Day Ninety-Five (La La Land)

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Is this movie over-rated? Sure. Is it heavily flawed? In some ways, yeah. Would it be better if Sebastian was black? Probably. Did it most likely win all the awards because it was a movie tribute to the movies? It’s definitely possible. Probable, even. Does any of this detract from the overall experience? Personally? Nope.

I love this movie so much. I love Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s performance. I love how much this movie genuinely adores the art of movies. It reminds me of the lesser known Hugo in that way. I love the songs. I love the pacing. I love the atmosphere. And, most of all, I love all the emotions. It’s impossible not to get a little bit choked up at the end. They could have had it all…

Anyway, the movie is solid. It brings out the dreamy romantic in me. Which is a part of me that is always just a hairs breath from the surface. It reminds me of why I love the arts and it encourages me to pursue my dreams. It was a gentle reminder that it’s okay to do what you think is right and it’s okay if things don’t always turn out the way you want (or think you want) them to. That’s just life.

I saw the movie for the 3.5 time last night, and it’s become an instant classic to me. A movie that I’ve already seen 3.5 times and I would definitely see many more. So I highly recommend this movie. It’s a little pretentious and over-rated, sure. But it’s really worth seeing.

 

Day Ninety-Four (Spinning Doors)

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It was in 4th Grade, the first time I can remember a teacher believing in me. My music teacher wrote on my report card that I should audition for District Chorus and at first I thought I read it wrong. Why would he suggest that I join an elite group? I’m not “elite” material. I auditioned in 5th Grade and made it. In 6th Grade I joined the Chamber Choir. I have loved singing ever since.

It was the summer after 7th Grade, when I got my first (and second) real crushes. My first crush was this practically perfect kid who I was in a show with. Half the cast was in love with him. The other half of the cast was in love with the other attractive practically perfect lead guy. The second crush was my brothers dorky, but sweet, friend. He always treated me like a friend too, though. Both of these crushes changed me. The first one, because he gave me feelings like I have never felt before. The second because he was there for me at a time when nobody else was. If I have a type, it’s the fault of these two boys.

My Junior Year of High School I auditioned for the school musical. While I wasn’t friends with the “in-crowd” of the play, I soon developed a pretty sturdy and badass friend group. These friends were always supportive, often funny, wholly loyal, and incredibly hard-working and intelligent. It was a fun time and this group was instrumental in the journey I took to find the best version of myself that I could be. I will always be grateful for that.

My Sophomore Year of College, I took up some random Freshman girl from Hillel’s offer to see a show. I didn’t know then that I had just met one of my best friends from college. I took the chance and invited one of my other best friends to the show. The three of us became inseparable ever since that fateful night. We’ve been with each other through the highs, the lows, and all the rest. College absolutely would not have been the same without them.

Where is my Elementary School music teacher now? Hell if I know. Where did those two crushes go? I think one’s in a band and other is…yeah, no idea whatsoever. I haven’t spoken to him in about five years. Where is my High School crowd? All over the place. All over the world, even. Where are my two best friends from college? Currently still at my old college, but only for a year or so more.

My point is, lot’s of people enter and exit our lives. Some pass without any scenes of note. Nothing remarkable about the way our paths crossed. It happened. They’re gone now. It would be impossible for every single person you ever interact with to make a noticeable difference. But a lot of people do. Some for an incredibly short time and some for a long and full time. But only a handful stay for the long-haul. That’s just a fact of life. A lot of the people who once mattered so much to you will one day become faded memories of the past.

Throughout Middle School, High School, and College…this fact destroyed me. Why did people have to go? How could people have such an effect on me and then disappear so suddenly and so totally? It doesn’t help that I have an unhelpful knack of getting attached to people who I don’t know all that well. Why does everyone leave me? Why do I lose everyone I care about eventually? Why is life so unfair and hard?

But, over the past year or so, I’ve come to a new philosophy. Sometimes a soulmate isn’t the person you end up living happily ever after with. They’re any person with whom your paths aligns with for any time and where both are changed by the time spent together. But sometimes, a lot of the time, people are just meant to be teachers and friends. They guide you on your way, leave an imprint on your soul, and then leave you to figure things out in your own time.

Any relationship that has touched me is far from gone. These people live on within me. They are in my every step, my every choice, my every wish. They all had their part in shaping me into the person I am today. And that is far from nothing. It’s heartbreaking when a major player in my life leaves. When I know things will never be the same. We will never be the same. It shatters me every single time. Especially when I see these people years and years later and see the person they’ve grown into while I was gone. It’s a bittersweet feeling. Bitter, because they’re gone. Sweet, because good for them. 

I wish life wasn’t so transitory. But I’ve accepted that this is the way it is. Now, I just want to experience as much of it as I can. Make all the connections I can. See where it takes me. Hold the memories with me. It’s important to let people in. Whether they will eventually leave or not. Because it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Day Ninety-Three (The 100)

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I thought catching up to this show would be a relief. I could know what the fandom was talking about. I could understand the angst. There would be no more running and hiding from spoilers. Except now that I’ve caught up, I don’t feel better at all. If anything, I want to erase my memory and rewatch the whole journey all over again for the first time. Either that or time travel to next year so I can watch all of Season 5 right now. I do not want to wait. I need to know what happens to these characters. Do Bellamy and Clarke finally get together? Are Abby and Kane okay? What about the crew in the sky? Who are the prisoners? Will this little girl be a welcome addition or the Dawn Summers of the series? I need to know these things.

I’ve been meaning to watch this show for awhile now. And by “meaning to watch” I moreso mean that it’s been assaulting my tumblr feed for the past four years or so. A couple of weeks ago I found a Bellamy/Clarke image set that gave me feelings and it was in that moment that I knew I had to finally watch this show. Oftentimes I watch shows for reasons that are small or insignificant. I joined this fandom for one ship. What I didn’t expect was to be blown away by the entire show, all of the characters, and all of the ships. I also didn’t expect my heart to be shattered into a million pieces. But that’s cool too, I guess.

My favorite character’s, hands-down, are Kane, Lincoln, Sinclair, and Bellamy. Everyone is fantastic and it would be impossible to rank them. Roan, Raven, Monty, Jasper, Abby, Clarke, Murphy, Finn, Wells, Luna, Lexa, Octavia…they’re all just so great. It’s a shame that most of them have to die. In ways that range from mildly upsetting to “I’m never getting over this as long as I live”. Moreso because of the writing and acting and less so because of the latent racism and homophobia. I don’t think the show is as racist and homophobic as the internet makes it out to be, but it’s definitely problematic. Killing off the one black lead character in episode three? Killing off a gay character so sloppily that it’s almost like her cause of death was “death by gay sex”. Like…come on, show. I know you can do better than that.

But, what this show is really great for, is it’s moral conundrums. The show can’t go five minutes without a nigh-impossible decision arising. Different character’s take to leadership positions throughout the series. Each character has varied levels of success with their position of power and the decisions they make. I do not envy the amount of difficult decisions that Kane or Clarke have to make, in particular. Even if they do commit a few mass murders between them. It’s cool. They’re not the only ones on the show who do this. You get used to it.

This show is all about feelings all the time and I can’t wait until it comes back. Whether I like it or not, I am now a committed member of the fandom and I have to see how this goes. I need to see Papa Kane again. And Bellarke. And Raven and Octavia being kickass. And Harper and Monty being adorable. And IT WAS 5 YEARS HOLY SHIT SO MUCH HAS PROBABLY CHANGED. So yeah. 10/10. Watch this show.

Day Ninety-Two (Hormones)

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I don’t know what this says about me. But I don’t get cramps and I don’t get irrationally angry when my time of the month comes. No, the way I can tell is more…depressing. I can tell because my thoughts start to go like “what am I doing with my life. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again. I’m not prepared at all for this world because I’m a piece of shit. Nothing will ever get better again oh life is a miserable joke”. The thoughts get scarily existential and mildly suicidal. It’s the only time I’m like that. Usually, fortunately, I can catch the fact that this is hormones talking. It helps that these thoughts are almost always followed by “wait….why was I sad again? Hang on…”

See, I don’t get the whole stereotype that women faint at the sight of blood because we’re so dainty. We bleed like crazy every single month. And it’s not like little splotches. It’s like a rainfall of blood pouring out of your body in massive amounts. I don’t see any guys putting up with that. The whole stereotype is ludicrous. I know this affects different women differently. But it sucks for all of us.

Camp begins in 4 days. At least I don’t have to bring a bathing suit. The reason I speak of this today is because my thoughts are currently too muddled and hopeless and depressed to make any logical sense out of how I feel about today or what I even did. Mostly because they’re depressing for no reason other than mood swings. Fuck periods. They’re terrible. 0/10 would not recommend. Hopefully I’ll be in a less tumultuous mood tomorrow.

Day Ninety-One (Fate)

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I believe in fate. I can’t read my own fate and I have no idea whatsoever on what the future holds. But I do believe in fate. The reason I chose this picture today is because this song was a life-changing moment for me. “And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me”, Moana sings. That one line turned my head around. Changed my perspective. Snapped everything into place.

In the story of Moana, Moana longs to explore the sea. She knows she has some great purpose out there on the water, but her village and her parents warn her to stay on land. She tries to be the dutiful young princess, but she can’t resist the call of the ocean. Eventually she leaves the island, goes on an adventure, and saves the day. When I saw this movie with my sister, I couldn’t help but relate to Moana. My parents want me to lead the cookie-cutter nuclear family american dream. That would certainly be a nice, easy, and normal path. But my heart has always longed for something else. Something more. I can’t sit still and enjoy the practical pragmatic path. It’s never been for me.

But understanding what this voice inside of me is saying has been immensely frustrating. Does it want to do theatre? Write? Act? What the fuck does it want? I still don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll ever know. But that isn’t the point. The point is that…I don’t think our fates are written in stone. I don’t believe that everything that will happen is already destined to occur. But I firmly believe that our destinies and fates are within us. They’re in our hearts. When I do something that isn’t right for me, I feel it in every bone in my body. Everything feels wrong, no matter how hard I try to ignore it. It eats me alive. When I do something right, I feel that too. It’s like the train is back on the right track. Like my character is back on her quest. Everything seems to click again and I feel like myself. I can’t control it. It’s just a feeling.

Today I auditioned for another show. It’s a much smaller scale show than the one I auditioned for earlier this summer. I got in. When I told my parents, their reaction was…lackluster. Not very enthusiastic. Mildly judgmental. From their perspective, my main concern at the moment should be getting a job so I can support myself. I get where they are coming from and I agree that this is a major concern. But does this mean I should put the rest of my life on hold while I search for a job? With no knowledge of when that end date will even be? If I’ve learned anything this summer, it’s that I’ve got to start reaching out. Explore. Go on adventures. See what it is I want to do. Create memories. Have new experiences. Test the waters and try new things.

For the first time all summer, I’ve felt like I have a purpose again. It’s a little concerning how often getting into a show has done that for me. Like…when in doubt, do a show. But the camp feels like fate too. Both just feel…right. Like it’s where I was meant to go, what I was meant to do, how I was meant to grow. My parents both treat these two commitments as nonsense and a waste of time. I find that I cannot agree with that assessment. Perhaps it’s not helping with the career issue at present. But it’s something to keep me going, keep me socializing, keep me inspired, and keep me happy. Something to make me feel like me again. To challenge me and help me grow into a better version of myself. And maybe that’s worth something too, yeah?

Day Ninety (The Emoji Movie)

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That’s it. I’ve had my moment of perfect despair. I’ve hit rock bottom. It is only up from here. I can not express in words how utterly terrible this movie is. And not in an entertaining way. It’s boring, makes no sense whatsoever, the character’s are godawful, the jokes aren’t even remotely funny, and it’s just plain insulting half the time. I think there’s some cynical message somewhere in here, but I can’t think too deeply about it. The movie clearly doesn’t. It’s boring and uncomfortable to watch. My brother and I came to hate-watch it and…well, I expected to love it. In the “this is hilariously terrible” way. Instead all I felt was despair. I couldn’t even get worked up enough to be offended or angry. It was that awful.

On top of it, tonight was the first time I went to the theater on a Sunday night since the fun manager quit. My two least favorite manager’s have taken his shift. And I’m pretty sure the one manager thinks that I was seeing this movie because my taste is that bad and not because I wanted to see it ironically. So that’s just great.

After the events of yesterday, I didn’t think my emotional state could sink much lower. But seeing my two least favorite managers, followed by an absolutely horrid movie, may have finally tipped me over the edge. This, right here, is rock bottom. It’s only up from here.

If anyone is reading this, I implore you not to see this movie. Please don’t waste your time on it. It’s not like “Chicken Little”. It’s not laughably bad. It’s offensively bad. On top of everything, it thought it could be “Wreck-It Ralph”, “Inside Out”, and “Spy Kids 3-D”. No. Those movies were all much better. And yes, I’m including Spy Kids 3-D in that list. I have never seen a movie this utterly crappy. They cast fucking Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji. How dare they. This isn’t a movie. It’s a blatant ad with no thought, no purpose, and no meaning. This movie is hell.

Day Eighty-Nine (Nazis)

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Making today’s post “politically correct” is impossible, so I’m not even going to attempt it. Not like it would matter anyway. Nobody reads this. But, with everything going on at the moment, I’m going to try and organize my thoughts on the subject. After the events of today, the white supremacist rally, I really feel like it’s hard for me to write about anything else. I’m just so tired of this shit. Racism was never cool. Fascism was never hip. Being a nazi was never something to be fucking proud of. This whole thing is just absurd and ridiculous and…well, depressing.

I am not going to try and compare our President to Hitler. That’s another argument in and of itself. Besides, I kinda think that’s giving our President too much credit. Hitler was charismatic. He was a strong leader. He was a great writer. He had a brilliant plan. He was a villain so legendary that there’s a kind of awe surrounding his reputation. How many villains are referencing him? How many stories directly mention Hitler as the epitome of all evil? But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

From a very young age, I’ve been reading stories about the Holocaust and World War II. It’s something that I’ve learned about both in Public School and Hebrew School. Particularly Hebrew School. At this point, I’m very well-versed on the topic and I have a good idea of how it all went down. When I look at what is currently going on in America and the world…it’s scary. All the books I read in World Literature, AKA “why the world is sad”, are all still very real. All the books I read about racism and the civil rights movement are painfully relevant. And all the books I read about the Holocaust and the events leading up to it seem scarily prophetic. I guess there was a reason we learned all of this stuff in the first place. I guess I was naive to think that the world I would be entering would be any better.

The thing about the Holocaust that always scared me wasn’t the fact that one group (for the most part) was targeted. It’s human nature to try and find a scapegoat in desperate times. People who are afraid can act in nasty ways. I wish people weren’t that cruel and vicious, but at least it makes a disturbing kind of sense. There was a political mindgame that led to this outcome. That’s nothing new. Hitler doesn’t really scare me, either. At the end of the day, he was just one man. What really scares me is how many people followed him. How many people went against any kind of moral code or human decency and turned on their fellow man. Due to nothing but fear and desperation. It sickens me, terrifies me, and is really unsettling. Looking at it from a distance, it’s easy to say “god no, I’d never do that”. In practice? I honestly don’t know. I know I wouldn’t because I’m Jewish, so I’d be busy trying not to die.

I’ve studied Nazis. I’ve studied Psychology. I have a good idea of why people acted the way they did and how history went down way back during World War II. And the alt-right are very similar to the nazis. They’re not the same, because Nazis literally means “Nationalistic Socialist German Workers’ Party”. Different situation, but the same idea. Our nation is the best. Everyone else can suck it, particularly the minorities. Things would be better if we just got rid of them all and went back to the “glory days”. Sound familiar? Hell, I’ve had two crushes who had a “Hitler Youth” feel to them. One of them was a guy from years back who I never knew very well. But he believed that America was the greatest country ever, was hardcore anti-immigration, and was so extremist Republican it was a little worrisome. The other guy was a friend from college who I was just getting to know when I found out he was a huge Trump Supporter. I should have caught on when he tried to make the subtle argument that getting AIDS was something to feel ashamed of. Which is complete bullshit, by the way.

However, I do not believe that this is the majority of the country. I believe it’s an ignorant and scared minority. A minority who is terrified of change, progression, and growth. I know from experience that change can be scary. That unlearning long-held beliefs is really really difficult. That sometimes when people confuse you, it can be easier to get angry than to try and understand them. I get it. But change is good. Growth is good. Learning is good. Progression is good. The future is coming, whether the extremist white nationalist minority accept it or not. The world is moving forward. And that is okay. Love should be stronger than hate. It’s a much nicer feeling anyway. So just be nice to your fellow neighbor. Regardless of religious beliefs, skin color, gender, or political beliefs. Show kindness, compassion, and understanding. The world would be a better place.

“You can’t stop an avalanche as it races down the hill. You can try to stop the seasons, girl, but ya know you never will. And you can try to stop my dancin feet, but I just cannot stand still. Cause the world keeps spinnin’ round and round and my heart’s keeping time to the speed of sound. I was lost till I heard the drums then I found my way. Cause you can’t stop the beat”-Hairspray

Day Eighty-Eight (Purpose)

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So I found an image that defines my entire life right now. I just want to make a gigantic poster of this and carry it around to answer the question of “what are you doing with your life right now?” or “what is your next step now that you’ve graduated?” Anyway, that is not the purpose of today’s entry. Well, at least my entry has a purpose. Kind of. I’m figuring things out as I go.

Today, after many days of consideration and fruitless wandering, I came to an epiphany. A little click that shed a light on many of the problems that I’ve been having recently. It’s like when you’re staring at a complicated math equation and it looks like it’s written in code. Then suddenly the teacher says something that clears up whatever the issue is and all of a sudden everything makes sense. It seems so simple, so obvious, and so easy now. My problems are far from solved, but at least I have an idea of where to begin.

Purpose. When I graduated High School, I went straight into college. I ended one adventure and immediately began another. After graduating college, I’ve found myself lost. Wandering. Scared. Trying to figure out my almighty “purpose”. A reason for existing. The thing that I was put on this earth to do. My dream. My reason for getting up in the morning. What I was meant for. The answer to all of my problems. Is is Psychology? I wondered. What about writing? Or how about theatre? That’s where I found myself. Or maybe academia? It’s all I’ve ever known. What about traveling the world helping people? That sounds kind of amazing. What is it that I was meant to do?

And then, today, I realized something. I’m only 22 years old. Maybe one thing alone is not the answer. Maybe pinning all my hopes and dreams on the idea of a perfect career isn’t a viable solution. Perhaps my career and my purpose aren’t even aligned at all. When I was in High School, I loved to write. I loved to be a part of the shows. I loved my history classes. I thought people were fascinating. I liked obsessing over fandoms. When I was in college, I took up fencing. As well as getting real interested in healthcare. While still remaining passionate about singing, dancing, writing, and acting. Maybe all of these things are my purpose. Maybe I’ve been struggling so hard due to the pressure of making one single choice.

Perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. My job doesn’t have to be my passion, necessarily. I can, and have, lived two lives simultaneously before. Maybe I can get a job but continue my passion. Maybe one day my passion can become my job. It’s more imperative (and realistic) that I continue pursuing my passion than that I immediately make it my career. It’s not easy, but it’s always been worth it.

When I graduated college, I did not only lose my career goals and path. I also lost my friends, my interests, and my passions. The reason for my current confusion is not only due to wondering what career to pursue. It is also due to a lack of purpose, a lack of passion for life, and a lack of…well, living. It’s hard to feel strongly about getting a job when it feels as though life lacks any purpose or meaning. When it feels like the only thing that will give it any meaning is a soul-sucking “job”. I haven’t been looking for my perfect job or perfect career path. I’ve been looking for something to give me meaning again. To give me purpose. To give me a reason to want to wake up in the morning. A reason to be excited about life again. No wonder my friends and family are starting to think I’m depressed.

But now that I know I can search for a job and a purpose simultaneously, without the two having to overlap, I feel far more refreshed and ready for whatever the future may bring. It feels like an adventure again. Finding my purpose feels a lot more pressing to my mental health then finding a “job”. Although finding a job is imperative to my physical well-being. But both? Both I can definitely do.

Day Eighty-Seven (Possibility)

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When I was in 7th Grade, someone thought that it would be a good idea to send my entire grade on a field trip to a corn maze. We were separated by homeroom. At the time, I did not get along with my Homeroom Teacher. We had this strange relationship where we actively disliked each other, but I also craved his approval. My 7th Grade angst and self-loathing didn’t help matters. Even so, I was in luck. I didn’t have to be stuck in the maze with my Homeroom Teacher. Instead, I was trapped in a corn maze with my Latin teacher who I hated even more than my Homeroom Teacher. At the least, I always respected and admired my Homeroom Teacher. Longed for his approval. Wanted to prove him wrong about me. My Latin Teacher didn’t like me either, but he was also a shitty teacher and I didn’t give a crap what he thought. Good riddance to him. But, on that miserable day, I was still stuck in a corn maze with him. To make matters worse, my group came up with the name “Team Hannah Montana” and our doofus guide actually used that team name with a straight-face. Ugh.

There is a point to this story, aside from dragging up old horrible memories. When we were stuck in that maze, there was only one way out. Make the right turns and get out. Of course, with such an incompetent Team Leader, it took us a ridiculously long amount of time to escape our predicament. We had to retrace our tracks a lot. He literally led us into the middle of a wasps hive at one point, despite the fact that another group warned us that “hey, there are wasps and this is a dead end”. The point is, we got very very lost. But, by some miracle, we did eventually make it out in one piece. Well, physically at least. I don’t know if my mental state ever fully recovered.

The point of this anecdote is that sometimes you have to make a lot of wrong turns before finding your way out of the maze. You have to retrace your steps, listen to the advice of other groups who have been where you are going, and keep trying. Because, if you give up, you’ll just wind up trapped in the middle of a corn maze forever. Metaphorically, at least. The possibilities may seem endless, but there are only a few paths to get you to where you want to go.

If we continue with this “maze” metaphor, the scariest part of mazes is that there is no real way to know if the choices you make are the right ones unless you keep walking. There is a lot of turning back around and trying again. There is a lot of frustration and irritation. There are a lot of wrong turns. But, eventually, there is always a way out.

Possibilities are a scary idea. Theoretically, the idea of different possibilities is exciting. But, in reality, the sheer amount of possible destinies and lives can be intimidating and overwhelming. Which way do you turn? What if you turn the wrong way? What is everyone else doing? Why do they seem to know where they’re going when nothing feels right for you?

But the thing is, thinking about possibilities will do nothing towards solving them. Thinking about a hypothetical world will only get you trapped in a fantasy. If you want to figure out your ideal reality, you have to just live it. Stop imagining the perfect guy, the perfect job, the perfect house, or the perfect life. Start living it. You gotta kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, yeah? Maybe that’s how everything works. Today I went to the career center at my school and was given an idea of where to begin. Like my “Mr. Keating” told me not too long ago (well, indirectly told me through a friend)…my issue right now is my fear of exploration. Of newness. Of taking chances. And of testing out possibilities.

Life isn’t meant to be lived on the sidelines. I can’t figure out every problem in my head. Sometimes you have to jump in head first and live life. Mess up. Go the wrong way. I’ve been so afraid of having regrets, but how is doing nothing going to fix that problem? If anything, doing nothing will wind up being my biggest regret. As always.

So here’s to possibilities. I’m still young. There’s so much I want to try. If I’m going to try it all, I’d better start now. Maybe I don’t have to just go in one direction and stay trapped there forever. Maybe I can try all sorts of things. Who knows? Only way to find out is to take the first step. The possibilities are endless.

Day Eighty-Five/Eighty-Six (Challenges)

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Today I called my old University and made an appointment to meet with the career center. I also met with a Job Recruiter to hear what she had to say. And, finally, I spent my night attending an online camp counselor training session. I missed the last few events at my old summer camp to do these “adult” things. Which is kind of depressing, considering how this camp is only once a year. Anyway, it’s better that I do these boring tasks then sit around and wait for life to happen. It’s only been one summer and already, the “sit around and wait patiently” strategy is stretching me to the limits of my sanity. This game plan might be safe, but it’s also boring as hell. It’s time I start moving.

Is calling career counseling going to solve my problems? Probably not. But it’s doing something. It’s taking a step in some direction and seeing where it leads. It could lead me in the complete wrong direction. But at least I’m wandering somewhere, instead of standing motionless. Even though acting as an adult is really a very boring role to play. It’s like theatre, just without the thrill or adrenaline high. Or the applause and comradery. Honestly, it kinda sucks. There’s no class on “how to be an adult”. It’s something you just have to figure out for yourself. The majority of my life has been spent in classrooms and I feel completely unprepared for the notorious “real world”. Huh.

But, what really makes me think about challenges, is the counselor training session I attended tonight. I never intended to be a camp counselor ever. I signed up to help with setting up and closing down the camp. Then I got saddled into visiting the office every so often in the months leading up to the camp. Then, somehow, I wound up as a counselor. Everything spun out of my control and here I am. Tackling a task I never, in a million years, thought I would be doing. I’ve avoided this position like the plague. Now here I am and the idea terrifies me. I’m the youngest child. I don’t know how to act around kids. I have massive social anxiety. I never went to a real camp. I don’t know anyone there and the camp site is an hour and a half away. Also, unfortunately, I will not be able to make a journal entry on Day 100. The use of technology is discouraged at the camp, except in case of an emergency. But maybe I’ll use my break period on that day to write up an entry. We’ll see how it goes. I have no clue what to expect.

But, after feeling the initial surge of terror, I felt an odd sense of relief and gratitude. When I first got that role two summers ago, I remember sitting backstage and thinking “Oh my god, I have to actually perform. How am I going to do this??? I haven’t done this in years!!!” then I paused and thought with a sense of giddiness “Wait, I’m nervous about being in a play! I haven’t been this nervous since High School! Aw, I missed this! I’m so happy to be nervous!” And that’s how I feel again. Nervous and panicked, but happy to be so scared. It means I’m putting myself out there and challenging myself. Doing something I’ve never done before that is totally out of my depth. Praying I come out of the other end in one piece. Which is hardly guaranteed.

But what is life without challenges? How else are we supposed to grow? My life has been a series of taking on more than I can bear and having to lift the load anyway. Being utterly overwhelmed before swallowing my fear and learning what to do. Then coming out the other side thinking “Holy SHIT. I actually did that” and adding it to my list of accomplishments. It’s not about me, anyway. It’s about making a difference.

So maybe I took on a challenge that’s completely out of my comfort zone. Maybe that’s okay. Better than sitting around my house stagnating. We’ll see where I end up after that week. I have a feeling, for better or for worse, that my life is about to change. That I’m about to change. And maybe that’s okay, too.