Half-Life

It is common knowledge that Junior year is (most likely) the hardest year of a students high school career. At least that is the case at OVS, where AP courses dominate one’s time and extra curriculars are essential. Senior year is supposed to be different though. There’s the anticipation of college, of being an adult, of spending the last year with people that you’ve grown up with. That’s what I thought when I arrived a week late to school. I expected a general sense of positive anticipation, of laxness and comradery. At first that was true. Everything had a tinge of refreshment and independence. But there was a feeling there that I didn’t expect, but that I was strangely familiar with. And as the days progressed, that feeling expanded, suffocating those sentiments of senior status. Then I began seeing it in other people. Not everyone. Not to the same degree that I was feeling it. But it wasn’t just me.  It’s something like this, quoting a good friend of mine: “It feels like I’m rotting on the inside and out, if that makes sense.” To me, it makes perfect sense. That was the feeling that had been growing. A general sense of self degradation. I wasn’t the person that I used to be. Maybe it’s change. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s life experience. I don’t know the cause, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s frightening, even more so when two of your closest friends express those same sentiments to you within a week. Maybe it’s just me, and those of you reading this don’t feel it at all. But if you do feel like something is hollowing you out, if you feel like there’s an unstoppable source of existential decay, then try smiling a little more. Tell your friends you care about them.  Do something good every day.

Who knows, maybe you’ll end up on our thumbs up segment of The Wednesday Briefing.

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Technology

To some degree, everyone 25 and younger is an IT expert. When the WiFi stops working, it is usually the duty of the youngest member available to fix it. You just switch the button on and off and Lo! you are beheld as a technological deity, as the internet now works perfectly. Your family praises you, and you become the go to person every time something technology related goes wrong. But we know the truth. Those of us who have experienced this phenomenon know, buried deep inside of our consciences, that we in fact know very little about technology. I have fallen victim many a time to this, especially when I slightly adjust the HDMI cable for Ms. Wilson. But my technological skills (or lack thereof) finally met their match. The portal into the WordPress site was a treacherous one. A cyclical loop of “Error 404” and “Please have the moderator re-invite you.” But then it appeared. Suddenly and out of nowhere. A big button that said “Start writing.” This, this was my salvation. And so yeah basically here I am. I figured it out. Easy peasy. Yep.

 

Credit: The Onion

Maybe they will bloom once more

Of course it had to be raining when they told me. It’s called pathetic fallacy.

I felt like I wanted to cry or wretch or go to sleep for a long time.

I suppose I could sit around and be angry for a while, but, at this point, I’ve resolved just to move on. This is much more of a quiet kind of feeling.

I have to be okay with things just being how they are.

But it was never a matter of being over her or having enough time, was it? It was always just a matter of me and you that would never exist.

I always talk about how seasons change and how that’s the way it is supposed to be, but I never thought it would be so drastic.

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Summer is almost here, but, though it may be peaceful, it will still be hot, so I’ll have to stay busy. And while I’d love to have citrus all year, I know that pixie season has come and gone.

Maybe next year, after the rains come and when the sun starts shining again, they will bloom once more and I will be okay.

Little Things

I’ve started to realize it’s the little things I change about my day that make me feel so much better.

I’ve started studying outside during my free blocks. Even when I’m not doing work, I just sit outside on my phone instead of inside my dimly lit, stuffy dorm room. It feels so much better having both the sun and light breeze against my skin, keeping me warm and cool at the same time. It’s more refreshing, though I’m not doing anything more than sitting outside.

I’ve started getting up early again. I get up around six a.m. now and, despite sleeping less hours, I feel more awake than when I’d sleep in until 7:40. I get up and force myself to go running because even if I’m tired in the moment, I feel wide awake for the rest of the day. I have time to go to breakfast, less time to rush to get ready for classes, and more time to hang out with friends in the morning. I’m no longer starving by the third class of the day or falling asleep by the fourth.

It’s a good feeling finally being motivated to do the small things that make drastic changes to how my days turn out for me and I’m appreciating every day so much more because of it.

Photo Credit: Lifehacker.com

Respect the road.

There is a road that I run all the time.

Since I’m currently training by myself, I get to decide where I run. I avoid this road as much as possible. But during cross country season, when I’m at the mercy of my coaches, most of our workouts involve the road in some way.

Going down is smooth sailing. Going up is hell.

photo credit: nelseverydaypainting.blogspot.com

The road is more like a hill, a giant, mile-plus long hill. It’s on a constant incline and, as you get closer to the top, it gets steeper.

At first, I absolutely loathed this road.

I always hated it in the beginning, because it turned even my best runs turn into something that made me feel like I was putting myself through torture.

The road is sometimes unforgiving. The more you climb, the weaker your legs feel, the more your lungs burn, the more you feel like your brain is about to explode.

I used to fight it. Each day, I felt like I was preparing for this great battle, in which only one victor would prevail: me or the hill.

But, eventually, I started to realize that it wasn’t really a battle of physicality; it was more so a battle of wit. I learned to work with the road instead of against it and things started to make more sense.

I learned to take advantage of even the tiniest bit of downhill, to take the straightest line possible. I started to read the road, to take note of how it felt when I ran a certain way.

To this day, I still don’t like running it. But, I’ve learned how to do it properly.

The road used to be some foreign, intimidating beast that I thought I would never be able to understand. Now, I realize that it was really just an old, wise mentor for me, my very own Mr. Miyagi. 

Last night, I was headed up the road on the bus and, as I looked out the window, I knew exactly what point we were at solely based on the glimpse I caught of the tops of the oak trees. It made me smile, seeing how far I’ve come.

The same miles of curving pavement that used to seem endless to me are now ingrained into my memory, including details down to which tree is positioned where on each corner.

The countless days of practice, all of the sweat-soaked t-shirts and aching muscles really did pay off, in so many more ways than for just my running.

If only I knew back then just how much I would come to understand the road and how much it would come to understand about me.

I wouldn’t have believed it three years ago.

we make our own waves.

photo credit: images.fineartamerica.com

He told me this:
“I make my own waves.

I make my own waves when
I don’t need to.
I make myself angry when I don’t need to be!
And it’s not good for me,
not good for my health.

I see you do the same thing to yourself.
I think it’s something you inherited,
like it’s genetic, maybe. And I’m sorry.

It has taken me my whole life,
fifty-some years to realize that
I am the only one who can control how I feel,
that it is me, and not other people, who changes
the way I feel.

I see you do this to yourself,
you expect people to think the same way,
and to care and to try the same way that you do.

It’s taken me my whole life
to realize that, and I still
don’t know how to fix it.

If you could learn this now,
so early on in your life,
you’ll be so much better for it.

You’ll be just fine.”

I make my own waves too, sometimes.

But the thing about waves, is that even though they can be destructive, they can also be spectacular.

So, I think that it’s okay to make waves in our lives, but we have to decide which kind they will be.

 

Short n’ Sweet

I’m five foot three inches.

People think I’m five five.

I usually tell people I’m five four.

I’ve been embarrassed of my height for a while. I wear platformed shoes, I sit up as straight as I can, and I do exercises that supposedly help me grow. But, no matter what I try, I’m not going to get any taller.

I’m short and I don’t like it, but I can’t do anything about it, so why not own it?

Photo Credit: whiskeyriff.com

I’m short, I have a lower risk of cancer.

I’m short, I can wear children’s sizes and save a bunch of money.

I’m short, I can wear heels without towering over my date.

I’m short, I don’t have to worry about hitting my head on doors.

I’m short, blankets will cover my body and my feet, so no cold toes for me.

I’m short, I can fit in small places.

I’m short, I can fit in my dog’s bed and cuddle with her.

I’m short, I can beat just about anyone in a limbo competition.

I’m short, I have a higher life expectancy than taller people.

I could go on and on about the pros of being vertically “challenged,”

but I’m going to keep it short n’ sweet.