monarchs + life, i guess (3)

i haven’t posted in over a month and a bunch of stuff has happened since then. so today i’m going to be ranting about my life!

also, i have some pictures of monarch butterflies and mexican sunflowers to share. :)

– this is my first year going to public school, and it’s been really stressful so far. i’ve already missed a lot of school because some days i’ll wake up and just be way too overwhelmed to go to class. i think the hardest part is being around people for so long, especially since up until last week, i was staying at school until around 6:30 everyday because of marching band. but the season’s over now so i’ll have free time again.

but, uh, if anyone has tips for dealing with public school, they would be greatly appreciated.

– it’s only the third month of school and i know of seven or eight people who like/liked me. one asked me to homecoming in august, and two (maybe three) others were planning on doing the same, but didn’t once i said i was going with my best friend kelsie. two are 8th graders in the band who will probably lose feelings for me now that we won’t see each other very often, one is my best friend at school, and the other is a girl who’s friends with my brother. i’m flattered that people like me so much, but it’s kind of a lot to deal with. and i feel really bad about myself because i know i’ve hurt some of them and might screw up our friendships. romance is so messy and i’m not any good at it.

 

– marching band was the only thing i liked about school, and our final competition was last saturday. the season started off pretty well and then gradually went downhill. the most disappointing part was when we got second place percussion in our class, and then found out that the announcer had made a mistake and we’d actually gotten fourth. (to put it in perspective, there were five bands in our class and one of them didn’t show up.)

i only have classes with one of my band friends, and i’m going to miss everyone a lot. we still have a banquet, a few playoff games, and pep band before the season is completely over, but it’s not the same as practicing outside in the rain before the sun’s risen, spending all day with my friends, and then sleeping in a pile on the bus on the way back home. i can’t wait until next year when i get to join drumline. :)

– musical auditions happened recently. my school’s doing les misérables this year. i sang left behind from spring awakening, and i was so insanely nervous. my brother told me that my face was twitching. everyone said that if you audition for a supporting role and don’t get it, then you’re automatically placed in ensemble, which is what i wanted anyway. but i guess they did something different this time and only a dozen people got ensemble, and i’m not one of them. but my friend who only auditioned because of me got in. i’m totally not mad though. :)

idk, no one is very happy with the cast list, not even the people who got good roles. the only person who’s really ok with it is my brother, who got cast as the innkeeper. i’m honestly really disappointed because the musical was one of the reasons i decided to go to public school, and now i don’t get to be in it. i’ll probably help backstage but it’s really not the same.

– my friend n told me years ago that he was going to write a song for me, and he finally did. i listened to it during lunch yesterday and i just sat there and cried. it’s called i guess i lied and it’s my favorite song right now. it’s about me and our history together and it kind of means the world to me. he’s so talented and i’m really proud of him. :’)

this was a messy post but i really needed to rant. life is too much to handle sometimes.

i’m thinking of posting more poetry soon, if you guys are cool with that. i was very caffeinated last night and ended up staying awake until 3:30. during that time, i cleaned my whole room, did two projects for school, and wrote a couple of poems that i’m actually rather proud of. so just a heads up that you’ll be seeing more poetry soon even though the last post i made was about my poetry, too.

have a good day, everyone. i’m so glad that autumn is here.

xo apollo

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my summer in photos

let’s pretend this isn’t how it ends. walk through the garden of your heart’s plans. august love, you won’t remember it, but i can. (august love // grayscale)

(inspired by clara)

school started for me about two weeks ago, so summer is pretty much gone. but this summer felt like i was living out the plot of a ya-novel. i can confidently say that it was the best summer of my life, and maybe just the best time of my life in general. i think i’ll miss this summer until i die.

summer started with my best friend and i driving to the state border to frolic by a lake all afternoon. our sweaty hair was still tied back in ponytails from that morning’s soccer game. we picked bouquets of wildflowers, followed animal tracks through the sun-hardened mud, and fished (without any luck).

i accidentally locked our keys in the truck. we were miles and miles away from home and we didn’t have any cell service. we had to yank down the window an inch and use a fishing pole to pull the keys out.

my best friends and i were all reunited for one perfect day in late may. we met up at our co-op’s end of the year picnic and then relocated to bethany‘s enormous farmhouse. it was so hot that we couldn’t do anything more than lie around on the trampoline in their dusty barn and nibble on strawberry popsicles.

we caught up on how our lives had been going since the last time we’d been together. romance, summer plans, dreams, drama — everything confusing seems to fall into place once you share it with the people who know you best.

a round of popcorn gets intense.
hey there delilah

singing old love songs when your lips are stained bright red from the strawberries leaves me dying for a kiss.

it started to cool down in the evening, so we decided to go on an adventure. this “adventure” consisted of splashing around in a muddy stream until kelsie screamed that there was a snake in the water with us (there wasn’t).

we split up awhile later, three of us going to a lawn party while bethany went out to see another friend.

it’s easy to pretend that everything is simple when it’s twilight and you’re tumbling down a blow-up slide in your socks. this is what it’s like to be a kid again. this is what it’s like to be joyful.

we sprinted into a barn when it started to rain. beneath the fairy lights strung across the rafters were tables of food and desserts. i think i cried when there wasn’t any cheesecake.

and then there’s the old power dam. i biked there a few times to wade in the river and look at the graffiti. i don’t think i’ve ever found a place that’s more me. i love how it’s hidden but has lots to say, overgrown and vibrant. it seems almost romantic to me.

DSC_1433

ironic

the greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing the world he didn’t exist
i hope marty’s ok

one day someone will love me back, and i’ll take them here so they can see who i really am.

dear cheerful,
a poem

sweltering august days often lead to flushed faces
but summer isn’t the only reason for the heat in my cheeks
the staccato rhythm of the drumline across the parking lot
matches the pounding of my heart when i see you
the sweat glittering on your brow shines like tiny gemstones in the golden afternoon sun
it lights up your hair like a halo
sometimes, you are so beautiful it makes my chest ache

| summer 2018 playlist |

peach (lobotomy) // waterparks
take her to the moon // waterparks
stupid for you // waterparks
rollercoaster // bleachers
young volcanoes // fall out boy
never fall in love // MØ
time-bomb // all time low
rock to my roll // anarbor
still be around // a summer high
shut up and dance // WALK THE MOON
on top of the world // imagine dragons
favorite record // fall out boy
crush // tessa violet
wild heart // bleachers
riptide // vance joy


of course, there’s also all the time i spent at camp, and that’s what really made this summer so overwhelmingly wonderful. i’m working on a post right now about the highlights of my weeks there, and hopefully i’ll be able to get that up soon. :)

xo apollo

sunrise hike

when i was at the lodge, i joined a small party that was going on a sunrise hike. we got up at 5:30 and trudged straight up the mountain through the snow. it was so eerily quiet. there was no birdsong, no laughter, no music; just heavy breathing and snow crunching under rhythmic footfalls.

it was a ridiculously hard climb, and all the snow didn’t help at all. the leaders said it was about a 45 minute hike, but it felt a lot longer. being in nature so early seems to make time stretch. but the worst part was that when i thought i had reached the top, another peak appeared, even steeper than the ones before.

the top of the mountain was absolutely freezing, and windy. we had to huddle to stay warm (and keep each other from getting blown off the peak).

look at that insane child in the shorts. (he’s homeschooled, so that might explain some of it.) i was incredibly cold, and i was wearing long sleeves and a jacket, so i can’t imagine how it must have been for him. i mean, my hair was damp from a shower the night before, but still.

i know i’ve just been complaining this whole time, but it was so, so worth it. standing on the top of a mountain while the sun flooded the hills and sky with light was such a wonderful experience. it’s pretty impossible to describe, but it made me feel awestruck, like i was in a painting or poem, like i was shaking from the sheer beauty of it, not the cold.

 

after the hike, one girl started talking about how it made her realize just how big and wonderful the world is. and as amazing as it is, God loves us even more. there are gorgeous sights like the grand canyon, carefree beaches, colorful cities, misty forests filled with quiet life, and we are more lovely than any of it.

most of us headed back to the lodge before the sunrise finished, but i got glimpses of the pink and orange through the trees. i would love to do it again, hopefully when it’s not quite so cold. :)


2/19/18

love, the sky was glorious, painted by the old artists with a starry brush. when the mountains and trees are stretched out below you like a patchwork blanket, you realize how tiny you are in the grand scheme of things. i told myself i was just a stitch in the quilt of the universe. but i must have done something right, to be on top of the world with the sunrise staining the snow pink.

from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. -psalm 113:3

xo apollo

youth retreat travel diary

a group shot ft. callie the dog’s butt.

you know how much i like travel diaries. they’re a fun way for me to record my adventures. this particular one is about spending a weekend in the mountains on a youth retreat. :)

also, i’m aware that the pictures suck. i was cold and in a hurry, and this is all i have.


« day one »

my mum took me to the meeting point, the church’s office. i chilled there for a bit before the leaders made us load up our bags and get settled in the buses. they managed to fit all the girls in this giant white vehicle and we played name games and telephone on the ninety minute ride.

i love the drive up to the lodge. the serpentine roads are bordered with pine trees, the sheer drop-offs make you dizzy, and once you’re out of the forest, there is so much sky. last year, the sunset stained the whole world; this time, it was just cloudy, but still gorgeous.

the girls stayed in the “doughnut room” — a circular space with a closet in the middle, with bunk beds lining the walls. once we’d all unpacked, we sat in the dining hall and decided what animal everyone would be. i was told that i would be a doe, graceful and light. i don’t think i have great self-awareness, so it was really interesting to see how others perceive me.

we played spoons after that. i happen to be an expert at that game, and i was the first to get a spoon about 4/5 times. i’ve even played full contact spoons, which is excellent and violent.

the lodge director preaches after every meal. the room he talks in has this domed window on the ceiling, and i think i spend more time staring up at the sky than listening.

anyway, on friday night, the director spoke about spiritual highs and lows. when you’re at the lodge, surrounded by other christians, it’s easy to feel on fire for the Lord. but when you’re home and back in your routine, the only way to stay close to God is by reading the bible everyday.

they leave that room open every night for prayer. i stayed there for awhile to write in my journal, and the youth leader who invited me on the retreat prayed with me. we talked about the school shooting and my family and maybe some other things, but i was tired and i love her voice, so whatever she said just kind of floated through my head like soft music.

« day two »

i got up super early on saturday morning. it was still dark. but the world was beginning to wake up, so i did, too.

i won a game that day. it wasn’t very fun, but hey, i got prizes: a giant hershey’s cookies ‘n’ cream bar, a freaking enormous tube of sweetarts (like, as long as my leg), and a basketball net that you wear on your head. i gave the net to this annoying kid who sang the sound of silence // disturbed nonstop last year.

after the morning service, they made us have time alone with God. i read my bible by the creek. i’ve been going through psalms, but i lost my bookmark, so i decided to read 1 corinthians instead.

then we were all forced outside into the damp, freezing wilderness to play ultimate dodgeball. it can be fun, but the game just goes on and on forever.

a group of us went inside early and played wild uno in the dining hall by the fire. wild uno is just like normal uno, but if you have a card that’s identical to the one in the center, you can play when it’s not your turn. it’s really fun and intense.

i made a friend while playing cards, i guess: one of the youth leaders, a guy named johnny. he’s twenty-something and doesn’t know how to shuffle. we teased each other during the game, and it was probably the most fun i had all weekend.

it started snowing while we played, giant fluffy flakes. snow in the mountains is so quiet and peaceful. i wish i could live in the feeling of watching the snowflakes dance down from the sky.

there was a competition that day to see which team could build the best structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks (slightly better than last year, which used chewed bubblegum instead of marshmallows). i knew my team was going to lose as soon as one of the members started talking about donald trump.

so i was forced to shape innocent marshmallows into a wall, a giant stick figure of the president, and the words “make america great again.” i hated every second of it, and we got dead last, as i had predicted.

i think i might have wandered around outside with my camera after that, but i can’t be sure. time kind of blends together up there. the lodge director talked to me for a bit, and he remembered my name, which is pretty dang impressive. see, i’d only met him once before, and that was an entire year ago.

sometime in the evening, we played silent football, aka my least favorite game in the world. there are so many ridiculous rules, and breaking any of them will get you disqualified. these rules included no laughing, smiling, covering your mouth/face, pointing, saying someone’s name, etc. i made it pretty far before i was kicked out (for gesturing), but i was actually super relieved when i was. it felt like i’d been sitting there for hours and i was glad to be moving again.

there’s one place in the lodge that should really have stairs, but has ramps instead. unless you’re wearing shoes and taking huge steps, it’s kind of impossible to climb. anyway, these ramps are perfect for sliding down on in your socks. so some of us took advantage of this and did tricks while sliding down, like spinning, doing splits, dabbing, and going down on your stomach like a penguin. it was fun, but also kind of painful.

one of the staffers got a chance to preach that night. he talked about zechariah 9:1-13, and how God is basically our dad, and he won’t let people pick on his kids.

some of the girls chilled in the dorm after that. we talked about suffocation, abusive siblings, who has the best calves, clinical waterboarding — you know, normal girl things.

they organized a game of murder in the dark later. i used to play it all the time with my brother’s friends, but it was much different playing with so many people. i got killed in probably the third round, which is honestly better than i expected?? anyway, i was killed at the bottom of the stairs, so i had to lay there while people stepped over me. one guy tripped on my legs and we both got hurt, so that was fun.

there are these nooks above the stairs that are only accessible by climbing up on the railing. i suggested that johnny hide in one and grab people’s heads as they walked under him. there were more screams that round. >:)

« day three »

on saturday night, someone started recruiting people for a sunrise hike the next morning. for some reason, my dumb self thought that sounded great! so i was woken up at 5:30 on sunday and shoved out into the disgustingly cold world with damp hair.

i’ll talk about the sunrise hike more in a different post. just know that in the end, i was really glad i did it. :)

they scheduled another “time alone with God” session after breakfast. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep in the hallway with my bible in my lap. hopefully it looked like i was deep in prayer, but who knows. i would have slept all the way through the midday service if a girl (she’s an aesthetic q u e e n) hadn’t woken me up.

instead of preaching, the lodge director asked what we had learned that weekend. people said things like, “i should read my bible more,” “i shouldn’t be ashamed to stand up for Jesus,” “God wants to know me; all that’s standing in the way is me.”

i didn’t say it, but i think i learned a lot about family. youth leaders, even ones who know nothing more than my name, have been some of the most helpful and caring people in my life. they’ve calmed me down after anxiety attacks, made sure i ate, driven to my house at midnight when i was super freaked out and needed someone to talk to. and maybe i’ve felt more at home with kind christians with soft voices than i’ve ever felt with my own kin.

everyone got packed back into the buses afterward. i got a seat all the way in the back, and it felt like i was on a roller coaster, but that’s cool with me.

one of the youth leaders sat with me, and she flat out asked for my life story. i can’t keep eye contact when i’m talking about myself, so i was basically having a conversation with the window instead of her.

the whole thing left me absolutely exhausted. i’ve been home for over a week and it still feels like i haven’t gotten my energy back. i’ve just been sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.

last year, i went on the retreat with my friend n. he wasn’t there this time, and it was kind of boring without him. i didn’t have anyone to talk to. i’m still glad i went, though; i think i learned more about being a christian, and it was definitely better than being at home all weekend.

i am not my own, for i have been made new. please don’t let me go, i desperately need you. (meteor shower // owl city)

xo apollo

help name my plants

hey, pals.

i currently have six plants, which i guess makes me a plant mom. but only one of them has a name, which makes me a very bad plant mom. because what kind of loving parent doesn’t name their children?

i’m very indecisive when it comes to naming things, which is probably why i refer to my leafy friends as “my plants” instead of making a decision. but today, i would like your help picking out names for them.

let’s meet my photosynthesizing babies.

plant #1

this is the first succulent i got. i bought another one at the same time, but it did not make it (r.i.p. in peace). sometimes the tips turn purple.

the rim was originally white, and yes, it looks really gross right now. i know i should repaint it, but how am i supposed to do that while constantly having an existential crisis??

plant #2

this one blooms with a big, spiky orange flower, and it actually already has a name, but i’m including it so it doesn’t feel left out. this is barakat, named after jack barakat from all time low.

plant #3 

my dad surprised me with this guy one day. the pot looks like an egg and it’s fun to rub.

plants #4 and #5

i’ll probably have to separate them eventually, but for now, these two are twins. the plant that died was the same kind as these, but hopefully they’ll have better luck. you can’t see it super well in this picture, but the one on the left has dark purple tips.

plant #6

i bought this lil succulent at the same time as #4 and #5, so i guess they’re technically triplets? anyway, this is the runt of the family. i forgot to water it for a few weeks, so it has some dead leaves around the bottom, and it might not last long. please keep it in your prayers.

it would be super helpful if you guys would give me some name suggestions in the comments. i’ll post an update once i decide what to call all of them. :)

xo apollo

truce

now the night is coming to an end
the sun will rise and we will try again

stay alive, stay alive for me
you will die, but now your life is free
take pride in what is sure to die

i will fear the night again
i hope i’m not my only friend

stay alive, stay alive for me
you will die, but now your life is free
take pride in what is sure to die

truce // twenty one pilots


truce (noun): an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing for a certain time.

to the universe,

let something wonderful happen and i will stop begging for good things every night. i will stop crying out to you that the garden on my lot has wilted. just send some sunlight to bring the flowers back to life.

to my love,

i will stay alive for you if you will stay alive with me.

(easier said than done, darling.)

i think both of our hourglasses are almost empty.

xo apollo