Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Perks of Not Being a Debbie-Downer

At long last, the day has arrived! The day where the heavens open, the angels sing, and I no longer feel how Lindsey Lohan looks. To put it shortly: my day was friggin awesome.

First, I got back an English paper that I thought was a solid 85 only to look down and see the most wonderful sight known to man: a bright, beautiful 97 written in red ink. Not only was my grade high, but there were no corrective markings on the page. Every comma was in place, I didn't flip-flop in-between tenses, and there were no alien invasions I added just to fill up the minimum 2-page requirement. Then to top it all off, my teacher came up to me after class just to tell me how much my writing voice had improved these past few months.

I never really associated the phrase "practice makes perfect" with writing because to me it seemed like a talent you either had or you didn't. You know, if you were a bad writer, writing more often didn't seem like a way to improve, just a way to bring more crappy writing into the world. But doing NaNo and this blog really has benefitted me in ways I didn't think were possible. It's like, "Hey, world! I'm Super-Awesome-Mega-Writer-Person now!" ...Okay, obviously not. But the point is, I'm growing. And that makes me excited.

After that I had rehearsal for my school's musical. I was pretty stoked at the beginning of September to find out I got the lead. Less stoke-age happened last week when I was asked by my director to step up into a leadership role. My immediate reaction was laughter. (I didn't of course because that would have been disrespectful, so I just nodded a lot.) I am not a leader. I am the farthest thing from a leader. Not even a follower; I follow people who follow. If life were just one long line of the elephant patrol from The Jungle Book, I would be that wimpy little shrimp of an elephant on the end.

But today in rehearsal, I was not Hathi Junior. A small group was working with the musical director learning a song while the other 80% of the cast were chit-chattering about goodness knows what. I knew it wasn't smart to waste precious rehearsal time (we only have an hour and a half a week, but we don't perform until May) so I closed my eyes and channeled the only strong, powerful, bossy lady that I knew could get the job done: Liz Lemon. "Alright, nerds. We're running the opening. Places from the top!"

Okay, so I didn't quite have the ferocity of Liz Lemon and my actual words were something along the lines of, "Hey, you guys? So while they learn the song I think it would be best if we went over the opening and cleaned it up a little. Does that sound good?" But I definitely had my hands on my hips in a power stance while I said it! The point is, I accomplished something. I even got the opportunity to help out another cast member who was having trouble with the dance moves. Knowing that I had contributed to something was a good feeling. And it's one I intend to recreate in the future.

The last part of my amazing day was the most low-key: it was just me, in study hall, with my copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a notebook. My life since school started has been crazy. Every day it feels like I'm being crushed by another heavy weight--whether it's school or my own personal projects or just resisting the desire to hibernate until March. There was so much pressure even my downtime felt like a hassle. ("You're telling me that I have to do 3 sections of Trigonometry, translate 15 sentences from Latin to English, and I have to catch up on How I Met Your Mother???") During study hall today, none of that existed. I could just sit down, all alone with me, my thoughts, and one of my favorite novels of all time.

Every time I reread Perks, I always find a new favorite quote. The one that jumped out at me this time was on page 33: "Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way." I know that not every minute of my life can be spent truly, and I know that sometimes I will feel young in the worst ways possible. Youth is a messy, messy experience, and sometimes it can be both harrowing and heart-breaking. Those days will be the easiest to remember, but they're not the ones worth remembering. Today is more worthy of my memories than the days filled with panic and anxiety. So this is the one I will choose to remember.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Home Alone
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Snow. What is your favorite memory about snow?

1 comment:

  1. I just... really love your blog. Like, a lot. I'm so pumped you had a good day!

    My favorite memory of snow has to be from last winter. Snow fell softly one of those weird between-Christmas-and-New-Year days, and my mom and I went for a midday walk because it wasn't that cold. It was the perfect wintry day, the streets hadn't been plowed yet, it was slightly sunny and the snow was glittering. The whole time, I couldn't get over the whiteness of snow. A few years ago, I spent a whole day just freaking about how our dog is like YELLOW next to snow, even though I'd always just blindly accepted that he was obviously a white dog. I love that about snow. It's just so freaking white. And on that walk with my mom, I had just gone through a terrible few months with her, and everything felt white and pure and new and I felt poetic and sappy and didn't feel all that bad about it :)