Tag Archives: Growing up

Kat’s Misadventures: Kitty Crisis

Standard

I would like to start off this post with a little apology. I decided to take a week (I guess technically two weeks) off from blogging to adjust to life back at home. I thought I was going to be struggling to find a job, but I ended up finding one my first day back at home. So for the past few weeks, my life has consisted of cleaning through my stuff, working the closing shift at a restaurant/cafe, and playing video games. I also began a writing project, and I’m very proud of myself for powering through this first draft. I’m really enjoying myself.

Apologies aside, now I need to overcome my own laziness and make sure I blog at least once a week. Summer seems to kill my productivity for some reason. My next Japanese adventure is coming up soon, so I’ll be getting a ton of new material as I prepare for it. But before I get there, I wanted to write an anecdote related to how it feels to have finally graduated from undergrad.

I think the pinnacle of my “adulting career” was Thanksgiving break of my junior year. One of my professors had asked me to cat-sit for a few days while he and his wife visited children and grandchild. I thought to myself, “If I can babysit, I can cat-sit.” All I needed to do was feed the cat twice a day, let her outside to do her business, and collect the mail. My reward was a healthy stipend, full use of my professor’s beautiful kitchen, and a private place to stay and work on my homework over the break. For a college student not going home for Thanksgiving for the first time, it sounded like a great deal.

After a single night there, I had successfully kept the ancient tabby alive, cooked myself curry and rice, and watched an entire season of one of my Netflix shows. Yes, I thought. This is adult life at its finest. I’m sooo good at this. My years of babysitting experience had taught me a few important rules, the most important of which is this: Don’t watch Batman vs. Dracula by yourself. You will force yourself to believe that vampires are coming to get you.

However, despite my expertise, Fate wouldn’t allow me a few short days of peace.

I didn’t leave my comfortable guest room the afternoon of my second day of cat sitting. I began the strenuous task of mentally preparing to begin an essay about the role of bushido in samurai culture. I watched anime and occasionally thought about my essay. Around 7:00 PM, I decided I was rather hungry, so I climbed upstairs to feed the kitty as well as myself. That’s when I noticed that the door to the music room was open. Huh? I thought. Now that’s peculiar. So I went to close it, but that wasn’t the only door that was open.

The door leading to the garage was open as well. …and so was the garage.

Like any level-headed adult, I calmly proceeded to select a knife from the kitchen, grab the cat, and lock myself in the basement while sobbing like a baby. Oddly enough, I was more worried about a thief than a murderer at this point; I couldn’t afford to replace anything!! After calling every person I knew in my tiny college town, I finally sobbed my last will and testament to a friend over the phone. She convinced me to do a walk through in the house, purple knife in hand, and shut all of the doors that were open. (Why didn’t I do that in the first place?) However at this point, I noticed that several of the lights in the house were now on…and I didn’t remember turning them on…so I locked myself in the basement again and contemplated calling the police.

An hour passed. I still wasn’t dead. But I still hadn’t let the cat out for the evening. Finally, the ancient cat’s whining won me over, and I let her outside…

…for a few seconds before I started to freak out because you know as well as I know that that shadow I saw moving out of the corner of my eye was actually a serial killer rapist vampire human trafficker/catnapper. I grabbed that cat and ran to the basement yet again.

Finally, the youth director from a church I had visited a few times called me back and told me that he would send the ex-choir director of said church to come and check up on me. Fifteen minutes later, an elderly man hobbled up the front steps of the porch to see me, still sobbing but no longer holding my knife. He walked through the house, watched me let the cat outside to do her business, and gave me the pep-talk of the century. Now, I’m fairly certain that most of that pep-talk was sarcastically sympathetic.

I slept with my purple knife underneath my pillow that night and didn’t write a single word of my paper until two days before it was due.

It was at that point in my life that I decided I would never live alone. Ever. Now you’re probably thinking, “That’s a fun story, but what’s the point? How does this relate to graduating?” I’m getting there, dear reader. Hold your horses. A year and a half later, I’m still known as the girl that fabricated a ghost murderer thief. In fact, I see that ex-choir director at least once a year, and every time, he comes up, places a hand on my shoulder, and smiles at me and then he turns to the person I’m talking to and says something along the lines of, “Let me tell you what this girl did Thanksgiving weekend two years ago…”

But looking back, that year I had overcome a lot. I was working close to 20 or 30 hours a week to help pay off my own schooling. I had a ton of leadership positions in many of my groups on campus. I was taking some of my hardest classes ever (I’m looking at you Critical Theory and Advanced Comp!!!!), and I was surviving in them. On top of all that, I had managed to finish acting in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream…and if there are any theatre kids out there, you know that theatre consumes your life. I learned a couple of arias from Handel’s Messiah. I lived 14 hours away from my family.

I bet you that everyone in town talks about how incapable I am at cat-sitting (in fact, I was not invited back…probably for obvious reasons). But being an adult isn’t about having your life together or always knowing how to handle a situation. It isn’t about graduating or not graduating. It isn’t about having a family or staying single and traveling the world. Frankly, I still don’t know what it’s about. I’m technically an adult in the eyes of the law. I sob in my choir professor’s office because Benjamin Britten stresses me out. I consume my weight in cookie dough ice cream every week. I work hard from 8AM to 12:00AM so I can reward myself with two hours of video games, and six hours of sleep. I do just about anything for a free meal. Sometimes, I’m in a hurry, so I use my purse as a to-go container for sweet potato fries.

But I’m also a planner. I spend hours thinking of routes for travel and making packing lists. I run errands to the grocery store and bank. I cook dinner for my family or sometimes for my friends. I earn my own money. I take care of my cats. I go on adventures. I stay home and read.

But no matter what I do, I grow. I’m not the same frightened child watching Batman vs. Dracula and sobbing into a couch cushion. I’m not the same paranoid teen skulking through a professor’s house with a knife. I’m not even the same person I was yesterday, and yesterday, I wasn’t anything particularly grand. I was just a tired cashier-in-training who screwed up at least two orders.

Graduating doesn’t change what kind of person I am. It helps me grow little by little. I’m not where I want to be in life yet. Things like my “kitty crisis” (look at me name dropping the title) keep me grounded and remind me that I’ve come a long way, and I still have a long way to go.

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-56-5427048F46F3BDAB243D751180204FC0

Z is for Zilver

Standard

z

It’s April, and that means it’s time for the A to Z challenge. I really must be a glutton for punishment; April is my last month of college, and I’m still an amateur blogger, but I must say, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m going to be writing short little blurbs about some retired characters from my DISTANT past up until recently; all of them are failed concepts. Part of me is hoping that writing about these characters will inspire me…perhaps to write more during the summer when school is out.

This is my very last post for this challenge, and I must say…I’M BEYOND RELIEVED. Well…first, I’m proud of myself. I kept up with this challenge. I never posted something late, and I came up with a lot of nice ideas. (I’m going to have a busy summer, and I think I’m going to have plenty of personal projects to keep me busy.) I hope I inspired a few others as well. After I finish finals, I’m going to have time to go through and actually look at blogs besides my own. (To be honest, I’m sick of looking at my own words!) I may try to post more than once a week now, but we’ll see. I have a lot of adventures ahead of me.

Warning: this post will contain a lot of pictures.

zilver_a__hawk_by_heronaria-d3k7jfu

(2011)

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Zilver. Yes Zilver. I had wanted her name to be Silver, but one day my finger slipped and mixed up a few letters, and Zilver stuck. It was different and interesting to say the least. She started out as everything I wanted to be. She was loud and brave and interesting. She didn’t fight with her friends. She got to go on adventures. She was smart and talented…definitely not athletic, but I’m sure you get the picture. She had her flaws of course. She was helplessly clumsy. She was also very naive, and she still thought the world was a good place. Outside of her circle of friends, she had a difficult time connecting.

 

 

jqn7pdg

Zilver and Finn, drawn by lilmissprine (2016)

She fell in love with a young knight named Finn. He thought she was genuine and real, and that made her feel really good about herself.

nice_catch__you_troll_by_heronaria-d5pc13i

Zilver and Jordahn, colored by lilmissprine (2012)

But for a little while, she was in love with a troll named Jordahn. Yes. Jordahn…there’s a little emphasis on the “ahn.” But that story never really got completed. It just sort of ended. Zilver ended up marrying Finn, and they had twins named Benji and Angela. (More fraternal twins!) And of course Zilver went on all sorts of adventures that were just lovely and great. She found her long-lost twin brother. She got captured by some bad people. She rescued a few friends.

Are you tired of this post yet? I am. Zilver is my greatest enemy, the monster I probably should I have never created. She started out as a way to express myself when I was a teenager. Things were unstable at home. I switched schools a lot. My internet life was really the only thing that kept me rooted, and roleplaying/writing was really the only way I could feel good about myself. I wanted to have an exciting, confident, endearingly lovable personality like Zilver. But I couldn’t. I tried time and time again to “be like Zilver.” Why could I be a confident person online but not in real life? So I wrote about her instead. At least I could pretend.

And you know what happened? I got sick of her. I tried to salvage her several times after about four years, to make her less…annoying, but I couldn’t do it. I never really had the will to use her much after I got out of high school, and do you know why that happened? I think I became a better person. I’m quite happy with who I am now. I’m awkward. I’m a little bit quirky. I go on adventures. Sure, there isn’t a boy, but does there need to be one? In a way, I surpassed every expectation I ever had for Zilver.

As a result, Zilver ended up becoming an embodiment of all the things I disliked about myself; I projected all of my self-esteem issues onto her. She moped around. She didn’t see her strength. She lost her humor and intelligence. Basically, she was a caricature of my inner-demons. So I stopped using her. There’s a part of me that wants to love her still. Zilver Hawk will always be my username for most forums. She’s part of my identity, but my original character just isn’t me anymore. And I’m happy with that.

zilvermug2

(2012)

I still use her in the occasional roleplay…usually for nostalgia’s sake. I hope someday I’ll be able to revisit her, but today is not that day. I suppose until then, she’ll just be a pleasant memory.

 

zilver_arestella

Zilver, drawn by Astrid Johannson (my bff) (2009)

K is for Kitrin

Standard

k

It’s April, and that means it’s time for the A to Z challenge. I really must be a glutton for punishment; April is my last month of college, and I’m still an amateur blogger, but I must say, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m going to be writing short little blurbs about some retired characters from my DISTANT past up until recently; all of them are failed concepts. Part of me is hoping that writing about these characters will inspire me…perhaps to write more during the summer when school is out.

We’re going back. Way back. Forever back. To the beginning. A dark beginning. Thankfully it’s further back than my angsty early teenage years. (For now.)

I don’t remember how old I was when I started writing. If I had to hazard a guess…I’d say I was about 7 or 8. But I do remember what that first burst of inspiration was like. Believe it or not, I was at an Applebee’s with my family. Suddenly, I was struck with an arrow of brilliance, and BOOM. I jotted down the first few paragraphs of my first novel (that I would never finish) onto a napkin. Yes. Today, we’re going to talk about my very first original character, and I’m going to approach the topic a little bit differently.

13015413_1196418203709130_1003767246990396676_n

Kitrin Silverspelle. I’m not going to lie. She was basically a self-insert. I wasn’t even creative enough to give her a name too different from my own, but we all have to have our starting places, right? (Katheryn…Kitrin. Clearly I was trying to use my special brand of subtleties.) But I’ll cut myself some slack. I was a little girl, a pudgy little girl with boring, pin straight hair, thick glasses, and a clumsy, unathletic nature. I made good grades, but what did that matter to a small child? Kitrin was beautiful and powerful and everything I wanted to be and couldn’t be. Looking back, writing was a way to escape reality in my own little world where I could be an elven messenger cavorting with princes and knights.

I actually don’t remember much about Kitrin’s character. If I was a more motivated person, I’d read through the manuscript I have (but I just read 90 pages of All the Pretty Horses, so perhaps you’ll forgive me for being lazy). But I remember immersing myself in Kitrin’s world. She became my life. I was obsessed with every detail, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so thorough with my writing before. It’s ironic. I’ve grown up and managed to complicate things.

Is Kitrin a perfect character? No. She’s mostly a vague concept, but it might do me some good to return to her. My writing has been lacking the same passion that little Kat had when she was building worlds, writing languages, scribbling notes on the back of Applebee’s napkins…

Originally, I had another post drafted, but I found all of my old manuscripts and decided I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to display my brilliant concept art.

12987024_1196418453709105_6433915548260831058_n

 

 

A Personal Writing Update

Standard

0d31a-insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadge

March was a pretty good month for writing. That isn’t really saying much considering the fact that I spend very little time writing for pleasure. I wanted to take the time to actually brag about myself for once in my life. I rarely do that, and I always feel a little bit better after I look at my successes instead of my failures.

I started a creative writing group on my campus. We’ve had three meetings so far, and I know that means very little to me since I’m a senior, and this is my last semester, but I’m hoping this lasts for a little while. At least right now, it means that I have an hour out of my week where I can write. That’s an hour more than before! Who knows? Maybe one of the people at my meetings will decide to continue it?

I’ve consistently received good grades on my poetry in my class. Right now, I think what I need is different feedback. Instead of hearing from only my professor, I think I’d benefit from hearing from a number of different opinions rather than just one. When we do group discussion, my peers often have vastly different opinions and hearing a variety critiques is great. I may look into finding more readers…quite possibly starting with my mom. (Lame. I know. But my mom is actually a GREAT resource. So I’m going to use her.)

I’ve kept up with my blog. Now that doesn’t mean much, but I took up the A to Z challenge, and so far I’ve kept up with it. I tend to fall behind, but so far I’ve kept up everything. I’m going to give myself a pat on the back.

Now…in addition to my bragging, I’ve been digging through some older stuff (from…quite possibly elementary school to junior high–I never throw anything away). It was humbling to see all my older work, but it was also horrifying. I suppose as a little bit of a silly post, I wanted to post some of my original work from when I was…eight or so. Maybe how dreadful some of it is might encourage a few of my #IWSG readers? Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying every bit of it. Typos and all. It makes me happy to know that I’ve always loved to write.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

From “The Return of Arther” – Intotra (2003)
Once upon a time in the land of Excalaber lived a brother and sister. They were both about 11 years old. They looked so alike that they could be twins except for the birth mark on the girls neck that was in the shape of a heart. The girls name was Cara and the boys name was Mark. One day they were sleeping in their house when they woke up with a start for they had heard a loud scream from a dragon. Dragons were usually peaceful unless you messed with them. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

From “Revolution” (2008)
“Master Vaughn!” muttered Derek after he finally managed to gather the nerves to speak. He bowed quickly and stood at attention. “I apologize, sir. I didn’t hear you come in.”

“I’ve been here for quite some time now.” The Master arose from his chair and set his glass down on the table. “You seem quite enammered with my niece.” 

Derek couldn’t reply. He swallowed hard. Beads of sweat began to form on his forehead and his hands began to shake.

His master strode slowly up to the fireplace and took the picture off of the mantle. His smile softened as he gazed at the young girl sitting on a bench in a garden surrounded by blossoming flowers. “It really is a lovely picture, don’t you agree, Mr. Splendor?”

Derek nodded. “Y-yes, Sir.”

His master ventured a question further. “You wish to court her, do you not?”

The young man didn’t reply. His eyes widened and his breath quickened. Once again, the rebellious strands of hair fell over his right eye.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

From “Rain and Fire: A Romantic Tragedy Part 1: Lovesick Villain Fugue” (2008)
Claves: He sounded cute. Could I meet him some time?
Ocarina: No you cannot!
Claves: Why not?
Ocarina: He’s kind of…well…(looks down)
Falsetto: Spit it out!
Ocarina: He’s our mortal enemy
Falsetto: (angrily) You’re in love with the enemy
Jazz: You didn’t know?
Falsetto: And you did?
Jazz: Yes. Where do you think Ocarina’s been getting her information.
Claves: So there’s no romance.
Ocarina: Actually………..(looks down again)

 

Regressing & Progressing

Standard

Last week was a tough week for many reasons. Nothing exceptionally awful happened, but I could tell that I was losing my drive. My grades were a little lower. I interacted with fewer people. I stayed up later putting off work I didn’t want to do. I also skipped out on my weekly blog post and neglected my daily Bible reading. (I’m trying to do a “read the Bible in a year challenge.”) I spent the weekend telling myself, “You’ll get back on track. You can do it. Just push through it.”

But I didn’t push, and I’m glad I didn’t. I spent my weekend locked in my room watching some Law and Order SVU on Netflix and cleaning out my cluttered desk. I did some laundry and gave myself a facial. I ate a pint of cookie dough ice cream. I doodled. And you know what? By time I woke up on Monday, I felt a lot better about everything. I honestly can’t remember what it was that put me in that Mood. (I think everyone has experienced that  Mood at least once.)

For this week’s post, I decided to remind myself of the progress I’m making on the little things in life. I’m worn out from writing, so I decided to ease back into blogging with something simple.

Six Years Ago…

  • I had moved to Arkansas and started school at a high school I absolutely hated.
  • I auditioned for All-State for the first time and made the women’s chorus.
  • I quit piano and started taking voice lessons.
  • I never once went out with any of my friends.
  • I went on my first date ever.
  • I became an active member and then a moderator of a group of gaming/roleplaying/writing forums.
  • I went to Washington D.C. for the first time.

This Year…

  • I’m pushing through my last semester at a college I love (in Arkansas); if everything works out, I’ll graduate with highest honors.
  • This semester alone, I’m singing solos at 3 separate concerts. I’ll also be performing Brahms’s Requiem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and several other college choirs this weekend.
  • In addition to voice lessons, I’ve started playing my flute again and continue to be an active member in theatre.
  • I may not socialize a lot, but I’m a leader in several different student organizations including my sorority, the English honor society (Sigma Tau Delta), and the student ambassadors.
  • I’ve decided that I’m content being single; and I’m going to wait on the dating until I’m comfortable with myself.
  • The forums I used to moderate revived with many of the old members. Reuniting with internet friends was a huge plus to my year.
  • This past school year I’ve traveled to Japan, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. I’ll be returning to Washington D.C. this April to present my research paper “I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me: A New Historicist Approach to 1925” at the Alpha Chi National Convention.

When I look at where I’ve been, it’s easier to see how far I’ve come. What about you guys? Do you ever feel as though you’re going nowhere fast?

Meet the Wanderer: Chapter 2

Standard

Discovering Yourself as a Writer

If you missed my first chapter in this series, feel free to check it out HERE. My goal in introducing these chapters is to give my readers a better idea of who I am behind the wall of text. I could be a robot pounding out posts, but I’m actually just an overly caffeinated young adult with too much to say and not enough time to say it.

This month’s topic?

HAPPINESS: What is your own secret for happiness? If you had to sum up your ideas, what one word would you use to describe how to be truly happy.

Believe it or not, I struggle a lot with “being happy.” In the real world, I feel as if I spend my life pretending to be a-okay. I smile because I’ve heard that smiling makes it easier to feel actual happiness. I laugh because I’m nervous or uncomfortable. I joke. I giggle. I act. But none of it feels real at the end of the day. In fact, it’s tiring. Being “happy” all the time drained me, so I gave up and embraced my other feelings.

To be happy, you actually don’t have to be happy all the time. Crazy, right? Once I realized this, I felt a lot better about myself. Having a bad day? Rant about it. Cry about it. Get it out of your system. Suddenly it’s gone. Worried about something? Worry about it. Finish worrying. Move on. Perhaps it isn’t that simple for everyone, but I realized that once I stopped trying to ignore the rest of my feelings, I felt a lot better about myself. My friends and family finally got to see the real me.

But that doesn’t mean one should embrace these feelings all the time. In Japan, I got lost a lot. Sometimes I got lost alone. Sometimes I got lost with a group. Usually, when I got lost with a group, at least one person got REALLY upset. One time, my friend and I spent an hour looking for a cat cafe in Akita City. (We wanted to spend our afternoon petting cats and eating silly little desserts.) My friend got incredibly upset, especially after we had to ask for help. We found the cafe about 45 minutes after it had closed. She apologized over and over and over, but honestly, it was fine. I could get frustrated, but how did getting lost actually hurt us?

As I see it, we saw a lot of the city. We found the cafe so we could go to it next time. We spent the afternoon with each other. Maybe we wasted a little bit of money traveling into the city, but is it really worth spending my afternoon angry over a couple of dollars or yen?

I’ve found myself asking “Is it worth it?” a lot recently. Surprisingly, that mindset has helped me keep my emotions in check, especially during particularly stressful semesters. Since my prompter seems to like one word summaries, I’ll leave my readers with this:

Think. If you’re miserable or frustrated or confused or just struggling to be happy, think things through. You don’t have to do it alone. You could perhaps think out loud with a friend, but don’t dwell on it. I promise you’ll be a lot happier.

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-56-5427048F46F3BDAB243D751180204FC0

Hobo Sweaters, Little Black Dresses, and Unicorns

Standard

In case you’re confused as to why I’m writing myself little encouraging vignettes, you can check out yesterday’s post HERE.

I have impeccable style. How would I describe my wardrobe? Vintage bohemian crazy hippie cat lady hobo professional chic. I wear fringe, unicorns, patches, flannel, bright lipstick, crooked eyeliner, sparkles, baggy sweaters, high heels, wool socks, mosaic skirts, little black dresses, super flare jeans, and Hello Kitty. Sometimes I roll out of bed in the morning, throw on a pair of yoga pants, and crawl to class. Sometimes I spend thirty minutes trying on clothes and throwing them into my dreaded pile of yet-to-be-done laundry.

I have never been particularly comfortable with my appearance. Even after I reached my “ideal weight,” I worried about my glasses, my makeup, my hair, my sophistication and flirtiness (however that’s supposed to work), etc. The other day a friend told me I was her “fashion icon,” that somehow my unicorn sweater and unicorn high-tops were praiseworthy. You know what? They are.

I’m a fabulous crazy cat lady hippie.

12509056_1127254430625508_5181731406027033189_n