European Nostalgia

Suddenly I miss Europe real bad.

Maybe it was because I just saw Midnight in Paris. Or maybe it was because I decided to scroll through all the posts I wrote while over there. Or maybe because I made myself dinner from fresh-ish ingredients, and while it was good, it was nothing like it was there. And all of a sudden, it was like a wall of emotion hit me.

Like how simple life was. How beautiful places were, how wonderful things tasted. Just… everything. I miss it all. Okay, maybe not you, mosquitoes… you were the bane of my existence while I was there. But apart from that, everything else.

How churches just were, and how people were religious but not in an overbearing way. How it was just worked into their culture, their life. How seamless it all was. How natural it felt to go in and pray, since everyone else was doing it too.

Or how life… life was just so beautiful. It still is here, don’t get me wrong, but things are just different. Slowed-down, relaxed, less fast-paced. Maybe it’s because everything there has been there for, like, at least 100 years. Because roads aren’t usually paved and are instead cobblestoned and because there are statues from all eras all over the place. Because the sky is big, the water is bluer, the air, while occasionally smelling of cigarette smoke, seems more fresh.

And most of all, how wonderful my writing was. I’m very critical of myself, but reading some of that stuff… it was like, damn, I can write! And this feeling doesn’t come over me often, let alone for fifteen or twenty posts at a time. My words just flowed. No struggle. It was natural, it was graceful, and it is something that I’m always going to have.

Okay, Sarah, it’s time to pull yourself up and do something. You’re going back to Europe! Not today, not even this year, but somewhere around 604 days from now, it’s very likely that you’ll be on a plane heading over there once again. So don’t worry: it’ll be there. Right now it’s time to do something here. Like dye your hair purple since Halloween’s this weekend.

Yes, yes, I think it’s time.

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Writing Woes

Sometimes I become so afraid of blogging.

I mean, I love this thing. It lets me express myself and shout to the world whatever it is that I want to say. I think I’ve just become afraid to say it.

Why? Well, because I’m just one lowly human being in the scope of all that is mankind. I’m not an award-winning writer; I haven’t even graduated from college (and won’t in English or Liberal Studies, that’s for sure). So what makes me qualified to sit here and write? What if my stuff is – dare I say it? – boring?

What this basically comes down to is a confidence thing, which is something I’ve been struggling with for the past week or so. This sort of thing hits me in waves. I’ll feel great for long periods of time – I don’t even have to think about my confidence because it is so naturally there. I can simply fully be me. But every once in a while I hiccup, and my confidence seems to slip away, leaving me alone and seemingly helpless in its shadow. I don’t appreciate the act of sitting here writing about whatever it is that I choose to write about, or the product that comes out of it. No, instead I become afraid – afraid that I’m not “good enough” to have a blog, that my writing is “boring” or “unoriginal” or whatever other negative words cross my mind at the time.

To me, having a blog symbolizes being creative, unique, different, if you will. Even though I know hundreds of thousands of other people are doing exactly what I’m doing right now, and that I’m not so different after all. But they’re not saying what I’m saying, they’re not feeling what I’m feeling. And a good portion of them aren’t using their “there, their, and they’re”s correctly either (as I’m pretty sure I am). I have such high expectations for myself and for what I see coming out of this that I always want to be able to write about something extraordinarily exciting that will make my readers go “Wow, she just put that so perfectly! I wish I could write like her.” My problem is that I feel like a lot of what I’m writing right now is in fact quite mediocre and will get shrugged over with a brief  “huh” before you quickly click to Facebook instead. I aim to inspire you, or at least give you something new to think about. Is that arrogant, to think that I could have that sort of power? Perhaps, but it doesn’t change that desire.

I guess I should also just focus on writing for me, not for any of you (sorry), though that’s quite difficult for me to do too. Every once in a while I get this magical urge to pour my heart out, and when I follow it words just seem to flow out of my mind and through my fingers, like they were meant to be on the page all along. They tell my story just as it was, so very flawlessly that I couldn’t rewrite it any better if I tried to. But those only seem to come once in a blue moon. The last time I was truly satisfied with a piece was almost a year ago. I wish I could have that kind of accuracy all the time. I tell myself that I’d indeed write more if I could guarantee those kind of results. But the truth of the matter is that I should keep going anyway, since we’re really not guaranteed anything out of life. All I can do is try and try and try again, and maybe once out of a hundred attempts I’ll get something really good.

So basically, in a nutshell: I’m quite sorry it’s been so long. I apologize every time I go too long without blogging, because I really do feel bad when I make you wait for something new. Usually this happens when I get too busy, and when I get too busy I often become afraid to post anything at all, since I put unnecessary pressures on myself to produce something good. I shall really try to push through this and do better in the future. Also, I really appreciate your patience and faith in me, and the fact that you read my blog altogether. This has been a bit of a boring post, but I feel that it has been good for me and it has allowed you an opportunity to see how I think. Thanks for reading – I hope to write again soon. 🙂

Thoughts On Our Future

My friends Ian and Anna and I were discussing our passions, our interests, and our careers as students. We’d just come from the band concert, and I was feeling particularly inspired to go out and just try playing an instrument. “If I could do anything I wanted,” Ian said, “I’d probably quit this engineering thing and just study music.” “I hear ya,” I replied. “I don’t know why I’m in engineering, really. If I could do anything I wanted, I’d somehow study writing and music too.” “You two are crazy,” Anna said. “Music? Writing? No. Given the opportunity, I’d just cook.”

Isn’t it sad that we feel like we can’t really follow our true passions because we have to grow up to be respectful and get a “real job”?

I’m happy with the branch of engineering I’m in now – I mean, I get to work with people, right? And I’m getting this degree because it gives me something to fall back on if I do decide to somehow go into writing and it ends up failing. I want to make sure I have a job, and I’ve been told that you can do anything with an engineering degree, especially an industrial one. I really hope that proves to be true, because then I might be able to apply it to music or writing somehow. But for now I’d really like it if I could somehow study something I was truly passionate about.

I think I’m going to try out for Wind Orchestra next year. I’m going to find some way to practice percussion this summer and audition at the beginning of fall quarter. It’d be so fun to be part of something bigger and actually pursue something I think is cool. And don’t get me wrong – I’m excited about the IE classes I get to take in the fall. They all sound pretty cool, and I think I’ll learn a lot. But I do wish I could take classes in something I already love.

Thoughts…

I realized a lot of stuff today.

Thing Number One: why magic can’t exist.

Now, I know this sounds funny, but for the longest time my logic on this one was, “Magic can’t exist because… well, because it can’t.” But now I understand. I know why it can’t.

This is because of Newton’s Laws. Funny man, Newton. You seem to explain just about everything with your little rules. But no, seriously: it comes down to the basic principles. You can’t make something out of nothing. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (FMA, anyone?). I think what really baffled me about this is the fact that it took me so long to actually realize.

Thing Number Two: why I can write when I have a thousand things going on and can’t when I don’t.

At first I thought it was just because I wanted to procrastinate, to put off doing all the stuff that must be done. And while that might be partially true, I think it’s more because I think so much more when I have so many things going on. My brain’s working on overload, so why not turn some of that into beauty? It always confused me when couldn’t write when I was handed a chuck of time, but now I get it. All I was thinking about was how I didn’t have anything I had to do instead of thinking of life around me. If I start actually thinking when I have nothing else to do, I’d have something good to write about. It all comes from the thought process.

So two things. That really is a lot of stuff, especially when I spent the majority of my time studying physics and freaking out about the midterm I have tomorrow. But it’s these thoughts that I can pull something new out of.