For Laughs

An Open Letter To One Direction

Dear One Direction,

carI did not fully appreciate you until you were gone. I wish there was a way for me to explain how this happened. I wish there was justification for my actions. But there isn’t. Just like Zayn, I threw away an incredible opportunity to be a part of something spectacular. I’m trying not to be haunted by this fact. This letter, while a deep window into my soul, must be written. I can’t contain this anymore.

I’m going through the phases of loving you in ridiculous amounts, being angry at Zayn, loving you more without him, and being sad that you’re gone all at once. And oh, so much later than the rest of the world. It’s actually quite beautiful in all of it’s tragic too late-ness.

I’m watching X Factor things years too late. I’m watching interviews years too late. Enjoying music years too late. I’m falling in love with Harry so much later than everybody else. (Which doesn’t diminish the love itself, Harry, I’m just saying.) But it’s just all too late. Much too late. If I tried to count each instance I’m sure it would feel like infinity.history

It has taught me a valuable lesson. It’s taught me that for some things, it’s never too late. But it has also taught me that when something good is right in front of you, you have to grab it and never let go. It’s taught me that sometimes it can be too late. And that you can’t pass by the wonderful things that life hands you. Maybe we all say it too much, but we should never give up. If you know something, go for it.

Perhaps if I had jumped on the One Direction bandwagon years ago with the rest of the world, I wouldn’t enjoy everything you all did as much as I do now. Perhaps it would’ve have the same influence as it does now. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as special.

In any case, I need to thank each one of you individually for your contributions to my life in the last few months. You’ve all contributed to a rather interesting time in my life in your own unique way.

suitsLiam: You’re such a drama queen. I love watching you in music videos, because you just pour so much of your soul into it. Thanks for teaching me that about life.

Niall: You’re just…perfect. And so cute. And so loveable. Just so Irish. You make the world a better place with your happiness.

Louis: You have a special place in my heart, Louis. You have such kind eyes. You really are so pure. Like a cinnamon roll. You make me believe in the purity of the human race.

Harry: We’ve got to stop meeting like this. It’s more than I can handle most days. That’s really all I can say for now.

Also, I would like to issue a blanket thank you to all of you for the following songs, which light of my life, comfort my heart, and speak all the words I wish I could speak:

  • Still the One
  • End of the Day
  • You and I
  • Infinity
  • Rock Me
  • Steal My Girl
  • A.M
  • Kiss You
  • Little Things
  • Better than Words
  • If I Could Fly
  • No Control
  • Perfect

Oh, these are only a few. Truly. But these are some of the special ones. The ones that have little thingshelped me through some hard times, which I honestly can’t be held responsible for. Just thank you. Thank you for making me happy, for helping me know that there really are words for how I’m feeling, and teaching me lots of life lessons. Lots of little things.

Probably the most important life lessons you’ve taught me are that life is meant to be lived, that we need to follow our passions, and that love is much too precious to let slip away.

Many thanks.

Love, Jordan

For Laughs

Karma

I once read about the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I remember reading that she wrote amazing poetry, poetry about what was going on in the world and the great issues of the day. Apparently she made quite the influence on the world with her work, which was incredible for a woman in Victorian era England.

I also read that after marrying fellow poet Robert Browning, her poetry “declined”. I remember reading that it was disappointing, how love addled her  writing and that after she fell in love she couldn’t write about anything else.

I have two things to say about this memory of mine:

  1. At the time I went right along with whoever was writing that and judging her harshly, wondering how she could’ve let that happen to her.
  2. Karma is real. Very real.

And that is all.

Have a nice day.

For Laughs

Scones, Codes, & Gowns

Today after work, I drove up to the farm. Right now I’m staying with my family, ignoring the fact that I have an apartment in town close to work. It is Potato Harvest right now, and something in me feels the need to be near, even if I’m not working in it this year.

sconesIt is one of those odd days that can’t make up its mind. Half of the sky is brilliantly blue and sunny, and half of it is indigo and promising a gorgeous rain storm. For the sake of our harvest I know I should pray for the sun to stay out, but it is one of those autumn days when a bit of rain and hot cocoa seems like a good idea.

Adjusting back to life here in the U.S has been a little bit more difficult than I imagined it would be. First of all, I was only in England for three weeks, so I hadn’t expected to have adjusted to life there as much as I did. I’ll be completely honest and tell you that jet lag one the war for almost a week. A week! But I’m finally back on schedule. And of the many, many things I miss, scones are Number 1.

I found a recipe and have made myself British scones several times since coming home, which is truly the only thing that is helping me past the withdrawals. But even though they taste the same and technically are the same, they aren’t the same. They have this appearance of a scone, the taste of a scone, but no matter what they aren’t what I wish they were: the delicious scones I had in Grasmere, Salisbury, or even Ireland. To all my British friends I say this: count your blessings. Go to the nearest tea room and order a scone. Just do it. For me. Please?sherlock

Have you ever had a conversation that ended up being a little cryptic? And after having this conversation, you feel very un-Sherlockian. It may begin as a normal conversation, and quickly evolve into a not so normal conversation while also keeping the appearance of a normal conversation. Now I feel as though I’m in the middle of a very big code. It was enlightening while at the same time more confusing. And of course I’ve been overthinking it. Please, please tell me I’m not alone in having had this experience. Even if you have to lie. Just tell me that.

On top of all these things pretending to be things they’re not, I need an evening gown. In a week and a half I’m going on a girls trip with two of my very best friends, and we’ll be doing a night with a fancy dinner. I need an evening gown. I thought I had one, but it turns out it is nowhere to be found. So now I have 10 days to find something. Wish me luck.

cocoAnd here I sit. Missing England like crazy, wanting real scones, feeling very un-Sherlockian, and evening gown-less.

And that’s it.

 

 

For Laughs

I Prefer Steadfast

For about as long as I can remember, people have found it necessary to tell me that I’m a stubborn person. Well actually, for longer than I can remember, I’m fairly certain.

Now to continue on with this honesty thing, most of the time this comes from my mom when I call her in hard situations. Somewhere along the line it usually comes up that I’m a pretty stubborn person.

honkedWell it has been my experience in life that calling somebody “stubborn” is not a compliment. I’m not necessarily proud of my so-called stubbornness, however it seems to be a fact that the entire world knows about.

So I’ve been thinking.

I think being stubborn is a good thing, obviously to a point. Being too much of anything is probably not a good thing. If you’re not willing to stick with something and believe in it, then you should probably just go home right now. But you don’t want to be so stubborn that you miss wonderful opportunities.

Anyway, I guess the point here is that I’ve decided to not be stubborn.

I prefer “steadfast”.

It’s much more positive.

For Laughs

We Are Wesley

My family is pretty amazing. I mean, obviously I’m a little bit biased in that area, but believe me when I say that I’m saying this as objectively as possible: my family is incredible. Not only because we are all hilarious, but because they are all just pretty good humans in general.

good workEverybody in my family is really smart in some way, and all of us are really artistic and creative in different ways. It’s really cool to see all of us working on that as we get older. But besides these things, one of the things that my family does probably better than anything is quote movies.

And no, I’m not kidding.

There really isn’t any way to explain it, you just have to kind of experience it. But we are ridiculously amazing at quoting movies. We have entire conversations in movie quotes, and an eternal game of “name that movie” which will never be won by any single individual. This is actually one of the things that makes everybody in my family really hilarious. We are all fantastic at quoting movies, and not only that, but quoting them at the right moment. Our timing is impeccable.

The reason that I mention this today is because I’ve been thinking about the movie The Princess Bride. If you have never seen this movie, let me know so that I can light a candle for you, but then you must promptly go and watch it. I literally have no clue where my life would be if my siblings and I hadn’t been raised watching this movie. It is not only hilarious and totally classic, but it has the best one-liners in the world. It is very often quoted in our family.

I realized today, however, that besides the fact that we quote this movie all the time, we as you wisreference it even more without even meaning to.

In the beginning of the movie, you meet Wesley and Buttercup, who soon realize that they are deeply in love. One of the things that happens in order for them to realize this is something Wesley says to Buttercup often. He is farm boy, and every time she gives him an order to do something around the farm, he only ever replies with the words, “As you wish.”

Time after time, order after order, that is the only thing Wesley ever says in response. As you wish. Buttercup eventually comes to realize that when Wesley is saying, “As you wish,” what he is really saying is, “I love you.” And the rest is glorious history involving giants, miracles, and really big rats.

In my family, we have this phrase we use all the time. Like…all the time. We say it usually in moments that are hilarious and totally adorable, so inevitably we almost always end up saying it to my mom. We get all emotional and can’t handle life and we just say, “You’re so cute!” As I’ve thought about this phrase that we often say to each other, I’ve had a few thoughts. In the beginning, we kind of meant it as a very endearing insult. Something like, “You’re so adorable and weird and I don’t know how to say that so I’ll just call you cute with this really lovable face and voice and hope you get the message without being too offended.”

But as I’ve thought about this, I’ve had a major break through. Whether we all realize it or not, when we say, “You’re so cute!” what we really mean is, “I love you so much I can’t express it in this moment.” Because it almost always happens in the innocent moments when you’re watching somebody just be and you realize how incredible they are and how lucky you are to have them in your life.

wesleyIt happens in small moments when I watch my mom make a face as she’s thinking, or my little brother eat chili and orange soda, or my little sister blink blankly in annoyance, or my best friends do one of the one million things they do that are just completely them. And then your heart kind of swells in gratitude a little and with a whole lot of love and you just really can’t contain it.

My family has translated this moment into, “You’re so cute!”

But what we really mean is, “I love you.”

We are Wesley.

For Laughs · I'm Just Saying

Logical Stories

typeWhen a story first comes to me, it is an incredibly exciting feeling. It’s almost as though somebody is singling me out – find me specifically to tell their story. I start getting all giddy, feeling it all come to me. It’s almost like watching a movie. But in this magical system there is very often a glitch.

Most of the time I only know half of the story.

Seriously, I’ll come up with this fantastic plot line, be thinking about it, imagining it all and then…nothing. My mind goes black. And I find myself sitting here with half of a story. And so then I sit down and try to be logical – which is in itself a story – and think things like: Okay, what would happen next? If this were real, what would logically occur after this?

Sometimes this logical approach works, other times it doesn’t.

Let me tell you, it is extremely hard to write a novel when you only have half a plot line. I mean, I’ve done it before, but what ends up happening is you just keep writing things until the story just kind of forms itself without you. I guess it’s a kind of adventure this way, however this spontaneity means I’ve never, in all the years I’ve wanted to be a writer, sat down and actually planned out a novel. It’s always been something along these lines: Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, Event, tiny I-don’t-knows, LIMBO.

The problem is that it has never bothered me until now. Now, when I want so badly to be half finishedserious about my writing and have some form of a plan. I think of plot lines and don’t even know where to go or what to do. It’s all a little hazy.

This series of events has led me to the possibility of to conclusions: I must either break through this wall and establish a new way of writing, or I must go back to what was already working and stop worrying so much.

I’ve yet to come to any sort of conclusion. Naturally.

Because we all just realized that the reason this happens in my novels is because it happens to me daily.

And this post has escalated very quickly into headache material.

You are now acquainted with my life as a writer.

For Laughs · I'm Just Saying

The Oxford Club

shoesThe English Department in my university is housed in a very old building that was originally the men’s dorms. It’s made of old, yellowish brick and is about three stories tall. It sits near the bottom of the hill on which our campus is located, and inside the lights are slightly dim and the halls slightly narrow.

In short, it’s pretty much perfect for housing the English Department in every way. And I mean this with the utmost respect. English is one of my areas of study, after all.

So one day a few months ago I walked past this building, and outside of it I beheld a truly wonderful sight. Several of the professors, all male, were standing outside in a half circle. They all  held mugs and wore tweed jackets and caps, and in the center of them was my favorite professor of all time expounding on some great topic.

Yesterday while I was walking past this building I once again beheld this group of libraryprofessors, again in the half circle. This time they were without the tweed jackets, though the caps were still thoroughly present.

I cannot explain why, but this is literally one of my favorite things on the entire planet.

I’ve named them The Oxford Club.