My Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

April 3, 2018
By Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
324 articles 10 photos 1165 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To these the past hath its phantoms,
More real than solid earth;
And to these death does not mean decay,
But only another birth"
- Isabella Banks

I have never truly held my accomplishments in my eyes with pride and understanding. It is extremely hard for me to comprehend the largeness of what I have completed, and what I have earned. Sure, I am thankful for the opportunity to succeed. But I don’t think much of it when I do. It’s almost as if I feel like I am entitled to it. I know I’m not, and that my hard work is what brought me here. But it’s hard for me to see it that way.

Bronwyn Celeste
I wrote a book called The Girl With Ivy Arms. In it, I crafted a character in my own image, and her name is Bronwyn Celeste. She experiences many trials on her journey to becoming a regal empress of the night, including trauma as a human being. She is a vampire, a loving friend, and a susceptible woman of extreme inner beauty. Bronwyn experiences her own fair share of death, trials, and possession of the soul. Her conflicting sides often mimic my own, and her experiences are based on what I myself have gone through.  

I collect rocks. Crystals more specifically, but rocks nonetheless. As a child, I assumed I would have an extensive array of beautiful stones in my hands one day. And I may have fulfilled that dream, however partially. I have found happiness in a  very small number of crystals. Certain ones that call to me, and bring me to life. Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz, and Quartz to be exact in my favourites.

The flowing, ebony lines that protrude from the lightest shades of parchment are what captivate my soul. I enjoy diction, yes. I adore the intense emotional pull it has over me. From Frost to Hemingway, Auden to Poe; I have been found among the company of old and calligraphic friends.

Edgar Allan Poe
He has become a dear friend of mine. Poe, a charmer and a beast-unleasher. A man who believed in horrible sanity and beloved madness. I relate to his experiences and consequent stories. Death and creation afterwards; a story needing to be told in poetry and prose. We get along just fine, awkward though we are, strange though we seem.

I am flecked with imperfections that I hold near and dear. Flecked with the scratches the world has grazed across my uneven surface, and flecked with beautiful reminders that I have gone through so much and survived it all.

I aim to succeed like Gatsby, sometimes falling into the same traps he did. Searching for happiness among material items, or striving for love from those who couldn’t love me as much as I love them. I often seek the approval of others, like Gatsby did with Daisy, which will ultimately lead to an untimely death of my dreams. However, I have one thing that Gatsby didn’t have: knowledge of my faults. And that will make all the difference, I think.

I use handkerchiefs to hide behind when I feel so overcome with emotion that even the soft glint of moonlight makes a tear bloom among my smiles. Handkerchiefs are not just for crying, no, they are a disguise for the intense feelings we come to abhor. Although they are beautiful, I hate handkerchiefs, because they have taught me to disturb the communication between one face and another. They are simultaneously my favourite friend and worst enemy. I collect them, but never get them out of their box.

In seventh grade, I thought I was the cleverest, smartest, and wittiest kid out there. I often called my bullies ‘unidiosyncratic dorks’ because that was the biggest word I knew, and I had this gut feeling that it would make them stop messing with me. Obviously, it didn’t, it just made them feel insecure about their vocabularies, which made them act out towards me even more. But hey, I got them good.

When I was young, I was the biggest klutz I knew. My friends and I joked around about a possible jinx, curse, or hex placed on me. It wasn’t until I was in 10th grade that the breaking of bones stopped, and by that time, I had forgotten all about the jinx. But I look back now and wonder if it really could have been a jinx…

Drinking tea is my method of self-soothing and my favourite hobby. I have a beautiful collection of tea, though it has shrunk over the years as I have drank it into submission. Like a dragon, I have my hoard, and a little kettle of tea always sitting out somewhere. My favourite flavour would be Harney and Sons’ Paris Tea.

The smell of lavender takes me to a lot of things. My past, the present moment. It dissociates me. It grounds me. It reminds me of my memory of bringing some inside, and finding a carpenter bee bundled with it (I never did see that bee again after I ran from it). I remember having it across the street in the center of my court. I would run across the street with a pair of scissors, and snip a few pieces off, lovingly sprinkling a bit of water over it in return. It reminds me of rosequartz, a soft pink stone, and the lilac I found myself adding to it inside of a sachet. Lavender is my favourite herb. I just wish I had access to it again. 

Mental Illness
I have struggled with a lot of things, but mental illness is not one of them. No, it has always come easily to me. The darkness had a hold on me that not even a fire could illuminate. I would light tea lights, but they were snuffed out, smoke streaming from the charred wick. I am an advocate for the young and restless, searching for purpose in a world devoid of meaning.  

I love to care for and nurture things. Dolls, animals, little people who run around with toys in their mouths. I like being needed, crave being wanted. And I really like the idea of unconditional love, freely given.  

My written works are my children. I coddle them, I refuse to let anyone else touch them, and I look upon my finished pieces like a mother looks at her beautiful baby. I’m a proud parent. The awards my offspring have received make me beam. Yes, I did that. I created that. And it took a lot of rearing.

Prairie Doll
Prairie dolls are made of strips of fabric from the bottom of ragged skirts. People on the prairie lands, crossing from one side of the nation to another, often had to make do with what they had. They would rip off the dirty, ruined pieces of their dresses, and create toys for their children. I have a prairie doll from a farm I once visited. I tell it my worries, and gain the strength of prairie women every time I look at it. Sure, it’s a modern doll. But it holds just as much historic value as an authentic covered wagon, because it is my symbol of hope.

I am the queen of my story, the empress of my life. The world does not revolve around me, but my own little solar system sure does. I command my energy to flow through the things I love most, including helping others and giving generously to those who are tired and alone. I am the queen of my story, and I will be remembered.

We all have roots, whether we know where they are or not. I am from private schools with cemeteries so close that they made me feel comfortable in the company corpses. I am a part of my great grandmother’s southern history, and the castle the Lowthers once lived in. I am the fruit of my roots, and one day, I will fade into the ground and give rise to another generation of powerful trees.

I have a total of seven siblings, some deviant, some as sweet as honey in a jar. I love each and every one of them, and can’t wait to see how they develop into beautiful adults. Sometimes they are trying, but most of the time they are loving. I just thought I would mention them here, because they are a huge part of my life.

Teen Ink
I have been published with Teen Ink 6 times, and love the magazine. It gives teens the exclusive opportunity to be published, whether online or in print. I adore the wonderful feedback and community the site has, and the expansive range of topics one can find there. My only tiff with the magazine is how political it is becoming. Sure, opinions of teens matter. But this is a literary magazine, not a newspaper. Still, I do love reading fresh articles and beautiful poetry. Even the occasional story grabs my attention. Overall, it is a great site.

People like to think we are all equal. But we’re not. Each and every one of us has a different number of skills, a different level of expertise in each profession we have chosen. Even the way we act can measure us up. But the truth is, no one is ever going to be better than anyone else. We’re unequal in many ways. But we are not a number. We cannot be defined, therefore, cannot be seen as equal. The world is a diverse place, and so are we. 

The court at Versaille, the place where Marie Antoinette graced, has long been an object of beauty in my eyes. Antionette may have been beheaded, but the memory of her extravagance remains. Rouge, Beauty marks, powder; dresses with the widest berth ever seen; impractical wigs; this is what enthralls me.

I have a few blogs, and wordpress is my platform. I love sharing my ideas, my story, and honestly, I love to be an inspiration. Even if my affect is minimal, it brightens my day to think that someone somewhere is reading my blog and getting some ideas for their own unique life. 

Xenia is the ancient Hellenic (Greek) practice of being hospitable to guests and being a good guest yourself. It is a reciprocal relationship between visitor and host, and is based on the notion that gods and goddesses could disguise themselves as travelers, strangers, or even friends. If you are kind to one another, you could be being kind to something divine.

The practice of breathing, stretching, and taking in the surroundings is an incredible piece of my life. I love the meditative aspects of yoga, and the end result of patience and perseverance. I have been taught how to wait, how to calm down, and how to react through yoga. I have even been told what it means to push yourself too far, and have to restart. Yoga is a life lesson, and one most of us can benefit from. 

The zerowaste lifestyle is one of consciousness and mindfulness. To truly be zerowaste, you have to make a consistent effort to take the road less travelled, and to not use products that can only be disposed of. I really want to become a zerowaster. There are tons of beginner’s guides out there, and my journey is just beginning. Remember what I said about us all being unequal? Well, it looks like my experience bar is low, and I can’t wait to learn from the best on how I can fill it up.

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