November: the Month in Photography

NOVEMBER 1ST

I’m definitely feeling pretty on edge, of late. Yesterday morning, my mom read an article about voter turnout in the US election, and I just started crying. It was strange, and confusing, and it kinda hurt. I’m not normally the kind of person who starts crying out of nowhere.

It’s a special kind of helpless. I’ve seen Canadians joke that we all watch the US election like a sports game–and yeah, last time ’round, when I was too young to really understand any of this, that’s sort of how it felt. But this time… this time feels different.

NOVEMBER 7TH

The results for the election just came in–after a very long wait. It’s a relief just to get the whole thing over with.

The past few days have not been good. It’s not just the election–honestly, I’ve been weirdly numb to it. I just don’t have the energy left right now to let my emotions get wrapped up in things I can’t control. I have to be logical, and detached, because… because that’s kind of just the excuse I give myself when I spend three months feeling sad, and angry, and stuffing it all into a little box until eventually I explode.

Yesterday was an explosion kind of day. I got home from a shitty day at school, picked up a bag of pasta out from the drawer we keep pasta in, dropped it back in the drawer, closed the drawer, opened the drawer, picked up the pasta, and started crying on the floor.

But today, I woke up, at 8:40 in the morning, to the wind blowing like crazy outside. I crawled out of bed, and I checked my phone, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and saw that Trump wasn’t president. And I smiled, a little, and texted my friend. I made breakfast, and went to work. It’s not much–but it’s a start.

NOVEMBER 8TH


It’s been a long few weeks. (Actually, it’s barely been one since the month started, but it feels like it’s been 500 years.)

Sometimes, I just get really lonely, you know? I don’t have many people to talk to right now. I feel cold, and sad, and distant, and defeated, and like maybe the story is over. And all that’s left to do is just sort of wander around aimlessly, through this weird mental fog for the rest of eternity.

I haven’t let myself feel hopeful in so long.

This is gonna sound really cheesy–and I can’t believe I’m writing this in a public setting, but… I guess I just have to believe that this isn’t over. Because I’m not going to let everything happening in the world, and in my life, and in my own fucking mind take me down this easily.

Because I have my mother’s strength, and my father’s persistence. Because I am made from endless droughts and thunderstorms I thought might be the last of me. This feeling won’t last forever.

I know those things are true. Even when everything else seems unreal.

NOVEMBER 21ST

Winter is beginning to properly set in, now. I don’t entirely mind; even if it is very dark all the time, and means my sneakers always get muddy and soaking wet on the walk home from school.

I talked to someone yesterday, actually. It’s probably the first time I’ve reached out for help to anyone outside my immediate social circle in, like, eight months or so. And god, it was so nice. I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my chest, like the smoke has finally cleared and I can actually breathe again.

But god–also, I’m just terrified. Restrictions are starting to get more strict in my area. It feels… like it did, last time. I don’t want to relive that experience again–but there’s not much I can do about it.

NOVEMBER 24TH

Last night, I found out that someone at my school got COVID. I haven’t directly been in contact with them, and obviously everyone was still wearing masks and social distancing–but it’s still scary.

When I found out, I just kinda went numb. You know what it felt like, when you fell off the monkey bars as a kid–that tingling, breathless, paralyzed feeling as you struggled to breathe? Yeah. It was like that.

I started crying and then I stopped crying and then I watched TV for three hours and then I started crying again. Technically I’m not supposed to do anything–go to school as per normal and just keep monitoring for symptoms. But I’ll probably be at home for the next little while.

NOVEMBER 30TH 2020

I don’t know how to end this post.

I”m really tired. I sorta want to collapse into the ground, and just cry until there’s nothing left. Or chug five cups of coffee. Or sleep for the rest of the year.

I want to tell you it’s gonna be all right. I want to give you a hug, or your favourite snack, or a day off work, or whatever you need right now. I want to fix your problems with a snap of my fingers—but I’m not a fairy godmother, or even someone who knows how to do those things for herself yet. Just a fifteen year old girl, who takes pictures on her phone and cries a lot.

I want to say this month has been wonderful, talk about the good. And there have been cool things I’ve done over the last little while. But also… it’s been hard. And I don’t have the answers. I can’t fix you–no matter how hard I try to.

I hope the next month treats us both well, though.

Take care of yourself. Be safe. I’ll see you all in thirty days.

Lots of love,

Lorna

Shoutout Saturday (Things I’m super excited for!)

Hey guys! So, to be totally honest, I have been having an interesting few days to say the least. I’m currently in some kind of quarantine for at least the next little while. There was a COVID exposure at my school, and so even though technically we don’t have to quarantine, I’m not feeling too comfy about going out right now (both for my sake and the sake of others). Anyway, I could spend a lot of time talking about this whole mess of a situation, but honestly, don’t particularly want to think about it right now.

The TLDR is that 2020 is trash, but in an effort to find some sort of silver lining amid this less-than ideal situation, here are some things I’m looking forward to as the year draws to a close!

Hilda season two

So, as everyone probably knows, I am absolute trash for cute cartoons. I always sort of got mad at myself as a kid for liking things directed at children, and as a result never really let myself just watch fun shows without there being a guilt factor, and I stopped watching anything animated at around five. I really regret that, and I wish I had gotten to just watch fun things growing up rather than only important documentaries about tax fraud or climate change. So anyway, I’m trying to make up for that now. Hilda is this super-cute show on Netflix about this girl who’s spent her whole life living in a cabin with her mom moving to the city. She goes on all sorts of adventures, and makes friends with all these magical creatures, and it’s really sweet and wholesome–and season two is coming out on December 14th.

Turning 15

So, for obvious reason I’m not gonna say when my birthday is, but at some point in the next two-three months, I will be a full-fledged teenager, I guess? I’m probably just going to see a singular friend, two if I’m lucky, and we’ll make a cake together from scratch or something like that, go walking, and then watch some TV like we did last year, but it’ll still be a cool milestone to mark. When I was younger, I honestly couldn’t fathom being alive this long, so I feel weirdly proud to have done it. (And yes, I know, if you’re older than me you’re probably laughing right now.)

I’m really excited though, because as it stands I’m planning on actually getting myself some really cool things for my birthday. It costs a bit of money to change my blog URL (just twenty bucks, but that’s a lot of money to me right now), and so I’m planning on doing that some point soon, to lornawritesthings.com. Also, I’m finally getting a tripod to take better pictures, which is also only twenty bucks, but again, that’s a pretty big purchase for me.

Getting ahead on schoolwork

So, I do all my schoolwork via a computer–but under normal circumstances, go into a school to work on it in a computer lab there, where I can see my teachers in person and ask for help when I need it. (Also, I genuinely really like talking with my teachers, and it’s kinda nice to just chat from time to time.) Anyway, with that context aside–I’ve been making super good progress on my courses! As it stands I’m done almost all the work I was planning to do this year, which means in about a month, I can start to load up on grade 11 and 12 courses and spend the next six months getting myself to a place where I can hopefully graduate next year! There’s this a thing, I think, where if you graduate early you can take college classes through the school for the remainder of the time you were supposed to be working on grade twelve, all expenses paid, but don’t quote me on that, it’s been ages since I thought about it. (But if that’s still an option, that would be super cool and I’d seriously consider it!)

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future, and where I want to be in three years; looking at apartments in cities I’d like to live in someday, and planning out my finances and stuff like that. It’s so cool I’m close to entering that phase of my life! I don’t know, as a kid I always really wanted to graduate early, and I feel like my younger self would be really happy, and proud, if she knew it was looking like that might actually be a possibility for me.

Snow!

Where I live there have been a few snow warnings so far, but we haven’t actually gotten any. It’s been super cold of late though, and normally we get a few snow days in December and January, so I’m super excited for that. It only ever lasts for a week max, but my whole town always kinda freaks out and drops everything to go sledding and have fun. It’s my favourite part of winter, and it always makes me happy. (Also, I can’t wait to take a thousand really cool pictures and use them for Month in Photography, I’ve literally been waiting to do that since September. I don’t even know why that excites me so much, but it does!)

Finishing up a writing major project

So, this whole post is kinda just indirectly exposing what a giant nerd I am. But, that being said, I’ve been working on this fanfiction series which I’ve poured, like, my entire heart and soul into, for three years now, and I’m four weeks away from finishing up book two out of three. I don’t know, it’s silly and self-indulgent but it means a lot to me, and it makes me happy. It’s kinda grown up with me in a way, and taught me a lot in general. I don’t know, I work really hard at it, so it’s nice to see it finally pay off. It’s definitely got me feeling things.

Some cool upcoming meteor showers, apparently?

So, admittedly, while trying to find things to add to this list, I kinda had to google “things to look forward to in 2020” and discover this idea is really not original at all. (But most people stopped writing these posts after April, so I guess I’m, like, ahead of the curve? Or really behind it? I don’t know.) Aaanyhow, there are apparently some cool meteor showers coming up on December 13-14th and December 21st-22nd. I am absolutely in love with astronomy, which has sort of been an on-and-off obsession throughout my life. During quarantine my parents got really into stargazing, and it’s definitely rubbed off on me. I haven’t ever seen a meteor shower before though, so hopefully I’ll be able to watch one during the next month, I think that would be super cool!

Anyway, those are some neat things I’m very hyped up for! What about you? I’d love to know, hearing from you guys always makes my day. So feel free to drop it down in the comments, or let me know on social media. (I don’t bite!)

Lots of love,

Lorna

My favourite movies! (Shoutout Saturday)

Hey guys! Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies–just because I’m busy, . But there are a few movies that are very close to my heart, which I’ve grown fond of over the years–so I thought I’d share them in a quick little post today. 🙂

I Kill Giants

This was one of the movies I binged during quarantine. It’s definitely a tearjerker, but it has a happy ending–and also is guaranteed to drop-kick you back into middle school without your permission.

It’s about this young teen girl, Barbara–I don’t remember if they say her age, but I’d guess about thirteen? Anyway, as per the title, she kills giants. (Or at least believes she does–it’s left very ambiguous whether it’s something she makes up as a coping mechanism, or a real thing in this world.) After school, she makes traps to catch these giants, and sees herself as the last person who can protect the world from them. Throughout the movie, she uses this perceived responsibility as an excuse to hurt those she loves, and push away the people trying to help her, until she reaches a breaking point. Also, while this is all happening, her mother is dying–so yeah, like I said, it’s a tearjerker.

Aesthetically speaking, this movie is just so pretty to look at, oh my god. The writing is absolutely god tier, and… I don’t know, it’s just one of those movies that just leaves you speechless, and/or makes you question your every life decision for a good day after watching it.

Miss Americana

So, I was basically raised by Taylor Swift music–I’m pretty sure it was the only music I knew existed until I was eleven. It wasn’t a huge part of my childhood, but it influenced me for sure.

I’ve been getting really nostalgic of late, and going back to a lot of the things I used to like when I was younger–rereading my old favourite books, and making my favourite snacks from when I was a toddler–and it’s been really, really nice. Anyway, at some point, I decided to watch this documentary, and it almost made me cry.

It’s about Taylor Swift–but also, it’s about way more than that. It’s really intimate and real, and calming, and I think if you’re a girl, it’s pretty hard not to relate to this in some way or other. Like, god. (Also, if you were ever classified as a gifted kid from a young age, this pretty much captures that whole experience as well.) It’s about a celebrity, and it shouldn’t be relatable–but it just came into my house and completely called me out.

If it’s not clear in my poetry, I totally get the pressure to constantly achieve greater and greater things from mostly yourself, but also indirectly the people around you, as well as the constant social pressure to “be a good girl.” (There’s a reason I use that motif a lot in my poetry, in case you couldn’t tell.) That feeling, of anger, and insecurity, and all those other fun feelings is something I’ve been really struggling with of late–but watching this documentary really helped me sort through some of that, and it’s always nice to know you’re not the only one who struggles with this kind of stuff.

When Marnie Was There

This was the first studio ghibli movie I watched, so it has a special place in my heart–which is probably part of why I love it so much. My friend and I were hanging out together after school. We were going to go out, but we decided to just hang out, and eat chips. It had been a really stressful week, so honestly, just having a chance to unwind was really nice. We talked about our problems, and our lives, and for some reason, I remember it very clearly.

Anyway, that aside, it is a really beautiful movie!

It’s about this young girl named Anna, who struggles with a chronic illness (it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I think she has asthma?) who gets sent away from the city, where she lives with her foster parents–to the country, to stay with some distant relatives. She explores the area, and ends up finding this ancient house scheduled for destruction, and befriends a ghost named Marnie.

A lot of the stuff this movie discusses definitely hits home for me as well–it definitely gets me a bit emotional. Oh, and the main character looks eerily like me, so I get to self-project on her, which is fun. Anyway, the art is really gorgeous too, I don’t know, I really like it. 🙂

The Queen of Versailles

So, in the area I live, there’s no real “rich neighbourhoods” and “poor neighbourhoods.” Everyone is just kind of lumped together–so you’ll see tiny family homes and mansions, literally on the same street. Which means, growing up, I’ve seen my fair share of dumb rich people–so laughing at them is always kind of fun. I watched this documentary for the first time in seventh grade, but recently rewatched it with a friend for the hell of it, and it’s really well-made, and thought-provoking, and also great if you just want to laugh at some dumb rich people.

It follows the Seigels, this insanely wealthy family who want to build the biggest house in America, modelled after the palace of Versailles–all during the 2008 financial crisis. It’s absolutely wild, think Tiger King meets, like, a Hallmark movie, in the absolute best way possible. Oh, if you’re a writer, this whole documentary is an absolute gold mine of inspiration, you have no idea how many of my characters were inspired by the Seigels.

It’s a really fascinating look into not just America, but capitalism as a whole, and always gets me in a contemplative mood.


Anyway, um, as usual, I hope you enjoyed reading me geek out about movies for 1000 words? These posts always seem to get a decent amount of views, so I assume you enjoy it. Um, yeah! I hope you’re staying sane, and taking care of yourselves–and I’ll see you next week.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

My favourite TED talks (Shoutout Saturday)

I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks of late. I grew up on a steady diet of BBC documentaries, TED talks, Ideas, and Tapestry–my parents’ two favourite shows on CBC radio. (If you’re Canadian, you know what I’m talking about.) I remember, how when I was little, I always got dragged up to do these skiing lessons–which, let’s be honest, I was objectively terrible at. (One time, I just lay on my back in the snow, and cried for like fifteen minutes because I didn’t know how to get up, and I thought I was going to have to break my skis to rescue myself.)

But on the long ride home, I’d always lean against the window, and draw little shapes in the fog my breath made, tired and relieved, and listen to the hour-long programs on Tapestry, captivated. I always fantasized, that one day, I would be one of the people on the shows. That I’d tell people something true, and important–even if I didn’t know quite what that was at the time. To be honest, something I’ve been learning about myself of late is that… I really like learning. Not in the way we do at school–memorizing facts and dates, and constantly worrying about tests and grades. I like listening to people; seeing through their eyes, learning their stories.

As a result, I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks! And it’s been making me happy, and they’re all weirdly calming? These are some of my favourites so far!

Ok, I’ll be honest: I’ve been listening to Dylan Marron’s podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me for a while! It’s one of my favourite comfort shows–although sometimes, it does take a bit of processing after I listen. His voice is really calming to listen to, and he’s always so kind, empathetic, and overall just seems like a really lovely person. I’ve been meaning to watch his TED talk for a really long time, and I finally got around to it a few nights ago.

For those of you who don’t know, Dylan Marron makes a lot of content online–discussing racism, transphobia, etc. Long story short, he got a lot of positive feedback on it… and also a lot of hate. Conversations With People Who Hate Me was created as a coping mechanism for him to deal with these online trolls. In each episode, he interviews people who have left him online hate–and as the show goes on, he takes on mediating other people’s online discourse as well.

What I love about the show is that it gives the listener a safe place to feel their feelings, in a productive way. His whole mantra is “empathy, not endorsement”–you can recognize that person’s views are unacceptable, and that you disagree with them and will continue to fight against them, and also recognize that they are a human being.

With everything going on right now, it feels like such a dangerous thing to empathize with other people, at least for me–because there’s so much suffering in the world, it gets overwhelming. This show is just a little safe place for me, where the world doesn’t quite feel so overwhelming.

Anyhow, this is a really interesting talk, you should watch it! And listen to the podcast!

This is really interesting, and definitely very relevant to me right now. (Honestly, it kinda made me get a little misty-eyed, because… yeah, wow.)

This whole talk basically just debunks the myth that by pushing past, denying, ignoring, or bottling up your feelings, you become a stronger person. As well, unlike a lot of talks on this stuff, it discusses tangible steps to unlearn bad habits, and accept and work with your feelings. I found it really helpful, and interesting, so, yeah, give it a watch!

So, for some reason, I couldn’t get this talk to embed via the ted.com URL–but here’s the YouTube video, I assure you it’s the exact same talk, and it’s still as good as it is on the original website, the platform is just less aesthetically pleasing.

This talk is, honestly, kind of my entire life explained in 14 minutes and 20 seconds. It’s funny, and honest, and real. I don’t see a lot of discussion around, well, the fact that anxiety doesn’t always present the way people commonly perceive, and that often mental illness truly is invisible to the outside observer. And that you can be incredibly successful, and a productive member of society, and still be suffering. (Or maybe there is a lot of discussion around it, and I’m just not looking in the right places.) Anyhow, I really liked this talk, check it out if you want. 🙂

This whole talk really just came into my house, called me out, and left. If you’re a girl, I can’t imagine how this talk wouldn’t resonate with you, at least in some small way. Bottling up emotions is something I’ve really been struggling with of late, so even though it’s not a solution, this talk was definitely therapeutic to watch–it just felt like letting out a breath I’d been holding for a really long time.

And if you’re a guy reading this, and hopefully wanting to be an ally to women, this is a great talk to watch. Obviously, not the end-all-be-all, but it’s one more aspect of the way our society works right now that isn’t talked about enough, and isn’t really benefiting anyone involved in the long run.

Okay! I think that’s it! It’s getting pretty late, and I’m very tired, so I’m going to go to bed now, but I hope you enjoyed this post? And you check out some of these? I don’t know, do whatever you see fit with this post–and make sure to tune in next Saturday for more of me geeking out about… something. (Still working out my topic–I think it’s gonna be movies?)

Lots of love,

Lorna

October: the Month In Photography

I took this the morning of September 29th–I know, not technically October.

But for the purpose of this post, let’s just call it that! I always fog up the bathroom after I shower, and have to open the window up afterwards, which is totally preventable, but I do it anyway, because I’m tired–and because I forget.

I love watching the steam pour out the window, and seeing the rays of sun pour in.

As the last of summer fades, I like to go on walks right as the sun sets.

(Partially because seven o’clock is a convenient time for me, but still.) It just feels… really peaceful, I don’t know.

Around October 5th, the leaves begun to drop.

I took this on the same walk as the picture above, for context, and I thought the spindly branches looked super creepy!

I have a very love-hate relationship with autumn weather.

I mean, I get to wear sweaters, which is always a plus, but also, if I want to go walking, I have to get my life together before 6:30; since by October 11th, that’s when the sun was starting to go down. Which, even though I get up at eight, is really when my brain is starting to wake up? So for me, autumn means a lot of late-night walks with my mom. It’s freezing cold, and usually kind of rainy, but you get to see the city lights, and take vaguely spooky pictures, so it’s worth it.

I’ve been having trouble with school of late.

Not in the academic sense. I’m on top of all my courses; but I’m only doing it by the force of sheer terror. I don’t know why I care, I don’t know what the point of any of this is, and honestly… of late, I’ve just been feeling really depressed. I might not feel anxious to the degree I did before, but this kind of lonely hopelessness… well, it’s a different kind of torture. And sometimes, I just come home and cry, because it all feels… pointless. And performative. And fake. And, yeah, that’s been hard–because depression is scary, and because I don’t have the time to feel this way. I have a job, I have writing, I have so many tasks constantly up in the air, and no matter how hard I work, it never feels… good enough. As I write this, it’s only October 16th, but it feels like it’s been years since school started.

It’s been a really weird week.

I’ve been okay. I guess. At least, I’m more functional, and I finished another one of my courses–so, uh, one less course until I graduate? God, I don’t know.

I saw a friend, who for reasons, hasn’t been able to see me since August. It was really good. Sometimes, you just kinda miss someone for so long that you just get used to it. And you forget, how good it feels to just see someone in person. I don’t know when I’ll get to see her again–probably not until Christmas. But it was something; a tiny vestige of how things used to be.

I’ve been staying up, later and later. Watching TV for way too long, and putting off doing any meaningful work, which hasn’t been great. But I don’t really know what to do about it. So I’m just… trudging along, I gess, through this weird fog in my head.

Oh, yeah! I’m not trick or treating or anything, because COVID; but I am hanging out with a singular friend! We might string up a pinata in the backyard, and have a nicer-than-usual dinner or something. I’m excited! I’m gonna dress up as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween, by the way. So, uh, that’s neat I guess. (Also, inexpensive. Did I mention inexpensive?)

I’ve been going back to my roots, of late.

Thinking about the person I used to be, two years ago. If you’re older than almost-15 and reading this, you’re probably going to laugh… but I feel so old, these days. I can’t believe time has passed so quickly. I feels so old. Wasn’t it just yesterday, I was scared of the tall, invincible teen girl with earbuds in as she crossed the street. And now, I am that girl. But I’m not anywhere near invincible. (And I think I’m only around 5’7.) I’ve been writing lots of journal entries, and taking tons of photos, and going on long walks through the woods.

I feel like I’m entering a new phase of my life, right now. And as it stands, I”m not quite sure what that means. Both personally, and writing-wise.

But I’ll figure it out. There’s no rush. I have to remind myself of that, a lot.

It’s okay, to take things slowly.

I’m not running out of time.