Poem: My Imagination

I knew if we talked,

My mind would begin to wander.

And oh it did.

You could be in love with someone else,

Or talking to a hundred other girls just like me.

I’ve still waited everyday for you.

Maybe you’ll give me a sign,

Tell me it’s not all in my head.

I’ve known all along that you’re so out of my league.

I knew if we talked,

I’d get attached.

I had to try anyway.

And you need to know that in those two hours,

I laughed more than I have in a long time.

I wanted to tell you that you have the sweetest smile.

I know I talked too much about myself,

But I wanted to give you reasons to like me.

I know how pathetic that sounds.

You probably think I sound crazy,

But my mind is running wild with you.

I could mean absolutely nothing to you.

Even if it’s true,

I wouldn’t take a single moment back.

You’re the closest I’ve been to feeling something real.

I don’t care if you know this is about you,

Even if I’m sure you won’t see it.

I think I want you to know.

I’m still hoping for a chance,

For you to show me that this isn’t in my head.

Don’t tell me if I’m wrong.

If you can still see me sitting there like I can picture you so well,

Please say so.


Let me know what you think!

Instagram: todayithoughtthis, gabriellegillispie

 

 

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Poem: Innocent

I don’t want someone to love me

If they think I’m innocent.

I don’t want someone to love me

If they think it’s cute.

I am a person.

I am not a challenge.


 

I wrote this poem several months ago after being told exactly, “you’re so innocent, it’s cute.” I was told this often growing up, from the boys in school who had unknown motives and the girls who looked down on me. I hated that it was true.

When I was in high school, I rejected my “innocence.” I liked the look of surprise that people got when I told them I was the kind of girl who went to parties, drank with her friends, had hooked up with boys. Of course, most of it was exaggerated; telling stories just so I would be accepted.

It worked. I got the attention of boys. I got attention from people who had never known I existed for the entire year I sat with them in classes. I became more outgoing; I was no longer the shy girl. I was no longer the loner, or the girl some people thought was mute because I talked so little. I was known.

And none of it mattered. I didn’t find happiness. I was depressed all the time, constantly irritated by how difficult trying to be someone else was. It was fun at times, but I knew I wasn’t being genuine and that wore me down quickly.

I lost everything I worked for when I decided to be “innocent” again, and it took a long time to get over the fact that the only close friends I’d had up to that point hated me. So I left it all behind: my friends, my school, my boyfriend, everything. None of it mattered to me because it wasn’t real anymore.

I still have that feeling every once in a while, where I feel like I have to prove myself, even several years later. “I’m not as innocent as I seem, see?” I don’t have to do that, though. It’s been a slow coming, but I’m finally finding places I fit in and people who are just as “innocent” as I am. And it is so much more rewarding.

It isn’t innocence. It’s having a moral compass. It’s having boundary lines. It’s having a comfort zone. It’s listening to myself. Most of the world encourages having an abundance of friends, drinking, going to parties every night, having fun at all costs. I didn’t find satisfaction in that; I always wanted more. Where I am now, I can be content. I can have the kind of fun I actually like, with people I can actually connect with. I am becoming more outgoing again, in my own way that I couldn’t do before because now it’s real. I can enjoy making meaningful connections with a few wonderful people, rather than having sub-par relationships with as many people I meet. I can hopefully find a guy who will respect me, and I him, instead of seeing me as some sort of challenge. And I’m excited for all that I have and all that still lies ahead.

So, no I don’t want to be seen as innocent, because the people who see me that way often want to take it away. I was encouraged to do things I wasn’t comfortable with like cursing, drinking, smoking, etc. because it was unexpected of me. Therefore, it was amusing to those egging me on. That’s the lesson I learned in all of this, and want to share. Don’t change just to be accepted by others, because those people will never truly care for you and you’ll always be unfulfilled. Don’t do anything solely because it’s the popular decision.


Let me know what you think!

Instagram: gabriellegillispie

 

Book Review: Fly Guy Versus Fancy Nancy

I’ll be honest and say that prior to today, I’d never read either Fly Guy or Fancy Nancy, to my knowledge. However, I have been using them both as my go-to suggestions because of their popularity, pretending that I know what they’re actually about. For the dads who don’t even know where to start with finding their daughter a good book, there’s Fancy Nancy. For the little boys who think they’re too cool to read, I suggest Fly Guy. It hasn’t backfired yet, but I felt like it was past time that I read them before suggesting them to any more desperate parents or book-hating children.

It doesn’t take long when working with kids to figure out what’s popular among them. I knew who Mo Willems was on my first day of work. I knew that most boys can’t get enough Lego books. I knew that Diary Of A Wimpy Kid is just as popular today as it was when I was in school. I also knew that nearly every little boy knows who Fly Guy is and nearly every little girl loves Fancy Nancy.

Despite the title of this post, I am not actually going to pit Fly Guy and Fancy Nancy against one another. I just wanted to add a little drama. In reality, I decided to take two of the most popular kids’ book series and talk about what I thought of them; one for the girls and one for the boys. Also, they are so different that I don’t think I could compare them, and I’m already impartial to Fancy Nancy because I just like “girlier” books. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy an action-packed space adventure as much as the next guy, but I’m a sucker for a fairy-mermaid-princess falling in love and having a slumber party with all of her other magical friends (if this isn’t already a book, it needs to be) kind of story because it’s what I liked as a child.

That being said, I’ll start with Fly Guy. Every book starts off about the same way: page one explains that there is a boy with a pet fly who can pronounce the boy’s name, Buzz. I like this. A child can pick up any of the books and know some background information before reading. With an introductory page and chapters, these books prepare kids for the structure of an actual chapter book without overwhelming them. Of course, even with this introduction to Fly Guy and Buzz, I’m still stuck wondering, “Why has everyone else just accepted the fact this little boy can seemingly communicate with a fly? Is this some sort of parallel universe in which flies and humans can communicate like a human and a dog could? How do you train a fly? Is Buzz actually named Buzz, or are these stories told from Fly Guy’s perspective, and the only name he could pronounce was Buzz because he’s a fly?” Then again, I doubt any second grader will dive that far into the story. If they do, I’d like to be their friend.

The book I was most excited to read about in the Fly Guy series is titled “Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl” because, let’s face it, I will take a romantic story even if it’s in the form of two flies falling in love. I personally liked the simplicity of Fly Guy meeting this beautiful and awesome fly and practically having their whole wedding planned after a short conversation. I should not have related to his wild imagination in this moment, but I shamefully did. I do have to say, though, that I was very much let down by the ending. Spoiler alert: the story ends with them saying “let’s be friends” (in their own fly language, of course). Come on, Tedd Arnold. I know this is a kid’s book, but don’t crush Fly Guy’s fantasy like that. Let kids believe in love. He was ready to propose to Fly Girl, probably. He’s not satisfied with the friend-zone. Let him take her on a date, at least.

I digress.

In all seriousness, I really did enjoy these books. They are adventurous, silly, and they encourage imagination. Buzz and Fly Guy are never bored. Whether it’s writing their own fiction stories, creating a superhero legion with a dragon, being swallowed by Buzz’s grandmother, or falling in love, there is always an adventure ahead. Also, there is the occasional gross humor that little (and big, honestly) boys seem to love.

Fancy Nancy, however, is far too fancy to laugh at such gross things. Don’t worry, she will constantly remind you how fancy she and everything that surrounds her is (you have to love her optimism). The girl has high standards, and I can appreciate that. Fancy Nancy will never do anything half-assed, nor will she ever settle. You go, Nancy.

The vocabulary in these books is phenomenal. It provides a challenge to kids of all ages. There are plenty of “big words” throughout, but Nancy doesn’t simply state them and move on. She explains, in brief, what they mean and there is even a review of all the definitions in the back of the book. There is even the occasional word in another language (usually French, because everyone knows that French is the fanciest language).

Every story is filled with applicable advice, like how to take care of a pet, the consequences of lying, and how to throw a super rad sleepover. Among the bigger lessons, there are smaller ones addressed as well. When Nancy learns the ways in which she can help protect the planet, her parents remind her not to be bossy or take it too far. That being said, they still implemented many of her suggestions, coming to a fair compromise.

The stories aside, the illustrations are incredibly colorful and fun. They remind me a bit of the Mary Engelbreit paper dolls I used to get so excited over when my mom received the Home Companion magazines in the mail every month. There really isn’t much I don’t like about Fancy Nancy. I want to be as fancy as her when I grow up.

All in all, both of these book series are wonderful in their own ways and I’m fortunate that I can finally see for myself why they are so popular, because I genuinely loved every one.


Fly Guy: written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold

Fancy Nancy: written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss


Let me know what you think!

Instagram: gabriellegillispie

 

 

Poem: Today

Today I thought this:

A simple word,

A result of a simple thought,

And that is it.

Today I thought,

How beautiful words are,

How they exist for us and by us only,

Hollow without human touch.

Today I

Am the creator of universes,

Am a giver of life,

Always influenced by outside forces.

Today.

It’s a good day for simple words,

It’s a good day for simple thoughts,

Infinities waiting to be built.


 

Let me know what you think!

Instagram: gabriellegillispie, todayithoughtthis

 

Happiness

Happiness is a fleeting thing:

A temporary satisfaction

To curb a permanent dissatisfaction.

Happiness is a beautiful thing:

A moment of laughter or a smile

To break up the mundane everyday-life routine.

Happiness can be a dangerous thing:

A momentary high

To fill a void we can’t seem to find.

 

The true nature of happiness is not permanence,

Nor will it satisfy that longing in your heart,

But my God,

It’s a magical thing to feel happy.

 

Seek happiness in your everyday,

But seek fulfillment over anything else.

 


On Sunday, I decided to step out of my minuscule comfort-zone, and go to a bible study. I generally despise every social gathering I go to, because I am so socially inept, but I keep trying. It would be easy to stay shut-in all the time and not meet new people simply because it’s hard, but what’s easy is rarely fulfilling.

I almost did not go. I almost said, “I’ll do it next week,” knowing full well that I wouldn’t. But at midnight, I texted my mother telling her that I was going. If I told someone, I felt accountable. It would be harder to back out.

I went with an open mind, and I’m so glad I did.

Here’s the thing about being a socially awkward person trying to do very social things: you have to try. Simply showing up can feel like the the most effort you can manage, but it will end badly if you don’t try, just like you’re likely expecting it to.

For the past year and a half, I’ve gotten a much better handle on social situations in general. It takes time and it takes a lot of effort, but I don’t find myself having a legitimate panic attack over leaving the house anymore. Now, I leave without a second thought, wondering why I ever thought it was that terrifying. Three years ago, I used to nearly cry if I had to order food for myself or if I was in Panera (one of my all-time favorite restaurants that I go to several times a month, so I definitely had the chance to be comfortable there) and my mom wouldn’t get up to get an extra napkin or pack of butter for me. It was that bad. Yes, there were times where I felt comfortable and I was able to act like myself, but those moments were fleeting and didn’t happen often enough.

I finally realized that I was far, far too old to be getting worked up over doing anything where I couldn’t hide behind my mother. I began putting myself out there more and more and it backfired quite a lot because I would do something out of my comfort zone, and not talk to anyone. I’d assume they hated me before they had a chance to get to know me, because I wouldn’t give them the chance to do so. I wanted friendship so desperately and was so unhappy that I couldn’t find it. I can see now that I was unapproachable and never made the first (or second or third or fourth) move, so of course no one wanted to talk to me. I grew tired of being so uncomfortable everywhere I went, so I changed it.

I’ve always been okay at one-on-one interactions, so I started there. I would make eye contact, ask them questions, and even seek people out to say hello or offer a friendly smile to. From there, I learned to be comfortable with myself in conversations enough to branch out to more people.

In the words of Joyce Meyer, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” Now, I make decisions on my own to go to social events like bible studies because it’s scary, but can be so rewarding. And it was. That was one of the only social gatherings I have gone to where I left wanting more. I left feeling confident, not drained or embarrassed because I tried speaking up and said something dumb. Instead, I spoke up and thought, “that was good.”

In this bible study, one of the topics we discussed was the difference between happiness and fulfillment. To which I responded with something along the lines of, “happiness is finding joy in moments as they come, and fulfillment is being content overall.” And it’s true. I kept going to social gatherings with the hope that that would be the thing to bring me happiness; I kept looking to people to make me happy. In reality, I was looking at happiness all wrong. I’m not weird for feeling unsatisfied. I’m human. Humans always want more and we look for satisfaction in the things that bring momentary pleasure, rather than looking for what is best for us overall.

And of course, the only thing that will bring true fulfillment is God; keeping my eyes on Him rather than people or things or even myself. There is nothing else that I can rely on, because, as the pastor said later in the sermon, the stimulant will eventually become a depressant. When all that you do is not enough, you have to seek The One who is enough. The things that bring us happiness are not bad (within reason), but they mean nothing without God. When you separate the thing from God, that’s what brings dissatisfaction.

When I found my comfort in God, I found comfort in myself. And I was fulfilled.


Let me know what you think!

Instagram: gabriellegillispie