Selfless to Avoid Being Selfish

Most of my posts have been pertaining to graduation and senior year recently. It is most likely because I am chomping at the bit to graduate as it is happening in just two short weeks. I was reflecting over all the accomplishments I had achieved over my high school career when I realized something.

Those achievements mean nothing if you do not have people surrounding you to support you and cheer you on. Supporting one another and being genuinely happy for the accomplishments in which they achieve is what is beautiful about the situation. Unfortunately that does not occur very often. Instead, people become jealous.

I have been reading more the past couple weeks that I have in awhile. I have been hooked on poetry; I went to the bookstore and picked up the book “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. It is raw with emotion. It was not what I was expecting but it was brilliant. There was one page of her poetry that caught my eye towards the end.

“What terrifies me most is how we / foam at the mouth with envy / when other succeed / but sigh in relief / when they are failing / our struggle to / celebrate each other is / what’s proven most difficult / in being human” (Kaur).

I sat and stewed on that concept the words revealed. I realized that that is miraculously true. I was saddened by the reality that often times it is more accurate than someone being genuinely happy for a success of another human. I can even be honest in saying that I am a culprit of this on occasions.

I think that as I enter into a time of award ceremonies, graduation, and open houses, I want to celebrate people with my full heart. Like I mentioned earlier, the achievement mean so much more when there is a crowd of people beside you cheering you on along the way. I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to have a crowd of people cheering you along who are just as excited for you as if they themselves have achieved it.

My challenge for not only myself but also others is to appreciate the achievements of others–be proud of them like you are proud of yourself when you overcome an obstacle.

Be selfless in order to not be selfish.

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Caught In the Rip Current

It’s enticing, resplendent even.

The power it possesses masked by

the beauty it radiates.

 

The surface of the water sparkles,

the sun’s addition to the masterpiece.

The bleak water and rhythm of the waves,

allure her in.

 

One minute

she gazes at its’ elegance,

the next she endures its’ power.

 

The waves tempted her in to

knock her down.

It only takes a second.

Temptation’s rip current carries her away

 

Oh how enticing it once was

and how destructive it now is.

 

A Date to Dread

January 27th shifts its way towards me

“Go away,” I said

 

Everyone

seemed to be unaltered

The date preyed upon me

 

It conceived multiple moments

based on one dreadful memory

 

an empty desk beside me

Confusion

enough tears to fill a stream

Panic

an abundance of people

Grief

 

It was all a blur that

Became more clear

As the date crept towards me

Ready to attack

 

Meanwhile

the world goes on.

 

Why can’t I?

 

Poetry is Art

When I think of poetry, I think of words forming into a rhythm or the first step of creating a song. Growing up, I enjoyed poetry, but felt it was difficult to write as I felt that it was a requirement to rhyme. As my appreciation for poetry has grown so has my knowledge on the subject. Throughout my adventure of exploring poets, I have connected to one poet more than others. The one that made the most impact to me on a personal level is Maggie Nelson for multiple reasons.
Maggie Nelson’s bio on the website Lit Hub gripped my attention immediately. It stuck out like a neon shirt in a room full of people wearing black. The very first line explains that she questions the concept of profound poets becoming well known after they die. I immediately connected with her because I have asked myself that so many times. Walt Whitman never received the appreciation he deserved until a significant amount of time after he passed. The line that stuck out to me the most within her bio states, “It’s almost like people are finally awake to the news that poetry is reliably six seconds ahead of wherever this insane place called America is heading.” I reread that line multiple times before I was able to digest the true meaning. Poetry is ahead of the actions of this world. If you look at her poetry, she creates it almost in an artistic way. I love art so immediately I connected to her artistic ability. Many people do not realize that words can create art as well.
I love the way she formatted her words as well as how simple her poem is. She used simple words with a hint of more articulate words to form a product that had a deep meaning. Nelson writes, “I feel like the girl / in the late-night movie / who gazes up in horror / at the portrait of / her freaky ancestor / as she realizes / they wear the same / gaudy pendant / round their necks” (Nelson). I adore this line because it reminds me of a memory from when I was younger. I used to think that the pictures of people from history were intimidating. As I read her poem I could picture a snapshot immediately surfaced in my head. Her simple yet elegant style of getting her point across is refreshing. I would love to reflect some of my own poems to her works of art. She challenges me to look past the rhyming poems to something much more artistic.

Anxiety: I Will Win This War

Overwhelmed.

You are overwhelmed with self doubt.

It is as if you are in an emotional drought.

Your eyelids are completely dry

Because you have run out of tears to cry.

You have no energy anymore;

All the negative emotions make you sore.

You feel so torn.

You are just flat out worn.

You keep getting knocked down hard,

Leaving you bruised and scarred.

You just want to give in,

But at the same time you DON’T WANT TO LET SATAN WIN.

You know God is your Savior and light.

It’s just so easy to lose sight.

Why is He letting terrible things happen to me?

Doesn’t He listen and see?

He talks of lavishing his love;

He talks of being as pure as a dove

You think the storm won’t quit,

BUT then the light is lit.

For a miracle is born.

He comes to save your heart that’s worn.

He leaps into your heart

Not letting Satan himself rip it apart.

He whispers that you are His son or daughter

Then proves it by walking on water.

He then changes your entire life,

Cutting away your loneliness like a knife.

He forgives you and enables you

And enables you to forgive yourself too.

With Him we are changed forever

Because our Lord is so brilliant and clever.

He somehow knows everything about you.

In fact, we have absolutely no clue.

He sent His one and only son

Because of all the sin we had done.

We are unworthy of that kind of compassion,

but our Father has perfect passion.

He presents us with a second chance.

Heaven seems like an unfathomable trance.

Because of this love, I know with certainty…

I will one day be with my Father, my Savior, for all of eternity.

Anxiety grasped control of my life around middle school and clenched its’ grasp harder as high school rolled around. It is a daily battle that I face. The picture above holds a deep meaning to me as it symbolizes many things. One, I am in the middle of a forest. Many people find comfort in nature, but I am the opposite. I find comfort in a coffee shop or in a book store. When I am in a forest my anxiety spikes. The darkness and unknown that surrounds me in a forest represents all my fears. The location of the picture is also in my grandmother’s backyard. It is where I had the best of times with my aunt and the worst of times. This picture captures a lot of hurt, but notice I am not looking down nor am I tense. I am looking towards the heavens at my Savior. Amidst all the darkness that circumstances and anxiety brings symbolized by the forest surrounding me, I am able to look up. I know that that is the only way I will conquer this beast…through God’s help.  Anxiety has won many battles, but I am ready to win the war.

A couple verses that have helped me in times of panic are the following:

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
—Matthew 6:34

“We can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
—Hebrews 13:6

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
—1 Peter 5:5-7

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
—Revelation 21:4

Happy Face Hunk of Clay

Happy.

That’s not a word we hear anymore. The word is full of everything being a chore or working your tail end off to earn a certain score. If it’s too low, you are destined to be poor, working hard and always ending the night sore. When are we going to stand up and open the next door?

Happy.

We can not even use that word to describe us. No, the world is only full of complaining, crying, and people making a fuss.

Happy.

The very word has lost the true meaning. So lets start cleaning.

Happy.

Lets rise up and use our voice because happiness is a simple choice. Why are we letting circumstances define who we are? We are the one driving the car. We can make come true what we wished for on a star. Let us pull away from our past and make the distance far.

Happy.

Our attitude can never be taken away. We have the control to make this a positive day, so go makes someones’ day. Give them a happy face hunk of clay.

 

Sometimes, I struggle to find the positive amidst negative circumstances. I get consumed by the negativity around me. One thing I seem to always misplace in my mind is that while I can’t control all circumstance, (as much as I try to) I can always control my attitude. One of my best friends has a mom that exhibits that daily. Over the years I always remember her saying “choose to be happy,” but I never actually took in what she was saying. It took hearing it over a hundred times to finally sink in. She was saying one of (what I think) is the greatest life lessons to learn. In a world where there is so much hatred and evil, you have to choose to be overwhelmed with joy in the little things…like a silly hunk of left over clay with a smiley face carved into it.

I Feel Called to a Career in Education, but I am Scared.

 

I’m called to a career where I won’t have a voice or a say in any decision or choice.

Teachers are guiding and forming the future, yet their salary is much less than someone stitching a suture.

I’m scared because in order to teach, I have to earn a degree. I will then drown in debt as deep as the sea.

My salary will barely allow me to pay off my debt. The debt that grows at the rate of a jet.

Don’t forget teachers have no say, even though they are the ones that interact with the students everyday.

No one will listen that there are too many standardized tests that cause too many young children to have anxiety fill their chest.

It’s no secret that there is too much pressure and depression is increasing, yet we choose to ignore and do nothing to make the rates start decreasing.

There are several issues within the realm of education followed by higher authority making bull crap justification.

The upper officials think cramming 40 students in a classroom is okay, but what about the kid that sits in the back of the class that goes unnoticed everyday?

With too many kids, the teacher can’t give every kid attention which leads to those kids getting frustrated, landing themselves in detention.

Or how about the fact that creativity is shamed while memorization is proclaimed.

Due to insufficient funds, art and music departments are getting cut. This leaves the kids who used art and music as an outlet in a rut.

We are teaching kids in a climate where multiple choice is the dominant, yet real life reflects quite the opposite.

Listen to my voice, Life is not multiple choice.

Education is supposed to be filled with color; it’s not black and white, yet we continue to act as if the system in place is right.

Somewhere along the line education formed into a business and as a student I’ve seen it firsthand as a witness.

The upper officials have no qualifications so maybe that’s why they have terrible justifications.

When I think of the world of education, I think of the word unfair. I look at the call of education I have almost as a dare.

Even though the education system resembles that of a slum, I’m shouting to the education world, “LOOK OUT! HERE I COME!”