CWA #2

Topic: The best advice for a teen just graduating from high school.
Purpose: I was flipping through my book today and came across this topic. I’m the oldest in my family on both sides. I received some sound advice when I graduated but a lot of it seemed to be cliché and was too little, too late. I have a cousin graduating this year and another cousin (or two) next year. This is for them.

The hat and gown suits you well. It seems to be the single outfit in human history to look great on everyone. Not only does it hide any physical abnormalities or dislikes about yourself but it, in all its plainness and flowiness, forces people to believe that you’ve accomplished something great – which you have. You graduated high school; an achievement that was 12 years or more in the making. The hat and gown you’re wearing – it makes people look at you with pride and accomplishment. It makes you, the one wearing it, feel good and special.

That same hat and gown is awfully deceiving though. It doesn’t give you a sure-ride ticket to anywhere unless you continue working beyond the blip of an achievement that you made. And I don’t say blip because high school graduation isn’t important – it’s probably one of the most important moments in your life. But it’s a blip simply because there are so many more great things you’re capable of doing going forward now that you have that checked off your outline of life. There are so many more moments and times in your future that people will look at you with pride and accomplishment – if you allow it.

If you’re lucky, your dreams for your future are clear. You have a plan and you’re going to go and get it as soon as this graduation party is over. On the contrary; you might not have a plan. You might not know what you want to do with your life. The dreaded “What are you going to do now?” has been asked a hundred times over the past six hours if not six months. “I don’t know” doesn’t seem to be acceptable even though it’s the truth.

Don’t be afraid to not know. That’s the absolute best advice I can give you. Don’t be afraid of figuring it out. It’s scary as hell but I promise you, it’ll be worth it. Simple the process of a future down. Go to and graduate college, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids is still what people seem to want to hear. Even now in 2015, that’s what their ears are ready for. You’re 18, although thinking about your future is important and I wouldn’t abandon it all together, there is no use in thinking of the big picture right now. Consider each moment in your life a single picture creating a lifetime collage. All the milestone photos of your life will continuously accumulate, make them the absolute best. Be proud of what you’re going to do in your life. Follow your dreams, live your dreams.

Don’t be stupid and make detrimental mistakes. Don’t abandon those that love you; primarily your family. Appreciate the world and what it has to offer. Travel, make new friends, take photographs. Pay your bills on time and don’t be reckless. If you decide not to go to college – don’t waste those young years away. Understand the reality of real life and accept it instead of try to fight it. In doing that, you don’t need to give up your free roaming spirit or life. If you don’t see yourself in a typical 8-5 setting 10 years down the road, do something about it. You’re still going to need to make money to survive, accept it. Don’t rely on and abuse your parents financially. Save up some money and make wise decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Join the Peace Corps, backpack around Europe, fall in love, skydive. Do everything you possibly can because you want to not because society wants you to.

From personal experience, I do think college is important. However, I would only recommend college to those that know what they want to do. To those that do have a plan. I’m still paying off my 2 years of college debt 5 years later. I didn’t get a fancy job, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, I didn’t make lifelong friends, and it didn’t help me decide what to do in my life. But that’s me, don’t let anyone else’s experience deter you from living your dream. If I could do it all over again, I would have done more research in high school, visited colleges, and actually spent time to decide what I wanted to do. I would have moved away and attended a four-year college. I would have traveled abroad my junior year. But I never did because I felt that the resources weren’t available to me and I didn’t know where to look. That’s why you have me. What are your favorite things to do? Sports? Painting? Photography? Working on cars? Photoshop?

There’s something to do in the “real world” for everyone. You can become a sports reporter, journalist, newscaster. You can own your own art gallery or become an art professor. You can be a photographer on your own or with a media group. You can become an automotive or diesel mechanic, a shop teacher. You can become a graphic or website designer. The possibilities are endless, your future is wider than your arms are even capable of spreading. Don’t waste the days after high school graduation away. Find yourself but don’t lose yourself. Dream big and follow through.

So, even though this was important for you to read, take my advice; put this down and spend time with those that love you. Throw that square hat up into the air, smile until your cheeks hurt today and everyday. Be honest, take those milestone pictures, and show everyone what life is all about. Make your collage worth looking at.

CWA #1

Awhile ago, I announced that my mom had given me a book called “642 Things To Write About.” I had intended to start this earlier but nows a better time than never right? As mentioned in that post, you’ll know it’s a creative writing peace based on the title. I plan on just opening up the book and choosing the first topic I see. Some will be fiction some will be non, depending on the topic I suppose. Here we go…

Who people think you are, compared to who you know you are.

Wow. Jumping right in I guess. This is awfully tricky because it really depends on who the person in question is. People judge a book by its cover in all different forms. I could look at the cover of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and think it’s going to be a phenomenal book while my 70-something year old grandma could look at it and see a bad illustration of the greatest book series of her granddaughters generation.

A judgement that has stuck with me for a very long time is something my 10th grade best friend said to me. I enrolled in the Newfolden school district mid-9th grade year. I was quiet. I always am when I’m somewhere new, I know that for sure. It took me some time to warm up to the 25 or so people in my grade. Fast forward a good year or so, I became really close with a group in my class. Well, as close as you can be. See, being the new kid gives you some kind of exotic sense of “who is she?” But your face doesn’t pop up when childhood memories are reminisced or last years festivities discussed. They don’t know your deepest darkest secrets or who your first kiss was. They don’t always include you and when it comes down to basic instincts, they never fully trust you.

Regardless of all this, looking back they were some of the best people I had ever known. After a year or so of becoming friends and comfortable sharing my boring 16-year-old life with, my bestest friend at the time told me something I’ll never forget: “When you first came to this school, I thought you were a bitch.”

Nice, huh?

We went on to discuss her statement. It was nothing I said or did. I just looked like I’d probably be a bitch. It wasn’t a look I gave her (not knowing her) or the people I talked to the first day. It was just a “feeling” she had. I’ve always wondered what people thought about me, I think everyone does. But since that moment, I really think that I became more aware of that nagging wonder.

I’ve had about four best friends in my life. In chronological order: Kristi, Sam, Adam, and Chris. Kristi popped back in when we were in college. I moved from Roseau so we were disconnected and now, we’re disconnected because of well…life. But I still consider her one of my dearest friends. Even with our lives so different and going years without talking.

The other three still hold a huge piece of my heart too. Sam was my first and longest friend when I moved. We shared some of the literal best times of my life together. Nothing and no one could ever replace a friendship like we had. It was hard to “stay friends” when she left junior year and I decided to pursue college.

Then there was Adam. Adam pulled me out of my shell. He was wild and open. He would sing like no one was watching and not try to clean up because someone was coming over. He was confident and my confidant. We did everything together.

And same goes for Chris. Chris, my brother, and I were connected at the hip for some time but like every friendship, things change.

I wish I could have been one of those people who have had a best friend since kindergarten. Even as adults, be close. Meet up, go to each others bachelorette parties, travel together. All that jazz. But you know what? If that were the case, I might not have met the four that I did have.

Clearly, I’ve gotten off topic here. What I guess I’m trying to say is I have no idea who people think I am. And I have no idea how people decided they wanted to be my friends along the way. The only insight I’ve ever gotten was that I’m probably a bitch even though I don’t think I am.

I think that people think I’m reserved. That I’m quiet. I think that people think I’m a know it all or stuck up. I think people think that I think I’m better than them. I think people think I’m a fat slob. I think people don’t trust me or feel uneasy around me. I think people think I’m stupid for staying with Channing when I should have left.

I don’t think that anyone envy’s my life as I do theirs.

Who am I really? At 25 years old, I should know who I am, shouldn’t I? I should have lived and made more mistakes than I have. I should have traveled and gotten my bachelors and volunteered at a soup kitchen and partied harder and loved deeper. I should have experimented and dated more guys. I’m sure that’s what the “wondering me” would say. But it’s not about her. It’s about the “actual” me.

Who am I really? I’m a 25-year-old woman trying to figure my life out. I’m a bitch but I’m only a bitch to people who actually deserve bitchiness. I love hard and fall even harder. I’m a thinker. I’m an observer. I stumble over my words because I don’t know what I want to say but I know how to write it. If you mean the world to me, I’ll put your needs ahead of mine. Always. I’m a bad tipper because I expect excellent service. I lack empathy. I wish I had access to that deep socket in my brain to empathize with homeless people or women who regret last nights hook-ups but I don’t. I love children and want to be a mother. I love to write but feel that it’ll never get me anywhere. I’m quiet in settings I’m not comfortable in. I don’t trust very many people but I expect people to trust me. I strive to be someone who my brothers look up to but I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of that. I know I’m a good person and that I care too much. I know that I am smart but I know I’m not the smartest. I believe in third, fourth, and fifth chances. I know that my family and boyfriend are the most important things in my life. I know that I focus to much on wishing my life had been different instead of appreciating the life I have. I know I’m fat and it makes me hate myself. Like really, really hate myself. I know that my size and the way I look deter me from being the person I am inside. It prevents me from being the outgoing girl I once was. It puts a road block directly in front of me. I don’t go out and meet people because I’m bigger than a mini-cooper.

I know a lot about myself but I don’t always know who I am. I’m not who I think I am because of what I am. I don’t know if I’ll ever really know who I am. Who are you?