The Ghost in my Kitchen

There’s a ghost in my house. I’ve been talking to her.

She doesn’t talk back very often. In fact, I’ve only heard her once. I think she told me her name.

But the thing is, I’m not even sure if she’s real.

If she’s not actually there, that means I’ve been asking lots of questions to absolutely no one for about a week, which is slightly embarrassing. But if she is there, that means I can talk to ghosts, which is kind of badass. Regardless, I’m putting this story on the internet, so I guess you can decide for yourself.

It all started when we were eating dinner. I looked down the hallway and saw a white silhouette so clear that I thought it was my brother. I asked him what he was doing and turned around to find him walking into the kitchen behind me. I looked back in the other direction, but the figure wasn’t there.

“I just saw a ghost,” I said, quite matter-of-factly.

My dad, the self-proclaimed cynic, is surprisingly interested in the “supernatural,” if you will. While he’s never seen an actual ghost-like figure, he’s experienced quite a few unexplainable events.

He proceeded to text my aunt, who is our go-to gal for all things psychic and told her I’d seen an apparition. To put her into perspective, she once made me come to a meditation with her, involving tinctures, crystals, incense – the whole set-up. (Whilst there, I discovered that in my past life I may have died in 9/11, but that’s a story for another day.)

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She responded saying that I needed to ask the ghost what it was doing and why it had made itself known to me. I eyed my father skeptically.

“I would do it, dude, but she [my aunt] says you’re more in-tune with this kind of thing,” my dad said to me, in a manner that reminded me of a little kid trying to convince his mother to buy him a lollipop.

My mom assured me that I didn’t need to attempt to communicate with the ghost if I didn’t feel like it.

But I felt a sense of obligation, like this was my duty. This was a task that had to be done, and only I could be the one to complete it. I was Gilgamesh setting out on his quest, but instead of searching for immortality, I was just trying to talk to a dead person.

So anyway, that’s how I started talking to this ghost in my house. At first, I was a little freaked out, but from what I’ve concluded from our encounters, I think she’s friendly and just here to visit, so I’m not worried.

I think she was telling me her name is Mary. The reason I’m not exactly certain I heard it correctly is because I thought I might have been tricking myself. My dad’s grandmother was named Mary. She was an artist and we have her paintings hanging all over our house.

But, like I said, I’m not sure if any of this was real. I’ll let you know once I figure it out.

 

 

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To My Best Friend, Some Things I Will Never Tell You.

If you’ve ever wondered how it feels to see a person become someone else, it’s sort of like trying to hold water in your hands. You can keep your hands cupped together for a little while, but more and more of it begins to trickle through your fingers. You panic, try to hold back as much as you can, but, eventually, there’s so little left in your palms that you just let the rest fall to the floor.

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That’s how it felt with you. It was like I was watching everything in slow motion. I tried to catch you, but now I know that you didn’t want me to.

I didn’t believe you when you told me you were leaving. I think in the back of my mind, I had been expecting it.

You’ve been my best friend, one of the most important people in my life, for as long as I can remember. But, now, I can’t remember the last time I saw you.

It still hurts. I’m still mad and I still don’t fully understand why you chose to go. You told me you needed to do it for yourself, that you needed to be selfish.

But I never thought you were being selfish. I just thought you were wrong.

You mean so, so much to me. I miss you more than you know.

I wish I could still see you everyday. I wish you were still the one who I went to before anyone else, the person I told everything to. But you’re not anymore. I know it could still be that way if we tried, but most days I just don’t feel like trying.

I think the reason I’m still mad is because it felt like you chose them over me. It still feels that way.

It hurts to see someone change, to see them become someone different.

But what hurts more is to leave them behind, to accept that your time together has come and gone. I’m not ready to do that yet.

 

 

An Ode to My Adolescence

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An ode to my adolescence.

An ode to self-discovery. To the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I hope to experience over and over again.

To the sunsets and the waves.

To driving with the windows down, blasting music and singing along.

To the late nights. To the stars.

To always being tired.

To the pile of work that seems to grow bigger and bigger no matter how fast I dig through it.

To the boy who doesn’t call anymore.

To my constant need to impress people, to earn their approval.

To not caring at all, then caring too much.

To my hopes and dreams, which are always changing, but always becoming more exciting.

To my fears. To making mistakes.

To being sixteen years old, an age that I’ve been waiting to be for a very long time.

To my best friends, who make every day worth while, and who are some of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. I couldn’t imagine better people to spend this time with.

To living in the moment.

People tell us these are the best days of our lives. They pass too quickly.

 

 

 

Forgetful

I like to talk to you when life gets overwhelming. You help me forget about everything else for a while.

I know you don’t try to be, but you’re selfish sometimes. I like that, though.

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You talk about yourself most of the time, but that’s sort of what makes you so easy to talk to. I don’t have to worry about what to say because you don’t ask me about myself very much.

I’m always so wrapped up in everything going on with my own life. Problems with family, school, friends – there’s always some different worry bouncing around my head.

When I’m with you, they all slow down for a while. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, they disappear completely. It’s nice to get a break from myself.

I don’t think about anything else when we’re together. You’re so, so distracting, but always such a welcome distraction.

It’s sort of worrying, the way I forget about myself when I’m with you.

But like I said, sometimes I like to forget.

Making an Impact by Reducing It

I saw this tweet a few days ago and I think it is something we all need to be more concerned with.

And, it’s not just about climate change, it’s about everything involving the environment. We’ve done a lot of damage. When it comes to bettering our environment, it’s too late for preventative measures. We’re just playing catch up now.

Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing. We’re so used to living the way that we do, it’s not always easy to put the planet first.

If you want to reduce your impact or help the planet but don’t know how, here are a few things you can try implementing into your routine:

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  • Say no to plastic. The next time you eat out, tell your server you don’t need straws. Especially, if it’s fast food. There is no reason for you to take a lid and a straw for your drink. Buy glass bottles instead of plastic ones – they’re easier to recycle. If you’re planning on eating out, bring reusable containers to take left overs home.
  • Be mindful of product packaging. For example, buy bar soap instead of liquid soap. This can include shampoos and conditioners; there are plenty of eco-friendly options that don’t use plastic packaging. Don’t buy anything with excessive packaging. Cardboard or paper packages are the best options. Buy in bulk as much as you can.
  • Buy second hand. I understand that, from time to time, it’s nice to treat yourself to a new item and that’s fine. But, for the most part, you can find everything you need at thrift stores and you’ll save money too. There are also plenty of websites where you can buy used items (for those of you who like online shopping).
  • Keep it local. Shop at farmer’s markets and support local businesses. Buy produce that is in season. This reduces the distances that items need to be transported and causes less fuel emissions.
  • Don’t waste food. Shop for groceries using a list and only buy what you need. Don’t cook more food than you can eat. It is better to have no leftovers at all, but, if you do, try to actually eat them later.

If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your impact, do some research. There is so much information out there that can help us be better.

I’m not perfect. I try my best to be conscious of everything I do and the impact it will have, but I still have a lot of ways in which I could be better.

To some people, conservation might seem like a hopeless cause. But as long as we’re trying, if each day we do one more thing that reduces our impact, then, there is still hope.

Because I’m a Woman

I watch a channel on YouTube called Yes Theory.

Their entire philosophy is based on the premise that when we start to say yes to things, we open ourselves to experiences that would never have been possible if we had said no. It encourages its followers to be spontaneous and preaches the idea that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.

To live out this philosophy, the main people involved are three 20-something, friendly, and fit guys who travel around the world and complete challenges based on the spontaneity and kindness of strangers.

In their latest video, one of the guys is abandoned alone in Slovakia with no money and no phone, where he must attempt to return to his friends in Budapest.

I love everything about this channel and I hope someday I can live my life in a similar fashion.

But, I know this isn’t as realistic for me. Simply, because I’m a woman.

The thought of being dropped off in and exploring a random country sounds like a dream. The thought of being dropped off alone in a random country sounds terrifying.

I hate that just by being female, doing anything becomes more dangerous. I am a strong believer that a woman can do anything a man can. While that is true, it’s also true that women have to take a lot more precautions than men do.

I read a study that asked groups of men and women about the things they do in their everyday life to avoid being assaulted. The responses from women went on for pages. For men, there was one answer: “Nothing. I don’t think about it.”

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Words cannot express how much I wish this weren’t the case, how much I wish men and women were really, truly equal when it comes to things like this.

I wish that my mom didn’t have to worry about me going to the beach with my girl friends at 5 PM, even though she is fine with my older brother going to the same place with his guy friends at one in the morning.

I wish that women weren’t twice as likely as men to experience sexual assault or violent crimes.

I wish it weren’t like this, but it is. And let me tell you, it sucks.

To any men who are reading this, appreciate the fact that you don’t have to make sure you have your keys in your hand when you’re walking to your car at night. Be grateful that when you’re running by yourself and a truck drives behind you, you don’t have to stop to let it pass so that you can see what it is doing. Remember that there is a reason why girls always go to the bathroom in groups.

Tell this to your sons. Make them understand what it’s like. Teach them how to make women feel safer.

Maybe someday we’ll live in a world where a young woman can walk through a city alone, the only thing on her mind being how grateful she is to be there, and her biggest concern being what she will eat for dinner.

That’s all we want.

 

“Time… and I Have Gone Away”

When I was younger, I thought that by the time I was this age, I would have everything figured out.

Obviously, I haven’t lived up to that expectation. Looking back, I really didn’t have a clue what I would be, considering I thought High School Musical movies were a credible source for what teenagers are like.

Now that I’m actually in high school, I know that the expectations I had for this age were completely unrealistic. It’s definitely not as glamorous and there are far less organized musical numbers than I had envisioned.

But, when I think about who I will be in five or ten years, I picture some perfect version of myself. I’ll be kind and successful and doing all of the things that I wish I could be doing right now. I won’t be insecure about how I look, how I speak, or anything else that I care about now. I’ll have grown out of it by then, because I’ll have realized that it doesn’t matter.

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I’m sixteen now, but I’m still fantasizing about my future self, just like I did when I was six years old, and my expectations are still probably just as ridiculous.

I like to think that once you grow up, you know yourself completely. I like to imagine that I’ll have it figured out. I won’t have to picture the type of person I want to be, because I’ll already be that person.

In a perfect world, it would work like that. But, this world is far from perfect, and so am I.

I don’t think anyone ever fully grows out of certain things. We learn and grow our whole lives, but it’s not like everything just magically falls into place one day.

When all is said and done, I just hope that who I am in ten years is someone I’d like to know now.