Saturday, June 21, 2014

that's what's up

Things that have happened in the past few weeks (ignoring the fact that it has been way longer than that since I've actually talked about anything that has actually happened in my life)

+ I had my last day of high school. It started off terrible and I was late to class and my life was finally like a movie in that everything was going wrong on such a significant day in my life. I only had one class, and then my mom picked me up and I cried all the way home.

I knew I was going to do that, and then I didn't think I was going to do it, but then I did it and felt really awful for a few hours and then felt a lot better later on. I haven't really felt sad about it at all since then.

+ I graduated the next day. It was fun at first, with all the energy and excitement of everyone together, but waiting for everyone to go up and get their diplomas had me almost falling asleep. Afterwards we had a little graduation party at my house with family and friends.

+ That night, I went to my school's Project Graduation held at a YMCA and stayed up until 7:30 in the morning, the latest I've ever stayed up. It was an interesting night.

I had a Real Life Moment on the way home when "Fade Into You" came on the radio while we were flying down the highway at 6:20 in the morning, the roof down and the dawn sky blue and hazy around me, the cool wind in my face, feeling tired and disoriented from being up for around 22 hours and it was perfect until Claudia's mom changed the radio station.

I went home and sat on my porch writing and processing things for a while until the bugs got too annoying and I got too tired and finally went to bed. I woke up at 2 in the afternoon feeling utterly disgusting. Later, I laid on the bathroom floor in excruciating pain for a while until I threw up three times, which, as my friend pointed out, is probably worse than what would have happened if I had spent the night drinking and partying. Ah, life. So that was how I spent my first day of summer and as a high school graduate.

+ The rest of the summer has been better. I went to the beach at Port Aransas for a few days with my friends and got terrifically sunburned. I saw sea turtles, dolphins, and weird flying fish in the ocean. It was a fun time.

+ Last week I took a lifeguard training class. It was at least ten hours a day, though Thursday it went for twelve. It was very strenuous and stressful and I learned a lot, most importantly that I do not want to be a lifeguard. So, there's that.

+ I don't really have many plans for the rest of the summer. I'm going to Idaho (? why) in late July for a few weeks with my family, where we'll be doing some sort of bike trip. Needless to say, it's a big departure from the past few summers where I've been jetting off somewhere new every few weeks, but I wanted to spend more time at home and with my friends before I leave for college. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I know at the very least it will involve more World Cup watching, running by the lake, swimming, random adventuring, reading, and other things that are the staple of summer and why I love this season so much.

Hope you've all been well! xx

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I'll see you when we're both not so emotional

I said I wasn't going to do this, but the thing is, I can't not.

It's my last night of being in high school. We went for burgers for dinner, and while the rest of my family was still finishing off their milkshakes, I left to wander around the shopping center. Sometimes I need to be alone. The restaurant was playing the OJ Simpson car chase, and it was making me sad, how confused and convoluted the world can be, so I went for a walk. I climbed on the columns outside the camera shop and sat there, looking out, until a policeman came and told me I had to get down. It was a liability thing, he explained. They didn't want to get in trouble if I fell and hurt myself.

I always like to climb on things, to be high up, and I'm always moving fast so I often scrape myself in the process. Today alone, I gave myself a paper cut and got a bright red gash on the back of my thigh from when my sister threw our cat on me. I dabbed at it with water until the napkin was stained more red than my skin.

It's my last night of being in high school, and I said I wasn't going to do this, but I couldn't not. I was sitting on the ledge and I was looking out at the past four years right in front of me. There was the pizza place we went to at my friend's birthday party in freshman year. There's the Walmart we stopped at this New Year's Eve to buy firecrackers, only to find they didn't have any. There's the movie theater where I saw Catching Fire, and the Grand Budapest Hotel, and Ponyo, so long ago. There's my family's favorite Indian restaurant. There's the Tigermart of my friends' legends -- it's not a Tigermart anymore, though. There's the streets that lead to school, and there's the ones that lead home.

I'm home now and reading something my friend wrote about this very feeling -- the 'being on the precipice of leaving everything behind' feeling. Sometimes I get stupid but when I think about a different life my throat hurts. My eyes are wet. Don't look at me. High school is over and that's cool. High school is over and I want to die. I'll settle for something in between.

I'm excited for college, don't get me wrong, but right now, tonight, I'm in mourning. This is my valediction to high school -- to skipping class to go to H-E-B and Jamba Juice, to early morning carpool blasting rap music, to our lunchtime group in that little corner by the library. To crying in the bathroom about the future, to class periods spent taking selfies and online shopping, to those times we'd stay after track practice just to talk and stretch. To making faces at people in the hallways, to sneaking into hotel pools just to dip my feet in, to misunderstandings that make your blood boil and make you slam doors. To all those late nights writing papers and working on projects, late start breakfasts, karaoke nights, picnics in the park, football games, flashcards, acquaintances who became friends, funny teacher stories, field trips planting trees, signing yearbooks, riding the school bus, camping in backyards, lab partners, college applications, driving home late at night with the car quiet except for the music, Coffeehouse, everything everything everything. Goodbye to all of it.

Maybe this would have been easier if I had been asleep, she said.


Maybe then it wouldn't hurt so much.

 But maybe then it wouldn't hurt so good, either.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

all those wasted hours we used to know

I wrote this a few weeks ago for an English assignment. It was based off this post of mine from a few years ago, because if I'm not annoyingly self-referential all the time on here then who even am I?

So my high school experience is about 99% complete and suffice it to say after a lifetime of being submerged in pop culture surrounding this mythical time in a young person’s life, it has completely failed me.

My high school experience was not a classic coming-of-age film or like any teen book I ever read, nor was it anything an article in Seventeen could possibly have prepared me for. My high school experience was more like a low-budget comedy sitcom that was canceled after the first season. It has a pretty good cast, but the plot is, quite frankly, terrible. I mean, nothing ever happens. There are way too many shots of the main character just lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling, while some kind of soft, sad indie music plays in the background.

Most of the conflict and action is internal and it doesn’t really translate to the screen well. The show is marked by awkward dialogue and a lack of a real storyline. The conversations can be uncomfortable, the main character can be frustrating. Sometimes you wonder whether she is capable of empathy or any emotion at all, and then the next moment you realize the reason you hate her so much is because she is the manifestation of all your own flaws, staring back at you, and then you’re quietly sobbing in front of your television. The characters are all infuriating, and they all let you down, and that’s how you know it’s true to life.

It is pretty funny, sometimes, in a bitterly ironic way. There is a lot of subtle humor and inside jokes most people probably wouldn’t get the first time around. I appreciate that. Sometimes, though, it was just laughably bad. There’s a lot of falling and people injuring themselves, which somehow doesn’t stop being funny after four years.

There are a few subplots that are actually more interesting than the main one. The lovably idiosyncratic minor characters provide much entertainment amid a main plot rather devoid of action.

The soundtrack is pretty solid, too, probably one of the most redeemable parts of the show. There’s a wide variety of music, but it works. It’s paired with skilled cinematography and the result is a number of really sublime scenes where nothing happens but you still feel it’s somehow contributing to the narrative.

Overall, I’m not really sad this show is over. It had its moments, to be sure, but all the actors are moving onto better things. If for some reason you feel like reminiscing about your own days as a sarcastic teenager with no clue about anything in the world, then, sure, I recommend it. It could have been a lot worse. Three out of five stars. 30