Embarrassment

In my everyday life I could fall upwards to five times, and it is quite embarrassing. One instance I can remember is when I went to Montgomery, Alabama. I was walking along the river on one of those raised ledges, thinking everything was fine. It was not fine, I fell off, and now I have a lasting scar. I did not cry and it barely hurt, I was more embarrassed than anything. Everyone who was on that river that day saw me and kept coming up to me to see if I was okay… I did not like the attention.

photo credit: Vector Stock

Another embarrassing moment is everytime I see a person I know in public. I do not like talking to people and I know that if I see someone I know, they’ll come up to me to talk. I do talk to them because I don’t like being rude, but I am worried that I am going to say or do something weird.

Confusion of the heart

There are moments when I find myself caught in the cross fire between my heart and my head. I often cant decided weather or not I should listen to the voices in my head telling me what to do, or my heart guiding me in in the direction of possible heart break. I want to follow the direction of my heart, but my head always stops me and poses the question of “what if”

So now when my mind is blank, the thought of the matter at hand will cross my previously calm mind. And suddenly, there’s a sense of panic that overtakes me and I feel uneasy. As if I am stuck with a decision that for one reason or another, my mind can not physically comprehend because my heart will still get in the way.

One way or another, my heart and mind play tricks on each other, but both only have the best of intensions for my own happiness. So there lies the conflict, when is it that I listen to my head, and when do I listen to my heart?

Is it worth the minor lapses of fear and judgment for potential happiness? Or is it that I should disregard both and simply try and play it safe.

Even that question is too grand to answer for myself. So I still remain to question decisions, or simply protect myself from a risk just to avoid the confusion of my heart. I consistently bombard myself with the age old question of “what if?”

But maybe someday, I will listen to the deep feelings being stirred in my heart and follow that, for it could lead me to my greatest potential happiness. Maybe I will rebut the question of “what if?” with “why not?”.

photo credit: https://allpoetry.com/

Vaccine

Today I got the vaccine, and boy can’t I be more relieved. I feel safer knowing that I am almost fully vaccinated.

I got the first dose today and in a couple of weeks, I am going to get the second dose. I encourage anyone who can to get the shot- it is painless and will protect you from COVID. I know there were lots of disputes around these vaccines- Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson- but whichever one you get will help you tremendously.

I am not one to be afraid of needles and this shot felt like nothing, I didn’t even flinch.

Photo credit: CDC

If you can please get one, it is the most relieving feeling ever. The wave of joy is really hard to explain, you want to jump for joy. Soon enough life can go back to normal and we can hang out with large groups of people. Unfortunately even if you are vaccinated hanging out in large groups can’t happen yet. This due to the fact that not everyone is vaccinated yet.

Slowly but surely everything with be back to normal.

Scheduling

As graduation comes near, I have filled nearly every block in my schedule with events. I’ve needed to purchase more clothes to accommodate the frequency at which I will need to dress up.

With back-to-back formal events, it feels as though we are making up for a year of lost time. Due to quarantine, I have not worn formal attire in almost two years. This schedule is typical for end-of-year seniors, though I often find myself opening my planner a bit too often out of excitement.

Having a filled calendar gives me something to look forward to each day or week. Even if it’s just a final exam, that day has something written on it. My school planner is running out of pages, and the schedule has grown so long that I may need to purchase next school year’s calendar early.

With all of these plans, I hope that the blank days following graduation will not feel empty. I have plans for the summer as well as college to attend, though, while I look forward to the break, I plan to enjoy every day of this busy May.

Image Credit: Quapaw Area Council

self-destruct

Why is it so hard to let myself fully fall into a relationship.

I may be passionate about the person and they hold a deep place of significance in my heart, yet I still struggle to let them in and take the walls surrounding my heart down.

I remain guarded, in order to protect the innocence and intensity of love from reaching me. Is it that I am not capable of feeling and accepting it? Or is it I’d rather stay safe and remain living a simple life of independence.

There are many times of questioned that. Where I think, could he be the one I decide to try and dive into love once again with?

But instead, I sabotage it, I turn the passionate feelings off, I shut down…

So why is it that my mind must do this to my heart which longs so deeply for human connection?

Why must there be something that reminds me of the joy I feel when I am a free spirit?

Maybe it is simply that I have not met the person that can match my sense of adventure and unwavering free spirit that can be overwhelming to some.

The problem is, I hurt people with this self destructive behavior of mine even though that is far from my goal.

photo credit: https://unsplash.com/

One month in Africa

In October I will be going on a one-two month-long safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya. I have visited Africa several times now for my photography expedition, but they usually only lasted between 1-2 weeks. Now I am ready for something bigger. I am incredibly excited, but part of me is also very nervous. One month of getting up at 4.30 am every morning, being on safari for about 11-12 hours a day can be very tiring and intimidating. But it is what I love, and I am more than excited about this adventure. Every day being out with these amazing animals, taking pictures, and sharing them with the world, what an absolute dream!

I have met so many amazing people through my photography: guides, other photographers, and even scientists. We all have the same passion; protecting these beautiful animals and sharing their beauty with the world to conserve them for many more generations to see.

I believe animals can teach us so much and they can help people. For me, I am just happy when I am among wildlife, all my stress is gone and I just feel relaxed. Doing my photography has helped me a lot through hard times, and it never fails to make me happy. Getting feedback from people who admire your work is so motivating and it makes you proud to have come where you are now.

picture by author

Literature

As I look towards the AP English Literature Exam, I find that my favorite book can be applied to almost any prompt.

When you truly admire a work of literature, you can find obscure concepts within it. The Great Gatsby has been my favorite book to analyze and read. Once you finish a class, you can feel the literature being put behind you as you close each of the books. However, AP English Literature class has given me an opportunity to revisit old stories and use my newer skills to analyze these works further.

I look forward to using my personal collection of stories I’ve read to answer prompts on the AP exam, as it will allow me to reflect on my academic highlights from school. As I recall each story, I can remember the class conversations I’ve participated in and the numerous essays I’ve written. I hope to remember these stories into my older years and apply them to my own life.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Art by Francis Cugat

Pushing through

About a year and a half ago I got a brand new mountain bike. I was like a little kid, getting all excited to ride around with it. The town my school is in is like a mountain bike paradise. There are many amazing trails for every level of skill. I started with some easy trails and each week I would go a little harder and harder. I could feel my muscles and stamina building up more and more. When the pandemic started, I was out on my bike every single day. It was my way of getting my energy out. I just hated sitting at my computer all day doing school work and I needed some way to release my built-up stress. Mountain-biking really helped me with that, and I had a blast every time I was on the trail.

During summer I left my bike in America while I went back to Germany. I came back to the U.S end of January and hadn’t biked at all since I left the U.S. I got my bike but being at boarding school made it hard for me to go biking. in mid-April, our outdoor-ed teacher announced several new overnight camping trips that were going out throughout April and May, one of those being a mountain bike trip. I was excited but on the other hand hesitant. I wasn’t on this list yet but I was able to sign up for it. I was hesitant because I was just so out of shape and hadn’t been biking in almost a whole year. I decided not to sign up because my anxiety just took a hold of me. I was really sad and still contemplating if I should just go. The day before the trip the outdoor-ed teacher came up to me and asked if I wanted to join on the trip as I had my bike in my room.

I decided to just get over my fear and said yes. I was nervous that I would be the one slowing them down the whole time and that I would always be the last. The next day we left campus and made our way to the campground. It was absolutely beautiful. In the afternoon we took our bikes and biked down to a waterhole. It was all downhill and it was absolutely amazing, I felt happy and just free. We swam for a while, ate dinner, and then it was time to return to the campground. I had biked that exact trail before and knew that the way back was an absolute pain because it was all uphill. There was one van driving back to the campground, but three of us had to bike back. I decided I would just push through it and bike the way back. 

The last time I had biked that road up I had to stop about 6 times to take a break because I was so exhausted. We started biking up the road and I felt good. We kept going and going uphill and I was very surprised that I wasn’t exhausted at all. I just kept pushing and pushing and then we made it to the top and I had a wave of happiness come over me. I was so happy because I improved so much from the last time I biked up that hill. It was an awesome trip and I am excited to keep mountain biking.

picture by author

Nine Ways of Looking at the Moon

I

The sky was set 

The moon the captain of the army in the still night’s sky

II

Dazed I look up 

The moon, full, like a handle on the door to heaven

III

Scene three:

The moon in its commanding role 

Casts a spell on the audience 

The audience that is us

The spell that is an enigma

IV

A woman and the moon are one 

A woman and a man are two

A woman and a man and a moon are a romance

V

I prefer the moon

The serenity 

The beautiful chasm that allures

That is the moon

The sun is not the moon

I prefer the moon

VI

The walking dream has left me awoken 

Life and light has left me

Love has left me

A lonely spirit searching

A lonely spirit searched 

And found you 

The moon

VII

The rhythm of the heartbeat of the night pulses

The moon hangs on Orion’s belt protecting him

Protecting us

I know of a time

A secret time

That time is now

VIII

Shoot for the moon

And if you miss you’ll land in the stars

The woman who flew to the moon

IX

The captain commands his army

The flames of the day burn

A newly painted sky dries

I see a blackbird fly by

As the moon says goodbye

Image From Nasa

Things that make no sense

Stocks make no sense to me, and I do not want them explained to me. I just know they control the economy around the world and are used as a pastime for rich people and teenage boys.

Bats. They make no sense to me, like I know they are animals, but they confuse me. Just the thought of bats sleeping upside down is a no-no for me.

Photo credit: U.S department of the interior

Homophobia, how can one hate someone for loving someone. Love is Love, do not hate on someone for being themselves and loving someone.

Racism, why the heck does racism exist? Like seriously is it so hard to be a decent person to someone no matter their race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion?

Dress codes, they are stupid and only invented for girls. Girls get dress coded because their skirts are too short or their stomach is showing. Guys don’t get dress coded because dress codes were created to sexualize girls.