Joie de Vivre

Outside in the wintery mix,

Flurrying snowflakes fall to the ground.

When you open the doors,

Heat hits your face,

While the smell of fresh grounds,

Invades your nose.

The cushiony chairs throughout the room,

Welcome you as though,

You’re in your very own home.

Walking in the Wi-Fi connects,

Apples are placed on the desks.

Fellow classmates fill the empty spaces,

Furrowed brows with focused faces.

Order a cup or two or three,

There will never be enough,

Brewed coffee.

The steam from the cup,

Warms your senses,

The smell of pumpkin spice,

Drifts from your mug.

At this point,

You don’t even need it,

The caffeine doesn’t affect you,

You just drink it to fit in,

With the fellow zombies around you.

You drink it for the taste,

You drink it for the aesthetic,

You drink it because it’s become a bad habit.

Coffee,

Homework,

And reading,

Are your only escape.

They consume your everyday life,

But you’re still counting down the days,

Until the calendar marks the next,

Holiday break.

My Joie de Vivre,

You guessed it,

Is coffee.

Also, if you think this poem,

Is just like the last one,

You’re right!

You caught me.

– uninspired, but inspired

My Happy Place

Open the vast wooden doors,

the smell of grounds fills the air,

velvety green carpet beneath my feet,

maroons and yellows give the space more flair.

With the thermostat perfectly set to unfreeze,

look outside and you can see,

colored autumn leaves,

fallen from a Quaking Aspen tree.

Shelves lined with expired sycamores,

the irony isn’t forgotten.

as the bundles of paper sit upon,

treated wood and chopped up branches.

The smell of parchment is soothing,

it brings a smile to my face,

I can’t believe an inanimate object,

could bring my thoughts back in place.

Sitting in the cushy chairs,

watching others pass by,

carrying their array of volumes,

that’ll prevent them from using all the Wi-Fi.

While this setting is perfect,

the bundle in my arms,

will cost a fortune.

How could this possibly harm,

the savings I’ve collected,

for this very hour?

Indecisive I will stay

until my common sense decides to flower.

No, screw it!

This bundle of joy,

is worth all this hassle,

but I’ll put back the Tolstoy.

because I’ll never read it.

Who has the time to explore,

the views of marriage,

through the eyes of some whore?

Except.

She wasn’t a whore,

Tolstoy just wanted her,

to be exposed as such!

What deplore!

Let’s get back to the point.

Where were we?

Alas!

Right before checkout,

I feel like an ass.

Ranting and raving,

about fictional labels,

when really this bundle,

needs to be paid for.

The total adds up,

to no less than fifty,

I don’t even care,

this price sure is thrifty!

Ten volumes for that price?

You’ll never beat.

This bookstore is fantastic!

Now time for a treat.

We grab some crème brulee,

from a bistro nearby,

then get in our car,

but before we drive home,

we don’t make it far.

We turn in our seats,

to look at the place we adore,

we drive in front and take photos,

the modern way to say:

“I’ll miss you my love,

with your comfy chairs,

and nice patrons,

I’ll move here one day!

So, we can be closer,

Until then my sweet,

I’ll visit you shortly,

for I can’t help the defeat,

my pocketbook brought me.

So long,

farewell,

goodbye,

Tattered Cover!

I’ll be back soon,

because I’m a book lover!”

To Whom It May Concern;

To whom it may concern,

The simple idea that anyone could drive an individual into such a mediocre state of depression is absurd. But the idea that someone who swore they were your friend didn’t help you out, hold your hand, or pull you out of that state is even more absurd. I’m writing today to tell all of you what happened to me these past few days. While leaving out all of the personal names and specific circumstances, I’ll make an attempt at sparing any over exaggerations.

With the eclipse occurring on the 21st, and Mother Nature taking over my lower region, I’ve been a little bit off. There are rumors that people become more sensitive, their weak traits come out more, and several personal aspects can just get screwed up. Well for me? I became vulnerable. School started on Monday, Mother Nature attacked me on the same day, and everything was just falling apart. Until I had somewhat of an epiphany.

The epiphany I had was a cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less of a sudden realization. I had the realization that no one actually cares unless it’s a way for them to use you. Your time, your emotions, your ideas, your love, anything. Regardless of how long you’ve known each other. Regardless of the labels or the open mindedness you’ve tried to achieve. No matter how nice and how rational you try to be to everyone, none of it matters unless they get something out of it. You can give out advice, you can compliment them, you can have civil debates, you can wish them a happy birthday, etc. but no matter what you do. No one really cares.

I’m tired of trying to please everyone. These past few days I took three mental health days from school to just lay in bed, sob, and play games on my iPad. I fell behind in school, I questioned things in my life that I never have before, I blocked everyone on my social media accounts that I thought were annoying, and I even took a depression nap.  Which let me tell you, I never ever do. When I take naps, I hibernate. If I’m tired, I drink coffee. But the other day, I took a nap. I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted that I fell asleep after a disagreement I had with someone very close to me (no names remember?). Last but not least, in my battle with my emotions, I took down my Facebook and closed my Etsy art store. Like I said, I was done.

Even though everything I’ve stated above sounds terribly cliche and not unusual for a 21-year-old engaged college student, I don’t care. My whole family was worried about me, the two friends I have left were worried about me, and even my cats checked on me from time-to-time. I was a complete mess. But someone who I thought would’ve been there for me, wasn’t. I shouldn’t have been surprised honestly, but I was. They proceeded to ignore me crying out for help but continued to reach out to someone else instead.

Needless to say, a few years ended up going down the toilet. I’m finished. I’m done. I’m kaput. I give up. I was at my most vulnerable and at my worst. So whoever wasn’t there for me, doesn’t deserve me at my best. The people who did reach out, however, I greatly appreciate, but after this week the vulnerable Danielle is being put to rest.

I’m tired of tip-toeing around people who are spineless. I’m tired of everyone telling me what is and isn’t correct. I’m tired of everyone being so sensitive and whiny (ironic that I’m whining right now). I’m tired of the few individuals who claim their personal issues are more valid than my own because they’re a little more extreme.

The sad and depressed Danielle is diminished, the walls are back up, and my “doesn’t-give-a-shit” attitude is (hopefully) back for good. Now I can’t promise anyone that this will all stay because who knows, maybe I’ll break down again in the near future, but for now, I’m done. I honestly cannot say that enough. Just the idea that people can be SO horrible is enough for me to make an attempt to stick to this realization.

Also, if you want to come at me (if anyone actually reads this), don’t. Just. Don’t. Because more than likely, the shoe will fit and you’ll find something to argue about and I’m not having it.

With no ragerts,

Danielle

I quit.

When I was little,
I used to play piano.
I started when I was 5-years-old, living in Germany and I stuck with it until junior high.
Well. Needless to say, I quit.
I quit pressing the black and white keys.
I quit singing to my favorite songs.
I just. Quit.
But, do you know why?
Because my piano teacher yelled at me.
She didn’t yell because I was arguing.
She yelled because I refused to practice.
All throughout my young life, I refused to practice.
I took guitar lessons.
I quit.
I managed to hold onto the flute for almost eight years, and the piccolo for five. But, I still quit.
I even practiced those two.. after I hit a certain point in high school where I realized;
“Oh.. I have solos. People can hear me.”
So, I practiced (almost) every night.

I’m not blaming anyone for my bad habit of quitting. Anyone but myself anyway.

However.

Today, I played my beautiful sparkly pink Daisy Rock guitar and I was still where I was when I first started.
Plucking to “Ode to Joy”,
strumming the five or six chords I still know by heart.
Playing around with “Seven Nation Army”, “Smoke on the Water”, and “Welcome Home.”

Well.. picking back up the guitar started a few months ago when I tried to learn “Without You” by Oh Wonder on my acoustic.
When I realized that my coordination was gone. I could no longer sing and play but I could still just get the chords. Plus now that my fingers are a little stronger/bigger than the very first time I picked up my beginner guitar, I could get to the chords a little faster. However, that’s not the point.

To play “Skinny Love” by Birdy, or “Without You” by Oh Wonder, or “All About Us” by He is We.. you have to be able to strum and sing. I asked a few of my fellow guitarists, which was primarily researching Yahoo Answers replies, and everyone said that this will take anywhere between a few months to a few years.

Well, I don’t have months or years because I don’t have patience. So I can feel myself on the verge of quitting. Mainly because I hate not being able to perfect something the first time I try it. Plus, I hate practicing. So much.
How is it, that I can play the guitar and sing on Rock Band, but I can’t strum and sing on the real guitar?

Tomorrow, I might (re)try the piano. But we will see.

You

The other day..

I cried.

Not for the sake of a mental breakdown,

but because of my love for you.


The curves of your face,

the smell of “you”,

the way your lips look,

when you smile.


From your head,

to your toes.

You’re mine,

just like you’ll always be.


For better,

for worse,

til death do us part.


The vows haven’t been exchanged,

just yet.

But the piece of paper required,

isn’t that far,

from being signed.

I just hope you realize,
that I’ll always be there.


AllBee there for you,

during the rough times,

and during the bad.


AllBee there for you,

during the happy times,

and during the sad.


Just know that even though,

we aren’t where we wanna be,

just yet.

I’ll always be with you.

No matter what.


Simply because I love you,

oh so much.

Favorite(s) Nack

Crunching in

every bite.

The chewing masks,

the noise emitting

from the screen.

But,

I don’t care.


The oil coating my fingers,

makes this even better.

It adds more flavor,

to every handful.


Savoring each

and every bite.

As the plot progresses,

the outside of my jeans,

become textured.

From the wiping of the grainy,

specks of this sent-from-god snack.


I go to lick my fingers,

and the taste of butter fills my taste buds.


I need,

to ask for a refill.


Could you guess what delicious
morsel I’m describing?

If you didn’t see,

the original picture?


 popcorn

The Black Sheep

Standing outside.

Shaking.

It was the middle of February 2017 in Colorado, and we were third in line at the door.

Our email said to be at general admissions at 5:00 PM to check in, but we got there at around 4:45 PM. It wasn’t until almost an hour later that the ticket guy for The Black Sheep came out holding our VIP lanyards and passes. My fiancé and I were frozen, our hands were turning red and I could almost feel my leg hair growing back. The man holding the laminated pieces of paper in his hands came up to us. After we told him our names, we were sent off into the line leading to one of the most iconic nights of my life.

After they opened the doors to The Black Sheep, they led us in a single file line through the door. “Just put one foot in front of the other. Don’t shake, don’t let your anxiety come out,” I thought to myself while I proceeded to follow the line in a semi-circle in front of the band. The girl behind me fangirled with me about touching Tilian and shaking all their hands. We couldn’t believe that Dance Gavin Dance was right in front of us.

After the first two groups finished, we walked right up and shook the hands of Will Swan, Andrew Michael Wells, Matthew Mingus, Jon Mess, Tim Feerick and finally, Tilian Pearson. They were all there, in-the-flesh.

The ‘camera guy’ was just an employee of The Black Sheep who used the fans’ cell phones for the photos. He instructed us to squeeze in the middle between Matt and Jon so we could get a picture with the group. I got to touch the drummer and he put his arm around my waist, while the man holding my phone counted down so we could prepare ourselves for the photo. It was such a euphoric feeling, being that close to a band I’ve loved since 2010. I couldn’t believe they were right in front of me, in the same exact room. My inner fangirl was jumping for joy and I could hardly contain myself when we took the picture, collected our VIP merchandise and walked away from them to rejoin the line.

The second time around, one of the employees of The Black Sheep told us we could get our things signed and just chill out with the band until it was time for the concert to start. My fiancé and I went right up to each band member and had them sign my Instant Gratification record cover, and my fiancé’s’ VIP pass. In order, we went from Will to Matthew, then to Tim and Andrew, and then Jon. We saved Tilian for last, because frankly I’ve had a massive teenage-girl-like crush on him since he joined the band five years ago. When I walked up to him, I managed to hide the inner fangirl fairly well. Tilian signed my record and my fiancé’s pass, just like the others, but we made sure to get an individual photo with him before we went off to get IDed and get more merchandise at the booths. I was still in awe that Tilian, along with all the other members, were just so chilled out and honestly some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

After we put our merchandise in the car, we decided to head back in to watch the concert that was about to start up soon. We were standing by the bar in front of the merch, when I met my (even though I didn’t know it yet) best friend Stephen for the first time.

We all stood around for maybe thirty minutes before Eidola, band one of four, came on stage. We were still standing by the bar, when we saw that the touring guitarist for Dance Gavin Dance was also Eidola’s lead singer. Which we kind of thought back and realized it was a little weird that we got him to sign our record, but we just shrugged it off.

We weren’t entirely sure what band was going to come up next after Eidola and the second band were done performing. The whole tour was called Robot with Human Hair vs Chonzilla, so it could’ve been either band coming up. All it took, was Matthew Mingus walking to sit behind the drums to realize that Dance Gavin Dance was in fact, next. The crowd went wild and we managed to get a little closer to the stage.

As soon as the band started playing, these little teenagers started a mosh pit and my fiancé, his coworker and I, were right in the middle until they shoved us onto the edge. It was my first time in a bar, and my first time at a concert where there would be a mosh, so it was kind of overwhelming but fun nonetheless.

During the concert, all I could focus on was Tilian. I didn’t think it was possible for him to be better than what he was in person, but on stage he was fantastic. Tilian and Jon coordinated their vocals so well, and I recorded practically the whole show. The feeling of being in the same room as them was so euphoric and surreal. I didn’t want them to stop playing, but as soon as the final note of the last song hit, they left the stage and we left for pancakes.

I Don’t Like To Talk About It

Picking. Popping. Scratching. Digging.

Constantly picking at pimples. Popping the little whiteheads that show up every morning. Scratching at bumps. Digging out scars and digging out blackheads. Not feeling a relief until the flaw is gone, only by creating more fingernail indents around the circular clogged pore that invaded my perfectly flawed skin.

When someone makes me uncomfortable, my hand goes up my back to “scratch an itch”. When I’m concentrating or stressed, it likes to go to my chin or behind my ear and hairline. When I’m bored? That’s when my hand goes to my arms and face.

It’s a nervous tick. It’s one of the products of my anxiety. I don’t like to talk about it.

Dermatillomania is something that many people suffer from everyday. It has obsessive compulsive type tendencies, except instead of keeping a desk organized, or flipping a light switch multiple times, you honestly believe that your skin is flawed. It’s flawed because of the clogged pores. It’s flawed because whenever you pick, pop, scratch or dig, your nails and finger tips leave more oils and dirt surrounding the flaw you messed with and you end up creating another one. Ironic. It’s flawed because someone once told you in fifth grade that you had really big pores, or that you could never look like Katy because you had too much acne. It’s flawed because once during summer band, someone pointed out the flaws on your arms from being out in the sun.

I still know who said all of those things. Another perk of anxiety. Constantly thinking about things that happened days, weeks, months, years ago. Every insult is fried into my brain. Instead of memorizing dates in history class, I was thinking about why the boy I had a crush on left me. I was good at school, sure, but I was better at overthinking.

Today, I am twenty years, five months, and two days old. It’s January 19, 2017. Nineteen days into the new year and I have already had too much stress thrown in my direction. School-wise. Life-wise. Anxiety-wise. Which causes an uproar in my skin-picking tendencies even more.

Right now, I am typing with cuts on the tips of my fingers. Cuts from a knife. Cuts from my cat Patrick, who believes that “playing” has to involve claws. The cuts make it difficult to type, however the subject of this blog makes it more difficult. Exhaustion has led me into discussing things I’m uncomfortable with. I could talk about anything right now. I could talk about the things on Facebook that irk me or I could talk about the issues with society nowadays, because damn, there are multiple.

However, I chose the one subject I dislike about myself. I am opening up to the internet about a self-diagnosed “disease” that I don’t like to talk about.

To publish, or not to publish.

That is the question.

 

Coulrophobia

On the night of October 2, 2016, I had a horrific nightmare. As many of you probably know, there have been creepy clown sightings all over the states. They’ve been caught luring kids into the woods, there were assaults at college campuses (one occurred where my best friend attends, be safe Nicole), there have been sightings of them walking on public streets/dirt roads, and there have been many threats pointed towards school districts and Halloween. It’s 2016 and we’re worried about clowns. Rumor has it that they tend to appear every now and then at this time of the year, where they attempt to pull these same “pranks” we’ve read about today. Many think it’s a joke, however when somebody is chased down, assaulted, harassed or threatened, I don’t think it’s very funny. I’m not writing this blog to spread awareness, I’m writing it to elaborate more on why I only got 7 hours of sleep between October 2 and October 4.

The first night consisted of a vivid and graphic nightmare involving my best friends, Nicole and Marina. We were about to go on our usual Pokemon/mall trip when there were sirens and clowns appearing everywhere. Marina was driving, I was in the passenger seat and Nicole was in the back. Everywhere we turned there was a clown, we stayed in the car until the very last moment we had to get out to get into the mall. When we arrived we were escorted in by a group of police like we were being protected from paparazzi. Tonight was in a “Purge” setting. There were attacks, thefts, chases, and stalking. Police were still out protecting heavily populated areas because it wasn’t a government issued purge, it was an overthrow of the cities, by the clowns. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were on the television, clowns ran the streets, cops were in full force and people were scared. There were “Clown Lives Matters” posters and propaganda all over the commercials and walls of highly populated areas. Everyone had their doors locked. It was complete chaos.

creepy-clown-3

When Nicole, Marina and I were in the mall most of the people didn’t come to work. The majority of the stores were closed and we could only get into Hot Topic, Spencers and other stores like them. They didn’t care about the clown catastrophe outside, because they’re stores thrived off of it. They already had clown masks in their displays because Halloween was coming up and they were prepared for it in full force. The stores had many skimpy outfits, scary masks, makeup, and whatever else you needed for the upcoming holiday. No one could touch them because these were just the kind of stores they were, they already had these things before the clowns appeared and they already were set for any disturbance involving their inventory. After we got what we came for, we were escorted back to the car.

Afterwards, we continued our Pokemonning around Copperas Cove until late at night. It was around 2 in the morning when we decided it was time to go home. We were the closest to my house, so we went to 29th street. Where we thought the streets were bare, until we arrived outside of my house. Three clowns appeared behind the car and we weren’t sure how to get out because the police were lacking in this part of town. So naturally, we all were shaken. Marina put the car in drive and we sped off. The clowns proceeded to chase us all the way down the road and I woke up.

creepy-clown-2

The second night I went to bed at 11pm and I woke up at 2 in the morning because of yet another nightmare. This one, also included clowns. Except this time, I was with Cody and my little 5 year old sister, Willow.

Cody and I were sitting and drinking coffee on a porch in the front yard (I’m not sure whose porch it was) and Willow was playing in the culdesac where the house was located. We weren’t at the house we currently live in though, so I’m assuming it was just my imagination coming up with a location. The sun just went down, my parents were out of town and we were doing what we always do when Willow had a good day at school. The porch we were on was about a foot tall and you could see the culdesac very clearly because they installed more than one street lamp after the clown appearances started happening more at nighttime.

While Cody and I were drinking coffee, we were discussing this whole clown situation and about how there was a group of them sighted very closely to our location a couple of days ago. I, for one was terrified of the whole situation and Cody kept continuing on about how if he ever came across one that he’d kill it.

Then I just so happened to see movement in my peripherals. Which caused concern.

I look down, and there in the shadows was one of the creepy clowns curled up staring up at us. I let out a scream and couldn’t move, Cody stood up in his chair, cocked the gun he had in his belt and the clown disappeared.

Willow was still playing in the culdesac, until she let out a scream too. By the time we looked up she was running towards us with two clowns behind her. Cody started running towards them but by the time anything happened. I woke up.

I woke up at 2 in the morning to my brain imagining the clown curled up next to my bed and a creepy face in my room that looked a lot like this one:

creepy-clown-face

I woke up and couldn’t move. Not to go to the bathroom. Not to feed the animals. I couldn’t move. The last time I saw creepy faces in my room I was just a kid. I went to therapy for it along with my ADD. It was a while ago. Since the night of October 3rd, I’ve been able to get a full night of sleep because I started doing this technique I used to do when I was younger. I would basically make a barricade with my stuffed animals whenever I thought I’d have a nightmare and it worked for the most part. Well, resorting back to old ways isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So I tried it and the only dreams I’ve had have been about marching band, art, Legos, and other miscellaneous things.

I didn’t write this article as a cry for attention, I just wanted everyone to know why I haven’t gotten much sleep since this clown situation has started occurring. It’s not a joke to people with overactive imaginations and tremendous anxiety issues. I’ve been terrified of clowns my whole life so now that it’s all over social media and the news, it doesn’t make it any better. Judy Blume once said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and find a clown to beat down, or even watch “It”, but a way of overcoming nightmares/fears is to talk about them. The fact I was capable of even searching on Google for the images in this blog post, shows a little about the fact I’m becoming a little less afraid. Does this mean I’ll be over the whole fear of clowns by the end of the week? Probably not. Will I still get a little anxious at the sight of them? I might. However, I still took the first step in overcoming and just because it’s a little blog post doesn’t mean that I need to justify my ways of slowly, but surely overcoming Coulrophobia.

Fifteen Years Apart

They’re whiny.

They’re bossy.

They’re stubborn.

They’re demanding.

Who am I describing? A toddler.

One might think that the title “Fifteen Years Apart” would refer to an older sibling or maybe even a significant other, well in this case the term “younger sibling” applies. Willow Marie-Skillings Warren (once Skillings Skillings) entered into my life when I was about to turn fifteen, three days before my birthday. She’s currently about to turn four and oh boy, do I have stories to tell you guys about her.

Why would I dedicate a post just to my almost four year old sister? Well, let’s just say she’s a character. I mean, sure, what almost four year olds aren’t? but Willow? she’ll outshine all of them.

I’m sure at least one of my readers have watched one of the many scary movies with children in them, such as Insidious, Unborn, or anything creepy. Let’s just say lately, she’s been creepy. She has once dragged one of my best friends down the hallway and into her room, screaming manically and laughing. It was horrific and yes, we video taped it for evidence.  She’s gotten to the stage where she just doesn’t know right from wrong and she knows when she’s being creepy.

Just the other day I was leaving for work at 5am (as usual) and she was under the dining room table hyperventilating. I wasn’t sure what it was because she was supposed to be in bed and we usually have the baby proof doorknob covers on so I was sure that it couldn’t be her. Well, I made a few steps into the dining room and boom, there she was. Honestly, I should’ve expected her to get out because she’s outsmarted the baby proofing before, but at 5am when she’s supposed to be asleep? she just threw me off guard.

“Is mommy awake?”, I asked her.

“Noooo.” she said.

“What about daddy?”

“Nope.”

“Well, why are you up?”

“Because my friends aren’t sleeping..”

Okay, first off she doesn’t have any friends that stay the night in her room besides our dog Sargeant. Secondly, maybe I’m just paranoid but almost four year olds are just naturally demonic.  My fiance and I walked out of my house so quickly saying “nope, nope, nope”. I mean, who wouldn’t be creeped out by that at 5am?

Willow Marie is one of the most demanding little girls I’ve met. If you don’t give her a hug before you leave the room, she’ll cry. If you don’t take her with you when she wants to go somewhere, she’ll cry. I mean, she’s cute. But damn.

I honestly don’t have much to elaborate on her life at the moment because I haven’t really been around her due to work and sleep but Willow Marie is a handful.

Once, my fiance and I were babysitting her when she was being potty trained.. Well, we aren’t that great with little kids, or kids in general, and let me just tell you this. Baby poop is also “not our thing”. Willow decided to go into her little portable potty and poop, right there in the dining room. She then proceeded to try and wipe her butt on her own without help. Where were we in this mess? Well, since she was quiet for a long period of time (you know, if there’s a three year old in the house and it’s quiet something is wrong) so we went to look for her.. only to find her sitting on the potty with poop all over her hands and butt. Oh man, my fiance and I freaked out so bad because again.. poop is not our thing. Well she decided to run through the house and play with poopy hands in her little plastic car. Needless to say, my fiance then picked her up at arms length and we hosed her and her toys off in the bathtub. It was disgusting and I’m pretty sure my fiance and I are traumatized.

To Be Continued..