SOME SAD LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the world was when I was a kid. And how it looked to me.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in Northwest Ohio. I spent my days playing soccer and goofing around with my siblings and writing songs on my computer from 1995 that couldn’t access internet. Songs about Christmas and stopping and smelling the roses and a cute boy in my class.

Meanwhile, there was this big world outside my window that I wasn’t even aware of. But it’s hard to imagine that it was as bad as things have been getting recently.

Then I think about 9/11 and how that shocked and changed our nation. How much hurt it brought people and how much damage it caused. And I think, maybe the world felt like it was going to end 15 years ago, too.

I love Twitter. I love seeing clever jokes that are carefully crafted into 180 characters or less. I like seeing interactions between and updates from my friends.

But now every time I open the app, I feel this overwhelming wave of sadness and this need to cry. Because like many people my age, I hear a lot of my news from Twitter first. And the fact of today is that people are hurting every day. Some days it’s far away, and the pain doesn’t hit me as hard, or stay with me as long. But these past few days have been brutal.

People killing people. Because of race, because of fear, because of prejudice, human beings are killing one another.

I started learning about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as their stories were told through hashtags and video footage and then news stories that were shared in between tweets of funny vines and “medieval reactions” and horoscopes. So I closed the app and watched Philip DeFranco and read some articles, marveling at how close these events happened and how the world can still be this way and just feeling that overwhelming sadness again until I had to put it out of my mind and get on with my day.

Tonight I went on Twitter and saw a new hashtag trending, as I’m sure people are aware: #Dallas. More deaths–this time cops. More shootings. Every day it seems there is a story that breaks that is sad enough to last… well I don’t know how long it’s supposed to last until we start changing or stop mourning or whatever. But the point is there’s never enough time. These wounds aren’t healing because more and more is happening on top of them. Our nation is being cut and torn apart and we’re mourning something new each day. 

And I think to when it was 2007 and my biggest fear was going down the basement stairs alone.

Now I’m scared of everything. The future terrifies me. The thought of bringing children into this world worries me more than anything and I think, are kids today aware of the evil? Are they going to grow up completely unaware that in 2016, their parents were so scared?

Then again, some kids do know. They know all too well. The young daughter in the Philando Castile video–who had to comfort her mother moments after his death–she knows all too well.

And I guess that’s privilege. The fact that I learn/ed about the horrifying events of history instead of living them.

I still hold plenty of privilege, but I no longer have the privilege of ignorance bliss. I guess that’s the conclusion I’ve reached tonight. I’m 19 and I’m learning more each day about the reality of our world and the evil that human beings are capable of committing.

Sorry for the word vomit. Sorry I couldn’t be more eloquent on this subject (many people are much better at this than I am). Sorry that I’m failing to see the good in the world tonight.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I still believe this to be true so I’m going to leave this here.

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[SBL2K16] #12. WATCH THE SUNRISE

Dear Reader,

I realized that I never actually gave you guys the finished list of what Sarah and I expect to complete this summer, so you can find that here.

#12 on that list is to find the best place in our hometown to watch the sunrise/sunset. We had this place in mind called “420 park,” but it was pretty disappointing to say the least. First of all, it’s not a park. It’s just a little clearing that’s sort of out of the way, so I’m sure it’s perfect for high schoolers to come and smoke weed. It’s not quite ideal for the sunrise.

Still, we woke up a little after five and drove to it and recorded some stuff, so I figured I’d at least edit it into a video. Besides, Sarah got a sweet timelapse of the sunrise (it’s better on her twitter because she puts it to the song “Catch & Release,” so check that out here if you’re interested.)

I’m just currently a little frustrated because I have this nice camera that I’m a little too incompetent to use and I’m spoiled at school with Adobe Premiere Pro, so being at home with nothing but iMovie (and my sister’s laptop because mine is lame) is annoying. It’s easy to use and everything, I just want it to look nice. I want to upload high quality shit, ya feel?

Anyway, no one started out as an expert, right? And the best way to learn is by doing, right? These are the mantras I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

So here’s the final product, if you care to watch.

Of course, none of this matters. Because at the end of the day, Sarah and I had a great time going to the “park” and having a nice conversation while we watched the rising sun on a blanket near the river.

I’m loving life, I’m loving summer, and I’m sorry I can’t better capture that for you, but I’m also glad I have the perspective to love where I’m at in my life right now.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SOMETHING TERRIFYING HAS HAPPENED

Dear Reader,

I’ve considered myself a serious fan of YouTubers since about freshman year of high school. I don’t say that to sound intense or to elevate myself in any way (if anything, the phrase “serious YouTube fan” probably sounds a little lame), I just want to clarify because it was a realization.

It’s weird when you’re on the internet for so long, watching these videos of people with huge followings, and then you go and talk to your friends and they are completely unaware of these, let’s just say the word here, celebrities.

They’re much more well known now because of their books and their crossovers on television and the overall increase in social media fame, too, but there was a point when the only people I could really reference to classmates were NigaHiga and Jenna Marbles.

It was at this point that I wanted to become a YouTuber–and who wouldn’t?? I’m not trying to undermine anything that they do, but even they will admit that it’s the best job out there. Money aside, even, you get to spend your days traveling and collaborating and socializing and being creative.

I wanted in from the beginning, but I didn’t have a particular talent. I grew up writing in my room for hours on end and I was completely content with being alone to entertain myself. I wasn’t necessarily a natural-born performer.

Besides, I didn’t have any content I wanted to produce. I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t really act. I hadn’t ever tried writing a skit and I couldn’t even tell stories particularly well.

Funny enough, I now have a YouTube channel even though none of that has really changed.

But the difference here is that I’m not trying to make YouTube my job. It might be if I could choose, but I can’t. Not really. It’s more up to people–to the audience–to decide who makes it big on YouTube.

So I’m just here trying to find a new medium to document my life. Sometimes I make videos to pass the time. Sometimes I make them to try new things. Sometimes I make them to share something I love.

I got a text back in the fall from a friend–completely out of the blue–that said, “wtf you have a YouTube channel??”

He found it because of a stuuupid mistake, and seeing that text made my heart drop, but it ended up being one of the best things that happened for us. He loves YouTube, too, and is creative in expressing himself (see his blog here) and we became really close because of it.

Other random people in my life know about it, and other close friends do as well, but yesterday I had the same feeling that I had this past fall when I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom watching the video of Sarah and I sharing our summer bucket list.

I love my Mom and I tell her most things. I’ve complained to her about hangovers and confessed that I’ve only ever cracked my phone (or dropped it in a toilet) when I’m drunk off my ass. And her seeing this one video of Sarah and I (especially since she really didn’t seem all that shocked or confused by it–she only commented that she liked my editing when it zoomed in on Sarah’s face) isn’t a big deal. It’s what could come that is.

If my mom knows something, she will most likely tell my dad. And if she knows my “Sincerely Sammy” username, they could easily find the channel again. Or, more importantly, this blog.

I would have no problem letting them know about the channel. I could vlog more freely and make videos with Sarah when they’re actually home. I could use her computer to edit and not have to lie that it’s for a school project. Things would be easier.

If they know about the blog, things could get harder.

This is my safe space. I come here to vent and to analyze and to clarify and eventually grow. I come here to make sense of my life and I often pick apart pieces of my past when trying to make sense of my present.

I don’t care if they read about my trip to Gulf Shores or my book reviews for The Empty Bookshelf.

I care if they read about my depression and my ADD and my analysis of their parenting. I care if they read my entries from freshman year (and even this past fall semester) and see, firsthand, how much I was struggling.

I don’t want them to find out how much I’ve kept from them. Because what they know won’t hurt them, and ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to shatter that now.

Because just like how this blog brought Zach and I closer together, it could act as a wedge in my relationship with my parents that could drive us even further apart.

Sincerely,

Sammy

{NEW VIDEO} SUMMER BUCKET LIST

Dear Reader,

I am SO behind with everything. Because of my summer class, I haven’t really had the time to relax and get organized, like I planned on doing, but I’ll officially be done with it after today which means I can get back to my life!

In other words, I can get back to sharing my life.

I can get back to blogging.

But I have a lot of projects in the works right now. I got back from Cuba a week ago and I have a ton of footage to edit and stories to tell and pieces to write, but I also have other ideas for this summer.

Sarah and I are doing a bucket list (we made this video like three weeks ago and I uploaded it last week so sorry for the tardiness) this summer and I think I’m going to get back to writing book reviews (I’ve finished Yes PleaseChina Rich Girlfriend, and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy recently).

Also Sarah really wants me to write another “If We Were Having Coffee” posts. She hardly ever reads my blog but she loves the ones I write like that for some reason so I’ll probably do one soon.

Anyway, I have a ton to do before my class is officially over, so I’ve got to get back to work, but yay for it being finally summer!

Sincerely,

Sammy

[BOOK REVIEW] ME BEFORE YOU

Dear Reader,

Two days ago I went to Books a Million because Me Before You (the film) comes out on Friday and I obviously have to read the book first. Despite having the mission to find and purchase one book, I spent $100 on six (and a membership). But even though my wallet is hurting, my blog will now THRIVE with all the new book reviews, right?

9780718157838-me-before-you-reissue-jacket-2.jpgAnyway, I started Me Before You late that night and in between the chores, grad parties, and now online class that I have to work on, I’ve been reading this all-consuming book.

As an aspiring writer who understands the distance I have to go in order to mature my writing, whenever I read books, I will either underline certain parts or write them in my notes app on my phone or label them with a sticky note to later transfer into my journal where I write my thoughts and reflections after reading a story.

This book was filled with stickies.

JoJo Moyes reminds me of John Green in the sense that her writing–her phrasing, the descriptions, even some of the vocabulary–is so impressive. And maybe part of that is because she’s British and I really enjoyed seeing words like “bloke” and “lardarse” used throughout the book. But it’s also the fact that she is truly a talented writer, and it seems to come across as effortless.

The story itself is beautiful and tragic and thought-provoking and makes you want to talk about things and figure out what you believe. Just reading this story and recognizing when I didn’t like a certain action from a character, but then exploring why and, further, working to see the story from their side as well is eye-opening. It’s a beautiful thing when you get to learn more about yourself by partaking in a 400-page journey.

Reading it sparked at least five new ideas for blog posts that I can think of right now, so there is plenty more I want to say, but I’ll save it for another time. For now, I’m just going to strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone and I will be first in line for my tickets to the show on Friday.

Also, sorry this isn’t a real review where I tell you what it’s about and the who the characters are and what the biggest problem they face is. I’m just sharing the fact that I loved it and I’ll be writing more on it later to discuss what parts tugged on my heartstrings and filled my eyes with tears.

There’s plenty more to say.

Sincerely,

Sammy

[VIDEO] THE ONE WHERE SARAH GRADUATES

Dear Reader,

 

Sarah graduated on Sunday and will be attending a college in the fall that is four hours away from me (which is a problem because neither of us will have a car).

Until we part ways, you can expect a lot more videos (vlogs and otherwise) that feature her.

I’m excited.

Sincerely,

Sammy

MAYBE APRIL IS ALWAYS HARD

Dear Reader,

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not, but I’m collecting stuff from this year and turning it into a book. It’s not really for anyone–it’s just a glorified journal, really. In fact, with the posts I’ve been writing so far, I probably won’t want anyone else to read it.

Anyway, I’m organizing the stuff for April because I just realized that it’s almost halfway over, and looking back through it all, it’s been pretty rocky.

And then looking back to last year’s April–well, that was really rocky, too. (I can’t even listen to my April (2015) playlist in order because it automatically causes tears to spring to my eyes)

But maybe April is always hard. Maybe it’s the pressure of final deadlines and the struggle of not being able to combat my laziness/habits that come with ADD. I actually already wrote a post for tonight about how much I hate being a person with ADD, but that turned out to be really self-deprecating and just mean (I didn’t feel like holding back), so I decided not to post it.

Tucked it away for my journal, instead.

And then I looked back at the journal entries I’ve made throughout April and all the other blog posts I haven’t been able to publish because they’re too dark or whatever–and then I went on my Instagram.

I’ve been doing this picture-a-day challenge and everyday, there’s a new picture of me, grinning wide, often with people, looking so happy.

My April looks so happy.

And at times, it has been. I’ve had some good memories this month and I’ve taken pictures with people who mean a lot to me.

But I’ve also cried in class.

I’ve also stayed awake all night, worrying about all the stuff I need to do,

all the while, not being able to gain the momentum to get it done.

I’ve questioned just about everything I’ve done this semester

and I’m pretty sure I’ve done just about everything wrong.

So here I am, writing this in the library. It’s past midnight so the weekend is over. The week I’m dreading has technically begun, and it’s that time of year where I need this semester to be over just as much as I need more time.

I know I’ll get through it, though. I know May will come and soon I’ll be home with my sister and April will just be a memory I can forget.

But until then, I’ll just keep smiling in my selfies and save my thoughts for my journal.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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NOW I’M LAYING ON THE COLD HARD GROUND

Dear Reader,

Lately I’ve been spending way too much time on the floor of public bathrooms.

Not because I’m an alcoholic or am making too many bad life decisions all in a row (well I might be, but that’s unrelated), but because I have POTS.

This morning I woke up and needed food–and because I keep none in my dorm, I had to leave to buy some. So at 10am, I strolled into the market with crimped, previously straightened, bed-head and mascara smudges on the bags of my eyes. I was wearing my high school soccer sweats paired with a “Future Wine Moms of America” sweatshirt and Bud Lite slippers.

There was probably no doubt in anyone’s minds that I had gone out last night.

(Side note: I didn’t. I went to a fancy dinner as my extremely-accomplished-friend’s plus one and then spent the rest of the night interviewing people for a profile feature. It’s funny how looks how deceive.)

I searched the store to see what I was in the mood for and decided on my go-to: cheese and crackers with a large bottle of water and an awake bar.

Because I am the person I am (or possibly because I broke my mirror this morning and will be receiving seven years of bad luck now), I got stuck behind a girl who was only buying three things: blueberries, drinks, and ice cream cones. But she bought about nine of each.

And the cashier was incompetent probably new. He rang up each ice cream cone, then realized it hadn’t worked, and had to run to the back of the store to get a similar one at the same price to try and ring up.

This isn’t a huge deal. The line wasn’t big and I only waited for about five minutes until it was my turn. But by the time she was gone and he was grabbing for my groceries while apologizing for the wait, I could barely make out the features in his face.

I tried to push on and said, “I only have my banner ID,” while tapping desperately on my phone trying to get my most recent screenshot of the number to open.

“Oh, that’s fine. I’ll get my manager.”

“No, no.” I tried to stop him. “I can tell you how to do it.” Working at King Cafe, I know how all the cash registers on campus work and I have shown many a student employee how to charge my account when I forget (or in this case, lose) my card.

(Side note: This happens at least bi-weekly)

“Oh no, I know how to do it. But my manager has to do it for me,” he tried to assure me.

Wrong again, I thought to myself, but at this point his entire face was splotched out and I couldn’t wait any longer. I was about to pass out.

“Alright, I’m sorry, I’m just going to sit down. I’m seeing stars,” I told him as I stumbled towards the tables and sat on one of the high seats. With my head in my hands, I realized this really wasn’t going to help my situation because the blood in my body wouldn’t return to my head unless I was on the ground.

But I wasn’t about to do that here.

At this point, the manager is at the cashier with the boy and they’re still mostly worried about the banner number dilemma. I kind of heard them like I was underwater but I smiled in my head as I realized that she was scrutinizing him because it’s not like she can just come to his side every time someone doesn’t have their ID–she has far more important things to do.

I got up at this point and said, “do you guys have a bathroom?”

“It’s not very clean, but come with me, girl.”

I followed the manager into the “employees only” section of the store and she pointed me towards the single bathroom in the far back corner.

I  collapsed onto the floor and propped my legs on the sink, waiting for my breathing to slow and the stars to subside.

It really never takes long once I reach this point to calm down and return my body to normal, but as I stared at the fluorescent lights above me, I realized how familiar of a perspective this is for me.

After a few moments, I sat up and chugged some water and realized how gross the tile floor was that I was laying on. But my head still felt funny and I didn’t know if I could make it back to my room without another episode, so I used my sweatshirt as a pillow, and lay down for a few more minutes before returning to buy my groceries and leave.

It was there that I snapped this picture to send to a few friends–not to worry them–just to say, look how great my life’s going right now.
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Especially since many of them had already seen this picture from my snap story.

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Anyway, so that’s the story of this morning. I really don’t know if I had a reason for writing it, it’s just that sometimes I think, why? Why  now do I have to deal with the fear of passing out in public. Why do I all of a sudden have to explain to strangers that I need to lay down because I haven’t had enough salt today? Why do I have to have a disease that sounds worse when I actually explain it?

I mean, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome?

Come on.

And, again, I know lots of people have it worse and lots of other people are asking why them for things I can’t even fathom dealing with. But, ugh, why??

Why do I have to be so familiar with public bathrooms?

Sincerely,

Sammy

CURRENT OBSESSIONS

Dear Reader,

A good friend of mine and I always joke about how part of the reason why we’re such good friends is because of our obsessive nature. I think that’s a recurring theme with people in our generation–the tendency to become immediate fangirls when finding new things that peak your interest.

At this point in my life, there are many things that I’m mildly obsessed with–that all of a sudden seem to occupy large parts of my brain–which is a little worrisome. I mean, surely they’re taking up space that could be used for my Linguistics class or for memories that I’m forgetting.

I don’t know, I think about memory a lot because mine seems to be so bad. (Side note, apparently this is an effect/symptom/personality trait of people with ADHD. So that’s fun.) (Double side note: sorry for the sporadic nature of this post. I think both my coffee and medication just kicked in at once, which almost always leads to word vomit such as this).

Anyway, I decided to make a list of my current obsessions. To spread the love, you know?

Enjoy.

Hamilton the Musical: This has been getting a lot of hype recently and this morning, I finally understood why. Sarah had me listen to a few songs (beginning with Helpless/Satisfied which is perfection) and then she explained the rest of the musical to me and we both swooned over the voice Jonathan Groff and it was beautiful.

Drunk History: What educational fun! I mean, who knew that Woodrow Wilson had a stroke and his wife had to run everything for his last years of his presidency and was basically the first woman to become president?? Not me! Until I watched that episode of Drunk History.

Tumblr/Journaling: Ugh. I love Tumblr. I have one that’s primarily funny and fandom reblogs and another that’s more personal and is just soothing or thought-provoking or just makes me happy to look at. This one inspires a lot of my (handwritten) journal entries and makes me feel artistic, even though I’m really not.

I do really need to organize them, though, and change up the formats a little bit. They’ve been the same way for years.

Jim and Pam: I’ve been re-watching The Office and oh my god, Jim and Pam. They give me true hope that I will someday fall in love with someone who is my best friend and makes even the most mundane tasks worthwhile and just makes my world a better place to live in. Them being fictional might be giving me unrealistic expectations, but I love them nonetheless. And honestly, I just really want to find my own John Krasinski.

Thinking about the Future: I have a lot of things going for me right now and when I look to the future, I’m really excited. Growing up is terrifying, but I feel like I’m at a point right now where I don’t have to worry about being 100% on my own, and I can still be young and stupid and make worthwhile memories that I’ll tell, I don’t know, somebody someday.

Today is just a really good day, you guys. It’s beautiful and sunny with a nice breeze and Sarah’s here with me and we have plans to visit our niece and cousin’s baby tomorrow and I’m sitting in the suite with the windows open and my Lolla playlist going and I just know good things are going to happen.

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Sincerely,

Sammy

[NEW VIDEO] I’LL FIND A WAY – CARRIE HOPE FLETCHER (COVER)

Dear Reader,

I did an awful job explaining why I did this, so I ended up cutting most of the explanation out of the video.

Basically, I feel like you can get better at things if you just put yourself out there and do it (channeling my inner Shia LaBeouf here). I know I’ll never be a good singer and I’ll never have a range like Carrie Hope Fletcher or Sia or Lea Michele or anyone really. I know that, it’s fine. But I’ve always wanted to be at least a decent singer and I think (I hope) I can improve.

So my logic here is this: I got better at writing by having a blog and forcing myself to write more. I got better at editing videos and starting my YouTube channel and making videos. So maybe if I sit down every once in a while and sing on camera, I can try and get better.

We’ll see.

So this is a video of me from the beginning of January, trying out a cover of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s new song. I’ll probably end up making this video private one day but for now, let’s just put it out.

Why not try something new?

Sincerely,

Sammy