Tag Archives: Time

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

2 Nov

Due to being completely swamped with schoolwork, projects, papers, and all sorts of end of the semester stuff that professors love the throw at us the few weeks before Thanksgiving, I’m going to have to drop my commitment to do NaNoWriMo. Though I’d love to say that I have the time, I truly don’t, and this blog has always acted as just a way for me to let my feelings out. With everything related to college + making time for NaNoWriMo, I don’t have a place for my frustration to go. Plus, I just know that I really need to focus on academics right now. That’s what college is about…plus reading some on the side and making weekly, if not by-weekly, drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Therefore, I’m sorry to those of you who were looking forward to my day-by-day account of NaNoWriMo, but I know that I’ll definitely be posting similar writing pieces throughout the month…just not quite every day. Plus, as I’ve learned since January, writing a memoir isn’t exactly an easy thing. Having to dig up a new painful memory from my childhood to write about each day is just too much right now. Plus, I think it’s also important for me to keep reminding myself that there is no timeline. I don’t have a deadline I need to meet. I don’t need to relive my entire childhood in the span of a single year. Truthfully, I think taking my time with it will make it that much better. I’ve never worked well when I’m rushed, even if I am the person that ends up getting things done if they need to be done. I guess I just have now realized that this doesn’t need to be done right now. I’m not giving up on it by any means. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I think taking more time with it will make it even better, which is what I want.

That being said, I’m off to spend the evening working on an incredibly important research paper, especially since I’m hoping to have it done by the beginning of next week (even though it’s not due for a few weeks). Wish me luck! Also, happy writing to those of you who are trudging through NaNoWriMo. I’ll be cheering you all on throughout the month!

Hospitals: Where Time Stops And Yet The Weeks Run Together.

8 Aug

Anyone who has ever had a very intense surgery will tell you that the actual surgery is the easy part. It’s the intense physical therapy sessions that you have twice a day that bring all of the pain, a pain unlike anything you’ve ever known before.

The physical therapy room of Shriner’s Hospital is a room that is very detailed in my mind. First of all, there are 2 doors on either side of a window that lead into the therapy room. If you enter through the door on your right, you’ll see the physical therapists’ desks to your left, a few raised mats to your right, a small set of stairs straight ahead, and a set of parallel bars to the left of the stairs. Past the stairs and the parallel bars and the mats, there’s a relatively big window. Beyond the window is a patio area that has a few benches and some trees, a scene that was probably designed to look relaxing and bring in as much sunshine as possible. A scene that all of the PT patients look at with longing when they are able to catch a glimpse, wishing for just one moment that they could be on the other side of that window.

I went out onto that patio area once from what I can remember. I remember smiling because it was the first time in months that I was able to feel the sunshine on my face. Hospitals give the impression of being cold, dreary, and plain. Shriner’s wasn’t like that. It was colorful, had a game area for kids to play, and had tons of windows that gave you a glimpse into what was happening outside. However, they were still windows. They still acted as a barrier between two very different worlds. Even though Shriner’s didn’t give off the typical hospital impression of being gloomy and full of sick people, it’s true that you lose track of the days when you’re in a hospital. However, in my case, I seemed to lose track of the seasons more than the days. If it wasn’t for the big windows, I would never know when the leaves began to change in the fall or when the flowers began to bloom in the spring. I’d never know that the world was continuing on without me…while I was inside a physical therapy room wanting nothing more than to catch a fallen autumn leaf in my hand or feel the rain on my face.

All the time that I spent in Shriner’s after my surgeries to have intense physical therapy is pretty much a blur. Though I remember specific memories, the time frame I was there is skewed. I can’t remember how long I had intense PT after my first surgery. I can’t remember when I was finally able to go home after that chunk of therapy. But I can remember who my therapist was. I can remember which exercises I hated the most, and I can remember the moments when the only time that I could breathe a sigh of relief was in between the spasms in my legs, the spasms that made it seem as if my legs resembled a rubber band that was being pulled right up until the moment that it almost popped. Though I may not remember days, months, or what time of year it was, I remember specific moments of pain. I remember realizing that there’s only so much emotion that can be held in tears, and there’s only so many times you can scream before the pain is so extreme that it silences everything, even your voice.

Tuesday’s Tunes: A Closer Look At The Art Of Missing.

29 May


Yesterday I listened to this song on repeat for over an hour, letting the lyrics sink in and waiting for the painful memories that I knew would surface in time. That’s the special thing about music. Each song is unique in its power to allow all kinds of memories to rise up, ranging from childhood moments to moments that only lasted a split second in the scheme of your life, yet moments that seemed to have a stronger hold on you than you seem to have on the current life that you’re living.

While listening to this song, I thought of the art of missing. It’s been an idea that has rolled around in my head for the past few days. However, I’ve been unsure as to how to bring life to it through my words. However, putting off writing just because we are stuck is not what true writers do. We move forward, muddling through the words that we know we yearn to say, waiting for the moment when they decide to allow themselves to be seen by someone other than ourselves. Anyway, the art of missing has been on my mind lately. Isn’t it a bit of a funny concept? It’s almost like a hunger for something that can only be satisfied by some kind of contact. Often times, I find myself missing people who I’ve just talked to or just seen. I think that’s probably because I
have had a habit of getting attached to people and then I have always hated any kind of goodbye. Whether it’s goodbye for a few days or a few months or even a year, it’s never any easier. However, by some miraculous twist of fate, we move forward. We place one foot in front of the other, knowing that walking ahead is our only option.

I believe that one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the art of missing is when you miss someone who may not be missing you in return. Not because they have told you that they don’t miss you, but because you no longer have the kind of relationship where it would be okay to ask that kind of question. In that instance, I’m missing someone who I used to know. Though that person is still around, they are not the same person that is etched into my childhood memories so precisely. Maybe, deep down, that person is still there. The person that I put so much trust in and looked up to for so long. The person who taught me to believe in myself and reminded me to never stop smiling. But truthfully, I probably will never know if that person from my memories still exists. That’s the tricky thing about time and the art of missing. Even though people say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, is time factored into that equation? To me, it seems like time is often the polar opposite of distance, causing the heart to ever so slowly forget the faces in one’s mind that were etched there so many years ago.

Through some recent introspection, I’ve realized that missing someone is like a hunger, but in another sense, it’s also like a sickness. A sickness that fills you internally, causing you to stop and wonder if there was ever a time that was spent not missing someone. Even though the art of missing does reflect the strong amount of love that people are able to show to one another, it’s almost as if the love is just never quite enough. The love is present, it has taken your hand. However, instead of simply having it take your hand, you want it to surround you, fill you up…and not leave you standing at a window looking out into a world that you are part of and yet isolated from. Even though missing someone shows that you care about someone and that you love them, it can also pull you under its current, leaving you to wave your hands frantically, waiting for someone to realize that you are, in fact, struggling to simply stay above water.

Fun Sick Days Don’t Exist In College.

12 Apr

During my childhood, being sick was an exciting time (if it wasn’t the stomach bug or another nasty equivalent). Being sick in the middle school days meant staying home from school, being curled up on the couch in pjs watching tv, having my mom make me soup and get popsicles and ice cream from the store, and best of all, sleeping. Sometimes when I was younger, I looked forward to those days, even if I was feeling pretty crappy. It meant having a break from school, which wasn’t exactly needed during the younger years, but something I gladly took anyway.

Being sick in college is not nearly as fun. Since there’s so much schoolwork to get done and most teachers penalize you for assignments being late or for missing a test, there’s no “fun” in being sick. Yesterday, I had 2 classes and worked at the bookstore for 4 hours despite being tired and coughing so much that I thought I’d cough up a lung eventually. Once I was done with classes yesterday, I came back to my dorm room to try to sleep, but I had no luck due to my constant coughing. After I had “rested” for about an hour, I had to get back to working on all the schoolwork that my professors have piled on over the last week.

No matter how old I get, I think I’ll always want my mom when I’m sick. Someone to make me soup and buy me popsicles and basically spend the day babying me. Everyone feels rotten when they’re sick, and all anyone wants is to feel better. Though moms can’t wish away sickness, they still do a pretty good job making sick days the best of the worst days. Ever since yesterday, I’ve wanted to be at my house curled up on the couch in pjs not having to worry about anything but sleeping and getting better. Though I know it’s important to get better now too, I’ve got so much due. As a kid, I never thought I’d need more time for “life.” I used to think there was so much already. College beats that thought right out of you, but leaves the sickness lingering….waiting to attach itself to the next tired and stressed college student.

Tuesday’s Tunes: Does Music Help Your Writing?

13 Mar

When I think of the typical writer, I imagine someone in a book-filled “study” that’s dead quiet except for the sound of the writer’s typing. Though I’m sure there are some people out there who write better when a room is dead quiet so that they can hear themselves think through what they’re writing, I myself have found that I write much better with music. Nothing too loud or distracting. Something just loud enough to counteract the silence that has the power to envelope a room like a blanket.

Like many books, music evokes so many emotions within me. That is a wonderful tool while writing because often the challenge for me is retrieving the emotions. Once they’ve surfaced, I just write and write and write until everything that I’ve felt from those particular emotions is down on the page. It’s an incredible freeing feeling, which is something that I didn’t really pick up on until starting this blog. Since then, I’ve realized just how disconnected I feel when I have yet to write my daily blog post. It’s like an itch that doesn’t go away until I decide to scratch it. It took me a while to realize how good it is that I’ve made myself blog everyday. Even on days when I feel like there’s not much to say, it’s still a ritual that is very therapeutic to me. I write what I feel…and then those feelings are available for all of you to read. As well as it being a freeing process, I also am so thankful for all of the wonderful feedback that I’ve received from my wonderful followers. You all are the reason I have continued on this journey. Though we are each following our own path, this connection we all have is real, raw, and true.

Recently, I’ve gravitated toward artists like Natalie Merchant while writing. Her voice is soft and calming, and it’s the perfect background music to compliment the fact that there are thousands of thoughts and memories begging to be released onto the page. With the calming music as comfort, I remind myself that the memories will show themselves when I’m ready to see them again. Though it’d be easy to get frustrated (and I have), I’ve also been reminded that there is no deadline on this book. I don’t have to have everything written down by a certain date. Though I’ve been advised to not rush the creative process, I guess things didn’t really stick until I embarked on the journey of writing my book. I began writing and had the mentality that I just wanted to get it all out. All my emotions were on the verge of breaking free, and I needed to let them out. However, I’ve recently realized that bombarding my mind and heart with all sorts of memories isn’t necessarily the best approach. For one, I get overwhelmed quickly…which leads to feelings of defeat. Secondly, if I bombard myself with all sorts of emotions, there is the possibility that I may miss something…something that’s an important piece to the puzzle.

So, here I sit…writing. Writing to all of you to hear your thoughts on all of this. Over my Spring Break, I took a break from working on my book. Even though I technically didn’t write anything for the entire break, that didn’t mean that my mind wasn’t racing with ideas, memories, emotions, and questions. So even when I want to take a break from it, I don’t think I will fully be able to. Unfortunately, we aren’t born with a switch to turn off our brains. If we were, I bet that writers would be the first people to jump on that bandwagon.

Let’s NOT Spring Forward.

11 Mar

Even though Spring Forward didn’t affect me much this morning, I still hate the concept of losing an hour of sleep. I mean, really?! What sick and twisted person decided to take away an hour on sleep….applying to everyone else (ya know, including new mothers, sick people and yes, college students!) Totally not cool.

At 2am this morning, Americans turned their clocks ahead one hour in order to mark the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. Clocks are set ahead an hour so that the sun will rise and set later in the day. According to infoplease.com, the federal law that established “daylight time” in the United States does not require any area to observe daylight savings time. But if a state chooses to observe DST, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law. Interestingly enough, Arizona and Hawaii are the only 2 states in the United States that do not observe DST.

Aside from the facts, I’d rather not Spring Forward. Can’t we just keep falling back? That would seriously be GREAT. What’s funny is that even when we fall back, it takes me a long time to get used to the time change. I guess that’s a plus for Hawaii and Arizona though…they never have to attempt to adjust. It’s just so aggravating. I’ll either wake up thinking it’s 7 and it’ll be 8, or I’ll wake up thinking it’s 7 and it’s 6. Bleh. I’d much rather have the time be earlier rather than later (in terms of waking up in the morning), but if given the choice I’d prefer to just opt out. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take me to adjust to DST this year. I hope it’s not long because I’ve got classes and work starting back tomorrow. I can’t be walking around in a sleepy haze. I need to be alert and ready to go.

Either way, change happens, and we’ve just got to move with it. But messing with people’s sleep is just wrong. Don’t you agree?

Learning From The Memories.

15 Feb

A few days ago, my parents told me that they’ve put our South Carolina house on the market. Though I’m looking forward to having my parents closer to me, another part of me knows that it may take a while to call our mountain house “home.” Though I’d pick living in Saluda over St. Matthews any day, I grew up in St. Matthews. It was my home for a long time.

No matter how many times I say that I’m happy that I won’t need to go back to St. Matthews once my parents are in Saluda, there are so many memories that St. Matthews holds that no amount of time in another place will be able to replace. Playing t-ball at the baseball field on the end of our street, finding a family through getting involved in theater with the Calhoun Players, riding my various go-karts around the block again and again, driving up and down the street in my Barbie Jeep, learning to drive my first car, the ice storm that lead to my dad and I going to get pizza from the Pantry. All my great birthday parties growing up, getting to be a “flyer” on the cheerleading team when I was really little, catching frogs in the “pond” behind the Piggly Wiggly after a big rain, the Purple Martin Festival, discovering my love of writing, spending the Saturdays of summer at the small county library, making mud pies in the backyard, running through the wildflowers in the back lot, cracking pecans, swinging in the old tire swing in the back lot, my dad rocking me in his mom’s rocking chair on the nights when I couldn’t sleep, sitting out on the screen porch listening to a summer thunderstorm, making brownies in the kitchen with mom and always wanting to lick the bowl. I could go on forever…

It’s times like these, when the memories run through my head like a slide show, that I get nostalgic. It used to amaze me that a certain place could hold so much emotion, but now I understand. There are 16 years of memories there, and they’re not going anywhere. Though I’ll take them with me wherever I go in my life, they belong there….in the small town that I always wanted to get away from and did get away from when I was 16. I don’t doubt that when I visit in the future, the memories will come back once I take that 136 exit off of I-26 to the place that I called home for so long. I’ll drive down my street, and it’ll feel weird….it’ll feel weird that time hasn’t stopped…it’ll feel weird knowing that someone else is living in our house…using my bedroom..playing in my back yard…and making memories in a place that held all the cherished moments of my own childhood.

At the same time, I’ve always had a strong connection with the mountains, and so I understand why my parents would also want to call the mountains home. As a family, we used to always make trips up to Saluda to get away, so I have a feeling it’ll take some time to not imagine taking a “trip” to Saluda. However, I’ve called the mountains (Asheville, in my case) home since August, and it’s been amazing. I’ve loved every second of it, and being among such beautiful landscapes has helped me gain perspective, while also giving me the opportunity of discovering myself some more. It’s a strange feeling….knowing that every day I’m coming closer to fully discovering who I’m supposed to be in this world. It’s exciting and scary, but the only way is forward. So, to all the memories that have taken up a permanent residence in my heart: Thanks for teaching me about life, what it means to love, the importance of friends and family. But most of all, thanks for providing me with courage, insane amounts of love to give to those around me, laughter, and hope. And showing me the importance of branching out, chasing my dreams, and ultimately, following my heart to the true place that it belongs.