Wednesday, July 18, 2012

what is going on in my life

Well. Well. Weeeeeell. Weeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllll. Wouldn't you like to know.

On May 7th, I embarked on this road trip with two of my sisters and my mom and we drove around the Olympic Peninsula (a.k.a. vampire territory), down the Washington and Oregon Coast, inland to Ashland in Southern Oregon and then down the California coast, from Crescent City to Los Angeles. It took about two months to get to Southern California and then I took a two day train ride home with my friend who had joined us in San Francisco, leaving my famjam to head East and North and wherever the road continues to lead them (i.e. away from droughts and 100 degree weather).

Now I am back to Canada and to trees and the streets that I know. I'm living with my dad and The Cat and attempting to resume my brand of normalcy--with varying degrees of success. My work has yet to put me back on the schedule but I've dropped my resume off at the local bike shop and am hoping to intern there for a while and pick up some skills. Maybe make some friends? Wouldn't that be crazy.

I read quite a few books whilst on the road. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (I think that's the author, or something close to that) is reccommended as well as The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (which is non-fiction and lovely). I've only just finished Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (sequel to Finnikin of the Rock--excellent, excellent fantasy) and found myself lying in a park yesterday, pounding my fists on the ground and yelling "WHY?!?!!" But in a good way. I've now moved onto A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut which is totally brilliant. And I've gotten a bit carried away with the reading thing so let's move on.

On the topic of friends, since I got back two weeks ago, I've been making an effort to reconnect with friends I don't see a lot or haven't seen in a while (which is everyone considering I was away for two months) and enjoying the fruits of this labour immensely. Can I just say that people are generally awesome? Like, I know people are somewhat aware of that but I don't think we give it enough thought. People are really, really cool--in their uniqueness and individuality and their interests and quirks. I lovelovelove my close friend group but branching out and connecting with different people has been so refreshing and wonderful. Since my return home, I've watched Doctor Who with someone I hadn't seen in a year and eaten the most amazing peach with someone I practically grew up with. On Saturday, I hung out with a friend I met online through school and she printed off my full star chart and we bonded over Sherlock and it was perfect. Then, of course, a week ago, I got turned away from a concert with three of my closest friends and ended up eating gelato and climbing a rope tower at a playground*.

What I'm attempting to get at is that variety is pretty freaking great. I'm unbelievably grateful and priviledged to have such awesome people to spend time--and write blogs--with. You're all excellent company and I thank you for merely existing.

*which is what I reccommend to anyone who gets turned away from something for being too young--embrace your youthfulness and go play at the park!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let's talk about friends

What's weird to me is less that I was 14 (almost 15) when I met all y'all but that I was a high school freshman (albeit a second-semester freshman) when I met all y'all. I was a baby! A child. A young teenager!*

(Side note about teenage girls: I long for the day when we all cease to use "teenage girl" (also: "teenager") (also: "youths") as an insult. Okay, fine, I've never had to live with a person younger than I, and when my sister was teenaged, I thought she was too cool to truly despise adolescents, but you know what? I like teenagers. I like teenage girls! I think they're awesome. At the very least I think they are just as wonderful and just as flawed as any other demographic, so stop yo' hate, greater population of the world.) (Addendum to side note: I don't feel like a teenage girl anymore. I know I am, but "teenager" to me invokes the 14-17 crowd. From this side of adulthood, I stand with the 13 year olds in hearing high schoolers' silent cry: Okay, fine, technically we'll include you in our demographic, but us real teenagers know you're Out, or yet to be In.)

And now I've graduated from high school (it's been a long hiatus, not much has happened, just became an official ex-student in the public school system in which I've been enrolled since the age of 5, just moving to the absolute opposite side of the continent in two months, no big) and about to be a freshman again and here we are. Wow. Weird. Millions of other people do the same thing, the whole graduating-from-high-school thing (Rena, it's your turn next! What what!), and it doesn't feel revolutionary, I'm sort of over the novelty of it, but I feel I ought to mention it. For posterity? I only recently learned that "for posterity" actually has, like, a meaning? that renders it nonsensical in several different situations.  The learnin' never stops.

Anyway, the nostalgia feels relevant not only because I've abandoned this special corner of the internet for way too long but because there's a post that I posted over on the Ning, not during Beda #1 but in August 2010 (wow, I was almost in 11th grade! I definitely thought it was earlier than that!) that's been floating around in my mind lately:

"I start thinking about my closest friends and how I'm not even THAT close to them. [...] I just don't have that best-friendy connection with them. Do you know what I'm talking about? That person that you're supposed to share a brain with; the person that laughs at all your jokes, whatever. I mentally go through my past and present friends and think, nope, nope, nope, I don't know anybody who qualifies for that. It's like there's a block between me and society. [...] Ironically, I'm not that close to the person (other than my family) that I feel the most comfortable around. Like, when we see each other it's like we're best friends, but we rarely talk that much outside of our shared time together and even though we get on really well, I don't actually know them very well at all, if that makes sense."
Somebody told me in the comments of that post that they found their best friends in junior year of high school, and I think I assumed that wouldn't happen to me. And this was only two years ago, right? But guys, over those two years -- really, especially, over this past year, though it feels much longer -- I've become better friends with people than I ever thought I could.  Like, the person I was talking about in that post is actually one of my best friends now, for serious. Do you know how amazing and novel it is to have a friend -- and several more who come close -- around whom I feel completely, totally, effortlessly comfortable? Good-amazing and also awestruck-amazing.  Maybe it's a testament to how much more comfortable I've become with myself over this past year. Maybe it's a testament to opening up more and trusting people around you to stay calm enough to get to know you better.  All I know is that my two closest friends make me laugh more and understand me better than and make me feel better than anybody else I know. All I know is that when other friends ask me to go out, I hardly ever turn them down in favor of moping around by myself anymore.  Guys, I made so many friends senior year, both my age and younger. Most of them weren't close friends; most of them I'm not going to keep in touch with -- I know that -- but that's okay; we were never going to be friends for life. All that mattered was that they made the time we spent together in the place we were infinitely more entertaining.

It's just such a good feeling. I won't pretend like I'm 100% happy with myself or that I enjoyed every moment of high school or anything, but man, I went from being completely miserable in June 2011 to being so blissfully grateful that I went to the school I did with the people I did by graduation in June 2012. It's ridiculous.  Be friends with people, guys, it's the best.

Speaking of friends, how awesome is it that you guys still make this blog feel as personal and welcoming as it ever did, even after a two month absence (ahem, 7 month absence on my part, oops)? You guys give me such a good feeling, too. Thanks for sticking with me throughout all of my high school years (!) and, I hope, throughout a substantial amount of my university years and whatever may lurk beyond that.

(I think I might do an update blog later this week. A bulleted list feels in order but doesn't feel appropriate to this post. Prepare yourselves (or not, whatever, it's your life).)

* Um, speaking of the flaws of youth, or whatever, I've been considering deleting just a couple of older posts of mine? All the embarrassing-thoughts-of-an-angsty-sixteen-year-old posts are free to humiliate me as much as they like, but I feel like there are just one or two that are straight-up ignorant that I don't really want lurking around the internet because, you know, people tend to think that what you thought two years ago is indefensibly what you think now.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is it strange to anyone else that 2009 was three years ago?

And that three (at least) years of your life is documented on the internet and preserved for eternity?

Our magnificent internet journey of magic and friendship began in April, 2009. (Remember when? Oh god, the memories.) This was, for me, the beginning of the end of Not a Good Time in My Life Generally. (TM, generic brand name: middle school) On MJ's application, I fudged my age by a month and got grouped with you lovely people.

Some of my blog posts from that year (here and on the Ning) literally make me cringe. Silly 14 year old self. I'm so much older than that now.

The thing is, when I check this blog in another three years (and who knows where it'll be post-wise, but it will still be the same collection of pixels attached to this URL), I'll end up shaking my head wistfully at my silly 17 year old self. C'est la vie. You're never any older than you are in the present, or whatever the saying is. Although hopefully I won't loaf around on the internet when I'm 20 as much as I do now.

And with that sentence, I could begin a whole slew of excuses why I've been 33% responsible for letting this blog fall into a hiatus. I could, but I won't. I haven't blogged here for almost 4 months (and even that was cross-posted from Tumblr. . .), and that's my own fault. Regardless of how (in)frequently I blog, though, it IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER means I value your friendship less and/or want to stop talking to you. Got that? Lessthanthree 5eva etc., other internet memes.

Tumblr's fine, for casual, usually image-based glimpses into each other's minds, and maybe it's a testament to the strength of this particular internet-centric friendship that we no longer feel obligated to devote ourselves to extended monologues about our lives. But it's still nice. It's nice to have this space to come back to. So yes, if you guys are up to it, I will try to frequent this conversation more as well.

Standard updates about my life and such:

This entire summer has so far been busy chunks interspersed with lazy chunks. The upcoming ( < two weeks) chunk promises to be VERY BUSY, featuring my mom and I pinging around most of the midwest looking at colleges, about which my anxiety has turned into slight excitement. (Maybe you've just caught me on a good day. . .)

So, a question (remember when we used to end with questions?) :

What's going on in your life?

I want to see The Oh Wells play

I'm going to quickly acknowledge the two month gap and move on because it makes me a little sad. What has become of our once lively BEDA inspired blog? Well, this, and now it will become something else, evolve into something beautiful and wonderful or maybe it will continue to be hauntingly vacant and both of those things are okay! What do you want to happen? Let's talk about it! And now on with my blog post.

Last Wednesday night, I went into Vancouver with some friends to see a favourite local band of mine. My introduction to them took place at a intimate Earth Day event they played at. I was there with my mom and fell in love with their gorgeous harmonies, clever lyrics (referencing Harry Potter in two different songs didn't hurt my opinion of them) and badass harnessing of the ukulele.

That Earth Day show would have been three years ago and I've been listening to their music and trying to follow their performances ever since. Unfortunately, actually seeing them play is not as easy as I would like. Last Wednesday was the fourth time I tried to see them play and could not--for varying reasons. The first time, their bass player was ill. The next incident, the time they wrote on their website was three hours after their scheduled set and I arrived to an empty coffeehouse. This week we couldn't get in because the show was taking place a bar, though the band website clearly specified the show as all ages.

As we walked away from the venue, down the sidewalk and onto the next adventure, I turned to my friends, all but disillusioned. What does it say about me, I said, that I keep coming back for more? No matter how many shows they don't perform, no matter how many times I've gone home disappointed, I still show up at the next one--handing over my heart, daring them to break it. Hoping this time will be different, that they'll play and it'll make all their absences worthwhile?

One of my friends said simply, "It says you want to see them play."