A Story of Life, Death, Chickens, and Growing Up.

When I was around six years old, I remember my parents slowly walking up to me in the morning and giving me a hug. They kneeled down beside me and said in a soft, slow, sad, and apologetic voice: “I’m sorry, honey. The raccoons got Mrs. Frizzel last night.”

I sobbed for hours. I was sad for days. I made my parents have a funeral. My tears fell to the ground as we buried my dead chicken. My parents bought a chick that I raised and loved, but I still missed Mrs. Frizzel.

When I was eight, Fluffy and Ginger passed away. My parents broke the news to me in the same way. I cried the same way as I had before. I got two more chicks.

When I was twelve, my parents again approached me with the same sad tone and told me that that a couple of our chickens died in their sleep. I didn’t cry as much when they died, partially because I was old enough to understand that everything dies of old age at some point. It was much more bearable. I would be sad, but not sobbing like I had done in the past.

Today, I came home and asked if he bought food at the store. He said no. Something happened, so he had to come home. “What I happened?” I asked.

“The neighbors dog got into our yard and into the chicken coop,” he said with a flat tone.

“You stopped right, the chickens are okay?”

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“No,” he said. “They are dead, all but three are dead.” He said it with the same flat tone.

He just told me straight up, assuming I wouldn’t be sad. No soft, slow, sad, or apologetic voice. He patted my back and walked away.

I went outside. The corpses were gone. All that remained was feathers.

Eight year old me popped in to my mind. The funeral for Mrs. Frizzel. My parents stroking my back and telling me everything was going to be okay.

There would be no funeral, my dad had put their limp bodies in the trash before I came home. There would be no comfort from my parents. Fifteen year olds don’t cry when their chickens die.

I’m shouldn’t be sad. I’m too old to be sad. But, I’m sad.

I remembered holding the chickens when they were less than a week old. Moving them to the big coop when they were old enough. Hand-feeding them mealworms and celebrating the day that they laid their first egg.

I raised them. They are dead now.

If I was a child I would be sobbing in my parents arms. Now, I’m sobbing alone.

I know if I went to them they would comfort me, but there’s an age where you need to accept reality on your own.

Being treated like a child is now nonexistent. Just like my chickens.

When I was little, if I had a lot of homework, my parents would tell me I could do it and tell me I could have a cookie when I finished. Now, when I complain about my homework, they say lots of homework is part of growing up.

When I was little, my parents were by me at every moment to guide me through life. Now, I am old enough where I need to handle  things on my own.

When I was younger, my parents could fix everything. They could make everything feel better. In their arms, I was safe.

Yes, the death of my chickens is part of the reason I’m crying. But, there’s more to the tears running down my cheek.

No matter how much I want to believe it, my parents can’t fix everything. As much as I want it to, they can’t hug me and make me not be sad. As desperately as I want to deny it, my parents can’t protect me anymore.

I don’t know why all of this came from a dog breaking into my chicken coop, but it did…

Rest in peace Lucky, Trouble, Darwin, Lemon, Pepper, Oreo, and Henry.  I may not be a child anymore, but I still love you and miss you.

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650 Words

How am I supposed to tell you who I am in 650 words?  Are 650 words really going to tell you who I am and why you should choose me for your school?

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I am more than 650 words.  I am 650 pages that are still be written.  There are too many stories for you to know who I truly am from only 650 words.  Only one small story will be able to fit in these 650 words, so don’t think this is truly me.  Please don’t believe that this is all I am and all I can be.  I am so much more than this small part of my life.  The story has impacted me a great deal, but it is not the only thing that has.

When you read this please remember that I am a novel and 650 words will not do me justice.  So college admissions counselor, read these 650 words and remember they are just a taste of what I could be and not all of me.

Understanding

I’ve gotten myself in the habit of writing down my feelings.

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I’m not sure that habit is the proper term, though. I’ve found it’s actually quite therapeutic at times to be able to physically sort out my emotions into something that is easier for me to understand.

When I feel angry or sad or happy, my first reaction is to analyze and explain it and then eventually sort it out into something that is comprehensible or maybe even beautiful to some people, sometimes I try to feel things simply in the way they are.

There are times when I can write for an hour, without stopping, and the result will be something I’m proud of. But when I find myself struggling to choose the right words, I know it’s time to put down my pen and just feel it for a while.

I’m constantly analyzing experiences, people, feelings. I guess maybe it’s because I don’t like to be confused, so when I don’t understand how I feel or why I’m feeling it, I won’t stop thinking it over and over until I reach a resolution.

I like to understand how I’m feeling. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

But just like with my favorite books and songs, most of the time I just appreciate them for what they mean to me, even if I can’t fully explain why. And I think there’s something special about that too.

 

 

Waitlisted

For the past week, I’ve been waiting to hear from my first choice college about whether I’d get in or not.

The answer I received was not the one I was expecting.

I wasn’t sure if I was expecting an acceptance. The acceptance rate is 46%, so I thought I had a chance. But, then again, I was an out-of-state student and my SAT scores were below the average.

I checked my portal every day hoping for an answer, but then I got an email.

An email telling me I was waitlisted and I don’t even know what to think of it.

On one hand, I still have a chance of getting in, even though the chances of ever getting off the waitlist at any school or program are exceptionally slim. I still had a chance and maybe that was enough hope to hold on to.

On the other hand, it felt like a slap in the face. You’re good enough, but not as good as the other students admitted, not as good as your friends who got admitted while you’re stuck re-reading the words from the email over and over again, telling you to change your plans, your fantasies of how the next four years of your life were going to play out are not going to happen. But, if they don’t come here, we might choose you.

I broke the news to my sister, my aunt, and any friend I could talk too. They all said it was okay and that maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

I hate when people say that and, in that moment, I couldn’t even think about agreeing with them, but maybe they’re right. There’s always an option to potentially transfer or the chance I’ll love the school I end up attending more than I thought. The U.S. is full of amazing schools and I have other top choices I’m still waiting to hear from. So maybe something will work out that turns out to be better for me in the long run, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

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Him

I never would have been able to imagine someone making me this happy.  The little things he does makes me happier than anyone else’s little things has ever done.

Listening to the dumbest songs in his truck and watching him sing them and just act like a dork makes me smile so much my mouth hurts.  Just sitting next to him makes me happy.

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He does sweet, small things which add up and make me feel so happy and he is actually happy to be with me.

He always opens doors for me, picks me up, and takes me out.  He treats me with respect and takes care of me.  I almost never pay for anything myself and he just makes me incredibly happy with the conversations we have.

On Saturday, he told me that after he washed his truck, he found something weird in the mud. I never would have imagined that someone writing out prom with mud would make me so happy.

Even when I just go to his house and watch TV with his family and him, I am happy.  I love spending time with him and I love the girl’s days I have with his mom and his younger sister.

I am so lucky to be with him.  He is so sweet to me and I feel like I don’t deserve him and the way he treats me.  I haven’t felt this love and appreciation since my dad died.  It sounds weird, but he was the only person in my life who showed how much he cared about me until I met him.

I know he was hurt in the past and I hope he knows I could never do that to him.  I, also, hope that I make him feel as special and happy as he makes me.

You

I’m generally a happy person, but we all have our baggage.

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No one is completely happy and the more you pretend to be, the more miserable you will become.

We all have ups and downs, rough patches and smooth ones.

Don’t feel like you need to cast out the bad, for it will never go away if you try and push it out.

Embrace hardships. Embrace your insecurities. Embrace what you’ve been through.

Accept the bad, because acceptance is how you overcome it.

Concentrate on the good. Embrace your successes. Embrace what you’re proud of. Embrace what makes you happy. Embrace who you are.

Focus on the good because thats how you create more.

Accept the bad and embrace the good for it makes who you are,

and you…

are beautiful.

Gone

People come and go so fast. It’s almost like they’re here one day and gone the next. With a blink of an eye, a bullet is in their brain, a tumor is in their body, a rope is around their neck, lethal amounts of Codeine is in their system. You try to save them, but they’re already gone.

I beat myself up and ask over and over again: what could I have done to help you?

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Why didn’t I realize? Looking back now it seems so obvious. I could have done so much to save you.

A text? A call? A drive up to LA? Would that have kept your heart beating?

Well, here’s the answer. No, I couldn’t have saved you, even as much as I wanted too. You may have had a pulse and air going through your lungs, but you were already gone.

It comes to a point where a person is faded to a point of no recovery, no matter how much you do, the sadness inside of them can never be erased.

You can tell so much by looking in someones eyes. Looking at your most recent photos, your eyes said it all. The color, the joy, the happiness, it was gone. Now, you are gone.

I blame myself a lot.

But sometime I’m going to have to realize, no matter how much I deny it, there is nothing  I could have done.