Getting Learnt

It feels weird to say it, but I am officially a college Sophomore!   I WILL NEVER BE A FRESHMAN AGAIN!  Thursday, I finished my last finals (with a fever, good times), and started making the 18 hour trek home.

The past 9 months have been a wonderful blur.  My time at Chapman has changed me forever, and I know that I’ve grown up a lot in my time in Orange.  I feel more independent, confident, and worldly.

In these 9 months, I’ve lived through LA traffic, seen 4 concerts, eaten 12+ pounds of ice cream, been on sets, written multiple screenplays, and gone to the beach in November. It’s been an exciting year for me!

There are a lot of lessons learned in your first year of college.  Some make you stronger, others make you want to curl up in a ball and sing songs from High School Musical until you calm down.

I learned that being a good student in high school, doesn’t make you a good student in College. What used to take 3 hours of studying the night before, now takes 4 hours a day for a week, and even then, a professor may not give you an A.

I learned that flying is expensive, and 18 hours of driving isn’t worth it for a weekend home.  No matter how far away you go, the first year will make you crave going home.  We want that same comfort we remember. The same tight group of friends and a grocery store where you know every isle like the back of your hand.  You will miss seeing the same people, sights, and roads everyday.  Suddenly, you find yourself having to figure out how to make home, away from home.

I learned that it’s easier to make friends than keep them.  Forming strong friendships requires effort and commitment on both sides.  Just like a relationship, a friendships can’t be one sided.  I found at the beginning of the semester that simply saying hi to people didn’t mean they were going to text me the next day to hang out.  It’s a matter of getting out of your comfort zone, and actually trying with new people.  Making new friends, doesn’t mean leaving the old ones, even if it feels like it.  Finally, I learned that people cannot be who you want them to be.  At the end of the day, some people make the choice to stay, and others leave, that’s how it is.  But the people who stay… The ones that Skype you out of the blue, text you good morning, and bike across their campus to see you, they are worth the effort.

I learned that it’s normal to feel lonely, and it’s okay to cry sometimes.  I learned that everyone needs a safe place to be alone, and figure stuff out in peace.  I found out that bathrooms are a great place to cry, and walks are good for clearing your head.   I also found out that screaming “Love the Way You Lie” releases tension and if you image your problems in front of you, it makes the treadmill go a lot easier.

I learned that it’s the AD’s job to yell at everyone, and the Directors job is to yell at them self.  During the year, I found out that being a writer means lots of hours of staring at your computer and then typing until your fingers cramp when the idea hits.  I learned that if you think your first draft is pretty good, it’s still not good enough.  If you are going to write well, you need to write and write and write. You need to pound your head against tables, drink some Vodka, and remember every person you ever cared about, and then maybe you will write something worth reading.

I feel as though I always write about home in my blog posts.  I guess it’s become a kind of obsession of mine.  In my 9 months away, I searched high and low for what would become my second home.  I looked for it in my tiny dorm room and in small staircases.  I tried to find it in people and the movies I was shown.  I didn’t find it any of those places.  I found home when I stopped trying so damn hard.  I found it in easy laughter, In and Out Burger runs at midnight, parking garage roofs, and busy sets.  Home isn’t always a happy place.  It’s a place where you are allowed to feel, breathe, love and grow.  Finding home is finding a person you can cry in front of, a pillow that you can hold tight, a floor you can dance on, and a song that’s just right.  Home is no one person or thing, it’s you, 100% you.

An Agnostic Prays to God

Dear God,

Who, what, when, how, and why are you?

Are you there?  Are you something more than a wonderful idea designed to give us comfort?  Are you malleable, can I change your shape like putty?  Are you a man, woman, German Shepherd, or a Transgender  not welcome in public restrooms?

I don’t know what to think of you.  I don’t know whether to say a prayer or ask another question.  I don’t know whether to analyse or believe.

Can I ask you a serious question?  Did you like Beyonce better with Destiny’s Child or solo? Sorry, just trying to diffuse the tension…

I don’t get you.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the bible and didn’t go back to church after the age of 5.  Maybe it’s because I’m a cynic at heart.  Maybe it’s because I have a hard time believing anything without proof.  Maybe it’s because of the shit that goes on in the world.  Maybe it’s because-

If you were at a Freshman Orientation, how would you introduce yourself?    Would you say: “I am man”.  Would you say: “I’m here to save you”, or maybe “Y’all really need to stop shooting black people, like come on”?  Or would you say nothing at all?

Give me something to work with!  Are you a stranger on the bus, one of us?  Are you the universe, and the way the planets move?  Are you there, it’s me?

God, I want to explain myself to you.  I have a hard time looking up to you, because you don’t have the best track record.  You are our protector, but I don’t always feel that protected.  Everyday more innocent people die.  People are shot because of their race, clinics are burned because of a questioned life, homosexuals are kicked out of families, and women are raped and told to wear slacks next time.  Explain that to me, please.  Because if this is your plan, I don’t understand it.  I don’t understand how pain, death, and division is your plan.  And don’t give me that Adam and Eve crap, it’s not Eve’s fault, and never was.  If I had control of the Universe, then everyone would be happy, loved, and respected.  The only war would be CupCake wars and there would not be any walls.  If you are in control, why not create a utopia for your creations?

But, if you are there, I also have to say thank you.  Because there is still beauty in this world.  So, thank you.  Thank you for keeping traffic lights green for me when I’m in a hurry, for not letting me get hit that one time I was driving, for creating the beings who created music and Tv, and for letting their be perfect matches.

Dear God, I know this probably isn’t the kind of prayer you usually receive.  Someday, I hope to understand you.  I hope to be able to change my religion from confused to sure, one way or another.  Until then, I will look up, in search of an answer for what is true and false.  I will look inside myself for answers, and I will find my belief along the way.

Thank you for listening.