Nothing Much

The Facts:

Not much happened today. I went to work, then to bible study, and then came back home. It was a good day, but not good enough to inspire hundreds of words of thoughts in any new direction  (or so I thought when I wrote that sentence). The only interesting conversations happened at bible study, but they were interesting in a sense of telling some of my super conservative, pious, Mennonite friends a bit of the stuff that’s been happening.

Stream of Consciousness:

I had to censor  what I told my Mennonite friends down a ton, almost to a point where it felt like telling lies. As you probably know by now, by improv class isn’t the most appropriate place on the planet, but I still like my classmates, and at least on stage, I trust them. If my Mennonite friends knew the full story with all the details, they would never talk to me again. That has already happened to me with the two friends who actually came to the show, and I can’t let it happen with anyone else. If it means hiding the truth, so be it. I’ll never straight up lie to them; if they ask me a specific question, I’ll tell the truth as generally as possible, but I’m allowed to have my secrets. I already have some secrets, and a few more won’t kill me. So much for having a day where I don’t post much on my life story entry. This is difficult to explain. I feel like I’m just repeating myself over and over again, but that’s because those are the thoughts that keep rolling through my head. It sounds weird to refer to those friends as my Mennonite friends, but I can’t find another way to describe them that wouldn’t risk giving away who they are. I also have more Mennonite friends than just the ones in this group, but again, I can’t find another way to describe them. Usually writing calms me down. Today it seems to be just winding me up. I started with nothing, no thoughts at all on the day, and now the words won’t stop. Usually by this point, I have reread the entry several times in search of new inspiration to continue writing, but I don’t need that today. I’m calm, but very perplexed at the same time and that’s only making me more perplexed. Soon, I’ll be so perplexed that I can’t be calm, but then I’ll just be perplexed over nothing since I was perplexed over being calm. Then I’ll just fall into a paradoxical cycle which basically just means I have no reason and every reason to be perplexed. Are you confused yet? I am. I’m starting to get a headache. I think I’m done typing for now.

Bwops, Cardinal Feathers, and Ledges

The Facts:

Yesterday, I went to improv class. I was freaking out beforehand. After what happened on Monday, I was scared to ever walk into that room again. I was going to show up 20 minutes early as usual, but then I started to get the symptoms of a panic attack, so I took a walk around campus to calm down. I walked back into the room, and within 3 minutes, my eyes were watering again. Class began, and we started to discuss Monday’s performance. It turned out everyone was having just about the same problems I was during the show, and we decided that we all needed to work on trusting each other more, and forcing ourselves into those situations where we know we have absolutely no ideas, but know we need to save the people on stage. The question the professor asked next was the one for which my answer greatly differed from the rest of the class. He asked us if our friends liked the show, and while everyone else said yes, I said the truth. “My friends hated it and aren’t really speaking to me anymore.” The whole class was absolutely shocked. I told them about the guy who lectured me for two hours about how immature, crude, and disgusting my class was and how he was concerned for my spiritual well-being after being around that, and then I told them about my other friend, whose mother is no longer letting her speak to me. They all were really concerned and told me repeatedly that it wasn’t my fault, they were the ones who started the questionable scenes, and my friends were the ones who chose to come even though they knew the show could become a bit inappropriate. Finally, one guy asked “Are YOU upset with us for what happened?”, to which I was able to truthfully respond “No, I’m not.”. They continued to offer their support, and we kept talking for at least an hour. Rather than type the whole conversation, I’ll just type the key points:

-Despite my previous thoughts, the people in my class are amazing and have my back no matter what happens

-When you are on a stage, you are a character, not yourself, and if an audience member can’t see that, that’s their fault, not yours

-A true friend will not leave you or bash your other friends based on one encounter with you/them

After that long conversation, we started doing trust exercises to rebuild what was lost in that show. The first time we did trust falls at the beginning of the semester, I was very hesitant to participate. After the conversation about the show, I knew there was no way they would let me fall. The first set of basic trust falls I did was with the girl in my class who is a junior. It went well, but my right knee kept instinctually  bending to catch myself. I ended up crossing that leg over the other to prove that I trusted her, though truthfully I was still a little nervous. The next set of trust falls was with one of the freshman girls, and she eliminated all my fears. Every time one of us would be caught or reset, she would shout either “Bwop!” or “Bwoop!” which made me laugh so hard I couldn’t even think of being scared. The last exercise the group did was falling off of a chair into the arms of the whole group, and I completely refused to do this at the beginning of the semester. Yesterday, I decided to do it. They caught me.

Once improv class was over, I went to my great-grandmother’s house. My mom and brother came up with a craft idea to do with my great-grandma to give as a gift to her children. They had slabs of clay which she could press her hand into so they could make cardinals. This part is really difficult to explain, so I’ll just include a picture of a similar project I found online:

cardinal-hands

They made that, but with just one bird on each slab. My great grandmother absolutely loves birds, and there’s a legend that says every time you see a cardinal, it’s a spirit of a loved one that has passed away coming to visit you. My mom wanted to make this craft with her to give to her children as something to remember her by for this reason, and because she thought being able to put their hands in the imprints in the clay might be like getting to hold their mom’s hand again.When they started to work on the craft, I finally saw how weak my great grandmother had gotten after choosing to quit trying treatments for her cancer. She used to rush to help with anything, but this time it took ten minutes of coaxing for her to get up. When she tried to press her hand into the clay, it didn’t make a mark. Then she tried again, and also pushed on that hand with her left hand. Only the top two digits of each of her fingers was imprinted into the clay, just the feathers of the cardinal.

Today, my great-grandma went to a hair appointment, so while she was gone, my mom, brother, and I went hiking. We found a really nice 1.2 mile trail to hike on that even included a rock scramble, which is my favorite part of hiking. I was quite a bit ahead of them for most of the path, but just as we were about to reach the peak, I freaked out and had to stop. There was a tiny ledge, only about two feet wide, that was the next section of the trail. To the left was a large rock, about six feet tall, and to the right was a 70 foot drop. This section only lasted for about five feet, but that was still too much for me. I have a huge fear of falling. I went back a few feet and found another path that lead to the same spot but was on much wider rocks. I made it through the rest of the trail with no problems, but that instance still had me super tense, so the second I got back to the car, I collapsed in tears.

Stream of Consciousness:

Yesterday made me realize there is no way I can withdraw from improv. I’ll keep showing up early, and I’ll enjoy every second I have with those people. I’ll go back to hoping I run into someone I know or make a new friend on my aimless campus walks. I won’t let something as simple as a squirrel cause my eyes to water. I won’t cry, I can keep it together. I’m not as much of an outsider as I thought I was. Another one of the girls in my class refused to fall off of the chair the first time, and she had tears in her eyes when she fell yesterday. The situations where we have absolutely no clue what we are doing can be the best scenes we do. Our only job is to support the people on stage in whatever ways necessary just as we want to be supported by our fellow performers. I wish I could have hung out with people after class yesterday. My so-called friends don’t understand improv. I need to reevaluate my life and figure out who my real friends are and what’s really important. The only people who are really disgusting are the ones who think they have the right to tell you how to live your life. The ones who think they know everything there is to know about how to survive the world will be the first to fall once exposed to reality. My friend’s mother who will no longer let her daughter talk to me because of the show would lose her head if she knew half the things her daughter reads online. If that boy I used to call my friend doesn’t want to talk to me anymore, then it just makes my decision to shut him out of my life that much easier. My new friends might not be perfect, but they care that I’m doing okay as a person, not as some cookie-cutter, pristine little Catholic girl. An improv show with an unpredictable, likely PG-13 or worse rating means an improv show with a unpredictable, likely PG-13 or worse rating. I’m going to survive college, but I don’t know if I can say the same for those so-called friends. I don’t have to be fake or over-exaggerate any aspect of my personality when I’m around my college friends. They cared enough to talk with me for an hour to make sure I was doing okay after those so-called friends caused a ton of unnecessary drama in my life. There won’t be any revenge, I’m just going to move on. I’m glad I didn’t say something stupid and burn bridges with the people in my class on the rough days. No matter what happens, theatre is just theatre and none of it is really real. The audience can’t screw you over and neither can your fellow improvisers, only you have the power to truly ruin your scene. IT’S NOT REALLY YOU UP THERE, IT’S A CHARACTER THAT DIES WHEN THE SHOW ENDS. Fake friends have no business telling you how to live your life based on something they saw in a fake character. I CAN DO THIS. I trusted my classmates the second they cared more about something that it was important to me than someone I had told some of my biggest secrets to. Improv gave me more friends than it took away. I will not hesitate. The only time one of them will ever let me fall is if it’s to save everyone else, and I’m okay with that and can trust them to make that decision. I proved that when I refused to let my own reflexes catch me at the last second. I will make myself trust them. I’m still a little nervous, and I think that’s still too much. I can be as goofy as I want and there’s no judgement, and that’s freedom. No one even glanced over when the freshman girl would shout “Bwoop!” or “Bwop!” because it was just a way to improve the situation. Trust is the only safety net there is in improv. My favorite person in the class skipped class yesterday because he had to go to a soccer game. I wish he could have there to see me fearlessly fall off the chair.

I went to see a little bit of that guy’s soccer game yesterday in between improv class and leaving for my great-grandmother’s house. I don’t know why I don’t feel any emotion over what’s happening with my great-grandmother. Today I noticed that her smile is missing a few teeth. If the legend about cardinals is true, I wonder who comes to visit me. I still need to get some beeswax. My great-grandmother used to love doing anything, especially craft projects, as long as it involved spending time with the ones she loved. I wonder if anyone ever thinks about Meghan, my miscarried older sister. I wonder what my great aunts and uncles will think of the clay hand cardinals. They might think it’s weird but just not know how to say the words. I don’t know what I’d do without my mom if she passes before I do. One of my great aunts, the youngest of my great-grandmother’s children, thinks her mom doesn’t understand the ramifications of the decision she made. Her stories are starting to get all jumbled up, with memories from things that happened in different decades all blending together. My great uncle didn’t help her up from her chair last night when she asked, he just walked past, and I thought she was going to cry. Her hands were so weak they barely left a mark in the wet clay. I hope they’ll still be able to make the cardinals. Someone in the family might appreciate them.

My mom thinks I’m mad at her way more often then I actually am, and that makes me sad. I get mad at my brother and my dad very easily, but rarely ever am actually mad at my mom. I wonder if she worried when we were doing the rock scramble. I thought she was going to fall and started crying while I was stopped next to the ledge, but I told her it was just the wind in my eyes and to be careful. I need to exercise more often. There needed to be a guard rail or something next to that ledge. I survived nearly having a severe panic attack on top of a mountain. Why is everything I find fun so dangerous? I don’t like going downhill on steep mountain trails because it hurts my legs even worse than uphill and it’s so much easier to trip. I need to find a way to relax other than just writing on this blog every night. I also need to stop crying so much.

Shortcomings, Machines, and South Africa

The Facts:

Today I got some graded work back from my English class and my midterm grade for improvisation. I received an A on my paper, which I was quite pleased with, at least until I glanced over at the girl sitting next to me to see what she was smiling about and saw that she got an A+. I have known her since I was a baby, and she’s always been one of the ditsy boy-crazy girly girls, yet she got a better grade than I did. I have very high standards for myself, perhaps too high, so I was extremely disappointed in myself. When I got home, I immediately went online to check my midterm grade. It was a B. There were no further details, nothing on what I needed to improve on, not even a percentage, just the letter. I have been working my tail off in that class. I wanted to quit after the first few weeks, but I stuck with it. I turned in a paper on a performance months before it was due. I got all of my theatre tech hours done months before they were due. I accepted every ounce of criticism I got, took it to heart,  applied it to future performances, and all I got was a B.

This evening, I went to a horticulture meeting at the orchard where I worked on Saturday. I got lots of compliments on how hard I worked and how efficient I was. One of my bosses even said I was like a machine. I got my first paycheck tonight, and I might be working again later this week. I love working there. The people there are so nice, I love being able to help the owners when they are completely swamped with crowds, and it’s awesome to be able to spend the days outdoors.

Yesterday, I posted a stream of consciousness piece titled “It’s Complicated”. In the moments leading up to that, I was trying to write a paper, but thinking about the main guy that piece is about was taking over my mind. I decided to sit down and type whatever came into my mind so that I would then be able to write my paper after a few minutes. It wasn’t some work of literary merit by any means, but I decided to post it because I try to be as honest as possible with my life on this page. In that post, I included the line “I’ve had this site for months and the only visitor so far has been me when I’m not logged in, so I think it’s safe to say I’m the only one here.” Today, I finally got my first visitor, and she (or he) was from South Africa. That was the piece s/he clicked on.  I hope s/he’ll come back and didn’t just leave once they saw that.

Stream of Consciousness:

Improv sucks. I was excited for college, and then improv happened. One of the other girls who was smarter than me in biology got a lower grade on her paper for English than I did. Maybe the world is just backwards today; the dumb are smart and the smart are dumb. I am too harsh on people. I’m even harder on myself. I had to check my midterm grade five times because I hoped there was a mistake, or at least some explanation that just hadn’t loaded yet. If someone dares to give me a bad grade on something, then I demand details why. I am trying as hard as I can and I don’t understand why that’s still not adequate. My friends there are the only reasons I will stay in that class. The professor was a jerk to us even in theatre tech. I GOT A FREAKING B AFTER PUTTING MY SCHEDULE, FRIENDSHIPS, AND MENTAL SANITY ON THE LINE FOR A STUPID IMPROV CLASS.

I loved this evening. I could have a solid, part-time job in a few months working with amazing people at a place I love. Someone finds me helpful enough to pay me and actually want me to come back. I can help out there, and at the 4-H office this week with their field trip programs. There are people who appreciate me for what I do. I get to do what I love; being outdoors and talking to people.

I don’t want to talk to that guy I wrote about yesterday. I don’t know where the snowball of things that went wrong started, but sometimes the only way to break a snowball is by putting up a barrier, and that’s precisely what I’m doing. I need to just let go of everything that happened yesterday and anything involving him. When I let go of it last night, even just for a few moments, I got the paper done. I want to keep getting better. I’ve been too honest with him, and I can’t trust him anymore. He could find this page one day and not even know that he’s the one this is about because the way I think could just be so foreign to him in a few years. On the contrary, maybe in a few years he’ll recognize exactly what I’m talking about, and this one safe-haven, this one outlet for all of my stress, won’t be safe anymore. I wish that person from South Africa left a comment, something I could build off of. Please don’t just leave if you see a single line you don’t like.

I have a friend in improv who cared enough to actually listen to why I was so worried about what my friends would think of the performance and all my troubles with that boy. I could excel in writing and finally be the best at something. It could also all just be a coincidence; an occurrence just for today never to be spoken of again. Was that professor just being as harsh on his students as I am on myself? There might not be an explanation, and I’ll just have to learn to accept that. The details may be on the website in other 24 hours time. I won’t be able to stop worrying about this. My friends and I left as soon as we had the chance to last Friday when we were working on theatre tech because that professor was being so rude. I have friends  in college a who just saw me as some little kid only a few weeks ago, and now consider me a friend. What if I belonged in that mental hospital?

When I get a job, every evening could be just like this evening. I could be relaxed and not have to worry, if only for a few hours out of each day. Three different field trip stations at the 4-H office are begging me to work there whatever days I can. There are kids who aspire to one day be like me. I could stop having headaches.

I’m not going to cave in and talk to that guy again like all the other times I’ve said I’m through. It doesn’t matter where it started, I need to end it before it hurts me even more. What happened yesterday might as well have happened months ago; it’s the same sort of stuff that happened then. My memories of him can’t ever be sentimental. He lied to me about numerous things, and those are just the things I know about. We’ll be strangers in a few years, we may even be strangers now. Yet somehow I’ll just be the one who hyper-analyzed every situation. I will never feel that my secrets are safe. Tell me something will turn out okay, or don’t, but tell me something.

Tears, Squirrels, and Flames

The Facts:

I had my first public improv performance today. It was awful. There’s this guy who I love (platonically) and he says he loves me, but when I say I love him, I truly mean I love him, and I think he means it the way a 6 year old says s/he loves ice cream. I was supposed to meet up with him before class, but then he bailed. The night before, he texted me and told me he would be there at 12:45, so I showed up early (I otherwise didn’t need to be there until 1:30) and waited. He showed up after the performance began.

In the time that I was walking around by myself when I should have been walking with him, I saw squirrels all over the place; on the ground, in the trees, in the Pergola, everywhere. I followed one and just stared at it for a few moments. It was the same color as one of my rabbits was. This rabbit was a chinchilla mini rex, and she died two days ago. I’m usually okay, but then I see squirrels, and I remember her. She was the same shade of gray, had the same eyes, and the same white underside. I’m crying now just as I’m writing this.

I wrote my paper on how I thought the performance went a little bit ago. I might have been too harsh on myself, but I wouldn’t know for sure because my friend won’t talk to me to let me know how he thought it went. My paper was briefly interrupted to watch a rocket launch.  A rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station was launched two hours ago. I could see the bright orange flames of the rocket from my house until it reached approximately 50 degrees on the horizon, at which point the first stage engine cut off.

Stream of Consciousness:

Inviting conservative Catholic homeschool families to a college improv performance was a bad idea. Loving that guy platonically was so much easier back when he was planning on becoming a priest. I know we could never be a couple though, we want different things from a relationship, and the two of us together just wouldn’t be healthy. He can’t even be consistent in plans over the course of a few hours. I just can’t believe I thought today would be any different from usual. It’s a  good thing I told him to be there at 1:40 when the room was unlocked, and not 2:00 when the performance began.

I still can’t believe that in addition to him bailing on me for walking around campus beforehand, no one from my class was available to hang out. I saw one guy from my class at the Pergola, but he said he just wanted to head back to his dorm. At least the campus is painted by nature in such amazing colors this time of year. I hope my other rabbit is doing okay; rabbits can literally die of loneliness. I hope she’s not a darker shade of depression blue than I am. The color blue is too awesome to be associated with depression, so normally I would say depression gray, but the deceased was gray. Even typing the word gray the two times in this paragraph has my eyes watering again.

Maybe I should have one of my friends from class look over my midterm paper. I don’t want them to think of me as weird though if they don’t like my writing style, how harsh I am on myself, what I liked about the show, etc.; they just started to like me. I wonder if that guy who loves me like a 6 year old loves pizza watched the rocket launch tonight. He launched rockets for fun in a 4-H club with me. The last time a rocket was launched from Wallops Island, I stood outside for two hours waiting only to watch it explode on a video on my mom’s iPad. I haven’t seen a practical rocket launch in years, and had completely forgotten how visible they are. Perhaps I should turn the computer off and get back to work, but I have more to say.

I love my friends who I invited to the performance, I really do. Loving them in of itself may be the real bad idea though, it makes a person more vulnerable. I still wonder why he wanted to become a priest, and why one day he just stopped. It’s not like he was in some amazing life changing relationship. Why did I ever expect he could be consistent in anything? He’s always late, and in the end just another selfish boy. What would he have thought if he saw my classmates and I warming up in the shop before the show?

This guy didn’t even stick around after the show. I didn’t see him beforehand, and I didn’t see him afterwards. He probably would have split the poles with me at the Pergola if he did walk around with me (at my college, there’s a superstition that if two or more people are walking around and walk on opposite sides of the poles holding up the Pergola’s ceiling (splitting the poles) they won’t be friends after graduation). My living rabbit is a beautiful mix of browns, with just the slightest hint of some gray fur; a color pattern known as castor. My best friend stops knowing the meaning of okay when he falls into depression, and he scares me. I am blue; loyal, sad, intelligent, confident and sincere. What is it like to be normal? Avoiding the word gray to avoid tears certainly is not.

It’s Complicated

I suck at writing stories. As you can probably guess, these stories are loosely based on my life and my friends’ lives. My life is kind of a mess. There’s this guy that I can’t get out of my head, and it sucks. He was going to become a priest, and everything was fine. It was the friendzone, but it was a comfortable spot to be in. Then he got a girlfriend, which he lied about, and then they broke up. He called me one day and told me he was done with the dream of being a priest and was currently single.

I don’t want to be in a relationship with this person. I love him, but not romantically. He’s my best friend (was?) and basically like an older brother to me. Today he came to my improv performance, and it was just awkward. The show became centered around pregnancy, prostitution, twerking, marriage and burritos. Any scene deviating from those five words was quickly and unfortunately forgotten.

There’s a really cute guy in my improv class, but he’s four years older than me. I think I’m going to die alone, and I don’t even know if I have a problem with that anymore. I’m trying to get better, but I’m not really. I know this doesn’t make sense to anyone except me, but I write because I need to hope that someone out there will find this crap and relate to it. I’ve had this site for months and the only visitor so far has been me when I’m not logged in, so I think it’s safe to say I’m the only one here.