Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cold Feet--in Advance

Tonight I watched Victoria, another one of my young friends, get married. The service was a LOT more elegant and organized than Ellie's was last year, and the bride and groom have been together for over two years now. Everyone agrees that this was an appropriate and blessed next step for them.

{Whaaaatever XD}

Unlike at Ellie's wedding, I wasn't in the bridal party, which meant I could actually take in what was going on. Even though I'm not close to Victoria and I honestly wasn't that excited to be at the wedding, I found myself beaming as she walked down the aisle. Even though I don't know the groom at all and I'm not a sentimental person, I found myself getting choked up as he rocked nervously.

Then they started doing the vows.

Ellie's wedding took literally all of ten minutes. By the time I stopped worrying about my dress being twisted and Groomsman #4 making eyes at me, the service was over. I barely had time to listen to the vows or realize that one of my best friends was becoming half of a whole.

At Victoria's wedding, I paid attention the whole time. And it terrified me. My knuckles turned white from clenching my hands together. My eyes widened into saucer-sized pools of awe. My heart raced loudly in my chest.

My friend was giving herself away. The amount of love and commitment she was professing struck me like a slap in the face. The vows of eternal, complete, unwavering, and certain love were endless and serious. So intense. So binding.

I cannot imagine being ready to do that. The level of commitment and certainty is staggering. I don't think I've ever been sure enough of anything in my life to marry it. What if no one ever feels that right to me? What if I never feel ready to commit like that? What if I get to the alter and freak out and run away?

Not so long ago, I kind of thought that I was ready to commit like that. Now I realize that I was light-years away from "ready." While "working with someone you love, having fun, and doing life together" doesn't sound frightening to me at all, the phrases "joined together in the sight of God" and "holy matrimony" scare me shitless.

It's not just that I'm afraid of commitment--although God knows I am; I'm also afraid of making the wrong decision. I'm afraid of picking the wrong guy. I'm afraid of ignoring God. I'm afraid of missing the "right" thing. I cannot imagine being certain and comfortable enough with a decision to marry that I could actually go through with it. I feel like I'd just second guess myself the whole time and end up calling it off.

I guess that's why I'm not engaged.

Hopefully, when the right guy and the right time come, I'll see them and seize them and God will give me peace. Until then,

Yours noncommittally,
~Stephanie

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Bottom Three

You know you're having a bad day self-image day when you see the topic "Your top three worst traits" and think "FINALLY. A topic I can work with" XD

1. Manipulative - I see most things as black or white, and I'm constantly trying to convert everyone else to my opinions. If I think someone is rude and deceitful, I will do everything I can to get you to believe that as well, even if it means bending reality ever so slightly in the process. If I want something, I will figure out how to make you give it to me, preferably in such a subtle way that you believe it was your own idea to do so.

2. Lacking in self-control - {I think there's a single word for this, but I've been sitting here for five minutes and nothing will come to mind.} I pretty much just don't have any self-control. My temper often gets the best of me; I often consume way more chocolate than healthy; and for the love of God, let's not even talk about my being horny. Wherever most people's Self-Control gland is, I must have a Screw Everything And Go For It gland.

3. Entitled - Maybe it comes from having incredibly good luck, but I'm afraid that I have a spirit of entitlement. I tend to assume that my way is the best way, and if I want something, people think enough of me to make it happen. Plans should be made to suit my schedule, and if I'm cold, you should hand me that blanket without my having to ask. If I have a problem, fix it. If I don't like this song, change it. Maybe it's more like "pride." I don't know, but it disgusts me in other people, so it's ironic that I think I might possess this trait myself.

~Stephanie

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fragments VI

- This flight announcer guy sounds exactly like Christoph Waltz. Like...I swear it's him. I wonder if it could be?

- It makes me smirk when people talk about "dancer bodies." It sounds good, but it really means big feet and a small chest.

- Apparently, it's technically legal for women to go topless in North Carolina.

- I think it's really important for kids to know how to set a table correctly.

- All my college friends have received their dorm room assignments except me. Why? It would seem that my application "didn't get completed." However, I got email confirmation that it had gone through, and it's a fact that the housing system got screwed up in May. If I end up without a residence or a good roommate, I will be pissed and out of luck. A lot of times, I really hate my school.

- Little families make me really happy.

- So do young married couples. But they also make me irritated. Old married couples are the best. They're so content and adorable. Gah.

- ...I get mushy sometimes.

- Rarely.

- But apparently it happens.

- I will never have an inside dog. I might really like the dog {Gilbert <3}, but after drying off with a clean towel and coming out covered in dog fur, I've redrawn the line and decorated it with barbed wire and land mines.

- I really hope we get on this flight. Flying standby is great, but you do get what you pay for.

~Stephanie

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Lot

Hi XD I'm in Florida with Cassidy, so blogging has been somewhere between impossible and unrealistic for the past few days.

I don't know if I've ever said this on Pan--Peripeteia, but I freaking LOVE Florida. The heat, the sun, the storms, the people, the water, the sand, the style, the shopping, the food, everything. Florida, Florida, Florida. I love it.

Also, Disney World is here, so really, how can a state get better?

I used to say I was going to move to Florida, but honestly, that won't happen. If I'm going to move far away, I'd rather live in Charleston, South Carolina or Italy. And I actually do love my home in North Carolina.

Anyway, in light of all this glorious traveling, I have a lot to make up in the area of blogging "every day." I'll eventually do all of them, but for now I'm going to pick one "deep" topic that I've missed, and a couple of "easy" ones.

Day Sixteen:  Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

Normally, the phrase "lot in life" is taken to mean "what I've been given, situationally." But, I have to tell you guys something:

I've been given the most perfect life a girl could ask for. I have a great family, great friends, great grades, great house, great church, great school, great luck, great everything. There is literally nothing to complain about in my "lot in life."

However. God knows I'm a screwed up person, so I'm going to stretch the boundaries of "lot in life" and talk about the fact that I feel everything to a ridiculously extreme degree.

Except for when I slip into depression and am utterly devoid of emotion, I feel everything 150%. When I'm happy, I feel like the happiest person in the world. When I'm sad, my soul is a deep well of blue sorrow. When I'm angry, it's an all-consuming rage that fries me from the inside out.

For a writer, feeling strongly is an asset. However, for a functioning human being, it can be a pain in the ass.

It's honestly hard to cope with. Broken hearts are an unbelievable bitch when you feel more hurt and angry and worthless than anyone else has ever felt. Ever. Mind-shattering joy is hard to manage when everyone around you thinks you've finally lost it because there's no way green mint chocolate chip ice cream would make a sane person this ecstatic. Overpowering, destructive rage is obviously a hazardous emotion. It pounces on me with a bitter determination that makes me want to claw the limbs off anyone who approaches me.

I also sometimes say ill-advised things that make Sam cover my mouth and Cassidy speak for me.

But I am working to overcome with this.

When I was little, the emotions consumed me. I was sick all the time, cried all the time, and fought with everyone. Slowly, my soul has stretched to hold the feelings, and I've learned to use words as a coping mechanism. It's getting better. Now I can write about how I feel, and write letters to people, and project my struggles onto characters.

Hopefully by the time I die, I'll have figured this out.
~~~~~~~~~~

Day Seventeen: A favorite photo of yourself and why


I like this picture because I think my hair looks nice in it, and because I'm on my way to have my last dance pictures made. Bittersweet. After fifteen years of dancing, I had to say goodbye to that stage. FOR NOW.

And I like this one because it's one of my senior pictures, and I love those shoes XD
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day Nineteen: Five of your favorite blogs

1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Natventures
3. One Sparkling Star
4. Teen Justice
5. Letting His Love Shine Through My Life

~Stephanie

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ten Things

Day Thirteen:  Issue a public apology.

Not now.

Day Fourteen:  Ten things that make you happy

1. Writing inspiration
2. Summertime
3. Spinach salads
4. Getting an A in a difficult class
5. Finding harmonies
6. Colored pants
7. Doing crunches
8. Thunderstorms
9. Leaving the house
10. Batman

~Stephanie

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Europe

Day Twelve: What do you miss? (a person, place, time in your life)

Europe.

I miss Spain.
I miss living with a Spanish family.
I miss Llucia.
I miss Consuela.
I miss Lica {the tiny dog}.
I miss the heat.
I miss not being allowed to put my hair in a ponytail when wet.
I miss not being allowed to go barefoot.
I miss eating Spanish pizza.
I miss siesta.
I miss Olexiy, the French boy who lived with us.
I miss not having a towel.
I miss sleeping on top of the covers.
I miss hearing Spanish everywhere.
I miss being able to speak English without anyone else understanding.
I miss Spanish thunderstorms.
I miss Spanish malls.
I miss Llucia's wonderful mother, Rosa.
I miss going to the park.
I miss vendors with their stuff on a sheet so they could take it and run in a moment.
I miss streets without lines.
I miss people who drive too fast and turn too quickly.
I miss weird intersections.
~~~~~~~~~~
I miss the other People to People people.
I miss Alicia putting up with me and making me feel like myself.
I miss hating John.
I miss Nalin looking beautiful all the time.
I miss Briar trying to beat people up for me.
I miss avoiding Michael.
I miss being disgusted by Matt and Tori.
I miss holding back Jackie's temper.
I miss Haley keeping me grounded.
I miss making fun of "the Barbies."
I miss Geno making me laugh.
I miss Emily being emo and cynical.
I miss Geno making Larry Boy faces.
I miss Torin cussing up a storm and our weird, close-distant relationship.
I miss Geno wanting to hold my Polly doll.
I miss Pedro's gelled hair and constant eating.
I miss Geno asking me to please wear my lion shirt.
I miss Kyle and Alexsis being adorable together.
I miss Adam's shoulder massages.
I miss David being a MASSIVE teddy bear.
I miss Leron's hilariousness and singing southern gospel on the bus.
I miss Alyssa being annoying.
I miss hating how Kelly talks out of the corner of her mouth.
I miss catching phrases from peoples' guidebooks.
I miss Drew being disorganized.
I miss Cindy being reliable.
I miss hating the way John pronounced "nutella" as "new-tella."
I miss Emma walking around being homesick.
I miss Sabine saying, "now, when we get back to dah HOE-tell..."
I miss Sabine's massive green eyes.
~~~~~~~~~
I miss France.
I miss pointy noses.
I miss being corrected when I speak.
I miss crystal and fancy smells.
I miss putting my bread on the table.
I miss nasty seltzer water.
I miss walking.
I miss climbing mountains.
I miss not knowing what to wear.
I miss the random weather.
I miss trying new food.
I miss feeling stressed over purchases.
I miss venders with delicious accents.
I miss trees growing from rocks.
I miss Via de Amore.
I miss blue, blue water.
I miss cheap expensive clothes.
I miss blue and white stripes.
~~~~~~~~~~
I miss Italy.
I miss green.
I miss exploring.
I miss music coming from tunnels.
I miss real pizza.
I miss foreign guys that scare me and intrigue me at the same time.
I miss tan, huge-eyed toddlers.
I miss Brother Alesandro.
I miss Assisi.
I miss the tiny cathedral inside a cathedral.
I miss Brother Alesandro's beautiful explanation of prayer.
I miss castles.
I miss parks and playgrounds.
I miss that tiny little phone booth.
I miss the leaning tower.
I miss the colosseum.
I miss gelato.
I miss Pedro stopping to get a panini at every restaurant.
I miss closing our curtains because boys were staring in.
I miss laughing from our balcony at boys calling "Baywatch!"
I miss people playing soccer in the street.
I miss pasta.
I miss Italian cola.
~~~~~~~~~~~
I miss the trip.
I miss getting ready and packing in 45 minutes exactly.
I miss eating breakfast with 39 other people.
I miss never being alone.
I miss hearing someone else breathing as I go to sleep.
I miss using each others' bathrooms when Alicia or I had a bathroom-hog roommate.
I miss Haley doing Alicia's hair in cornrows.
And dreadlocks.
And French braids in Italy.
I miss putting all our luggage in the elevators and sending it up alone.
I miss taking the stairs when the Barbies' luggage took too long.
I miss never wearing makeup.
I miss riding on the bus for hours.
I miss Momma's little notes.
I miss journaling until my hand seizes up.
I miss looking for presents.
I miss Haley calming me down.
I miss Alicia laughing whenever I was in a pissy mood.
I miss Jackie being my homesick buddy.
I miss Geno making me laugh, but never laughing at himself.
I miss Briar being fun, then obnoxious and me telling him so.
I miss falling asleep to the sounds of chaos down the hall.
I miss military time.
 
~Stephanie
 
P.S. Did this sound familiar? :3 *is a cheater*

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sold?

{yesterday} Day Ten:  Your most embarrassing moment

It took me all of yesterday to think of an embarrassing moment to share. I get embarrassed, but I really don't have any klutzy, funny stories. Most of my moments are only a big deal to me, and last about twelve seconds. But here's something that really did bother me.

For the driving portion of driver's ed, I drove with two guys named Houston and Christian, both of whom I disliked. Personally, I thought they were lame and boring. They thought they were cooler than me, and I figured everyone else did too.

During one of the three-hour driving sessions, we stopped with our driving instructor at a gas station to get snacks or something. Houston, Christian, and the instructor were going inside, but I didn't want to get anything, so I stayed behind. I got out of the car and leaned on it while I waited.

About halfway across the parking lot, Houston and Christian looked back and laughed at me.

"Look at her," Houston snickered, pointing. "She's pretending the car is hers." They laughed and pointed, and other people looked too. I think our driving instructor thought the same thing as the boys.

Honestly, that thought had not occurred to me, but it was somehow extremely mortifying. They already thought I was lame, and it appeared that I had just tried to impress people around them, affirming their assumption that I could only wish I were cool.
~~~~~~~~~
Day Eleven:  Sell yourself in ten words or fewer.

Sarcasm:  Only one of the linguistic services I provide

~Stephanie

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reel 1

Day Nine: A moment in your day



~Stephanie

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Big Picture

Day Eight: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

Keep the big picture in mind as you deal with people.

{I'm still not very good at this, but I'm starting to understand it.}

You're not going to get what you want by snapping at your mom. Even if she's being completely irritating and unreasonable, no good can possibly come of your losing it. However, if you stay calm and kind and play it right, you might actually get the outcome you hope for.

Your boss is not going to appreciate your whining about something, no matter how legitimate the complaint it. Phrase it differently; don't try to blame your boss; keep an even tone and take some responsibility. The difference in reactions you get will be drastic.

Just keep the big picture in mind. When you feel yourself about to explode into anger, remind yourself that that is not the way to get what you want. How badly do you want this? If you allow your emotions to get the best of you, you've ruined this for yourself. Be smart.

Think big picture and bite your tongue.

~ Stephanie

Also, check out my dad's blog HERE. I really like his ideas and his brief style. I don't think his blog gets the traffic it deserves. Follow it if you're interested :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

I Will Not Be a Cold and Timid Soul

Day Seven: The thing you're most afraid of

The answer "losing people" immediately springs to mind. It's the answer I've typed into countless tags, used for countless youth group devotions, chosen for countless examples of fears. It's so automatic now. Without meaning to, I've ingrained that simple, solid fear into my mind. That doesn't necessarily make it any less true or valid, but its mindless, knee-jerk quality signifies that it's time to reevaluate.

What am I most afraid of?

Failure, I think.

Most of my fears can be traced to under the great, dark umbrella of "Failure."

If I lose someone, it's because I failed to keep them.
If I miss someone, it's because I fail to control my heart.
If I realize that I'm wrong, it's because I failed to choose the right answer.
If I don't get married, it's because I failed to fall in love at the right time.
If I get fat, it's because I failed to make good lifestyle choices.
If I get rejected, it's because I failed to make myself desirable enough.
If I don't get a good job, it's because I failed to plan sufficiently.

All I've ever wanted in life was perfection. The perfect friends, the perfect love, the perfect school, the perfect degree, the perfect job, the perfect body, the perfect family. Is that really too much to ask?

Um. Yes?

Life isn't ever going to be perfect. I can bust my ass trying and make myself {and those around me} miserable, or I can do my best and leave the rest to God. He won't let me truly fail. I might fail to keep someone; I might fail to stay thin; I might even fail a college class. But if I put my trust in him and my effort behind his will, I really believe that "all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Also this:

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat" ~ Theodore Roosevelt

~Stephanie

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hopeless

Day Six:  If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the quest "what do you do"?

{This is gonna be quick, because I'm about to leave the house.}

What do I do? Right now, the only thing that comes to mind is the answer "Mess up." I do stupid things, repeatedly, and somehow fool myself--and others--into thinking that I'm actually sorry. Clearly I'm not, or I wouldn't keep doing the same wrong thing{s}.

I'm a work in progress, as we all are, but sometimes I wonder if there's any lasting hope for me at all.

~Stephanie

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Allie Brosh

Day Five: Publicly profess your love and devotion for a blogger friend. What makes them great? Why do you love them?

I'm going to take this a little bit impersonally, because my favorite blogger {strictly based on blogging} is one with whom I have never interacted:

Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half {<-- You can click that. For some reason, the linked words do not show up differently on my laptop anymore. I hope you don't have this issue, but if you do, try to click everything ever anyway. I might have linked to something.}

She's hands-down the best blogger I've ever read. Her stuff is, hands-down, some of the funniest stuff I have ever read. She also expressed PERFECTLY how I felt a couple of months ago and was unable to express {in THIS post}.

She's hilarious, relatable, and her illustrations are perfect.

I recommend {all of the post titles are linked, btw}

"The Alot" for grammar Nazis like me.
"Dog" for dog-lovers.
"Wolves" for people who are interested in what I was like as a kid.
"The Party" for people who have had teeth removed or just want to laugh.

~Stephanie

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lonely Games

Day Four:  Your favorite quote and why

This question is outrageously difficult for me. My "favorite" quote depends on what mood I'm in, which quotes I can currently remember, and what kind of quote the situation calls for.

*forty-five minutes later* Alright, I've picked my quote. {But see the Quotes tab at the top of Peripeteia to see the runners up.}

"I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you."
~ Dr. Seuss 

I love the way this quote feels. It feels elegantly chilly, pale blue, and feather-light. It feels like a whisper and a hand barely brushing your shoulder. It feels like all alone in an empty room, hearing a voice that resonates from your heart until you hear it in your ears, swelling with murky clarity.

I've read that quote at least ten times now, and it continues to give me chills. The truth and wisdom are haunting.

I wish I could explain what it means to me, but I'm having trouble understanding it myself, much less putting it into words. I also think it will mean something equally pointed but different to everyone who reads it, so my explanation wouldn't mean much to you.

A house divided cannot stand; a You divided cannot win.

~Stephanie

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Remember Your Dreams

***WARNING:  I AM ABOUT TO MAKE EXCUSES.***

Gah, I missed DAY TWO of Blog Everyday. However, from the hours 9:30am to 12:17am THIS morning, I was home for exactly fifty-six seconds. {David actually timed me.} So yeah. Slack, please.

"Day Two:"  Educate us about something you know a lot about or are good at.

Mmmmkay. Most of the things I know "a lot" about will not be interesting to the general blogging public {e.g. grammatical rules, fire fairies, etc.}.

In the interest of keeping this section from turning into a novella, I will tell you some tricks {from personal experience only} on...

How To Remember Your Dreams Better

- Set alarms for increments leading up to when you actually need to get up.  I remember my dreams better if I'm snapped out of them repeatedly. It's like I need to be conscious for a moment in order for the dream to get recognized and stored in memory. So if I need to get up at 9am, I'll set alarms for 8, 8:30, and 9. Usually I'll have some cool dreams in those thirty-minute extra segments.

- Keep a notebook and pencil by your bed. Do not assume that a dream was cool/interesting/vivid/important enough to remember on your own. Jot down buzzwords the second your gain some semblance of consciousness. You don't even have to open your eyes. If you dreamed that you hijacked a bus with your baby cousin that was barreling down your driveway and then realized all your teeth had fallen out and grown into blue fuzzy flowers on the floor of the bus, just write "bus cousin teeth out fuzzy flowers." This will jog your memory enough that when you're fully awake later, the details will slowly come back to you when you read the buzzwords.

- Eat distinct food an hour or so before you go to sleep. Pizza and ice cream work really well. Of course, if you're also trying to get in better shape, probably don't try this one. Studies also show that food eaten after 9pm is harder to work off later.

Day Three:  Things that make you uncomfortable

I seem to remember actually doing this post on my own a couple of months ago. *goes to check*

Yes. There is a post called "Things That Make Me Uncomfortable." <---click that.

~Stephanie

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 1: Story of My Life

In May, Alana did the Blog-Every-Day Challenge. Though you couldn't guess it from the way I blog, I do actually love the idea of blogging consistently. Considering that fact, plus the facts that I've been low on inspiration and high on other things to do, I've decided to do the same challenge in June.

How have I kidded myself into thinking I can do that? Well, this Challenge comes with prompts for every day :D Woo! Completely original inspiration is barely necessary {unless I want to write something good that people will actually like. And who cares about that?}.

Day 1: The story of your life in 250 words/a paragraph.

I was born with my eyes open. Much earlier than "normal" children, I learned to talk, mostly so I could metaphorically bludgeon everyone around me with the words "Why" and "I know." I grew up with a powerful imagination, an anathema to change, a passion for learning, and a rigid belief in a world of absolutes.

When I was five, my dad planted a new community church, respectfully leaving the traditional institution he’d pastored for years. Had he not done that, I would have become an unbearably warped, rebellious teen.

The next ten years were an emotional collage of demanding an older brother, writing more words than most children read, dancing, trying to perform magic, growing my hair out to my waist, FIRE FAIRIES, being afraid of food poisoning, trying to become president, starting a singing group, and kicking ass in debate. Not necessarily in that order.

I had lots of friends, but didn’t realize how shallow the relationships were until I met Cassidy and Sam.

We moved to our current, really-nice house when I was fifteen. The move happened almost simultaneously with meeting Sam, beginning my friendship with Cassidy, and genuinely growing up—thus beginning a new era.

The next four years were an explosive wad of masochism, blogging, first love, true friendship, going to Europe, getting my license, loving dance, going off to college, meeting God, and wondering why no one told me life was gonna be this way {CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP}.

Pretty much in that order.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
{250 words exactly. I’m pretty impressed.}