Green Walls & Books

I moved recently, and as anyone who has moved and loves books will know, it came with a side effect of being-without-books-itis. During the few months that I was living out of boxes, I accumulated a few books (4-7 of Harry Potter, some poetry collections, and Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy), but I missed being surrounded by all my books. Over the years, I have bought/been given books that have changed how I view the world, or have given me a greater insight into things that I thought I understood. It felt strange to be away from them for so long, as if I had left behind a piece of myself.

Being away from most of my possessions for a few months got me thinking, though. Why do we put so much into what we have? I've talked before about how I am an extremely sentimental person, and how I don't like getting rid of things unless I absolutely have to, but I still found it strange how much I missed things when they were only down the stairs and in the garage. 

When moving day came, I went into my new room with the freshly painted green walls (think Kermit the Frog, only a little less bright), and immediately laid down in the middle of the floor. This is a somewhat odd tradition that I started when my dad moved into his first apartment. Little nine year old me wandered into the bedroom carrying a polka dotted suitcase, and plopped herself down in the middle of the floor to stare up at the ceiling. Since that day, it has become a tradition for me to stare at the ceiling of every room I call my own, and this room was certainly no different. Once I stood up again, I got to unpacking my books. I pulled out Shakespeare, Jane Austen, John Green, John Knowles, and Harper Lee. Childhood favorites were placed in prime spots, and old school textbooks went near the bottom (I don't ever want to even THINK about geometry again if I can help it!). It felt like being reunited with old friends again, and I loved every moment of taking the books out of their boxes and placing carefully back on the shelves. 

I think it's funny how we tend to leave pieces of ourselves in our possessions. The things that we acquire throughout the years hold pieces of us that we don't always think about until we are reunited with those physical objects. I love my books very much, they are a huge part of who I am. I always have one with me, and even though I definitely have a favorite (To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee), every single one holds a special place in my heart. I am very happy to be surrounded by all of them again, along with my green walls. Change is good, but also scary, and having familiar faces (or dust jackets) can make everything that much easier!

 

A portion of my bookshelf :-)

A portion of my bookshelf :-)

10/15-10/16

This past weekend was definitely one that will not be forgotten quickly! I moved quite recently, and leaving behind a bunch of amazing friends wasn't easy, so seeing them was incredible. The weekend started with dinner on Saturday night with my closest friends, and ended with a Troye Sivan concert that was spectacular. 

When I moved, one of the things I had been worried about was coming back to visit and feeling like an outsider among my own group of friends. Luckily, I didn't feel like that. I was caught up on everything that I had missed, but I didn't feel like they were bragging about all the great things they were getting to do, I just felt like they were telling me stories. It was a little strange to hear them say it was "their class" instead of "our class", but I guess that's to be expected after a while. My favorite part of the night by far, however, was walking through the rain to get ice cream. We didn't have an umbrella, so we resorted to using a waterproof blanket, which covered about two and a half people at a time. With a group of five, it made for an interesting walk. I loved being able to do something out of the ordinary with them again. Saying goodbye was hard, but luckily I saw two of them again the next day. Technology has proven to be something very important to me since the move, because I'm able to talk to my best friends every day even though we're a good two hours apart. 

Sunday night was probably one of my favorite memories. Troye Sivan has been one of my favorite musicians since I stumbled upon his youtube channel in 2014, and seeing him in concert was absolutely amazing. I have found that being at a concert is an excellent way to stand out while also blending in. You feel invincible, and hopefully, you're surrounded by people who give off a good energy. I didn't discover this until after I was already home, but I was lucky enough to hear the live debut of "Blue", which is definitely one of my top favorite songs on the entire album. March-May of this year was an especially happy time of life for me, and it also happened to be around the same time that I was listening to Troye's music a lot. So being in the presence of music that had been the soundtrack to an amazing time of life for me was so incredible, and being able to experience it with some of my best friends made it even better. 

I feel very blessed to have had the weekend that I did. I have some truly amazing friends, and I have an incredible mom who gives me some fantastic opportunities that I know I would never had had otherwise. So, thank you to everyone who made this past weekend possible, and I love you more than all the stars in the sky! 

Sorry for the blurriness of this picture, but it was difficult to get even this!  :-) 

Sorry for the blurriness of this picture, but it was difficult to get even this!

:-) 

For the Love of Luna Lovegood

I came late to the Harry Potter party, but I am so happy that I eventually made it. Today I picked up the last book in the series, and I must admit that I'm slightly worried about how everything will tie together. These books have brought me to places in my mind that I didn't even know existed, and have helped me understand things about myself I hadn't yet been aware of. But aside from those things, these books have helped me come to terms with the parts of myself I had never liked very much. Luna Lovegood is sometimes looked on as the outcast, the weirdo, and the one who doesn't really understand the "real world." I was always this person, and it wasn't until a couple years ago that that kind of went away- but I still find myself identifying with her very much. I wrote a poem a few months ago called "Dear All the Luna Lovegoods", which has been posted, and in it, I mention the many ways being considered a Luna is a good thing. Right now, I'm going to talk about some of the reasons people didn't like her, and why those are still amazing things. 

1. She was "too imaginative"

Well, uh, when did having an imagination become a bad thing? Luna believed in the impossible, and, although sometimes lacking proof, stood by those beliefs. She also used her imagination as a means to be supportive to those she loved. Remember the lion hat? Yeah, who else supported a house they didn't belong to? Also, I find it especially interesting that Harry and Hermione didn't like her that much at first because of her quirks considering they hadn't been a part of the wizard world for that long, and who were they to know what existed and what didn't? Imagination is a beautiful thing, and believing in the impossible isn't all bad either. Luna seemed to be the only one at Hogwarts who was okay with being a little quirky and imaginative. 

2. She was "always around"

Yeah, but she also fought the same battles as the others, and saved people. Luna was a comfort when that was needed, and could cheer everyone up easily. She made people happy, whether they wanted to feel happy or not, but she also knew when to be serious and to genuinely listen to people who really needed to talk. 

3. She wasn't "as important" as the rest

To play devil's advocate for this one, I didn't know Luna existed until my school had a spirit day where groups dressed up as characters from books/movies/tv/etc., and I was told that I reminded someone of Luna Lovegood and should be part of the Harry Potter group. I had to do my research on the character, and immediately fell in love with her, which is probably what makes this last point so frustrating. Sure, Luna didn't appear until Order of the Phoenix, but she makes up for the lack of time with her amazing characteristics. She fights in the big battles against the Death Eaters just like the rest of them, and is part of Ravenclaw, which we all know is really the best house (it's possible I was sorted into Ravenclaw and am unapologetically biased).

Put simply, Luna Lovegood was the best. She was kind, funny, imaginative, and just as important as the rest. If I could tell my eight-year-old self anything, it would be "be more like Luna." You may not be appreciated quite yet, but one day you'll find that the quirks you have will be the things you come to like most about yourself. So, to all the Luna Lovegoods, keep being quirky. Be as weird as you can, and always be kind. Not everyone will like you, but that's okay, because you like you, and that's all that should matter. 

Old Shoes

When I was little, I wasn't very good at keeping my room clean. When it got so bad that my mom would tell me to "make a path" before bed so she wouldn't trip over books and toys when saying goodnight to me, I would meet the "three piles"- keep, give away, throw away. 

I didn't like the second or third piles very much. 

The system worked like this: my mom would hold something, like a book or stuffed animal, and ask me "keep, give, or throw away?", and I would tell her what I wanted to do with it. Occasionally, there would be a few things that I didn't feel any sort of attachment to anymore, and they were usually donated. However, usually I much rather preferred to keep my books, my stuffed animals, and my dolls. 

I haven't changed much since. Of course, I'm far more willing to give, and about twice a year I look over my belongings and decide what I do and don't use and donate what I'm not attached to anymore, but for things that hold sentimental value? They stay with me for as long as possible.

Take my old gray shoes as an example. I have had these shoes for about a year and a half now and have worn them almost every day since I got them. I wore them around England and Scotland, I wore them on many school trips and events, and I wore them when I started at a new school.  To put it plainly, I have formed quite an attachment to these shoes purely because of the memories I made while wearing them. So when the hole by my right pinky toe got so noticeable that you could see my red elephant socks, I knew that my mom was right. I needed new shoes. It wasn't that I was against the idea of new shoes, or that I thought it would be a waste to get them, I simply didn't want to let go of the memories attached to my old gray ones. The thing is, though, the memories don't disappear when the shoes do. In fact, my new pair of shoes are just that- new. They've made room for new memories, new experiences, and new adventures. I am still an incredibly sentimental person, I'm just a sentimental person with purple shoes instead of gray ones. 

Change isn't easy for anyone, and in many cases, it comes with feelings of loss. Whether you're moving or starting something new, change feels like a loss of the familiar. But sometimes the unfamiliar isn't a bad thing. Just like the purple shoes, it makes room for new memories, experiences, and adventures. It gives you a chance to become something different or expand on who you already are. It can fix the holes and clean the dirt and make you feel new and fresh. Sure, it's still scary and you need to break yourself in a little bit, but eventually, you'll look back on when everything was scary and different and realize that the blister is gone. You're comfortable and happy where and who you are. 

Beginnings

When I was in first grade, I wrote my first story. It was about a cat, and I remember being so proud of it that when it was finished I asked my mom to read it as my bedtime story. Since then, I haven't stopped writing (although my characters have matured over the years!), and have had the dream of one day having a place to put all my writings. When I was in seventh grade, I wrote my diary as a blog for a few months. When I decided I wanted to my diary to go back to being a little more personal (so I could describe the drama every thirteen-year-old girl goes through on a daily basis...), I concocted the idea of starting a website because I still loved the blog idea. Well, almost four years later and I'm doing it! 

Beginnings are important. Your first breath, your first step, your first day of school, all of these are beginnings to something. Whether it's the beginning of your school life or your entire life, beginnings are important. This is one of my beginnings. I love making people happy. I love making people laugh, and I love seeing people smile because it makes me smile. I want this website to be a place where people can go knowing that they will leave happy. Sure, I may sometimes write about deeper topics, but most of the time I'll post pictures of things that make me happy, and I'll share poems and funny stories of my experiences. Thank you for starting this new beginning with me, and here we go!