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19 And Writing

Happy-Birthday-King2

Well guys and gals, it’s my birthday. Now that I’m 19, I wondered if I should choose to change the title of my blog, I mean, I’m not 18 anymore, I’m 19, and letting people know I’m a little older, a little wiser, a little more lost, and a bit more found should be important.

But no. I have decided to leave my blog title just the way it is. This post is important to me, but so is my title. It’s an indication to people far and wide, be they old, young, middle aged, or whatever, that it doesn’t matter what your age is. You can still create, do, make whatever you want if you have the drive, the motivation, the perseverance. I seem to like lists today, sorry.

So, though I’m no longer 18, I think that serves a purpose, not to confuse people, but to be a sort of shining beacon. I mean, if I can do this, anyone can. I’m juggling school grades, 5 classes, a job, a boyfriend, moving, having a life, writing, and trying to keep my scholarships, and somehow I’m making it happen, even if it is a little slow. Being a writer isn’t about having hours to sit down in a day and just write. I mean, sure, that’d be nice, but I’ve met people far and wide who might have thirty minutes here or there, whose kids are always interrupting, who have classwork to juggle on the side, who all in all you would think wouldn’t have the time to produce anything, yet they are some of the best writers I know.

On this wonderful birthday, cupcakes scarfed down last night, a sticky note left on my door from one of my apartment-mates wishing me a happy birthday, and a Facebook wall full of birthday wishes, I find myself in a very happy mood, and I thought I could share that a bit with you, typing up my thoughts before my day really gets underway with work and homework and whatnot.

Sometimes It Hurts…

shyness1

The pain in being shy does not lie in the shy tendencies. It lives in the darker place that no one sees, in the want to be like the rest of the crowd around you, the want to be friendly without a fear of what could happen, immediately ready for engaging with the person or people you have to meet and realizing that, no matter how much you might want it, it’s just beyond your reach.

This is just something that came to me today, and though I am thinking of trying to write a piece to go around it in a story, it struck me how unutterably true it is. I don’t know that you see it here. Can you? Whether you can or can not, though, does not really negate the fact that I am, and have been since around the age of seven or eight, shy to the point of terror. Where some say they are shy, they are really just not great with meeting new people, or they don’t really want more people in their life.

For me, it is completely different. I sit cloaked in a social phobia. I am terrible at communication. Crowds… no. A new person in general? Kill me. You probably don’t believe me, though, so let me interest you in a little fact. I can count, on one hand no less, the friends I actually spent time with that I had before a year ago. Can you guess how many? Three. And to take it a step farther, none of those three were my friend at the same time as another. I could only deal with one apparently. Another instance? I spent a year at college. In order to avoid the cafeteria because I did not have a friend to go with and could not imagine without a painful sort of terror braving the crowd on my own, I spent seven days in my room alone surviving on three packs of peanut butter crackers and tap water.

I wish I was joking. I am getting there, though, and with the help of some wonderful people, I might someday make it to being able to deal with the fear on my own. As of right now, though, I am stuck in a sand pit that, when in the company of close friends, I can walk freely in and have a good time. In the presence of anyone new, be it one person or one hundred, turns into quicksand. The terror makes my throat tighten painfully and I imagine I can’t get enough air. My hands  go clammy, I wrap my arms around my torso and hold myself, I hide in baggy hoodies, I don’t make eye contact, don’t smile, though I try my best to hide my internal misery, and I certainly don’t speak.

So often people believe that people in my own situation don’t try to get past it, that they do it, in the end, to themselves. Well, if you ever meet me and get the chance to get past my terror, you’ll see that I am nothing but friendly, loving, caring. To be angry hurts me nearly as much as being shy. I will do anything for someone. And I am trying to get past it. I know I love it when someone notices my shirt or my hair, something. And to try to give other people that same feeling of a little pride in themselves, I am attempting to conquer my fear of people by forcing myself to compliment them when I notice something nice about them. Not only is it forcing me to engage with new people, but it is noncommittal and makes people feel good about themselves.

Sometimes it hurts… but I’ve found that pushing through the pain is, at some level, possible with the right friends there to help.

Playing Trash Ball

Paper-Ball

I know what you’re thinking. What on Earth does trash ball have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, I’m sitting here writing. Yes. Actually putting pen to paper instead of typing everything out because typing hasn’t gotten me much of anywhere here lately. So, anyway, here I am, writing some new- probably fleeting- idea out, and I seem to keep getting frustrated, tearing the pages out, balling them up, and throwing them at the trash can.

I’ve decided that this is actually a very large part of writing, and an even larger part of why I haven’t been able to get anything decent out recently. There is a major flaw with technology these days in the field of writing, and it is this:

There is something supremely cathartic in the ability to rip your words out- the words you have brought to life in a story- ball them up, throw them, tear them further, stomp on them, and generally cause them the pain that they, in not flowing freely or correctly like you want them to, have ultimately caused you.

Unfortunately… you can’t do that with a Word document. No, no matter how many times you delete those words, whether you do it letter by letter, sentence by sentence, line by line, page by page, chapter by chapter, or an entire book at once, you will never feel as good as you do when you rip that page out and all but tell it that it is trash that no one loves. And yes, despite the fact that I sound not only vindictive but also insane at the moment does not go unnoticed.

I know my words are not people, they are not alive. That being said, though, they are in some way something… not inanimate. It’s because they live inside of me. I know the story they should put together, the story I want to put out to the masses, and the story that they are fighting against becoming. So, though I know there is nothing real about them, I also know that, if put together correctly, they have the potential to create a living picture in someone else’s mind as well, and that is beautiful.

Therefore, if Word really wants to impress me as a writer, it should give me the ability to somehow electronically and satisfactorily destroy my words like they sometimes do me.

So, if you’re having trouble with a piece, don’t keep trying on your laptop or desktop. Don’t scratch out lines. Write them, rip them out, and play a little trash ball. You might find it was exactly what you needed, just as I have.

Growing Into My Skin

Stuff

That’s right. As I sit here, wiggling my new mustache mouse, clicking my keys, and thinking all the way back to the last August I completed, I can’t believe that I could already be so different. In 14 days, I’ll officially be 19- well, the 30th. I don’t know what day it is where you are. So I’m just shy of another year of my life being over, and I can barely fathom it.

This time last year, my soul was woggly (yes, woggly, it’s hard to explain) and cowering, terrified of what exactly college was going to hold for me. Was I going to hate my roommate who I didn’t know at all? Were the classes going to kill me? Would I lose my scholarships? Would I make friends? Would I give up writing? What would happen to me? Would I become involved in the wrong crowd, disappoint my mother and stepfather and ruin myself? Would I lose the tenuous hold on my boyfriend who was, at that point, only a friend with benefits?

Well, guys, I’d like to think that I did not do any of those things. I hated some of my classes, yes, but that’s to be expected and was partially due to the major I had and didn’t need to have. I didn’t hate my roommate; in fact, she was the best roommate and friend I could hope for. I still have my scholarship, though I had a moment of up all night, crying my eyes out worrying that I might at one point. The crowd I got involved in really encourage and push me to the dreams both I and my parents have for my future. My boyfriend and I got closer and finally decided on a relationship.

And, thank goodness, probably the most important to my well-being… I did NOT give up my writing. In fact, being at college, being with this new boyfriend, having these new friends, has not only boosted my knowledge of life and thus enhanced my writing, but has also really pushed me into the ability to be more confident in my writing and what I want to do.

So, I got lucky, but in a terrifying sort of way. I look at the world around me, and though most of it has stayed the same, I view it differently. Maybe this is growing up, or maybe this is me finally growing into the skin I was born with. I am not certain, but with a job I feel secure in leaving me, a new year of college beginning, the less lovey and more serious stage of a relationship starting, and me sitting here with a blog in front of me once again, I have to say I’m not scared or woggly or nervous. I am anticipating what very well might be yet another year I’ll never want to forget.

Be prepared, my fellow bloggers, readers, writers, and friends. What comes from me next might blow your minds, not only because it’s some of my best work, but because it might be something you never expected from me.

So, be watching, you might well be surprised.

With Confidence,

Megan

The Clack of Typewriter Keys

It’s true. That picture you see up there isn’t a pretty picture I pulled off the internet.

It’s my typewriter.

I put this post in the “The Unreachables” category. You’re probably wondering why if I do actually have one. I’ve always wanted an old typewriter. The clack of the keys and the work you have to put in to write with one somehow feels more… real for me as a writer. It feels like action. It feels like satisfaction. The issue is, I never expected to end up with one- especially not a working one. So, it became one of those dreams, like my own coffeehouse, that I thought I’d always just want and never have.

Well, I was wrong. So, one of the unreachables has been reached, and I think people need to know that.

The best part, really, is that I got it from this adorable little place called What’s Yer Fancy? and as my boyfriend was purchasing it for me- determined to fulfill another dream for me- the lady who owns the shop started telling us about the little boy who sold her the typewriter.

He’s only 8 or 9, and he brings her amazing little finds all the time. She said all of the stuff he ever brings in sells in days. Before I could say anything, she smiled and informed us that he puts the money into a savings account for his college education.

He’s eight or nine, she wasn’t exactly sure which, and he’s already saving for college. That’s certainly saving early. The thing is, when I thought of him putting all that money away, I wondered if that, too, was one of his unreachables. What if he thought he’d never make it to college? He dreamed of getting a higher education in this world of high school drop-outs, perhaps.

Whatever it is, I love that I found another dream come true, and I may just be funding this little boy’s dream come true, if only just a little bit.

I’m beyond looking forward to getting a new ribbon for it and cleaning up the few sticking keys. Soon, I’ll be clacking away. My dreams just keep coming true one by one, who would have known?

That’s all for this Thursday, but I’ll probably be seeing you all again soon.

Keep on living your dreams. Even if they seem distant, they might just be right in front of your nose.

Welcome to Café Mocha

Cafe Mocha

Welcome.

By opening this post, you have walked right into my dream.

Every writer has that spot where they feel most at home, I’m sure. Some of us like to curl up in our bed. Some of us need an office. A few here and there are social butterflies who thrive in the busiest settings they can find. Others need a space that can be breached by no outsiders.

Perhaps because people terrify me so much in life, when I’m writing, I need them surrounding me. There needs to be a bustle, the sound of families laughing, people talking on telephones, chatting to each other- the more people, the better off I am. The only problem is, I can’t find that perfect spot. So, my creative little mind has come up with a solution that’d take a whole lot of business sense that I, as a simple 18 year old, don’t quite have yet.

Deep in the recesses of my brain hides a dream, a dream that I have yet to accomplish. If you were to take a little time to peek into the space it occupies, you’d be amazed. Since you can’t, I’m inviting you in with this post. There’s a door and everything. When you step over the threshold, you’ve stepped into a whole other space.

Welcome to Café Mocha.

It’s a coffee shop. Simple as that and complicated as that all at once. There’s a space with a fireplace and large, comfortable chairs surrounding it and a bookshelf off to the side. There aren’t trillions of books, just a few for reading on a cold dreary day or a day you feel like just grabbing some reading material and a coffee.

The colors are deep and rich, but not so smothering it makes the place feel claustrophobic. There’s a sitting area off to the other side of the room with tables for dining. As soon as you walk in, there’s the counter. That’s where you order your coffee or the pastry or food of your choice. The coffee is the main star, but there are a few other food and dessert options to choose from, just to add variety.

You can hear music in the background. It’s soft, a mix of Jazz and Classical, maybe something a bit more modern but always soft. Nothing jarring to the senses.

This little corner, hometown coffee place has lived in my brain forever. Perhaps I should write it into a story somewhere to get it out. For now, it’s an unfulfilled dream that I’ve now handed to you to turn this way and that and to perhaps expound upon, make it your own, make it happen like I cannot.

Café Mocha is now closed for the day, but perhaps more will come of it. Perhaps… someday.

Satisfaction Guaranteed – Only Not Really

Satisfaction3

It’s technically Thursday here in my little Arkansas town, so this could possibly be my day’s blog, but you might end up with two today. We’ll have to see how hectic my day is first.

I’m sitting in my bed right now, wrapped up in a blanket and wishing I could sleep as I scroll through blog after blog. I find that I’ve been struck again with a desperate wish that I could draw. My art is limited to very small confines, and even that usually isn’t very good. It’s only recently that I’ve mastered proportional stick figures.

Thinking this, though, I realize that I should probably be satisfied. I mean, I have a talent. I was born to write, was born to smoosh tons of words together into something visually appealing and produce many copies of it for the world. Or, at least I believe that’s my reason for being here, and a few strangers here and there have pushed that idea into my head more firmly with amazing reviews on my book. Some people don’t have that. They’re wanderers, people unsure of what exactly, if anything, they’re good at. So, surely I should be pleased that I know and am achieving my dream.

Only not really.

I’ve been around so many people in my life. Friends of mine are artists, masters at math, science whiz-kids, history buffs, computer geniuses. You name it, I’ve probably come in contact with them. That’s just how it seems to go with me. I surround myself with people who dream as much as possible and who try to achieve those dreams to the best of their ability. The thing is, though, they’re not satisfied. My artistic friends wish they could remember dates, my science-oriented friends hate that they can’t create unknown worlds, my math friends wish they could draw.

So much for satisfaction.

And I’m just the same. I wish I had the artistic ability to match my writing. Because I can see it so vividly, it’d help me to write my story even more if I could draw it all out first. I want to be able to create my own covers with my own art rather than my photography. I mean, I have a legitimate reason, but it seems I’m a bit of a one-trick pony. Writing is where I excel. Art is what I follow with envy. The rest is just a little bit of me.

Perhaps it’s because it’s the one thing I can’t even say I have a basic knowledge of, I’m not sure. All I know is that, though I spend hours practicing, my fingers and pencil fail me in a way they rarely do when I sit down to write. So, maybe I should stick to that. With that at least I know what I’m doing, where I excel, what I need to work on, and I know that it’s where I’m meant to be.

So, maybe satisfaction isn’t guaranteed just because I have a talent, but I have it better than some, so I shall try to be less envious and more happy just to be what I am- 18 and writing.

Well, this is me off for now. Perhaps we’ll talk again later? I hope so. But, for now, have a great day!