Sunday, October 27, 2013

In Which I Reward Your Curiosity that Was Pequed the First Time a Post Contained the Ridiculous Phrase "In Which"

In case you didn't follow that, this post is about Anthony, the guy who I thought maybe liked me and I didn't know what to do with that. Well, things have taken a turn...

For the better. He brought up the issue himself, rather nicely. Something like "So, I just want to be honest with you... I have feelings for you, which was probably really obvious. I try to be pretty straightforward about these things."

And I told him something like "I'm really glad you said something. I think you're great and I really want to keep getting to know you, but I move incredibly slowly and I'm in a weird place with the guy dated, so I don't want to lead you on."

Result:  He was totally okay with it. And a few days later, when the idea of commitment issues popped up, I accidentally let it out that I have major, major, debilitating issues with commitment. I immediately wanted to bite my tongue off, because I'm sure I sounded like a raving lunatic, but it didn't phase him.

"About that," he began easily. "I so respect your slow pace. I've made mistakes jumping into things in the past, and I'm done with that. I'm gonna be honest..." He laughed. "...if you'd met me two years ago, I would not have had the patience for this. But now...I dunno, I'm okay with it."


So then we just talked about Lord of the Rings and struggling with accusations of arrogance for the next hour. And then he walked me back to my dorm room in the freezing cold even though he's almost worse with cold than I am.

He still hasn't gotten within a foot of me. Guys like that are a dying breed.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Sensitive? ...Nah

I don't cry particularly often. However, in the past two weeks, a completely unprecedented number of things have brought me to, or close to, tears. I ask you:

What the heck?

Things That Have Made Me Feel Like Crying
1. An episode of the Twilight Zone
2. The fact that no one listens to my adorable environmental science professor
3. My parents being controlling
4. My throat hurting
5. "Atlas" by Coldplay
6. A picture of two cute bunnies
7. The ramen bowl breaking
8. Seeing a commercial for the series finale of What Not to Wear
9. The Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup in "Invictus"
10. Hearing that a bunch of Justin's friends are bailing on his birthday party
11. The Andy Griffith Show

Thankfully, only two of these things resulted in actual waterworks. Hopefully I'm not becoming, like, sensitive or something XD


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Autumn

I never know what it is, but it happens every autumn.

It starts in my toes and rises up through my body, tickling and pulling and poking:  a profound restlessness that makes me feel young. Not the wild, powerful kind of "young," but the nostalgic, vaguely uncomfortable sensation of being a child trapped in a nineteen-year-old's body.

Every year.

It's the air, crisp and charged with promise. Great, obscure secrets ride the cool breeze. All the edges are sharper; all the lights are clearer; all the impressions are warmer. The sky is bluer than it's ever been.

There's a creative urgency. Beauty so thick that inspiration can't quite break through. Ideas pulse beneath the surface of the world, giving the air its own heartbeat.

Everything whispers.

Childhood whispers. Remember leaf piles? Remember running? Remember dark woods? Remember notebooks? Remember heart friends? Remember tears? Remember stories?

It feels like chilly fingers and smoke-scented sweatshirts. It feels like hiding. It feels like spying. It feels like being chased.

It's a lens through which the present seems abrupt and irrelevant. The urgency drains from school and flows to old thoughts and old fears and old worries.

Remember learning Gaelic? Remember researching drugs? Remember refusing to get your ears pierced?

Remember needing Him in your soul? Remember Sunny? Remember staying at Gr'anne's house?

Remember losing your imagination? Remember outgrowing your fire fairy costume? Remember exceeding your texting limit?

Things that have nothing to do with autumn drift across my mind. Summer memories and spring pains. Christmas woes and birthday adventures. Something in the air brings them back.

Every year.

And then, like smoke, the feeling tints and twists and dissipates into the air.

That's my autumn, every year.


Monday, October 14, 2013

In Which I Bring You More Drama

After I took a shower when we got home from camping, I started to feel sick. The sneezing, the aching, the itchy sore throat, the exhaustion. It felt like what I'd had at the beach with PC's family. That sickness that lasted like three or four weeks and never really got identified. I went to the Fair with PC, Sophie, Anna, and Jordan anyway. I felt really awful, but we did have fun.

I spent all of fall break with PC. Wednesday afternoon, dinner. All day Thursday, all day Friday, all day Saturday, all day Sunday. Now that I think about it, I know that was too much, even though I was also with my family. It was too much PC for them. It's just that I like him, and he makes me feel better when I'm sick. He takes the best care of me.

Because I was sick, I spent Sunday night at home and drove back for my 11am on Monday.

After everyone went to bed Sunday night, PC stayed and helped me pack. It was about 11:20pm when Mom came stomping down the stairs.

"WHAT are you doing?" she demanded.

"I'm pack--"

"YOU--" she glared at me "--need to go to SLEEP. If you're SICK."

"He's just helping me pack," I said. "I'm gonna be fine. It's gonna be fine. I'll get enough sleep."

I don't remember if anything else was said, really. I may have said something like, "Just let me handle things." I know she ended with, "We'll talk about this later," and stalked away.

PC also apparently left the garage door open all night, which she told me this morning. Guess he's shit listed for sure now.

My family is driving me terrible places. This is not about PC. He just happens to be a tangible manifestation of what's going on in my life. My parents want what's best for me, I know. But they're stressing me out and making me want to run in the opposite direction.

They want me to not see PC so much and not have "bad" friends and never cuss and go to every church function and get amazing grades and find a "grown-up" boyfriend and not show my stomach and not go clubbing and not dance with people and sit around with them while they ignore me and never disagree with them.

However, their rigid disapproval of my (MY MY MY MY MY, dammit ) decisions sparks an automatic desire to go streaking in the opposite direction. That's my initial reaction to confinement. It makes me just want to have sex with PC and only hang out with "bad" friends and cuss and skip church and screw school and get tattoos and more piercings and go back to labeling myself as "dating" PC and wear sleazy clothing and club every weekend and grind my body on boys and completely cut my family out of my life.

But the thing is, I don't REALLY want those things! All I want is to not have to hide the fact that PC and I still sit close together sometimes and his touch doesn't make my skin crawl. I want to be able to choose my own friends--some "good" and some "bad"--and stay the same strong-principled individual I know I am. I want to use cuss words when I want to, which means sparingly when furious or for comedic effect. I want to go to the church functions that I connect with. I want to do my best in school and not feel judged when I decide to let question 26 D go for now. I want the freedom to date whoever the fuck I want, and if that ends up being PC again, I'll have good reason, so respect my decision, please. I want to wear clothes that, within reason, fit the event I'm attending. I want to go clubbing and dance with people and not believe that that means I'm going to Hell. I want to feel free from the crushing, priggish, pedantic, discouraging, conditional oversight of my family.

I know they want what's best for me, and I know they're most likely right. But if that's the case, and they truly believe that, then BACK OFF AND LET ME FIGURE IT OUT FOR MYSELF.

I know things will be different when I'm a parent, but I like to think I won't handle my kids like this.

On the bright side, Monya says she doesn't think I'm crazy or actually depressed. I expected to feel relieved and validated if I heard that. Instead, I feel lost and disappointed.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Which I Process My Thoughts and Beg for Advice

{I hate to post this right on top of that cool Letter From My Eighteen-Year-Old Self thing, but this issue is driving me off the cliff of insanity.}

Dear Guy Who Likes Me,

You're really attractive. We have incredibly similar taste in movies, music, and TV shows. We're both good with talking. So far, I've said yes when you've asked me to hang out. But now, the Me in me is rising up and I'm freaking out.

So yeah. This has to stop.

~The Girl From Envs-111

*sigh* I know, I know. I could make a problem out of winning the lottery.

See, he's a really cool guy, but by continuing to say yes to hanging out with him alone, I'm inching my way closer to a situation I'm not ready to be in:  TALKING to someone {AKA, that cesspool of gray area between "freedom" and "romantic commitment."}.

There are countless problems with that situation.

1. I move slower than any other female in the world. I guarantee you this guy is expecting to kiss me sometime sooner than "months and months and months from now, if ever."

2. I still have a long way to go before I can seriously "like" someone. I know it's been like six months {Huh. Almost to the day.}, but I still play the comparison game and my heart hasn't grown back to a size where I can spare enough to give some to another person.

3. I mean, I have general commitment issues. Like really, really, really bad ones.

4. He's going into the military. I know it's really early even to be throwing this out there, but I'm not going to marry someone going into the military. I respect, support, and honor our troops, but I'm way too selfish to have a soldier for a husband.

5. I don't know if he's a Christian or not, but I'm 75% sure he isn't, and that's an instant deal-breaker.

6. He drinks. Like, he's not a raging drunk--he just gets drunk on the weekends--but that's not for me. I don't necessarily have a huge problem with people doing that, but I am not going to date someone who does, especially if he's underage.

7.  Yesterday I overheard him confess to someone that he doesn't have any rhythm. I'm still not sure why that instantly triggered the thought, Okay cool. Now there's DEFINITELY no way, but it did.

8. He's not that funny. He IS funny, but he's not THAT funny. He laughs too much at himself, and isn't particularly clever or iconic.

9. He's a little annoying. It comes from the laughing too much in the middle of his own stories. Maybe the laughs aren't forced, but they feel that way, like he's breathing out so hard his lungs are going flat.

{Yes, I realize I'm a tough crowd. Cue the Forever Alone images. Actually, you know what, I got this:

He definitely has good points. He makes good grades, knows what he wants to do with his life, is a serious gentleman {hasn't gotten within a foot of me and opens every door possible, including car doors}, has good taste {movies, TV shows, music, video games}, and is really attractive. However, those don't outweigh the other issues, especially the fact that I'm just not ready for a relationship.

I need to tell him that I think he's great, but that I move at the pace of a lame snail, and am not ready for a serious relationship anyway.

I just don't know WHEN I have to tell him that. I don't want to tell him too soon and seem scary and arrogant and mean. But I also don't want to lead him on; that's even meaner.

Advice would be so appreciated, guys. This is literally keeping me up at night, and I'm really tired.


To Be Read On October 8th, 2013

I wrote this to myself a year ago. I'm now going to respond to it, in the green italics.

Hey, 19-year-old Stephanie. Is it weird that I feel really young and insignificant writing this? I mean, it definitely is. It's not like you have all the answers to life and I don't. I mean, my 13-year-old self thought my 16-year-old self was going to be the shit, and she wasn't, so you're probably not THAT much more awesome than I am now either.

I'm not XD Definitely some though. I'm more confident and more difficult to scare/make uncomfortable. I'm about 25% as naive as I was when you wrote this. I'm pretty okay with that.

I do seriously wonder where you're going to college though. Did you stay at Campbell? I'm afraid you might have. If you did, I hope you're happy and proud of that choice.  I really do. No sarcasm. If you're now at Wake Forest, HALLELUJAH! You did it! You are living out your black and gold soul, carrying on a legacy, and earning a degree you will be proud to claim for the rest of your life.

I am, in fact, still at Campbell. From what I've heard, Wake Forest is really preppy and difficult, and let's face it, 56k a year with no merit scholarship was never going to happen. I'm pretty happy at Campbell :) Good people, good professors. It really is in the middle of freaking nowhere though...

I also wonder if you're fat. Isn't that terrible? Like, I'm pretty afraid you might be, and if you are, I am 100% certain that I just ruined your day by asking that. If you're not, HALLELUJAH! Stay thin. Work out. Food isn't that good. If you are, don't freak out.  Find an exercise buddy, eat better, and get enough sleep. Make a chart. Remember how much you love dance? Dance.

I am not "fat." I've definitely gain weight and I hate my body, but hey, what's new. I am going to crossfit semi-regularly though. We did chest presses with 40lb today. I almost died. I'd love to have a workout buddy, but Justin is the closest thing I have.

DANCE. Good God, have you figured out how to dance? Hopefully you're in a dance class and getting better. If you're not...

I am dancing! :D In fact, you'll love to know that I'm known across campus as "the white girl who can dance." Sometimes it's embarrassing and annoying, but being recognized for dance is kind of a dream come true. As far as classes go, I did jazz dance last semester, and I'm in tap now. I'm definitely getting better. "Intro to Tap" my ass. It's HARD.

*sigh* I'm really afraid of offending you. So far all I've done is criticize your choices and body weight. I do apologize. There are things that are much more important to me. Like your friends. And Sam.

You're fine XD It´s seriously hard to offend me. Being friends with Gerard and Justin has made me thick-skinned.

Do you have good friends? I'm struggling right now. Gabe and Kirsten and I just had dinner last night, and being around them made me realize how much I miss being my real self. I hope you have friends that you can be your real self around.  There's a really cool person inside of me, I know, and I hope you've been able to find her.

I DO have good friends! :D I have several. Gerard is good for late-night philosophy, so long as he doesn't hit on me too much. Anna is good for a listening ear and a girl friend struggling with similar issues. Bekah is good for clubbing and having fun. Justin is good for a pick-me-up and a dance partner. Sean is good to have around in awkward situations. Anthony...mostly just complicates things at this point, but hopefully that gets better real fast.

I think...I've been finding my real self. She comes and goes, but I think on the whole, it really is three steps forward two steps back. Progress is being made. I have a writing project I'm currently excited about. I may have found a small group that I love.

Also, where's Sam? At home, I think. Does that question make you wince? Nope. Does it make you grit your teeth? No. Do you pass your eyes over it and decide not to answer? No. Do you delete it?  No. Why would I do that? Deleting stuff just defeats the purpose of this post. Does it make you sad-smile? Nooooo. Goshhhhh. Actually huh. Maybe a little bit. Does it make you real-smile? Not...really. Are you guys about to celebrate a year-and-a-half of being together? No.

If you're not...what happened? Did he find someone else first, or did you? Did you have a massive argument? Do you still talk to him at all? He's my best friend, 19-year-old Stephanie. Please don't disregard that. Remember, unless he brutally murdered your family for no good reason, you have to love him and be there for him.

We just...faced the truth, for the first time. Dating was wrong for us when we did it. We didn't follow through with our promises, we didn't stick by our principles; there were a lot of lies that prevented things from developing in a healthy way.

He did not find anyone else.

I also did not find anyone else.

We have had several massive arguments, however they've all taken place since we've broken up XD

Of course I talk to him, 18-year-old, Steph :) He's my best friend too.

Is there someone else? Did you fall in love again? What a weird thought. I have trouble writing this, because I'm thinking about 19-year-old Sam reading it. {That is a weird concept. Why is it so hard to imagine Sam being nineteen years old? D: What if he dies before he gets that old? Is that what my psychic self is telling me? Ah D:}

There's no one else. There are some people who have expressed interest, but I'm me, so that's not going anywhere yet.

No, I didn't fall in love again. I so understand your having trouble writing this. I was afraid of what you might have written, to be honest.

And yeah, I also have trouble imagining Sam as a nineteen year old :P But he is still alive, you paranoid, paranoid person.

Are you still as weird as I am? Oh jeez. Just as weird and THEN SOME.

Do you write? Yes :)

Do you still wear your hair naturally? I don't think I've straightened it once since becoming a sophomore.

What kind of makeup do you wear?

*siiiiiiiiiiiigh* Right now I wear Hard Candy's "Little Black Dress" felt tip eyeliner ONLY ON THE TOP because it's possibly the last of its kind. I seriously cannot find this eyeliner anywhere in stores or online. It's a constant source of grief. Constant.

Does Sarah have a boyfriend? She's a junior. That's weird.

No. I want her to date Justin though. I think. He can be brutally impatient, which would destroy her, so we'll see.

How's Cassidy? How's Ellie? How's Kirsten? How are Momma and Daddy?

Cassidy is pretty good :) She's doing well in school and still thinking about her plans for next year. We're still close. Thank you for not being so pessimistic and ridiculous as to ask if we're still friends.

 Ellie's...I mean, she's married. She's honestly the exact same person she's been since seventh grade.

Kirsten's good :) She's actually planning to not play tennis next year, and she's possibly also transferring to Carolina...that would be sad and strange, but I never see her anyway. She lives in Faculty.

Mom and Daddy are good. They're team-teaching Challenge I. Daddy did the triathlon again. Mom's a workout beast.

Do you still paint your nails? I don't very often any more, so you probably almost never do.

I haven't painted my fingernails in about two and a half months actually. I'm trying to get the layers to grow out. I've heard painting your nails/polish remover is really bad for them. So far that appears to be true. They've been improving since I quit painting them.

Are you a virgin? I hope to God you are.

Um. Like, yes.

Oh, have you ever tasted alcohol? I hope to God you haven't.


Drugs? Nah. Like, I'm not even worried about that.

Yeah, not even close.

Who's Bekah going out with? Are y'all still friends? Did drama ensue?

Reafe, the Canadian-Jamaican soccer player. We are still friends. No drama, really. She tends to steal guys away from me, but it's not difficult because I don't try to hold onto them anyway.

Do you still love Batman?


I know this is a weird question, but do you know that guy Hunter? {From Campbell. A year older than you. Was the Narrator in Mafia that first week you were at college.} I just have this weird feeling about him, like I've totally seen him before and he's important. I have not told a single person this. Is he important? Or do you not even remember who he is?

I have not forgotten about him. I see him occasionally. We have not yet spoken.

Is Licorice alive?

She passed away about a month ago actually. We buried her at the farm.

How are you and God? I pretty much really hope you're tight.

We've been better; we've been worse.

How long is your hair?

Two inches past shoulders-ish. I think o_o

Do you like Converse shoes still? I mean, I assume you do. It's not like you've gotten a personality transplant.

Yes. I now have black, charcoal, gray, red, tan, red hightops, and Batman. Right now I have neon green laces in the gray ones.

Any more piercings? Tattoos?

No, but I still definitely want a tattoo. So badly. I just have to know what.

Sam asks if you still have elf ears. Do you? Or did you get an industrial bar and fuck one of them up?

I do :) I did not get an industrial. Yet.

Oh, do you cuss? Like, regularly?

Not like a lot of people, but no one flinches when I cuss. Except Justin. He likes to make a big deal out of it. Like a really monumental deal. {Justin:  O_O *grins in shock and waves arms and jumps/bounces* "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh you said a curse wordddddddd. Do it again! Say it again! Please. Do it. Please."}

Do you still sleep with Happy, Real Blank and Charles? {Again, I assume so. You ARE still me, after all.}


Oh, what's your current favorite song? Band?

Ooh. Hm. I dunno. Lemme give you some variety:  "Atlas" by Coldplay; "Dig" by Incubus; "Holy Grail" by Jay-Z and Justin; {I'm so tired right now. I can't even think.}


Prolly "The Magicians."

I should go. I have a government test to study for tomorrow. I have not studied hardly at all. I can't figure out why I'm not nervous. I also have like 40 pages of Western Civ to read.

I love you, but god yes, stop asking questions. You don't even exist anymore, and 19-year-old Stephanie has Scope homework to do at some point. Same professor as you had for that government test. Good ol' Dr. Thornton. I hope they let me keep him as my adviser when I switch majors to English.

I miss Sam. I miss talking to him. Do you miss him too? No matter what's going on, that's a legitimate question. Answer it.

Yes. I miss Sam a lot. But I'll see him in two days so it's relatively cool.

Alright, I'll let you go. Make me proud. Don't forget me. But be yourself. Your 19-year-old self. Don't live for me. I'm dead. You're alive. Live for you, now.

:) You were pretty cool, 18. Thanks for this blast from the past. Good questions, really. Thanks for getting me where I am today. Couldn't have done it without you XD

Carpe diem :)

I shall.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Twenty-Teens

The Sixties

The Seventies

The Eighties

The Nineties

Ever wonder how our kids will caricature the twenty-teens for their spirit weeks and dances and Halloween costumes? Honestly, I'm excited for it. I think it'll be great. And easy. Our generation is so fun and wild and colorful and deliciously extreme.

All you really have to do is dress in awesomely bright colors.

 And remember that You Only Live Once.

 And have an unexplained thing with mustaches. 

 And not care about judgment or morals too much, because the former is wrong and the latter doesn't exist because nothing is wrong.
Don't forget to work your ass off. As literally as you can manage.

 Let go and go hard. Colorfully.

A lot.

And if all else fails, at least take a selfie.

Really, I think our generation is probably doing a lot wrong, but if/when we fall, it's going to be a beautiful disaster.