Half-Life

It is common knowledge that Junior year is (most likely) the hardest year of a students high school career. At least that is the case at OVS, where AP courses dominate one’s time and extra curriculars are essential. Senior year is supposed to be different though. There’s the anticipation of college, of being an adult, of spending the last year with people that you’ve grown up with. That’s what I thought when I arrived a week late to school. I expected a general sense of positive anticipation, of laxness and comradery. At first that was true. Everything had a tinge of refreshment and independence. But there was a feeling there that I didn’t expect, but that I was strangely familiar with. And as the days progressed, that feeling expanded, suffocating those sentiments of senior status. Then I began seeing it in other people. Not everyone. Not to the same degree that I was feeling it. But it wasn’t just me.  It’s something like this, quoting a good friend of mine: “It feels like I’m rotting on the inside and out, if that makes sense.” To me, it makes perfect sense. That was the feeling that had been growing. A general sense of self degradation. I wasn’t the person that I used to be. Maybe it’s change. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s life experience. I don’t know the cause, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s frightening, even more so when two of your closest friends express those same sentiments to you within a week. Maybe it’s just me, and those of you reading this don’t feel it at all. But if you do feel like something is hollowing you out, if you feel like there’s an unstoppable source of existential decay, then try smiling a little more. Tell your friends you care about them.  Do something good every day.

Who knows, maybe you’ll end up on our thumbs up segment of The Wednesday Briefing.

Credit: ojaivisitors.com

Year III

This is my last year in high school where my grades need to be A’s, where my extra curricular activities matter. This is my last year where cramming in PSAT prep will benefit me, and the last year where SAT prep is a dreaded ritual.

After this year, the hours on hours of work, sleepless nights,  cramming for texts, student leadership applications, struggles I faced, fun memories I had, volunteer activities, extra curriculars, and sports achievements will all be put on to a single document… The last three years of my life will be put on a document; an application.

By the end of this year I’m supposed to have a general idea of my life plan, my career, and my identity.

By the end of the year I’m supposed to have perfect SAT scores, ACT scores, and 5’s on AP tests.

By the end of the year I’m supposed to be a person who will stand out amongst millions of other applicants.

This is my last year to become who colleges want me to be while still trying to stay true to the person I want to be.

In less than 365 days, I will need a paper explaining who I am, what I want to do, what I stand for, what sets me apart, and why I belong at the college receiving the paper. All of who I am, all of why I’m special, and all of why I belong in 650 words.

A transcript and 650 words which will determine my future, career and where I will be for the next four to eight years.

A lot to think about… a lot to do, a lot at stake. Welcome to junior year.

Photo Credit: artsy.net

Technology

To some degree, everyone 25 and younger is an IT expert. When the WiFi stops working, it is usually the duty of the youngest member available to fix it. You just switch the button on and off and Lo! you are beheld as a technological deity, as the internet now works perfectly. Your family praises you, and you become the go to person every time something technology related goes wrong. But we know the truth. Those of us who have experienced this phenomenon know, buried deep inside of our consciences, that we in fact know very little about technology. I have fallen victim many a time to this, especially when I slightly adjust the HDMI cable for Ms. Wilson. But my technological skills (or lack thereof) finally met their match. The portal into the WordPress site was a treacherous one. A cyclical loop of “Error 404” and “Please have the moderator re-invite you.” But then it appeared. Suddenly and out of nowhere. A big button that said “Start writing.” This, this was my salvation. And so yeah basically here I am. I figured it out. Easy peasy. Yep.

 

Credit: The Onion

iCARus

if this car dings at me one more time

if another ding reverberates through my ears

i swear to god

have i missed something? does the whole world revolve around this car’s dire need for washer fluid?

well you know heckin what, car

i dont care that your washer level is low

i dont care that your tire pressure is a potential threat to my safety

i dont care that maintenance was required a substantial amount of months ago

or that your entire existence rests on trying to prohibit me from listening to Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

(finally some much needed radio silence, my normally needy car gives me a breather, i turn into 89.3 KPCC like any self-important masochist. ahhhh. how lucky i am to tune into the sweet sweet sonorous sound of the voice of Peter Sagal the host of NPR’s greatest and only radio game show. my car obviously understands the pleasurable tones created by the one and only Bill Kurtis, the narrator of this great weekly hour of radio. and my car picks now as the perfect time to send a certifiable fuck ton of alerts, ranging from topics as important as aforementioned washer fluid or that the car is in need of a software update, blaring through my car speakers. now quite honestly i didn’t know cars could even have software updates, let alone that they were so important that i should miss an important line of NPR’s most high-quality comedic banter, but i swear to all the gods that may be, if this self important piece of german engineering chimes at me again there will be a germany sized whole in the continent known as europe)

your chorus of chimes and beeps and brrrungs remind me the second i turn the key that my seat belt should be on. i was just about to put it on, but obviously im not quick enough for you and your quarter of a second delay.

a vehicle is anything that moves or transports. this car is more something that annoys me more than OSX updates.

(OSX updates that the lovely folks at apple think are priority numero uno, however we know this to be false, i have to put new windshield wiper fluid in my car.)

forgive me oh state farm for i have sinned i have wronged mine car. my car that moves or transports like it is meant to; that roars and tears into its intricacies, generating a herd of horses to move or transport me to and from school; that pairs, through the magic that is bluetooth, to my phone bringing me summer reading audio books as well as crosby, stills, nash, and young all the same.

my car which takes me to coffee and groceries, that supplies a warm butt in the mornings and cool AC in the afternoon.

you defrost thine own windows, you display thine own manual. you know thine own tire pressure, you never cease to tell me about it.

you’re a mechanical beast that does so much more than moving and transporting. you purr when you idle, content to cool and blast NPR. you roar when i press on the gas in neutral by accident. and you alert me with hope in your chime about the absence of washer fluid in your stores.

but you, oh vehicle of my dreams, oh vehicle my parents so rarely let me drive, you annoy me so deeply and to the core i am tempted to just walk.

My Time

I broke my foot in October
I thought the world would come to a halt
But only mine did
Everything I had worked for, my season, my future, my passion
It all escaped me
I’d failed
I got the news in November
It was supposed to be my year
I promised it would be my year
I fought for a chance and guaranteed results
And was left to face the consequences
I was left behind
By December I was finished
As selfish as it sounds
It hurt that the world didn’t end like it did for me
I was hurting but the globe kept spinning
Practices continued on without me
Games were played
Fun was had
I was left on the stilts that took me nowhere
In January frustration had become my norm
The jokes didn’t bounce off like they used to
I was consumed by the mistakes that brought me here
I couldn’t forget the memories I never got to make
The apologies I made that could never make my team understand
February is when I finally lost the crutches
But mentally I was still on them
I was afraid to go back to playing
The courts promised me nothing but remorse
My recovery meant getting over my injury
But I wasn’t prepared for the strength it required
In March I was back on my feet
I was playing again
My game was coming back
But it didn’t matter anymore
I was making shots, playing with my team
But it didn’t feet right
I had failed them, and they knew it too

Credit: images.unsplash.com

 

day dreaming

I like to live in my head a lot. My mind is racing constantly with ideas, things to say, ways to approach conflicts, what to wear the next day. But most prominently, I see myself taking several different paths in my life, each of them dramatically different and in each of them, the same me.

I see myself going to New York after school and being an assistant to a high-up, liberal lawyer who defends the rights of the people.

I see myself traveling the world, opening my mind and not settling down until later in my life.

I see myself never coming back to Ojai.

I see myself becoming a cook and writing about my connection to food and the happiness it brings me and others.

I see myself being a complete activist who stands up for social and environmental causes resulting in a better, happier planet.

But I also see myself doing exactly what I currently plan on doing, going to school and becoming educated.

Even though each of these potential futures that I have created for myself are drastically different, there is a common thread, and that’s my happiness. I find myself extremely joyed in each of these positions. I am able to be myself.

I am at a point in my life where, for the first time, I can choose what I want to do in my future without restrictions. Now, taking my life into my own hands is a reality. But I have to ask myself, what am I prepared to do to get to one of these places?

credit soflete.com

Will I even remember this?

I’ve recently come back to a certain state of mind. 

It wasn’t a choice and nothing or no one triggered it. 

I disconnect from the world completely without even realizing. 

I leave my body, my brain as if watching over myself like a spirit. 

Unaware if this is a past life or really just my reality. 

Looking down to my hands lying limply on my lap unaware that they’re even mine. 

It hits me I exist. I am here and alive. 

I go through life numb, forgetting all that I’ve accomplished. 

Coming home just to forget every conversation I had that day. 

It seems as if theres an intruder taking charge of my every move.

To then steal my memories, leaving none for me. 

My eyes glazed over staring off into a false reality. 

Blinking, recalling none of this is a dream. 

I am breathing, living human being who feels nothing.  

Unaware if I’ll ever get to meet this person taking shelter in my own skin. 

I’m unwillingly dissociated, but aspire to feel anything.

credit to reddit, Sarah Carrasco

panic

Of course it happened while I was walking up.

Every breath of O2 coming in through my nose leaving with more force than the one before.

I wondered what it was that boiled my blood.

I know everyone thinks mind over matter but what about when your mind is the problem?

What do you do then?

The silence down the line only made my heart beat louder

With every step I took my thoughts raced a little faster

How did I paint myself this?

For what is the world with no one to share it?

Breath

Heart

Girl

Boy

Breath

Heart

Girl

Boy

Breath

Heart

Breath

Flight

For what is the world?

The silence broke and mended me all in one 

Thank you

Headspace you’d like to call it

I see it differently

I know everyone thinks mind over matter but what about when your mind is the problem?

Extraordinary

This world is beautiful

I love this view

photo credit: pinterest.com

homecoming…

After three months wandering around back home, we went back to campus for a brand new school year. 

After more than one year recovering from the Thomas fire, we finally had an all-school camping trip in the first week.

After the protracted and exhausting travel from the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the busy packing unpacking and packing back, putting everything in order, meeting new people, I got so tired but still tried to make myself look energetic.

An opportunity came up, a chance I could escape from all of this. 

Then I was on the bus with my day pack which had my lunch sandwich in it sitting beside me, my huge camping bag with a sleeping pad, bag, clothes and almost everything I need sitting under me in the luggage hold. 

3 days without my phone, what a challenge. My phone became a part of me, like an external organ, it stayed with me every single moment during the summertime. 

“I will be fine,” I kept telling myself before we departed. 

But as it turned out, I was really more than fine without it. I really enjoyed the time spent with my friends. We played card games, went to the tide pools, played volleyball on the beach, watched the sunset, ate s’ mores, brushed our teeth in the dark and so on. 

These days, with no phone, feeling isolated from the rest of the world, but closer to what is really around me. 

photo credit: trailhead.gsnorcal.org

On the Allure of the Sun

staring at the brick – patiently waiting for the moment it enters my skull- a fucking cinder block going 300 mph
no questions, no time for questions
but somehow im waiting
and i can feel the absence of my head
even as nothing has changed

somehow you know the feeling after you have eaten the vole before you have eaten it
how is it going to affect your human digestive system, a raw vole
it remains a mystery,
but somehow you know exactly what that’s going to feel like,
in the abyss of your body
the part that’s not there, but has just as much feeling as the inside of your toes

raw inspiration in the form of a clawing headache– a vole climbing out of the wreckage of a human skull ravaged by a cinder block traveling at speeds uncharacteristic for construction materials

a story with no end: inspiration is,
a one night stand
climax but no shoulder to latch onto
full of unintentional emotion.