From the Journal of Thea Leopoulos
Wrote During Thea’s 16th & 17th Years
“Soldiers in Uniform”
“Soldiers will be returning Monday. This glorious day will be celebrated through the years to come. Stay tuned for further updates.” The radio sounds are of sweet harmonious orchestra music. I couldn’t think of anything sweeter that I would want to hear than “The war is over.”
He has been gone for too long. In my head, all I can see is his body pressing through any determent to find my path and to fall into my arms. How I miss his smell and the way he says my name. These few letters I received early aren’t enough. They stopped coming the day I prayed I hoped they wouldn’t.
Not being able to stand the drabness and dismal feeling of the house, I push open the creaky front door to feel the freshness of God in my lungs. Trees are tall and healthy, and the flowers smell of sweet scents. How happy the earth looks. Then, I notice in the distance a swirling of dust aggravated by something on the dirt road that leads to my house.
A beautiful dark, navy blue Ford sedan pulls up in front of my lonely home. My reaction is quick as I jump to my feet to see what my surprise is. A tall sculptured man in uniform steps slowly out of the car holding my surprise. . . a flag. My knees shiver, collapsing on the “welcome” mat. My head drops. My heart is screaming inside and I can’t seem to breathe.
No longer do I hear the sweet sounds of music playing.
“It smells like salt.” My face is touched by the cool, salty air as I open my front porch door. My arms rise over my head as if they are trying to capture God, and I rise up on the tips of my toes. An awaken yawn follows. Now, I can feel the blood rushing through my body. It is early. The sun is barely making it over the sparkling champagne bowl that surrounds me in all directions. My bare feet find their way to the water’s edge. “Ahhhh,” they are as interested as I am to see how the smooth surface feels this early in the morning. Now the earth is a slight shade of gold. There are the warm beams I have been waiting for. My face feels one of Heaven’s most precious gifts gliding around my eyes and streaming through my hair. I hear the crunch of sand between my wiggling toes. “hmmmm,” I sigh. Seagulls sweep over my head diving into the unknown in hopes of finding their breakfast -- a daily routine. “ This is my life! I exclaim. How wonderful it is.” Then I find a perfect spot – one near the boulders lining the ocean; and making sure everything is stable and comfortable, I pick up my paintbrush and smile with a wrinkle in my nose and joyful satisfaction.
Today something spectacular happened. When I see every creation with their soul showing through their eyes and how they are living today with their many options, it makes me smile. The sun is bright and the air smells sweeter today. I woke up while the sun was making its way between my blinds. It was a sign that today was going to be beautiful.
I am thankful for the way my life is coming together. My Mom and I are finally friends. Our relationship is softening. Our smiles are effects of the moments we are sharing. Now everything seems better. The sun shines brighter, chocolate cake tastes sweeter, and the nights seem longer. There was always an empty place somewhere in me that wanted to be filled. Thea was starting to find out that she could not be as independent as she wanted to be. Someone needed to be in her life to make it more special. This person being the queen in my life as she always has been, but now, I am complete. I am satisfied with my life. I love her so. “Christmas”
Christmas is coming and I am getting in the Christmas mood. Now is really the time I get in the mood to give people things. Not like material objects, but like love and kindness. I love making people happy. It is Christmas-time and everyone should be happy.
It would be awesome if everybody could feel as great as I do. I am so thankful about my life and the love that surrounds me. I have experienced so much in my life, and have had opportunities that many people have not had.
I should be thankful for many things all year round. I am going to do all that I can to make as many people in my life happy as best as I can.
“To A Loved One”
All my life you have loved me like I was the only person on earth. Anything that needed to be tended to you graciously gave yourself to whatever I needed. Every breath I take and every situation I get into, you are making sure I am heading on the right track. I love you. The way I show my love for you is not enough. I don’t treat you like you need to be treated. My disrespectful manner is uncalled for. How I wish I knew how to love you. What I want is for our relationship to be much deeper. Not only should you be a mother to me, but also a friend. I promise my actions will be more compromising, loving, and compassionate. I love you more than anything.
“Who is She?”
Can I make up my mind? Everyday I see this face looking at me in my own mirror. When I look at her – this face, I don’t know what to think. My eyes squint trying to understand why I feel this way. My hands find their way to my hairline to grasp the hair that lingers around my eyes. Why do I feel this way about myself? So, I put on my makeup and change the way I look. Maybe this different face will make me feel better, look better. I don’t want to go to school to see figures walk the halls with their souls at rest, not having the least bit of sorrow for those whose souls aren’t. They look at themselves and smile. I look at myself and weep. This monster in my head is killing me. My body is constantly exhausted because of how my mind works. The only emotion I know is yearning, yearning to be the person I am not. All I want is to be able to feel content. How that feeling must be the most beautiful of all feelings. I close my eyes to try to picture it. No one understands the monsters that attack me everyday. Everyday I go to school, or read a magazine, or watch a movie. Help me be happy. Help this puzzlement and confusion turn into a smile.
“A Rain Falling Star”
A rain falling star is a star that appears in the sky during or after it rains. It is the only star in the sky, and it appears to be falling because of the rain. It becomes an illusion. Rain falling stars are very special because they are very rare. If you see one you are lucky. These stars are comparable to relationships. Not everyone finds that “special” person who is just the perfect one. But you know you can always look to the sky for a rain falling star. Stars are a gift from outer space as well as the rain, the clouds, the sun, and the moon. Everything we see in the sky we should consider a gift. But overall, the most special gift God could give us from the sky is a rain falling star.
“Things to Improve On”
I would like to improve on my work ethics as I have become pretty lazy.
Also, I would like to work on improving my golf game. It is a pretty tough sport, especially because it requires a lot of patience. Patience is something I would like to have more of. In some areas of my life I have patience, but in other areas I need more.
Let’s see. . . I would love to work on the religious part of me. I am a good Christian, but I would like to improve on living a better Christian life.
Another thing I need to improve on is my driving skills. My focus isn’t where it should be. I don’t pay attention.
“See You at the Pole”
This morning there was an event that is called “See You at the Pole”. If you don’t know what that is, it is when anyone who wants to can meet at their school’s flagpole early in the morning to worship God. It is such an inspiring event. We sing worship songs and pray the whole time we are there. The reason we have this event is to bring the school together through one another’s faiths and friendships. We are there sharing our feelings and praying to the same God. In a way that brings us closer – not only to Him – but to each other.
Now, if someone decides not to go to the pole, it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. You could be shy to pray in front of a lot of people, or maybe you just want to keep your worshiping private. That is okay. I personally enjoy singing about God, but praying in front of a lot of people is kind of hard for me to do.
There is a place that, to me, is very special for many reasons. This place is called Castle Bluff. Castle Bluff is a church camp. My youth goes to this camp every fall, spring, and summer. It is about a three-hour drive near Fayetteville out in the middle of nowhere.
There is a point at Castle Bluff on the side of a mountain where you can look off and see all the beautiful scenery God has created for us. Every time I attend Castle Bluff, I get on a spiritual high. It is the best feeling.
One time I attended Castle Bluff to be a counselor. It was awesome because I got to know this one person extremely well, and we talked the whole time we were up there. He had issues he wanted to talk to someone about, and I just so happened to be there for him. So, we talked and prayed together under the stars. It was so amazing. He is a changed person now from the way he used to be.
I am so happy that God led me to Castle Bluff to help him. I feel that there was some sort of plan that I was supposed to do that. Every time I go back to Castle Bluff I sit in the same spot he and I were sitting when we prayed together, and I remember the wonderful memories we had.
Success means different things to different people. To the greedy, success means having lots of money. To another, success might mean graduating from school or maybe learning how to ski. I can say that I have had many successes in my life. But from the way I view success, I think of one specific person – Mother Teresa.
To me, she defines success. She may not have looked at her life in that way, but from what I can see and millions more, Mother Teresa succeeded in more areas in her life than other people. She was definitely a gift from God. Her life was dedicated to helping the less fortunate. Up until the day she died, Mother Teresa succeeded at being the absolute best person she could possibly be. She had the passion of love in her.
I am not saying that my life is going to be that way, but it sure sounds good. I wish people wouldn’t focus on themselves so much.
A special place is usually a place a person has because there is a personal meaning to it. For a child, a special place could be a tree house or even a closet hidden away from everything. When someone gets older, it could be more like a romantic spot outside among trees or near a serene lake.
For me, I really don’t have a specific place that is special. There is always my bedroom window facing the street. At night when everyone is asleep and the sounds of cars have calmed down, looking out that window among the tree branches and at the streetlight illuminating the empty street is just beautiful. This may sound weird, but whenever I walk through some familiar places, it reminds me of special times I have had.
Those places are nice, but they aren’t special enough to be considered a special place. My special place isn’t a “place” – it is the road. The road is so special to me because it leads me to where I most long to be. The road is the only passageway I have to be near him. Our worlds come together on the road, because it is our guide to each other. The road is “our” special place.
“A Brief Madness”
Today, I write about my brief madness. I picture myself in what a brief madness for me would be. I am afraid of death and I’m describing a situation of a brief moment before an execution – the split second that you have time to think before your life is ended.
I see the eye of the man gazing at me through the eye of the rifle. With this long stick of destruction pointing at me longing to do its task, I think with the rapidity of lightening. Suddenly, I feel like I have stepped into hell and my body is mummified with sweat and needles. Objects around me suddenly turn to streaks of color – that is all I can see. But how these streaks are so beautiful. How I wish I would be able to see these streaks longer and longer. My breath is only short sucks of air. How I bless the air. I hear birds chirping with happiness. How I bless those chirps. For right now, these things are the only things I have. I can’t see anything but nonsense. I close my eyes to see. . . my beautiful husband. I am touching him. His eyes are finding mine. They are like stars. I feel nothing. I am numb. . . “Oh, God.”
“Ticonis”. . .a blur of a man sped past me on what looked like an antique bicycle that had one wheel squeaking like a metronome. My hair flaps in the wind that he creates, and my waving hand does not make it in the air in time for him to see.
This is my second time to this ancient ground, and I still can’t believe the unique way colors blend to form this culture. From stark white buildings to grass-green doors and red windowpanes and Mediterranean blue temple domes, the scenery is beautiful. The sounds that fill my ears are the noises of busy, hard-working men and the slow conversation of the aged sitting outside coffee shops.
As I walk past the many tucked away houses and shops, I notice the way of the people in their own little world. There are old women making wool rugs and dark-haired boys speaking in a language too fast for me to understand. Then, I see a particular shop that catches my eye. All around the outside of this shop are paintings displayed for show in hopes that a curious visitor like me would find one that captures my spirit. There is an older lady inside sitting on a stool waving a fan in her wrinkled face to keep cool. “Parakalo,” she says to me. I just smile, and after a quick glance around, I step over the fat, gray cat sleeping in the doorway and continue my adventures.
“Lost in the Wilderness”
Structures climbing feet into the air, almost as if they were blades of grass for a giant and I was only a speck of dust hardly to be seen. Looking up is a struggle for my eyes for the sun finds its way through every needle and every leaf to only blind my vision. The smell is most refreshing to my senses. I suddenly see myself sitting in front of an autumn fire blazing in a far off cabin tucked between mountains filled with snow. My feet are making their way over and around moss-covered logs and storm-destroyed branches. “Ouch!” My head almost made it under the vine caught amongst the saplings. My eyes are filled with the deep colors of browns, greens, and grays. I am lost! My paths have led me into a direction I was not expecting. This place is so isolated, yet peaceful. All I can hear every-once-in-a-while is the scatter of a curious animal wandering about their world like I do in my world. I want to be lost. My mind is lost in a world where it wants to be. I don’t feel frightened. I feel serenity.
It is really sad how people can waste their lives just by being lazy. Sitting around all day doing nothing and not caring about anything is a sad way to live your life. I know some people who are really smart, but they can be so immature about a lot of things in life. People throw away perfectly good relationships whether it means being friends or something more. When someone doesn’t want to have a commitment because they are too lazy is really sad. Why be that way when everything can be so much better if you put a little effort into what you do? That kind of attitude is so frustrating, especially if it deals with me.
One personal strength that I have is the ability to make friends easily. I love meeting people and getting to know them. I find it fun to learn about people’s personalities. Whenever there is a new person at school or perhaps a student who wants to become friends with the people I hang out with, I like to make them feel comfortable.
Another strength I have is the ability to be independent. I like to be my own person – making decisions based on what I know is right, dressing the way I like, listening to the kind of music I like, and just doing what I enjoy doing on the weekends. I think it is important to be who you want to be instead of trying to be like everybody else. I don’t fall under “peer pressure” very easily. I have a couple of times and realized how terrible it is to not have confidence in myself.
Hopefully, a personal strength that I will improve on is work ethic. I need to practice better work ethics in finishing things that I start and not putting projects off for another day.
I have found you amongst a cluster of Egyptian jewels – the modest one of all. “ The stone that which sparkles but cannot be seen” unless in a certain light. As my hand grazes the beautiful gems full of illuminating light, my eye catches you. Buried underneath all the obvious beauties, my eyes are consumed with color that cannot be distinguished. I squint only to see more patterns of the blurs. All of the stones look the same to me . . .but you. Every characteristic of the other stones is suddenly minimized. Something about you makes you stand out. I guess it is the mysterious dullness of your look that makes me wonder if there is more to know about you. Not always is the more beautiful the better. But my lucid dreams have been discovered in your soul. With the grace of your hands and the whisper of your voice, you suck me in. How this is the most beautiful jewel I have ever seen. There is something about finding a special jewel that makes a person look at life in a different way. It is that one stone that is hard to reach that intrigues me. I have been stung and that sting is still being felt through my veins.
“Person I Most Admire”
The person I admire the most is President Clinton. I know that may sound pretty insane to some people, but that is the way I feel. He has done some incredible things to help our country and even the world. I cannot count the ways I admire him. His character is incredible. President Clinton may have some moral issues, but he recognizes them and is in the process of improving them.
He has one of the biggest hearts ever. The man is a total genius. He is interested in so many things and reads up to four books a week. President Clinton is always learning something new. His only intention in life is to help others, especially the ones who need it.
I hope one day that everyone could know the real President Clinton. I wish people could look inside of him and find out that he is really humble, caring, and basically a person of good standards. But like everyone, he is not perfect. He makes mistakes.
“A Theme to Live By”
I wish people would not be judgmental. Judging a person on their appearance happens ALL the time. Some people who do not know me think I am a snob, which is totally untrue. If you get to know me, I am a pretty cool cat.
It is really sad when people judge others by their appearance and think lowly of them because they seem a little different. We need to live like God wants us to live – in harmony with one another. We need to accept each other for who we are instead of what we look like. Personality is the most important characteristic of every person.
I have two brothers. One is 21 and the other is 14 years old. Thaddeus goes to Rice University in Houston, Texas. He has been going there for three years now and his major is mechanical engineering. He loves Houston. That might be the place he ends up living when he finishes college. This past summer, he worked at NASA in Houston and that was a fun job to have. He is also interested in specializing in acoustics.
My little brother is Nicholas and he attends North Little Rock East Campus. Nick and I get along pretty well. He is a very good artist. I look up to him that area, and I wish to be as good as him one day.
“Why Do Good Things Sometimes Go Wrong?”
Every-once-in-a-while something comes along that you think is just the best thing to ever happen to you. “Nobody understands how happy I am,” you say to yourself. “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” This feeling of ecstasy is rare, but delightful when you do get to feel it. It comes along in different situations. It could be about a “perfect” guy, or a great new business opportunity, or a winning ticket for something. Just when it seems like nothing could go wrong, something does. You are so caught up in how happy you feel that you hide the realities of being able to enjoy the happy time in the back of your mind. To every situation there always seems to be a default somewhere. Don’t you wish it wasn’t like that? Why can’t something good just stay that way with no surprises? Maybe we should be more careful about making decisions. I wish I had all the answers to every question.