Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapstick and Faded Memories

Currently listening to: The Weepies
Currently: yearning for something more
Current need: big hugs from little arms found in Cedar Grove

I've got lots of friends, yes but then again, nobody knows me at all.

My heart is heavy, as it often is these days. It is laden with broken relationships, frustrations, unmet desires, seemingly endless battles. But tonight, one battle weighs on me more heavily than the others I fight on a daily basis; the battle to be present.

The smallest things can send me back. Hearing Conch yelled across the Quad or through the Union, the name known to only 11 others. A breeze that blows just right. My red, high-top Chuck Taylors. But tonight, tonight it was chap stick...Banana Boat SPF 30 with aloe vera and vitamin E to be exact. The little yellow and green tube had been hidden within desk supplies for who knows how long. And it choose tonight to re-enter my life, to take me back, to remind me.

The clear substance glided smoothly over my thirsty lips, smelling slightly of coconut and aloe. To the outside nose, that would be all; but that smell means much more. It is the smell of the cool ocean breeze sailing over the Gulf of Mexico, flowing through my unwashed hair and causing the beads of sweat on my body to evaporate, leaving their trace by calcified salt on my skin. It's the smell of way too many tortillas and cream cheese (which, to this day, I still cannot eat without feeling sick). It's the smell of being completely invested in the people around me. It's the smell of learning to accept a failure. Of pushing harder than ever believed possible. Of simplicity and pure freedom. The smell of truly experiencing God's presence for the first time. It is the smell which best encompasses the best 15 days of my life. It is the smell of living in the moment, of being present.

My heart longs for more--freedom, adventure, opportunity to break from the numbing daily routine, comfort.
It's easy to focus on not wanting to be here. It's easy to count down the days to our so called freedom. It's easy to long for things left behind or which lay ahead. The harder thing is to be present, to be focused, to be invested, to be here now.

Let me never forget that smell.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

These boots were made for walking.

sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same...

thud, thud, thud
The two-toned, borrowed boots were at least two sizes too big.
thud, thud, thump
There was no doubt that I was approaching as I strutted across campus and through the Union.
Did I look ridiculous?....Most likely.
Did I care?...Not at all.

Never have I understood more clearly than right now that sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. The past few days have slapped me in the face, yet simultaneously provided comfort. It's not how I want it to be. It's not how I thought it would turn out. It's the healthiest decision for me at this point. It may be short term, possibly long term, or even permanent. And it's going to hurt like hell. But, it's time.

These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Pull, I push.
Step towards me, I'll step back.
Hold on tight, I'll wiggle free.
You swing, I'll jab.

Don't hold me down.
Don't tell or expect me to be okay.
Do not put me in that box again.

Tell me my feelings are valid.
Fight for me.
Show me I am worth the effort and time.
Let me in.
Ask me to stay.

The tension on this line is stronger than ever before, and when it snaps the sting of its recoil will be fierce. But I won't flinch. I won't cry. I won't think twice.
I'll be gone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Currently: struggling
Currently listening to: Sigur Ros
Currently feeling: surprised

In a moment of shear desperation and being overwhelmed - "run away with me" I said.
Being his usual, amazing self, his first concern was not to where we would run, but for my well being. My reply was typical, but his response caught me off guard.

then run.
Two words...stopped my heart.
Run in your dreams, then come back.
So for now, that's what I'll do; it's all I can do.
I'll run. I'll escape. And then wake up and face the day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's in a name?

Currently: sitting in the Perch, not reading for Armstrong's seminar tomorrow
Currently listening to: Iron & Wine

What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.

My first name, albeit an uncommon spelling, is fairly common; my last name, however, proves fairly unique. Due to the latter of these two facts I have spent most of my life answering to nicknames. I mean, with a last name like Waeckerle, what could I expect, right? Right.

I've got more nicknames than I can count. Some stem solely from my last name, others from a combination of the two. Some are specific to certain people, others widely claimed. Some possess stories, others strictly borne from convenience.

In any given day, I could answer to a multitude of names.
But my parents gave me one (okay, technically two).
My name is Krysten.
Not Kwack. Not Wack. Not Quack.

Here's a moment of vulnerability for you: I am truly struggling with my sense of self and what that means; I think that plays into this whole thing about to what I answer. Please don't misunderstand me, I know (in most cases) nicknames are a sign of endearment; I have nicknames for some of my friends. But I also recognize the power a name holds, the power naming something holds.

This summer I learned the Portuguese language does not contain the letter K; which meant they could not say my dear friend's name. How difficult to not be able to hear your name, to have that part of your identity stripped from you.
Am I comparing constantly being identified with a nickname to life in a foreign country whose people cannot express your name? No. But I am beginning to understand a small piece of that feeling.

So, what is in a name?
Call me Kwack or Krysten, I'm the same person, right?
I'm not so sure.

Habit ensures I will always be referred to through nicknames. But maybe, just maybe, this will prompt someone to call me by name at least one out of every ten times.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Box Wine & Alleyways

Go listen to Damien Rice's "Rootless Tree".

...that's where I'm at.

Friday, September 4, 2009

As it Comes

Currently listening to: Bon Iver Pandora station
Current book: "A Problem From Hell" America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power
Current mood: relaxed with a dab of anxiety

Today marked the end of the first week of my senior year. Wow.
After hanging in limbo for two weeks, I am finally registered, moved in, settled, and (God willing) will graduate in May.

I will spare you all the "I can't believe I'm a senior" talk...even though I can't. It's times like these in life I am reminded how time flies; and the fact that over it I have absolutely no control. This year will be interesting--dynamics have changed, people (including myself) have changed, Jewell feels different. This is the beginning of the end.

Here are a few things I'm focusing on this year:
1. Less talk, more action.
I'm done simply talking about doing things, even if it means sometimes I fly solo.
2. No competition.
No longer will I compete for people's time. One sided friendships are a thing of my past.
3. One on one.
Never have I been good at handling large groups of people, even when they are some of my
closest friends; this year that fact has been exacerbated. For my sanity, I will spend the
majority of my time one on one or within smaller groups. It may seem silly, but I simply can't
handle most social situations.
4. Take life as it comes.
"Be here now." Live in the moment. Less worry. I'm going to make the most of these last
eight months of having a security net.

Overall, I'm excited. This is a critical point in our lives, and I look forward to sharing all that encompasses [joy, fear, stress, disappointment, the "lasts", triumph] with my classmates. The world is calling, but for now, let's hit the ignore button and enjoy each other.
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