Sunday, January 29, 2017

Short Story Based on a Picture

The following story was inspired by this photograph:




I hope you enjoy!

Megan stood frozen in line, not yet realizing that her time had come to order, as her mind had been on a journey elsewhere. Absent mindedly she gripped her hands in front of her, toying with her fingers as butterflies took flight in her stomach, causing an ongoing sinking sensation.
    “Can I take your order? Miss?” The barista was giving a slightly quizzical look when Megan snapped back into reality.
    “Oh! Yes I am so sorry,” She paused for a moment, taking in the menu. Part of her wondered if feeding caffeine to the butterflies was a good idea, but another part of her knew she wouldn’t survive the day without coffee.
“I’ll have an eight ounce coffee please,” She swung her backpack around to find her wallet.
“And a cinnamon doughnut.” she added as an afterthought.
“That’s all?”
“Yes.”
“Five eighty three is your total,” the barista watched patiently as Megan, after unhooking the zipper handle from the spine of one of her new notebooks, finally pulled her wallet from the very bottom of her backpack where it had sunk.
The barista smiled when he took the credit card she handed him.
“It’s back to school, I see.”
“Yeah,” Megan laughed a little embarrassed.
“Well, good luck,” he said kindly, handing her back her card and a little paper bag containing her doughnut. She really didn’t have much of an appetite, however she knew it would be unwise to drink coffee on an empty stomach.
She squirmed a little to get out of the busy line, which was already beginning to go out the door. As she stood off to the side waiting for her coffee, she realized just how many people in line seemed to be about her age, probably with the same idea of getting coffee before class begun. Maybe they’d end up in the same class. Megan wondered if she could use that as a conversation starter… Hey I saw you at Sawada Coffee. I’m Megan. Hm. Maybe.
Since as long as she could remember, Megan had always gone to school with friends and had known at least one person before starting at a new school, whether that be elementary, middle, or high school. Star Hills was a small town in Connecticut, where she grew up, yet she always said she wanted to explore more, to go somewhere bigger. So, she ended up in Chicago for her first year of college. It was indeed much bigger, yet she never anticipated this uneasy nervous feeling of beginning something she wasn’t sure what to expect. No one she knew would be at University of Illinois at Chicago.
“One eight ounce coffee!”  
This time alert, Megan took her coffee and turned around to find where cream would be. She assumed it was somewhere behind the pack of people swarming around a window on the right, bumping shoulders as they carelessly reached across others to get what they wanted. With a sniff, Megan carefully tipped the hot liquid in her cup, through the rectangular mouthpiece and into her mouth. The coffee made the tip of her tongue a little sore, but after a few seconds of contemplation, she decided she could drink it black, and slipped out the door.



As her day progressed, Megan did not converse with many people. For the first time in her life, she felt shy and awkward. Normally she would be the one to greet newcomers to town in Star Hills, but here she felt lucky if she got the chance to smile and say a quick hello to someone who passed her in the hallway, or sat next to her in class. In between classes, Megan retreated to her dorm room, and chatted with her high school friends on Snapchat. Even with them all encouraging her to get out of her room and make new friends, she felt content with talking to people she already knew. She did hope to make friends at UIC, but she’d never had to try before. The front office told her that roommate was going to arrive later that day, and Megan was hopeful to make friends with her. The room seemed big at the moment, but Megan felt sure that when another person was moved in, it would feel drastically smaller.
When six o’clock hit, Megan decided to go to the cafeteria for dinner and stay out for a while, maybe catch a movie or get supplies to decorate her side of the room. After all, it might be awkward for her roommate to arrive to see Megan zoned out on her bed, or making ugly faces at her phone to send to her friends.
Dinner consisted of mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and cooked carrots. Megan sat alone at a table near the window, looking out on the campus. A bird swooped down to the ground to pick up a piece of what looked like an abandoned fast food burger tossed in the grass just off to the right of the sidewalk. He was soon joined by another and another, and soon at least half a dozen birds surrounded the hamburger all picking at it and poking each other with their beaks. Megan gazed at them mesmerized, as she recalled the crowd around the coffee supplies back at Sawada Coffee. She was in such a trance that she didn’t immediately notice when someone sat across from her.
“You going to eat that?” Asked a guy with untidy, dirty blonde hair, which was cascading past his forehead and into his blue eyes. He was sitting, his arms folded and a friendly smile lighting up his face.
Megan realized he was referring to the carrot she had been absently suspending on her fork while she observed the outdoor show.
“Oh, right. I was just watching the birds outside. Someone left a burger on the grass and it’s attracting a lot of attention.”
The guy chuckled and shook his head. “Doesn’t surprise me. Are you a freshman?”
“Yeah,” Megan replied, relieved she was actually having a conversation with a potential friend. “What about you?”
“Sophomore. I think I saw you at Sawada Coffee.”
Ugh. He stole my line… At least now I know it was a good one. “Yeah, that’d’ve been me. I’m Megan, by the way.”
“Arthur. You looked a little lonely over here, so I wanted you to be able to meet someone. I know what it’s like, I didn’t know anybody here when I first started.”
Megan smiled. “Well I’m glad you came over.”
“Oh!” Arthur put his hand in his pocket and produced a quarter. “These tables are the best for spinning coins. Here, watch.”
He stood the edge of the coin up on the table and held the edge of each side lightly between his forefinger on his right hand and thumb on his left. In one swift motion, the coin was a spinning blur of silver.
“It’ll stay spinning the longest on these tables. I think it may have something to do with the finish, but I don’t really know. I’m majoring in humanities.”
The change of topic was sudden, yet seemed very casual. Arthur seemed to have a very excitable energy about him, that Megan loved in a friend. She drew her eyes away from the still spinning coin.
“I’m just majoring in liberal arts for now. I need some time to decide what I want to do.”
Arthur nodded. “That’s fair.”
“I mean, I really love art, but I’m not sure it’s practical.”
“Man, art is great!” Arthur replied enthusiastically, “I wish I was artistic, but no such luck.”
Megan smiled. “I like to explore different cultures and emotions, and see how I can express each uniquely in my work.”
Their attention was brought back to the coin by the unmistakable sound of it sinking to the table. When it was finally lying still, Arthur picked it up and tossed it to Megan, who amazed herself by catching it with ease.
“Well maybe I can see some art by Megan one day.” He said, still wearing his friendly smile, as he stood and picked up his empty tray. Megan followed suit, feeling herself smiling as well.
“Maybe you will.”



At a quarter to nine, Megan arrived back at her dorm, bags full with supplies for decorating her wall. After meeting someone she felt much better and the prospect of meeting her roommate excited her even more. She opened the door cautiously, almost as though she was afraid her roommate was a rabid dog who would attack her. She tiptoed in and saw her roommate for the first time.
She was hanging up posters on the wall above her bed and hadn’t seemed to hear anyone enter, but turned when Megan closed the door.
“Hi,” She smiled nervously. “I’m Keshia.”
Keshia was small and dark, with thick black curls which fell just below her shoulder. She looked at Megan a little awkwardly, her eyes darting about as though she wasn’t sure what to do.
“I’m Megan. When did you get in?”
“Oh about an hour and a half ago,” Keshia resumed decorating her wall and Megan moved to her side to do the same. “I may have taken an impromptu trip to Japan with some friends a couple weeks ago, and well…”
“That’s so cool! I really want to travel to different parts around the world,” Megan mused.
“It was pretty great.” Keshia smiled. “It seems unreal that I’m back now and starting college.”
“I bet. What’s your major?”
“Medicine. I want to be a doctor. Pediatrician to be exact.”  
“Cool!”
“Thanks.”
The girls were silent for a while, each focused on their own tasks of decorating. Megan felt very happy that it seemed for now that her and Keshia would get along fine.
“Hey do you like coffee?” Megan asked Keshia.
“Dude I live on coffee!” Keshia replied in a way that reminded Megan of one of her high school friends.
“Good! I do too. Anyway if you want to join me, I’m going to go to Sawada Coffee before class tomorrow. I went this morning and it was pretty good. It’s only twenty minutes by bus.”
“Alright!” Keshia said happily, before yawning. “Do you mind if we turn the lights out a little early today? I’m pretty jet lagged.”
“No problem.” With one last push of her thumb, Megan was finished hanging her wall art.
“Wow,” Keshia propped herself on her side with her elbow. “Did you do those? They’re amazing!”
“Thanks,” Megan laughed a little awkwardly. She looked at her abstracts and wondered what each person saw. The way they were designed intentionally left them open to interpretation. With that in mind, she flopped onto her bed and turned off her light, submerging them into a serene darkness.


The next morning Megan and Keshia stood in line together at Sawada Coffee. They’d been able to find things to talk about in relation to music, movies and food, all of which were favorites for both girls. Megan saw Arthur a few people in front of them and they smiled and waved at each other. She noticed the butterflies in her stomach had gone and in the back of her mind wondered when yesterday they had made their exit. Chicago still wasn’t completely used to by her, but it was more comfortable than it had been previously. When her turn came to order, Megan recognized her barista and had her wallet already out of her backpack, ready to pay.
The barista grinned. “Made it through day one, I see.”
“All thanks to your coffee, Dave,” She replied amiably, noticing his name tag.
“Why thank you, I do try my best,” Dave joked, handing her her things.
“Keep it up!”
Once again Megan debated with herself whether or not to try to get cream from the flock of people surrounding the station. Keshia soon appeared by her side, clearly wondering the same thing.
“Should we do it?” Keshia asked, seeming rather terrified at the thought. Then she repeated Megan’s actions of yesterday, sipping the coffee. “I can take it black. You?”
Megan sniffed. “Same.” She turned to follow Keshia out the door, coffee in hand. As she exited, she sipped the bold coffee.
Here’s to new beginnings. She thought as the hot liquid slid delicately down her throat.

A Riddle Using Metaphors

I am
A hug of comfort on cold, white mornings.
A safety jacket for the day
A best friend and
A clinging enemy.
I am
Stress realized
Pain assured.
I am
A tsunami of emotion
And a gentle rain of calm.


What am I?
****************

Coffee

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Poem on Music

Hope


I always like music
best
the emotional
melody,
could be
happy,
could be
sad,
could bring a
sense of peace
or
could bring a
wave of energy.
It
might be wordless,
might be worthless,
or
it might be wonderful
and full of
purpose.

Poem on Wonder

Wonder

I used to
lie awake at night.
Fantasies ran spirited
through my head.
I was safe in these
worlds I created.
Secure in my bed.

Now I
feel trapped in my
head at night.
Work to exhaustion
avoiding the worry
which trespasses unwelcomed
to create tension in
a wondering mind.

I will
learn again
how to dream.
How to wonder
without worry.
How to separate reality
from fantasy.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Important Truths I've Discovered

As I grow older I'm sure this list will grow longer, so look forward to a part 2 sometime in the future <3


Within the last couple years of my life, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my life, or at least how I perceive it. The following are just a few of the many truths I’ve discovered and would like to share with others.

Being correct doesn’t always make you right.

Sometimes you have to discern when a situation calls for words, versus when it calls solely for your presence.

When you comfort others, a small part of yourself is comforted too.

Procrastination is that endless cycle that once it has roots, can seem impossible to shake. But when you put your mind AND heart to something, not even procrastination can dig you away from it.

Beauty is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.

All those times you thought your life would be better once you got to be a teenager, is in some ways very true, but new challenges will always arise.

Your titles (or names) should not define you. You should define your titles.

Yes, yes, I know I’ll be thankful for my “youthful appearance” one day. But that day is not today.

Similarly, why should you care if people think you look younger than you are? Isn’t age supposed to be a sign of wisdom? Spend less time trying to be something you are not and more making the most of who you are.

The more plans you make, the more disappointed you’ll be. The less plans you make, the more frustrated you’ll be.

Poetry has the power to change a person, if the ground experience is similar.

Relax and take a break for a day, away from all your worries, let your mind rest. Appreciate the single moments in life, keep them close to your heart and let them be your hope.

Not everything does happen for a reason, though it can sometimes be easy to assume so. Don’t let yourself be stuck in that mindset; it turns into an awful way of justifying awful things. Create and follow your own future.

Know that you are not alone, someone is always there for you, whether you can see them, or sense them.

Emotions are not weaknesses, allow yourself to feel and to cry when you need to, whether you are a girl OR a boy.

Nobody has it all together. If someone claims to be perfect, they are not. But don’t be afraid to use the word “good”. Good can be improved upon, perfect cannot.

When you learn that something you were taught since you were young is actually wrong, don’t deny it. But don’t tear yourself up over it either. Make an effort to change.

Talk it out. Whenever something is bothering you, tell someone. Or even just say it out loud. Ignoring problems don’t make them go away.

Be confident. Make sure everything you do, you do with pride and confidence. If you decide to take a stand, don’t back down.

Listen. No matter how confident you are in your own stand, listen to other people’s stands, rather than hearing them. Who knows, you may even learn something.

Be open to new ideas. Even if you don’t believe in them at all, be open to the fact that some people might. And that’s okay.

Know your role model. Acknowledging who it is you find yourself looking up to can help you to discern good and bad characteristics from even them, and not get mindlessly caught in copying them in everything.

Find your hobby, that one thing you can’t live a peaceful life without doing occasionally. Hold onto it, because you never know. It may one day save your life.

Take a moment to think back and realize how far you’ve come in the past three to four years. Recognize who you were and appreciate who you now are.

Understand that you still have so much to learn, so many different ideas to reckon with, and realizations to come to.


Please, please comment truths you've found! Love you all!! 

Hope Is...

Here are some thoughts on hope. Please comment!! <3 


Do you wonder what hope is? I often find myself hoping for things, for events, for circumstances, that all seem just out of reach. That must be the appeal in hope: searching for things that seem difficult to achieve, but close enough to reality to be possible. Still, hope must mean something different for each person you ask, and while I cannot imagine to cover what hope may mean for you, I will tell you the numerous things that I have realized hope is to me. We may even be similar.

Hope is the future. It can only exist with something I am looking forward to. It is impossible to have hope for the past, or present, only that the future may hold changes that are overall for the better. Hope guides my way of viewing my future.  Of course, the future could end up looking nothing like I hoped. Yet as I sit here typing, I can’t even imagine a different future for myself than the one I hope I will be able to successfully achieve one day. The thought of the future as an unknown is too terrifying to handle, so I must keep this hope that I clench onto so tightly and pray that this clenching won’t have disastrous impacts on my later life.  

All the above is considering the future as a long time away. However, it is important to note that hope also holds for the very near future, perhaps that the Spanish quiz I feel a bit unprepared for ends up being matching. Yet this type of hope does not have a large impact in my life, because it lasts for only a little while before it flies away when my question is quickly answered.

Hope is an ideal. In this future that I am so desperately hopeful to achieve, it is the definition of an idealistic life for myself. Could my hope be irrational as so many people have told me my plans are? Perhaps, yet my hopeful idealistic future, to me, is quite rational. Even if I don’t meet up perfectly to my ideal person in the future, I at least have a picture in mind to hope for and eventually shape myself into being. Truthfully, some of the ideals that I hope for, I know for a fact won’t come true. World peace for example. I pride myself in being too intelligent to actually believe that wars and ridiculous conflict within nations will come to an end. However, I hope that I can show some people that violence is never the answer to solve conflicts between two parties. War will still go on, but by being able to change another person’s future toward a more peaceful life, will impact their world. Changing as many people’s lives around for the better is my goal which gets as close to my unattainable ideal as possible.

Hope is denial. While the future is important, focusing on hope ends up with me denying the present. Denying that I can currently do anything meaningful to work towards the ideals I mentioned previously. Denying to take care of my own mental well-being, since there will be plenty of time for that AFTER my hopes have come true and been made secure. (Yet the notion that one who is unhappy, can make other people happy, is a ridiculous one.) Denying that to live happily is to live fully in the present, and not where my mind is always picturing the future and my hopes. Hope can, therefore, be dangerous. A vital part in my being, yet if I’m not careful, my passionate hope for the future will overtake how I use my life now. That would be disastrous.

Hope is a lifeguard. A seemingly contradictory statement to the previous, but hope is what keeps me going. If I had no hope… I would have nothing. I believe the same goes for all people, whether they realize it yet or not. I live for the hope of what my life will become when I will be able to fully take charge. What I hope for is what will make me happy. Thinking of my hope DOES make me happier. That joy and passion for my hope is what keeps me content in my day to day life now.

My hope, is what defines me. I have a purpose in life because of it. My view of how I hope my future will pan out, is an example of what is important to me, of what defines me. At times I may feel bullied for the idealistic world I’ve made for my future, but I haven’t let even my own parent’s contradictory statements steer me away from what I believe is right. You see, I don’t hope for money, for fame, but for what is really important to me: a future where I can feel fulfilled and help others to feel fulfilled as well.

Only one question remains: What are you hopeful for?

Hello Again!

Over two years have passed since I last updated this blog.

So hello again!

I would like to use this as a platform to share messages across the world, to show the world a little of what I have to offer. Of what I believe in. Of who I am. Maybe you'll read my posts and see similarities between the two of us.

I'm not completely sure if this blog will consist strictly of heartfelt messages, small stories, poems or all of the above. Probably all of the above.

I cannot promise that I will constantly update, though I will try to share something weekly. I've found that writing is what brings me peace personally, and I have resolved to do more of it.

One thing that I have realized is I have many assignments from my English class last year that I am quite proud of. I may post some of them, and perhaps more from my classes this year!

See you soon!!