Life is Good

LIFE

One week ago today, my sister got in a car crash. Everyone involved was fine, but the car my sister was driving was basically totaled. The car she was driving was known as the “Life is good car” or the “UU dreamer car”. The car was 21 years old and a 1996 Honda civic.

A while back my mom started putting stickers on her car. In the fall she would buy leaf and pumpkin ones and put them all over the car. In the winter she had snowflakes, in the spring, flowers. After a little while my mom got a big sticker that said “Life is Good”. She put it right in the middle of the hood and it stayed there until its dying day. Thus the first name of the car.

A couple years back for my mom’s birthday, my sister, father, and I got her a new license plate for the car. The license plate read “UUDRMR” for UU Dreamer. My family belongs to a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church and we are all super involved, my mom the most. Thus the second name of the car.

In the final years of the car’s life, its older than me, we all started wondering if it would make it past another maintenance check or not. For half a year the speedometer didn’t work and the car made loud screeching noises when you first started it.

But we hung on to the car. I was raised with that car. When my sister and I hung out outside we might hop up and sit on top of the trunk of the car and just talk.

Everyone we knew always knew it was us when they saw that car. It was characteristic. I guess I’m a bit attached, but we all were. For years we said that it was time for the car to go, but we each held on for a bit longer.

~Nyra

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The Many Lessons I’ve Learned

LOVE

So everything affects you in different ways. I wanted to make a list of how a lot of books/movies/tv shows have affected me or lessons that I’ve learned. So let’s get started!

  • Supernatural (CW, Eric Kripke)
    • Loyalty and family are things that should not go for granted, but should always be granted to those you love.
    • Being strong also means being weak and vulnerable at certain times
  • Sherlock (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, BBC)
    • Be observant, use all your senses. Learn everything you can about everything and everyone.
    • Having a random assortment of knowledge is very useful
    • Don’t worry about being socially acceptable
  • The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)
    • Adventures are great, but the hardest thing is getting started, sometimes you need a kick out the front door
    • treasure isn’t always golden, its the friendships you make.
  • The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien, Peter Jackson)
    • Sometimes singing a song really does help, and can get you out of bad moods and down days
    • Having a best friend is the greatest thing this world can offer
  • Henderson the Rain King (Saul Bellow)
    • Do something with your life, live the life you want to live
    • Its never to late to do something with the time you have
  • Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
    • Religion is great, each in their own way. Mixing them together is fun too. Follow what you believe in
    • You can survive anything
  • The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
    • Love is a beautiful thing that transcends everything else. In the face of anything, love will always prevail

Books, movies, and tv shows are some of the most wonderful things in the world!

~Nyra

The Sun Shines Through

LOVE

Everything, and I mean everything, affects my mood. A drop of a pencil can make me laugh and be happy, or it can make me super existential. Maybe that’s why the weather is so important to me.

I don’t get atmospheric headaches or anything like that, the weather simply influences me in many ways.

My eyes are sensitive to sunlight, so I hate bright, sunny days with no clouds in the sky. It makes me mad and annoyed at the world. Though, the sunny mornings and evenings are great, because then I can see and it makes such pretty colors in the sky!

I do prefer there to be clouds at sunrise and sunset because then the light is reflected off of them in the most beautiful ways. Generally though I prefer clouds all the time. Except at night. Nighttime is better with clearer skies where I can see the stars and just watch the heavens.

I love overcast days. I can see, and nobody else is outside so when I go outside it seems as if I’m alone in the world and it feels awesome! Also then its likely to rain. I prefer lighter rain because then it doesn’t feel as though I’m being attacked by the sky. And its really fun to go outside and dance and sing in the rain.

I’m scared of thunder and lightening, so that kinda freaks me out. It also feels like the sky is attacking me so I always feel as though I have done something wrong and have offended the weather. (It makes more sense because I believe in guardian spirits that control different aspects of environment) I also feel that way when there’s really hard rain.

Surprisingly I can really enjoy hurricanes, but only if the power goes out and its during the day. Then its light enough outside that we don’t need candles and flashlights and I can just run around with my sister inside. Its actually really fun. Plus being around other people helps relax me during heavy rain and such.

What people don’t really notice when its cloudy out and they’re super grumpy is that even with the clouds covering the sky, the sun shines too. There is still light, and its beautiful.

Wishing you beautiful days with your favorite weather!

~Nyra

A Bundle of Letters

LAUGHTER

For all my friends, when their birthday rolls around and they have a big party, I write a long letter for them.

Now my letters are not normal letters, not at all.

For example: In the past 6 months I have made 3 of these letters. The first was a four page, typed, letter with a challenge to find all 50 of the fandom references or one-liners from the letter. The second was for my friend who loves Supernatural, so I drew pictures and wrote tons of quotes onto a huge piece of paper for her. The third simply said that my friend, Nico, could ask/make me do anything she wanted. So, following her wish, I ate a cupcake without my hands.

This all started a while back when my dad and I were Christmas shopping and we ran into this weird book. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was written in two different colors. The rules were that you do everything the book says, read one of the colors in your head, and read the other out loud. It was a joke book.

My dad took that book as inspiration, and that year for Christmas my sister and I each got a stack of index cards, with the same instructions as above and random things for us to do. We had to dance, sing, tell jokes, etc.

A year or so later, I found myself going to Nico’s birthday party. (This is still 3 or 4 years ago) As my main gift I wrote a letter just like my dad had. Making Nico sing “Let it go” and strut across the room pretending to be another of my friends.

That is what started this madness.

Now, it is so much fun writing these letters. Sometimes you can manage to be really serious and sweet in them, but other times you’re funny and annoying. The reactions to the cards are always different and its just so much fun!

Wishing you lots of card writing fun!

~Nyra

The Cowardly Lion

LIFE

I am scared of everything.

I’m scared of the random objects that my sister randomly throws at me, I jump and somtimes screech. I’m scared when I walk around a corner as see someone right in front of me when I thought nobody was there.

But other than simple stuff like that, I’m still scared of tons of stuff. In other words, I am the reincarnation of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.

There are the fears that I tell people about. They’re pretty minor, but sometimes put me on edge. Like bridges, waves, the ocean, airplanes, cliffs, etc.

Then there are the fears that I hide inside. Like my fears of being alone, the dark, drowning, and men, and getting deep into the last one: being harassed, raped, trapped, or stalked by a man, and due to previous bad experiences: a boy simply finding me attractive or flirting with me, or being alone in the same room with a guy will make me scared and uncomfortable.

It got to be such a huge problem that I went back to my psychologist, along with other reasons, to try and do something about it. Now I can mostly ignore the bad feelings, but whenever I get bad vibes from a guy, I start getting super uncomfortable.

Of course the problem existed for about a year and a half before I really told anyone other then my best friend (Whale). She’s the one who helped me pin it down as androphobia, even though mine was super minor compared to what it could be.

What I’m really proud of myself for is even though I was cowardly for a long time, not telling anyone about the fear and letting it worsen, I eventually did tell my mom and then my psychologist. Which really helped. I was brave in a different way. Instead of facing the problem head on, I asked for help.

Asking for help is one of the bravest, and hardest, things to do. That is one of the lessons that I have had to learn over and over. Asking for help is not surrendering, but it is a battle strategy. Two minds is always better than one, and asking for it never makes you a loser. It makes you look stronger, by admitting that you can’t go on alone.

Even though I’m a cowardly lion when it comes to a lot of things, I’m going to try and be brave more often. Not to stand up to my fears, but to ask for help in overcoming them. All I need is a little push and a cheer from the sidelines.

~Nyra

‘Whale’

LIFE

The best friend that I have probably ever had in the entire world is ‘Whale’. That’s not her actual name, but its her nickname. We came up with it when she perfected making noises that sounded like whales last year and it stuck ever since.

We only started really being friends fall of 2015, and we instantly became best friends. After a year and a half of being 2 peas in a pod, we both miss each other when we go a day or so without seeing each other. Now I am closer to her than I have ever been to any of my friends and most of my family. Whale has been adopted into my family too.

Our friendship is perfect. We both love books, are super liberal, and think in similar ways. Now we know each other so well that I can ask her what my opinion of something is when I forget and she knows, and vice versa.

Just yesterday Whale left on a choir trip to Italy. She’s going to be there all next week, returning home the Monday after Easter. That’s also my entire spring break. I knew that she was going to miss me and so I wrote 11 letters for her. One for ever single day that she was gone, an entire lined sheet of writing. I would write about random thoughts that came into my head, or ask her questions about Italy.

And when I gave them to her yesterday morning her entire face lit up and she was so happy. She gave me a hug and said “How did I find you?” It felt so great because so often Whale does such nice things for me, but I finally did an outstanding thing for her.

A little bit afterwards Whale mentioned that when we were in college that we should send care packages to eat other and then open them while face timing each other. I then said that we have to be friends for the rest of our lives and both of us accepted it as a truth that we would never stop being friends.

One of my letters to Whale actually talked about how I wouldn’t know what I would be like without Whale as my best friend or close to me. I talked about how I was scared of the thought that we would stop being friends, but by now the doubt that we could ever stop being friends has gone.

Wishing you great times with the ones that you hold closest to your hearts!

~Nyra

Why I Love Band

LAUGHTER

I am what you would call a band nerd.

For lunch I don’t go to the cafeteria, I go to the band room. After school I am almost always in the band room for orchestra, band, or wind ensemble.

At my school I’m the only oboe player. For those who don’t know what the oboe is, it looks a lot like a clarinet, has a double reed, is not a bassoon or a clarinet, and has a nasally sound that one of my friends once described as a “demented dying duck”. I have been playing oboe since I was 9 or 10.

All my closest friends are in band and most all of the people I know. I think of the band as a family. We all have fun together and lift each other up when we get down. No matter what happens, everyone helps everybody else.

Band is a really fun community where everyone has fun and makes beautiful sounds together. I suggest that if you play an instrument, you should join band. The community and fun that you have there will stay with you forever, trust me. I was really uncertain about joining marching band, but its probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

So… Join Band!

~Nyra

Image Courtesy of John Bogenschutz from his comic Tone Deaf

Literary Figures that I Admire

LOVE

In essence this is a list of people I’ve read about in books or saw in movies or on tv shows that made me want to be more like them or change my life in some way.

  • Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
    • I liked Sherlock’s mind, but I loved Watson’s heart
  • Bilbo Baggins (JRR Tolkien)
    • I always wanted to be a hobbit, but I also wanted to go on an adventure one day
  • Pi (Yann Martel)
    • I really liked how he combined three religions into one belief, which seemed really cool. I don’t want to be abandoned at sea for a while though
  • Eugene Henderson (Saul Bellow)
    • For anyone who hasn’t read Henderson the Rain King: go read, now. Its a wonderful book that really makes you think about your own life.
  • Simon (William Golding)
    • He was my favorite character for every reason possible. He seemed so much like me at times.
  • Patroclus (As portrayed by Madeline Miller)
    • The Song of Achilles shows the story of the Trojan war from Patroclus’s perspective, including a sexual relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I love Patroclus’s inner thoughts and relate with them a lot, also I admire how he does anything for those he loves
  • Cal (John Steinbeck)
    • He really shows that you can change who you are to what you want to be, which really matters to me
  • Dean Winchester (CW and Eric Kripke)
    • He cares almost too much and is so strong, which makes me wish that I could go to the literal ends of the earth for what I believe in
  • Pippin (JRR Tolkien)
    • I admire mostly his happiness, because I think being happy is the most important thing in the world, but I also love every part of his character
  • Toothless (Cressida Cowell) ( I haven’t actually read the books, I’m sorry)
    • HE’S SO CUTE!! Also powerful and strong, but also the most gentle creature you will ever meet.

Hoping that one day you become your favorite character!

~Nyra

Dancing like no one’s Watching

LAUGHTER

When I’m home alone, I really like to turn up my music to the loudest volume and sing along as I dance around the room. Its really fun and there’s a reason that I only dance when I’m home alone. I don’t like it when people see me dance because I feel like it shows a separate part of me that no one ever really sees. But its fun no matter what.

I dance like crazy, so most of the time I’m tired before the song  I’m listening to is over, plus I’m really out of shape. I end up breathing really heavy and smiling so much. Sometimes laughing at the weird things I do or singing along as best I can.

I actually mentioned this on my List of Motivational Things and its true. Dancing around the room really does work for making you happier and more energetic on the inside. It gets rid of the distractions of restless muscles. Some movement can really help your brain take a break so you can get back to work and actually get your stuff done faster.

I really recommend free dancing to upbeat music because it helps in so many ways. It makes you more productive, happier, and its simply so much fun! Wishing you a life full of happy dancing!

~Nyra

Blue Hair

LAUGHTER

For a while I’ve been wanting to dye my hair. I decided on blue because it matches my eyes and last week I did it. I didn’t dye my whole head blue, its more of just highlights. It was a great experience and makes me feel a ton more confident and awesome about myself, plus I absolutely love my hair.

Its like an adventure getting colored hair, you don’t really know how awesome it will be at first when you’re sitting there with a ton of tin foil in you hair, but afterwards you look in the mirror and say: “I am the most awesome person to ever grace the earth”.

Recently I’ve also been messing around with my hair, its a bob length, learning how to use a hair dryer and style it different ways. Every time I do something cool with it, it makes me feel super energetic and confident all day.

So, that’s what I suggest. Do something cool with your hair, experiment, make a little change. You don’t have to dye it, but do something different. It changes everything. Just a little change to you hair can make a big change in your life, its important to find your style that maximizes your happiness all day.

I’ve been smiling more, been having more fun, (and strangely been more productive). I can’t really explain how it works, but it does. Have fun with your life, make a little change!

~Nyra