Saturday, December 31, 2011


I think, of my three life themes, this one is my favorite. Courage is the most prominent, and freedom is the one most striven for, but adventure is the most fun. And I am going to tell you why.

I don't really have a definition for adventure. Mostly because adventure can be a wide array of things. The dictionary says an adventure is, "An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity." And I absolutely *adore* that definition. I think adventures like to disguise themselves in ordinary, everyday situations, just so that they can pop out of nowhere and surprise you when you least expect it.

I think anything can be an adventure, if you want it to be.

From road trips to five hour shifts at work, from exploring a castle hidden in the mountains to caroling. Whether you are on your own, with your partner in crime, or a group of fifty, whether you get lost or injured or arrested, adventure is anything and everything you want it to be. And I think that's why I love it oh so very much.

I also *adore* the list of synonyms that the dictionary chose for adventure. Venture. Hazard. Risk. And my all-time favorite:


I can honestly say that I never before put the words adventure and dare in relation to one another. But the very sound of it gives me chills. The very thought of sticking your neck out on the line just for a chance to suck the marrow out of life excites me in a way I can't even put into words.

If you want to go on an adventure, you're going to need guts.

Adventures can be terrifying. But I think that's why they are so very fulfilling. Every time I watch an action movie, I come away with this inexplicable urge to do something that might claim my life, but would be the most grand scar story if I survived it. I want to go out with a bang. I want to be remembered because I didn't settle for a mundane human existance.

I want to be remembered because I didn't just survive. I lived. With flair.

Writing this, I realize that my three themes go hand-in-hand with each other. If one seeks an adventure, he must have courage to go on it, and when he does he will find his freedom. I want my life to be a series of stunning, breathtaking, more-spectacular-than-last-night's-sunrise moments. I never want to turn down an opportunity to go on an adventure.

I want every heart-pounding-out-of-my-chest car race. I want every singing-about-Papa's-great-love-on-a-rooftop moment. I want every step of the spontanious dance. I want every color that has ever graced the skies.

I want every gorgeous second of my symphony.

And I want it free and loud and bright and brilliant and intoxicating and invigorating and alive. I want it to scream like a battle cry and sing like an eight-part harmony finale. I want it to dance the dust off the floor and write until the sun comes up.

I want it to be an adventure.

In the words of one Bill McKenna, I want to slide across the finish line screaming, "Geronimo!"

And I want to live in a way that if I was given the opportunity to go back and live life all over again, I wouldn't want to change a thing.

Because it was such a grand adventure.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Freedom is the second of my life themes. Why? Well, much like is the case with courage, I'm not entirely sure. But please stick with me while I try to put it into a countable number of words.

The very country I live in was founded on principles such as freedom and equality. And though it took several hundred years for those principles to truly mean anything (slaves and women, anyone?), they are still the things that the United States is known for. That's why so many people have tried so hard to get here. That's why I'm proud to say I am affiliated with this place. But freedom isn't just a big deal to me because I dwell in a place which attempts to uphold it. There's something deeper still.

If you've been following me for a while, you know about how I am an extremely restless person. I can't stay confined to one place for too long or I start to go crazy. I'm like a bird. If I'm contained in any sort of cage for too long, I lose my song. Why this is, I'm not entirely sure. I like to think that I am fairly content with my surroundings. But just recently I've realized that nothing could be farther from the truth. Colorado has become my cage. The mountains make me feel small and insignificant and trapped. I'm only sixteen, and yet I feel as though I am losing so many years of freedom by being stuck somewhere. It's not like I have a choice. My parents still have legal custody and I'm still in high school.

And for those reasons, my insatiable wanderlust must, for a while longer, remain unquenched.

You also probably know about my fascination with running away. I've come so very close to escaping, so close that I could taste it. So close that I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest and all my senses began to tingle. For some reason, I feel like running away, even just for a few hours, would somehow fill that need to be free. But for some other reason, I've never done it. And I don't know why. I think a lot of it has to do with my responsibilities. I can't miss school. I can't inspire that kind of negative influence on my siblings. I can't quit life to fill a void that doesn't even make any sense. I put it off and promise myself that someday, some glorious day, I'm going to do it. Just strictly because I can.

I've always been one for pushing boundaries. Even gravity frustrates me. As a child, I had myself thoroughly convinced that I could fly, I just didn't know how yet. I think, somewhere inside, that I still believe that. I never stopped believing it. I just forgot that it's what I believed. I have no greater dream in life than to fly. I want to see the world from a whole new perspective and seize hold of my own destiny and chart my own course in a dimension where nothing and no one can catch me or tell me to stop. If I was a bird, I would escape and never look back.

But I am not a bird, Friends.

I am a mortal, and hence, condemned to walk wherever I go and watch the birds with an intense longing that I could join them.

But see, I am still free. Though I cannot fly. Though I am trapped in the shadow of the Rockies. Though I have never worked up the courage to run away. I have been given a Gift. And I think Sunday was an appropriate day to reflect on that Gift. It is the gift of freedom, hand-wrapped by Papa and presented to me in the form of a helpless infant. The Designer of the universe, the Painter of the sunsets, the Hanger of the stars, the One Who could crush me like a grape if He ever got tired of my whining confined Himself to human form just so I could have my freedom. And there is no love song or waltz or hand-painted flower that could even come close to rivaling that Gift in beauty. He loves me enough to die for my freedom.

And so I love Him enough to obey, even when He tells me to stay home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Courage is undoubtedly one of my favorite words and hence, my life's greatest theme. If I ever get a tattoo, it will be the word courage in some funky swirly font on my foot or shoulder blade. It's my favorite character trait and the one thing I strive so hard to live out.

The funny thing is, I have no idea where my obsession with courage stemmed from. It just suddenly became my favorite thing and I can't be sure why. In this post, I intend to put into words just why it is that courage means so much to me.

My favorite kinds of stories are the ones where the protagonist begins as nothing and is forced to work to prove that he is strong. The stories where the insignificant nobody is more a hero than the nobles. Where the hero is the hero because he has courage even when nobody else does.

In the novel I finished writing over the summer, Uritus and the Sword of Fire, I took a stab at defining what courage really is. This is what my hero says about it:

"People so often associate courage with fearlessness, while in reality no one is fearless. Everyone is afraid of something no matter how trifle or insignificant it may be. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to look Fear straight in the face and say, 'You don't own me.'"
 And I think, when it really gets down to it, that is what courage is. Courage is standing up when the rest of the world screams at you to fall down. Courage is rebelling against the societal norm. Courage is fighting for something you're passionate about even if you are the only one in the world who still thinks it's worth fighting for.

I used to love the word fearless. I loved the way it sounded, I loved what it meant, I loved how I thought it could apply to me. But then I actually realized what the word meant: without fear. And since then, I don't use the word fearless anymore. Mostly because it is an unreachable goal.

My greatest fear is jellyfish, followed closely by Duck Duck Goose. Are those fears stupid? Absolutely! But they are still fears, and as long as someone has fears, he or she cannot be fearless. It's impossible. I roll my eyes when people refer to themselves as fearless. "Really?" I think. "You are really afraid of absolutely nothing at all? Not death not pain not rejection not loneliness? Wow. You must be some new breed of superhuman." No. It doesn't matter how much you deny it. It doesn't matter how much you try to convince others (or yourself) that you are fearless.

You are afraid. I can see it in your eyes.

Am I getting you down? If so, I apologize. I'm just telling it the way it is. There is no such thing as fearlessness and if you think there is, then you need a wake up call.

But just because there is no such thing as fearlessness doesn't mean there is no such thing as courage.

It's actually just the opposite. It is because we fear that we can be brave. If fear didn't exist, courage wouldn't either. Because if everyone was fearless, what need would we have for courage? Fear is something we all must face. It is in the confrontation of a friend who has gone astray. It is in the slowly fading heartbeat of someone we cannot bear to lose. It is in the breath before the freefall, and the battle cry before charging into battle.

But fear, just like any antagonist can be conquered with courage.

Everything I want to do in life is going to take courage. I want to move to Thailand, I want to open a home for pregnant teenage girls, I want to be a history maker, I want to change the world. Can I do it on my own? No. Not even if I was the most courageous person to walk the Earth. But with Papa's help, I know I can and nothing anyone says or does to try to prove me wrong will shake me.

My Designer believes in me.

My Designer knows I can do it.

My Designer calls me brave.

And I'd much rather be called Brave than Beautiful.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Themes Of My Life

I'm not sure if I've ever told you guys this, but the three main themes of my life are courage, freedom, and adventure. I so often get asked why those are the themes of my life and I now realize it's about time to put it in writing, one post for each theme. While I'm gathering my thoughts and typing them out, what are your three themes? Just out of curiosity.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I think the greatest problem with being a thespian is the end of a show that you've been working on long and hard for a while. You get your final curtain call and your flowers and your compliments, and everything you've ever wanted and worked for is practically handed to you because of how talented you are. But then it hits you.

The show is over.

My job is done.

I may never see some of these people again.

This, friends, is the worst part about being a thespian. If we weren't so darned friendly and easy to get along with, this wouldn't be a big deal. But we are. We typically become best friends midway through the first rehearsal. And that tends to make the end of a show that much more wretched.

I am writing this today mostly to cope with my newfound separation anxiety, but also to reflect on all the reasons why I love those gorgeous people so darn much.

This weekend was a sea of emotions. It was a spectacular confusing swirl of pastels and glitter and brilliant sunbeams and captivating lyrics. It showed me things about myself that I never knew before. But mostly it showed me how incredible people can be.

Our show opened last Sunday on a chilly December 4th afternoon. We had two shows that day. The first went well, as could have been expected. Let me tell you, there is no feeling quite as magical as the hot stage lights illuminating your face as the show you've worked so long to perfect finally begins in front of an audience. We were incredibly proud when the show was finished and we got a sliver of time to hop into our motor vehicles and rush off to get food.

I went with Dallas and Matthew to Subway. We got our food and then went on an adventure in King Soopers during which we bought gorgeous Emma a rose. I think it's fair to say that I am the greatest wingman ever.

The time came for us to prepare for the second show, and everything was still going surprisingly well. We had a few mishaps, but nothing major. Those of you who do theatre can probably guess what happened next.


By now you must know that I am a very accident-prone human being. This tends to work against me a lot of the time. There I was, backstage, casually stretching so I would not pull a muscle and guess what happened?

I pulled a muscle. In my lower back.

The beautiful caring cast and crew whom I love and *adore* made me lay down and take meds and gave me Icy Hot and prayed for me and let me cry and gave me a good luck charm. I managed to perform with it pulled anyway, but that's not the point.

The point is, I love them.

And I can't even begin to describe how much. If I didn't have them, I wouldn't have gone on. Honestly. Yes, I had put months of time into perfecting the show, and ordinarily an injury wouldn't hold me back but I was in so much pain and I was so very tired and all the stress and stuff of the previous weeks came crashing down on me right then. I had no motivation to go on.

With the exception of a few shining faces who let me lay on the pool table between scenes.

I did go on. I don't regret it. We did in fact have to change all my blocking on the fly so I could do the whole show sitting down, but we managed to pull it off and no one in the audience really seemed to notice. I think we're a lot cooler than we give ourselves credit for.

Friday was my mom's birthday and our next show, the one my family and friends came to, and they all said we did a fabulous job. Then came the next Sunday and with it, tears. We put on our last two shows and rocked it out of the ballpark like we tend to do, and afterwards, the girls were all pleasantly surprised.

The incredible guys in our cast went out during our dinner break to buy us flowers and chocolate and write us notes.

We found the bouquets lined up in our dressing room and that was about the time I started to cry. I'd been holding it in all day but I think that was a good time to become emotional. So I did.

Then we cleaned up and went adventuring to Village Inn where we talked about how much we were going to miss each other but that we were going to stay in contact and be best friends forever. I've done that with all of my previous casts, but never have I been so confident or believed every word as much as I do with this one.

The separation anxiety kicked in when I was hugging them goodbye.

I went home to put my flowers in a vase and script this facebook status:

To some of my favorite people,
I miss you already. Our inside joke list is my favorite thing ever. From leather pants to creeper texts, from the Cupid Shuffle to being a wingman, from glitter and quoting Song of Songs to Icy Hot and slapping people, we pretty much rocked every second of it. I am so glad that I have been given the opportunity to know you all. You are, truly, my heartsong.
Charity Bee (also commonly referred to as Francesca Flute)
I think it's about time that I defined "heartsong."

A heartsong is exactly what it sounds like - a song from your heart. It's the song that takes a lifetime to discover. The song with a melody as sweet as the rising sun and as strong as the opening line of a show. It's the rhythm tapped out by all the footsteps of the lives that have touched you and all the lives you've known. It's the chorus of everything you are fighting for and everything you know is right mingled with the harmony of the laughs of those you can't even begin to imagine life without. It's courage and freedom and adventure. It's beautiful and powerful and vibrant.

It's a symphony.

And if you've ever listened to a symphony you know how fantastic it can be. From the anticipation you feel when the musicians go silent and the conductor raises his baton to the breathtaking crescendo to the stunning melodic final note that gives you chills. It's impossible to describe the feeling of peace and awe and clarity that is found when you discover your symphony.

A huge piece of my own symphony was uncovered when I met those people.

I was having a rough day yesterday, and a friend told me something that I'd never considered before. He told me I deserve a symphony. And I couldn't help but realize that he's right. I do, as does everyone else. It's hard to find, trust me. And there will be more flat notes and grueling mishaps than you would want. But let me encourage you, sweet friends, never to stop dreaming and composing and searching for your own symphony. You'll discover bars in the most random of places.

Just like I found mine in a strained back and a teary-eyed Sunday night.

I'm still figuring out which path I'm taking and I'm still searching for the rest of my heartsong. But I can rest now knowing that I don't have to find it. Because it somehow always manages to find me.

I can't even begin to describe how much my cast, my family, my friends, and my Designer mean to me. My life would be a heck of a lot more difficult if I didn't have them to send me encouraging texts and buy me flowers and on occasion carry me to my car. And though my heartsong is anything but complete, it is still undoubtedly spectacular.

And I have a beautiful collection of stunning faces with gorgeous names to thank for that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...