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04 July 2009 @ 01:06 am
After much thought, I finally decided to make the switch from LiveJournal, who I was with since eighth grade. My username is outdated, as is everything I write about- complaints mostly, there is nothing of substance. I'm trying to become more serious with my writing, so I figured a fresh start is just what I need.

From now on you can find me at:

http://nicolekayesmiles.blogspot.com/
 
 
Current Music: The Rocket Summer - Christmas Present | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
25 June 2009 @ 09:57 am
This past weekend I traveled to Washington, DC with 2,000 other people from aross the United States- 256 people came from California, the state with the most attendees and one of the farthest away- to lobby for children who don’t have a voice- the Invisible Children. It was a truly life-changing experience. My heart was full of love as I was surrounded by those 2,000 people who had the same goal as did- to help the children of Uganda, the children we love and care for even though we don't know them, the children most of us will never have the opportunity to meet. At times during then two day event I would get so overwhelmed with the love everyone had for the Ugandan children and for each other, my eyes would fill with tears and my heart would be near bursting, full of love, joy, and hope.

I don’t know if any of you reading this has ever had the opportunity to meet a hero- someone you look up to, someone who inspires you, someone whose footsteps you want to follow without even knowing them. I got that chance Tuesday at the closing concert, not only once, but twice.
I was able to meet Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer who inspires me through his beautiful music and lyrics, all of the good he does in our world, Call it Captivate- the foundation he started in which he gives to charities, and how strong in his faith he is. Unfortunately our conversation was cut much too short due to a pair of adorable dogs and other people wanting the chance to meet him. Nonetheless, our three minute conversation meant the world to me.
I was then blessed to meet Jason Russell, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children. Words cannot describe how precious the minute I had with him was. The chance to meet someone who has touched my life in a way I never thought was possible was an incredible experience. The thought of him telling me how blessed he is that I am so inspired by the work he, Bobby, Laren, and all of IC have done… it’s something I can’t even put into words. Halfway through our minute long conversation I was suddenly overwhelmed. Tears started filling my eyes as I told how much the movement of Invisible Children has inspired and changed me.

I didn’t think the story of the Invisible Children could affect me anymore than it already has, but my heart was touched on a whole new level this week.


http://www.invisiblechildren.com
 
 
02 May 2009 @ 06:49 pm
It's hard to believe it's already May and summertime is upon us. It's been almost two years since I graduated high school, which is near impossible to imagine. My baby brother is going to graduate high school in two years. I will no longer be a teenager in 27 short days. When did life start flying by? A few weeks ago I went out to eat with my grandparents and their friends after church and they were talking about how life goes by too fast. They told me to cherish how slow time seems to move for me as long as I can, because soon enough I'll be a sixty-five year old retiree. But life goes by fast for me, too. It seems like just yesterday I was drawing all over stands in the bandroom, acting too immature to be a senior in high school. Now I'm a junior in college, on my way to becoming a teacher hoping to shape lives and make an impact on the world.



This summer is going to be... different. I don't know if that's good or bad yet. I don't have a job, therefore I have a lot of free time on my hands, too much free time, actually. I've watched so many episodes of Law and Order:SVU in the past week, it kind of makes me sick. I'm usually not one to watch much television, but I can't get used to this "no work, no school" thing. I checked out a pile of books from the library and have a few blank notebooks I intend on filling. I'm going to Washington, D.C. for an Invisible Children rally (a follow up of The Rescue) and I have one summer class. That pretty much covers the extent of my summer plans.



Last weekend I attended an event called held by Invisible Children, The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers. It's purpose was to raise awareness of the child soldiers Kony abducts. We were to march to our "abduction site," and stay there until the media covered our story and a figure, known by the public, came to our rescue- actors, political leaders, musicians. 100 cities worldwide participated and the last city (surprisingly Chicago) was "rescued" yesterday by OPRAH after six nights on the streets. Being part of The Rescue was truly an incredible experience. I left with my heart touched, full of joy, and inspired. I am constantly surprised by our generation's compassion. So many movements have been formed by people our age, which shows that we're not as self-centered as people of older generations might believe- Invisible Children, To Write Love On Her Arms, Toms shoes, Faceless International, etc. The organizations and movements are endless. Their actions help me realize that I can, and WILL, make a difference on this world.

 
 
Current Music: Damien Rice - I Remember | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
03 April 2009 @ 10:40 pm
I just wrote a wonderful entry, but it posted blank. I hate when that happens. I will try to get as close to what was previously written.





I'm so over this semester. I'm tired of projects and lesson plans. I'm sick of never finishing reading really boring chapters, quizzes, and DISCUSSION POSTS. I really hate discussion posts. I'm starting to hate computers, because I'm on them so much thanks to my classes and Webcourses. However, I do NOT hate observation and working with ESE kids. I was in an ESE classroom for three days during the past two weeks and I loved it. I fell in love with those kids. I've started considering getting my Master's in Exceptional Education.

I worry about money way too much. I either need to find more scholarships or apply for a loan. yay
As soon as finals are over I'm going to get trained to become a server! This will get me loads more money. As long as I'm good at it. Yikes! I get so jealous when the server's talk about the tips they get. Hopefully I'll still be able to work my Hostess hours, though. I want to work full-time, or as close to full-time as I can get, this summer. I can't take too much of nothing. I just can't be pleased, can I? I hate being overwhelmed with schoolwork, but at the same time I hate doing nothing of importance. I need to find a hobby. Maybe I will find an organization to volunteer at over summer. Actually, that sounds like a really wonderful idea. I like being busy.


I wanted to finish one of the lesson plans I'm working on by tonight. I believe I have failed in that quest. Unless I can finish it in the next hour... which I probably can't. Because I fail. Ah, well. Life goes on...
 
 
Current Music: Ray LaMontagne - Trouble | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
11 February 2009 @ 01:16 am
Lately I've felt like I need to constantly surround myself with friends. I generally feel anxious if I'm alone... like I'll never see anyone again, like I don't interact socially enough, like if I don't spend more time with people I will end up being a recluse for my time spent on Earth. I never used to be very bothered if I was home alone, but now I can't really stand it. I would never purposely stay home, but I wouldn't drive myself crazy either, as I do now. If I'm not doing homework, I need to be surrounded by people. It doesn't matter what I do or where I am, as long as I'm not alone. It's probably because so many of my days revolve around me sitting by myself doing homework since I got "lucky" (sarcasm at it's finest) and each of my classes is primarily online.
 
 
Current Music: Jack's Mannequin - Caves | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
 
22 January 2009 @ 12:42 am
Today was a good day. Even though I woke up two hours later than I originally intended, I accomplished more schoolwork than I anticipated I would. I'm ahead of myself for the first time this semester. Taking all of these online/mixed classes is going to be killer. I get distracted too easily and I procrastinate too much. I need a routine. Once I get into one, I will be set. I was able to write today! I hadn't written in over a week. Once I start, I never want to stop. I was able to have some SOCIAL INTERACTION, followed by watching the season premiere of LOST!! with my closest friends. Once I get my routine down, hopefully I will be able to interact with more humans than just my family and co-workers. I came home and, instead of getting back to my classes, I watched Conan O'Brien (i love him). Now I'm going to read some before I go to bed.

Today was a good day.
 
 
Current Music: Daphne Loves Derby - Pollen and Salt | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
While I don't enjoy sleeping, I do appreciate dreaming. Dreaming is the simplest of ways to escape the harshness of reality. You don't need to worry about the wrongs you've committed, what could be better, or what could be worse. You just… sleep. You allow your mind to have complete control, taking you to a world better than the one you’re trapped in.
I guess that’s why people sleep so much when they’re depressed. Their lives don’t appear to be working and everything they do seems to make their situation a hundred times worse. So when they’re asleep, instead of worrying about what sucks, they get to go on adventure after adventure, their mind taking them wherever it pleases.
To me that’s cheating. When you wake up, your problems are still going to be there, and they could possibly be worse than before. Your problems aren’t going to resolve by themselves, it’s going to take work. You're going to have to take some time out of your busy life and put in effort for everything to straighten out. Says the girl in her own muddled world.

All of this talk of dreaming reminds me of my favorite Straylight Run lyric, from their song “Mistakes We Knew We Were Making.”

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets,
let them ferment and came back to our senses,
drove back home and slept a few days,
woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be.


I don’t know if that’s the case for anyone else, but it definitely is for me. If I’m having a particularly tough time dealing with something, I’ll contradict myself and go to sleep. (However, in my defense, late at night seems to be the time when I’m most likely to overanalyze everything, thus becoming “depressed”/upset. So it’s not like I’ll sleep during unnatural times.) When I awake in the morning, the troubles I was facing the night before seem so trivial. Maybe it’s the prospect of a new day that puts me in a good mood and allows me to forget my troubles.. I don’t know.

I think dreaming is an exciting adventure, but I don’t think people should abuse it- i.e., sleep when they’re depressed, not because their body requires it.
 
 
Current Music: Elliott Smith - Tomorrow Tomorrow | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
08 January 2009 @ 12:22 am
After a day full of headaches yesterday, a sleepless night last night, and a day of worrying today, I have finally gotten my spring schedule settled! I'm going to campus on Monday & Wednesday's for three classes and I have one online class. If a spot in Creative Writing opens up, and I really really hope one does, then I will add that to my schedule. I don't think that's going to happen though. :( I'm only taking 12 hours this semester. That's okay though, because it gives me plenty of time to work!

Tonight my mom and I went to Waldenbook's, which is closing, and I got this amazing book. It's called The Big-Ass Book of Crafts. Seriously. Tonight I looked through it for over two hours, marking which crafts I'd like to make. I'm going to try to get started on it tomorrow! I also got a how-to sewing book. I made a pillow once long ago and it was fun, so I decided to try to pick up sewing again. I've decided that my creative juices have been building up for too long, so I'm going to try and release them through various methods.
 
 
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: Manchester Orchestra - I Can Feel Your Pain | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
04 January 2009 @ 01:07 am
Even though I wasn't born with the gift of eloquence, I've always enjoyed writing. So I made a New Year's Resolution (except I don't really believe in those) to write more & actually share what I write. This will be a little scary for me. I've been going to websites that offer daily/weekly writing prompts to guide me while I write. This was yesterday's...

“What relaxes you most? Write about a place where you have relaxed."

Photobucket


For three summer’s of my teenage years I ventured to Leesburg, Florida with my youth group from church to a week-long sleepaway camp. Those three weeks were some of the best times I imagine I will experience during my entire life. At camp there was a big lake with a cross in the middle that lit up at night. At the shore of the lake there was a dock that campers and counselors alike enjoyed sitting on. Most would take off their shoes and dangle their feet over the edge while staring absent-mindedly into the blue abyss. A few of the younger kids would run up and down the docks, but it was usually very peaceful. When it was our “free time,” I would usually trek towards the dock and, following suit of everyone else, dangle my feet over the edge and stare into the clear, blue water. While sitting on the docks, I would close my eyes and soak up the warm summer sun, not worrying about the freckles that would pop up the next day or the fact that my sunscreen had probably worn off. The gentle waves softly crashing on the shore along with quiet conversation and the occasional bird call was all that could be heard.
If I ever get the chance, I hope I can go back to Warren W. Willis UMC Camp. I would love to take an afternoon and my thoughts and go sit on the docks, looking into the water at that rickety cross built so many years ago that I have loved for so long.


title or description



My attraction to the docks here in Titusville might stem from my love of the docks at camp. They are not similar in looks, but in how they make me feel: peaceful and at ease. In town, the docks are located off a busy highway. You have to walk out far in order to escape the sounds of cars rushing past. As long as the sky is clear, the Indian River’s water is always one of the prettiest colors of blue you can imagine. Over the months I have been spending time there, I have gotten into the habit of sitting on the left side, because at night it faces away from the town’s lights, so the stars are easier to see. Even when I watch the sunrise in the morning I sit on the left side of the docks. It’s true, I’m a creature of habit. Gazing forward, you can see the Kennedy Space Center, with the VAB always the most visible of the buildings.
The docks offer a calm serenity I have not yet been able to find anywhere else here in Titusville, Florida.


first photo credit belongs to a friend of a friend i made at camp.
 
 
Current Music: Damien Rice - Older Chests | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
18 December 2008 @ 11:43 pm
Tonight I was scared to almost-death twice.

First:
I was at the intersection going from Target into WalMart when my phone rang. I got excited, as I usually do when my phone rings, and picked it up. As I'm picking up my phone, the light turns green, so I drive forwards. As I'm answering the phone, I look up at the lights. It was a green arrow, not a green light. Cars are trying to turn onto 405 or whatever that road is, and I'm being an idiot trying to get into the WalMart parking lot and talk on the phone. It was scary and I shouldn't drive ever again.

Second:
After I ran errands I decided to go to the docks as I waited for a phone call because the sky was insanely clear. It was around 8:30pm, so it was pretty dark. I was lucky tonight and there wasn't anyone else there. So I enjoyed myself for about thirty minutes and I decide that it's time for me to leave. As I'm walking back to my car, I hear this *wooshing* sound. I look to my left and see this wave of water. But it didn't stop. It kept going until it reached the shore. I think there was either a giant animal or a human coming to kill me in that wave.
 
 
Current Music: Farewell to Arms - Can I Sing You To Sleep? | Powered by Last.fm