Pungent

via Daily Prompt: Pungent

The pungent odor of blatant stupidity plagues executive board meetings. The problem with working with average middle schoolers to plan a meeting is just that; they’re average middle schoolers. They don’t care about anyone else or the future, only about them, their popularity, and what is happening right now. She is nice, he is nice, though annoying because he’s my brother, and she is nice, so I am friends with each one individually. However, I hate them. Once they are a collective group, they are nothing but a middle school stereotype and I hate them for their stupidity and lack of direction.

When I was elected to the board, people told me I was too young. People even lied to me, making up rules that didn’t exist just to keep me from getting a position sooner. I said that age shouldn’t matter, and they threw back at me all the things these new board members do as reasons why I shouldn’t be allowed on. Yes, I did behave as a typical middle schooler at some points, but when placed in a position of authority, I would get my act together to accomplish the task at hand almost immediately. These children don’t. They have no responsibility or any leadership skills whatsoever and it disgusts me.

When people question their positions, they don’t look at that group and say “They are immature, they don’t deserve a position on the board.” Instead, they generalize an entire age group and say “This is why middle schoolers shouldn’t be allowed on the board. They’re too young and incapable of leadership.” That’s not true. That mentality raises kids who believe they don’t need to take authority seriously because they’re just kids, and it doesn’t change when they get to high school because they have no experience doing things any other way. It’s ridiculous and hurts everyone affected by it.

I used to love executive board meetings. Unfortunately, the pungent smell of ignorance refuses to fade, and I leave every meeting feeling sick. I just want to hide from the world after a meeting, and I am not okay with this. They need to grow up. I am sick and tired of hearing that they are just kids, sometimes from them themselves. It’s one thing when other people shove them behind that shield, but if they will choose to pick it up themselves, they should not have accepted those nominations. After all, children do not belong on an executive board.

Advertisements

Liminal

via Daily Prompt: Liminal

I am in the liminal stages of resuming my place of authority. When I was a child, I was told that my name would be known all over the state, that I would hold numerous offices, and that I wouldn’t have to worry the slightest about college tuition. My county was in power in the state, and therefore, once I was old enough, the throne would be mine. Then, those people who were only a few years older than me believed they were entitled to that power without working at all for it, and respect for my county fell fast. They were working on pure charisma, and now that people can see the knowledge and skills, or lack thereof, that were behind it, those people are falling. The dozens of rocks each supporting a single limb of those people are all falling away, and soon those people will fall.

I am one of very few, if not the only one, who knows what our county used to be, knows why the next set of people failed in the end, knows the amount of effort this will take, and is willing to dive in wholeheartedly. I will not screw this up like they did. I am already a president, a vice president, and a secretary for three different clubs. I am a freshman in high school and already taking college classes. I am intelligent, passionate, and determined.. I may be in the liminal stages now, but just you wait, because failure is not an option. If my life touches yours in even the slightest way, you will know my name. You won’t know who I, the author, am because I am anonymous, but you will know my real name, without knowing it’s me. I am going to make it.

Sated

via Daily Prompt: Sated

Holiday meals leave me anything but sated. I always want more, yet my stomach hurts so badly from acid reflux and indigestion that I’ll skip meals and starve myself just to avoid the pain. Thanksgiving is the worst because these leftovers that hurt me so badly linger for days. Some people save “Thanksgiving food” for Thanksgiving dinner rather than having it any time of year to make it more special. If I had to eat Thanksgiving food any other time of year, I would probably puke.

I went Black Friday shopping this morning, and it wasn’t nearly as fun as it had been in past years. I started going because I hate surprises. When I get an unexpected gift, or worse, one that I don’t want or have no use for, it is one of the most awkward, anxiety inducing moments on the planet. To avoid this on Christmas morning, I go shopping with my mom and pick out my Christmas presents. My dad wasn’t supportive of this at first, saying that you’re supposed to be surprised and delighted by the gifts like people would have been when Jesus was born, but as my mom pointed out, people back then had heard the prophecy that the Savior would be born, so to believers, it wasn’t a surprise. They knew what was coming, and were just waiting for Christmas morning, which is what kids who know what they’re getting for Christmas do.

Last year, this didn’t work out so well. I went with my mom as usual, and everything was going great, until we got to one particular store. She headed over to the electronics department, picked up two extremely expensive pairs of headphones, and asked me if I would prefer purple or blue. I didn’t know what to say. I am notorious for breaking headphones, so I thought spending that much money on a pair for me was a terrible idea, but she insisted, saying “Don’t worry about how much it costs,” “Most kids would just be grateful they’re getting a pair,” “Most kids wouldn’t even know what was being bought for them,”etc. I reluctantly agreed to getting the purple pair, but told her I was still debating it and would probably ask for them to be returned.

Christmas morning rolled around, and those headphones were sitting under the tree. I couldn’t even fake a smile. I felt sick, knowing how much money she spent on them and how little I wanted them. I started crying. She told me to at least try them on, at which point I realized they were really heavy and hurt my head, the Bluetooth wasn’t compatible with my device, and the sound quality was mediocre at best. I packed it back up and asked her to return it. Needless to say, she was not happy. I had the same attitude towards a few other gifts too. Those were no where near as severe, but all the little things still add up.

Today, when we were out shopping, I was scared. I didn’t want to make decisions because I didn’t want a repeat of last year, but I also didn’t want to leave it to my mom because I didn’t want her to get the wrong brand, wrong color, wrong flavor, etc. By the second store, I was in a full out panic attack. I wished I had just gone back to bed when she woke me up.The only thing that kept me going was when I asked what the plan was and she said the list of stores, followed by one of my favorite restaurants that I haven’t been to in nearly a year.

This restaurant is one of very few sit down restaurants that doesn’t give me a stomach ache, and after eating Thanksgiving food since Wednesday, I was elated. Unfortunately, after we had gone to the last store on our list and I was ready for some blueberry pancakes, my mom decided she just wanted to go home and eat leftovers. I was devastated. Usually, when there are a lot of leftovers in the house, my mom bans my brother and I from cooking noodles, freezer meals, or anything else that isn’t a leftover. Luckily, today I was able to convince her to let me make some mac and cheese so I could make it through the day. She also stopped at a fast food place so I could get a cold, sugary beverage since I was hungry, dehydrated, and exhausted. She also had to go to the post office right next door anyways.

This evening, the rest of my family finally started to tire of leftovers, so we went out to dinner. I ended up with a little bit of acid reflux, but the food was actually good and I actually felt sated, so I was content. Little moments like that at the end of each day are all that are going to get me through this holiday season.

Chaotic

via Daily Prompt: Chaotic

Chaotic is a word synonymous with the holiday season. Anything and everything you try to plan can and likely will go terribly wrong; from something as complex the entire family get together to something as simple as the next sentence you will say in the conversation currently treading dangerously close to political. I dread the holiday season. This crazy chaoticness sets my anxiety off so badly that I can’t even enjoy the good moments. I always look forward to that amazing day in January when all of the decorations can finally go back into their bins in the basement.

My mom says I’m a grinch. I don’t think I am. I enjoy seeing everyone else happy. I like the concept of a holiday where everyone takes a day off from their busy lives to enjoy a meal together. I can even appreciate a little bit of the festiveness, but I can only do that on the actual holiday, not the whole month leading up to it. Unfortunately, these are all just little tiny components of the holiday ordeal, and people often find ways to screw up these little things.

Last night, it should have been a simple peaceful dinner with some friends and family. Instead, my little cousin ate straight butter, slapped my butt (twice), and attempted to pole dance and twerk. The adults weren’t much better, but in a much different way.My parents implemented the rule that anyone who brought up politics had to drink, and by the end of the night, they were all drunk.

Today, my mother and grandmother got into an argument within 20 minutes of our arrival at my great-grandmother’s house. It became a petty shouting match, and was all over how to make macaroni and cheese. The last line had to be the most petty of all. My mother realized she had upset her mom, and so she said “I wasn’t trying to be mean,” to which her mom responded with “Yes you did,” in the tone of a six year old, and then stormed out of the kitchen.

I wanted to leave after that. It was already going downhill, and I can’t stand being in that tiny house when things are tense. Lunch was served nearly an hour late, and was mediocre at best. After I finished eating, I tried to find some people to play the card game “Drug Dealer,” but no one was interested. I finally got my second cousin in law to agree to play, but we didn’t have enough people, so we played War instead. It went on for a half hour, and by the time it had finally finished, she was done being social with the “little kids” and went outside to talk with other adults.

I just sat in silence for a good hour. I’m ridiculously socially awkward when it comes to that side of the family, mainly because I don’t know how to talk to them. They’re incredibly conservative Christians in all aspects of life, and that makes my personality as a whole a ticking time bomb. Finally, my aunt asked me if I wanted to go for a ride in the golf cart. I said yes, so we went for a fifteen minute drive to my other aunt’s house. Once we got there, she asked me to drive back. I drove back with no difficulties. Then, she drove to my uncle’s house, and I drove back from there. Everything at this point was still going great, so she had me drive us back to my aunt’s house. There was a giant branch in the middle of the path, and though I thought I was far enough to the right to avoid it, I hit the edge, and a stick got lodged under the gas pedal, locking in a completely down position. The golf cart accelerated, and veered off-course, making a sharp left into the corn field.

I slammed on the brakes and didn’t move my foot, which thankfully made the golf cart skid to a stop. My aunt told me to relax and take my foot off the brake (which I was still pressing into the floor as hard as I could). At first,I listened. I lifted my foot, and the golf cart started up again and full speed. I slammed my foot back on the brake. That was when we realized the gas pedal was stuck. She turned the key to turn off the golf cart, and we began to look for the cause of the problem. We found the stick lodged under the gas pedal, but she didn’t want to move it because she was scared we might accidentally break the golf cart. I called my dad, and he drove over to fix it, which just meant yanking the stick out.

Luckily, there were no physical injuries from that whole incident, but my pride and confidence in myself driving were definitely hurt. I can get my learner’s permit in less than one year, and I am terrified of driving. My mom wanted me to drive her car instead of the golf cart since it was on private property, but I don’t trust myself behind the wheel to not accidentally injure or kill myself or someone else. Incidents like this only prove my point of why I don’t think I am, nor will ever be ready to drive a car.

I hate Thanksgiving leftovers. They drag on forever, and the food makes my stomach hurt. Thankfully, my second cousin understood this, and made some gluten free , whole grain pasta for dinner. It was amazing. While I was at her house, I was also able to read my book and actually talk to people without feeling super awkward, which is why I decided I wanted to go home right afterwards. My mom thought I was upset, but really it was the polar opposite. I wanted to leave then so that I could leave on a positive note, rather than risking something else happening to taint the whole visit with a negative hue.

If holidays were simple and all went according to plan, I would have gone to my great-grandmother’s, ate lunch, talked with relatives, and gone home sometime this evening. Unfortunately, as exhibited by the details above, this wasn’t the case because holidays are hectic 100% of the time. The better things seem to be getting, the worse they will get, and the worse they seem to be going, the better they will get.

Anticipation

via Daily Prompt: Anticipation

3:35 PM

They’re coming. My cousins come to my house every year, on the day before Thanksgiving, and all there is surrounding it is negative anticipation. I’m always anticipating the moment things will go wrong. A small part of me hopes I’m worried for nothing, but that’s never the case. The youngest of them is the worst. She’s ridiculously inappropriate, has no boundaries, and acts as though she weighs nothing, though in reality she’s obese. She throws herself into people, grabs them, pins them to the ground, and sits on them, which with an eight year old of a healthy weight would be annoying but relatively harmless, but when she does it, it’s dangerous.

My little brother’s best friend is coming over too. I should probably warn her about my cousin, but that will be difficult. My father thinks the child is an absolute angel, and therefore despises any negative comments about her. I was nearly grounded the last time I told my mom I didn’t want to spend time with her because I was afraid she would injure me. I’ll have to find some way to tell my brother’s friend though. Maybe it will be for nothing and my cousin will have changed. It also may be entirely justified.

My brother’s friend is here. Thanksgiving dinner has officially begun.

11:00 PM

My anticipation was accurate. My cousin has only gotten worse. In the first hour she was here, she attempted to pole dance, twerk, sit on my head, pin me to the ground, wrap herself around my leg (which resulted in me nearly falling and cracking my skull the first time and into the fireplace the second time), and finally, slapped my butt. I wanted to cry. My brother’s friend was just as disgusted and afraid, so we decided we would go upstairs and hide in the classroom after dinner.

At dinner, my cousin ate butter. She didn’t eat it on a roll or a potato, she just got a spoon and ate it straight out of the container. I thought I was going to puke. Her sister told her that she shouldn’t do that and was literally eating straight fat, but my eight year old cousin’s response was “Stop fat shaming me!”. Her sister finally was willing to compromise at her eating the butter on a roll, but her definition of butter on a roll was much different than the norm. She picked up the spoon, split a roll in half, and began to glob spoonfuls of butter onto the roll, until she had a pad of butter about a centimeter thick covering the roll. She then put the other half back on it, and ate it like a sandwich. My stomach lurched when I saw the giant globs of butter all over her face.

Once dinner was finished, my brother’s friend and I got up to go to the classroom  for the rest of the evening. I felt a bit bad for ditching my cousins, but any regrets immediately vanished when as I was walking away, that awful child ran up and slapped my butt again. I locked the door the second we got to the classroom, and my brother’s friend and I talked for the rest of the evening.

Often times, people say negative anticipation will guarantee that you will have a bad time. In most situations, this is true, though anticipation can’t always be controlled, however, in some situations, negative anticipation can help prepare you and others for the sad reality you are about to face.

Mind the Gap

via Discover Challenge: Mind the Gap

Mind the gap when you take that jump. Don’t ever let it stop you, but don’t forget it’s there. Precautions may have to be taken to ensure your survival, but you’ll make it through because you are stronger than your adversaries. You’re still here, and still breathing, so you’ve already been beating them your whole life.

“But I’m only alive because I never took the risk and never jumped.”

You’re not alive. You are surviving, but that’s it. You have no purpose, and therefore you merely exist. Take the jump. If you fall, someone will catch you. There is always a net, even if it’s only a centimeter away from rock bottom. If you are passionate about something, you can make it no matter what. Nothing will be able to stop you. Keep moving, and one day you’ll get there.

We’ve all had our share of dark days. You can’t get to the good ones without them. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the same can be said for positive and negative moments in life. As long as you keep moving forward, everything will balance out. The only thing you never want to be is numb; where you can’t feel the swings back and forth from good to bad, just a constant, monotonous, indescribable depression, in which you don’t even feel sad, just lacking in motivation to do anything.

If you take the first step and leap, you will stay alive. If you are passionate, you will thrive. Embrace every moment, and keep moving forward every day. You are capable, and you will do it.

“And with every broken bone, I swear I lived”

-One Republic, “I Lived.” Native

Once you’ve made it to the other side of the canyon, remember those on the other side, and give them the same advice. Mind the gap, but not too much.

Fish

via Daily Prompt: Fish

When I was younger, I belonged to the community pool. I would go there nearly every day of the summer, and beg my parents to let me stay as late as possible.On one occasion, my dad was the one to take my brother and I to the pool, and he agreed to let us stay until closing. We swam for a few hours, ordered and ate pizza, then went back to swimming some more.

Once the sun was setting, the underwater lights in the pool were turned on. They were spread just far enough apart that the light from one source barely touched the light from another source. As the water would move, the light would shift, and strange shadows would appear on the sides and bottom of the pool. I was convinced that they were fish.

I put my goggles on and didn’t take them off for the rest of the evening. I was convinced there were fish in that pool, and I was going to catch them. I told my brother this, and he came back with a little net and a worm. We put the worm in the net, and continued to search for the fish. The worm came out of the net several times, but each time, we caught it and continued to hunt.

After a good three hours, the pool finally closed. I had tears in my eyes as I begged my dad to either let us stay or bring us back first thing the next day. He told me that the pool was closed and that we couldn’t stay any later, and that I should be grateful rather than asking for more things. I started crying and said that I just wanted to catch the fish. He told me there was no fish.

I had wasted three hours at the pool looking for something imaginary. I felt foolish and like a child (though to be fair, I was a child at that time, but I thought I was incredibly mature and sophisticated and whatever). I had been waiting for the day that I could finally stay until closing for years, and finally I got to, but I wasted nearly half of my time there looking for an imaginary fish. My dad told me that I was just tired and to stop crying. I told him I just felt stupid for thinking there was a fish. He started lecturing me on how I shouldn’t say stupid. When we got home, I got a shower, then cried myself to sleep. My dad told my mom he was never letting us stay at the pool until closing again. He still hasn’t, and no fish have been spotted there since then.