But, it’s comforting to think
that the same wet grass I
walked across today
will soon turn brittle and dry.
It’s comforting to think
that, with the help of the rain,
the fields will fill up with wheat,
which will later be cut down
and turned into hundreds of bales of hay,
all lining the bottom of the hillsides
in a grid of little golden rectangles.
Then, in time, they will be shipped off
to somewhere far away from here
and the cows will return to eating
the new grass, gently swishing
their tails as they chew.
It’s comforting to think that
the world will continue to spin
and the sun will set tomorrow
and the next day,
just as it is meant to.
And I hope,
that in time,
I will see, and do, and live
just as I am meant to.
I found this a while ago, while looking through notes on my phone:
To many people, Christmas is a day to wake up early and run to all of the presents that await you. Many of my friend’s stories on Snapchat were pictures of things they got, like a Hydro Flask, new phone, drum set, AirPods, and more, with the caption “Merry Christmas.”
Unlike many of my friends, for me, today was not a day focused on gifts. I spent the day with my grandparents and parents. We did not exchange physical gifts, our gift was being together as a family.
Instead of being sad or mad that my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, I took a different approach. Today reminded me of all I have and all I can do to give back. Christmas is about giving, so I did, but a little different that most people did today.
This evening, I spent over two hours signing petitions, calling senators, and sending letters to change the injustice happening today.
This evening, I sent, signed, and made over 105 petitions, letters, and calls.
No, today I did not wake up to an abundance of presents. No, today I did not celebrate Christmas like most people do.
But today, I used my power to make a difference, in my opinion, and learned my ability to express my beliefs is better than anything that could be under the Christmas tree.
At 11:59 p.m., Friday, January 18th in Santa Barbara, I was still seventeen years old.
I spent the last sixty seconds of my childhood in a Lyft with all my best friends going back to my aunt’s house after just watching Escape Room and I was truly happy.
But, as the clock struck 12, I was no longer a minor. I was eighteen years old and officially an adult.
During every single birthday, my family always asks me if I feel older at all. Usually, I don’t, because there usually aren’t any changes that happen that make me feel older. I know that as a sixteen year old I was legally allowed to get a driver’s license, but I didn’t get one and I still don’t have one because I haven’t found any reason for it. At seventeen, I was able to go to a rated R movie, but I always went to those anyways.
However, when I turned 18, I truly, finally felt older right away than ever before.
I know I’m a year older, but it happened only in a day. From 11:59 to 12:00, it suddenly hit me that I was a legal adult.
On my 18th birthday, I went and got a cartilage piercing and I didn’t need my parents to sign my release form. I was old enough to do it by myself. Then, I went and bought a scratcher ticket, and when they asked for my ID, I was able to satisfyingly show it to them and buy it. I didn’t win any money and I don’t plan on buying one again, but it was the experience that made me so happy because I finally can buy one if I wanted to. For the first time on my birthday, I finally felt older.
My birthday itself was amazing too. I remembered last year I was on a train up to Santa Barbara, breaking down because the mudslides kept me from having a birthday celebration with my friends. This year, I spent the whole weekend with my best friends in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. My two worlds came together and my friends from OVS and my friend from my old school finally met for the first time. We were out until midnight laughing crazily on all the rides at Santa Monica Pier without a care in the world. My birthday weekend was also full of delicious meals, amazing desserts, and all my family and friends. My cousin was even able to come to the brunch celebration on the Sunday afterwards, she usually is never to come to those events because she’s so busy, but it was amazing.
I know my eighteenth birthday will always be one I remember and though I’m horrified about the fact that I’m no longer a minor and that I actually feel older, I’m happy about it.
I have a family friend who is staying with me over the holidays and she has a young son who still believes in Santa. He was scared I didn’t believe in Santa, so my mom told him that I still believed in Santa. He said that if I didn’t write a list I wouldn’t get any presents from him, so I had to write out a list and send it to my mom so he could see it. It was fun to write, so I thought I would share it:
This year for Christmas I want a dirt bike, tall boots, more riding gear, new earrings, clothes from American Eagle, a car wash, buckeyes, new tires, new rims, stuff for my car, a Kat Von D contour palate, a snowboard, plane tickets to Tennessee, squared toe boots, clutch/gas socks, anything car related, and CD’s for my car.
Over Thanksgiving break, I had to make so many goodbyes.
To my childhood stuffed animals, the ones I didn’t want to let go, but the ones I knew I wouldn’t really take anywhere with me. So, I gave them away instead.
To the pajama shorts my mom bought for me at Walmart in third grade, the ones that surprisingly fit me all the way to twelfth grade. Even though they still fit, it was time to throw them out when they were ripping away at their fragile seams.
To the room I spent weekends in at my grandparents’ house growing up, Now, it’s being remodeled. Things that meant so much to me back then are meaningless now, packed away in stacked boxes.
But there was one goodbye I haven’t made yet, because I’m too scared to accept the fact that now might be the time I need to say goodbye.
And that’s to my dog. When I was in first grade and my mom went to pick me up from school, she told me she had a surprise for my sister and I. The first thing that came to my mind was candy, but when she was opening the back door to the car, I was not expecting my sister to be holding a six-month-old, Rhodesian Ridgeback-German Shepherd mix puppy rescued from the pound.
Now, twelve years later, that dog is still in my life, but so much has changed.
It started with him being by my side every single day.
Then, when I moved away, I could only visit on weekends.
Then, life went on and visits turned into rare occasions when I’d go to my grandparents house. When I’d enter the house, he’d come running up to me, barking, and wagging his tail.
Now, he’s still there, but he’s older. He doesn’t run, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t. He still follows me around the house, though, his tail still wagging. It’s still wagging even when he lies down, but the pain is still there. It’s obvious and it hurts me knowing it hurts him.
Having pets is one of the most joyful and painful parts about life. Because they bring so much joy, so many happy memories, but, also, so much pain when they’re gone.
But, he fought so hard for so long and I know that it’d be selfish to hold on longer. That if he needs to go and it’s his time, then he should. He should know that he was the best dog I’ve ever had the privilege to have.
I didn’t say goodbye. I gave millions of kisses and hugs, but my goodbye was temporary. It held a promise that I’d be back to see him again, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that promise. I don’t know how long he’ll be around and I don’t know how long it’ll be until I visit again.
I’m so scared to say goodbye, so I won’t. I’ll say I love my dog. I’ll say I’m thankful that he lived with me throughout my life and that he is so strong for fighting though he doesn’t have to. And that he’ll always be the best dog, my dog, no matter what happens.
When I was three, my parents told me about the Halloween Pumpkin. I could keep as many pieces of candy as my age and if I put my the rest of my candy on the door step before I went to bed, the Halloween Pumpkin would come during the night and leave me a toy. They made sure to tell me that he would only come if you gave him a couple days notice and only my parents could deliver my wish to the Halloween Pumpkin. At least a week before October 31st, I would contemplate for hours (or at least what felt like hours to a young child) about what types of candy I would keep and what amazing toy I would receive the morning after Halloween.
Last night, my friend and I went to go to a haunted house. The house was closed, so they gave us a bunch of candy. I figured, I’m really not going to eat this because of carbs, sugar, and the amount of calories. When I got home, I went up to my parents’ room.”Bey, remember the halloween pumpkin,” I asked. “If I put this on the door step, will it magically turn in to twenty bucks by tomorrow morning? Tell ya what, I won’t even keep fifteen pieces”
“Nice try,” my parents said. “But, no.”
When I was younger, I remember going trick or treating every year. I would count down the minutes until I could knock on doors and hold out my spookily-decorated candy basket. My friends would start counting down the days until the magical holiday as soon as October 1st rolled around.
Nowadays, it seems my Halloweens consist of hours of homework with the occasional annoying interruption of happy children knocking on the door.
Sometimes, I wish I could just put my Halloween candy on the front porch and the Halloween Pumpkin would come during the night and give me what I wished for: the chance to be kid again.