Late July, Early August

When I was a kid there wasn’t much that excited me.  I was practically the definition of boredom in human form.  But there was one full proof way to excite me and it happened every single year.  Funnily enough, it still kind of excites me to this day &&& I have no reason to feel that way.

School supplies.

No.  Not the start of school or the first day.  I’m talking the supplies you buy before you start school.  Stepping into all the stores starting in mid-July and seeing all of the supplies in large boxes on displays – it was the thing I looked forward to all Summer.  While other kids, including my brother, were starting to get sad because  of the fact that we were beginning to wind down from the summer activities and start thinking about English papers, math tests, and science projects.

For me – I couldn’t wait to buy school supplies.

Every time we walked into Wal-Mart I would grab a school supply list and take it home and read it over and over – by the time my mom would take us for school supplies I would have probably had a hundred copies of one single piece of paper.

We’d always purchase our back packs a few weeks before the actual supplies along with a pair of shoes.  Oh how it took me forever to decide on those two single things.  I always wanted something colorful when it came to my back pack but I didn’t want it to be childish – even when everything in my life was childish.  &&& when it came to my new pair of shoes I always wanted a solid white pair but didn’t want to spend 30$ so I usually ended up with shoes I never actually liked.

Then came the day we’d go supply shopping.  Our mother would give us the list and we’d dive into the aisles and pick out the pencils, pens, highlighters, and erasers.  I was a big fan of Lisa Frank (Yes! I want to purchase one of their adult coloring books) when I was younger so most of my elementary & early middle school supplies involved her.  Oh, how I loved the brightly colored plastic trapper keepers they had.  >.<

After we finished shopping we’d go home and I’d dump all of my supplies into the floor forming a circle around me.  Tissues in one pile, pencils, pens, crayons, ruler, etc.  Then, starting with the boxes of tissues I would start packing my back pack.  Usually, I would get most of the things in to it before it filled up but I could never quite fit it all.  But trust me, I would try over &&& over before giving up and realizing that I would have to carry my tissues in a Wal-Mart.

Now the school I attended has a 25$ supply fee.  I wouldn’t have liked that one bit.

One of the hardest…

English in school whether it was middle school or high school had one thing in common.  At the beginning of the year we were told to buy a notebook and we usually all picked out the same black & white notebook with wide lines that costs a $0.97 cents at the local Wal-Mart.  (I actually have three of them in my bedroom right now.)  We, as students, knew exactly what it was for so we made sure to get the notebook with wide lines.  (When not for school, I never buy wide lines – the more the better for me.)  We’d start school and the teacher would explain that this notebook, this cheap white wide ruled notebook, was our notebook and every day we needed to write at least half of a page about anything and everything.  && everyone had the same reaction to it – the inability to write anything ever.  We all ended up waiting until the day before it was due and we would just scribble a bunch of crap.  I remember one year I sat and write “blah, blah, blah” over && over until I took up half of a page.  The teacher always said they’d never read it but you know they at least glanced through it &&& probably didn’t like seeing twenty to thirty pages of nothing but blah in very large print – one letter covering three lines, it was almost as if I had just started writing again.

I think back on it now && find it quite hilarious that I had such a hard time writing in that ‘journal’.  Even when I hit college I found it hard to write in a journal – yes, in one of my English Composition classes she wanted us to keep a journal (half a page in one notebook).  I ended up writing a short story instead, which it would seem that would be the harder part – but it took me twelve hours to write a full short story (which I have ruined since then).

I suppose through the years it hasn’t gotten any better, I still have trouble sometimes writing more than I ought to, but I’m not perfect so it’s not like I can cough and spit words out.  Although, that would be FANTASTIC if it were possible.  Because then – yes!  I could have thirteen novels ready to go.  But no, I can’t do that.  I have to type the words that are put to paper and sometimes my brain breaks.  Okay, my  brain breaks often, but no worries!  I may have issues sometimes writing, I’ll never give up on writing.

Just like cooking.

It’ll always be there.

I don’t think I stayed on topic.

Oh well!

Admit & Correct.

This post was originally wrote November 05, 2013.

I sat here tonight and cleared out my computer.

For almost five years I have not had internet and rarely ever used my computer.  Only doing small things: playing games or using it to write.  A few months after I moved into the house I live in now, I hooked up my computer and it wouldn’t turn on.  That’s always a sad moment for someone who used to live on their computer.  Then I think about how much music and writing I have saved on this and the moment becomes even sadder.  So, I unhooked my desktop and put it away – hoping one day I might figure out how to fix it.  Last week my brother came and got my desktop and fixed it – sending me a picture message while at work proving that it was on.

I am not sure if I have been that excited in a while.

I finally hooked it up and turned it on.  Then sat here and deleted everything that I no longer have the use for.  I removed quite a bit from my computer.  Three different messengers (MSN, AIM, & Windows), games that I have played & won many times (leaving only three games left: Supermarket Mania, Farm Frenzy 1 & 2, & Hotel Mogul.

It was so many years and days I spent on the internet when I lived with my dad that I feel like I have completely erased that side of me.  I think about it, every now and then, of how many years I spent in front of a computer.  That when my Dell went out a few years ago I freaked!  Not honestly because I lost all my music – I could get that again – or the writing I had – none of it was finished – but because I couldn’t spend my life sitting in front of it eating as much as I could put in my mouth.  I have wondered how I allowed myself to do that.  Even though the internet obsession began when I was 13 and ended when I no longer had the internet (19 years old) it seems like a part of me that I need to put to rest.  Finally be done with it.

I had made a whole new me.  A better me.  I went by a fake name, fake looks, and fake hobbies.  I made things up so much that, for the longest time, I honestly believed it.  Until I looked into a mirror and realized that it was nothing but lies.  It was so nice to be able to sit around and have conversations with people about everything, from politics to music.  I enjoyed the people so much that they became all I ever thought about.  (I have often wondered what ever happened to those people.  The friends I made all of those years hiding out.)

I have sense been in contact with friends I had before that happened & they all ask me the same thing “where have you been? “  Truth is, I was here.  I was living in my hometown until I was sixteen & then only moved twenty minutes away.  I was not able to be found on MySpace (when it was popular) or FaceBook because I used my ”fake” name.  Fact: my FaceBook is still under my fake name.  That’s why no one can find me unless we’re mutual friends with people.

I wonder a lot, sitting here today, if it was a down spiral after losing my mother.  I was fifteen when that happened and after that never came out.  I never surfaced again until I was 23 when my dad passed away.  Why then?  I am not sure.  But I do know that I got back in contact with friends from high school, and I leave my house.  I have a job (didn’t back then and when I did only lasted about six months before I quit, leaving myself back into the internet) that I enjoy more than anyone could imagine.  I began writing again – almost finished with the rough draft of my novel.  I have a cell phone & that might seem strange to admit, but I didn’t have a phone when everyone else did.  Because I didn’t want to be found.  I wanted to be left alone with my food and computer.

I found it a big step when I made my twitter account & used my name @HightowerBarb. (Follow me. *winks*) 

Will I delete my FaceBook & make a new one finally, making it public, and letting people know how and what I’m up to?  That’s the biggest question for me right now & I’m not sure yet.  Finally getting under my name on everything will be something I didn’t think I would do when I was younger.

Will I go back to those ways once I get the internet back (will have it about three weeks after I wrote this), or will I continue with the life I’ve made in the last two years?

Will the internet seem as great as it did, not even, six years ago?

This was an issue I had for many years and I decided last year that the only way I could fix my problems and live the life I want – achieve the things I want in life – is to admit & correct.  I guess that’s what I feel like I’m doing right now.  Admitting it so I can correct it.

I have admitted to having a lot of problems in the last few years and I haven’t had as many issues.  Life seems better and the sun seems brighter.  (Even as corny as that sounds.)

I guess only time will tell just how much I have changed and how many things I won’t let affect the way I live and act.  I’m just hoping for the best – and hopefully I will finally be able to be the person – completely – that I have always dreamed about being.  Intelligent.  Happy.

For now, though, I’m happy with being content.

Heroic : My 5 Year Old Self.

Daily Prompt:

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

When I think back on being younger most of it is a blur.  Whether I it’s because I slept away the years or because it just simply faded, I rarely remember a lot of memories.  But there is one thing I’ll never forget, even when I think back on my five year old self, my hero.  There was always that one person in my life that made everything make sense.  When I needed a shoulder to cry on they were always there and held my hand when I needed it.  

My mother.

Over the course of my life my five year old self hero just became stronger.  Everything she did I wanted to be there.  I can remember, (this wasn’t at five more like fifteen) that she’d go to work and I’d literally go with her.  Many days sitting around her place of employment just to spend time with her.  The days I decided to stay home we’d call each other throughout the day.  

At fifteen I lost my hero.  We buried the only person in my life, at the time, that meant more to me than anything else.  I placed her in the ground, exactly like she wanted to be.  We left her in the ground nearly six hours away from where I live today and I let go of my hero & best friend.  

Today I have often wondered if we would have had the normal “mother/daughter” fights that people go through.  If her and I would have stayed close or I would have decided that we were too close and begin backing off.  I have often wondered if her and I would still be talking, like we did then, and spend as much time together.  Would I still think so high of her and her thoughts on how I should live my life, or would I think she butts in too much and start backing away?  

I try and live my life the way she always wanted.  Yes, I have had my stray moments.  (Dropping out of high school.  Not going to college until I was 23 years old & then flunking out of my fourth semester because I was overwhelmed.  An emotional breakdown before I was 30.)  I am pretty sure that I am nowhere near what she always wanted for me by the age of twenty-six.  I’m working on that.    

But there are small things.  Tiny things she always put in my head that I have chosen to live life by.  Mostly, treat people the way I want to be treated, (yes, my mother was more religious than me).  But that is by far one of the best things to ever teach your child while raising them.  Never settle in life for the smaller things.  Always touch stars rather than a light bulb just because it’s easier. (I think she is half the reason I’m still single.  I don’t want to ‘settle’.  I want love & everything, or nothing at all.)

My hero wanted the best for me.  Wanted to give me everything the world would let me have.  But I wonder sometimes if some of the choices I’ve made in my life if she’d be disappointed.  Is she looking down on me thinking how off track I’ve gotten.  The day I got my first tattoo – did she shake her head?  The day I got my second tattoo – did she sigh?  The day I declared a life of loneliness, rather than settling for just anything – did she mutter cuss words?  When I flunked out of college – was she disappointed? 

I guess sometimes you just have to live life without knowing everything.  For me, this is the one thing that I’ll never know.  But I will live my life the way she wanted even with the days I decide to trip up a little and have to regain my footing.  I know that I will have her on my side, even if she isn’t here with me physically.  For me, that’s enough to keep going.

Image

My mom & me in Florida; 2003.

Ghost of Christmas Past!

Daily Prompt:

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

* * * * 

Sleepy eyed I’m awaken by my brother.  I glance over at the clock, big red letters flashed, 6:30 am.  This was an every year thing.  Tim would quietly walk through the house to me and wake me up.  Him and I would then tip-toe into the living room, still in our pajama’s, sit in front of the Christmas tree Indian style.  We’d wait.

One particular Christmas, I remember, was the very last Christmas we spent with our grandmother – who shortly after had seven strokes, back to back, and was paralyzed.  An air mattress was laid out in the living room floor, on it laid my grandmother  and her boyfriend of fifteen years.  Excitement boiled within my brother and I that we couldn’t wait, we thought about making all kinds of noises to wake someone up.  Instead.  We waited.  Just like every year.

Sitting in front of the tree was a tan teddy bear with a red sweater.  I knew it was mine.  I wanted it.  I knew who it was from.  And I wanted it.  (I still have that bear and I was 11 when this Christmas happened.)

Every holiday is easily remembered, however I cannot recall everything.  Some of my memories of my childhood is blurred or isn’t remembered correctly.  

I can remember my last Christmas while my mother was still alive.  She was so excited about the present.  My mother decided that every year we’d get one big present, usually costing her over 100$.  A large box sat behind the tree with my name on the tag.  I had no idea what it was.  The morning when we opened it I pulled out every ‘Nsync doll, and the full collection of glass bobble heads.  That is all I wanted, nothing else meant as much as those dolls.  (I also still have those.)  I was 15. A few years ago, however, some kids broke into a shed my brother and I own, pulled out every single bobble head and destroyed them.  I cried.  I felt like I lost my mom all over again.  A week later my brother handed me the collection of bobble heads.  The day he realized they were broke he got onto Ebay.com and purchased them for me.  I was 24.

I can remember the last year I spent with my dad.  Not perfectly.  It was a bad year.  But I remember that I threatened to mush his food because he had a trek after having everything in his throat removed due to throat cancer.  I remember that night because of the fact he was there, and after that he lived a couple months before passing.  I was 23.

Last year my brother and I, (not a Christmas memory), went to Denny’s for dinner.  His wife and step-children went to her mothers and my brother had to work that day.  After he got home we got ready and had dinner together.  It doesn’t seem like much to a lot of people who I tell about it.  But after some of the past years, that was perfect.  Just my brother and me.  I was 25.

This year I am excited.  I’m hoping nothing horrible happens and we have a great day.  Of course, though, my brother has to work so we’ll have to wait until he gets off.  But either way I’m happy.  I’m ready.  Finished shopping for presents.  All I have to do is buy the dinner.  

The one thing I’m sure everyone noticed – the years I remember, are the last years I spent with certain people.  My grandmother.  My mother.  My father.  

I lost the spirit after my mother passed away and I’m just recently getting the urge to celebrate back.  Hopefully I keep the urge and it continues to grow.  However, I’m Santa Claus this year.  I have many stocking stuffers.  

Pictures.

I find myself digging through pictures a lot.  Never sure of what I’m going to do with them and which ones I am going to put in frames.  My memories, my family, are left with just pictures.  Millions of pictures throughout my house.  Memories that I sometimes forget.  Like the trip to Walt Disney World my family and I took with I was 15.  I haven’t forgotten it.  However, I cannot piece together every single thing we did or seen.  Everything that was said, sometimes is a blur to me.  

Pictures, however, make me remember. I remember the small things.  Like the guy standing in front of me when I was trying to take a picture of a large parade they do every night before Tinker Bell swoops from Cinderella’s castle and flies around in circles before flying back into a window at the top.  Looking at those pictures I realize now that it’s the same guy with his family.  

After the parade, Tinker Bells flight are fireworks.  Fireworks, at which I’ve never seen anything more amazing since.  They lit up the night sky in multiple colors as the crowd around me found love.  Couples holding hands or stealing kisses.  Flashes of colors in everyone’e eyes.  My dad wrapping his arm around my mother as I stare in bewilderment at the sight before me.  

Love.

It’s such a small thing to remember.  The whole trip.  Without pictures, however, I can only remember the not-so-great parts.  The day we were walking and I didn’t realize there was different types of heat.  Florida, a heat all of it’s own, threw me out.  I waved my imaginary white flag above my head as I took a seat on a bench above a large beautiful tree over looking a water ride.  I sat, breathing, in the shade as people whipped past me on a water ride that left the ground and slide far into the sky.  I wanted to ride it.  Every part of my being wanted to stand in line, get into one of the logs, and ride through the water as it splashed the passerby’s that got a little too close.  I didn’t, though.  I was scared.  I was petrified of leaving the ground.  Being too far into the sky.  Instead, I sat on that bench and watched everybody walk around munching on snacks that are way over priced, drinking out of a bottle of water that is nearly fifteen dollars.

My attention was quickly drawn back to reality the moment an older gentleman squirted me with water in my face.  My eyes flashed around until I caught him, staring.  My mom smiled and thanked him, no one else thought to.  He smiled back.  “She looked a little white.  I was worried.  She needs water.”

I couldn’t get over just how generous this man was.  As I continued to sit there, breathing, letting the water run off my face and sizzle on the ground I felt something hit my head.  Not hard.  Just a small thump!  I felt my hair.  Pulling my hand back I realized there were birds in this large tree that I decided to sit under.  Birds don’t quite know how to find a restroom.

My mom laughed for hours.  She is probably still laughing as I write this.

Pictures show a persons life.  It shows what they did, who they were with, including the love and affection one person shares with another.  I remember a time where I took pictures upon pictures.  Snapping pictures so quickly people were hiding my camera.  I loved it.  Still do.  But the urge has faded a little since my brothers wedding.

I had one job that night.  One.  Pictures.  Take nice pictures as they walked down the aisle.  As they said “I do!”  As they finally had their first kiss as man & wife.  I couldn’t even do that.  I couldn’t bring myself to tell my brothers wife’s friends that I needed the lights on.  Because they didn’t.  The camera’s they purchased were better than mine.  Digital.  Compared to my 35 mm, that needed light besides the flash, I let them control them.  I let them decide for me that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  I took the pictures.  I took many pictures.  I didn’t receive one single good pictures.  They were either too dark, or too far away, or someone standing in my way.  

Haven’t taken pictures much since.

Early yesterday morning someone asked me to do their Christmas pictures of their family.  They’d pay me.  How can I turn down an offer like that.  There are only two things in life I’ve ever had a connection with.  One: Writing.  That will always be my baby that nurture.  Will, until the day they put me underground.  Two: Photography.  To show the world how I see things compared to them.  The beauty in things.  I can’t draw it by hand.  I use camera’s.  

I am going to take her pictures of her family.  I’m going to speak up and I will make sure they turn out decent.  I just wish that I would have spoke up at my brothers wedding.  Because then, they’d have pictures that were decent and not complete crap.

Pictures can mean a lot of things for a lot of people.  For me, it’s life.  It’s love.  It’s memories.  It’s family.  It’s everything wrapped up into one single multi colored piece of paper.  Something so small means so much to me.  I have cried over pictures ruining.  Water being sprayed over them, sticking together.  Then, by the time I realize it’s too late.  They are glued together.  As I listen to the pictures peel apart, that wretched sound of paper stripping the life from itself, I cry.  Tears streaking down my face as I grip the pictures tightly in my hands.  It’s a heart breaking moment.  Losing life.  Losing memories.  Losing love.  Losing family.  Especially when you’re family is gone.  

Moments in pictures.  A stolen kiss.  A stolen laugh.  Someone caught off guard as they shove the biggest corn dog in their mouth at a large fair.  Moments, small moments, caught by a single flash behind a camera.  

Take more pictures through your life.  Write on the back of them.  That way when you’re eighty and you open a box from you life.  You can remember exactly what is going on in that part of your world.  Something so small.