Monday, December 31, 2012

A Cruddy End-of-Year Post Because I'm Better at Saying Hello Than Goodbye

This time last year, I was dealing with a lot of uncertainty. I knew that a lot of things would be revealed and decided and changed in twenty-twelve. I would get replies from colleges I applied to and eventually start college. I would get a license and a job and, to my surprise, a boyfriend.

However, in a very un-Stephanie manner, I wasn't nervous about all the impending change. I was confident content, not the least bit intimidated or unhappy. Although the actual arrival of 2012 was one of the least exciting ever (sitting on the couch downstairs, alone and brushing my teeth as the ball dropped), I don't remember it badly. It was just an unremarkable beginning to a pretty cool year.

For a fleeting moment, I was scared and wanted to cling to 2011, but I threw off the feeling and leapt into the new year on purpose.

Unfortunately, I did not keep any of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. That’s a little disappointing, but it was a good year anyway. I’m eagerly looking forward to twenty-thirteen now, but first, a quick (ish) look back at twenty-twelve…

I got my second piercing, and a licence. I was in my first car accident, and went to my first dance competition. I went to my first non-Christian concert {about time, right?} and stayed up for twenty-four hours straight. I got my first boyfriend, and had my first kiss.

My first text was from Aaron, who said “Shush, future-girl,” because I’d just wished him a Happy New Year and his time zone is behind mine.

I liked Sleeping Beauty a lot, but I have a few interesting questions about it. How could Aurora dream of a guy when she’d probably never seen a male before? Wouldn’t THAT be a shock to the system. How come the fairies never considered that when putting the whole kingdom to sleep, they might also be putting Aurora’s truelove and only hope to sleep as well? Prince Philip loses the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth while fighting Maleficent. IS that to say that you lose virtue and truth in your quest to fall in love? Or that when you fall in love, you don’t need them anymore?

The first color I painted my nails was gun metal, and the first thing I bought was a McDonald’s hot fudge sundae.

I’m at Caribou Coffee and I just made a condensation puddle on the table into the Playboy bunny.

The first time I saw Sam was at the Super Bowl Party on February 5th, and he was also my first crush, “I suppose.”

It was weird being there. Not scary, honestly not even uncomfortable, just weird. People that would have made me duck down in my car three years ago all looked like potentially nice individuals to me now. I’m sure I LOOKED more out of place than I FELT.

I’m sad to say that I only read seventeen books in 2012. My undisputed favorite of the year was “The Great Gatsby.” What a fantastic book. I enjoyed Fitzgerald’s talking about nothing more than I enjoy almost any other author talking about something. He’s a genius.

Fuuuuuck. There’s no escape, is there? He will always be part of my life. I will never get rid of him. And I’ll never really try.

I cried sixteen times.
Relationships:  6
Anger:  3
Stress {includes college decisions}:  5
Homesickness: 4
{The numbers in the categories add up to more than sixteen because some episodes involved more than one emotion XD}

He looked mildly panicked and said, “No, I don’t remember. Asking me to remember things is like ‘Hey, Stephanie. Spell this.’” Point taken.

I had forty-four remarkable “Personal Events,” which include:
Watching one of my best friends get married
Dating to date Sam
Shooting a gun for the first time
Getting my license
Getting my second piercing
Being in a car wreck

Saturday was PC’s graduation in the morning, and mine in the evening. I was about four times more nervous about his XD Finding the church, his liking the present, finding his family, meeting his extended family, making Sophie continue to like me, navigating the afterwards, looking good…gah XD I was an internal wreck that morning.

I made thirty new friends.

I saw fifty-seven new movies. The highest rated in my opinion were Walk the Line, Gladiator, 21 Jump Street, The Avengers, Horrible Bosses, An Affair to Remember and The Dark Knight Rises.

Of all the years I’ve lived, this one went by the fastest. I guess that’s normal. Time is supposed to go by faster as you get older. Well, it does.

2012 was totally different from anything I expected. As usual, I don’t feel as old or prepared to handle things as I figured I would. But this year was really good. It was a growing year. An adjusting year. I have by NO MEANS figured out how to navigate life, but I haven’t crashed into an iceberg yet either.

{Of course, I didn’t have math this past semester XD}

Twenty-thirteen has a neat sound. I like odd numbers. I like thirteen. I like that it’s a teen. It sounds quirky and complicated. It sounds radical and serious. It sounds like a year to be me.

Twenty-twelve, it’s been incredible. Absolutely wild and wonderful. I’ll always remember you.

But Twenty-thirteen...

Let's do this.

~ Stephanie

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Matt and This Dog

Just as you sit in your chair, a young boy, Matt walks into a still, dark wood. No moon casts its glow. No wind stirs a rough branch. Clouds, oozing a grim rain, dull Matt's spirit. A dark mood haunts this wood, hushing all sound and all souls.

Soon, Matt turns to spy a small animal. It is a small, brown dog, soaking in rain. Curious, Matt stops to think. Approach an odd, dripping dog, or stay away? Both thoughts could withstand logic. Any animal in such a disturbing wood might attack or bring horrid luck. But still, a pitiful, unassuming animal, such as this dog, might want to gain a way out of frightful, dripping prison of wood just as much as Matt.

"It is a good thought," Matt says out loud. "I will grant this dog a way out of such a wood as this."

But just as Matt was walking forward, this dog starts to look right into Matt, into his soul. A chill runs down Matt's back, into his skin, through his stomach, down into his hands.

"What is this dog doing?" Matt thinks. "Is it going to attack? Or is it attacking right now? A soul-bandit, coming to lift my spirit from my brain and body?"

This dog stands. Its right foot shifts awkwardly, as if it is too busy with its own plan to comply with this dog's commands. A horror girps Matt's stomach at this unnatural sight. This dog is awful, odd, pitiful in a most off-putting way.

"I must not stay in this wood," Matt says to this still wind.  "This dog has it in for my soul. I will not last if I stay. I must go, now."

Matt starts to turn his back to this dog, but thinks again. Turning his back to this soul-capturing animal is not a solution. Matt must go without giving this dog an opportunity. Still, Matt knows that a loss of his soul might also follow from looking straight at this dog.

Matt has a plan. Matt will shut his lids and back away slowly, with a hand at his back to touch this passing brush. Matt will go with no sight and no sound, only touch. This dog might not follow. Matt starts to want that most of anything in his world. To go away without this dog at his back--or his front.

Matt follows his plan, backing up for hours, not using his sight at all.

At long last, no brush skims Matt's hands, and this fright slowly drains from Matt's mind. Sight is not wrong now. Matt should lift his lids and look. No dog should follow. Matt's soul will stay in his body.

Matt looks.

No dog did follow him. Matt scans this horizon for a disturbing animal, but nothing is lurking. Matt sighs and starts to think that dog is history, for today, and for always.

So Matt thinks.
Th nd


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Natalie Liebes Me

Yeah, I'm totally aware that that is incorrect German grammar. But I don't feel like getting the German textbook right now. Hm? No, that is NOT it sitting two feet away from me. What are you talking about? Go away.

Edit: *Natlie Liebt Me

Natalie tagged me again :3 Since I just did the whole 11 Facts About Me thing, can I please just...not? 'Kay cool.

Natalie's Questions
1. What is one thing you've never tried before but really want to? Huh. I did not expect this to be the hardest and last question I answered. Probably punch someone as hard as I can. I've never done that. I'd like to know if I can inflict a decent amount of damage before my life depends on it.
2. If you could pick one new instrument to play, what would it be? Guitar. It's not exactly new, since it's the instrument I play the most, but, like, I hardly play XD I'd like to. Next would probably be piano. Or drums. Or fiddllllllle. That's be cool.
3. What is your absolute favorite book of all time? And if you can't pick just one, give me your top three. Thank you for giving the "top three" option XD There's no way I could pick one. I definitely love the Mortal Instruments books. Inkheart is a timeless favorite of mine (I wouldn't continue with Inkspell and Inkdeath though). Lastly, I'm gonna go with Tex. S.E. Hinton is just brilliant. Such a writer.
4. Favorite thing to drink? Well, it used to be Coca-Cola, but now I've given up soda XD *sigh* Maybe...Arizona raspberry tea? :)
5. What's the question you get asked most often and how do you feel about that? "Oh, you're a writer. What do you write?" I hate that question a lot. It depends on what you mean, when I'm writing, how I feel, where I am. If I tell you I write poetry, I'll get a sappy or condescending response. If I tell you I write fantasy, I'll get a dismissive or intrusive response. If I shrug and say, "I dunno, a lot of different stuff," you'll write me off as an attitudinally-challenged teenager. Writers just can't win.
6. What age do you most often get accused of being? Younger than I am. It kind of really irritates me.
7. How did you meet your best friend? Cassidy just started coming to church a few years ago. I became close to her sort of by accident, really. She ended up sleeping at our house a lot because of her dad's weird work schedule.
8. Favorite holiday tradition? On Christmas Day, my family has Christmas Brunch, made of delicious breakfast food, including Daddy's famous buttermilk biscuits. We invite certain families that are really close to us, as well as anyone who's going to be alone for Christmas :) It's such a fun, beautiful time.
9. What's the biggest mistake you've ever made? Not applying to Wake Forest earlier. Hands down. A relatively distant second would be wasting time being depressed about something that would make sense later.
10. How old were you when you realized what you wanted to do with your life? I've never NOT known what I wanted to do with my life. However, it changes every few years XD Now, when it counts the most, I'm the most unsure. I'd love to teach, but not in the public school system. I'd love to be a lawyer, but not go through law school. Mostly I want to dance and write, but I can't put together how to make a living at either/both of those things.
11. What's your favorite thing to wear? Black and gray. Heels. PC's hoodie. Bright colored jeggings.

Aaaaaaaand Alana tagged me back too! Feel free to skip over the rest of this narcisism, folks XD But I'm answering the questions.

Alana's Questions
1) What is one band/artist that you will NEVER grow out of or get sick of? Relient K. They're timeless. Their lyrics, sound, and sense of humor are perfect.
2)Do you prefer matte, glossy, or glittery nail polish? I've never had matte, and I've always wanted some. From what I have tried, probably glittery :3 Nail polish is one of the few venues where I go girly.
3)Favorite Tv show of all time? If you can't choose just one, pick your top 3. Friends, Batman: The Animated Series, and Arthur (the children's show).
4) Favorite Christmas song? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, followed closely by O Come O Come Emmanuel.
5) What do you spend most of you time doing on the computer? Probably surfing Facebook. Or gmail chatting.
6) Cat or dog person? Cat. But I'm allergic. *sigh*
7) Cut flowers or a plant? A plant, I think. I don't like flowers very much, except orchids, and you can keep and grow a plant.
8) Favorite season(in what state?)? Summer in North Carolina :D
9) Are beards (groomed ones) sexy/ handsome on guys? It depends a lot on the guy. But mostly yes, which is weird because I used to really hate them. Like until a couple of years ago.
10) What's something that you do during your week that you'd be lost without it? Dance. I AM lost without it now XD
11) Are you closer to you mom, dad, or neither? ...huh. Prolly my mom now, which, if you've been following for a while, you know is a really massive, unexpected shift.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Like A...

As children, the time between Christmases takes a whole lifetime to pass, and the magical season itself lasts for what seems like a year. Everything is sparkles and exclamation points, and the joy we conduct could power a Tanglewood light show. Christmas seems truly magical.

As we get older, the shopping, entertaining, and staying “merry” take more energy than we can muster, much less spare. The magic of Christmas is lost in the tangles of stress it produces. We tend to mourn the lost simplicity and cheer of childhood. I was sure stuck in a rut of confused depression for a few Christmases.

But then I started to understand things differently. As I’ve grown up and realized what a broken person I am, Christmas has started to mean more. It means even more now than it did when it was all sparkles and exclamation points.

God himself looked down through the mystical gauze of time and space and saw how helpless, hopeless I would be. He knew there was absolutely no way in heaven or earth that I could become righteous on my own. But for some reason, he loved me. He loved me with a fierce gentle love. He loved me so much that he would not leave me to suffer and fail. He loved me so much that he sent a piece of his own self to make things right.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized just how dangerously imperfect I am. I’ve realized what a phenomenally powerful, forgiving, loving Savior it would take to make me whole. God sending his son to stand between us and death is nothing short of a miracle. It’s even more magical than we realized as children.

Ironically, the gut-wrenching reality check of “Wow, I’m So Messed Up” made Christmas more special and magical for me. Feeling Christmas like a child was beautiful and perfect—while I was a child. But I think it’s important to grow in your celebration of Christmas. God will give us perceptions that match our spiritual maturity. I’ve loved learning to see Christmas like a teenager, and I’m fascinated and excited to see what “Christmas like an adult” will look like for me.

So this Christmas, don’t get too lost in the nostalgia. This Christmas, let God show you what he wants you to see. The magic of Christmas isn’t over when you turn twelve. God has beautiful epiphanies to reveal at every age; we just have to keep our hearts open.


P.S. Thanks for following, James, whom I can't find a link for! XD

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Ginger nominated me for the Liebster Award :D

Answer the 11 questions.
Post 11 facts about yourself.
Ask 11 new questions.
Nominate people to answer your 11 new questions.

Eleven Questions
1. How often do you wash your pillowcases? As often as I wash my sheets, so about every couple of weeks.
2. What do/did you want to be when you grow up? I want to be happy. I also want to write and dance and have kids.
3. What is the most exotic dish you have ever eaten? Did you enjoy it? Hm. Do escargo count as "exotic"? I ate part of one when I was in France. I didn't like it a lot, but I'd be willing to give it another shot.
4. What is the craziest nickname someone has ever given you? My mom nicknamed me "Noosk" for absolutely no reason. Sam came up with "Cinderbelle" once, which is definitely original.
5. How do you feel about reality TV shows such as Jersey Shore? I think they're terrible and stupid and I get sucked into watching them :3
6. On which day of the week where you born? I think a Monday, but I'm not 100% sure.
7. What is/was your favourite school subject and why? English. Always English, because I love everything about words.
8. Least favourite? Math, because it confuses me and I can't remember things that have to do with numbers.
9. Which job would you least like to do? Something involving math.
10. How do you feel about gay marriage? I think it's morally, naturally wrong, but I'm not sure that it's the government's place to enforce that belief.
11. Do you believe painting your toenails is a waste of time? Not for me, because I have hideous, repulsive feet and anything I can do to make them look better is worth every minute.

Eleven Facts About Myself
1. I sleep walk.
2. I recently taught myself to like celery.
3. I've been 9 weeks without soda.
4. I'm trying to read Lord of the Rings. It's great, I just have trouble sitting down and reading the way I used to.
5. I'm sort of trying to learn German. {Which is cool, 'cuz "liebster" is German for "favorite," I believe.} It blows my mind.
6. I wrote a letter to Santa again this year.
7. I saw like 37 snowflakes yesterday.
8. I think I'm done Christmas shopping.
9. I broke my Batman ring the other day.
10. Apparently big changes result in weeks of nightmares for me.
11. I have a bad habit of embracing the philosophies "If I ignore it, it'll go away" and "If I close my eyes, it won't happen."

Eleven New Questions
1. What's one thing you want for Christmas?
2. What do you think our kids will say about the music we listen to? What will you say back?
3. Would you rather be eaten alive by kittens, or lick a hobo clean?
4. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? {I stole this question from Ginger's nomination. I love it.}
5. What's one thing you're really bad at that you'd love to do well?
6. How do you feel about bleached blonde hair?
7. Would you rather be a Yankee or a Southerner?
8. Have you ever written a letter to Santa? Do you remember if you got what you wanted?
9. How old were you when you had yours first crush?
10. Do you prefer the country or the city?
11. Do you want to be rich when you grow up?

I'd like to hear these people tell about themselves and answer these questions.
1. Alana
2. Yana
3. Dandalily
4. Furree Katt
5. Natalie


Friday, December 21, 2012

Revelations of Mundane Size

When I wrote my post about dying happy, it didn't even occur to me how fun and appropriate it was, being near the end of the world and all. That's probably because the apocalypse hasn't been in the front of my mind. In fact, it probably wouldn't be in my mind at all if it weren't for the End of the World party one of my friends is having on the 21st.

{I'm having trouble deciding what to wear. Should I wear my blackish shirt and black pants, my black shirt and black pants, or my black piece of black clothing with black accents and my black pants?}

Yeah, I'm not really a believer. So the ancient Mayan guy got a hand cramp and stopped writing the calendar. I mean, even ancient scholars get bored and tired. Get over it.

But what if the world did end? Am I happy enough to die?

If the world ends tomorrow...

~ I'll have experienced the true, deep, once-in-a-lifetime friendship I always read about in books.
~ I'll have loved and dated only one guy.
~ I'll have finally, successfully dyed my hair red.
~ I'll have had my first kiss.
~ I'll never have gotten married or had kids.
~ I'll never have written  a book I was proud of.
~ I'll have been to seven countries.
~ I'll have completely avoided food poisoning, strep throat, and bee stings.
~ I'll have neglected my relationship with God.
~ I'll have all As and a B in college.
~ I'll have seen a shooting star.
~ I'll never have paid taxes.
~ I'll have written a letter to Santa.
~ I'll have finally found my jeggings.

All things considered, not too bad. If the world ends, I'll die mostly happy. If it doesn't, I'll have time to seize the day and work on my regrets :)

Happy Apocalypse.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hair Personalities

We aren't supposed to judge people. But it occurred to me last night that if you're going to do it, hair is a strangely accurate judge of personality.

My hair is dark, tempermental, and worn natural. It despises authority {no curling iron, straightener, or hair spray can break it}, but will occasionally do beautiful, cool things on its own.

Cassidy's hair is dark, silky, and luxurious. {Basically the most goregous hair I've ever seen, no big deal.} It also refuses to go against its will, but it's consistent and tasteful enough not to be a problem.

Sam's hair is thick, red, and also has a mind of its own. It stands out. It attracts compliments and comments. It never even tries to be understated, but it almost always works.

Sarah's hair is a mature, lovely blonde, which contrasts with her dark eyebrows. It's a little fluffy {which she dislikes}, a little unlucky at times, but the color and quality are phenomenal.

Daniel's hair is dark, short, and closely monitored. It's never too long, and it's really obvious when it's been coached into a certain look. It has trouble looking comfortable and natural even when it actually is.

Bekah's hair is bright yellow and obviously dyed. It's hott and eye-catching, but thin and perfectly straight.

Nicole's hair is jet black, each strand a tight coil of gelled ringlets. It's high-maintenance and not very versatile, but 100% natural. No fronts.

Tori changes her hair color every year or so. However, it's always glossy, perfectly styled, and parted like hairdressers do. A lot of work goes into that hair, and even though you sort of know it's false advertising, it's still really glossy.

What is your hair saying about you? Do you think it's accurate?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-conscious have I made you feel just now? XD


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Santa Chromosome: I Don't Have It

There are twelve days 'til Christmas and I have not bought a single Christmas gift.

Some people, like my sister Sarah, seem to be blessed with elf blood and a Santa chromosome, which allow them to create, think of, and procure the PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT every year. {Or if you're like Sarah, five or six of those per person until you have to be cut off by your mother.}

Then you have people like me.

Where gift-giving fills Sarah with glowing light and sparks of passionate generosity, it fills me with feelings of Titanic-sized ineptitude and an irrational annoyance at anyone who has dared to become important enough to warrant a gift.

Luckily, because I seem incapable of normal human attachment/affection, there are only five people in the world whose gifts must be PERFECT AND THOUGHTFUL AND SHOW HOW MUCH I CARE. But when you're an obsessive, deeply loyal perfectionist like myself, five people is plenty enough to give you heartburn and a stomach cramp when December 1st hits the calendar.

I'm sure lof people have trouble picking out gifts, but normal issues/experiences/feelings have a way of becoming extreme emotional hurdles when the ever-dramatic Stephanie deals with them. When I try to analyze my ineptitude at gift-giving, it mostly ends with my insulting myself with comments like, "You just suck at this because you're selfish and lazy and don't love people. Why don't you just go kick a kitten while you're at this?"

My dad says it's hard for me to get into the gift-giving blitz because it doesn't resonate with me personally. I don't put a lot of stock in material things, so thinking of presents is difficult. But that makes me sound like this incredibly noble, wise person, which I'm almost positive I am not. However, Daddy's answer is more encouraging and nice than my version, so sometimes I let myself believe it.

Actually, come to think of it, there's a little bit of evidence to support that theory. A lot of times I get so paralyzed by the prospect of gifts and stores and money and using money at stores to buy gifts that I end up giving homemade presents.

One time, I made Cassidy a Wordle of memories, phrases, movies, songs, etc. that reminded me of her. I made it in her favorite colors and framed it and gave it to her. She liked it. For her birthday, I once wrote my grandma a poem. That was a big hit. Once for Sam, I made a CD of songs that reminded me of him. He liked it, I assume XD

My dad was definitely right about one thing:  personally, I don't put a lot of stock in material things. That's not to say that I wouldn't love a journal with writing in a different language, or crazy eyeliner, or Batman Converse. However, it's the foreign language, the craziness, and the Batman that make those gifts. It's not the journalness, the eyelinerness, or the shoeness, if that makes sense. It's not the actual item; it's the evidence that the gift-giver really KNOWS me, and tried to find something I would like.


So, in the middle of all this, I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that I'm just really bad at buying people presents. It will probably always intimidate me, and I will probably never be great at it.

But I think if I put real, long-term effort into them, I can give pretty good presents when it matters. I think the people who I care most about will always have enough depth to know when I care, whether it took me $50 or 50 hours to produce proof.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Pretty Much Describes Us

Pretty much no words necessary.

Happy eight months of being officially the funnest combination of a guy and a girl this world has ever seen, PC.


Sunday, December 9, 2012


When you realize that having your two hardest finals on Monday is actually the worst thing that's ever happened to you, you might choose to:

- Wallow in the floor with your sweatshirt hood up, repeating "This is the worst thing ever."

- Stare into your teacup and blink at relatively regular intervals.

- Think, "Maybe if I ignore it, it'll just go away."

- Procrastinat--oh wait, you've already done that to the point where you've basically screwed yourself over.

- Pretend you've already finished. Pack your things and prepare to leave the campus.

- Give yourself a manicure with your teeth.

- Whimper.

- Write a blog post.

- Study?


Back to My Roots

Ironic, isn't it? That dyeing my hair has inspired/reminded me to return to my true colors.

This isn't going to be a wishful post, and I'm so proud to say that. I'm not going to whine about the way I used to be, and bemoan the fact that I'm not that way anymore. I'm going to tell you how I AM, and therefore how I AM going to be.

I am going to wear eyeliner again, because I am bold and unique.
I am going to write more, because I'm good at it and it makes me happy.
I am going to take my time when I speak, because my thoughts are worth saying well.
I have complicated tastes, so I am going to feel equally good in Converse and heels.
I am going to wear rings, because they're my favorite piece of jewelry.
I am going to avoid soda, because I'm stubborn and I say so.
I have nothing to hide, so I am going to make eye contact more often.
I am going to sieze new words, because they fuel my soul.
I am going to know God, because he wants to know me.
I am going to drink in languages, because I love to learn.
I am going to spend less time with screens, because the real world is worth investing in.
I am going to love green, because it's the color of new life and Go lights.
I am going to write these down and tape them where I can see.

I'm tired of not feeling right. We're always told to be ourselves, but no one tells you who that is. I'm pretty sure of the things on that list, so I'm going to try to live by them for a while and just see what happens.


P.S. More pictures in the page next to Awards.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Re: December Me

Dear End-of-Summer-Steph,

How weird.

I totally forgot you wrote that letter to me. But now it doesn't seem like it's been that long. My first semester went by really fast, and not NEARLY as much has changed as I expected. I expected to feel like a different person. I expected to have different friends, priorities, stories, favorite foods, speaking style, everything. Instead of feeling like Stephanie Part 2, I feel like Stephanie Part 1: Draft 2, if that makes sense.

Sam and I ARE still together, so End-of-Summer-Steph, you can stop stressing out and being paralyzed. Que sera, sera.

Cassidy and I are still best friends. Absolutely nothing has changed there. Don't insult my integrity, End-of-Summer-Steph.

I had to drop the math class, so homework in there was not an issue. I did like 90% of my other homework though, and I got good grades on all my tests. I still have my three hardest finals to go (unfortunately), so we'll see about those. I should do alright though. I always do and you know it.

Your fears of being dumb and behind WERE unfounded. Completely, totally, utterly unfounded. You were among the most efficient, well-adjusted, and intelligent students in every class. However, I might remind you that you ended up with no math or science courses this semester. Next semester you have math, so you will be getting your reality check and dose of humility in there, I'm sure.

I have kept up with my blog and family, not so much with God. However, that's not anything new, and I really, really, REALLY want to change that. I just have no idea where to start.

I have not applied to Wake Forest yet. I plan to start that process over the summer. I want to at least finish my first year here at Campbell, because applying and figuring out all that crap is horrible enough without having to do school work at the same time. But I know that Wake Forest is still what I want, and I don't know that I could ever forgive myself if I didn't even try to achieve it.

The letter did not depress me. It made me laugh, smile, and blush. Interesting. I seem to be blushing more lately. I don't think I like that very much.

~December Steph

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dear December Me

A letter I wrote myself the first week of college

Dear December Me.

Hopefully you had a really happy, productive first semester at Campbell. Right now, I don't even know what that would look like. The thought that I am really starting COLLEGE is overwhelming and frankly a little unwanted. I miss Sam a lot, and the thought of us not being together paralyzes me.

Are you still together? Please don't have hurt him. If he hurt you, remember:  You got over him once before, you can do it again. There IS A guy out there for you.

If you're still with him, I'm really glad. But do it for the right reasons. Whatever that means.

I hope you and Cassidy are still best friends. I hope the distance hasn't been a problem. It really shouldn't be. You guys are two sides to the same soul. If you've drifted apart, pleeeeeeeease try to reconnect. You'll never find anyone like her, and you know it. Don't let being depressed or overwhelmed come between the world's best friendship.

I hope you studied, and did your math homework.

Remember how scared you were of being dumb and behind? Hopefully those fears were unfounded.

I hope you're still keeping up with your blog, family, and God.

I hope you've applied to Wake.

I hope this letter doesn't depress you.

Make good choices. Merry Christmas :)

~ Last-Day-of-2012-Summer-Steph

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Enough

"I am happy enough to die."

That phrase confused me as a kid. If you're happy, why would you want to die? Doesn't it make more sense to die when you're sad?

Well, in a way it does. But who wants a death like that? Who wants to die with a broken soul leaking from his eyes? Who wants to die with a smashed heart tearing its way through his ribs? Answer: No one.

An ideal death--if that can be a thing--is a satisfied death. You leave this world with a smile, and few regrets. You relinquish your grip on life with a confident wholeness, knowing you've done what you were here to do and you're ready to face what comes next. For some people an ideal death might be taking a bullet for a loved one; for others it might be a quiet, anticipated passing surrounded by friends.

But whether you envision your last moments heroic or nostalgic, one thing's for sure:  you don't WANT to die miserable.

Some moments are just beautiful and whole enough to be your last. "I'm happy enough to die" doesn't mean, "Wow, life is so great that I think I'll leave now." It means, "I can't imagine a more perfect ending."

It was just this year that I really began to understand being "happy enough to die." As to be expected {considering I'm ME and everything}, the moment that enlightened me wasn't breathtakingly romantic or overwhelmingly sweet. I think my first "happy enough to die moment" took place in a vehicle driven by a friend. And when I say "a friend," I mean either Sam or Cassidy. We were driving along, listening to music, laughing, talking, whatever-ing, and one of those Well-Shit-This-Was-Definitely-A-Poor-Driving-Decision moments occurred.

I didn't panic. I didn't really feel alarmed at all. I remember continuing to laugh and be happy, thinking, "Well, if I'm going to die, I really don't mind dying with my best friend."

Those moments--when you can close your eyes and feel joy like a tangible thing in your heart--are the moments in which you wouldn't mind dying. There's something satisfying, poetic about your last breath being a laugh, your last glance being full of love, your last words being happy. No one genuinely wants to die crying, full of hatred and spewing cruelty. Everyone wants to die happy.

I think the moral here is clear:  No one knows when death will come, so if you want to die happy, live happy. Sieze every moment, give every smile. Laugh lots, forgive fully, live intentionally.

Live happy enough to die.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Fragments IV

I hate when people whistle at me. It pisses me off and I ignore it.

Literally, my first thought when something terrible, scary, uncomfortable, or strange happens is, "I'll be able to write about this."

Last week, I felt really weird at dinner. Audria was talking about how her dad would read aloud to her family in the kitchen. Her mom would be cooking dinner, she and her brother would be doing school work, and her dad would read Lord of the Rings to them. I felt sentimental and nostalgic and the only thing I wanted to do was have a family or hug somebody or talk to my mom. It was the strangest thing ever. I think it was homesickness, but a different kind than I've ever felt before.

Last Sunday marked seven weeks without soda and one week of trying not to eat straight-up bread. I accidentally forgot and ate a muffin one day, and I ate a chicken sandwich with the bottom bun still there, so it hasn't been a completely bread-free adventure. It's a work in progress.

I watched a chickflick last night and was giggly and mushy and liked the stupid cute stuff.

"Twist" by KoRn is one of the greatest things ever.

But I still hate Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Some things don't ever change.

In one week, I overcame my intense hatred for celery. I just ate it every day despite its nasty taste and now it's one of my favorite foods.

Lately, I've been getting really, really bored in the middle of movies. Like, the climax hits and it's all I can do not to turn it off or leave the room.

I've had "Starstrukk" stuck in my head all day and just figured out what it was. I am enormously relieved and ashamed to say I'm listening to it.


Saturday, December 1, 2012


About a year ago, Sam and I discussed and began writing a story together. It has the potential to be pretty great {naturally}, but we've put it on hold for a while because we're busy and a little bit lazy.

But around 2AM a few nights ago, we began collaborating on a new piece...

Me: Do you want to make up a ridiculous story?
PC: What do you mean?
Me: Like each say a sentence.
(I'm also really tired, just btw. That's becoming evident.)
Like, there once was a silver pineapple named Riccardio, whose dream was to become a neural surgeon.
PC: He lived in a Canadian gentleman named Robertina, who had self-esteem issues and three left feet.
Me: His wife was a liberated peach from Phoenix, who loved to declare her love in Arabic, causing trouble every time the couple wanted to fly.
PC: One day, they purchased an emu that wore a suit of armor.
Me: It fit inside the Canadian gentleman surprisingly well, but it disagreed with the gentleman's second left foot.
PC: The emu was happy to have a home, even if it did smell like outer space,
Me: The emu's name was Raddish and he spent most of his time dyeing the leg hair of spiders.
PC: One day, a penguin appeared and wanted the emu to share, setting the emu off the deep end.
Me: The emu's shift in temperment made him more agreeable to the gentleman's second left leg, but left the silver pineapple and the liberated peach feeling like failures as radioactive psychologists.
PC: Riccardio eventually had enough; the breaking point came one day, after he realized hewas a pineapple, and obviously belonged iuimderwater.
And I can't do this anymore xD
Me: Yeah, I was just thinking it was right about time to be done with this.

*sigh* We have such potential.