i am not the girl with no substance

I worry.

I worry that people think I’m no more than the silly nonsense I spout on a regular basis. That they won’t take the time or won’t have the opportunity to find out that there is depth to me. There is some level of maturity here. I do actually have opinions and philosophies that don’t involve random animals.

It’s not that I don’t have control of the situation. I could resolve myself to stop being so ridiculous and try for a closer impression of what is culturally considered to be normal behavior.

I just don’t see the point in being serious or somber all the time. Because some days my heart is breaking inside of me and it’s honestly really fulfilling to see you smile at the unexpectedness of whatever I just said to you. I feed off of your laughter and it helps me laugh, too. Life isn’t a tragedy, not even when I most suspect it to be, and sometimes my gibberish is just a maddened attempt to remember that.

And on the days when I’m really doing fine, or when I’m practically glowing with joy…then there’s definitely no point in being somber. Because why act all depressing when you actually feel like singing? So sometimes I sing nonsense ditties, and sometimes I tell you stories about the time I babysat a worm while his mother was at work, and sometimes I will offer to write the paper you’re currently bemoaning because I know my version of whatever your topic might be is wildly more entertaining than whatever you were planning on writing and maybe the break you’ll take while I hijack your laptop will help you to see past the struggle to find a reason to smile.

That’s what I think, at least: that life doesn’t have to be filled with solemn adherence to “reality”. That maturity doesn’t have mean that we stop hoping for fantastic happenings.

Also, can I just take a moment to point out that I really hate small talk? I do. I don’t see the point of it and I have trouble engaging in it. And if we’re having a conversation that you would define as ‘small talk’, just know that I am finding some purpose in what we’re talking about. Even if that purpose is simply to learn more about you based on your opinion on things like the weather.

(Not kidding. Your opinion of the current weather, your mood on Mondays, the way you roll up your sleeves, they all say something about you, and I’m often fascinated by the message. Which has no real bearing on the point of this post, so sorry about the rabbit trail, but I’m not actually sorry because this is my blog post and I do what I want.)

I am not a small-talker. But I am a storyteller. In case you hadn’t noticed. Which, considering that my life is full of adventures and oddities and ridiculous occurrences that you’d think only happen in books, isn’t an awful thing to be. I love to tell you wild tales, filled with vivid language and wild hand gestures and just enough embellishment to make you eye me in disbelief so that I can dissolve into laughter and correct myself and still leave you astonished. And when I get bored with the insanity of my own life, I turn to the grand adventures of the characters in my head. I’m sorry that your imagination has faded with time and disuse, but mine hasn’t, and that brings me great joy.

But for all the stories and for all the nonsense, I do know how to be serious. I know how to walk into chaos and step into leadership and get things done. I know how to steel myself for the hard talks, when we don’t agree and we’re breaking each other and ourselves and something has to be done. I know how to sit and listen when what you are going through is anything but a joke and you just need someone to be there to acknowledge that it’s not okay and remind you that you are not alone.

Please do not mistake my jubilance or silliness for a lack of substance.

Or maybe it’s not a mistake. Maybe I am wrong and I am completely deluded and shallow after all. But if that’s the case, then maybe take a breath and contemplate what your relentless solemnity is gaining you.

Don’t forget to laugh.

Because even if you don’t agree with my pell-mell dash of chaos, you were not designed for perpetual sadness. The world is much too beautiful for that. There are just too many things reasons to smile.

So find one!

Laugh!

Rejoice in today, because tomorrow will be hard too. Life is hard. I grant you that. But smiling makes it just a little easier.

And for those dark days, I will be here to make jokes you can’t understand and burst into seemingly spontaneous laughter because of something that happened six years ago that I just remembered, and maybe my joy will be enough for us both in that moment.

I worry that no one will take me seriously.

But more than that I worry that people won’t remember what a joy it is to not be confined to seriousness.

– Melissa

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unique like a SNOWflake

It’s Monday.

Monday evening actually.

But it doesn’t feel like Monday.

Because I haven’t had to do much of anything all day.

I drove my suitemate to the doctor. Which was terrifying.

Not because I’m afraid of doctors.

I am.

Because the roads are covered in ice.

It’s snowing outside.

Which is why I haven’t had to do anything this Monday.

It’s actually a really good thing that I haven’t had to do anything, because I’m in the weirdest state of mind. Have been all weekend, actually. Add to that the fact that I’ve been operating on five hours of sleep today, and my thought process and writing style just end up being…not sloppy. Sloshy. I think sloshy is the right word for it.

Something like that.

It’s not that I’m not thinking straight. I’m just not thinking in straight lines.

I tied my scarf around my head; I think maybe it’ll help keep my brain in place.

I have spent practically all weekend in this room. With my laptop. And a plethora of fairytale characters who’ve enlisted me to tell their stories properly.

I can’t imagine, as a career, being paid to listen to people’s stories and secrets. I’d go mad. I am going mad.

Perhaps some people would call this madness ‘being a writer’. I just call it madness. Lack of sanity. Complete and utter lunacy.

Did you know that Goldilocks is the daughter of Rapunzel? That’s where she gets her golden locks.

And that fairy godmothers don’t actually turn pumpkins into carriages? They’re far more practical than that.

I was wide awake until 4:50am this morning.

WIDE awake.

I don’t do that.

Last semester I decided that I was a night owl.

I think it was because I was so ready to do some deciding for myself, and the bedtime that had been imposed on me at home was a restriction I could throw off without feeling exposed or insecure. (I’m the kind of baby bird that you have to push out of the nest so that instinct will kick in and I’ll spread my wings to keep from going SPLAT. Hopefully. Most of the time.)

But I’m not a night owl.

According to the self-test we did in Psychology, I’m not really an early bird either. I’m one of those middle people.

Maybe that’ll change when I’m not in college anymore.

Maybe I’ll go back to being the lark who used to wake up half an hour before she was allowed out of bed and silently sing a 60-second-long song to herself thirty times every morning, all while wriggling with impatience to get out of bed and start the day.

No joke.

That’s what I did every morning for a long while.

And then I just didn’t get out of bed in the mornings for a while.

And now I alternate.

Except for that one random night when I can’t shut off my brain until 4:50am because I have so many fairytales and plots and costumes and staging instructions and prices whirling about in my mind. And then wake up, for a day of no obligations, at 10:15am. Yup. Sleep deprivation, here we go.

If I could be on a creative high like this all the time, it would be great.

Except that I’m currently a full-time student. And this mind buzzing doesn’t work well in a classroom.

I may have sat still most of today, but my attention keeps bouncing back and forth between here, there, and the moon. Computers are good about accommodating for this. Professors…not so much.

Anyway, my basic point was to say hullo and to say that it snowed, and to take a break from trying to negotiate a misunderstanding between a handful of fairytale characters.

Happy Monday!

I hope your day has been at least half as nice as mine and at least five times more sane than mine.

Cheers!

– Melissa
OREO Wonderfilled Song feat. Owl City

Stayin’ Alive (And That Sorta Thing)

Life is an emotional roller coaster. At least, for me it is. I blame it on background, environment, and (mostly) the artist personality type. You know us artists: we’re the ones who ache to give wings to that vision inside of us, but we never quite can and that kills us, plus we so rely on our emotions to drive our craft that our emotions get the better of us and we think we’re being logical. And there’s a melancholy streak that I see in almost all of us. All that to say, it was a roller coaster day for me.

For one thing, it was the first day of classes!!! Yay! Woo hoo…! Yeah… Nope. Not feelin’ the thrill. But I did survive. Which is great. Tomorrow’s my really full day, but it’s still not the first day. I’ve conquered that monster!

In addition, I’ve finally gotten to begin to acquaint myself with the theatre crew over the past 24 hours. Which in some ways has been exhilarating. And in other ways has been tremendously discouraging/distressing. Being in but not of the world is going to be a huge huge deal for me this year. Also, translating solid convictions into real life application is definitely going to be a thing.

The biggest theatre occurrence was auditioning for my first HSU show this evening! (Oh, and there was me coming into the departmental meeting three minutes late, too. That was exciting.) I don’t have any burning sense that the director adored me, but I’m confident that I did my best, and that if I don’t get cast in this show, then that’s exactly where God wants me. After all, this semester is one of adjusting and acclimating.

So overall today was pretty…extreme. From curling up on my bed sobbing, to laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe (thanks, Sarah, for sitting in that plastic tub; I’m glad it was you who got stuck and not me) I have confirmed that I do not do halfway emotions. I live in the land of extremes, especially when I’m tired and stressed. (And yes, for those of you who know me well, I am still on an adrenaline rush from auditions two hours ago. My writing style should say it all. I promise I’ll sleep sooner than later.)

IMG_20140826_115019_245

I love the quote depicted on the above bench (located here on campus). I’m clinging to that quote. And I’m also really fond of that bench, because it’s in the shade near the pond.

Anyhow, I’m not going to proofread this, because it’s too late and I know myself well enough to be sure that it’s chock full of all kinds of inconsistencies and things that don’t make sense. You know the drill regarding complaints. This is the Queen bidding thee a good night!

– Melissa
Oceans by Hillsong

 

Oh. Yeah. And I’ve overused parentheses tonight. You’re welcome.