Friday, October 23, 2015

17 Hours

17 hours. The average high school student spends an average of 17 hours over a 5 day period doing homework. That's three and a half hours a night. Now three and a half hours may not sound too bad right? Well add that on to extracurricular activities, an after school job,the balanced dinner that is supposed to be eaten, the family dog that needs to be walked and the supposed eight hours of sleep teens are supposed to be getting. Now it seems a little unnecessary. After spending seven out of the sixteen hours that teens are supposedly awake at school, the last thing on our mind when we get home is LETS DO MORE SCHOOLWORK! No. The first thing on our mind is how much food can we cram into our mouths before we pass out on the couch for as long as we possibly can until we actually have to pay attention to our responsibilities. And teachers wonder why our homework isn't done the next day. Like, sorry your twenty million problem calculus assignment wasn't the first thing on my mind when I rushed out of the school parking lot to make it home on time to actually try and cram some food in my mouth before I had to leave for practice or work, because chances were I wasn't going to be eating dinner until at least nine that night. 17 hours. Homework takes away 17 hours a week that us teens could be enjoying the outdoors, having great conversations with our friends, or actually enjoying a sit down dinner with our families. 17 hours gone.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good Morning

"Morning is an important part of the day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have" 
- Lemony Snicket
After spending the last three days staying up until the late hours of the night with all my brothers, I also seek comfort in knowing I will be the first one awake the next morning. Don't get me wrong I love having everyone home, talking too loud and eating tons of food, but the morning hours I have alone definitely set the tone for how the rest of my day is going to be. After talking non-stop about the most random things until 4 am, it is nice to wake up and have my mom be gone for work and the only other thing awake be my dog. I can sit and drink my coffee and clear my mind for the day to come. With school fast approaching I will miss my drawn out mornings spent sitting on my back porch sipping coffee and reading Harry Potter leisurely, however my mom and I have a different kind of morning routine for the school year that also never fails to set up the rest of the day for success. Including not speaking until I have had at least one cup of coffee in me and watching the news, I can head to school ready to start the day (this does not mean that I am fully wide awake, no morning routine where I have to get up at 5 am could successfully prepare me for that). Whether it be a 5 am wake up call or Harry Potter on the porch, I definitely know how to spend my morning to help me have a good day. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

You Know I'm Talking Bout' My Best Friend

    After spending the past four days in Tennessee with my best friend and her family, it really hit me how lucky I am to have someone so incredible in my life and how the incredible relationships in our lives begin and form into something so great without us even realizing it sometimes. My best friend and I for example; we hated each other the moment we met. It was in the fifth grade and our moms who worked at the church together, and after they had gotten to talking and becoming friends themselves, had concocted a plan to introduce us in hopes that we would like each other so they could hang out more. Little did they know their plan would backfire miserably. I hated the way this girl hummed and sang just about every possible pop song she could think of, and she became so incredibly irritated by the way I kept clicking the computer mouse in a desperate attempt to make the terribly slow internet connection go faster. Our moms were crushed that we seemed to hate each other, but they didn't push it. Two years later, she was placed behind me in health class and I thought I was going to die. Every twenty seconds she would poke me with her pencil or tap my shoulder, or pull my hair. I was just about to lose it, when one day we actually got to talking. I realized that two years can make a large difference in people, and how their personalities can mesh, and today I couldn't imagine my life with someone else by my side. Similarly, I have spent a week at a camp for kids with diabetes (like myself) for the past seven years and have managed to find myself two amazing best friends. When I first started going to camp I never would have imagined creating such a strong bond with one person, much less two, which just goes to show how you can find everlasting friendship in the many different places your life chooses to take you. These friendships started in two completely different ways that to some may seem like they are not going to last, however as I finish the summer before my senior year, I call the girl who sang pop songs too loudly, and my diabetic pals from summer camp, my absolute best friends. And I do not take that term lightly. As I look back over the first time I met all of my best friends, it is weird to think of a time that I was not friends with these people. I think it goes to show how amazing an effect a best friend can have on a person's life. If you can hardly remember the times before you were friends. Before you shared all of your secrets with them. Before they were the only people you could go to when you started to cry for reasons unknown to even yourself and they would still know what to say to make you feel better. Before you took adorable pictures together. Before you had all the fabulous memories that come along with having a best friend. All of the incredible things that a select few people in your life can offer. I am blessed with three people in my life that offer me all of these things, and it seems like every time I open my mouth it's another story about one of my best friends, because that is how large a role they play in my life. And when I share these stories,you absolutely know I'm talking about my best friend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Up, Up, and Away

    Ever since I was little I have been fascinated with the moon. I have always said I would love to be an astronaut and travel to the moon one day if it wasn't so hard to become an astronaut and if I was smarter. And you know the whole possibility of blowing up in the sky in a space shuttle kind of sounds a little less than appealing at times. Even here safe on the ground though I always find myself looking up at the sky; at the sun, the moon, and the stars. I always love visiting my cousins out in the middle of nowhere Louisiana, because on a clear night the sky is full of so many tiny little stars, and it is something I look forward to seeing every year. Recently I had the chance to be hosted by a couple in Houston, Texas and they had a beautiful pool in their backyard, but that wasn't what fascinated me. What captured my attention was how when I tilted back on my pool noodle and looked into the night sky it was completely full of  shimmering stars. It looked like a humongous lite-bright in the sky. I could have stared up there for hours. Being in that pool in Texas reminded me of my dream as a little kid to be an astronaut and how now that I am older my dreams have totally and completely changed. Not once, not twice, not even three times have I changed my mind about what I want to study in college, what I want to make a career out of, and how I dream to spend the rest of my life. More like twelve million times. First it was a veterinarian, then I wanted to own my own bakery, next I wanted to own my own bookstore, back to bakery, a little chunk of time contemplating forensics,back to the bookstore, a little thought about nursing and here I am today wanting to become a teacher. At first I was thinking health teacher, I have always loved learning about things like that and had an amazing health teacher my sophomore year that was a great inspiration and role model for me. However recently I feel I want to change my dreams again, but I find myself becoming afraid. What if I don't make enough money? What if I hate my job? What if I'm really super terrible at it? As I grow older I have began to notice that my dreams are beginning to scare me. Like the astronaut thing. I was dead set on being an astronaut until I saw the movie Apollo 13, realized how dangerous it could be, and immediately amended my dreams for the future so they didn't paralyzing fear. I also woke up the other day from a dream where I saw myself in the future. I was standing in front of a class full of students, only I wasn't teaching health. I had a copy of The Great Gatsby in my hand and I was teaching an English class. I woke up and started to think about what I had just saw in my dream, and I kind of liked it. So now as I think about what I want to study in college my dreams of the future have made yet another turn. I am worried that people will think that I won't succeed in a job like that. That I won't make enough money, or that I made such a large fuss about wanting to be a health teacher or study something in the health profession that they won't be pleased about how I have decided to live my life. Then I remember that these are my dreams. I shouldn't care so much about what others think about me and the decisions I make in order to try and make my dreams come true. If I want to teach, I should study education. If I decide to run away to Africa and start my own safari business, then so be it. As long as I am happy with my decisions, as long as I am happy with the way my future is going to look. As long as I am happy, I am going to allow whatever dream I have to make me as excited for the future as the night sky once did. I am going to let my dreams take me up, up, and away, And you should too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodbye Old Friend

    Lately I have been thinking a lot about starting my senior year and how that means a lot of things coming to an end. That also got me thinking about other things in my life that have come to an end, although maybe not as recently. More specifically friendships that I had planned on lasting much longer than they actually did, and how I now need to reassure myself that I did the right thing stopping the friendship. While trying to convince myself I made the right decision I wrote this:
         I miss being able to tell people how long we had been friends. I miss counting down the days until we graduated high school and how long we had until our future really began. I miss playing soccer together and getting excited about coffee afterwards. I miss taking trips together. I miss walking our dogs through the streets talking about nothing, but also everything. I miss you making yourself a part of my family and inviting yourself to family parties and not even bothering knocking when you came into my house. I miss becoming obsessed with TV shows and watching them for hours on end. I miss girl talks for what seemed like forever trying to make sense of this crazy world we live in. I miss both of us trying to push the other to new things and to try and be better at the things we already did. I miss comfortable silences. I miss knowing that you would have read this someday and it probably wouldn't have been about you, but now it is. I miss talking until two in the morning and sneaking out of the house to go for late night walk and talks. I miss the friendship we used to have.
       I don't miss waiting around all day because you said we were going to hang out. I don't miss cancelling other plans to wait for you to maybe show up. I don't miss you constantly talking about our bodies and how they totally didn't look the same. I don't miss you making me feel like crap about myself. I don't miss you never wanting to go out in public with me or hang out with other people. I don't miss you making me feel like I had no hope. I don't miss you putting down my other friends behind their backs, making me question if that was how you talked about me to others. I don't miss you making me feel guilty for wanting to hang out with other people. I don't miss you complaining about yourself all the time but never making the time to listen. 
I think most of all I miss the old us, the way we used to be, because I don't miss you.
I miss the idea of how perfect our friendship used to be, because I absolutely don't miss you. 

      Remembering all the good times I used to have definitely made me question the validity of my action to say goodbye and to cut ties.  However, when I put the good times in conjunction with the terrible ones I didn't feel as much regret. I felt more closure. I felt ready to finally say goodbye old friend.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happiness Is...

    Too often we let the dark and twisty feelings about life clog up our minds and have a large effect on how we act as people. We focus too much on whats going wrong, and not enough on the things that are actually going right. Our mind clouds, and we replay every bad situation from the past day, week, or month in our heads. We don't get out of our pajamas and we watch Gilmore Girls for hours on end...maybe that last part is just me, but we do let the rough moments pile up until it seems we can't focus on anything but those moments.  Recently I found myself in an incredibly large slump. Wearing the same pajamas for days on end and constantly clicking next episode on Netflix because I just didn't see the point of trying to look presentable, trying to make plans, or trying to do anything productive with my life. At that point in time all I was thinking was WHAT IS THE POINT? Even if I looked somewhat decent or had fun for one day eventually the dark and twisty feelings would catch up with me, my mind would fog up again, and I would find myself in the exact situation in which I was at that moment. I was on the edge of absolutely giving up for good and never getting off the basement couch when my dog snuggled just a little bit closer to me, and I smiled. In that moment it hit me. I needed to stop focusing so much on the dark and twisty feelings and focus more on the bright ones. Not going to lie, at that instant it was incredibly hard for me to take my mind off the absolute feeling of "blegh" that was coursing through me and focus on the positives in my life. However I reached for my journal that until recently was mostly a dumping ground for all my pent up junky feelings and I came up with this....      
 At first it was really hard and I got a little stuck after "my dog"(which was the first thing I wrote down, because really who doesn't love their dog), but the more I thought about it and the more I forced myself to write them down it became much easier to think of what made me happy. By the end I was actually smiling for the first time in about three days. If anyone is feeling as though those dreaded dark and twisty feelings are about to take over I strongly suggest trying something like this. By writing everything I associated with the word happiness it cleared my mind of everything that had been currently bringing me down and helped open my eyes to the amazing parts of my life that bring me happiness. Now if I ever feel like I am about to slip and fall back into my gloom and doom routine, I flip to this piece of paper and read all the things I wrote and it helps me realize that that is the point. Smiling when I think about all these things on my paper is the point of looking presentable,  making plans and trying to live life to the fullest. Not letting life get you down is the point. Searching for those things in your life that make you smile is the point. 
 Happiness is the point.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Girl In Town

      I recently went to Hobby Lobby with my mom to buy supplies for a DIY project to make my basement scream a little more "Meredith!" and a little less "unfinished basement!" While I was there a little art journal caught my eye. The pages are blank and are meant to be for a more on the go sketch book for artists, which I am not;however, I bought the sketch journal anyways and began to use it for my writing. And by writing I mean random musings on whatever just happens to be on my mind in the late hours of the night, or afternoon, or morning...really whenever the mood strikes me and the journal happens to be right in front of me so I can easily jot things down. It really started more as a journal for me to cope when all the stress and anxiety I feel in my life seems to be attempting to strangle me, but I think it has become much more. I decided to start this blog to share the things I write in my journal, and then some. Read, judge, laugh, do whatever you want to with this blog, but I really hope my writing may help someone else as it has thus far been helping me.
My Journal