Category Archives: Uncategorized

When You Feel Like You Are Letting Everyone Down

Hi, my name is Abby, and I deny the fact that I am a perfectionist and a people-pleaser. But alas, I am both of these things. On the enneagram scale I am a 3w2, which is a combination of “The Performer/Achiever” and “The Caregiver”, as well as being an ESTJ on the Myers Briggs scale. If you look up basic traits of these personality types, you find these major points across the board.

  • Basic Strength: leading and serving other people.
  • Basic Fear: failing and being unworthy of love. To avoid this, they set and accomplish goals to feel successful and worthy. They also fear having a bad reputation
  • Basic Desire: to be admired and accepted. They seek value through accomplishment, which may push them deeper into their work, which sometimes leads to being a workaholic.

Now, you may not subscribe to personality theory, but over the past five years of learning more about various theories, I have come to better understand myself and others. The biggest thing I have learned about myself is that I am my own worst critic. Seriously, I am probably one of the most self-critical people you will ever meet. However, my mindset tells me that I must be hard on myself in order to achieve and not let others down. This ends up being horrible counterproductive and a hole that I have a hard time escaping.

No one is perfect. There are times when you will mess up. You will need to ask for forgiveness, and 95% of the time, if you truly communicate your remorse, the other party will forgive you. I have found though that often times it is easier to forgive another person than it is to forgive yourself. Sure, the other person can say, “What you did upset me, but I forgive you.” But with me, the fact that I have upset another person destroys my soul. I feel that I need to keep punishing myself, even if I have already dealt with the consequences.

Here’s the kicker though: I am saved by grace. The God of the Universe came down from heaven to die for my sins so that I didn’t have to pay for them. Jesus took all the blame so I don’t have to suffer the eternal consequences. The fact that we are commanded by God to forgive one another is to be a representation of His love for us. If God forgave all of mankind, then we are supposed to offer that same kind of love to others. Just because God forgave us though, doesn’t mean the task is complete. It takes the other party to accept forgiveness to make the transaction complete.

When you beat yourself up after someone has forgiven you, you have thrown that person’s grace out the window. More often than not, people move on. When you dwell on the fact that you messed up two weeks ago on something, you are hindering yourself from moving forward. You cannot expect yourself to be perfect. It is foolish to think that you will never let someone down. But when you realize 1) that you are not a disappointment to everyone in your life, and 2) that you must give yourself grace when you mess up, you are able to be a much happier person.

I’m currently about to begin finals week. I am stressed. I’ve shed many tears over the past week. I have felt like I have disappointed every single one of my professors and that I’ve been a bad friend and a crappy girlfriend. But to anyone who feels this way (myself included): STOP. These are lies. You are not a failure. You are not a disappointment. You are not a bad person. You are not defined by your mistakes. You are human. Every person that you feel you are letting down? Yeah, they have all screwed up in the past too. Give yourself some grace. Dust yourself off and keep going. More often than not, you learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Embrace the chaos, remember to breathe, and keep moving forward.

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

Things Change

Things change. 

“Yeah, duh. Come on, Abby. We all know this, what the heck are you getting at?” That’s what I’m guessing you’re saying at least. But you know what? I just watched “Frozen 2” and I have T H O U G H T S, OKAY?

*deep breath* Sorry y’all, I’ve been going through an emotional roller coaster over the last week and a half. Watching this gorgeous movie has made me sit down with a cup of coffee and process the jumble of thoughts I have been pushing aside for the past ten days. 

 I am not the same person I was a year ago. To be honest, I am not the same person I was at the beginning of the summer. And as I have changed, the people around me have changed as well. Some of those people have stayed in my life while others have drifted away. Along the way, new faces have entered into my life and friendships have grown that are now divine blessings. Others have left deep wounds in my spirit that have left scars. While healing as happened, there are still reminders of pain that have come from change. 

A year ago, I was mourning the loss of what I thought was my future. The “ideal” that I had created in my mind was gone. But, praise the Lord, I was surrounded with good people. While I was struggling with my grief, I was presented with opportunities to let my burdens to be carried by others. I also was given the chance to pour into the people I cared about most. I was able to witness miraculous life changes that I might not have seen if my life hadn’t been flipped upside down. 

Without giving away the plot of “Frozen 2,” let me just say that this is a great example of showing how even when things seem to be the worst that they can possibly be, you can still choose to move forward. When you accept the fact that change is a normal part of life, it allows you to be on the lookout for the good things that are coming. Life often does not turn out the way that we think it will, and more often than not, it’s for the better that things change. 

Over this past year, I have learned to loosen my grip on plans. Slowly but surely, the grip is becoming an open palm. I strive to let my life be an offering, regardless of whether or not my plans go the way I think they should go. So, as I travel deeper into the unknown, I will be holding on tight to the thing that never changes: the love my Heavenly Father has for me. 

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby 

Writing Q&A

Woooooooo Abby is drowning in homework and studying and memorizing scripts, so she decided to do a Writer’s Q&A she found online. Enjoy! 

What type of writing do you do? I used to want to be a novelist. Like, that was my dream career. While I still would love to do that, my favorite thing to write at the moment are plays! I also am an avid journaler. 

What genres and/or topics do you write about? In this season of life, I have been writing a lot about mental health. However, I used to write an insane amount of Star Wars and Marvel fanfiction. I plan to get back into the Star Wars storylines I was working on at some point soon. 

How long have you been writing? Last time I cleaned my room, I found a “book” I wrote in second grade. 

Are you published? On the internet? Yes, hello, this is my blog. 

What was the first story you ever wrote? I think it was about an island girl named Maya or something about Thomas the Tank Engine. 

Why do you write? A lot of the time I feel like my brain is spinning with a billion words. I write to get them out. 

How do you find time to write? At the moment, panic procrastination is how I have been writing. Ideally, I would like to spend time in the mornings writing after I spend time reading my bible. Hopefully we will be able to get back into that routine soon. 

When and where are the best times to write? When: when I don’t have Spanish homework. Where: give me a local coffee shop with decent wifi and we’re in business. 

Favorite food/drinks while writing? See above (just give me hot coffee and I’m set)

Your writing playlist? The “Monsters Inc.” and Star Wars scores are my long time favorites, but I recently got into Alec Benjamin’s work. 

What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing? I think they like it? 

Parts of writing you enjoy the most? I love writing fight scenes and witty banter scenes. 

Parts of writing you find challenging? I hate writing transitions, man. 

What do you write with and on? I prefer writing in a notebook, but I have recently become addicted to Google Docs as my saving grace. 

How do you overcome writer’s block? Ha ha. 

How do you motivate yourself to write? Freaking deadlines. I thrive on deadlines. 

Writers who inspire you as a creator? John Green, JK Rowling, Stephen Edmond, Christine Riccio, David Auburn, Alex Hirsh, Rachel Hollis, W.T.R. Shaw (Sweet Ben) and Nathan Gonder

Books that inspire you as a writer? “Winter Town,” “Again, But Better,” “Turtles All The Way Down” and the Harry Potter series. 

Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer? Never stop writing, even when you don’t like your work. 

Writing goals this year: In 2020, I want to write a new short play and have a friend at Missouri Western direct it. 

 

Life is crazy, but writing is always a wonderful escape, even if it’s just a self-reflection on the craft. 

Thank goodness for Fall Break. 

Until Next Time, 

Abby

 

Hard Days

There are mornings that I don’t want to get out of bed. I lay burrowed under my blankets and stare at the alarm on my phone. I know all of the things that I have to be responsible for and wonder who would notice if I didn’t show up for those responsibilities. I pull myself up and sit on the edge of my bed, looking down at the floor as I try to decide if I want my feet to touch the floor. I look back at my pillow one last time, wanting to head back to blissful sleep. But I don’t, because I know there is joy to be awake for, even in the hard days.

 

There are afternoons when I find myself wondering why I am doing what I am doing. I feel as if everything I am doing is absolutely wrong and that everyone around me thinks I am a huge idiot. I feel that I will never move forward because whenever I make progress I seem to also take steps backwards. I often times consider giving up on the plans I’ve made and the dreams I’m chasing. But I don’t, because I know I am capable of pressing on, even on the hard days.

 

There are some nights when I just stare at my open pill bottle. I hold it as I stand barefoot in the bathroom and I glance up at my reflection in the mirror. I sigh. I look back into the bottle wrapped in washi tape and begrudgingly take a dose. The whole time I’m thinking, “I don’t want to take this. I shouldn’t need to take this. I hate taking this.” There are nights I want to dump all the little white pills into the toilet and send them swirling away. But I don’t, because I know they help with the hard days.

 

There will always be hard days. I accept that there are periods of life where there will be more hard days than easy ones. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself on hard days is remind yourself that they will pass. It may take time, but our hard days show us how great that easy days are. To anyone dealing with a difficult season: keep pushing forward, even if it means just taking one step each day.

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

You Might be a “Mom Friend” if…

Me: “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t climb over the room dividers on the balconies in this hotel.”

Friend: “Okay, thanks MOM.”

 

You ever deal with conversations like this? Well my friend, you most likely can be categorized as “The Mom Friend.” This special type of person possesses abilities that can be both a blessing and a curse. Over the years, I have found myself in this category, and I have identified ten traits that might help you too realize that you indeed are “The Mom Friend.” 

 

 

  • You know other people’s schedules better than they do. You know when they’re free to hang out because you know when they have classes and what days they work late. When making plans, you’re the one to remind people not to double-book themselves. Bonus points if you have a color-coded planner for your own schedule. giphy (6)
  • You’re usually the sober one. I’ve only gone to four parties over the past two and a half years and have sober at 75% of them. Most of the time, the Mom Friend can also be known as the “DD,” aka, the Designated Driver. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with college pals who don’t make me feel like a loser for drinking my Diet Coke at a get-together. tenor (1)
  • You check in on friends when they have a long drive home. Oh Lord, I cannot tell you how many times I have stayed up waiting for a friend to text me that they have gotten home and have freaked out irrationally that they have died when they don’t tell me they are indeed safe. Y’all, just send me a snap so I can go to sleep.  giphy (5)
  • You’re the one to get the phone call. On the flip side, if a friend is in distress, you best know that the Mom Friend will be the one to get a phone call. Whether it’s letting someone vent over the phone or coming to show up when someone needs you, you’re the one who will always pick up the phone to lend a hand. giphy (4)
  • You take on the weight of your peoples’ problems. And here’s the thing: you’ve also got a ton of problems. However, you more often than not will set aside your own issues to help others work through their struggles. You gotta be careful with this though, because you will often forget that your problems are just as valid. giphy (3)
  • You experience burnout about once a month. When you inevitably forget to take care of yourself, you experience a phenomenon called Burnout. You’re overly tired, lack motivation to be your normally chipper/organized self and end up snapping at people you love. This is when you take a step back from everyone and have a magical thing called, “Me-Time.” I spend my Me-Time scrapbooking, watching cartoons and/or reading something that does not involve school. It is so helpful and needed to avoid burnout. tenor
  • You don’t understand the term, “Letting Loose.” See #2. ‘Nough said. In all seriousness, it’s not just at parties involving adult beverages I’m referencing. I’m talking about going to the movies with pals, playing games or just sitting still for 30 minutes. It’s hard to relax when you feel like you always have to be taking care of other people.  calm-down-gif
  • You have a really hard time not telling people that they are making stupid choices. When your friends are being dumb, most of the time you just want to smack them and tell them to fix their life. While it is needed at times to call people out when they are making bad choices, sometimes, you have to let people learn from their mistakes. You can’t fix everyone else’s problems. *GASPS* I know, right? giphy
  • Your friends ignore your well-thought out ideas. And then they end up doing your idea in the end after they spend 30 minutes trying to figure out a plan. source
  • Your go-to question to ask when people walk into your home is, “Can I get you a *INSERT HOT BEVERAGE*?” Literally whenever any person walks into my dorm room whether it’s to study, watch Gravity Falls or play rowdy card games, I will offer them some form of hot beverage from my super cute coffee bar. This especially comes into play when someone walks into my dorm room with a sad look on their face, though there are many other reasons someone would need a hot drink. I follow the Sheldon Cooper Beverage Social Protocols, which are as follows: 

 

Upset: Tea

Upset about an unannounced house guest / Outraged: Cocoa

Angrier than ever and filled with despair: Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks

Drunk: Coffee

For Jewish guests: Chicken broth

For Indian guests: Chai tea. If cardamom seeds are unavailable, English breakfast tea.

(See https://the-big-bang-theory.com/sheldons_beverage_protocols/ for more details on how to properly serve hot beverages) 

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We all need at least one Mom Friend in our lives, even people who fall into the category of companionship. Take time today to encourage the Mom Friends in your life; they’re probably the reason you’ve eaten, had enough water today and have a smile on your face. As the cover photo shows, Mom Friends are Superheroes! 

 

Until Next Time, 

 

Abby

Simple Joys

Life is stressful. Spanish tests make you cry. Dance steps that you don’t understand can make you feel like a loser. However, there’s a lot of great stuff to remind you to love life. I did an exercise with myself this past week where I wrote down as many things that bring me joy. This is what I came up with!

  • Walking to class with your favorite album playing through your headphones
  • A cup of tea in the morning when you’re feeling icky
  • Jump in a puddle
  • Ten different colors of pens
  • Making a friendship bracelet
  • Sparkly eyeshadow  
  • Using stickers to check off items on your to-do list
  • Neon flashcards for studying
  • Wishing on a dandelion 
  • Hot coffee to accompany you during homework sessions
  • Watching cartoons from your childhood with your pals
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Taking selfies with people you love 
  • Bean bag chairs
  • Playing Risk at 11pm with your people
  • Doodles in the margins
  • Petting a happy doggo
  • McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Reading a book that is in no way, shape, or form related to school work
  • Pink Sunsets
  • Binge watching “Yugi-Oh”
  • WWE Video Games
  • Holding hands
  • Eat chocolate
  • Wandering through an art museum 
  • Lemon drops
  • Leaving an encouraging sticky note on the bathroom mirror
  • Bubble wrap
  • Getting a new pair of shoelaces
  • Orange Soda 
  • Treating yourself to two flavors of ice cream
  • Hand-written letters
  • Sitting under a tree
  • Apple-Spice Candles
  • Spending time coloring
  • Fuzzy Blankets 
  • Dressing up in the middle of the week for no particular reason
  • Hammocks
  • Sitting on a bench and people watch
  • A Bouquet of flowers from the grocery store
  • Snuggles on a rainy day
  • Turning off your phone for the evening 
  • Pizza Nights
  • Looking for shapes in the clouds
  • Washi Tape
  • Cleaning your room
  • 1am discussions
  • Drawing little hearts on your sneakers

Take heart and cling on to the simple joys of life. I found that the more I added to my list, the easier it became to appreciate the little things that made my days sunnier. Set aside time to truly give thanks for the blessings that come in small packages.

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby

 

Lies from the Christian Film Genre

If it isn’t obvious by the banner above or some of my previous posts, I am a pretty vocal Christian gal. I’m also a gal who loves watching and making movies. In fact, half of my bachelor’s degree is in cinema! Whenever a new movie from Christian production studios hits theaters, there is a huge wave of believers proclaiming, “YOU MUST GO SUPPORT THIS FILM AT THE BOX OFFICE!!!!!!!” And if you ask, “Why must I go support this film at the box office?” you often will get the reply, “BECAUSE IT IS A CHRISTIAN MOVIE!!!!!” And then you’re the worst Christian ever if you say, “Well, honestly it doesn’t sound like it’s getting very good reviews, so I don’t really wanna spend my money to go see it.” 

Over my 21 years of life, I’ve been surrounded by Christian media. Veggietales? That was (still is) my jam. Adventures in Odyssey? Love me some radio drama. Left Behind? …okay the books were great, but the movies… While I have seen some great forms of entertainment that have the gospel message at the center of the piece, I have seen many more films that just plain awful. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to learn what it takes to make good art. The Christian film genre seems to struggle with this idea of “good art” and I think it boils down to these six lies that this genre constantly spouts out. 

 

God needs defending

“I feel like God wants someone to defend Him.” This was a line from the main character in “God’s Not Dead,” a film that came out in 2014 and sparked two more films to join the series in 2016 and 2018. When I heard this piece of dialogue a few days ago while watching the review that made me sit down and write these thoughts, I laughed so hard. Fun fact: the Bible describes God as a lion. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a lion before, but those bad boys don’t really need anybody’s help. Christians: our God does not need defending. He’s not up in heaven, curled up in a corner thinking, “Ah man, someone said I wasn’t real today, I sure hope to Me that one of my super followers will prove that I’m real!” Yeah, no. Should we be bold when we talk about how God continually is changing our lives? Absolutely, but He doesn’t need us to be the last line of defense. In fact, God really doesn’t need us at all (that’s kind of the whole point).

 

If you are a Christian in the United States, you are highly likely to be persecuted and these movies show that there are court cases to prove it. 

This is something that gets me fired up in general: when people reference sources WITHOUT EVER READING THE ACTUAL SOURCE. I’m gonna use “God’s Not Dead” again as an example. At the end of the credits, there is a list of court cases that apparently inspired the making of the film. Film reviewer Kevin McCreary pointed out the inconsistencies in the cases that were listed. 

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(Go watch his videos, he’s great)

“God’s Not Dead” is a story about a student arguing with a professor in the classroom about the idea of God being dead. There’s about a dozen other story lines, some of which are way more interesting that the main character’s plight, and the movie ends with the classroom of easily swayed college students standing up and saying that God, is in fact, not dead. Here’s the kicker though: you’ll notice that none of these cases support the message of the film. In fact, having these cases listed make it seem as if the filmmakers think you are too dumb to do your own research to see that they were lying to you. That, or they’re naïve enough to Google search “Christian Court Cases” and just copy and paste the first six articles they find into their credits. Either way, people are being fed false information. 

I am not going to pretend that there is not prejudice in the United States against Christians but it is nowhere near as bad as Christian films want you to believe it is. It’s instilling a fear-based mentality of, “Oh no, if I’m in a public school or in a job that has nothing to do with ministry then I run a huge risk of being wrongly persecuted like the protagonists of these films!” Y’all, there are people who are being tortured and murdered for having bibles in other countries. We’re doing just fine in the United States. 

 

Every single character who is not a Christian is a horrible person who needs to be saved by your preaching.

I hope that this is self-explanatory, but just in case anyone needs a refresher: just because someone believes differently than you does NOT make them the scum of the earth. Why is it that in every Christian film, the antagonist seems like one of those vaudeville bad guys? It’s like the writers think that all Atheists are sitting in their classrooms and offices thinking, “Hahaha, how can we make these pathetic Christians know they’re totally inferior to my Evolution-believing, Abortion-loving, Proud-Liberal mind?” Contrary to what these movie makers want you to think, the only people like these who exist are characters in their stories. 

With how jacked up our online (un)civil discourse is at the moment though, it can be easy to forget that people are people. Here’s the hard truth: humans don’t save souls. My parents can’t take credit for my salvation, even though they were the ones to lead me to Christ. Stop looking at every person who has a different world view from you as the enemy who needs to be fixed. Instead, look at people how Jesus looked at them: living, valuable beings who need love. 

 

Storytelling should be sacrificed for preaching.

If your dialogue sounds like you are reading from a pamphlet about Jesus from the 1970’s, you have made a mistake. There’s a philosophy with Christian media that if it can change just one person’s mind then it doesn’t matter how hokey the writing turns out. As an artist who is a practicing Christian, this is very frustrating to me. My goal is for everything I do to be an act of worship. In other words, I want everything I do to glorify my Creator who gave me my gifts. This mindset encourages me to strive to do everything with a high quality. I avoid doing things halfway. When I write something, it doesn’t say, “This is a piece written by a Christian who is a Christian because God loves Christians who write about Him because Jesus is the best and everyone should be a Christian.” I do my best to reflect my values in my writing, but I am not going to sacrifice basic structure to force in a Bible lesson. There have been films like “Soul Surfer” and “The Miracle Season” that have been successful at having Christian values being a central part of the story without them constantly using “Christian-ese.” (See, there are a few faith-based movies that I like.) Let’s just tell good stories instead of trying to awkwardly shove the Gospel at people. 

 

Low Budget is an excuse for Low Quality 

No. No No. No No No No No. I go to a public college that does not get a huge amount of funding for students to make film projects. With what we have though, I have seen my peers make some stellar pieces of cinema. If my pals at college can make things with great actors, special effects, writing and direction on a no-money-budget, then Christian films should be able to do the same with their million dollar budgets. 

 

If people judge the movie, they are attacking your Christian faith.

No, they’re using basic critical thought to judge whether or not a film is worth watching. Calling a movie out because it had errors that could have easily been fixed is not attacking an entire religion. When Christians get up in arms about why a film should be loved and watched by everyone, it can be easy to give the wrong impression. You can get loud and angry with people when you are trying to argue your point, and when you are yelling, it’s kind of hard to do that whole, “love your neighbor” thing. If I was a person who didn’t believe in Jesus and someone told me I was attacking them personally because I didn’t like a movie, I would be concerned. I would think, “Geez, why is this person so upset over a movie I don’t like?” Your identity in Christ is not hinging on how many people like the latest Christian movie at the box office. Furthermore, if a fellow Christian does not like said latest movie, they are entitled to that opinion, especially when that opinion is grounded in truth. As believers, we are to be on constant alert for inconsistencies and things that can lead people away from the Lord. There are things in this genre that blatantly lead people away from what the Bible really says and if we sit by and keep quiet, we become part of the problem. 

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A dear friend, who happens to Hindu, told me that religion should not be a genre, and I agree with him 100%. This label is not helpful and honestly, I refuse to accept it as an actual genre. “The Passion of the Christ” was a highly successful film that was not marketed as a “faith-based” movie. It was advertised as a mainstream story that people of any and every background could enjoy. Because they marketed the film in this manner, the movie-going audience was not just a bunch of Christians who felt it was their duty to go watch a movie about Jesus. 

When people hear that a film is part of this so-called Christian genre, it repels people who aren’t already “in the club.” Films can often turn into a fan-service for Christians rather than as a way to get non-religious people interested. We need to get back to the root of storytelling, and the most successful stories are the ones that are relatable. Making films with one-dimensional characters who either think that the Angel of God has told them that they need to defend Jesus in their classroom or the Atheist villain who once believed in God but now is an evil person is not a way to use such a powerful medium of entertainment. Let’s make movies that truly reflect the human spiritual experience, which is messy and imperfect. Let’s stop comprising filmmaking in the name of ministry. Let’s start making our actions more important that the labels we put on them. 

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby 

 

Memory|Stream of Consciousness Blog

To follow up last week’s blog, writing is hard when you don’t have any ideas that you want to use. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a LONG list of prompts. However between classes, work and theatre ventures, the creative writing part of my brain has checked out.  Maybe since I’m not called to rehearsal, I’ll get a burst of inspiration while I derp around my dorm room. Also, pro tip: don’t get paper cuts, because Band-Aids make it slightly difficult to type, even if they are the awesome Avengers kind. Better yet, don’t slice your wrist on the fly rail wire while you’re at work, because not only will your arm will hurt when you type, but your Sweet Ben will have to help you clean it and put a giant bandage on it. There’s no point in living in the past though, onto today!

Actually, I do like looking back at the past; that’s why I take so many pictures and am a scrapbook fanatic. A few of my friends have given me grief in the past for taking so many snapshots. It was a lot worse in high school, but you know what? I barely talk to my high school friends anymore. It’s not because we hate each other or anything; we’ve all just grown apart. I like having albums of photos to look back on and remember the wacky adventures I had with my high school besties. I enjoy having memories captured to reminisce with. I mean, how else am I gonna look back at the “Good Old Days”? 

For my high school/Associates Degree graduation party, my mom got over 400 photos printed to display on boards. After the party, I took the displays apart, but gave the photos a new home. I had recently moved into the former gaming/office room, and decided to line my door with photos. Every time I walk in or out the door, I saw the faces of people I love. Sometimes, they reminded me to pray for someone. Other times, they lifted my spirits because they remind me that I’m not alone in life. Since then, I’ve moved rooms and have half way moved out of the house. Even though that door of photos is gone, I still have all those precious snapshots tucked into an album that I’ll flip through every so often.

There are memories from old scrapbooks that make me remember times with people who used to be my closest friends. Some entries include twinning in Superman shirts, various snapchats from/involving Avery, a screenshot saying, “Antibodies is just around the corner”, playing card games after a black box rehearsal in my living room, and my ticket stub from seeing La La Land with my buddy Micah. Even just writing about those memories has made me smile, but here’s the thing: I barely talk to half of these people anymore. I’ve got memories scrapbooked from old crushes, boyfriends, and friends that turned into not so great pals. However, just because a relationship comes to an end for a sucky reason doesn’t mean you have to completely forget about the good memories you had with that person. You have people in your life for seasons at a time.

The art of photography is very important to me. I enjoy the silliness of taking selfies or goofy photos with my friends, but I also very much enjoy making art through the media. Mom still doesn’t get why I took darkroom photography in community college, but oh man, I loved that class. I was so glad that I still was allowed to use the photo lab during my final semester at Maple. The process of getting a single darkroom print is so long and tedious, but when you get a great shot, it’s all worth it. Plus, when you’ve got fun photos, you can add cartoons on top of them and make yourself crack up at your own jokes. 

I guess the idea of a single print taking a lot of work can relate to relationships. You can’t just expect a friendship to happen. You have to work for it. The thing with friendships though is that it doesn’t feel like work when it’s a true friendship. I used to feel like I had to work extremely hard for my “friendships”. Funny enough, the people I used to break my back to impress don’t have a presence in too many of the photos I hanging up in my dorm room for my senior year of college. Thing is though, those people show up in scrapbooks, journals and photo albums as good memories. So, I can either look at those people with bitterness and/or regret, or I can thank the Lord for the influence they had in my life for a time. We move on and grow up, but living with heavy thoughts from the past is not helpful in your growth process. If you pull anything from this jumbled stream of consciousness mess, hear this: treasure your memories, but don’t let them hold you back from new relationships and adventures. 

Fingers crossed that your friendly, neighborhood red-head gets a creative spark back while battling spanish quizzes. Thank you for reading, and happy memory-keeping. 

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby 

 

WRITER’S BLOCK: Aglet Edition

There are times when I get writer’s blocks. There are different types of blocks: ones when you are dealing with a combination of both lack of inspiration and motivation, and others where you are just lacking the ideas. And then there are the times when you are back to being a full time college student and you cannot make your brain sit down and write something deep. When I get in these funks, I just do word vomit writing on a random topic and see what comes of it. So let’s talk about something everyone should know about: Aglets.

Honestly, the only reason I know what in the world an aglet is credited to the classic Disney Channel show Phineas and Ferb. There’s one episode where the genius step brothers decide to raise awareness for the tiny piece of plastic/metal at the end of shoe laces. The big song of the episode, “A-G-L-E-T” is one that every now and then slips into my brain and won’t leave for a good, long while, even though the episode come out in 2009. In fact, it’s swimming around my head now. Maybe I’ll even dream about it tonight. If you haven’t listened to it ever, go look it up. It’s a bop. 

Aglets are very helpful to those whose shoes get attacked often. I admit it; I am guilty of untying my friend’s shoes from time to time. A shoe attack is truly successful when you are able to get the laces pulled out through the holes that keep them in place. If you’re a poor soul whose aglets have fallen off, or worse, never had aglets to begin with, you’re stuck trying to thread your frayed lace back through its hole. It’s extremely frustrating for the victim of the attack, but slightly amusing for the person who did the deed. 

When I was younger, I had a strange habit of picking at the aglets on my laces. I wasn’t enlightened to the fact the aglet was a friend to my shoe and therefore a friend of mine. Out of boredom, I would pull away at the plastic until my poor shoelace was left in ruins. I would then have to put a piece of scotch tape around the devastated shoe lace to avoid the dilemma of having to rethread a tattered piece of string. Thankfully, I am no longer a child and have learned the ways of the world. Well, at least the ways that involve the end of shoelaces. 

I wonder who the chap was that invented the aglet. This little piece of plastic is something that is taken for granted so often; maybe the inventor was taken for granted, too. I mean, he’s not a person like George Washington or Neil Armstrong that we learn about in history class. I bet he was the kind of guy that got made fun of in high school. He’d get his glasses knocked off or his books thrown across the hallway. All the while he’d think, “Someday I’m gonna prove all you wrong and do something great!” And what does he do? He invents this little thing that half the population doesn’t know the name of and dies without fame or fortune. 

*Jumps onto Internet*

After a quick Google search, I learned that the inventor credited to the creation of the aglet was a gentleman named “Unknown”. I guess his parents didn’t like him very much. Just goes to show you that you can do something awesome for the world, yet everyone still will forget your name when you die.

 

This ended up being a lot more depressing than I ever intended it to be. 

 

Lord, let me get inspiration/time to write next week.

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Until Next Time,

Abby

 

The ABC’s of Theatre

Theatre is full of words and phrases that can be confusing to one who is not heavily enveloped in the art. Due to this fact, I have taken the liberty to create a glossary of sorts: The ABC’s of Theatre. I hope you find it enlightening and helpful in your future theatre endeavors. 

 

A- is for Audience, which is the group of humans you have to entertain every night. 

B- is for Babies, which you pray are not in the audience. 

C- is for Coiling Cables, which you need to know how to do properly or your technical director might throw something at you. 

D- is for Dressing Room, which is where normal humans transform into whimsical stage characters. 

E- is for Ensemble, the group of people who make stage shows much more interesting. 

F- is for Fresnel, a type of lighting fixture. If you pronounce the “s” in the name, it is highly likely that your master electrician will make fun of you forever. 

G- is for Ghost Light, which should always be placed on the stage at the end of the evening before turning out work lights and leaving the space. This is for safety and to keep the ghosts in your theater happy. 

H- is for “Hamilton,” the musical that you are 95% confident that you could perform as a one-person show. 

I- is for Italian Run, a rehearsal in which the actors say their lines as quickly as possible. This is helpful in checking for line memorization and is guaranteed to make any show, regardless of genre, much funnier. 

J- is for Jukebox Musical, which is a show consisting of pre-existing songs. Examples include “Mamma Mia,” “All Shook Up,” and “American Idiot.” Some Jukebox Musicals are better than others, and others really should have just stayed on the radio. 

K- is for Knap, a technique used to mimic the sound of contact in a stage combat scene. This sound is often made by slapping your chest or thigh. Examples of knaps can be found when observing Super Kicks in WWE matches.

L- is for Lift and Fight Call, where actors practice lifts and fight scenes before the audience is let into the house. These are very important for safety, and any actor who thinks there are unnecessary has never been dropped on their head or punched in the mouth.  

M- is for Microphones, the things that get very sweaty after actors use them for a performance. 

N- is for Notes, the instructions directors and/or stage managers give you to make sure you continue to do well at your job. When you ignore these notes, you increase your chances of having a hard time getting future employment. 

O- is for Outdoor Theatre, for people who like to sweat more often and worry about weather more consistently while participating in the fine arts. 

P- is for Pit, which is either the term for a group of musicians or the place you hide the musicians for the show. Contrary to popular belief, it is not intended to be a trap for the musicians. 

Q- is for Quick Change, one of the most stressful things that can happen backstage. 

R- is for Rehearsal, the session of time where actors learn and practice the show. Sometimes, when actors, directors and SM staff are truly exhausted, it is possible to break a rehearsal. An example of this is when you are supposed to be a posh, British lady and yell like a southern rancher. 

S is for Shakespeare, the writer that everyone will claim to love but a lot of the time are fibbing to look cool and/or like an intellectual in the theatre community. 

T- is for Tech Week, the period of time where technicians don’t sleep.

U- is for Upstage, referring to the part of the stage that is furthest from the audience or when an actor draws a ridiculous amount of attention to themselves rather than the person who is the main focus of the scene. Most people are not a fan of this. 

V- is for Vamp, a musical term referring to a section of music that is repeated over and over again until the next section of music begins. These are usually used underneath dialogue, and depending on the performer, the conductor will either have to speed through the vamp or repeat it 53 times.

W- is for “Wicked,” the musical that kind of seems like fanfiction but is still doing super well on Broadway since 2003.

X- is for Cross, because writing out the whole word “cross” while taking blocking notes takes too much time and space. 

Y- is for Yoke, which is the part of a Source 4 Lighting Fixture that is attached to the pipe. You’re gonna wanna hope that this yoke is secure, as lighting fixtures obey the laws of gravity, regardless of whether or not there is an actor underneath them. 

Z- is for Zzzzzz, which is what you do after a 16 hour work day in the theater. 

 

 

Until Next Time,

Abby