Sunday, August 28, 2011

epiphanies for a seventeen-year-old girl

I think blogging used to be easier when I didn't talk to anyone.
I'd have a lot to say, so I'd say it here. But now if I write what I was planning on writing, my friends will say "You said that already. Play a different record, will you?"

And now I'm left with a whole lot of mediocre post possibilities like "Here's Why I Thought My Awkwardness Was Cured, But It Wasn't" or "Listen To Me Talk About Myself" or "A Failed Attempt At Subliminal Messaging Through Texting". I think I'm going to opt out of all those possibilities. And be a bad blogger, as you are coming to expect from me.

What can I talk about?

Let me talk about how sometimes YA novels get it right. Sometimes they say: "This is how summer is and this is how best friends are and this is how your life is, Teenage Girl, and you can expect plot twists that might have been a tiny bit predictable" and usually you retort snidely, "Oh no, YA Novel, that is not how summer is and that is not how best friends are and that is not how my life is and I can't expect plot twists because I read way too much". And that's how things have been for seventeen years, and you're used to that. You think that's the way it is.

But the cliches of YA fiction must have become cliches somewhere, right? It isn't exactly a coincidence that they all sound the same.

And that's why when you're reading along and suddenly you get hit in the shins, or maybe the heart, by the realization that, "That is how
my summer is and that is how my best friends are and that is how my life is, and I can expect plot twists because otherwise I wouldn't sell".

And that is your summer: that glittery, sun-bleached thing that no one expected, those too-long/too-short days of pouring heat and finally-said words, you grew up and got young, you have so much to do and there's always more time until it's over, but the sun sets later at night so stay awake.

And those
are your best friends: and you go places with them and nickname them and call them on the phone 6 days in a row without feeling creepy and they like snowcones and cats, too.

And that
is your life: it's good and it's hard and you're neurotic and selfish. You don't know what you want but you know you've got something good. You're tired and tireless. You know what to say but not what to think. You walk in circles, but at least you've got company. You're happy and mad, all day long.

And those plot twists. They happened. And they'll happen when you least expect them. (Or when you expect them a tiny bit, but this is YA, and what can we say? We're cliches. We're a little bit predictable.)

And don't stop reading. It's getting to the good part.

Call me "Disaster Girl".
-Avery Jalaine

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

but you said so

I can't talk about high school because I make faces in the hallways. And I don't know what to do with my hands.

I can't talk about high school because of the fluorescent lighting. And those mirrors in the halls. And it's funny but it's sad that there isn't that new-carpet smell like last year. And I still get lost, three years later.

I can't talk about high school because I wore a black cardigan and it was about 100 degrees and I can't talk about high school when my shirt never stays tucked in.

I can't talk about high school because there's someone who isn't talking to me and someone who is and it's making me stressed out and Addy goes to American Fork. I can't talk about high school because I'm so hungry and just because I've met you once doesn't mean that I can form intelligent conversation with you.

I can't talk about high school because I'm too tired, so that's why I keep falling asleep everywhere and I can't talk about high school because my locker is in a new spot and that makes me anxious. I can't talk about high school because of the sophomores and stop asking me if I'm excited to graduate. I'm not.

I can't talk about high school because it isn't summer anymore. And something about it makes it seem like I just made up this whole long lie about summer and if I told you about it, you wouldn't believe me. Like it never happened at all.

That's not very likely.
-Avery Jalaine

Monday, August 22, 2011


Please, refer back. I feel the same way, but different. A year older, a couple more pairs of shoes in my closet. But I knew what I was talking about on August 24th, 2010.

Deep breaths.
-Avery Jalaine

Friday, August 19, 2011

stretch your legs

I hold my breath for change.

I said once that change -- no matter for good or worse -- was losing some part of me. It was letting something in or letting something go, and I've never been good at either of those things. I said that change was a ripping apart, that it was some sort of mutation of how your heart is now and how your heart was then.

But couldn't change be good once in a while?

Couldn't you throw your life into cold water when it was hissing hot and melting, and pull it out hard as stone and sparkly when the light hits it? Couldn't it be better than it was when you started?

Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it manifests itself as friends that will laugh at your jokes and sit with you at lunch at high school or as going away to California for a month or as fitting into some jeans or maybe even as a desperately cute blond boy who has nice arms and you can't figure out why he would even like you at all after all the dumb stuff you've said. Sometimes change comes easy and it's welcomed and you can forget for a little bit about the other bad changes like summer coming to a shocking, teeth-grinding end or Gilmore Girls reruns not coming on ABCFamily at 3:00 anymore.

It was change that brought medicine and science and your iPod, and change that brought your long legs and your cheekbones coming through your skin to make you pretty finally. Change brought cardigans back in style and change made it so you could go to Japan on the red eye flight. Change brought skyscrapers and the color mauve and mauve changed the world through science and fabric dyes. Change sliced bread and change knit your clothes on a big machine and change made it so you can't hunt endangered polar bears in the North Pole. Change drove you places and sang you to sleep and change read you a story or maybe you read it yourself but change made you understand the little inky symbols on the pages of a mass-produced New York Times' Bestseller that you wouldn't have understood if you hadn't changed since you were six-years-old. Change made you speak.

And so even though I'm a hypocrite, even though I hate change and fear it and try to walk by it quickly without even looking at it, sometimes change is good for you. And sometimes it makes you better, or even happier.
Change is you and me and you changed to read this post and I changed to write it and something about that was probably good for me.

"We're very cute and unconventional, I think." -Me.
"I like what we are." -Him.
-Avery Jalaine

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I don't know what I said that messed things up.

Did I? Mess things up?

-Avery Jalaine

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a post about posting

Dear Addy,

The birthday post that I tried to write for you yesterday ended up being a failure on my part, probably due to the fact that I made it a "how to be 16" how-to guide of the DOs and DON'Ts of being 16-years-old.

And these are the only three things that I came up with:

DO drive to the 24-hours Wal-Mart to buy Ben & Jerry's at 3 AM.

DO watch the (perfect, perfect) 1984 Molly Ringwald classic, "Sixteen Candles". It says "sixteen" right in the title, doesn't it?

DON'T kiss boys. They're dumb and can't spell.

I realized that the reason I couldn't write the post right was that, hey, I didn't really know how to be 16-years-old either.

Dear Everyone Else,

My blogging has been below par lately, so I'm trying to step it up. I working on something, but it's not a promise at this point. Even though I know promising something isn't the same as doing it either.

I'm sorry I'm so uninspired.

And my life has actually kept me from blogging lately, if you can believe that. Avery? A life? Well.

Happy Birthday.

Go charge your camera.
-Avery Jalaine

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

all the king's horses and all the king's men

I don't know how to post about this, because I can't say it. Can't write it, can't even think it.

But sometimes? Sometimes do you ever feel something disastrous coming because you know that your life has been really, really easy (even though you pretend it's hard; you're a teenager) and nothing awful has ever really happened to you except in ninth grade but you got over that?

So you walk around on eggshells, saying prayers to cover everything?

But maybe you didn't pray about it right (maybe you even actually jinxed it) because there it is: and you can't stop it because it's not yours to stop. You can't change it or get away from it or stretch it out or ignore it. It's there and if it happens it happens and if it doesn't happen it's still a possibility, on the tip of someone else's tongue. You feel small compared to the sudden hugeness of your big world; it swallows you up.

And the only thing you can do is pray to counteract someone else's prayers, which you might feel bad about if you didn't already feel so bad in the first place.

You can't even say it on your blog.
Can't even write it in your journal.

You can just cry for too long and yell at Alex Giles in the Del Taco parking lot and then act like "oh hey, nothing is wrong, haven't cried a bit" when you go to be with one of your new best friends and a pretty blond boy. You might forget for a couple hours, but that might be worse because then it hits you harder when you do remember.

You cry at home. You don't even turn on the TV.

Not even hot chocolate can fix this one, Avery. Not even this blog post or all the long words that you know. Not even your tears. Not even the excuses you use on yourself.

This one's too big for your small, hungry heart. You can't fall sleep so you don't even try to.

Heads she stays. Tails she goes.
-Avery Jalaine

Sunday, August 7, 2011

poetry spam: because I want to say something, but can't

Here. This is old, but it will do for tonight:

(by me)

We called in sick.

And Hell could barely contain us and Heaven certainly didn't want us.
And I was Time and you were Luck.
And I was Time and you were late.

Nostalgia keeps on calling me back.
It's the crumbs at the bottom of the box.
It's the sun in our eyes.
It's static keeping us awake late at night.
And it's as bittersweet as hang-nails, as the taste of sugar and dust.

And I was Time and you were Luck;
but oh, it was so hard to run the galaxy on an empty stomach.
And oh, it was so easy to let ourselves corrode.
Let yourself go.
And then our feathers fell out like sun-softened snow and we never flew again.

I think there was one time,
in a room full of people with nothing but skin in common,
And I think you said, "It was the best of times."
But piano keys kept falling from your mouth
and I thought it would be rude to stare.

What is truth and what does it look like?
Because it's hard to answer questions with a city in your mouth
and it's very hard to hear with your fingers in your ears.
You learned to bake a pie from scratch,
And I learned to like the way you breathed.

And I'm sorry that I'm so abrupt, corrupt, and starry-eyed,
but I'd be so much sorrier, if we weren't so much alike.
Because I was Time and you were Luck,
and sometimes the stars used to shine at noon.
But I never said that sunlight was any different than starlight.

You wanted to know what God looked like,
and are you happy now?
Because I know that we fight about the color of the sky,
but I swear on my life, it has always been gold.

Self-righteous, self-indulgent
Self-reliant, self-obsessed.
You watched black and white TV
because the colors made you sick.
Refundable, repentant
Redundant, resigned.
And you never let them bring us down,
Because I was Time and you were Luck.

The trouble with silence is that your heart has to stop,
And never say never (but what if I whisper?)
You and I were hungry, but we were willing to starve,
we were willing to heal
when the universe was young,
when I was Time and you were Luck,
and the space between us was very small.

There is dust on the piano now.

And that's all that I have for you now. There's something else and it's on the tip of my tongue, but it's like it's the wrong word. I need a thesaurus. I need another month of summer.

And I could talk about tonight, but that would mostly just end up being a love letter to Kaitlyn Lindley and something about hands in pockets. So I'm not going to talk about that.

I'm just going to say "goodnight" but here's a secret: I haven't slept in a year.

-Avery Jalaine

Also, hey, I've posted this once before, but I think that it's sort of necessary again tonight.

Har har har. Get it? Of course you don't.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

oh, and i just heard this and loved it and embraced it like it was some sort of new idea because it must've been for me and i wrote it on a post-it and said it to myself in my (softest) whisper:

"be soft."

but i don't know why i love it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

the right way to think

I want to say something, but I can't say it right. There are six new drafts of unfinished posts saved in my dashboard, but none of them sound the way they're supposed to. They sound like someone else has written them.

I realize that my last few posts have been the all-about-my-super-duper-fun-summer, journal-esque, narcissistic ones that I actually loathe to read about on other peoples' blogs. And that's why I'm going to try to stop posting so much about me. Because I don't want to bore you to suicide or something.

I've been thinking a lot about the right way to think. Because there's certainly a wrong way. There's saying "I'm bad" and saying "She has nicer legs than me and I'm bad" and saying "I got the exact same score on my ACT as last time and I'm bad" and saying "He didn't talk to me when I walked by him and I'm bad" and saying "I just ate 3 calories and I'm bad". That's the wrong way to think. (If you think that way, you're bad. Just kidding.)

But have you heard about outcome thinking? You visualize the thing you want and you visualize yourself getting it and you visualize no badness happening in the process. And sometimes, you get it. Sometimes you think "I'm going to walk by him and I'm going to be the center of the room and my hair is going to be shiny and my legs are going to be long (and no one is going to even notice that other long-limbed vixen in the corner) and he is going to say 'Avery Jalaine Taylor, my my, how nice you look. And your hair? It's shiny.' And I will not stammer or have strawberry cream cheese on my face." And you think it really hard, in fact, you might even pray it, just a tiny bit and you think it again and again and remove any negativities (The vixen? Gone.) and then, remarkably, there it is. Result. Payoff. Outcome. And could that be the reason they call it 'outcome thinking'?

You make it happen.

And you can't make good things happen by saying "I'm bad". Then you just end up bad. It makes a little bit of sense to me, and sometimes I don't do it right (I'm bad) and what I want doesn't happen but sometimes sometimes I get it right and there it is: Outcome. Result. Payoff.

And sometimes I will the blowdryer to turn my hair pretty and sometimes it listens.

You're one of us.
-Avery Jalaine

p.s. there should be one or two more "I Was a Teenage Intern" posts about Nickelodeon and California, mostly because I'm obsessed with myself and really want to impress you, and a little teeny bit because I think I might actually be able to amuse you. Or whatever.

another p.s. I understand that this post wasn't my best. I'll try harder next time. I love you.