A Single Arrow in the Forest

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A Single Arrow in the Forest




If the forest is a metaphor of my life, I hope I don't get lost...



Many of you here at FOG already know me, but for those who don't, you may refer to me as SilvanArrow, Silvan, or whatever else you prefer. This marks my first attempt at a blog, so even I don't know what all I will put on here. Expect some ranting. Expect some randomness. Expect thoughts about any writing or role-plays I'm involved in. Expect even updates on the mediocre aspects of my life. I respectfully ask that readers refrain from commenting in this blog. However, if you feel so inclined to respond to one or more of my posts, you may do so via PM. I will not respond to flames or criticism that is not constructive, but other than that, feel free to say whatever is on your mind. I'm hoping that this blog will help me be more open and expressive with my thoughts. I'm normally a very private person, and it takes a long time before I'll open up my deepest, most personal thoughts to someone. I hope you will bear with me as I embark on this little soul-searching journey, especially since even I don't know the outcome...
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Silvan Arrow
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Join date : 2009-07-09
Female

Posts : 3112
Age : 29
Location : Middle Earth (I wish...)


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A Single Arrow in the Forest :: Comments

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Post on Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:37 pm by Silvan Arrow

Friday, 26 March 2010

All right, here's a go at my first entry in this blog. For those of you who don't know, I've been on spring break for the past week. Overall, it's been a pretty chill break. It's been lovely catching up on my sleep and spending time with my family, but I can't believe how quickly the week has past. I left school thinking I would have all this free time to work on some video and writing projects that I do just for fun, and now the week is almost up and I haven't done much with any of that stuff. Yikes! Not only that, I haven't done as much of my homework as I should. Oh the joys of procrastination...

In other news, I had lunch today with one of my closest friends whom I hadn't seen in a while. He goes to college here in my hometown, so the only times I see him are when I'm home for break. He's one of the very few individuals that I trust unconditionally. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, there's nothing romantic between us - he's more like my brother than anything. We're going to see "How to Train Your Dragon" tomorrow afternoon. What can I say? I'm a sucker for anything involving dragons *points to avatar and signature for emphasis*

I've recently been getting the urge to write again. I have a three-novel series currently in the planning stages that I brainstorm ideas for whenever inspiration strikes. I won't reveal any details yet, but know that it focuses on fantasy set in today's culture but is also rooted in historical myths. I have a few scenes written, but most of them are, ironically for the second book rather than the first. Who knows, if I get rolling on the first book, I may post a teaser in the Written Works forum and see what people think.

But here's my problem: I feel like I want to write, but when I go back and read through the scenes I've already written, I freeze up and don't know where to begin or how to continue. It's like I have broad ideas of what I want to have happen, but the details still escape me. And I don't want to force anything either, because I know anything I force will come out crappy. Does that ever happen to you guys?

And now I'm going to switch topics completely before I close this first extremely disjointed post (I'll try to keep them more focused in the future, I promise!). My dad saw a news story last night about a girl about my age who was burglarized at night in her house and stabbed, but her dog was able to drive away the attacker. So now my dad, overprotective as ever, is quite insistent that I get a dog at some point down the road when I'm living on my own and have the time and resources to devote to one. Of course I'm thrilled with the prospect; I've wanted to get another dog ever since my miniature daschund died three years ago. The problem is finding the time to spend raising and training a puppy. At present I'm about to graduate college and will be starting graduate school in a new city five hours from home in the fall. I'll be living in campus housing the first year, but after that I'll move into a house with roommates and may have more time then. I came across a breed called the Dutch Shepherd a while ago, and after sharing my findings, my parents are pretty convinced that that is the ideal breed for me. They're smart, long-lived, protective, easy to groom, free of major health problems, and...get this...look remarkably like wolves! Yes, I adore wolves. But I'll save that story for another time.

Okay...I think I'll end it here to spare the sanity of anyone who actually made it this far. Take care, everyone!

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Post on Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:09 pm by Silvan Arrow

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Ah, what a busy but fulfilling day. I started off the morning with a puppet gig at my home church. Little known fact about me: I've done puppet performances for church functions since my middle school years. I haven't been able to do that many since going away to college nearly four years ago, but for once this gig coincided with a time when I was home. The show was for an Easter Egg hunt, and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. So yeah...fun times ^_^

My friend (the one I had lunch with yesterday) and I went to see "How to Train Your Dragon" later that afternoon. It was a pretty cliche plot line in terms of the "boy and his dragon" story, but it was still absolutely adorable. Also, the 3D effects were very well done. After that, I met up with my parents for one last nice dinner out before I head back to college and live off campus food again. Woohoo...

So yeah...I have to head back to college tomorrow, since classes start again on Monday. I can't believe the week has passed so quickly, and I'm not particularly excited about hitting the grind again with classes, homework, and research, though it will be great to see my friends again. Looks like I'll be finishing my homework tomorrow evening after traveling all day. Joy...

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Post on Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:21 am by Silvan Arrow

Well, I'm back at college and getting into the groove again. Yesterday was pretty rough. It was like my head was in a fog all day, and I couldn't concentrate on anything. I also felt down for some reason, and I have no idea why (Yes, I've already considered woman-related hormonal issues, but no dice.). Oh well, today has been much better so far.

In other news, my muse decided to hit me like a freight train on Sunday night. I've started reading James Patternson's Maximum Ride books, which are about these six kids who have avian DNA grafted into their human DNA, which gives them wings and other cool bird traits. While I could do without the ridiculous names like Nudge, Iggy, and the Gasman (say what?) and some more imagery descriptions of the characters, I think these are quite good teen reads. Maybe I'm a little old (21) for teen fantasy, but hey, everyone needs a little guilty pleasure reading to mediate life stress, right? The first book kept up a good pace, so nothing got old and the action kept me on my toes. I went and bought the next two books yesterday, and I'm already making headway into the second one :-P. But anyway, reading them got me inspired for another book idea, and the entire plot for the first book came to me within 24 hours. I typed up almost two pages single-spaced last night outlining the plot for the first book and have about a paragraph of a projected second book. I'm also in the process of creating and getting to know the main characters.

Just to give some insight into my writing, I take character development and description VERY seriously. I spend ridiculous amounts of time just finding a name, and then I let the character tell me about himself/herself based on what little inspiration I start off with. So I may start with a couple of details about a new character, and then my mind wanders and fleshes out the rest in its own time. At present I have a few of the main characters of this book fleshed out pretty well, while I need to name and ponder the rest a lot more.

Now the big question is...will I actually write these books? I mean, my other projected book series is more in my head than in my hard drive, partly due to lack of inspiration and time. At present, the answer is a big, fat "I don't know." But hey, I've got all summer to work on this stuff. I'll keep you guys posted!

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Post on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:34 pm by Silvan Arrow

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ah, blogging, what a great way to procrastinate when motivation to do homework has officially flown the coop. I think I'm getting just a bit addicted to this thing.

How am I already halfway through the week? Oh well, I'm certainly not complaining because we get a 3-day weekend for Easter! In other news, my mood has improved a bit, though I took a bit of a nosedive last night after our ballroom advanced class. See, I have to miss my last competition because I have a camping field trip for one of my classes that same weekend. My partner was really cool about it and said I needed to do the camping trip, but it's hard watching him practice with another partner - my "understudy," as I like to put it - especially since I was so grateful to finally get paired up for my last year of college. Even after a couple of months, it's still a sore subject. So why am I talking about it here? Sheesh, I have no clue. Maybe I just need to rant. All I know is that if I don't start crying at least once during my camping trip, I know I'll come pretty darn close...

Okay, enough of my emo rant. My new story idea is fleshing out pretty well. I've actually written a couple of short scenes for it, and the names for the characters are slowly but steadily coming to me. I've also got a rough idea of the setting. Funny story, the name for one of my characters just came to me last night as I was getting ready for bed. I was like, "Ah, nice to meet you finally. Thanks for telling me your name." That's what I love about creating new story universes and new characters. Creating a new character is like meeting a new friend. The more you explore, the more they tell you about themselves and it's like you go through this journey together. Anyone else relate to what I'm saying?

All right, I'm going to cut this short so I can actually force myself to do my work. Then I think I'll try to get to know some more of my new characters or even write a little bit. Peace out, cub scout!

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Post on Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:55 pm by Silvan Arrow

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Good evening! Wow, how time flies when you have a four-day weekend. We have Monday off for Easter, and I didn't have class Friday. I really should be doing homework right now, but FOG is so much more entertaining. Thank you all for contributing to my procrastination habit ^_^.

Last night a bunch of friends and I went out salsa dancing. It was a blast, but I was limping by the time we left because so many people stepped on my feet. And let me tell you, having my bare toes (peep-toe shoes) stepped on my other girls in heels hurts like HECK!!! On to happier thoughts, some friends and I dyed Easter eggs today, so here's a photo of the finished product:



Yes, some of my friends made Pokemon-themed eggs. It was a very amusing afternoon.

My muse has been pretty active lately with this new story idea. I emailed the prologue to my dad, and he really liked it. He's already published a book on fly-fishing and regularly publishes stories in hunting/fishing magazines. We think along the same lines when it comes to writing, no matter the genre, so we're each other's go-to person for reading/editing pieces of writing that we're working on. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on anymore developments in the writing department.

Okay, I really have to get my work done, so I'm gonna peace out for now. Take it easy, everyone!

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Post on Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:14 pm by Silvan Arrow

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

To whoever is actually reading this blog, hello and welcome! Yeah, it's been a few days, but then again, it was Easter weekend so I don't feel guilty. Speaking of which, my Easter got off to a pretty rough start actually. I started having problems with insomnia over the summer when I lived by myself in my apartment (which normally houses three other people) and working on my research. Lesson learned: I don't do well with long periods of alone time. It hasn't given me any problems until Saturday night, when I was trying to sleep. I guess staying out late Friday night messed up my sleep schedule or something. I went to bed at 2, laid awake til 3:30, read til 4 to get sleepy, laid awake again til 4:30, called my dad in tears (Ironically, he was also awake at the time), and finally dropped off a little after 5. Then I got up at quarter til 10 for church, and I was amazingly functional the whole day. What got me back to sleep? Part of it was talking to my dad. We're really close, and I know I can call him at any unholy hour of the day/night if I ever need to talk. The other part, not to sound cliche, was prayer. I come from a Christian family on both sides and have embraced Christianity as a way of life from an early age. Dad told me that just praying silently, not necessarily keeping a constant monologue but just being aware of God's Presence, soothes him on nights when he can't sleep. I always pray before I go to sleep, but for the past few nights I've done the same thing with the silent praying, not worrying about saying "amen" and thinking, 'Okay, I'm done talking to God for the night,' and guess what? It works! Looking back on it now, I'm kicking myself for not letting prayer be my first solution to even trivial problems like insomnia. People seem to be quick to pray when it's a last resort or during really bad situations, but why not use it all the time? The God I worship actively seeks relationships with people, so He delights in people coming to Him in prayer. Good lesson learned.

At this point, I must make a quick disclaimer. I do not mean for this blog to turn into a Bible-brow-beating sessions, where I try to force my beliefs on anyone. As I said in the first post, the purpose of this blog is for me to be open with my thoughts. I feel like a lot of people get the wrong idea about Christians based on bad experiences, like churches that judge people for not dressing up for services or pastors that invade college campuses and scream at people that they're going to hell. I do not identify with extremists like that, but I'm also in no position to judge the state of their souls. That said, if anyone who's reading this wants to talk further about his/her worldview or ask about mine, I wholeheartedly welcome it. I was amazed at how much I learned about other people's religions and worldviews when I first came to college simply by having an open mind and engaging in mature, meaningful exchanges of ideas and values.

In terms of my writing, I've been chipping away here and there on my new story. I'd like to finish a chapter so I can get my dad's opinion and to answer some questions he had based on reading the prologue (questions that, I must admit, I wanted for him to have after reading it). I've also joined a delightful new role-play here. Anaris started a new Pokemon RP based on Gijinkas (Pokemon-humanoid forms). My other two role-plays on this site are Viemara - Essence of Deceit, a casual fantasy RP run by Loki, and The Long Road to Victory, a one-on-one Pokemon RP with Anaris.

All right, I've been prattling long enough. Take care!

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Post on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:42 pm by Silvan Arrow

Monday, 12 April 2010

Wow, has it really been almost a week since my last post? Hmmm...I must be slacking then. Oh well, not much has happened in terms of life events, though I did go canoeing for one of my aquatic biology labs. It's only the second time I've been canoeing, and I loved being on the water amongst such gorgeous scenery. I also went to the spring concert for my college's all-male a cappella group. One of my good guy friends is in the group, and I must say, they did an outstanding job.

Aside from those events, I've noticed that I've been a bit moody and more distant than usual around my friends. Last semester I took every opportunity to be with people and enjoy the friendships I had made, since this is my senior year. However, as I get closer to graduation, now just over five weeks away, I've started to pull back, whether unconsciously or willingly. For as long as I can remember, I've struggled to find a happy balance between two dominant aspects of my personality, the one side that loves being around people and the side that craves alone time. I'm an only child and was home-schooled for five years, so I've always been independent and quite content entertaining myself as a child. However, it really hit home over the weekend when I was the only one in the apartment on a Saturday night while my roommates all went out to parties and whatnot. Granted, I've never been into those sorts of parties, but it was still the principle of the matter.

Perhaps I'm withdrawing now so it won't be as painful when I have to say good-bye to friends that I've known for several years now and have grown close to. But the more I withdraw, the more it hurts when I stop to think about my actions. And the more it hurts, the more I want to withdraw. Then I just end up trapped within my own emotions. I went through something like this the summer between high school graduation and freshman year of college, and I'm dreading that this summer will be a repeat experience as I'm in this awkward limbo between undergraduate and graduate school. I'm applying for a jab back home that will keep me busy, but I know it won't fill the void of knowing that, when fall comes, the friends that I have come to love and cherish here will not be where I will be. If anyone has gone through something like this and can offer advice, I would certainly appreciate any pearls of wisdom.

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Post on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:45 am by Silvan Arrow

Friday, 23 April 2010

As of today, I have officially 4 weeks and 1 day until graduation. Um...wait, what? Anywho...

I finally got around to importing the pictures from my Aquatic Biology camping trip onto my computer, so here are a few of the highlights. For those who didn't know, I went camping last weekend for that class as part of the lab component. The first one is actually from an afternoon canoeing trip we took the week before, but I'll let the rest of them speak for themselves.













Why yes, I do love animals and have no qualms with picking up any kind of little critter, assuming it's not venomous. You couldn't tell?

And this picture...well, let's just say some of my classmates love animals just a little TOO much...


Overall, the trip was quite fun, except for the fact that I had to miss my last ballroom competition because it fell on the same weekend. It was either go on the trip or write a 40-page makeup paper along with extra individual research around campus. My dance partner was very supportive and encouraged me to go on the trip, since it's for my major and I'm set to attend grad school for marine biology. He found another girl to compete with, but it was hard watching them practice and knowing that I wouldn't be there with him and the whole team - they've become a sort of family to me, and this was my last chance in undergrad to make memories with them of going to competitions, which are super-fun. While I was on the trip, I didn't get moody until the second day, when my partner texted me saying that he had gotten 6th in two events with the new girl. I was really proud of him, but keep in mind he had only just started rehearsing with the new girl, while I had been dancing with him all hear. I could only imagine how well we would have done if I had been able to compete with him instead.

But in end, I really can't regret my decision. With the semester drawing to a close, a lot of other big projects are weighing on my mind, so I never would have had time to do an adequate job on a makeup project. It's all a matter of getting past obstacles and moving on with my life.

In other news, remember that new story concept I've been talking about? Well, I finally posted the first two chapters and the prologue in the Critiques section of this forum. For anyone who's actually reading this, I would really appreciate any feedback, even if it's just to say that the concept is somewhat interesting. I personally love writing it, and my muse has been quite active over the past few days. It's kind of a paranormal/nature-based fantasy story set in real life with some romance and plenty of drama thrown in for good measure. I don't want to give away anymore details at this point, so you'll just have to read it for yourself ^_^

Let's see...the weekend is shaping up to be quite busy as well. My dad is coming into town today for a business shindig, so we'll be spending time together between his meetings, plus I'm spending tomorrow morning doing service hours with my leadership honor society. Should be fun times. I'll keep you all updated!

Peace out!

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Post on Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:27 pm by Silvan Arrow

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Let me just say one thing: end of the semester SUCKS.

I think professors plan this on purpose. Assign all the major projects for their classes to be due at the end of the semester so it'll all hit at once and the students will freak out. For next week, I have one project and two major presentations. For the end of the semester, I have a group presentation, a grant proposal, a major paper, and three more online chapter quizzes standing between me and that shiny college diploma. And that's not counting exams and the steady stream of reading and smaller assignments for my classes. So why am I wasting time blogging instead of working more? Who knows. Who knows...

In the meantime, I'm still hoping to get some feedback on my story in the Critiques section. I sent off the next section to my dad to get his opinion, but it's not a genre he usually frequents for his own writing. Oh well, not much I can do about it.

*dashes off to do more homework*

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Post on Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:34 pm by Silvan Arrow

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Homework update! I got my project finished and my reading done for tomorrow. So now I need to practice my presentation for Tuesday and start working on another one for Thursday. The one on Tuesday is actually for a research forum dedicated to undergraduate research here at my college, and I'll be presenting on my past two years of research on vocal mimicry of Northern mockingbirds. I've already presented several other times, including at a national research conference, so I'm not too concerned. The one on Thursday...well...I haven't even read the stuff that I'm using for my presentation yet ^^;. Ah, procrastination at its finest. Wish me luck!

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Post on Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:11 pm by Silvan Arrow

Monday, 26 April 2010

For some reason, I'm just in a blogging mood tonight. Well, my big research presentation is tomorrow, and I'm feeling good about it. I'm actually...excited. I think it's because a bunch of my friends are coming to it. I'm so grateful for all their support, and it makes me want to do even better on my presentation so I don't disappoint them.

In writing news, I'm really excited about a couple of new role-plays that I've just joined. The first is a Maximum Ride RP in the Casual section. I'm a big fan of the book series, so getting a chance to dive into the fandom (or should I say fly) with my own characters is a real treat. So far the action's pretty fast-paced, so I'm really trying to keep up with the flow and post regularly. And I'm also finally taking my first step into Advanced Role-Playing with Eternity's FFX - Resurrection RP. We haven't actually started it yet, but so far the concept looks really solid. And I also like the fact that Eternity is planning on moderating it closely. I prefer RPs that are more tightly controlled, actually. It reassures me that the GM is definitely invested in maintaining the RP and helps take some of the guesswork out of coming up with ideas for posts. If the RP is more freeform, I feel like it's more liable to die because people don't have a specific direction to take with their posts and so lose interest. I'll keep you all updated with how they go!

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Post on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:49 am by Silvan Arrow

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Is it possible to miss someone you've never met?

I suppose I should take a second here to give a quick disclaimer. Yes, I'm going to be talking about romantic relationships (or in my case, a lack thereof), but I'm not trying to make it into a pity party where I bemoan my single status, complain, or any of that nonsense. I'm just expressing something that's been on my mind for a while, especially since I'm about to graduate college.

So anyway, back on topic. My dating track record hasn't been that great. I didn't date at all in high school, and my only two romantic relationships occurred during my freshman year of college. The first one didn't last two weeks, and the second one lasted about five months. I broke up with the second guy at the beginning of my sophomore year because he was getting too clingy, and I've been single ever since. I've long since wanted to start dating again, but let's just say that the gender ratio here at college SUCKS. Also, there's been three separate occasions where a guy has shown what I perceive to be interest, I start to fall for him, and then he backpedals, leaving me with these wasted, unwanted emotions and a whole mess of confusion. Also, they've all ended up dating other people! Has this happened to anyone else?

But I can't help but think that these things have happened for a reason, that there's a very good reason why those crushes never amounted to anything. In the end, I've made my peace with all of those situations, and I'm glad to see that the guys are happy with their girlfriends and that I've maintained strong friendships with them. But then I start to wonder, where is the one for me? When will it be my turn? At the same time, I look at other girls who hang out with a new guy every week and stretch themselves so thin emotionally that they end up repeatedly hurt and broken-hearted.

So here's where I get to the idea of missing someone. You can long to meet someone that may or may not exist, but to miss someone, you have to KNOW that they're actually out there, existing at this very moment in time. And that's how I feel about the guy I'll end up marrying...someday. I don't know who he is, but I can't shake the feeling that he's out there somewhere. After a major heartbreak during my junior year, I told God that I didn't want to date anyone else unless it's the person He's picked out for me. And I think He took me seriously. So I think that's why I've remained the perpetual bachelorette, because God is saving me and my heart for that one person.

Now I know patience is a virtue and that God will bring me to that person in His timing, but let me tell you, the waiting part really SUCKS. I see my coupled-up friends being all cozy and whatnot while we're all hanging out, and I wish he were there too so I wouldn't have to always be the awkward third or fifth wheel. I get upset about something and start to cry, and I wish he were there to hold me and say that everything is going to be okay. I know that probably sounds really pathetic and that I'm being needy, but I've always been independent and looked out for myself and others. It would be nice if for once someone else would extend the same courtesy or kindness to me. Sometimes I miss him so much that I wish I could somehow reach across time and space and see him, touch him, or just speak to him so he knows that I'm out there too.

Anyway, that's my little rant for the night. Maybe I'll look at this in the morning and think to myself, 'What in the world was I THINKING when I wrote that?!' But for now, I'm just the scribe for my private thoughts, and I have no choice but to follow. Who knows, maybe one of you who is still reading this may benefit in some small way.

Respectfully your fellow FOG-ger,

SilvanArrow

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Post on Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:44 pm by Silvan Arrow

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Ah, my dear blog, it has been a while indeed. The last time we chatted feels like a lifetime ago. And in a way, it was a separate life. So much has happened in the past few weeks that I scarcely know where to begin, but I shall endeavor nonetheless.

First thing's first. I graduated from college. It was a most surreal experience, and I'm still not sure if it's still sunk in that I'm a college ALUMNA and that I have a DIPLOMA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with all these honor cords and medals (I'm not trying to toot my own horn of anything.), but I was a little bummed that none of my family came aside from my parents. But in the end, I suppose it worked out for the best, since I didn't have to worry about having a whole entourage of people to keep track of.

Next thing: I have a summer job! It's actually a job I've worked before, at a wildlife park and nature preserve in the mountains near my home. Basically, I'm a naturalist intern, so that means I give programs about the animals, assist with animal husbandry, and keep the herpetarium (place with reptiles) open for the public. My co-intern and I get along great, which is good considering we spend most of the day together. Yesterday I watched a baby fawn in its first few minutes of life (so CUUUUTE!) and then took pictures today when I had my camera. I also gave my first wolf program today, which was a lot of fun. I give reptile programs all the time, but this one was a new experience. I think it went quite well, and the audience loved it when I got the wolves to howl.

And now on to less pleasant topics. Almost as soon as I got home from college, I was diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst (cyst on the tailbone). It had been bothering me for a few months, including over graduation, but I finally went and saw a doctor when I got home. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but I spent that first week home in bed after getting it lanced, in pain and fighting off a summer cold. Yeah, not fun. And as it turns out, it'll just keep coming back unless I get it surgically removed. So I did some research, found a good surgeon, and I'm slated for the chopping block tomorrow morning. It's just an outpatient procedure, but it's still my first surgery with anesthesia, so I'm pretty scared. And then the doctor says I'll be laid up at least two weeks, but I'm hoping it's less so I can get back to work sooner. Also, the thought of laying on my stomach/side and being unable to sit comfortably does not appeal to me at all.

So here's where I get frustrated. I feel like I keep getting punished for doing the things I'm supposed to do. Last summer I stayed on campus to work on my research, which was the smart decision. First night before I start, I have my first bout with insomnia, and it still afflicts me sometimes. I take a class that applies directly to my future career plans, and I have to miss my last ballroom competition due to a field trip. I sit at my desk for hours on end studying like I'm supposed to do, and I develop a pilonidal cyst. (As background, people get these cysts from turned-under hairs and sitting in poor posture for long periods of time.) I certainly hope this is God's way of getting all the crappy stuff out of the way before I head off for grad school. Last weekend my pastor preached about Psalm 23 and not worrying, and let me tell you, I sure needed to hear that. I'll probably read through that psalm multiple times before I go to bed tonight, assuming I get any sleep at all.

Okay, that was a ridiculously long post, but I feel better after ranting about all of that. I'll keep you updated about my progress on the surgery front; I'll certainly have plenty of free time on my hands...

Take care!

SilvanArrow

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Post on Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:52 pm by Silvan Arrow

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Well, I'm alive, minus one pilonidal cyst. Friday was one of the longest days of my life. I'd never had surgery before, so I was as nervous as all get out. The nurse who gave me my IV kept commenting about how sopping wet my hands were the whole time, The IV itself wasn't bad at all, and Mom stayed with me until it was time for the anesthesia. They gave me...something...and then I was in loopytown all the way to the OR, chatting with the nurses. I actually started laughing as the drug took effect. I vaguely remember something being placed over my nose, and the next thing I remember is waking up on my side in the recovery room. At first, I was still out of it but fine, talking with the nurse. She gave me some pain meds, I drank some fruit juice (BAD choice on my part, but I didn't want soda!)...and then it all turned to hell. I was puking my guts out up until Dad brought the car around, but I kept it together until we got home. After that, the rest of the day was a blur of passing out, puking, and trying to keep liquids down. UGH...

Saturday was better, thankfully. I was done with all the puking, but I stayed with bland foods all day. I didn't take any of the prescription pain meds the doctor sent with me but just stuck with Tylenol. Since then, I've been getting steadily better. My appetite is back, I'm slowly regaining my stamina, and I actually slept through the night last night. The pain hasn't been too terribly bad. Most of it has actually been in my hips from lying on my sides so much; I'm still afraid to sit for fear of tearing out the stitches.

The free time has been pretty nice, actually. I can lounge in bed all day without guilt, and my parents have been amazing in taking care of me. Two of my best friends dropped by yesterday to visit me, and that was really fun. You know you have great friends when they'll come visit you while you're convalescing after recovering from surgery on your rear end XP. But now that I'm starting to feel better, I'm getting a bit bored with being at home all the time. Oh well...not much I can do about that. And it's only Tuesday...

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Post on Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:00 am by Silvan Arrow

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Good morning, my dear FOGgers and blog. Perhaps I should name my blog so it no longer has to go by "blog?" Hmmm...I must ponder this when my mind is not under the influence of caffeine. I had coffee this morning for the first time since my surgery.

Anyway, I'll just give a quick update about how I'm doing. I didn't sleep as well last night. The pain in my hips kept waking me up in an attempt to shift to a more comfortable position long enough for me to fall asleep again. My body is pretty much incapable of sleeping past 9 AM now, so I was still sleepy when I got up, hence the coffee. I think I'm completely over the side effects of the anesthesia now, which is a major relief. The pain is still touch-and-go but always manageable; I haven't had to take any painkillers other than Tylenol. My stamina is quickly recovering, and I'm trying to walk more around the house to loosen up my stiff muscles and work out the kinks in my hips.

The most frustrating thing about this whole experience is that it's essentially put all my summer plans on hold indefinitely. If it weren't for this surgery, I would have been spending my weekends in the gym and my Friday nights at my godfather's martial arts dojo getting back into my kendo. I would have taken a weekend to get certified in scuba diving, which would be a great skill to have once I head off to grad school for marine biology. I would love the chance to catch up with my high school buddies, and I hate that I have to miss so much work. Luckily, my graduation money has really helped offset the wages I'm missing. Oh, I actually got a get-well card in the mail from one of my co-workers the other day, which was totally unexpected but a pure delight. If I've gained anything from this experience, it's definitely a high tolerance for pain.

I must admit, FOG has been a vitally important escape for me, almost a home away from home. My primary role-play, Viemera: The Essence of Deceit, has been making steady progress, and I've really enjoyed my regular interactions with people in the Forum Games. I owe a big thank-you to all you guys for helping me keep my sanity Razz.

So...plan for today: write up my backlog of thank you cards to people who sent me graduation money/presents, rest, walk, and play more in the swirling mists. Onward!

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Post on Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:12 pm by Silvan Arrow

Friday, 18 June 2010

Ah, TGIF. I'm wondering something, though. Does Friday still elicit that same feeling of relief and freedom during the summer that it does during the school year? I suppose with the possibility of summer jobs and/or classes, Friday still holds much of that same appeal by heralding the approach of two straight days of glorious freedom. I guess my extended period of convalescence has made all my days run together, so each one sort of "feels" the same.

Speaking of my convalescence, today is the best I've felt since my surgery. It's my one-week "anniversary," so to speak, since the surgery, and I'm relieved at how well things are going. I had my first post-op doctor's appointment today, and both my surgeon and nurse agreed that the stitched looked great and that there was no infection. Just as an FYI, treating pilonidal cysts by excision and closing the wound carries a higher risk of infection than leaving it open, but the closed wound heals faster. The method of choice depends a lot of the surgeon, though. Right now I'm just praising God that I'm past the worst of it with no problems, so it looks like I'm in the clear for recovering completely and with no complications. I have another appointment on Wednesday to hopefully remove the stitches, and then I should be cleared to go back to work.

In other news, my best friend came over today after my appointment to spend the afternoon and have dinner with me. We went to separate colleges, so summer and holidays are the only times we have to really catch up. She's leaving on Monday to go back up north, where she's hunting for jobs, but she'll be back later in the summer. By then, I hope to be recovered enough that we can hang out longer.

Do any of you have someone you would consider a best friend, a friend for life with whom you can discuss anything and you both think along the same wavelengths? Sometimes my best friend and I are so in sync with what we're thinking and/or saying that it's scary. Even though we now live far apart most of the year, I'm confident that are bond is strong enough that we'll be friends for life.

All right, that's enough ramblings from me for one day. I plan to enjoy the weekend by...you guessed it...more convalescing! I hope all of you have a good weekend! Hang out with friends, go see a movie, hike in the great outdoors, etc etc etc...

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Post on Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:19 pm by Silvan Arrow

Monday, 21 June 2010

Have you ever experienced the frustration of a muse that wants to write, but you have no outlet for it? I suppose one could consider this a good problem to have, since it's better than having no muse at all, but it's still frustrating. So today I just started with a new role-play here in the Casual forums called The Garden of Angels, and I must say, I've got a good feeling about it. Two of my fellow writers from Viemera jumped on board, and I've also role-played with two of the other people in the cast list. All the people involved are fantastic writers, and we all got in our first posts today. I hope this momentum can carry us to a point where this thing gets well-established. Speaking of Viemera, progress is slow but steady. I just posted, our GM is back from vacation, and now I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for the last two people to post before we can kick off whatever happens next. We're standing on the brink of some fantastic character development. Our GM said in the OOC that the RP is at the point where the story is just writing itself and is a whole new level of epic. You see, this is what I love about role-playing and writing in general. I love getting to the point where the story just flows, and instead of you forcing it to happen, you're just the scribe for what's already present. And role-playing takes it to the next level, where multiple writers come together to reach that point as a cohesive unit. And once you reach that point...wow, it's just magical. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's the only word I can think of to describe that feeling.

So now I think you can understand my frustration with my unfulfilled muse. I've got these two great role-plays going, one that's seasoned with time and one with so much promise, and I can't do anything with these creative juices that are flowing! Ah well, such is life.

Now for an update on my health. I had trouble sleeping last night, but I've been surprisingly alert today. The surgery site is healing nicely, and now I hardly experience any pain when I move. My next doctor's appointment is Wednesday, so I will hopefully get my stitches out and get cleared to go back to work. All the convalescence is starting to make me go stir crazy. I really want to get back to work and see all my animals!

All right, I'm out for the night. Hopefully I'll get a decent night's sleep tonight. See ya!

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Post on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:33 pm by Silvan Arrow

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

You know, I find that every time I check this blog, I've gotten a couple more views. I have no idea who all is reading my entries, but I appreciate it nonetheless! At least I know I'm not boring my readers to death Razz

Anyway! I had my next doctor's appointment today, and I've got good news! The PA was very pleased with my progress and had the nurses take out my stitches. I think she was genuinely surprised that I never took any of my prescription pain meds and got by on Tylenol alone. Now I don't even need Tylenol. But then, pilonidal cysts are notorious for being extremely painful, and apparently the surgeon had to cut all the way down to the bone to remove mine. Ah well, I chalk it up to having a high pain tolerance, a healthy diet with lots of protein, and, most importantly, the grace of God for allowing me to heal so quickly. Now I have a shiny new, official-looking piece of paper that says I can go back to work on Monday! Boogie Dance Clap Granted, I can't do any sort of heavy lifting and will be sitting most of the time, but it's better than lying around at home doing nothing. Plus, I've missed my coworkers and the animals I help care for.

Here's a little update on my role-playing. My newest role-play, The Garden of Angels, just keeps getting better and better. It's fast-paced, everyone is one their game, and we've already had quite a bit of action. My muse has been in overdrive, and I LOVE writing for this role-play! Now if only Viemera would get back in action... My last post ended on a cliffhanger with my character confronting another, and I REALLY want to see how that other character reacts!

Do any of you experience that kind of suspense, where you leave a post open for another character to respond and are dying to see what happens next? I personally love role-plays with a lot of character interaction. Having other writers use their characters to respond to or even ponder my character's actions makes me feel like my character is truly an integral part of the story and not just a tangential outlier.

In other news, I've decided I really want to GM my own role-play, but here's the problem. I have no idea where to start with forming a story line. I feel that role-plays that start with just a vague notion of a plot have a greater chance of dying after the first few posts. However, if the GM has the major plot points more or less planned, then that at least provides a foundation for the story to grow and flourish. If any of you readers have GM'd a role-play, how do you come up with your plot ideas?

All right, I suppose that's enough babble for one day. Happy writing!

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Post on Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:34 pm by Silvan Arrow

Sunday, 27 June 2010

At long last, my two-week convalescence is about to come to an end. I am really unreasonably excited about going back to work tomorrow. But then, I have a fun job, so it's all good ^^. Not to mention that the only people I've seen for longer than a few hours at a time are my parents. Now don't get me wrong, I love my parents and am extremely close to them. But you know, variety is the spice of life, and I'm excited to see my co-workers, most of which are also my friends.

But enough of my work-related ranting. These past few days have been AMAZING for role-playing! When the Garden of Angels first started, I got the biggest high from waking up in the morning, checking my email, and seeing that it already had two or three new posts. Granted, the rate of posting has slowed a little because of people's real-life schedules, but it's still progressing nicely. And Viemera has finally picked back up again. One of other writers and I just had an amazing exchange of posts that developed our respective characters by leaps and bounds, thus ending the cliffhanger I mentioned in my last blog post. His post literally brought tears to my eyes because I was so into reading it and he did such an amazing job of portraying the emotions and inner turmoil felt by his character. Has a piece of writing ever moved you in that way? It also looks like we'll be progressing with the story again soon, so I'm really excited about what our esteemed RP leader has in store for us next!

I guess I'll keep tonight's post short and sweet. If any of you reading this are involved with either of those role-plays, please don't worry if my posting slows down a little. I'll only have my evenings free for now during the work week, and I'll also be splitting my time by working on revisions for a manuscript that my college mentor and I are trying to publish. Take care, everyone!

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Post on Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:03 pm by Silvan Arrow

Sunday, 4 July 2010

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!

Wow, has it really been a whole week since I posted? I guess my days are starting to run together now that I'm back at work. This past week has been crazy busy, working eight hours a day, but also extremely rewarding. I won't bore you guys with all the details and stories of unwieldy school groups and back-to-back nature programs, but know that it's been fun so far.

Today has been one of those days. You know the ones I'm talking about. You wake up, not expecting anything out of the ordinary, then BAM! Life throws a massive curve ball. Yeah, one of those days... Those of you who frequent the Complaints Thread have already heard the abridged version of the story, but I'll tell it here again. My best guy friend, a person I've known since middle school, goes to the same church as me here in my hometown, and this morning we met up for the service just like any other Sunday. Well, amidst our usual morning conversation he said he needed to talk to me about something after the service. My stomach dropped like a rock, and I immediately thought, 'Oh, CRAP!' Come on, what else would a close guy friend have to talk about that had to wait until getting away from a big group of people? Clearly, something personal...

So I carefully concealed the fact that I was a nervous wreck all through church. The whole time, I kept thinking up worse-case scenarios and how I would respond. After the service ended, we walked back to our cars, and he finally dropped the potential atomic bomb on our friendship by asking if there were any way in the future that we could be more than friends. I had to (gently) tell him that I didn't see that happening, since I'm moving again in August to go to graduate school and can't deal with a long-distance relationship. I also don't want to mess up the friendship we have. I've only dated two guys in my life, and I barely spoke to either one of them after the relationships ended. I have to give him credit for taking it so well. He messaged me on Facebook later that day to say that he was grateful to have closure on the subject.

The worst part is that I just knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. He's naturally a touchy-feely person, and on top of that, the things he says even in the context of "friendship" could quite easily be taken as words of love by anyone else. If it were anyone else, I would be thrilled with the idea of being more than friends. But I'm just not attracted to him in that way, and it frustrates me to no end! I mean, after all the years we've known each other, I see him as more of a brother figure than a potential boyfriend. I just can't picture myself dating the guy. I don't want to hurt him, since I know firsthand how much it hurts to have unrequited feelings, but it wouldn't be fair to him to start dating out of pity or to force myself to try and love him as more than a friend.

Oi...life...

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Post on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:20 am by Silvan Arrow

Friday, 9 October 2010

Oh, blog, how I have missed you. Where should I even begin? How can I recount the events of the past 3 months in a single post? All I can say, grad school is crazy! It's been quite the roller coaster, from crazy hard classes to teaching undergrad bio labs to making new friends to getting to know my new hometown. All in all, I think I've adapted pretty well. There's just one minor detail that's keeping me from truly enjoying my new life 100%.

Those of you who read the Complaints Thread have probably seen one of my numerous posts about a guy I met this summer at my internship. Well, as dumb luck would have it, I fell for him against my better judgement, and the separation has been a constant ache in my chest for the nearly two months since we went our separate ways. Don't get me wrong, we're still close friends. It's just that he's probably the single hardest person to get ahold of that I know. His phone, which he never answers, is a piece of crap that can't send text messages, he doesn't use AIM, he's crazy busy with his classes and extracurriculars, and I'm lucky if he responds to my Facebook messages.

I'm not always good at expressing my emotions in words, except to my Dad, who knows me better than anyone else. So if I need to rant or if things bottle up too much, I write. I write a lot. And what I'm about to share is something that I wrote when the pain of missing him got to be too much to keep inside and even talking with my Dad about it didn't help. It's technically written to the guy, but he'll likely never see it. I shared it with my Dad when I first wrote it because I just had to share it with someone, and I knew I didn't want to actually share it with said guy. Now the pain is getting bad again, and I figure this is as good of a place to share it as anything. Blog, I trust you will keep my secret. Readers and fellow FOGgers, I also trust that you'll keep my secret. And since none of you know the guy, this'll never get back to him. It's pure, raw emotion, but it explains everything about our relationship and how I got to this point. I'm basically laying open my soul here, which I never reveal to anyone, but I figure you all are trustworthy. So read on if you so desire.

"What Could Have Been"

Some say you never know what you had until it’s gone. But I think I found what’s even worse. I knew what could have been, and now it’s gone.

I went into the summer of 2010 with quite a selfish, cynical mindset. I would keep myself so busy that I wouldn’t miss the friends I had just left behind after graduating from Elon and so I wouldn’t go stir-crazy waiting for grad school to start. I mean, come on, I was about to leave for Charleston. Who wouldn’t be excited? Part of me just wanted to fast-forward through the summer so I could get to the good part, because I didn’t want to go through with the transition phase. I knew what would happen. I had been there before between high school and college, and it had been one of the loneliest summers of my life. I didn’t want to go through it again.

But then I met you.

I arrived at Bays Mountain for my first day of the summer naturalist internship with an equally selfish, cynical mindset. This job was just a means to an end. It would keep me busy, it would earn me a little extra money, and, luckily enough, it was fun. I had applied for it almost on a whim earlier in the spring thinking that I should get my summer plans fixed before everyone else (who would have already planned their summers last year) could ask. Besides, I had already done the job once before, so I figured I was a shoe-in. But just like the first time, I didn’t want a co-intern. I didn’t want someone else telling me what to do when I already knew the drill. And what’s worse, I didn’t want to work with a guy. It was much too risky. What if we didn’t get along? What if he tried to act inappropriately? And, heaven forbid, what if we got along? What if we got along too well? Oh, believe me, I had given myself this talk plenty of times: ‘Don’t even think of looking for something long-term this summer. In three months, you’ll be out of Tennessee and starting your new life in Charleston. You’ll meet someone there. Just don’t plant anymore roots in Tennessee because you’ll just get hurt down the road.’

So I had all my walls up on that first day. I wanted to get along just well enough with my co-intern that working together would be bearable, at least until we started alternating afternoon shifts in the Farmstead. I could get through four hours a day with him. Friendships were fleeting, I had told myself, even if they lasted for years. But sooner or later, circumstances or college graduation force you to say good-bye. I had just graduated the week before, so the ache of missing them hadn’t set in yet. But then again, I had already started pulling away weeks in advance to make the separation easier, less painful. This summer would be no different. Sure, I might make friends. But it would only be temporary, because once the summer ended, we would all go our separate ways back to our real lives of college and work and grad school and never give each other another thought.

Oh, if only I had known.

My first impression of you was better than I expected. You weren’t socially awkward, you were completely down to earth, and you weren’t bad looking either. But of course, there was no chance that I would ever fall for you. As we got through the introductions and breaking the ice, I figured we would get along as co-workers quite well. Heck, we might even become friends who occasionally kept in touch after the summer. But no more than that. I was going to get through the summer with my objectives and my heart intact and then actually get on with my real life. I was still looking forward to the future and not living in the present.

Oh, what a fool I was.

Then the scenario I had feared the most happened: we got along. No, we got along famously, like we had known each other most of our lives. Our personalities meshed. Our interests were practically identical. Heck, even our level of nerdiness was almost the same! And we worked well together. Within the first week, we had the herpetarium running like a well-oiled machine, and within the first two weeks, together we had more responsibilities with animal husbandry and nature programs than we had ever gotten in our last internships. We carried out our duties in tandem, often without needing to use words. But even my choice of words started to change. I referred to you as my partner rather than my co-intern. “Co-intern” implies someone who happens to have the same work position as you. “Partner” means something completely different: Two equals, sharing in responsibilities and actively communicating through a close bond. Any two people can be co-something; it takes a lot more to form a partnership. And that’s what we were. No matter whether we were juggling groups of school kids or taking care of animals or just idling away the hours in the herpetarium, we were together, always together.

I came very close to backing out of this job when a medical complication reared its ugly head: a brutally painful cyst that would require surgery and at least two weeks of bed rest, which was more than the five days I was allotted at work. Luckily, my boss was totally fine with it and I knew the animals would be in good hands with you. The days leading up to the surgery, I was a nervous wreck, but you hugged me and reassured me that everything would be fine. Looking back, I’m really grateful for the support. But I never expected you to actually call me halfway into my recovery to ask how I was doing. Only three other people bothered to call or visit, and they were friends I had had for years, not mere weeks. And when I finally came back to work and saw how much you and the other summer staff had missed me, I think then my opinion of you started to change.

We spent a lot of time together after that. As luck would have it, the Farmstead underwent several weeks’ worth of renovations, which meant no visitors there and no alternating afternoon shifts. So we spent eight hours a day, five days a week together for much of the summer. Normally, I would be nervous spending that much time with one person. What if we ran out of things to talk about? What if we got sick of each other? What if things just got plain awkward? But those fears never once crossed my mind. Between our nature programs, animal husbandry, and steady stream of visitors, we usually found ourselves pretty busy. But then I started wanting those slow days when bad weather or some other unknown factor kept visitors away, because those were the days where we talked, goofed off, and really got to know each other. And I could never figure out why I got so irritated when Krystal kept stealing you away to work on wolf pens or when one of the Farmstead workers needed you to do heavy lifting all morning. My walls had already started to crumble without me even knowing it.

Then came the first time we hung out apart from work. As circumstance would have it, we got the opportunity to lead the Moonlight Hike during Funfest, so we wanted to be the responsible ones and hike the trail during the daytime before we led 500+ people through it by flashlight. So we made plans to take a Saturday and go hike the trails around Bays Mountain. My mom teased me a little about the thought of just the two of us hiking the trails alone, but I put her mind at ease when I told her you had invited some friends as well. My dad thought it was a splendid idea. After four years of college where girls grossly outnumbered the guys (and cattiness was at an all-time high), I finally had a group of guys to hang with. He said go have fun and be easy on them. Needless to say, I love my dad.

What I thought was just going to be a quick jog around Lakeside Trail turned into nearly a seven-mile expedition down into Fegan’s Gap, through some overgrown trails that we couldn’t even pass due to all the underbrush, around the mountain to the Fire Tower, up to the top of said Fire Tower to enjoy the glorious view, and back down the mountain, complete with an impromptu wolf howling and good-natured bickering over who got to use the water fountain first. But that was a defining day for me. It was the first time I started getting to know you outside of our professional roles at work, where we could just assume the roles of friends rather than co-workers. And it was the first time you started inviting me to share in your life and in your friends. Now, I’m normally a bit nervous when meeting lots of new people at once, but your friends quickly made me feel welcome, like I was the new member of the group instead of some random person who got to share space with them solely because I was your friend. They said I would get used to their quirks with time, but the truth was that I already felt more at home with them than I had after my first two years with my college friends.

But as Funfest approached, Time, my ever-present enemy, started to rear her ugly head and remind me that this is just a temporary arrangement, that you’ll move on and forget about me once the job ends along with our obligations as co-workers. But I didn’t want to listen. I forced her into a quiet corner of my mind, saying I would deal with her later. Right now I had to worry about Funfest and all the insanity that would bring.

Let’s just say I got more than I bargained for.

I don’t know what it was with this summer, but for some reason I found it hard to stay healthy like a normal person. The weekend before Funfest, I was starting to feel run-down and not quite normal. I brushed it off to work exhaustion and rested on Sunday. I was still a little off on Monday but nothing too serious. But by Tuesday, things went downhill real fast. Krystal and Fred called you away for more wolf pen clean up, and I forced a smile when in reality I was fuming inside. They were taking away my partner when we needed to stick together during all the Funfest insanity! And as the day wore on, I felt progressively worse and worse until I could hardly stand. You came back briefly in good spirits and cracking a joke as always, but when I went over to greet you, I could see in your face that you knew something was wrong with me. I drew strength from your concern, from the gentle touch of your hand on my forehead to check for fever, and forced myself to hold on until you could come back and take over the herpetarium duties in case I needed to go home. So I lay slumped in the chair beside the desk, burning with fever, and didn’t perk up again until you returned. I didn’t make it the rest of the afternoon and stayed home the next day under diagnosis of strep, hating myself the whole time. I was letting you down during the park’s busiest week, when we needed all hands on deck. Of all weeks, this was the one where we needed to stick together, not just for our sakes but for the animals as well. And on Thursday morning, when I still felt horrible and that painful shot of penicillin still hadn’t helped, I wept bitter tears at the thought of not making it for the Moonlight Hike. And heaven forbid, what if I had gotten you sick too? I never would have forgiven myself for that.

Mom kept telling me to call in sick for that day, that there was no way I would be able to handle hiking two and a half miles when I could barely stand without getting dizzy and couldn’t even eat. “Just give me some time. Just give me some time,” I begged her. “I can’t let him down.” And I brought all my frustration and pleading to God with those same bitter tears. “Look, God,” I said. “This is my responsibility. I made a promise, and I can’t let him down. So I need You to give me the strength to get out of this bed and onto that mountain. Right now.”

And you know what? God listened. By early afternoon, I was feeling well enough to return to work and couldn’t be happier. And I think being with you and the others that day helped my recovery more than if I had stayed home feeling miserable and blaming myself. The hike was everything I had imagined and more, especially when we got the wolves to howl. I don’t think even the naturalists expected us to try that, let alone succeed with 500+ people following us. And the weekend was even better, because I got to spend it with you and your friends: our “reward” that we had planned for when we survived Funfest. And as I left your house Sunday night knowing I would get to see you again tomorrow, I knew that things had already gone beyond my control. And Time refused to be silenced anymore.

From that day forward, every day was precious. I arrived at work in the mornings already looking for your car and left reluctantly in the evenings, comforting myself with the knowledge that tomorrow I would see you again. Rather than looking forward to the future, I lived wholly and completely in the present, cherishing each moment. We had to start alternating shifts in the Farmstead by this point, and now my inner self was practically kicking and screaming every time one of us left to go there. At the beginning of the summer, I figured those shifts would give us a welcome break from each other, but now I hated the separation. When had my mindset changed? I felt trapped between my desire to let this job continue and for it to end. Once it ended, that left us with just over two weeks before we went our separate ways. But also meant we would have that time to just hang out without work obligations.

And so our internship finally ended over a good meal with the summer staff and warm, fuzzy feelings all around. By this point, I could no longer keep lying to myself or to Time. Against my better judgment, I had started to fall for you and knew all too well that my Time was limited before the inevitable painful separation.

But I kept the pain away by continuing to live in the present. I looked for every excuse and took any invitation to get away from my house and over to yours. Thinking back, I really hope I didn’t make a nuisance of myself, but if I did, you never complained. Those two weeks were among the happiest in my life. I cherished the time we spent together, and eventually I stopped thinking of the rest of the gang as “your friends” and instead saw them as my friends as well, people who accepted me for who I was instead of someone who tagged just because I was your co-worker or your friend. And this is going to sound selfish, but I loved being the only girl in the group. After dealing with so many girls and all their cattiness in college, hanging out with all guys was a delightful, drama-free breath of fresh air. And I also never felt like I had to compete with another girl for your attention, since there were no others.

Despite all the happiness, those two weeks were also among the most emotionally tumultuous of my life. Every day that slipped away brought us closer and closer to having to say good-bye. Any day I wasn’t with you, I missed you terribly, even though I knew I would see you again very soon. I wanted to stop Time. I hated Time. I fought a losing battle against Time even though I already knew the outcome. I didn’t bother fighting my heart. I had lost that battle long ago when I started to fall for you. No one can control the heart. Believe me, I had tried with other guys. I had been in those situations where a guy shows what I perceive as obvious interest, my heart falls for him, and then he backpedals and ends up dating someone else. After the third such instance, I told myself, “Never again.” That’s why I didn’t want to look or hope for anything over the summer, because it could only end in heartache, and I had already had my fill of that, thank you very much. My mind kept telling me that I should start pulling away so that the separation would hurt less. But my heart wanted to get closer, to learn more, to feel more.

And for all I could tell, you seemed interested in me as well. The first time you put your arm around me, I thought I had sprouted wings and flown away. Your friends must have thought I had this stupidly blissful expression the whole time, but they never acted like it was anything out of the ordinary. Maybe they knew it was inevitable. When our hands sought each other and wove together, I finally dared to hope in a way that I hadn’t hoped in years. And that contact was especially powerful for me, since by nature I express and feel my emotions most clearly through physical touch.

But once again, Time was against me. I kept a smile on my face the whole time on that last day, when it was just you, me, and Sleep, but saying good-bye to you was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I didn’t want that cheesy video game movie to end just so I would have the excuse to remain in your arms, with my ear listening to your heartbeat as a steady, rhythmic reminder that I wasn’t dreaming. I wish you could have felt the joy, the all-consuming safety and trust that I felt through that contact. I wish I could have shared that with you so you could understand how much I hurt now. I stayed longer than I intended that night, mainly because I wanted to make those last few minutes last as long as possible. Even though we promised to keep in touch, I knew it wouldn’t be as fulfilling as physically being in the same place together.

So what am I left with now? Just a hollow, empty ache in my chest. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about you or miss you. Every day I wonder what could have happened if we had had more time. Just a couple of extra weeks, maybe. At the rate things were going, maybe we could have been more than just friends. I like to think so at least. And Time hasn’t lessened the ache. With everyone else that I’ve had to leave, Time has eased the pain of saying good-bye and of not seeing them face-to-face. Even missing my best friend, who lives all the way in Pennsylvania now and I only see on holidays, doesn’t hurt as much as missing you. The ache never leaves. Sometimes it lies dormant, barely noticeable amidst everything else I have to do as a grad student, but it never completely vanishes. I’m okay as long as I stay busy or am with my new friends. But as soon as I’m alone, that hole in my chest throbs as strongly as it did the day after I bid you farewell. Sometimes it hurts so badly that it threatens to take my breath away. I wish the pain would vanish completely, but at the same time I’m grateful. The fact that it hurts so much means that these feelings are genuine and strong. And hopefully, it means that our bond is worth the pain.

But I wonder, does it hurt as much for you as it does for me? Do I ever cross your mind in the midst of your undoubtedly busy schedule? I would hope that those signs I interpreted as interest were truly genuine on your part. I don’t think I could stand it if it turns out I was wrong or that I got played for a fourth time.

Aside from the ache, I also have the memories, in the form of photos, songs that I play in my car, and the recollections that I relive through my mind’s eye. And we have kept in touch through phone and Facebook, though our phone conversations are painfully few and far between. Those communications and memories are the only salves that temper the ache and make it bearable.

So now I’m back in a place that I know all too well, though I wish I didn’t. I call it limbo. I’m now certain of my feelings for you, but I don’t know what you feel. I don’t know if the bond we had when we were face-to-face means as much to you now that we’ve been apart for some time. And if you really did have feelings for me at the end of the summer, I don’t know if that’s still the case now.

All I ask, all I need, is the truth. I need to get out of this state of limbo; otherwise I’ll never be able to move on. My heart’s on the table now, and it’s your choice how you respond. You can politely hand it back, saying that we should just remain friends and that you never had those deeper feelings. That’s fine. I’ve dealt with that before, and I can get through it again. You can stab it with a knife and call me crazy, psychotic, or obsessive for writing this monstrous thing that’s basically pouring my heart out on the table and never speak to me again. Sure it’ll hurt. It’ll hurt like mad. But at least I’ll have my answer, and the pain will heal. Or you can cradle it in your hands and say the words that I want to hear. I know full well the consequences of pursuing a long-distance relationship, but I would make those sacrifices for the right person. And maybe then the pain of missing you would lessen instead of increase. Right now my pain is two-fold from missing you and from not knowing. If this third scenario happened, at least then I would know your feelings, and we would have an even better reason to try and visit each other.

I always keep wondering what could have been if we had just had more time. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up. It could still happen. It’s just that it’s out of my hands now. One way or another, something’s got to give, or maybe enough Time will pass that my feelings really do fade. My only hope is that I’ll get closer to the truth the next time I see you.

Dear Lord, I hope that time is soon.

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Post on Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:55 pm by Silvan Arrow

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Oh life...how crazy you can be. I've just spent the past few days living in the conference room at the marine lab having group study sessions with my classmates. We had a physiology test today, and, while I'm trying to be careful with the optimism, I think it went really well. But after the test, physiology lab, and reading 20 pages for ecology, I just had to get out and reset my head. So I went to a ballroom dance with some new friends that I've made swing dancing, and that was a ton of fun. I got to help teach the lesson, which was over my favorite ballroom dance (cha-cha), and then spent the next two hours just dancing away my worries. I feel much better now and like I can actually get work done over the next two days.

In other news, some of you may have noticed my little countdown in my FOG status (or my Facebook friends have probably seen it too). Well, I'm counting down the days until I see my crush again. The place where we interned over the summer needs volunteers on the 29th and 30th for Halloween stuff, so we both decided to go back for the weekend and lend a hand. Although, I have to shamelessly admit, the main reason I'm doing the volunteer work is that it gives me a good excuse to see him again. We're already planning on hanging out before and after the volunteer stuff too.

At first quite a few of my marine biology friends expressed some concern about this plan, especially an older student who has basically been a surrogate older brother. They know that I've gotten upset in the past when he doesn't return my phone calls or drops off the face of the earth for days at a time, and that I'm making a 12-hour round trip for someone who isn't willing to do the same for me. Well, as time has passed, I'm more certain than ever that I'm making the right decision. I can't stay in limbo forever, not knowing how he feels, and more than anything I need to see if the connection we had at the end of the summer is still there or if things have changed with time and distance. He's called me more often lately, including Sunday night when I was studying in the library late at night with a couple of my girl friends. I claimed I needed to take a "study break" and went into the hall and plopped down on the couch for a good half hour. I got plenty of good-natured teasing after that one XD. He says he's really excited about next weekend (aka when I see him again), so that lets me know that it's worth the trouble for me to bust my butt and clear my weekend to do this. It will have been two and half months since I last saw him, and the next 10 days can't pass soon enough for my tastes. But alas, a mountain of work stands between me and a fantastic weekend. Oh well, it will be worth it.

I don't really know what to expect when I see him again. I'm not expecting to bring up a weighty discussion about if we could ever be more than friends; it would be too soon to talk about that when we only have the weekend together. But I'm hoping the time we spend together, both outside of working and during the Halloween stuff, will at least let me get a read on him. Sometimes it's hard to decipher a person just by hearing them over the phone, but at least he always seems cheerful when we talk. We're also going to spend time together over Thanksgiving, and then we get almost a month home at Christmas. If anything were to happen, it'll probably be during Christmas break when we have more time to figure out stuff.

All right, I've been yammering on enough. It's late, and I've got class early tomorrow morning. Thanks for taking the time to listen!

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