from such great heights

this one’s for Y-O-U

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 28, 2008

i’ve been a blogger for quite some time now.

…since 9th grade actually, back when Xanga was “in.”

I started blogging in high school as an avenue to vent my frustrations with 5 hours of nightly homework. and to meander through random teenage thoughts. and to squeal about little details involving Johnny Hunt, the boy I was madly in love with at the time.

ever since then, I’ve grown tremendously. (although I still vent and meander and squeal…sometimes at the same time). but I’ve realized that one thing always remains constant for “blauthors” (blogger + author = blauthor), no matter which website you’re signed up for or how old you are.

that one constant is how my posts are always propelled by my readers. they are influenced by Y-O-U. now don’t you feel special?

whether it’s for the newspaper or for television scripts or even an online journal, writing is always done with an audience in mind. my audience varies, ranging from close friends to complete strangers roaming cyberspace, but I have mental images of who reads posts and I can just imagine how each person experiences them. For example:

_i know my friend Alaska reads my posts because she leaves me little comments here and there. it’s a way for her to keep up on my life, since we only talk every couple weeks or so.

_i know my sister is a reader because she usually asks me about a certain posts and also feels more connected to me when I’m four hours away for school.

_i know my friend Anna “drinks in the words of my blog” because she tells me so. I write creatively for her because I know she keeps up on many other blogs…and her comments, I adore.

_i know an ex-boyfriend reads my posts because he leaves comments using aliases like “Julie” and “Samantha” as an attempt to reach me, since I stopped talking to him back in October. and that dumbass thought he was so sly about it too…haha

_i know my Resident Advisor Xander even reads my posts because he finally confessed the truth at the end of the year.

_i know my friend Jessica reads my blog while she is away on the east coast at Brown. she has been a faithful reader since high school and with this three-hour time difference, we rarely talk as much as we should. Jessi is one of the best writers I’ve ever met, so I try to keep her attention as long as possible.

_i also know random readers surfing the web read my blog because they leave the most comments. anonymous readers are a great audience because it’s always a mystery how they will respond to one of my posts. thankfully, they are usually the most brutally honest and most graceful with words.

my friend Tina from high school recently told me that she reads my blog even though we haven’t talked in months. and that was so gratifying to hear because all I ever see are stats of “blog hits,” anonymous numbers telling me how many people visited this page. it’s all completely vague and unknown and disconnected, this blogging thing.

that is, of course, if you leave me comments (which I LOVE reading).

or tell me personally.

so IF YOU READ MY BLOG, whether it’s everyday or every other month, tell me because I would LOVE to match the data with names.  if you’re feeling daring, just leave a comment.

c’est la vie,
Chappie

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spring-cleaning meets summer.

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 23, 2008

9:00 AM

“how bad is it? really? you can be totally honest…my teeth are worse than I’ve ever seen them.”

“i promise i’m not usually this bad with them, but I was in Palm Springs when I was supposed to come in for my check-up. You know, back in MARCH.”

“and I can explain the stains…they’re from all that on-campus coffee I’d been drinking. because every architecture student drinks coffee.”

“can you just clean them please? I’ve been too embarrassed to smile for a couple months now…”

thankfully Lori, my hygienist, was completely understanding of my 4-month delay and my excuses. she even chuckled at my eagerness to get my teeth cleaned.

.

10:00 AM

my gums hurt. NO. they kill. they’re swollen, they’re red, they’re wounded. serves me right.

but hey, MY TEETH ARE CLEAN.

.

C’est la vie,
Chappie

lifestyle of hermits

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 19, 2008

its been a week since I’ve been home from summer project, but ugh, it feels like i’ve been home for months. most of that attributes to the fact that I’ve been doing a whole lot of NOTHING since last Saturday.

i’ve learned the lifestyle of a hermit. i haven’t adapted to it, but I’ve learned it. problem is: i have no cash inflow at the moment, so i can’t just hop in my car and drive somewhere because that requires gasoline, which requires about 4 dollars and 30 cents a gallon (!) these days. i’ve become a cheap, frugal, pathetic human being who can’t eat out with friends, who can’t drive 7 miles to the beach to surf in the mornings, who can’t shop (even though Nordstrom is having a MASSIVE sale right now…), who can’t even drive over to her friends’ houses to say “hey, I’m home now.”

nonetheless it’s been an interesting week, this week full of nothingness, because my life usually involves the word “nonstop.” i’ve done things that i normally wouldn’t have time to do, like read this really great book Velvet Elvis, and organize all my things still stored in boxes from moving out of my dorm, and play the guitar, and exercise (ooh how i love cardio boot camp), and finish my architecture portfolio. you know that feeling when life just gets so busy and you find yourself saying, “If only I didn’t have A, B, C, D, E, and F to do right now, I’d totally relax and do ______?” this week, I’ve actually had time to fill in the blank. it’s pretty refreshing.

as for JOB news, it’s likely that i’ll be one of Quiksilver’s newest team members. lol, figures right?

C’est la vie,
Chappie

at home and homesick

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 12, 2008

being hydrated isn’t always a good thing. sure it’s optimal when 9000 feet above sea level in Estes Park, Colorado, but when you’re home in Anaheim, hydrating yourself just makes the tears fall faster.

i’ve only been home since 4 this afternoon, but i’ve had puffy eyes since before that at the airport in Denver. i’ve realized that nothing makes me feel worse than the feelings that come with saying goodbyes. i hate the feeling of waiting to say goodbye to those I love, i hate the feeling of nostalgia for something i no longer have with me, i hate the feeling of anticipation knowing things will be different once goodbyes are said and done.

today during my flight, I sat in the window seat and jotted down every memory I could think of from summer project while randomly glancing outside only to think of the next thing I could write. three full pages of bullet-pointed memories and quotes from some of my favorite people now sit contently in my notebook so I can read them whenever I feel like and hopefully relive, if only for a moment, some of those memories.

since i’ve been sitting here on my bed with tears dripping down my cheeks, I’ve prayed to God that He’ll provide me with strength to live out some of the things I learned at Lifelines and that He’ll protect those 35 other amazing people I lived with and learned from. I’ve also been wallowing in fear of what the next two months at home could be like with no fellowship with other believers, with no grace and truth environment, with no strength to open up to those who truly love me. that is why I need strength from above because I fear I won’t have any now that I am away from Shayla, from Kaitlin, from Mark.

summer project was definitely the most fun and worthwhile month of my life, so I hope and pray that I’ll be able to live out what I learned and forever keep my 16 other lifeliners in my heart.

C’est la vie,
Chappie

13.8 thousand above sea-level

Posted in life by chapwoman on July 9, 2008

today was one of the best days of my life.

because I hiked a mountain.  not one of those dinky 9000-foot hills, but Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14.3 thousand feet.

my hiking group left at 3 this morning in order to reach the summit by noon, so that was intense in itself.  And I have to say, I was amped in the wee hours of this morning because 1) it would be my first time hiking an actual mountain, 2) it would be my first sunrise hike, and 3) it would be our end-all-be-all endeavor as an entire summer project.

initially I started with the “fast-paced” group, but an hour into the vertical ascent, I was winded.  At 3 mph I was hiking with mostly guys and fit girls so I didn’t have time to snack, drink water, or talk…only gasp for air.  So when we caught up to the “middle-paced” group, my friend Katie & I decided to join them.  For talking’s sake.  And eating’s sake.  Haha.

we reached the tundra-covered tree line at about 4:45 and had the luxury of watching a magnificent sunrise from 11,000 feet.  the sun looked how it does in the Lion King: a vibrant and blurry pink moving freakishly fast above the clouds and peaks in the distance. though my fingertips and nose were almost numb from the cold at the altitude, I wouldn’t have changed my discomfort for that sunrise.  God was practically blowing me a kiss with  the sight.

we continued for another couple hours of straight up-hill climbing–my quads and calves were burning from climbing up and up the endless path of granite.  It felt as if I were climbing a StairMaster for 3 solid miles, so  imagine what my butt and legs feel like now.  After struggling with that uphill climb, we reached an expansive valley of boulders or as I refer to it: “Valley of Doom.”  Seriously, there was not a sight of green to be seen.  The valley wasn’t even generous enough to let a weed break through a rocky crack.  We had to trek through that desert-like valley of boulders in order to reach “the keyhole,” a crest in the mountain which acts as a doorway to the backside of the mountain and path leading to the summit.

On my hands and knees, I climbed up those boulders and would not give into the pain of my quads, of my granite-scraped fingertips, of my aching back carrying 20 lbs of food, water, and clothing.  The struggle was well-worth it though: when I pulled myself over the top of the last boulder in the keyhole, a panoramic view of the entire Rocky Mountain Range in front of clear blue skies lay before my eyes.  I’ve never felt so intimate with nature in my life, seeing God’s perfect and majestic creation in the open atmosphere and right in front of me like that.  It was so gorgeous that I completely forgot about my physical aches and pains and pressed onward toward the summit with my friends Abby and Jessica along with two staff.

Unfortunately, fear of slipping down shear cliffs to my death and anxiety of thunderstorms forming overhead caused us to change our summit plans.  We ended up parking it at 13,800 feet at 9:30 in a notch which allowed us to see both the Rockies and Valley of Doom on either side of us.

While we were reveling in the beauty around us and snacking on our trail mix, I realized how thankful I am to be here on summer project.  I am thankful to have had the outdoor experience with 35 other believers in the most beautiful region of Colorado.  I am thankful to have struggled with Team Legit, to have cried with my ten girls about our scars, to have spent time alone with my God in the wilderness.  It is because of Him that I am even here in the first place–everything I’ve experienced and learned belongs to Him.

Though the five of us didn’t actually summit Longs Peak, we did our best and I am beyond stoked that we even attempted it.  It was definitely a great way to end the outdoorsy-side of summer project because everyone reached the keyhole and 12 people ended up reaching the summit.  God is so amazing as a source of protection and a source of encouragement as we pushed our limits for 12 long miles today.

I’m gonna climb more mountains in this lifetime so I can experience Him like I experienced Him gloriously today.

C’est la vie,
Chappie