Monday, June 29, 2009

An End, A Beginning

In many ways does this title ring true. I have finished my American high school career, graduating from West Nassau High School. I have "graduated" and completed all orientation conferences in preparation for my exchange year. I have ended a relationship.
In the process of leaving this state of Florida and this country, I have met so many amazing people, and I don't want this time to be over. But we are all (in regards to my rye friends), in the next month or two, about to get on many different planes and go to all places in this world, in search of things beyond our knowledge and capacity. We will return changed. Bilingual being the most prevalent change in all of us.. but I am also very curious to see how much we all transform after going through the highs, lows, and challenges of the exchange.
September marks a beginning of a new chapter, of the start of a metamorphosis. Brand new feelings, experiences, people.. these things make me smile right now, but I am sure they will also make me cry.
I am so grateful for this opportunity. The repetitious phrase says it all. Only in my dreams did I imagine doing something like this, living in a European country for a year, getting out there. And attached to this whole "dream come true" concept, I am lucky enough to have a support system like no other. People care so much-they give their time to help me out. To prepare me for MY year. Yeah, I take that personally. Rotary is absolutely amazing. And then I have all these exchange student friends who have so much in common with me (yes, more than being from good 'ole Florida), who understand what I'm going through, and will continue to share similar feelings with me as we all go through common rough times and changes, culture shock and euphoria and curiosity.. and more that I am not aware or ready for. The learning experience.
Saying goodbye yesterday partially gave me an idea that this was, in fact, all coming to life all too soon. We are all about to be gone. For an entire year.. wow.
Thus, it begins so much for so many. It begins the rest of our lives. Personally, it marks a new time, phase, chapter, a new learning experience in a new place doing brand new things. Oh, how I love the sound of that..

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The sun burns every day. It burns time.

So, I have an addiction. I am quite a cutter. I cut my hair so often I'm surprised I'm not bald. One day, I'm afraid. The same goes with coloring, but I'm taking a vacation from that adventure for the time being. Trial and error, that's how it goes with my hair. I suppose that works for every aspect in life since no one is perfect. Duh. Needless to say, I am proud of my haircut. It's really not much different. I just enjoy slight changes ever so often. That's me.
I read the book Fahrenheit 451 the other night, and wow, there are some good quotes in the book. Ray Bradbury reminds me a lot of Mr. Vonnegut, humorous and I definitely can never put the books down..
This one is oh, so good.
"What do you do, go around trying everything once?"
"Sometimes twice."
Good life motto.
"Well, after all, this is the age of the disposable tissue. Blow your nose on a person, wad them, flush them away. Reach for another, blow, wad, flush."
At first, I felt a little guilty of the disposable tissue use myself. However, I must realize I am in no way nearly as guilty of such a sin as I may feel. Everyone is selfish, yes, but I do not practice this technique regularly. Only sometimes. And really I just adore the analogy. Fantastically witty.
"The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies."
Thus, everyone wants to read about life, about meaning, about existence. And find good writers, they don't have to be excellent, for then I probably wouldn't understand half of what they say. Just good ones.
Dover Beach/last stanza/Matthew Arnold 1867
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
"...maybe it's best not to face things, to run have fun..."
This hits home hardest. I, for certain, hate to face things. In the book Guy is about to run away, as he has just been caught with forbidden books and has murdered. I haven't had to deal with such a situation, yet I can relate. Do you run away and forget the past or face it and get burned? Does it depend on the situation? Or should one always bite down and take it? Fear is the root, or is it simple selfishness? Well, here's another good one..
"Mistakes can be profited by. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn."
"I'll hold on to the world tight someday. I've got one finger on it now; that's a beginning."

Well, may the belt unravel and the pants fall, for those deserving. May jest last as long as wit. For those who seek, may they find what they're looking for. And when all else fails, go read a book.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

make me smile

I feel like making a list of things that make me happy, things that make me smile.
It's a good morning, and i haven't even had any coffee yet..
*music by kate nash
*walking on the beach at night--an hour can seem like a lifetime, especially when you can't find the beach access you came out on
*receiving random compliments, in the morning
*reading random quotes, deep ones, sarcastic ones
*drinking odwalla
*drinking coffee
*drinking mango arizona tea
and anything else mango
*feeling loved
and needed
and wanted
*buying clothes i don't really need
*laughing uncontrollably in bed with brittani
and not knowing why we're laughing
*new music
*new people
*fast cars
*good naps
*costa blanca

the list goes on and on..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Naps, Nausea, and Words

Waking at 6.38 in the morning, nauseous and wide awake, is hardly pleasant. It's more like one of the worst feelings, after the initial act of vomiting. But after getting quite a bit of sleep throughout the day, my awful aches and icky feelings have subsided. Hopefully for good. I think at this point I must blame my place of work, along with my decision to eat on break late last night. Forget coleslaw and onion rings for a long time. A very long time indeed.
Something more worth while: "Words, like eyeglasses, blur everything they do not make clear." -Joseph Joubert
So I can most certainly agree with this. When completely unnecessary and not needed, I am great with words. Then, as my situation relies on it more, I close up and lose all fluidity. Words are remarkable things, I cannot even begin to explain. Used to do good, bad, and everything in between. In relationships, I find I have most difficulty explaining my feelings or saying exactly what I'm thinking at a given time. Why is this? Insecurity? Inexperience? A mixture of things no doubt; a character flaw needing some surgery, or at least some therapy. And basic practice.
Words open another world, a seemingly infinite realm of communication or historical log or just art. And then there are so many languages, forming these words in many different and beautiful shapes and structures, formed by many intricate sounds that roll of the tongue.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Harmony, Bereavement, Culture

Mariah Coxwell
Outbound to Alicante, Spain 2009-10
"What is Culture?"

Culture: behaviors, beliefs, qualities of a civilization, development, commonly transmitted from one generation to another (
I was born in Tallahassee, Florida; a city which is inhabited by mostly those college educated, who appreciate the rural and city elements of the area in harmony. This culture in the capital city of Florida is that of a college city, with many young adults and young families who pride themselves in having a good education and well-paying job. I lived here until I was 10. It is difficult to remember much of the culture there, as I was young.
I then moved to Saint Petersburg, Florida, a multi-cultural area to say the least. Many living there are first or second generation Floridians, coming from the North, or even first or second generation Americans. Where I lived, a block away from bars, restaurants, and bait shops, one could always hear sirens throughout the day and midnight car racing--never was there silence. My next-door neighbors were from Bosnia, who had fled the Bosnia and Herzegovina War in the mid 1990s. They would bring over baklava and other desserts, roast whole pigs outside, and play lots of loud music (they had many late-night parties with other Bosnians). Their 2 young boys helped them with their English. They personally changed their culture as I lived there; they bought a Ford Mustang to be more “American”, along with a big Ford truck a few years later. They enjoyed conversing with my mother, though they would rarely get anywhere with their minimal English speaking skills. Across the street was another family with 3 boys; they were from Jordan (Arab country in Southwest Asia). The parent’s names were Khaldea and Mohammad, but went by Americanized names Kelly and Mike. He owned some gas stations and she stayed home, constantly cleaning. Their house was gorgeous and spotless. They played lots of Arabic music, had family over often (a massive family), and followed the Muslim religion strictly--it took awhile to understand how Ramadan works. They too would share their language and food with us. These two families impacted me most while living in this larger port city of Florida. I appreciate the influence from other countries they provided and the relationships made with them.
At fifteen, my father had a job transfer to Jacksonville, Florida. We reside in Callahan today, a tiny town north of the grand city. Moving here, my family went through some culture shock, as the people are so friendly and treat everyone like close family. This was odd, since my family had come from a bigger city, and all the sudden we’re in a town that has only two stoplights, and no Target, everybody waving as you drive by or talking your ear off in Winn Dixie. I couldn’t help but wonder: Why would anyone want to live here?
Well, I have learned more of what culture is (and can be) after living here for the past 3 years. I have gained a respect for the people while still holding an open mind to moving on, out of this town. The community is precious, as whenever times are rough for someone, everybody helps out. It’s like a big family. Though there aren’t many college (or high school) graduates here, malls close by, or exciting events taking place (unless you include rodeos, bonfires, or high school football games), yet it is quite homey and comfortable. Rural culture at its finest. But, it is also a silent motivation to get out of my comfort zone.
Now I must touch on the upcoming culture change, my move to Alicante, Spain, in two short months. Though I have not yet been there, I have done some research and know the change is going to be life-altering. New language, school, family, food, EVERYTHING… And it will once again provide a new cultural perspective, the most significant yet.
So, again I must ask myself: “What is Culture?”
Culture is people, their attributes, their harmony with the world around them. Culture is growth, as well as tradition. It is such a valuable aspect of society because it transmits all products of humanity, from the celebration of birth to the bereavement of death.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fond Of Change

Not by any means is that taken from the White House occupant. This change I am so fond of is based on my personal life. So, I really am not fond of hurting people at all. Yet fact is, sometimes in order to be true to myself I have to let others down, hurting them. Shame how I can't just be perfect, how life can't just go smoothly, all the time. But then, would I learn anything?

Things are good, thankfully, after assuming the sky would fall through, fire and brimstone. I truly am blessed and watched out for. When I don't always have the ability to give it right back, so much love is shown me. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Recent Past

I stumbled upon some journals written in my notebook in May. Some good stuff, if I say so myself. Well, more like interesting.
May 3, 2009.
This one was titled "High Expectations", and went somewhat as follows:
how i wish i could see the potential, the potential of you and me...
It's been quite awhile since i've recorded my thoughts. It's as if turning eighteen started yet another era in the lack of self-improvement area. Well, this is a battle, against the unchanging, against ignorance.. While for some reason I cannot clearly portray my thoughts, I certainly have much to say. Quite a bit has happened in the past month or so. April '09 certainly marked a time of development, major change, insight, self-searching, and the ever-present battle of being grateful or not.
School is-thank God-coming to an end, having but 15 full days left excites me immensely. I would be catching up on homework right now I seem to have misplaced all of my needed textbooks. Ah, well, there's always tomorrow. (That's my professional procrastination talking.)
...My mind is an ocean, a drowned organ, consumed with dreams, hopes, fears, and anticipation...
I still feel as though expressing myself exposes my ignorance. I'm afraid my expectations for myself are a bit too high, or maybe that's a good thing, I suppose.
(Ha,) I should get paid for sweet stuff like this, such pure artistic talent. Raw. Dave and the roses. Discounts for blondes(?)
*I left a doodle on the notebook paper, but am not feeling empowered to scan it to show. Imagine.. a sketch of two roses, leaves and vine. That is all.

Well, now that I've given that one, I have yet another I found while flipping through the journal.
10 de mayo
Hoy es el dia de madres. Tambien el cumpleanos de mi hermana naomi. Ella es trece. Vieja. :)
I can remember when i turned thirteen. I felt as though i'd officially arrived.. could view pg 13 movies, get a boyfriend and such. A nice age for sure. Not that in my eighteen years i would know what is "good". I have yet to know the best year, maybe this coming one. Definitely. Bangs might do the trick. Or travel. Ah, who am i kidding.
The blissfulness and wonder of ignorance & immaturity. I need to stop cutting myself down. Geez.
How I detest the monotonous, bleak lifestyle of a "high schooler". 10 more days and all will be complete. At least, en estados unidos.
...God, I love music. It speaks when I am speechless. As the mind soars, the tongue is paralyzed. God bless computers. And music, once again. So, as I don't know what to say, music fills the void. "We'll carry on", past scars, the death of all our friends, and this shoddy cursive (now clearly typed), that I could hardly pencil down.
I feel as though I over-analyze my life at times. Aver-analyze myself. It then holds me back, I'm afraid, from the full potential meant to be reached.
Oh, technology. A blessing and a curse. As is any item of addiction. Truly. Each opens up the mind, as it constrains.
*In this journal I then went a bit free, writing down whatever random words in whatever random order my mind provided. Here's a taste, but I am reluctant to give it all:
Jupiter misses the effervescent miracles as utter movement and monument. ..Figuratively ignorance speaks volumes on the subject style. ..Funny one plays pity by acting lethargic.
*Well, there you have it, some very odd stuff no doubt.
What does it mean anyways? If I knew, well, you'd have your explanation. As would I. And it really just means whatever the heck I want. I wrote it.
*I went on to write..
I'm in love with feelings wish are rushes of blood and smiley giggles. It seems more like a habit than anything, something I interpret as love. Ouch..
Curses for questioning existence, faith and love, only getting more questions in return. Forget thinking I'm no good at this. Lacking confidence makes for a rather bad mood. Lacking vigor and pitiless motions toward what? What do I live for again? (or who?) Not me. Yes, Me.
"What's my age again?"

So the two May journals I think are rather neat. As well as

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ah, sweet return. Volver.

I had no clue one could "undelete" a blog. Fabulous technology. Fictitious word.
It is time to continue and restore the habits of blogging. Keeping record of my oh so interesting life and thoughts, at their best. But really, as the date comes closer and closer, I find it is quite necessary I jot down thoughts, emotions, desires, absurdities.. and prepare to do so when I am away.
After an extremely long nap, and as the rain falls outside, my mind is clear but unofficially shallow for some reason. I blame the long nap. And lack of caffeine in my system. Definitely due to the lack of caffeine. Shoot, I'm addicted.
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
Every day given me I cherish and pursue as gold or rubies, as a blessing to do things such as breathe. Or to go further, to experience more. Experience people, feelings, actions, and all the while--learn. A person may die physically, but the soul lives eternally. We'll see.