Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Holiday Season 2013

Merry Christmas. Hope everyone's had a wonderful Holiday season, but as you all know, it isn't quite over yet. Not until New years, anyways, and the semester starts back up again.

Over this little vacation time, I've kept busy while being extraordinarily lazy at the same exact time and have actually surprised myself with the things I've accomplished and fears I've overcome. Let's review some of the things I've been up to since my last update.

Backtracking to Thanksgiving in November (in the United States), I've taken my first trip out of town all by myself. I visited a friend in Berkeley, toured the incredibly gorgeous campus, popped off in San Francisco, and even fulfilled my lifelong dream (I'm exaggerating) of getting my upper ear pierced. This trip alone was an amazing, yet terrifying, experience - one that I will definitely have to make again!

After finals the second week of December, what did I immediately do but sign myself up with Netflix and proceed to spend the next week in the living room binge watching all my favorite shows. It was during that time when I decided to set up our, albeit fake, Christmas tree and decorate it. Cleaning up, I found a set of meltable Perler beads in a little box and decided to pick back up on an old pastime of mine - making things.

I began with a recreation of a Blink-182 album, then two British flags, surf boards, and a Hello Kitty for my cousins, and Garfield for my mother. It felt so good to be creative again, despite how time-consuming it might have been. It brought me back to who I am; what I was made to be. Refreshing.

And, by doing a little holiday shopping, I ended up buying some candles. After returning home, I discovered we didn't have any lighters around, so if I wanted to light the candles, I would have to do so the old-fashioned way: with a match. Since I have a long-standing fear of lighting matches, it took me a long while to build up the nerve to try it again - the previous two times I had lit a match, I ended up burning my fingers on the flame. After running through several failed attempts, I finally was able to light one and, very slowly, I'm getting over this little fear of mine.

So, whoever says holidays aren't great times for renewal might need to take some time for self-reflection themselves.

If you've had a good holiday season or have had similar experiences, feel free to share them!

Until next time,

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Trophy For Showing Up

Growing up, I’ve never been praised for the little things. Sure, sometimes it would have been great to hear my mother brag about a newfound interest of mine, but overall I think there was a point to that – a method to her madness, if you will. See, with this new generation of students getting trophies just for showing up to their classes, raising your expectations of your students could salvage their futures.

Just glancing over my Facebook feed, I see countless mothers who praise the very ground their children walk on. Not only does it get tiring to see on my screen, but I think it’s slightly damaging to their kids as they grow older. There are young mothers, first-time mothers [first-time fathers, even], and mothers of students who are 20 plus years bragging day in and day out about every single little thing, and it needs to stop. They need a major dose of reality.

For starters, we don’t live in the greatest town that ever existed. There are high pollution rates – we were ranked top 10 in the country – and high teen pregnancy rates – in their defense, there’s nothing better to do in this town, anyways – and high boredom rates. We’re practically the worst town in this state.

Then you get these mothers of 20-somethings who brag that their child got into a college outside of this ho-dunk town, only to move back home a year later with a boyfriend who she swears she’ll marry after only knowing him for ten minutes, and yet we wonder where it all came from. I say it came from being worshipped her entire life.

Something we ought to be teaching our generation and the next generation is how to be tough; to know that they’re not going to win everything in life; that times will be hard – because, believe me, they will be – and that they shouldn’t rely on the success or praise of others to get them through. We ought to teach them that diligent work pays off and that things won’t be handed to them like they’re so accustomed to expecting in their homes. And, most importantly, we should teach them that if they can escape their god-forsaken little town, they should run – run and never look back, even when times get tough. Because sometimes, the tough times shape our character and our work ethic, and we learn how to care for ourselves.

Parents with children: don’t excessively baby them. Don’t spoil them. Don’t do everything for them. Don’t worship bad grades when you know in your heart of hearts they could be better. Don’t give them a trophy for just merely showing up.

You can find me on any of these links and more

Until next time, 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Under the Tree

There’s a girl who lives under a tree where the sunlight barely reaches but its warmth can still be felt. In this shadow under the tree, all the critters and crawlers take shelter from the sweltering rays and the children run to escape the rain. It’s a place where nobody stays, except her.

As she grew, she became part of the tree. She gave it life and, in return, received a life from her tree. The wind would whisper through the leaves in its own special way when the children came out to play. Years passed and she became a home to the animals that dashed and roamed about. She opened her heart to the father who built his sons a house on the sturdiest of her branches and she looked after them with no bother.

Then, one day when the sons had grown into families of their own, the boys looked out and remembered the tree that housed so many memories, unvisited and alone. Without another sound, they struck it down but only now to see. It freed the soul of the broken girl that lived under the tree. 

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Until next time, 

Monday, December 9, 2013

We Are Tired Souls

We are tired souls.

I don’t just mean we get tired often like the common effects of sleep deprivation – a plight the average student suffers year after year after year – although that probably helps a great deal. When I say “We’re tired” I mean our souls are tired.

Day after day we encounter those people who do seemingly everything under the sun: they’re full time students (straight A students too), they work full time or have multiple jobs, they take trips, they hang out with friends, they have hobbies and keep going and going and going…while the rest of us get stuck on one simple daily task and are burnt out.

I don’t understand it.

While these people type out their fourth paper of the day, make four hour long trips every week to heaven knows where, and come back with enough energy to do it all again twice, we sit at our desks and try to gather up enough energy to write 165 words, and the best explanation I could ever offer is that we’re tired souls.

People whisper in my ear: “Go out; have fun; make new memories; you’re only young once,” but I feel like I’ve lived a million lives in my mere twenty years, and I’m just tired of it.

I’m tired of the same old routines; I’m tired of taking classes I don’t need; I’m tired of the same people on my Facebook feed; I’m tired of being overlooked and undervalued; I’m tired of being called “cute,” because to me, that word is demeaning. And I’m tired of everybody passing me by like they’re moving through life at 200 miles an hour while I’m stuck in front of a police car in a residential zone.

And I know I’m not the only one in this boat, but it’s so hard to see anything else around you when the blinds over your eyes are so thick and the world you live in revolves only around you.

And I don’t know if it’s because I’m stuck in my own head day after grueling day or because I’ve been dealing with the same old shit day after day after grueling day, but I do know that I’m tired of it.

I am a tired soul.
[Now read this backwards, by paragraphs]

You can find me on any of these links and more
Until next time,