Tagged: reflection

Looking back on high school

psych

High school is just a gas station on the road trip of life, and I’m merely stopping through.

I just don’t care about nearly as much as I used to, because my life here is temporary; I’m not going to be here for much longer anyways.

There are so many things I want to redo in my lifetime and in my time spent on this school campus, but the way that I see it, one minuscule decision here could have made all of the difference there. Maybe if I had decided another way on whatever divisive issue, the course of my life would be changed forever. But we can only speculate so far about “what-ifs.” Continue reading

Nothing but nostalgia

No.Stal.Gia. Nostalgia. A beautiful word really, even if I initially didn’t think so. It’s meaning is even more beautiful: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

17 years old, and I’ve got nostalgia intertwined in my hair, in the spaces between my fingers, and balancing awkwardly on the bridge of my nose. It will creep up on me when I’m not looking for it, when I’m instead absentmindedly running my fingers through my hair or pushing up my glasses or clasping my hands together. Continue reading

Revelations about senior year (the beginning of the end?)

Senior year. What do people cleverly name their senior year photo albums on Facebook? The beginning of the end? Yeah, something like that.

I’m only a few months into the beginning of the end and already, it’s starting to overwhelm me. I think we get so caught up in everything – the prospect of college, never seeing people again – that we freak out and don’t take the time to fully appreciate our very last year in high school.

For most of us seniors, it’s a drastic change. If we’re not moving out of the state, then we’re at least moving out of our homes. It means saying good bye to our bathrooms, bedrooms, Saturday morning routines, and basically any lifestyle to which we were previously accommodated. Continue reading

Reflections about flying

If you were an airport, what would you see? You’d sit still everyday, rooted in certain geographic coordinates while people fly in and out of your framework. You’d see couples sharing last few kisses before the gates close, you’d see parents holding the hands of children on their first trip out of the country, you’d see joyous reunions of parents returning from business trips and soldiers coming back from the other side of the world. And you’d see this everyday, multiple times a day. For every flight that departs, there is a flight that arrives. Continue reading

Camp withdrawal

I miss everything and everyone so much, it hurts.

This is the first post published from Atlanta in 7.5 weeks, as the rest have all been from Ann Arbor.

I woke up this morning-er, afternoon, after a heavy 15-hour sleep and all of this emotion and soon-to-be nostalgia came flooding towards me. It finally materialized into withdrawal. Today is Sunday, and on Saturday when I left in the morning, I was mainly in shock. It was hard to comprehend that I would no longer wake up in my small dorm room and focus on debate for the next 12 hours or so.

No more practice debates. No more flow paper. No more speaking drills. No more independence, and no more walking long distances between the labroom and the dorms. No more beautiful scenery each and every day, no more waking up to my beautiful roommate Sarah, or randomly seeing darling Connor in the hallways and giving him giant hugs, no more of that. There shall be no more lab nationalism, or dance parties on the girls’ floor, or walking around in a city that I’ve grown to know so well, each and every crevice. No more of my favorite restaurants, coffee shops, or ice cream parlors…

I’m past that lifestyle. No more summer camp for me, unless I’d like to be a counselor. This was the last summer. In years past, I’d always cheer myself with the prospect of going back in the future, but this is really it. Even if I end up going to college there, it won’t be the same as debate camp in the summer, which really made the whole experience.

But at the same time, no more repetitive cafeteria food, no more dirty, unwashed clothes, no more worrying about not having a room-key on me at all times, and no more flip-flops in the shower.

So, there are definitely some aspects of camp that I will not be missing.

I come home to my diverse wardrobe, my big and comfy bed, home-cooked Chinese food, and my loving family.

I’ll listen to music I discovered while there or that was recommended to me by people I met while I was there, and I’ll make sure to make the greatest effort ever to stay in touch with all of the wonderful people I met while I was there, as I will be seeing them many times through the year.

This camp withdrawal will no doubt stay with me for the next few weeks, and I won’t fight it. I’ll scroll through the pictures on my phone, all of the selfies and candid shots. I’ll look receipts and ticket stubs like the sentimental person I am.

If you went somewhere over the summer or just had an amazing experience, don’t forget to remember. These memories won’t change, even if the people might. Freeze these moments in time, the important ones. Chances are, I’m not going to remember that one debate where we lost or won (unless it was an epic upset debate or something…*wink), but rather, the people that I spent it with.

I am never stationary. I left debate camp much more experienced and learned than I was when I left, and I rode an emotional roller coaster. I can say with confidence that I did not expect things to turn out the way that they did, but hey, I regret nothing.

We should reflect more

Rewritten due to the inspirational Weekly Writing Challenge:

1223 words –> 288 (to read the fleshed out post, click here)

Driven by societal norms, we constantly prematurely make up our minds, arguing for what we believe we believe. But we forget the importance of reflection.

I regret saying or doing wrong, due to incomplete decisions. Passion is a double-edged sword. It gives us reason to overcome obstacles, and it drives us tirelessly.

But when we get riled up, we tend to get carried away, and soon enough, we’ve let something ground-breaking slip, or we’ve done something regretful.

“Yolo-ing” is overrated. There’s normally not much of a deadline to meet, and we normally have an undefined amount of time to make up our minds, so we should utilize that.

Moreover, taking risks should not always be encouraged; other people are inevitably involved. The danger lies in unconditionality: the perception that we  will always support what we say and do. We’d better think long and hard about what others see, lest we confront confusion and misinterpretation.

Reflection occurs during a long car ride, or in the moments before our minds wander off to sleep. It also occurs in groups, supplemented with external opinions. It can even be augmented with research and evidence.

My opinion is the middle ground: reflect, and pinpoint exactly what you believe before you fight for it. Before you let an emotional and visual video about polar bears in the Arctic determine your approach to climate change, read up about the myths of global warming (an excellent example of research reflection).

When we eventually vote, we can’t rely on our gut; we’ve got to decide our priorities and solidify our opinions, especially if we’ve got a duty to a community.

Why Am I Here?

whn i wus in middle skool i cr8ed a blog called “thoughts” in whch i jst ranted bout my angsty 7th grade life. it wsnt 4 neone 2 read n i had no idea how to control the theme or the background. i wus all pissy bcuz i wrote bout how certain ppl annoyed me. it wus the pinnacle of immaturity, sumthin tht im rather embarrassed bout, specially bout the way i typed.

Who writes like that anymore?? Certainly not me. I’m so glad that I got over this awkward phase of mine. So glad that it was only a stage.

I started another blog the summer before junior year, which was anonymous and not very well maintained. By then, I had matured quite a bit but upon reading back through my posts, I still sounded childish in my words. The whole blog was very random and scattered, and it was boring because no one read it and it almost became a chore for me.

All of October 2012, I contemplated making a new blog. I could start fresh, make each post as high of quality as possible. If there was nothing very personal on it, the whole world could read it. If I just wanted to write about my day and what happened in my life, why would anyone want to read that? Would a notebook not suffice? I could make it applicable to anyone who read, of whatever age, of whatever race, gender, or geographic region. I could even show my friends and family. I gathered the courage to start this blog, and now, over six months later, here I am, still writing.

I’m here on WordPress because I tested other blog systems but I found this one to suit me well. I love Daily Post, and the wide variety of prompts that they give me every day. My readers are genuinely wonderful people and I’ve found that there’s an astoundingly huge online community of people just like me, who love to write.

I started this blog with the intention of pushing myself to produce more creative writing pieces. I generally don’t write poetry, and whenever I did, I limited myself to simple 4-liners with alternate rhyme. Gradually however, I started stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ve started to think more professionally about the things that I write, and none of this would have happened if I had never started this blog.

What I initially was very timid and nervous about turned into a project that profited in every sense.

I feel more confident about myself and the future.

The reflection that I’ve had to go through when writing my posts has allowed me to make decisions that bring me out of misery.

I’ve encouraged a modest number of other people to start blogs or at least give free writing a try.

I’m here because I absolutely love writing and want to share it with anyone who is willing to read.

More importantly though, this blog is all mine. I run the blog; it does not run me. It’s freedom in a sense that I am free to choose what I write about, yet contained in an air of maturity and civility.

– Daily Prompt

I Sort of Cringe When I Reread Old Posts

Featured picture is somewhat irrelevant but I just like cats, so.

 

I’ve always tried to be very strict with myself concerning this blog.

I make spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes. It’s true.

It will be very early in the morning and I will be doing the Daily Prompt.

It could be very late at night (maybe 2:33 AM) and I could be just writing furiously about who knows what.

Sometimes, it’s not really about whether you watch your comma splices and run-ons; whether or not you spell it “principle” or “principal” can be almost irrelevant. Sometimes, it’s more about the vocabulary that you choose to use.

Gossamer.

Malaise.

Rustic.

Coterie.

Vesuviate.

Sometimes, even the vocabulary that you pick becomes negligible and it’s more about the raw thoughts that you manage to capture in ink.

So excuse me if sometimes I let a run-on slip past me; please forgive the occasional spelling error that arises from my rushing to write down every image that enters my mind!

Now that I’ve admitted my problems, I’ll also acknowledge that the way that I conduct this blog is very specific, and it is very severe.

I have reread my previous posts time and time again. Some are well-written – clearly dictated, flowing smoothly, and precisely opinionated.

Others though? They sound childish. They sound…incomplete. Some are biased and written from one point of view – and it could be quite obvious if you read it for yourself.

Some have spelling errors. Some have places that don’t make sense because I probably forgot to actually type a word.

Confession: I actually don’t proofread many of my posts. Is that bad?

Revision is good, that is for sure. But if you’re racing against the clock minutes before the start of class, is it acceptable to just click Publish and let your words make their way into cyberspace, for anyone who wants to read it?

I suppose. I could be stricter with the editing and revising that I do for my posts, but what I lack in pre-publishing I make up in post-publishing.

I won’t touch my previous posts. I won’t fix the spelling errors and grammatical faults, but they aren’t much of a slap to the face.

Rather, they are an indication of who I was at a particular time. I will force myself NOT to add pictures to posts without any (the first 10 or so, before I made the homepage centered about the images attached to a post). I will force myself not to go back and change my opinion. I won’t delete a post without any legitimate reasoning. I won’t be ashamed of the things that I’ve written, as long as they are arbitrarily respectful to anyone who chooses to read this blog.

I’ll keep everything the same – the picture, the content, the tags, the title.

To go along with the theme, this blog is Never Stationary. It is also never stationary. It is constantly changing, and I want to keep everything that I write in the past to document my progress. I think that in general, the only trend that this blog will show is improvement. Improvement of what, you ask?

Vocabulary. Cohesiveness of thoughts. Appropriate length. Relatability (actually just made up that word). Etc. etc. etc. Oh and of course, the occasional grammar/spelling error. Logistics.

Today, before I posted this, I skimmed it quickly and read it aloud to myself. Yay! Progress!

Life’s Extremes

The days are gaining speed – they pass like seconds

And you and I? We’re laughing about a not-so-serious matter

And it seems like we could conquer the world

And the future seems optimistic and innocent

My mom starts to warn me about life’s extremes

But I go to sleep hopeful but wickedly unassuming.

 

But then the days start slowing down – they drag like a limp leg

And you and I? We’re hostile and confused but we don’t know it

And it seems like the world is testing us, pushing us to our limits

And the future seems bleak and unappealing

I start to wonder about life’s extremes

And I go to sleep exhausted and unhappy.

 

The days – they’ve almost reached their correct proportions

And you and i? we’re on and off, up and down

And it seems like we’re both decent human beings

And the future seems like two diverging paths, one for the each of us

I start to disregard the way I categorize people and things – not anymore with these extremes

And I go to sleep thoughtful and more wise than I was when I woke up that morning.

 

The days – they’re long but bearable

You and I? We’re humanly incompatible

And it seems like we’ve finally found our places

And the future seems finally understood, finally determined

And I start to get what my mom meant about life’s extremes

And I go to sleep, enlightened, to some extent.

 

And then things change, life happens, and the cycle starts again – but neither of us realizes it.

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.