Sunday, October 5, 2014

Winter Song

This post will just be a reminder to those whose moods are up and down with oncoming fall and winter. I experience it myself, and so I'm writing this to those who need that reminder every once in a while that things will get better and to just always look on the bright side. 
Lately, things have been really weird. Really lonely. And it doesn't make any sense--I'm with friends all of the time, I've met new, wonderful people that make me feel appreciated again, and my financial situation isn't as terribly stressful as it was before. 

But I haven't been sleeping, sometimes I go days without. Some days I binge eat, and others I can't even look at food. Some days I wake up just knowing it's going to be a great day, and others I wake up and have to force myself to face everything. I'm not sure if this is my reaction to all of the stress I've been attempting to put up with, or just the cold, bitter winter putting a downer on my mood. I'm excited for Halloween and winter break and the new fashion lines coming in. I'm excited to see one of my favorite bands for the third year in a row and (hopefully) the Black Keys in December. I'm really excited to turn 18 in a month. And I'm especially stoked to finally go off to college in California and just live. 

But it's so hard to wait. It's almost painful. Patience is a virtue that should be given more credit by those who have it, because it is just not something I have and I really wish I did. I try so hard to just sit and occupy myself with whatever silly hobbies just until my birthday, or really even just my paycheck. Is it this hard for everyone?

As I'm sure many can relate, all of this confusion and muddle is just something that comes along  with every winter. Sure, it's been more present lately, and has affected my habits in more than one way, but I know things are going to start looking up really soon. Or maybe it'll be like that Doors song: "Well, I've been down so very damned long, that it looks like up to me." Kind of morbid, but hey, if it looks like an up, then treat it like an up and be a little more optimistic. It really can't hurt you at all to do so.

So try to give yourself a break and look on the brighter side. Whether it be a harder drive to work and study or exercise, or maybe to just try and find a little more positivity in your life wherever you can find it, try not to let yourself down. It's important to maintain that balance of neutrality, but even more important to let the more positive side influence your goals and ideals and attitudes. It is this side that leads you to that better place and helps you get through the day. I already know that although I won't be sleeping tonight, I'm going to work really hard and get what I need to get done tomorrow and try to work myself through this negativity I've been experiencing lately. Once you recognize it, you can get through it. 

So I hope this helps a little as a reminder for this upcoming winter. I appreciate the time you have put into reading this, and remember the balance. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dancing to Another Tune (with YCC)

First, I would like to apologize for my lack of maintenance and posts. It's been almost five months--truthfully, I've either been too busy or too lazy. This will most likely be a long post, so get yourself comfortable.

This summer I worked as a crewmember for Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps. And in all of its cliche, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my lifetime. See, YCC was all about bringing strangers together for one cause--bettering the state park and the environment. I learned so much down there and I wish to share these with you.

There were thirteen of us, ages 14-21. We had no cellphones, no laptops or internet, no Netflix. Nothing. Those three weeks were purely spent on working and learning to grow with absolute strangers and become a family. But let me tell you, that first week was god-awful. We were fighting, talking behind each others' backs, spreading lies. The worst part was that we would pretend everything was alright when in reality, we wanted nothing more than to go home. None of us were happy. But after that first week, we laid down all of our grievances, started a clean slate, and had a decent second week. There were still problems, but we made it through. And that last week... I don't believe I've ever grown closer to anyone than I had to those girls. It was the time of my life. Working with them, pouring our lives to each other, clucking in the middle of the night to see if someone else was awake--it was beautiful. It was real. We'd talk about our problems, our past lovers, our hard lives back at home. We'd share embarrassing stories by campfires or scare each other silly. 

I learned a great deal down there. I learned that for one, you should never take your friends and family for granted. Because once you leave them, be it for three weeks or three years, you will spend the longest time telling yourself that you should have done this, you should have been there when that person needed you most, you should have appreciated that person and cared for them while you had the chance. Leaving my friends was hard, leaving my dog was harder, and leaving my family was tough, but nice at the beginning--let's face it, all of us need a break from our families once in a while.

And that was part of the reason why I applied for the job. I wanted to get away, I needed to breathe and get to know myself more and learn more about what I want to spend my future doing--saving the environment. And it was wonderful. Every single day after work I would go sit outside by the old shed and write in my journal for at least one hour--be it songs, four page journal entries, or letters. It helped me cope with being unhappy at first, it was my escape from everyone. I had time for my own thoughts, asking myself why am I here? Where will I go? Am I happy? 

And I was happy. I am happy. When I was left behind on long bike rides I would sometimes just take a minute to stop, look around, breathe in the fresh, clean air, and appreciate all of what this beautiful earth has provided for me and imagine all of the things I look so forward to do to give back. 

Two days before we left, my supervisor and bunkmate asked me to go on a run with them--given the fact that I am no runner and my supervisor was a marathon runner and the other a cross-country runner. One of the girls to whom I grew closest to ran with me. They told us they would go ahead twenty minutes and then come back to run with us back home. Well, three hours and seven miles later, no one in sight, the state park police picked us up and said everyone was looking for my friend and I and that Cassie and Desiree (the girls who asked me to run with them) were already home and had been for two hours. It was confusing and we will never really know what happened that day, but when we arrived home to girls crying, bringing us water, hugging us--I realized these girls were my family and I would do anything for them. And as I sit here typing this, now crying, I wish more than anything to go back and to tell every single one of them how much I adored them and how much I miss them. Because they all taught me one of the greatest lessons of all.

And that's teamwork. I realized then and there that it's not always about me--it's about everyone. We were forced to become close, to lessen the tension at breakfast in the mornings, to lift 200 pound timbers together without breaking someone's foot or hand. But after awhile, we loved it. Our supervisors would have to yell at us because we didn't want to go to sleep; we just wanted to keep talking and keep learning more and more. We loved each other and I know those girls won't forget our times together those three weeks. Because we became a family. Our supervisors were like our older sisters, and it felt that way to them instead of our babysitters. 

It was the time of my life. I'll never forget the looks on all of our faces as we tubed down the river with the sun burning us alive, or the time we went to Cookout and could have clogged all of Foster Falls. How  happy one of them looked when we tried to teach her how to swim, or when I beat them every single time we played Egyptian Rat Screw. We were beautiful and we were infinite, and as much as I longed to go home, I realized that last day that I would never be able to have something like that again. 

So, with this post, I tell you all to go out there and be who you are and learn to love strangers and appreciate and hold the ones you have. We are all interconnected in some way, and once we open ourselves, it is like discovering the caves of our souls and how we are meant to be--how we want to be. Go for your dreams and your life aspirations. You will find happiness and you will discover inner peace. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

P.S. Tiara, Olivia, Gaby, Desiree, Evelina, Kaija, Amena, Sidney, Natassia, Cassie, Mary-Ellen, and Jade... if any of you are reading this, always know that I will always remember you and keep our memories with me forever, and that you all were such a huge part of my life. Thank you so much.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Modern Age

What I  want to discuss is very general, and I can thank my boyfriend for this entry. Sometimes, he and I will be sitting outside in complete silence under the stars (I know, cliche as all get out) and he'll ask me, "Why is life so complex?" or, "There are seven billion people in the world--why does one person and what that person does matter so much?" And when I answer him, he looks at me as if I was the wisest person he had ever met.

There are three different types of people of this generation: those who party, lose themselves under the influence, don't have a care for school or their future; those who waste hours lost in their own minds, constantly over-thinking, yet oversimplifying everything, love tenderly and wastefully, and are open-minded to the point where it feels like there are no wrongs; and then there are a mix of the two. I have noticed this with every person I meet that they absolutely always fall into one of those categories. Of course, though I am contradicting myself, everyone truly is unique, even in the slightest, minutest way. I am just simplifying things.

 When my boyfriend asks me why life is so complex, all I have to say is that it really isn't all so intricate--if we take out all the worries, all the expectations, all the troubles, we have a very simple form left. This form of life is delicate, but sturdier than steel and can take on a beating never seen before. Life is complex, however, because we make it that way. We let our past haunt us and our future peck at us until there's nothing left but bones. Why do we do this? Is it because of what has been drilled into our heads of what a successful and fulfilling life is? Or is it because it's what we secretly like, despite the heartache and pain?

It is questions like these that help me try to understand why our generation is so different. Most of us have survived enticing indoctrination and have learned to think for ourselves--and I thank the good earth for that everyday. Most of us have beaten peer pressure and if we are condemned for our actions, at least we did them not because we wanted to be cool, but because we sincerely wanted to and knew it would help us or make us feel  better (please do not assume I am essentially speaking of drugs and alcohol). I believe this generation has more of a sense of individuality and independence ever seen since the late 60s. The problem is that we are suffocated and that is why life seems so difficult even at such a young age.

Teenagers tend to make decisions based on their situation. I know several that get drunk because they want a relief from all the schoolwork, and I know several that get drunk because they are unhappy. I look at people who smoke weed (and by the way, I do not look down upon anyone who does these things since three fourths of the population does anyways) as, for lack of a better term, afraid of reality. They need an escape. I look at those who smoke tobacco and I think, "These people recognize death and life's limits and do not fear wholly." Obviously my perspective is probably drastically different from yours and his and hers but it's what I think and it's how I view life from the outside. But what do I see from the inside? What does anyone see from the inside? Do we see hate, lust, gluttony? Or love, kindness, and gratitude? This is why life is so difficult. There are so many things to be put into consideration that we become confused, flustered, and often lost in our ways.

When he asked me why one person matters so much I always say the same thing: That person, no matter who he or she was, had an enormous impact on someone else's life. We all affect each other. I know I have personally had big impacts on people, whether through my kindness, my envy, or my love. To a parent, his or her child is typically what has affected him or her most and vice versa. We are all important. We all have that one person we will remember for the rest of our lives and replay memories of them in our heads for years to come. And all of this ties into the complexity of life.

Now, obviously I'm no philosopher. I'm only seventeen and my outlook on this world will almost inevitably change. I am not wise, I am not experienced, and I am not convinced of myself. All of this just happened to weigh on my mind and I wanted to share. I have no closing advice or tips.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Girl in a Glass Dress

First I want to apologize for not posting anything in a while--I've had a lot going on and it's been pretty overwhelming. Also, I just haven't had a clue as to what to post. Sure I've had lots to say, but I also don't want to waste anyone's time by posting something that isn't really valuable or helpful.

Get comfortable ladies and gentleman, because this is going to be a long post.

Lately, even more than before, I've come to realize that I don't have many friends. I don't really have anyone I can trust, my "closest" friends judge me worse than strangers, and no matter what I do right, one wrong will set everyone to explode. It doesn't seem right to me at all. 

Last summer in early July, my best friend of several years and who was apparently in love with me for all of those years betrayed me. He ruined my relationships with the only people I cared for at the time, he ruined my trust, and he ruined my reputation. After not seeing or communicating with him for eight months, one night I saw him and I was overwhelmed with emotion and memories and unfortunately I mistook this for love. So even after what he did to me, I let him back in. And it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Since then, I have refused to talk to him because I know that if I open my mouth, I'll say something rude, demeaning, but very true. Now, that group of friends hate me because I'm apparently being a jerk. One of them I've been friends with for years and now he barely talks to me. Even one of their moms, who I adored, is disappointed in me all because I won't say bye to him? How does this make sense? If you ask me, I'm taking the mature route so I don't make the situation messy. But apparently, that's not right. Apparently, I'm a bad person. Needless to say, I've decided they're not good people for me and have officially ended whatever "friendships" those were.

People take their friends for granted. No matter what you do for them, they will always turn their back on you when you need them most. I don't mean to be depressing and pessimistic, I'm just being completely honest. Don't fool yourself into believing that everyone you care for, cares for you as well. That was my mistake. However, I do have some friends that are perfect angels to me and treat me incredibly well. We have a balanced friendship. And I have never appreciated people more in my life than those who remind me that things are okay and things are going to get better. Because they always get better.

I tell myself every day, "Good things come to good people." No matter how rough the going is, it's going to eventually smooth out and when you look outside the window, all you will see is opportunity and happiness. Lame, right? But it's what helps me get through whatever down feelings I'm having. I know that abandoning all of my unhealthy relationships and focusing on myself and school will lead  me where I want to go. I'm hoping I'll soon have a job so I can start taking care of my own responsibilities instead of my dad having to worry about them,  because that's not his job. I want to start putting myself out there like I've always imagined and tell the world who Chelsea Dale is and that I don't care if they care or not. It's time for me.

That's my advice to everyone. Please don't waste your time with people you care for who never return that love and appreciation you dote out without thinking first. Those attributes and virtues are precious and should be saved for those who care about you most, not those who you want to care for you. And focus on you. You are the single most important human being in your life. You are the one who will decide your fate and lead yourself to where you want to go. Stop worrying about what other people think; it's only your thoughts and opinions that matter. However, don't get carried away with this virtue and become overwhelmingly egotistical; things will not turn out all that well. Just always remember that you come first. Then after that, give those close, beautiful friends your love and appreciation, because you'll be a lot happier giving much and taking little. It's a really great feeling.

So, I suppose this post wasn't all that long and I really hope I didn't waste any of you all's time. Just know that I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to read this, it means a lot lot lot to me. I hope everyone has a wonderful Spring!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Standing Up for Yourself

Recently someone (actually it was the girl I talked about in my "You've Got a Friend in Me" post) told me that I was very hypocritical for advocating pacifism and stopping wars and yet telling my friends that I hated her. Because apparently since I hate her I'm obviously the most pessimistic, hateful misanthrope anyone has ever come across (unfortunately when people say that sort of thing to me I become very sarcastic). Apparently I'm really negative because God forbid I get a bad grade I'm supposed to be enthusiastic about it? When I first responded to her I was very calm and mature. But after a couple of days of thinking over the fact that she had the nerve to tell me I was hypocrite really got to me; so I kind of released all of my tension and said all I had to say to her.

Now I understand that may seem immature. But I did it in order to defend myself and my character. When someone tells you that you're a hypocrite or a terrible person when you know you're not, that person just can't expect you to take the hit and be okay. You have to defend yourself. I find it terrible when people do that because then it makes me really negative and I feel like I have to shoot back condescending words. Obviously it's not like I cuss at someone for telling me something degrading because that's kind of unnecessary. But you get the point.

When someone tries to tell you who you are, don't listen to them, and try your very hardest not to handle it really immaturely. Don't call them names and try not to yell (I completely understand how hard that can be, though, believe me). Just defend yourself and your name because no one deserves that. Unless it's really bad. I know it sucks that people feel like they have that right and all... and I mean, they technically do if you think about it in a political sense, but it doesn't mean that it's okay. And that's what bothers me the most. Honestly I felt like I had the right to tell that girl she wasn't a good person because she made me believe she was someone I could rely on for three years and that she actually cared about me. I felt I had the right to tell her that because she told me her brother (who I was absolutely crazy about for a very, very long time) used me, but it was "okay because he uses everyone," (what's funny is that she set us up so apparently she knew that?). I felt that it was completely okay to tell her she wasn't good  because I knew her extremely well (but apparently not well enough) and understood how she really thought about everything. And when it's a situation like that, I personally believe that you can tell that awful person in your life that they're not good and that they don't deserve your friendship. 

Stand up for yourself and never let people get the best of you. You know yourself better than anyone. Just remember not to take it too personally and don't let it get to your head. As shown by this post, I obviously let it get to my head. As long as you know you're a good enough person to understand this, it just shows how much more mature and laid back you are, and will surely get you farther than all of those other people. Always defend yourself.

Friday, January 31, 2014

My Funny Valentine

The first of February is tomorrow, and only one thing comes to mind when February is here... Valentine's Day!

I personally love Valentine's Day. It's the perfect day to show your loved ones how much you care and appreciate them. And that's what Valentine's Day is all about. It doesn't matter if you have a date to go out with and have the most cliche Valentine's Day ever. The expensive foods, the romantic movies, the chocolates and flowers--you don't need to receive those in order to have a beautiful Valentine's Day (though let me tell you, buy me flowers and I'll be yours). 

I've only had two valentines and to be completely honest, both nights were terrible. But every year, for as long as I could remember, I'd wake up on Valentine's Day, run straight to the kitchen, and my mother would have set out a stuffed animal and chocolates for each of us at the kitchen table. This year I live with my dad, and when I asked him what he was doing for us on Valentine's Day he said, "Parents don't give their kids stuff on Valentine's Day! That's for couples." But he agreed to continue the tradition for my sake.

But see, Valentine's Day isn't only for couples and it is NOT a Hallmark holiday. To think of it as the latter is really pessimistic and can easily bring other people down. But Valentine's Day is the day to spread love and joy to everyone around you and show your loved ones especially how much you appreciate them. What I personally love to do every year is sing love songs all day long. It annoys everyone else, but it makes me really happy and optimistic. Buying flowers for your friends is always thoughtful and definitely appreciated, but if you don't have the money, picking flowers (even at this time of the year) is just as thoughtful. Watching a cute romantic comedy with the family is always fun, and it's great to end the night with baked goods for them. 

Just remember this year that Valentine's Day really isn't only for couples. It's not about who's there to love you for this one time of the year, but the ones who have loved you for years and who will always be by your side. That's what it's all about, and that is what's most important.

Here's some funny Valentine's Day cards that should hopefully crack a smile.

tumblr valentine's day card macklemore

tumblr valentine's day card honey boo boo

tumblr valentine's day card corbin bleu

Thursday, January 16, 2014

You've Got a Friend in Me

From what I've experienced lately, finding out that someone you have cared dearly for and appreciated has actually pretended to be your friend is overwhelmingly disheartening. Especially in high school, friendships are a crucial part of life; they're what help you get through your troubles when you have no one to turn to and you just can't go to your family for. But they're not forever, and that's a fact.

On New Years' Eve, I found out that one of my closest friends of three years and also my neighbor only considers us "friends because we're neighbors." When I heard that, I was absolutely shocked. Someone who I had cared for dearly, someone who I had spent time with constantly, someone who I had appreciated and a friendship that I put so much effort into because I adored her; it all meant absolutely nothing to her. Surprisingly, though, I wasn't really upset. I just felt betrayed and embarrassed because she completely fooled me into believing she was a good friend.

Ever since, I've been happier. Weird, right? But I've been happy because it helped me realize who my true friends are and that not everyone deserves my unconditional love, care, and appreciation like I originally thought. Truthfully, it's hard to find someone and be able to have the chance of being friends with them for so long. Let's face it, life isn't all that short, it's long as all get out. 

One person you will always have no matter what--and no, it's not your mother--is yourself. You will always be your own best friend because you know how to make yourself happy when you're down and you know what's best for you, despite what people like to believe. Sometimes, even telling stories to yourself in the mirror is a totally reasonable way to vent out your emotions; you can't embarrass yourself in front of yourself and you can't be weirded out and choose not to hang out with yourself anymore.

I know this sounds crazy, but it's completely true. It's just always good to understand that when you feel like the whole world is against you and you have no one to turn to--you always have yourself. And eventually, those beautiful, ever-lasting friendships will develop and you'll be happier than ever. Just make sure that you're not wasting your precious energy, love, effort, and time to those who don't deserve someone as beautiful and wonderful as you are.