This summer, I’ve finally learned to a ride a bike, thanks to this guy. While this is just a bike, it’s also a vehicle that has opened my eyes to the smallest of wonders. 🚴🏼
I ride down these never before seen streets, all flourished in flowers and freshly cut grass, smile at passing strangers, and glimpse into the lives that I can only capture while pedaling at a steady heartbeat. Thanks to this bike, I get stopped by children, couples, and the elderly. I talk to construction workers and smile at girls that I wouldn’t have the guts to smile at otherwise. I’m impulsive, anxious, and at most times, closed in. When I’m riding this bike, it’s just me. I’m watching and breathing. And just like the wheels, I steadily move with the wind. ~
I get why you don’t want to believe in God. I get it. You’ve seen the Christians on street corners who are screaming about going to hell. You’ve seen Christians turn a blind eye. You’ve seen Christians give really crappy answers when you’re hurting.
You’ve seen Christians in church ignore the new people. You’ve seen Christians avoid you in the store. You’ve seen Christians be downright hurtful. You’ve seen Christians be just plain mean.
Here’s the thing.
Christians aren’t Christ.
I get it. Christians give Christ a bad reputation. I do it. I swear and listen to music and mutter words that would make my grandma and my Jesus blush. I’m mean. I avoid people. I get it.
I get it. We base our beliefs on what we see. We build our perceptions on our experiences. We base our opinions on what we’ve learned.
If you’ve had a bad experience or 47 bad experiences with Christians, I’m sorry.
This isn’t one of those posts that is going to end with the typical, “we’re all sinners and that’s why Jesus died for us”. although that is true - that’s not the point of this.
What I’m saying is that Christians are going to disappoint you. Christians are not always going to represent Christ. Christians are going to hurt you. Christians are going to not look like Christians all of the time.
But are you following a Christian or are you longing to follow Christ?
Are you getting to know Christians and doing things how they do them or are you getting to know who God is and why exactly He sent Jesus? Are you spending your time pouring over Instagram and trying to match your journaling bible designs to the ones you see there? Or are you spending your time pouring over the Bible and trying to match your life to the ones detailed in the stories told there?
What I’m trying to get at is this: Christians will misrepresent God. Christians will mess up, we’ll make mistakes. We’ll say the wrong things. Because we’re not God. We’re not good at being God. We’re good at being humans. We were created as humans, and God is God.
God is good at being God. God won’t misrepresent himself. God doesn’t mess up. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t say the wrong thing. He doesn’t leave. He doesn’t break his promises. He doesn’t let you down. Christians are meant to follow God. Christians are meant to become more like Jesus, not other Christians.
If you’re skeptical about this whole thing, I get it. But if you’re willing, please seek to learn who God is and not who Christians can make him out to be.
a long post about the message of the blurryface era
all the blurryface music videos (and heathens) seem to be pretty different from the rest but all of them have the same theme, which is that connection with friends is the best way to cope, and no one is really alone.
heathens/heavydirtysoul - these two music videos parallel each other closely as i talked about in my last post. both start with tyler in a dark and unfamiliar place. he is sad and withdrawn. then, he sees josh. josh is drumming furiously and doesn’t notice tyler.
in both music videos tyler is represented by dark motifs (rooms, clothes, etc.) while josh’s motifs are glowing and bright. heathens - he’s drumming on a glowing box, which eventually becomes the stage on which he and tyler play. heavydirtysoul - his drums spark flames with every hit; they grow larger and eventually consume tyler as well.
both videos reach a climax in which tyler and josh interact with each other for the first time. the light (heathens) and flame (hds) grows to a blinding maximum and the two are rocking out together. josh is no longer ignoring tyler. tyler is no longer withdrawn; he is interacting with josh and for the moment his anxiety is gone. it’s a release but it’s not a painful one. he is coping.
and then in the end everything is back to normal - no yellow suit, no light, no flames. tyler is still there alone. blurryface is as present as ever. and the implication is that he has imagined josh. this is why josh didn’t notice tyler both times. he was merely an attempt for tyler to find someone to relate to. a cathartic figment of imagination. an imagination of light that tyler hasn’t found yet.
and what these songs mean in relation to the videos is clear. “all my friends are heathens” - there are so many people here going through the same thing as me, and while the general public considers us freaks, we are all here together and ready to stay that way. “can you save my heavydirtysoul” - implies desperately trying to find a way out of the situation. imagining salvation so fervently that it manifests as almost reality. salvation, here, is josh and the flames.
lane boy - this one is kind of similar to heathens and heavydirtysoul in that it starts with tyler, alone and contemplating, in the dark. but this time he’s worried about what he has done to become successful, and whether it’s good enough, and whether fame will change him and limit him. all these worries are new to the band, because they’re at the beginning of their rise to fame at this point. and in the video the dark road in the woods symbolizes that they’re in the dark and they’re being careful. stay low they say.
and then they’re playing on a stage, and everything is forgotten, and they REFUSE to stay low. if you notice in the video the moment tyler sees josh on stage, that is the moment he breaks his silence and starts to dance. to me this video represents that even though not everyone in the crowd might like what the band is doing, and even though there are critics behind that stage and out in that world, being able to play in front of thousands, together, tyler and josh, is worth it. at the end of this video is the realization that having each other means much more than success.
stressed out - i think this video illustrates the point the most obviously, but it does a great job handling the dichotomy between wanting to grow up and not wanting to grow up. obviously tyler and josh would rather hang out with each other, with no responsibilities, and make music without having to worry about how it is going to be received. and part of the music video is the deliberate denial of reality, and the fantasy of regressing into teenagerhood. but the last part? that’s the acknowledgement that they’re not always going to be kids and life will not be easy. tyler is walking down the street, alone, and without the backpack and the tricycle. this is a sign he’s maturing. and blurryface, he’s there too. i think that entire scene is representative of coming of age.
ride/fairly local - like heathens and heavydirtysoul, i think there’s strong evidence these videos parallel each other. both take place in an isolated location and make use of very polarized (no pun intended) environments. ride - the daytime and the nighttime. fairly local - the icy house and the red hallway.
so in ride, i think it’s really important that the verses and the bridge take place at night. this is where tyler is doing all his worrying. he doesn’t know what his place in life is and what his relationship to others is. who would you live for, who would you die for, would you ever kill? he’s overanalyzing. he’s in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, about everything. and he doesn’t know where he stands with anyone. he can’t see. he’s wearing dark glasses at night. josh is nowhere to be seen. and then the chorus is where he lets up. he acknowledges that there is a lot to worry about and a lot to analyze over, but he can still enjoy his life. even though he’s hurling through the unfamiliar course of life he can still take the time to look at the things that he loves. and the light comes on, and he can look at the beauty that’s around him, and he can see that there are people and things that mean a lot to him even though he’s questioning it all.
and then we have fairly local, where the majority of the video takes place in an icy house. the whole video seems very disconnected from the rest of the world. it’s freezing and desolate, both tyler and josh seem to ignore each other, and their demeanor is cold and apathetic. they’re trying very hard to remain unemotional, closed off, unable to see the damage they do to themselves and others. but that denial of their own feelings - that’s where blurryface manifests. he’s what’s causing their isolation, he’s there in the red hallway, changing into something darker and darker as tyler and josh continue to distance themselves.
and a thing i like about fairly local is that the quiet and desolate atmosphere of the video completely contradicts the lyrics of the song. “im fairly local, ive been around, ive seen the streets, youre walking down.” “the few, the proud, and the emotional.” he’s talking about the fanbase, and josh, and jenna, and everyone he’s been able to connect with. and the sense of group mentality and empathy are completely antithetical to the cold, quiet video that they represent breaking out of that atmosphere.
tear in my heart - this one is an oddball. all the music videos from this era have the common thread of using human connection as a symbol of coping with blurryface. most videos choose to represent that with the relationship between tyler and josh, but this video uses tyler and jenna instead. i think the content of the video is pretty straightforward, and a lot of people have dived into this theory, but the scene in which jenna beats up tyler is important. a common interpretation is that this scene actually represents jenna beating up blurryface. blurryface doesn’t give up without a fight, of course. wrestling with such a character, such a deeply rooted part of your thoughts, is going to cause some distress. there is pain involved in battling your own mind, but the pain is a sign that you are able to fight, that you’re doing it. sometimes you gotta bleed to know that you’re alive and have a soul. but it takes someone to come around and show you how. jenna and tyler’s love for each other is what gives tyler the power to challenge blurryface, but he won’t be able to do that without some pain involved.
and now i think i understand why blurryface is the name of this strange part of everyone’s brain. the literal opposite of the word blurryface is of course clear face. as in being able to see people’s faces clearly. blurryface is the opposite of seeing people for who they truly are. blurryface is the opposite of joining people who are fighting the same battles as you and really connecting with them. the opposite of blurryface is friendship and truth, and we must always find comfort in the fact that we are not alone. there are always people out there for you. and that’s how you defeat a demon.
Summary: Betty and Veronica were always
dragging you out to parties, the only thing that makes this one any better is
the arrival of the one and only Archie Andrews.
Word count: 3030
a/n: It’s way longer than I thought it was gonna be but what the heck. Sorry if it sucks but I suck so it’s appropriate.
Parties had never really been your
thing. Like you liked going out sometimes, and every once in a while you would
be in the mood to dance, but after a while it just felt boring. Every time you
got ready on Friday nights with Betty and Veronica you would be excited; ‘This
time will be different,’ you’d think to yourself. But time after time it would
end up the same way with the same house of people dancing to the same music and
playing the same game of beer pong. Tonight was no exception.
“Can we leave yet?” you yelled over
the booming bass to B and V, trailing behind them.
Veronica turned her head to answer
you, “Okay, we literally, and I mean literally, just walked in. You haven’t
even had time to get bored yet!” She pushed through the crowd and led the trio
to the bar in the corner of the room. “So,” she turned to you and Betty with 3
shot glasses, “shots anyone?”
You rolled your eyes and looked to
Betty for a go/no-go. “I’m convinced that you have some sort of radar or sonar
or something when it comes to finding alcohol” Betty joked back.
“It’s residual from my days in New
York,” she said handing each of you a shot glass. “Gentlemen, to our wives and
girlfriends,” she started the usual toast looking at the two of you
expectantly. You turned you Betty and completed it simultaneously laughing,
“May they never meet” and downed the shot, feeling the vodka burn all the way
down your throat. You weren’t a huge fan of alcohol, yet another reason parties
weren’t your favorite place, but being drunk was fun sometimes. Since it was
the getting drunk that was the annoying part, you generally stuck to vodka. You
preferred its nail polish remover taste that could get the job done faster to
the slow-working, carbonated urine formally known as beer.
Just then, the music changed to “Cake
by the Ocean” by DNCE, a song that was notoriously Betty’s jam. Her eyes
widened and she jumped up in down in excitement. “We have to dance!” she
squealed pulling your and Veronica’s wrists toward the dance floor.
“I think I’m gonna sit this one out
guys,” you explained trying to get out of this inevitable public display of
“What, you don’t dance Chad
Danforth?” Veronica teased in a very Veronica-esque way. Betty chimed in,
“Because we all know how that ends, Chad dances with Ryan like the whole time”.
“It’s not that I’m too good to
dance, it’s just I’m not drunk yet enough to dance”
That must have been an acceptable
answer because Betty simply pointed at you and began to back away with Veronica
in tow with a “Hey batter batter, hey batter batter, swang,” to which you
yelled back over the growing crowd with your hands cupped around your mouth,
“I’ve got to just do my thang!”
B and V faded behind an ocean of
people and you were alone. Just you and the vodka. Speaking of the vodka…
You turned to the bar and poured
yourself another shot and stuck your tongue out at the offensive taste. You
poured some coke into a red solo cup and started to walk away then thought
better. You turned around and poured some more vodka in with the coke. What? It
was gonna be a long night.
You made your way through the room,
deliberately avoiding the table with the jungle juice and found a dimly lit corner
to lean in.
I wonder where Archie is right now?
It’s not like he normally hangs out with us at parties anyway. Since they
always happen after football games he usually hangs out with the rest of the
team, but you were curious. You would never admit it to anyone, not even Betty
or Veronica and especially not to Archie, but you’d had feelings for him for
quite some time. There were times when you wanted to tell him about it, he was
one of your friends after all, but you truly felt that he didn’t feel the same
way. It wasn’t worth the risk.
“You like hanging out in dark
Speak of the devil and he shall
appear. You could identify that voice anywhere: the one and only Archie
“You like staring into dark
corners, creeper?” you shot back.
Archie chuckled and approached with
open arms for a friendly hug. “Hey y/n,”
“Hey Tom Brady, great game.” You
pulled out from the hug but stayed standing close to him to be able to hear
each other over the loud music.
He smiled, “It wasn’t exactly the
Super Bowl, but thank you. So, what are you drinking?” He plucked the plastic
cup out of your hand. “This isn’t the jungle juice, is it?” he questioned with
a slightly alarmed but mostly joking tone. Reggie’s jungle juice was pretty
famous, or more accurately infamous.
“God no,” you shook your head,
“It’s just coke.”
“Good. Stay away from the jungle
juice.” He took a sip and did a bit of a spit take into a nearby plant
overdramatically. He looked at you with a faux-shocked expression. “Just coke,
“Just coke as in mostly coke. As in
there’s slightly more coke than vodka.”
“Alcohol’s illegal for people our
age you know,” he warned just before he drank half of the cup’s contents.
You narrowed your eyes and leaned
toward him as if trying to get a better look, “Why, you a cop?”
He glanced around, checking that
the imaginary coast was clear before he leaned in. “You ever seen 21 Jump
“Ah,” you nodded.
“Yeah.” He said with a laugh,
straightening his back and returned the cup to your hand. You thought his hand
had lingered for a second touching yours; you were probably just imagining it.
You had to be imagining it, but the moment was over before you could really be
“Uh,” you tried to regain your
composure. “Betty and Veronica were in the other room dancing the last time I
saw them,” You offered figuring this had to be his destination. You were
friends/friendly with him but they were all really close. The only reason you
even knew Archie in the first place is because you had become good friends with
He shrugged his shoulders, “Okay.”
He blinked at you and didn’t move. You tried to suppress the smile that was
threatening to show itself. Maybe he was here for you. The electronic music
blared on and you scanned the room, looking for nothing in particular in an
attempt to make yourself busy, or at least make yourself look busy. The house
was filled to the brim with a mix of people, some you knew, some you didn’t. People
were singing and dancing and yelling and drinking and smoking and—okay, you
couldn’t ignore it anymore. Archie was still looking at you! You could feel his
eyes on you from the side.
You glanced at him and couldn’t
help but let out a nervous laugh. He was just smiling down at you like a fool.
“Is… is there something I can do for you Mr. Andrews?”
He smirked, keeping a laugh to
himself, “No, it’s just,” he shook his head looking down at his feet. “Nah,
“Oh, come on! What? Do I have
something on my face? Is my hair messed up?” You ran your fingers through your
hair trying to fix any possible issues.
“No, you look great. I was uh,” he
looked back up at you. “It was just that you looked really cute.” He shrugged
his shoulders and looked off to the rest of the party, the flashing lights
washing his face with a blue and red light, hitting his cheekbones in just the
right way to leave a shadow in the hollows of his cheeks. It wasn’t until that
moment that you really noticed how close he was standing to you. He was at max
6 inches from you; he could lean forward the tiniest bit and kiss you (if he
were so inclined). It all felt too good to be true. He had to be drunk or
“How many drinks have you had?”
“Just the sip of your ‘mostly
For some reason this answer
bothered you more than if he had been drunk. The fact that he called you ‘cute’
while being almost completely sober was, as far as you could tell, reason for
alarm. “Let’s go find some drinks.” Frankly, you needed another one.
You grabbed him by the wrist so you
wouldn’t lose him in the crowd and began to push through the mess of sweaty
bodies toward the familiar bar. You would have made it too, if it weren’t for
the jungle juice. You were walking past the table with the punch bowl of the
“juice” on it, the bar was in sight, when some random drunk guy with a cup full
of, you guessed it, Reggie’s famous jungle juice rammed into you, spilling the
entire contents of the cup all over your shirt. Your mouth hung open and the
people around you all gasped.
Archie pushed between you and the
guy, “Hey man, why don’t you watch where you’re going?” There was some real
anger in his voice, and you weren’t going to lie, it was pretty hot.
“Well why don’t you mind your own
business?” the guy said getting right in Archie’s face. He opened his mouth to
respond but before he could get anything out you put your hand on his shoulder
from behind him.
He looked down at you, clenching
his jaw. “C’mon Arch, it’s not worth it.”
He looked back up at the guy for a moment
then back down at you. The crowd that had gathered around you all waiting in
anticipation for Archie’s response.
He nodded his head, “I know where
the bathroom is,” the crowd of people returned to their former activities with
sounds of general dismay that there hadn’t been a fight. “Let’s go see what the
damage is.” He grabbed your hand in his and led you in the opposite direction
as the bar, down a hallway, and into a bathroom.
It was pretty dark in the house so
you couldn’t really see how badly it had spilled on your shirt yet. Archie
closed the door behind you while you felt around on the wall for a light
switch. You flipped on the switch and he immediately gasped sharply.
“Is it that bad?” you asked. You
couldn’t being yourself to look in the mirror yet.
“No… I mean it’s…” He tried to
think of some consolation to give, unsuccessfully. “Yeah, it is that bad.”
You hesitantly turned to face the
mirror, squinting enough to delay the inevitable. Your eyes sprung open and you
found that yes, it truly was that bad.
“Oh my god.”
“I told you.”
“This shirt ruined! How am I
supposed to wear this for the rest of the night?”
“Well, you did say you wanted to
find another drink. I guess it found you first,” You looked at him in the
mirror and rolled your eyes. “And I did warn you to stay away from the jungle
juice” he laughed getting a closer look at the stain.
You turned to him and sighed, “I
have to go home. There’s no way I can walk around like this.” You still didn’t
like parties, and this was no exception, but you were actually getting to hang
out with Archie alone. This was just your luck.
“Take my shirt,” He blurted out,
“Take your shirt? Like the one you’re
wearing right now? Arch as much as I’m sure that every girl at this party would
love to see you walking around shirtless, neither of us are at that point of drunkenness
“It’s fine. Even if you’re got my
jersey, I’ve still got my letterman,” he countered, already peeling off his jacket
and throwing it on the floor. “It’s not like I’ll be completely shirtless.” You
thought about this for a moment before hesitantly nodding your head in
agreement. You really didn’t want this night to end just yet. Plus, shirtless
You took off your stained t-shirt
and threw it in the trash, no stain remover was powerful enough to work on that
jungle juice. You stood awkwardly in just your plain black bra. You definitely
had cuter, but you hadn’t planned on anyone, especially not Archie, seeing you
shirtless tonight. Archie pulled off his jersey leaving both of you half naked.
And let me tell you he was built with a capital B. Just as he was handing you
the jersey, the bathroom door flings open. It seems neither of you had remembered
to lock it in the chaos of the dark.
Kevin Keller stumbled into the
room, clearly at least a little bit intoxicated. It took him a second but when
he finally realized what he had walked into, at least what it looked like he
had walked into, his eyes widened dramatically taking in the scene. It was
understandable. You were sure this looked a lot worse than it really was.
“Oops!” he exclaimed.
“Kevin, it’s really not what it
looks like,” you tried to explain to him with your hands out in front of you as
if trying to calm a wild animal.
“Don’t even worry about it you
guys. Your secret’s safe with me,” he tried to wink at you but the alcohol in
his system just turned it into a sloppy blink. This sentiment did nothing to
ease your concern. Kevin was not the person people told secrets to. Kevin was the
person people told when they wanted the whole town to know something.
Archie tried to stop him too, “No,
Kevin man, it’s not like that. Her shirt just-“
“Hey, you don’t have to explain
yourselves to me. I always knew Archie - Y/n would happen. Don’t you worry
about a thing. My lips are sealed.” He stumbled out of the bathroom and Archie quickly
shut the door behind him, locking it this time.
You both stood in an awkward
silence for a few seconds, neither of you knowing exactly what to say.
After about 30 seconds you asked
already knowing the answer, “He’s definitely going to go tell Betty and
Veronica about this, right?”
“I’m sure they already know.”
You nodded your head and took the
jersey from his hand. He slung on the jacket and waited for you. You pulled his
jersey over your head. It was big on you but not too big. It smelled like
Archie. It felt right. He opened the door and you followed him out of the room,
only for him to stop abruptly. You ran into him and then peered over his
shoulder at what had stopped him. Who else but Cheryl Blossom joined by Josie
at her side.
“Well, well, well. What do we have
here?” she said in her Cheryl way, her eyes scanning up and down. “The
quarterback and the rando hooking up at a party together. How cliché. Doesn’t this
feel like a bad 80’s rom-com?”
Josie joined in, “Who’s Molly
Ringwald in this situation?”
“I’m like Breakfast Club Molly Ringwald and Y/n’s like Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald. That makes Archie Jake Ryan!”
Neither of you had the patience to
try and explain the situation to her. Archie grabbed your hand pulling you in
the other direction down the hallway. “It’s been a pleasure as usual Cheryl,”
he yelled behind him.
Over the blaring music, you could
just make out her say “Or maybe she’s more Pretty
in Pink Molly Ringwald…”
He pulled you through a different part
if the house to a patio where a few random couples were making out. They were
taking up all the seating and he scratched his head not knowing where to go.
“Why don’t we just sit in the
grass?” you suggested. You walked over to a far part of the lawn that was dark
but still lit by the moon. The music was muffled and distant, present enough
that would could have private conversation, but still muted. He sat down crisscross
applesauce style and you followed suit, chuckling to yourself. You both sat
with your forearms resting on your knees, leaving only a couple of inches between
“We’re finally alone.” He stated quietly,
sounding satisfied. The moon lit up half of his face and his fiery locks
glinted as he tilted his head.
“Yeah, that’s why I come to
parties. To be alone. Just me and two-hundred of my closest friends.” You breathed
He grinned at your reply. He looked
at you for a moment. Just really looked at you. He was really seeing you.
He looked away timidly, “You look
good in my jersey you know.”
You raised an eyebrow, “Yeah?” He
nodded his head. You considered how to reply. “Well I guess I’m just gonna have
to try out for the football team then.”
“Or,” He leaned in even closer, “alternatively,”
his lips just centimeters from yours, “you could just…” He pressed his lips to
yours, lightly but passionately, like it was something he’d been wanting to do
for a long time. His lips were soft and it felt right, he felt right. It only
lasted a couple of seconds but it felt like forever, in a good way. He pulled
back and all you could both do was grin at each other.
All of a sudden, a mess of loud
yelling coming from the house caught both of your attention. “Woo!!!” “Oh yeah!!!”
“Get it!!!” “Hashtag Archie-Y/n!!!” Veronica and Betty were hanging out of a
window calling out to the two of you. You looked up at the sky in embarrassment
and Archie just shook his head at them, laughing. They pumped their fists and
chanted “OTP, OTP, OTP…”
Archie stood up and put his hand
out to pull you up, “Do you wanna go to Pop’s? Or anywhere that isn’t right
here?” “Gladly,” you agreed, “I hate parties.”