Embracing the Future

So a couple days ago, I found out that the I Love U Guys Foundation will no longer be doing Emily’s Parade. For my -very- few followers or anyone reading who might be interested, the parade was a very significant event for me, and the realization that it was coming to an end made me think about a few things, things which I’d like to get out here for…you know, thinking and shit. xD

To review: Last September was the 10th anniversary of the parade, and was on the 9th anniversary of the shooting at my high school. It couldn’t have been a better day for it; it was 85 degrees (there were MANY applications of sunscreen), and I got to go with my best friend. I’d never gone with her on any of the rides–and actually, I had been thinking of not going this year. I didn’t know of anyone who wanted to go with me, it was on a Sunday, which meant I had to take time off work, and also half the fun was being able to ride up there on a motorcycle. Since my ex and I had broken up, I didn’t know anyone who had a working motorcycle that might want to accompany me. However, as I was telling all this to said best friend, she said, “I’ll go with you!”

“Really?”

“Sure, it’ll be fun! I don’t think I’ve gone since the first one, and I bet the kids would enjoy going too.”

So we made a day of it and went back to our old stompin’ grounds: Platte Canyon High School. I’ll admit, it was pretty cool, as we stood on the bridge overlooking the highway, to remember crossing it over to the football field for the Homecoming game to watch her perform as a cheerleader, or to watch a couple of my other friends in the band do their routine.For half a second, I saw us as we were ten years ago, and then in the blink of an eye, it was gone, and in that same moment I looked at my friend’s kids and realize dhow far we’ve come and how awesome it is that we’re still best friends.

On the other hand…

Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the shooting…it seems weird to think about that because 10 years is such a long time! One of my good friends is having his 10 year high school reunion in a couple months! WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING. And yet, on that day in that month, and even just around early fall every year, it feels like it just happened. I wonder, is it going to feel like that for the rest of my life? Every year, the memory becomes more of just a solidified moment of my life, kind of like “Well, that did in fact happen.” It gets a little easier to talk about it to most people (though sometimes I still act super weird about it, which is a question in itself), but around that time of year, it’s still a nagging little feeling that tugs on me just a little, just to make sure that I know it’s there, and I’m sure that will last for quite some time. Maybe not forever, but maybe–who knows?

But the thing is…sometimes, I like remembering. I like to honor the event with my thoughts and my acknowledgement, and I also like the parade because of the solidarity that it brings to the community. I love seeing the people of my home town band together like one big family to honor an event that deeply touched everyone; it’s a really cool feeling. But now I won’t get to experience that anymore. In fact, I now have no reason to ever see or step foot into my high school again, and it’s unlikely that I ever will, honestly.

It feels like, knowing this, I’m leaving behind a part of my past and continuing forward. We’ve all got to let go sometime, right, to make way for what’s to come? I’m excited to do so, but I’m also afraid to. I’m afraid because moving forward means to accept that what once was will never be again.

I am not a teenage girl, with my seemingly very significant teenage girl problems. I’m not the girl who let people walk all over her because she was afraid of what they thought of her. I’m not living in my awesome, small town, in my awesome house that I grew up in, looking outside my bedroom window and watching the sun set behind the trees and the mountains as I talk for hours to my friends on the phone, waiting for my parents to call me into the living room for dinner. I’m not the teenage girl who writes depressing poetry directly related to her low self-esteem, who constantly second guesses herself and who doodles away during every class with no idea as to where the future will take her.

I am, in fact, so much better than that now. I’ve leveled up! I’ve achieved a state of confidence and happiness that exists because of my own perseverance, choices, and the people I have chosen to participate in my life. I am not that girl. Even so, that teenage girl, and the preteen girl, and the little girl I was before that, are still responsible for me being the person that I am today, and I don’t want to forget any of that or what brought me to this place.  I don’t want to forget what my house looks like on the inside, or how my school looked, or the experiences I had there, both good and bad. I like the direction that my life is going–in fact, most days I’m just ecstatic and I wonder how I ended up so lucky! But that doesn’t make it any less scary for me; I don’t want to lose myself as I continue along this path.

And yes. I realize that is dumb, because it’s been 26 years and I’m still me. xD I’ve gone through a shit ton of things, and they have only shaped me into a stronger person and not into a douchebag or a weenie, thankfully. And this is comforting, but I think that the fear of this will always exist for me, simply because change is the only thing we can consistently count on in this world, and who the fuck knows what life is going to throw our way? The fear does, however, motivate me to keep my values and morals regardless of circumstance, because I’m too stubborn to let the world take me by surprise.

The whole realization feels weird, to feel the moment where you understand that your life is moving forward and to actually be able to see evidence of it…to see the moment where you know that it’s time to embrace the future and to understand the scope of everything that brought you to this point in time to be the person that you now, and to know that you can only keep going from there. Is this what adulting is?

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Changing of the Seasons

Here in the gloriously bipolar state of Colorado, it’s typical fall weather: pretty orange leaves on 10,000 different types of trees, cloudy and grey skies, a bit of a chill in the air, and it looks like it could snow at any minute…but it won’t. Yesterday it was 70 degrees outside, and my boyfriend’s sister and I went to a haunted corn maze in the evening (which was SO EPIC, by the way!) without completely freezing our asses off. TODAY…Colorado is in a bad mood and is contemplating some variety of self-harm, but isn’t sure.

Ironically, even though this kind of weather is super gloomy and kind of depressing, especially since I almost certainly have seasonal affective disorder (whose hilarious acronym is SAD), it is also inspiring to me. I can feel a change in my perspective every time the weather changes. In the winter…things suck. I sleep a lot more, I’m depressed and prone to yelling and/or crying for no real reason, until the relief of the holidays comes and goes…and then I’m an emo kid again. xD In the spring, things smell fresh, even though in Colorado we don’t really HAVE a spring. We have giant death storms of snow, which then melt the next day in the 75 degree beautiful weather just in time for Easter, causing flash floods across the state’s many wildfire burn areas, and then the next day it’s 20 degrees and all of the melted snow has turned into an ice rink. This day always happens on a Monday for commuting purposes. But no, really, spring is okay.

Summertime is when I always feel motivated to so something super exciting, like lose 20lbs or start jogging, or be more fun and go to concerts, and do things involving the outside. I think this stems from my childhood…obviously most kids have the entire summer to goof off and so they try to make it as fun as possible, but I also grew up in the mountains, and it was absolutely beautiful up there. I was always outside, and there wasn’t really any place you could GO to do stuff, unless you were old enough to drive downtown or could persuade your parents to take you there. So, you had to get kind of creative. xD Plus…SUNLIGHT. It doesn’t get dark until 9pm in the summer…SO MANY ACTIVITIES.

But even though I love summer, autumn is my absolute favorite. Though it precedes the most hideous season of all time, I love the slight change in temperature…too warm for a coat, but just right for a sweater and jeans without sweating to death or freezing. I love the way that the leaves smell and the colors of them, and I definitely don’t mind a gloomy day without rain or snow. It gets quieter in the fall, and you can almost feel the anticipation in the air as pretty much everything prepares for the apocalypse…I mean winter. It’s a time of reflection where I feel most like myself, where I don’t feel like I really HAVE to do anything, unlike in the other seasons where I feel like I either must take advantage of the awesome weather, or prepare for the holidays, or wake up an hour early for work just in case I have to tunnel out of the snow around my house in the morning. Also…PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin dip with graham crackers, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pumpkins…love them, but that word is infuriating. I always feel so much more inspired this time of year!

This is Rockin’ ROBEEERT. He is a pumpkin.

Also, I listen to a lot of My Chemical Romance and revel in awesome emo-ness, without actually being sad. Does that even make sense?

I realize that this post isn’t really going anywhere, but the point is that the seasons of the year are all obviously quite different, but even without their obvious traits, you can still feel it in the air that they’re changing, and I don’t know about you guys. but at least for me, it changes my perspective of the world around me and of myself depending on which season is happening. I’m like a woodland animal…only instead of stashing away nuts or hibernating, my innate wilderness instincts tell me to paint and stuff.