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Posts Tagged ‘live’

I prefer to read fiction over nonfiction. This has seemed strange to me. As I get older, some of my friends drift away from fiction and dive into nonfiction, but my love of fiction is stronger than ever. Why wouldn’t I prefer to read a real story? A story of a life whom I could meet in person if that person was still alive?

I think I’m starting to figure out why.

Fiction sometimes feels more real to me. The dialogue, the specificities in colors and images of what the characters see or do…some of that is hard to remember for a nonfiction story. There are images writers create in nonfiction that you don’t usually find in fiction because it’s coming from a real memory. But other than that, it doesn’t matter to me that fiction is false because the ideas behind the story are probably mostly true, depending on the story. Some things or feelings that happen to the characters in fiction stories we can either relate to or at least understand.

But it goes deeper than that. I feel like when I read nonfiction, I am getting told the story from someone else, even if it is written in first person. I already have it in my head that this story is true, therefore I give my mind space from it. It’s still a good story, but that life was already lived, is already taken.

But fiction stories are basically up for grabs. In fiction, I can insert myself into the story and allow myself to be that character.  I am the legs running through the trees; I am holding on to the back of a dragon; I am the one crying as I hold my dead, fake sister.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I am quite a lucky kid when looking at the big picture, but I have my days like everyone else. Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here, but then I don’t have the gas to go anywhere. I may not make it to New York, but I can read about a character who lives in New York. For me, reading fiction is the cheapest vacation. Emotion moves us, changes us, and I have dug through more emotions in just a few fiction books I’ve read than all of the nonfiction ones put together. I crave emotion—whether it’s anger, fear, sadness, happiness, hope—because to feel anything is to feel alive. In the low, dull moments of my life I can be soaring. I don’t necessarily like being angry or feel like my heart is breaking, but I’ll take anything over nothing at all.

That’s why I love the writing world. Writing isn’t just a world filled with words, but it’s also a world filled with emotion. The way we can use words to stir up something inside people is fascinating to me.

In life, you can’t be everything (there’s not enough time). But through a story, you can be anything. 

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I’m terrible with goodbyes. And they are everywhere. Each day has an end. Each book. Each adventure. Each person.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my trip to Ireland and my 3 months spent in Italy. It is a deep sorrow that needs to be learned to live with and accept. But before the goodbyes, there’s life. There’s love. There’s hope.

Desires can be traps. To crave something you can’t have is a sorrow deeper than a grave. Part of me craves to go back to Italy. The other part of me craves to go back to Italy with the people I had been there with, but that would mean going back in time. I can now only relive those memories in my mind. I can hit replay on the laughs, but I won’t hear them there again. I can imagine laying out on a soccer field, but we won’t again. I can see the vineyards, the buildings, the mountains in my mind, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to see them again except in pictures. I can tell stories, but they will only be stories. The others will never really know, no matter how good of a story teller I am.

To experience is to live. But to live is to lose. For everything we’ve experienced will eventually come to an end.

Living in the past is like being dead in the present. I look back on my study abroad in Italy, my spring break in Ireland, and can smile at the amazing chance that I was given. But then the other half of me misses it to the point of tears.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. It has been almost 5 months since I’ve been back, but I have yet to find the strength to accept the goodbye. 

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I was flipping through facebook pictures of a classmate we lost 2 and a half years ago and couldn’t help thinking back to the last time I had seen her before she died, her funeral.

I remember the line of people at her wake that stretched out the church doors and down the gravel road. The sobs that grew like a coming car as new people stepped in front of her casket, needing to look away, yet not wanting to. 

Fresh notes tack onto her Facebook wall every now and then when a memory is sparked in the mind of a friend. Words of fun and laughter, always ending with an “I miss you.”

I didn’t know her well, and even I am trying to hold back tears. She was so loved by everyone. And that was because she loved everyone. She was only 20, but she affected more people around her than many ever do in a lifetime.

It made me think—when I die, what message am I leaving? Who would I be remembered as? Am I pointing people in the direction of love as much as I am in the direction of God? Will I be remembered as the optimistic one who was there for others, or the pessimistic one who complained?

As this world gets worse, I want to strive to be someone who gives people hope, makes people laugh, reminds them how much I care. I want to leave a legacy. Strive in your own life to leave behind the memory of someone who cared. 

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We’re all waiting for something.
Sit with a coffee at the airport and guess who will stand up when someone walks through the door.

We are all lazy in something.
Wait in the frozen food section and see who picks out the pizzas and frozen alfredo.

We all have something that makes us happy.
See the girl sitting on the top suitcase of an airport cart,
the joy on her face as her father pushes her. The Simplicity.

Live while you’re waiting, even in the small things,
otherwise you are simply waiting to die.

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There are always those people who are really good at something, like playing guitar for example, and if they screw up a chord, or can’t remember a part of the song, they laugh it off and say something like, “No ones perfect, right” or “I’m glad I’m comfortable enough to not take myself so seriously.” But have you noticed how the people who I usually hear say that are actually really good at what they are doing, and you laugh with them and forget about it because they are still awesome at playing…

Well what if you aren’t that great at it, and you screw up? They may not try, but people begin judging you a little bit. I screwed up playing the guitar for church today, and it was the first time I had played in front of them. I’m better than that, because I’m a rockstar when I’m by myself, I’ve just never really played in front of people before because playing guitar and writing songs is something I do in my free time because I adore music and it’s one of my favorite ways to worship God. 

But everyone else doesn’t know how good I can be. I think that’s why I’m hiding in my room at the moment. 

Why do we think that we can’t make mistakes? Why is it in our minds to try and be perfect, whether it’s with our hair, makeup, clothes, homework, playing music, etc. A mistake tears us down, and we (or at least I do) begin tearing ourselves down before anyone even says anything. So I screwed up my first time trying. So what? It simply makes me human. It won’t get any worse than that because I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. I’m going to make myself play again on Wednesday or Sunday just so I can keep the callouses on my hands and not be scared of screwing up again. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be so hard on yourself. Be confident that you will do better next time. Learn from your mistake and let it be a little wisdom for your life. Make some new preparations so you can avoid the same mistake, and let it go. Be a role model for others who make similar mistakes, and maybe it will help them get past their mistakes too. 

You aren’t perfect, so stop trying to be, and accept your imperfections as something to live with. You will find much more happiness rather than trying to fight it.  

As for me, I have finally begun to accept myself for my imperfections. They are not necessarily things that I should get frustrated with, but simply things that are a part of me, that make me who I am.

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I legitly love people. I moved back to college for my junior year 2 days ago and as I sit looking out my window, a bunch of the new freshman are just outside by the sand volleyball court and pond, grilling hot dogs, playing volleyball, playing bean bags, chinese ladders, and sitting in circles on the grass talking and hanging out.

The Bible says that above anything else, we are here to love people. If you can bring someone to Christ, bring them out of the pit of poverty and help them back to their feet, or just put a smile on their face for the first time in a week, awesome…but we need to love, and looking outside, I only know five out of probably seventy-five people that I see, but I love them. I don’t know them, but I don’t need to. I see what God must see when He looks down on us–the life in our eyes, the smiles on our faces, even the limp in our legs. I don’t know if that guy is wearing a vikings Tshirt cause he actually likes the Vikings, or because he got it for free ; I don’t know if that girl likes volleyball, or if she’s just playing because her friends are; I don’t know if that guy is playing beanbags cause he wanted to, or if one of the guys dared him into playing. I don’t know anything about any of these people, I can only make guesses.

I’m not a creeper, I promise, but there is something soothing about watching people. As a writer, it is basically my job to watch life, watch love, watch the sun rise and set so I can describe them in my writing. I need to see deeper than what the eye glances over, see the piece of gum squished by a thousand high heels and dirt-stained tennis shoes because someone was too lazy to walk an extra six steps to a trashcan. The eye misses so much. They don’t know I’m watching them from my dorm room window. If they looked up here, they might be able to see me, even though there is enough daylight to make glares, but they are too busy talking to friends, flirting with guys, and living what they know as their lives.

Most will go back to their dorms, maybe a few to rooms with quiet roommates that make things awkward, maybe a few to the student center to flirt with whoever else they can meet. If I knew them personally, a couple would probably annoy me, a couple may make me blush, a couple may even turn into good friends, but for right now, I love them if they were my own kids.

Learn to love everyone, and when you look out your window, maybe you will see the beauty that I see, the casualness as they fling a frisbee, the way they lay on the grass and read a book. So normal, yet beautiful. Beautiful people.

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When playing volleyball against the wall, the wall always wins. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we can’t win every battle. Sometimes we need to lose to be able to win again, to find ourselves again. But that battle is usually the one that stops us all from ever fighting again. Keep fighting, because until we die, we will always have a battle. As we grow older we learn which ones to keep fighting for. Your friends can’t tell you which ones to give up on, and your family can’t quite save you if you fall, for our journey is ours alone. Friends are just there to remind us that we have a shoulder to cry on, a waiting hug, a listening ear.

Notice the tree. The wind will push and pull every leaf. At first they all stay attached, but only the strongest ones will remain. Hold on to your branch, everyone. The wind is simply testing your strength.

Almost everything has a “but.” Be aware of the part before it, but be warned of the part after it. Even those who don’t like surprises will be handed surprises. When you can’t escape it, prepare yourself for it. Just because it’s coming doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to ease the blow.

 

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