Saturday, January 14, 2017

Spicy Pancakes & Oatmeal Cookies

January 14th, 2017

I suck at cooking. I cannot cook for the life of me. I once tried to make fried rice. Yeah. . . . I ended up putting in Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce, and I cooked it too long so it was gummy. I can follow a recipe kinda okay, but never leave me to my own devices. I can, however, bake and cook breakfast foods. That I can do.

So yesterday I was getting hungry a little after lunch time (I never really eat lunch). I decided that I was going to make pancakes. I actually don't mind making pancakes. They're yummy and filling and has just the right amount of sweetness on their own. Usually I make homemade pancakes, but my mom bought pancakes where all you really had to do was put the right amount of the flour (that was mixed with all the other ingredients) in the bowl and add water. Easy! I wasn't too fond of that, but I thought it would be quicker than if I made it homemade.

I was about to open the box when my mom came in and said that there was already one open. She searched through the cabinets and found a ziplock bag with the same flour. There wasn't quite enough of that, so I ended up opening the other box anyway. I noticed that the flour from the bag and the four from the box were slightly different shades, but I just figured that the one that was opened first wasn't whole wheat while the new one was. But then after I mixed it all up, it looked and smelled odd. There were specks that looked like seasonings or something else and it smelled like something that I couldn't quite place. I thought that something may have gotten into it, but there were no holes in the bag or the box.

At my mom's urging, I made them anyway (I honestly just wanted to chunk it and make my homemade pancakes). I made one and tasted it. It was weird. It was a pancake for sure, but there was something about it that kind of made me want to spit it out. The aftertaste tasted like the batter looked: seasoned.

I did not want it. It tasted gross. My mom said that she would eat them, so I stuffed 14-16 pancakes into three and gave them to my mom (she ate half of one before she threw it away). So while I was searching for the self-rising flour to make my good pancakes, I found this package of darker flour that looked strangely like the one I had opened from the new box. I took it out of the cabinet and held it up to my mom and said, "Isn't this that pancake mix?" She had this look on her face that very clearly said "Oh."

I was freaking out over what I had actually put in the pancakes when my older sister realized. Turns out, her and my younger sister had made chicken nuggets some time ago and that was the heavily seasoned flour they used to bread it. That's what we put in the pancakes. Freaking seasoned, spicy flour. It was making a lot more sense (my mom was throwing away the pancakes while we were laughing about it. Not because she knew what was in it, but because it tasted bad).

I made my homemade pancakes and they were good. They were originally all for me, but I gave my younger sister two. Not that I really wanted to. I was perfectly content with eating a plate of six thick, buttery pancakes lightly glazed with honey.

I can't cook, but I like me some breakfast food.

 Later that day I made oatmeal cookies for just me and my older sister while the rest of my family was out. I can't remember how many I ate, but it was good. My older sister made chicken and paremesan spaghetti. I felt bloated and stuffed by the end of the day, but do I regret it? Nope! I finally got some writing done while I snuggled under my penguin blanket, so yesterday was pretty good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The People You Love The Most Hurts You The Most

January 11th, 2017

After a long time of dealing with certain things and keeping all your emotions about it tucked inside and hidden away, it takes its toll on you and you just can't handle it anymore. There are many things like that; insecurity, anxiety, bullying, addictions, abusive relationships, etc. There are just those things that everyone had, has, or will have in their life, and it's more than likely that there will be multiple of those things in the different stages of your life. The biggest one for me right now is the words that my parents say to me.

I love my parents, I really do. They have sacrificed so much time and money and everything for me. They have shown me so much love and affection over the course of my life. They are incredible people whom I love, and I know that they love me, too. But humans tend to hurt the people they love the most. Sometimes it's because they're close to those people so things slip easier, and sometimes it's for other, more personal reasons. Either way, the people you're closest to are the ones you are more likely to hurt. I find this to be true as I face the pain and difficulties of being verbally abused by my parents.

They don't mean to do it. If they knew just how much the words affected me (affect? Effect? It doesn't matter how many articles I read, it's still troubling), they would try to stop. They would encourage me to finish the things they told me to do rather than constantly calling me lazy. They would ask me not to do something again rather than calling me retarded. They would not go on and on about how they should just try again (it's a half-joking, half-serious thing). They would try to understand the things I try to tell them rather than calling me rebellious. They would not compare my accomplishments (or lack thereof) to my sister's. They would be careful. If they truly understood how much it hurts me. If they knew.

I've talked to my older sister about this. I've told her about how I feel about it and what it does to my mind, and she understands because she feels it, too. She's been subject to the hurtful words our parents utter. She knows of the pain and insecurity that comes with being judged and insulted over things that are so silly and insignificant. She knows how I feel, because she feels it, too.

Every time someone says the word "Lazy" I instinctively put on a neutral expression and try my best to not let it hurt me. They don't even have to be directing it at me, it's just one of those words I hear too often that are pointed in my direction. My dance teacher once said that she does not tolerate laziness because she works hard. I felt a little pang in my chest because I heard the word. It's almost as if I have been called lazy so much that I am beginning to believe that I am. It's like I have allowed the insulting words my parents say define me, define who I am. I am not lazy. Sure, I procrastinate, and yeah, I could do better, but that's everyone. Everyone procrastinates on something and everyone can do better. But the word has been drilled into my mind to the point of believing that not only am I lazy, but I will never not be. I have resigned myself to laziness. I have resigned myself to the words my parents say when they are disappointed in me.

It's not just that though. That was just one example. I have allowed myself to be believe that I am so many things simply because I suck at consistently washing the dishes. I am not. I  know I am not. I am capable and I am hard working when I am motivated, but it's hard to believe that I am when I hear so often that I am not.

It's just frustration and irritation that causes them to say such things. It's just the annoyance that they tell me to do something and I don't always do it. It's just them trying to get me to do things. It's just them expressing. But it hurts. It's hurts horribly so. I know they love me, but I feel like they acknowledge the things I don't do more than the things I do. I feel like they acknowledge how much I disappoint them more than how much they love me.

It's taken its toll on me. I'm tired of hurting and getting scared every time I hear my dad's truck when I haven't finished everything I'm suppose to do. I'm tired of trying not to cry every time one of them goes off. I'm tired of simply sitting back and letting myself get insulted constantly everyday.

Constantly, constantly, constantly.

But how do you tell your parents that they're hurting you?

That's exactly what I asked my youth pastor earlier today at church. Which is funny, because she actually preached on not letting the world define you. I think that was a God thing. Anyway, I asked her how I should go about talking to them. I asked her how I can get them to understand. I've been thinking about approaching them and talking to them about, but that's freaking scary. How on Earth are you suppose to tell your parents that without them telling me things like, "Well, you should do a better job." or "Then don't give us a reason to." How are you suppose to make them understand that they are doing something wrong?

I've always had a close relationship with my dad, but I can feel myself distancing myself from him as the insults continue. I can feel myself growing bitter. I can the contempt I am beginning to have for him. He doesn't know he's hurting me. It baffles me how someone can say such things and think that everything is okay. Because it's not. You can't say those things and expect everything to be fine. It's never fine. It hurts and influences. Even more so I've grown hatred for myself, because I have caught on to those hurtful words. I catch myself insulting my younger sister all the time. I call her brainless and dumb and stupid and idiotic, and I hate myself for it because I should know how much it hurts. Then that only fuels my bitterness towards my parents.

I don't want to feel that way. I love them. I love them so much, but I just don't know how to deal with this anymore. I've gotten to the point where I'm lashing out and crying in the shower because it I can't handle it. I've bottled it up for too long. It's violently coming out. It became clear to me that I need to talk to my parents when my older sister and I were talking about it. Something needs to be done. They need to know. So I asked my youth pastor and told her about it.

She said that I really do need to talk to them. A rift is forming in my relationship with my parents, and it's only going to get worse if I don't do something about it. She said that I need to pray, first and foremost. Pray a lot. Pray that God will give me the strength and courage to approach them and that He will give my parents an understanding of what I need to tell them. When I talk to them (she told me this part while using a conversation she had a have with her family at one point as an example, I have to tell them to listen to me without interruption, to not already have an answer thought of and really consider what I'm saying. I need to ask them to really listen and let me get it all out before answering, that way I will be able to have a serious, mature discussion with them. It is going to be hard and I'm going to waver, but God will give me strength. This is something I have to do.

I love my parents, and they love me. Not only do they need to know that they are hurting me, but they will want to know. It's pretty freaking scary, but I know God will give me the right words to say and my parents will at least try to understand.

P.S I'll blog about the talk afterwards

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Autumn's Late Night With Eleanor & Park

January 10th, 2017

After my dad left for work at 5:55 this morning, I went into their room to plug in the wifi router (they've been turning it off at night for years and it still bothers me to no end. It's not like I'm going to stay up all night because I just can't resist being on the internet all night long. If I want to stay up, I'm gonna stay whether I have wifi or not. Internet isn't the problem). I never have to sneak and be as quiet as I possibly can when I enter their room where my mom is sleeping, it's pretty normal for me to go in there and plug it up whenever I'm awake early. My mom said, "Well, you woke up early." I responded with a "No I didn't." She was confused at that and was like, "Autumn, you do know what time it is, right?"
Oh yeah, I knew what time it was. Yeah, I was up early, but I didn't wake up early. After all, you can't wake up if you never went to sleep. I don't stay up all night every night, only when I get caught up in a good book or show. And sometimes I stay up when sleeping is difficult. I'd rather stare at the ceiling and look out at the moon every once in a while than struggle to fall asleep. It's more exhausting to me, and just not worth it. Last night was not one of those restless nights. I lost track of time while reading this incredible book (I actually just finished a couple of minutes ago). The only things that kept me awake was how insanely good the book was and the two bottles of water I drank with energy drink mixes. I did go to sleep around 7:30 am and got three hours sleep. My eyes kind of burned when I woke up and my whole body was begging me to go back to sleep. Another energy drink mix fixed that problem. Do I regret staying up so long? Not in the slightest.
The book I read is now my favorite. I never really had a favorite before, just a couple of books I enjoyed, like Looking For Alaska and Little Women. This book that I will own someday (I got it from the library) is everything I look for. I could continue on about how good it was, but how about I show what it is first.

Eleanor & Park is a stunning book that I recommend to everyone. Unless cursing and mentions of sex bothers you, go read this! I don't care what you have between your legs or whether romances just don't interest you. This book does not disappoint. It's not just about the beautiful love between Eleanor and Park (though it does focus on them), but everything in their lives. Their difficulties and life as misfits. My mom often says that she doesn't like to read romance anymore because it becomes cliché and predictable after a while. This one will not only surprise you, but leave you breathless as you read of the growth between these two. They're weird and funny and real (as real as fictional characters in a book can be). I will never forget reading this masterpiece and I will certainly never regret staying up all night to read almost all of it. I will suffer through burning eyes and a pounding headache a dozen more times if it meant reading something as good as this. I love it to pieces, and I'm sure you would, too.

Two misfits. One extraordinary love.

. . . Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough. . . . Eleanor.

. . . He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises. . . . Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds --smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

This book moved me and stirred something in me that made it to where I could never not like Eleanor & Park. I could never not love the story of these two and I could never not keep it close to my heart. It sticks with you in a breathtaking, unforgettable way. This is the kind of book I would read over and over and over again, and I usually don't do that in fear of getting bored of it, but I honestly doubt I could get bored of this one. It is written in both Eleanor's and Park's point of views, so you get to read and feel everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I highly suggest this.

I spent all night as I usually do when I'm up reading a good book: Covered in my penguin blanket with Eleanor & Park on my lap, all the while my cat cuddles up close to my leg (she's always cuddling with me in some form or fashion, usually on my chest, but I push her down to my legs when I'm reading. Never off the bed though. I love and dote on her too much for that). It was absolutely perfect. I loved every second of it.

Here are some other reviews that might be a bit more persuasive:

"Eleanor & Park reminded me of not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book"
-John Green, The New York Times Book Review

"This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love. Readers will swoon for Eleanor & Park."
-Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I stay and Where She Went

"Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Eleanor & Park is a breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders."
-Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and The French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door

"The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent
                                                                              and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too"
                                                                              -Booklist (starred review)

 "Sweet, gritty, and affecting. . . Rainbow Rowell has written an unforgettable story about two
misfits in love. This debut will find its way into your heart and stay there."
                  -Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and Cracked up to be

"Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark."
                                                   -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"In her rare and surprising exploration of misfit love, Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken."
                         -Stewart Lewis, author of You Have Seven Messages


Sunday, January 8, 2017

My Usual Sunday And My Amazing Youth Pastor

January 8th, 2017

Ugh, I have had a long day. Not a bad day, just a long one, but Sunday's tend to be that way. I love church, I really do, but my parents like to immediately go to their friend's house that is on the same street as my church so that they'll feel more up to going back for night service. I get it. Once we go home, we don't really want to go back because we're tired or just not feeling like it. So they think playing board games for hours on end with their friends before 5:30 is a brilliant idea! For them, yeah. For me? Well, let's just say that I got home around 30 minutes ago. That was Eight O'clock, and we left the house at Eight this morning. That's 12 hours. I get sick of being around people after one and a half. It works for them, but definitely not me. I love church, but I kinda dread Sunday for that reason alone.

Something my youth pastor said during Sunday school reminded me of how much I love her. This woman really understands. We were talking about obedience, using Mary as an example of how she fulfilled God's will by giving birth to his son, and she didn't even ask why. She just obeyed. Near the end, my youth pastor asked us when we have trouble obeying God and why. What are some things we just don't want to do even at God's urging? I answered with self-control; the trouble I have with letting my emotions get the best of me and acting on them. I get easily agitated at home and I yell a lot. I'm struggling to respond better, but I make excuses to God (as silly as that is) about how I was upset and my little sister was purposely annoying me. I have trouble with that, as I'm sure a lot of us do. When I finished, the girl beside me said, "So you're being a teenager?" She didn't say it in a condescending way, just playfully. My youth pastor, being the amazing woman she is, said (paraphrasing this), "Well, I don't think that's a teenager thing, but normal human reactions. The whole thing about that being reserved for teenagers because of hormones is just stereotype."

People often treat teenagers like we're not even human, that we're either theses scary or delicate things that you have watch out for. One of the reasons why I love my youth pastor so much is because she reminds that I am actually a person, not just a teenager. She was saying that these things people stereotype teenagers for are actually things everyone has a problem with. We are people and we have a choice in the things we do. I let my emotions get the best of me because I let my emotions get the best of me. If I put enough effort into it, I could stop. I could learn self-control and learn how to be more tolerant, because my age does not limit me from making my own decisions. Being a teenager does not automatically make me rebellious and disobedient. We're only stereotypical teenagers because we allow ourselves to be, because we allow ourselves to believe that we can be no other way.

My youth pastor not only tells us that we don't have to have these stereotypical labels, but that our problems are real. She is an adult who has been married for 14 years and has two kids. She goes to work, she pays bills, she deals with two rowdy toddlers, and she is a grown woman with responsibilities, but she isn't that adult who tells teenagers that their issues aren't real because they don't know what it's like to be grown up yet. She isn't that adult who spits out all the things she has to do that stresses her out and uses them as reasons why we can't have problems or be stressed. She respects us and encourages us. She didn't say, "Oh, Autumn. You're just being hormonal." when I poured my heart out to her while crying my eyes out just a few months ago. You know what she did? She did everything in her power to help me, and she still is! She told me that even though it would be a lot of work and effort and endurance to overcome the things I deal with, I can do it. She told me that I am strong and that I can get through it. She didn't tell me that it would be okay when I got older and she didn't tell me something my dad often tells me, "Ten years from now, you'll look back and realize how silly you were being." She doesn't tell me I'm being silly. She tells me that I can get passed it, and she helps me all the while.

She is an incredible woman who makes me feel normal. Simply being around her encourages me to do the best I can do grow as a person. I am constantly being reminded of how much I love her, and how much I'm going to miss her.

The rest of my day went by smoothly (all except for my internal cries for my bed). I ate fast food, took a nap on my parents' friends' couch, woke up and harassed my sister, and scrolled through Instagram in boredom before we went back to church (I wish I had brought my laptop so I could actually do some writing and blogging, but it's never the same when I'm not in the privacy and comfort of my own room). I'm glad to be home and I'm glad to be able to have my usual setup: Sitting comfortably on my bed, under my penguin blanket with my laptop on my lap. Oh, and no pants. I feel relaxed at last! I'm probably gonna go watch some Mermaid Melody after posting this and write some fluff when I start to get fed up with how blind Kaito is. I wanted to blog some more today, but you know how it is. I'll definitely be more active tomorrow!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

We All Fight

January 7th, 2017

I have many, many flaws. I could probably name all of the ones I am aware of, but that's not the point of this post. I'm not going to start complaining and putting myself down, but I do want to talk about a couple things about myself and things we all go through.

I, like many people, can easily give off the illusion that I have no problems. When I am in public and around people I know (or even don't know), I can make it seem like I have everything together and I am perfect and there is no possible way that I could have issues. I try my best to be polite and kind. I try my best to be as selfless as I can and I try my best to never complain. I do everything in my power to not seem weak or rude. It's not that I'm trying to deceive anybody, but I'm also not going around saying, "The world is out to get me! Oh, I have so many things that are just going wrong in my life. Woe is me!" Nobody wants to be around the kind of person who practically oozes negativity. I want to be positive and pleasant to be around, but I often take that and twists it's meaning that I have to pretend to be flawless.

Yeah, I have my problems, everyone does. I just don't talk about them. It's gotten to the point where if I do even say a thing about it that I begin to feel bad. There is this misconception that if you have issues and you talk about those issues, you are selfish. I have allowed myself to believe this for the longest time, but it's not true. So long as you are not using the things going on in your life to cause drama and get attention for the wrong reasons, talking about them is not something you should be ashamed. I started thinking about this a couple of months ago on a Wednesday night service at church. I can't remember what the question my youth pastor asked, but I answered by talking about how I fight through things that come up in my life, how I fight through the things that hold me back from being the woman of God I was made to be. When I got finished someone in the group named Bryce was gaping at me. He seemed kinda shocked. My youth pastor looked at him and questioned his expression. He said, "I just didn't know Autumn fought."

Everyone fights through something, this is a known fact, but some people are able to give the illusion that they have nothing to fight through. People like me are able to lead people to believe that we have everything together. I have my issues, we all do, and we don't have to be afraid of talking about them. If we need help or just some way of letting them out so that they don't pile up in our mind, we can talk about them. Write about them. We have been letting ourselves believe that saying anything about something negative in our lives is selfish and rude to the people we're talking to. If who you turn to is truly someone who cares about you, they won't think that you're just trying to get attention and make everything about you. They'll try to help you and listen.

There is nothing wrong with talking about your problems. We were not made to be by ourselves. We as humans can only handle things alone for so long. This whole topic came to my attention when I read over my last post after I woke up (I went to sleep at six in the morning, but still managed to get six hours of sleep). I looked at it and I did exactly what I thought I would right after I posted it. I cringed and I regretted it because I felt like everything I was saying was selfish and that I should keep those things to myself. I justified my guilt by saying, "So many people have it way worse than me. I have no right to complain over such silly things." This is a phrase that I hate. Yes, there will always be someone who has it worse off than you, but that doesn't mean how you feel and what you're going through is silly and invalid. You shouldn't have to hold back because someone has it worse than you. I'm not saying be obnoxious about it, but don't tell yourself you're being stupid by having feelings and things you have difficulty getting through.

This is something I'm still trying to convince myself.

The reason I abandoned and allowed all of my previous blogs and journals to fail is because I held back from being honest. I tried to make myself seem perfect and amazing through it all. I didn't talk about my feelings and my problems because I didn't want to offend anybody. I didn't want to be taken as a child who doesn't know anything. I didn't want to be looked at as naive and dramatic. No more of that. I am going to be honest and I'm not going to apologize for being human.

We all fight through something. Whether it's insecurity, anxiety, depression, something someone did to you, losses, lack of self-love, or anything at all! That is something you are fighting through and it's okay to be honest about it. It's okay to seek help and it's okay to tell somebody. Don't hold back because of that false image you made for yourself. We can get through this.

On a side note, today was freaking cold. My hands froze to death every time I went outside (what a wonderful time to have a birthday party for a one year old, right?). I'm just glad I had my penguin blanket with me all day. I love that blanket.

Mission Sleep: Failed

January 7th, 2017

I was just about to go to sleep, but I started to get a bunch of negative thoughts and images as I closed my eyes and quickly decided that I should kill a little more time on the Internet to distract myself. It usually works and in a couple of minutes I can get back to going to sleep, but not this time.

I am a member of the Miraculous Amino, an app/community for people who love Miraculous Ladybug. You can probably guess that I write fanfiction. I have for about eight months now and I love doing it. Writing has been my passion for a long time, but writing fanfiction is a completely new experience. You don't create the characters since they're already made and have a personality already decided, but you instead get to interpret them. It's really fun because everyone interprets the characters slightly different. And you get to write in so many things you've always thought about the characters that no one else has thought of. It's kind of like characters and a story you share and can discuss with so many other people. Writing fanfiction is something I love doing.

I have written a good bit and got amazing feedback, but I've been on hiatus for a couple days and I find that it has the opposite effect than what I had intended. See, I went on hiatus after my youth pastors announced that they would be stepping down. It affected me quite heavily and I felt that I needed a break from certain things to calm myself down and bring my mood back up. I didn't want to write anything half-heartedly, that's not how I am. It's either all the way or not at all. So I took a break to sort things out.

I've been on hiatus for five days and it has only affected me in negative ways. I still get online, just without the pressure of needing to post things and comment and talk to people. It was kinda okay on the first and second day, but it's mostly made me feel disconnected from everybody on there. Simply watching has made me distance myself from the community and, if anything, It's only made me feel worse. I can handle this kind of thing though, I have before. I can handle feeling like I can't connect with people, because I feel that way on a regular basis, but while I was browsing the amino to distract myself, I came across a post that both made me smile for a certain user and make my chest hurt at the same time.

A very talented writer whom I will not name recently got a title. It has to do with fanfiction writing, of course, and this person deserves it! They really do, but I guess it made me upset because I've been jealous of this person. I'm not trying to sound shallow or petty, I swear. They can just do everything I can't when it comes to writing. I know I shouldn't compare myself with someone else, but I suck at doing the things I should. They're confident with what they do and they're quick, able to please both themselves and their readers. They can so easily flow with everything and create incredible pieces. I would like to think that I am a good writer, but I get anxious with everything I do. I worry and stress even over the rough draft of a fanfic I'm writing for fun. I overthink and make all these big plans that only make me overthink more. I love the ideas I have for my fanfiction right now, but I'm moving so slowly with so much indecision about them that I feel kind of hopeless. None of it is coming along as smoothly as I wanted it to and my ideas are just not getting across. I always have the problem of freaking out about everything that I end up doing more worrying than actual writing.

Writing is usually an outlet for my problems and something I do given any circumstance or emotion, but writing can be hard when you lose that inspiration you once had in the beginning of a project. I am going to see through all of it, do not misunderstand. I do not quit things I get so far on simply because I lose the motivation to do it, but while I'm just sitting here idly waiting for that spark to come back, everybody is moving ahead of me.

This user writes their fanfiction so quickly and they always turn out great. Everyone loves their work, and they should because it is amazing! But while they're moving along and writing and getting their work featured and everyone is singing their praises for them, I'm sitting here and doing nothing but whining about how much I'm going to miss my youth pastor and worrying about if I'm going to be able to open up to the new one the youth group is getting at the end of January. I'm sitting here becoming a nervous wreck because I can hardly open up to anyone. It took me over four years to open up to my youth pastor. Four years. I don't know how I'm going to be able to meet the new youth pastor and not feel bitter or upset. I don't want to judge this innocent person who is fulfilling God's will simply because I suck at opening up to people. I don't want to feel bitter about some amazing writing simply because they accomplished something and got a reward for their hard work. I don't want to be upset over so many silly things simply because I have no idea how to handle my emotions and I don't know how to deal with change.

I don't want everyone else to move ahead of me while I'm still floundering and stressing over what to do, but it's happening anyway. The truth of the matter is that I don't know what to do with any aspect of my life. I don't know what to write, I don't know how talk to people, I don't know how to just be happy for someone without adding jealousy to the mix, and I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what that silly hiatus was for at this point and I don't even know what I'm typing right now. I just feel hopeless and depressed, like I have no purpose and everything I'm even attempting to do right now is in vain. I feel pathetic for being so jealous of that writer and being so unnecessarily upset about a great opportunity for my youth pastor. I'm just a mess and I don't know what to do about it.

I am not truly upset about that writer getting a title. Good for them, really. I guess it just triggered something in me that made all these things I've been bottling up finally overflow. I just feel so incompetent, and I have nobody to tell this to because just feeling that way makes me feel like I'm being dramatic and ridiculous. I've always been one to seem composed and self-assured, but that's far from the truth. I have so little confidence and I'm far too sensitive for my own good. I just hide it well. I feel like that's more of a curse than a blessing.

I want to be able to call out and tell my loved ones this, but that's just the thing, I don't know how. I suck with words verbally. I can write them all day long, but once I actually try to get them out I just clam up and trip over everything I want to say. I know I said this once already, but I'm gonna say it again: I'm a mess.

I know God has a plan for all of this and I know that I will overcome this suffocating feeling of hopelessness. I just hope it comes into play soon.

(I apologize if this makes no sense. I needed to get it all out. In my defense, I am sleep deprived and emotional. Okay, I'm really going to sleep now).

Friday, January 6, 2017

There Is Nothing Wrong With Me

January 7th, 2017.

I love being alone. There's just something about the refreshing silence and the freedom to do anything without judgment after a day of constant noise that draws me in. I love being able to just sit with myself and be content with whatever I'm doing. Like right now I am sitting in my room (well, it's actually my older sister's room, but she's rarely home anyway. I've pretty much claimed it.) snuggling under my penguin blanket while typing away. It's relatively quiet right now, the only exception being the cold wind outside blowing against the window and the sound of the heater. It's relaxing because I don't have to worry about sitting up straight, sucking in, or trying to appear friendly with my "pleasant smile". While it can be a lonely and restless time for others, the feeling of being alone is soothing to me.

Merely being in public can be exhausting even after a short period of time. I don't know what it is about socializing, but even though I enjoy talking and joking with my friends, I tire of it quickly. My smiles become forced and I have to push myself to have fun. I love everyone in my life, but sometimes I just need to take a step back and enjoy some time to myself. I have more than likely hurt people by being doing this.

I have a friend named Sayla. We aren't exactly close. We haven't had that connection, if you know what I mean, but I'd like to think that we are good friends. A couple months ago she asked if I wanted to come over, and even though I do like spending time with her, I declined because I had already spent the majority of my week doing things. I was tired and I needed a break, and I was completely honest with her about it (though I may have sugar coated it a bit). I'm not trying to hide the fact that I'm an introvert, but sometimes I wish I wasn't. Sometimes I wish I could go to a friend's house no matter how many things I do in a week. I wish I didn't have to fake a smile or force myself to enjoy being around people after an hour. I wish I could handle summer camp and overnight trips like my friends can. But I can't and that frustrates me sometimes. I don't know if I had hurt Sayla's feelings, but even the possibility that I did makes me feel more guilty than I should. I am this way for a reason and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is simply how I live, but sometimes I wish I could live in way that is easier for the people I care about.

I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish. I'm always wishing for something, and I wish I could stop and be happy with how I am, but life isn't that easy. There's always going to be something I wish I could change. There's always going to be something about myself I wish I could get rid of, but this is how I am. Some things are changeable and I can work on them for the better, but some things are not and I should accept that without feeling bad about it. Now, don't get me wrong, there is a vast difference between giving up and accepting. Giving up would be taking my temper and labeling that as something that is always going to be with me no matter how much I try to fix it. Accepting is looking at myself in the mirror and saying that there is nothing wrong with me and I don't have to worry. I want to accept myself, introversion and all. But I am a work in progress, we all are. I am working on myself, but the fact that I enjoy being alone more than I enjoy being around people is not something I have to categorize as a flaw. I like being alone, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-social. As much as I judge myself and stress so needlessly, there is nothing wrong with me as a whole.

I am usually quite happy with the fact that I am an introvert, but there are always those moments, like when I told Sayla I couldn't go to her house because I was tired (I felt so selfish telling her that), when being this way makes me dislike myself.

There is only one person outside of my family I can spend hours on end with without getting tired. I once stayed at her house for two days and was sad when I had to leave. I am more comfortable with her than I am with people I've known my whole life (technically I have known her my whole life, but we haven't been friends our whole lives). I can never thank her enough for accepting and loving me just the way I am. She sets the example for how I should love myself.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying being alone. There is nothing wrong with needing to spend time by myself. There is nothing wrong with needing to take a break from people. There is nothing wrong with being tired. There is nothing wrong with me, not in Elizabeth's eyes and certainly not in God's eyes. It's going to take me a lot of time to fully accept that, but I am a work in progress. I'll just keep repeating that there is nothing wrong with me like a prayer. I'll believe it eventually.

Childhood Heartbreak

January 6th, 2017.

I have these little things that happened when I was little that I remember as my childhood heartbreaks. They're these little moments from when I was young that I think of forlornly. I often remember this childhood heartbreak from when I was little, I couldn't have been much younger than five when it happened.

My family and I were at Cracker Barrel, and my mom always got fried apples- or was it my dad? Either way, there were always fried apples on the table and I loved them. I'd always ask if I could have one from my mom and dad or lick the bowl when they were done, because I loved the sweet, sugary sauce (my older sister got so embarrassed whenever I licked the bowl). The time I had gone before then, I told myself that I was going to ask for my own bowl of fried apples, and I would've if I hadn't have forgotten.

So we ordered and got our food. I always got the same thing; Fried shrimp and a hushpuppy on the side. I kinda want some, now that I think about it. Anyway, it was only when the waitress gave my mom her fried apples that I remembered that I wanted to order my own. I was sad, of course. I did what I always did and I asked my mom if I could have one. She gave me one, I never got more than one, but I was still upset. I thought I was going to have to wait until next time to get more.

You know how the waiter or waitress comes by every once in a while saying something along the lines of, "How are you? Anything else you want?" Well, the waitress came by as we were finishing our food and I thought that that was my chance! I could get my fried apples! I straight up looked at the lady with what I felt like was a determined expression (But still polite) and said, "I want apples."
She smiled at me as if I were so cute, which I was, by the way, and I thought I was going to get fried apples. I was feeling accomplished and so happy, I probably had this goofy grin on my face. But I didn't care if I looked silly, I was finally going to get more. And I was around five, so of course I didn't care if I looked silly. I never did.

So I waited for my apples to come, but it seemed like they were taking a while to make them. And I waited some more as my mom finished her food (she's the slow eater of the family), but it never came. I thought they were just being a bunch of slow pokes! But daddy got up to leave and I realized that I wasn't going to get any fried apples. I'm pretty sure I said something like, "But daddy, my apples." I can't remember how he responded, but I was heartbroken. I never got my fried apples, and the five year old+ in me still gets a bit upset whenever I think about it.

You know, I kinda want some fried apples right now.

A little upside to the story is that I never forgot to ask for fried apples again after that.

My Favorite Season

January 6th, 2017.

Everyone has a favorite season, a time of year that they enjoy the most. For some it's Spring because of the pastel colors of growing flowers and leaves, and how by each day you can feeling it getting warmer. For others it's Summer because of all the fun things you can do, like going to the beach or a water park (because people usually associate Summer with water games). Everybody loves Fall for obvious reasons. Who doesn't like Fall?

I love snuggling up under my fuzzy penguin blanket and drinking hot beverages all the way from coffee to apple cider. I love wearing big, floppy sweaters with a pair of my patterned leggings and combat boots, and when I'm not wearing a sweater, I'm wearing my favorite black hoodie I wore at last year's recital for my "Dance Thieves" routine (it was a mix of a bunch of different songs like Pink Panther and Smooth Criminal). I can do these things any time of the year if I honestly wanted to, but there's only one season that I can without sweating or getting strange looks.

I love Winter, which is ironic because I can't stand the cold. I like everything else about it that involves being warm and cozy, and looking cute while being warm and cozy, but cold isn't something I can do. It's rare that we get really cold weather down here in Mississippi, but my teeth also literally chatter at 50 degrees. Not only can I not handle it, but I get cold very easily (I'm always the one in my family in the car complaining about it being too cold after five minutes when the AC is on full blast in the middle of July). I hate the cold, but I love Winter.

One thing that sucks about it actually getting really cold in the South is that we aren't prepared for it. The electricity goes out if there's ice on the power lines and things get cancelled because of ice on the road. We often struggle to find warm enough clothes in our closets when it starts to get cold, but even if we have the right clothing, we don't always wear them. You never know what to expect; it could be in the 30s one day and in the 80s the next. It was pretty warm outside last Christmas, and the year before that we broke the record for the hottest Christmas in Mississippi in some amount of years. If you're wearing a sweater on a Sunday morning, you have to make sure to wear something under it because it starts to get hot later in the day. I'm not even talking about in the beginning, but in the middle of December and January. I actually heard my younger sister in the other room freaking out about the temperatures. "The low should not be nineteen!" she said.

It is a bit colder than I would prefer, but I'm cuddling with my cat in a toasty room while under my penguin blanket. It's not really bothering me right now. No matter how cold it gets and no matter how jacked up Mississippi weather can be, I love Winter. I just wish I could bring my penguin blanket everywhere I go. I would much warmer and quite content, but that's not acceptable in public unless I'm a three year old, unfortunately.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Little Habit of Mine

January 5th, 2017.

I have many little habits that a lot of people don't know about. It's not that I'm hiding them or anything, but they're the kind of habits that are so insignificant and small that either no one notices them or they just don't come up in everyday conversation. I'll probably speak more about these habits in the future, but right now I'm talking about one in particular that is actually pretty common.

I write on myself. It's more than just little doodles and shapes here and there though, I couldn't draw if my life depended on it. I like to write things to remember on myself. Paper can get crumpled and lost and ripped and so many other things, but it's hard to forget you have something you wanted to remember when it's in bold letters on your forearm. Right now I actually have a sentence on my arm from last Wednesday when my youth pastor was praying. It says, "If it was something I could do on my own, you would not have sent your son." She's kind of long-winded, but she speaks with so much strength and power that I like it more than anything. She is such an inspiration to me. I long to be the kind of woman she is. Her words and messages are so encouraging. I love writing down the things she says.

I also like to write other reminders on my skin. For example:

I wrote this Wednesday, too. My youth pastor and her husband will be transition to become missionaries with a sports ministry, so they're stepping down from being youth pastors. It's an amazing opportunity for them to not only grow as Christians, but spread the gospel. And I am ecstatic for them, I truly am, but it still hurts to see them go. They have done so much for me and they are very close to me. I cannot describe the way they have poured into my life and helped me change for the better, the way they have encouraged me to be the best person I can be and follow Christ without making it all about the dos and don'ts. They announced how and why they're leaving Sunday and I, of course, bawled my eyes out in the bathroom after letting a few tears slip out in the sanctuary. They were telling the youth group again Wednesday for anybody who wasn't there Sunday and I could feel myself starting to tear up again. I hate crying. No- I like crying when I'm by myself and I can let it out in peace, but I hate crying in public where people can see me. I didn't want to cry, so I took the pen I had and wrote "Don't cry". The only reason I took a picture of it was because after I wrote it I thought, "Oh! This would make a cool picture." and I posted it on Instagram XD

I also write things like "Calm down" and "Breathe" whenever I have to speak in front of even a handful of people. I write reminders that I'm doing okay and I don't sound stupid and that even if I mess up, no one will remember in a couple of days. I always do this when I'm feeling anxious or upset. I think it helps me stay calm and not freak out. Most of my habits are nervous ones, like I fiddle with my hair and sleeves or I'll sometimes count up to distract myself until I can calm down (last time I did that I counted to 307). I do all of these small things that little to nobody knows about, and I can't help but find them as the tiny things that help make up of who I am. It may be silly to think that, but I'm a very silly person with silly ideas.

I also write my otps on my skin, but I'm pretty sure every fangirl does.

Fun Fact: The only thing I can do well with my hands is playing video games.
Nope, not writing. You can probably tell that my hand writing isn't the best, and I don't even type on a keyboard correctly. I love writing and taking notes, but unless it's on my laptop, it doesn't look pretty.

Falling Behind

January 5th, 2017

I am a dancer. I have been dancing since I was four, and it is something I adore. I love the way I can feel the music as I move my body, allowing the rhythm of whatever song I'm dancing to take hold of my movements. It's almost as if muscle memory (after much practice of a routine) and the music corresponds with each other and gives my mind a break. Though it is hard work and it takes a lot of time, dancing is something I love to do. I don't want to go to college for it and spend my whole life dancing, that's reserved for writing, but I cannot imagine my life without being able to feel the music the way I can with dance. Unfortunately, I don't have to imagine it.

I am an unlucky lady, but maybe the fact that I somehow hurt my knee has more to do with how I can't seem to ever sit still than it has to do with luck. My knee started hurting in the beginning of September, but I only started complaining about it in November ( yeah, I know. I'm dumb). I thought it was bruised at first, but time went by and I realized that bruises don't last for two months. I went to the doctor and got some steroid pills for tendinitis. End of story, right? Oh, I wish. I skipped one week of dance (I go once a week), and though it was awful having to sit and watch everyone else stretch and learn these fun leaps, it was bearable because it was only one week. We hadn't even started learning our routines for recital, so it wasn't like I was missing anything I couldn't learn later. I took all of the medicine, but it didn't work. My knee was still in pain and I still couldn't stand for a certain period of time without getting annoyed, because my knee sucks at its job.

So we went to the doctor again and I got referred to a knee and hip specialist. Oh, fun. I won't even try to spell what it was the doctor said was wrong with my knee, but I pretty much overworked it so much that I started to damage the cartilage. I think, I was still trying to pronounce the word he used in my mind when he was talking about it (chondro-something or another). I was prescribed stronger medicine that would reduce the inflammation and help with the pain. That stuff works like a wonder, by the way. It would have been great if that was the end of it, but I'm not that lucky. I had to go to physical therapy twice a week for six weeks. I had to miss six weeks of dance. A break is nice, but I hate going without it for so long. I hate being deprived of merely moving my body in a way that gives me so much release and lifts the stresses of daily life. If magic were real, I believe dancing would be a form of it. It puts me under a spell that lets me lose myself and forget everything that worries (well, all worries except for the occasional "Did I do that right?"). Dancing is freaking magical, as cliché as that sounds, and I am a wizard with a damaged wand.

I'm a little more than halfway finished with pt. My knee is feeling a lot better, but I have missed so much of dance. We started learning our routines just a week after that appointment, a few days before my first day of physical therapy. I have videoed and intently watched the dance moves, but it just isn't the same. I can't learn it as well by sitting and watching, but even more than that, I am afraid that I won't be able to learn it at all. A lot of time has passed, a lot of things at the studio has been taught, and I have fallen behind. I haven't done a split or even stretched (aside from my pt exercises) in a while; I'm probably not nearly as flexible as I used to be. Grainy videos are not teaching me what I need to learn and I feel like I'm running out of time. I know I'm being ridiculous. It won't be that hard for me to catch up if I put enough effort into it, but that doesn't stop the fear. I always get anxious when I start learning my recital routines, but it's even worse now that I can't even practice them to assure myself that I will be fine. I don't know if I'm gonna be fine. I'm more than likely going to be alright, but I am a little ball of anxiety. Even if I know in my mind that everything is going to be alright, I still worry to the point of hyperventilating.

I have fallen behind and I am still falling. Further and further with unwavering fear. Everything is going to be okay, I'm going to be able to dance, and I'm going to do amazing come May when I'm on that stage and I feel the adrenaline coursing through me. I'm going to be okay, but I still have two more weeks of physical therapy and I still have to catch up along with learning the rest of my dances before recital. I know I can do it, but I'm still scared.

My Calm Within My Chaos

January 5th, 2017.

I would like to think that I am a straightforward, simple kind of person. I would like to think that I am uncomplicated and able to be understood clearly. I would like to think that I am an easy, enjoyable person to be around. I can like to think that all day long, but the truth of the matter is that I am anything but what I would like to think that I am. I am a complicated, beat-around-the-bush, anything but understandable person, and that's not just cause I'm a teenager. I'm a difficult person, but that's okay, because we're all difficult. As difficult people, we like the things that are different from ourselves, kinda like the old saying "opposites attract". Though when people say that they're usually talking about other people, but I'm talking about interests and the way we spend out time. I might as well be unable to be straightforward. Of course I want to be, but insecurities and anxiety often stops me from being straightforward about hard conversations and things I need to do, and I guess that's why I love cartoons so much.

Most people my age like to watch shows like Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries, and there's nothing wrong with that! I'm not dissing on the shows people like that I've never shown an interest in, it's just not me. I adore cartoons because they're cute and have so many lessons and reminders to be a better person. I need those reminders and I need those shows to clearly point out right from wrong. There are other ways to know right from wrong, of course, but it's not so easy to come by without either being judged or fussed at. I have found that as I grow, the things I was taught as a child become blurred and forgotten with the many exceptions and urges to rebel against them. Because of the behaviors I see around me from my peers and the influence it has on me, the right from wrong that I knew like that back of my hand becomes something I let fade away. I can clearly see the way the writers of children's shows teach children to be honest and faithful and all those good things, and it's refreshing for my mind because I often need to learn again and again.

Cartoons are like my safe haven. When I'm watching LoliRock and Miraculous Ladybug, I don't have to filter out the things they do and say from what I know I should do and say, because there are no curse words I have keep my tongue from picking up and there are no wrong actions from the main charcters that are left undealt with. Cartoons reteach me the things I allow myself to forget so easily.

Another thing about them is that they do not underestimate and practically insult children and teens. I have tried out many shows that portrayed all teenagers as rebellious and wild and disobedient and completely irresponsible. I mean, yeah, a lot of us can be, but not all of us. I know those shows are made for the drama and teen angst, but they get in my head. It's almost as if they're telling me that that is all I'll ever be: disobedient and stupid and immature. I'm a work in progress, everyone is! But that's all the more reason I should surround myself in things that encourage me. Kids Shows are exactly that. They are made to show children that they can follow their dreams and they're strong and their feelings are valid. That's what they tell me. I can follow my dream (*cough* goal *cough*) and I am strong and my feelings are valid.

And just in case no one has told you

You can follow your dreams.
You are strong.
Your feelings are valid.

I turn to cartoons for that reminder. There are many other ways to go about it, I know, but I prefer watching magical girl transformations (and kitty boy transformations. I can't forget my son, Chat Noir).
My family and friends and even those few acquaintances who know me well enough wonder why I enjoy watching cartoons so much. I'm a teenage girl watching shows for seven year olds and up, that's strange, apparently. Though none of them will ever read this (I sure hope they never find this blog), here is my answer: I find them enjoyable and fun to watch, but they are also the calm in the midst of my chaos. Whenever it seems everything is going wrong and my anxiety is getting the best of me, I can watch an episode of whatever cartoon I'm watching at the moment and it will remind me that it isn't as difficult as I'm making it out to be.

I am a complicated, beat-around-the-bush, anything but understandable person. I'm a difficult person, but that's okay.

A Little Lady Named Autumn

In my many failed attempts at writing a blog and keeping a diary, I have learned a couple things. One of them being that I will always have something to write, whether it's about my first crush and how awful my taste in boys were at the age of eight or my strange habit of deciphering a person's personality by their favorite color. I will always have something to write, but it will never get through if I don't take the time to actually write it (because duh). Another thing I have learned is that even if no one reads it, writing in a journal, a princess diary with a heart shaped lock or otherwise, is something of significance to me. Simply letting words and emotions spill out on a piece of paper or screen is something that gives me a thrill beyond explanation, because it is something that I can create with my own experience and feelings. And no one can tell me that I did it wrong, because it is mine and it is how I feel. I can feel negative emotions and I can feel things I shouldn't, but I cannot feel incorrectly. Writing is mine, and though this may be yet again another blog I trash because I don't do anything with it, I will share what is mine.

Hello, my imaginary readers and any wanderers who clearly have nothing better to do. My name is Autumn. I enjoy bundling up in my favorite fuzzy penguin blanket, listening to rain, drinking vanilla creamer with just a bit of coffee, cuddling with my cat, and writing while doing all of those things. I am just another teenage girl with too many things to do and too little motivation to do them, so I'm spending my "free time" writing the little things that happen in my life in a blog that no one will read (at least I don't expect anyone to read this). I will simply write of the things that are important to me and the things that happen and just the emotions of a teenager.

I made this blog for just a few reasons.

1. I was bored

Oh, how typical of me to start something crazy like a blog because of my constant boredom. I truly believe something will come out of this. My boredom always manages to bring out so many things.

2. I want to practice my writing

As I have said (and you have noticed, I'm sure) I enjoy writing. It is my passion and what I want to do with my life. I do not have a dream, but a goal to become a published author. I don't need to become a famous writer or anything, though that would be awesome, I just want to pour my soul into what I do and share it with the world. So I need to practice, and what better way than this?

That's. . . about it. Of course I could come up with some poetic reasons for writing this like,"I want to write about my life so that years along the line I can show it to my children!" or "I long to share my experiences so that I can reach out and touch somebody, if only to show one person that they aren't alone and I am such an inspiration. Oh, I'm so kind and generous blah blah blah."
What's the point of  a journal if I'm making everything sound pretty just for the sake of sounding pretty? I'm gonna be honest, because I want this to be real.

I am Autumn, an unlucky little lady. I hope you stick around to read my ramblings of nonsense. I do not lead a particularly exciting life, but I don't believe that I have to write of wild adventures and drama that leaves people on the edge of their seat for this to be something of meaning. Every beating heart is a story, and every story is worth telling. I can't promise you much, but here is my story.