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
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To a Stranger in Brooklyn Heights

Dear stranger in Brooklyn Heights,

I don’t know much about you, but I can infer some things.

I think you are someone who cares about your belongings.

Like your copy of Spoon River Anthology, for example.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

I think you care about it because you stamped it twice – once inside the front cover and once inside the back.

Maybe you just didn’t want to lose it and for it to be returned to you if it ever did get lost.┬áBut, if that’s the case, how did it end up in a used bookstore in a town 3,000 miles away?

I would want to know which poems are your favorites, but it seems like you never read them. The pages are nearly perfect, despite being printed in 1962.

I wish I could ask you some questions.

How old were you when you bought it? How old are you now? Why didn’t you read it? How did it end up with me?

I don’t know who you are, but I want to say thank you. Your book that was originally sold for 95 cents is now my book that was sold to me for three dollars.

And now I have a story within a story, thanks to you.

I’m not sure if you still live in New York or if any of my assumptions about you were correct or if you’re even a person at all.

But just in case I was right, once I finish the book, I’ll send it back to you.

 

The painted ladies

On my way home today, I stopped to say hello to the mountains.

Image credit: allposters.com

But while I originally had pulled over to say hello to the mountains, I also got to say hello to the painted ladies – the butterflies.

There are hundreds of thousands of them, all passing through and I’m lucky enough to live along their migration path.

No one knows exactly why they choose to come here, but I’m happy they do.

I heard they are headed west. Maybe they’re chasing the sun.

So, as I sat alone outside my car, I blew kisses to the mountains, to thank them for being so magnificent.

Image credit: travelandleisure.com

I blew kisses to the butterflies as they flew by, to wish them good luck on their journey.

It’s days like these when I know I wouldn’t be able to live in a place where the sun seldom shines.

There wouldn’t be nearly enough mountains that compare to Ojai mountains and there definitely wouldn’t be enough painted ladies.

I hope they all reach their destinations.

And if they really are chasing the sun, I hope they catch it.

The story of kale, tangerines, and the realizations I made.

I ate a piece of kale the other day.

It was growing in a garden box at school, so I pulled a leaf off of the plant and ate it.

It was a nice, sturdy piece of kale. It tasted pretty good. I continued munching on it as I walked over to the baseball field.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Kale can be a nice snack, if you’re into dark leafy greens. But, as many experienced plant-eaters know, raw kale is quite tough to chew.

My jaws were getting a little bit tired, so I switched over to eating a different leaf that I had also picked from the garden box. I’m not sure what plant this was, but it was softer and sweeter than the kale.

As I was chewing, I twirled the piece between my thumb and my pointer finger.

I started to study the leaves. The kale was dark and rough. It was much more aggressively textured than the other leaf.

It was at that moment when I stopped chewing, for I noticed dozens of very tiny, white bugs all along the sides of the leaves.

I swallowed my bite, then tossed the remnants of my half-eaten leaves aside. I decided not to dwell on it too much, because I didn’t want the thought of the bugs to take away from the otherwise positive experience I had eating them.

(I would like to apologize to the innocent lives I took that day. I didn’t thoroughly inspect the leaves before eating them, and that was selfish of me. To the bugs that once inhabited the kale: I am sorry.)

On a completely unrelated note, this morning my parents and I went out to our tangerine trees. It was time to prune them. After about an hour of picking fruit and chopping branches, my dad said to me: “This is a chore that very few other people your age have to do, but you have to remember that it just makes you more cosmopolitan.”

Though I didn’t really enjoy being outside when it was 40 degrees, I did find comfort in the fact that our work would provide more fruit for us next season.

I never realized it before, but I am so thankful that I know how to take care of citrus trees.

I live in a place where I am fortunate enough to grow my own food. I take that for granted.

I hope that I will always have this luxury, bugs and all.

Home

Photo Credit: outsidevan.com

I’ve lived in the same place my whole life, but I’ve never realized how beautiful it is until recently.

Maybe I just didn’t notice it before or I wasn’t old enough to appreciate it, but lately I catch myself staring up at the mountains.

It has been raining a lot lately. On my drive home, I noticed that the north-facing slopes are so much greener than the south-facing ones.

But Dad says this isn’t supposed to happen. South and west-facing slopes are usually the greenest, at least where we are, because of sunlight and rainwater, he explained. The south-facing Topa Topas are just dry because of their rocky terrain.

I’m not sure why even still I think of the fire when I’m admiring the mountains. Maybe it made me appreciate them more.

The trees still seem like skeletons to me. They are black and withered and don’t really fit in with the bright grass that’s growing in. They used to be so much greener. But at least they are still standing. I’m thankful for that.

There isn’t really much to do in this sleepy town, especially after having been here for sixteen years. But despite that, I can’t think of a better place to have grown up.

past journal entries with added (commentary)

photo credit: pinterest.com

I wasn’t sure what to say tonight, so I decided to comment on a few things I found while flipping through my journals. Enjoy:

November 3, 2015: Middle school is hard.
(This one made me giggle.)

March 6, 2016: Being carefree is not the same as being careless.
(Not sure what prompted me to jot this down. I probably thought it was a lot more profound back then, but I guess it’s still a valid point.)

April 5, 2017: I got hit in the eye with a baseball today.
(I remember it like it was yesterday. Ouch.)

November 20, 2018: TOO MANY FEELINGS AT ONCE! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE AND YOUNG!
(This one was written in capitals and had some vigorous underlining. I like it.)

December 4, 2018: I’m just so different than I was before. But I think that’s a good thing, somehow.
(Yay for personal growth!)

December 23, 2018: Some people are just easy to love, and easy to fall in love with. They are both my favorite and least favorite kind of people.
(haha no comment.)

January 6, 2019: “Wish I was there, wish we’d grown up on the same advice, and our time was right…”
(These are Frank Ocean lyrics. MAN, I wish I could write songs like Frank Ocean.)

Sometimes I write down the random thoughts that pop into my head. It’s kind of cool to see how they have evolved over time. That’s all for now.

 

12 Minutes of Word Vomit!

Photo Credit: Amor Fati/Wordpress.com

I have an existential crisis almost every night.
The fire was a year ago. That scares me.

The music is too loud outside my window and
my eyes hurt from staring at a screen for so long.

I’m having an existential crisis tonight. It’s because of Calculus homework.
I could post about it.┬áMaybe someone will say I’m pretty.

She hasn’t replied to my email yet and I worry that my writing is boring.
But my teacher says I’m good at Spanish, so at least I have that.

My eyes are dry. They almost always are.
I say I’ve never been in love before but that’s not true.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com (and this is supposed to be ironic)

I am in love right now. It’s just the sad kind.

I could post about it. Maybe someone will say I’m pretty.

He likes the finality of writing things down on paper. I like it too. (But as I wrote this, I knew I would type it out later.) I like the way he thinks because he is an intellectual.

It’s not always about the words themselves,
it is about what they mean and how they feel.

My room is too cluttered and so is my mind.

I want to leave my house and live somewhere far away.

My life is a mess and I’m having an existential crisis tonight, but I met a famous person once. And a different famous person has a relative that goes to my school, so I think I will post about it.

I wish I could write songs. They would probably be boring.

And maybe this doesn’t make sense to some people.

Oh well.