Of Childhood Journal’s

Dear Diary

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The longer I reside in my childhood room, the more I realize what a vastly different person I was growing up. On the walls there’s photos of mission trips, a porcelain doll angel that literally watches over me while I sleep, a poster of a giraffe, and joy products. Oh the joy! Since my middle name is Joy every Christmas, I receive a slew of joy products. I have joy building blocks, moose antlers, ornaments, stamps, even a flag. Playing “Count the Joy” in my room is like saying, “I spy something red,” when you’re standing in a white room with only one rose laying on a white table – it’s super easy.

But my favorite discovery of my old room, is in the bottom drawer next to my bed. For in that drawer are at least ten partially filled out journals. I was never good at maintaining journals, but I always liked the idea of keeping a journal. Even before I could write myself, I would tell my mom what to write down for the day. As I read through page after page of my horrible hand writing, which hasn’t changed since I was sixteen, I could only think how the person who filled these pages would hate who she later became.

That girl was heading towards a life of purity: Christian husband, wanted to save her first kiss for her wedding day, longed to serve the Lord, struggled with even the slightest hint of temptation, was heavily repressed, sheltered, and didn’t actually start to experience anything for herself until college. If she found out ahead of time that she would slowly discover a world outside faith, swear, drink, realize she’s a lesbian, and lie to her family from the age of nineteen and up – she probably would have become the Christian equivalent of a nun. Looking back I see hints of where I was headed. Little moments, that at the time were either a huge scandal or a mere recording of what happened that day, ultimately led to where I am now.

I’m going to do something I normally would never do, share my journal. So here are a few of my favorite excerpts from past Sarah’s life:

Hello, my name’s Sarah and in case you were wondering, I’m awesome.

11-16-2000

I better introduce myself, my name is Sarah Joy Luna. I am eleven (11 yrs) old and in the 6th grade. I was born on March 8th 1989. Today was my conference, every year I’m always told “Sarah’s such a wonderful student.”

The Tale of the Girl Who Lost Her Panties!

1-17-2001

Today will probably be one of the most embarrassing days of my life. Today I was at Adventure Club. And well we were cleaning up and someone said here’s someone’s lost their underwear. I go over to look and realize it’s mine! It must have been stuffed somewhere in my pants. I have dance before church so when I was changing in the van I choose to wear my leotard instead of underwear. The underwear fell out at church! In the classroom! I lucked out though someone said, “If we throw it away the little kid who lost it won’t know.”

I offered to throw it away, I picked it up, acted like it was sick to touch it. Ran up to the library. While pacing I was wondering what to do. Should I hide it in here? Someone might find it. Keep it in my pocket? They might see it. Try to get in the van? Probably locked.

Then my mom came. I told her what happened. We both couldn’t stop laughing. She gave me the car keys. I put the underwear in the van. And that was the end of that.

I’m a woman.

11-24-2002

I started my period today and I decorated Christina’s house with lights, next we’re gonna do my house. Bye.

When on my mission trip to Zambia, I was a creepy teenager.

8-5-2004

I watched Bill and Mwewa kill 2 pigs today. At first it was horrifying but then it was cool. The first pig wouldn’t die though, it squealed so loud for a couple minutes while Bill was mercilessly hacking at the piggy’s throat. I got a few pictures.

I might have been a bitch – but at least I was a nice bitch.

3-1-2005

On the way home me and Jessica took Jolene’s shoe, only one, and only gave it back when we went to eat. But then when we got back, we took her shoe again and I didn’t give it back, but hide it in the bushes, however I wanted to be nice so I made it obvious where it was in the bush.

First sign of gay, too bad I wouldn’t figure it out for another six years.

4-21-2005

Oh my goodness or gosh as I usually say, I cannot believe what I did during English ….(It’s an improve thing) Let me just say, we didn’t get to pick our partners. While waiting for my turn I was planning my first line which was, “do you think I’m sexy?” then I was planning what to do if the person said no. Well Kristin was in the middle and she said YES! So, I’m thinking, “oh great,” so I walk in a circle around her, very slowly and say, “good cause if you said no I would have to hurt you.”

Then I sat down fast and all sexy-like and looked at her. I could tell she was totally freaked. I said something that I can’t remember, followed by asking her what she was afraid of, she said she was scared of me, so I said, “why … I’m friendly” while semi-stroking her arm (the motion of it. But not actually touching her). Immediately after I said that the teacher called switch. I thought it was funny because during it Sheridan said, “she’s like the Christian girl.” And at the end Sara said, “I wanted to see where it was going.”

Funky romance? What gross imagery – I’m picturing chunky love, ew.

12-10-2005

Man do I suck at ice-skating! But hey, Jessy’s the one who fell not me. Something about ice-skating feels romantic, I don’t know what it is, but cold, ice and blades make me feel funky.

First kiss innocence

2-26-2006

I don’t think he’s worthy of my first kiss … You know how having sex out of marriage is called out of wed-lock. Well, I don’t know the term for just kissing and that kind of stuff, but I don’t want it out of relationship-lock.

Puppets and Jesus

7-10-2006

And when we started to practice the puppet songs, they were all acting so stupid and I just realized how dumb all this was. So I let myself get consumed with sadness. During my 5 minute shower I realized that I wasn’t doing anything for the Lord but just sitting in classes.

What Would Jesus Do?

9-23-2008

Disastrous thoughts are worthy of murder on the soul. The reality is I can’t sleep. Because almost every night Satan likes to put tortuous thoughts in my mind. … WWJD? Well I know one thing, Jesus never did anything that made him question His character.

It’s almost sexy time.

11-16-2009

The no kissing, totally out the window, there’s a good chance sex is in my near future as well.

Birth of a liar.

1-22-10

I tried for a long time to be Christian. I envied the faith of my family and some of my peers at Houghton. And I hate that I can’t come clean to my parents and just be me.

This will always be true. 

2-16-2010

Note: I hate squeaky shoes on children.

Of Alexz Johnson

Alexz Johnson

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I have been a devoted fan of the gorgeous Alexz Johnson since she was still on Instant Star. While the Canadian singer’s popularity may have dipped some at the close of the series, her music and style has grown exponentially. Her voice soars with the ability to influence the listeners emotions in a way that most pop artists fail to do.  Her fans have patiently waited as she struggled with Epic Records (who still have control of some of her best music), wrote and released an entirely different album, then revamped it. Recently her music has been appearing on television shows, her name is being twittered. As a die-hard fan I am thrilled that this lovely blond with a powerful voice is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

I could write for hours on her amazingness. Nah, I’d rather show you.

Her ballads leave me speechless.


Voodoo Reloaded Review 

Of Writing Failure

Success and Failure Sign

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Recently I wrote about being a lazy writer, an epidemic that all procrastinating artists can surely relate to.

The thing is laziness is a state of being. A state which can be easily overcome if one truly wants to.

Lately I’ve been suffering from a different writer problem. Quite simply – writing failure.

I have not liked what I’ve been writing. Private or academic. I’m not even satisfied with this blog post. And when what I’ve put to paper is rushed for a class, I find that especially frustrating.

I’ll be honest. I’m a better writer than most. Fiction and Non-fiction. I’m not the best, but I’m better than most, and I think that if I was pushed (by either myself or someone else) I could be fantastic.

Last night I was trying to write an eight page short fiction for my morning class. I spent hours trying to write something that wasn’t cliché and generic with no luck. I had words on a page. But they were just that: words. There wasn’t anything of substance behind them. The character’s were dull, the plot was non-existent, and I had no ideas on how I could progress the characters or what could happen around them. It was lame. UBER lame. I was frustrated.

It was a failure moment.

Non-writer’s struggle to relate to this. They hear: yes the paper is good enough and guaranteed at least a B with little to no effort. They wonder why I don’t just turn it in.

It’s simple. My own personal standards. And those are way more influential on what and how I write than a teacher or a peer. If I don’t think it’s as good as my other writing. Or if it isn’t coming out on paper as I imagined it in my head. It’s not good enough. So I sit there, stressing out because I know I’m better than that. I know that there’s more here that I’m not seeing. I want to write my Les Misérable. Sadly my creativity is failing me, and I’m writing a stupid Twilight instead.

Isn’t that the deal though writer’s? And I’m sure this goes for other art forms as well. Most of what I create isn’t the bestest-thing-ever. Most of it is painstaking work that doesn’t turn out the way I hoped. But when it does, that’s mighty exciting, and that makes all those practice drafts where I learned what works and what doesn’t, where I tried a variety of styles worth it.

Ultimately all the failures (hopefully) are leading towards a success.

Here’s my failure time line of yesterday:

  • I had about five pages done but I hated ALL of it.
  • Around 11pm I started a whole new thing.
  • I wrote until 2am
  • Went to sleep and woke up at 6am
  • Got ready for the day
  • Got to campus at 7am
  • Wrote like a mad women (didn’t have time to revise, was almost long enough, thank God it’s a rough draft)
  • Turned in my assignment online at 8:29am (class started at 8:30am)
  • I was late to class

Of Lazy Writers

Once Upon a Time

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I’m too lazy for fiction.

Fiction requires thinking outside yourself. Or taking part of yourself: beliefs, issues, passions, opinions and magnifying that in a realm of people who are … well … not you.

I love writing.

I love reading.

But I hate starting.

Thus, I’m too lazy for fiction.

In the realm of non-fiction I essentially write about me, and I’ll be honest I enjoy talking about myself. And if you’re a creative writer and claim to not – I dub thee a liar. I take an experience that I think others will find entertaining or will touch their soul. I make that accessible and enjoyable through creative prose and metaphor. Sarcastic tone and action. Sincere emotion and simplicity.

Non-fiction is easy. And is typically what I write in my spare time. I can start my assignments two or three hours before they are due and no one would ever guess. No one ever does, nine times out of ten I get rave remarks and have my grammar corrected. Grammar that I didn’t have time to go through and thoroughly revise. Comma happy nazis have issues my work, I am not a comma heavy writer. They, can, get, over, it, let, it, go.

But fiction. Oye!

I’m excited but nervous for my fiction workshops. In this genre I don’t generally view myself as exceptionally talented. I struggle with plot and content. I fidget with characters. I fail at using proper dialogue tags. I spend hours on a few moments only to decide in the rewrite that I don’t actually want to keep that segment. It’s a love hate relationship. But when I do accomplish something that I like and other people respond positively to, I am overjoyed. The personal satisfaction I get from doing something great outside of my comfort zone is a superior feeling to staying where it is easy.

Even so, I’m too lazy for fiction.

Of One Two Many Babies

Babies

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ATTENTION SEXUALLY ACTIVE YOUNG ADULTS!!!

BIRTH CONTROL AND CONDOMS ARE NOT HARD TO USE.

IF YOU’RE POOR THERE IS FREE STUFF AROUND.

PROTECT YOURSELVES DAMN IT! NO EXCUSES.

Seriously people what’s the deal? Why are there so many babies around lately?

I graduated highschool in 2007 and I can think of several people that I went to school with who have already started a family. Some of those people are younger than me. I keep on seeing prego pictures on Facebook. Wedding announcements for people who can’t even legally drink at their OWN reception. And I’ve heard tale of pregnancy scams amongst the townies.

I’m going to be twenty-two next month and I could not imagine having a kid right now. Not only am I not in a relationship but I can barely afford my rent let alone the expenses of having a child. They are expensive! I have zero desire to take care of another human being who is completely dependent on me. Plus telling my family a kid was on the way would be like saying, “Hark hark! The world is ending!”

It’s one thing to be careful and accidentally get pregnant, as there is always a possibility of having a baby unless one remains abstinent. It’s a whole different thing when people are not careful and get pregnant. A friend of mine told me the odds of getting pregnancy when not protected is something like one in six.

What skeeves me most is that the hefty majority of the baby announcements come from those who are not in a stable relationship. By this I mean they’ve been dating for four months … maybe. And now they are going to be parents?! This is not only unfair to the unborn spawn, but it forces the couple into relationship territory that they shouldn’t be approaching for at least a year. A level of commitment that lasts for … well, as Kanye West said, “Eighteen years, eighteen years, she got one of yo’ kids, got you for eighteen years.”

Recently in my hometown there were crazy rumors. I was never tight with the people involved but I had a few friends with direct access to what was going on. A group of girls scammed a group of guys and all got “accidentally” pregnant at the exact same time. There is no way to confirm the intentions of the pregnant girls, but we’ve all made assumptions. The girls told the guys that they were on birth control, trusted the pull out method, they will get Plan B, and so on. Granted the guys were also stupid to completely trust them, but they wanted sex, so I’m guessing that’s why they didn’t more actively monitor their birth control. As far as I’m concerned planning a pregnancy and not telling the father especially when you’re not married or been together for years, is the shittiest thing a person could do. It’s selfish and cruel to both the man involved and the child who will someday discover that they were conceived out of manipulation and scheming. Heartless bitches.

I swear some people should have to pass a test before they are allowed to reproduce.

Of Friends With Benefits

No Strings Attached, Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher

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Not long ago I wrote about being friends with ex’s, I reached no particular conclusion. Other than that there is no clear answer. In regards to being friends there isn’t an obvious yes or no. It’s a gray area. Couple by couple basis.

However I would argue that friends with benefits cannot exist.

Former couples and individuals who are attracted to each other can be friends.

And a strictly benefits relationship can be set up, though it is bound to be fruitless and disappointing if you’ve ever experience sex in a love relationship.

But friends with benefits is a guaranteed fail. Emotions, even if slight, are involved. Traditionally the argument is that someone is bound to get hurt. Meaning that one person will want more than the other. While yes this is probably true, in my experience that wasn’t what caused the hurt.

Recently my friends with benefits relationship with my ex came to a crashing halt. Not because he or I was wanting our relationship back. More because of the imbalance we were feeling. There was an emphasis on benefits over friends in our situation which made sex essentially a hit-and-run. And that recurring bang-and-be-gone, is what made both of us feel dirty. Last night, yes Valentine’s day, after cashing in on the benefits we discussed this issue. This led to an heavy but not heated conversation. Just being friend’s is tricky, we have to switch our routine out of the rut we were in an a couple. Because as a couple we weren’t good for each other and arranging benefits was simply our way of subconsciously clinging onto the past. Though he admitted for him it was conscious.

I feel good about the decision we made to stop the benefits. I also don’t feel bad that we continued our sexual relations after we broke up. We joked that we had break-up sex five times. It was part of our transition process, and I think we’re both in a better place now.

Of Being a Liar

Liar Word/Face

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For years I’ve been a liar. Not to everybody, just those of authority (bosses, teachers, etc.)  and my family. To the figures of authority I’ll make up why I’m late or not showing up to work, I’ll exaggerate details or even make some up to strengthen my side of a story, I’ll deny petty things that I think don’t matter. To my family I put on a new face. A good face. The face that I think they want me to have – a Christian face.

Being raised a pastors kid certain choices and beliefs were made for me before I was born: live for Jesus, don’t swear, maintain purity and innocence, marry a Christian man, be a witness, the list goes on. The majority of my life I’ve lived in a naive ignorant bubble – unaware of much of the world outside Christianity until I was nearly an adult. Once that bubble popped I quickly realized that I cannot and don’t want to be the girl my family desires. I also knew that informing them of my revelation would be the same as saying “Hey Mom and Dad, your only daughter is going to Hell.” So I did what any rebellious child would do, I lied.

I got very comfortable when lying, and I was good at it. To be a good liar is simple: don’t over complicate your tale, use bits of the truth for credibility, don’t ever admit to fibbing, and if possible temporarily convince yourself that you’re either telling the truth or are correct.

I lied until I was nearing the point of insanity. Frustration towards my family, organized religion, and the Bible brewed inside of me. I feared what they would think if I let them see the version of me that I liked best.  My friends got used to the occasional religion rant, often they chimed in agreement. My boyfriend at the time got used to me complaining about how religion fucked with me. He encouraged me to tell the truth – my friends did not.

Even with superb lying skills I reached my breaking point … this evening actually. Note: not because of my ex-boyfriend, though I am curious how me being honest with my family would have influenced our relationship.

So now my mom knows that I believe in God but have no desire to become involved in the church. She told me she was devastated, that I was throwing away everything, that the devil was devouring me, that she had sensed the lack of spirituality in me, and several stories about her God experiences. But she’s going to think of me with mercy. Eventually I had to stop her preaching. For I have heard it all before and was aware that if I were to say how I feel or think about most things she would listen with an ear of disappointment, there was no chance that she would even consider that I was right. And that’s what I hate about those type of conversations, the preacher never considers adjusting their beliefs. Never.

People say that the truth will set you free. Well, the truth also sucks. The truth in my situation gave me a 70% chance of sermon when in the presence of family. Which I consider rude and disrespectful of me and my valid opinions. Still, I’m glad I finally told the truth, at least I’ve opened the door towards a real, even if uncomfortable, relationship with my family.