I could listen to this music for the rest of my life and never tire of it.
As an Asian, many people would probably assume that I watch anime or read manga.
anime: a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes
manga: a Japanese comic book or graphic novel
In fact, I had never watched anime until about two years ago (I am almost seventeen right now) when one of my white friends suggested it to me. Manga? I’ve read one manga (Death Note) and I never even finished it. It was extremely interesting, however.
In regards to anime, I found Studio Ghibli films to be the most popular ones out there, so I started watching some of the originals:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
My Neighbor Totoro
Castle in the Sky
Whisper of the Heart
Perhaps you have heard of some of these?
These films are comparable to Disney films, except that the method of magic incorporation is extremely different. They’re still, however, delightful.
It’s pretty strange to acknowledge that I technically did not watch these in my actual childhood. I watched them in my adolescence, over the course of a month or so. Needless to say, this month was very happy and light for me.
My favorite anime film is Howl’s Moving Castle. When I heard that Josh Hutcherson had voiced one character in the Disney remake, I decided to watch the “Americanized” version instead.
While the story line was magical, the portion that I am choosing to write about is the music.
In one scene, Sophie (the main character, a girl that has been cursed into being an old woman) and Howl (rebellious wizard) start flying over the ruckus of the town square. Sophie is terrified and overwhelmed by the whole sensation. During the whole scene, a beautiful theme that is playing swells and eventually reaches an apex.
It’s not necessarily my favorite scene.
But the theme? Oh yes, in fact, my favorite lyric-less piece ever. It has made its way onto the list of my “All Time Favorites”.
When I listen to it, I am transported to that time two years ago when I saw life through a very optimistic and childlike lens, each day filled with naive hope.
This is not to suggest that idealistic innocence is the best mentality to embrace a time like this (with college finally becoming relevant to my life), but it’s a wonderful distraction – nay, a fantastic pastime – that I long for.
Just listen to it.
Inspired by the Daily Prompt
We can’t always go to school completely prepared, with a pretty backpack and fancy hat.
A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write? – Daily Prompt
You are going to start high school next year. You will make the huge transition from middle school to high school. While the jump is not as drastic as it is to leave high school for college, you won’t be prepared. No one ever is. We all have this ideal of high school in our minds that we find is woefully distorted. It is too optimistic. It is too much influenced by the parties and fun that you see on TV. And yet, it’s not as dramatic as the media portrays it. But this is only for me personally, a major introvert.
So I hope I can help you just a little bit.
You need to find friends but don’t cling on for dear life. Your social group is inevitably going to shift every couple of months. You just need to know that it will happen, and it is not the end of the world if it does. People you thought would be by your side for the rest of your life will desert you in a few months. You will make friends with people you never imagined you would. High school will surprise you.
You need to keep your grades up. There’s this evil thing called GPA which measures your grades from day one of year one. The higher it is, the more likely you’re going to go to a good school. Don’t be anal, but don’t take your knowledge for granted. In high school, everything gets a lot harder. You must apply yourself and start reviewing for tests early. You have to find motivation to do your work. You don’t HAVE to learn about the French Revolution, you GET to.
You need to find teachers that will like you. Yes, it’s nice to have them write recs for you, but it’s just nice to have friends that are in positions of authority. It doesn’t look lame. It’s the coolest thing ever. Find one that teaches a subject that interests you and do not be like everyone else in the class. Smile and say hi in the halls. Go to extra help not just to review for a test. Visit them even if they are no longer your teacher. I regret so much not doing so, and I have certainly alienated a good number of teachers that could be very meaningful to me.
You don’t have to find out your passion. You don’t need to decide what you’re going to be. High school is just the very beginning (a very painful and miserable beginning) of a path of stones that will lead you through life. Step completely and heavily and confidently onto the first stone. Explore many options and join clubs. If you find one that you like, you should stick with it. If your friends want you to quit it, disregard their opinion (in this instance). High school is not for your friend group, it is for YOU. It is YOUR experience. You are your own independent person.
Before year 9 you won’t take this advice very seriously because you won’t really know what I’m talking about. Every year you’ll read this letter again and understand it a little better than you did before. And you’ll find out that what I’m saying is true (in some respects, at least). And you will look back when you graduate and regret a little bit but we’re not all perfect, are we?
Ideal happy ending, based on my childhood. Not in this real world though.
Daily Prompt: “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?
First of all, who is “they”? Right now, it just seems like it’s just me. Alone, but not lonely. Alone, not in the sense that I have no friends or people who love me, but in the sense that this year has been full of reflection time and I’ve changed so much over the last couple of months that I feel totally different. My priorities and my perspectives have shifted. There seems to be just one dominant voice in my head (mine) echoing in a collection of thoughts. Sometimes I get semi-paranoid because it’s just my opinion, distorted and volatile.
Am I living happily ever after? Well, my story isn’t finished yet. I’m just at the beginning of what I hope will be a long, fulfilling life. I’m still in high school, which I always regard as just a stepping-stone in my life. Metaphorically, my decisions will decide whether or not I stay on the correct path. At least, that’s what it seems like. The pressures of high school are starting to get to me. Everywhere, people emphasize that the trivial choices I make everyday determine who I am in the future, especially where I go to college.
It saddens me somewhat that so much of what we do in our teenage years impacts our future. Who are we, hormonal, moody teens? Do we know what we want, or do we just listen to what others tell us? How do we get there? What if we aren’t mature enough to discipline ourselves to reach our personal goals? And even if we eventually come to realize the big picture and the “objective,” what happens if we don’t take a step back soon enough? What if we’re too late?
All around me I see burnt-out people. People who don’t have any motivation or inspiration to do what they love. It seems like we’ve all been brainwashed into mindless, emotionless robots. Okay, exaggerating slightly. No doubt we all have our aspirations and our passions, and I question whether or not these zeals are valid or just hopeful, childish wishing, but in doing a little risk calculus, a lot of people decide not to invest too much in activities that might not work out in the long run.
I think a lot of them COULD work though, provided that it’s a mature, rational passion. Does such a thing even exist though? Who knows. I certainly don’t.
We should be more daring.
THIS. IS. DARING.
^What do you think I’m referring to though?
Happy endings, right. “Happily ever after.” My opinion? No, I’m not at that stage yet. Maybe I’m veering off that path a tad bit as well, distracted by everyday problems and immature desires. What it will take me to get there? A whole lot of discipline, reflection, and sacrifice.
We’ll get there soon enough.
I should get mad more often. I should blow up in public and scream at people and throw coffee and break vases. At the very least, I should confront my problems a little bit more…and yet I don’t.
Some people deal with their anger through holding grudges. They’re passive aggressive towards people who anger them; they don’t say anything about what they’re upset about, but it’s clear that something is wrong from their behavior.
Others are very outspoken. They say whatever is on their mind, often without considering the negative repercussions; the feelings they might hurt, the confidences they might dent.
I deal with my resentment in a deleterious way.
First, I don’t. I tend to not confront people that I’m upset with. But I’m never passive aggressive; I only take my feelings and shove them into the corner of my soul, and I act as though nothing is wrong, and that nothing has changed. And so many conflicts never get addressed, and one of two things will start to happen.
Either my frustration will grow at an exponential rate, or I’ll think rationally about the situation and decide that my irritation has no foundation, no rational reasoning. In the first situation, I’ll become continually upset to the point of no return, and a relationship might be in trouble. Technically, nothing happens, but something always ends up happening, indirectly. My somewhat hostile (yet not totally obvious) behavior might come off as alienating, and someone might get mad at me.
In the second example, I’ll prematurely say things that I don’t mean. But then I’ll think about the whole situation. I’ll put things in context and I’ll put things in perspective and might just decide that I was having a bad day. There are always people who are fighting battles that I know nothing about, that provide a condonable excuse for their behavior. And thus, I’ll forgive and forget. Or rather, I’ll forgive (to an extent) but I won’t forget. And these sentiments might just build up on each other and the whole process starts again, to the point that the whole relationship ends up like the first scenario.
So in the long run, this is a bad habit. I should get mad more often. I would, but I just don’t know how to properly approach these sort of situations. I could try it, but I’m not at the point where I’m comfortable taking these sort of risks. If there’s a possibility of reconciliation, I’ll try to suppress my erratic (and often irrational) feelings.
I think I should venture out of my comfort zone. Get mad at people more often, ya know? I might finally blow up at people for things that I’ve never forgiven and finally get over it. Who knows…steaming could be healthy.