Let It All Rain Down

Ice cream, red, melting

It looks good doesn’t it? Well you’re about to be told you can’t eat it. Then it’s going to drip, and rain down on your brand new boots, and you’re going to slip in the puddle of your own misery. I’m in a good mood.

I want to quit. I’m sick of feeling this way, like I’m doomed, because of the pile of homework that is staring at me. I want to quit advanced math and advanced biology. They’re making me miserable. I’m just barely managing to go to school every day, and they’re making it impossible for me to ever feel okay.

I don’t think I can do school. I just don’t think I can do it. I know there are harder things in life, but I don’t see how it’s possible for me to survive this. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t see how I can survive this while not losing my mind and my health.

Guys, I’m so tired. It’s insane. My entire body feels like it needs to stop and wheeze every time I try to move because I just have no energy. Every day I wake up and something else is hurting me, and I just have to deal with it. I don’t have a choice. I don’t get to say, “well, it’s my fault, because I should be going to bed earlier”, then change my ways and see results. I get eight or nine hours of sleep every night, and it makes no difference. My pain and fatigue are the same.

The homework, the pressure, the stress: it’s all becoming a little much for me. I have a stiff neck right now on top of it all, and I literally can’t look down, so homework has become this hill I can’t climb over. Every teacher thinks they are teaching the only subject that matters, so they happily grant us the gift of hours of work, without thinking about the fact that maybe we have other stuff to do.

I don’t want to complain about it anymore. I don’t think it would help. I just want to officially put it out there: I am sick of this. My brain is tired, my body is tired, my neck is tense and my patience is gone.

 

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My school is going on a trip next week. I don’t know how I’ll manage. It’s a three day trip, so for now the plan is for me to leave with the school in the morning (5:45 am), and in the afternoon let my mom know how I’m doing: if I’m fine, she’ll come the following afternoon to pick me up, and if I’m not, she’ll come that evening. The thing is though, that I can’t do any of the hikes, so I’m just going on the bus with them (the student body), dropping them off at the trail, and then going with a bunch of teachers and the secretary to do the food shopping. Then we go pick them up, and when we get back to camp, I’m on kitchen duty (every year, 11th grade is in charge of food). So I’m basically there to be the mom.

Last year I missed the trip entirely, which pretty much sucked. I don’t want that this year, so here I am. I just hope it’s worth it. I have a feeling that ten minutes into the bus ride I’m going to feel sick to my stomach, and half an hour later my head will explode. Then I’ll go do the shopping, and I’ll hurt my neck and knees. When I get on the bus and pick everyone else up, I’ll get a horrible migraine. When I’m working in the kitchen, I’ll hurt my hands. Not to mention I’ll be having cramps all day.

But I’m not pessimistic at all.

Dammit, I just want to have a good time and feel like a normal human being! Is that too much to ask for?!

Virtual hugs are welcome,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Let it all rain down from the blood-stained clouds, come out, come out, to the sea my love, and just drown with me. –Shallows, Daughter

P.s. Yes, I know the song quote is dramatic and depressing. It matches my mood. It is what it is.

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Laughter Lines

Old Women Jumproping

This is what my friend and I will be doing when we get together in our eighties. Just saying.

“Drumroll please!” I exclaim, as my hand nears the pile of little yellow cards. The drumming begins, and I lift one card high into the air. The drumming stops abruptly as I bring the card to eye level. “Advance to Go, collect 200.” She sighs, I laugh, pieces move and the game continues.

Yes, I was playing Monopoly. The friend I was playing with has been my friend since before I was born. Let me explain.

Once upon a time, when my mother was around 11 years old, she met a girl named Monica, and the two became friends. Naturally, Monica’s parents and my mother’s parents became friendly too. When they were both in their twenties and individually moved away from home, they ended up in the same city and moved in together. My mother married my father, and soon after Monica got married too. Both couples moved to Boston, and started bringing children to the world.

McLaughin (my friend- it’s a nickname that stuck) and I are both the youngest children. When McLaughing was one month old, and my mother was eight months pregnant, Monica and my mom met for coffee. They put McLaughin’s teeny weeny infant hand on my mom’s belly, where I was happily residing, and thus, we shared our first high five (of many) before I was born.

Seven and a bit years later, both families ended up across the world, a forty five minute drive from one another. McLaughin and I have always gotten along very well whenever our families met up (it’s harder to do than you would think, with 11 different schedules between us). Then, we got to an age where we didn’t mind being away from home for a bit, so I would find my way to their house for a weekend here and there, and vice versa. Then we got cellphones, and I talked to McLaughin at least once a week, walking to and from dance class.

Eventually, McLaughin and I were the ones pulling for the families to get together (though of course our moms were very happy about it too, it’s just we’re the ones that push for it). Whenever we see each other we have the greatest time. It’s laughter and fun, compassion and friendship, ridiculousness and comfort. And some more laughter.

This weekend, they come over for 28 hours (I only counted now, mind you). It was so much fun having them over, I absolutely loved it. It was horrible and annoying that I felt sick and exhausted the whole time, but McLaughin’s general kindness made it all a little easier to deal with. My grandfather is with us too, and of course he’s known Monica since she was a little girl, and he sees McLaughin whenever she comes to visit me. My grandfather is a sweetie-pie, and he was asking my mom what he could do to make Monica happy, so my mom told him to tell a lot of jokes- he complied.

Towards the end their stay, McLaughin and I started playing Monopoly. We created our own set of traditions for the game, which include buying everything we land on, hugging when one of us gets snake eyes, drumming the table when Chance or Community Chest are called for, and this thing called “race”. The rest of the house was quiet because everyone was in the living room reading, and we were next door in the kitchen hogging the table, so whenever something exciting happened they were all a part of it (willingly or not) because they over-heard it all. I don’t know about everyone else, but McLaughin and I enjoyed that. McLaughin has the ability to simply fill me with joy, give me energy and put me in a good mood.

They stayed late to have some dinner with us and I pulled out my camera and took a bunch of pictures. I suddenly remembered I was supposed to go to a surprise good bye party for a friend, so McLaughin, my sister and I rushed up to my room and rummaged through my closet, choosing an outfit and sending me to the bathroom to change. The rest of the family was shouting at us cause we were holding everyone up, but it wouldn’t be a traditional get-together if that didn’t happen at some point to someone in the family, so it was A-Okay.

I hugged everyone goodbye, and we all rushed out the door. I was late for the party, but it was the absolute best reason for being late- I was busy having a good time with some good friends. A friendship like ours will never fade, it will never stop being this beautiful, McLaughin will always be one of my dearest friends.

Yours truly,

Ella

P.s. I added a new page! Check out “In The Beginning”

 

Song Quote:

I’ll see you in the future when we’re older, and we are full of stories to be told… I’ll see you with your laughter lines. –Laughter Lines, Bastille

 

From my previous post, this poll is still relevant:

It’s Called Perseverance

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Card castles!

[This post is a little long, so you have two options:

  1. You can persevere, and read the whole thing.
  2. You can scroll to the bottom, where I have a new poll and pictures of what my sketch looks like after another session (the piece I showed you all last week in “To Create”, of the old man laughing done in black and white charcoal)

Either way, hi! Have a nice day! And now to the post….]

I was asked to babysit for this family with three kids. They wanted four hours on Sunday, six hours on Monday, and five hours today (Tuesday). I accepted readily, because I love babysitting. There’s a boy who is three and a half (“A”), a girl who is five and a half (“N”), and boy who is seven and a half (“R”).  Let’s just say, it wasn’t easy.

On Sunday, I spent the first 50 minutes fighting with the kids, because A hit me five minutes in when he wanted something (more cereal), and I told him he’s not allowed to have anything until he apologizes and asks nicely. Then the other two kept fighting about what they wanted to do, and refusing to get along. Then they had a silent protest (at least it was silent) when I wouldn’t let them ride their bikes (their mom didn’t want them going outside), and were just impossible. I brought them both to me, and told them that sometimes in life, it happens that you can’t do exactly what you wanted to do and you have make a compromise. They didn’t understand, so I said:

“Let’s say you want to be a doctor, but you can’t. And that’s it, there’s no way you can be a doctor, ever, even if you want to. What are you going to do, sit around sulking for the rest of your life? No! You’re going to find something else that you want to do, and that will make you happy.”

Now I’ll readily admit this isn’t the greatest example, but it’s what I came up with. This is what R shrieked back:

“I want to be a doctor, and no one can tell me I can’t!!!!!!!! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT TO!!!!!” I think my point was missed.

I wanted to call their mom and tell her I couldn’t take it anymore. When I put it down in words it really doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was way more awful than it sounds. You know me pretty well by now, and I’m never one to give up or be overdramatic. I wanted to go home.

An hour in, I put on Shrek for the older two, and went to find A who was sulking somewhere. I told him he’s welcome to come and join us. He mumbled that he wants more cereal, and I told him he can say “Ella, may I please have some more cereal?” and all of his problems would be solved. So he said it, and I replied with “gladly”. I WON!!!! Yay!

After getting him more cereal, the three of them settled in to watch the movie, and I sobbed silently inside. I knew that once the movie ended I would still have more than an hour with them, and I needed to prepare myself. A and N ended up falling asleep during the movie, so I played a bit with R, and it was very frustrating, but I won’t get into it. N woke up, joined, stuff happened and I got even more frustrated. A woke up, things imploded a bit.

What stood out to me most was that:  A. These kids are entirely used to getting exactly what they want, whether it’s within reason or not. B. They are so competitive! They always have to be better than their siblings, the best at everything.

R just kept going, “Aren’t I so good at this? I’m so smart that I thought to do this. I’m so much better at this than you. What, you didn’t get it? Are you dumb? You’re fat. I’m so cool. I know it.”

Seriously? Parents, why do you let your kid talk to people this way? He also had this bit where he would think he has explained something to you, when he really hasn’t, and then he gets frustrated with you. I actually felt really bad for him on this, because he clearly has no idea he’s doing it. For instance, he wanted to play a game with me and I didn’t know how to play it. To explain, he said “so you have these cards, and you can put them down like this, or you can put them here. Let’s play.” Then I would say, “R, you didn’t really explain it, could you try again?” and he would go, “What don’t you get? I’m so much smarter than you.”

Sigh.

N just liked saying I’m her servant, bothering her brothers, making life difficult. I wanted to cry by the time the dad came back and dropped me off at home. If the mom didn’t work with my dad (making it impossible for me to run away like a squirrel and never see her again), I would have told her straight up that her kids had been really horrible. Now that I think of it, I kind of did. We had agreed to talk at night and give me a chance to tell her how it went. I told her everything, straight up, just didn’t mention the part about what R had said (R- smart, me- idiotic). She said she would talk to them, and leave A at her mother’s.

This is where perseverance kicks in. I talked myself into believing everything would be better the next day, and packed a magic bag filled with stuff to pull out when they start getting bored/tired/mean. My parents told me they’re proud of me, my friends commiserated, and I readied myself for the torture.

Bright and early, I was ready to go. The mom let me know that she had the ingredients for pizza, so I could make it with the kids, and that she had talked to them and they would be better.

They weren’t better. It probably didn’t help that instead of prepping the pizzas together, sticking them in the oven and having lunch together, we had to eat sandwiches because it turns out there were ingredients for dough. Slight issue: dough takes two hours to rise. It would have been handy to know I should have built that into the schedule, rather than start getting ready half an hour before lunch.

Anyway, it sucked. The only time the two of them got along was when they were bullying me. I stood my own the whole time, I never gave into them and I did the right thing, I just had no fun (which is the point of babysitting- I like making money, but I mainly just like being with kids). The whole thing was disastrous.  At least the mom tipped me a whole extra hour’s pay for all my troubles.

Perseverance part: I still went back! I was not going to give in. If it took everything I had, I was going to have fun with these kids. People, why can’t I just give up?

After commiserating some more, making my parents and sisters laugh at my comedic retelling of my day, and repacking a new magic bag (the first one failed), I gave myself a pep talk. Yeah, go Ella, it’s gonna be great, you can do this, they’ll love you, you’re awesome, you’ll make some money, you can then spend said money on something that will make you happy, you’ll be fine.

But, for a nice break, I met my friend at the mall this morning. The first thing I said to her was, “You have no idea how happy I am to see you”. The second was, “Civilization, conversations, compromise, condolences- all kinds of words with “c” that you understand. I need to be with people who aren’t little kids.” I had been looking forward to this so much, and it lived up to my expectations. This is the friend I stayed with in London, we’re really close and I could live with her and never get bored, annoyed or aggravated. Unfortunately, that had to end, and I got ready for babysitting.

With prayers on my side, I waited outside for the mom to pick me up, and saw immediately that only R was in the car. I keep losing kids.

Here is the successful part of perseverance: I had some fun! R was a lot nicer and things went way smoother. We played card games (I’ve missed Rat-A-Tat-Cat), built card castles, wrote a story, played on the piano together, folded paper airplanes and flew them around the backyard, helped the gardener get a ladder and made him some coffee (though I asked him how he likes it, and I think I did it wrong, so now I feel really bad), ate popcorn, ate some more popcorn, and just had a much better time.

I feel so successful! But now all the hard work is taking it’s toll: my head feels like it’s going to explode. I’ve been so exhausted and stressed, with schoolwork and babysitting, and I need a break. That’s it, I’m going to bed at nine tonight. It’s decided. Watch me fail.

I appreciate you all for not telling me I’m dumb and fat,

Ella

Song Quote:

I never wanted anything from you, except everything you had and whatever’s left after that too. –Dog Days, Florence and the Machine

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As promised, pictures of the new developments! I have to work on the ear, give more texture to the wrinkles and hair, and add the collar of his sweater along his neck, and then I’m done!

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Close up…

And in honor of my 20th post, I wanted to add a poll and get some feedback from everyone. Unfortunately, somehow my technical abilities, which are nearly non-existent, failed me when it started getting complicated. I can’t figure out why it’s all capitalized, and why it looks the way it does when it’s saved with a different background, but it still fulfills it’s purpose, so I give up on trying to fix it. Thank you, and enjoy!