Thursday, December 24, 2015

Don't Ever Change! Or Maybe You Should... | A Sounderous Denouement

The 23rd of December was my last day school in the United States for the next three months. On top of the normally impending new year nostalgia, I knew this would be the last time I saw all of my friends for the next three months. Everyone around me has been incredibly kind and have done their best to assure me, "It's only three months, you'll be back!" Yet, yesterday was not nearly as simple as all of that.

I have been living in Upstate New York for the past 13 months. It took a while to adjust to the new city as well as acclimate to the climate, culture, and of course - because this is every teenager's fear - the new social situation. To be perfectly honest, I didn't have anyone I would have considered a friend until the 2015 school year started. Sure, there were people I could talk to and eat lunch with, but I hadn't truly felt I belonged in this strange new place until not even four months ago. 

Since the 8th of September, when the new school year began, I have made so many new friends and deepened relationships with others I had gotten to know the previous year. For the first time in a year, I felt truly accepted and like I belonged in this city I now call home. With recent friendships in mind, there came this extra layer of impending fear.

What if everyone forgot about me?

Obviously, I'm not begging for attention or a farewell parade to send me off to Oxford, but as any adolescent is bound to feel, I was and still am sincerely worried about what will happen when I return. These new relationships I have forged are still brand new and in their beginning stages, so will my absence cause everything that's been built up thus far to crumble? 

I still can't answer those questions.

The adults in my life have given me a lot of unsolicited advice on the matter. "You'll learn who your true friends are in the process," being the most common. One of these adults whose opinion I do trust and value counteracted that [let's call her Mary] by saying she didn't think it was true, that people are going to change regardless and so will I. Maybe I won't want or see my previous relationships with people as fulfilling as they had been when I left due to new insight and experience. Everyone will keep on going with their lives and maybe I won't fit back into the routine / mold I had set up for myself when I left. 

While what she presented to me was a terrifying reality, it was also somewhat of a relief because it reminded me that while no one else is going to have their life on pause... neither am I. I am going to be living on another freaking CONTINENT for the next three months, experiencing what I have probably never even fathomed before in terms of a way of life and interacting with people so unlike who I have met thus far. 

This entire situation has been weighing on me since I discovered that I was temporarily moving to England and in all honesty, is the only thing that has been holding me back in terms of full force excitement and anticipation towards my "new life." However, there has been another color added to the canvas of the situation. Yesterday, when I left my high school, two of my friends said something to me.

Don't change. 

I interpret their words as, don't change who you have been to us for the past four months, not as an actual, "Don't you dare change a single thing about who you are while you are gone." Thinking about what Mary said, I knew that I am going to change. With that in mind, maybe my friends are also scared that the really weird loud writer who says random things at completely inappropriate moments is going to stop being herself. 

I look back at the person I was when the school year began or even last month and I know so much has changed from even then and these friends have accepted and loved me regardless. High school is the most tumultuous, ever - changing place there is on the planet in terms of a social hierarchy and I now know it's going to happen. 

Four months ago, I never would have imagined meeting my best friend in Spanish class - striking up a conversation with a girl in Homeroom and learning we both share a hatred of common core - taking a chance on the guy who sits in front of me in Creative Writing and him becoming my best guy friend - talking to the redheaded musical prodigy in Gym and I am now being invited to her family's Christmas Eve party (which I should probably be getting ready for soon) - finding a good friend with the guy in Global who I was paired up with for an essay. 

You never know what you're looking for in life - whether it be people or things - until what you're looking for finds you and it turns out to be exactly what you always wanted. Of course, what you want is always changing as your priorities do and as your character develops, but that's the beauty of life because there are so many people out there who can be that person for you, that friend you never imagined having to laugh and cry and organize your bookshelves with. 

In the end, change is the only constant variable of life and I honestly haven't a clue as to how my life is going to be or who will stare back at me when I look in the mirror on the 3rd of April when I return to American school in 2016. So just keep in mind that you are going to change, but the people who are meant to be in your life will change along with you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Have I grown out of Loving the Language of Literacy? | A Sonderous Denouement

Sonderous : the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own
Denouement: the final resolution of the intricacies of a plot

Loving the Language of Literacy

I've made an entire post pertaining to how I came up with the name and while there are some days when I get tongue tied with the name of my own YouTube channel, I am never going to regret it. However, the topic I want to address today is branding and what niche you belong to. The popular British blogger Ashley Evans from Nose Graze who I discovered via the bookish community touches up on this subject quite a lot and has written a ton of concise, thought provoking posts pertaining to this very subject. 

There is absolutely no denying that I have been inconsistent with blogging in 2015. To be honest, when I wrote The Evolution of Labels, I knew it was the end of an era. I knew I wouldn't have the time to dedicate myself to blogging and my heart simply wasn't in the task anymore. There are countless reasons I prefer the platform of YouTube over blogging, analytics are faster, easier to comprehend, recognition is a tad easier to come by, and the entire creative process is so much more rewarding for me. 

Regardless, that doesn't mean I have stopped writing altogether. I've mentioned this in many a YouTube video, but I'm taking the creative writing course at my high school, I'm extremely involved in my school's literary magazine, I go to weekly writing class at my local YMCA, and I recently won NaNoWriMo for the 2nd year in a row. Needless to say, I keep busy. In fact, I'm writing more than ever. In the past year alone, I have worked my way through two spiral bound notebooks filled with poetry, prose, and overall teenage angst, and I'm on a third. 

The original reason I began blogging was because I had opinions and I wanted them to be heard. Although most of my opinions pertain to books. There have been many occurrences where in social situations, acquaintances, peers, and friends will ask what my Instagram is and I tell them - with the PREFACE that the majority of pictures I post are of books. This has been an ongoing battle for me in the past year on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and this blog. If it weren't for the bookish community, there's no way I'd ever have social media. I just don't see the need for it, I'm not going to post an endless slew of selfies, that just isn't me. Simultaneously, once people I know from "real life" discover my various platforms of self expression, I instantaneously get self conscious and have been afraid to press the POST button because it's nerdy, it's weird, or any of the other endless excuses I have. However, what I'm coming to realize is, they can unfollow me in a heartbeat and never have to see another bookish post again if they want. This is who I am, these are my interests, and the reason I created social media was to interact with those with similar interests, to get the stimulation and conversation I was lacking with these people I knew in real life... no offense to those who may be reading. 

However, two years is a long time. The first time I ever posted on this blog was December 7, 2013 which to be perfectly honest, feels like an entire lifetime ago. I was a completely different person and while the interest in books may have remained the same, my priorities, my focus, my passions, as well as the actual genres and types of books themselves are vastly different. I'm suffering from a little disease we all like to call growing up. I'm going to change as I experience new things and therefore what I want for myself and feel the need to share will be different. 

With all of that said, I have been wanting to discuss a wider array of topics and tackle different issues that stray away from the literature I still do love very much. I'm a teenager, the only constant variable pertaining to my identity is the fact that it won't be the same if you ask me two hours later. I have considered and even been asked - Why don't you create a second YouTube channel? Why don't you create another blog? I have my reasons, most of them neatly filed under the label of NOSTALGIA, but the simplest way to put it is - laziness. I barely have the time to upload bookish videos and the general upkeep for my channel, let alone an entirely different one. It's a lot of work to start from the ground up. So what I've come to realize is the same logic I used with feeling self conscious about what I was posting on social media; People can deal with me posting different things, they might even like it, and it they don't they can unsubscribe, unfollow, and never look back. 

Of course, this has all come up for a reason, and it isn't just because the year 2015 is coming to an end and I feel the need to suddenly do ALL OF THE THINGS I didn't do the other 11 available months of the year. The fact of the matter is that before 2015 even ends, on the 27th of December, I am out of here. I am leaving behind everything I have established in the past year for Oxford, England, where I will be spending the next three months when my parents - University professors - are on sabbatical. I will be experiencing a multitude of newness, to an even sharper degree than packing my life up and moving across the country. Of course everything will still be here when I return, my therapist, family, and friends have all assured me of that, but in essence, the next three months won't count towards my Central New York identity. But they will matter to the person I am becoming and will be for the rest of my life. 

I'll go into a lot more detail about this in my next post, but as usual whenever I launch into a series of posts attempting to declare I am back in the blogging business, there needed to be an introduction. In a lengthy 2016 Resolutions video I'm most likely going to procrastinate on scripting after this, I'll have a more detailed explanation of what I hope to accomplish. These posts, A Sonderous Denouement - more on the name later - will catalogue this phase of my life in a way no others have previously. There aren't going to be a ton of images or GIFs or a time spent dedicated to each one. This is my journey and mine alone and hopefully, I'll be so busy living life I'll only have harried amounts of time to document it. I pondered keeping everything private but for the family members as well as the few readers I have left for the blog Loving the Language of Literacy might be interested in hearing about my life. If they don't... I'll have thousands of words worth of embarrassment for posterity's sake.

Tell me in the comments below what you think of the series, if you've struggled with branding / finding and fitting into your niche, and if you've ever had to pack up your entire life... even if it was only for a few months.

Keep calm, Read On, and I'll see you in a new post soon :)

Next Post : The Only Thing to Fear is Your Life Falling Apart... The England Debacle

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wrap-Up | November 2015 ~ NaNoWriMo, My Birthday, Friendship, Black Friday & Writing


1. An Impromptu Birthday Celebration | I went up to Rochester on the third weekend of November for a visit to my aunt but without my knowledge, she and her best friend turned it into a surprise celebration. My birthday is actually on the 11th of December, but who says we can't start early? We went to one of my favorite restaurants in Rochester called the French Quarter and when I came back to the table from the bathroom, there was this glorious cake [pictured above]. The night before, I told my aunt that some of my friends had taken to calling me "Letters" and she actually wrote "Happy Birthday Letters" on my cake.

2. I went CRAZY in Barnes and Noble... What's new? | Black Friday | I pretty much flee and cower in sight of Black Friday and most definitely don't approach it with the mindset of "Buy! Buy! Buy!" except on the internet, which we all know that we're guilty of it. I spent my Black Friday with one of my best friends Ella and her younger sister Sarah. We took advantage of the wonderful sales/deals and even though I did get a lot of my holiday shopping accomplished as well as purchased a couple of books for myself - don't judge me, you should be used to this by now. However what made it such a memorable and enjoyable day was spending it with my friends who genuinely accept me for my booknerd self and we completely fangirled and recommended books to each other and generally annoyed the heck out of everyone else in Barnes and Noble.

3. I have friends!!! o_o | I know it's shocking, the girl who spends the majority of her free time on her laptop or ensconced in the world of books actually crawled out of her nest to interact with people. I've been in Syracuse for a year at this point and it has been the happiest year of my life. It has also taken a year for me to fully acclimate into the way life here is and to truly feel accepted in my high school. I mention friends specifically this month because of the person who has been my friend since I met her in Spanish 1 but this was the month we really bonded and got a lot closer. *whispers* In case you hadn't figured it out, we're the cute girls to the right of this text. I love Ailin <3 comment-3--="">

4. I drove myself to the brink of insanity aka I won NaNoWriMo | If you are subscribed to my YouTube Channel, you may have seen the series of videos, I made in honor of NaNoWriMo 2015 and you can go there to hear all about my work in progress Countdowns. The funny thing is, I may have won on the 22nd of November but in actuality, I only wrote 17 of those days. I've come to realize stepping back completely to take a break works so much better for me and then just shooting to write more words on a daily basis. Anyways, this is a selfie I posted to Snapchat that is basically the anthem / image for this year's NaNoWriMo. While I accomplished everything I set out to do... I procrastinated and protested myself the entire time :) 

5. More Writerly Things! | Editor in Chief and Creative Writing Connoisseur | My high school has a literary publication twice a year and on a rotating leadership schedule, I have been put in charge during crunch time for the Fall edition of the magazine which pretty much means I'm going crazy... but what's new? We're a bit behind schedule (no surprise there) but as always under a stressful situation, we'll find some way to get it all done. The first marking period portfolio was due this month as well and I scrambled to get all the prose / poetry I've worked on this year into something presentable. I will transfer a lot of the work from there onto the blog so you can read my writing. 

I do not own this image or claim to
I'm looking forward to many things to look forward to in December so I shall proceed with a long rambly paragraph. While I myself may not be Jewish, my family is and Hanukkah starts on the 6th of this month and as I type, I still haven't obtained some of the gifts I'm bestowing on various family members so I've gotta get on that. During that window of time, my birthday is on the 11th and we're celebrating on the 10th. Ailin and Ella (both pictured above) are accompanying my family and I to a fancy winery - I know, I'm definitely not 21 - for a nice dinner. In order to stretch myself even thinner, I have decided to post on the blog 3-4 times a week during December as part of a new series eponymously named A Sonderous Denouement. And the reason this series is coming to be is because my family and I are packing up everything and moving to Oxford England for three months. I obviously want to record my thoughts / memories in the time that I am there and I figured I should get into the habit now. Lastly, the end of the year means reminiscing about 2015 as well as concocting all of the resolutions for 2016. You most definitely can expect full blown rambly vlogs pertaining to my Reading, Writing, Living, Blogging, BookTube resolutions for the new year. If you want to see my progress throughout the year on those resolutions, you can watch my First Quarterly Update and my Second Quarterly Update.



I invited Ailin over to make a YouTube video with me and she had delightfully appetizing idea to film the Bean Boozled Challenge so that is exactly what we did. Trust me, the video is 10 minutes of us giggling and spitting jelly beans into a trash can :) I'm dying to do more collaborations because I just love the dynamics of filming with someone

In commemoration of the half marathon I ran in October, I decided to make a video comparing NaNoWriMo and running and I love how it turned out. The two are extremely similar in the way they both require a lot of endurance, mental willpower, and leave you absolutely exhausted when you're finished.

Emmmabooks created an original tag and I made my own video answering all of her wonderful questions but I will not be releasing it soon because I'm saving it for a rainy day... aka when sh*t hits the fan and I'm too busy to film a video. 

My OTP Piersha - Natasha Polis and Pierce Brown - made an interview video together and I know they're real people, not fictional ones but they're just the cutest not-couple I've ever seen. 

During the month of November with all of her wonderful NaNoWriMo vlogs, Elisabeth Paige has become my favorite BookTuber/YouTuber. Her personality is amazing and utterly honest so it was so much fun watching her journey throughout the month and knowing I'm not the only one who struggled.

Savannah Brown wrote the viral poem What Guys Look For in Girls a year ago and her channel is full of astounding, thought provoking videos that make me want to discover myself and the world while writing poetry in coffeeshops - clichely of course. Hi, I'm a Slut is one of her newer slam poems and I love everything about it.

Claudia Sulewski is in fact a popular Beauty / Lifestyle vlogger and she made her own Stripped Down Challenge. I got so inspired by what she said and by the utter honesty and rawness of her video.


Besides my normal appetite of Fresh Off the Boat, Life in Pieces, and Nashville, I saw Mockingjay Part Two, and I know the rest of the world did as well, but what I really want to talk about movie - wise is one my parents dragged me to over Thanksgiving Break which was Brooklynn. It's a historical love story featuring an Irish immigrant who makes a new life for herself in New York. She grows accustomed to the comforts and possibilities 


What is your favorite holiday tradition?

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