Found a Direction

  

I am going left.

I say that, not because I am left-handed or am biased particularly towards one side more than the other though I will admit I take pride in the marks on my hand after a long day of writing, but I chose “left” because I have simply found a direction to go and it sounded better than right. 

It felt right to say left. So that’s where I’m going. 

More specifically, I know where I am at least going to live and attend school this autumn in an attempt to mature a bit more and delay the real world from slamming me in the face. 

So, left it is. 

  

I chose the beautiful University of Washington; in part because of their programs and in-state tuition when I did not qualify for a single scholarship anywhere at the other six major schools scattering the Northwest due to my parents’ income (a blessing and curse in one), and also because, for the most part, Stanford didn’t need me setting the bottom curve for their academics.

Funny thing about that though, as I stood at my metaphorical crossroad debating between left and right, close to home or an airplane ticket away, easier on the budget or stretching the risks for a rare opportunity, safety in the comfort of my peers or the thrill in the face of the unknown, UW or Stanford, the choice really decided itself. 

And it appeared in the form of a rejection letter. 

Upon seeing the first three words, we are sorry… I breathed a sigh of relief. That’s right. I deflated. Empty. The blissful lack of everything that accompanied this knowledge intrigued me. Under pressure, cooking with anticipation and uncertainty, I was stretching at the seams. Then suddenly, life decided to make the decision easy and turn the crossroad into a one-way street and chose to unfold it before me in the way that a fortune cookie may give you solace despite the fact that you didn’t know you were hoping for an answer anyways. So empty I sat, clear and sound, stress and trepidation washed away in the sense of happiness I felt for finally knowing which direction I would go. 

  

So here I go.

Left.

I am not saddened or dismayed or even rather content with the matter of my choice because at the end of the day, it’s just a school and life holds many different paths to happiness. Wherever I go, I hope I am not content, but striving for better. I hope I am not sad, but alive and well and I appreciate the wonders around me. What I believe life revealed to me, is that I have some more work to do and I will do my best with where I go and from here, it’s only uphill, and I need to buy a good pair of rainboots. 

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Finally at the Starting Line

So here it finally begins. With Senior Exhibition night over and one more item crossed off my ever growing list of priorities this year, I am officially graduating (which isn’t too much of a personal accomplishment because who are we kidding, the school wants us out of there anyways). I can say that for now, I am done jumping through hoops and that alone is enough for me to call for a celebration.

Hence, I am continuing the wonderful tradition of “Senior Skip Day.” Today is the day to go do something spontaneous, wonderful, thrilling or if you prefer, time to relax, and take a moment for yourself. Lately with family circumstances and events that have occurred, I’ve come to think heavily on my own life and the delicacy it really is weaved with.

We wake up everyday, prepared for another tomorrow, or not in my case which often ends with me turning my car around to grab my running shoes because I always manage to forget them despite them being the only things I actually need to run. But the confidence people hold in there being another tomorrow can be seen through the creation of words like, “tomorrow” and “next year, month..” Or how we spend most of our time planning.

Why do we do such things? I wonder at what point it occurred where the caveman no longer had to live day by day but could finally look around, take a deep breath, and say “Man, I’m going to take a nap because I can hunt for that mammoth tomorrow.” (Don’t take my word for it though. I routinely slept through history class).

We assume and we plan and we collaborate our lives woven with the idea that there is security in tomorrow.

But there is not.

Tomorrow is simply an idea. A time. A place that has not yet come. I believe we forget, myself included, that for many, tomorrow is something they will not see. Today is where you can place your bets. This time and place now is where you can be certain.

So here I am at the starting line. My toes are on the edge and my body is coiled with adrenaline ready to spring at the shot. There’s a long and winding path ahead of me full of uncertainty and hardships, but I know along the way it will be good. The choices I make at the turns will bring me to happiness and at the end, well c’mon, who are we kidding?

I’m in no rush, but I’ll “Mo Farrah” it across the tape.

But for now, today is a day to live. I’m not worried about tomorrow, I’m focused on the here and now because that is all I am certain of. I am confident in my future endeavors, but I will live day by day because life is delicate and that delicacy, woven through our threads that cross and tangle together, is a reminder that I’m not invincible or immortal. I am young, I am healthy, and I have a ways to go before I am at the end, but I am here and now and right now…

Late for Senior Skip Day

In loving memory and regards to my grandmother, Barbara, who passed away March 12, 2015. Her beauty and spirit, though darkened by pain and cancer, finally shone through in her last moments and she will be remembered for her light. Much love, Grandma B. 


To Follow Your Dreams or To Change Them?

That is the question.

It’s a great question. It has lovely parallelism and syntax construction and it’s sweet, short, to the point.

But I want the answer.

Sadly, the answer is one that will take time and some risk to discover. I may discover this elusive answer within the next few months as I pick a college, or go straight into a job, leave my love for California, or stay closer to Seattle with the security of happiness and home nearby, or maybe fifty years from now as I’m sitting in my rocker or something as equally stereotypical in the “old-person” manner. I may discover that…

I was wrong.

college life

That’s where the fear lies. Those thoughts that creep into my dreams at night and leave me anxious during the day, they’re infectious and contagious and do more harm than good, but as what everyone says, “it’s just a part of life.” Here is where my rant will begin as usual, with me asking, “why?” (Or, in my head thinking, “screw you, life. I want to just have the dreamy beach home that’s on my pinterest board with a mojito in one hand and my love’s hand in the other”.) Why does one have to take the long route, when something better is actually easier to attain? Why suffer when you can skip straight to the best part? These are hints that yes, I am that person that orders dessert first.

mojito

No, life is strange and it’s difficult. It’s beautiful and it’s tragic. The only constant in life, well summarized by Robert Frost, is that “life goes on”. My only fear in this time where I’m at many crossroads, lies in the nagging thought that life will go on and I will not have lived.

stanford

Depressing, right? So much for my whole “Mondays are awesome and the beginning of new adventures!” rant, but hey, I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite. No, I realize I will most likely be ok. At the very least, I will be content. I cannot let fear dictate my actions, for sometimes, the risk will yield great reward and I can sit back and think, “hell yeah, that was awesome.” I know I will be successful. My dad taught me the value of money and the work it requires to keep it. I can settle for this, but why settle at all? I am for happiness – blissful, overwhelmingy celestial happiness. I aim for a love that will inject my life with passion and friendship and late night ice-cream fests. I aim for adventures that no, I won’t tell my kids until they’re older. I plan to follow the idea that I should probably save more than I spend and if I do, maybe I can be like my grandparents with their RV in Cabo. I have goals, ok?

Loco-mobile

(They call it their “loco-mobile” and it’s fueled on booze. Yes, life goals.)

Anyways, to follow my dreams or to change them? So far the advice I’ve gotten from many different types of people, from my wonderful, grandmotherly, english teacher to the slightly creepy, but very kind janitor that works at night, have echoed the same words, “follow your dreams.” Everyone from different backgrounds and of all ages have told me that. I guess with advice like that, I might as well give it a shot. Why not? Life may go on, but if one route doesn’t work then I know I can try another.

Now first things first.

What are my dreams?

Lazy Saturdays

happy weekend cat

Ah… it’s the weekend. How lovely. How wonderful it is. Like the last bits of chocolate that are melted to the bottom of a cup of hot cocoa, all sweet and savory and ending the drink on a good note, the weekend has arrived and not at all too soon.

What a week.

I find it interesting how at such a young age, when my life is beginning to unfold before me with opportunities blooming at every corner, that I countdown the days until the weekend. Then, when that dismal Monday morning sneaks up and snatches me away from my blessed, warm bed to wrench me into another hectic five days of sheer, exhausting chaos, I countdown again. It’s a cycle.

Why do we count down until the weekend? Why is Monday such a wretched day, so unappreciated as compared to Saturday mornings or even Wednesday who has a cool nickname: “Hump Day”?

I know this may seem to be a rhetorical question. We know all to well the slumber that accompanies those early Monday mornings. I don’t know about you, but my bedroom is cold. My house is cold. Outside it’s cold. When I wake up on a Monday morning, before the sun even rises, I am cold. At that moment, the countdown until Friday night begins, but there’s no time to lag, it’s 5 a.m. and the clock is ticking. Time to run, go to school, go to practice, work, and do homework to get ahead for the week and every moment counts.

But despite the fact that I am using my time efficiently, am I using my time the full extent of its bounty? Am I making the time to enjoy the colors of the soft sunset, splattered with hues of pink and orange as it stretches over the green fields? Am I savoring the taste of my mint tea with the delightful quote of the day typed neatly on the paper? Am I feeling the wind pass over my body as I surge with power and strength, feet striking the pavement with a steady beat, breathing in the taste of the spring air when I run? Am I devoting every smile and moment with my love to memory, for in a few months, our paths may split? Am I actually going to finish that novel, whose pages smell like cedar shelves and pages worn smooth by time under the shade of a wise tree in the park that is empty much too often? Am I living?

There’s some food for thought. Chew on that for a bit.

Enjoy your weekend. Slow time down and spare a few moments to look around you, for you might be surprised what you will learn. As for the countdown, maybe I’ll put that aside for a while and give Monday the appreciation it deserves. My english teacher, whom I was always trying to differentiate between wise and slightly senile, once said Mondays were the best day of the week. They are the perfect opportunity to begin anew and start over. Rather than seeing your week as merely a countdown, view your week as an adventure. I think right there, the wisdom won.

But remember to sleep in on Saturdays. As wonderful as my Monday’s will be from here on out as I attempt to change my perspective, my bed is warm and for now, I will happily reside here.

Happy weekend.