No place I’d rather be

Screenshot_2015-04-21-13-04-23I stared out the window, at the same time paying attention to the vibrant chatter of my sister and best friends, the twins Megan and Kayla. The four of us rode in their small white car on the highway circling round the Puget Sound to a small town across the Sound from Seattle. Towering trees filled the landscape and hills dominated the vista. In the far distance I could distinguish a ridge of white-tipped mountains. Adrenaline surged through each of us, the combined joy of being together at last, and the prospect of an evening on our own, going out to eat and then hanging out to giggle about attractive guys and a miscellany of other subjects. How different I felt from the past few visits, the past few years of estrangement and distance and scattered communication. Even stranger it seemed that here we were, on our own, spending time together in Seattle, whereas a few years ago we had said goodbye, on the cusp of our high-school years. Now we were juniors in high school, applying to our choice universities and preparing to step into the wide world. The radio boomed the song, “Rather Be”, and the lyrics couldn’t have been more fitting.

With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay
Strolling so casually
We’re different and the same, gave you another name
Switch up the batteries

 

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can’t shame me
When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be

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Left to right: Megan, me, my sister Abigail, and Kayla
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Mount Rainier

There’s no place I’d rather be . . . those words echoed in my mind as I reflected on how much this time together meant. True, my sister Abby and I lived in Texas. Our respective colleges are located in Texas, while Megan and Kayla live in Washington, and plan on attending universities there. Honestly, I couldn’t, and still can’t, help but think how different it all is. Before, I would have balked against change, I would have hung back and tried to escape in my head, unwilling to face the reality of having to say goodbye after every visit with these dear friends. I would rather push them away instead of embracing the time we could spend with them. Sad, but true. And then the denial would set in. It’s fine that we no longer live close to each other. I don’t really fit with them as close friends. It’s better like this. We’re too different. Different kinds of lives, friends, interests—everything! Those processing sessions always ended with a shrug and a ‘whatever.’ I had developed a way to cope with the major change, when my best friends since the age of five had moved in eighth grade to the Northwest. It seemed easier than dealing with the pain. Sure, we’ve shared in traumatic physical pain—Megan and I had been in a terrifying boat accident when we were six. The four of us will always remember that harrowing time, and even when I tried to push away, those memories of the accident and how we came out of it together with our families united will never leave

So, we cruised down the highway towards the small coastal town with small shops and restaurants and neighborhoods. We walked into a Mexican restaurant, laughing and talking rapturously. And, I think it really began to hit me how much I loved it, how much I loved us together. True, the four of us exhibit vividly unique personalities. And that’s what makes the four of us so magnetic, it’s how we click. And the more I embrace this fact, the more I can appreciate how enjoyable these visits can be.

Friendship is not about how many interests two people share in common—rather, it is a rich background of shared experiences and emotions.

Piquant

Those things that amplify the harmonious strains of life, when the cacophony threatens to drown the beauty out . . . oh, how I cherish them, and sometimes I undervalue them. Sometimes they are small things, minute details which prick me as precisely as a needle, and send “feels” right along through me, daring me to smile in response. There are more significant things, like deepening a friendship, realizing a dream, figuring out a part of your future . . . these all create that wondrous rhythm, and I thank God it all. I’ll be flying over the asphalt of my neighborhood road, my ponytail whipping out behind, only my toes touching the ground lightly. I’ll fling my head back and see the brilliance of the sky, an ocean poised above earth, sort of like in that movie Upside Down. And I’ll laugh, as I fly, spreading out my arms and gratitude swelling up. I live for those moments, because sometimes there are moments of despair, shadow, a dread penumbra that threatens, a grimacing facade that could shatter my life, if I let it. Sometimes I wear the grimacing facade, and let it define me. Sometimes the dreams and future alarm me, for they haven’t been unsheathed yet, and the Unknown evokes discomfort in me. It always has.

Anyways. Here are those brilliant bits of life that as a whole comprise a masterpiece . . .

-wearing my best-friend-since-childhood’s bracelet that she sent to me from Hawaii, to the ACT test and Prom

Purchasing an expensively professional art tablet; a cintiq 13HD (ohhhh my goodness, I could implode with excitement, just thinking about it)

-Wearing my University of Dallas T-shirt, because it is a reminder of where my road is headed for college years

-Watching Wives and Daughters for a second time with my sister, grandma, and mom, and falling in love with the magnificent loveliness of it all over again, catching details that I missed the first time.:)

-Attending the huge homeschool prom in Dallas, the theme of it being “Journey through Literature” (can I just say . . . YESSS!)

-Taking the kids I nanny to the park in their neighborhood, which included hurrying down the sidewalk with the two little girls while pushing an adorable baby in his stroller. I’m so blessed to take care of the darlins!

-my wonderful friend bring Starbucks over to my house, because I didn’t have a car to drive to meet her at the actual Starbucks location. It made my day, and we spent several hours talking about everything (blogging, prom, fooood, guys ^.^)

-Singing along in a British accent to “Pompeii” by Bastille on the way home from work, and laughing as I remember this tumblr post (paraphrased): “When I get the results for my test, the lyrics from “Pompeii” run through my head–But if you close your eyes . . . .HOW AM I GOING TO BE AN OPTIMIST ABOUT THIS?”) when it comes to math and science, this is way too true. *sigh*

-Getting my new Dell laptop (with a touchscreen, powerful drive, et cetera) in the mail. I’m terribly impatient, so when it came I almost screamed. I am still on the verge of screaming, as I use it. Well, maybe not screaming. Probably I’ll just break down and start caressing it, hissing, “my preciousss” (P.S. I’m in my bedroom ALONE, so it wouldn’t matter #introvertedweirdness)

-Drinking hot chocolate, even though it is wayy too hot here in Texas. 80 degrees. Ugh.

-Drinking the said hot chocolate with marshmallows, m&m’s melted in the bottom of the huge mug. Mmmmm . . .

-Listening to the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney) soundtrack. It is one of my absolute favorites, especially for the music. Now I need to read the book, although it is heartbreaking fact that the book is hugely tragic. Gah.

-Working on an illustration for my art class

-Scanning Pinterest, Tumblr, and Deviantart, savoring each masterful work created by the artists I admire considerably.

-Planning to sign up for a Digital Media/Animation camp at the Art Institute of Dallas for their Summer Studio high-school courses.

-Writing further scenes for my story

-Coming up with a new idea for a historical story

A Riddle

e9f7d8c2ca8ba1f18b3e67910cb50dfdFor a recent assignment in literature, I was supposed to write a riddle inspired by those given in Jane Austen’s Emma (namely Mr. Elton’s significant one, which was intended to mean Courtship). I had a great deal of fun with it. This riddle is supposed to be from a studious guy to a girl he admires. I was grinning stupidly the whole time I wrote it, because I was thinking, “Gee, why can’t a guy send this to me?” I tend to romanticize, ya know. So do forgive this indulgence in . . . uh . . . sentimentality. It has a lame rhyme, but oh well.

 

 

{Getting to know . . . you}

 

Please engage your mind to study

A most delicate subject

Do not permit irrational thought to muddy

A future prospect, to not object!

 

For I am the scholar,

You my tutor, and each time you speak

You illuminate, your humor choler

So persuasive, you draw me to seek

 

Knowledge of yours, which I could but know

If I opened you, read you as

A book, to be memorized, slow

And steady. The scholar must be amorous!