My Brain is Full

macomputer

On February 11th, a mere 35 days away, I’m going to take the ACT. I ‘m going to take the test that will be sent to colleges that I might attend someday. It’s one step in a journey towards applying to college, which is a step towards BEING in college, which is a step towards graduating from college, which is a step towards… the rest of my life.

So yeah, it’s not a big deal.

I know that it’s just a test and that college doesn’t mean everything. I know that I don’t need college to live a great life, or even to have a successful career. Still, it’s a big step for me. It has a certain scent to it… it smells like… growing up. Growing up. I hate that phrase today. I wish I was either a little kid or already grown up. Growing up sounds… never-ending and not much fun.

The thing is…

like growing up. I like experiencing new things and being able to see things from a younger person’s perspective because I’ve been there. I like looking back on old memories and seeing how far I’ve come. I like the journey of childhood. I’m glad that mine has been (and is) one of love and learning. There’s never been a question too stupid to ask. There’s never been a wrong that hasn’t been righted in some way.

But I still hate growing up.

I just don’t like right now. Right now I have a lot (a few in reality) of decisions to make. Should I stay here (my hometown) for college or move away? Should I get my driver’s licence? Should I get a job? What job should I get? How do I prioritize all the things in my life? How do I keep up with everything going on and still maintain good relationships with my family, friends, and God?

I’m always thinking of new things to worry about and other things to add to my busy head, but it’s already so full that I can’t possibly add anything else. And I think it’s time to stop trying. I just need to sit tight, study hard, and worry about everything else (or most of “everything else”) after the test. 🙂

Even though I just said all that…

I really love where I am in my life. I love the ups and downs. I love the people and the learning. I love the journey. ❤

2017 Goals And Reminiscing 2016

I like New Year’s because I like thinking about the passage of time. Time is a funny thing. Sometimes a minute seems to stretch on forever and sometimes a day seems to last a minute. I like thinking about what time means to the human race. It holds us back and spurs us onward. We only have so much time on this earth. I think that’s why time is fascinating to me. It influences so many thoughts and decisions.

Every New Year’s I like to look back on the past 365 days and revisit the good days as well as the bad ones. I haven’t had many horrible days this year. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown so much since January 1, 2016 that it’s almost unbelievable. I wonder if there will come a time when I don’t grow over the course of a year. I don’t think so. Everyone has room for growth no matter how old they are.

Last year I grew up a lot. I grew up in the normal way of becoming more mature. I always love/hate to look back at my old journals, because what I say in them is proof that I have both grown a lot and that I used to think really stupid things. 🙂 Last year I thought a lot about growing up. I realized this year that I will be eighteen very soon. Thinking about becoming an adult, getting a job, getting a driver’s license, taking the ACT, and going to college has really become a large part of what I think about. I hate growing up sometimes and I used to hate thinking about those things, but now I’m used to thinking about those things and it’s not so bad.

Goals – 2017

I don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions, because I never keep them! I always forget that I’ve made them about three months into the year. But, you know, it’s tradition to make resolutions and so I’m going to try again. 😀

  1. Read fifty books
  2. Always have a Bible study plan for the month/read the Bible every day
  3. Watch all the Pixar movies (including the new ones)
  4. Less internet time
  5. Take the ACT
  6. Study up on colleges
  7. Get my temps
  8. Get a job… maybe??
  9. Remember:
    1. Patience
    2. Kindness
    3. Listening
    4. Authenticity

It’s quite a long list, but I think I can finish most of the items on it. The good thing is that I’m almost done with The Two Towers, so pretty soon I’ll only have forty-nine books to read this year. 😉

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all have a good year!

Making Time To Write

My writing time is nearly nonexistent right now and that sucks. I want to get back into writing regularly. I want to be writing more and also learning about writing. I’ve started to learn about my craft, but it needs to be ongoing. There will always be more to learn and that’s one of the things I love most about life!

This next month (November) I want to give myself a challenge. I’m going to do NaNoWriMo! JUST KIDDING! I don’t have time for that. Lol. XD This month I’m going to try to learn as much as possible about writing. I’m going to read about the writing process, crafting characters, rewriting, plotting, and publishing. I want to get myself back into a place where I’m surrounded (on the internet) by people who write all the time. I want to build up my writing muscles again.

I’ve tried to do things like this before, like my monumental fail during fair week. I didn’t finish that story, but I wish now that I had. 😦 Anyways, you live and learn. My topic was too heavy for me to write about in that moment. So, I’ve decided that if I’m going to accomplish what I hope to accomplish this month, then I need a plan. I want a set time every day to do this. I know I won’t be motivated to do this every day, especially if I don’t have a plan.

Daily Schedule for November

Weekdays

8:30am-3:00pm: School

3:00-3:30: Piano practice

3:30-4:30: Writing

4:30-5:00: Reading/internet time

Weedend  

Saturday:

7:00-8:00am: Writing time

8:00am-3:30pm: Chores and homework

3:30-4:00: Writing

Sunday:

2:00pm-3:00pm: Writing

This schedule might not work. I don’t know, because I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll try it for a week and if I find that I have to change things around because of my busy weekday schedule, then that’s what I’ll do. However, I want to get in at least an hour everyday.

Another challenge for another month. 🙂

The End of a Month (Day 30)

It is September 30. Tomorrow is October 1.

September has been a month full of growth, school, and introspection. I must admit, I’m usually introspective anyways, but this month I’ve had nothing to distract me from looking inwards. I’ve had nothing to influence my opinions and thoughts other than my own beliefs and the beliefs of the those around me.

It’s been interesting trying to divorce what I really believe from what I’ve just accepted as true. Critical thinking and thinking for myself have always been things that come naturally to me, but before this month I kind of let those things go to pot. 🙂 It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness life and let information, opinions, and issues pass us by because we have “other things to do.”

This month I’ve learned that there are a lot of things that I’m pretty ignorant about. To name a few: college, politics, and controversial issues. Being knowledgeable about the world around us is important, and in this age of information, when we are being constantly hit with stuff, it’s easy to forget that. It’s strange how my lack of information this month has caused me to hunger for it again. There is a difference between knowledge and information and I’m beginning to see what that is. Information are facts (or opinions) that are always being thrown around for anyone to pick up, but knowledge is being familiar with the information. It’s more than just, “I know what that is… sort of.” It’s the idea of being knowing it because you’ve made an effort to know about it. When I go into October, I need to remember the difference between knowledge and information.

I must admit, I haven’t upheld my no-internet ban perfectly. It has been hard, just like I said it would be. I’ve had slip ups, accidental and, well, not accidental. I know I didn’t uphold it perfectly, but I’m trying not to beat myself up about it, because tomorrow is a new month. I know I should have upheld the ban better. I know I could have avoided the internet more effectively. I know I cheated a few times. I know all of that, but I still feel good about what I’ve accomplished. I have to keep pressing on.

 

Day 30: What are your goals for the next 31 days? 

  1. Research – I’ve written down a few things over the past thirty days that I want to look into using that amazing tool, the internet. 🙂
  2. Enjoy my week-long break – I want this too include, strangely enough: cutting down on internet time, writing a short story, and hanging out with family.
  3. Look into Colleges: have started doing this a bit, but I want to keep it up this month.
  4. Remember to exercise – My exercise “routine” is easy to follow right now because it’s still pretty warm, but by the end of this month it won’t be.

This month was a crazy journey and I want to thank everyone who has followed me on it. Your support means the world to me. 🙂

Love,

Claire

Failing and Trying Again

There’s a rabbit in my backyard. He’s sitting at the top of the hill by the little lilac bush at the edge of the shadow made by the house. He’s bounded away now, across the yellowy grass and into the evergreen tree. I guess it it a nice morning. The sun is shining frequently between the bits of cloud in the blue sky. There’s a big pot of tea on the table in front of me and I’m listening to organ music.

Yeah, I guess it is a nice day.

I haven’t been writing lately, and I could blame that on a lot of things, but the truth is that I’ve been lazy. I haven’t felt like writing for a while now and the result is a lack of posts, even lazy ones. 🙂

Life has been busy. I started co-op last week, karate and youth group the week before. And on top of it all I have a mountain of schoolwork to do. Literally. However, I’m not going to consider that an excuse anymore, because the whole reason I started this blog was to write every day, and I haven’t been doing that.

I hate that I fail, try again, and fail again. It’s a useless cycle that doesn’t teach me anything except how much I fail. What else is there to do but try again? I don’t want to quit and never get anywhere, because maybe one day I won’t fail.

30 Things

Day 18: 30 Things about Yourself 

  1. I am frequently confused
  2. I am always learning
  3. I am sometimes a loud-mouth
  4. I am a Christian
  5. I love stories of all kinds
  6. Writing is my passion, but I’m lazy at it
  7. I have always liked my name (Claire)
  8. I’m not good at admitting that I’m wrong
  9. I don’t like apologizing (trying to get better at it though)
  10. I love wearing long skirts and dresses
  11. Music is important to me
  12. I love quoting things (tv shows, movies, music, books…)
  13. I love imaginary worlds
  14. Idiosyncrasies fascinate me
  15. I like to think of myself as humble, but usually it’s just self-deprecation
  16. People and their lives fascinate me
  17. The future is exciting and makes me feel calm and frightened at the same time
  18. I am not afraid of most bugs
  19. I am afraid of my dark side
  20. I am an INFP
  21. I love old books
  22. Nostalgia is my favorite mood
  23. I like accordion music
  24. I like shivering over delightful things
  25. I am a tea-drinker
  26. I love new books
  27. I hoard notebooks
  28. I am an ukulele player
  29. I don’t like talking to strangers
  30. I love the life I’ve been given

Why I’m Still Working on School

puzzle.jpg

It’s July 8. The sun is shining down on my neighborhood full of kids that are busy enjoying their break from school. Well, not every kid is done with school. Hi there! It’s me, Claire, and while the rest of the country is on vacation I’m still working on school. I’m still working on my massive Omnibus IV, three subjects in one book (theology, history, and literature).

I’d be lying if I said I was excited to be doing school in July, but I would also be lying if I told you I wasn’t. It’s a strange thing, but yes, I still enjoy doing school this late in the year. Not all the time, but most of the time I still enjoy it. I enjoy getting up early to work on my latest essay or to read a few chapters of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I love the books I’ve been getting to read, as well as the excuse to sit on the porch and read all day.

Of course, it truly isn’t all fun and games. It’s hard work focusing on school when everyone else is watching Star Wars and Zootopia, or spending a restful afternoon just drawing. Sometimes I want to quit, and sometimes I do, but most of the time I keep going. I fight through the distractions and find that not quitting is ten times more satisfying than quitting. There are times when I take breaks, but only after I’ve worked hard and accomplished a lot, or when I know that I need a break.

Now, school isn’t the only thing I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been reading for fun a lot. Right now I’m reading Farmer Boy and Coronation Summer (Angela Thirkell). Yesterday I started a puzzle. I love puzzles! There’s something so satisfying about fitting all the pieces together. 🙂 I have also been watching the original Star Wars trilogy and yesterday I watched The Phantom Menace, which was not as bad as I expected it to be. I mean, yeah, the acting wasn’t great and there were some cheesy jokes that I rolled my eyes at, but it wasn’t half bad. I can’t wait to watch Attack of the Clones. 

Happy Summer!

~Claire 

About Camp

Ahhhh…I’m finally back to writing on this blog and it feel so good! I’m excited to get back to regular life, even though I had an amazing time at camp.

About Camp…

I can’t think of it without smiling. Summer camp was ingrained into my life at a young age. It’s become a pivotal part of my summer, one that I wouldn’t miss for anything. 🙂 Nostalgia, mixed with a sense of freedom, and being slap-happy all day because I’m so tired creates a week that is like really rich cake with sweet icing. It’s good for a few bites, but I couldn’t eat it forever.

At camp I learned:

  • That my friends are the best
  • That you can never learn everything that’s in the Bible, there is always more to learn
  • That I really love playing soccer
  • That the game “Zoo” gets a teeny bit old when you play it non-stop for a few days

Now the rest of July and August stretches before me like a black Word document. I have a few plans for what I’m going to do with the rest of my summer, but I’ll talk about those tomorrow.

Random things I love right now:

  • Mrs. Hippopotamus’s  by Relient K
  • Knowing God by J.I Packer
  • Watching my sisters make friendship bracelets and wishing I knew how 😦
  • Learning everything there is to know about MBTI!!!!!

That’s my life right now. I hope your life is going well.

Claire 

A Beautiful Day and Honesty

Thought One:

The wind is blowing through the trees. They are all in sync. All of the trees in my neighborhood dance to the music of the softly blowing breeze.

I look up at the sky and see the sun, peeking through the clouds. Metaphors pass through my head as I squint up at it. I hold them each in my mind for a millisecond before letting them go like dainty butterflies.

I look at the ground and see many things. Life flows around them and connects them all together. They are all connected by life and the one who gave them that life. The pink peonies shyly nod at the visiting bees, and people pass by; their unique story swirling throughout and around them like the enticing scent of a mysterious perfume.

Throughout everything in my world this afternoon flows the beautiful hope of a summer yet to happen. Memories are waiting to happen, lives are waiting to change, and dreams are waiting to be made and accomplished. Everything is possible all of a sudden, simply because it’s summer.

It’s a beautiful life, but hard too.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’ve honestly started this post about four times. None of the times before this felt right. Now, as I sit here looking out on my front yard and evaluating life as I know it, it feels right.

Thought Two:

Can we be honest? Please. Because most of the time we aren’t completely honest, not with ourselves and not with others.

Are we ever okay? Really and truly, fine? When we speak these words are we being truthful? I’m not okay. Constantly. It’s okay to not be fine. It’s okay to be hurting. And it’s OKAY to say that. When life gets hard. When we are hurting. It’s okay to admit that. Why do we think that we have to be strong all the time? We don’t have to, because we can’t. There is no possible way to be fine all the time.

The question of whether or not other people can help us is irrelevant. Other people aren’t there to help you all the time. The real question is whether or not we care about the people who care about us, enough to tell them about what is going on in our lives, good and bad.

I fail at this all the time. I did today. But pretending to be fine is never the answer. Being honest is the answer.

I’m still not sure what this post is about. It’s really just the thoughts that have been floating around my head today. I love this beautiful life of mine. I love the beauty in the world, I love summer, and I love honesty. Yes, I’m scatter-brained today, but what can you expect from a girl who has about a hundred things running through her mind at a time? 😉

Listen to good music and be honest with yourself and others,

~ Claire

Contentment

Peace and contentment

Some days, I find this easy. I wake up on these days, and the whole world is a beautiful place. I find school easy to focus on, people easy to get along with, God easy to talk to, and beauty easy to find.

Other days Most days though… I struggle to find peace and contentment. I struggle to keep my temper. I can’t see anything beautiful in anything. School becomes either a mindless chore, or something that I simply can’t focus on. I struggle to talk to God, most of the time because I feel so… guilty.

I don’t know what to do about it, because I won’t do anything about it. That’s the problem. I want to to see the beauty in the simple things. I want to help others and love life. I want to live for something more than myself. Some days, I just can’t. 

I think there is a problem in our society. Well, there are many, but the one that I notice the most is the lack of contentment. All we see is what we can get and there is so much we can get.

We fail to see the beauty in the little things.

We only see the cars and not the people inside. All those people with lives, problems, opinions, happiness, and souls. All we see are the problems that these people create for us. Why can’t we see them as hurting, struggling, living, breathing humans? Why can’t we see the hurting behind the eyes of people? Why can’t we see the brokenness in the way they walk? Why do we see them and not feel something other than passiveness or annoyance?

We never see the bees buzzing around spring flowers. We never stop to just admire how all the colors of all those flowers can blend together in a single field and look so beautiful. Not one is out of place and none of the colors clash. Why do we never slow down for even a second to look at the trees and admire them for being what they are? Can we not stop, for even a second, and see how perfectly all of creation fits together like a puzzle?

Why can’t we look and see the details in everyday life? Why can’t we notice the color of the shutters on a house, or the tininess of a baby’s fingernails, or the way clouds look at different times of the day? Maybe some of those things seem unimportant, but they’re not. These little things make up big things. Little things are never unimportant. It’s only when we stop noticing them that we ever think that way.

What are the answers to the questions? We can’t see these things because we let “bigger” things get in the way. We let life get in the way, our own busyness, of the important things. Loving others and realizing that simplicity is absolutely stunning, is something that can change the way you look at the world.

I guess I’m saying all of this because I’ve realized that people and their lives are important. I’ve realized that the simplest things in life are some of the most fulfilling. Yet, I always try to fill my life with busyness again. It’s a constant struggle.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Ephesians 4:8

One last thing… None of us can do this by ourselves. We all need God’s help. So ask for it.