How To Not Ask A Girl Out

I’m currently sitting in an empty classroom at my college waiting for a class that doesn’t begin for another hour. Before I ended up here, I was getting lunch down the road at Bojangles. Before that, I was leaving my Sociology 101 when I experienced a very awkward encounter with an old “friend.”

Last semester I took a history class. I hated it so much. I fell asleep in class almost every day. There was nothing wrong with the professor or anything, I just hated learning about history. I was in that class for about a month until I made my first “friend.” This guy, who we’ll call Andrew, was obviously into me. I was very much not into him. I’m walking down the sidewalk on my way to my car when this guy stops me and says something like, “Hey, you’re in my history class, right?”

First of all, he knew I was in that class. I am a very observant person in places like a classroom and I tend to check out the people in a class that sit in front of me. I never saw Andrew once, which meant he sat behind me. Therefore, he probably knew I was in that class and didn’t need to ask if I was. The first time he talked to me, I didn’t get his name or anything.

A few classes later, Andrew properly introduces himself. He asked for my number and I, being the shy and scared teenager I was, gave it to him. At this point, I didn’t really know I wasn’t into him. I felt like the “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” meme. Don’t worry, it didn’t take long for me to realize how not interested in him I was. He texted me and tried to pull some kind of “Netflix and Chill” thing on me. Bare in mind this guy is basically a stranger and he already wants to watch Netflix and chill. I kept saying I was busy and couldn’t make plans. He said something like, “It’s okay if you’re scared to hang out with me.” This was a huge mistake on his part. First of all, I was not scared to hang out with him. I simply didn’t want to go to a stranger’s house and have him try to make a move on the first date. I also didn’t want to watch some stupid action movie that I wasn’t interested in at all.

Boys, take note. A few days after this happened, he asked me how much I weighed. I think it’s universally known not to ask a girl how much she weighs, but he was asking for a different reason. I said, “why do you want to know?” He says, “I want to know how many times I can curl you.” This guy literally thought I would find his own strength attractive. I come to school in ripped jeans, a burnt orange sweater, and Vans, and he thinks I want to know how many times he can curl me. I listen to alternative music and play video games in my spare time. I worked out one time and I almost fainted.

Basically, it was obvious Andrew was into himself. He didn’t try to read my personality and make plans with me based on what I might want to do. He just wanted me to come to his house and let him “curl” me.

All of these memories came back to life when I saw Andrew on campus today. I was walking with my friend Nadir when he walks by and says, “Hey Marnie!” I literally said hello and kept walking. He tried to ask me how my semester was going. I said it was fine and asked how his was, still walking away. I turned to look back at him and he was just standing there like he wanted to stop and talk. I just kept on walking. Nadir made fun of me to whole way to the cafe because of how awkward I was. But what was I supposed to do when this guy comes up to me and wants to curl me when I am extremely not into him? I decided that if I am not interested in talking to someone, I shouldn’t have to talk to him.

How I Overcame Insecurity and Started Living How I Wanted To

Something I struggled with a lot while growing up was my hair. For a long, long time, I had no idea how to manage it. I have very thick, dry hair that will frizz out terribly if I brush it. For years on end, I envied girls with straight hair that felt smoother than a baby’s bottom. I asked one girl in my class how she managed to get her hair so soft and she simply said, “I use conditioner.” This was very frustrating for me because I use conditioner too and my hair would never be that soft. Hair isn’t the only thing that ruined my self-esteem. I also felt very self-conscious about my skin, which was covered in acne for about six years.

Eventually, I decided to stop caring about what I look like and wear my hair how it is, frizzy or not. I fell in love with makeup a few years ago and developed a skill for applying it. I gave up on trying to look like everyone else which actually boosted my self-esteem tremendously. It all started with my best friend from fourth grade.

This girl I went to school with probably struggled a lot with insecurity. We weren’t very close in middle or high school, which is the most likely time she would have dealt with that. One day, on our way back from lunch, I was walking behind her and noticed for the first time that she never styled her hair. It was only slightly messy with some pieces straighter than others. I thought to myself, “Why do I never not style my hair?” That night, I washed my hair, let it air dry, and didn’t straighten in the next morning. It was weird not having my hair straightened but I felt very energized the next day since I didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to start getting ready for school. I went from straightening my hair every day to straightening it most days to straightening it once in a blue moon. As of today, I don’t think I’ve styled my hair in at least a month. All I do now is let it air dry and pull half of it up into a ponytail so I’m not constantly pushing it out of my face.

When it came to makeup, I struggled way more than I ever did with my hair. The more makeup I wore, the more people commented on my looks without it. Throughout my entire high school career, I only didn’t wear makeup twice. That’s four whole school years of wearing an entire face of makeup. The process of applying it was extremely tiring, but if I didn’t wear it I felt so ugly. People would say stuff like, “Are you okay?” “You look tired,” “Are you sick?” If you wear makeup regularly, you know what I’m talking about. Even adults who have obviously been teenagers and know the struggle would make comments. It was really difficult to hold my tongue because all I wanted to say was, “I do not wake up with makeup already on my face. I have to wake up at 5:30 AM to apply that shit. I am not tired. Leave me alone.”

This past summer, I got a new job and graduated high school. I took this opportunity to stop wearing makeup as often. I had worn tons of makeup to work when I first started, and as I decided to stop, people made comments. Eventually, they stopped too. Everyone else adjusted to what I looked like, and they’ll do that for anybody. I went from taking two hours to get ready to twenty minutes tops and I couldn’t be happier.

All of this comes back to not comparing yourself to others. I styled my hair every day because that’s what other girls did and I didn’t want to be the only one not doing it. The same goes for makeup. Some girls never wore any makeup, but they looked great because they looked the same every day. Once I was able to come to terms with the fact that I need to present myself how I want without taking into consideration other people’s opinions, my life got so much easier. I never compare myself to anyone else anymore because I stopped caring. I focused my attention on writing, traveling, and work.

A lot of this is just part of growing up, but I don’t think I could have made this change without that friend from fourth grade. She was the one who started this path without even doing anything. If you happen to be a young girl struggling with your appearance, do what you want. Go from wearing no makeup to being a cake-face every day. Who cares? It’s your face! You can do with it whatever you want. Anyone that judges you needs to reevaluate their life.

What To Do When You Find Yourself Friendless

Recently I found myself absolutely friendless. I looked around me and evaluated every relationship I have with everyone and came to the conclusion that I no longer have any true friends. You may be thinking I am an old woman who left friendship behind for a family and a 9 to 5 job, but my situation is the complete opposite. I am 19 years old and am a full-time college student with a part-time job. Most people who relate to me in these three categories would spend their free time at a party or with friends doing whatever it is social people do.

If you are like me and find yourself friendless at a young age, you’ll know what that moment of truth feels like. The second I came to terms with my friendlessness, it was like the earth quaked and a boulder twice the size of me rose out of the ground blocking my path. When I think about my current friendlessness, that boulder is still there, staring me down. I have never been one for a staring contest, so I’ve decided to create my own path around this towering issue.

I am a very antisocial person and I always have been. When I was in first grade, my teacher wrote a note to my parents saying I needed to be more sociable. You know you’re doing something wrong when you actually get in trouble for not wanting to talk to people. What can I say? People were scary back then and they’re scary now. My mom still tells me frequently that I should make more friends and stop living this “all work no play” lifestyle. What she doesn’t know is that this is how I cope with being unable to find friends.

During my senior year of high school, I worked two jobs and took some college classes at my local campus. It pains me how easy it is to type that sentence because my life felt like I was running on a treadmill at maximum speed even when I was sleeping. I worked so much I had dreams about it. But by working hard, I was able to make up for not having a social life. I didn’t have time to make plans with people except every once in a blue moon when I had the whole day off. Because I worked so much, I didn’t even want to get out of bed on my days off.

You may be thinking this is impossible for you to do for all kinds of reasons, which is why I have a backup plan. I don’t work two jobs anymore and I’m not in high school so I have a lot more free time. Once I started getting that free time, the boulder came back and towered even higher than before. I spent days on end trying to occupy myself by playing video games and watching reruns of my favorite shows. By now, I’ve logged 200 hours in Skyrim and seen every season of Supernatural at least 3 times. Then, one day, I had my eye-opening moment.

Everyone has a dream. You may want to be a doctor or an artist or a traveler. I have always wanted to be a writer that travels the world. I decided I wasn’t going to log another several hundred hours in Skyrim but instead use that time to achieve the dream I always had. When I was young, I wrote tons of poetry. With my new free time, I wrote newer and better poems and edited the old ones to be just as good. I also started working on short stories, both fiction and nonfiction, and I even created this blog. I want to start freelance writing soon and I have already begun researching websites that specialize in finding jobs for freelancers. Once this becomes my main source of income, I plan to start traveling and find opportunities in new cities.

All of this started with Google. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, hating everyone that had friends, I did research on being a writer and how to make money doing it. I read countless articles and even went to the library recently to get some books on how to write. I picked up “How To Write Articles That Sell,” a book by L. Perry Wilbur and Jon Samsel that is very detailed and extremely helpful. In just a few months of being friendless and bored, I have learned more about writing and traveling than I ever would have learned from school or friends.

My point is this: find something you love and stick to it. I can’t express how many times people told me I wouldn’t make money writing or that it is unrealistic. I kept saying that if it was that hard then I would just work harder. I didn’t care what anybody said about my passions because they made me happy and reduced my need for friendship. Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me.

Please keep in mind that if by not having a social life you are extremely unhappy or unable to move on, you should not be listening to me. If you have nothing else to lose, give your passions a go. Since I decided to pursue my dreams, I have made a few friends that share some interests with me. My tip for making friends quickly is to just casually insert yourself into their conversation. I made my first friend in college by eavesdropping on her conversation with another girl in our class and voicing my opinion on what they were talking about. This only works if the conversation is happening right next to you and if you talk to them casually. Don’t make it seem like you’re trying to talk to them. Act like you just happened to hear them and wanted to throw your two cents in. This may not work every time and some people might look at you funny, but if they do, they aren’t the kind of people you should be friends with. People generally adapt to their surroundings and if you start talking to them, they’ll talk to you instinctively. If that doesn’t work for you, you should start giving your passions some thought.

Hummingbird Morning

Eight o’clock,

I believe my biggest

Fear to be this:

Never getting to

Live out my dreams-

See the hummingbird 

On the feeder? He does not

Care about his fate as

The next bird does-

He won’t drink from the feeder-

Frightened that I might harm him,

Say, what if he passed away,

And never drinks?

That bird’s baby birds will hear

How he never tasted the liquid

From the bright flower

On this cool morning.

The Artist Up Above

This leaf

No kind of pine could ever

perform the somersaults

this leaf can as it sticks it’s landing

in the half brown grass.

 

Somebody, somewhere,

swirled His paintbrush

in the warm tones on His palette

and held it to the Earth,

dropping the paint on the summer leaf.

This little piece of a delicate scene

became adored by people who build skyscrapers,

operate cars, and throw waste to the Earth’s core.

Yet every year, that same Somebody

keeps on dipping His brush to the palette

and creating the leaf that stands out among the others.

1901

Louise could hear the murmurs through her bedroom door. It did not faze her. She continued to play with the dolls in her dollhouse. Her dollhouse was a three story with a spiral staircase, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, and a play room. Lace curtains hung on the windows and miniature works of art were framed beside them. Most of the wallpaper was made of gold and all the furniture hand carved. A doll with blonde hair tied in a low pony tail and green eyes that wore a pink blouse with a high collar and a long white skirt was clenched tight in Louise’s hand as she walked up the staircase.

Often times, Louise grew bored of her dollhouse and left her room to investigate her home. She left her doll sitting in a comfy blue chair in the living room of it’s house and stood up to approach the door. As she turned the knob and pushed it open, the murmuring stopped. In front of her door was the hallway. It stretched in two directions: one straight ahead and one to the left. Both hallways had chandeliers hanging on the center that were lit, but not much light seemed to come from them. Tapestries decorated the walls, gorgeous imported runner rugs lined both halls. Portraits of people that looked similar to Louise hung beside the tapestries in carved frames. Louise usually explored the hallway straight ahead, but this time, she decided to learn what was behind the door at the end of the hallway on the left.

Louise stepped out of her room and shut the door behind her as something might assume it had permission to enter her bedroom and touch her toys. She straightened her long white dress and started down the left hall, peering into each room she passed. Most were empty, nothing but black could be seen behind half open doors. A few held dim light and a piece of furniture or a toy in the center. Louise never entered the black rooms, fearing what might really be in there. She once entered a dimly lit room and found that there was nothing but the item. If she picked it up, nothing happened. If she tried to create shadow puppets in the light, nothing happened. Not even a sound could be made if she stomped her black flats with the white bows against the floorboards. Nothing seemed to be able to exist in a room like this.

A bright light could be seen from under the door of the room at the end of the hall. Cautiously, Louise walked up to the door and got down on her knees to peek underneath. None of the doors in the house were shut except for this one. All she could see were different colors, yellow and pink and white, all blending together and moving throughout the air. Louise stood up and quickly opened the door, shutting it behind her. She could see more colors now. Blue and red and green were all twirling around the other colors, flying above her head. Louise laughed and chased the colors as they chased her back.

She soon noticed another door on the other side of the room. It was not attached to a wall, as there were no walls or even a ceiling in this room. Louise approached it, walking around the entire door that could somehow stand on it’s own. She was not sure if it had been there before, but when she turned in the direction she came from, the first door was gone. Maybe she was turned around, she thought, but this could not be as the door she came in from was a white door and this new door was a light pink door. As the colors continued to dance in streams above her head, Louise opened the new door and stepped inside.

The walls had carved images of birds and flowers along the edges and were painted a light shade of pink. Her dollhouse sat at the foot of her bed which had two wooden end tables on either side. A small cup of tea that Louise had forgot to finish drinking sat on one table. Her white sheets with pink flowers were still in a mess from the night before. She straightened her sheets and sat down on the floor to play with her dollhouse. She could hear the murmurs from the other side of her door. It did not faze her.

Poetic Things

Who decided that the image of drinking coffee and reading a book was so poetic? It’s certainly not my idea of being poetic or even artistic in the slightest. It is overrated at this point. Do you know what happens when you drink coffee every day and one day you do not? You suffer from what is known as a caffeine crash. Your brain feels like it may tear through your skull at any given moment. It feels impossible to even move your first foot out of bed. What’s so poetic about that? And what of the book? You might take a picture of your coffee and the book beside it is probably a classic like Hamlet or something. As soon as you finish editing the photo and posting it to Instagram, you put your phone down, and then what? You’re switching Hamlet for the Cosmopolitan newsletter on Snapchat. Maybe you leave the book out and pretend to read it, either way you’re not getting anything done.

Tell me, don’t you think there’s something poetic about the photographs of a calendar? Every photo is so different yet in the end the come together to represent the same thing. What about routine? People across the world wake up every day. eat breakfast, drink coffee in a non-poetic way, go to work, and do the same exact things they did the last time they were there. They wash their face and brush their teeth the same way they did last night. They kiss their spouse goodnight or clutch their favorite stuffed animal until they fall into deep sleep.

Have you ever looked into a still room? Be it old or new. The whole scene is so quiet. It absorbs absolutely nothing and gives off absolutely nothing. A crooked piece of furniture here, a dusty book there. How about a moving room? Nobody has to be inside. The lightbulbs scream with electricity on their own. The air conditioning blows the curtains back and forth. Music pours softly from a small radio. Bed unmade, clothes strewn across the floor. Tell me, what could possibly exist in these situations that is not poetic? From the overflowing hamper to the stain on the carpet, every single detain screams a word or a sentence or an entire collection of poetry. Why is it that the world is full of things so poetic it could bring tears to an author’s eyes, yet everyone just wants to write about how damn poetic a book and coffee is?