Monthly Archives: September 2013

I Didn’t Want to Fail, but Since I Did…

Failure is a funny thing.  

I mean that doubly, in that it is actually humorous unless it deals with politics or death (and even then…).

And that it is something that is unpredictable, and unyielding to the wants of any human I trust (anyone that never fails should not be trusted).

In the past weekend I have failed more times than I would like to mention, but have had two notable fails that I’m sure caused people to point at me and say offensive things.

The first was when I tried to crown the new Homecoming queen of Spartanburg High School.  Notice I said tried, because I certainly did not succeed.  I could not put the crown on the queen’s head for the life of me, and within my attempt it actually fell off, I got her hair tangled in it, and the queen requested that someone else put the crown on.  So yeah, it worked out about just as terrible as it could have.  In my defense it took three people to finally crown the queen so it turns out that I wasn’t the only incompetent crown placer.  The rub of this whole crown placing story is that the whole process of my failure was being televised on the arena’s jumbotron, where I was silently laughing in spite of myself, and the queen… was not.

The second failure that I had involved a hammock and what appeared as a serious case of unathleticism.  Honestly, it was quite embarrassing.  I set out into campus in attempt to find a forested area suitable to hang up my hammock.  The first tree I went to failed, and so I’ll save the explanation of that venture.  The second tree I went to showed great promise. I was excited.  With child-like fervor I carried out the process of hanging my hammock, then 15 minutes passed and I realized this wasn’t as great of a spot as I initially imagined, but I pushed on.  I was in quite a populated area of campus and could feel the smirks of onlookers passing by.  I pressed on.  And pressed on.  And finally, I settled for a janky (for lack of a better word) set up that put my body at more of a 50 degree angle than a laying position.  The set up was only half of the failure, the other half was getting into the hammock.  I won’t go into this too much because of painful memories, but basically I almost fell on my face and I might have pulled both of my quads.

The point of me going through those failures was that obviously I didn’t want those two events to transpire the way that they did, but they did because failure is life, life is failure.  Everything fails, sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s not.  But I make it a policy of mine to laugh whenever I fail, no matter what the failure is because if something tragic does happen one day when I fail extra hard core, at least I know I would have laughed, and I hope others do the same.

If you can laugh about anything that happens, then nothing can get to you.

Shit happens.  Laugh about it.

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You Can Be Anything You want

Adults who say, “you can be anything you want, sweet little Johnny Susanna”, to any Jack and Jill that comes within their talking range are just wrong.  Those adults are just going to cause those children to follow a completely unviable career path for years of their lives until their ambitions finally get shat on by the world, and they realize that it was never possible in the first place, and then they get sad.  They just get sad.

Let me tell you my story, just to show you what horrible repercussions those foolish words can have.

When I was younger I wanted to be a drummer for a famous band.  Not just someone that gets paid to drum, but someone who was a drummer in the most famous of all the bands and revered for being in said band.  Being a professional drummer is not that unreasonable with a high level of dedication, but being a drummer in a freaking top of the charts band is quite unreasonable and there is very small chance that that happens to ANYONE.  But no, “of course, Oona, you can be in a famous band.  You can be anything you want”, said the snickering adult that gets it’s jollies out of lying to children.

So I pursued my dream.  I was a decent drummer, but by the 8th grade I started to realize something was wrong.  As I began to watch Youtube more, I discovered that there were 4 year olds that had the same amount of talent as me who I’m fairly certain came out of the womb wielding drumsticks in their freakishly talented little hands.  Then I came into the realization that to be a drummer in a super famous, fun, cool band, you have to have a band to play with; this seems obvious, but my thoughts were obviously polluted because I was still stuck in my naive mindset with the words of the adult constantly echoing in my head.

The only truth that I thought I knew was slowly unraveling before my eyes.  I began to join bands, still in pursuit of my dreams, but there were issues constantly, I was in some bands that were good, some that were gross sounding.  I thought that if you got some semi talented musicians in a room and said, “play music”, it would happen without question, but slowly my world came crashing down as I was exposed to the real world bit by bit, until I realized that I just wasn’t going to be a drummer in a famous band, it just was not… going to happen.  I was faced with a period of wrenching sadness as I was beginning to realize my doomed fate as an average drummer when the last straw was pulled; an adult straight up told me that my ultimate aspiration would never happen.  They took a brick of reality and threw it at my face as they told me how difficult becoming a successful professional musician is.  I had a stage of denial that lasted for about a year but as I entered 11th grade all my childish notions had completely disappeared.  I was officially out of my stage of naiveté, which brought with it a hardened, more cynical Oona.

Let me straighten out that I am not saying that all adults should go up to children and say, “you should aspire to become an accountant because that is probably the only thing you could achieve”, but rather that we not encourage children to follow a path that they love without it being wildly unrealistic.  By saying, “you can do anything you want”, a child could then say, “I’m going to be a dirty dragon king man who rules the world”, to which the adult should reply, “no son, you cannot be a dirty dragon king man because that can’t happen”.  Letting a child believe that he can become a dirty dragon king man will do NOTHING GOOD for society.  Instead, we should encourage children to become things that could possibly, one day happen rather than leaving the playing field wide open.  The bar can still be set high like the politician or an author, but make it somewhat reachable so later on in life the kid won’t get pegged in the noggin with a reality brick like I was.

I might have pursued a career as a professional musician if I realized earlier that I probably wouldn’t be famous at all, and I might just be at the bottom rung of professional musicians getting paid enough to get by.  But what went wrong was that after letting myself believe that I would get all the glitz and glimmer if I pursued a musician’s career path, one day I realized that it just wouldn’t be like that, and it just wasn’t an attractive option anymore because of how heavy the realization was.

Tell kids, “hey pursue what you want, the possibilities are broad, the possibilities are attractive, but dear god, pick something that won’t upset you in the future when you realize that you will not be able to get exactly what you’re hoping for”.

To end on an uplifting note, people truly do underestimate themselves when they are actually able to recognize a realistic set of limitations.  People don’t understand that if you give your all to something (providing that you have no physical limitations) then you can get to the same level that anyone else has reached, you just have to actually give your all if you want it to get there.

And you know what, if someone does tell you that you can become a dirty dragon king man, and that’s what you really want to be…

then be the best dirty dragon king man that you can possibly be, damn it.

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Title Optional

Mental Blocks happen very often for me, but a lot of winning ideas come through my head as well.  The issue with my thought process specifically is that I am a very ‘in the moment’ oriented person.  My best work will always come out when I am in the heat of things, when I have recently have had those thoughts provoked.  I would say that as an aspiring writer, this is one of my biggest downfalls, yet can also could work to my advantage because I get a minimum of four or so shiny pearls of ideas throughout the day.  But therein the issue lies…

I am a busy girl, but the only way that the shiny pearls will get made into a pretty little necklace of a blog post is if I decide to go into complete focus mode, which not only includes the need for solitude that I am constantly hard-pressed to find, but also a solid 30 to 45 minutes of the mindset, “I’m not going to give a shit about anything but this blog post until it is done”.  The latter requirement has gotten me into many a predicament because I, Oona MacDougall, stay committed, even if it means that I’ll be seven and a half minutes to my French lab because I am that dedicated of a girl.  My all-time least favorite thing to do is squander away good writing ideas because I put something else first, and as a result my mind won’t produce the writing I want it to.

So just for future reference: if I’m writing on my computer, I need you to reevaluate the circumstance, and decide if whatever you’re going to say is important enough to smack my thought process in the face, and if it isn’t leave me alone, and if you think that it is

leave me alone.

 

Just kidding.

 

But seriously.

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Rain

Rain is my favorite natural process.  

Rain is emotion:

No matter the person that is listening to the downpour outside of the window, no matter if they feel like they enjoy rain or not, rain will evoke emotion from them.  It surrounds you from every side, while you can take shelter from the rain, you can’t escape it mentally.  There is something about having the constant sound of the rain pelting the ground that provokes thoughts in the mind.  Rain is emotion, not good or bad.  It can be sadness, it can be satisfaction.  It can be unrest, it can be calm.  Experience of rain is individual to perspective, but there is something secure about its common emotional connotation to humanity.

Rain is tranquility, rain is chaos:

The constant sound of the patter of rain isn’t disruptive, in fact it is just the opposite; it is a sound that helps the mind think.  The patter is calming because it is a soft and uniform enough sound that it blends with the environment, and acts as a supplement rather than an addition to the sounds around you.  On the other hand, grouped in with rain are lightening and thunder.  With the additions of electricity comes a completely different side to rain.  Thunder and lightening make the rain angrier, more disorienting.  The calming rain that was once alone becomes the chaos of loud noises and constant possibility of danger.  The calm is secure, but the chaos is interesting.

Rain is lazy, rain is adventurous:

Rain for me in high school was a possibility to escape whatever practice I had after school that day, an opportunity to laze around, I was escaping practice but rain served more as an escape from life.  For some reason it was okay to neglect work, to sit around, listen to music while staring outside as long it was raining.  Rain is the closest time comes to a complete halt.  While rain was an opportunity to laze, it also is an excuse to let your hair down, get wet, and disregard any social etiquette standards.  When you are doing in the rain, you are having an adventure.  An activity that might otherwise be banal, ex. walking a mile back to your dorm becomes an opportunity to release your inhibitions, get your face and clothes wet, splash in puddles, and to become a child again.

Rain is equalizing:

When it is raining and you are walking outside, it doesn’t matter who sees you.  Suddenly, everyone is placed on even ground.  Any hair becomes wet and matted down.  Makeup runs.  Cute clothes become un-cute.  When you walk in the rain, there is no room for judgement of  the appearances of those around you because you could just as easily be judged.

Rain is a cleanse:

Rain is a literal cleanse of the Earth as it washes away the dirt, litter, and grime of the asphalt, of the mountains, of the sidewalks.  In the beginning (before human interference) the water was cleansed through condensation, leaving behind the impurities to bring down a pure rain.  The literal cleanse that rain brings also brings a symbolic cleanse to the mind and soul.  Worries become less heavy in the presence of rainfall, and at least for a period afterwards they seem easier to deal with, as if the worries are washed away along with the dirt in the flowing water of the rain.

Rain is secure, rain is unsettling:

While rain is falling everything seems like at some point it could be alright.  You feel like you can get your thoughts together, maybe solve some of your problems.  But as the rain is falling, you still can’t help but to think of the future, the near future where the rain isn’t falling, where you won’t have this feeling of content that exists only with the fall of water to the Earth.  You also think in the distant future, where you have no idea what might happen, where many more rainfalls will surely happen, but what will happen in between those?  

Eventually, you just decide to live in the present.  Content with the rain.

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Willed Obliviousness

First, I wanted to say that I’m only definitely going to post every weekday and maybe on weekends because sometimes things just get a little too ridiculous to post on weekends, ya know what I’m sayin’!!! Eh!? Eh!? 

Anyways, when I sit in the dining hall I constantly find myself staring out at the people sitting and walking around me.  I am fully aware that I’m not subtle about it in the slightest bit.  In more than one instance I have made eye contact with someone I was staring at, actually observing is a more apt word, and received a self conscious/ disgusted/ confused look in return.  I, however, if I’m tired enough, do not care that I have and/or am making eye contact with them and just continue to observe their reaction which subsequently makes them feel more uncomfortable.  It’s quite a funny cycle, but I’m sure it isn’t helping with my the development of my reputation.  When I’m tired enough, which seems to be always now, I just have a very hard time forcing myself to care about the opinion of those around me, and I sure as hell get some enjoyment out of it.  I do way too many things for solely my own enjoyment.

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Don’t You Think It’s Boring How People Talk

Idle adolescent gossip is such an apt phrase.  

Idle-N.- Without purpose or effect, pointless.

It seems that the majority of girls my age make idle adolescent gossip their main form of communication.  It is a social norm that decides the social elite.  If you gossip about the right people to the right people, you get popularity points.  If you’re the one being gossiped about, you are teetering on the brink of being ostracized.  I can barely stand to stay in a room full of sorority girls (sorry to speak in generalizations, I know there are exceptions) for more than 20 minutes because their conversations are made up solely of any and all sorority drama that could possibly or is occurring.  This gossip, this talk, gets you nowhere, in fact only can have adverse effects besides the initial connection of, “oh my god, I KNOW!”.  It puts you in a very incriminating position that could possibly make an enemy in the future.  Even if you manage to keep a fake face in front of the person that you recently insulted or put down, the talk STILL does not result in any progression if it is negative.  It is not constructive.  It is useless.  Just do yourself a favor and stop judging people constantly, pick a reason why you should abstain: 

-It makes you look like a bitch

-The bible says it’s a sin

-It can offend someone

-It makes you look like a raging bitch

Instead of talking idly, talk about topics that will benefit you or someone in some way.  Talk positive, talk intellectually, talk humor without a peer target.  Use talk for progression not stagnancy.

 

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Normal is as Normal Does

I did some reminiscing today about what has occurred in the short span of time that I have been at college.

Recap:

-I came to college for a week

-Participated in freshman bullshit

-Left college

-Came back to college

-Got lost at college

-Joined the percussion ensemble

-Came back, then left, came back, then left, then came back

-Tried out for soccer, then thought actually… I’ll play ultimate frisbee instead

-Had a lot of Clemson people (I wasn’t friends with) get angry at me for not having gone to a home football game yet

-Had a lot of Clemson people (I was friends with) get angry at me for not having gone to a home football game (turns out people are really into this whole football thing)

-Had absolutely nothing pan out the way that I expected

I began to think about how my experience would fare against the normal college going girl’s, and as I began thinking about this I started laughing really hard.  My laughter (which I’m sure frightened any people walking near me into taking a different route) may have partly been a product of my sleep deprivation, but it was mostly because I realized almost nothing that had happened to me thus far had been “normal”.

I know that strange things will happen to me because I know that I am strange.  I cannot truly think of one thing about myself that I would say is normal.. not even physical attributes, really.  If I had to name one normal thing about me, I guess it would be that I have all the normal appendages of a human.  I think?  Anyways, I am completely content in my constant state of abnormality, it makes life a bit more exciting for me, that and the fact that I am obsessed with humor.  These two characteristics give me the ability to just not care if I’m entertaining others as long as I’m entertaining myself.  If there is one person I can count on to make me laugh it is me, which sounds weird, and honestly, is weird, but I really enjoy it, and isn’t that all that really matters?

 

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