The Runaway Muse

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A personal blog

This is what I do when I’m supposed to be working.

I find myself thriving in college.  Getting out of the house was pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me, although I do get terribly homesick for my family.  Classes are stimulating, people are nice, and the food isn’t half bad.  It’s weird to have friends that, for the first time, are not mutual to my family.  I guess that’s what happens when you have a lot of siblings.

Lately I’ve been discovering a lot of sweet music, most of it introduced to me by a friend who takes guitar here.  Some bands of note are Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Radio Moscow, The White Stripes, and Margot and the Nuclear So So’s.  Also I’ve really been digging Radiohead, especially their newest album, In Rainbows.  There’s a song on that album called Last Flowers that I learned to play on the piano.  Maybe I’ll record it sometime.

 Here’s the deal.  Fall break starts in two weeks, and at the moment it looks like I’m going to be spending it stuck here on campus, since it isn’t likely that I’ll find someone willing or able to give me a ride home to Chicago.  The question, then, is this: what the heck am I supposed to do for an entire week by myself and without transportation??

Okay, so I’m not completely without transportation.  There’s always my bike, but it’s not exactly ideal since everywhere worth going is too far to bike, and everywhere else is within walking distance anyway, so why bother?  Also, my bicycle helmet took a rather bad beating the other day, and it looks like I’ll have to get a new one. 

So what to do?  I need ideas.  Preferably epic ones.  I will have my camera, after all.  Isn’t that a start?

Filed under: Everyday Ramblings

My favorite vantage point…

…Is on my stomach, of course!

Well, except for this one.  I was on my knees.  But shhhh.

There is no way this photo does that sunset justice.  Not by a long shot.

Hello, beautiful ladies!

I am stalker extraordinaire.

…Aaaand my cover is blown.  Shucks.

Filed under: Photography

A glimpse into my world

I love my bed.  It is my retreat, my sanctuary, my sweet spot where I can sleep or study or simply crash on those days when I have the precious time to do nothing.  I still arrange the pillows the exact same way my mother did when she was helping me settle into my dorm room.

This corner tells me of places I’ve been.  Driftwood from a special beach in my childhood home of Connecticut; seashells from the Dominican Republic; photos taken during ramblings on my church property.  I look at them and tell myself that someday I will return to those places.

This book never fails to make me smile no matter how many times I read it.  It has remained my favorite love story ever written, and shall most likely remain so.

Night bokeh makes me happy.

Filed under: Everyday Ramblings, Photography

I was supposed to be studying…

As you can see, I have a narcissistic fascination with my hands.

That, and pretty sunsets.

Filed under: Photography

What I learned from George Bailey

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and—true to spirit—my mind has kept coming back to George Bailey from the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

You know the story.  George is among the typical American working class of the 1940s, working his hide off to provide for his wife and kids while struggling to keep his deceased father’s small business afloat and out of the clutches of the power-hungry Mr. Potter, who will do whatever it takes to get the small town under his thumb.  For as long as George can remember, he has been suppressing his lifelong dream of visiting exotic lands, instead trading it in for the mundane and hum-drum.

Life could be better for George.  While his friends go off to accomplish heroic feats in World War II, he remains at the home front due to hearing problems.  His dingy old house needs repairs.  He owes a lot of money to the bank—money he doesn’t have.  If he doesn’t pay up, he’ll go to prison.  He is told that he is worth more dead than alive.

So we find him on Christmas Day, standing on a snowy bridge at night, desperate and without hope.  The raging water below is starting to look good.  Really good.

As he summons up the nerve to jump, someone else beats him to it: an angel named Clarence in the guise of an old man, whose sole purpose is to dissuade George from taking his life so he can earn his wings.  George, of course, is distracted from his self-destructive purposes and leaps into the water to rescue Clarence.

Later, as the two dry off in a nearby lodge, George expresses to Clarence that he wishes he had never been born.  This turns out to be just the opportunity Clarence has been looking for—the opportunity for George to re-evaluate his life.  “All right,” he says to George, “You’ve got your wish.  You’ve never been born.”

Almost immediately, George discovers that something very strange is going on.  His identity papers are gone.  Nobody knows him anymore.  His town has been transformed from innocent and old-fashioned to gaudy and raucous, suffocated with neon lights and screaming advertisements.  His own wife, now a mousy old maid working at the library, runs and screams when he approaches her, longing for recognition.

As it turns out, George’s life has had a bigger impact on his town—and on the people with whom he interacts—than he could ever dream or imagine.  “You’ve been given a wonderful gift, George,” says Clarence, “A chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

The story ends happily, of course.  George eventually comes to realize what a mistake it would be to throw his life away, and life goes back to the way it always was.  The money he owes is miraculously obtained when his family and friends come together and take up a collection for him without his knowledge.  Everyone gathers in George’s drafty old house to sing Christmas carols and celebrate a life well lived.

And of course, Clarence gets his wings.

It’s a Wonderful Life is just a movie.  Still, I can’t help but imagine after seeing it what the world would be like had I never been born.  (You’ve wondered, too.  Admit it.)  Just how many times have my words, actions, or even thoughts affected people without me knowing?

As someone who has struggled with depression, I know firsthand what it’s like to become fed up with life and all the crap that comes with it.  There have been times in the past when I truly believed that the world would be better off without me.  What a big, FAT lie.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you’re a homo sapien living on planet Earth, then your life has a purpose.  Repeat it to yourself, over and over again if need be: I have a purpose. And nobody can strip you of that purpose.

Here are some facts about suicide that may come as a surprise to you:

  • There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than to HIV/AIDS
  • Between 1952 and 1995, suicide in young adults nearly tripled
  • Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care
  • Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring
  • For young people ages 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death
  • There are an estimated 18 to 25 suicide attempts to 1 completion
  • Males are four times more likely to commit suicide than females
  • The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression
  • By 2010, depression will be the #1 disability in the world (World Health Organization)
  • 80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully
  • Suicide can be prevented through public education and awareness

If you find yourself thinking about suicide or know someone whom you think is at risk, GET HELP.  I cannot stress this enough.  No, you will not want to do it.  Maybe you’d rather die (literally).  But trust me, your family and friends will be glad that you did.  Even more importantly, so will you.

One good website to check out if you need answers is To Write Love on Her Arms.  TWLOHA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness on suicide, depression, and self-harm.  It has helped me a lot, and I’m sure it can help you, too.

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week.  So spread awareness!

Suicide facts obtained from SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)

Filed under: Everyday Ramblings, Special Occasions

About the girl


Christina. 18. College student. Lover of words, sublime images, fat books and skinny jeans. Dislikes melting snow, the color pink, and procrastination.

This blog is an outlet for my jumbled thoughts. Thank you for stopping by.

Runaway-Muse @ Flickr

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