Saturday, January 28, 2012
Sometimes Life Can Be More Magical Than Any Story You've Ever Read [Looking back: 2011]
I'm so sorry I didn't get this post on, well, you know; December 31st of 2011. But never late than never? Anyways, what I'm going to do is just a few things that happened in the year of 2011 (At least I organized those a while back) that made me happy, ecstatic, and just plain happy to be alive, as well as memories that just come to mind when I think of the year 2011, happy or sad.
Here we go!
January of 2011
I was growing desperate. I've done so much for my book, and nothing is happening! I need help. I remember in 2010 that I queried an agent who actually showed some interest: Kelly Mortimer. She did say she would help me if I needed it. Encouraged by this thought, I sent a desperate e-mail at about 11 at night for help. Within two days she'd replied, telling me she would give me a free edit of the first three pages. I sent them to her, about in tears from gratitude.
February of 2011
I started to drive in my Driver's Education class. I remember getting so frustrated and scared from how icy it was out, but my teacher stayed patient and humorous with me the entire time, every time I had to drive. Even if I almost got us into an accident a few times. The fact he had so much patience with my driving-blonde-moments filled me with gratitude. To this day we still joke about things that happened during our driving escapades.
March of 2011
After two months, I was losing faith in Kelly Mortimer. I still hadn't received a reply. My parents had completely given up, but I knew better than that. Never give up hope! It paid off: within the final waning week of my expectancy, I received a reply. Not just a reply. An amazing, super-awesome I-love-this-agent-for-eternity reply. I received the edited three pages, and few words of encouragement, and a 12-page guide on editing. I was ecstatic. And I'll be forever grateful to her.
April of 2011
I took my final driving test with my instructor. However, the sudden commands he kept giving threw me off and I ended up almost in tears a few times. He let me stop, and my partner Taylor got into the driver's seat to let me calm down and try again. We drove around town for a while with her in the front seat. She was coming up on a yellow light at an intersection. My instructor yelled, "Stop!!"
She slammed on the brake, inches from the white line, and managed to get us stopped. "What?!"
"That's a yellow light!"
"That yellow light means caution, and I was caution-ing it!!" Taylor yelled back at him. I burst into hysterical giggles and turned toward the window, unable to control myself for the next five minutes. When I took the test again I got a C, but Taylor's little grammatical error had made my day all better.
Oh, by the way, I started my blog in April. (:
June of 2011
School ended. My friend Whitney and I had made plans to go get our hair done, and I would try Chinese for the first time. I was excited about the hair—I was going to get a blue streak; she would get the whole under-layers of her hair purple and some in her bangs—but not so much about the Chinese. Once we reached the shop we had our hair done, and as I said, went for Chinese. To this day I question why I would have ever cringed at the idea of Chinese food.
The reason this resonates with me is because it's honestly the first time I've ever done anything like that with a friend of mine, and it felt so cool to have a blue streak in my hair for a while. Even if I got into a chlorine-pool and it faded out.
July of 2011
My birthday!! I had been told that I wouldn't get a car, yet one of the little packages I got had a set of keys. I was overjoyed to see the car I'd wanted for a while, but we had an issue: there were no license papers. I couldn't drive it until we got the license papers for it. I was pretty upset, but I dealt with it. The rest of my presents kept me intact. One of my friends sent me an enormous package, and I already know that her family has a hard time with money: she sent me a twenty-dollar book and a six-dollar package of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and a $15 iTunes card. I love her. (: My birthday was just an amazing day. And getting my license was just a terrifying experience until the woman told me I passed with flying colors.
That friend I got my hair done with? I tricked her into thinking that I'd caused a pileup on the square. Haha!
August of 2011
After getting a different car than the one I had had, I was able to take my first ever journey on my own: I was going to meet a published author at the local McDonalds!! I remember driving and singing and cursing at other drivers on my way over, completely invigorated. This was my car, and I now owned the road along with the other drivers! Ha!
The author, Roger Whitlow, was an amazing guy. He gave me a few tips on publishing companies and eBook publishing as well as telling me some of his experiences in the publishing industry. I haven't really spoken to him since, but he's been having health issues, so I don't mind. It was a great experience to meet him anyway. The reason I met him was because one of my favorite teachers asked me if I would be interested. Thanks so much, Kuhn! <3
I entered into my junior at school. An upperclassman at last! I'm sure you can imagine me strutting through the halls like a badass, but truthfully, no. We had to stay eight hours that day when we're used to staying only two on the very first day, so it was more of trying to go to sleep and glaring at my teachers like they were the ones who had subjected me to this torture of sitting in a desk for eight hours, because that's obviously worse than having my nails ripped off or something.
September of 2011
I had a friend who I'd known for a long, long time; however, a strange bout of paranoia kept me from talking to him for close to two years. I worked up the courage in September to message him and ask for forgiveness, and he gave it. It's a great feeling to have one of my best friends back. It didn't seem complete without him in on my very uninteresting life.
My mother and I went to visit my great-grandmother, who had been suffering cancer for a while. We had a great time, laughing and enjoying memories together. She was perfectly fine. In fact, we were talking about how my cousin would be married soon and what she was going to wear. An amazing day.
October of 2011
Imagine my amazement when I got to my cousin's wedding and ran into just about every teacher I knew there. My driving teacher, my biology teacher, my sixth grade teacher, you name it. And I was actually dressed up, something most of them had never seen before. And watching them drink wine. It was a very strange experience. However, I was able to watch my cousin and god-cousin get married—how weird is that?! But they love each other very much. It's always so nice to see love officialized in that way.
November of 2011
My mother and I went to go watch Breaking Dawn, and after that we were going to see my great-grandmother, who after all had not been able to attend the wedding. After witnessing the movie that was actually better than I expected and instantly putting the score on my Christmas list, we went to see her.
Her condition had worsened drastically. She seemed as uplifting as ever though, and fooled me into thinking she felt okay; though my mom knew how much pain she was in. We spent time together for a few hours, and my grandmother came over later. I hugged and kissed my great-grandmother when we left. If I'd known it would've been the last time I would do so, I might've tried to find time to go and see her again.
December of 2011
The spirit of Christmas was in the air by the first. People were doing favors for each other, performing common acts of courtesy without even realizing it. I was amazed. People held doors for one another, gave each other complements. One memory that resonates is in my algebra class. We have two kinds of graphing calculators: the old ones that are often faulty, and the new ones. I never get a new one. I prepared to rush up and get one, but I knew I wouldn't. Someone who sat behind me had made it up before me. As he passed me he pushed the calculator in my hands. It brought a smile.
Finals, yippi-dee-doo-da-day. A few days before I remember studying furiously. I was going to fail, I was going to fail, I was going to fail, I was going to fail, I was GOING TO FAAAAAIL!! My history teacher twisted the desk in front of me around and sat down. He'd been terribly sick, and he was fighting just to stay at school. He asked me, "Do you need help?"
I looked at him, and I said gratefully, "Yeah. I can't find solidarity anywhere!"
With a smile, even though he looked seriously sick, he took my study guides (mainly by the corners to avoid too many germs, haha) and started flipping through. Once he found it for me he told me to keep it up and went to help the others in my class. It made me somewhat gratified to know I have a teacher like him, who's willing to put himself through hell just to stay at school and help us all prepare for final exams.
On the first day of finals, as I was walking into school, I was stuck behind two little pre-school kids. I listened to them chatter away, smiling at their youth. As we came toward the corner that would branch to my locker, my fourth-grade teacher turned the corner. One of the little boys gasped, and the woman leading the boy said, "Who's that?" in a joking way.
"Momma!!" the boy cried and ran into my teacher's arms. Mrs. C laughed and wrapped her arms around him.
"Hey, kiddo. What's up?"
"School!" the boy chirped. Mrs. C told him she needed to go, so they parted ways. It was enough. My day was made, whether I passed these tests or not. I stopped at my locker with a goofy grin.
Later that day after finishing my last test, I was getting ready to leave. I told my [sick] history teacher, "Merry Christmas. I hope you feel better by Christmas."
He laughed. "So do I. Kendra, you did a good job. Merry Christmas."
Once again with a smile I exited the school.
Those are the most important memories I could come up with. Both minor and major, they all make me happy or sad or just make me think of how blessed and lucky I am to be where I live and know the people I know. 2011 was a magical year for me. I retained all of my friends, gained some, and didn't lose much (except for my great-grandmother, but I know she's still with all of us). Though the bonds between some of my friends have weakened, the ones I have with them have only strengthened. I have such patient family and friends, friends and family who tolerate my faults (such as punctuality and response-time).
2011 was a good year for some, bad for others. For me, 2011 was one of my best years.
And now that we're a month into 2012, let's see what kind of magic this year can bring!! If you wish, share some of your experiences in the comments!!