Colorado Diaries // Episode One

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Greetings to everyone! As I write this, I am on a bus heading to camp in Colorado. Once camp begins on Sunday evening(ish), I won't have my phone or any other electronic, so I wanted to do a quick post for y'all before I go. What you're about to read are actual thoughts from my brain that I recorded in my journal. My deepest apologies if they are completely incoherent ramblings. 

25 June 2016 | Frontier Trip: Day 2

Not too long ago we crossed the border of Kansas and Colorado. Kansas is truly flat. I was amazed at the beauty of it all. It's flat, indeed, but it's also gorgeous.

It makes me wonder how the first settlers felt when they made their way from the east cost to the Midwest. They must have been awestruck by the barren beauty of the land, truly unsettled and unkempt in every way. 

For some reason, I've felt more at home on this trip than I ever have in Clemson. I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I miss my family, but I know I'll see them again soon, so it doesn't really hurt. I hope I'm not so shallow of person that I'd be content to live my whole life alone and traveling, but right now I truly have a sense of peace. 

Maybe it's the lack of obligation. Maybe since I'm not being told to clean my room and feed the bird and do the laundry I feel like I'm at peace. If that's the case, I'm not only shallow, but naïve. I'm shallow because I enjoy an obligation-free life, one where nothing is pulling me, where I'm comfortable; I'm naïve to believe that any sort of life can be found as a wanderer. 

I suppose that is that case, and since that's the case, I don't really deserve life at all. I don't deserve peace or assurance  or security. Really, I deserve to wander and never find what I'm looking for. But somehow, for some unexplainable reason, God still gives me peace. He still gives me assurance. He still offers security. And, in the process, He gives grace for when I fall short. He's patient when I think my way is best and have to figure out otherwise. He's loving when I run to worldly things and come back to Him with a broken heart. He never once has said I told you so, and that amazes me.

What really gets me is that God has everything. He made and owns the same world that I run after instead of running to Him; and still, He wants me.

I don't know why it took me two days on a bus to figure this out, and with that I'm reminded all the more of my depravity. 

Long ago, the settlers must have spent so many sleepless nights wondering how they would find a life in a place that had so little. They must have sent so many prayers up asking for abundance. And, in the long run, God delivered. In the same way, I know He will make something beautiful and abundant out of me. I'm empty, a wasteland, seemingly worthless, but God makes beauty for the ashes. 

(This is the part when my pen conveniently ran out of ink.)

I'll be back July 4th! Don't miss me too much. :) 

The Saga of Sophomore Year // what high school really taught me

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

As of one week ago today, I am officially finished with my sophomore year of high school. This year was a strange one -- it sort of fizzled off into nonexistence. There was no fanfare, no whisper chanting of "summer, summer, summer..." from the back of the class, and no jumping out of chairs when the final bell of the 2015-2016 year rang. It was all very mundane, actually. 

I learned a lot this year, but not just academically. In fact, I'd be willing to argue that the non-academic lessons are probably more important than graphing a quartic function or learning how to titrate chemicals (lol that's probably not even the correct terminology because I don't even know what that is really. Sorry, Jennifer.) 

Most people are really just normal.

In movies and books, you hear about cliques: jocks, nerds, musicians, etc, etc. But really, at least where I'm from, I've learned that most people are really just normal. Under all that makeup, football talk, cute insta posts, and popularity, people really are just people looking for life on the same journey as you and I are. There is no reason to fit them into a box just to satisfy your insecurities. I've learned that, with people, there is infinitely more depth than we imagine there to be.

Disney Channel is inaccurate.

First of all, dress code -- I cannot count the number of times I've seen Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus walking around their fake high school in mini skirts and spaghetti straps on television. That's not actually how life goes. Dress code does indeed exist (I could rant about the double standard, but I won't), and it's not fun. 

Second, on a more serious note -- nothing is ever black and white. This is probably more of a continuation of the first point, but I want to reiterate something: there aren't just heroes and villains. And the people who appear to be villains always have a backstory. There are reasons people become like they do. It doesn't justify it, but it helps us better understand it. The girl who shames you because you're not pretty enough probably feels that she's really the one who doesn't measure up; the guy who puts you down because you study too much and have "no life" outside of school probably feels that his grades will never measure up to yours. 

Dexter tells Tracy in High Society, "You'll never be a wonderful woman, or even a wonderful human being until you learn to have some regard for human frailty." There are no super humans in real life; everybody hurts somehow. And I am reminded of a verse Mark when Jesus sees the true frailty of the rich man in front of him: "Jesus looked at him and loved him," it reads (Mark 10:21). We as a human race will never get anywhere until we look at people and love them instead of looking at people and judging them. It doesn't matter how much sin they're living in, because it's likely that you've got some sin in your life, too. It amazes me that every time I read through the Gospels, I see just how much compassion Jesus had for people. When are we going to start living like that? It's never black and white. Remember that.

Chemistry is awful.

I want to say that I had the best chemistry teacher ever, but words cannot express how much I really hated that class. I, as a future English Major, find no use for it in my life. That is all.

Crying is okay; sometimes, it's even mandatory.

I am a very emotional person, but I don't often share those emotions. Most of the time, they get bottled up and explode everywhere when I can't hold it in anymore. My freshman english teacher told our class once that it's good to watch sad movies because you can get a good cry out to let out all those bottled up emotions. I am a firm believer in that. I am also a firm believer in crying even when you're not watching a sad movie. 

Y'all, crying does not make you weak. Jesus wept, and I don't think any of us would call him weak, would we? We can't be strong all the time. When life is overwhelming and you feel like crying, cry. Cry and remember that there will soon enough be a day that no tears exist because you'll forever be in the presence of Jesus. 

Escaping reality only dulls the pain and doesn't cure it.

I like books. A lot. And I like escaping through books. There were times in my life that I didn't listen to anyone, and God chose to speak to me through the books I read to bring me back to him. But in real life, escaping only dulls the pain. Forgetting about it does not make it go away, and when you're forced to remember it again, it usually hurts worse. I've learned to cast my burdens on the Lord because he really does care. I promise. When he promises to cure your pain, he will. Every time. You've just gotta learn to let him in.

So-and-so from whatever class is not gonna remember what you wore last week.

You wear those sweatpants, girl. Even if, gasp, you already wore them that week. Because in the end, during school, anyway, your comfort means more than those you impress. Now, I'm not giving you an excuse to look sloppy every day of your life because I am a firm believer in dressing cute, but if you rolled out of bed with five minutes to get ready, wear those sweatpants and that messy bun and don't feel bad about it.

It's not all for nothing.

I know that high school does matter, because I know that God would not put me through anything that is irrelevant to my growth and well-being. He wants what's best for us (Romans 8:28, remember?) and if this route you're on was not what was best for you, you wouldn't be on it. Rest in that and push through.

People are really awesome.

I'm an introvert. (Most bloggers are, to tell you the truth.) A lot of times, people scare me. A lot of times, I go to the self check out at the grocery store just to avoid talking to anyone. A lot of times, I turn down an invitation because I want to stay at home and read a book. But this year, through organizations like Young Life, I've learned that people really are awesome. And you were made to have real, thriving relationships. Humans are relational beings, and without those relationships, we'll eventually lose our fire. Form real friendships with real people. I promise you won't regret it.

Being yourself is infinitely more rewarding than trying to fit in.

Please be yourself. Please, please, please, don't try to change your personality to make someone else happy. God made you who you are for a reason. If there were seven billion Mary Shelley Reids walking around this earth, the world would undoubtedly die or boredom. In fact, that would happen if there were seven billion of any one person walking around. We need diversity to thrive, guys. So be diverse!!!! Please!!!

You're not super woman. (Sorry.)

I once wore a super girl costume when I was little. (I think it was my sister's but that's beside the point.) And, surprise, when I put it on I did not do anything to save the world. I know we all want to think of ourselves as super-epic people who surpass everyone else in our epicness, but we're not. (Sorry again.) You can't do everything. If you set your sights on one tasks instead of setting an impossible goal, I know you'll feel much more super. When you complete that goal, move on to another small one. Don't set a super huge goal that Captain America himself could not accomplish. Baby steps, y'all :)

June Goals

Friday, June 3, 2016

Hello, my beautiful friends. And happy National Doughnut Day to you, too.

Alas, June has arrived. It kind of just popped up out of nowhere, too. But that's okay because I like surprises. I love them, in fact. And, to you, this blog post is probably a surprise. Because I, Mary Shelley Reid, do not make goals. I simply fly by the seat of my pants and see where life takes me. But for a month like June, I decided that since life is so structure-less anyway, I should probably make a few goals so I don't turn into a blob of motivationless nothing.


My dear friends over at Go Teen Writers have begun their summer "100 for 100" challenge. They are super rad. They are the reason I'm not afraid to write anymore. Go Teen Writers is this whole group of teen writers who are actually reaching for their goals, not just sitting around and dreaming about them. I wanna stop just dreaming and start doing, because dreams aren't real if there is no action to back them up. 

And since it's summer, I actually have time to write one hundred words a day. And, really, one hundred is like nothing. One hundred words, really, is like a paragraph or less. I can do that. I will get this book written one hundred words at a time. Every single day, Clara Stewart and the whole Apple Grove gang will come closer to their resolution. And I could not be more excited for them.


For some reason, the Gospel of John is my favorite of the gospels. I recently described it as the little red one hundred emoji, and it totally is. It is the raddest of the rad. Hopefully, this month I'll finish going through it and begin whatever chapter I'm reading next. And I haven't decided that yet because decisions are my worst enemy. 


Ha. I'm funny, I know. But once upon a time I ran cross country, and since I'm not on the team anymore I actually feel like a potato on a regular basis. But GUYS I actually woke up yesterday morning and went for a run. Surprising, I know, and there was this one point when an old man was definitely going faster than me. My cross country days are definitely long gone, but I think I can get back into regular exercise. P.S. If anyone has a really good ab workout they wanna tell me about, I'm all ears :)


This one is quite comical as well. It's actually half-way working so far, though. (Though I'm only three days into it. Say a prayer for me, pls.) I also feel three years old because this is actually a really hard goal for me.


GUYS. I'm oh so close to actually getting my license!!!! I have the classroom portion of driver's ed tomorrow morning, and hopefully I can do my driving hours soon and get my license soon after camp. It's so exciting because soon when I need to go to the library (which is like every day) I can just drive there!!! Also, my permit is almost expired because I've waited so long to get my license. But it's no big deal.


I'm not really going anywhere this summer except Young Life camp, so I'll be home most of the time. And while I'm home, I wanna really just be there instead of wishing I was somewhere else. When I hang with my friends I wanna act crazy and laugh and fall in love with life, and it's hard to do that when I'm wishing I was in Australia. This is my in between, and I've gotta live it up before it's gone.


Like I said, I'm going to camp this summer, and I don't want to limit myself to just hanging with friends from school. I want to actually put myself out there and be crazy and have the time of my life, and sometimes that's really hard for me, because I'm too worried about what I'm wearing or if my voice sounds funny or the fact that I don't know half the songs that come on the radio, and people might make fun of me for that. I need to learn to apologetically be myself. And if people don't like me for me, I have to be okay with that.

What are y'all's goals for June? Are you going anywhere special that you're excited/nervous about? Do you also have a really hard time keeping your room clean??? (If you do, I know what you go through. I feel your pain, yo.) Let me know in the comments section!