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Posts Tagged ‘time’

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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Americans are making life into one big deadline:
-If you aren’t married by this certain age, you will probably be single forever.
-If you don’t have a kid by this certain age you are too old to be a parent
-If you don’t have a job or a college degree by this certain age you are going to scrubbing kitchen floors or shoveling horse dung off the state fair streets for the rest of your days.

It is exhausting finally being able to finish a project and then turn around to get a cup of coffee and be thrown three more. Americans are becoming so time-oriented, that the quality and value of things are definitely not what they could be.

I’d like to buy a shirt or sweatshirt that doesn’t have a hem threatening to rip on me a couple weeks after I buy it. I’d like to work on a short story and not have my professor poking me in my back asking if I’m done yet. I’d like to be able to sit out on a park bench today and read a new fiction book that I just bought and be able to put off my homework till tomorrow.

But I can’t. Time is precious, yes. But nerves can be as fragile as the tick of the clock. By trying to make so many deadlines all the time, we aren’t able to let ourselves enjoy the present, for we are always trying to make sure we are caught up with the future deadlines. No human is patient forever.

Time is important, but so is sleep. There are only so many days that I can stay up till 1am doing homework and wake up at 7 for a morning class. I have felt terrible lately because I’ve had friends that want to spend time with me, but my excuse has been homework.

Time is a luxury, but so is living. What is the point of living a long life if you’re rushing through it? We NEED give ourselves the time to reflect, to observe, to ENJOY.

Americans live by the “Quantity over Quality” standard. We live by the “Timing is everything” standard.

I think Americans need to sort out their priorities.

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21 sounds young, but to me I feel like I’m getting old, especially since I’m a senior in college this year. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me  that there’s plenty of fish in the sea, that it will happen when I least expect it. Sure, maybe it will. Still, that never seemed to help me.

But I think I was going about it all wrong.

God put it in our hearts to want love, to want marriage. Marriage will be a beautiful thing, a day to celebrate the joining of two families into one. I find myself skimming through Pinterest engagement pictures, thinking about that moment when he pops out a ring, how he’ll get down on one knee.

I’ve looked at wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, where we would want the reception, types of flowers and decorations. I’ve thought about those steps down the aisle, not being able to see anyone but him waiting for me.

I look at guys in my life, guys I like, and begin trying on their last names. I imagine honeymoon locations, and buying our first house. I imagine the private things that happen on honeymoons. I imagine tailgate parties, motorcycle rides, and picnics in the park as husband and wife. Sometimes I rub my stomach and think about experiencing that first kick, the excitement of seeing a baby we made even after the pain.

If I have a daughter, I hope to name her Natalie; if a son, I hope to name him Ethan. I’ve thought about what I’d decorate the baby room into, about having a summer cabin by a lake where we could take family vacations. I’ve thought about teaching my kids patience through fishing and hard work by feeding the calves and pulling weeds in the garden. I’d hope my daughter to be a volleyball player like I was. I would love to have a son on the football team.

I’ve thought it all, I’ve read it all. Most experience something of the sort, some don’t.

But then I have to remember something: my priority has never been marriage. My priority has always been God. I have even told myself that in my relationship God will always come first, so why do I have it in my head that I need to find someone before I spend the rest of my life alone? 

A part of me loves being alone. Lately I haven’t had enough time to myself, and I’m someone who needs “me time” if I’m going to survive being with people all the time. I love seeing my friends and family and just people in general, but, for me, there really is such a thing as too much people-time.

For me, to read, write, do summer school homework, play guitar, listen to music without having to participate in conversation; these things I need to do alone. When I was in Italy, I was with people every single day and never really just went for a walk by myself or sat in my bed reading what I wanted to read. I wanted to be in the lounge hanging out with people because I knew my time was limited and I wanted to see them all as much as I could.

But what I seem to keep forgetting, what I think we all forget, is that all of us need time alone. Some need it more than others, but you can’t really reflect unless you give yourself some space from the things that distract you. Since I’m single, I’ll get more “me time” than I will once I get a real full-time job, a boyfriend/husband, and kids. Once my life starts with someone else, my life will be devoted to them. However, right now, I get to devote myself to simple things that I love. This may be the most time I’ll ever get to work on writing my books, and that doesn’t even feel like much time at all.

At the end of the day, yes, I’m single. But I’m also using that time to work towards the things that God has me here to do. Right now, I don’t have a boy to distract me from my writing. I know with every part of my being that God has stories He wants me to share with the world, and He chose me to write them for Him. God is all I’ve ever needed, and I will always seek His Kingdom first. A relationship with a man will always come in second to my relationship with God.

God really is enough, and I hope if you don’t know that already, that you will come to realize it as well 🙂

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You know what sucks? When everyone is against you about something until you succeed…

For example: My grandma’s house and property has been in the family for 12 generations. On this property we have an old barn, the kind with two levels. My dad decides we should fix up the barn and host family gatherings in it since my grandma’s house is getting too small for a family of 65 people with more babies on the way.

Some of my dad’s brothers and sisters thought it would be a waste of money, a waste of time, and probably wouldn’t be worth everything that would be put into it in the end. Even after their complaining, my dad convinced my grandma that we should do it anyway.

After months of buying paint for the outside of the barn, putting in hardwood for the second level, putting new concrete in the bottom level, building a deck to lead up to the second level, putting in a couple fans, putting in new windows, making a bar counter out of a couple old wagon wheels we painted up….we now have a beautiful barn that we have family gatherings in. But now it has also been a success for weddings, ceremonies, receptions, high school reunions, and also a place that other families have wanted to have a family reunion.

After everything that went into the barn, we will soon be making a profit off of it. Now my dad’s siblings boast about the barn, telling everyone how nice it is, all the work that went into it…when some of those people barely ever helped at all.

Some ideas are too big for people to wrap their heads around. No one likes taking risks anymore, especially with money. Yes, a lot of money had to go into the barn to get it to where we wanted it to go. But now months down the line, everyone is in love with it. And all because a couple of people were confident enough to fix up the barn and do what no one else wanted to.

There will be times when people will have faith in your ideas and will follow through with you every step of the way. But there will also be times where you won’t be backed up by  anyone. Sometimes you have to carry out your ideas alone, or at least with very little help. But this does not mean that you shouldn’t do it. The things we want to accomplish in life won’t come with a grain of salt. You will have to risk your money, your time…But won’t it be worth it in the end?

Our barn is beautiful, and no one thought it would turn out as nice as it is. We found some connections with people we knew to get some items cheaper. We got just enough helpers to finish the job, though they were longer hours than what would have been if more people showed up to help. The beginning will be rough, parts of the middle may be rougher, but carry out your ideas, because you may not be fully aware of the awesomeness the final project brings until you start.

Sometimes, some of our ideas aren’t the best and probably shouldn’t be carried out. But I guess that is where you begin to learn what will be worth it and what won’t. Take some risks. Nothing worth having or getting will ever be simple.

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I am a people pleaser. It wasn’t until today that I realized that it is not exactly a good thing.

I try and put others’ happiness before my own. If they are having fun, then I’m more likely to have fun knowing that they are enjoying themselves.

Since I leave for Italy a week from tomorrow, I’ve been realizing just how many friends I have and how hard it is to give everyone a time slot in my schedule.

People like me get walked on a lot. My sister said if people want to see me, then they will fit their schedules to mine, not mine to theirs. I think I have always fit my schedule to everyone else’s.

The bad thing about that, is that somehow everyone’s free time is at the same time. The trouble with that, is that I am a part of a lot of groups of people, and not all the people in those groups would have fun together because they enjoy different stuff and wouldn’t really connect like I do.

Now I am forced to put some people before others, and I hate doing that because I don’t like people feeling like they are less important to me than the other people I am seeing.

It is good to think of others, don’t get me wrong, but I think some of us spend so much time trying to make others happy, that we forget to make ourselves happy.

Any kind of relationship is a two-way thing. I am someone who has gotten into the habit of basically letting the other person stand there while I walk all the way across the line to their side, instead of having them meet me half way. If people want to see you, be with you, spend time with you, then make them do some of the work too. If you are one of the lazier people, then get up off your ass and prove to the other person that you care.

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No one should be forgotten.

I think that once we die, we think that we will simply become another snowflake on the ground among the rest of the dead. But I think we need to remember that we are remembered by those who matter.

Do you really need to be remembered by someone who only knows your name? Sure we can name off presidents, famous serial killers, famous inventors. But does it satisfy you to simply be remembered by your name? If they would actually become so interested to look up information, all they would know are facts. They would never know you, so wouldn’t you basically be “forgotten” anyway?

After a time, everyone who knows you will die too. But just because your name may not come up in conversation anymore, that one day tears will stop falling for you, that people will pass by your gravestone to get to someone else’s because no one knows who you are anymore, doesn’t mean you have been erased.

All of us leave a little piece of ourselves when we leave. No matter how small, or even how meaningless it may be to some people, we have all left our mark on the world. The world will never forget your presence, even if the people may.

For me, I do not feel the need to be remembered because I have faith about where I will go once this life has passed. I know that it will be more beautiful, more loving, and happier than this world could ever be. I do not care to be remembered in a world of death and destruction from which sin has taken over.

I will be patient for my death, but I am not afraid of it. But I also won’t waste my time.

Start leaving pieces of yourself in the minds of your friends and family. Leave pieces of advice that you have learned or pass on something that you treasure to someone whom you know will keep it safe and will pass down to others.

Trust me, my friends. The white lights of heaven will make you forget about everything that ever happened on earth. You are remembered by God, and He matters much more than any human in the world.

You will never be forgotten.

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So I turned 21 on Christmas Day, and my sister and I had planned to go see the movie Les Miserables after I got done with work. After the movie we had Applebees for supper, and then she had surprised me by taking me bar hopping with some of my friends.

Now I am not going to say that I haven’t drank before the legal age, but I’ve been smart about it if that makes any different at all. I do, however, recommend to those who may be turning this age, or will be eventually in the future, to go with people who actually know what they are doing and know the consequences of certain actions.

Last night, i had 5 shots and 2 mixed drinks in 45 minutes. In a little over 2 hours, i had taken 11 shots and 5 mixed drinks. That is not healthy, even if you are someone who says you could do more. It is especially not good since I only had 2 glasses of water while all this was going on.

So from this, I have a couple lessons for those who may not quite know what you are doing yet:

Lesson 1: Pace yourself. There is no need for you to prove yourself to anyone and you need to be aware of alcohol poisoning. I didn’t really realize how much I had been taking until we started counting and started saying “whoops.”

Lesson 2: Drink plenty of water. Especially before you go to bed. After I took shots, I washed down the taste with a mixed drink. Instead of doing that, I should have replaced the mixed drinks with water. I’m sure most of you know this, and I did too, but I didn’t really listen because I was having too much fun drinking some fruity stuff that tasted better than water. But don’t underestimate what water can do for you. Seriously.

Lesson 3: By the time you think you still aren’t drunk, you are probably drunk. Learn what the word actually means, cause apparently my definition was wrong.

Lesson 4: Have someone who has had what they are feeding you so they know how strong something is. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask your bartender questions. Know what you are getting yourself into.

Lesson 5: I would have kept going if my sister hadn’t said it was time to go home. Have someone there to watch your back, pull you out the door to go home, and hold your hair when you puke, no matter how much it smells. Make sure it is someone you trust, because when it comes down to taking care of you, you want someone who is actually going to do it all the way through. Surround yourself with people you will have fun with, but also with people who wont do stupid stuff to you. I had a great group with me last night, and even a couple of the guys were telling me a couple of drinks to never let others convince me to take.

Lesson 6: Walk around when you’re drinking. I sat the whole time at the first bar except for getting up to go to the bathroom, but you dont feel how much you have had to drink until you get up to walk around, and if you have too much and dont walk around, you will fall on your ass or fall asleep next to the toilet if you dont walk around. Walking around lets you feel how much you’ve had so you have a better knowledge of when to stop.

There are, of course, more lessons that you will learn yourself, but start with these and go from there. People may expect you to get drunk, but don’t think that you have to. The sucky feeling you get the next day is really not worth it, and I definitely won’t go as far as I did next time. Sometimes the way you have to learn some things is unpleasant. Doesn’t mean you have to make the same mistakes others have.

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