Sunday, August 28, 2011

"you cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore"

Sometimes when I sit under the giant pecan tree branches on the patio in a breeze that moves the wind chimes to produce a soundtrack for such a moment in my life, talking to my mother, I almost feel like my problems and pressing responsibilities are nonexistent.

This has been a summer quite unlike any other in my life, and I have lived fully every possible extreme emotion that could be felt by someone whose life is less than tragic. It has been one of the fullest summers of my life in that, looking back, I find it hard to believe I was able to cram as much into it as I did. I have gone to school, left the country, road tripped quite a bit, worked hard, changed residences, applied for graduation, and finally became THAT girl who gets to figure out what "call you sometime" means. I feel like I have stretched myself to great lengths for everyone, and like I don't deserve any of the wonderful people in my life whose wonderfulness has put me in awe.
Many months ago, I fell for someone. As to how far, I still don't quite know since I have yet to find a landing. I dread it because I don't know if it will be firmly on my feet, unharmed or flat on my face, injured. I have transitioned into different phases of various friendships, some good, some not-so-great. I have also learned more about what I need to do to change who I am for the better than I ever have before. And last night, I was immersed and practically drowned in music that I missed so much. Let me tell you about sitting and listening to someone else play so loudly that everything is drowned out: it is also a lovely thing in that it too can convince you for just a short while that all other problems and responsibilities are completely gone from your life.

I want to believe that these pieces will be put together to make sense of something soon, but all I know right now is this (and I quote my darling capstone professor): "starting in October, it's gonna be hell, pretty much." So when the research and papers and annotated bibliographies and rough drafts and presentations and portfolios and late nights and crying mates and piles of dirty laundry/dishes and procrastinated grocery store trips begin to overtake me and suffocate me, I shall be seeking out those tunes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

~Twelfth Night Act 5, scene 1

h my teachers are so inspiring. I want to be like all of them. Today in poetry workshop, we talked about authenticity. We read essays by poets who pondered this idea and how it is expressed through writings. The artist faces many dilemmas, but one in particular that I want to discuss is the dilemma of authenticity. To be authentic is a tough thing because you have to decide how you're going to do it. We think authenticity is genuineness and using your own voice, and that's true. But as a writer, you have to be authentic to your audience. You have to take into account what your readers want, since you are, after all, writing for them. But the way that this authenticity fails is when the writer forgets that while his product has to appeal to someone, it still has to maintain its appeal to him.

My poetry has gone through workshops and conferences and critiques and forums, and everyone from friends, students, teachers and strangers have all had their say in what should be done with it and how it can be best revised, and that is needed. It is a well-known fact that nothing beautiful can be generated without the input of fresh eyes and ears who have no bias to your work. But as artists, it is a common downfall to get so caught up in what other people want, that we forget the most important thing which is that our work has to have value to us. My poems need to mean something to me, and if I sell out to the point that I'm only including or adding what others think should be there when I know deep down, because I know my poems better than anyone, that I am destroying the soul of the poem, I have gone too far.

Dear ones, I must inform you of something. I feel like God is trying to tell me something. For so long, I have lived under the guidance and supervision of others. And this is a good thing which I have no intention of disrupting. But it has to change. I have realized that I have taken a certain ideal too far. "With many advisers, plans succeed," the proverb says. True, very true. But I am forgetting that it is I who makes the decisions on my life. Those I trust more than anything have golden advice which I appreciate sincerely and take seriously, but I have to recognize that these people are not the sole authority on what is best for me. I'm sure most of you already knew that, and no one (most of the time) has ever given me advice I did not first ask for, so this is a realization more for myself than for (most of) the rest of you. But after asking twenty people what they think I should do, and hearing twenty different responses, I have to accept the fact that it comes down to me. And only me. I decide. I act. I cannot let myself be run by others anymore.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"refuse to leave the best things in life to chance" - daddy

Today I did something I've never done before. I browsed the internets for job opportunities in teaching English as a second language. Of course, most of the ones I found were immediate, and it would have been nice if I were a year into my future because the one in Czech Republic paid an oh-so-nice salary. I'm excited. This isn't just some distant dream anymore. It's here. And I can go get it. I am seeing the facts come to reality that the world can be mine to subdue and conquer. Oh it brings me so much joy to know that I can do this. I've always known this, but it's an entirely different thing to realize it.

I can honestly say that there has always been within me a desire for other places. I know that's nothing special, every third person in the world has this hunger. And at different times I have different reasons for this desire. A lot of the time, I desire this in order to escape from the messes in which I find myself. I feel that if I can run away, the world I left behind that I messed up can move on, forget about me, and be happy. Sometimes, I'm just tired of the same scenery. Familiarity numbs me sometimes, and that scares me. And at other times, there is no specific reason other than that hunger needs to be satisfied.

I'm changing, y'all. A matter of weeks ago, I decided that I do not have to be a person I'm not happy with. Lauren Graham said, "I feel like the only thing you can do with your choices is be happy with them. Or change them." I like who I am. I always have. But being introverted does not mean that I can't go out there and get me some. I told God I wanted to change, to be made better. And over the past few weeks, I have seen opportunity after opportunity for me to be the active one and confront others as well as myself in order to get what I want or think I need.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What can I give to you but nothing, if nothing is all I have

Well the day is darkened due to the summer storm that has taken place just now, and the world is ever so lovely still. One of my favorite rainy-day artists is serenading me now, and and the open window is making everything about this moment enjoyable.

You see, I don't ask for much in life. You all well know that I only desire to see as much of the world as is possible for me and to settle down in a comfortable home with a front porch and a swing, windows that open without the barrier of a screen to the world, someone to love and make magic with in whatever art form we have access to, and an ever growing desire to expand the knowledge of what I know and love. A fireplace would be nice. I want contentment and never to lose my thirst for what's over the hill. I truly believe I could be happy wherever I am, as long as I had the chance to trot around first. I don't know. We shall see how this all pans out. The interesting facet to this is that even though my desire to travel has stayed where it was in my heart for as long as I can remember, I am finding that it is not so much about the place as it is the people. I have fallen in deep love with every new place I've visited in my life, but I've realized that the people there with me made up over half of why I was so in love at that time in that place. Though the places were still all special on their own. I don't know how this works or where this will end up. I don't know where I'm going with this. All I can do is keep going.

"Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door."

-Emily Dickinson