What A Wonderful World

photo

Took this on the plane on the way to London! Just realized it looks like every other cloud picture ever taken, but oh well….

Hundreds of years from now, an old notebook will be discovered, in which a girl wrote about her thoughts and experiences as she travelled. People will marvel, at those things called ‘paper’, and ‘ink’. They will get a sense of what it used to be like to travel, with planes and trains, cabs and busses. They will be shocked at the fact that once upon a time, someone had to sit down and write what they were feeling, that they stopped because their arm was tired.

 

But for now, in the present, I’m very simply keeping a diary. I’m a week and two days into my vacation, and my notebook has about 100 pages full of words. I’m now in London, and before that I was in Budapest (Hungary), and Bratislava (Slovakia). I’m travelling with my parents and two older sisters.

 

It’s been amazing, seeing these different places where people speak these weird languages (not England, clearly), and lead different lives. There were a few things I saw everywhere I went, and these were them:

 

–       Babies! I just absolutely adore babies!

–       Couples, who were holding hands/ hugging/ kissing/ all of the above

–       Monuments to people the locals killed (which totally pissed me off. Let’s go murder people, then we’ll erect a statue that says how tragic it is they died. Yay! Not.)

–       Outfits/ fashion trends/ clothing. This has been particularly fun, because my sisters and I have taught our dad to notice it too, so every now and then he’ll go, “I liked that dress”, “That looked interesting”, or “Is that a mini, midi or maxi skirt?”

–       Other tourists.

 

Of course, there were many more, but I happen to not have my notebook with me right now. It’s actually not been such a great day, that’s why I have time to write. Here’s the part in most posts where the Fibromyalgia* segues itself in, and this post is like any other.  It’s been hard travelling while not feeling well, extremely hard. It takes away from the enjoyment and the sense of peace and wellness you usually get on vacation. I so wish I felt better, I wish this didn’t have to segue in all the time (though I like the word ‘segue’).

 

Despite all of that, and my bad mood today stemming from feeling like dog poo, I have been having a great time. It’s nice to not be at home, or at school. Change of pace, yeah? That was in a British accent. Almost everything they say here ends with a question, right? There it was again. In fact, I’ve been reading all of this in an accent. Random craziness, no?

 

I’ve met bunches of interesting people, had experiences that I’m not sure I liked, but that I’ll never forget (and that’s worth something- I’ll probably write about a lot of them in the near future), and felt like I gained world perspective again and again.  You know me, and my Big Thinking Moments**. Let’s just say that I feel like I have been living Big Thinking Moments most of the time here.  No matter what the rest of vacation is like, it was worth it for those.

 

As I wrote in my notebook (I just found it),

“… had like this barrage of Big Thinking Moments. I realize I’m really hopeful about the world and about life, and I’m just realizing how amazing everything is. That we are alive, we have thoughts, we have bodies, they have functions. We all look different, act different, dress different, but are built the same. There are families, and places around the world, and beauty, and genius. There is creativity, and history, and society, and money, and… all of it! Everything!     ……

     I have so much respect for life, and I just want to live, experience, learn, and love, and I feel like those aren’t just words, like I know what they are and what they mean. I’m really just excited, not in a rush, living and feeling in the here and now, and I want to say this: I LOVE LIFE. I do. No matter what, life is the most incredible thing out there. I hope and pray I can feel like this for the rest of time.”

 

Wow, well I’m glad I found my notebook just now. I don’t have anything else to add to that, I just really agree with myself.

 

I hope you love life too,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

The heart is hard to translate, It has a language of its own, It talks in tongues and quiet sighs, and prayers and proclamations. –All This and Heaven Too, Florence + The Machine  (This is one of my absolute favorite quotes, I reserve the rights to use it again!)

 

*Check out my new page, “Fibro- what?!”, for info on what that is.

 

** I hope I actually did explain those well enough, because I’m using the term as though everyone understands what they mean. Should I add a page about them? I recently discovered that you can add pages. It’s cool. I think I’m in love. Not really. I just like them. We have a friendly working relationship with them.

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It’s a Landmark

Reaching for the light

People everywhere celebrate landmarks in life. Birthdays, anniversaries, new beginnings and so on and so forth.

This week, I’m celebrating the end of the school year. Every student out there will tell you how and why they celebrate finishing the year, and almost all of the reasons will be along the lines of “I worked really hard this year, and I’m happy to get a break”. That’s true for me too, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also something more.

June 20th marked the end of my first school year with Fibromyalgia. It means I survived a whole year of school, whilst suffering from the head aches, the fatigue, the joint pains, and that now it’s over. Everyone is asking me how it feels, do I feel so great that I succeeded, am I overjoyed that the school year is over. To be perfectly honest though, it just kind of feels… blah? Not blah, just that it doesn’t feel like that huge of a deal.

I’m not explaining myself right. I feel happy, and satisfied, and proud (I have the highest GPA of my grade!!!). It’s not that I’m thinking the year wasn’t that bad and therefore it’s no big deal to finish it. It’s not that. I actually had a really, really hard year. I’m elated that despite all of my hardships, I managed to achieve what I set my mind to, which was to not let Fibromyalgia affect my grades.

I think it just hasn’t fully set in yet, that I’ve finished. This is only really my 3rd day of vacation, because of the weekend, which I always have off. Maybe by next week I’ll be feeling it for real.

For now, I’ve been trying to get the most out of days without school. I have reorganized and labeled our spice drawer, I have buffed up my iTunes library, I have read, I have watched TV, I have gone to get frozen yogurt, I have painted, I have sketched, I have gone to art class, I have shopped (online), I have exercised, I have gone to the beach, I have… Have I mentioned I’ve only been on vacation since Thursday?

Keeping busy, I know how to do that.

I really want to make the best of this summer. I have so little free time during the year, now is when I get to engage in all the projects I don’t usually have time for.

I’m going to tell you a story now.

It is custom, where I live, to go to the beach on the last day of school. So, the entire middle and high school population of the extended area flock to the beach, to “celebrate”. Ultimately, each person gets an inch by inch square of sand, and an ankle in the water. T’is enjoyable. My friends discovered that a certain area of a certain beach, that is farther away, is less crowded, and you can rent chairs to sit on (though because my friends are the way they are, they usually put their bags on them and lay on the floor to tan. I really don’t get it). It means we needed to take two busses and a cab to get there.

We went to the same place last year, and it was no fun. This year, because these girls have the gift of people-speaking, we agreed to go to the same place. This time, though, something nice happened. We arrived in two groups, and the other group had arrived before mine. When we walked to “our spot”, one of the girls looked up and said, “Ella, I got you a chair, I thought it might be easier for you to sit that way”. I swear I almost burst out crying. It only just took a year for this girl to acknowledge that I have a physical disability, and that she should be nice about it. Most of me was just really happy that she was nice, but a part of me was upset that it took her this long. Of course, there was a rotation of who was sitting on the chair, because I wanted to be in the water (not lying on the sand tanning). But I think that’s what made my afternoon, that the girl who laughed when I told her about my condition was finally finding kindness, deep, deep down inside her. I feel like it’s a personal accomplishment.

FIN.

Incredible story, right? I know.

I smell summer in the air. I like summer fashion, summer hair dos, summer time tables, summer freedom. Waking up to a blue sky is uplifting, and I’m feeling like I can accomplish things. I don’t know what exactly, but what’s important is that I feel like I can.

Wishing you all a beautiful, happy, accomplishment-full summer,

Ella

Song Quote:

Where does the time all go forever? It hides in your eyes, in a picture, in another place’s sky. -More Than Letters, Benjamin Francis Leftwich