pieces of home

Monday, May 6, 2019

They always say in the stories that home can be a person.
I was fifteen when I finally understood what that meant.

April and May are months that feel like sunlight and smell like change.
Brushes my lips as I step out into the breeze, a taste as familiar to me as my own skin.
It makes its way down my throat and through my veins,
flowers blooming and the setting sun.

How can warmth be so cold?

It dances through,
whisking me, the unwilling participant, into its waltz.
Shifting seasons, shifting tides
In and out
In and out
One, two, three
One, two, three

I look change straight into its freckled face
mischievous elven eyes that sparkle like a child's.
A question hangs on my lips that I never know how to ask.

When Taylor Swift said that your eyes looked like coming home, I don't think that this is what she meant.
But it's where I am, and they do.
So many people, making up the jigsaw puzzle that I call home.
And as I drive into the fading light, I can see the pieces slowly moving apart
and I know that this next year will only bring more of the elven child called change
as home gets a little more spread out.

The left corner piece will be crossing an ocean
one from the right hand middle headed to the shore.
The pieces closest to my heart are still unknown
but I know they're going.

When people are home, I guess you become a nomad
as home is scattered to a thousand different places.
But maybe home is home
even if the puzzle isn't the one that you put together in your childhood
and couldn't bear to break apart and put back in the box.

I take the box now
emptier than it was
and set it on the top shelf of my closet with the notebooks and albums and scraps of old paper.
I can't close the closet door.
I leave it open
just a crack.

Waltzing has always made me dizzy
but I lace up my dancing shoes anyways.

Maybe it isn't so bad, being a nomad.
Scattered pieces are still pieces,
and now I'll find a piece wherever I go.
So I tuck one in the pocket
of my old ripped jeans
always ready to snap into place
with whichever piece I land on.

the most perfect day

Monday, April 29, 2019

Photo creds to the incredible Katie. Obsessed with her. ♥

So this happened. 

I can't quite pinpoint when exactly I first crossed paths with AbbieKate, and Mary Shelley. It had to have been sometime in 2015. I remember reading their blogs, and thinking that they seemed like ridiculously cool people, but not thinking much past that. It was spring of '16 when we really started talking, in a group chat of seven girls formed over, of all things, a breakfast food war. May 26th will mark three years of that group chat still going strong, and it has been one of the biggest blessings in a thousand different ways. 

As with most internet friendships, it wasn't long before we were dreaming of meeting up in person instead of just communicating through a screen. I can still remember being sprawled across the living room floor one sweet summer afternoon, sunshine bursting through the windows as we messaged back and forth, wondering how we could make it work. All seven of us, finally in one place. It was the most exciting dream, but despite our best efforts, that dream never quite made it to fruition.

Mary Shelley and I, however, realized quickly enough that, despite the vastness of the internet, we actually weren't too far away from each other. I still remember the moment that fell into place, and we started connecting the dots of mutual friends and shared experiences. April of '17 everything lined up, and a dream became a reality. Mary Shelley actually got to come see a show that I was in, and we finally became in-person friends, too. We've been able to go on lots of coffee dates since, and to this day she's one of my dearest friends with such a big piece of my heart. (peep the post that I wrote the summer after we first met.)

The first time that Abbie messaged me about actually trying to meet up, I'm pretty sure that I screamed. I was sitting in the floor at my grandparents' lake house, leaned up against the wrought iron bed in my room there. We tried a couple of times after that first message to make it work, but we were never able to sort out the logistics - we got so close, but the timing never worked out.

And then suddenly, this past winter, it all seemed to fall into place. Months became weeks, weeks became days, and before I knew it, I was power walking to a coffee shop where I knew that the Emmons sisters were waiting. I walked in, scanning the room before finally landing on their table. I ran over, and everything after that was pure bliss. We couldn't stop talking about how surreal it was, to go from seeing each other in Instagram stories and Youtube videos to sitting across the table from each other and talking about everything under the sun, laughing and taking pictures with pretty books.

The next day, once Mary Shelley was out of class and I got off of work, the four of us got together for dinner, and the whole world felt right. We wandered around the park, taking pictures to document the fact that we'd managed to get the four of us all in the same place at the same time, and then we went for pizza - we're all on team pineapple.

It was the absolute most soul-filling two days. It's hard to describe going from internet friends to in-person friends. It's the most surreal feeling, yet at the same time the most natural thing in the world, because you already know each other so well. We've gone through a lot together over the past three years, and I think that that's one of the most special things about the internet - you create bonds with people solely over who you are. You can't really be superficial about it, because you're simply connecting with another person. There's a level of honesty that comes from talking through a screen, and it leads to some of the most beautiful friendships.

These girls are so passionate, so driven, and just so completely lovely. They are some of the most inspiring people that I've ever known, with the biggest, most beautiful hearts. If the world was filled with more people like these three, we all would be a lot better off. Getting to spend time talking with them about their plans and projects and dreams is so beyond incredible. I am a firm believer that there is nothing better than spending time with people who are passionate about the same things that you are. These girls are so. ridiculously. talented. and getting to hear about all of the things that they're dreaming up was the highlight of my month. I cannot wait to see all that they do.

I could not be more grateful to have these three ladies in my life, to be able to talk with them and create alongside them and to be a part of their lives. Knowing them for the past three years has been the ultimate blessing, and the wait just made finally getting to hug them all the more special. As much as I've always wanted to meet them, the timing really did feel perfect. I am absolutely certain that it won't be the last time, but until then we'll keep rocking the long distance game, with lots of letters and packages, internet screaming and a heck of a lot of DM's. These girls have rocked my world in the best way possible, and if you have yet to be exposed to their incredible souls, you have no idea how much you have been missing out. Be sure that you follow them, because they are going to change the world.

If you remember my First Impressions Project, stay tuned for those coming soon. Writing them up was so much fun, and I can't wait for you to get a glimpse into the hearts of these girls. ♥

The most special of days, and the fullest of hearts. Gratitude upon gratitude that out of the millions upon millions of people to cross paths with on the internet, God gave me them. ♥

College, The Creative World, and Everything In Between

Friday, February 15, 2019

Some scrambled thoughts from late January on school, life, and everything in between, only now being posted because I'm apparently the queen of overthinking every word that I write. /////

Semester two of college has officially started up, and the plates are spinning once more. After coming back from almost a month void of the typical routine, I feel like I'm finally settling back in to the daily grind of classes and rehearsals, of working and prepping and planning and studying. 2018 came to a close, and we're diving into 2019, hoping for the best but preparing for whatever may come.

I've been kind of quiet on here for a while, for a variety of reasons. I would say that it's writer's block, but it's not that - I've journaled more regularly in the past two months than I have in recent memory. (I've only missed three or four days, and I am so freaking proud of that you don't even know.) I'd say creative block, but it's not really that, either. No, it's been more of a perfectionism block than anything, of hours spent overanalyzing everything that I type onto these drafts. It's one thing to write when it's just for yourself, it's another when you know that quite literally anyone could land on your words. I've never been one to filter much of what I put here on the blog; that's what I've loved about it. But that little nagging whisper of worry has been a lot stronger lately, and it's been winning the battle more often than not.

But here I am, typing again and ready to jump back into this space that I love so much.

Like I said, I'm in my second semester of college, something that I really haven't talked about on here yet. If I had a dollar for how many times I've been asked about college by quite literally everyone that I meet, I'd have enough to pay for four more years of school. Which, I get, college is a new thing, and people want to know how I'm doing. But in all honesty, it's a question that I never really know how to answer, which can add a bit of an anxiety jolt to my everyday interactions at times.

It's not that college has gone badly. I made it out of fall semester with A's in all of my classes, wrapping up my first semester with a neat little bow. But quite frankly, a little bit of weight lifted from my shoulders pulling out of school on December 5th. While it didn't go badly, fall semester was...rough. A combination of rough classes, an excess of busyness, a startling amount of alone time, and the overall change of saying goodbye to high school and hello to college made for a strange couple of months.

I'm only three weeks in to second semester, but it's definitely been easier already. Spring semester is famous for being insanely busy, but I'm doing better for sure. My classes this semester are a better fit for me, and I don't have the rough professors that I did last time around.  (A major lifesaver right there. I had one of the worst professors that I've ever had last semester, and it was a thoroughly miserable experience.) It's definitely had its ups and downs, but the Lord has been teaching me a thousand things through it all, and I finally feel things beginning to smooth out and settle. Transitions are weird, huh?

My saving grace since starting up college has definitely been theatre. Theatre has always been my safe place, and that's been so true these last few months. I don't know if I ever actually mentioned it here on the blog, but I'm actually working for my old theatre school. I've been given the opportunity to teach dance classes for elementary and middle school students, and to work as a choreographer for a musical this spring. Life in theatre is always crazy with constant rehearsals and chaos, but I would not trade it for the world. It's kept me sane, and I'm so grateful for it. Anyone who tries to say that art has no value in this world can fight me, because over and over again I have been able to say that theatre is the thing that makes my world feel right. I feel more like myself when I'm doing theatre than at any other point, and that's the reason that theatre will always be my home.

The creative world has slowed in some ways, and in others is roaring as strong as ever. Time has been hard to find, which always eases the brakes on a lot of the things that I'd like to pursue. But the ideas are flowing as much as ever, and I have some really exciting projects that I'm ready to jump on. I did in fact do NaNo this past November, and even if I didn't write a full 50K, I really like the story that I started, and I'm ready to finish up the first draft. I'm desperate to get back into the blogging world, and I have a myriad of other projects building up in my brain. I don't know if it's the new year or simply that I'm starving to create something, but I'm ready to hit the ground running as soon as I'm able to find a spare second. After a bit of a drought this fall, I'm finally starting to feel like myself again, and I'm excited start working.

Maybe it's the new year that has me pumped up, and all of the possibilities that come with it. But frankly, I've never been one for getting excited for the new year - I'm always the one wanting to hold on to the old. It was weird saying goodbye to 2018. I don't have any real, concrete plans for 2019, and 2018 was one for the books in every possible way, good, bad, and otherwise. It was a massively memorable year, and jumping from that into an abyss of unknown is a feeling that mildly paralyzed me for a short while. Perhaps all of the change being thrown at me has desensitized me from it all a bit, or maybe I'm just better at accepting that I can't control it all - or maybe I'm just in a really strange headspace while writing this. At this point, anything's possible. Whatever it is, I'm doing everything that I can to unclench my fists and breathe into this new year, leaning towards the optimism of new possibilities as opposed to my visceral hatred for change and all that comes with it.

I'm ready. I'm ready to be back to blogging. I'm ready to keep letting my words out into the internet, even if it yanks the breath from my lungs every time that I hit 'publish'. I'm ready to keep filling the pages of my journal, because as much as I love this blog, nothing will ever be able to replace the feeling of the page. I'm ready to make things, beautiful things and terrible things. I'm ready to take photographs and read books and finish writing books and write more books after that. I'm ready to jump back into writing poetry. I'm ready to fill scrapbooks to the brim with prints and memories and trinkets that I've picked up on the way. I'm ready to keep scribbling in the margins of my Bible, learning as much as I can every time that I open it. I'm ready to start projects and finish projects and just to keep working on things, because few things excite me more. I'm ready to write letters again, because I haven't done that in far too long, and I miss it more than anything.

So here's to what's to come, whatever it may be.


How's life going, friends? Fill me in. I miss you. ♥

all is calm, all is bright

Monday, December 24, 2018

A few weeks ago, it snowed.

For my northern friends reading this, that probably seems like no big deal, but for the south, getting snow the first week in December is generally unheard of. Everyone thought that it wouldn't come, that we'd just get some freezing rain, maybe a flurry or two that would melt as soon as it hit the pavement. But no, we got snow. Inches and inches of it, covering our world in white. It was as magical as it was shocking, and I fell asleep that night with my blinds open, so that whenever I opened my eyes the first thing that I saw would be snowflakes falling from the sky.

That beautiful snow ended up keeping us indoors for three days, and your favorite introvert was thriving. After a hectic semester, nothing could have been more peaceful. We made waffles and ate lots of cookie dough and I knit for the first time all year. And for those three days, there was one single phrase that kept running through my brain over and over.

All is calm, all is bright. 

I think that if I were asked what a perfect world would look like to me, what I crave more than anything else, that sentence is the best way that I could possibly sum it up. All would be calm, and all would be bright. A little less rush and a little more light.

I sat in the kitchen one afternoon, staring out at the freshly white backyard. Though it was still cold enough for everything to be frozen, the sun was shining, and the reflection off the newly fallen snow resulted in the most beautiful light.

All was calm, and all was bright.


Christmas comes faster and faster every year, and suddenly, here we are. The trees have been trimmed, presents are wrapped up with neat little bows under the tree, and children around the world are beginning to bounce off the walls with anticipation. Our Instagram feeds are full of red and green and gold, of ice skates and families gathered round the table and crackling fireplaces.

I've always loved this time of year, and the spark of magic that comes with it. Everything is a little warmer, a little brighter, and a little more exciting. I love the tradition of it all, from the decorations put up in November that have been the same since I was small, to the day spent in my grandmother's kitchen year after year, baking more cookies than one would think could possibly be eaten. I love the anticipation of wrapping up a gift that I know that someone will love. I love the slow mornings of Christmas break, when there's finally nowhere to be but home. I love the evenings spent with my family piled into the living room, watching holiday movies that we know by heart. I love how everyone is a little happier and a little more festive and a little bit kinder.


My prayer for you this Christmas is that all will be calm, and all will be bright. Calm and bright can be kind of hard to find these days. We live in a world of rush and heaviness. If I'm being honest, even with a winter wonderland, I can't remember the last time that all was calm, and as desperately as I wish for it, everything isn't always bright. I know that, and it's always true, but I think that it's a little harder around Christmas. More than anything, there's an added longing for everyone around you to be able to experience that moment of peace. So I pray that, amidst all of the hurt and the ugliness and the hard stuff, you have that moment of calm. No matter how 2018 has treated you, whether it's been the best or the worst or somewhere in between, I pray that something is bright. That even if you don't feel much like celebrating this year, you have a moment to breathe in the grace of our Savior.  

Merry Christmas, friends. I love you so much, and I hope that your day is filled with so much peace and so much joy. ♥
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