Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tips I Don't Have About Blogging & Other Things

Like every other self-absorbed twenty-something who thinks they’re doing something crazy, changing the world one metaphor at a time, or wishes to share the boredom/obscurities of their day-to-day life, I started a blog. 

Starting a blog to college students is like what getting pregnant is to some teenagers.  There’s the likely prospect of catching the attention of others, the less-likely possibility of making it onto some reality TV show, and if luck crosses your path to stardom, getting interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. 

This blog was my earnest and failed attempt at journaling.  Kind of like the time I tried to become a vegetarian to eat healthier, but (over) compensated for the lack of calories by consuming ridiculous amounts of candy and peanut butter instead.  To an extent, the blog did succeed in my eyes.  But I did not have the patience or time to write as frequently as I previously hoped.

If a picture already says a thousand words, I suppose there is no slack to be made up for with writing.  I mean how can you really describe visual beauty when there’s people like *intellectual poet’s name* who does it so much better with an interesting and sophisticated use of the English language.  Other than “Wow!” or just, well… nothing, I rarely made intelligent remarks during moments of observance while hiking.  The most relevant comment I usually had (that inevitably ended up being totally irrelevant) was, “Look at allll those chickens!”  (Refer to overrated video here) 

Travel writing/blogging is harder than it seems.  See now, I had an image of these trendy, hipster-ish people who can just go off into the world of wanderlust, become Instagram famous, and write about it…. then maybe make like $2 and get a free meal at the restaurant they mentioned in their blog. 

When I did the Milford Track, my friends and I came across a man who we referenced as “The Ideal Tramper.”  His stylish apparel made him appear as if he just walked off the set of an Indiana Jones movie.  His backpack was literally and in the true correct definition of the word, “literally” larger than me.  He had a sexy French girl accompanying him on the trail, with whom he shared hiking delicacies (aka salami) on fallen over tree trunks as we awkwardly walked by their romantic tramping scene.  Our last morning in the hut, we encountered him in a lovely reindeer sweater that hinted just enough holiday spirit to make you become somewhat tolerable of the soon-to-be-encountered cold weather on the trail that day.  And then in the eyes of four immature and remarkably less-stylish trampers, he became known as the Ideal Tramper. 

Its people like him I picture writing in their vintage-looking journals with the parchment-style paper next to the wood burning stove during nights in the huts.  And then these people become the infamous yet very Instagram famous travel bloggers of the modern age. 

Is that really how it works?

In my idealist, naiive mind where Cinderella’s fairy grandmother is reassuring me that Dreams do come true yes that’s how it works.   

I’d like to say that despite my lack of resemblance to the sheik, hip bloggers, I have some intelligent, original thoughts.  Rather than attempting to illustrate my visual experiences with a series of words I had to look up in the Thesaurus, I’ve authored a quick story in replacement.

 There was once this mortal that invaded the country of New Zealand with a frizzy rat’s nest and long fingers (If I didn’t have such polite friends this might be how they would verbatim describe my physical appearance).  Her long fingers stopped coming in handy when she quit playing flute Senior Year and instead, looked at them as a wonderful accompaniment for dipping foods in various sauces and creating exotic/disgusting combinations.

This mortal, who unintentionally bestowed the name of Felicia upon herself, welcomed herself to this land she’d call home for the next 5 months.  She would (accidentally) kick the country’s beloved Kea parrots (THAT RUDELY TACKLED HER FEET AND STOLE HER FOOD), steal rocks from various places she’d climb around (okay I really didn’t know this was looked down upon until like two days ago), insult their Tomato sauce at every given chance and praise American Heinz Ketchup instead, and inevitably, fall in love with every mountain saddle and aggressive river she’d cross.  

I’m not sure of the impression Felicia left on New Zealand given her rock robberies and (accidental) assault of the native birds, but at least the relationship between land and mortal benefited one party (pre-apology to my environmentalist friends who I may have offended with that statement, but I take short showers I promise). 

Here’s some things Felicia noted along the way…. 

1. There’s this thing called physical stamina and there’s this thing called mental stamina.

I didn’t really think I had either (If you haven’t already figured out that Felicia is myself and that I’m now switching back to 1st person this is your cue).  I was quite out of shape when I came here.  Actually, I’m still quite out of shape as I’m leaving here, so I sort of questioned my ability to make it through steep hikes, those long several day hikes, and everything in between.  But I did it.  And I earnestly believe everyone can do it if they put themselves in the right frame of mind. 
While I don’t really believe in (extensive) bragging rights, I believe in recognition rights.  I mean, you have every right to be proud of yourself and to friggin’ own it.  I can recall on some instances that make me look sort of like a bad*ss/touch b*tch but, understanding that no one really wants to hear me brag, I’m just going to say I have some mental stamina and you’re gonna have to take my word for it.

2. Also, there’s this thing called curiosity and there’s this thing called stupidity. 

I’ve struggled to draw the line between these two.  I’m equally adventurous as I am curious, which has been equally detrimental to my safety/well-being and my mother’s mental health/hair color.  Be adventurous and fun (let’s be real no one really likes a dud) but when you start to be stupid you can impact yourself and the people around you in a not-so-fun way.  Don’t be that person.  It’s kind of a matter of respect. 

3. (Irrelevant to my hiking experiences in NZ but relevant to my mental process in NZ) NOT everyone is going to like you and you just need to be okay with that. Do you like everyone you meet? Yea, exactly. 

My idealism REPULSES me.  Obviously I’m not going to strike gold with everyone who comes invading into my lane and of course, vice versa.  If you think you actually know someone who is omni-loved (see definition below) there’s probably two reasons for that:
  1. They’re actually loved by everyone because they’re super awesome and nice but one day this will catch up with them I swear. 
  2. They’re a piece of paper AKA they can’t possibly provide any source for distaste simply because they cannot hold an interesting conversation to any capacity.

That reasoning was ill developed. But all in all, you know I’m on to something and if you haven’t already done this, will soon admit to yourself that not everyone is going to like you (and yes I assure you everything will still be okay). 

Omni-loved (Ahm-nee-luved)
1.  Loved by all, hated by none, sort of like Kristin Wiig and Beyonce. 

4.  You can be child-like without being childish. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be. 

I’m disappointed in myself for even allowing the adult world to put out that flame in me for a period of time. Who’s to say adulthood requires diminishing all of your childhood?
I’m kind of in love with my childhood self.  I was a bouncy girl who showed off back-flips and handless cartwheels I’d learned in Gymnastics during recess.  I wrote stories about magical crayons and a series about an uncanny friendship between a duck and dog, more properly known by their character names of Connor and Sunshine. 
Nostalgia is inevitable.  It’s a part of life highly overlooked.   Reflecting on what I loved about myself “back in the day”, I managed to rekindle the childhood Emily (I mean mortal named Felicia) in New Zealand.
But I also wish to bring light to the difference between acting child-like (like playing in the mud that’s definitely okay) and acting childish (like Dwight in The Office…while we all love his character we hate the real-life Dwights invading our lives).  I’ve seen plenty of adults act childish and it’s usually a disheartening/what-the-f-is-wrong-with-you experience. 

You thought you were done with my written antics, but as an added bonus I’ve also included:

A List of Things You Don’t Do to Your Mom While on the Other Side of the Planet:
  1.  Send her a serious, somewhat dramatic message telling her how you think you have ADHD. 
  2. Try to lie about how much class you’ve missed.
  3. Try to lie about how much money you’ve spent.
  4. Let her see tagged pictures of you standing at the edge of a cliff.
  5. Leave for a multi-day hike where you won’t have Internet access without telling her you’re leaving for a multi-day hike where you won’t have Internet access.
  6. Complain about how hard your life is when you’ve been traveling each weekend while she’s been doing real people work and shoveling the horse’s shit.

P.S.: Love you mom and your aptitude to put up with me.

So moral of the story is that the mortal named Felicia had an eye-opening time while venturing around New Zealand.  There are some humans who have attributed largely to this (whom I’m sure are aware of who they are) and whom Felicia owes everything and a box of Tim Tams to.   Her soon departure may hopefully lead her to a land that involves a monetary income, Heinz Ketchup, and recognition of her given name again.  

Which for the record, is not Felicia.   

Keep Happy,

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