I have a blazing hearth in my soul and yet no one comes to sit by it.

Considering this is exactly what I was writing about the other day, I couldn’t resist posting this link so my lovely readers could see it too.

That’s the great and terrible thing about the internet: you realize that everyone else is feeling the same way you are and that nobody else has been able to figure out the solution to the problem.  And if all the thousands of people who suffer from said problem can’t fix it, who’s to say that it will ever be solved?

Of course, then who’s to say it won’t ever be solved?

http://thoughtcatalog.com/trisha-velarmino/2015/02/the-concept-of-home-its-a-feeling-not-a-place/

The truly free man is the one who can turn down dinner without giving an excuse.

I realize more in one moment how much I have changed while away at college than in several days of introspection.

I can only spend so much time with my family and under the rules of my parents for so long before my patience is eaten away. I didn’t even realize how close I was to losing until I received another normal insult.

As much as I am dreading this upcoming semester, I’m happy to return to the dorm room that I call home for another four months. I never thought I’d see that day coming. I mean, everyone gets tired of their family now and again. But I didn’t actually think that I wouldn’t be able to handle my own.

Somehow the endless hours of studying are welcoming me back with open arms and the nights of little sleep and early mornings with hot coffee that I always, without fail, spill on myself seem okay to me. Is this what life has come to?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family but I’m ready to be away from them too. That little part of me that used to be excited to see them is withering away. I’m sure I’ll be happy to see them when Spring Break rolls around. I just need a little bit of room to breathe at the moment.

I’m 19 but I’m still relieved that my mom doesn’t read this blog (although she knows about it, I think she forgot) because if she read this post, I’d die. These would be my last words.

That’s unfortunate.

I’m just blowin’ smoke…

The holidays were great.

Everyone’s happy and singing Christmas carols while nibbling on cookies shaped like the candy canes that they would later dip in mugs of hot chocolate. Everyone’s wearing ugly Christmas sweaters and exchanging White Elephant gifts. Everyone’s putting on their best face to see family for the first time in a long time, if not the first time all year.

The holidays were great.

If she tipped her face up slightly, the light would kiss her hunger-sharpened cheekbones just enough so that you couldn’t see the dark shadows that hovered in the hollows of her eyes. Her lips were thin and wrinkled and puckered so naturally around a Marlboro Red that you’ve thought she was born with a cigarette in her mouth. Glittery strands of grey hair poked out from her wavy mass of dark hair that revolted against the hairspray but the hardness around her eyes almost let her pull it off in a severe sort of way.

Merry Christmas to you too.

The holidays were great. The few family members that still talked to her gave her gift cards which she sold online for cash. Cash was easier to spend.

She never got them anything. Cash was easier to spend on herself.

She was surrounded by family members in her living room with forced smiles plastered on their faces, staring back at her. She picked up one of the frames and wiped the smudged glass with her sleeve.

There you go. Gotta put on your best face for the holidays.

Family gatherings were easy when no one could talk to you. There was no one to pointedly ask how your boyfriend is when they all know that he left you a few month earlier. No one to inquire after your friends when they recently heard that the best one left with your boyfriend. No one to make small talk and ask how work is going when they found out that you don’t work anymore after you were late one too many times.

Of course, then again, there was no one to wish you a “Merry Christmas”. The holidays were great.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Home is where my bunch of crazies are!

The family on my mom’s side is congregating and commiserating (my Aunt Whitney’s words!) in Connecticut for Christmas. I hear it’s chaos and a lot of fun — which sorta describes all our family gatherings.

Since we have such a large family, my Aunt Karise organizes a Secret Santa for the adults and for the kids. Once a kid turns 15, my Aunt Ashlin conducts an induction ceremony into the adult Secret Santa group.

By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve mentioned 3 different aunts. Trust me, there’s more to come.

Since our family couldn’t make it, I presented my Secret Santa gift over Skype. My Aunt Kris (told you there was more!) held the camera and I performed an elaborate gift reveal to my Uncle Mike.

After the induction ceremony for one of my cousins and a slightly off-key rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, I got off the loud chatter of Skype to hear the very quiet, very spacious, very lonely house.

I miss them. A few of them read my blog (hi guys!). I hope they know how much fun it was to Skype with them.

I miss you. Merry Christmas.

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The Fourth Day and a Birthday!

My mother’s birthday falls on day 4 of my 100 Happy Days. Tonight we went to see a baseball game and watched some fireworks after (how American of us). I never realize how much I miss my mama until I’m at college and someone makes a comment that’s an inside joke between us, but when I turn to the side to make a funny face and start laughing and no one is there. She’s made some mistakes in her life, but if I’m being honest, that’s one of the reasons that I respect her so much. She’s taught me a lot of things — even if one of the lessons was “do as I say, not as I do.” We look similar but we are two different sides of the same coin. While I’m very right-brained, she is an extreme lefty. We have very different interests (she would never blog and I still don’t think she understands why I like it so much) and we don’t have many common hobbies, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand her. That’s the amazing thing about our relationship: somehow, despite all the obstacles and absolutely no common ground, we understand each other and thrive on mutual respect.

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However, I couldn’t only put one picture on here! For her birthday, I painted two canvasses with her and my stepdad’s wedding vows framed by flowers that were in her wedding bouquet. I’m an amateur painter and I’ve never done anything this extensive in my life, but I’m proud of the way they turned out. So, of course, I had to include a picture of that as well.

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The smile on her face when I presented them to her only made mine all the brighter. Happy birthday, Mama! I hope it was a happy one 🙂

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Third time’s a charm!

Day number 3 of my 100 Happy Days and I’m doing the exact same thing as I was on the second day. Since my great grandma has come to celebrate my mom’s birthday, we’ve been playing an awful lot of card games. I may have won yesterday but I’ve lost all the games I played today.

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How many people can say that they took a group selfie with their great grandma? Not many, I’m sure, but you can count me among them! She’s a blast and I don’t get to see her very often. Even if she’s beating me in cards, I’m still happy to see her 🙂