This Probably Should Have Just Gone in My Diary

“Kyra, you’re always talking and talking and talking, and you never notice that no one cares what you have to say or that no one’s listening to you. Why don’t you just do us all a favor and shut up?”

Middle school was nice to all of us, wasn’t it. Insecurities feeding off of other people’s insecurities. Crude behavior justified under the nice, friendly belief we’re all just teenagers trying to “find ourselves.”

I find it incredible one insecure junior high boy’s fleeting remark on the way back from a seventh grade track meet still plays over in my head fairly regularly. When I text someone and they don’t respond. When I tell a “funny” story  and nobody laughs. When it’s Saturday night and I’m sitting at home alone.

I have been the weird kid since forever. My childhood memories are those of playing  second fiddle to people’s other friends and just hanging around in the background, available to make people laugh upon request.

I, like others, have turned to comedy to resist the creeping sense of worthlessness. Comics are all insecure. They make fun of others to feel better about themselves, and they make fun of themselves to direct the way other people make fun of them. My personal preference is self-deprecating humor because it tends to offend the least number of people.

I don’t like talking about serious subjects. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that’s why I struggle to make close friends. The one time I kinda had a boyfriend, my mom told me eventually I would need to talk about more than balloon animals and YouTube comedians. Thankfully, we broke it off before it came to that.

I can’t respond to some situations correctly. I want every conversation I’m included in to begin and end in laughter. Unfortunately, I’ve learned people don’t appreciate jokes right after sad stuff like a death in the family. Laughter at such times is deemed insensitive. So, I feel like I am playing life with an incomplete deck of cards. I’m missing the suit that explains how to appropriately deal with serious issues and I have more than two jokers (see what I did there).

I recently realized I can’t have a normal conversation without trying to make a joke.

And so, I’ve devised a plan to remedy my inability to say the right thing at the right time. Miley Cyrus and I both want to be a fly on the wall. I want to listen to other people deal with tragedy. I want to know the appropriate amount of emotion to express, calculate the adequate amount of sentimental words needed to fix things. I do want people to feel better. That’s all I want, honestly. I just don’t know how sometimes. I suppose my “fly on the wall” plan is not the best of plans because it’s creepy and impossible. Also, voicing this sorta makes me sound really strange. Not sure this post will go up on the blog or not. An alternative approach would be to binge watch some soap operas and then tone the reactions down a tad. I might go with the latter.

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My Brother: The Charmed Genius Metrosexual

My eleven-year-old brother Ian rushes into my room. He is sporting his North face jacket, his skinny jeans and his gray vans. His fiery orange hair is spiked to perfection, and I can faintly smell his Old Spice body spray and deodorant.

“Kyra! I had the worst dream last night!” He looks at me earnestly with his deep blue eyes. “People were throwing stuff at me because my brands were clashing! I was wearing an Adidas shirt and Nike shorts.Together.  IN PUBLIC. It was horrible!”

The kid has always been stylin'. Brand-clashing is a reoccurring nightmare.

The kid has always been stylin’. Brand-clashing is a reoccurring nightmare.

This outburst is not an uncommon one. In stark contrast to my 13-year-old brother Noah, Ian is  a complete fashionista. If you asked him, he would blame his style sense on me because I used to dress him up like the sister I always wanted. It is important to note, however, that I stopped putting dresses on him when he was two, but he continued to put on said dresses until my parents made him stop at age five. His favorite colors used to be sparkly pink and sparkly red. I never questioned his sexuality, however, because he’s never not had a girlfriend. Actually, as I type this, he is pestering me to get off the computer so he can meet up with his latest lady friend for their date on Club Penguin. We’ve decided he’s probably a metrosexual, but I will love him no matter what he decides in the future.

Here I am, indoctrinating him with fashionista thoughts from an early age.

Here I am, indoctrinating him with fashionista thoughts from an early age.

When he was two, Ian was invited to an all six-year-old girl birthday party at which the party-goers debated over who was “Ian’s special sweetie.” When he goes to summer camps, he comes home complaining about herds of females following him around. Right now, he is flirting with three different classmates, but his relationships are not exclusive because he is also interested in girls he meets at church and on vacation.

Ian is all the drama most families have in total, but packaged into one ginger-headed 11-year-old. Before he was born, Noah and I kept to ourselves. I played with my toys in my room and Noah played with his toys in his room. We came together a few times a day for for polite conversation at mealtimes. Ian changed all of that.

A  rare, lovey-dovey moment. Noah appreciated Ian's existence early on because he could steal Ian's pacifiers to support his own binky addiction.

A rare, lovey-dovey moment. Noah appreciated Ian’s existence early on because he could steal Ian’s pacifiers to support his own binky addiction.

I remember a time, not too long ago, when my parents would punish Noah by making him play with Ian for a set period of time. Ian can’t be alone. He craves and demands constant attention. When I was younger, this got on my nerves. It still gets on Noah’s nerves, but I now find it endearing.

Ian copies my every move. He idolizes me and wants to spend time with me. He cries almost monthly because he doesn’t want me to go away to college and leave him. He’ll come into my room, hop on my bed and ask me about my day. He’ll make me a smoothie and give it to me as a surprise for breakfast. He asks me about my plans for the future, and, the more we talk, the more I find many of his goals emulate my own.

Ian on a recent sibling dinner date. He is quite possibly the slowest eater on the face of the planet.

Ian on a recent sibling dinner date. He is quite possibly the slowest eater on the face of the planet.

Ian recently got into Mensa. His teacher regularly comments on his papers that he “had the best answers” or the “top grade” in the class. He just took first in a county-wide math competition. He wins 10k races against kids who are years older than him. He is an incredible young man, and I could not be more proud of him. I am so glad he is in my life, and I get all excited and bubbly inside when I think about getting to watch him accomplish impressive things in the future.  For now, though, he’s just my dorky little charmed genius metrosexual brother.

Then

Then

now (actually like seven months ago or something, but we don't ever take family pics anymore)

Now. (actually like seven months ago or something, but we don’t ever take family pics anymore)

Art Class Has the Best Glue Sticks

For the first time since seventh grade, I have a class where the teacher gives you points just for showing up before the bell resonates and waiting until passing period to go to the bathroom. Most assignments are in class, and the only criteria for obtaining an ‘A’ is following the project’s loose instructions and taking into consideration the occasional critiques the teacher gives on her slow laps around the room.

Usually, easy A classes are mind-numbing, required-for-graduating nap times that quickly devolve into a daily ignore-teacher’s-droning-and-cram-for-next-hour’s-test time. Drawing 1 is an exception.

Effort isn’t explicitly required, but I find myself putting forth much more than I ever did in my last blow-off class. Perhaps this is because instead of filling out painfully mundane busy work like ninth grade Civics or seventh grade study skills (yes, that was a required class at my junior high), I have the opportunity to create practically anything I want, and I have incredible resources at my fingertips. Friday, for example, I used a combination of chalk pastels, charcoal pencils and high-quality markers to add to the aesthetics of my blind contour drawing.   Before this semester, I had only worked with Crayola crayons, colored pencils and whatever other writing utensils happened to be lying around. Now, I have an entire room with all sorts of art supplies I didn’t even know about waiting for me to experiment. Also, art class has the best glue sticks. Like, seriously. They are 12x better than those Elmer’s ones in the big buckets at Walmart.

I almost didn’t take art because I was already planning to have a full 2nd semester of real classes. Fortunately–although it felt unfortunate at the time–I could only get into AP US history  zero hour  and into Spanish seventh hour. That left an empty slot for my second hour. When I saw Drawing 1 still had availability, I jumped at the opportunity, not necessarily because I wanted to take art, but because it sounded better than the other option: an introductory business course.

Before this semester, I hadn’t had a chance to take a fun class in high school. I took art in junior high, but my seventh grade art class did not fit my definition of “fun.” I have pushed my memories of junior high art class back into the dark recesses of my brain. Spending hours replicating pre-painted landscapes. Crying during in-front-of-class critiques. Struggling with lopsided sketch proportions. Almost getting a ‘B’. I still get chills.

When I have free time, I draw. When I don’t have free time, but I’m too stressed to get anything done, I draw. I always have. Art class really works with my schedule because now with drawing homework, I at least have justification for my coping mechanism.  I’m not an artist as far as talent goes. At best, I’m an absent-minded doodler. Why does my blog post on art not have any accompanying photos of my masterpieces? Because I don’t want to embarrass myself. Being Picasso is not a qualification for appreciating and creating art, but it might be for publishing said art and shoving it in people’s faces.