Update

Update

Just wanted to drop a line and say I’ve posted more photos on my other blog! If you wanted to see more pics of my life, rather, of my siblings being adorable, feel free to check it out!  If you don’t smile, there’s something wrong. LOL

http://www.intenseclarity.wordpress.com

Thanks!! 🙂

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Drama, Sweet Stab, and Curly

When I first started this blog was with the intention to tell all you lovely people about my transition from an independent life in Canyon, Texas to a crazy life in Dallas.  I suddenly just got smacked in the face full on by the stooges.  For those of you who didn’t read that post or forgot or perhaps I didn’t mention it like I thought I did, the stooges are a nickname the family has for the youngest three children in the family (Corynne, Madison, and Kent).  And, I’ll admit it; they ALMOST got the best of me this evening.

Ma decided to take Neil to go see these really awesome guys that are near by called the Myth Busters.  I don’t know if you’ve heard of them… but that’s where they were.  Michael was at work as he usually is on Monday at this hour.  Kennedy was at school at rehearsal, and I wasn’t sure when she was going to come home.  Do the math, dogs.  That’s me alone with a five, seven, and eight year old.  No Babysitter’s Club book could have prepared me for this night to come.

The few minutes Ma was home she sent Kent to timeout in his room.  Trinity and Zoe were downstairs just running around.  Eventually the girls went back upstairs to the play room to watch My Little Ponies.  I figured this wouldn’t be too bad of a night and got my new read and opened it up.  Ten minutes later….

 This is what I see when I go into Kent’s room to tell him his time out is up.  My phone was about to die but I couldn’t let a moment like this pass.  I’m getting this picture and thinking how cute it is and how easy this is going to be… Baha.

Kennedy comes home not long after that, and I fill her in on the instructions Ma gave us for the night: ravioli for dinner, girls take showers, bed on time.

I go wake Kent up so he can eat with us soon and hopefully go back to sleep later.  He comes downstairs and starts walking around saying he’s hungry so, naturally Kennedy and I decide to start supper.  Sort of.  Actually Kennedy decides to blog while I cook supper.  And let me tell you something.  I’m not a big fan of pasta unless it’s Chef Boyardee.  So this was the first time I was making something that had to actually had to be heated up in a pan.  I manage to get the cryptive instructions on the ravioli uncoded and have them boiling only to turn around and once again be amazed.

 Yes. That is Kent under the microwave.  And I don’t know if you can tell, but he is eating chips.  I had left a bag of chips out on the counter that I had been snacking on.  I guess Kent decided he was hungry enough to eat some too.  Under the microwave table…  So, I decide to sit down in front of him and he starts telling me all sorts of things about his day.  Something about his class doing cartwheels all over the classroom floor.  Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a precarious room to be in.  There’s just something about the idea of having a group of kindergarteners perform gymnastics around a classroom that screams “9-1-1.”  But, he was the best so I guess he wasn’t worried.  We then observed how triangular his chip was.  I then decided to find a shrink ray so I can take Kent around with me everywhere.  It’s amazing the way he talks…

Now, back to dinner…. the raviolis had finished so I drained them.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them after that.  So Kennedy told me to put them back in the pan.  I told her they would just keep cooking and be ruined but she insisted… And they all stuck to the pan.  Yummm…. pan ravioli.  But, I put that on the back burner as I still needed to cook the sauce.  And this is where it gets funny.  You know how in the movies there’s this sweet but misguided girl trying to cook pasta and ends up getting the sauce all over the kitchen?  I perfected that scene tonight ladies and gentlemen.  Turns out, if the sauce gets too hot, it BOILS. Wow, who would’ve thought?  Not me apparently.  Cuz that darlin sauce popped all over my arms, the stove, the cabinets, the floor, the fridge, and even the wall.  No matter, it was time for supper.

I eventually manage to get everyone in the dining area and ready to eat.  Scratch that.  I managed to get everyone into the dining area.  Then–all hell broke loose.  “Wow, look at the floor!” “What happened in here?” *Walks through all the sauce on the floor.* “Ewwww!!!”  After finally raising my voice (I hate to yell at people, and I hate to be yelled at.), I managed to get their attention.  I told them to go sit down so I could put the food on the table.  Madison and Corynne sit down and immediately start shoving each other.  Really?  I tell Corynne to move to the other side of the table.  “NO.  This is where I sit.  I can’t sit anywhere else.”  Gosh.  Didn’t realize she was the babysitter tonight.  And that’s when the attack of the Drama began.

“Well, I’m telling you to move to the other side since you two can’t sit right.”

“No, I can’t!!! I have to sit in this spot!  Ma said so.”

“I don’t care. Right now I’m want you to sit at the other side of the table.”

She finally gets up.  I think I finally got her to listen to me, but no.

“FINE. I DIDN’T WANT DINNER ANYWAY!!! IT LOOKS GROSS!!”

I have to admit it did.. But it tasted all right!! I digress.  She stomped off upstairs.  I didn’t care to follow her.  The rest of us eat our dinner, which did turn out pretty good. The raviolis weren’t burned like I thought, and despite the copious amount that sputtered out of the pan, there was still plenty of sauce for everyone.  Then the Sweet Stab tries her luck.

Now, there is something you need to know about Madison.  I know you’ve all seen her picture.  And she looks a real sweetheart.  She is!!!  But she uses it to her advantage.  She’ll just talk soooo sweetly about why she doesn’t need to shower after dinner and why Corynne should instead, and you actually believe her.  I literally found myself nodding as she was talking and had to think,”Wow, this girl is good!! She almost got you, Brit!”  After I calmly told her she WAS going to take a shower after dinner and that was that, she quieted down and didn’t try to bend anymore rules.  Not that I remember anyway.  Like I said, the girl’s good!!!

We all finish eating and clear off the table.  Madison goes upstairs to get her pajamas and Kent turns on Curious George.  Then Drama stomps down the stairs.

“Good!! I’m glad everyone else is done, so I can eat finally.”

She stomps into the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but sigh.  I had literally just put the leftovers in the fridge and sat down.  She opens the fridge.  Then deciding there wasn’t anything she wanted in there, stomps off to the pantry.  Oh no, moon pie.  I told her she had to have what the rest of us had, and it was in containers in the fridge.  She shoots a dirty look my direction.  I look right back at her.  She stomps over the fridge again and opens it up.

“What did you guys even have for dinner?!?!?!?!!!!!”

REALLY?  You said you didn’t want dinner because it looked gross!!!  And the yelling was getting on my nerves.  I was about to collapse into a nervous heap of wiggling jelly.  I explained to her, as calmly as I could, that raviolis were in a container as was the marinara sauce.  She said there wasn’t any.  She went back and forth with me.  Finally she started pulling all the containers out of the fridge.  The second one she pulled out finally, finally made her stop yelling.  It was the ravioli.  She huffily made herself a plate and ate.  I think she was starting to feel my mood though because I didn’t have to ask her twice to clean up everything she had gotten out.  Then I told her to shower and the whole thing started over again.  But this time with crying.  Oh my Lord.  I don’t know what to do when someone cries.  Honest.  I’m as bad as Sheldon.

I won’t make you as exasperated as I was… but suffice it to say it took thirty minutes for me to get her in the bathroom and another twenty to get her to actually shower.

And Michael shows up.  Thank God.  Kent had kept getting out of bed to see what was going on.  Madison couldn’t go to bed because she had to brush her teeth and someone was taking forever in the shower.  And I was at my wit’s end.  Michael says one word and they are all in bed.  And I have now written my longest blog yet.  I love all of my siblings to pieces.  But, I think it must be a prerequisite to drive me nuts in order to be claimed as my sibling.  All I can say is thank God Kennedy and Neil are done acting like that.  I think it was just a long day for us all.  Looking back it is starting to be almost humorous.  Almost.  And if any of you made it to the end of this blog… I admire you.  You deserve cookies and chocolate milk and pie and cake and all things delicious.

May the odds be ever in your favor, dear readers, and good night!

For Lindsay

For Lindsay

Lindsay,

We have been friends for much too long for any healthy person.  I’m surprised you’re not in an asylum right now from being my closest friend since we were THREE YEARS OLD.  From the very beginnning, we were rocky.  We were little kids, and my desire was to be the most-liked girl in the daycare.  I apologize for being pretentious.  As we went through elementary school and intermediate school, we grew apart but the friendship remained like an invisible string was connecting us together.  Then junior high came around and we had some classes together.  Slowly we started talking some more, then hanging out again.  By the time we were sophomores in high school, I was taking metaphoric bullets from some “friends” for you, and you and your family were my safe house to get away from my increasingly stressful home life.  Then it was senior year.

I’m sure anyone close to us could tell something happened.  You got a boyfriend, and I couldn’t help but feel as if I didn’t matter as much anymore.  My home life got more stressful than other, especially when I started working at that crappy old Sonic.  Despite the fact that we had multiple classes together, I never felt more estranged from my best friend.  I’m not going to take all the blame for it, but I know a majority of it was my fault.  We both changed a lot during senior year.  Or maybe it was just me.  Our interactions were less frequent, probably due to the fact that when we did talk it always ended with one of us snapping at the other.

I guess what I’m trying to get around to is, I’m sorry.  As I started partying with my roommates, sneaking out to hang out with my new “friends”, staying up all night just walking because I didn’t want to go back to my apartment, getting closer to Cameron, I changed beyond all recognition.  I was bitter and angry over my situation, and I did a lot of stuff I shouldn’t have because I was tired of doing the same thing over and over again only to be disappointed somehow.  I convinced myself that my new friends were better.  My new life was better.  I was more mature.  Basically, I convinced myself to be higher up than you, and I was leaving you behind.  Honestly, I was ashamed.  I had no other option but to pull away from you except lose all the self-respect I thought I had.  I’m sorry that I did.  I started going to school hungover or still drunk from a late night of drinking after work.  I quit doing my homework and almost failed the last six weeks.  I started skipping school when my hangover was too bad.  I started cutting again.  And I found out that my new friends were just using me for more income, my body and desperation, and cleaning skills.  I lost nearly all of them in the span of a couple of months.  But you had been my friend since before we started school.

When I finally realized all the crap I had put you through, all the ways I messed up our friendship, you were about to leave for college, and I still didn’t want to humble myself and say I screwed up.

My pride still won’t let me say this to your face.  But you have my email if you want to talk more personally than over a blog.  You are a beautiful girl, Lindsay.  Aaron is lucky to have you.  Your family is lucky to have you as a daughter and a sister.  I was lucky to have a friend.  You are one of the most God-fearing people I know.  You care for your family and friends.  You try to be kind; you try to always be a bigger person.  I know that no matter what you set your mind to, you will can and will get it, God willing.  All I can think to say now is this song by the Rascall Flats. I know you know it.

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,
But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.
But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
Don’t get got; do the gettin.
Love ya girl,
B.

The Strange Case of Miss Stafford and Dr. Kennedy

The Strange Case of Miss Stafford and Dr. Kennedy

I’m sitting in the rocking chair in the living room perusing my newest read, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Having just read Dr. Lanyon’s account of the Doctor, I was quite in a creepy state of mind.  All of the house lights are off except for the living room light.  Everyone is asleep.  Or so I thought.  I just finished the chapter when Kennedy comes into the dining room, walking right through it into the living room.  She barely looks around the room and walks back into the dining area.  Then proceeds to turn around, walk a few steps, and turns back around towards the kitchen.

“Kennedy, what are you looking for?”

“Nothing,” she says in a small, vague voice.

“Okay.”

She turns on the light in the kitchen and goes in the direction of the fridge.  I attempt to go back to reading my book when I hear a clatter.  I turn back towards the kitchen to try and see what was the matter (pun unintended), but all I could see was her ponytail.  I continue watching however to see if I can figure out what she is doing that would cause such a sound.  She suddenly turns around where I can see her… sort of.  Her face is covered due to her drinking iced Kool-Aid out of a pitcher.  She stops and looks at me.

“What?”

“Are you thirsty or something?”

“What?”

“You’re acting really weird.  It’s really freaking me out.  I’m sitting here reading about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and you walk in here looking lost and acting weird.”

“What?”

I collapse into a nervous giggle.  Kennedy gives me a weird look and goes back to finish off the Kool-Aid.  She places the pitcher beside the sink and grabs the lid and puts it on top.  I then realize what made the disturbing sound (her taking the lid off), and once again attempt to go back to my book.  But, I can’t help myself.  I look back up and find her staring at me.

“Quit acting so weird!!”

“What?”

She starts walking towards the living room again.  I’m thinking about how she left the light on in the kitchen so I’ll have to turn it off later when I suddenly notice her by my chair.

“What?”

I once again explain to her what I was saying about being freaked out.  She laughs, walks a few steps, turns around, and walks back to our room.  I watch where she disappeared around the corner momentarily when, all of the sudden, she comes into the dining area and turns back around to the bathroom.  Thinking I’ve had enough and want to see just what’s going on, I grab my book, mark my place, and grab my stuffed animal to start heading towards our room.  I make it to the dining area before I remember I need to turn the light in the living room off, only to see Kennedy.  Actually, I hear her first.  It sounded like a crunch.  I turn around to see her standing in the doorway.  I ask her what she’s doing and she walks towards me and says, “Eating bones.”

“For reals, you’re freaking me out.”

She then looks at me with wide eyes and configures her face to look completely possessed.  I yelp in surprise and put my stuffed dog in front of my face.

“Stop!! You’re freaking me out! Don’t make that face!”

She laughs and proceeds back towards our room once more.  I turn around back towards the living room to turn out the light and then turn out the kitchen light.  I go into our room and ask her why she’s being so weird, only to have her give me the possessed look again.

“Quit, yo.  You’re gonna give ME nightmares with that look!! You look possessed.” (Yes, I really talk like that.)

She laughs and gives me the look again as I put my stuff up.

“I’m not looking at you for the rest of the night.  You’re giving me the creeps.”

I get my computer out (during all of this I’m thinking what a great blog story this will make) and look up at her.  Yep, she was still possessed.  I then laugh at how silly it is.  Then she starts laughing and asks me what I’m doing.

“Blogging.  It’s an addiction, and I blame you.”

Aah, sisterly affection.  Nothing better to freak you out before you go to sleep than a possessed younger sister.  Sweet dreams, my dears.

Intense Adventures

 This is what I spent half an hour doing this afternoon.  Yes, I needed to jump start my car, and all I could think was that it was a brilliant blog opportunity.  Call me a “crazy cat-lady” like my sister did on the ride home, but I am sure that SOMEDAY I will find it humorous.  In case you are wondering, my car is the Pontiac.  The green thing is owned by a sweet young girl from Lakeview Centennial High School.  Thank you so much!!!  I digress.  I feel as if my blog needs some comic relief, and with the adventures Kennedy and I have had recently….  I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.

It all started one afternoon when Ma told us to go to the local Neighborhood Market and pick up some groceries.  Off we go, thinking it is just another humorless errand run.  Kennedy wasn’t in that great of a mood right then for reasons I can’t remember.  I wanted to cheer her up.  Little did I know I would soon find opportunity to do so.  As we are going down a street, not far removed from our home, we see a young woman pushing a double-stroller running.  Yes.  I said running.  While normal people wouldn’t find this funny, we found it hilarious.  I then proceeded to fist pump and yell encouragement, nevermind the fact we were in a closed up car.  But she saw my fist pumps.  I know she did.  As we continue down the road, laughing much too much to be safely driving, we come across a young man walking on the other side of the road.  Just walking and minding his own business when Kennedy says, “I wonder if people can hear us outside of the car?”  I then proceeded to yell at the man as loud as I could, but alas…. he was either deaf, rude, or you cannot in fact hear sounds that originate inside of a car if you are outside of said environment.  Of course by now Kennedy is bent over laughing, and I am not far removed from doing so myself.  One would think that surely that is enough adventure to last that trip, but no.  Do not be discouraged my dear friends.  On the way home, in fact, I forgot momentarily where I was going, turned into the wrong lane, and we decided to take a detour.  When turning around in a parking lot to put ourselves in a better position to be on the way home, I started telling the other cars to, “Hurry up, vroom vroom, hurry up.”  I had lost it certainly.  Every car I saw I dubbed a he or she and encouraged them along to the tune of “vroom vroom,” but who wouldn’t?  This again turns Kenny hysterical and bends over as far as she can.  She doesn’t get very far though because she has positioned her feet to rest on the dashboard.  After one last “vroom vroom” I ask her how she would feel if we wrecked and her knees broke her face.  She answered with more laughter.  Young ‘uns these days… No practicality at all…

Now, Kennedy is very prestigious and high up on the high school theatre ladder.  She has to judge all the comedies in the area.  I was taking to the play “Play it Again, Sam” in Rowlett when our next adventure struck.  The way there was very bland.  The play was good.  I pay my respects for the half of the stage I got to see.  As we are walking to the car I make an astute observation.  “We are the only car in this parking lot.”  We then begin to think of all sorts of predicaments that could occur as if we have suddenly been put in a horror show.  I say we must look under the car to make sure no one is going to chop our Achilles’.  After making sure no one is in fact under the car, Kennedy tells me to unlock the car as we stand at the rear windshield to see if anyone is in the back waiting to scalp us.  We were encouraged when all we saw was the usual mess that accompanies a car possessed by a family of eight.  We proceed to get in the car, and I quickly start the engine so we can head home.  The second I turn the key the front and back windshield wipers get to work, wiping away an imaginary rain storm.  We freak.  “The car is possessed!!”  “What the heck!?”  I’m turning and pushing all sorts of the bamboozles around the steering wheel.  I successfully manage to turn off the front windshield wipers, only to turn around and see the back windshield cleaning itself over and over.  After some more blind stumbling on the metaphoric path, I manage to turn those off and turn the front ones on again!!!  I won’t bore you with how many combinations we went through.  Just suffice it to say, fifteen minutes later we were catching our breath and giggling at the situational irony of, well… the situation.  We then proceed to head home.  Funny thing though… We thought we knew where we were going.  Five minutes later we realized we didn’t know at all.  And we laugh thinking how great it is that we enter a possessed car, defeat it, and just get lost on some highway.  I eventually tell Kennedy to turn her GPS on her phone on.  After five minutes of loading, she tells me to turn around.  In the middle of a highway….  We eventually make it home, not without a couple of detours and plenty more laughs, and of course my exclamation of how great of a story it would make on my blog.

Then there was today, Kennedy once again had a play to judge (this time Midsummer Night’s Dream), and once again I was her ride.  We decided to leave almost two hours before she needed to be there and arrive safe and sound at the school and hour and a half before it even started.  Good.  Luckily, with my keen observation skills I noticed a Jack in the Box just down the street.  We proceed to the establishment.

They have amazing service, that Jack in the Box.  The employees are very friendly.  There is a cleanliness that extends even to the bathroom.  And, as always, the food was exceptional.  I digress.

After a lunch and fries and eggrolls we then go back to the school; she judges; I see her coming out and start the car.  Unfortunatley, the car didn’t have the same opinion as I did.  It refused to start.  My thoughts, “Great.  I don’t even know what jumper cables look like.”  Kennedy gets in the car, and I inform her of our predicament.  I attempt to call Ma but her phone just goes straight to voicemail.  I then call Michael and catch him up on the details.  He says, “I’m at work and can’t leave.  Find someone to jump the car and let me know how it goes.  I won’t be off for a while.”  I look at Kennedy and say, “Well, I guess we can just open the hood and look pitiful.”  So we do.  And that’s when the lovely girl who attended the high school comes out of her car and asks if we need help.  I tell her our battery has died.  She had cables and knew how to use them.  Thirty minutes later I were cruising down the highway telling Kennedy I almost asked her to take a picture with me for the blog.  She then calls me a cat-lady.  We get home, and now I blog.  If only it could have been some hot older brother of a kid in the play…. That would’ve been nice indeed.

P.S. I missed the whole Cowboys’ game today for Kennedy’s play.  You can tell they missed me.  They barely won and Miles even hurt his ribs!! 😦

What I Didn’t Realize

Kennedy and I are sitting across from each other on the floor in the hallway.  My red suitcase is beside me ready to go.  Ma and Joe are in the bedroom yelling at each other.  I can hear Ma crying.  I look at Kennedy, she has tears streaming down her face.

Kennedy and I are playing with our dolls.  She looks up at me and smiles.  Ma comes in with Neil to change his diaper, Joe right behind her.  Kennedy says, “Daddy says they might get a divorce, Brittany.”  Ma, “Don’t say that Kennedy.”

Kennedy, Neil, Ma, and I are all in the car at night.  Neil is screaming and crying.  All the sudden, “I miss Daddy, Mom.” All I can think is, “He wasn’t even your dad, Kennedy.  You can’t miss him.”

Looking back I should’ve been able to see that Kennedy was just as hurt about what happened as I was.  But it wasn’t until I read her posts about it on her blog (Kennedy Stafford), that I realized it.  When Kennedy and I were really young, Neil still a baby, our stepfather, Joe, sexually abused me multiple times.  Somehow, even though she can remember it perfectly, I can remember almost none of it.  All I can remember is family coming to talk to me and ask me if I was okay.  I remember Joe wrote me a letter, but Ma wouldn’t let me read it.  I remember going to counseling.  I remember my dad saying I might have to go to court but not to be scared because I didn’t do anything wrong.  Only now, after reading how torn up Kenny was, do I remember her during this time.

I can tell you it sucks to be raped.  I can tell you I didn’t like it then but I thought I had to because he was supposed to be my daddy too, and you have to listen to daddy.  I can say it affects my relationships with older male figures even now and trusting is hard.  Never did I think, it was Kennedy’s dad too.  He just left her.  No apology; no excuse.  Just there and gone.  And if anything, I am more ashamed of it now than ever.  Not because I had to do stuff to a man no little kid should know about; no, I’m ashamed that my family focused all their attentions on me.  They wanted to make sure I was okay, make sure I knew I didn’t do anything wrong.  Nobody told Kennedy it was okay.  Nobody told her she didn’t do anything wrong.  Nobody told her anything.  Just that her daddy wasn’t coming back anymore.  The rest was left to her imagination.

Kennedy, I wish I could give you the same gift God gave me: forgetting.  I was able to forget it all.  The few times I do start to remember something, it’s so blurry I’m not sure it’s even real or just a picture of what people have told me.  I’m sorry I never realized how much it affected you.  I’m sorry that, that instance, started many instances in which I would forget about your part of the story, when I wouldn’t be a good big sister and make sure you were okay.  You lost a dad more than me that day.  It shouldn’t take me eleven years to realize it.  But now I do.  I know you still hurt.  But I am too.  I know what it feels like to want to hurt yourself just for that shot of adrenaline, that feeling of pain that tells you, you’re still alive.  You burned; I cut.  I just wish I realized.

Welcoming Home

Welcoming Home

Coming into Dallas to live here for the first time we came across a rainbow in the darkening sky.  The glee quickly inflated like a bad economy.  Walking into the house, I immediately saw Kennedy and literally screamed with joy. Despite my father’s insistent breakdowns of why this was a bad idea and the long wait, I had finally made it.  I was so busy seeing all the people it actually had to be pointed out the banner across the top of the sliding back doors saying, “Welcome home, Brittany,” and the fruit bowl made out of a watermelon shell.  Being a Sunday night we quickly caught up and went our separate ways to bed. School was going to come earlier than anybody wanted it to the next day.  Still, as I laid in bed I realized how much I had already learned about this crazy new life I had just entered.  First off, I ate three mini cupcakes only to be told that there are enough for three cupcakes per person, and that was it.  This threw me for a loop.  In Canyon, we didn’t divy up the food in relation to supply and population.  We were sensible and knew two other people had to eat, but we mostly just ate what we wanted.  If you didn’t get in the kitchen fast enough to get that cookie, that’s your own fault.  I realized very quickly that in order for my stomach to get along with everyone else’s, I was going to have to change that mindset.  Another thing I learned from my first night here, I was going to have to be adaptable very quickly.  While I love my family, they have their own habits and traditions, their own culture.  I could not come in and just expect to change all around what I’m used to.  Of course, that was the last thing I expected them to do, but I guess I didn’t really think about how much I was going to have to change about my habits to fit in as one of eight.  First of all, in the middle of the table is a small turning tray where most of the food is set during dinner times.  With eight other people around you, you have to get what’s in front of you and wait for the rest to come around.  It wasn’t like in Canyon where, when we all sat down together you could just grab what you wanted.  Thinking about it now it seems like such a simple idea, but when it is not what you are used to…  yeah.  And sharing a room with my sister certainly brought me to the realization that I wasn’t in Canyon anymore.  When we were younger, we shared a room during my visitation.  This is completely different though.  We haven’t slept in the same room in ages; we’ve both discovered how we like the lighting to be at night, whether or not we like the door open, and so on and so forth.  Kennedy likes there to be some sort of light on during the night; I enjoy complete darkness.  Kennedy keeps the door slightly cracked; I shut my door completely.  Kennedy doesn’t keep the doors on her closet due to nightmares; it drives me nuts when my closet is open.  Kennedy likes this; but I like that.  The first night here, I slept almost not at all.  There was too much light, too much noise, and a slightly messy, unorganized closet open for the whole world (ghostface included) to see.

 Even faced with these differences, I was more satisfied than I have been in a long time.  What are these differences anyway? If I am so caught up in myself that I cannot simply be grateful for my family taking in yet another person into their already large and complicated family, I am not cut out for the military.  A soldier places the mission first, places the country first, and never leaves a fallen comrade.  The lighting of a room should be the last thing I worry about.  I need to keep foremost in my mind, why I am here and where I want to be.  I would not say I am dissatisfied with where I am at all.  I certainly hope to be a major contributing force to this “three-ring circus” I now call home.  But in the back of my mind, always lingering, “You were too fat to be in the army.  You didn’t have the self-discipline to even be ready for boot camp. And on top of all that, you hurt the feelings of your family in Canyon.”  While these statements are true, I must not let them keep me from doing what I need to here.  I need to use them as my motivation.  Use them for Vengeance; vengeance on all the people who said the army isn’t for me; vengeance on myself for proving them right the first time.  Vengeance that can only be right.

 It was told to me today, “Everybody messes up badly.  I wish somebody had told me that… the important thing is to say, ‘Yes, I messed up.  This is why,’ and to fix it.”  I guess that’s really what I’m trying to say.  I am certainly at one of the lowest points in my life, questioning the meaning of myself, my life, the world itself.  I feel all these pulls, but have reached a point of apathy so I can feel ripping at the seams.  I worry about the small things to avoid confronting the big issues.  But in this new life, new city, new family, it’s time to get over the slump.  I messed up everyone.  I got apathetic and quit trying because it was easier that way, but a true soldier doesn’t go the easy way just because it was easy.  This country was founded on a bunch a guys who worked hard everyday to do what they believed was right, refusing to give in and never surrenduring.  Football teams never make it to the Super Bowl without a bunch of hard work, late nights, and full-on battle every day. NEVER backing down.  It’s time I get the lead out of my butt, take a lesson from my heroes and get going.