'm no professional & God knows i'd rather die than work an 8-5 job in a cubicle every day. i guess now that i've flown out of the nest i feel the expectation to be somebody important, to get started on climbing that career ladder, & one day have my name in the headlines. we all deserve our 15 minutes of fame, right?

who am i kidding. it was a success for me just to make it through college in one piece. there's no way i'm going to be that organic eating, yoga practicing, tree hugging Portlander or the sophisticated "let's go out for drinks after work in our business casual/designer pantsuits!" feminist. but you know what? that's totally fine by me. it's been a long time coming, but i'm slowly discovering that those people who are calm, cool & collected--and i'll admit i sometimes envy--are NOT me. no matter how many masks i try on, i'm still gonna be that nearly psycho girl who laughs at everything that's not meant to be funny, who shops in her grandma's closet, who packs away the food like the Y2K is making a comeback. 

i'm not aiming to be somebody great, to make my name famous [unless of course it happens accidentally because of some weird thing i did or because i look like i copy my style after a couch from the 60's]. but i plan to do something great. to help even one individual in my life would be an accomplishment. i plan to be a nobody & travel to places most people dream about. to learn, to love, to try new things despite my fears. i plan to have a family & love my kids more than life itself. and also dress them in the cutest outfits. watch out, gapkids. but mostly, i plan to live outside myself. to slap myself in the face when needed as a reminder that this life is not about me. it's not my world. it's about love. about people. about you. and that, my friends, is where i found the light at the end of the tunnel. 


storm on the horizon

i haven't written for a while. in all honesty, i haven't known what to write. i stare at the blank page wishing words to appear on the screen, & when they do, i just hit delete. nothing feels right.

i think a lot. too much. about myself. way too much. and so to write, i feel like i'd just write about myself. which we all know is a boring subject. so what's this about, then? i don't really know.

if you only knew how many times i've written and rewritten this post. i guess i'm just not ready yet to write. taking a hiatus from the ol' pen and paper. but that's ok. i'm still alive, still processing life in my cynical, crazy way. still surviving. but starting to thrive again.

eventually i'll find something worthwhile to scribble about. i can't wait. but for now, my mind's wildly brainstorming. the thunder & lightning will come soon enough.


scaredy cat

"on the other side of fear lies freedom."

i'll admit it: i'm afraid. of lots of things. afraid to try new things, afraid to meet people, afraid to be myself. it's pathetic really, how comfortable i've become in my shell--a personal prison cell. i'm not happy here, not content with the way i've created walls around my heart. but it's too hard to try and break them down. is the freedom on the other side worth the pain, the humiliation?

it's been a strange day. the weather is gray, rainy at times, melancholy. just the way i like it. yet that hasn't stopped the majority of campus from donning bright red attire, painting their faces, & playing games in anticipation of the first home football game. ugh. thousands of people all together in a huge stadium screaming & cheering, taking pictures with their new besties, & flirting with the nearest opposite gender. maybe i'm just not cut out for college, maybe i'm just not meant to be a people person, maybe maybe maybe. so many excuses run through my mind as i try to justify why i'm not in attendance with the rest of my fellow students.  like i said, i hate huge crowds. reason number one. i also hate meeting new people. reason number two. so, it's safe to say i've justified this situation & gotten away with it just fine.

but underneath it all, excuses aside, i know the real reason is because i'm afraid. i have such a fear of people, believe it or not. i don't know why. it frustrates me more than anything else. i have a fear of being in a situation that annoys me, stretches me, makes me uncomfortable. but above all else, i have a fear that i'll look back someday with regret & wonder why the hell i was so afraid when the only person stopping me was myself.

a little girl i met this summer wrote me a note: "i'll never forget you. i love you & will miss you. you are brave." a four year old telling me i'm brave?! if only she knew how much those last three words meant to me. rarely do i feel that way, but she must've seen something in me that i didn't know existed.

i just hope i stumble upon it before it's too late.

airport confessions

I used to hate people.

Correction: I used to think I hated people when really, I hated myself. But that's because I didn't really know who I was & as a result, I didn't really know people. I'm glad to say things have changed.

2012 has been a year of discovery for me. Discovering myself, different parts of the world, types of people, & food [the fat kid in me was introduced to the world this year]. Most normal people go through a discovery phase in high school, after trying on all the stereotypes. Most normal people have a lot of friends who helped [or hindered] who they became as an adult. Most normal people know who they are or at least understand themselves [ok maybe that's a bit of a stretch]. Screw normal. I tend to do things out of order, a bit late, or never at all. That being said, 2012 is like my [very delayed] high school career, minus prom & excessive drama. I'm ok with that.

There is no better way to start off a year than with a trip to Europe. I ran away to Italy, hoping to leave the person I despised but was forced to live with behind. Somehow she followed me, but our journey together wasn't bad, but rather truly wonderful. Walls came down, wounds healed for good. My utterly crazy self that was locked up inside finally felt comfortable enough to come out of the dark & in return, let people in. It was the best feeling in the world. To be vulnerable & honest with someone & not be ashamed. To be completely crazy & get weird looks, but also invite those onlookers to act equally as strange. And enjoy it. To have late night talks, listening to the cries of the neglected hearts, the doubts of searching souls. Moments like these are so fragile, so fleeting. They shouldn't be. And so, with new knowledge, a new perspective, & a nearly new me, I trekked home & promised myself I would never return to that dark prison cell again.

It was hard. I was scared to come home, scared to move on & start over somewhere new. But if there's anything I've learned this year, it's that change is good. It keeps us guessing, helps us discover new parts of ourselves, introduces us to people we later wonder how we had once lived without. And so, with change in one hand & a W-2 form in the other, I hugged the fam goodbye & headed out on a new adventure to Cannon Beach, Oregon. At first I really didn't like it; why are people so judgmental? why can't I fit in here? what's stopping me from being myself like I promised I would be? It took some time, but slowly I realized that the only person stopping me from being me was me. So throwing all cares to the sea [or ocean since I lived there... I know, I know, cheesy] I went crazy. For some odd reason, people liked it & before long, I started liking people back. I worked nearly 24/7 [and that's not much of an exaggeration] but had a blast. I got lots of bruises, burns & cuts, but prefer to call them gnarly battle scars. It was the best summer ever [said in valley girl voice]!!! Having to say goodbye & not wanting to is something new for me so the fact that it happened twice this year both broke my heart & made me smile [not in that sick happy way but rather the i-have-so-many-good-memories-and-i'll-love-you-forever way. just had to clarify].

Now what? Currently I'm sitting in the Phoenix airport getting ready to head back to LU to finish MY LAST SEMESTER. It's the last place I want to be, but it's MY LAST SEMESTER. Plus my sister will be with me. And who knows, maybe there's something else I have yet to discover in the 'Burg. 2012's not over yet. Ready or not, here I come.


musings of a lonely soul

Loneliness is a strange feeling, an unfamiliar concept but a confusing one to say the least. Some ride it off as being introverted, antisocial. Others refuse to acknowledge it, keeping themselves as busy as possible and surrounded by people at all times. But both parties struggle with it, discover the feeling creeping in with no help or hindrance. 

Some feel more themselves when alone or around few. Others are most alive when with large groups. It definitely has to do with being introverted and extroverted... Right? Do we even use those terms correctly? Right or left, black or white, introverted or extroverted. Do we have to be one or the other? 

Introverts-- as I'll refer to them-- like to be alone because people annoy them. They feel most comfortable by themselves, when they can let their true colors show. Being able to be alone without relying on other's opinions to make it through life is admirable to be sure. It's something I wish I could accomplish, could feel confident in. But the problem with that is introverts are too afraid to reveal their inner selves to others. They'd much rather stay inside their warm, comfortable shell than to expose themselves in broad daylight. The world misses out on an extraordinary individual because of this insecurity or lack of ability to remove the mask. 

On the other hand is the extrovert, one who thrives on human contact, personal relationships. An extrovert's worst nightmare is to be alone, for it is then that he is forced to examine the self within. Sometimes extroverts really can't be themselves without others, feel trapped unless people coax them out of the shell. I admire that ability to be vulnerable with many people, to live somewhat fearlessly and trusting of humankind. Yet, is the face shown just an act to get people to like him? Is the vulnerability all just a game and the reason he hates to be alone is because he's too scared to examine the true personality within? 

So where do these two meet? I used to think I was an introvert but that was just my excuse for constantly being alone for lack of friends. I was lonely but justified it as being normal since I'm really a homely person. Then I went to Italy and was around people literally all the time. I thrived like never before. I couldn't stand being alone for more than a few hours for fear that my success would be lost and my only companion would once again be loneliness. 

The descriptions above are skewed to be sure, inaccurate descriptions of both the introvert and extrovert. Though incredibly opposite, the clashing personalities, if you will, are feelings I struggle with often, if not experience everyday. One minute I hate people, the next I wish to be surrounded by a crowd. I think a lot of it has more to do with how I view myself as an individual than with the people I'm actually interacting with. I dislike who I am, am terrified of living with myself forever, alone. I need companionship. But I need space. Can one have both? 

It seems like no matter which road I take the end is always the same: Either I'm surrounded by faces, so utterly out of place or am all alone with little contact. Whatever the result, I'll always have one true friend: loneliness. Maybe it's not such a bad thing after all?