Thursday, January 27, 2011

I swim for brighter days despite the absence of sun.

For thanksgiving this year, my family and I traveled over to Houston, Texas to visit my uncle and his family.  They are sailors and decided that they wanted us to experience sailing.  So, in 30 degree weather, 13 of us trekked down to the nearest body of water, hopped on a boat and went sailing.
It was a great experience.

Today, though, my dad told me some frightening news. 
This hasn't been the best year for our family.  There have been a lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs.

I'll just start from the beginning:
In September, everything was going great.  I was a normal teenager with normal teenager problems.  I pestered my parents for a car, I wanted new clothes, I hung out with my friends. 
One particularly boring afternoon, I came home from school and was pilfering through the kitchen for a snack when my dad told me news that made me stop dead in my tracks. 
He lost his job.

I think I was in shock.  I can't really remember.
While I knew that this wasn't the worst thing that could happen, I knew that with the economy, this was very bad.

He told me first, then my mom.
She sat on the couch, motionless, and stared at the wall for hours.  I lost track of time.

I didn't know how to react, really.  I was trying to keep a positive attitude.  I was thinking that now was his opportunity to make more money. 
I am so naive sometimes. 

This wouldn't be so bad if this hadn't happened seven years ago.  Seven years ago, he also lost his job.  Seven years ago is when we moved from where I grew up to here.  Seven years ago, my whole life changed.
I couldn't believe that only thing tying us to here was gone.  I had no clue what to expect. 
I didn't want my whole life to change again.  I'm about to be a senior.  Do you know how difficult that would be to move at this age?

There was talk of selling the house.  Downsizing. 
We were blessed that it never came to that point.

We went through three months of relentless and empty job searches. 
I was keeping hope, though. I kept faith that God would pull through.

Then, the night of the beauty review, he called me downstairs and with tears in his eyes told me that he got offered a good job. 
I cried. I thanked God. I cried some more.
I was so relieved. 

He would be taking a major pay cut, but we all expected that. 
He got this job right before thanksgiving.  We all felt like we had the most to give thanks for.

As our whole family gathered around the makeshift dinner table, we took turns reading a prayer about all we are thankful for.  When it came time for my dad to read, it said, "I am thankful for a job that provides."

Here came the tears again.
It was just one of those funny little things that God does to remind us of what He has given us.  What He brought us through.

I was so thankful that thanksgiving.  I am thankful today of what God continues to bless us with.

While we are so thankful that he got a job, the times are still hard.
The news I got today was that we probably will be selling our house.
I don't know why my dad decided to share this with me, but he also said that if sales don't pick up, He'd be out of another job here soon.

That scares the crap out of me.

I wish that I could be famous and make a lot of money.  I would give it all to them so they wouldn't have to worry about a thing.
They could put the three of us kids through college with ease and we could live the good life.
I would never miss that money.

This is a part of life, I guess.  Learning to roll with the punches. 
Sometimes, though, I feel like Evander Hollyfield and Mike Tyson is just not letting up, man.

Give me a break.

The reason for the tidbit about sailing at the beginning of this was because I can easily compare sailing to life.

You have to start out slow, then you can build and go faster, stronger.
Then, all of sudden you hear the worst noise and realize that the darn boat is stuck.
It literally won't move.  You have to lean, and turn, and lean, and turn to get that sucker out. 
It takes a lot of patience.
Then, it comes out, but you have to go slow becuase you don't want to get stuck again.
When you're in the clear, open water, you realize you can run.
When you run, it's like you're going faster than the world is spinning. 
You're flying through the water effortlessly.
But of course it doesn't last forever.
You slow down because you can see something in the distance.
You can't turn around because that's where you got stuck, so you have to keep sailing forward.
Then you start all over.  
You curse the wind, You fight, You pray for the wind.
It is the relentless cycle of life.
Until at the end you sail out for the last time, and never come back. 
It's blue skies, and clear sailing.

Life experiences.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you

"and you take a moment
promise me this
that you'll stand by me forever
but if God forbid fate step in

and force us into a goodbye
if you have children someday
when they point to the pictures
please tell them my name

tell them how the crowds went wild
tell them how I hope they shine"
-Taylor Swift

I think about my future sometimes.
I wonder who I'm gonna marry.
What my children will be like.

I wonder about the things I'll choose to tell them.

Will I tell them about the crazy things I did/do with my friends? 
I think so, when they're older.
I don't want them to think I'm a square.

I also don't want them to think that I don't understand what they are going through.
Because truthfully, I'm probably going through it all right now.

...Future me telling my children things about present me seems like light years away.

But when I do tell them things about me, I'll be sure to tell them that the crowds went wild.

I'll tell them the names.
And how I had the time of my life fighting dragons with them.

This is just how I was feeling today.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just a feeling..

I feel:  sad, put-together, forgotten, loved, angry, lethargic, nastalgic, hyper, stressed, depressed, strung-out, annoyed, happy.

I have felt all these things in my short life.  These are normal human emotions.
Many people feel like happiness is a destination:  that one day they'll have everything they dreamed of and be happy.

It isn't; you won't.
From the words of Julian from One Tree Hill:  "Happiness is a feeling, an emotion: not a destination."

Happiness is a feeling much like thirst or hunger.  It comes and goes.  It's okay to feel not great every now and then.
We are always waiting for that one thing (or things) to make us happy.  In my case it's that special someone, but happiness isn't going to find us one day and stay.
No one is ever happy all the time.
Things aren't going to make us happy.
We can have great things in our lives and still feel a little miserable.
Miserable is just feeling.
But so is happiness.  You can feel happy just like you feel mad, or sad.  It's just a feeling.

While happiness is not always the feeling you have, joy can be prevalent.
Joy and happiness are often confused as the same thing.  They aren't.
There have been many a day that I didn't feel the least bit happy, but I still had joy in my heart.
Joy is something that lives within you.  Something that is put there and stays.
It's that little voice that in the midst of a trial that is whispering that tomorrow will be brighter.

I'm here to say that the only reason for the joy in my heart is Jesus.
He put it there.  He gives me my hope.  He is the reason I have all that I have.

He gives me joy.
I hope that you can find the joy that I have in Jesus, too.

God bless.

Jesus Christ,
One Tree Hill, Julian Baker.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's cooler than finding money in my pocket.

Hello Fellow Bloggers.
It's been a while hasn't it?

I've been taken up in a whirlwind.
Don't worry though, I've been thinking about what to write about next.

I was inspired today in my Spanish class.
I decided to take a chance.  Do something that I've never done or even thought about until today.

Folks, I've decided to try out for our schools spring musical.
That's right.
It's the Wizard of Oz.  I'm going for Dorothy.

I figure it's perfect for me. I mean, I've been practicing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" since I was five.  I'm a singer and dancer.  It's begging me to try out.

It's like I had and epiphony in the middle of crowded room.  I realized that if I don't take a chance of looking like a fool, then I may not amount to much of anything in life.

Because that's what makes a good life, right?  Taking risks that may or may not work out.
If it doesn't work, one has an experience they can learn a lesson from.  But on the crazy chance that it does, one has something so beautiful.  Something that makes a life worth living.

I decided that I wouldn't care if my friends laughed at me.  (We aren't exactly the drama type..if there is that "type").  I decided that I don't care if I get the part or not, I tried.  That's always worth saying. That you tried.
But I'm thinking that if it does work, it would be the coolest feeling to have accomplished that.  To be the lead in the school musical as a rookie.  

I want my life to be filled with that cool feeling.  I want the experiences that I share to be unbelievable.

So, I'm adding this to my New Years Resolution. 
Take some crazy chances
Maybe even dumb chances.  I'm only young once, right?
I've got to have something to laugh with my kids about.

It's starting here and I plan to continue taking chances. 

I will not be afraid of people will say.  I've never really cared for what they had to say anyway.

I will not hold back words. 
I will not spend forever wondering, "what if?".
That is no way to live.

Some of you have been there, taken these risks, seen the beauty, while I am just starting on my journey. 
I'd love to hear.

"It's about a city of Emerald, a yellow-brick road."--Mrs. Williams, Spanish II.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Until next time...

I've been a little out of the blogging realm for the past few days.  I feel as if now would be a good time to catch back up.  Even if it is 4:40a.m. and any normal teen would be fast asleep.

The reason for the delay is because of the timely event of inclimate weather.
I had not gone to school three days since Christmas break and then they call off this WHOLE week of school.  How lucky can I get?
Raise the roof?

Sooo, needless to say, I've spent everyday frolicing with my friends in the snow and having clever little adventures. 
I've also had a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous.  We (my dance team) had our pictures professionally done today for a billboard in town.  That's right. We are State Champs.  Feels alright, friends, quite alright.

...Due to the mindless play I've been doing, I haven't had much time for thinking.
I think that's dandy because I think too much for a teenager anywhoo. 

I promise to be back on here with my nagging thoughts soon. 

To those of you who are forced to be working or schooling or whatever, make the best of it!
I'll be back in my regular schedule next week.

Until then...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

All is quiet in the world tonight..

I don't know if any of you have ever experienced the quietness of a snow fall, but it is unlike anything I've ever witnessed.

I just peeped my head out of my front door and saw that my entire slice of the world was covered with perfect white snow.
I stood there and wondered how anything could be going wrong at this moment in time. 
Every imperfection on the ground was neatly covered and it all looked so perfect.
All of the mundane sounds we hear everyday are muffled and silenced.  It feels like all is quiet in the world tonight.

..and yet, just this morning, I was sitting thinking to myself that things aren't fair. 

In church, the point of the lesson was to have faith.  It isn't always necessary to know how the end will turn out, or how you're going to get there, but you must have faith that God will see it through.

Our preacher really drove it home with this simple observation. He said, "I can bring myself to have faith that this chair, a chair, will hold me up. And yet, it's hard for people to have faith in God."

How true is that?  I mean we trust everyday things, the floor we walk on, our cars, airplanes, the beds we sleep in to perform the task they were made for.  Most of the time, we don't even give a second thought as to if it will do as we think it should. 
So as I was sitting there listening, I was thinking, yes! So true!

Then, no more than thirty minutes later, I was asking my mom about all these things.  Fretting.  Worrying.  Showing no faith.  Surely faith without actions are dead..

She then said something that made me shut up and think.  She said, "You know, Anna, we are having faith.  We're giving God time to come through before we go and get ahead of Him." 
That's gonna be a hard lesson for me to learn. 
So here it is: my resolution for 2011.  (About three weeks late. I know.)


Have Faith.
have faith.

When I feel like it's all falling apart, when I'm at the end of the rope, when I'm wondering how I'm going to make it through another day I'm going to have faith in the God who provides.

The God who has shown me time and time again who He is. 
The God who promised to never leave me nor forsake me.
I'm simply going to have faith in something bigger than myself.

I feel like this will be the best year yet..

Saturday, January 8, 2011

World spins madly on...

Sometimes, when I'm all alone, I think back to other times of my life.
Whether it be the first day of third grade, walking into the halls of highschool for the first time, the summer I fell in love, or the fall when it fell apart. All it takes is a song, or the feel of the sunshine, or a smell to snap me back to those times.

It's amazing to me how we remember things.  It only takes one rock to break the dam of memories and they all just come flooding back.  Before I know it, I could be rolling with laughter with my sister about our childhood, or sitting silently as cold nostalgia chills me. 

Memories are funny in the way they stick together.  They come and go together.  It's like they are encased in a dam.  It usually only takes one rock to break it.  When that happens, they all come flooding in.
Lately, I have been reminiscent of the past.  I have been having these random thoughts pop into my head.  That random thought is the rock that breaks the dam. 

Maybe it's because it's the same time as all those memories happened.  All I know is it's not the memories that make me laugh.  I haven't even been singing with the radio today (extremely rare occurance).
So why is it that I should let these memories dictate who I am today?

Is it because I haven't found someone to take the place or to make me feel the same?  Probably.
I'm learning to do things on my own, though.  Proving that I don't need the person who let me down so badly.  Saying to myself, and others that I can be independent. 

..but mostly not letting myself get hurt again.
It's easier to not love and not get hurt.  But with not loving comes not living.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.

For a good while, I forbade myself to think certain thoughts or remember things.  I was so afraid of those memories because of the pain they brought with them.  I lived a half life and I was a shell of a person.

As the days slowly ticked by, I became more and more human again.  Little by little.  I was letting me be me.  I stopped being so aftraid of all those memories because I realized they make me who I am. 

Somewhere along the way, I realized that no matter how badly my heart was broken, the world would continue to spin madly on.  

Point:  Don't be afraid of bad memories. Don't dwell on them, but don't fear them.  It's called the past for a reason.  We can be healed by the present.  We move on and the world seems  that it is how it should be. 

Sometimes the best ending of a love story is not the prince and princess riding off into the sunset, it's being able to move on.  Being able to love again. 

Inspiration:  "Making Plans" by Miranda Lambert.  Hence why a song can bring back memories.

End of a decade, start of an age

Todays is a tale of growing up.

We've all been there.  We know how it goes.  It's this inevitable part of life that you just can't shake.

I don't know about you guys, but growing up scares the pants off of me. 
I'm pretty good at being a kid.  I'd even go so far to say that I'm a professional kid.  It's all I've ever known.  I don't know if I'll ever get the hang of doing the "adult" thing. 

If my mom leaves me at home alone for too long, my diet consists of eating dry coco puffs and drinking milk out of the carton.  I don't think adults are allowed to do that..

Some people, in their lives, have been forced to grow up.  Whether they liked it or not.  A situation arose when they had to man(or woman) up and face it.  I've always admired those people.  I've looked at them and marveled at how strong they seemed to be. No matter what happened, they didn't flinch.  It's like they were saying, "Come on, throw something my way.  I've had worse." 

While I admired those individuals, I never wished it apon myself.  Or even my worst enemy.  I've never been forced to grow up.

My dad has always told me.  "Remember, I've been fifteen, but you've never been 54." 
I found it annoying when I was a child, but now that I'm a little bit older I appreciate it.  Even though he didn't mean for it to be, or maybe he did, it was kind of an invitation to ask for advice.

The dreams that I've had since I was a little thing, are no longer dreams.  They are presently becoming a reality. 
I literally thought this day would never come.  I've fantasized for so long how it would feel to dance in front of thousands of people at a college football game, or to even step onto a college campus.  Or to live on my own. 
And while this isn't the definition of growing up I described a few paragraphs ago, it's what growing up is to me. 

..and this is where you come in.  Some of you are grown, and some of you are at the same stage as me. 

Tell me how you feel, or felt, about growing up.  Tell me how it came apon you, how you handled it. 
For those of you who are grown, please reassure me and tell me that you are still growing up. 

Just give me some feedback.  Let me know what's on your mind.


"To you, everything's funny. You've got nothing to regret. I'd give all I have, honey, if you could stay like that. Ohh darling don't you ever grow up,don't you ever grow up. Just stay this little...Just stay this simple."

--Taylor Swift-Never Grow Up

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Smile for me, daddy..

I have one question for you:
Will you walk away when the flame gets hot or fight another day?

Would that be classified as two questions?  I don't care.

I'm not sure what to write about, I just know I need to write about something.  Get these thoughts that are keeping me up out of my head. 

The above question is one I've been asking myself lately.  Whether it be when Chemistry was kicking my butt, or when dance made me want to crawl in a hole, or when I felt like I just broke a heart I can't get back. 

What ever the scenario, whether you be young or old.  The situation serious or trivial.

Will you walk away when the flame gets hot?

We all have those days. You know what I'm talking about.  When it feels like the whole world is the jury and you are the poor sucker who relies on the opinion of them.  Days that reinforce what mama always told you: "life just 'aint fair".  Days that prove that there is an Us and Them.  Days that make you want to walk away.

It's easy to get sucked into a day like that.  It always starts in the morning and it seems to go downhill from there.  And it isn't even like a huge bad thing happened.  It's a string of events.  Less than satisfactory little things that just make the day suck.  It seems like when the world knows you're down, it kicks you.  Then just to be a little biznitch, it puts a neon sign on your forehead.  The world has a tendency of doing that.  Of being a monster.  It's us against them. 

My friends, the easy thing to say would be that there is nothing you can do about days like this, but in truth, there is.  You could opt to be the bigger man(or woman) and smile.  Go on.  Let the monster see you smile.  It terrifies people to see someone have hope that they don't have.  Hope to just smile when every thing around you is going bad and falling to pieces.  The world doesn't know what to do with that.  So, babe, just keep smiling.

And I have just one question for you:

What ever the scenario, whether you be young or old. The situation serious or trivial.
Will you walk away when the flame gets hot or will you fight another day? 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

never, never, never give up

If there is one thing I have learned, it's that quiters never win and winners never quit.
This proved true two weeks ago when my high school dance team earned a state championship title.
This was one of the most satisfying moments of my life knowing that all of our hard work paid off and we never quit or lost sight of our goal.
I loved sharing that with the thirteen other members of my dance team and the coaches whose determination helped get us there. It was a once in a lifetime feeling.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a man that isn't on my list of people to love.
"If you run you stand a chance of losing, but if you don't run you've already lost." - Barack Obama.

Every successful person interviewed talks about failure as a huge part of their success.  I used to be afraid of failure.  Terrified that I only had one chance to make it or break it, but as I go through life I find that is not true. 
Success without failure, I feel, isn't very well deserved.  In my experience, it feels so much better to have tasted the dirt and be thrown down before you get to the top. 
“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.”
– Booker T. Washington

I have crazy aspirations for my life. None of them are realistic, but realistic is boring.  I don't want my life to be boring.  I want it to be a life well lived because, after all, I only get one. 

Some of you,  whomever may be reading this, are probably wondering what a "young punk" like me is doing giving older wiser people advice.
I'm just taking advice that older, wiser people have given to me so that I don't make the same mistakes they did.
I figure it can't hurt.

I will leave you (again, whomever may be reading this) with this though provoking quote:

“Cultivate your desire for success to be greater than the fear of failure; Failure is merely a pitstop between where you stand and success. Failure allows you to learn the fastest; Failure inspires winners and defeats losers.”
– Fran Tarkenton

I hope this inspired you. Inspired you to not give up, or to not be afraid of failure, or to push the extra mile to be successful, or maybe just to follow me. :)

Whatever your journey, I hope it is a long and happy one.

God bless.