Beneath a world so foreign and poisoned reside the roots that connect us all.

Sixteen year-old seedling to the iridescent nature of photography.

Novice to spontaneity, promise, and the beautiful mysteries of life.

Part of the There For Tomorrow family.

9 May 2013


Thursday. Freshmen and Sophomores took the lovely EOC test today. Fun. My brain has been cooked like an egg in virtually every single way: scrambled, fried, boiled – you name it, it’s been done to my head. Lately things have been so heavy on my mind, it feels like I can’t sort through anything. Even the simplest of things. Studying is hardly an option; the WHAP test has consumed my soul and chopped it into bits. I haven’t even taken it yet and just the very thought of it makes my skin crawl and my heart drop into some deep, dark pit. I guess I just fear potential failure. Plus, I’m not exactly proficient in the focusing department. My mind’s always somewhere else – I’ve taken a trip to Turkey hundreds of times in my head, whether it be imagined while gazing at clouds or closing my eyes and seeing it play before me like a drama. It’s everything to me, or so it seems. I’ve played through the scene each day my eyes have opened for the past two months, and now it’s almost here. I’ve only got what, two-and-a-half weeks left? It’s starting to dawn on me that it will be quite a while before I see the U.S. again: my friends, school, family… Mommy, DeDe, AnneAnne. It’s kind of unfathomable at the moment, mostly because I’ve been in such close proximity to them for as long as I can remember. But with my family in Turkey, there’s always been that kind of distance, like it was always meant to be. There was always a curiosity in knowing who they are, for they are a part of me. I wonder how different they will be from me. Will they be fascinated by the culture in which I grew up? Maybe Yagmur will associate me with the kinds of American culture she experiences all the time through media. Maybe she won’t. Maybe they’ll find that I can fit myself into the culture as smoothly as liquid. Who knows? Only time will tell.


Listening to There For Tomorrow. It’s been kind of a long day – these days have seemed like centuries, quite honestly. Trapped. Caged. I’m longing for a release – from myself.


Every part of me yearns for experience. Every part of me fears experience. It’s all a blur and jumbled together that it’s terrifying and I don’t know exactly how I’m riding this rollercoaster. I’m a teenager, for God’s sake. It’s a train wreck, carnival fantasy, and nightmare all wrapped up like a Taco Bell burrito. I’m looking for a way out, but it looks like I’m gonna be stuck here for a while. Why not enjoy the ride, then?


A thought came to me earlier today when I was leaving Just Love Coffee. Opening my car door to put my books inside, I thought to myself: “Holy shit, I’m driving.” I still can’t believe it. What happened to the frightful Amber I knew just a few weeks ago? Where did she go? Did she leave, or am I just shedding old skin? All of these kinds of thoughts and questions are becoming more and more important to me every day. They’re questions that I’m searching for an answer to, things that mean the world to me now. It’s all a fascinating, terrifying, enlivening experience. I’m changing.


The world’s colors are suddenly more vibrant; they have a voice to them, and they speak to me in ways I never imagined I could understand. The beauty of it is almost too intoxicating, yet I crave it.  It speaks to me; it cries with me; it hopes with me.

And somewhere, someone else is hearing the world’s spoken words.



untitled by carrie lynn. on Flickr.


This is unacceptable.

(via andthenyou-heal)

Identity Crisis?

April 20 2013 – Identity Crisis?


I have found myself at an age where I question my identity pensively. Who am I? Where do I belong? What are my morals? How do I navigate through this world? What kinds of relationships will I have with others? What kind of life will I be leading down the road?


All these questions are biting at my soul. I suppose I should explain where this whole “identity crisis” thing surfaced, so I can look back on this and understand exactly what I was experiencing. (Though I think these kind of experiences are remembered forever, long after adolescence.)


Well, here it is: prom. A dreaded word – a trip down memory lane into those corny 70’s movies you see on TV about awkward teenagers trying to make a nervous night of hormones, music and fruit punch actually enjoyable. I remember watching those movies when I was younger, devilishly pointing out every humiliating blunder those teenagers made: “Why is he acting so rigid around her? He looks like an idiot. Oh, look, he accidentally spilled punch all over her white dress.”

I guess karma knew that sooner or later I, too, would be in the position of the poor, ambivalent teenager. I’m a teenager now myself. Almost seventeen, in fact. I used to think to myself: “Seventeen! Wow. He/she is so mature. He/she has their lives completely figured out – and he/she has the looks to match. Oh, how I long to be a teenager, so confident, so certain, so seasoned in life.” Of all the miscalculations I’d made in my math classes, this one had to be the one farthest from the right answer. Ouch.

Well, anyway, I suppose I should say what’s really on my mind. To be completely honest, since Austin, my good friend in ROTC, asked me to prom, I’ve been dreading the night when it’d actually all play out. And although I knew some of the excuses I held for not wanting to go – I can’t dance, I don’t dance, I don’t even like Austin, I’m not interested in prom – I didn’t know why I held those excuses.  Sure, some people may not enjoy dancing or hanging around large crowds, but I’d always felt like there was something more to my situation than what I was recognizing. Something deeper than that


I think I’ve found it.


It’s no secret that a lot of people in ROTC (and some even outside of ROTC) view me as the one who has it all: the grades, the looks, the life – everything. I’d even hear them say to others, particularly to those confused about their schoolwork: “Amber understands it. Go ask her.” Did they really think so? Because I certainly didn’t. And then they’re surprised that I’m not in a class like Algebra II, or AP US History.

For a time, I liked being perceived in such a way. I thought to myself: “So I am doing something right. People look up to me. I must be inspirational. Hell, I must be damn perfect. I need to keep being this way so I don’t ruin anyone’s expectations of me as being anything but perfect.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

So I adopted this role as the “perfect” teenager. I made new friends. I adapted to their personalities without completely losing my conservatism. I knew I wanted to be kind and benevolent, not like those bitchy girls who roll out gossip faster than one can roll a ball. I spoke to them with an aura of confidence I tried to possess – like the tomboy who isn’t afraid of hanging out with guys she finds incredibly attractive. The girl who’s totally cool with every situation. The girl who can handle herself in virtually any scenario – even when inside, she’s trembling with uncertainty and fear.

So it’s no surprise that people possessed this perspective of me. I expected them to. But what I failed to realize is that while I might maintain the perfect composure, I’m actually killing any chance I have inside to actually enjoy my life experiences. And if I didn’t enjoy them, at least I could have given myself the chance to learn from them.

Imagine you were standing at the top of a tree. You could see the ground beneath you, and you longed to finally feel secure from falling, but you never wanted to leave that tree. Why?  You felt closer to that pretty blue sky. Everything up there was in its golden state to you. Everything was your vision of pure and perfect. But at the same time, you would realize, quite miserably, that you’d never get to touch that pretty blue sky. However, the ground itself wasn’t enough for you – you wanted to always be a little closer to the sky, regardless of the fact that you can’t reach it. Then one day, a terrible storm swooped in and snapped that tree into two. You found yourself lying on the ground – dazed, then devastated. “I’m even farther from the blue sky than I’ve ever been! I’m ruined forever.”

After the storm passed, you notice a lone yellow flower peaking from the earth, like the little glowing mass you would see in the pretty blue sky every day. It was much smaller, and not as bright, but it was beautiful to you. You then noticed the other vibrant flowers dotted about the landscape, living in their own little world. It was all very beautiful, you thought, even a little more beautiful than that pretty blue sky.

And, finally, after the fall, you stood on your own two feet and began walking. There was no tree holding them from falling any longer, but oddly you weren’t afraid. You thought to yourself: “I’ve made it to the ground. I may not have achieved my lifelong dream of reaching the pretty blue sky, but I’ve found an even more beautiful place here. And for once, I can stand on my own. I can navigate this pretty world as freely as I wish. I no longer feel the anguish of knowing that I’ll never touch the sky. I am finally free, with no one to hold me back but myself.”

And so you begin on your journey of seeking the wonderful pieces that define who you are. 


(Just a little piece I wrote last night. Read if you’ve got the chance. Thx.)

It was just the beginning.

We had too much to drink. New York City streetlights blurred in their deep yellow, red, green hues. Taxis rushing past in a blob of school bus yellow. One after one, they came and went. We watched them for a while, laughing and smiling on the dirty curb like we always belonged there. We didn’t have the brains to do much else. We were drunk, and stupid. After all, we were just twenty-one, overflowing with naivety and the lingering urge to face-plant the dirty street curb and puke our guts out.
We were just twenty-one.

I remember observing, with difficulty and a bit of vertigo, the thin black fingers of what appeared to be a clock reading 2:15 AM. The next thing I remember was two powerful arms lifting me off my drunken little feet and stumbling up the stairs through fits of laughter and the sharp, masculine scent of a leather jacket. The lights on the ceiling were an obnoxious fluorescent. The cheap red carpet floor screamed at me in a spinning maroon rage. We made it to the top floor, and then to the ugly black door with the golden knob. He gently put me down in that gentlemen’s sort of way and rummaged through his leather jacket pocket for the keys. I think they were the keys. While he’s looking for them (a pathetic scene), I barbarically rip off my hair tie and, like magic, thick strings of chocolate brown hair kiss my face. He finally finds the keys and, with agonizing effort, unlocks the ugly black door with the golden knob.
We were just twenty-one.

The room breathed shadows and stale cotton sheets. It was almost too much for us. Four trailing years, and finally here it was. I threw everything on the maroon floor – purse, two inch stiletto heels, and, quite longingly, the garments. There was a pale amethyst light glowing from the moon outside a lone and thin square window. It was silence. It was awakening. It was here.

He turned, faced me for the first time since the party that evening. Without my heels, he was about six inches taller. I could feel his smile in the darkness, feel it burn through the shadows that watched us. His silhouette glowed that amethyst light. I was burning into his eyes, undergoing some totally new chemical reaction, and he was burning into mine. By now, time had completely stopped. The city streetlights flashed only green in our minds. After all, we were just twenty one.

I drew myself forth, immersed in the leather jacket once more, embraced by those two powerful arms. Shadows observed with content. The moon whispered something soft, like a lost call, a dream. I fell into it, fell into the New York City Beat, fell into his heart’s beat. I belonged in both places.

After all, we were just twenty-one.

…You will never again be able to keep [your heart] quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world…so it’s better to listen to what it has to say. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday with a view..

I looked up to the sky, brilliant like a family of stars, and searched for meaning. I searched for an answer or a sign that could just come to me, with little regard to the swaying wind or the chirping birds. But there was no answer, no sign. Just silence. But I was forgetting one detail: there’s always a sound. Silence is a sound. And what if it holds an answer? If I open my mind, then maybe the answers will wander in…

God, it’s so lovely out here. Just the birds, a distant train, and the gentle rustling of pine trees. Evening will come in just a few hours. The sun is already beginning to close her glorious orange eyes over this horizon. In another she will awaken the city, the streets, the animals of nature. While I sleep, one’s dreams meet the day once more. Maybe all our dreams are up in that sky somewhere. Maybe that’s how we draw inspiration…looking up there, seeing the world for every beautiful piece that it is. And to think that I’m just a tiny little fraction of it. It’s truly amazing.



Shit. This one’s beautiful too.

Absolutely beautiful cover of “Wish You Away” by TFT. This guy is incredibly talented, plus he’s SELF TAUGHT! I wish he could provide the sheet music. :-(