Growing up in the country, rather than a big city, has been a great blessing-once I hit the teenage years, I began to long for a different and bigger town, but I am still thankful for having grown up where I am.
Living in a large house in the middle of rolling fields and many trees has given me an appreciation for nature. Although I am not one for exercise, I love taking pleasant walks amidst the tall grass and down the paths to the pond or graveyard. Because I live in the middle of nowhere, I learned to entertain myself at times. I would pretend I was an orphan child lost in the woods, and for years I would go up to my room and make up stories for my dolls and stuffed animals.
Had I grown up in a congested city, I would not have been able to have acorn wars with my brothers, go for rides in the tractor bucket, or play in a two-floor tree house. Although I rarely, if ever, do those things anymore, I am so grateful for those memories that I acquired. Thanks, Mum and Dad.
There are two sides to hiking: The dream idea of hiking, and the reality of it. Unfortunately, when I went hiking with a few friends yesterday, I was prepared for the dream aspect of it. That is, straight path walking, but at the same time getting enough of a workout to make me not feel so guilty watching Dancing With The Stars for two hours. I was not thinking of the ticks, the extreme shortness of breath, the heat, or the slippery leaves that make going down a hill an interesting experience.
So yesterday, around 2:00 in the afternoon, Shayla, Jatone, Reahn, and I, started walking. The first bit was fine–that was the walking on the flat pavement on the way to the actual trail. Once we started climbing however, I began thinking this wasn’t such a bright idea on my part. The sun was beaming down, as if it were determined to fry us into oblivion, and after about ten minutes, I was already sweating and trying desperately not to show that I couldn’t breathe (a difficult task). As soon as the ground appeared to level out, and I began to hope that the hike was nearing a close, another hill rose up before us, each one harder to climb than the last. Fortunately, for some reason only people who like exercise would understand, Reahn likes to feel his legs burning from the effort of hiking, and I was able to get a piggy-back ride up one of the hills. After that however, I was virtually on my own to face even more ‘outdoor fun.’
When we took our first brief stop, everyone began checking for ticks. Shayla and I had a few on our pants, but Reahn and Jatone were finding them everywhere. Had I not been dying from lack of oxygen, I would’ve laughed even harder than I was. Even so, what breath I had left was being used to laugh at two teenage boys who were yelling every time they found a tick on them. After each break that we took, they proceeded to strip and check each other, while Shayla and I calmly plucked the ticks off, and teased them about how ticks prefer dark skinned people.
The next hills we began to walk up seemed more like mini mountains. There was no clear path, so Shayla led the way with Jatone following closely, Reahn jumping energetically from rock to rock, and me, staggering haphazardly into branches and trying my hardest not to slip on a rock or sprain my ankle. The promise to myself to not show how out of breath I was, was broken. Any response you got from me was a ragged sounding laugh, that sounded more like your typical wheezy old person, than a supposedly fit sixteen year old. I began to think, “All this for a stupid view at the top?!” and kept telling myself that the hike would be all over after we climbed the next hill…and the next…and the next…
At last, we were at the top! And the view really was pretty cool. A constant breeze swept over all of us, cooling down our flushed and sweaty selves, and after sitting on a rock for awhile, I felt much better. Coming back down the mountain was a lot easier, and I began to feel a twinge of contentment: My reason to exercise was not to lose weight–if I did, you’d probably be able to see through me–but because I know that it will benefit me in the long run. Suddenly, everything I did felt better, just from hiking. And even though I woke up this morning sore, it was a good feeling. And given the opportunity, I would do it all over again.
Is there anything actually wrong with flirting? And why is it that girls are allowed to, and not boys? Well, here are the answers coming from both a semi-flirt and a ‘sensitive to every move you make’, girl.
1. First of all, do not tell me that you have never flirted. Because I know you have, whoever you are. Everyone flirts, whether they realize it or not, and everyone flirts in one way or another: Whether it’s complimenting, getting their attention with hugs and playful punches, showing off, laughing at everything they say, or just spending most of your time with that person. Ok, now that we’ve established that you have flirted, I’ll move on.
2. There’s nothing wrong with flirting: But there is a time and a place for it. And in front of your girlfriend/boyfriend isn’t it, as it is neither sensitive, nor smart. Neither is flirting when your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t around. But as the likely hood of the latter never happening is small, we’ll just talk about the first one. So, if you’re wondering if flirting is ok, then yes, it is. Flirting can get you the guy or girl in the first place, and why not have a little fun.
3. Girls are insecure, we know how guys can get carried away, and we also know what lurks behind the mind of every female who bats her eyes at our man. Honestly, we’re a pretty scary sight when jealousy and insecurity mix, and when our overprotective mode switches to ‘full blast.’ We are likely to win any fight against the girl who smiles and winks at our lover, because of all the adrenaline pumping through us. Guys, on the other hand, seem to lack the insecure gene. Oh sure, there are probably a lot of guys who get insecure. But they are less likely to freak out about their girlfriend flirting with another guy: Rather, they shrug it off, giving the appearance of a calm gentleman who has full confidence in his girl. Girls can give this appearance but it’s likely to affect their mood.
4. I haven’t been able to really find any reason for why girls are allowed to flirt when they are in a relationship, and why guys can’t. I’m biased of course, but I also have to be fair: The only explanation for why we girls say that guys cannot flirt is because we’re too insecure. Yes, it is the men’s responsibility to not make us feel that way, but some of our insecurity comes from our taking a small comment and blowing it out of proportion.
Finally, I should admit that I deal almost everyday with tweaks of envy or insecurity. I am a, “Say one thing to that girl over there, and I will immediately watch you like a hawk”, girl. There’s nothing wrong with being a little protective of your man…but I have the feeling that all of us could use a little confidence. Now when I hear a certain someone hanging out with a few friends who happen to be ladies, I try to push any jealous thoughts aside, and proceed with my life. It makes things a whole lot easier, in the end. And to the guys out there: Kindly don’t give us any reason to be jealous.
I’m going to start this post with a cliche statement: Time is a valuable thing. We’ve all heard that phrase many times…usually from our parents and usually when we are doing something that they think is a ‘waste of time.’ Sometimes they’re right, sometimes it’s just an excuse for them to get you to wash their car. Whatever you think when someone tells you, “Time is a valuable thing”, is your business. But I have come to realize the truth in it.
Three years ago, I thought being sixteen was ages away. I thought getting my license was even farther away, as was working, college, a boyfriend, and getting married. The last two are likely to be a few years away yet. But the others? Two are already accomplished, and the other happens in a year and a half. While I’m still waiting impatiently to turn eighteen (for reasons I won’t bother going into), I also reflect on how quickly time has gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was an awkward thirteen year old looking for that best friend. And yet, when I’m waiting for something, time goes by slowly, until the thing I’m waiting for happens.
Sometimes I’ll pause for a minute and think about where I am in life. About living and daily happenings. I think how strange it is just being alive and being on this thing called ‘Earth.’ When you think about it, time itself is weird. We call now the present but the present is already the past. When I wake up in the morning I think about how the long the day will be if I’m staying home all day. But by four in the afternoon, I’m surprised by how late it is. By 11:00, I think about what I did that day: And if it was a fairly unproductive day, then I feel a little guilty. I suddenly think, “Why didn’t I do this in place of that?! I’ll do better tomorrow. There’s always another day.” But before I know it, a week, a month, two months, have passed. And what has changed?
Let me ask you this: Each day, are you doing something beneficial to yourself? Are you doing something even good? Are you learning something new or accomplishing something you’ve been putting off, like looking up colleges? Having any idea about your future and moving slowly towards that goal? I don’t care how much fun video games are: Time is a valuable thing. Don’t waste it by blowing things up. So, without further ado, I’m getting off the computer.
How is it that it’s March and I’m already writing a post about summer? God moves in strange ways, because 80 degree weather this early is ridiculous. But I’m not complaining: It means that I can start both attempting an early tan, and daydreaming about what my junior year of summer will be like. After all, these are where the memories begin. ;)
What do you first think of when you hear the word, “Summer”? For me, an image of swimming, boys, and ultimate frisbee pops up. I smell sunblock (a necessity for me, if I don’t want to look like a lobster), sunlight, and I feel the warm sand covering my feet. I think of the aftereffects of swimming and lying in the sun all day: Tiredness, mainly, that may result in a lack of patience. I know the routine I have after coming home from a long day out in the sun. Summer evenings with friends are even more fun; there’s a certain excitement that comes with a warm, summer night. Maybe it’s the fact that by 8:00 it’s still light out. Or maybe because instead of bundling up in parkas and going outside to chill (literally), you can just grab a sweatshirt and be out the door. Perhaps there is more excitement in seeing a friend’s car pull up? Or simply the very act of driving with the top down while you blast music.
Summer is the chance to do things you might not normally do. It’s a time for on-the-fly plans, bending the rules, and late curfews. For laughing, flirting, and dancing. For parties, for stories to tell your grandchildren, and for pulling the car over to the side of the road with your friends because the brakes weren’t working and smoke was coming out the back. That actually did happen, only it was in the fall.
Point is, summer should be a time of carefree, no drama, excitement! Each summer should be one that’s unique and totally memorable, with certain things that happened that will stick with you forever. Please do not end up unhappy with your summer, or realize that the most exciting thing you did was climb a tree: Unless this is the summer that you learn how to climb a tree and you spend your three months climbing every one in sight. This summer I will be seventeen–and taking full advantage of that. ;)
There’s something about the weather changing that plays with our moods. A horrible mood can either be fixed or worsened, depending on what the thermometer says. You could almost say the weather is like a friend or enemy. Sometimes it will cheer you up when you need it; or it will only continue to rub you the wrong way.
I’ve always been aware of this fact. For example: I wake on a Monday morning to my mother saying, “Get up, lazy loafer, it’s past 8:00, your peers have been in school for half an hour now.” I think of the prospect of starting school, and Saturday being five long days away. I then look out my window to see, not sunshine, but a cloudy, drizzly gloom. That will most likely last all day. For the rest of my life. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Point is, my attitude is sour until 3:00 when I can escape to my room, and the weather did nothing to prevent that. Sorry everyone, but you’ll just have to deal with snappy replies. And if you’re really nice, you might get an entire hysterical breakdown. Lucky you!
However, this Monday morning was different. The previous day had been a lovely way to end the weekend. I woke up at 6:30 to birds chirping, and looked out my window to gaze at the fiery red sun. Normally, during the summer, if I hear a bird squawking “Phoeeeebeeeee!!” at that un-Godly time, I lower my blinds to prevent the sun from poking me in the eye, cover my head with a pillow, and, in between swearing at the bird, mentally wish I had a few rocks to throw at it. But this morning, I didn’t wish that. It had been so long since I’d heard the birds at all, or seen the sun come up, that I felt only contentment. I had a feeling that today would go well: And it has, so far.
Our outlooks on life seem to change with the weather, as well. A couple of months ago, my friend was so depressed it scared me a little, and our mottos were, in cleaner terms, “Life sucks. I hate guys. And people. And everything. What’s my purpose in life right now? I wish we could all just die because what’s the point of even being alive..” Once again, that last part may be a slight exaggeration. But we were not happy at all. Although these attitudes might have been a little different had certain things not come about, the weather made it even worse. Now? My friend is happier, and my motto is, “Life is good. For now.”
Yes, it’s time for that post. I feel the need to really get my feelings out (in an unemotional way, of course), about the dreaded ‘L’ word. I knew I would be writing about this topic but now seems the best time, as I think I have more of an idea of where I’ll go with the subject.
The first thing to ask is, what is love? A feeling or a choice? Or both? Here’s my theory: Some people (from here on I will be assuming the person is a guy, though it can go both ways) may, how shall I put this? Make you feel so many different emotions at one time that you would really like to kill him? Yes, I think that’s it. Yet, somehow, you choose to continue to surround yourself with that person. No matter what that person has done to you, or made you feel. You keep thinking, “Maybe he’ll change. If I can just deal with his mood swings or his flaky answers or his constant making me feel happy one minute and depressed the next, then he’ll realize I’m really serious about this. If he would stop giving me that constant, ‘but’ reply, then everything will work out.” Keep hoping. There is always a chance.
The above is an example of what some may think is not love. And perhaps these people are right. But it’s an example of how, no matter what that person does, (short of murder), you choose to love him. You can’t help it, and more likely than not, the guy isn’t even going to realize what you’re going through. Though, I must say, if he does realize it, and continues to hurt you, you should probably be keeping your options open. :-P
But then, there is the other side to love: The feeling part. How is one supposed to really know what love feels like? There is obviously a difference between love and lust, but how are we to know what that difference is? Too many girls in the world will say, “I’m in love.” But when you ask the girl how long she and her boyfriend have been going out, and she replies, “Two weeks,” your instinct tells you that what she’s feeling isn’t love.
This is my belief: Love is a choice. But the feeling that comes with making that choice, is love. Does that make sense? Love is being able to accept a person completely, faults and all. Their whole character. Never trying to change them, just accepting them. And loving them no matter how many times they mess up. When you make that choice, I believe that what is felt after making that choice, is love. So you see, love is a feeling and a choice–but the choice will come first. I am definitely not saying that if you have chosen to stay in an abusive relationship, then that’s a good thing and you must be in love. Love isn’t about putting up with physical or verbal abuse from your boyfriend. That’s what makes love so special: It’s the complete opposite of anything bad or harmful. The guy who shoves you around doesn’t love you–the guy who treats you with respect, does.
So, maybe you have a better idea about what love is. This post shouldn’t make you more afraid to say “I love you” for fear of not meaning it, but only to help you think twice before saying those words. It’s ok to be a little confused about what you’re feeling–who doesn’t? But if you can honestly say to yourself, “I accept this person for everything he is” then say the words. When the impulse to say “I love you” comes, think carefully. Then act: Because, for all you know, that person won’t be around the next day.