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Tag Archives: dreams

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.

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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

Dreaming a Dream of Coffeehouses

I’ve told you all that this is my author blog, and perhaps it is in a way, but I think, for the most part, this might be instead my blog of dreams. Since I dream of being a successful author, my place as an author fits in here but only partially. Dreams span far and wide for me, born a dreamer after nine months of growing, and so I guess this is, in a way, my medium for getting them all out, just like in my writing.

The reason I even bring this up is because I am, inevitably as this is a major dream of mine, back to thinking of the coffeehouse I’d create if I had the money and the experience to do it. There are Starbucks far and wide, yes. There are ritzy coffee joints in big cities, in well-to-do areas, and even small towns. I want to create something different, though.

Don’t we all?

When you walk in somewhere, do you immediately think of how to adjust the atmosphere, how it could be set up differently, how it feels? I do. I pass by a building these days and I say, “That could be perfectly renovated into a beautiful little coffee shop!” or I look into a business already being ran and decide if I like the layout or the chairs or the menus or even the uniforms. I see paint swatches in stores, and I start to search for what exact shade would create a warm, not too dark, and always homey feel, what would accent that nicely?

But, as most of you are aware, I’m 18, and what you don’t know is I tend to try to be logical.

Starting your own business is a terrifying thing rife with struggles and let-downs, stress and long hours. At 18, in college, is not a time to even begin to think I’m ready for that, and with the business sense only slightly better than that of a goldfish, I couldn’t even begin right now. In fact, not too long ago, I gave this dream up as one of my Unreachables, something I’d forever struggle for yet never actually try to reach out and grab.

That’s the thing, though.

Ever since I gave this dream up for nonsense, illogical nonsense, everything around me has been about living your dreams. People will comment how it’s amazing I have a book out there and published at 18, YouTube videos about school procrastination end on some note about living your dreams while you still can and before all you have left is the “What if?” I’ll go to a class, and the teachers are talking about it.

So, I think I’m supposed to live my dreams.

No, no, no, guys and girls, women and men. I am not saying I’m going to run out, try to get a place right this second, grab a place, renovate it, set it all up, buy the equipment, and decorate it all to start my business now. Goodness, no, but I am taking steps to make it happen.

I’m going to take a Small Business Management course, take a few extra business classes, and really work on making myself business savvy as much as I possibly can. I have a business minor already, and I am doing what I can to achieve these new goals I’ve set for myself.

So, if you’re like me, and you’re sitting and wondering about a dream, but you’re writing it off as just another silly notion, this is what I have to say:

All those teachers, your parents, your friends, the vloggers you watch on YouTube, and everyone else around you are right! When you get older, when you’re lying there with nothing but memories, it’s a lot better to say you tried and failed than to wonder what would have happened. If you think you can’t do it, don’t get discouraged. I never thought I could publish a book, and that’s done. I never thought I’d be able to work towards owning my own coffeehouse, but I am.

So, go out there and do what you’ve got to do- unless it’s vile and mean or horrid to other people and will make them cry. That’s not nice. Please don’t intentionally make people cry.

Well, that’s all for now. Have fun living, dreaming, and living the dream!

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.

18 and Writing

It appears it’s that time again.

As you know- or have guessed most likely from the name of my blog- I’m 18, and though perhaps it doesn’t govern everything about my life as an author, it kind of is an important part of where I am. When someone grabs my book having no idea who I am or how old I am, they don’t go into it with any preconceived notions about the writing. It is, for all intents and purposes, just another book they’ve decided to read.

Then there are the people who know me, have met me, or even who have just seen this blog at a glance.

Let me explain. I, on one side of my family, come from a long line of writers. We’ve written our entire lineage down to me, and now here I am, self-published and realizing a dream that many in the Stephenson family have never been able to realize. So, when the members of that side of the family pick up the book to read, they go in expecting a certain level of writing. If it’s wonderful, they’re not shocked. A few of them have told me they love it.

On the other side of my family, they’re great at telling family stories, laughing, and making jokes, but none of them are really writers. They struggle with the common block most easily summarized by, “If only I could write down the ideas I have or the stories of my family; then I’d make millions.” So, though they know I write, they just pass it off. That resulted in a call most specifically from my uncle who was on base in Germany when he got a chance to read my book. What I most remember about that call was a line I’ve come to hear a lot recently from family and friends.

“I knew you could write, but I didn’t know you could write that well! I wasn’t expecting that.”

I took it as a compliment of course, because he was telling me that he really liked my book, but I realized then that maybe people who knew a little about me didn’t really know how devoted my passion is. And then I started hearing that last part everywhere. It’s like I plopped my book down and caused some eye-opening experience.

As an employee- well, when I was as employee at Pizza Hut, many of my coworkers bought my book, and it was like they’d buy it just because. Then they’d come back to me- some the very next night, some a few nights later- and they were just completely baffled about how much they liked my book.

In a recent- and also my first- review on Amazon (thank you SO much Ionia), I saw it again. There, in the review, she even states that she wasn’t prepared for the intensity or intelligence of the book or the level of editing I had managed.

Now, I don’t take these as bad things- not in the least. I love opening people’s eyes to the fact that young authors and self-published authors can far surpass expectations, but I also find it intriguing how a couple things that I think so minor because I’m doing something I love and have never really stopped to think about them, can give people a certain view of a book before they even open the first page.

I’m 18, I’m writing, and I’m living a dream that keeps growing with every day I open my eyes. To those of you who are following my story, thank you. For those of you who have bought and read my book, thank you. For those of you who support me in thoughts or prayers or just in a simple, “Go you!” Thank you. You are the reason that all of this is even possible.

So, don’t underestimate. Don’t judge a book by its author. You might be surprised if you do. And go live a dream because if I can do it… SO CAN YOU!