Accidental Stupidity: A Life Update

I made a mistake. While I was putzing around with the added functionality of wordpress.org over wordpress.com, I deleted my incredibly valuable seven posts on this website.

And then I was able to save them all via the app which hadn’t deleted them yet.

And then I imported all of my posts from my blog over here.

So I came out on top.

Anyway, I haven’t done much on here lately… err… ever, but I’m at a different place now.

That’s what we all say. I’m hoping I’ll actually stick around longer this time: I’ve got a plan, and I’ve actually been writing a good amount outside of this internet world.

Plan: I’m writing this on Thursday, September 8th. I’m initially scheduling it to be posted on Sunday. I have other posts already scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Genius. I can be my normal inconsistent self that writes five things in one day, but appear consistent to the world.

Happenings outside of Internet: My book is actually coming along! Anything I could post here would probably be incredibly painful to read, but let’s not talk about that. I have a number of hand-written pages for my book (see About Katherine page) that I need to type up. This is my next task and will also include some very rough proof-reading and editing. It will be painful to read those scribbles.

So, life is coming along. I’m getting married next month. I’m nearing the editing stage of my book. And I’m selling mattresses again! I’ll probably go back to school and finish my degree soon (I’m about 12 credits and two CLEP tests from graduating!). When this is posted, I will be enjoying a small Bridal Shower.

So, yeah, cool stuff.

-Katie Z

A Meeting With Time

In Time’s study, I sat looking at her from my armchair. I don’t even remember sitting down there. I was just walking through the woods, working to clear my head. And then I was facing Time. He was sitting under his lamp, bookshelves full behind her. Other than the illuminated book in his lap, it was dim, curtains mostly closed and the woods outside shielding the room from light.

I knew she knew all there was to know about me, but Time was still entirely indifferent to my circumstances. She counted today as irrelevant and probably tomorrow too–really, my whole life. However, I did not find his brashness harsh; I almost took comfort in his indifference that nearly curled his nose while she considered my futile plight.

“Pitiful,” I think I heard her mutter under his breath, but maybe he was just exhaling as he turned a page.
Time found my life meaningless, but, then I noticed, with the same looks of disdain, she held reverence. How he portrayed both of these I simply cannot know or say.

“I envy you,” Time spoke, to clarify the look I saw.
I understand Time’s words as much as I understand how he looked at me with both indignant indifference and reverence.

Time offered no explanation and I imagine did not care if we sat there forever.

“Envy me?” Of course I had to restate this with my disbelief added to the words. Time continued flipping through his empty notebook–I assume it held something I was simply not privy to.

“Yes. You, generally speaking. Humanity.” He did not stop flipping through her book. She also made no indication that she would talk again.

“Why?” I asked after she went through a few more pages, after a few more moments of what felt as though Time was struggling to remain here–her presence remaining tangible, but his soul seeming to disappear into her book itself.

“You experience what I never can.”

At this statement, Time finally stopped flipping through his book and regarded me. He seemed to grow weary the longer her eyes were not on the pages, but, she spoke with less monotony and indifference this time.

“I’m outside of this world. I’m here only as a study of sorts; I am continuously disconnected. I see your world and universe in one field– as you would view a two-dimensional piece of art. But here you are: experiencing a life just as tangible as mine, even if much simpler.”

The indifference returned as her explanation ended. Time began flipping through pages once more. Immersed in whatever the blank pages held, I left Time in his study and continued on my way. I walked out of the woods and arrived at a country road and my car.

I’m still here. Whichever way I look, painted yellow dashes stretch from horizon to horizon.

I’ll always be here. Deciding between right or left, backward or forward.

I know that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter: I’m one in seven billion; I’m unique like everybody else. I know that between right and left there is no substantiated correct direction. I know this in light of Time itself. I know of all the indifference, the cold, and the bitter in the majority. I know that everyone regards their state in life as their only god; selfishness absorbing every opportunity for love while disdain and jealousy consume.

I know…

But
I saw the reverence too.

The Ups

That moment when you get out of a valley of depression and you see the light of day again and you are just like “I’M BACK!!!!”

And you feel like Tobey Maguire.

Yeah! Spidey’s back! I just did laundry for the first time in like a month or two. And dusted the cobwebs off my bedroom walls.

In analyzing this more, I realize that freewriting is really what got me out of that funk. I just had so much jumbled in my head that I could not properly put down a single sentence. So I put down some letters. Then words (mostly “turd” and any other curse or complaint scampering around my head). Then I found some interesting words that I don’t use very often, like unabashedly, and started using those unabashedly. Then I was off and walking. I’m no runner with my words… maybe someday. Let me tell you though. There was this one moment that I can pinpoint where I saw the other side and got myself to stop getting down on myself for not saying the right thing, not doing enough, and turning in late assignments. It was when I wrote this:

It is nothing to be ashamed of. It would be something to be ashamed of if I would not get back up and try again. If I would let it defeat me. If I would not seek help. If I would not recognize it as a legitimate problem and consume my prescribed dose of medicine everyday.
I recall going to the hospital. The day I woke up with my planned death. The despair of my changing life: the loss I felt made me inadequate. Psalms on repeat. The complete inability to understand… to communicate… to study… to do.
But I did. I did get back up. I did go to the hospital. I did get help. I am not a failure. I have yet to fail. I am only turning in a few assignments late. Just a few. I will still succeed. I will still shine. And, most importantly, I will still write.
Ugh. I hate depression. And I hate winter.

And that was it. A piece of a journal I would normally forget existed within hours I am posting here, because… I’m not sure why. I suppose it is because it is meaningful to me and I want to share it. Most days I spend beating myself up for one thing or another. I won’t accept compliments. I cannot recognize my accomplishments. I will not even dare to hope on a dream. But… I have to remind myself of that simple fact: I have yet to fail. We all have yet to fail until we stop getting back up.

Despair

Despondent, all your dreams are shattered in this moment and you realize, for what feels like the first time, that all is futile. Your dreams are petty and laughable when compared to the probability that haunts your every step. Hope is not even worth the time it takes to consider.

This despair annihilating your every whispered prayer is all that consumes your mind as you unfurl each finger to unveil your bounty: raisins, and raisins alone, from your trail mix.

Freaking raisins.

About Me

I am Katherine. I write, I play, I listen, I plan. I am an improving and improvising writer. Once, I studied calculus and engineering, but integrating those fully into my life has yet to prove its worth. With my happiness slipping away, I stopped blocking the holes in my imagination and instead starting writing every picture and piece and letter that seeped from the cracks. My aim is clear: to connect people with words.

One step of my goal is encompassed in studying abroad with Semester at Sea. I have determined that I have to see the world in order to (1) gain a better perspective of the world, (2) determine ways to connect people around the world, and (3) find and record stories that anyone can identify with.

While on Semester at Sea, I plan on compiling as many stories as I can to improve my writing. Primarily, I wish to focus on stories/poems surrounding depression around the world, because, while I have been working through my depression, I have found that the feeling of being connected with others anywhere in the world improves my mood immensely. Following my journey, I aim to complete an anthology of depression around the world.

With my place already held within the Fall 2015 voyage and my application for the Spring 2016 voyage submitted, I am now in the How The Turd Do I Pay For This stage of planning. I do not embark until September 13, 2015, but I need to start raising money via scholarships/loans/donations/whatever I can think of/selling homemade beef jerky (I tried to do this once… but instead I ate all of it, so I don’t think it’ll work). I figure since I have this blog going already, I will start including my traveling plans and whatnot as things unfold.

Here is what will unfold as funding permits:

Fall 2015: Atlantic Exploration: 100 Days, 11 Cities, 10 Countries

Starts: September 13, 2015; Ends: December 21, 2015

  • Embark: London, England
  • Civitavecchia, Italy
  • Naples, Italy
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Piraeus (Athens), Greece
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Panama Canal Transit, Panama
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Debark: San Diego, CA, USA

Spring 2016: A Voyage Around the World: 114 Days, 14 Cities, 11 Countries

Starts: January 7, 2016; Ends: April 30, 2016

  • Embark: San Diego, CA, USA
  • Hilo, Hawaii, USA
  • Yokohama, Japan
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Shanghai, China
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Rangoon, Burma
  • Cochin, India
  • Port Louis, Mauritious
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Takoradi, Ghana
  • Debark: London, England

To say the least, this is an adventure of epic proportions. Here is the cost breakdown of each voyage:

Fall 2015: $23,950; Spring 2016: $23,950

Included in this is the following:

  • Tuition – up to 15 semester credits
  • Housing (pricing varies by cabin category. I aim for the cheapest one.)
  • All meals aboard the ship
  • All academically required field labs
  • Other academic stuff like advising and whatnot

Extra costs that are not included that I still need to get money for:

  • Travel and overnight stay to London for embarkation
  • Travel visas
  • Textbooks
  • Vaccinations
  • Snacks aboard the ship
  • Food while off the ship
  • Laundry
  • Independent travel
  • Any additional field programs that I want to take part in
  • Travel and stay in USA between voyages
  • Return trip from London

So, I’m going to say I need about $60,000 before doing any intense budgeting. That sounds insane, but there are many scholarship options, so I’m feeling confident. I also am accepting donations! Below, you can click to donate via PayPal in case you are (1) feeling generous and (2) in full support of me and my goal with SAS. Every penny counts! Thank you.

Donate Button

If you know of any good scholarships for study abroad, SAS, or for English majors or have any other funding/travel/writing/anything suggestions, just let me know. It would be greatly appreciated as I continue my planning!

Thank you so very much!

Best Wishes,

Katherine Z

My Past Few Weeks

Oh Em Gee homework!
Why the turd now, depression!
Slightly dehydrated=constipation!
I completely missed you, homework!
Cyber Monday=fun with credit cards!
Have to find you, sanity!
Christmas bonus=loans’ interest.
Depression subsiding!
Recollection of missed assignments
Despair emerging
Desperate typing consumes weekends
Weekdays spent walking in cold
Scrubbing toilets and tubs
Missing Sugar Gliders,
Nieces and nephews
Caught up!
But still have looming tests
Late Christmas gifts
An unspoken “thank you”
And inferred “I love you”
On the tip of my tongue
Old friends diminish
Into the ice that is layered
Upon roads around the house
That I moved into yesterday

Above the Waves

A storm rose again, wishing to consume me. I looked to quell it with alcohol and water, with knives and blood, with books and prayer. All of them were hurtful and helpful; there is never only one answer.

It was two weeks ago yesterday when I felt the waves rise and my heart sink. The current looked to control me and the white froth of the ocean’s top suffocated my throat as the undertow gripped and stretched from my toes to my feet to my calves. This has happened before; in the midst of Japanese classes and circuitry studies, I found myself broken down. These two weeks were inescapable. I slept the majority of them. Begged God to get me through each day. I would wake and stare across the dark of my room; it’s three am. There is a weight on me. I cannot move. I thank God for it as it insures that my life remains intact this day.

Today, I awoke with a growing peace. I could almost smile. It is a blessing to feel this way: I praise God for it. I cannot doubt that His hand was at work here. His hand through the prayers of others and smiles of family and invitations from friends. The little things that show that people care.

No matter what this ocean of depression tries to tell me, I am loved. And I will rise above these waves, even into the skies, finding my wings with friends and family, and I will fly beyond the limit. I will not even aim for the moon. I will shoot for and hit Saturn, aiming farther then most, flying higher than all, and breaking through to a world unknown.

I will live. And I will live to the fullest.

Turd

Life is a turd.

I’ve been cursing a bird
Wishing I couldn’t be deterred
From flying above the herd
And avoid anything inferred
From the bustle that was blurred
Where there is no Shepherd
At least, He was never heard

My heart could not be stirred
Even if I was spurred
Or the worst occurred
I wouldn’t hear a word
Because life is just a turd
And everything is absurd

~Katie Z

P.S. This is what happens when I decide to replace all curse words in my vocabulary with “turd.” I find myself writing poetry based on that one word.

Semester at Sea

So many interesting things to do and places to see!

It’s official! I’m going to study abroad next year! This is incredibly exciting! I had been planning on studying abroad in Japan, but I have since decided that I would much rather see a lot of different countries while I study abroad, so I have decided to take part in Semester at Sea.

Yay! I’ll be gone for a whole eight months, since I am going to go on both the Fall 2015 and the Spring 2016 voyages. For more information, check out my updated About Me page. With my plans becoming more solidified, I will have to start working on travel stories! Expect to see more variety here as my life continues to stabilize and I search for muses other than depressing things. If I wasn’t about to fall asleep, I would talk about my vacation to California with my dad back in October. What a wonderful trip. That state is beautiful.

But, for now, I’ll just leave you with this picture:

20140930_145633

You have to love that California coastline.

Goodbye, friends! Have a wonderful night.

-Katie Z