A Story of Life, Death, Chickens, and Growing Up.

When I was around six years old, I remember my parents slowly walking up to me in the morning and giving me a hug. They kneeled down beside me and said in a soft, slow, sad, and apologetic voice: “I’m sorry, honey. The raccoons got Mrs. Frizzel last night.”

I sobbed for hours. I was sad for days. I made my parents have a funeral. My tears fell to the ground as we buried my dead chicken. My parents bought a chick that I raised and loved, but I still missed Mrs. Frizzel.

When I was eight, Fluffy and Ginger passed away. My parents broke the news to me in the same way. I cried the same way as I had before. I got two more chicks.

When I was twelve, my parents again approached me with the same sad tone and told me that that a couple of our chickens died in their sleep. I didn’t cry as much when they died, partially because I was old enough to understand that everything dies of old age at some point. It was much more bearable. I would be sad, but not sobbing like I had done in the past.

Today, I came home and asked if he bought food at the store. He said no. Something happened, so he had to come home. “What I happened?” I asked.

“The neighbors dog got into our yard and into the chicken coop,” he said with a flat tone.

“You stopped right, the chickens are okay?”

Photo Credit: Pinterest

“No,” he said. “They are dead, all but three are dead.” He said it with the same flat tone.

He just told me straight up, assuming I wouldn’t be sad. No soft, slow, sad, or apologetic voice. He patted my back and walked away.

I went outside. The corpses were gone. All that remained was feathers.

Eight year old me popped in to my mind. The funeral for Mrs. Frizzel. My parents stroking my back and telling me everything was going to be okay.

There would be no funeral, my dad had put their limp bodies in the trash before I came home. There would be no comfort from my parents. Fifteen year olds don’t cry when their chickens die.

I’m shouldn’t be sad. I’m too old to be sad. But, I’m sad.

I remembered holding the chickens when they were less than a week old. Moving them to the big coop when they were old enough. Hand-feeding them mealworms and celebrating the day that they laid their first egg.

I raised them. They are dead now.

If I was a child I would be sobbing in my parents arms. Now, I’m sobbing alone.

I know if I went to them they would comfort me, but there’s an age where you need to accept reality on your own.

Being treated like a child is now nonexistent. Just like my chickens.

When I was little, if I had a lot of homework, my parents would tell me I could do it and tell me I could have a cookie when I finished. Now, when I complain about my homework, they say lots of homework is part of growing up.

When I was little, my parents were by me at every moment to guide me through life. Now, I am old enough where I need to handle  things on my own.

When I was younger, my parents could fix everything. They could make everything feel better. In their arms, I was safe.

Yes, the death of my chickens is part of the reason I’m crying. But, there’s more to the tears running down my cheek.

No matter how much I want to believe it, my parents can’t fix everything. As much as I want it to, they can’t hug me and make me not be sad. As desperately as I want to deny it, my parents can’t protect me anymore.

I don’t know why all of this came from a dog breaking into my chicken coop, but it did…

Rest in peace Lucky, Trouble, Darwin, Lemon, Pepper, Oreo, and Henry.  I may not be a child anymore, but I still love you and miss you.

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I’m generally a happy person, but we all have our baggage.

Photo Credit: etsystatic.com

No one is completely happy and the more you pretend to be, the more miserable you will become.

We all have ups and downs, rough patches and smooth ones.

Don’t feel like you need to cast out the bad, for it will never go away if you try and push it out.

Embrace hardships. Embrace your insecurities. Embrace what you’ve been through.

Accept the bad, because acceptance is how you overcome it.

Concentrate on the good. Embrace your successes. Embrace what you’re proud of. Embrace what makes you happy. Embrace who you are.

Focus on the good because thats how you create more.

Accept the bad and embrace the good for it makes who you are,

and you…

are beautiful.

Gone

People come and go so fast. It’s almost like they’re here one day and gone the next. With a blink of an eye, a bullet is in their brain, a tumor is in their body, a rope is around their neck, lethal amounts of Codeine is in their system. You try to save them, but they’re already gone.

I beat myself up and ask over and over again: what could I have done to help you?

Photo credit: drawingpenciled.com

Why didn’t I realize? Looking back now it seems so obvious. I could have done so much to save you.

A text? A call? A drive up to LA? Would that have kept your heart beating?

Well, here’s the answer. No, I couldn’t have saved you, even as much as I wanted too. You may have had a pulse and air going through your lungs, but you were already gone.

It comes to a point where a person is faded to a point of no recovery, no matter how much you do, the sadness inside of them can never be erased.

You can tell so much by looking in someones eyes. Looking at your most recent photos, your eyes said it all. The color, the joy, the happiness, it was gone. Now, you are gone.

I blame myself a lot.

But sometime I’m going to have to realize, no matter how much I deny it, there is nothing  I could have done.

Super Bowl Nation

On Sunday, February 5, 2017, many amazing things happened. There was the first overtime in Super Bowl history, in the last quarter of the game the Patriots came back from a 25-point difference, and Tom Brady was awarded his fourth MVP award. This year I was a lot more in tune with what was happening on the field, but I did stick to my roots as an avid commercial watcher. This year, there were many advertisements that caught my eye.

Featuring the faces of many and the simple message that “we all belong,” Airbnb’s #weaccept commercial took my breath away. Along with spending a bucketload of money on this commercial, Airbnb is donating $4 million to the International Rescue Committee, providing for over 100,000 people in need, like refugees, for the next five years. Airbnb’s efforts are a beam of light during a time when many people’s rights have been challenged.

Another commercial that stood out was Coca Cola’s #AmericaIsBeautiful. This minute-long commercial features people singing “Amazing Grace” in over five different languages. Interestingly enough, this commercial isn’t new – in fact, it was Coca Cola’s commercial in 2014  as well. However, the beauty of this commercial is only amplified by its meaning. I think the coming together of many different people is what makes America great, and that we, as a country, should embrace those differences.

This year, I was especially excited for the Budweiser commercial, especially because of the amazing #LostPuppy commercial back in 2015. In their 29th year of Super Bowl advertising, Budweiser featured the story of one of their founders, Adolphus Busch, coming all the way from Germany to make this famous beer. This was among the many commercials to tell stories of immigration and generally embracing different cultures. The commercial shows the rough conditions that entrepreneurs had to go through to make their dreams come true – a success story that I find truly inspiring.

Unfortunately, there was one commercial that got cut short: 84 Lumber’s story about the journey of a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter. After being hotly debated, Fox decided to cut off the end of the commercial, which shows the family encountering a wall, as it was “too controversial.” Since Fox has the right to deny any advertisements they choose, the private lumber company showcased a revised version of the commercial, and prompted viewers to watch the full version on their website.

Most articles that have come out about the Super Bowl commercials have described them as overly political. I understand how the commercials could be seen that way, but the messages of acceptance are ones that need to be spread. The leaders of our country can bring up these controversial issues, but companies and organizations can’t truly voice their opinions without being seen as controversial, as many people will fight back saying that these commercials are pushing a certain agenda. How are their agendas any different from ones being presented everywhere in politics?

September 11th

September 11th, a grave day in history that will never be forgotten, forever looming over our history like the dust and debris that was left after the world trade center was hit. To some this day is almost insignificant, and to some this day means more than anything else.

Most people remember it as the day that the United States was attacked. Before the attack, September eleventh was simply just another day of the year. But after that attack, just mentioning the day “September 11th” brought a hush to a crowd, or caused someone to look down in sorrowful remembrance. For some people it made them feel uncomfortable, for some people sad, and some people resentful. I’ve seen all of these reactions. But what I saw the most was acceptance, not because people didn’t care, but because to a certain extent nothing could be done; the plane crash couldn’t be taken back, the lives lost couldn’t be brought back and the birthdays, as insignificant as it might seem, would never be the same.

My older sister had her 7th birthday on September 11th. Now, being that I was three years old when the attack took place, I don’t remember what I was doing, or what we were doing that day for my sister’s birthday, but I can almost promise you that with a catastrophe like that, her birthday was altered in some way.

I remember that I didn’t really understand what was happening when my parents tried to explain to me that the plane had crashed into the world trade center. For a three-year-old, death is an unfathomable idea, let alone combined with the catastrophe of 9/11 accompanying it.

As the years have rolled by, September 11th has become less of a painful reminder of what was lost that day. However, the pain that was caused will never fully disappear. The disheartened look that people get in their eyes when my sister says that her birthday is on September 11th will never go away, the damage that was done to hundreds of other families, to the world trade center and to our nation will never go away. But like human nature, we learn how to deal with it and accept it. 

Photo Credit: http://www.911memorial.org

College, College, College

Remember back in December/January when I posted a nice little blog about waiting for colleges to respond back to applications?

Well, finally, the waiting is over! (Most of it, at least).

Last Wednesday, I was sitting with a few friends when I looked to see I had a text message on my phone. It was from my Mom, so I wasn’t expecting anything super mind-blowing.

But instead, I open it and immediately start freaking out. She told me that Cal Lutheran had sent a letter to my house addressed to “Accepted Student” and asked if she could open it. Of course I said yes, called her, and she read me the letter. It said I had been accepted and that they were offering me a $15 thousand scholarship. I was so excited I even asked her to send me a picture of the letter.

Cal Lutheran wasn’t a school I was absolutely dying to go to, but getting that acceptance made me feel just that much more secure. I felt like I didn’t have to worry as much, and that I could relax for the rest of my college admissions (or rejections).

When I returned to school from the honors ski trip, I checked my mail box, and surprisingly there were two more letters waiting for me from Sonoma State and San Jose State. Accepted!!! I then checked online at Cal Poly, and unfortunately I wasn’t accepted like I was hoping… But to be honest, I wasn’t as disappointed as I had thought I would be. About a week later, I logged onto UC Merced‘s website and had another acceptance waiting for me!!!

I’m still waiting to hear from 2 colleges, Chapman and UC Santa Barbara. I really hope I get accepted, of course, but at this point I’m just too excited that I got into 4 colleges that if I don’t get in, it won’t be the end of the world.

Now comes the time to choose which one I want to go to. It’s going to be a really tough decision. Most of them are good schools and I feel like I’d have a great time at all of them. At this point, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do, but it feels AMAZING to know I have options and that I don’t have to worry anymore.
I finally did it! There’s only 82 days until I graduate from high school and then just a few more months until I will be onto the next 4 years of my life in a new place.


Waiting Game

I finally did it. I submitted my college applications to the Cal State schools and the UCs. It was totally stressful, considering how much I procrastinated – I literally met the deadline by one day.

I am so thankful that I have finished the application process. But I am just SO ANXIOUS to know if I will be accepted to one of the schools that I want to attend the most.

So now that I have finished my applications, all I can do is wait to hear back, and in the mean time, stress out. A lot. And wait.

And wait some more.

And as much as I can try to predict it and hope everything turns out well, I have no idea what the future holds.

All I can do now – besides MORE waiting – is cross my fingers and hope for the best.