“Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

Today my mother and I were in our basement, she looking for old videos while I was getting stuff together to take to my dorm. She brought up a small box of mine with papers and such from the past years that she thought might be interesting for me to go through. Internet, let me just say that thing was a riot. I found some of the most random things in there including, but not limited to: a story written for me on fast food napkins, a selection of the Lord of the Rings commentary written out for me by a friend who was as obsessed with the actors (read: hobbits) commentary as I was, a song written for me by a guy in my high school class, pictures of a sleep over I went to when I was in ninth grade? something like that… and lots of other little pictures and notes and funny things. As soon as I get my printer/scanner thing hooked up to my computer I will definitely be uploading these images.

Out of everything I found in my box there were two things that stuck out the most. The first was a pile of movie tickets, which is actually something I collect. I have hundreds of these things, some as far back as when Mulan was in theaters (1998 ) and I’m sure even before that. Here are some interesting ones I found tonight. 2002: Signs, The Bourne Identity, LOTR: The Two Towers, Men In Black, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and The Santa Clause 2. 2003: LOTR: Return of the King, Chicago, Down with Love, X2: X- Men United, Holes, ELF, POTC, Bruce Almighty, Master and Commander, Radio, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. 2004: Win A Date with Tad Hamilton, Shrek 2, Mean Girls, Secret Window, and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. 2005: Elizabethtown, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Wedding Date, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Star Wars Episode 3, Phantom of the Opera, Batman Begins, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fever Pitch, Red Eye, A Lot Like Love, The Family Stone, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Interpreter, Madagascar, Monster in Law, and Bewitched. 2006: Tristan and Isolde, Nanny McPhee, and Memoirs of a Geisha (which actually came out in 2005 but my ticket says ’06, so I am going with that).

Wasn’t that thrilling? Apparently I had no life in 2005; what can I say? I absolutely love to go to the movie theater. I do remember one particular friend from high school (my best friend at the time) who would always go to the movies with me to the point where the ticket guy knew us. But those were some of the best memories I have of high school. If anyone is ever bored and they call me up and ask me what I want to do, chances are I am going to suggest a movie.

The other thing I found in my random box that really stuck out was a stack of cards I received at my going away party in Athens Georgia. One particular card happened to be from my father, who was already in our new house in North Carolina. In it he says “Please don’t be mad at me for making you move” and that really got to me. Of course I am not mad at him, he did what he thought was best for our family. Did I want to move? Noooo. I had a really good group of friends, I loved my school, and I was involved with my Church (that I loved, loved, loved). I really loved my life. I did not want to leave my best friend. My family moved to Georgia when I was in second grade I believe, but I did not go to Prince Avenue Christian School until third grade. (We won’t talk about second grade as it was quite traumatic for me and I just don’t want to go there. I will say I hated my school so much that I am pretty sure I threw up every single day. And no, I am not exaggerating on that one.) Anywho, in third grade I moved to PACS, and I LOVED my new teacher. I honestly believe she is part of why I want to be a teacher. So in third grade I met a girl named Ashley who would soon become my best friend. I mean, we were stuck together like glue. I would always spend the night at her house because she lived out in the woods and we would ride on her family’s 4-wheeler and play crazy card games and put on skits. Lets put it this way- I was at her house so much I had my own toothbrush there. You could say her family was practically my second family, and that was definitely a big part of why I did not want to leave.

So I was looking through these cards and thinking about all the fun times I had in Georgia, from Volleyball camp with our weird leader named Sid, to singing in a Christmas play year after year, from crazy birthday parties to spending the night with Ashley and hiding from her dad so when he came home from work he would have to look for us before we got to have dinner, and so on, and I just got really sad. I loved Athens and the older I get, the more I realize just how much I miss it. We moved to North Carolina and I remember crying at lunch in my new school on the third day of class because I hated it. I didn’t like the town we were in. I didn’t like the people. It didn’t feel like home. As I got older and into the upper levels of high school, there were times it was better, but overall I couldn’t wait to get out of there. By the end of my senior year there were about three people I cared about enough to be real friends with. A lot of the kids in my class (not all, but a nice handful of them) were complete, selfish asses. But I really tried to make the most of it, and yes, to a certain degree you could say I was a “fake.” I was (hopefully) polite to everyone because I wasn’t there to make them hate me or to hate them. That’s just how it all turned out. Now that I am in college I talk to two people I graduated with, and one person who I went to school with (but she eventually graduated from somewhere else). And I am okay with that.

So sitting here tonight looking through all of these old cards and a book that everyone signed for me, I can honestly say I hold nothing against my father. He made decisions based on what would be good for us as a family. When I was younger, I remember every time we moved our family would sit down together and talk about why we were moving, where we were moving to, etc. My parents always gave us everything we could ask for, and then some. My dad works hard at his job to provide for us. My mother does her best at caring for a house and her family and seeing that we want for nothing. I have way more than I deserve to have and a large, large part of that is because of her. I am truly blessed to have a family that cares for me. A brother that will watch Charlie Bartlett, That 70’s Show, and Green Street Hooligans hundreds of times with me and never get tired of me asking to watch them “one more time.” A brother who will sit on my bed and let me go through every single book on my bookshelf and explain why I like it and give him a reason why he should read it. A sister who will surprise me every now and again by bringing me something from Starbucks when she comes home from work. A sister who, even though she is sick to the point of no voice and literally in bed all day, will come downstairs to get medicine and, seeing me on the verge of tears, will stop to help me with a few math problems for my placement exam because God knows I really, really suck at math. A father that will endure my countless text messages during horrid, boring science classes. A mother who will drive almost two hours (in the dark) to a school where she is not quite sure of the exact location, just to get books signed by my favorite author.

I know I don’t say it enough, but I really hope my family knows how much I love them. Internet, sometimes your family just needs to here it every once in a while.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to ““Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

  1. In our attic at home, there’s a big blue box that has a bunch of papers, letters, etc. that I wrote over the years. I haven’t looked through in at least eight years, but I really should the next time I’m home.

    My family’s always been a really loving family, possibly to the point that it sounds as much like habit as it sounds like legitimate expression. Every time we end a phone call, leave the house, or say goodnight, the not-as-obligatory-as-it-sounds “Love you” gets tagged on. Truth is, I mean it every time. Maybe it’s less personal than simply calling to say “I love you”, but that seems a little too cornball for me. I’ve had moments where I was watching movies (Dumbo, for example), where I had the urge, but I’ve never actually done it.

    Maybe someday. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure everybody is fairly confident there’s a mutual love there. My mother probably heard it four or five times a day when I was living in the house; Elijah and my dad at least once per day. The only thing that’s changed is that I don’t live at home anymore, and thus there are fewer opportunities.

  2. improbablefiction

    The tagging on “I love you” at the end of phone conversations is a definite for us, and sometimes it does seem like more of a habit, but like you I mean it every time. As far as calling just to say “I love you” to my mom or dad- I usually call and just tell them I miss them, which leads to the “I love you.” I don’t think I have ever, literally called and just said it.

    But two of my best friends are going through really hard times in their life right now, and they aren’t getting anything from their parents. It’s to the point where I don’t think the parents care one way or the other about them, which is really, really sad. As I am the shoulder they come to cry on (which is perfectly fine with me) I just feel like sometimes families (kids and parents both included) forget to tell each other.

    As far as your box of papers go, let me know if you find anything interesting. I recently found (in a different box) a copy of that stupid school newspaper the yearbook staff was forced to put out, and we had a “dear Amelia” section (Amelia being Brittany Morgan and me) and this was what one kid wrote in: “Dear Amelia, My brother is telling everyone i was in a mental institution when i was really on vacation. My reputation is ruined!! What should i do? Signed, Mentally Stable.”

    I think I laughed for about ten minutes.

  3. I’m sure there are families that are a lot quieter about it, I was just fortunate to never be in one. Even over the past couple years with my parents slow realization (denial?) that I drink from time to time and probably voted democrat, I’ve never questioned whether they loved me, and I don’t think they’ve ever questioned if I loved them.

    When I was home for Christmas I actually found the old notebook (not in the box, just in my old desk) that had that same newspaper and all of the rough drafts and a final copy of the Faith Underground. That was interesting.

  4. Genevieve

    Well thanks for making me cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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