Almost A New Year, Almost A Developed Idea

At promptly 12:11 Monday afternoon, I finished my semester and I had never felt such an instant wave of exhaustion. I took the liberty of sleeping all afternoon because damn, I deserved a nap. Going to art school, final exams were close to non-existent. When I went to community college the next semester, final exams were equivalent to high school tests.This past semester, however, I was dually-enrolled between Louisiana State and Baton Rouge Community. I was a full-time student who started two days after the semester began, attending two schools, and working closing shifts three to four times a week. So, to bring it all home, I really deserved that nap.

While school proved to be difficult and stressed me out more than I would have liked it to, one amazing thing came out of this semester. As many of you now know, I am a Creative Writing major. At LSU, I took an Intro to Short Fiction class, where I met so many crazy talented writers, as well as was able to write my own short story and share it with everyone in this class and have it workshopped with my peers. I have to say, it was incredibly nerve-wracking. I didn’t know if people would like my story or if I was even good at writing.

Many times in my life, more often now, I have often wondered where my place was academically. Throughout childhood and being an angsty teenager, I was never really good at learning math or science or foreign languages. Those things were hard for me and they’re still hard for me. When I made the switch in high school from academic electives to artistic electives, I felt like I  was in my element, like I was smart. People loved my photography, my art teachers actually pushed me to be my best and pushed me beyond limits I never knew I had. My math teachers, my science teachers, my foreign language teachers never did. I honestly have to say that even my English teachers never made an attempt to make me a better English student. So sitting in my short fiction class, as well as my poetry class, I felt behind because everyone was looking so deeply into our assigned stories and I was only able to read the stories on the surface. My classmates would be pointing out themes and metaphors and create these grand analysis’ from these stories. I could only find the emotions that I related to and talk about the images the stories created. However, as the semester went on, I found myself more comfortable in the environment of this class because I knew I was learning just by listening to my professor and peers talk about these stories. I know that I’ve learned more in this class than I did when I was in high school.

I remember in the seventh grade, my language arts teacher split the class into groups and we all had assigned books that our group had to read and present to the class. The high level book was A Wrinkle In Time and I requested to be in this group. Throughout my years in the school, I was never put in a position to read this book, or even read at a higher level. I knew I could do it and I wanted so badly for my teacher to put me in the high-level reading group. When I made this small request, I was denied. I wasn’t a bad student or a bad reader. This was a time in my life where I couldn’t stand up for myself and make my case, so I took no as an answer and let her put me in a lower reading group. I found myself thinking about this experience a lot this semester when I felt like I was incredibly behind in literature in my short fiction class. My academic teachers not believing in my abilities or believe that I can better my abilities is something that hindered my education growing up. I never wanted to better myself academically because my teachers never saw the potential of me bettering myself. I realize that this is a two-way street, but believe me, I tried hard, and I got help when I needed it. No teacher, however, made an effort to ask me if I needed help, if they could offer anything to make me a better student.

So you’re thinking, “But Sydney, how did you come to be a Creative Writing major when your teachers left you with such a bad experience?” Well, it’s really simple. I love telling stories and I love reading. In the past years, I shed my shell (if that’s a thing) and became an entirely new person. Creative Writing is an art and art has always been welcoming to me. I may not understand chemistry, geometry, political communications, or even how to form a sentence in French, but I can write a damn good story and be proud of it. And don’t you dare tell me I can’t make a living being a writer because I don’t care. It’s my life and if I ruin it by becoming a writer, at least I’ll be happy ruining it. I’ll probably even get a good story out of it.

SO, now to loop this all the way back around to the story I wrote this semester. My story became a lot more personal to me than I had ever thought it would. After submitting the final draft of it. I thought to myself I could just write a whole book of short stories just like this. I won’t reveal to you all what my story was about, but I will tell you that I might just be starting a book? I’m not too sure. The idea came to me the day after submitting my story and I was driving to work. It’s a little half-baked, but anything half-baked turns out amazing. Think half-baked cookies or half-baked brownies. Everyone loves a soft and chewy chocolate-chip cookie and don’t you dare lie about that. Like the title of this blog says, it’s almost a new year and I almost have a developed idea.

Halfway Through Semester One

Well, well, well…

It has been quite a while, hasn’t it now? Well, since I’ve last posted, let me give you a short update.

I started my sophomore year of college as a freshman transfer in my dream school, Louisiana State University. I’m a declared Creative Writing and English major, so by the time I graduate I’ll still be without a job and probably still living with my parents. But that’s okay. I’d rather be broke and living with my parents and love what I’d doing than being rich and living on my own with a job that makes me unhappy and regretful. Which brings me to my next thought.

Now, I may have talked about this once before and if I have, well, read it again.

My senior year of high school was extremely exciting and nothing could bring us down. We felt like we were invincible. But we weren’t invincible to the truth that came with life slapping us across the face once walking across that stage and grabbing our diplomas. Senior year was exciting because we would all share our college plans and why we chose the profession we want to go into. What saddened me most about this, though, was the fact that people were going into professions just because they were able to make a lot of money or their parents convinced them to do it or even their parents told them to do it. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

Today, kids are leaving college with degrees and are finding it almost impossible to find jobs. Today, fields are being discriminated against, especially in the fine arts.Today, it feels as almost that the American Dream, where everyone can grow prosperous in this nation, is dead. So here’s why it saddened me so much to hear kids my age talking about just ‘makin’ the big bucks’. It saddened me because it didn’t feel true to who they are.

With the general knowledge of how hard it is to find a job after college and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars and thousands upon thousands of hours, why would you study something that didn’t at least make you happy or excite you? I can understand that a lot of people study science because they love science or medicine because they love medicine or even painting because they love painting. Which is the point I’m trying to make.

Study something because you love that subject. Don’t study something that is purely to make money or purely because someone told you to. It’s your education and it’s your future. Take control of it. Take the bull by the horns and show him who’s boss. Sure, it’s miserable to find a job in your field after college. But wouldn’t you rather be miserable and passionate about what you’re doing than just…miserable?

After taking different english courses, going through a rough summer filled with a lot of self-reflection, and attending four colleges in the first two years of my college experience, I think I have found my calling as a creative writer. I’ve even thought about getting a degree in education so I can follow my passion of traveling and teach english in the Peace Corps. I’ve also thought about double majoring in International Studies and minoring in Women and Gender Studies because I want to help women all over the world. My ideas are scattered and I may not be able to fulfill all my wishes, but I know my heart is in the right place by starting out studying something I’m so passionate about.

I only hope that other people can study what their passionate about because they are truly passionate about it, not because they are motivated by some other third party or financial idea. Even though this post is a little bit scattered, I hope the general idea came across and you understand what I’m saying.

So with that, I will sign off for now. Hopefully, with the stress of midterms over and my semester winding down for a few weeks, a new story will be written and posted. But for now…

-Neutrality

Short Update!

I would like to officially announce that I now officially own this website! You no longer have to put in the search engine neutralspaces.wordpress.com. I have officially integrated to neutralspaces.com!

After a while of going back and forth on the idea of whether or not to own this blog, I finally decided upon it tonight. I love writing and I love sharing my writing with all my readers. I’m hoping that with buying the domain I’ll gain even more readers with the more I post.

I can’t wait to share this experience with all of you. I know I’m ready for this ride and I hope you all join me as well. Thank you!

As Promised…

As Promised, here it is. As small as it is, this excerpt is it’s own section in my book. Also, as promised, it contains a lot of cheese and cliche, but hey, who doesn’t love a little cheese. In color guard, I always said if you weren’t cheesing throughout the show, you weren’t having a good show. So let’s see them pearly whites and show ’em what you got. This is what I got, y’all. Enjoy! And as always, please let me know what you think!

————

In the days that followed our first date, I couldn’t forget how amazing it was to kiss you and having already built this oddly strong connection we had. Also, in the days that followed, you hadn’t contacted me. I thought maybe you would call the next day or even text me, but you never did. As I recall, and I recall perfectly, you waited a week and a half to finally reach out. At the time, I didn’t know if I should reach out to you or wait for you to call. So I waited and I waited. After the third day, my hope was wavering and suddenly these fears that had started settling that night were resettling. 

By the fifth day, all I could think was how can you spend hours with someone, kiss them like that, and then just disappear? I could have been overthinking the situation but that question still haunts me. It wasn’t only this instance where you would disappear. Throughout our entire story, you would disappear and lose touch with me. It scared me. It scared me to think about where you were or who you were with and what you were doing. I trusted you but my mind wandered when you left me like that. While page two of our story had just come to close, I knew that I loved you. I knew that I couldn’t be without you. So, when you disappeared for a week and a half, my mind flew through every worst case scenario it could come up with.

 

-Neutrality

5 Month Update

I cannot believe that it has been a full five months since I have actually posted on here. Don’t you fret none. I have been working on new projects. It gives me pleasure to tell all of my five readers that I have actually been working on a book. I started writing it back in January and it just got lost with all of my color guard competitions. Fortunately, moving to a new state where I know absolutely zero people has helped motivate me to restarting the writing process. As soon as I have a solid pice that I can share with all of you, I will post it on here. It could be posted tonight or tomorrow or maybe even next month. I do not want to say too much about this project but I can promise you it is going to be good. It’s going to be super lame and cheesy but a good super lame and cheesy.

Here is what I can tell you: I am taking parts from previous posts and inserting them into the story. I actually start off with using my post titled “A Small Something On the Spot”. I wrote that piece a while back and have decided to use it as an introduction. I promise I will post an excerpt soon!

Crawlspaces

Sometimes-

When the sun doesn’t shine

You wander in the crawlspaces of your mind

Your crawlspaces are filled with memories-

Some you’d like to forget

Some you can’t forget

Some you mustn’t forget

These crawlspaces fill up quickly and easily

They become tight and compact

They knock at the forefront of your mind

The memories want to come out and play

The darkness of the day embraces your body as well as your mind

The crawlspaces broaden when the darkness surrounds you

The doors of your mind open and welcome a familiar grey

Sometimes-

When the sun doesn’t shine

You wander in the crawlspaces of your mind

 

This was hard to write and I know it isn’t perfect at all. I couldn’t sleep one night and I was trying to write and all I could think was the two ending lines of this piece. It didn’t go along with the piece I was writing so I decided to turn it into its own piece. I hope you enjoy this and please don’t judge it too harshly. I can read poetry, I can analyze poetry, and I can appreciate poetry. I’m not that great at writing it. Enjoy!

-Neutrality

Cat Calls Are for Cats

I want to be extremely vocal about this issue and I mean extremely. Catcalling isn’t cool. It just isn’t.

On my way to class this morning, a moving truck was driving past and a 40-year-old man leaned out the window and yelled out “Hey sexy!” When I was waiting for a car outside the train station a few weeks ago, another older gentlemen came up to me to tell me I was “fine as hell” and then proceeded to give me the good ol’ up-down. These are only two instances in a lifetime full of being catcalled.

I want to make it very clear right now how very uncool it is. It does not matter what I’m wearing, I’m not asking for it. It does not matter if I’m alone or not, I’m not asking for it. It does not matter if I’m a full figured woman, small and tiny, or just plain average, I’m still not asking for it. If you catcall a woman at any age, it is not a compliment, it’s an insult.

Women were not put on this earth for male entertainment. If you are going to cat call someone, make sure it’s an actual cat.

-Neutrality

History Distractions

Her irises were filled with the spirit of freedom and the color of steam dimmed her soul. She had never felt a happiness that made her so sad, for the first time in her life she had a fear so real she couldn’t quite fathom it. She chose to ignore the fear and follow the man that called her name. He stole her heart and hoped to God he wouldn’t give it back. Unfortunately, there came a time when he stopped calling and lost herself completely.

Her wild spirit no longer existed, the grey in her eyes had taken over. She could finally understand what she could not before and understand her fear was of sadness. She found her fear of sadness was so strong she buried it deep inside her, deep enough so it could never see the light of day. She cried herself to sleep and became a modern day Sleeping Beauty, waiting for her true loves kiss to wake her starving heart. Only in her dreams could she imagine her spirit riding once again, once again alive with freedom, her steam colored eyes tinted blue, life returning to her.

She no longer sleeps.

A little something lame I wrote when I was just distracted in history today. It’s lame, I know, but oh well, here you go.

Moms Best Advice

Every year on Valentine’s Day, my parents always give me a card and a small gift, like chocolates or a stuffed animal. Valentine’s Day 2015, I had felt so emotionally broken and torn apart because all of my friends had these great significant others and romantic plans. I know this sounds a little bit petty of me, however, I get lonely quite easily, which also isn’t my best trait.

I had practice that day and I was home alone. My parents had gone to stay in the city for the weekend, so, like few, I went home to my two dogs and lovable cat. I bought myself a nice pasta dinner after practice and decided to just relax the rest of the night. I sat on the couch after walking my dogs and noticed that my mom had left a card and a small gift. Like I mentioned earlier, this was usual.

Cards have always been my favorite part of any gift to open up. I love the cheesy and cliche lines that the Hallmark people come up with. Yes, they are cheesy and cliche, but they never fail to make you smile. I opened up the card that my mom had left me and took a long look at the front simply because it was too cute. The front was a black and white photo of little girls dressed as ballerinas with pink glitter used in different spots. However, the message my mom left for me overshadowed the entire card.

The week that had led into my night alone was emotionally stressful and my mom knew so. I told her everyday when I came home from school and she tried her best to cheer me up but I just wasn’t feeling it. The message she left read, “Remember the greatest things come when you’re not looking for them.” At the time I didn’t believe it fully but I teared up a bit when I read it.

It’s taken me up until the last few weeks to understand this advice and I can honestly say that I have taken it to heart and I can’t wait to see where this small piece of advice will land me. Thanks Mom, you’re pretty rad.

I Swear There Is A Story Behind This

  I recently drew this in my dorm buildings graffiti room and let me tell you the whirl-wind of emotions I had built up all fell into this simple drawing. 

Moving to Chicago has honestly been so hard and I didn’t like it at first and I’m still on the fence about it. I’ve also been dealing with a lot of personal emotions and different things from the past being brought up and just all sorts of regular teen drama. It’s days like those where I really love that I only have a year left of teen drama and then move into adult drama where all I have to worry about is money. Actually, I take that back. 

Anyways, I wanted to share this drawing because I want to share just the smallest piece of advice I’ve slowly learned over time; Don’t go into the world empty handed thinking that the world will come to you. Like it says in my small drawing above, don’t expect the world. 

I’ve learned over the last couple of years that taking a back seat to your own life is the worst thing you can possibly do. You can’t let people walk all over you while they’re out snatching up all of your opportunities. I had done that for the longest time and I’m starting to understand that it’s wrong. Yes, I have had to be a little more assertive in my ways, but it’s getting me where I need to be and that’s good. However, you also can’t climb over everyone else to get to the top. Don’t mistake your success for entitlement. 

Well that’s all I have to say for now and in all honesty, I’ll probably edit this over and over again till I feel it’s perfectly worded. Anyways…

Signing off for at least a few hours today, this has been Neutrality.