Monday, August 17, 2009

Still caught in between 10 and 20

As this is my last evening being 18, I thought it fitting to do a little "last post before I turn 19" post.

I have already recently done a reflective entry, so I am not sure what I am going to write about. I guess I will get out my 18-ish thoughts of the moment to make room for the more mature, 19-ish thoughts of the future! Here goes nothing:

I feel like I want to go to the beach....right now!! I long for our family beach trip each year, with the intense craving starting about...April, maybe even March, depending on the weather. It's the best time of the year, way better than Christmas. There is just nothing like being at the is the most blissful experience in the world. I can't describe it.

I am having a cuticle issue with my left ring finger. It's too pushed back or something. I don't know what happened. I noticed it yesterday. On that note, I have been getting very dry hands at night lately, and I don't know why that is either. It seems as though there is always some little, strange thing wrong with me. Oh, well!

I *am* still caught between 10 and 20, though I don't like to use the word "caught", because this is a great time of my life...nothing negative about it. Still trying to clean out those teenagery cobwebs of bad attitudes, quick tempers, selfishness, hedonism, rebellion, not sleeping when I should, and sleeping when I shouldn't. I have one more year to improve greatly, right? Yes! And that is not one more year to continue in my bad habits and magically repent once I turn *gulp* 20. Hey, 19! There is work to be done around here.

Really, there is. I have this urge to organize everything in and out of sight. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier to organize things in plain view. And it is a lot easier to organize the things that are in plain view...if you don't get distracted doing a million other things. Or discouraged that this darned bedroom is too cluttered. I know I am mixing my tenses and persons but I don't care; it's late and I have only an hour and 35 minutes to be young and careless, right? Right.

Everything seems so crazy and cluttered. And I sound depressed. Maybe I am. No, I am not.

I guess I have been a little more down lately than I usually am. I don't know what the deal with myself is. It's not that I pride myself in optimism so much that I just enjoy the lifestyle, you know? And I'm not a pessimist all of a's more like I am an apatheticist. I don't know if that is really the term or even a word, but it sounds really, really cool, doesn't it? Like being apathetic is actually really official and something worth doing!

I think that things over the summer became over scheduled, and I have overall lost track of who I am, what I am supposed to be doing, and what everything is all for. And now that I think about things like that is kind of vital. Well, this certainly helps things along.

Like Rebecca said in her comment a few entries ago...I need to put God first. And while I have certainly begun giving him a little more of a place in my life, I still have my priorities all mixed up. Like I am going downhill in life and can't stop to consider what I am doing, and then get re-started at a much slower pace. Do you see what I am saying?

Schedule, schedule, schedule. Schedules never work out the way I plan them. I don't even know if they are a good way of getting things done. I just like to have everything I need to do layed out before me on a piece of paper, with times to do everything. But I forget that, throughout the day, I encounter at least four other people, two dogs, a chinchilla, weather, lack of sleep, and spontaneous urges to do other things than what are on the List of Things to Do.

So I start looking at each day as a "at least I got ANYTHING done!" day. But that isn't looking on the bright side; that is settling for underachievement. But...ugh, ugh, ugh!! I don't want to be one of those busybody, schedule-making, self-focused, weird people. I just want to live my life, you know? Just have a freestyle sort of schedule. But if I DID, then I would be playing the piano all day!! In other words, nothing would get done, I feel.

I just need to place this all in God's hands...NOW. Where did those 'rosy days' of March, April, and May go?

But seriously, guys...I am NOT really depressed. Tired, yes. Depressed, no.

Let's take the five steps to being happy:

1. Drink caffeine
2. Watch a really romantic movie or a really inspiring sports movie
3. Go driving really fast while listening to awesome music
4. Go swimming
5. Hang out and act crazy with friends

Since this list of five steps is absolutely ridiculous and simply STUPID (in regards to getting high off of natural drugs), I will go ahead and make a new one:

1. Pray and read the Bible every day
2. Put others first, having a servant's heart
3. Stay healthy
4. Love and fellowship
5. Know that everything is in God's hands

And these five things are what I throw out the window when I wake up in the morning. I roll out of bed and forget everything I need to thrive on. The first list seems to be more of what is on my mind throughout the day. I wake up and want coffee and to read a good book. The rest of the day I would rather spend doing fun things, like music or whatever. Then I want to go off and socialize for about three days straight. I spend some time getting a little done that I need to, just so I don't feel guilty about going off to some other fun outing the next moment. This is not how I need to be living my life. What am I afraid of, quiet? Letting go of my selfish desires?

In the first list I am striving and straining for one thing - to get high on life. But in the second list...oh, I can just feel the peacefulness, order, and fullness radiating off of the words! I am READY, Lord!! Let me continue in my sanctification that I seem to have abandoned. Take my life into your hands. Let me live every day for you and for others and not for myself.

It is now half an hour till I am 19. I think I will just sleep through 12:05 am, thank you.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Morals and Ideals

DISCLAIMER – I know it’s not that late, but I am pretty much brain-dead. If nothing makes sense and/or I don’t stick to what the thesis probably should have been, that is why.

Everyone has their own personal morals that are based, more or less, on their personal worldview. Worldview, I am sure we all know, is developed by what a person is exposed to in life and how they react to it. The oh-so-valid source of Wikipedia states, “[Worldview] refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it,” and “describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.”

That said, it is to be expected that everyone’s morals are going to differ at least a little from everyone else’s. And, to an extent, I believe that each person’s morals are probably good for that person. I do not feel like that should include sexual immorality or homosexuality, but those are my morals, right? Here we go stepping into that multiple truths thing again, which needn’t be explained again or further.

But, now, I wonder...are some or all of my own morals actual morals, or are they ideals? Would some change depending on the situation?

I wrote an entry about a year and a half ago with similar questions in mind: And here they pop up again, all out of the blue. I believe it is nice to know that I am not the only me who has struggled with it...I mean, I am glad to know I have struggled with it before. Now, that may sound a little strange, or perhaps even a lot. But the thing is, I had completely forgotten about having ever gone through this before. So to know that it is a weak area that I have worked through before gives me hope that it can be worked through again, hopefully more efficiently (so it does not happen again-again). Also, going back and reading that is already helping me dig deeper into this whole thing.

Like I was saying, morals or ideals?

Ideals are not set in stone, morals probably are. But what do I base morals off of? Ideals!

What morals and all other forms of conduct should be based off of is what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. We are not under the law anymore, so if you are a follower of Christ, you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then tells us what is right and wrong for us, if we truly seek God, right? So...that is one of the reasons why I say that everyone’s morals are a little different. As far as Christians go, anyway.

But ideals are put in place by me, for myself. But, I have to wonder, are my ideals based on morals? As in, are they good ideals that should be upheld?

Take the concept of saving the first kiss for marriage. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “thou shalt not kisseth thine wife before thou hast taken her as so.” Saving the kiss is a personal choice. Is it a biblical moral? No; it’s not based off of the Bible. Is it a personal moral? I guess that is what you would call it.

But is it an ideal; something possible only in certain situations?

I know some of you are saying yes, and some no. Maybe some of you are momentarily confused like me.

There comes at least one time in every person’s life where they must logically talk themselves out of something they desire greatly. I guess, anyway, what do I know? I’m not even 19 yet.

All I mean to say, in short, is that I am extremely disappointed in myself, because obviously I can talk the talk until I am told I might be required to walk the walk. And I am scared, frankly. I can justify myself with all of this ideals and morals business, but at the end of the day it all comes down to this: what is right and what I long for are two completely different things.

There are only two options – either justify what I long for as being right and just go ahead and do it, or long for something right instead. And you know the latter is what I should do. The decision is so hard; my heart feels ripped in two because of the opposing directions it wants to take.

I just feel so awful right now. Please forgive me for being so hard on myself at this moment, but I really must. All these years I’ve held these ideals and morals. I don’t care how pointless or illogical they are – they are mine and I’ve basically sworn to stand by them, not wishing to make any more mistakes than necessary, especially since I made so many early on. And now, here is God saying “Jessica, have a go at this situation...put your restraint to good practice. I know you can do this!” And here I am saying “Wow, God! This is amazing!! You mean I’m supposed to resist? That’s crazy talk, this is too good to be true!”

I know somewhere or another in the Bible it says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. So I know I can get through this, I just know it, right? Yes, yes, yes. Will do, Cap’n. Aye, sir!

But it is and will continue to be so easy to give in. Just like it is so easy to jerk the steering wheel a bit to the left on a two-lane road into oncoming traffic. I could do it any time, on purpose, if I impulsively felt like it. And at any second, I could give in to an overwhelming temptation to forgo all my morals and head straight into something else.

I know that if I uphold my morals AND my moralistic ideals, God will bless me in one way or another. I’m not looking for God’s blessing, though; I just know that it will happen. If I don’t uphold my honor...I know the consequences, suffice to say. I often want to ignore the consequences, but I can’t for very long. Especially if they start happening to me.

However, I would like to end on a happy note, so I will make some general comments about life these days other than trying to think straight:

I was recently accepted to a novel writing camp/retreat/intensive thing! I will be leaving all ye North Carolinians behind and going to Oregon for a month to sit in a beach cottage and write a book. It will be in November, so “beach cottage” does not necessarily mean “lovely warm days strolling the beach and feeling the wind in my hair.” It is very unfortunate. However, it’s still the beach...“so much scope for the imagination.” So, yes, I will come back with pages and pages of unrefined bookness and hopefully only a mild case of carpel tunnel syndrome. Wish me luck (and pray for me not to miss my planes!!!!!!!)

My swim team went undefeated its second summer in a row! Counting our last four meets that we won 3 summers ago, we are now 16-0. I didn’t think it could get any better than one undefeated season. And it was my last year on the team, too! I don’t like getting old. But at least it was a good season to get old. :)

I read The Phantom of the Opera! Now, that isn’t exactly wowie-zowie news, but I am really excited because it is now my new favorite book. I don’t have favorite books that often...those kinds of books I have to love aaaaaaaalllllllllll the way through and must crave to read them morning to night and while I am asleep...and I must hate when the end comes much too soon. This book met all the criteria of a favorite book. And now I really, REALLY want to go live out my Phantom of the Opera fantasies even more than I already did ever since I saw it for the first time when I was 12. You all know I’ve always wanted to live in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium....

That said, I am going to bed! Goodnight!


Sunday, August 9, 2009


Music and Lyrics by Jessica

Sunlight dips down
Through the field of my soul
Casting waves of springtime
O’er the dew on the grass

When my mind drifts away
It stumbles and shakes
As it trips through the sea
Of my memory

And the things I long for
I might just die for
If they dared come true


The velvet belief
That all is as it seems
Causes my mind to doubt
All that’s happened to me

That my dreams now
Pale to real life
Are the midnight souls
Finally one?

Yet I cannot seem to tell
And perhaps I’ll never know
If this is my dream come true


Sunday, August 2, 2009


Time - I swear, what is "spare time"? I don't remember the last time I was bored. How I LONG for boredom!! Or how I wish I could go give some of the stuff I have to do now to the bored me when I was younger. Or that I could go tell the bored, younger me ALL of the things she could have been doing, so that now I would not have so much to do.

It is quite bothersome when other people complain about being bored. As if there is nothing to do. Come on, there are MILLIONS of things to do. MILLIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry. I seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the week. Things have just been so crazy, I don't know what to do about anything. All I want is my normal life back. Although I don't even remember what that is anymore.

I want time back. Time to read. Time to work for my dad. Time to clean the house. Time to cook dinner. Time to spend with friends because everything else will be done. Time to learn. Time to explore. Time to spend with my family. Time to work on my writing. Time to work on my music. Time to dream.

I do everything at such a darned leisurely pace. It is really quite sickening. Why can't I just go fast and get the work done???? No, I lounge about. I do things slowly. I stop and think. I get distracted. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME????? This must be a mental disorder.

I need to make boundaries for my life. I need a set schedule. I need discipline. There needs to be dedication. A sense of responsibility. An idea of when "no nonsense" is necessary, and when the appropriate times are to be nonsensical.

Time to set some priorities. And stick with them.

First of all, my number one priority right now should be going out to the office building and faxing my release forms to the Unschool Adventures people. It has been almost a week since I e-mailed them and said, "sorry it is taking so long, I'll try to get them to you sometime tomorrow!" There is a fine example right there. Seven tomorrows later, they are still wondering where my release forms went and if I dropped off the face of the planet/fell into a coma/died.

Secondly, there is work for my dad. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THAT HARD. But with a combination of sluggishness, procrastination, and not taking myself seriously when I make schedules, I have fallen behind TWICE in the past month (and I am writing now instead of doing all these things I don't have time for, but I really must write, or I will go crazy…in which case, obviously, nothing would get done), and still have much to catch up on. As swim team has been going on, I have had little or no time to help my mom around the house, whether cooking, cleaning, or anything else. She needs the help, and I feel terrible that nothing has been getting done!!

Besides all of this and everything else, I just feel like a lazy, good-for-nothing nobody. That isn't good. Self-esteem is important.

Then I just want to have time to myself to do me-things. Like reading, writing, music, and spending time with friends and family. It was hard, while swimming, to want to swim for 2 hours each day, and then go home and want to spend more time doing other things I wanted to do, like reading or playing the piano.

Anyway. Priorities.

Non-priorities: Facebook. The bane of everyone's existence. Government-created to capture our minds in invisible cages and never set them free….I realize this and, like everyone else, cannot seem to break free in spite of my knowledge. Must…stop…!!!!!

So, yes. What was that I said a while ago about not needing to go on and check it for two minutes at a time every three hours/every time I'm on my computer (which is a lot between working and writing)? Yeah, that.

Hence shall begin the Age of Discipline. Besides, how am I supposed to discipline my own children if I can't even completely discipline myself? And how in the world am I going to be a good wife or mother if I can't even handle the responsibilities of being a teenager in my parents' home? Yup, yup, yup…good points, Jessica. Good stuff.

What other things do I need to discipline myself on? If Facebook were the only thing taking up my time…then I guess I am a loser. But there are other things, which aren't inherently counterproductive. It is simply not the right time to be doing them. Example: I (immaturely) get mad about something. I (immaturely) stomp or sulk off to my room. I (immaturely) kick stuff around and mutter about how messy the room is and how somebody needs to clean it (me). I see my pennywhistle, and I start playing it. I turn on some Irish songs, and play along with those. Then I start saying, "I'll bet I can play this! And that! And the other thing!" And pretty soon I've blown 45 minutes away on the pennywhistle (no pun intended). Yes, there is nothing wrong with playing the pennywhistle. Yes, I am in a significantly better mood afterwards. But was it the right time? No, because I should have been doing dishes, folding laundry, or scrubbing the bathtub. Was it for the right reason, even? No……..I never really play the pennywhistle unless I'm angry. Otherwise I don't have set practice times. And since I really TRY not to get angry, it doesn't get played all that often.

No matter what inspiration strikes me, I shouldn't book-write or songwrite when I should be answering e-mails for my dad. I seem to have this magical longing to not do what I am supposed to be doing, and to do whatever should wait till after I'm done doing what I'm supposed to. AKA "procrastination", or some relation of the curse.

Like in most things I write about, I could go on. Basically, the drastic change that needs to happen (and be kept up) in order for the Age of Discipline to fully realize itself is…responsibilities first, play later. Simple as that. My parents have been trying to teach me that principle my whole life. Now I am almost 19 and I just…might…be starting to get it. Though it doesn't count as "getting it" till I actually am able to implement it nearly flawlessly for more than a 48 hour period. Like…maybe a 48-year period. By then I suppose I'll be so used to doing it that I won't have to think about it, even though I will be retired from everything and can probably do whatever I want…

Saturday, August 1, 2009

If Only

If only for a day
You and I could fly away
Into the ribbons of the sky
No one else, just you and I

If only in a dream
If reality it seemed
We could sail on seas so blue
And it would just be me and you

Would my heart not have gone astray
Had you not loved me this way?
Or am I only imagining
I could ever cause your heart to sing

Would you leave so I could come?
Can I be your only one?
Is there something in the air
Which makes me cleave to you so?

Finding thoughts inside my heart
I can’t tear myself apart
And I ask myself to where
To whom, and when must I go...?

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