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:: 2009 10 July :: 7.06 pm
:: Mood: calm

Not about anything
I didn't expect it to be so strange when I merged worlds. It's not bad, but it's different. I brought Poland, Australia, and America into the same place. I have Kara, who is experiencing what the real Shelton family is, and marveling at how I came from it. I have Prudence, who counts as both Polish and Australian to me, who is experiencing the American life. And then I have my American friends, who are experiencing the people I spent most of my time with abroad. Surprisingly (or maybe not,) I make friends with a similar type of people anywhere I go. Not that everyone doesn't have their own unique qualities, only that I tend to surround myself with people who will get along with each other. I really like my friends.

We're going to be traveling soon. Next trip will be about two weeks and we'll see Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Cincinnati, and Columbus, as well as everything in between. I'm really excited about this because I've always wanted to see New England more than ANYWHERE else in the USA. I know it's not a really thorough trip, but it's going to be great nonetheless. It's sad Prudence will have to leave about a week after we get back to Cedar, and Kara will leave in about three. I wish I could go with her.. I really hope I can. It all depends on the Australian government. I've already applied for residency; all that's left is waiting.

I'm going to miss my friends and winter Christmases. But Melbourne gets colder than Brisbane, so it will feel a little more like home. I can't WAIT to start studying, but once again, I'll have to wait. Two years. :S

I don't want to think about the future. My life is made up of a lot of phases. I'm always in a position where I can't do one thing until I've done another, and usually, it's time that's holding me back. Such as, a visa needing to be approved, or having a visa that won't let you study for two years. I'm not really in a hurry, but I like to feel like I'm working towards something. At least it never hurts to save money for a while.

I'm not going to complain about anything, or say anything contemplative, because I don't really feel like it, even though God knows I could. But it's been ages since I've written, so I thought I would. I used to keep a journal that I wrote in regularly, ever since I was little, but I haven't for the last year. I've never lived with anyone before in the sense that your lives actually affect each others, and ever since Kara and I moved in together, I haven't needed to write. Not much, anyway. We used to go to bed every night and just talk while laying there. It's harder to do here in America, where my mother is creeping around, making sure we're not being ourselves. That must be why I feel like writing right now. But also, Kara and Prudence are taking quizzes on some website right now. Instead of joining in, I went to woohu. I even forgot my password. I had to ask Kara--good thing she stores memories like a computer.

Well, we're going to drink some vodasz tonight, and watch Harry Potter movies (god help me.) The wine will help. :P

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:: 2008 1 July :: 5.01 pm
:: Mood: peaceful

July 1st.
I was standing in the Warsaw airport at 6am having gone to bed only two hours earlier. I felt sick from getting food poisoned in Ukraine and everything felt very surreal. Rafael, and Prudence watched quietly, Monika gave me an eiffel tower keychain from her recent trip to Paris, Nella smiled and joked in the discrete way that she does, Britt stood anxiously beside me, and my host mom Danka held an American flag. I was feeling nauseous from the food poisoning, but also the added nerves of leaving the country. Daniela smiled at me warmly and lead me to the bathroom where I threw up. As we walked back to the small crowd, she rubbed my back and mothered me. Minutes passed, Britt and I went through the gate, and a strange calmness came over me as we boarded the plane.

It's been one year since I left Poland and my exchange ended. Today the exchange students after me are coming home. The first time I saw them they were timid but excited to start their own exchange and everything about Poland sounded strange. Then I saw one of them when I visited Warsaw six months ago and she knew better Polish than me.

A year later and I'm sitting on a blue couch with glass sliding doors in front of me watching the Aussie sky turn from day to dusk. I have a beautiful girlfriend, an awesome cat, and I wash dogs for a living. A lot of things can change in a year. A lot of things changed for the year I was in Poland. But right now, things are starting to feel more stable. I have the person I want to spend my life with, we have a place to live, and we're building a savings account. We've got the simple things down; it's just the future that remains unknown. But that's ok.

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:: 2007 21 October :: 4.35 am
:: Mood: Sleepy
:: Music: Bright Eyes

4am Forever
Bright Eyes concert follow up:


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:: 2007 19 October :: 8.57 pm
:: Music: Portishead - Glory Box

I miss everyone I've ever known.

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:: 2007 19 August :: 1.35 am
:: Music: Regina Spektor

Fotografia, Uniwersytet, Spac.
I never realized how uncomfortable this little box is to type in. It's shoved to the bottom left corner and no more than an inch and half high. The white background is pretty depressing too. I guess it's the perfect atmosphere for sappy Internet blogging.

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life. I wonder about if I'm doing them. I feel like I'm trying hard, but not making it very far. Why am I going to Alma College? I have proved that I'm a city person. I'm a street photographer. I'm going to a school with an excellent photography program.. but the school is in the middle of nowhere. In the middle of Michigan, to be exact. Not that Michigan is nothing. I have grown very fond of my state over the last year. But after living a year in Warsaw, I simply won't survive long in a small town.

It's money. It's all about money. If I had money I would drop Alma and go to study at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. If I had money I would buy a decent camera and photoshop. I don't have a camera right now. Can you believe that? I have this feeling of hopelessness without it.. this nothingless. When I was in the UP this weekend, my camera broke. I can't afford a new one. I want a nice one though, not just another digital camera every tourist or mom has. Sometimes I wonder who I'm kidding though. I don't know a damn thing about photoshop, about aperature or other camera technicalities. I feel like I know little more than the average photo taker. I guess that's not important though. What's important is that I take photos because I love to do it. I get frustrated, though, when I think my photo could be so much more, but my camera makes it look pixely or ruins the colors. I try to convince myself it will be better when I start college because I can get a job and save up for things like a nice camera, lenses, and I'll be taking classes to learn all of the ins and outs of photography and exercise my ability. But it's difficult to take a photography course with no camera. And it's difficult to get a camera when you owe the school $1,200 before you can even start classes and I've got less than half of that in my bank account. All I can do is rely on my parents once again, even though they can't spare the money. It only adds to the amount that I owe them. Maybe you shouldn't owe your parents, but I know they don't have much more money than I do, so I feel obligated.

I've been thinking about Poland a lot lately. I always think about Poland. Why is it that life works out in almost painfully ironic ways? My best friend is in Hungary. I know a language that will probably never help me in Alma, MI. My camera breaks a week before I start photography classes. Heh. All I can do is laugh about it. I accept that I need to work harder having circumstances like this.. most of the people I love the very most are all around the world. I will probably only see a few of them ever again, and then maybe only once more. And I know that I'm going to meet many more people that I will cherish.. and never see again. It's something I accept in traveling though.

I wish I could study in Australia. I really want that the most. I wish that the school would be more helpful to me and I wish I knew what my plan was for even the next year, let alone the next four years.

Perhaps I'm complaining. But who looks at this anyway?

God I hate money.

Justine.. you take really beautiful photographs. They make me feel everything at once.

Perhaps I should sleep. It has been a long day.

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:: 2007 28 June :: 5.01 pm

Leaving Poland
COMING HOME PARTY (they say to put the important stuff first)

Yes, I'm returning to the mother land.. to the United States of America. I've been in Poland for ten months. Have you forgotten what I look like? If so, then you should come to my party and reacquaint yourself. If not, you should still come because I envy your good memory. Here are the details.

Jessica Schmidt's dad's house (on main street)
July 4th
5:30pm - pretty late because we'll be watching fireworks and celebrating

If you don't know where Jessica lives.. call her. Unfortunately I don't have her phone number. Maybe if she reads this note she will be so kind as to leave a comment with the number at which she can be reached. Orrr.. you can call me after July 1st at 696-9764.

I know it's Independence Day and you're all popular and torn between which party you're going to choose, but I hope you can at least stop by for ten minutes.

Do zobaczenia!

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:: 2007 31 January :: 9.46 pm
:: Mood: blank
:: Music: Eska Rock
Quotes are back.

CLICK HERE and add the journal.

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:: 2007 16 January :: 3.02 pm
:: Music: British radio

I haven't been on woohu in months. I read a few pages back in my friend's pages and oh my dear God.. I feel like I've been gone a century, not just from woohu, but from all of your lives. I feel like I'm a million miles away. But I guess I am pretty far. Even a different state would make a difference. But here I am across the ocean, on another continent, in a country many of you know very little about, experiencing things most of you could never know. I am living another life here. Each of you are living another life there, even from each other. You're all friends, you all influence each other, intertwine each other in your lives, but you've all got separate worries, thoughts, problems.. I used to know what was going on. I guess the appropriate phrase is I feel "out of the loop." I'm not upset about it, it just really hit me now. I have friends, family, school here, everything I have in the USA, and my mind is consumed in them. My mind is in Poland and my life here. Coming to woohu right now and reading about all of you with boy/girl problems, school stresses, family frustrations, good parties, great nights out with friends, getting drunk.. your minds are consumed in your lives. Maybe all I'm saying is that life goes on, whether you're there or not. People keep changing, or maybe they keep up to their old habits, but whatever happens, nothing stops. When I get back to the states you guys may have partially forgotten about me. It's understandable. As far as you know, I hardly exist. I'm not around, you don't hear from me, you just simply know that I'm in Poland. And you might read my brief sugar-coated articles in the paper. It's just strange. All of my friends are living their lives and I'm not a part of them anymore. I'm living my life and none of you are a part of it.

It makes me wonder. When I come back, will we still be an ocean a part? Will things go back to being the same? I don't think so. I used to think 10 months wasn't very long, but really it is. We're all growing up. Should I work to read woohu, talk to people on msn, email frequently? Or should I stay focused on my life here that I'll be leaving in five months? But then again, I will never really leave this life. I'm going to be traveling constantly because the friends I've made here are the real ones that I can't fully leave. And when I get back to the states, I'm going to be there for a summer and then it's off to college. The closest there's a chance of me being is a few hours away in Alma, MI. But my hope is to be on the east coast in Boston or New York. I'm not trying to decide if I should stay in touch with all of you or not, because that's rediculous. I will stay in touch with those who I'm meant to, and I will drift with others. It's just life and I'm fine with that. Though it is hard to leave the people you care about so much.

Now I think I'm digressing. I was just struck by the strangeness of reading how all of your lives had progressed and for once not being a part of it, not being the listener or a prominent person in the "group." I feel like someone watching through the window, merely an outsider.

It's different, but it's not bad. I actually think I like it. I like my life and what I'm doing and what I plan to do. It probably will never involve Cedar Springs or even Grand Rapids very much ever again in my life, though. So drop me a line sometime and let me know how your life is and I'll let you know how mine is. It's nice to catch up with the people who used to be so involved in your life.

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:: 2006 6 September :: 3.37 pm

My literature teacher is a polish Mrs. Dolbee!

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:: 2006 4 September :: 1.27 pm
:: Mood: content
If you would like to see my life in Poland, go here periodically: There is also a journal there that you can read about my life too. I probably won't update that much, but check now and then. I'd update this, but I think it's easier to just keep it all together on that site.

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:: 2006 27 August :: 6.58 pm

It is so beautiful here! I think I will like it here a lot. What a long flight.. what a wonderful start. I've been here about an hour and a half and I'm already in love!

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:: 2006 26 August :: 12.20 pm

By the time you read this, I'm probably on a plane to Warsaw, Poland.

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:: 2006 24 August :: 2.44 am
:: Music: Death Cab For Cutie - Sound of Settling

Just so you know..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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:: 2006 14 August :: 2.03 am
:: Music: Snow Patrol - Headlights on Dark Roads

I am back in Cedar. Ten days left before I leave for Poland. Tell me if you want to hang out before I leave and which day is best for you. I'm having a party sometime, the day is undecided for right now.

I have photos, lots and lots of photos from my summer at Camp Nicolet. I didn't really want to post them all on here, so I uploaded them to facebook because it's a hell of a lot easier. If you want to see them, go to facebook and look. You'll have to have an account to do so, I'm sorry. If you don't want to get an account, but want to see them, talk to me and I'll give you my username and password for a bit so you can see them.

It's nice to be back, guys. I'll miss you when I'm gone again. But I just can't seem to stop moving now that I've started.

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:: 2006 16 July :: 10.12 pm

Join (It's better than myspace.) Find me. Add me.

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