Relax

I am currently starting to get ready for my College applications. It is a lot of stress and, on top of it, loads and loads of homework. I always try to find something that can distract me. I tend to try and get everything done in one sitting but I have to remind myself that my body needs a break sometimes. I have started to go on runs to get my mind free and it works! But often the day has just been too tiring to go on a run on top of that so I go and do something creative such as drawing, editing photos, or playing the guitar!

But I must say there is one thing that nothing else can come close to that makes me happy and relaxes me. And that is just going to the barn and spending time with the horses. It’s not even the riding part, mostly I just sit down in a stall with a horse and just watch them. Two years ago a very close friend of mine graduated. She learned riding at the school and bonded with one horse especially. The horse’s name is Simba. He has such a character and is an incredibly fun horse to ride. When my friend graduated she asked me to take care of him for her, and so I did. I started forcing a bond with him. Now every time I see him I am filled with happiness and joy.

I have always had stronger binds with animals than I had with people. I guess part of it is that animals don’t talk. They just sit there and do their thing. They don’t judge you and they don’t talk about you behind your back. They have their own characters and they do what they want.

Simba has taught me a lot throughout high school and he has helped me to find time to relax and just be. He can be a brat sometimes but he has taught me to never give up even if you have a bad day. Just push through it, and it will eventually get better.

photo by author

In Person, Finally

School is back in session and I couldn’t be more excited.

Online school was an interesting experience, but I would not do it again. It was hard and it did not have the same feeling as in-person learning.

Although it has been two days of in person learning, I have enjoyed it much more than online. I have been able to connect with my friends and teachers, which is much easier to do in person.

Sports are also starting up, which is also another way to connect with new people and make long lasting memories. There are many more opportunities to do outdoor activities, and eventually go into town.

Photo Credit: OVS

Another upside to doing in person school is that I am able to visit home. Since people are coming on campus, we are able to leave on the weekends and during holidays.

Overall, I am glad the Ojai Valley School opened for school.

Ageing

Some things really do get better as they age, and the little old house that sits at the top of a hill is the perfect example.

This little house is strong and mighty, and it has seen its fair share of heartbreaks, makeups, first moments, last goodbyes, tears, smiles, storms, fires, spring rain, and much more.

It sits atop a hill, with a view of the mountains surrounding and a window through the trees to look down into the valley surrounding below it. This little house has aged, but it has a story to tell.

The house has sat atop the same hill for over seventy years, watching multiple families grow, being a safe place for kids to run to after the rain starts, a place that is not just a house, but a home.

Even though the white picket fence with the red fence is tipping over with chipped paint, the porch does not keep the rain out, the wood floors inside are warped and worn, the ceiling leaks, and the doors do not keep the winter chill out, it has aged beautifully.

Although those little details seem off-putting to most, to me they make that little ageing house a home.

Image Credit: https://pixels.com/

Vision Therapy

I have really bad eyesight, like horrible. I have had to wear glasses since I was four years old, and I could never wear contacts. 

Every time I ask about contacts the optometrist says that my right eye is too weak. Over the years I have had to train my right eye to open.

My left eye used to open and work, but my right eye would always squint. This led to my eyes being different prescriptions. 

When I was younger I had to wear an eye patch over my left eye to make my right eye stronger. It worked a little bit. 

Photo credit: acotv.org

I had many different glasses and prescriptions, but it never felt like my eyesight would get better. 

Then I discovered vision therapy. I was skeptical at first, but I was surely mistaken.

I went twice a week and did eye exercises throughout the week. Over time my eye got stronger and my depth perception was immaculate.

My vision became 20-25 in just under three months. Going to vision therapy was the best decision I have made in a while. 

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

Determined

Last week was my first trip to the beach since coming out of quarantine. I had been looking forward to it the whole week and then it was finally time to leave. We packed our surfboards and wetsuits and made our way to the beach.

It was a hot day, the sun was shining and the mood was good. We sang songs in the car all the way to the beach and when we arrived we immediately grabbed our stuff and ran down to the beach. Feeling the sand between my feet and the sun on my shoulders felt so good. I hadn’t been to the beach in 6 months and it felt so good to be back. My friend and I looked at each other and just started running towards the water like two little kids. The water was cold but also warm, just perfect. We swam for a few minutes before we decided it was time to get on the surfboards and attempt to surf.

Well, we definitely miscalculated how big some of the waves were and just got slammed to the ocean floor. It was a struggle getting out in the water again as the waves just came crushing in, taking you and your board with them. When we finally made it out we waited for a wave that was small enough for us, as we have never really surfed in our lives. We kept trying and trying and every yet so tiny success was enough to keep us motivated.

We ended up being in the water for 3 hours trying to stand up on our board. At one point we were so exhausted we didn’t even have the strength to push ourselves up anymore. The sun started setting, creating a beautiful bright orange color that reflected from the ocean. It was time to go, and our teachers called us back in to pack our stuff and head back to the van.

I will go back to the beach again tomorrow and I will not give up until I stand on the board surfing down the line, even of it will take me weeks to accomplish it.

Picture credit to author

New Sensation

Video games are an immense sensation throughout the world. There are many different types of video games that can cater to many kinds of people. There are cute games like Animal Crossing and horror games like Phasmophobia. There are games that are considered classics by everyone such as Minecraft and Mario Kart. Personally, Minecraft is one of my favorites.

There are many ways to play these games, as well. There are consoles like PS4 and Xbox. Many people also play mobile and PC, which is a personal computer.

Photo Credit: pcgamer.com

Recently there has been a new game that has taken the world by storm. Among Us is a multiplayer game that everyone has been raving about. People can create private games to play with their friends, or they can play public games with strangers.

There are two roles assigned at the beginning of the game, Imposter an crewmate. The crewmates have to fix the spaceship and the Imposter has to sabotage it. The Imposters can kill players in order to help them win.

Among us can be played on PC and on mobile. I have recently been obsessed with the game and have been playing non-stop with my friends. I have won a couple of times, but to be honest I am not the best.

Falling?

So I found myself looking deep in the eyes of a green eyed boy with dark hair and an illuminating smile and felt the corners of my moth turn upwards on their own.

What is this feeling? I tend to know what feelings rush through my body, but this human has created a new, different, unusual feeling. There is no sort of nervous fear or butterflies, there is just this comfortable glow surrounding the green eyed boy.

Am I finding myself falling…?

Falling for what you ask? Well simply put, I do not know. The only thing I can relate to the feeling of the green eyed boy is falling.

It is not a bad sort of falling, but rather a floating or soaring, but weightless none the less.

I think I am okay with this new feeling entering my body, but I am still very perplexed by the unknown sense that looking into the green eyes of the boy with the dark brown hair and illuminating smile brings to me.

Image credit: https: //www.shutterstock.com/

Catching frogs and climbing rocks

Finally. After two full weeks of quarantine, I was able to leave my room and go outside. After being isolated for so long, the simplest things make you the happiest. A hug from a friend, sitting with people, being able to go and eat at the cafeteria. I was so relieved to finally be with my friends again. The first thing I did was go on a long, big run across the campus of my school. It felt so freeing to be outside again and run through the campus and greet people.

On my third day of being out of quarantine, I was able to participate in the outdoor ed program again. We took a trip up to some local mountains. The drive there was just beautiful. Huge mountains and creeks all around. We left the van and I immediately ran to the creek. Feeling the cold water around my legs felt truly amazing. It was that feeling of freedom that I finally felt again after being isolated in my room for so long. We hiked along the creek until we came to a nice spot with shade and deep pools in the creek. We put down our bags and started to explore.

I started scrambling along the rocks going higher and higher, sitting on a high rock overlooking the little valley. I was so incredibly happy to be back in the outdoors again. I climbed back down and noticed lots of tiny frogs jumping around. I remembered how in Germany when I was younger, I would always go and catch the frogs in the lake behind our house. I started catching some frogs and it felt like I was in Germany again. I would catch one and hold it for a while before I released it back and caught the next one.

We stayed for about 2 1/2 hours before we made our way back up to the van. It was a small trip but it brought me so much happiness and I hope I get to participate in many more trips to come.

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