Remember

By no standards are my Chinese skills any more than proficient. After moving away at the age of 12, things started to fade for me very quickly. After six months I forgot how to write; after a year, my reading; then finally, my identity.

By the time I entered the eighth grade, I had been thoroughly white-washed. Granted, I am only half Chinese, but I was raised to embrace my Chinese background, to be proud of my heritage. But it was slipping away.

I went back to China the summer before I entered my Freshman year of High School. I wasn’t able to handle the street-food, my 8-year-old cousin was speaking better than I was, and I had lost a connection with the country that raised me.

Before I left my Grandmother repeated something to me that she had told me before I moved away. “Remember,” she said simply, “Remember where you come from.” When she said this, I realized it was a plea for me to clasp onto my cultural identity that was on the cusp of being extinguished. I had a life in China, friends, family, and a part of myself that never seems to board the flight to LAX when my visits end.

So I listened to her, I pushed myself to retain the identity I found in being Chinese, I acknowledged the comments of being only half, being unable to communicate, but they don’t bother me. When I listen to songs from my childhood, when I go back to visit, when I speak my native tongue, no matter how poor it is, I feel like myself again.

There are certain things in everyone’s life that hold invaluable, unspeakable significance to their sense of self, to their state of being, that without it, they feel like a bulb without its filament. To me that is the ability to speak in Chinese. As soon as the words escape me, I feel that connection again, I remember the people, taste the food, experience the culture. I am eternally grateful to my Grandmother for what she instilled in me because I know that at my lowest moments I always have something to lean on.

Happy Birthday Derek

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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.

Credit: ojaivisitors.com

My Time

I broke my foot in October
I thought the world would come to a halt
But only mine did
Everything I had worked for, my season, my future, my passion
It all escaped me
I’d failed
I got the news in November
It was supposed to be my year
I promised it would be my year
I fought for a chance and guaranteed results
And was left to face the consequences
I was left behind
By December I was finished
As selfish as it sounds
It hurt that the world didn’t end like it did for me
I was hurting but the globe kept spinning
Practices continued on without me
Games were played
Fun was had
I was left on the stilts that took me nowhere
In January frustration had become my norm
The jokes didn’t bounce off like they used to
I was consumed by the mistakes that brought me here
I couldn’t forget the memories I never got to make
The apologies I made that could never make my team understand
February is when I finally lost the crutches
But mentally I was still on them
I was afraid to go back to playing
The courts promised me nothing but remorse
My recovery meant getting over my injury
But I wasn’t prepared for the strength it required
In March I was back on my feet
I was playing again
My game was coming back
But it didn’t matter anymore
I was making shots, playing with my team
But it didn’t feet right
I had failed them, and they knew it too

Credit: images.unsplash.com

 

Thank You OVS

I’ve started this draft several times. I’ve written sentences and sentences only to change them, revise them, and, eventually, just completely eradicate them and end where I started: with nothing. Because every time I try to write about this, I can’t formulate the right words to say. Even though I’ve discovered at OVS that one of my biggest passions is writing, I’m speechless when I try to write about what these last four years meant to me.

When I came to OVS for the first time, I was an awkward freshman. I had no friends, no idea what I was doing, and no idea who I was or who I wanted to be.

The four years to follow threw me in for a loop of highs and lows in self development, friendships, and life. Now I have just a couple days until the craziest, most amazing four years of my life come to an end. Every year at this time, I had a strong desire for the days to end as quickly as possible so I could enjoy my summer break. This time, I’m scared for the inevitable last day of school to come. I’m holding on to every last second I can.

I’ve been to three graduations here. Every single one making me sadder than the rest, but there was always happiness in my heart when I’d hug my friends goodbye for the summer, especially because I knew I’d see them again. On May 31st, I’ll hug all my friends, but, when fall rolls around, I won’t see them again on the hill that’s been my second home for the past four years. We’ll all be scattered across the country taking on different cities and pursuing different passions. We won’t see each other at breakfast every morning or at the barn at the end of every day. We’ll see each other through FaceTime calls and at reunions during our holiday breaks. I’m bound to cry at graduation because of it all.

I’m happy we’re all going to colleges we want to go to and I know that these friends are the ones I’ll have for life. But the realization that this is our last week as high schoolers together is still sending a wave of shock over me that I’ve been drowning in the past couple weeks.

I’m horrified for what the future holds, but, at the same time, I feel so ready. Four years ago, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be ready for college and eight years ago I didn’t have any faith that I would even be going to college. Now, I’m excited to walk into the unknown and I have OVS to thank for it all:

For being a school that’s given me the opportunity to branch out and try everything I could ever want to try. I didn’t have to stick to one niche. I got to be a risk-taking athlete, an unfiltered writer, a confident leader, and everything in between.

Photo Credit: ocsaledger.com

The equestrian program for giving me a horse I love more than myself. For giving me a place I’ve made my best friends.

The camping trips where I went running through the Yosemite forests at night time with no flashlight and rode the bull of the raft while river rafting on the Kern trip. For making me push my limits and having them turn out to be the most rewarding moments of my life. For making me realize I love camping even though I hate going days without showering.

For my AP Spanish class making me fall in love with the language all over again and decide to study abroad in Spain instead of France. Law/Gov class that furthered my excitement to move to D.C. to study politics and intern on Capitol Hill. Especially for my journalism class that provided a source of gossip, a place to rant, and an endless supply of snacks, but more importantly, it has given me an outlet to explore writing and inspire me to pursue it in college.

Thank you for everything. For the good, the bad, and everything in between. No words could say it all.

I’m not gonna lie and say this school is perfect. There’s so much I’ve complained about and so many things I would change. But if I’m going to be honest, it was perfect for me. It was the place I needed for the kind of person I was to become who I am today. I had no idea what my purpose was or what my passions were and, while I’m still on a road of self-discovery, OVS put me on the right path.

And for that, I’ll forever be thankful.

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.

Image via Pinterest.com

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.

the butterfly

at first, all i saw was a butterfly.

it was flying above the grass at the park, i was having a picnic.

it was pretty and it was green .

not grass green, but lime green.

then, i remembered that green was the color of your room before you redecorated it last summer

and then i saw your room and what it used to look like before you thought your drawings were stupid and before you decided you liked purple more.

from there, i saw you and how you looked last week and then how you made me laugh really hard the other night.

then, i thought if we will ever go anywhere.

and then i think about other people who might be more exciting than you, but how you’re nice too.

i think about my friend’s friend and how maybe he’s fun to talk to.

then, i get going on conversations.

i remember that i want to meet an aquarius, because i heard that they are really compatible with gemini’s and

what i really think i need right now is someone i’m compatible with.

no more of this taurus-virgo bullshit!

but, she’s a taurus and he’s a capricorn.

i think that maybe they’ll be the exception, but, in the back of my mind, i know neither of them will be because taurus are too routine, stubborn, and clingy for me and capricorn-

well, i don’t know much about capricorn, but i looked up our compatibility and it’s not good.

and that will be stuck in the back of my head for just about ever.

now, i completely forget about you and him and her and conversations and zodiac signs, (particularly taurus, virgos, and capricorns) and then i think about the lyrics to the sing deceptecon by le tigre and then i think about the whole riot grrrl movement

and how i wish i was apart of it and how i wonder if it’s still alive today in any form and how if it is then those people involved are people i wanna know.

i think about how i need to make a new playlist and

about how cluttered my playlists are along with my mind and then i get overwhelmed because i get overwhelmed easily.

how maybe if i make a new playlist with music other than rap i’ll feel better and life will make much more sense then.

and then i snap back into it because the lady giving me a massage hits my back harder than expected and tells me she’s finished with the massage and my neck still hurts, oh, and i was never looking at a butterfly at all.

photo credit: pinterest.com

a familiar demon; revisited

why does it always wear off so quickly?

all of a sudden-

so blinding, exciting, and new-

but it fades and i see your true colors.

i see every mistake you’ve ever made.

i see how i painted you and i see how you actually are.

such a sad thing,

living off the infatuation,

going into everything praying it won’t end too quickly.

but it always does.

not knowing whether it’s a genuine sentiment or the excitement of the attention.

i ignore all of your tricks;

they no longer work for me.

when i start getting bored, i start noticing how you walk a little weird,

how you have a poor vocabulary,

and how you are much cleaner than i’ll ever be.

i pick you apart.

i don’t want to,

but my brain simply won’t have otherwise.

i can’t live a white lie.

it’s discouraging, you know?

not knowing if i have the complexity to be able to get past this.

am i interested or is it just the trick my mind plays on me only to result in a painful goodbye?

(for you)

make a monster out of me,

i understand.

probably one more week until i’m completely over it.

yet again,

what’s wrong with me?

why can’t i just stay infatuated

both for me

and for you.

 

photo credit: pinterest.com