don’t think about it too much

I’m so exited for the future. All throughout high school, I would dream of traveling and writing and exploring (as you can see by my previous blog posts). But now it’s actually happening, and it’s better than I could’ve imagined.

Nothing played out how I thought it would, and I can honestly say I think that’s for the better. In high school, all these things felt like a fantasy. Traveling to places featured on calendars. Driving across the country in a van full of almost-strangers. Exploring remote islands. Hiking in wooded areas where the air was thick with flies. (Hiking definitely seemed like a fantasy). Exploring nearby cities I had only ever read about, not explored.

But with all of this excitement comes a lot of fear, too. Sometimes I think about how much easier it would be to just stay where I’m comfortable. Play it safe. Every summer I spent in my hometown, I thought of all the other places I could be. But now I’ll be far away, and I can’t help but think about how easy it would be to stay in my hometown or current town. Hanging out at local coffee shops. Spending time with old friends. Driving on country roads, listening to classic rock music. Grocery shopping at the same store I’ve been going to for many, many years.

But I’ve made up my mind already. I’m not taking the easy route. As someone who often makes things more complicated than they need to be, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, really. However, I’m a planner. I currently have no idea what I’m doing, which is a bit unsettling. Everyone tells me, “you’ll figure it out. This summer will make it clear to you what you really want.” Will it though? Or will it confuse me even more? Because the more places I go and the more people I meet and the more things I try, my heart becomes even more scattered, leaving me torn between small town life and big, bustling cities, hip-hop and rock n roll, hard news and creative writing, living in the moment and obsessing over the details. I don’t want to choose, and I want to believe I don’t have to.

It’s hard to be committed when you love everything (maybe this is why I don’t have serious romantic relationships haha). In all seriousness though, I want to believe people when they say I’ll figure it out. That exploring more will solidify my beliefs and goals and the world I want to see. But instead, I’ll be drifting back and forth, in a constant state of “I don’t know what’s best for me.”

For now, you’ll find me listening to “don’t think about it too much, too much, too much, too much” on repeat. That is, until I decide I’m more in the mood to listen to Catfish and the Bottlemen instead.

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almost

Why is every relationship

I maybe, almost had

prefaced by “almost?”

Like remember that time

you almost admitted that

you liked me and I almost

did the same and we almost

could’ve been something

and it’s almost a shame

that you left and I moved on.

You almost complimented me

but thought, “hm, better not,

I’ll just insult her instead

and hope she knows that I like her.”

I’m almost not any better.

I almost asked you out

but played it off as a joke

like hahaha, you almost thought

I was serious?

 

And I almost texted you a month later

but saved it as a draft.

I almost sent it again

but moved it to the trash.

Maybe you almost called me

or maybe you didn’t.

I’m tired of guessing.

I almost want you to tell

me how you really feel

but maybe this is my fault

because I almost don’t

want to know.

 

to the meninists out there

Dear meninists,

I won’t ask you why men make more than women. You’re so predictable, I know you’ll say something along the lines of “they choose lesser paying jobs” or “they don’t.”

Really, Ryan? And why do you think women choose lesser paying jobs? It must be a genetic trait, right? Just like how our DNA makes us like romantic comedies and flowers.

But anyways, I didn’t ask you that. However, I know that even though I didn’t ask you, there’s a 90 percent chance you’ll tell me because you think I always care what you have to say. As a man, your opinion matters.

To that you’ll say “you’re making generalizations about men! Men have issues too! Men though!”

Just because I acknowledge that men have privileges that women do not have doesn’t mean I think being a man is one big, fun party that I wish I would’ve been invited to. I know that men have issues too, but there are certain privileges that men have just by being men. Yes, other factors come into play, but they don’t erase the inequalities women face for simply being women.

“You’re playing the victim,” you’ll say any time I point out something that’s unequal.

You’re right, meninist. Women have no issues. We’re just so inherently dramatic and emotional that we create all of these problems for enjoyment. Why would we be successful business people (notice how “businessman” is the phrase we commonly use in our language? Couldn’t possibly be the result of sexism or gender roles or anything) or badass journalists when we could be victims? Why would we write comics with female heroes when they could be saved by men instead?

You either won’t understand my sarcasm and agree with me, or you’ll call me a radical, stereotypical feminist. You’ll say “women are equal.”

And the fact that you feel the need to explain the experience of being a woman to me shows that feminism is still necessary.

The fact that when I share my opinion, you’ll call be a bitch or a whore, you’ll call me ugly or hot, shows that feminism is still necessary.

You can’t disprove feminism by critiquing my appearance when I’m trying to talk about issues.

You can’t disprove feminism by explaining feminism to me.

You can’t disprove feminism by telling me that women choose to stay at home or choose to be the victim when I can turn on my TV and hear men talk about what women should or shouldn’t be able to do.

“If you believed in equality, you’d be advocating for both women and men,” you’ll say.

But I do. You must not have heard that part when you were talking over me or sending aggressive messages on Tinder.

 

late night ramblings, to no one in particular

The difference between you and me is that right now it’s midnight and you’re drunk and I’m sending off professional emails. That’s not to say that I think I’m better than you. I don’t think that at all.

I just don’t know if two people can be so different and still be compatible. During daylight, I feel as though we are the same. There are still clear differences between us. We’re not the same in the way we speak or walk or whatever else. But when every aspect of us comes together to create who we are, we are the same. We’re like that quote from Wuthering Heights: “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

And maybe that’s all we need. Maybe midnight can look different for us and yet we can still be the same.

I’m most likely not going to meet someone else who sends professional emails at midnight. And if I do, that person will probably annoy me. Some of your characteristics annoy me. That’s inevitable. But you don’t annoy me. You don’t, even when you do.

Maybe that’s what relationships are built off of; the idea that a person can annoy you yet still not annoy you. A person can be completely different from you yet still make you feel like you have a true connection. Maybe our differences make us the same. And maybe the fact that I like you and you annoy me and it’s midnight makes me say things that don’t make sense at all.

connecting with stories

Recently, I watched a movie that I love with one of my friends. When the movie ended, my friend asked, “so why do you like this movie?” Initially, I was shocked that she didn’t see the same power within that I did. That she didn’t like it all on her own, without asking for an explanation. I fell in love with the movie throughout each scene; my connection with it built and stuck with me. But as I thought about it, I couldn’t really explain what I liked about it. 

“I guess it’s hard to verbalize,” I said. “It’s something you have to feel.”

When a story strikes a chord with you, trying to describe why is like trying to describe what you like most about the universe; it’s too vast, too complex, too all-encompassing. It’s an array of magical and heartbreaking and dead and alive. It speaks on its own, with no one being able to hear each whisper. Each whisper that tugs yet another chord and makes us feel like the story sprawled out on the screen in front of us is one we’ve been living ourselves. Our own journey. And in a way, it is. We connect it to our own journeys; we take away the pieces that mean something to us, the pieces that feel all too raw and familiar, and let them touch us. We match it with our feelings and experiences, creating meaning not just from the scenes we can see, but the ones we’ve felt and lived. The ones that belong to us.

That’s why stories are personal; they tug each of us in different directions, mold us each into different versions of ourselves. They build us and break us at different points, taking us on a completely different ride.

We can watch the same movie and yet watch something different. I could say I like a movie because it’s raw or real or emotional or happy, but those are all just surface features. And if I say I like a movie, I’ve sunk much, much deeper into it than that.

Truly, that’s why I want to write; to create stories that entangle people, that take them somewhere, that make people feel a whirlwhind of emotions that they could never completely explain. To give a voice to the universe’s whispers that I hear. To find a place in and make sense of this vastness.

Why do I like this movie? Why do I write? Why do I overanalyze every experience and create stories everywhere?

Because I feel exactly what I feel. The rest just happens in result, when I entangle my emotions and weave them into sentences that could form into someone else’s comfort blanket and another person’s broken friendship bracelet.

We don’t know where stories will take us. But they make us think and learn and explore. They make us discover new facets of ourselves and the world. They give us the courage to let go of our old, worn-out friendship bracelets, or the hope that maybe, just maybe, we can piece the strands back together. 

Image

Dream big,

Paige 

 

taking photographs.

For years, I’ve created lists of goals and among these lists I have always scribbled “take more photographs.”

I don’t know why I always make this goal. Maybe because all of my friends take photos more than I do. Maybe because other people I know have Facebook albums and Instagram feeds full of moments and memories while mine all reside in my mind and my words only. Maybe because my parents have big boxes and albums full of faded photographs that they take out and look at, remembering pieces of their pasts that will never be tangible for me. 

But I’ve never felt particularly empty without photographs. I’ve never really thought “if only I had photographed that moment.” That moment after prom when I watched the fireworks, feeling both alive and afraid. That moment last summer when I walked through an unfamiliar town, taking in the familiarity that still existed there. That moment on the lake a few months ago when I realized that this could be my last summer here, in the place I’ve known forever. That moment when I stopped letting my fears control me. When I started saying what I mean. When I started taking chances. When I started opening my eyes and taking the world in and becoming a part of the world. Not someone off to the sides, just watching. Not someone just waiting. 

I’ve carried these feelings with me; I’ve let them impact my daily life in a way a photograph never could. I don’t remember exactly what the fireworks looked like or what I was wearing at the beach or whether or not the sun made me squint my eyes (even though there’s no way it didn’t). But I do remember how I felt. 

And I don’t need proof. I do not need to show my Facebook friends or my Instagram followers that those moments were real, because I felt them. I felt them deep within me and I still do. 

The most beautiful moments cannot be recreated. They cannot be crafted. They simply happen, often when we don’t have a camera or a cell phone to capture them. The truth is, when I’m experiencing something that inspires me and teaches me and guides me and amazes me, I don’t even think about taking a picture.

I just let it happen. I let the moment happen in its purest, most natural, most exhilarating form, #nofilter needed. 

Dream big,

Paige

 

Note: I still enjoy taking photographs and see so much beauty in the art form. 

one year

A year ago, I began my journey through the online community. Before this point, I was a little hesitant to put myself out there and display my feelings to the world; I found comfort in my private, locked away journals that no one would ever read.

But there was also that burning desire inside of me; the burning desire to raise my voice, not later, but now.

For too long, I dreamed about doing things. I needed to start. This was my beginning, and though I haven’t blogged much, I have grown so much since starting this blog.

The readers I do have, however few, have offered me more support than I ever imagined. I have grown so much as a writer and a dreamer and a person. 

I want the growth that I know exists to be evident on this blog as well. I want to dedicate time to this blog and truly pour my heart out into it. This blog is completely mine: my words, my stories, my scattered thoughts. I want it to express that. I want to take advantage of that.

I have this beautiful medium at my fingertips and too often, I set it aside. I originally started this blog to declare my voice; to make a statement, to tell stories, to navigate through my crazy goals and dreams. 

I’ve grown. But I don’t want to stop growing. And I don’t want this blog to stop growing, either. 

In just one year, I’ve learned so much, and yet there is still so much to learn. I want to keep learning and growing and dreaming. 

 

Dream big,

Paige