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Thoughts on Twilight…About Ten Years Late

“There’s things you don’t do after a break up: 1) Start doing drugs 2) Start smoking                       3) Read f***ing Twilight.” -A dear friend of mine in the middle of a snow storm

 

Unless you were living under a rock in the mid-2000’s, you probably heard the term, “twilight” thrown around all the time. It wasn’t because society had suddenly found interest in this specific time of day; it was due to the wild popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s romance series Twilight that had recently begun being adapted to film. I was ten years old when the first film was released, but I remember clearly my middle school friends all gawking and fangirling over either the guy who played the vampire or the guy who played the werewolf as the movies gained popularity. Fast forward to my almost 21-year-old self, who has just recently completed the book series and has a few thoughts on this polarizing saga.

48406840_1926730457443444_6715674713009422336_nFirst though, a bit more background. I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents who knew I was an avid reader that inhaled stories. However, as Meyer’s books began to rise in the ranks of pop culture, so did the Christian Blogger Moms rise to write against the story. The wrote posts saying that people shouldn’t be reading these books because they had *gasp* vampires in them (sparkly ones at that). My mom, wanting to do her best for her dorky middle schooler, didn’t let me read the book series. Personally, I had no problems with this. I wasn’t into romance and was more interested in my growing love for Star Wars. Ironically, after letting me read all the Left Behind books (which by the way, REALLY INTENSE), my parents allowed me to read Harry Potter as I would avoid reading the vampire books. So I guess, Thanks Stephenie, cause I really like the child wizard books.

IMG_3785.JPGRecently though, my mom decided to start listening to Twilight books on the Libby app, which is this nifty little thing that my local library is linked through. After listening to her talk about them for a few weeks, I rolled my eyes and started reading the first book before bed. Now, let me remind you all I am a full time college student and was working three jobs at the time when I started reading this, so it wasn’t until about two weeks after starting the book that I was able to focus on it over Thanksgiving Break. I had a long car ride and was able to finally get the idea as to why so many people liked the series. In an odd way, the mediocre romance between the klutzy human girl and the attractive vampire dude was fun and a way to let my brain relax and enjoy reading for fun again, which I haven’t gotten to do in a hot minute.

As finals creeped closer and life kept throwing massive curve balls at me, I began listening to the audio books for the last three books. Let me tell you, when you’re spending hours on end at a computer animating or walking about a half mile to the fine arts building every day, it’s nice to have an engaging story to listen to through the day. Over the course of three weeks, I managed to complete the series and I can honestly say I don’t feel like I wasted brain cells on these books. Yes, the writing isn’t the greatest; we all know this. But it was fun and something I was able to use as an escape from what seemed to be constant chaos around me. And a lot of fun things came from me reading the books in my relationships.

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  • I was able to bond with my roommate over how frustrated I would get over fictional characters.
  • I was able to make one of my buddies laugh many times with my overview of the series.
  • My suite mates watched the first movie with me the day before a much needed snow day, and enjoyed a lovely pizza night while watching New Moon.
  • Making observations with my parents on the films, such as, “Wow, that CGI wolf truly is a better actor than the actual guy.”

 

Twilight is not a masterpiece. However, the themes of sacrificial love and the power a woman has truly were inspiring to both read and watch on screen. Granted, I am thankful I did not read these in my formative years. The obsessive love between Edward and Bella is *not* healthy in the dating stage of a relationship. Our culture is saturated with the idea of the “perfect partner.” Think of Jim in the hit TV show, The Office. He’s the dream guy, right? He’s funny, cute, charming, smart, chases after the girl he’s in love with… and has a script. People don’t talk like they do on screen or in books. There are times when we can get caught up in looking for the picture perfect match when we really need to be searching for the other flawed human being that can weather the storms of life with you faithfully. However, the love that Edward and Bella share is a love that should be strived for with your spouse. While it takes time to achieve, this love comes after intentionally learning the other person, through better or worse. On top of all this, Bella is not a damsel in distress. In all four books, she is the hero who always puts the needs of others above her own. She and Edward complement one another, working as a team when things get tough, but in Meyer’s narrative, the author shines a light on how powerful a woman can be. I feel that the books do a wonderful job of showing that a woman can be powerful while also working alongside a man, which is how God intended us to function in our married lives.

There’s so many more words I could write about this series, but I will choose to leave it here for now: a fun adventure I dove into during a hard time in my life. And hey, finding biblical truths from books about blood sucking dudes that sparkle in the sunlight? Not a bad way to spend Christmas break. Twilight made me excited about reading again, and I look forward to spending more time enjoying a pastime that has shaped me into the person I am today.  

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

P.S. Alice is the best character in the whole dang series and I will fight anyone who tells me otherwise.

Hi again.

It’s been a year and a half, Blog. Sorry about that.

This isn’t gonna be a pretty post. It’s really more of a check point to motivate myself to get back into this habit I used to enjoy so much.

I’d like to say thank you. To my family, for never ever ceasing to support me. Even when I feel like I’m drowning and my brain is telling me no one cares, my Mom, Dad and brother Jeremy have never stopped loving me. They’re the best. To my friends, for loving me at my best and worst. Even when I’m frustrated and gloomy or hyper and obnoxious, I have people who I know will have my back through thick and thin. To my professors, for challenging me to be better. Even when I don’t think I can achieve something, I have been encouraged by my educators to think creatively and defy even my own expectations. To people who have hurt me, for making me stronger. Even when it sucks, I know it’s for the best. And to my God, for never letting me go. Even when I’m a thousand miles in the opposite direction and don’t desire an ounce of His love, He’s always there.

I’m a pretty open book. People can usually tell when something is off because a good chunk of the time, I have on a, “Wow, life is so miraculous, let’s make things awesome?” attitude. But literally NO ONE EVER could be like this 24/7. However, because of how my darn brain is working at the moment, I feel the need to be a ball of sunshine all the time for everyone else’s benefit. I don’t do a good job of taking care of my own needs and emotions; I’d rather listen to your problems than deal with my crap. That needs to change.

A lot of stuff happened in 2018. A heck of a lot of good, and a dumpster truck load of bad. I feel like I can say though, after a lot of warring with myself, that I finally have accepted that I need to take better care of myself. So, I’m getting help. It’s humbling and frustrating but also rewarding and calming.

One of the ways I hope to work on healing is picking up writing again. I’ve got some pals who I’ve asked to keep my accountable, so if anyone is still reading my pieces of the internet, Hi again. I hope I can spread some form of positivity, knowledge or insight as I work through some road bumps.

Know that you are never alone. You are loved. You are valuable. You are important.

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

 

How to Feel a Little Bit Better in 1 Minute or Less

This past week and a half has been really weird. I’ve been lacking motivation and have been having some really weird moody spells. Sometimes, when I get down, I like to sit down and think about all the good things that I have going on. By having that list, I’m able to see how many awesome things are going on, and that often chases away some of my down-in-the-dumps thoughts.

Today, I decided to set a timer for a minute to see how many good things I could think of, as opposed to thinking about my soul-crushing homework. Here’s what I wrote:

Seven Brides Rehearsals

Hanging out with Suz

New Dresses

Finding a good new book

Finally getting my print right in photography

Rewatching the Clone Wars with Grant

Toby being home from the vet

Ice Cream

Starbucks Mornings

Jesus Time in the Morning

Carlos’s Backwards To-Do lists

In just 60 seconds, I was able to come up with 11 things that were positive in my life. While things on my list or your list might not make sense to other people, knowing for yourself that there is still light during icky times is really important. Give this a try yourself! You don’t even have to do it for a minute; try 30 seconds to get yourself started. Or, set more time aside to write down things that make you thankful to be alive 🙂

Now, I’m back to the constant battle of Abby vs. Homework. Hoping that the homework won’t beat me 😛

Until Next Time,

Abby

Dear 2016 Abby

Hey! It’s me, 2015 Abby. You may or may not remember writing this while watching Sherlock for the 27th time, but I’m sure you’ll run across it again a year from now.

You’ve had a lot of “firsts” during 2015. You flew in an airplane. You got your first of four bridges to fill the spaces in your smile. You swam in the ocean. You got your first (and hopefully last) college “C”. There were some bummer times, but there were also some really great times too. You learned how to use oil paints and build canvases. You got to play your favorite Disney character on a CYT stage. You saw “Star Wars Force Awakens” on opening night after bugging Mom and Dad for days.

During 2015, you saw a lot of changes, too. You met new friends, strengthened old friendships, and let some go. One of the biggest things you learned was that people are  so important, and while not everyone you love is going to stay in your life, it’s vital to love those around you while you can. You never know when it’s your last chance to show someone that you care.

Art and writing is something you decided you wanted to do seriously. I hope that when you’re reading this a year from now that you’re still working you tail off to reach your goals. Don’t give up on that; you’ve worked hard, so keep pushing. If things go as planned, right now you’re working on transferring to a new school. Hopefully, you’re taking good advice and finding the place that is the best suit for you. Don’t let the older kids scare you off 😉

Most importantly, I hope that a year from now, you’re still striving to build a stronger friendship with Jesus. Over the course of this year, your joy has been found by having Christ as the root of your life. When things started to unravel, you often strayed away from God, but when you went running to Him, there was always a silver lining. Don’t ever forget that He is in your corner and will always welcome you into His presence.

 

2016 Abby, I hope you are well. While things may be crazy, there’s great, big, wonderful things happening all around you 🙂

 

 

Have a Happy New Year Folks!

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

Five Things You Should Not to Say to an Art Major

There are certain things that you just shouldn’t say to a student pursuing an art degree. Whether they’re an Illustration major with a teaching minor or a Ceramics/Photography double major, there are a handful of phrases that will make any art major want to dump paint over your head.

(Disclaimer: This is a slightly angsty post due to the fact that I have two weeks to finish three paintings and two drawings for the semester XD)

5) You just sit around drawing all day, right?

Yeah, no. Different art classes require different things, but you are never just sitting around drawing the whole time. You move around. You confer with your fellow class mates. You make a pot of coffee. You go cut paper with the monster paper slicer. You spend 30 minutes mixing colors for your next layer of paint. You make another pot of coffee. And then you go off and solve 23 other problems that just popped up. There’s a lot more to being an art major than drawing all day.

4) I could do that and/or your major is so easy.

Some people walk into a museum, look at a piece of art work and say, “I could do that.” Everyone has the ability to do art, but not everyone chooses to be an artist. There is so much that goes into every piece of art, many of which you don’t notice when you are just looking at it. Just because we get to do a lot of fun stuff doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

3) Did you know you have paint/clay/ink/etc. on your ________

Yep. We tend to be messy. Sorry.

2) There are a million other people just like you.

This is just kind of an overall nasty thing to say to anyone. Don’t shoot down a person’s dreams. You might think that you’re helping someone by being realistic, but how would you feel if someone came and stomped all over your goals?

1) Have you thought about how you’re going to pay the bills?

Oi vey, this is the worst. Yes, the art world can be quite difficult to get ahead in, and at the beginning it can be hard to make money. You don’t go into art for the money, but in recent years, there have been a lot more opportunities for artists in the realm of business. For future reference, yes, it’s something that crosses our minds and haunts our dreams, but we’re gonna figure it out.

 

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bang my head against the wall as I do math homework instead of drawing.

 

Until next time,

 

Abby