Agustin came to Tyler on Friday; we ate puffy tacos and stolen brownie sundaes and I drove to the edge of a small cliff where I’ve always wanted to take pictures. We kissed in the tall grass and plants left dead from the winter, where the cars on the bi-way couldn’t see us, my car parked off of the road. Maybe we were trespassing; I hope so. 

There’s something about being with him that makes everything more exhilarating, but in a slow-motion, calming sort of way; every time he leaves I feel like I have to start over again.

- ryan


I love the pictures from when I was little; the old ones, taken with film cameras. Sometimes I can’t believe that part of my life has passed so quickly; most times I don’t even consciously acknowledge that the small person in those pictures was, and is, still me. I find pictures to be one of the most valuable things, especially for the times that we don’t remember. We don’t know anything about our past family members, or people that we’ve never met (in a visual sense) without photos. I’ve always been so fascinated with the decades that have occurred before I was born that I’ve only seen in pictures; it’s incredible, the notion that people have lived their lives in full, vivid color, just as I’m living mine, but that all that I can see of their lives is in black and white, toned down, blurred, so that when they look at the photos, only the people who lived in those moments really know what it was like. 

I've been back to college for one week now; back to the same routine that I had before I left for break. I have one class that's in the same room, at the same time as last semester; the first day that I sat down, I felt a feeling of continuation, like I had never left. I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of flowers, mostly greens and a couple of little white ones; I went back to my memaw's house to get the houseplants that I'd left in december. This past week has been cold with a biting wind, full of days when I've wanted to wear something nice but have ended up wearing my softest jacket and tennis shoes. 

I've slowly been collecting things for around my apartment, and I've concluded that by the time that I graduate, I will have enough to fill up a small house. I told Agustin that if I get a polaroid for my birthday, that I'll make an entire album with pictures of us, so we can remember when we're older. 

People my age don't like to think about the future much, I've concluded. I think about it all of the time. 

- ryan


I've decided to quit the school paper in order to keep up this blog. I've found it hard to express myself over the past semester writing stories every two weeks. Much of what I've dealt with has been facts: records of things, documenting, and almost no room for creative expansion. Writing for a paper is nothing like I expected (I don't really know what I expected) but it's not really the way that I want to be writing; so, since I have the choice, I'd rather be here.


Here are some stills that I shot of myself yesterday in my apartment bedroom.
(Short story: I brought my tripod from home, but forgot to bring the mount, so, I had to tape my camera to the tripod. It looked really funny; but, the light was way too good, so I had to.)

- ryan


i guess we all come back to that place

I've written a lot, in the summer, over the past few months, in a journal that I keep as a word document.


I left for school in August. A plethora of my time has been spent in class, at work, cleaning my small little apartment and doing things that people in college are supposed to do, I suppose (minus the partying; I never have been that into studying, either).

I try to wake up early in the morning on the weekends; Saturdays (and sometimes Wednesdays) are laundry days, when I make the fifteen minute drive to Memaw and Pawpaw’s house and occupy myself for a good two hours before heading back home with clean clothes. It’s nice to spend my mornings there: it’s a nice place to write, too. I wash the dishes in my apartment at least once a day; it’s not a habit so much as it’s a chore that’s left to me (I don’t mind it too much, though).

My three roommates run on different schedules than I do. Often, I’ll find them awake and cooking dinner at twelve a.m., and I’ll find myself cleaning up their mess the next day.

I've been reading, too; over the break, during school. Two books so far, which is better than I've done in years for my leisure. I've also crocheted an entire afghan over the course of about two months, in which I have invested my heart and with which I am overwhelmingly proud of.

I've done a lot of things since I've been here last. In June, I went on a cruise with my best friend to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize, in which I brought along three disposable cameras and ended up using two of them; I got them developed later, and at least half of the film was either over-exposed or water damaged. I'll have to live with the memories in my mind, but going out of the country was one of the best things that I've ever done.

Being in college, I don't feel so different, I suppose; I guess I could say that I've found out more of who I am, because the majority of my free time (I don't have much) is spent alone. I've decorated my small apartment, the cabinets lined with my own dishes, hangings on the walls, pillows on the couch and three houseplants that Grandmother gave to me, and one of my own, that I water every Sunday (I haven't forgotten yet). There are a lot of things that I've missed, and a lot to remember.

Being in love changes, too; separation makes you realize how much you really want someone; I've learned about love in that way. It's worse at first; every time I leave, and the same every time he leaves; all of the starting over. It's a process of almost pausing and resuming and trying to forget what happens in between, but sometimes the in between can change things. Love gets better, too, if it's the good kind; so much sweeter when you're together, so that the sweetness lingers when you're apart (still, though, it doesn't make being apart, the feeling of missing someone, the leaving, any easier).

Being home is comfort; it's everything that I've thought and everything I've expected in returning but in a different sort of way; people have gone on with things and when you come back, the time that you once occupied seems to be used up; going places, adapting, getting used to things: this is what my life has been, but it's been good for me.

I’ve told myself that I would never leave this space; that I wouldn’t have time to take a break; things get in the way, I guess, but only if you let them. Sometimes I sit and think about writing, without doing the writing itself; instead, the thoughts stay curled up instead of my head.


The above pictures are those of Eileen, my best thrifting friend.

And I'll say it like I say every time I leave and then return: I've missed this.

- Ryan


I feel that writing only works for me when it's 11:51 p.m. and I'm half asleep and I've decided to go in to school late tomorrow because it's my second to last exam. I'm looking now at the shadow of the plants on my windowsill and thinking about how I almost let the boy that I love drive home right before the storm hit and about how things work out sometimes.
I told the friends at my art table that I have a fear of being depressed and getting divorced and one of them told me that fears come true; and it's funny sometimes how I listen to everyone's words, but I guess I've learned how to pick out the meaningful ones (although I really haven't, I'm still so naïve), and for the rest of the class period I finished up my concentration, but in my mind I was staring at the desk, or my backpack, or the tile floor.
There's still leftover lightning hanging outside of my window and sometimes I sit in my car when it rains and cry about all of the friends that I love so wholly who I'll never see again because I'm too socially anxious to meet them in a coffee shop in a few years. Sometimes I think about the best friend that I lost and it hurts me when I see someone else in the hallway and I just don't want to lose some things and I don't understand why we have to lose things or at what point they're labeled as lost and why we can't save them sooner. Sometimes I think that we don't really get over things, either.
When I go to Tyler, I'll drive by my old house that I lived in four or so years of my life and I'll think about the time when my grandparents were so young and they rode up in a motorcycle: Memaw wore a red bandana and I could see love in their eyes. There aren't many things that I remember, but I'll think about the leaf pile that I made on the concrete when I must have been six or seven and about how I was so fearless that I jumped in and forgot about the dirt and the insects and whatever else was happening that day. I had a birthday party in the backyard once where I sat on a swing and sang a song about my favorite color and once, we all cried in the kitchen because of the tornado watch and I remember that I loved the hardwood floors against my bare feet and I wish that I could love things the way that I did when I was young.
I've gotten bangs since I've left, and I've held hands and kissed the same boy for almost four months and I've promised myself that I wouldn't continue writing unless my writing was raw and defected and real, so here I am.
I guess I'm growing up, and if growing up means travelling to spain and meeting thousands of new people than I'm actually ready to shove myself right into it. But, in actuality, I know that growing up means that I'll be away from home and for the first few weeks I'll be utterly alone in a semi-foreign place; I'll carry my laptop to class and I might not wear makeup some days, but I hope that I keep my small living space tidy and creative and I hope that I keep making art. There's this emptiness that I've been feeling, and I've never known what it is; partly fear, partly love and loneliness, partly the shadows on my walls and the rain on my windowsill and the thought of my own empty bedroom when I leave for college and the thoughts that remain inside of my head; it's strange.
And can one feel nostalgic about the future? (I'm not trying to say this to add some sort of cliché remark, either.) There are things that I see that I'm so certain of. I'm certain of some people, I'm certain and I get this overwhelming feeling when I experience some things, when I smell certain things. Perhaps it's my own contradictory self attempting to remember simple parts of my life that have passed, but perhaps it's my own mind, heart, soul imagining a future that includes these things.
I've been to the dallas arboretum, the aquarium and the dallas museum of art (my absolute favorite) in which I felt like crying when I viewed some of the art pieces because part of me can't fathom that such things were made such a long time ago, and for me it's such an overwhelming feeling to be in the presence of beauty; yes, art makes me cry. I'm not denying it.
I find myself thinking about what my life would be like if it were worse or better than it is, and then I spill a glass of water on the table and I'm then preoccupied with that small mess; such is life, I've decided.
I'll conclude with this terribly accurate quote that I found on tumblr:
"The trouble with writing is that it's literally always easier to just lie facedown on the floor and make inarticulate noises."
I'm glad to be back.
- ryan