Monthly Archives: November 2010

Dear Life, I’m 18. That’s kind of creepy.

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I was one of those girls who would look up to those 18, 19 and 20-year-olds and think, “Wow, they’re old!” “They can do so many cool things now!” “I wonder what I’ll be able to do when I’m that age?” “Man, they have so much freedom to do stuff!” “They can make their own choices! I want to make my own choices about my life!” … once again, that’s little girl fantasy kicking in and ignoring reality.

Yesterday was my 18th birthday. I really wanted to do something epic to kick off my becoming an adult. I wrote a list of things (my bucket list, I now call it):

1) Fly to Australia

2) See the ocean – Pacific or Atlantic – for the first time

3) Go to a Broadway show

… yeah,  that list is not by any means exhaustive. But, of course, those are currently not possible for me to do. So I settled for a 9am chiropractor appointment, shopping with mom till 3:30, eating lunch with her at my dad’s work (mmm, a delicious salad and scrumptious blueberry muffin!), coming home and hanging out with my best friend for a little while, helping an elderly neighbor friend, then driving off with my older sister and younger brother to see the amazing movie Inception. It wasn’t earth-shattering, or mind-boggling, but it was still fun.

The next thing on my bucket list is to stargaze from my roof. You may be thinking that that sounds lame, but there are really only two ways to get to our roof: Climb on to a van parked in the driveway and try and hoist ourselves up, or easily crawl through my parents’ bedroom window. Neither of which my parents allowed me to do, and something which I’ve wanted to do for quite a few years now.

I didn’t get around to it yesterday. I want to do it with friends (who wants to stargaze on the roof by themselves?). And I couldn’t do it with friends because I couldn’t throw a birthday party this week because Thanksgiving dominates my birthday week. My parents didn’t plan this one out very well 😉 It’s NO fun having one’s birthday during Thanksgiving week. No parties, pies instead of birthday cakes… Haha. Just kidding. My little brother, Jake (whose birthday is today! : ) and I still have parties; they’re just week/s afterwards. And we do make our own cakes – we’re not forced to shove a candle in a pie (although a couple of times my brothers do for some reason want a pie for their birthday, and they did shove candles on top of those).

Hmm. I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel like an adult. I still feel 17. I wonder what I’ll feel like on my 23rd – my golden – birthday? Hopefully amazing! And hopefully I’ll do something waayy out there! Like bungee jumping, sky diving, unicycling down a mountain… JOKES. Those are dumb. I’d so something more like flying to Australia, or traveling to the ocean, or seeing a Broadway in London…


A Blessed Sore Throat?

I have a sore throat. Well, technically it’s not the standard sore throat. But literally, I have a sore. ON my throat. On my left tonsil, to be precise. The perfectly circular, tiny white dot is way more than annoying; it’s the sole reason I’m sneaking onto my sister’s laptop at 11:32PM to type up these seemingly unending random thoughts.

However, I was reflecting on the concept of one’s having a sore throat. Could it not be viewed as a blessing along side [what certainly seems like!] a curse? Consider this with me. We are living in the 21st century, where people are used to having their way NOW, and speaking what’s on their mind NOW, and having no patience at all for anything.

I think I shall come up with an example. Let us suppose there is this girl, a seventeen-year-old girl, going on eighteen.Let us also suppose she is healthy enough, meaning no sinuses are clogged up, no unusual pressure headaches are occurring, and her ears do not hurt with built-up wax (sounds disgusting, I know). Suppose further that she is the typical 21st century teenager – loud spoken most times, does not think through her thoughts carefully and rationally before voicing them, and informs her siblings her opinion even when it does not uplift or encourage them (geesh that sounds like STAR 88.3 or something). And then one morning, this girl randomly wakes up with a tender sore nestled in her throat.

Her day is spent quietly working on her school, whispering when obligated to speak her opinion, and all in all her mouth stays shut. She wonders at one point, Cannot a sore throat force on to become more humble? If one’s throat is truly sore, one wishes not to talk. For the girl, that eliminates 1) unnecessary and unthoughtful comments, 2) butting into other people’s business, and 3) singing and annoying siblings who are trying to finish their homework. (Okay, so that last point isn’t so major, but it still works.) Do you understand now how a sore throat could be a good thing? It all depends on how one looks at it.

So instead of viewing my predicament as a “dang-it, hurry-up-and-heal-already” sort of dilemma, I am trying to learn from this rare experience by practicing “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Hope this post encouraged you : )

The Magic Hour

Though 23 is and shall forever remain my favorite number, I have come to the thoughtful conclusion that 12 is the Magic Number. (Or a magic number, anyway.) For the clock struck midnight warning Cinderella

to flee her Prince and hurry home. Without the number 12 we would not have a Dozen. (Baker’s Dozen does not count.) A boy or girl enters the pre-teen world at the age of 12. Annnd… 12:00PM stares me in the face most nights as I’m snuggled in bed reading, or at the table cutting and pasting scrapbook paraphernalia together, or sneaking on to the computer to type up random posts such as this.

There have got to be other reasons why the number 12 is significant. 12 makes up half the hours of the day? The 12 Days of Christmas? Hmmm… can you think of any? Let me know 🙂

How Sweet It Is

Head-banging, screamo music blares from my earphones, and I barely discern Mom banging on my door. Yanking the headphones off my head and tumbling out of bed I manage to crawl to the door but I don’t unlock it.

“Yes?” I mumble, wiping the sleep out of green eyes and trying hard to wake myself up.

“William Robert! Unlock this door. How many times have I told you not to lock any door but the bathroom and the front door?”

My eyes close before I can roll them and I mutter, “A perfect Saturday morning wasted on locking lectures.” I grudgingly give in and more audibly say, “Fine, Mom, but I’m not dressed.”

“Nice try. Be downstairs in five minutes.” I hear her footsteps fade as she descends the stairs and, putting my hands behind my head, I roll back into bed. What can she want to talk about at eight-thirty in the morning on a weekend? Sighing, I jerk a pair of jeans over my boxers and then pull a green t-shirt over my head. I don’t know if we’ll be going anywhere or not but I won’t put socks or shoes on.

Pushing my iPod and earbuds into my pocket I slam my door closed and slide down our stairwell banister and right into the kitchen. I find Mom washing last night’s dishes and my older brother, Chris, sitting at the table drinking coffee and working on his latest sketch.

Glancing up for a moment he says, “Good morning.”

I blink once and correct him. “Bad. Bad morning is more like it.” And then I fall into the kitchen chair closest to me. What the heck am I doing up this early? I can’t function; can’t eat; can’t talk; can’t –

“I woke you up because we’re going over to say hello to new neighbors.” As if Mom’s waking me up is annoying enough, she has to go and read my mind.

I almost roll my eyes into the back of my head. Say hello? To new neighbors? Yeah, right. I still can’t believe I woke up from the perfect dream of a tropical paradise, my favorite music blaring, surfboarding on the beach – just to sound like a preschooler holding my mommy’s hand when I walk up to some stupid neighbor’s door and chirp, “Hi-ya! My name’s Billy!”

“Mom, you’ve got to be kidding –” I turn around to face her but the look she throws me is one that conveys, “If you argue with me you’re grounded for the rest of your life.” I unwillingly shut up.

Ten minutes later I find myself blatantly counting the cracks in the sidewalk as I shuffle down the street beside Mom. We reach a white house with dark blue shutters and a porch swing. Mom knocks on the door while I wish I was back in bed, drowning out the rest of the world with my music, flipping through my sports magazine –

The door shudders open. I glance at the person standing in front of us and back to the ground, jerking my head up for a double take. She is a few inches shorter than I, with red-brown hair flowing down to her shoulders. Dark blue jeans, a yellow American Eagle shirt, and reddish velvet coat outfit her. The coat looks silly and is too big for her.

As soon as Mom introduces herself the girl calls, “Mom, neighbors!” and she steps back, inviting us in. We follow her into their living room; it feels homely enough. The walls are painted a dark orange with vivid colored paintings hanging on them. A sofa and huge armchair sit in the middle of a room, both of them a burnt orange-brown. The carpet is fuzzy; my first impulse is to step out of my sandals and feel it between my toes.

Just then a lady who looks to be about thirty strolls into the room. A long skirt swishes around her ankles, covered with indiscernible designs and patterns. A dark purple shirt sits comfortably around her middle and arms, and her hair, wound into a loose bun, is the same color as her daughter’s.

She holds out her hand, first to my mom and then to me, saying, “Hello, I’m Alex Henderson and this is my daughter, Sofia.”

Sofia doesn’t shake our hands. I see the tiniest smile curl at the corners of her mouth; I suppose that’s all the greeting we’ll get. She looks like an artist, a bookworm, and a writer all rolled in one. I shake my head and try to stop my brain from processing any more stupid thoughts.

“I’m Lilly Prat, and this is my sixteen-year-old, William.”

“Will,” I mutter, thrusting my hands into my front pockets and turning my attention to the paintings. While Mom and Alex talk I circle the room, examining each of the pictures and wondering who the artist is. Turning around suddenly, I almost trip over Sofia. “Sorry,” I mumble, and looking everywhere but at her I ask, “Who did all these?”

“Mom and I,” is the short reply, but she continues. “Dad always loved art but no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t adopt the knack of it. Then he met my mom…” She pauses and I risk glancing at her. The expression on her face looks uncertain, yet also hard and guarded, as if she doesn’t know if she should tell me the rest.

No matter. I’m not really that interested. “Well, they’re cool.” We both stand there awkwardly until I change the subject by jerking my finger at her idiotically and asking, “Why do you wear that big jacket?”

Sofia blushes, an action that surprises me. Already she seems to me more like the kind of girl to shoot back a reply that will catch me off-guard, rather than the blushing-type. I wonder if she’ll answer my question, and prepare to change the subject once more but stop when her expression changes slightly.

In a calmer and quieter voice she does reply. “It was my dad’s. He used to wear it when he wrote his books.” She stops, and that looks washes over her face again. This time, however, instead of stopping and turning red she continues, “I was writing before you came here; wearing it makes me feel closer to him. And,” she smiles now, sheepishly, “I feel like an aspiring writer when I have it on.”

So I am right. She is an artist, a writer, and obviously a reader because all writers have to read what they write and get ideas from other stories and writers. At least, I assume they do, but I don’t write, so I don’t know.

She doesn’t say anything else on the subject so I ask instead from where she’d moved. “Montana,” she replies. This time, the door opens a bit wider, and we talk about picturesque sights – the towering mountains, the rolling hills, the glassy lakes. All too soon Mom says it is time to go, and we leave with the promise to Alex that we visit again, sometime soon. As we walk home I don’t count the cracks in the sidewalk; rather I wonder if I have found a friend in this strange new neighbor girl.