Does This World Make Sense To You?
We don’t have to deal with reality much longer
There’s this world out there, in here that everyone knows
Yet it can be entirely ours
Untouched, crafted down to the most detailed details
There’s this world where we can be ourselves
And watch the food roll by in their carts
Perfectly assembled, on display for all eternity
For all to long for, for all to ogle at
The waves will crash in perfect rhythm
Day after day, year after year
We can ride that same swing into the sea
Time and time again
Everyone will have brightly knit sweaters
Perfectly pressed suits
Perfectly tied shoes
No ripped hems or frayed edges
Those don’t belong here
The words – encouraging and piquing
They float around in the air
For just us to see
And yet everyone has read them
At one point or another
They assert vague statements
This is life!
Life goes on!
Onward we march!
March 4th – the only day that is also a call to action.
So what do they mean?
What do we do with them?
Do we smile and look away
And the thought immediately flees our minds
Do we grimace and take it in stride
Stand up and search for its meanings?
The lighting – spot on, day or night
Filtered immaculately, to tickle our buds
To satisfy our criteria
Words on photos,
Photos on words.
Here in this paradise,
We are welcomed.
We are strangers.
Yet we are all family.
Yet every day is a new revelation.
(Just curious, does anyone have any clue what I am writing about? Hope it’s not too obvious.)
Enjoy The Music But Nothing More
Enjoy the music. Submerge yourself in your own interpretation of the lyrics.
Bath in the rhythm.
Bask in the beat.
Do whatever you need to do to show your appreciation of beautiful music, but stop getting so excited about the artists themselves.
It’s somewhat difficult to say that I have a favorite artist. I call myself a single song buyer, because I seldom enjoy/listen to an album at a time; I’ll probably just enjoy a few songs from a large variety of artists.
When I listen to music, I listen to ONLY the music. I’ll admire the album cover for a couple of seconds and I’ll probably gawk over a pretty face but I’ll tend to focus on the music itself. I suppose that if I shifted focus, I’d probably associate a song with a certain artist instead of with a personal experience, which I prefer. I don’t know what the ultimate point of music is, but it’s not to fawn over people that we’ve never met.
I don’t care about the way the band formed. Don’t tell me about the four times they broke up. I’ll watch the music video but don’t expect me to have watched it beforehand. Why should I be concerned about the personal lives about singers, actors, and the like?
If we continue to obsess about ordinary people like this, we mentally categorize them as people who are just overall better than us, which would be a complete lie. Yes, maybe they do have better voices than us. They can probably write better lyrics than we can, but are they as fast of runners as us? Can they teach trig like my Calc teacher can? Can they knit as well as my grandma? These are just a few examples and simple ways to demonstrate that these so-called “stars” are not as special as we often designate them to be.
Inspiration is good. Having role models is an essential component of worthy success, but there comes a point when we’ve just got to stop glorifying them.
Go to a concert, if you must. It will probably help you get over your obsession, and your expectation of perfection that you have of them, as soon as you see them up on stage, sweating, singing out of tune, and out of breath.
They’ll give a quality show, no doubt, but they are in no way perfect. There’s really no reason to care about what goes on in their lives.
And this opinion of mine also spills over into the realm of celebrities in general.
Why do we alienate celebrities? Do we just assume that since they’re famous and beautiful, that they’re better than us? LIES.
Also – why do we care about their lives? I’m guilty and hypocritical because I’m often obsessed with celebrities but I still think my approach is counterproductive. I become obsessed with a certain celebrity and I’ll either want to be them or marry them. I’ll envy their life over mine when really there’s not much to envy. Why do we have reality TV shows? Is it really just for shallow entertainment, or do some people actually wish they led such lives?
There’s corruption in that system. There’s airbrushing and photoshopping. Everyday, people get paid off to promote something that they would never even consider if there weren’t some economic incentive for them.
Yet, there are actually beautiful people, people born with features so delicate and picture-perfect that you can’t help but advertise their face. There are some people out there with extraordinary talents of singing, dancing, acting, etc. We should appreciate these talents, but limit just how much we appreciate them. Don’t forget to love yourself and your quirks, abilities, and special skills once in a while. Just because you’ve never been on an ad or TV doesn’t mean you’re less worthy than them.
Except maybe Neil Patrick Harris.
On Happy Endings
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.
Top 7 Ways to Get Writing Inspiration
It’s not that I don’t love writing, because believe me, I do. It’s just that some days I come home absolutely deflated, and not in the mood to write. So I turn to my inspirational muses (in no particular order).
I remember about a year ago, before I’d even considered starting a personal blog, that I found an extremely thought-provoking post from Thought Catalog. It was about snuggling. The reason why it stuck with me is because it was very descriptive. I found myself looking through my internet history trying to find it a couple of months later, for motivation to write a descriptive paper in English class. And I looked back again right before I wrote my first post for the blog. Thought Catalog was the first blog I ever followed, and the sheer variety of topics that it blogs about astounds me. Of course, it’s made up of a diversity of writers, but that just means that there’s a section for every sort of reader. I find myself looking a lot to this blog when I’m looking for topics to write about, and styles to adapt and take notice of. Its minimalist design and breadth of articles makes it my go-to source for inspiration. Continue reading
Welcome to the Squad Room.
When I was in junior high, I heard from my cousin (who had many debater friends) about the high school debaters that all went to the “squad room” during their free time to do work and chill and hang out and make friends. Wow, was that a misnomer. All my junior high life I had imagined the “squad room” to be a room with padded walls and cushioned floors, sort of like a wrestling room. I expected there to be tubs of evidence in neatly organized files being highlighted with actual highlighters. But I was young, and times have changed since then. I was wrong.
The squad room at our school is located near the edge of campus, in a basement of a building infamous for its strange odor. But I found that after visiting the squad room a couple of times, I was able to overcome the stench of who-knows-what. There are a couple of couches, tables and chairs to sit on, enticing you to sit and talk to your friends. Awards from previous tournaments hang on the wall, as if to remind us that we are currently occupying the space of past debaters that have long moved onto college, champions of big tournaments that set examples for younger members of the squad. Glancing at the walls will send you a subtler signal that there’s always a reason to continue working hard.
A whiteboard with a single purple Expo marker hangs on the wall, filled with all sorts of messages, whether from the debaters ourselves, or from the friendly, spirited teacher who goes around to every classroom, writing positive quotes in a quote bubble in the corner of every whiteboard.
Furthermore, it’s more or less a no-judging zone, or a safe haven, of sorts. Sure, we’re not all best friends that hold prayer sessions for each other and we don’t all share common interests and beliefs, but that just makes us more diverse and interesting altogether. We can talk about the activity that we all love without the judging eyes of our peers (that assume that debate is merely conversing about Congress) boring into the back of our heads. We’ve all been exposed to radical, philosophical literature, so we’re less likely to arbitrarily assume. It’s like in the Perks of Being a Wallflower, when Charlie and friends go to Bob’s place to be who they actually are, to express their true nature. Perhaps I’m overstating the effect of such a setting to have on a group of people, but I still like to think optimistically about our “dwelling.”
It’s not perfect. As previously mentioned, it sometimes smells weird. Lots of people don’t clean up after themselves; there’s often sticky juice on the floor and crumbs on the tables, and loose-leaf paper and textbooks everywhere, but I don’t really mind it that much. Of course, people don’t always get along and drama happens, but in general, we’re a well-functioning unit. Congregations in the squad room represent “the mixing of all grades for the pursuit of a common goal,” as a friend has so eloquently described. Wonderful relationships are formed between seniors and freshmen, between juniors and sophomores, as help and advice on topics not entirely limited to debate is exchanged.
Practice debates take place; this is the setting where people can improve their debating skills the most. Here, there is interaction between people of all levels. Information is transferred between the students themselves, which I find to be one of the best communicative aspects of the activity.
Sometimes, I will walk down the hall where the squad room is located and hear the music from three classrooms away. We were fortunate enough that someone had left a pair of good quality speakers in our humble sanctuary. Frequently, Kanye’s “Mercy” blares out of the room and annoys the class next door, but most times, we’re undisturbed, surrounded by the booms of the deep, resonating bass.
But this post is not just about our squad room. It’s not solely about the squad rooms in other debate schools either. We all have a squad room of our own. For whatever extracurricular or hobby that we enjoy, there’s a place where people with similar interests can gather and express their appreciation for said extracurricular or hobby. In my experience, I find the squad room at our school to be an overall wonderful place to make friends and learn random things. I can listen to strange, unfamiliar music or just do homework in a free period. I can watch Youtube videos and read blog posts, and I can ask questions and check up on people that I would normally not see during the day.
Do you have an abode, or a sanctuary where you can hang out with people with shared interests? Let me know! :)
Thanks to a friend for the writing prompt!
This Time Next Month
At this time next month, we’ll be counting down the seconds until a new year (assuming we live through the 2012 apocalypse scenario). I find that the New Year always brings about so many interesting mood swings and behavioral changes in everyone. Yet, it’s still a bit of a cliché.
Celebrating the new year isn’t simply about toasting with champagne at a lavish, extravagant party, and welcoming the new year with a picture perfect new year’s kiss, is it? Not in my opinion. Of course, I’m still young and I don’t go to those types of parties at this period in my life.
The movie New Years Eve seemed to exaggerate all of these aspects of the cliché, portraying the holiday as a moment that your entire life has led up to, and that if you don’t accomplish your resolutions from last year, then you are a complete and utter failure. On the other hand, look what resulted from Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer’s outstanding acting: an older woman ended the year with a kiss from a devilishly good looking man.
Whether you’re at a block party, in New York City to watch the Big Apple drop, or at home in your PJ’s with your seven cats, New Years seems to represent more of an occasion characterized by mental anticipation. It’s all about the resolutions, the clean slate, the new opportunities, and the bright outlook that nearly everyone starts with.
Even though you might not end up keeping the resolutions you make, it’s still probably important to try. No matter where you end up in terms of your goals, know that you are not alone. Everywhere around you, people are laboring to maintain their resolutions to spend more time with their family, work harder, sleep earlier, get healthier, etc.
On December 27th, your neighborhood gym could be as deserted as the Earth is after the Rapture in Left Behind because no one thinks exercising is a priority and because they are still in a food coma from delicious meals of the holiday break. But I wouldn’t be surprised if on New Years Day, the gym is packed full of people who yield hopeful, new outlooks on life that inevitably fade sooner or later in the year as they realize that they have more arbitrarily- “important” things to do.
However, on New Years Eve, some nostalgic and sentimental people will think back to their elementary school days, where they brought home a list of simple goals for the new year (do my homework, sleep before 9, stop eating candy). This select group of people will inevitably try to rekindle their childhood memories by writing down their resolutions on a paper and taping it to their steering wheel, adhering it to their bathroom mirror, or tacking it onto their bulletin board.
These goals will demonstrate hope and the notion of possibility to not just yourself, but those who care about you. They will be equally inspired by your “firmly established” resolutions, and follow suit with their own personal goals.
In reality, you can and should make resolutions and goals to accomplish whenever you want, at any time of the year. It’s a good idea to do so, because it gives you something to work towards. New Years Eve is simply an established time of year, when you know for certain that you are not alone, because millions of people around the world are probably making the exact same resolutions as you.
I wanted to write this article right around the time of year before exams and major tests generally occur, and before everyone else on the blogosphere starts writing about it, so I thought this moment of time was appropriate.
Thanks for reading; care to share some of your potential New Years Resolutions?
Here are a few of mine:
- Do well in debate
- Push myself through the last few weeks of SAT and ACT successfully
- Exercise more
- Develop this blog into something I can be proud of
Inspiration To Work Hard
The reason for everything that you do is: the future. You want a better future right? One that’s as stress-free, care-free, easy, and fun as possible. You want to be successful at what you do and love it. So: Continue reading