Snowballs of Trust

If you ever wanted to understand how trust works, here you go!

I’ve determined that trust is a snowball.

More precisely, when you give people any amount of trust, you give them one of your own personal snowballs of trust. And, in turn, they give you one of their personal snowballs of trust. So then you each have one of the other person’s snowballs of trust.

Confusing?

Yeah, I know. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

1) Usually, you give someone a snowball of trust as soon as you meet them. Yes, I know, why would you trust anyone as soon as you meet them? Shouldn’t you get to know the person first?

Well, in order to let the person get to know you to any extent, you have to give them some amount of trust, right?

So, the moment you meet someone, you give them a snowball of trust.

There are, of course, some exceptions (as there always are), but generally this rule holds.

2) The snowball you give them can come in a variety of sizes, depending on who you are and who (you think) they are.

For example, I generally give everyone an apple-sized snowball of trust when I meet them. Give them something to work with, you know?

(Note that I actually have trouble trusting people, which you might think conflicts with my previous statement. Continue reading, you’ll understand somewhat by number 4, entirely by number 7.)

3) The snowball you give them can also come in a variety of shapes (spheres, cubes, pyramids, dodecahedrons, etc.), colors (white, black, purple, rainbow, clear, etc.), and even materials, though most people stick to the usual snow.

Though I do know someone who gives rubber snowballs… They’re very hard to work with, and I’m still trying to figure out how to work with mine.

Anyway, I personally usually stick to a regular white sphere made of snow, though I have varied the shape on occasion, and maybe even the color once or twice to see what would happen.

4) You may also choose to vary the conditions in which someone can build up the snowball in order to make it more difficult to build up trust.

This is one way that I deal with my trouble with trust. You see, there are dozens of weather conditions that you can face people with while trying to build up your snow(wo)man. You can give people sticking snow, of course, but you can also give them non-sticking snow, ice, force them to work in a blizzard, increase the temperature, decrease the temperature, whatever.

It may seem rude to make it so difficult to build up the snowball, but this is your trust we’re talking about. If they’re willing to fight through a blizzard in order to build up your trust, then you can be certain that you can trust them.

5) You don’t always necessarily give someone the snowball. Generally, you give someone the snowball and they accept it graciously because manners, but there are other ways to go about the snowball exchange.

The friend that I discussed this with said that one of her best friends from high school basically just stole one of her snowballs and went crazy building it up.

On occasion, I choose to throw one of my personal snowballs at someone. It’s a bit of a risky move, of course, as they then have to take the time to gather up the snow bits covering them, but if it works out, they usually end up being one of your closest friends.

6) The ultimate goal is to build a snow(wo)man, which generally means building up three or more snowballs of trust and stacking them on top of each other as you would with a snow(wo)man.

This can be interpreted many ways. Perhaps you and the other person each build up the other’s snowball of trust, then you build one up together and stack them into a snow(wo)man.

Or, perhaps, you each have layers of trust, and you must build up one snowball for each layer, and you each end up with separate snow(wo)men of trust (or perhaps a very large combined snow(wo)man of trust).

Or perhaps you work together on each snowball that you add to the snow(wo)man, or perhaps you go through some other process entirely. Honestly, this part of the process varies the most between relationships.

7) You may choose to throw some sludge in while someone is trying to build up your snowball. Or you might accidentally kick some sludge in. Or someone else might throw the sludge in without your consent.

However it works out, the person you’ve given a snowball of trust may be forced to work with sludge. This generally leads to two possible outcomes: either they give up on making the snow(wo)man because now the snow’s ugly and it’ll never look good enough, or they’ll continue building the snow(wo)man regardless of how it might look in the end.

Now, remember how I said I have trouble trusting earlier? And that messing with the conditions is just one of the ways that I deal with my trouble with trust?

The primary way I deal with it is by throwing sludge into the mix. Sometimes, I do it intentionally. Sometimes, it’s entirely unintentional.

(I have a very good example of this, but you’ll have to read through to the end to see it.)

8) Some people won’t ever even try to build up the snowball. You’ll meet hundreds up people throughout your life, and they’ll all meet hundreds of people throughout their lives, and you can’t build up everyone’s snowballs of trust, and not everyone can build up yours.

Sometimes it’s because they don’t care, sometimes they don’t have times, sometimes they have more friends then they can count, sometimes they just can’t. There are a variety of reasons why someone might not build up the snowball you give them, or you might not build up theirs.

(The important thing to remember is that this all goes both ways. Not only do you give someone a snowball of trust, but they also give you a snowball of trust.)

If someone just tosses away your snowball of trust, don’t be upset. It’s okay. You can’t build a snow(wo)man with everyone. Just focus on building snow(wo)man with the people who want to. They’ll be enough, I promise.

9) Sometimes, people will build a giant snow(wo)man with you, then tear it down. It happens, and it hurts. Of course it does! When someone puts so much time and effort into building up your snowball of trust, manages to build a freaking snow(wo)man of trust, then goes and tears it down?

Not only does it not make sense (because why would someone spend that much time and effort just to tear it all down?), but it hurts because you let them.

Everyone goes through this. I went through it at least three times with the same person. I gave her a snowball of trust, but I was desperate for a friend and I made it far to easy for her to build it up, gave her perfect conditions to build the snow(wo)man.

When she tore it down, I was upset, but then she apologized and asked to try again, and I was all too happy to let her. She built the second one even faster, having had practice with the first, and it ended up being even bigger and better than the first.

The second time she tore it down, I wasn’t as quick to forgive. It took quite a bit of convincing before I gave her a third chance, but that time, the conditions weren’t nearly as good and she struggled in building the snow(wo)man. That time, she eventually just gave up and left the snow(wo)man unfinished.

The important thing to remember is, when you go through a situation where someone tears a snow(wo)man down, you aren’t alone. Look around you. Look at all the other snow(wo)man people have built from your snowballs of trust. No matter how much it hurts, you’re never alone.

10) Every situation where a snow(wo)man is built is different, and sometimes the strangest situations build the best of friends.

For example, I did not make it easy for my best friend to build up my trust. From the very beginning, it was crazy. Rather than exchanging snowballs, we started off with a snowball fight. Then, when we finally settled down and agreed to actually exchange snowballs, I gave her a stella octangula.

When she asked what she was supposed to do with it, I responded that she was supposed to roll it. So, after first rolling her eyes, she complied.

She didn’t make it far before I threw some sludge into the mix. She glared at me and asked, quite simply, why? And I just told her to keep going, and after a few more moments of glaring, she complied.

I continued throwing sludge into the mix every once in a while, and every time, she would glare at me before continuing in her attempt to build a snow(wo)man. Of course, seeing as she was working with such a strange shape, it wasn’t an easy task.

Then a terrible and unexpected thing happened in my life (which I explained in my post “The Darkest Night: The Essay“) and I found myself chucking a whole pile of sludge at her because I honestly didn’t know what else to do.

I’d never done something like that before, actually, and I can’t tell you why exactly I did it for her. You see, sludge can be a tricky thing. I use it often to test whether I can truly trust people or not, but I only use small amounts of it. There generally already has to be a snow(wo)man present for me to chuck even a handful of sludge into the mix.

But with my best friend, I chucked a whole bucketful of sludge into the mix before she’d even finished building up the first snowball.

I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know what I was expecting. And I definitely don’t know what I would have done if she had just given up then and there.

But she didn’t leave. Instead, she did something absolutely insane. She used the giant amount of sludge to fill in the gaps of the stella octangula I had given her, and when she was finished, she had a nasty, dirty sphere to work with.

And she built a snow(wo)man out of it. The biggest snow(wo)man anyone had ever built out of my snowballs of trust.

Since then, we’ve started building snow(wo)man together just for fun, then blowtorching them because why not? But we’ve never torched the original sludgy snow(wo)man. Honestly, I think it’s the most brilliant snow(wo)man I’ve ever seen.

 

And that’s basically how it goes. This is the easiest way to understand how other people trust. The more you understand, the stronger your relationships can be.

 

 

Update

Hey guys! Been a while, hasn’t it?

So I just wanna say, I’m really sorry. I lied in my last update. I said I would try to post at least once or twice a week, and I didn’t. It’s been a long time since my last post, actually…

Basically, I worked at this plant nursery for the summer, and the boss was terrible. Like, he had this terrible attitude and yelled at people even when they did something right, and nearly everyone quit because of it. So, I ended up working twenty-four/seven to make up for all the lost workers.

It was… Yeah. You can imagine.

Anyway, I finally quit this past Thursday so that I could free myself up for the rest of the summer until I head off to college on the fifteenth.

That’s right! I’m moving into college on August 15th, and I’m soooooo excited!!!! I would have posted sooner, but I’ve been going crazy with shopping, organizing, and spending time with friends and family. I’m actually still going crazy with all of that stuff, but I decided it’s about time that I apologized.

Is this a promise to post more often?

No, not necessarily.

This is more of an update to let you guys know that I haven’t forgotten about this blog. If I write any new poems that I’m satisfied with, I’ll post them. If I find some inspiration, I’ll write something for Writing 101. If a random short story comes to mind, I’ll post that.

Basically, I’ll try to post more often, but no promise. I don’t know what college will be like yet, but I’ll at least try to post on weekends.

So, yeah. I hope you all had a great summer, and I hope the year has been good to you so far.

I wish you the best in writing! And to you students, I wish you the best in your return to school. I hope this blog helps you in becoming a stronger and more confident writer.

Until next time, happy writing!!!

 

A New Chapter

So I’ve been wondering.

I’ve just recently graduated and I’ll be heading off to college August 15. My life is changing more now than it ever has before. I’m going to be living on my own, taking are of myself, deciding my own educational path and where that path will lead me.

When I was little, I imagined that my entire life was a story that God was reading to his angels. I imagined that it was a pop-up book that moved like magic, and that’s how God always kept track of me and took care of me.

Of course, as I grew older, I realized that couldn’t work because God watched over everyone, not just me, so he couldn’t just be reading the angels a story about me. Plus, I can’t imagine the angels sitting around to have a children’s book read to them. Rather, I imagine they’d be reading books on their own time.

What’s my point in all of this?

Well, sometimes I wonder if I was right. When I was little, I mean. They say that major changes in your life (like the change I’m facing now) are the start of new chapters in your story. If people use that reference so often, who’s to say I was wrong?

Maybe I am a book character in some exciting novel about my life, and God doesn’t necessarily need to read it because he’s already read it. Maybe you all are as well.

In that case, I wonder what kind of character I would be? I don’t think I’m the head protagonist, but maybe a supporting character whom most people don’t actually pay much mind to, but some people love.

Who knows? All we can do is wonder…

Update/Apology

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting for a while!!!

Please don’t hate me. I have multiple good excuses.

Well, I have one main excuse. I’ve been super busy. I just graduated from high school (as you may know) and things have been… hectic.

I’ve been going to open houses, planning and hosting an open house, attending family get-togethers, planning for college, attending graduation, worrying about costs and scholarships, scheduling college classes, working, and doing whatever else comes up.

It’s even crazier than it sounds.

But, hey! Today I went to my college campus for orientation, and now I’m basically past the overload of craziness! I still have work and need to clean up after my open house, not to mention plan for college, but tomorrow is my first day off in a while.

That means I can start posting again!

Well… I can try.

Overall, I’ll have trouble posting daily, but I’ll at least try to post once or twice a week.

Anyway, I swear I haven’t abandoned this blog. Like, no way! I love this blog! My life is just going crazy right now, and my mind is all over the place. As soon as I can settle down, I can go back to giving writing advice.

Remember, let me know what help you need! Otherwise, I won’t know what to post!

A special thanks to all of you who are sticking with me. You guys must be as crazy as me. If you’re new…

Welcome to the crazy world of Cullers!

Poetic Graduation Speech

The most meaningful video to me as I graduate…

As some of you may know from reading my past posts and/or (maybe?) my profile, I’m graduating from high school.

You might also know from my profile and past posts that this whole blog began as a semester-long assignment for my creative writing class (it will be continued, by the way).

Well, at the end of my last creative writing class, our (super-amazing-awesome) teacher played this video for us. At first, I thought it was whatever. Then, about a minute in, I was in complete awe of this guy.

Whether you’re graduating or not, check out this video. It’s a graduation speech given through spoken word poetry, and it’s the best speech ever. I am such a fan, and I honestly can’t express the extent of my emotions for this. Just watch it, and you’ll understand.

This link will take you to YouTube to watch the video (I couldn’t get the video here on my blog, sadly, so a link was the only option. Apologies).

It ends at about 5:30. After that is just a bunch of applauding.

This is just so incredibly relatable for me, and I love it so much. I wish I was good at spoken word poetry. Maybe one day…

 

 

The Wave

A dream where good things went south far too fast.

I just had the most terrifying dream last night.

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I was at Ft. Myers beach, and for some reason I was with my grandma and aunt at a restaurant that apparently had really good soda. We were sitting at a table just outside the restaurant on the beach. My seat was facing the ocean, and my grandma’s and aunt’s seats were facing me from across the table.

I was listening to my grandma and aunt having some nonsensical conversation when I saw a fighter jet swoop low over the water and come to a stop. Then it started backing up and turning like it was trying to park, until it was turned so that its nose was facing the water. It dove into the water, but apparently that wasn’t what it wanted because it pulled out, backed up, then flew straight up into the air.

I was confused, but it was a dream, so of course I didn’t bother myself too much with it. I just shrugged it off and continued my conversation.

Then, without any warning, the jet rocked down into the water and blew up in a cloud of smoke, water, and debris. I watched in shock as a tsunami-sized wave erupted from the spot the jet had gone down and headed towards the beach.

I stood and pulled my grandma and aunt out of their seats, and told them we needed to go. The three of us started running, but we barely made it into town before the wave overcame us.

Everything became the wave. All I knew was that I had to survive and, more importantly, my family had to survive. As the wave was dragging us through the town, we passed by a tall fence and I grabbed on. My grandma and aunt grabbed onto my legs as they passed by, and after quite a bit of struggling, I managed to push them towards the fence so they could grab on as well.

We clung to the fence for dear life. I did my best to grab anyone who passed by and pull them to the fence, but I couldn’t get everyone. Most of the people, I couldn’t grab, and as they were dragged away, I knew they wouldn’t survive.

Some of the people who I couldn’t save were friends, and some were children. Those hurt the most.

After a few minutes, the wave passed by and the ground dried out. We sat there for a moment, trying to catch our breaths, before we all stood up and started stumbling about in different directions. I headed towards my house with my grandma and aunt, afraid that my parents might not have survived.

When we got there, our house still stood relatively whole amongst the rubble. I pushed open the door, which was partially destroyed by the water, and stepped into my house.

I was immediately bombarded by a huge hug. My parents and I cried in each other’s arms, then they did the same with my aunt and grandma. They explained how they had been sticking pictures to the wall in the corner when it happened. They told me they were afraid either I wouldn’t make it or they wouldn’t make it, so they spent what might have been their final moments taping the words “help, hope!” to the wall.

For some reason, that made complete sense to me, and I was so happy that they cared enough to do that in what might have been their final moments. Luckily, they had survived, so it didn’t matter.

My grandma and aunt went down to the basement (which somehow hadn’t flooded) to rest in the bedrooms down there. When they were gone, I asked my parents if my brother knew what had happened. They said they had no clue. He was still at college, and they hadn’t called him yet to tell him.

I had apparently lost my phone in the wave, so I found my dad’s phone and called my brother from that. When he answered, he nonchalantly said, “Hey, what’s up?”

I sighed in relief and put the phone on speaker so we could all talk to him. I asked him if he knew what had happened in Ft. Myers, and he said he’d heard something happened, but didn’t know what.

So I told him the story of what happened from the start of the dream. When I finished, he seemed panicky but calmed down when I told him we were all okay. I left when he started talking to my parents about something or other that I didn’t care about.

I went to the window and looked outside. I looked at all the people stumbling through the rubble that now made up the town. I thought of all the people that I hadn’t managed to save. I felt a tear slip free of my eye.

Then I woke up.


Picture source: DoSomething.org

Art and Writing

My thoughts after looking through my school’s art show.

Art is astounding to me.

In all of my years, I’ve never been able to figure out how someone can think of, plan, even create such beautiful masterpieces. It’s not a talent I have. Artists have the imagination to see the end product before they’ve even begun creating, the patience to go through the many steps needed to reach the end product, and the ability to turn mistakes into an amazing adition to the art piece.

From my experience, I’ve found that artists and writers are both similar and different in multiple ways.

  1. Writers, like artists, can see the end product before they’ve even begun writing. However, they generally only see a small portion of the ending and expect it to be different.
  2. Likewise, writers have the patience to go through the necessary steps to finish a piece of writing, but unlike with art, you can always see at least some portion of the finished product and you never have to take any serious steps backward (unless you’re scrapping the piece).
  3. And last but certainly not least, writers have the ability to turn mistakes into something beautiful. However, while with art the mistake is considered a mistake that was not intended, any “mistakes” in writing are just considered a plot twist or something similar.

Now, admittedly, the similarities and differences vary depending on what the writer/artist is working on. An artist could be creating a piece with the sole intention of making it up as they go, or a writer could have a very specified intention for their writing.

However, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is one major factor that really sets art and writing apart:

The level of control.

In art, you have very little control. One mishap, one wrong brush stroke, and it’s very difficult (if no impossible) to erase the mistake without messing up the rest of the art piece. In writing, it’s easy to go back and change a word or completely delete an entire scene.

I’m not saying there’s no control in art or complete control in writing. Both have their fair share of control and freedom. However, it’s generally easier to control writing than it is to control art, which is probably why I love writing and can’t deal with creating art. I like to have the ability to change things as much as needed for them to be the best they can possibly be.

I’m not saying artists and writers are completely different kinds of people. In fact, the complete opposite is true. We are nearly identical people, just with a slightly different mindset. In some cases, we have the same midset, as is the case with those who are both writers and artists.

You people who create both art and writing: I commend you. You are mighty among people. Seriously. You deserve an award.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say it: I’m in awe of you artists out there. You guys are awesome and have a talent that I will never have nor understand.

In honor of all the amazing artists out there, I have a slideshow here that includes some of my favorite pieces from my school’s art show. Congradulations to all the award winners, and to those who didn’t recieve awards: you guys are still super awesome and so so talented!

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Note: I actually had a piece in the art show (thank you, Art Appreciation), but it wasnt’t very good at all, so you don’t get to see it.