My Journal

I realize I’ve forgotten about my daily planner. It’s been sitting in my desk for the past couple of weeks, leaving me to keep track of all my assignments in my head. Without it, academics have felt like one big game of whack-a-mole. I’ve been barely holding on, about to turn the lights out for the night before I realize an assignment is due tomorrow.

It can feel annoying writing every assignment down as its given. However, without an organized book to keep track of my assignments, I have felt like I’ve tuned out of academics.

Today I wrote down everything I needed to do. It’s not too much when you look at it on paper. When it’s all in your head, however, it can feel overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve cleared your agenda, another task appears. When I write down my assignments or meetings, however, I can accomplish things in a more mentally civilised way.

It is important for me to not let my own head be in charge of keeping track of things. Not everyone works the same way, but for me, writing down my responsibilities is the best way to get them done, and erasing them is very rewarding.

Image Credit:  LEUCHTTURM

Holidays

The Halloween experience acts as a measurement of growth as it changes after every birthday. I watch each Halloween become less and less magical as my costumes have faded to my everyday clothes. Halloween is, as they say, “what you make it,” because unlike holidays like Christmas where there is no escaping the holiday spirit, Halloween is the easiest time to take a knee.

Spending time with friends and family passing out candy or trick or treating this year has been discouraged due to COVID. I’m not too disappointed, as I haven’t done much in recent years either, though I celebrated with a glass of apple cider and a little pumpkin to keep up the spirit.

I look forward to the day when I can spend the evening with my friends again, and maybe put together a costume with some magically newfound makeup skills. For now, however, I am content with this year’s Halloween because I know that there are many more to come.

Image Credit: Tony Thomas

Found In Nature

Walking among trees, flowers, and bushes, I see so many detailed shapes and colors that could be put together to represent almost anything. One homework assignment I had this week was to create a biological structure using elements of nature, and it was incredible to see how many mediums were available in the small space of my backyard.

I can see the textures of the plants and imagine how they would function in a work of art. I remember back in the seventh grade when our english teacher had us replicate the art of a famous nature artist by arranging leaves on the ground. We created the pattern of a heart using the different shapes, colors, and textures of nature. It was incredible to see how so many pieces of nature can come together and create something so beautiful.

While nature is stunning in itself, it has the capacity to be rearranged into a work of art with intent. The intention within a nature piece shows the connection between human spirit and the beauty of the natural world.

Image Credit: Krsmith Last

18

I’m turning eighteen very soon.

It’s exciting, yet I feel like I am losing the security of youth. This is my last chance to live guilt-free as a dependent before I look upon myself as an adult who must do adult things.

I will be held accountable and have obligations (more so than I already do.)

I can vote.

I can go to prison.

I can adopt a cat.

I will now be one of the “grown-ups” I never thought I’d be. I will still be seen as a “kid,” though the number to my name proves my maturity when people find it convenient. I’m old enough for financial shame. Adults will look at me as a young teenager in the hierarchy of age, yet call me an adult when I make a mistake. I’ll have been alive for eighteen years. I’ll no longer be grouped with the “children” at family Christmas parties.

But I’m still in high school. I’m living at home. The title of “adult” on government documents makes no difference to my level of maturity. I will be a true functioning adult when I move away to college. I will soon become independent, but for now, I am happy where I am – finishing high school with my supportive family.

Turning 18 – The Beginning Of Adulthood – The Paper Cut
Image Credit: Dorian Chase, The Paper Cut

Crafting in Quarantine

It’s not often that I find the time to build something for the sake of building it. The beginning of summer left us all with hours to fill and few options for how to fill them. I took the opportunity to begin what I call my longest project ever. I spent three weeks of quarantine building a dollhouse with no plan of what I would do with it or where I would store it.

I tested my dusty geometry skills by planning an outline for the house and cutting out big shapes of foam board. The wallpaper quickly went up and I spent my afternoons creating mini furniture and decorations. With each addition to the house, I gained a new skill in a new medium. I worked with wood, cardboard, paint, clay, wire, and fabric. Having a long term project gave every day a purpose, and I have spent every week since then creating new things to fill my time.

Art Credit: NCW Libraries

Saying Goodbye to Blue

She appeared behind my house with her sister and her mother. She was the first to pop her head above the brick wall with her wide eyes looking curiously around the yard. She and her sister were beautiful. Her sister had solid white paws and defined face markings. My family and I planned on keeping her, but we had no room to keep the wide-eyed black and white kitten.

When we brought them inside, the white-pawed kitten, now named Penny, became the more confident of the two. They played together for weeks, and while we knew Penny would stay with us, the formerly unnamed black and white kitten quickly became my little baby Blue. She was shy, yet always curious of her surroundings. She turned to her sister for comfort as they kept each other company.

They had grown to be ten weeks old when Blue was ready to find her forever home. I spent the night holding her and watching them toss around toys. The sun rose sooner than I had expected and I found myself putting little Blue into a cat carrier while we said our goodbyes. Penny didn’t notice as we shut the carrier door and left their playroom.

I sat in the back seat of the car with Blue while she pressed herself against the back of the carrier. Her little body was shaking as she looked up at the passing buildings. As we pulled into the parking lot I stuck my fingers through the wired door hoping she would come to be pet. I knew I would never pet her again. I carefully picked up her carrier and handed her to the shelter staff before watching her be carried away.

I told the woman the name I had given her, and within a day my little Blue was up for adoption. I checked the website daily for updates. She looked happy and confident in the photo they posted, and within a week her adoption post had been taken down.

I watch Penny grow and imagine how big Blue must be today. I am confident that the Humane Society sent her home with a good family. I know she won’t remember her first home or her sister, but I think of her every time I look at Penny. She came to us as a scared feral kitten, and I am grateful that my family and I were able to socialize her and make her comfortable with moving into a real home.

Blue ❤ Photo Credit: Ojai Valley Humane Society