My Hiking MVP

We went hiking this weekend. I was excited, since it was my fourth time around on the path. My second time leading someone blindfolded. I’m not very good at hiking. This year, especially, the incline had me incredibly out of breath. Before we left, I communicated to the leader that I wasn’t feeling well. My stomach was causing me pain, along with my hip and my ankle. However, I made it to the top, and the view was breathtaking.

The way back was rough. Last year, I was the last one up the hill. The previous time, I was last. I didn’t want to be last again, but I remember that final stretch to be horrible. Something found in my nightmares. A terrible upward segment to the end.

This year was no different. It was awful. I lost my partner only five minutes on the return journey. I was clutching my water bottle like a lifeline, and only allowing myself to drink when I absolutely needed it. A number of people passed me.

And finally, when the back of the line had reached me, and I pushed myself harder, I found myself surrounded by a small trio of friends. One girl in my level, and two others I’d had as campers.

My friend engaged me in conversation. I shared my testimony first, and then we discussed college and our futures. The conversation kept my mind off of my pain, and distracted me from what felt like a never-ending walk.

As we drew closer to the end, she and I decided to pretend the woods were actually Narnia. At the time when the White Witch had just begun to lose her powers, and the snow had melted, and the beginning of spring was peeking through blossoms. As we passed some white flowers, we imagined they were snow blanketing the ground.

I don’t know if I would have finished without her. Looking back, it was her talking to me that kept me going, and I so appreciate her willingness to walk with me.

A Daily Dose of Crushing Reality

I’m struggling a great deal right now. It’s senior year. This is the year that I have to determine what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.

And I know what I want to do. I want to write. I want to pen novels, create characters, weave stories. Share these works with kids who will look at them with wonder. This is my passion. I’ve been developing it all of my life.

All I want to do is find the next step in developing that. High school graduation is synonymous with college, so I’m trying to find a school that will provide what I need to grow as a writer. I want to have a better understanding of creative writing, as well as grammar, usage, and mechanics. There are other skills I want to develop further, such as public speaking and video editing.

However, a few days ago, I was effectively hit with the crushing reality that I cannot survive on my passion. Not only have all my research efforts been inconclusive, but I’m unable to live on writing. By the time I’m out of high school, I will have published five, if not six, published novels. But they aren’t popular by any stretch of the imagination. Three of them are works of a child. Three show marked improvement, but no one reads them. No one enjoys them, except a select few people who know me.

I have another series I’ve been developing for a year. I’m anxious to write it, to share it with people. Yet, I won’t be able to survive. I don’t possess the funds to traditionally publish them.

Now, I’m forced to consider other options. Other things to do with my life.

Can you even begin to understand the crushing frustration of knowing what you want to do with your life, and wanting to improve yourself; yet there is no opening for you to do so? And then you are forced to decide what you will do with the rest of your life; something that you aren’t passionate about?

It would be different if I didn’t know what I wanted to do. If I didn’t have something I am incredibly passionate about and have seen myself pursuing for the rest of my life.

But I do. And I instead must put aside my greatest passions and look for something else; all for money, and having enough to live.

I have cried more than four times this week. There is so much anger and frustration pent up inside of me. I’m furious. I’m disappointed. I’m heartbroken. I’m disgusted.

And I have no idea how to help myself.

Whipped Cream and Fried Fish

I’m in the middle of my third week of my senior year. It’s been pretty eventful so far. I have three classes this semester: AP English Language and Composition; Probability and Statistics; and Latin.

On the first day of class, my AP teacher essentially told us we were doomed. It was terrifying, as she recounted the stories of honors students the previous year who had ended the class with a C. C. Such horrors, we wished not to comprehend. I quickly emailed my friends and told them that we were going to become the Fantastic Four – whether they wanted to or not. I am Invisible Girl, and the others distributed their roles as Mr. Fantastic, The Human Torch, and The Thing as needed.

On the second day of class, I was actually working at camp. When I came home, I had a series of emails from my buddies that went something like:

“I don’t want to die.”
“I’m sure she’s exaggerating.”
“But what if she’s not and we all fail?!”

The recording of class revealed another bout of depressing doom.

On the third day of class, the Human Torch jumped ship. We are the Fantastic Three, now, but we do have an opening for Spider-Man.

So far, stress has been at every turn. I have so much to juggle, and let’s be honest, I’m a lousy juggler; I can do two at a time, but that’s totally cheating, and the moment you add a third ball in the air, everything comes crashing down.

Best of all, my brain is becoming preoccupied with creative ideas. For example, last night when I went to bed, my brain decided to sing Disney songs until suddenly, I had another idea for another parody. I don’t have time for another parody, but then I couldn’t sleep. Another idea for Robotics suddenly came to me, and my mind was racing a mile a minute. The night before that, I was mentally working on book stuff.

I kind of need my sleep.

I hope to update you in the future with more of my adventures. As for the title, those are inside jokes with The Thing; we are honestly some of the weirdest people I’ve ever known. But I couldn’t think of a more appropriate title.

My Five Favorite Musicians

I love music. I play piano, guitar, and I sing. In fact, my greatest stress reliever lately is to just shut some doors, get out my guitar, clip the capo on, and sing really loudly–whether I’m in key or not.

I have some favorite songs by random people, but a favorite musician is someone that you can just get behind, no matter what they produce. At first, you may think, “Eh, this genre isn’t really my thing,” but something about them makes it your thing. So, without further ado, here are my five favorite musicians in absolutely no particular order (maybe).

1) Jordan Taylor.

I’ve been watching Blimey Cow since I was thirteen years old. That’s YouTube; but Jordan, the host, has put out a CD called Long Drive. It tells a great story, and I love the different styles featured on it. Am I in an upbeat mood? I’ll listen to “This Moment”. Winding down for my day? Let’s play “Separation”. And on what day would I not love to hear “Need Each Other”? No such day exists, I tell you. No such day.

2) Andrew Peterson.

Andrew Peterson has already been on one of these “Top Five” lists. It was for his writing, which I’m a huge fan of; but he’s also a musician. His music initially wasn’t a genre that I was into, but I now think I’d listen to anything he ever produced. I’ve bought one of his CDs, and I have three coming in the mail. Yeah, it’s that amazing.

3) Colton Dixon.

I happen to own two copies of A Messenger, two copies of Anchor, and one copy of The Calm Before the Storm. Why do I have two copies of most of his CDs? Well, because I get them for myself, and then other people give them to me as gifts, and you can’t say no to a gift, so. Colton is an old favorite of mine; I was a fan of him since his very first appearance on Idol, and I’ve followed his career ever since. I even saw him at Uprise one year.

4) About a Mile.

About a Mile is a band that my mentor introduced me to about a year or so ago. She gave me their CD, and after listening to it, I went and randomly bought one for my friend who likes music. I also got one for another friend’s birthday. I really enjoyed that CD.

5) Ed Ames.

You have most likely never heard of Ed Ames. That’s because he’s eighty-nine years old. When Ed Ames was in his prime, he played a role in the television show Daniel Boone. He also sang. I have a CD called, “The Very Best of Ed Ames”. I actually reference it in one of my books. Most of the music is dramatic love songs, but hey; I like those sometimes. His voice is very rich and deep, and I really love the songs on that CD.