Category Archives: Nostalgia

Home Sweet H-…where am I again?

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We’ve established that I have a terrible sense of direction, right? Right. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have this blog. Well…I might, but it would probably be named something entirely different, and I’m sure I would have run out of stories to talk about a long time ago. But for the first time in a long time, I’ve decided to talk about an actual “lost” story. Sit back and relax. Feel free to skim over the angsty quote from my poetry, but it seemed appropriate.

“I am terror, the dripping cold sweat down the back of your neck;
you imagine the worst, and you should. Can’t turn back. Not now. Ring
the doom-ridden device once more. I’m there. Still waiting for you
and your cumbersome smile that hides that unspeakable thing.”
-from “Home(less)” an original poem

A little known fact about myself: I didn’t get my driver’s license until the day I left for college. I had planned to get it earlier that week, but I erm…well failed that test which was deceptively easy. The driving instructor pitied my existence after I failed it the first time, so she let me retake it after a few days (even though I think I was supposed to wait a month), and I passed it the morning I left for college. My first road trip involved weaving through the construction outside of Little Rock and my father yelling at me, saying that driving under the speed limit was not acceptable. I lasted about an hour before I lost all feeling in my hands from gripping the steering wheel.

That was part of the reason I traveled home infrequently. I. Hated. Driving. My first semester away at college, I think I visited home a handful of times. I returned for holidays, of course, but I never wanted to drive back for the weekends. I wanted to hide in my room, sleep for 16 hours straight, and “catch up on homework.” (Note: I’m fairly certain I never caught up. I might still be behind.) But I remember traveling home for the first time, not very well, but the memory’s up there in my noggin. I wanted to go see my friends at a football game at my old high school.

My old high school terrified me at the time; actually, it still terrifies me. I returned there recently, and I was too scared to go to the bathroom because the little high school Kat in my head was saying, “Just hold it. You don’t wanna’ sign for detention. It’s not worth it.” (Note: If we wanted to use the restroom at my high school, we had to sign for detention.) But it was just a football game. My father drove me to that school five days a week for two years. I figured I could get there without much trouble. Eight minutes of driving. Right?

Wrong. I left with thirty “just in case” minutes to spare, and I was still half an hour late. I must have taken a wrong turn in Albuquerque or something, but I ended up in quite possibly the scariest neighborhood I had ever seen. As my car slid past a few beat up houses, people came out to stare at me. I finally turned into a gas station, activated my GPS, and let it do the navigating for me, but I’m still ashamed of that moment. How in the world could I get lost in my hometown, a place I had lived for a few years?

Maybe I’m unobservant (or selectively observant). Maybe I could blame my bad sense of direction. Maybe it’s because I was seeing my hometown through the eyes of a driver for the first time. Or maybe it’s not home.

My family doesn’t live there anymore, and I doubt we’ll ever return. I left behind a few good friends, but after I graduate from college, part of me doubts I’ll ever live in Arkansas again. (I’ll probably regret writing this statement sooner or later.) It’s weird how a home can feel as though it isn’t one. My dorm room (even though it changes every year) has almost always felt like a home to me.

It’s weird thinking that in a few months, I’ll technically be homeless. But here’s to hoping that I’ll find a new one, a better one.

Anyone else ever feel lost when you’re at home?

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A (Not So) Subtle Change

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No. You’re not going blind. I had some free time today and decided to work on the layout of my blog. I didn’t like how my previous theme had a hidden sidebar. You’ll notice that I’ve attached my Goodreads account as well as a brand new Twitter! (You’ll have to be patient with me. I haven’t used Twitter since…the beginning of high school really.) If you’d like to follow me, I’ll be sure to post updates as often as I can!

As I mentioned last week, I had to go on hiatus because it’s that time of year for sororities. Yes. Recruitment. (As a result, this post will probably be a bit shorter than my others.) It’s a magically frustrating week full of long nights, crafting, and tears for everyone involved. Imagine a piece of coal turning into a diamond. That’s exactly what it feels like by time you get out of it.

You’ve probably never heard of my sorority. I’m a Chi O. No. Not Chi Omega. That’s a national sorority. Chi Omicron. We’re a local sorority, the only group of Chi Omicrons in the world. (At least I like to think so.) We’ll be celebrating our 5th birthday this year, something I’m in charge of planning. Our colors are black, white and robin’s egg blue. Our symbols include the lily, moonstone, and jackalope. (Yes. The jackalope.) And our motto is: Altruism, Diversity, and Fortitude. 

I want to say that joining Chi O changed my life, but I can’t say for certain what my life would have been like if I had never joined a sorority at all. Chi O didn’t pull me out of a gutter, clean me up, and teach me how to be altruistic. I’m confident that I could have been a strong, independent woman without ever joining a sorority at all. In fact, I’ve always been that way. I like to do things on my own. I like to be alone. In fact, I’m alone right now, taking the day off from people and noise and life. I’m perfectly content with my pile of homework, Law and Order: SVU, and blog.

But joining Chi O did teach me that I’m much stronger when I’m not alone, that it’s all right to ask for help. I remember one day in 2013 when I trudged into my sorority’s apartment for some reason. I was hardly ever in there as it was. I spent my free time buried in my books. (I still do that.) I do remember that I was in a terrible mood. It had been a long day with one thing right after the other, and finally, everything had worn me down. I sat on the apartment’s sofa and sobbed. Two of the girls living on the bottom floor, Ariel and Konnie, heard me. I don’t think they even asked what was wrong. But Konnie brought me medicine for my headache, and Ariel spent the next ten minutes darting to and from her room bringing me things from her “stash” of feel-better items. I left with tea, an apple, a candle…

I don’t like people to see me cry, but I know I can cry around my sisters. They don’t ask what’s wrong because they know I don’t like to talk about it. They don’t judge me for crying because I’ve seen them cry too. They know that I’m a finicky perfectionist control freak. They know I spend my Saturday nights studying instead of partying. They also know that I’m a terrible crafter and an awkward orator. But they keep me around anyway.

Through all the catastrophes, shenanigans, apartment messes, tears, and laughter, it’s been a pretty great ride. I’ve realized my flaws in these past few years, and my sisters have taught me that those flaws don’t have to be flaws. And for that, I’m eternally grateful. ~XO

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