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…Can I taste your asparagus?

This day was long and uneventful, filled with lectures and scribbling into notebooks. I was into my fourth hour of reading when I took a break to make dinner for my roommates (lasagna, sauteed asparagus, and garlic bread). I was getting read to start back into it when I received a text from a friend who had a stressful day. Packing my bookbag, I instantly walked to the rescue where I got in her car and we drove to Panera to get food and study.

Upon arrival, I told her about my excellent cooking skills and the cashier overheard us. Ian, the friendly cashier who looked much younger than us, was quite nice and commented on the asparagus that he had heard I had cooked.

asparagus

By the end of the night, he had given us his number when he clocked out. Since we were slap-happy by that time, we had already made several jokes about asparagus — one of which ended up being the title of this post.

Moral of the story: The way to a guy’s heart is through his stomach, especially if you cook asparagus.

The difficult thing about vulnerability is that it’s the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show.

I write.

I write a lot. Sometimes it depends on the day. I like to write but I don’t like to read what I have written. I like to read poems out loud so I can hear the way the words waltz off my tongue and dance on my eardrums.

Because of this, I like to participate in creative writing classes. I took one in high school and I’m currently enrolled in one at college. My professor, a woman whose blog I enjoy very much and whose personality reminds me of a Lemonhead, has reiterated the fact that she wants to read pieces that demonstrate events in our lives where we have felt vulnerable. She has a gentle voice and a laugh that reminds me of a wind chime when a sudden summer breeze appears, but her words leave a sour taste in my mouth (Lemonhead? Get it?).

I’m not a vulnerable person. I say what I think but I don’t often give enough details for anyone to discover how I feel. I like blogging because I can do exactly that — even my poem from a few days ago was evidence that I do struggle with the future and who I’m going to become but I didn’t really say how I was feeling about the stanzas that I typed. You, oh online reader who stares at these words on the screen, I bet you didn’t even know that I’m very jealous of one of my roommates. And even though I’ve admitted that just now, you don’t know why I’m jealous and I’m not about to tell you. I don’t tell people how I feel. It is a shortcoming of mine and one that I’m not about to change overnight for this class.

However, in addition to vulnerability, my professor has asked that we also consider our audience and the concept of shock value vs. writing to offend someone. Personally, I like shock value. I think reality is quite shocking. I can say for sure that you would be shocked about the types of thoughts that run through my head when I’m put into compromising situations. Writing to offend, though? I don’t do that as often. I try not to. I will express my opinions and I do like to debate — I wouldn’t voluntarily shoot down your argument and not allow you to reply in kind, nor do I try to argue anything with an ignorant opinion.

For my professor, who I very much admire, I will reveal a layer of vulnerability. However, I refuse to edit the “shock value” for the audience of my writing.

Reality cannot be defined by the person who watches it unfold. My experiences do not change because a certain elements of those situations offend someone. If I write the word “damn” in a memoir because that is what actually slipped from my mouth when I tore my ACL (to clarify, not a real example), then I write it so that the audience can visualize what actually happened, understand the intensity of the injury, and realize the extent of the pain that I felt. I’m not going to sugarcoat my version of life if someone else doesn’t like it.

Creative writing is an art. Art was made to be enjoyed and interpreted differently by all who gaze upon it; or in this case, whosoever reads it. I won’t justify changing my memories so that an editor can have a certain interpretation that I want them to have. If I want my editor to think that so-and-so is hideous, then I can describe in detail every single imperfection that has the misfortune of gracing such a troll-ish face. Such exaggeration doesn’t make it true to life, though.

Vulnerability will have to come from moments in my past. Those memories will lost their authenticity as soon as I start modifying descriptions and force them into a mold to make it easier for the audience to swallow. I hate it. I hate every single part of the idea of changing myself for someone else.

So, my dear professor, I will give you vulnerability. But I refuse, I will NOT change the language, the emotion or the circumstances so that you like it. You don’t have to like it. In fact, I would prefer that you didn’t.

Let me write for you.

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The only time to eat diet food is when you’re waiting for the steak to cook.

I have this bad habit of making people believe that I can do things even though I’ve never done it before. Even when I tell them straight-out that I’ve never done something before, they still believe I can do it because I carry myself with such confidence.

Hence, this picture. I have a friend who is on a strict medical diet. Since I’m the least pickiest eater in the world, I often eat exactly what she does. I like to think that it reassures her that her food isn’t that bad and that it helps her feel not as alone when eating non-processed foods — although there’s a good chance she just enjoys my company and is happy that I eat whatever she does 🙂 I haven’t asked.

steaks with peaches

Anyway, I’ve never grilled peaches before (I have seen it done so I’m not completely ignorant on the subject of grilled fruit) but as soon as I suggested it, she hopped on the idea under the assumption that I could do so. It tasted pretty good, although I could’ve left the thicker peaches on for a few minutes longer.

Either way, this picture is documentation of my first official grilled fruit success.

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

I’ve set my feet on this course, chosen this path
I go through life as if writing a first draft.
The problem with that is that I can’t change the past.
What’s written is written and I write it too fast.

I flip through the pages and read what is there
I see the mistakes now, in singles, in pairs.
It’s pointless really, I can’t ever go back
and moreover, it hurts to see the wisdom I lacked.

My confidence wanes and the thoughts whirl in my head
The doubts become nightmares as I lay in my bed.
Too many “what ifs” dance across my mind
and I see possible futures of all kinds.

They tell me not to worry, that it will be okay,
that I will look back and be happy someday.
They tell me that I have the future in my hands
that I can write anything and make all these plans.

What they say makes sense and I suppose they’re right
if I can see everything clear as black and white.
The difference comes because they don’t understand
and they don’t know the path that I’ve planned.

What do you write when the ending doesn’t fit?
Where do you go when there’s too many plot twists?
What happens when the plans break and the quest goes awry
and the sidekicks fall away and the love interest dies?

What do you write when the character stops talking?
What happens when the path ends and you’re still walking?
No people, no setting, and the plot still rages
But what do you do when the book runs out of pages?

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Science may never come up with a better form of communication than a coffee break.

I find the title of this post very ironic. Why?

1) Boom! Science. I’m a chemistry major and I’m reading the book “Origins” for a Science and Faith Seminar class that discusses the possibility of combining both a scientific and Christian worldview to explain the origins of the universe.

2) I was at a coffee shop while reading aforementioned book.

3) I saw a few of my good friends while I inhabited said campus coffee shop.

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Best part? All three things (science, books, and coffee) make me very happy.

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When someone says you’re photogenic, they’re actually saying you look uglier than when you’re in pictures.

Meagan surprised us fellow roommates with a trip to the lake near her house so we could take a ride on her pontoon. Although it was cloudy, it was quite warm and the breeze was nice.

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This happened to be the one picture where most of us weren’t paying much attention. Amy and I were wrestling with the unruly monsters of hair upon our heads. Meagan was laughing at our inability to control our wayward strands. And Sophie, dear Sophie, the usually most un-photogenic of our group, was smiling prettily for the camera. Clearly her binging of America’s Next Top Model on Netflix has paid off…

Needless to say, the entire picture makes me smile 🙂

Potential has a shelf life.

I can jump off a cliff.

It’s true. I am physically capable of doing so. I can also eat a bumblebee. Not sure why I’d want to, but I can do it!

Moral of that story: we can all do things that we shouldn’t necessarily do.

For example, I’m majoring in both Chemistry and English. Why? Because I can somehow process the scientific method and write out lab reports about the stuff that makes up life and, at the same time, I can write a pretty sestina about the leaves that fall in autumn (a type of poem for those of you who don’t know). My brain is wired the same way as everyone else but we all function in different ways and are productive at different levels of efficiency.

The amount and level of classes that I have to take every semester is extremely taxing. What bothers me most though are my changing feelings about the types of classes I’m taking. I have an interest in Chemistry while I simply have a gift for English. Chemistry is the field that I have chosen for myself as a potential future career path, but English was given to me without my asking — but I’m not complaining! It’s nice to have that balance between interest and passion.

However, as I have started school, I have begun to realize something. Actually, it was less of a realization and more of a doubt wiggling it’s way through my thoughts and eating through the plans that I have drafted for my future. While I normally am confident in the path that I have chosen, my steps lately have been hesitant and my eyes have faltered from the goal upon which they were fixed.

I’m not sure I’m going to like my science classes anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love working in the lab and I am fascinated with the idea of learning about cell geometry and organic compounds. But while I was simply sitting in my Organic Chem class in order to get the grade, a smile crossed my face when I walked into my Literature Criticism class! If you think measuring the angles between bonds in Chemistry is bad, you should never try classifying works of writing. Both classes are considered quite difficult…but my reactions were totally different.

I’m not scared. To be honest, I think I could handle it if I was scared. I can banish fear and force myself to endure the hard classes.

I’m nervous. Anxiety undermines the foundation of my confidence and it’s harder to walk a path when your eyes are clouded with doubts. Just because we can do things, doesn’t mean we should do them. Just because it’s possible for me to double major, doesn’t mean that I should mentally drain myself to do so. At the same time, I would hate to waste potential and the opportunities that such an academic combo would bring.

There’s only so much time for me to think about this decision. Without an expiration date though, it’s hard to tell if I no longer have a strong enough interest in Chemistry to continue upon that path. I can’t tell if the door is still open for me.

I may not be spoiled goods quite yet, but I do have a potential shelf life.