Friday, March 3, 2017

turning nineteen years old

I feel like it's been such a long time since my fingers typed viciously on this keyboard for the reason of blogging. But it really hasn't even been a month yet! I guess it feels like such a long time because so much had happened.

I think the biggest thing that had happened is I changed!

From an eighteen year old to a nineteen year old ;) So in all honesty, I haven't changed AT ALL. I don't feel ANY different. 19 is such a weird age where I don't get any new freedoms like I did when I was eighteen (I made a list of all my new freedoms last year :)). AND I'm still a teenager, so that's weird, too. I can adopt a child, but I'm still a teenager. So silly :)

The week before my birthday weekend, my dad and step mom and two of my step brothers came to visit!! It was super quick but it consisted of a trip to Pendleton (in which my dad looked at a gravel lot and said "Trampis was born there, when there used to be a hospital". and to which I said "uh HELLO!! I was born there too!" which had the whole car laughing), shooting guns, dinner, and milkshakes. It was short but fun.



I snapped some pictures of us shooting.


ANYWAY!! On my birthday for the last three years, my mom has planned some kind of day-trip instead of gifting me things. I guess this tradition started when I was 16- when mom and I made a trip up to Portland (I was living in Roseburg at the time). When I was 17 we went to seaside with Mom, Tim, Lilli, Kellen, Trampis, Jess and I. 18 was Seattle, with the same group of people. This year was just a day around Portland with the same group of people plus one :)

The weekend started with traveling.


And the next day began with Lilli and Kellen's basketball game. And yes, that's my friend Coulsen as the guest. Oh! And my grandpa and his friend Julie :)

Lunch at Chick-fil-a.







These were all taken at my fav place THE PITTOCK MANSION! I just realized that all of these pictures are of Coulsen, Lilli, and I haha. That's because, since there were so many of us we kinda split into groups. As you can see, Lillian tagged in with Couls and I.


The next stop on the birthday train was Salt & Straw. SO YUMMY! We also looked in a few stores around that area, because it's so dang cute.

The rest of the day we spent at pioneer square shopping and looking around. We ended the day by eating at Gustav's. Also yummy.

We hung around for the rest of the night and had a good time just being in each others company.

This was short but I wanted to get it up there to just inform everyone about what's been happening. I'm sure many people already know because of all the social media I have... But I just thought I should say I LOVE MY FAMILY! Both sides, each and every one of them. Although 19 doesn't seem like that big of a milestone, I know it's just that much closer to the rest of my life. I'm not trying too hard to grow up but I'm just so excited. College does this to you! Presents you with this plan for the rest of your life and then says, "well, you actually have to wait four more years". How lame is that?

THANK YOU FOR READING!!!

Signing off until next time,
Ella Frances Waite





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

dear love

Dear Love, Thank you for existing.

Dear Valentines Day, Thank you for giving up a whole day in which, no matter what our situation is, we are forced to contemplate love. Thank you for being a day. Thank you for all the flowers and chocolates and dinner dates that you suddenly rocket into importance.

Dear God, Love is the deciding factor to everything you do. I appreciate all the people who were tools in your hands that taught me that.

Dear Single People, Last year I saw so many posts on social media about the devils day that was valentines day, a day to make people lacking a significant other bad. This year wasn't as bad, but I still saw many posts. Please know, you are loved. Even if you don't think that statement is true. There are many people out there who have an overwhelming love for humanity as a whole, and you are included in that. Let other people celebrate their love ones. Celebrate yourself next year, tomorrow, the next day, forever. Love life. Love people you've never met. Love the smell of a candle and the clicking noise of a keyboard. Just love.

Dear people in relationships, know there are some out there who aren't as lucky as you. Remember them and love them, too. Don't neglect them or neglect your significant other the remaining days of the year. Always love.

Dear Mom, thank you for always making Valentines day about family, and about love of everyone. Thank you for the cheesy baskets of candy, the take out Chinese food, the paper hearts, the heart filled paper plates. Thanks for being my #1 example of love. Every time when I say "I love you more", I mean it, but every time you tell me "mom's love their babies most", I feel it. Thank you for your example, your hugs, your advice, the millions of times you made me laugh.

Dear Dad, You were the first man I ever fell in love with. You were the man who showed me how to be loved, how I shouldn't just build people up, that I should be built in return. Thank you for every time you made me feel important, every time you read my writing, every time you told me a history fact, every time you took me to a movie or texted me a selfie and said "just in case you forgot what I looked like". I am so lucky to have you.

Dear siblings, step parents, extended family, I LOVE YOU.

Dear friends, you guys were the family I got to choose, the people who shaped me to be who I am. You taught me lessons, were my shoulders to cry on. Thank you for the love you brought to my life when I needed it the most.

Dear history teachers, you were the main reasons I sit today, in La Grande on a school night, majoring in history. You fueled my love of people, or their nature and of everything they are.

Dear Oregon, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You're beautiful, you're 158 (158? Yeah? Something like that), and you're my home state. I've moved so much that people often ask me, especially in college "where are you from?" and I have so many "hometowns" I never know what to say. I've found comfort in saying "Oregon" and joy in saying "all over Oregon, and kinda in Idaho, too."

Dear, well, everyone, thank you for reading this short little post!! :)) I LOVE YA FOR IT

Signing off until next time,
Ella Frances Waite





Monday, January 23, 2017

what goes on in my mind?

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN (and, no, I'm not talking about the most recent presidential election).

It looks like this post will involve a lot of the writing I write when I'm emotional, happy, thoughtful, or bored. This will include a lot of my inner feelings or feelings that are not necessarily mine but someone else's, who had inspired me. I say all that as a precaution.

Why?

I don't usually share my writing. As an aspiring writer, this shouldn't be the case, but it is. I get nervous! These are my thoughts, my words, my feelings, my observations out there for anyone in the world to see. If that sentence didn't terrify you, then please teach me your ways.

I was actually explaining to my best friend, Fitzgerald, last night that I want people to want to read my writing but I don't actually want them to read it. It's so ridiculous. But, can you blame me? This is what I want to do with my entire life. I want to help, to feed, to inspire, to educate, to make people fall in love with the pages that hold my thoughts. But what if they don't? What if they hate it?

I heard once, that writing is nothing more than sitting at a type writer and bleeding. For me, it's a notebook, or a computer, but it's the same thing.


So, here it goes, I guess. This will be a random selection of writings, rants, and thoughts I've written down in my various notebooks and google docs pages.

Hand In Hand
Hand in hand they walked down the suburban street.
    Hand in hand, they made small talk about the weather, or about something that was new in their lives, in which the other would say “yes, you told me that”. She sometimes commented about the old houses that they passed, telling him what each house reminded her of. When they past a house where kids were playing in the front yard, they both smiled to themselves, neither of them saying anything.
    It wasn’t awkward because they didn’t want to be there. Both of them did, they kept looking at each other and smiling and squeezing the others hand if the silence lasted too long. It was mostly because, although they hadn’t seen each other in over a year, they had told each other everything in every letter, email, and phone call. When they were away from each other they had no trouble talking, but now, it was like they didn’t want to ruin anything. They just wanted to walk, hand in hand.
    Hand in hand, they walked past an old brown house. In front, there was a wooden and glass case full of books. She stopped there, dropping his hand and stepping close to the glass to look.
    He watched her, almost putting a hand on the small of her back, but decided against it.
    “Anything good?” He asked finally. She slowly shook her head,
    “I’m not sure, I don’t recognize anything.” She paused, stepping back and looking at him, a small smile on her face, “Do you think I could take one?”
    “I’m sure that’s what they are there for.” He said, taking her hand again.
    Hand in hand, they peered at the sign on the side of the glass case full of books. But unable to read what it said, came to the decision that it would be best not to take one.
    He began to walk ahead, so she let her hand drop again, reading the title of a book, smiling,
    “I Should’ve Kissed Her More.” She sped up and began to walk ahead of him.
    “What?” He asked from behind her.
    “That was the title of that book.” She said. She walked under the shade of a large tree, looking over at an old Impala that was parked in the driveway of the neighbor to the house with the books. She opened her mouth to say something about the old car, but was distracted from him grabbing her hip, and turning her towards him. Before she could act, his large hand was placed gently on the back on her head, the other still on her hip, and his lips were kissing her. It was soft, and it flooded her mind with memories that were moving through her mind a mile a minute. She grabbed the front of his shirt and kissed him back, in a vain effort to show him all that she was feeling at the moment.
    He pulled apart a little, smiling, then planted one last kiss. The smile on both of there faces didn’t seem to go away in order for them to talk, so they didn’t.
    They just continued to walk down the street, hand in hand, happy that they were finally together again.

Dreams
    The years between the closing of eyes and the opening is filled with made up scenarios in which you bravely fight evil and sometimes you’re running from it. I feel bad for the people who don’t experience this. Only seconds between the closing and the opening- nothing but black.

Shark-bait
The thing Jackson thought about the most was not the art of war, but the terror, or more so the fact that at times he still felt his heart would explode because of the fear deep within.
    The thing he thought most about was shark-bait. Shark-bait happened to be the youngest soldier in his large and diverse company, and he was the person who was around Jackson the most in the army. Then, he had been a younger man. No wrinkles, more hair, a more athletic build. He had joined the army in honor of his grandfather, who he was a spitting image of and who was a veteran himself. Then, he was called mouse in honor or his quiet personality. That was a whole twenty years ago.
    Shark-bait clung to Jackson like he was his ticket to get out of Vietnam alive. And, in some ways, he was.
    Jackson had been 24, one of the oldest. Shark-bait had been 17. Shark-bait had gotten his nickname when the company was camped on a beach somewhere in southern Vietnam. In the middle of the night, Jackson had been woken up by the squad leader, Watson. The other boys had already gathered around the water, watching Shark-bait (who at that time was called little Sammy Davidson) stand chest deep in the ocean. They tried to yell at him, but he seemed not to hear.
    “What is he doing?”
    “Maybe he’s gone mad.”
    “Sleepwalking, probably.”
    “He better wake up. We should wake him up.”
    “If the leeches don’t get him, the sharks will.”
    “Leeches? Sharks?”
    “I wouldn’t doubt it. There are already too many monsters in this place.”
    After silently listening to the chatter, Jackson laughed his younger man laugh, and quietly said,
    “He’s gonna be Shark-bait.”
    All the heads in the company turned towards him.
    “Did you say that, mouse?” One of them finally asked. Jackson shrugged and nodded.
    “Yeah.”
    Laughs erupted on the dark and quiet beach.
    “That’s funny, mouse.” Someone said.
    Another commented, “That’s the most I’ve ever heard him speak!”
    After the shock and laughs died down, everyone looked back at the water and the person standing in it. Like the company had made a unanimous decision, everyone started yelling,
    “Shark-bait!!!”
   

    Jackson never could quite figure out why Shark-bait immediately took a liking to him. They never really talked much at the beginning, only when they were on watch together, and dug their beds close together.
    Some nights Shark-bait would ask Mouse questions about his home life, and mouse would give a short answer and ask him the same question in return. Shark-bait never gave Mouse a reply.
    Not until the worse night in Mouse’s Vietnam tour did Shark-bait really talk. The worst night followed the worst day, which consisted of too much walking, too much shooting, and getting way too lost. In the middle of a firefight with an unseen enemy (years later Jackson would go to a Vietnam support group and it was always the same thing, “I never saw one Charlie”, “The trees, that's who I fought”, “How they stayed so hidden, I don’t know”) Mouse, Shark-bait and a kid called Tommy hid in a large coverage of trees and when they came out, their enemies, like their friends, were nowhere to be found.
    “They’re going to tell everyone that we’re dead. We’re going to be pronounced dead.” Tommy groaned, clutching his stomach as if his worry had cozied up with his organs. He had turned 21 the day before.
    Mouse worried for a moment about how Tommy’s family would take the news. He had never met them. But through all the stories Tommy had told him, Mouse knew his mother would be hysterical. His twin would break inside even when he put on a good outwardly tough vibe, and his kid sister Emily would be devastated.
    “They won’t assume.” Shark-bait had snapped. “They’ll look for us. If the Charlie don’t find us first, then we’ll stay as we are. Alive.”
    Mouse didn’t say anything.
    Together, the three men decided to head in the direction of their camp from the night before.
    Just like the day had started, it ended in walking.
    When if started to get too dark to see what was in front of them. They leaned against a dense group of trees (not unlike the ones that had sheltered them in the fire fight earlier) to rest for the night. Within a minute, Tommy had fallen asleep.
    Mouse was the one to volunteer to keep watch first. He clutched his gun to his chest as he did so, holding his dog tag tightly with his other hand. One of his greatest fears had been his dog tag getting lost or ruined, and his family not knowing what had become of him or his body. No dog tag, no body shipped back to the states, no proper funeral.
    “Yanno.” Said Shark-bait's voice from a few feet away in the dark, “I have a girl. Back home, I mean.”
    “Hm?”
    “She’s a year and a half old.”
    This statement had hooked Mouse’s attention much more than the first.
    “A daughter.”
    “Leah, yeah.” He had said. He paused, and Mouse assumed he had fallen asleep. Suddenly his voice broke the dark silence once more, “I haven’t seen her since she was four months old. You see, I messed up, and now her mom won’t let me see her.”
    “You apologized, didn’t you?” Mouse asked. Going along with his quiet personality, Mouse was not a nosey man. He didn’t expect Shark-bait to give him details of the thing he did to break up his young and small family.
    “She doesn’t want to take scum like me back.”
    Shark-bait sat up. Mouse could vaguely tell that he had turned his face toward him.
    “You’re Shark-bait.” Mouse said simply. “You are not scum, you only did a scum thing.”
    “I wish Melony would see if that way.”
    “Do you love her?”
    “Yes, I think I do.”
    “It will work out then. Just don’t stop apologizing.”
    “You’re pretty wise… for a Mouse.” He answered, laughing his young man laugh. “Do you have a girl?”
    Before Mouse’s mouth could form the word “yes”, a gunshot rang through the air, piercing their ear drums. The one was followed by many more as Mouse, Shark-bait, and Tommy all scrambled to gather their little belongings and run.
    The forest grabbed at their packs, their clothes, their faces, beckoning them into its dark depths as they ran. The gunshots continued and some didn’t seem like they were for them. More so they seemed like they had stumbled in the middle of an unseen battle.
After running in a direction that wasn’t thought through, Tommy stumbled and fell to his face.
“Tom!” Mouse had shouted, doubling back to throw him over his shoulder. Mouse didn’t have time to check where he had been hit. It could have been his gut, or his shoulder, or even his head. Tommy didn’t move or put up a fight when Mouse loaded him onto his back but Mouse felt his small and staggered breath.  
    All at once, Mouse was questioning all he had learned in Vietnam. And all he had thought about humanity. It happened quickly, that it was believable when Mouse recalled the story with a simple, “It happened so fast, I don’t remember”.
    Truthfully, he did remember.
    He saw, faintly, Shark-bait in front of him running, then stopping, slowly turning around, and smiling at them.
    Mouse was as amazed when he was a young man, as he is as a middle aged man now, at how fast and how easy bullets tear through flesh.
    He saw Shark-baits face, his chin, his round boyish cheeks that hadn’t yet lost their baby fat, his pointed nose, all becoming one in a loud and terrifying red smear. He crumpled onto the ground like an armful of laundry would. Mouse didn’t scream, although he thought he might, but all that came out of his mouth was a low groan and then bile.
    Tommy was a goner before Mouse- with a lot of luck and a lot of prayer- found the rest of the company. His last breath happened after mouse had gotten Shark-bait's dog tag, which to Mouse’s surprise, had a woman's wedding ring hanging next to it. Tommy’s last breath was long after the last gunshot took place. Mouse talked to him while he slowly died, relaying everything that had happened (mostly because he was trying to make sense of it all). He told Tommy everything he knew about Shark-bait, until he was sure Tommy was with the big guy in the sky.
   
Random Thoughts
    I had no idea the extent of the hold he had on my heart, until he broke it, handed it back to me, and said he didn’t need it anymore.

    The candle, which sat upon a homemade dresser in the corner of her room, burned. She lit it, for the first time in months, just to see if it still smelled as it used to.


He showed me this song.
The song that has become the soundtrack to my mood. The one that demands attention, the one that demands I feel it's words throughout my body, shaking my bones.
It's that one song that you hear, and that you can't stop listening to.
The song you stay in the car for a few extra minutes just so you can sing to it.


    Stuck
They were stuck, running in place, somewhere between in love and in friendship.
They were intimate without ever touching, and enjoyed the presence of the other without a word.    
She saw the good in him and he realized that, telling her once “Why do you think I like to be around you? You do that. You make me get my life together.”
She knew the details about him, the reason for his cat's name and the torments of his childhood. He paid attention to her interests, feeding them, even when they didn’t capture his fancy the same way it did hers.
    He bought her things, without it ever feeling too serious, and she picked up when he called her at 3am.
    They hugged for longer each time they saw each other.
    She felt uncomfortable when he spoke of sleeping with other girls, and he told her “I don’t want you to” when she said she was getting back together with her ex.
    They made sure the other got home safe, without ever holding hands or kissing or talking about it.
    He respected her and she respected him, finding the good and the bad in each other and embracing both.
    He said “I’m not like you.” And she replied, “You’re better”.
    He told her with sorrow “I want to get an apartment with someone, but you’re leaving.” And she told him, “Come with me”.
    And in the end, they were still stuck in the carousel of unspoken feelings and confused emotions.
They were stuck, running in place, somewhere between in love and in friendship.  


This may have been a little random, but I tried to pick a few pieces that were very different from each other and represented all that I do.

I love writing, you guys. I write in a Journal daily, and if it's not in a journal, it's something else. I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly, two years ago. I told him I wanted to be a writer, like him.
He said,
"A writer, huh? Well if you're going to be a writer, you have to write everyday."
He signed my book,
If writing is fighting, I hope you go 15 rounds.


If you guys have trouble processing pain, happiness, love, hope, sorrow, anger, than WRITE IT DOWN. I can't even begin to list the amount of times writing has saved my life. And I know I may not be the modern day Ernest Hemingway, but this is what I love and I love to share what I love.

Feedback would be much appreciated :)

Thank you so much for giving my dreams the time of day. It means so much.

Signing off until next time,
Ella Frances Waite










   

Saturday, January 7, 2017

looking back a year ago...

So, you saw the title of this post. You kinda have an idea what I'm gonna talk about.

It's been almost three years since my bff, Lizzy, and I started to write in a journal daily and share it on a page on google docs. There are so many perks and so many cons to journaling. A huge perk is that you get to write about all the good things that are happening in your life and everything you're struggling with. It's the best way to get everything out! BUTTTTTTT on the other hand, I reread my struggles sometimes and I feel the pain all over again.

This happened yesterday.

I was rereading my first few entries of 2016 and wondering how the heck I survived (okay, that was super intense. I may have over exaggerated that a little bit). But for real! A girl stressed about picking a college, her senior year, friends, and having some serious boy drama on top of it all, my entries were extremely sad and frustrated. I don't blame me either! Even early 2016 Ella knew it could have been worse, but I really was convinced that it would be centuries before I was "okay" again.

I dealt with the trial I was going through early in 2016 for months, and now looking back, it feels years away. I realized the other day that now I am in such a better place than I was a year ago! Which is so weird to me with all that is going on! Why? Cause I've been living in Trampis and I's house alone for over a week and a half. I don't have a bff here in La Grande and with all the change, I hardly talk to my old friends anymore. My job can stress me out sometimes. School is just around the corner. A year ago I was surrounded by friends, job free, living with my family with seemingly no worries (besides that trial I'm talking about).

I'm not sure why I am so much stronger than I was a year ago. It may have something to do with the fact that I spend a lot of time with the missionaries for my church, and emailing my friends who are on missions. Maybe God is giving me this strength. Actually? I know he is. He is giving me strength and a better sense of myself. I'm comfortable being alone, writing, reading, I'm okay with loneliness. Because I'm not alone. He is with me.

Alright. Let's talk about the future, now.

I've never been a stickler for "new years resolutions". In the past I only made them up when people asked. Each new year didn't really seem different to me and I was usually okay with where I was, so why make commitments to change?

This year is different. I'm going to make some commitments, or try to at least, to make good better. I hope that when the clock strikes midnight and it suddenly becomes 2018, I can say "wow! I'm in such a better place than I was at the beginning of 2017".

Here we gooooooo.

1. Scripture reading. I was so good at this at the start of the school year and have since dwindled. I'm going to try to read a little everyday. Not too much, I gotta start with those baby steps.

2. Prayer. More prayer! Heavenly father wants to be my best friend and I want to go to him before I go to anyone else with my happiness or problems!

3. Start my essays at least 4 days before they are due (unless they are assigned 3 days before or something, then I will start them the day they are assigned). I killed myself last term with writing essays in the last second. Especially since I'm going to be majoring in History and minoring in English (SO MANY ESSAYS) I must make this a habit.

4. Be more cheerful in the work place I need a better attitude when things get hard, at work or somewhere else!

5. Read at least one book a month. This shouldn't be too difficult, should it? If I read more, than great!! But ONE A MONTH!


So lets recap: God gives us strength in times of need. He sometimes strengthens us and we don't even realize it's happening (in my case, when he strengthened me little by little over the past year).
Trials pass!! I can't express this enough. We may think "I'm never going to be okay again" and sometimes it takes a longgggg time. That trial that I talked about? I still think about it and I am still effected but strength isn't being completely okay. Strength is remembering a hurtful memory and realizing the good that came because of it, and then letting it go. Not letting it consume you.
It's a good thing to continue to try to make okay good and make good better! And along the way, thank your God for everything you have and everything you hope to have.

Hey, you! Thank you for reading. I hope you found strength in this post. If you ever need someone to talk to, you know where to find me.

Signing off until next time,
Ella Frances Waite