Thoughts On Plan B

townOne of the reasons I decided to study history was because of how much it changes. The past may be set in stone, but there is so much about it that is different every single day. We discover new things, learn about new perspectives, and uncover lost truths. And through it all, we are constantly building the story and the identity of the human race.

I find it incredibly beautiful.

And one of the reasons that I am a writer is because of the same thing. I love meeting new characters and figuring out what their stories are. I love seeing their perspectives. I love being able to figure out how the words will fit together so that what I’m actually trying to say is said.

There is something I have often struggled with in writing that I have never struggled with in history. And this is the problem of originality.

I have fallen into the trap so many countless times of thinking that whatever I write has to be totally and completely unique. But the truth about literature is that this isn’t really a thing. We take elements that already exist and we create a story in the way that we wish it to be told. It is the way that we put them together and the way that we say what we need to say that makes a story different and individual.mountain

For some reason, I’ve always understood this about history but never about literature.

Do you ever look up at the stars at night and wonder? I once read something that said that whatever your mind goes to when you’re looking at the stars or the ocean is where your heart truly is. Perhaps this is true sometimes and not others, because the child in me will, every now and again, look frantically for the Big Dipper when I look at the stars and I can promise you that isn’t where my heart is.

And sometimes when we are faced with something that vast it makes us look inwards and wonder what we are in relation to it.

Can I compare to a star? What does my life truly mean in the face of the countless ones a star lives through?

The last several days have been pretty hard ones. A lot of things that I struggle with have decided to come for a visit all at once, and it has been very hard. It is in times like these when I start to question absolutely everything. I look back at posts I wrote when I was doing well and wonder how I was naive enough to have that kind of hope.

Of course, this is ridiculous. But that’s what I think.

planI realized something about myself this week. And it is this: I am a Plan B-er. I am. 100% completely and thoroughly and absolutely. I am a Plan B-er.

Let me explain.

I have this picture in my head. This very special, sacred picture, of what I want my future to be like. Of what I believe would be the very best future for me. The future that would help me learn and grow, but also make me wildly happy. I have this picture. I very rarely look at it or entertain the notion of it, because if I’m being honest, too much of me doesn’t really believe it will happen. I believe in how incredible it would be. But a lot of me likes to whisper horrible things about it. That it’s a stupid picture and I should get rid of it.

And as terrible as this sounds, it is the way I’ve always been.

No matter what my dream was, and no matter how hard I believed in it or prayed about it and felt amazing in it: I always let a very horrible side of me dressed as practicality talk myself into believing that it was a joke.

And so I live my life for Plan B.

I think of the next best thing. Whatever would do its best at filling the void. Whatever would get me to the silver medal. And I plan on that. I pour over my plans for that. I tell everyone about them. And nobody ever knows that it isn’t even what I absolutely and truly want for myself.

And all the while I’m pouring over Plan B, in my deepest heart of hearts, I pray for Plan sunA. It is so deep inside my heart that sometimes I even forget about it. I just focus on Plan B and do whatever I can possibly think of to get there. And then sometimes, very late at night, when my mind is full of all the things I don’t let it think when the sun is shining, I remember Plan A.

And I say a prayer. And I hope. And I let Plan B go away until I’ll need it again the next morning.

I have realized this about myself, and I think it is something I should stop doing. Maybe you’re the kind of person who thinks that we should absolutely go for our Plan A, for our number #1 dream. And if so, you’d probably agree that this isn’t a very good mindset to have. So I’ll see what I can do about fixing that.

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Connections & Coincidences

Two years ago I was hired at my job, along with a group of others. I remember being nervous, and hoping that I would get along with everybody.

In this group of people I was hired with, there were two girls named Haley and Adele. To be totally honest, we didn’t all get along at first. But now, two years later, these girls are my best friends. Even more than this, they have become my sisters.

I don’t even know how to explain how incredible these two ladies are. They have been there for me through thick and thin. They have picked up the pieces of my broken heart on several occasions throughout the years, and I’ve been lucky enough to do the same for them. They teach me so much every day. I honestly can’t believe how blessed I am to have them in my life.

Recently, all three of us have really been through a lot. We’ve all had different struggles, and have had to be there for one another.

Yesterday, we all came together and went to a support group meeting on campus that deals with some of the things we’ve all been exposed to lately. Overall, the experience was both scary and gratifying. It wasn’t the correct fit for all three of us, but we were grateful to all go together and have the experience. As experiences like that tend to do, it brought up a lot of emotions.

After the meeting, we sat in my car and talked for two more hours. There was a lot of laughter, as there usually is, but there were also a lot of tears. We got a lot of things out in the open that we hadn’t realized we were keeping from each other. There was a lot of wiping each other’s tears, holding hands, and smoothing out hair.

We were open and honest. We told about our insecurities and our fears. We talked about the things we are currently struggling with, and our hopes and desires.

Quite honestly, it was beautiful.

It was beautiful to have a moment like that with these incredible women. It was beautiful to realize that we are all human, trying our best to be there for one another in our struggles. It was a blessing to share a moment like that with them.

Their friendship means the world to me, and has saved me in countless situations. There is no way I could ever accurately explain it. But there is a bond between us that can’t be broken, and that is an incredible thing to have in this life. It is a wonderful blessing.

There are people in this life that we have connections with. They come into our lives almost by accident, but then they end up being so, so important. These relationships that end up being so important and enriching our lives could seem like coincidences.

But I don’t believe in coincidences.

Conquered

Conquered

I traveled once, long ago,
along a well beaten path
winding along an indigo lake

Mountains towered above
the path spilled away from them
leading to places that told stories

I sat away from rain
beside a fire, listening
hearing a tale of a fiery maid

She was hidden away
inside a castle and heart
behind the stones too high and imposed

Giants attacked at night
when nobody could see them come
she always fought alone, routine war

Behind the castle walls
that were never to break down
she sometimes wondered about her strength

She ventured outside once
twice, three times she tried to go
but giants always returned again

On a summer day then
she watched from a high tower
at the battlefields forming below

She advanced past it all
still with walls but somehow free
giants behind, she walked without fear

It took more than courage
hope in the one exception
standing just without the guarded place

But it was safer there
than it had been anywhere
the walls were never more protected

I heard the tale that night
of the fiery maid’s journey
walking where she never dreamed she would

But never happier
was she, or more safe and sound
choosing love and freedom, she arose

And No Matter What

Today I felt many and various emotions, a plethora of them if you will. But there is just one in particular that I wanted to talk about. But first, some background.

I have three older sisters, and I get along with each of them pretty well. But especially one in particular. She and I are very similar, and we have a great time together. Her husband has a job which requires them to move around a lot, and they never really know how long they are going to be in an area. Just before Christmas Break, they were moved here! I don’t know how long they’ll be here, of course, but just having my sister here with me has been such a huge help to me in so many ways. fadc3867278918d471e061cc2b6adfb5

Today we went to lunch at a sandwich place together, arriving there at around 2:30. We got our food and sat beside the fireplace in the quaint little shop, eating and talking. And we just talked and talked. We talked about everything. She just recently announced that she is pregnant and so like sisters do, we gushed on and on about her baby and all of the things that she is going to need. We talked about our family, she talked about her husband. I talked about school. We talked about hopes, fears, dreams, goals, and everything in between. And after we finished our food we just kept on talking. Finally, we came around to looking at the time and it was 4:30. Two wonderful, uninterrupted hours of talking to my sister. It was amazing. I didn’t feel the need to talk about anything specific, I listened to her, she listened to me. We just talked.

It was an amazing thing. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until after I returned home. I think that not many of us get an opportunity like that, to sit with somebody we love and talk about everything. It just felt so natural to sit and talk to her, and afterwards I felt so much better even though nothing had really been wrong. I think it’s really easy to forget the blessing of friends and family, to just take advantage of the fact that they are always there. But when we get to stop and sit with them, we realize just how lucky we are. I guess the whole point here is that I’m just happy tonight, and I wish every one of you the same.