Thursday, December 13, 2012

Plagiaristic


I should start this by saying I wrote a song. But that would be lying. Because, in true Shelby fashion, I merely...edited a song. I adapted it. 

Not really. I mean, I just switched a few lyrics around to express myself at this, the close of yet another year. It's crazy how fast time goes. Did you know Lizzie McGuire has been off air for nearly ten years? Oh, and she's a mom now--the actress. Plus the Suite Life twins are 20 years old. And Shrek came out over a DECADE ago. I mean, when someone says "a decade ago," I still think the '90s. 

Point is. My life is practically a quarter over. And, while that could be depressing, I've had a great year. Really. I'm finishing up school. I got a better, less-hell-like job where I even get paid more. I've made some of the best friends ever. My family's still amazing. And, oh yeah, I went TO LONDON. As in Europe. As in the best eight weeks of my life. And...I have a backpack to prove it. 

So, anyway, I was thinking about all that today (Facebook is really good at making you look back on your life; thanks for that "Year in Review," FB. You know me too well). And then I wrote this song. 

Again, I didn't write it. I revised it. With no malicious intent and no intent to profit off it either. So, copyright hounds, back off. 

Without further ado, my life...in rhyme (almost). 

(In the style of Bright Eyes and their song "First Day of My Life, who reserve all rights)

This is the best year of my life
I swear everything all just went my way
I went out of my shell, suddenly everything changed
There were dreams I finally reached

I can’t believe the things I saw
I think I was bored before all of this
I can’t believe where I’ve been
But now I know who I am
I’m just not sure where I want to go

But there’s some things I finally know
That life can take forever;
It’s okay to take it slow.
I realized that I love it
And I doubt it will ever be more cool

Remember the time I flew all night
Just to spend some months in London
And then when I got home, I thought everything changed
I felt as if I’d just woke up.
And I said, “This is the best year of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I lived this
I met so many people, did so many things
I think I’ll always be happy

So I have never felt this free.
With life there is no telling;
I’ll just have to wait and see.
But I think it is so fun and pretty
And I’m glad I finally know me.
Besides maybe this time is perfect
I mean, I really think it could be. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oh, hello.

Long time, no write. Sorry about that. But I recently wrote about childhood books, all endearing and that. But I put it on my book blog. Cuz...it's about books. Ergo.

Read it. http://by-its-cover.blogspot.com/


Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm Baaaack

I've been back for awhile. Three weeks. One day. 17 hours. 23 minutes. 42 seconds.

Well, I made up that last bit.

Point is, it's been awhile. And I slipped into this sort of comatose crash of blah-land nausea. Work was lame, school was lame, life was lame. I felt so...normal. So average. So lame. And then--today! Oh, today! I finally felt alive! It was this strange sort of surreal euphoria that split across my face in a beaming smile. I swear, rays of sunlight rose from my curled mouth! Birds and butterflies alike sang their sweet songs from my very soul! It was, as you might assess, rather magical. And nearly inexplicable. But I'll try. In verse.

I walk half asleep.
The tired half-life half lived.
Then I think: London. 

Just kidding. I really need to describe this moment in detail, and that calls for prose (as most situations do. stupid poetry).

Anyways. As you can tell, I'm giddy from this experience. And I'm sure it won't mean much to anyone else, but it was this beautiful awakening for me in every sense of the word (except sexually. awkward).

So, I was walking from French where I had just successfully bombed my first quiz, like epically--someone should write a poem about that. And I'm heading back to work, lost in my own tired thoughts. Usually I bemoan my existence and my pitiful life, making lists of things to do and things I hate and pouring a little more out of that half-empty glass. Depressing stuff, I know. But today was different. Today I thought about backpacks.

Let me explain. As part of my Study Abroad package, I was given a free backpack. That means everyone who does a BYU study abroad gets one--of different varieties. But they're a certain brand, just marked with a BYU insignia. Many a people have this same brand, though. And today I saw one. Just a normal backpack on a normal guy (calm down. this is not a love story) and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about my backpack and why I had it and how cool it was to have it.

And then it dawned on me. For the first time in three weeks, one day, 17 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds, it really hit: I went to London.

Now, I've of course recognized that I spent seven weeks in England. I wasn't in a coma during the experience; it has been ingrained in my psyche. But it was in walking down the stairs towards work for the second time that day--this day--that it really finally epically hit me. I went to London.

Instantly, I was beaming. I was grinning. I was smiling so brightly, a silent laugh was bursting from my inner being. It was this epic moment where, suddenly, all the stars aligned and I realized how lucky I was. No matter what happens next or if I fail to reach any more dreams, I can rest assured--I can be happy--because I did it. I made it to London. How many people get to say that? How many people actually reach their dreams?

It was like, in this singular instant, I suddenly thought of all the cliches of people always dreaming of what they wanted to do but never making it, always waiting for life to happen to them. And here I am, a bona fide world traveler. Not out of luck or birth or social standing, but because it was a dream and I realized it. And isn't that the coolest thing any of us can do? I did it! I made it! And I want to sing because of it!

I only wish you could have seen this go down. It was like I was walking in the dark, my backpack weighing me down, my energy drained from a mere two weeks stuck in school studying things I didn't really care to, fighting to stay motivated, wondering what I'm going to do with my life and doubting I'd ever really succeed. I'm a realist, some say a pessimist. I can be a buzz kill, a downer, that depressing reality check. I don't know why I let life get me down, but I do. Sometimes. And then today--it was like walking into the light. No, it was like walking into a field of peanut butter with a forest of cotton candy next to a river of nutella and the sun is shining but there's a slight breeze to keep things cool and puppies are barking their sweet barks and corgis are flopping and fluffy bears and big cats are romping happily about while the coolest people on earth (inluding Jake Gyllenhaal) are hanging out with balloons and pinatas laughing rauciously at funny movie clips as Jurassic Park plays on a big screen in the sky.

That's what it felt like. I was so ridiculosuly happy. I couldn't stop smiling.

I went to London.
I lived in London.
I made it to London.
I actually did it.

So, yeah, I went back to work (lame) and I still have school (lame) and I don't know how I'll have the time for everything, including growing up (lame), but it doesn't matter. I realized that, frozen on a step in the HBLL, staring at some stranger's backpack. I did something not everyone gets to do, and I did it because I wanted to, and it was awesome and I loved every minute (except the rainforest thing) and I won't ever forget it and I'm just so dang happy about it. Life is about moments, right? Well, that was about 4,333,200 moments (seconds) that I gave to a dream and that turned out to be even dreamier than I could have dreamed it. Except it was real. And it was awesome, even life-changing, and it happened. And I just realized it today.

So that is why I'm spouting poetry. Why I'm grinning. Why I don't think anything about today will get me down--not even a bad French score (cuz, let's face it, we all knew that was happening). I went to London. I made a dream happen. And that means, no matter what, my life wasn't wasted. Au contraire! My life will always be something good because, no matter what else, I always have London.
that's Big Ben behind my head. if you didn't know. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Moving Time

You know when you get in the mood for a change? You just feel anxious and unsettled and unhappy and you feel like you have to get out, go somewhere, change something?

Well, I don't feel that at all. I am exceptionally happy. I feel supa' CHARGED UP. So much good has happened in my life and I'm simply thrilled. In all honesty. I don't know why this is coming across as sarcastic. Maybe it's the amount of periods. I'll throw in an exclamation point!

Nope. Didn't help. But, listen, I really am so happy, for a variety of lovely reasons.

One: My brother bought a puppy and named him T-Rex. He's the cutest thing. Really. I show pictures of him to everyone. Over and again.

Two: I have $7,900 in savings currently. Which is pretty fantastic. Sure, two grand is a student loan, but that leaves almost six grand made with the sweat and tears of moi. See? Hard work does pay.

Three: I am in my senior year of college. Yeah, this time next year I'll be prepping for graduation. Walking the walk, talking the talk. All that jazz. And, for those who doubt it, there really is nothing more satisfying than being able to say "I'm a senior." It's empowering.

Four: Though my brothers are gone (and I weep every night for them), Cait came back to Utah! And it's been so fun getting to see her so much. Her and her beautiful puppy. Also, with The Hunger Games coming out soon, guess who'll be my date? Ding a ling a ding dong!

And, five (which is what this post is all about): I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE LONDON STUDY ABROAD!!!! I posted this on facebook, so everyone who reads this should already know. But...I tried to pass it as my getting a mission call (really, it was a perfectly crafted announcement subtly satirizing the usual mission announcement without ever outright lying. Oh, the cleverness of me). Maybe there's still some confusion out there. So, to clarify, all that was very tongue-in-cheek. I am going to London to play, not to serve; to bask in its glory for six weeks or so, not 18 months. Imma goin' to merry ole london! Returning to the motherland! A dream is finally coming true!

But, it's all this goodness and all this change that has enthused me completely. Thus, I have come to announce--after such a long break--that I have moved. I created a new blog--one that will naturally allow me to share a new sort of adventure (those of an international sort). It is called "The Traveling Typist."  But it's not just a travel blog; it will function much like this one. Just..a new blog for a new chapter of my life. That of a more graceful sort of immaturity.

Follow me. Or I'll defame you. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Case of the Blisters

I went up to campus today, to be all productive-like. I woke up, as I usually do, got dressed, which I sometimes do*, and packed up my school stuff--on a Saturday. Psch. But before going out into the cold--where a light coating of snow had turned to ice on everything--I did what I thought was the smart thing and put on a pair of shoes. Now, this pair of shoes was a slightly random choice. And, considering how this story ends, I think it was the devil tempting me, determined to keep me single and celibate. But we'll get to that later.

The point is, I grabbed a pair of shoes. A pair of shoes that, one, I never wear and, two, are kind of uncomfortable. But I wore them because, one, they were the closest in my reach and, two, I never wear them. Share the love, you know? Cuz shoes have feelings too.

Anyway. I put them on, march out, and I'm so focused on not slipping and falling on my face that I hardly notice the pinching at my heels and toes. Once I sat down in the computer lab, once I pulled out all my school stuff, and once I turned on some great music and tried to focus on writing a ten-page paper on femininity in American literature--that, that is when I started to feel the pinching. So i kicked my shoes in. Made myself at home like that.

Everything was fine. I worked for an hour or so, then got up to print something. Now, knowing that bare feet are gross to see in public paces, I put my shoes on. And then I really felt the fury that my feet had for me. I literally couldn't walk in them. These shoes I'd had on for the maybe-ten-minute walk up to campus, they had completely ravaged my feet. I have a blister on either heel, long and narrow and bubbly. On my big toes, little toes, and all across other areas of my feet, little blisters were forming. And once I forced those victimized feet back into the shoes that did that to them, they turned on me. They wouldn't work. I staggered, limped, hopped to the printer, all while trying to play it cool in front of the half-dozen people present. Seriously, though, when it came time to go back to my computer, I considered crawling. Weeping. Wailing. All of the above. Instead, I did this sort of tip-toe hop, like a game where the entire purpose was not to put any weight on either foot.

I lost.

And the smile I tried to throw at the cute boy nearby turned into what I'm sure can only be described as a terrified/terrifying grimace.

He didn't look at me every again.

So I took my shoes off, buied them deep behind the desk. I folded my feet under me, as if to comfort them and protect them, win them back--prove my deep-seated affection for them. I don't think they bought it, though; they were still resentful by the time four o'clock rolled around and I was done with all my school work.

I almost considered staying till closing, just so I wouldn't have to face my shoes or the trek back home. But...there was nothing for me there. I was a mere lost soul without working feet.

But I couldn't face those shoes again. So, ever-so-slyly, I packed them up with my other books and binders, hiding them in my backpack. I glanced around and, once it was clear I was not being watched, I put on my tiny, cutesy little can't-really-be-called-socks socks. And then I stood up. With another anxious glance, I quickly glided out of the room, around the backside of the building (to avoid being seen), and out the doors. There was suddenly this influx of people, I swear, all staring at my feet--pointing and laughing and jeering in not nice ways.

Just kidding. But I almost ran. I almost ran. It was that bad. whenever I passed people, I would just smile at them so they would look at me and not down...at my bare feet. And everything was fine; I'd practically gotten away with it. Then I came to the crosswalk.

I was coming round to it just as this guy--this really cute guy--came from the other side. He pressed the button, I pulled to a stop and just tried desperately not to be noticed. I stepped on my toes, tried to look inconspicuous, but when I looked up...he was looking down.

"What happened to your shoes?"

And all I could do was laugh. I stuttered and paused, blushed and shook my head. I tried to explain, breathlessly, that I had gotten really bad blisters so I just decided to walk home barefoot. He raised an eyebrow and, almost pointedly, glanced down at the snow covered grass. Then back at me. So I laughed again, wishing I could be witty, wishing this would be a great "when they met" story. But I just buried my head and said, "It's kind of embarrassing."

Not as embarrassing as your own ineptitude, Shelby. I mean, come on, he couldn't even hear what you'd said since you SAID IT INTO YOUR SCARF.

Right.

But then the light change. He sort of forced a smile, nodded, and said, "Alright, then. Well...good luck."

And that was that. I rushed home, laughing and shaking my head (so much so that I probably just looked even more psycho for being barefoot and suffering from tourette's). But, let's face it, even if I had shoes that probably wasn't even my soulmate. And I probably would have been just as awkward. And if he can't take a girl trudging barefoot in the snow, then...yeah.

Besides, I mean, in my defense, he was the one wearing shorts. Who does that?

*Just Kidding. I always do this. Nudity is not nice. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Remember Me?

Hey. It's been awhile, I know. And for that I apologize. Life often gets in the way. But maybe that's a good thing: I've been so busy LIVING, I just didn't have time to ever sit down and write about it.

Yeah, we'll go with that.

But, seriously, it's been over a month. What's happened? I'M ENGAGED!!!

Just kidding.

Hmm.

But, there's a few things that surprised me: One, the year's almost over. How did that happen? Remember all my illustrious plans, hopes, and dreams? Yeah....well, it seems time's a tricky thing to hold onto. Two, the year's almost over. And this is great; I am so ready for it to be done. Lots of ugly ups and downs and emotional carnage and dull, dull days. AND I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Seriously, though, this year I'm obsessed. I'm practically counting down to when ABC Family begins to air their cheesily-dreamy Christmas movies. And Lifetime has all theirs up on Hulu. And I found a website that lists all the holiday movies available on Netflix. So...I've been watching Christmas moves, listening to Christmas music, planning Christmas presents. My roommates and I had an excruciating cold arm contest (that led to ill health for a week) made bearable by singing "12 Days of Christmas" over and over. We just mumbled when it got past the 8 geese a'laying because, come on, who really knows what comes after that?

So, any soul-sucking naysayers out there who think Christmas only begins after Thanksgiving, to you I say this: what more do we have to be grateful for than the birth of the savior? Christmas music evokes the spirit of Thanksgiving. So...eat that.

haha it's almost a pun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Admittance

This story is embarrassing. I feel compelled to share it only to beat my roommate to the punch, who takes great pleasure in telling it to everyone and anyone she meets. So I need to act fast, keep this joke in my hands. Laugh with them before they all just laugh at me, point at me, snicker at me, and I inevitably burst into tears and write scathing death poems about them all. So, for their safety and my sanity, I shall persist.

You know that place, somewhere caught between dreams and wakefulness? Everything's hazy and only half-present, but you feel almost conscious? It's like an in-between land. And that's where I was late last night/early this morning.

I was snuggled in bed, mostly asleep, but everything felt real and...present. I was dreaming, but I was in my room. My roommate was there. I remember it feeling really real. And I don't remember what exactly I was dreaming, but I remember feeling like I was awake--even recognizing on some level that I was awake. And--here it comes--I...I....

Oh, give me strength.

I smacked my lips lightly, leaned forward eagerly, hugged my pillow tightly and whispered dreamily, "Look at all the cute puppies."

My roommate giggled. My heart stopped. I became suddenly aware that this was the place of wakefulness; I was no longer dreaming. And I mumbled an explanation, still half-asleep, but my roommate laughed harder. So I closed my eyes tightly and willed myself back to that place of rest. And I didn't wake up again until my roommate was up in the morning, out at the bathroom, and she laughed and said, "Guess what Shelby said last night?"

All morning, I was serenaded by a chorus of LOLs. One roommate, two roommates, the roommate. They couldn't get enough of it. My direct roommate--the one doing all the giggly reporting--couldn't get through the phrase without collapsing into a ROFL.

At least that's what it sounded like. I couldn't be sure; I stayed hidden in bed for the next half hour, waiting for them to leave because I didn't want to face them. But I will no longer bow my head in shame, nor cower before the jeers. I stand with pride and with dignity and announce without shame, "Look at all the cute puppies!"

So, yeah, I dream about puppies. In this corrupted world, is that something to be humiliated by? Nay, I say. Nay. It could have been worse. ...Maybe not funnier, but most definitely worse. All this means is I dream of cute puppies. My roommates must be jealous, but I will not be ashamed.

I mean, it could be like a metaphor for life. The new glass-half-full mantra: do, please, look at all the cute puppies.