Old Beginnings

Good afternoon, friends!

I need help. I’m not liking “The Villain Authoress” as my blog name anymore for a few reasons:

  1. My posts deal with more than just writing. I’d like to leave a little more room for post content without readers looking at them through a writing sort of lens.
  2. I’d like something that can grow up with me (I’d come up with this tag when I was maybe 13 or 14? I’m 17 now and things have changed as they tend to do).
  3. I’d like a URL that captures more of my personality, so when you click onto this blog, you feel as if you’re stopping by to chat with an old friend, not read a post written by some obscure fairy of the cosmos.

Since I write for you to read, I’d like your opinion. Below is a poll and if you wouldn’t mind choosing your favorites, I’d appreciate it. 😉 Suggestions are also welcome.

(You can choose up to 3 options. 😉 )

Meanings behind the names:

1. livingintheshade.wordpress.com

2. everything-under-the-shade.wordpress.com — 1 and 2 are essentially a play on “everything under the sun” but, as a homeschooling redhead, I don’t do “sun.” 😛

3. theskepticeclectic.wordpress.com — I’m quite the skeptic and have many interests.

4. musings-of-a-ginger.wordpress.com — *points to hair* I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

5. legally-ginger.wordpress.com — *twists lock of red hair* This too. And I think there’s a movie called “Legally Blonde,” but I’ve never seen it. Is it okay to do a play on that…?

6. lostinwonderland.wordpress.com — Kind of whimsical and I like that.

7. myfavoriteflavorismore.wordpress.com — I try to do new things, so this can refer to food or life in general!

God bless!

Rana

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life, currently

Hello, lovelies!

I hope your week is off to a great start. ^_^ Today, I thought I’d just let you know what’s going on right now. My productivity levels are kind of shooting out the roof and I may be going crazy.

It’s no secret that I’m a nerd. I’m addicted to mental stimulation (just not when I’m trying to sleep). As a result, I kind of made a crazy decision to work my butt off for a couple of months in order to pay for two speech and debate tournaments.

Two.

Not just one, but two.

t w o

And they’re kind of expensive (for a poor student such as myself).

Image from 1001 Downloads.

Image from 1001 Downloads.

So here’s what my daily life is looking like:

Monday – Friday:

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. –

  • wake up
  • sign in for school
  • see what needs to be done by the end of the week
  • sigh
  • check email
  • check FaceBook
  • check Pinterest

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. –

  • eat around 10/11 a.m. or whenever I get hungry enough to get off my butt and find something to eat
  • work on school
  • procrastinate
  • re-memorize parts of speech

1:00 – 2/3:00 –

  • exercise (anyone else work out to Denise Austin? No? Just me?)
  • read Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Freidman + annotate + take notes
  • shower?

3:00 – 4:00 –

  • we try to sneak in an episode of LOST
  • eat
  • try to work on debate here and there

5:15 –

  • sigh
  • leave for work (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday – Wednesday is choir practice, Friday I take off)

5:30 – 9:30 p.m. –

  • work
  • yawn

9:45/10:00/11:00 (it depends on what’s going on after work) –

  • get home/in bed

Saturday:

9:20 a.m. –

  • get out of bed
  • wonder why

9:30 –

  • make some food (if I’m feeling like it)
Recipe from Blue Apron.

Creamed kale recipe from Blue Apron.

Recipe from Blue Apron.

Pan-seared flank steak recipe from Blue Apron.

  • I may or may not try to get in some Free to Choose (I’m on a schedule — it should be done by the end of the month)

11:45 –

  • leave for work

12:00 – 9:30 p.m. –

  • work (I may take a total of 30 minutes to eat when I get hungry)
  • back gets achy from walking around too much

 

So this has been my life and I’ve been tired, but feeling productive, and also creatively drained. I keep telling myself that once tournament season is over, I’ll have time to write (curls into a ball, hibernates).

I’m hoping this is all worth it, really. I mean, if I knew I’d do well at the tournaments, this would be easier to get through, but there’s no guarantee.

I guess I just need to keep the focus on (here it comes, guys! she’s going to talk about r e l i g i o n) glorifying God, not making myself look good or feel good about myself. I struggle with jealousy and try to be happy for the newbies who do better than me, but it’s difficult, you know? You work hard and long for something that some new kid gets.

C’est la vie.

Humility is a lesson I need to learn. And I need to learn to do that gracefully.

I hope everything’s well on your end, darlings!

God bless!

Rana

I’m //that// friend.

So I’m going to do my best to be super honest and accurate without being a drama queen. But, somehow, it seems that whenever someone is totally honest about something not-so-great, they’re just trying to come off as deep and dark and mature.

Whatever.

That’s not me.

This is me:

I’m the friend who laughs at everything you say because I’m not witty enough to come up with a decent verbal response.

I’m the friend who criticizes a lot, but will do my best to never say something that could hurt you.

I’m the friend with the best intentions, but has a hard time verbalizing them.

I’m the friend who has a harder time complimenting you than a stranger because I know you and you’re probably more talented than I am and, yes, I get jealous, but am super happy that you have them.

I’m the friend who doesn’t usually enjoy physical activities and has no problem sitting them out.

I’m the friend who needs you to care about the things I do well in or work hard at. Or, at least, congratulate me in or ask about occasionally.

I'm //that// friend.

I’m the friend who doesn’t like to stay out late (depending on who you are), but doesn’t mind staying up late (also depends on who you are).

I’m the friend who enjoys getting dressed up for a nice dinner out, but doesn’t want to stay too long.

I’m the friend who tries to say the right things, but never really does.

I’m the friend who doesn’t like being in a large group.

I’m the friend who constantly wonders if you like me or not.

I’m the friend who would rather you tell me you hate me than pretend to like me.

I’m the friend who prefers deep conversations to small talk.

I’m the friend who either obsessively cares but doesn’t want to be clingy or the friend who is pretty much apathetic about everything.

I’m the friend who can’t stand the sound of chewing (honestly, I wish I could rip myself apart or tear my ears off my head when someone is chewing anything).

I’m the friend who can’t stand the sound of slurping.

I’m the friend who comes off as quite apathetic if you’re talking to a group. But if you catch me alone and talk about the same thing, I’ll try to be engaged and interested.

I’m the friend who doesn’t get super excited about much of anything.

I’m the friend who tries to see everything from a different point of view whether it contrasts with yours or not.

I’m the friend who doesn’t mind being the only one not interested in that show or film or actor.

I’m the friend who over thinks everything and can’t stop wondering if the hang out might have been more fun if I wasn’t there.

I’m the friend who wants to be in the loop and invited to everything, but doesn’t want to go.

I’m the friend who gets hurt if I’m not invited to something (even if I don’t want to go).

I’m the friend who is happy if you don’t invite me to something you don’t want me to go to (yes, I realizes this is contradictory).

I’m the friend who wishes you could just tell me your exact feelings about me.

I’m the friend who wouldn’t believe you even if you did.I'm //that// friend.

I’m the friend who doesn’t understand how you could like me.

I’m the friend with no clue about pretty much anything.

I’m the friend I’m positive no one wants to take out in public.

I’m the friend with so many thoughts, but speaks few words of importance.

I’m the friend who tries to stay quiet because no one would really want to hear my opinions, right? I mean, I’m pretty pessimistic. Or realistic. Same difference.

I’m the friend who wants to always be there for you and would do anything important for you.

I’m the friend who doesn’t really talk about my problems.

I’m the friend with no relationship status and wonders why but would probably hate to have one anyway.

I’m the friend with the most confidence and the most insecurities.

I’m the friend who think I’m the worst friend and the best friend.

I’m the friend who cares too much.

I’m the awkward friend.

I’m (un)apologetically me.

 

Love,

Rana

 

P.S.

If you haven’t already, go check out my Writer’s Toolbox! It’s a compilation of resources for writers. 🙂

End of the World

Good afternoon, darling!

I want to share with you something that had severe negative emotional effects and mild physical ones on yours truly. It’s going to make me a bit vulnerable, but the raw and painful experiences are the ones that we connect with or so I hear.

Without going into too much detail…

  • I made some decisions against my better judgement.
  • I lost a lot of friends (not through anything that was really my fault).
  • I heard something at a youth conference (of all places) that disturbed me for a long time.

All this combined led to a crazy amount of negative impacts which I think I won’t go into at this time.

But one of the things that stuck with me and is something that I’m still trying to shake is this fear that the world is going to end. If I look at it from a big picture perspective, it’s not so bad, right? It’s not that everything will be destroyed, but that everything will be made beautiful and perfect and glorious. But it also means that crap happens first. Things have to get really bad before they get really good.

And I would lie awake at night, wondering when it would happen, what would happen. But you know what? I have little to no reason to believe that this is going to happen any time soon. What have we got going? Wars, murder, the beheading of innocents, children getting shot in their schools, parents murdering their children, children murdering their parents.

This has all happened before. It’s nothing new.

History repeats itself. Where once children – babies – were burned alive to appease the pagan gods, we now murder them before they’re born and turn a blind eye.* Wars have been raging for forever. Murder: Cain and Able.

I have no valid reason to believe that the world is ending. 

Do you?

The thing is, even if it were, what’s the point in worrying about it?  We can’t change it. We can’t stop it. All we can do is make the world around us a good place to live. That’s what I kept trying to tell myself a year or two ago, but I couldn’t quite believe it for a long time. So if you’re there, it gets better. I promise. Just hold on.

Do you ever flip to a random passage in the Bible? I did the other night and stumbled upon this. It comforted me a lot and my prayer is that it helps you too.

Thessalonians 2:2-3

Anyway, this is something I felt I should write about. Maybe it will speak to you, maybe not. I hope this finds its way to whoever needs it. ❤

Love,

Rana

*Note: I do not judge those who have had an abortion. I love them and my heart goes out them. I realize that I cannot agree with their decision, but that does not mean I have to hate them. ❤ If you have had one and are hurting, seek counselling, love. ❤ You can get better.

P.S.

This Christmas season, we’ll see a lot of Salvation Army red buckets and hear them jingling bells. The SA has admitted to believing that it’s fine to have an abortion under certain circumstances on its website. If you believe abortion is wrong under //all// circumstances, you might want to find some other organization to contribute to. (And there has never been an instance where an unborn baby needed to die to save the mother. Sometimes, the mother needs surgery and the baby dies in the process, but these two situations are completely different. One has the intent to kill, the other has the intent to save.) #tangentover

High Fructose Fantasies

Hello, my darling!

I apologize for the irregular posts. I really should get myself on a schedule, but, ah, that would require effort and planning ahead – two things I’m not particularly fond of. So we’ll just stick with this spontaneous thing I’ve got going on.

Today, I just want to kind of throw some thoughts out there. It might be a bit scattered, so hold on tight. 😉

When we were young, we thought we’d be the popular kids with everything figured out. Don’t pretend like you never had those fantasies. We all High Fructose Fantasiesdid.

And now what are we?

What happened to the kids who weren’t afraid to love, to try things, to make mistakes? What happened to the kids who thought they were going to change the world?

I guess they grew up.

I used to day dream all the time. I used to think about my future.

Now, not so much. It’s getting better, but I used to dread thinking about the next day because it was so overwhelming. It still is if I think too hard or far. It just seems like once you hit high school, things go by so fast.

You’re expected to do, like,

  • 529,720,762,759 hours of community service
  • 5,000 hours of internship
  • decide what college to attend
  • what you want to do with the rest of your life
  • make friends
  • keep friends
  • lose friends
  • love
  • hate
  • get broken
  • pick yourself back up
  • have fun because childhood is the best time of your life but why aren’t you acting like an adult
  • cry but not too much because people will ask what’s wrong and they have their own problems – bigger problems so yours mean nothing
  • laugh
  • dream big
  • no, not that big you idiot because only special people can do that (basically, you’re obviously not special)
  • be yourself
  • no, not like that
  • do your homework
  • stop talking so much, no one cares
  • why are you so quiet, I want to hear what you have to say
  • get involved in extra curricular activities
  • but maybe you should drop them because you obviously need an A+ in all of your classes and you seem stressed out
  • and don’t forget to shower and sleep somewhere in between.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day  and it’s spent doing s o  m u c h  n o t h i n g.

Why do we really need A’s? I work way too hard for a letter. After that, what? I go to a nice college so I can hopefully get a job in the field I studied for. So much of what I do rests on hope that’s not even my own. Is that okay? Is this really how I want to live my life? I just don’t understand why that’s the only option. *shakes head*

(This is not to say that I’m advocating for rebellion against parents/guardians when they tell you to work hard and get good grades. I only mean that you should think for yourself. Respect authority, kids.)

Back to the point: we don’t dream anymore. Our hopes been sucked dry by an uncreative society’s chaotic and bland version of reality. And we so readily conform to it. Our new dreams are no longer that of a hopeful child with starry eyes looking to a bright future. The only dreams we now dare to hope come true must be possible and probable. Anything else will get you hurt.

Our new dreams, though, terrify us into paralysis. We’re afraid to dream too big. We’re afraid we can’t achieve the success they have. We’re afraid. So afraid.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day and-

Guys, there are only 24 hours in a day.

Don’t waste that precious time being afraid. If you’re afraid to wear that leather jacket because you’re afraid to break out of the t-shirt and jeans standard you’ve created for yourself, have courage. Do it. Go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? Flushed cheeks and maybe a comment on how wonderful you look?

Small changes add up. Make them.

They don’t have to be life changes. Maybe just a little one. Live on the edge. Chop your hair off, wear striped pants, smile at a stranger.

Summary: society’s version of dreaming is going to keep your from making a move. So screw society and do your own thing. Dream. Hope. Love.

[/thus end Rana’s random thoughts]

Much love from a kid who’s just as confused (if not more so) as you.

Rana

Stop Saying “That’s Just The Way I Am”

Hello, darling!

I’ve heard this so much lately, “That’s just the way I am.” And people pass it off as an excuse to be a jerk. I don’t think that’s acceptable. We choose what we become and to believe that we are not in control of that is utterly false. The reason we do it, though, is because it’s easier to think “we can’t change” as opposed to “we should change.” We like to think it’s not our fault.

You are in control of your thoughts. You are in control of what you do. We hold murderers accountable for what they do. They can’t use the excuse, “I just like to kill people and that’s who I am” as justification for their actions. In the same sense, it’s not a justifiable excuse for our actions either.

So let’s go through a quick list of things we think we are because change requires effort, but actually aren’t.

You’re not a jerk. You just choose to be a jerk because maybe you feel better when you tick everyone off with your opinions (I know I do).

You’re not a rebel. You just choose not to listen to authority because maybe that makes you feel more autonomous or something. Dude, everyone thinks they’re a rebel when they scoop the spinach off their plate when their parents aren’t looking. Not many people rebel against the right things.

rebel

You’re not an idiot. Sometimes, you’re goofy. Sometimes, you have a blonde moment. It makes you human which is another thing entirely. Unless you don’t study and slack off. Then you’re just lazy and that’s your decision.

You don’t have trouble keeping friends. You just choose to jump at the slightest thing and push people away because you’ve been hurt before. Accept that people aren’t perfect and be more forgiving.

You’re not a horrible person. You’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you are because of what other people have done or said to you or by dwelling on your mistakes. You’re not perfect. It’s okay. No one likes perfection so don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t.

The list goes on.

Essentially, none of us are allowed to use, “that’s just the way I am” as an excuse to be a jerk. The way you act is the way you choose to act whether it’s conscious or not.

Let’s choose to believe the best about ourselves and others and stop labeling people. They’re people, not containers. Let’s be decent folks in a world sorely lacking in that department, huh?

Love you and God bless!

Rana

You Are the One

Hello. My name is Rana. It’s pronounced ‘Reh-nah’ but people have called me “Rayna,” “Reena,” “Ronna,” “Rosa,” “Renee,” and basically anything else that starts with an “R” and is about two syllables long. But you can call me anything you want as long as it’s nice. I’ll still respond. I’ve kind of up given up on embarrassing people so they can say my name correctly.

What’s in a title anyway?

Depending on the meaning, I may not even want to live up to it.

In Spanish, it means “frog.” And I hate frogs.

But in Arabic, it means “queenly.” I think.

We’ll just go with the latter, okay?

Anyway.

I’m here to tell you something.

You are flipping wonderful.

Seriously. And, keep in mind, that the “world” can be defined as just one person’s outlook on life. Give them something to hold on to and hope for.

You could be the person someone falls in love with on the bus. You could be the one who smiles at someone who needed it. You could be the one.

You could be the one, baby.

You are the one.

I am the one.

LET’S BE AWESOME, OKAY?

God bless, lovely!

Rana