Music

It is strange the way that we associate music with memories.

It is like a strong perfume that is impossible to disassociate with an era.

There are songs I cannot listen to because I was sad during the month it was in my playlist, or even because I feel that I have moved on from that time period. I now listen to a song knowing that one day, likely very soon, I will have grown out of this small era and will associate the song with the general mood of the month.

Small things in life change rapidly, including the clothes you choose, the breakfast you eat, your daily routine, the people you talk to, and the music you hear. Listening to music from a different era of mine often makes me feel uncomfortable, even if it was a good era, simply because I am not there anymore. It reminds me that times have changed, even if it is month to month.

Sometimes I regret listening to the same four songs day after day on my drive to school because I know what I am building. It will be a memory for my future self to listen to and reflect.

The automatic association of music and memories is hard to shake. They are not implicit memories, it is the general tone of the era that went unrecognized until you hear the songs and realize the moment has passed.

Image Credit: Apple Music

Follow the Road

As i begin my journey to follow this road

This is not Cormac’s Road, nor the road that you may know

i must realize this, before i choose to go

This is a road that only i am on.

You are taking your own road, 

But perhaps i’ll see you when we get there

I will follow the road as the bluejay follows the wind

Great and unknowing, this road is

Little do you know where you are headed

But that is the magic of this road

We are all on the pursuit of happiness

A new age

Welcome to the rest of your life, they say

Heaven belongs to you

When you reach the bump in the road

Hit it in stride

Take pride

When you reach the end up the road,

i urge you to look back and enjoy the view of the past

As you are on your way, and i am on mine

i wish you to drive safe

But enjoy the ride

Because time flies quicker than you know

Before you know it,

We’ll be saying goodbye

In another lifetime

Image from Material district

Cool Pool

You know that feeling.

Like when you sense something move in the cool stagnant water

underneath the surface,

where it shouldn’t,

it is.

Like being away,

the opposite of home,

and even as you jerk your leg away 

you can feel it cramp,

ripping hot.

You can feel the vessels crimp;

doubled,

twisted,

restricting you,

keeping you just within reach,

within reach of the cool,

the cool of the bottom of the pool

where the water doesn’t move

or isn’t supposed to.

from terra galleria

Spring

Each year, spring seems to be the most overwhelming season. School begins to speed up as we are faced with tasks each day.

Now that the pandemic is slowly returning to normalcy as more students come onto campus, we are catching up on what we missed. This, however, results in the cramming of a years’ worth of experience into a single month. It is enjoyable in its little moments, though when I look at my planner, the words begin to blend into each other as the pages are smeared with hastily placed pencil marks. I return to my planner hourly, adding both academic assignments and extracurricular events. It is covered with reminders, such as bring my costume for the musical, or drop off a scholarship application.

I enjoy each day thoroughly, though looking ahead can be overwhelming. The tasks for one day are manageable, though skimming the multiple notes and plans for the week can feel as though it all must be done that day.

Perspective is vital to managing a planner. I always note that I am living in only one of the days on the page, and it is not yet time to manage the others. This spring may be busy, though it is my last opportunity to experience high school. I plan to enjoy every day, as they are my final moments on this campus.

Spring
Image Credit: Alina Demidenko – iStock

Journalism

Journalism can be strange. It is a new way of facilitating my love for writing, yet with emphasis on the most important element – storytelling. Instead of researching my topics online, I now must go into the world and obtain information from people.

The reactions differ – some are more than happy to tell their story. Others, however, remain reserved as you push your way into their schedule. I enjoy the social element of journalism. I have an intriguing conversation with at least one person per week.

Journalism has taught me how to reach out to people, even if you don’t know them. I understand the format of an interview request email, and how to conduct a conversation where I get the other person to say all the right things. In journalism, I am but the message man, bringing other people’s stories into the limelight. I have enjoyed this experience as it has shifted me away from academic writing, improved my social skills, and made me a better storyteller.

Image Credit: Nicole Schuman

My Journal

I realize I’ve forgotten about my daily planner. It’s been sitting in my desk for the past couple of weeks, leaving me to keep track of all my assignments in my head. Without it, academics have felt like one big game of whack-a-mole. I’ve been barely holding on, about to turn the lights out for the night before I realize an assignment is due tomorrow.

It can feel annoying writing every assignment down as its given. However, without an organized book to keep track of my assignments, I have felt like I’ve tuned out of academics.

Today I wrote down everything I needed to do. It’s not too much when you look at it on paper. When it’s all in your head, however, it can feel overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve cleared your agenda, another task appears. When I write down my assignments or meetings, however, I can accomplish things in a more mentally civilised way.

It is important for me to not let my own head be in charge of keeping track of things. Not everyone works the same way, but for me, writing down my responsibilities is the best way to get them done, and erasing them is very rewarding.

Image Credit:  LEUCHTTURM

peonies

i hate peonies

peonies represent something I wish I could be

they push through the harsh conditions of their life

for me

sometimes its just easier to give up

although,

i hate giving up

it makes me feel less of a person

less of someone who deserves what they have

when someone says im too scared for something

or when I feel scared of something

I try to go farther than I have to

and do more than what was asked

I hate being scared

I hate giving up

I hate turning down a challenge

while some might call it

toxic masculinity

I thinks its different from that

Its not that I dont like being scared because Im a man

its because if Im scared

then i cant move forward.

peonies,

they arent scared

they survive the harshest of enviorments they are given

they are true warriors

thats why i hate them

i hate how a flower is stronger than me

How to Grow Peonies - Sunset Magazine

photo credit: sunset.com

why not to call me a bigot

To whoever called me a bigot on instagram,

I understand where you are coming from, I must seem pretty awful to you. I am sorry you feel that way, I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I didn’t mess up too. But I really want to talk about your point because I feel like we can all benefit from thinking more deeply about what your words mean to people like me. So, I thought maybe I should propose a little thought experiment:

So, lets presume for a second that I am a bigot, that I am intolerant of other cultures, of races that arent white (although I am brown,) of gay people, of transgender folk, and of women. And I was trying to adjust my image so some college would admit me, would it be a good thing to reprimand me for trying to seem less intolerant? Presumably showing me that there is no way I can fit into a society that you live in. Maybe I would feel hurt and I would confide in communities which tell me that my bigotry is okay. Is that what you want?  Or, on the other hand, would it be better to tell me, a bigot, that I had improved and that I am a better person, to offer me acceptance and forgiveness, which would probably encourage me to continue on a path that would eventually lead me to abandon my bigoted views and instead embrace diversity and inclusion. 

Now, presume for just a moment that I am not, in fact, a bigot. That I am someone who genuinely has learned from my mistakes. I am someone who has been educated and now has an understanding of both sides of the story, I am someone who is trying to make a difference in this world, to teach other people that don’t understand the impacts of their actions the importance of forethought and understanding of other peoples. Would it be a good idea to tell this person that they are a bigot? Showing them that maybe despite their 180º that no one will ever accept them within a diverse community. Showing them that they are permanently canceled and they may never be able to rejoin your part of society. Maybe I would internalize this and come to the conclusion that no longer should I try in vain to be a good person and instead sink back into my past. Into the uneducation that led me to make my mistakes in the first place. Is this the impact you want to have with your post?

I think you intend to do good by calling me out. I really do. I think you are trying to do something to benefit communities which I hurt. To defend them in some way, by not letting me return to society easily.  But I think you need to think more deeply about the repercussions of your actions.

Luckily, I know I am not a bigot, I know that the pain I caused my peers at —— was a result of my uneducation, not of prejudice. I know I posted those things in satire. I know that the mistakes I made were not because of hatred but because of stupidity. And I also know that the people in my life who I respect and love are of the same opinion. So I won’t seep into the recesses of hatred and intolerance,  I will continue to do my best to make this world a better place. But that is luck. If I didn’t know any of that, your words could have done real harm. Real harm to communities that you think you are helping by calling me out. So, once again, in the best interest of the communities you think you are defending, don’t call me a bigot.

 I am not one. 

PC: wikimedia commons

P.S. 

I tried to frame this argument as objectively as I could, but I still feel like I need to address my feelings a little bit. You really hurt me by calling me a bigot. I feel like someone who has tried my best to not only try to learn from my mistakes but to actively try to make others not fall into the mistakes that I made. I know that the actions I have taken after ——— have done good in this world and in the communities that I am a part of. And for that to be met with your post and comment really hurts me, I know that is probably not worth much in your eyes but I still felt like my feelings needed to be acknowledged.

birds in the sycamore tree

“It started a year ago. I lost all awareness of time and the space around me. All I could see was his trembling body aching for help. It was my brother’s fifth seizure, a battle that he was in the midst of conquering for years. The control I took at that moment was beyond my personal relationship with him and the pain coursing through my heart, the control was my ache to heal. Since that day, I have had the ambition to heal, heal the broken, and heal people in dire need. ”

I wrote this a month ago for a scholarship essay. Even though it has become “normal” for my family, it’s not easy for me to talk about.

Three days ago was mothers day. Three days ago was also an anniversary.

May 10th was easily one of the harder days that I faced in my short lifetime despite the loss that I have experienced.

Death was introduced to me at a young age and has been one of the more consistent concepts in my life: my grandmothers, my grandfather, my aunt, a friend.

But this was worse. Grieving loss is one thing but the anxiety that is paired with the potential and fear of death is a much larger burden to bear.

Over the past 6 years, I have internalized many emotions and fears that I have for his life: Once I speak of my fears do they come true? Is his safety my responsibility? When does care cross into obsessive anxiety?

Eventually, I found acceptance. But it wasn’t easy.

Three days ago, we celebrated mother’s day with … peace and gratitude. I held my tongue as we sat under the sycamore trees while the birds sang above us and simply enjoyed what God had given us.

photo credit: fineartamerica.com

a week off

i just have to take a break from writing poetry or writing things that matter even when they dont. I feel like we are close enough for me not to worry about like trying to be eloquent or something

sometimes i wonder if i am just hiding behind large words and pretty images

maybe it is more real for me to just say things than to try and veil my feelings by describing them in new interesting ways that are fun for you to read

you know i mean what i say in those other poems and stuff

i just feel like the poems are kinda formal and this is just more conversational in a way that feels more comfortable

so i guess all i mean to say is i just needed one week off from it all