The Debt Must Be Paid

I am forever indebted to 5 species: Dalmatian mollies, glow fish, betta fish, red eared sliders, and gold fish.
When I was three, I wanted a goldfish just like Elmo. So my mom bought me goldfish after goldfish, to keep in a bowl in my room. One day I will have a 55 gallon tank, with lots of plants, and a filter, with a couple goldfish in it. I’ll make it up to the many Dorothy’s I had.
Later, I had Dalmatian mollies in a plastic container in my room. I would stir the piece of driftwood I kept in their “tank”, so I could “play with them.” At another point, I kept two glow fish in a bowl. Sometime soon, I will be getting a 10 gallon tank, with a heater and filter and everything. I’ll be getting three or four mollies, and maybe a couple glow fish. I will make it up to them.
I kept Poseidon the betta fish in a tiny, empty cube. I had him on my bedside table and one night, our cat ate him. Once the molly fish pass away, after a few years of happy, healthy living, I will be getting a betta fish for the 10 gallon. He will have it all to himself.
Houdini was a three legged baby turtle that a family friend thrust upon us. All he had in his 10 gallon tank was a pool noodle to rest on. He didn’t even have a heat lamp. One night it got cold in the house, and he froze to death. In the future, I will have 125 gallon tank, or better, a stock tank outdoors. And I will keep a red eared slider in the cleanest, warmest, most comfortable conditions possible. For Houdini.
I have to make it up to them. All of them.

2 Months!

I didn’t think much had had happened over the last two months, but when I sat down to write about it, I realized a lot has changed.

I turned 17, and I realized that I’m almost an adult. I competed in a horse show for the first time in a long time, and I placed 2nd in one of my classes! I’ve taken my AP exams and finals, and it’s now the last week of school. I’ll find out in a couple days if I’m in the top 10 of my class.

But these last couple months have been…hard. My mental health went on a decline. I’ve been dealing with anxiety my whole life, but this year, it got worse. As the year went on, it seemed to amplify, to the point where it was interfering with every aspect of my life. There have been many days where I woke up wishing I hadn’t, followed by getting in bed as soon as I got home. I wondered what happened for a while, but then I realized that 2017 has been an exhausting year. I lost my uncle in February, broke my toe in March, and had the worst flu of my life in April. My mind and body have been pushed to the absolute limit.

Finally, after years of problems, and this recent flare up, I saw a doctor. We will be looking at counselors soon, and if by the end of the summer things aren’t better, medication may be an option. I never thought it would come to this, but it did. I am proud that I sought help.

On a lighter note, I became president of our FFA chapter! We’ll be having meetings this summer to discuss the year ahead. I’ve decided to not to compete in the FFA, because I feel my energy is best put toward the leading of our chapter. In regards to horses, I plan to start riding twice a week once school starts back! I’ll be done with my dual enrollment classes by 2:15, so that leaves me with more time to ride and work. I look forward to more shows this fall.

To tie up a few loose ends of my earlier posts, my dad is fine! He has arthritis, not deformed bones. As you can imagine, we are relieved, and my dad was pissed at the nurse who told him on the phone that his back “had more abnormalities than could be mentioned on the phone.” Bullshit. Also, I’m staying with my current job and will probably be working during the coming school year, instead of just school breaks.

I want this place to be practice for me as a writer. More book reviews, maybe stories? Whatever this becomes, it’s all mine. And I will treasure it.

(Another) List

  1. I got rid of my night light, and I’ve found that I’m sleeping better. More darkness = deeper sleep.
  2. I have been sitting down and painting on an easel instead of hunching over my desk. The painting I’m doing right now is probably the best thing I’ve ever painted. I have a clearer view of my work, and I’m painting a horse, the animal that inspired all of my artwork until freshman year. I feel so calm when I work on this, I’m happy with how it’s going.
  3. I’m only working on the painting as long as I have good lighting in my room. As soon as it’s too dark to see my colors clearly without additional light, I’m done painting for the day. This is leading to clearer colors and less rushed, out of control work.
  4. I miss riding. My heart aches for the lack of horses. Every photo I see, every video, my heart grieves. I will ride this Saturday. I need to.
  5. My classes are getting increasingly difficult as exam time approaches. I am stressed, and just like the teachers, I’m counting down the days until the year is over.
  6. My dad had his MRI on his back, and his bottom vertebrate are extremely messed up. He may need surgery, which means he’ll be out of work for a while. He gets no disability pay, long or short. I may have to go back to work to help, which I don’t mind. It’s simply a fact that the main source of our income comes from my dad, and without him, the shit will hit the fan. I have no problem working to make ends meet for my parents. It’s the least I can do.
  7. I have the sudden urge to write a book. I started reading a book, based on a true story, about a Japanese man and his adventures at sea in the 1860s. It reminded me of my ancestor Gabriel Sistare, who was a ship captain in the 1600s. We found him on, and I thought about how cool it would be to write a fictional story about him. I really like the book I’m reading now, and I know it would be a good source of inspiration. I also think the movie Ponyo will influence this story, if I write it. Not sure. For now I need to focus on my speech for the public speaking competition in April.
  8. I will hopefully be getting a car in the fall. This summer I plan to save up as much money as possible. If I can save up $1200, $1000 could go toward a car (if the $500 family friend one doesn’t go through) and the $200 would be emergency money, for weeks where I don’t get enough hours or have to have time off, so I can still make insurance payments and get gas. If I get the $500 car, I’ll have a lot more savings, and more of chance of leasing a horse before I go to college.
  9. I realize how much I like to write and paint, and it scares me. I think art will forever have to be a side thing for me, second to the STEM job I have in the future. Not sure how I feel about that.
  10. I am still hopelessly and wonderfully in love with my boyfriend, who makes driving around aimlessly an adventure.

A Painful March

I have been so busy trying to keep up with school, I have neglected this poor blog.

After the crisis over employment, I decided to just stick with the same job I have now. As soon as exams are over, I’ll go back to work. My grandfather has a friend who is willing to sell his perfectly functional car for around $500, which is a crazy good deal, and it’s totally legitimate. It wouldn’t be available until around August, which is totally fine. That gives me the whole summer to put away money to pay for it. My parents say they’re going to buy it, and I’ll let them, but I will pay them back in full at some point, even if it’s just before I go off to college. Since I’ll probably be working all throughout senior year, paying for insurance and gas won’t be a problem.

I fell at school and hit my head on Monday. Tripped and landed face first onto the tile floor. Bruised up my arm and hip, and my face is puffy. I think I screwed up my jaw, but at least I don’t have a concussion. Regardless, I may not ride this week like I planned. It would be my first lesson since fracturing my toe. If I don’t ride Saturday, that means I’ll have gone a month without riding. Ugh.

I’m so tired and sore and frustrated. I haven’t been drawing much, but I want to so badly. Taking art has drained me of any and all creative energy, since I use it all up in class. By the time I come home, if I draw or paint anything semi decent, it’s a miracle.

I came home early from school. I just want to feel better.

Nerves and blisters

My atrocious foot is now less painful but the blood blister has started to come off. I’ll spare anyone reading the gory details, but it hurts and looks nasty. I’ll have to wear a bandaid to the contest tomorrow.

My mom and I will be going to the state capitol for me to participate in the second round of a state writing contest, run by the state university. I’m so excited, but also very very nervous. I may have to change what I’m wearing completely now that foot has decided to peel. Instead of a charcoal calf length dress with light gray blazer and black flats, I may end up wearing a red and white dress with a brown jacket, simply because the shoes I would wear with that are less tight. If I get stepped on, or my foot starts hurting, or worse, bleeding, my whole day would go south. I know it’s stupid to worry about something so small, but one thing could change my whole day.

But I’m still excited! I’m the only one from my school. Six come from the same county, but the other 65 kids will come from all over the state. We’ll get to meet amazing authors, have our work professionally edited, and I’ll get to see the university campus a bit. I’ve only recently started looking at this school seriously, since I’ve been more interested in the rival state university. We’ll get to see the school library, have a big lunch, and then write based on a prompt we won’t know until we get there. We’ll have 40 minutes, and then that and our original essay will be published! And my mom says she’ll try to take me to the campus bookstore after it’s all over. I’m just scared that not placing will crush my confidence with writing. My honors student mentality has always been, “if you’re not the best, you’re nothing,” which is totally unfair to myself .But if I do place, I’ll win some cash I can put away for college. This would be a good foot in the door for that college as well, regardless if I place.

I’m just mad it’s going to cold.

A Day of Frustration

My cat loves to wake me up at 3 am. He usually goes out without much of a fuss, but because it was still raining at that time, he refused to go out. So, he came into my room and proceeded to knock crap off my desk, until he finally got bored and let me sleep.

The alarm goes off, and I accidently turn it off instead of hitting snooze and wake up 20 minutes late. Boyfriend shows up early to pick me up, and I completely forget to brush my teeth. I realized this halfway to school, too late to turn back, and I also remembered I had a dentist appointment the same day. Great.

Second period let to a friend being made the butt of a joke, and I didn’t defend her as hard as I should have. Plans to meet my boyfriend while he was at lunch and I was in class (I was going to go down the hall and fill up my water bottle, so then he could come upstairs and we could hang for a second + maybe get some smooches) completely backfired when the friend I was texting to set it up didn’t clarify that he was supposed to come to me, not me to him.

Dentist went fine, I was able to brush my teeth there, but then we had to stop at Walgreens and get my dog’s prescription filled. That wouldn’t be done for another hour, so my mom will have to get it tomorrow. She then proceeded to embarrass me by talking about how she was going to get me an easter basket filled with Frozen stuff, just because I hate it. I can’t talk about anything serious without her trying to change the subject with a “Oh look at this recipe” or “So, the funniest thing happened at work.”Sometimes I think she wishes she had more kids, so she’s always have someone little. I don’t think she likes being mom to a teenager all the time.  I was already mad because it had taken her so long to even get the prescription filled, and she was doing this in front of a bunch of people. She always acts childish when she knows I’m upset. I just wanted to go home. My foot hurt and I was tired.

So we got into the car, and she wanted to go to the fast food place next door, the one I’m still technically employed at. I didn’t say hello to anyone at window, because I had no idea who they were. One of my favorite managers was nearby, but I didn’t feel it was my place to say hello anymore. I’m not working, I’m not one of them. I’m just a 16 year old who still can’t drive, doesn’t work, and was getting a milkshake with her mom.

I just want to be able to grow up, but I feel like I’m stuck. My parents can’t teach me to drive; my mom panics and my dad yells. They want me to do the $300 county driver’s ed course, but I think it would be a waste of their money. That’s partially why I want to go back to work, so I can pay for things like that. Part of me thinks I should ignore the fact that I’ve never gotten a break at work, been shorted money, and constantly feel like the new girl because of the long gaps between when I work, and just go back. But another part wants to start over somewhere else, and not ever have to go back to that place again. I really do like it there, I do. I just don’t know how to feel.

I ate my fries and drank my milkshake in silence on the way home. And of course, the lid on my shake isn’t tight enough and I got it all over my thighs and legs. My dad panics when we get home, like milkshake on the floor of my mom’s car is the end of the world, and when he hovers over me while I wipe it up, I tell him to stop. He hovers when I do anything. I just wanted to be able to clean up spilt milkshake without someone breathing down my neck, telling me I’m doing it wrong.

I’m just tired of being expected to act like an adult, but not being able to do anything most young adults do. I don’t drive, I don’t work, and I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore.

I just want to flash forward to freshman year of college, when I’ll have figured out my relationship, be on my own, and finally be out of here.



Rain and Love Poetry

Rainy spring days turn me into a pile of mush. Maybe it’s  the fact that the inch thick layer of pollen that coated everything is finally being washed away.

There’s just something about the rain. The white noise drowns out everything else, and the way the world looks after the rain…it’s just stunning. Especially in the spring. Everything’s colors pop out, the grass comes in lush, and fungi pop up everywhere. The tree closest to my window was covered in white blossoms a few weeks ago, and is now mostly lemon green. The blueberry bushes look like they’ve grown pink popcorn, and the bright, freckled trumpets of azalea have emerged. The jessamine has taken over the fence; a bird has built another nest there. The oak has awakened from his winter sleep, and the banana tree that my father cut down has risen from the ashes. The rain makes everything look like you’re seeing it on an HD TV. The contrast and saturation have been turned up.

Everything is changing! There is decay and growth beneath my feet. My tiny windowsill herb garden in sprouting: chives, basil, dill, and parsley. The weather switches back and forth, hot to cold, sunny to rainy. I love seeing the earth transform around me.

Today I snatched up a volume of love poetry from the discarded pile at the library. The cover shows a man with wings moving in on a mostly naked woman. She stares into the distance, unaffected by his advances.

The first poem I found in it that I loved was “To Helen” by Edgar Allen Poe.

“Helen, thy beauty is to me
   Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
   The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
   To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam,
   Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
   To the glory that was Greece,
   And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
   How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
   Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
   Are Holy-Land!”

Every English teacher I’ve ever had ruined poetry for me. But sometimes, it really hits me.