September 2012 - further up and further in

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

shot in the dark

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7
shot in the dark
there was a shot in the dark
i was caught by surprise
there was a hole in my heart
there were tears in your eyes
and there was nothing to say
'cuz you'd made up your mind
and so i guess what you meant
when you left was goodbye.
-- Take It All Away, Owl City

Earlier this year, as summer dawned and sunshine filtered through the trees, I lost one of my closest friends.

She was my mentor, my encourager, my friend. She came alongside me during one of the hardest times of my life (read: the teenage years) and supported me. She was beautiful, an inspiration. I loved her so much, not only for what she did for me, but because of who she was.
And then suddenly, without any warning, she was gone.

She cut off all contact. Not a word. Not only that, but she did so because of reasons that were later proved to be unfounded. There was a sting of betrayal with her departure. And I found myself with a broken heart, in tattered shreds, trying to pick up the pieces.

I don't even know what to say. I could try to generalize about how generally relationships like these hurt... but the truth is, that's not even close to what I feel about it. My heart was kicked to the curb. Raw, bleeding, broken.

It's been a few months since then. I'm still not over it. Yes, there is healing. Eventually. I don't know if I'm there yet.

Reconciliation would be wonderful, but sometimes it's not possible. In this situation, it seems that way. As I mentioned, she's cut off all contact. I've thought of writing her a letter, but I don't know if she'd even read it or respond if I tried.

I recently experienced reconciliation with another fractured relationship of mine, and let me tell you this: it was beautiful. God made a way when there seemed to be none. Suddenly months and months of unresolved issues and pain seemed so much less significant, not so crushing. And all I want is to have the same thing here, with this friend. To hear from her, even if it's just one last time. To know that she doesn't hate me. To have her apologize, to tell me she still cares. So that I can move on. So that I can heal.

What does one do in a situation like this?

I have absolutely no idea.

I'm praying because God is having to heal my heart and hers, reconciliation or not. And I'm hoping, praying, that someday, she'll choose to contact me again.

Could she? Yes.

Will she? I don't know.

It's times like today where my heart aches to have what we once had. Painful reminders crop up of what we once shared, but what is now suddenly just memories on a page. This friendship is no longer living, breathing, alive. It is over.

And that is what hurts the most about it.

Because there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

A dull ache fills my heart now as I type this, because no matter how you slice it, it's over, she's gone, and I have to move on with my life. But try as I might, the pain is still there. So is the hope that she'll contact me, that we'll run into each other again. All I want is to hug her, to know that everything is okay, and to maybe rebuild what we once had.

But I don't have that. I can't see her, hug her, talk to her. Not anymore. And it stings.

Being a teenager sucks. (Sorry to whip you around and suddenly change topics like that. But I'm sure you can agree.) It's so hard. My dad validated me in that this evening--saying, "Your mom and I know how hard this is. We want to support you."

That meant the world to me, because I am struggling. So much. But that's what teenagerdom is about. It's what growing's about. I'm pushing through the soil like a bright green plant. Growing, reaching. Restless. I'm growing so dang much through all of this. So much is changing. Life has handed me a ton of lemons.

Time to make some lemonade, I suppose?

So life as a teenager is a shot in the dark. Because we have no idea where we're going or what we're doing half the time. And sometimes you get shot in the dark, wounded out of nowhere, by those who love you most.

It hurts so much. But we're going to get through this. I'm going to get through this. There are better days ahead. (Hopefully in that magical time of life that starts with a 2 and ends with a 0.)

Seriously. I can't wait for it to get better. And I wonder when it will. I can't wait till it does. Come on, God. Bring me to a better place here.

And until then, I'll watch the summer stars to lead me home.

i'm a silhouette 
asking every now and then
is it over yet? 
will I ever love again? 
i'm a silhouette 
chasing rainbows on my own 
but the more I try to move on 
the more I feel alone 
so I watch the summer stars to lead me home.
--Silhouette, Owl City

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

painted in monotone

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 21
painted in monotone
Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home.
-- Phillip Phillips, Home

Worldbuilding. It's something that I've always thought is a neat abstract concept, but it doesn't come very easily to me.

This was made especially clear earlier when I was trying to make some Polyvore sets earlier for a project of mine, Kaysie's novel. (You met Kaysie in Character Letters here.) I stared at the screen, trying to figure out what my characters would wear, but I couldn't pick out any clothes... at all. Because I didn't know what people in my world wore. I had literally no idea. And then I realized the larger problem: I didn't know much about my world at all.

I wish I knew more about world-building. Some people seem to have an innate talent for it. One example: my Pip. You all know her as the immensely talented Georgie Penn. She has about a million novels, and the majority of them all take place in the same universe and they almost always connect to each other in some way. Seriously, it's crazy how she makes connections between her various projects, but it always works. Always. I wish I could do that, but as of yet I haven't had more than one novel that takes place in the same universe, much less the same world. (Aside from my contemporary projects which, obviously take place in the current real world that you and I live in.)

Even my fantasy worlds are not that fleshed out. Silver Tears takes place in your typical medieval fantasy world. I've wanted it to have contemporary elements as well, but I haven't gotten to that yet. (It's a first draft, what can I say?) However, one novel of mine that is very fleshed out in the worldbuilding aspect is Souvenirs. Each locale has a distinct setting, based on pictures I've found on Tumblr. My locations for Souvenirs happen to be one of my proudest accomplishments in my writing. (Hey, might as well be honest.) From idyllic mountain towns to sandy beaches, Souvenirs has it all. (And now I just sound like I'm writing an infomercial. I'll stop now.)

So, this is something on my mind. I think it would really help me if I could expand Kaysie's world and figure out exactly what it is I'm dealing with here. ;) So how do you world build? How do you make your characters a home? Tell me how; I'm all ears.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

baby, do you like my sweater?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9
baby, do you like my sweater?

cause when it's colder 
i feel much better 
when i cry on my own shoulder 
i'll just throw on a sweater and go 
 and i'll go to undergo a change of heart, 
a change of clothes 
and when i'm home, 
i think i'll go eat cereal 
and stare out the window.
Jefferson Aeroplane, Relient K

It hasn't felt like fall yet. Not until this morning, when I woke up and I could tell before even opening my eyes that it was raining. The gray light leaked in through my blinds and I sat up and peeled the blinds away from my window, only to see my window mottled with raindrops and condensation. I went downstairs and felt that familiar chill on my skin, that chill that says, Fall is here.

And so I've been enjoying this rainy day, and I just got dressed into a sweater and fingerless gloves, because this is the kind of weather that deserves such a thing. No, I'm not completely happy. Life has been hard for me lately... really hard. But this rainy day, ironically enough, has cheered me up a little bit.

And so I'll sit here and try to ignore my headache, and let these words flow. I haven't been able to write lately, so this is glorious. It feels like me again.

Last night I was having a hard night. Mom and I were standing in the kitchen, and she opened the kitchen window and beckoned me to smell the rain. I love the smell of rain. Then she took me by the hand and dragged me outside, the joy sparking the air between us, and we stood on the front porch and drank the air in. Then my brother came outside and dared me to run down the steps into the front yard, which I did, and we ran around the dew-soaked grass and I felt the mud slightly squish beneath my toes and I loved it even though I'd just taken a shower. "Tag, you're it," my brother said and darted off and I chased him like I haven't been able to in a long time, forgetting for a little while the pain in my hips and in my head. And for once I actually tagged him, but whether this was because he was sore from football or was humoring me remains to be seen. It made my night.

After we'd skittered around the lawn for a bit, the energy in the air faded. I stood there looking up at the purplish night sky and thinking about the stars, and looking at the black outline of the tree branches above me. I remembered something my mom  had read me from the book Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge—about how sometimes we're closest to experiencing Jesus when we're in nature than we ever are by using words to understand or describe him. I held my hands out to the sky and just let that thought wash over me for a second, feeling close to Jesus again.

I looked down the street at a lonely streetlight that has always captivated me, and I debated whether I wanted to walk down there. Just in front of it, I saw a square of moonlight on the sidewalk, and I got it in my head that I wanted to stand in that light. So I took off across the lawn and our broken-up concrete, walking with my bare feet and all, until I was standing in the moonlight. It didn't feel any different, and sadly the moonlight looked prettier from a distance. However, down the sidewalk there's a tree, next to the streetlight. I've always loved that streetlight and its tree, for reasons I can't describe. The golden light filters through its branches and it's one of those things that seems like it's so much more than just a streetlight. I don't know how to describe it. I wish you could see it and feel the things I do.

So I just stared at it, thinking about how much I wanted to bottle this moment, this moment of adventure, of spontaneity, and how much I wanted to write about this feeling... whatever it was. The wind howled around me with its whistling chill, and I couldn't help but feel so, so small. I still don't know what happened in that moment, or what it is that I felt. But I felt like I was experiencing all the things I read about, all the things I hope to capture in my writing. What is that feeling called? Beauty? Hope? Adventure? All of the above? I don't know, but regardless, that moment was beautiful. It's one of those moments that make life seem worth living, and remind me that life is so, so much more than what it seems.

I have these moments a lot more than you'd think—the ones I can't describe, the ones that make me feel like a dreamer more than ever. Do you have them too?

I went inside, with mud caked on my feet and a new hope in my heart, and I felt much better. No, my problems didn't go away. Yes, I am still dealing with grief and sadness and pain. But I have hope. And that makes me feel brave.

This morning I'm not feeling totally amazing, but that hope is still slightly there, with the presence of my sweater and this rainy day. There's nothing better.

Oh, and do you like my sweater?

(The title of this post is from Sadie Hawkins Dance by Relient K. If you haven't heard it, go and do so. Now.)