13 Years

Thirteen years is a long time for a seventeen year old – and I have been here for thirteen years.

I’ll be honest there is certainly a dissociative sense of gladness that I’ll finally be seeing a change of scenery, a change in pace. It is easy to say, “God am I glad to be moving on,” it is easy to think that I’m ready and really don’t care all that much. It is easy to look at these past thirteen years and think of only the things I’m ready and willing to give up.

It is not easy however to look back on the past four years, the past seven, all the years and think of all that I’m leaving behind. It is not easy to leave with honesty, with neither hell nor rose tint. I won’t say that the past years, high school in particular were perfect – I have nothing to compare them to, I won’t say they were terrible either – they weren’t.

It’s odd to think about, even odder to try to put into words the sort of feelings I have about moving onto the next part of whatever future awaits me, because in part there is a sort of cold readiness to just leave but in equal part there is a desperate need to hold on, to dig my heals in, to continue to put my nose to the grindstone so I don’t feel the inevitable sense of loss.

It is undeniable that who I am is inescapably tied to these past years and I wonder everyday if I have the strength to untether myself from that. All my heart strings are tangled up and confused as to what to do in these last days – run as fast as I can home where I can rest and pretend like I’m already gone or stick around and grow melancholy realizing that it is the last time that I will be as I am where I am – realizing that these are the last moments for me to see my teachers as the teachers whose classes I used to know I would inevitably show up in again next year, sleep deprived and more than a little black-mooded.

Photo Credit: napavalleynow.com

Is it strange that I feel so much and nothing at all? Is it weird that I can’t find it in myself to reminisce like a bad made for TV movie with an even worse soundtrack? Is it weird that I can’t find the strength to tell my friends that I love them now in case we naturally fall into radio silence? Is it weird that I can’t find the ability to say thank you to the teachers who have built me?

I’m not sure how to put it all together. How to show the the people who deserve my thanks and love just how thankful I am and how much love I have for them. I’m not sure how to say goodbye to the place and people who have been my entire world for 76% of my life. Thirteen years is a lot of “stuff” and people to say goodbye to and I don’t think I’ll ever really be ready for that, but in three days I will have to anyway.

It is not a goodbye forever but it is a forever goodbye to the safety and essence of what those years have been.

I almost inevitably will cry June 1, I’m not ready for that. On June 1, even if I don’t say it outright, I hope that everyone from the past thirteen years understands that I am eternally thankful and that, selfishly, it may hurt me too much to try to say it to their faces.

So let me say it now, in the likely event that I can’t say it later:

Thank you for all the years, for the good, the mediocre, the not so good, for everything.

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A Letter To My Younger Self

You’d be surprised how often I write letters to people I can’t send them to. I write them to mom, dad, past friends, future friends, animals, and now I’m writing one to you, my younger self.

I could just see your face reading this. You’d scoff, then toss it aside not wanting to read it. You were never a fan of reading; now you read all the time.

You’d be surprised how much has changed.

I no longer want to be a movie star, nor is UCLA my top choice. In fact, I want to be a lawyer, and I want to go all the way to the other side of the country and pursue law in New York City.

Hannah Montana isn’t my favorite artist anymore, and Wizards of Waverly Place is shockingly not my favorite TV show anymore.

Instead, you went through the embarrassing seventh grade emo phase you shamed Rachel for going through.

If I’m honest with you, younger self, I’m so much different than I thought I’d be.

Some things stayed the same. Logan is still alive, I still love horses, and I still love to sing- though the older I get the worse I seem to become.

But, oh boy, I am definitely not the person I thought I’d become.

I no longer have hair that goes down to my hips, instead it’s right below my shoulders.

I dont have beach blonde hair or sun-kissed, clear skin. I have glasses, and I have freckles, and I have scars.

I don’t go to a big public school where I’m the most popular girl. I don’t go to beach parties on the weekends or sneak out of my bedroom window at night time. Instead, I go to a small boarding school. Instead, I spend weekends going to the movies and riding horses.

I haven’t had a boyfriend yet, but I really could care less. It was something I dreamed of, but now all I dream about is getting into college or passing my math test.

This may not sound appealing to you. You always dreamed of the crazy nights, city lights, and the “celebrity” life, and maybe a glimpse of that dream will come true in NYC, but trust me when I say what’s happened after mom and dad is quite possibly the best thing that could’ve ever happened to us.

Life has gotten so much better. I’m writing this letter contently from the warmth of my bed, music through my headphones. Summer begins in five days, and I’ll be going to Disneyland, one of your favorite places, a week from today. You used to be obsessed with Maroon 5, and I finally see them next Tuesday.

Though you had all these dreams when you were younger, none of them seemed possible due to our circumstances. They were all just dreams in arms reach, yet they seemed so far away.

Well, I’m glad to say that I’ll be a senior in just a few days. That while my dreams weren’t the same as they were when I was younger, they’re coming true, and I hope you’re proud of me.

Photo Credit: takemygist.com

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From wildfires, wildflowers.

Credit: strandedonland.com

Everything’s been a little different since the fire.

The drive back home is darker now. The trees seem angrier, defeated.

Even now, when the breeze picks up it stirs around the ashes that had settled into the dirt, the ashes that first arrived over six months ago.

I can still remember it so vividly. I can still smell the smoke, I can feel the ashes burning my eyes. I remember how hard it was to breathe. The air was thick and the world was sluggish and grey. For awhile I forgot that the sky wasn’t normally orange. The wind was hot. Everything felt dirty.

I can still picture seeing what was left of my uncle’s house for the first time. The home and business that he had spent so long building was reduced to a pile of black dust and scrap metal and crumbling rocks. I wonder how long it took.

My brother found a metal garden sign buried in the rubble. It read one word. Simplify.

How ironic can the world be? The fire had already taken everything from my uncle, so why, at the last second, did it feel the need to cough up a message telling him to simplify?

I was angry for a long time. I was sad. Our little town doesn’t deserve this, I thought.

But slowly, I’m starting to think maybe there are some good things that have come out of this, scattered all around.

The hills were black for a long time. And then it finally rained. So the grass started to grow, and trees that I’d assumed to be dead starting sprouting leaves again.

And now, there are hundreds of wildflowers blooming all over the ground. I’ve never seen some of these flowers before in my fifteen years of living here.

Credit: wildnatureimages.com

Before the fire the hills were dark green and brown, earthy. During the fire they were red. After, they were black, scorched. But now, they’re speckled with blues, yellows, purples, light greens, and covered with orange California poppies.

The only way that they are able to bloom is because the brush above them was burned away.

Maybe there’s some irony in that too. But I think it’s also very beautiful in a way.

And it’s the little things like these that we have to be thankful for.

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courage

last night, i cried so hard that my ears hurt.

today, i woke up with my throat screaming,

too dry to open my mouth and let air in.

my pillows were still wet,

my eyes still puffy.

when i plopped out of bed,

my knees and shoulders ached

and i buckled under my own weight.

sometimes you wake up with the difficulties of yesterday.

people will spout condolences or positive, affirming quotes,

but no amount of rainbows and hanging cats

could make my heart stop diving down into

the pit of my hollow stomach.

because, it takes a lot,

a whole lot of courage

to leave your hollow space

in the one corner of your bed

when all you want to do

is build a brick wall around it.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

it takes a whole lot of courage

to let prying eyes bore into your soul

wondering what they can do to help.

it’s hard to face yourself in the mirror

and pick out all the things you’d like to change.

it’s hard being blue

in a world of yellows.

and, yet, you get out of bed.

you brush your hair

and you put on makeup.

you put on your brave face,

because staying in bed all day is one way to cope,

but, it takes courage,

not more or less,

just

courage

to live your life.

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utterly​ in love

and i’m back to you, like i always am.

i’m sorry i just can’t help it.

you are this perfect person in my life, and the person i want to spend the rest of my life with. and i guess it’s kind of weird for me to say all of this, considering i don’t know you as well as i wish i did, but i’m getting there and i’m so happy.

my eyes light up when i see you, and my smile grows bigger than i ever thought it could.

your name sits in my mind all day, bouncing around as i fantasize about our possible future together. i guess it’s kind of silly, or maybe you find it weird, the thought of me thinking about you all the time, but i care more about you than you know. i always have, and i always will.

that’s the funny thing about love, sometimes it’s sitting right in front of you; all you have to do is reach out and grab it. and, sometimes you do, and others, well, i hope it’s not one of those times. because i think you could learn to love me too.

 

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

i’m so utterly in love.

but, it hurts my heart, because i am not sure if you even feel the slightest fraction of what i feel. i’m just hoping you come around.

and even if you don’t, i can still have the thoughts in my mind, about all the amazing, memorable, dream-like, picture-perfect times we could have together.

spending long days together doing whatever we feel like and staring up at the night sky, getting lost in the stars.

god, these thoughts kill me because i want them to be true more than life itself.

but, for the moment, i’m so happy; i’m so so happy and i owe it all to you.

i love you.

and i know it’s summer soon, and we may drift apart but as long as we both hold on tight, i think we will be alright.

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30 things

Finals week starts tomorrow, and I already know it’s gonna be extremely mentally exhausting. So, here is a list of unimportant things that make me feel better/calm down:

  1. the smell of the ground after rain
  2. running your hand across smooth wood
  3. fingers sliding down guitar strings
  4. watching the sun set through the leaves of a tree
  5. cat purrs
  6. freshly washed sheets
  7. pressing flowers in a heavy book
  8. braiding your hair
  9. the smell of saddle soap
  10. watching horses eat
  11. drawing in black pen
  12. painting your nails
  13. the sound of shoes crunching in the sand
  14. the sound of shoes crunching in the snow (though this seems pretty unlikely to happen anytime soon)
  15. opening a new pack of gum
  16. watching vines that butter my croissants
  17. walking barefoot through wet grass
  18. a dog’s cold nose
  19. when a dog high fives you
  20. dogs
  21. biting into an apple
  22. cutting a piece of paper perfectly straight
  23. matching your outfit with your shoes
  24. opening a textbook to the exact page you needed to open to
  25. closing all the tabs after finishing a research paper
  26. twinkle lights
  27. the shadows of trees moving in the wind
  28. putting on eyeliner in one single motion
  29. listening to the rain and flume
  30. a good hug

via chaifeed.me

via i.pinimg.com

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Born in the Wrong Era

I often wonder if I’ve been born in the wrong era. Minding the politics and controversy in the older years, I fantasize over the fashion, music, and culture.

The clothes in the nineties, with the bright colored windbreakers, mom jeans, and Converse make me so happy.

In the fifties and sixties, the music was roaring, with soft tones and voices being interluded into the songs.

 

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

Many people were so much happier in this time and lived their life without restraints. They were carefree, and went with the flow of everyone else.

Nowadays, life is more constricted with people being obsessed with technology and social media, and not finding the fun in life like people used to.

Social media has taken over the world, and don’t get me wrong, I’m still an addict with it , but if it wasn’t in the world, I wouldn’t care. I’d probably be a lot happier.

Though many people tend to argue, times were in some ways simpler in those days, and I wonder if that is why we keep trying to copy it.

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