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.
It still hurts, but it’s gotten to the point where I can look at the photos of us and smile instead of cry. I still love you and you still hurt me, but I’m slowly making steps towards letting it go.
The photo of us holding hands and the video of your precious laugh that made my eyes drown with tears just last week has changed now. Absentmindedly, today I found myself smiling at the good times we had.
Thank you for the good times, the giggles. Thank you for holding me and caring. Thank you for the caring gestures and kind words you said to me even if you didn’t mean them.
Everything you have done in the past month would lead any rational person to say that you never truly cared, but then again I am not your average rational person. I don’t think you ever meant it when you said you loved me, but I know that we had something special.
The fact that I tried to treat you with utmost kindness and care for you after how awful you were to me, proves that I’m not rational. Or maybe it proves that I was in love.
The fact that you have shut me out completely, made it impossible for any means of communication proves that you are not the person I thought you were, but it also proves that somewhere deep down you feel the pain of remorse for letting what we had go.
I know that part of the reason you broke up with me over text is because it would hurt you too badly to see the tears rolling down my cheeks that you once used to kiss and touch. I know that part of the reason you blocked me on every communication platform and got your friends to do it too is because you don’t want to face the fact that you hurt me.
The reasons behind your actions don’t make them okay. How you treated me in the end is not okay. Lying to me and blaming your personal issues on me because you knew that I cared for you enough to take your BS and believe that I was the bad guy is not okay. But this will never change the fact that for a point of time, you brightened my days, you filled me with a sense of love and joy I don’t think I’ve ever felt before, and for a point I believed, and I still believe, that you truly loved me.
I still wear the necklace you gave me and the matching ring we have still remains in my room.
You hurt me, but you also loved me and I’m finally making steps towards letting you go.
I used to think it was all behind me. I truly thought that, but something recently has been telling me that maybe it’s not.
I’m no longer skinny. I’m no longer underweight. I don’t weigh eighty-something pounds anymore. My heart isn’t in critical condition like it was. I no longer refuse to eat. I no longer have an eating disorder. The physical parts are gone, but some of the mental parts have stayed. No, I no longer cry before every meal, have multiple panic attacks daily, or slit my wrists. I no longer do any of those things, but sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in the days that I did.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so much better than I was. So, so, so much better than I was. I guess what I’m trying to say is: yes I’m better, but no, I’m not perfect.
I’ve been stressed studying for finals lately, so I decided that skipping lunch would give me more time to study. There’s nothing wrong with this; its normal to skip meals time to time. What made me know something was up came later. I wasn’t skipping meals to lose weight or get skinner, it was for another reason.When I would skip lunch, my stomach would begin to gnaw and churn after a while. I like the feeling because it tells me that nothing is in my stomach, that my stomach is empty… I like it because the feeling of hunger distracts me from the emptiness I feel almost every single day.
Certain things give me flashbacks of what I went through, almost like PTSD in a way. For example, when my father buys a certain brand of sliced turkey. One day, my father had gone to the store. I asked him to buy a specific type of turkey, the turkey with 50 calories per two ounces. When he came back, he had bought a type which had 52 calories. I began to cry, my frail and bony body collapsed and my mother lunged to the floor where I lay, just as scared as I was, and tried to get me up. I wouldn’t move. I just stayed there. I just stayed on the floor sobbing and mumbling the words “I don’t want to live anymore” over and over again. My mom held her thirteen-year-old and dying daughter in her hands. She picked me up carefully and carried me to my bed, where she laid with me and we cried in unison… all of this over turkey. Now, whenever I see this brand of turkey in the fridge, its like that day fills my mind, takes over me, and haunts me. It’s different though, I’m not the girl on the floor anymore. I am a ghost watching in the corner, unable to do anything as I watch my mom and I suffer. As much as I try to reach out to myself and say “i’s okay, it’s going to be okay,” I can’t. As much as I try to get the memory to stop looping in my mind, it continues to replay and replay with more and more detail every loop. Just like the turkey, there are many more symbols equated with awful memories from my eating disorder. Natural Cafe,the white tank top on the bottom of my dresser,Pressed Juicery, my birthday, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, string cheese, buzz-cuts, and safety pins are just some of the items tied with memories even worse than the one above. Memories that I try to keep locked away for a reason.
I like to pretend like it’s behind me, but deep down I know it’s not. I honestly don’t think it will ever be. I’m not saying that I am in danger in any way shape or form if going back to how I used to be. All I am saying is (in honor of mental health awareness month) it’s okay to not be 100% okay.
You build me up, take me, and use me then leave me to fall apart. But, the saddest part is that I let you do it time and time again.
Deep down, I think you know that I love you. I think you deny it though, thinking that I don’t love you makes it easier for you.
Easier to text me and tell me you want to spend time with me, then completely shut me out once you’re satisfied.
Sometimes you don’t even go, though. You text me again to bail out and it hurts more than being played, because, at least when you play me, I get to spend time with you. I get to be close to you and I get to feel like you might actually care about me.
You’re not the only guy that does this. I reach out to others to try and forget you. They play me too, but it’s different than what you do. They tell me I’m beautiful, pretend to actually care, send me hearts over text, tell me they love me, then they shut me out.
You just shut me out after you use me, you don’t pretend to genuinely like me. That should make it easier, but it makes its harder.
I see you around school five days a week. Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible to you, sometimes you talk to me and we act as close friends, than somedays I feel like you purposely avoid me. I’m probably overthinking this though, I doubt I matter enough to you for you to even ignore me.
I know this is bad, but its gotten to the point that I’ve been hurt so much that I talk to multiple people at once, so that when one guy bails, there is still another one that I think cares about me.
Every time another guy plays me, it hurts. It hurts a lot. I cry… I cry for hours. Every time I think someone might genuinely like me, but then they tear me apart and cast me out, just like you do.
Every time another guy plays me, it hurts. It hurts a lot, but at least I’m not thinking about you. Thinking about you hurts even more. I know I’ll get over the other guy in a couple weeks or months depending on how much I cared, but I know no matter how many days, weeks months, years, I’ll never get over you.
I’m not an object. I’m not disposable. You cant just throw me away when you’re done. I’m not a piece of paper you can crumple up and throw away when you’re finished.
I hate what you do to me. I hate even more that I let you. And I hate the most that I’m standing here waiting, hoping, yearning for you to text me again.
I like space and planets and the stars. It amazes me and it’s its nice to know that there are some things that no one understands. I think it’s humbling in a way.
I get caught up in my own life; my problems seem so big and overwhelming. When I’m trapped focusing on my life, I forget that I am one person out of eight billion. I forget how small I really am.
It bothers me so much seeing people who think they are better than everyone: better than other people, better than animals, better than everything. People destroy nature, kill animals, and hurt others all because they think they can. They think that they’re above everything.
I wish I could tell them. I wish they could just understand that they are just one letter in a thousand page essay, one raindrop in a ten hour storm, one frame in a five hour documentary, one out of 8 billion tiny insignificant people.
The stars are a good reminder. As big as you think you are, as big as you think your problems are, there is always something bigger.
School was hard today; long homework assignments on top of essays on top of tests on top of projects and, to make my day more stressful, I spent hours anxious and worried about fears in my head. To top it off, I skipped lunch to try and end a relationship with a boy without hurting his feelings, but it made the situation worse. By my last class period, my brain was throbbing wanting to explode and my anxiety was through the roof.
I wanted to lay in bed and cry, but I thought of a semicolon and put on my running clothes.
This is where my day started to change.
I asked an amazing girl if she wanted to run with me, I knew she had to run today anyway because she is training for a half marathon, so I thought we could run together.
She said yes and we set off for a five mile run.
After about two hundred feet, a sharp pain in my calf that I get often when I run started to scream inside my leg. My negative mind set began to kick in. I’m going to slow her down… This run is going to suck. You’re not going to be able to do this. You’re such a slow runner. This is why your coach isn’t proud of you. This is why you won’t make it to CIF.
Luckily, I made an amazing decision: I took a deep breath, cast out the negative voices, and just kept running.
My running parter and I talked about school and life and running. We talked until we both fell silent as we slipped under the spell of running: our movements connected directly to our breath, the pain became a faint feeling instead of an all-encompassing sensation, our foot steps made a clip-clop clip-clop rhythm. Our breathing was all our mind focused on and we became encompassed in the aura of running.
Breath in, step step, breath out, step step, breath in, step step, breath out, step step…
My breathing was like a conductor and my footsteps were the orchestra.
I usually run alone and it’s crazy how much running with other people can change your running experience. Even when we weren’t talking, I felt like my running partner was there for me. If I fell, she would catch me. If I needed to slow down, she would stay with me. If I wanted to run ten more miles, she would run with me and I hope she knows that I would do the exact same for her. If you are reading this right now, I hope you know how grateful I am to run with you.
When you’re in the zen of running, you go with the flow, you are supportive of your peers, and you are supportive of yourself. This is how I was today.
My legs felt strong, my mind felt clear. I was next to an amazing girl, surrounded by beautiful scenery. I was happy.
Once we got to our destination, we bought drinks, smiled, laughed, talked, and stretched out our aching muscles.
Running is an unpredictable sport. Somedays you’ll run a mile and your legs will feel like lead. You’ll be miserable, in pain, and want to stop. Other days, you’ll run ten miles and feel amazing, like you could keep going forever.
On bad running days, your brain will say “stop running,” your body will say “stop running,” but you need to find it in your heart to say “keep running.”
Runs like today are the reason my heart says “keep running.”
After bad workouts, bad races, and times where I want to quit, I will think back to the run I did today and think: “Runs like that are why I love running.”
The definition of a semicolon is a punctuation mark indicating a pause between two main clauses.
Semicolons are useful in writing and are taught in English class, but, to me, they are much more than a punctuation mark.
A semicolon is a moment where a writer could have stopped, but they decided to continue on.
I am the writer and life is the sentence. I write a semicolon because I could end, but I will choose to keep on going.
I have struggled in the past with self harm and this metaphor helped guide me through it and become the happy and healthy person I am today. Although I no longer struggle with the impulses to end my life, the semicolon metaphor still applies to me more than ever. The semicolon is most commonly equated to mental health, suicide, and depression. To me, this symbol can be applied to everything.
In life ,I strive to be the best I can. The best athlete I can be, the best student I can be, the best person I can be, the best friend I can be.
When I’m on a run and want to stop, I picture a semicolon. I have the power to stop, but I have the power to keep on going. I will keep on going.
When I see a person who is sad, I picture a semicolon. I could just keep walking, but I can help them. I will help them.
When debating between taking the easiest route or the route that is harder but strengthens you as a person, think of a semicolon and always remember:
You are the writer and life is your sentence. Embody the meanings of a semicolon and keep on striving forward.