The Beginning of the End

When I ask myself where my academic life began I immediately think back to third grade. That’s where I remember receiving 0-100 instead of 0-4 which I think makes more sense. My third grade teachers name was Mr.Green and he was one of my favorites. That year I began receiving awards like Honor Roll and High Honor Roll. There was this other award title, bucket filler but that was just acts of kindness being recognized.

It is important to be a kind person which they always made sure we knew right from wrong but my school never let good grades be left in the shadows. There would be ceremonies for these kinds of things and I remember seeing the smile on my family’s faces and I just knew I loved making them happy. I would work extra hard to keep that up. It was something I knew I had complete control of in my crazy unpredictable life.

A few years passed and then comes my freshman year…my very first year of high school. At first I thought wow this is pretty great I’m in high school these are gonna be the best years of my life but its going to take forever.

Yeah I was wrong…

These past four years went by faster than I was told. Freshman year we had these interviews with the seniors then and my senior told me “enjoy life, stay focused. Enjoy it while you have it because these next four years are gonna go by fast not too fast, but fast”. I feel like I turned 15, blinked, and became a senior.

As a person I changed a lot. Before I guess you can say I was fragile and nice, a little too nice. I cared about a lot of opinions about me and I forgave EVERYTHING. I would put my feelings aside to make others happy even if it meant I would hurt in the end.

Eventually that changed. I would say that change happened junior year. I seemed happier, relaxed, and smarter. I had one of those moments where you look back at your lowest points and your highest and begin to think about the impact it made on you. I no longer cared about others opinions and I put myself first in any and every situation because if I didn’t…who would?

I’m still in the process of preparing for the rest of my life. I know for a fact that I am not ready at least not yet.

I know where I want to be in the future, what I wanna do…all of it I guess you can say.

I’m just not fully prepared to get there yet…baby steps though.

The whole pandemic definitely was a curve ball thrown at me. I was completely thrown off. But in a way it helped me sit back and think. There was plenty of that to do. It’s all I ever could do. I honestly did benefit from it though. It helped me realize how hard I have to work for what I want and how badly I want it.

My grind is my main focus and I don’t plan on letting anyone or anything get in the way of that.

We Need the Tonic of Wildness

    I have been in so many places but they were all close to my area. I’ve only left the state to go to North Carolina for a couple summers. It was always the same town and the same house. Always the same stores and the same activities. 

I can only say I’ve really loved one place and that wasn’t even in North Carolina. 

Lake Taghkanic state park.

I only experienced this once and I will always remember that one moment…

    My mom and I were sitting on the beach…we just finished drying off. Our hair was still wet just enough to feel the droplets run down our backs. The sun was about to set and mostly everyone was already gone. 

    We were sitting there listening to the sound of the waves hitting against the shore as we sunk our feet into the cool sand. We were able to see the sun slowly going down. The beautiful blue and purple colors with a dash of yellow. The cold summer breeze hitting our faces. 

    We didn’t talk. We just finished a conversation about my little brother and then we just stopped. It seemed like the whole world stopped. It was quiet and calm. The people around us were absorbing the beauty of nature along with us without even realizing we were doing it together. 

    I took deep breaths…soon I heard my mom do the same. 

I never felt more at peace. 

    We were just there, sitting there silently so nature could roar so loudly. 

What I Must Do

I am a very observant person at times. I tend to watch others and what they do. Sometimes it’s not even on purpose. 

I pay close attention to the things they do and the things they say. 

A lot of people…and I mean a lot, change who they are depending on who’s around. Their body language, the way they talk, and what they say. Everyone wants to be liked by certain people and different groups of friends. The only disappointing fact is that not everyone’s the same. So when you try to fit in with different people, you change yourself. I’ve noticed that people are more careful about what they say around others. How you joke around with one friend can hurt another. It’s how you joke around but you change your sense of humor for others. 

You are you and you shouldn’t have to change yourself for others. 

There have been times before that I would adjust to a friend group so I wouldn’t be such an outsider. I realized that we do these things to fit in. Sometimes when you change yourself for others it’s because you feel like an outsider. I quickly began to realize that fitting in was boring. It was a way to try to avoid our insecurities. Whatever we didn’t like we would change. In most cases those things would be certain characteristics that others wouldn’t have. 

It was exhausting trying to fit in. I learned to love myself and not worry about what others would think. 

Those “flaws” I thought I had made me, me. 

Sooner or later one will realize that it’s okay to be an outsider. It’s okay to stand out. 

Sometimes fitting in is boring. 

Hobgoblin

Every child goes through that phase of being able to believe everything you hear. 

They have no care in the world and don’t have to worry about anything. 

However, around the age of seven I became a mini adult. 

My family went through a life changing experience that affected all of us. I was only six years old and it has been the most traumatic experience I’ve had. I began losing interest in the things little kids are expected to get excited about. Ice cream…well it was just ice cream and a birthday was just a birthday. Of course I did still get excited at least a little but those things just didn’t matter to me as much as they would. 

Instead I worried if I was doing enough to help my mother around the house. I had to make sure I got up on time to dress myself and my siblings up before school while my mom was at work. She would go in at 5 and I’d have to be awake by 6:40 to get everything together and walk my siblings next door to my uncle’s house so I  walk downhill to make it on time for my bus. You don’t expect those kinds of things from a seven year old. 

I was always conscious about when and where I could cry about how much I missed my father. I knew I couldn’t do it around my siblings because whatever move I made they would want to do it too. Even mentioning our dad would make them sad. My mom was the person I was most worried about. She had to deal with so much on her own I had to find ways to make her life less difficult. Dealing with 3 crying kids and 2 step kids was not easy for her. I knew I had to do something so around the age of seven…I began to act much older. I knew there were logical explanations to everything. 

Things changed for me…I changed. 

Almost ten years later I began to change again. 

My father returned and I learned that the great things in life can be taken from you at any moment. I learned to cherish the little things as much as the big things. So much can happen in very little time depending on the kind of person you are. 

I know that I can’t be afraid to do certain things. I have to try new things and experience new things. I love changing my mind and changing it again. Nothing is permanent so I know it’ll be worth a shot. 

Surprises can be extremely fun. Sometimes living life without a plan is such an amazing feeling. 

Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes change is all you need to be a better you. 

Gen Z

Gen z, is expected to be and is one of the best generations. 

Technology has advanced within our times in so many ways. I admit, that work has been done by the previous generations but Gen Z is on its way up to advance it even more. Technology is used in everyday life but what the previous generations haven’t been able to find…are ways to advance, without damaging our environment. The more work these generations are putting, the more we realize how much pollution is being put into our earth. 

Our generation is relied on for technology and how it works. There’s not a time that goes by where I’m with my grandparents and they don’t ask me something about their phone. Any technology problems, they call me. They have my mom, my dad, my uncle, etc. but they choose to call me. My parents even come to me for technological issues. 

Now, I’m aware that one’s intelligence has to do with some of it. But, our generation grew up with technology and right at the moment it began to uprise. 

There is so much to do and so many things to upgrade. Everyone depends on our generation to “save the world” from all pollution. We’re expected to find environment friendly technology. The generation before us are the reason why we have these environmental issues. The generation after us are too focused on their plastic lives and what technology portrays to be as “fun” and “real”. 

We by far are the generation everyone expects the most from. We haven’t given them a reason to doubt. 

There is so much to be done and Gen Z is getting to work. 

Last Meal

The very last meal in this life is a very difficult decision to make. There are so many different flavors and so many different cultures to choose from. 

I would absolutely love to have the kind of buffet my family sets up for family parties. All the food down to the guacamole, green, and red salsa is made by my mother and grandmother. The buffet holds arroz con gandules, pernil, baked ziti, adobo verde, mole, potato salad, and regular salad. My grandma always sets aside a tray of buffalo wings for her grandkids that are very picky. 

I am not picky but I always grab a couple to start off with. She doesn’t make them herself…they’re straight out the bag from walmart and she puts them in the oven. They still taste so good. 

After a couple of those I’d move onto actual food. I would serve myself arroz filling up one third of my plate, pernil taking up another third, and baked ziti taking up that last third of my plate. I would place my grandmas guacamole on the side that has the pernil…not on top. I don’t ever place it on top for some reason. 

I’d grab a small plate and only grab the lettuce and cucumbers from the salad. That’s all I really eat from salads. My mom and my grandma used to always tell me to eat everything but I never would so they got used to it. Now whenever they see me serve myself they laugh. 

Eating my very last meal I could only imagine myself in a little hut in Bora Bora. I’m surrounded by the clear blue water when the sun is starting to set. My best friend would be with me. The bond we have is irreplaceable and so special. We both have a desire and need to go to Bora Bora. 

Looking out at the clear crystal blue water in Bora Bora, eating my favorite foods; that never fails to make me feel at home, with my favorite person sounds like an absolute dream.

Take some time

In life everyone experiences their highest highs and lowest lows. 

Our lives are filled with amazing journeys and such beautiful new feelings. However, along with those, comes pain. Pain can be experienced in many different ways.

Eventually that pain does go away; with time. 

It’s not an eternal feeling. When you go through a breakup it brings a very deep pain. Losing someone in general can be excruciating. Healing is a process. When someone cheats on you or you leave a toxic relationship…you lose yourself. The you who you remember is gone and broken. Everyone always tells me, “just give it time” or “just take some time you need it so you can heal”. 

In some cases you feel as if that’s never going to happen. However, you really do need time to heal. Things happen and you need time to focus on yourself. 

There are those certain events that occur and that could damage you and make you feel a pain that you’ve never felt before. At some point that pain turns into a lesson. A lesson that life taught you or a beautiful memory of something you went through. That all is because after a while you learn to let go of that pain. If someone close to you passed away, the pain eventually turns into lifelong memories. What used to make you cry, will just make you laugh and smile. You think about the good moments. Yes you’ll still feel upset about it, but, you get better. 

There are so many things that can cause pain. 

Just take some time to yourself…

You’ll heal. 

I’m fearful of…

Everyone has that one thing they’re afraid of. 

      That one thing to me, is losing the people I love most in this life. Simply losing connections with friends is scary enough.

      Losing someone really close to me… permanently, is what I fear most. The thought of not having them anymore automatically brings tears to my eyes. I constantly tell the people close to me how much I love them. I make sure I’m affectionate towards them. I make new memories and go on different adventures with them. 

      I would not be able to handle giving those things up. No one ever truly knows how to let those moments go. The moment you lose them will never be at a time you want. Losing someone you love is something no one will ever be ready for. Knowing that someone extremely close to me is no longer on this earth…

That’s just something I’m simply not ready for. It terrifies that at any moment I can lose someone I love. 

This being my greatest fear, just make the moments I have  

with my loved ones that much more special. 

Review

The Hate You Give is a movie based off of the novel. The main character is Starr Carter. Her father, Maverick Carter was a king lord. Which was a leader of the highest drug and crime rated gang. Starr referred to herself as Starr version 1 and 2. Version one she was herself around her family and her friends from home but couldn’t sound too educated. Version two it was an ‘educated’ version of her she had to be around her privileged friend where she couldn’t be too “hood”.  A version that couldn’t do and say the same things she would say around her neighborhood friends. Being a person of color, there were issues her friends, family, and herself had to deal with. Her father had her and her brother Seven, meaning perfection, memorize what he referred to as their own bill of rights. Starr has to balance both worlds. Which became a challenge after she witnessed her best friends shooting. A cop assumed her best friend was carrying a weapon and killed him. He assumed that a hairbrush was a gun. Her uncle admitted that a white person carrying something, he’d ask them to put their hands in the air. A colored person, he would assume and shoot. She knew she had to speak for what’s right. Starr was a teenager dealing with the hate people give colored people. She was a victim of the discrimination. A person is still a person no matter what. No one should be isolated from others because of their color, culture, or ethnic background. Having people understand that is a very difficult task to do. Starr represents light, and her father told her she had to use that power her name gave her to open up people’s minds and realize the wrong. The most powerful statement was her little brother Sekani, meaning joy,  picking up a gun to protect his father. The hate these people receive affect the younger generations and how they determine what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s something no one would want their child to have. A child to have enough hatred and frustration to pick up a gun, is not how you would want your kids to grow up. Don’t discriminate, and don’t give hate, because maybe one day your child will do the same. The Hate You Give is a powerful and victim perspective movie.

Advice

As we grow we receive so many lectures and so many pieces of advice. My advice is to be honest with yourself and everyone else. If you aren’t honest with yourself then how will you ever know what you’re truly capable and not capable of. If you aren’t honest with others, it could end up worse on you or simply destroy the relationship you have with that person. Yes there is the possibility of not being caught…but what if you do? You just destroy what could be the best relationship you’ve had. Whether it’s with a parent, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a best friend etc., you’ll live with that regret. You’ll lose their trust and if they attempt to continue that bond, they’ll always be afraid of being betrayed again. Trust is a very fragile and valuable thing for some people. It’s also a very hard thing to give. Some people have been lied to enough so another lie from someone they chose place trust in, could really damage a person emotionally. Be honest with yourself and others. You never know how much that can affect someone and yourself.