Wordy Wednesday: “The Way Back”


And, of course, you should see Divergent when it comes out this weekend (the trailer’s not as recent, but obviously still worth a watch):

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem I wrote about a year and a half ago, towards the beginning of college. Like for a lot of people, the beginning of my freshman year was a little bit rough, as I transitioned to being away from home and the people I’d known basically since I was born for the first time. However, I was really lucky to have a nice church just a few blocks up the street from me, and although I’m not really a Go to Church Every Sunday kind of person, I did do that until I had found my place at the university. And it was really helpful.

So, this poem is about that.

Heat seeping from the waxed paper cup into my fingers,
warm, warm, warm like the summer
and a smile on my lips, right at the corners, as I shuffle down
the street with my favorite sweater snuggled tight against my shoulders
and the sun blinding me—so bright—over everything.

I found God, this morning, in the little things,
like alarm clocks and cold showers and a biting wind,
trying to keep me away from church but unable to stop
my progression up the street, and now it’s warm, and it’s sunny,
and it’s beautiful. The way back is beautiful, as I shuffle down
the street towards home.

The way back is beautiful.


83Taking a “thanks for reading” picture in public rarely turns out well.



PS. I’ve got another Big News post coming your way sometime in the near future. I can’t specify when, because some things are still up in the air, but SOON.

PPS. I got a 91% on the multiple choice portion of the psych exam. Still waiting to hear back on the short answer portion, but LOOK AT THAT–I DIDN’T FAIL.

Welcome Week

I’ve been at college for a few days now, and let me just say: I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how gorgeous campus is. I was feeling really homesick yesterday, and just sort of holed myself up in my dorm room for a little while not talking to anybody, but then I needed to go find my classes and run some other errands, and the moment I stepped outside it was like my homesickness was just instantly better, because of how pretty and full of life everything is here.

I swear, U of M is like a mini New York City, only the buildings are shorter.

So, college so far has been pretty fun (although, I mean, classes haven’t started yet, sooo). I have a super nice roommate, and my room overlooks this beautiful nature-filled courtyard, and for anyone who knows what Team Starkid is, my drama class is in the same building as where they first performed A Very Potter Musical. Talk about geek-out moment when I saw the location on my schedule, right? (For anyone who doesn’t know what Team Starkid is: It’s a theatre company that posts its musicals on Youtube, and they’re all really funny and nerdy and TOTALLY AWESOME.)

But anyway, I don’t have much to talk about this weekend, because I’ve been really busy with packing and getting moved in and then going to Welcome Week activities. HOWEVER, I will be posting more often than usual in the next few weeks, because I’m participating in this cool blogging event for writers all throughout September, and the first portion of it takes place on Monday. Yay!

Check it out:

See you on Monday!



Metaphor is Metaphorical

I was bored this morning, lying in bed without a book in reach (a crazy scenario, I know), when I found my phone shoved up under my pillow and decided to look through the notebook I have on there. (Secret: Half the time when people think I’m texting, I’m actually writing.)

And it was while I was going through my cell phone notebook that I came across something I’d written back in March that I really liked, so I figured I’d share it with you:

Well, something occurred to me while I was looking at that metaphor this morning. Completely random, out of the blue, but it just hit me: I’m leaving for college this week. And while I’m absolutely terrified of going off to live in a dorm with thousands of strangers all around me and not a recognizable face in sight, this is also my chance to peel off those sunglasses and truly learn to see the world. I’ll no longer just be hearing about it on the news and in my textbooks, but actually going out and exploring and living in it.

Our parents were scared of us seeing too much, of the sun being too bright and its glare hurting us. But by not being exposed properly to things, we’ve been hurt anyway. We take everything for granted, and think the entire world is ours to own–oh, but as soon as responsibility becomes a factor, count us out, because whatever’s wrong, it’s definitely somebody else’s fault.

You know what? It’s time for our generation to own up to our actions. It’s time for us to learn what it’s like to ride a bike without the training wheels, and it’s time for us to figure out what it means to make our own decisions and to live up to the repercussions.

Am I scared of college? Yes. I’m terrified.

But I’m also excited. I’m excited to finally figure out who I am without people imposing standards and expectations on me. I’m ready for the weight on my shoulders to be my own, and I’m ready to finally live life the way it’s meant to be lived, ride the bike the way it’s meant to be ridden: without training wheels.

This week, I’m finally going to be able to take those sunglasses off and see the world for what it is.

Sometimes it’s too bright, I’m sure. Sometimes it burns, and sometimes it’s dangerous.

But I hear that it’s also really beautiful. Especially at the beginning. At sunrise.


PS. Your next Wordy Wednesday might not be coming to you right on Wednesday, due to my whole moving-to-college situation, but I will get it to you sometime this week, I promise! Don’t send the hounds!

Wordy Wednesday (“Packing”)

I move to college exactly one week from today. And I’m kind of just going around and hugging everything in sight, right now, and telling everybody how much I’m going to miss them (I’d like to point out that I’m moving like an hour from home–it really should not be that big of a deal).

I’m also doing a ton of laundry and attempting to figure out how to fit all of my stuff into a dorm room. Fun times.

In honor of the move, this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem I wrote yesterday about packing my clothes. I guarantee you that there’s more to it than that description merits.


Sit in dark, clutch t-shirt

Hold it in, hold it to you

Cannot give in, cannot fall

Fold shirt, smooth wrinkles

Place on bed, in the Discard pile

Growing, beside the smaller


Leaving, leaving now

So soon to say goodbye,

Cannot hold it in, cannot hold on to

this goodbye, it’s gone too soon

And now it’s a memory and it hasn’t

even ended yet, but it’s fading

Fading, fading, fading to Dark

And I will miss you,

Will you miss me?

I cannot, I cannot lose you

Not now, after I’ve lost all the other memor—

Pick up t-shirt and move it to


I cannot lose you,

Not quite yet.


Mind helping me out and voting for what next week’s Wordy Wednesday should be?



Why I Love My Mom

I just found out that my memoir “On Seventeen” won an Editors’ Choice on Teen Ink! If you’d like to help me out by checking it out (pieces with more ratings and comments on TeenInk.com are more likely to make their way into the magazine), here’s the link:

“On Seventeen”

This weekend, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I suck at playing Scrabble (unless I’m cheating by putting down names instead of words), that my parents passed on a few more of their engineering genes than I’d generally like to admit (I’m currently trying to figure out what to take to college with me by drawing diagrams of my dorm room–you’ve been warned)… and that running and I really do not mix. Especially when I’m wearing flip flops and it’s dark out.

Because while I currently look like this when you see my face (please excuse the fact that I just woke up and therefore, you know, look like it):

… My left knee currently looks like THIS:

And that’s just ONE of my knees on ONE of my legs. Not to mention what happened to my feet (nail polish and nail and skin alike stripped off of my toes) and all of the bruising that those bandages are hiding behind them, along with the massive amounts of road burn.

Let’s just say that I’m never going to try running across the street at 2:00 AM in flip flops Ever. Again. I will be wearing my running shoes from now on, thank you very much.

Having this happen to me Friday night, and then considering the side effects of it (and my utter and unavoidable uncoordinated-ness) ever since, has definitely reminded me of what time of year it is, though. Because although I’m annoyed that this means I can’t go on water rides at the amusement park on Monday and I can’t go swimming while I’m camping next weekend, my main concern actually turned to, What happens if something like this happens while I’m at school?

Because, as much as I’d like to ignore college and pretend that summer will last forever a la Phineas and Ferb, it’s not going to. I’m going to move into my dorm room in twenty or so days, and I’m going to finally get to meet my roommate in person, and I’m going to say goodbye to my parents, and I am going to be a college student. Who doesn’t have her mother to baby her when she falls and scrapes all of the skin off her knees.

I’m going to have to learn to take care of myself.

And yes, I’ll have friends in college who can help me clean off my battle wounds and drown them in Neosporin (and thanks, by the way, to the friends who helped me at 2:00 AM when I first tripped and went sprawling across the cement). But they won’t be the same as my mom–my mom who has loved me unconditionally, through my highest highs and lowest lows and everything in between–for the past eighteen years of my life.

Ironic, isn’t it, how Teen Ink chose today, now, to bring my attention back to that memoir that I wrote the day before I turned eighteen?

So I’m going to enjoy the last of my summer, even though I can’t go near the water without incurring an infection. And I’m going to enjoy college, when I get to it, even though I’m terrified of the changes it’s going to bring. But I’m also going to hold a little closer to all the things my mother has done for me and will do for me, because nobody else will ever love me like she does. And I love her for it.

See you on Wednesday!