Instinct

via Daily Prompt: Instinct

My instinct is to run. To run far away. I started to literally feel those metaphors and similes. When responsibility hit me, my shoulders felt weighed down. I had never understood the metaphor of having a weight on your shoulders when you have a lot to do, but in that moment I understood it perfectly. I thought I was actually going to crumple to the floor and burst out in tears in front of all of these people who are supposed to look up to me as one of their leaders. It just felt like too much.

Eventually, I got used to that weight and was able to continue moving forward. I have to stop occasionally to roll out my shoulder blades, but in the end I’ll survive. Stuff is getting done, and I feel a sense of pride. Even when you think you understand how much work goes on behind the scenes to get something done, you never really do until you’re standing there doing it yourself. I hope the girl who had my position before me knows just how much I appreciate everything she did last year. I don’t know if I ever thanked her. I know that when I went in for an interview to go on a national trip and was asked who my role model was I said her name, but she has no way of ever knowing that unless I straight up tell her, which seems a little awkward. The only person who will ever know is the girl who interviewed me, who had my role model as the only other candidate who ran against her for her current position.

I want both of those girls to like me. I guess technically they’re women now, because they’re both over 18, but that has always seemed like such an awkward word to me. I can tell there’s a lot of subliminal conditioning that’s happened to me in my life because whenever I think of the word “woman,” all I can think of is someone who is married and just had a baby, while when I think of the word “girl,” I think of any female who isn’t married and doesn’t have kids. It’s such a ridiculous concept and it bothers me everyday. It’s one of those things that just dehumanizes people in an animalistic way. You refer to a female bovine that has not yet given birth as a heifer and one that has as a cow, and those same concepts should never be associated with a word that’s supposed to mean whether you’re an adult or a child. Adulthood is something that should be based around either age or mental maturity and responsibility, not having sex and giving birth.

I found something when studying mental health and nurture vs. nature concepts last year that really struck me as interesting, though I have no clue where I found it to be able to sight the source. It stated that whatever your first thought as a reaction to something is is what you have been conditioned by your family, religion, and/or the rest of society to believe, while your second thought is what you truly believe and what you see as right. I have to remind myself of this every time I start to have these conflicting thoughts because I know that the first thought is always the aforementioned connotation, while the second is that the difference lies in age and/or mental maturity and responsibility.

This whole thing also reminds me of when I was reading about when women joined the work force and began to work in sweat shops. They were always referred to as girls, no matter how old they were, and it was seen as incredibly condescending for these exact reasons. The men in charge of the factories saw them as girls because they weren’t at home with their children as a “woman” would be, but that had nothing to do with what they were. They were over 18, mentally mature, and responsible; the last two of which had to be evident based on the fact that they were getting themselves to the factory to work because they knew they needed the money to live. The subconscious effect that the people who we surround ourselves with has on our lives is absolutely terrifying.

Anyways, back to the two women whose approval I seek. Last year, I was a member of the group, and they were both on the executive board. I wasn’t sure what they thought of me, but was pretty sure the one who I saw as a role model thought that I was immature. The year I was born in was the latest year you had to be born in to be able to be in the group. To make matters more difficult, the age requirement was a year younger than it had been the previous year. I took on as much as possible, and some of it went well, while others kind of flopped. I never stopped persevering though, and decided to run for an executive position for the following year (this year). I was the only person who took the time to meet all of the requirements, and now I have that position.

I was leading a discussion at the last meeting to pick a public issue for the year, and all was going really well. Then I looked to my right, where the two of them were sitting, and realized they hadn’t said a word to contribute anything the entire time. They were talking amongst themselves, while occasionally glancing at the board to follow along. Towards the end of the discussion, when we were compiling stuff into categories and getting rid of some ideas that everyone had already decided against before beginning formal voting, one of the women raised her hand. She got lost at some point and couldn’t figure out where we were. I quickly went over each of the points and she said “That one’s a dangerous topic.” The topic I had just gone over was mental health; the one I was the most passionate about.

She said she didn’t feel comfortable talking about it and said that it was more of a private issue. My best friend, who also suffers from anxiety, jumped up and practically shouted “THAT’S THE PROBLEM!!!” She apologized for speaking before being acknowledged, and  I said “It’s fine, it’s a topic I’m very passionate about to, so I completely understand. Please continue.” She went on to say “People are scared to talk about it, and so they increase the stigma and make the problem even worse. We need to be the one’s to break that barrier and start talking about it. We can directly help people through talking to them and teach them about resources to cope with mental illnesses that are out there. We have the ability to save lives with this topic.”

The woman still wasn’t on board with it. “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it, and if those of us who don’t suffer from any mental illnesses say one thing wrong, we’ve made the problem worse and can be accused of perpetuating stereotypes. It’s a dangerous and politically charged topic, and it’s not one we should do if we care about our reputation.”

I was devastated. I felt like the discussion was going so well, and then I heard those words from her towards the topic that I had put all of my support behind. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her again after that other than when we had our emergency executive board meeting to figure out exactly what the topic we had chosen would entail and how to fix the chaos that was going on from miscommunications  in committee meetings. She seemed really drained from just the first half of the retreat, and just wanted the facts and to be able to make it through the last committee session in one piece. She and the other woman left that evening to head back to college for classes the next day.

The next day, I received one of two spirit awards given out for my leadership skills, particularly in leading the public issues discussion, and for my energetic disposition throughout the whole weekend. I was so happy I didn’t even know what to say. I just wish they could have been there to see it; that they hadn’t left for college already. Maybe they did know. Since they’re on the executive committee as well as the executive board (the rest of us are in charge of a specific committee so we’re not part of the general executive committee) maybe they had a role in me getting the award. I’ll probably never know for sure, but it still gave me some hope that I am on the right track, so I’m still happy.

Responsibility can be exhausting sometimes. When placed in a stressful situation, our gut instinct can often be to run as far away from the situation as possible. However, if you listen to the second thought in your head that challenges you to stick it out and comes up with new solutions to overcome obstacles, you will never regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record

via Daily Prompt: Record

This has got to be a record for me. I haven’t written in so long, yet it’s not because everything is going so fantastic that I didn’t need this therapy. I just didn’t want to. Writing stream of consciousness is difficult at times. It relieves you of your troubles, but in order to do so, it forces you to recognize them by writing them down. Something Just Like This by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay is painful. I love the song, and it’s adorable, but I hate being single and it just punches me right in the feels whenever I hear it.

She didn’t get into the local land grant university. I looked up to her, and she didn’t make it in. I want to go to one of the colleges there that’s even harder to get into, and she didn’t make it in. What does this mean for me? I had my whole life planned out, and I might not even make it in. I can’t go anywhere else. My heart is set on that school, but she didn’t make it in and I probably won’t either. Or I will and she’ll secretly despise me because she’ll think she should have gone farther than the dweeb who was three years younger and just followed her around everywhere. She may already despise me because I’m more successful. I don’t mean to be, I wish she was here with me. She could be on the executive boards too. I hope we’ll be on royalty together. She can be the queen and I’ll be her first princess. But where would that leave my other female dairy bowl teammate? There are so few guys that apply, maybe two of us could be queens and the guys could realize that they need to step up their game if they want the title and more importantly the scholarship that comes with it. They’re too conservative for that though. I wonder if I wouldn’t get chosen if they found out I’m bi. Of course, they wouldn’t make it obvious that that was why. They would come up with some other reason why, and I’d be awful to accuse them of such a terrible crime.

She was so cute and so much like me. I met her at a friend’s birthday party and she was just like me, except in one aspect; she’s a witch. He whom I swore I would never speak to again says she’s probably a demon since that’s the only explanation for why she would have the same mind as me. I think he’s just jealous of any competition. His interactions with other men or anyone else who one of his female friends might be romantically attracted to are like watching roosters fight and it’s disgusting. The other party usually just tries to avoid him because they’re civilized people who don’t want to fight or don’t even know him, yet still he’ll insult them when he talks to you and you mention them in the slightest. It’s scary.

I wish the boy from camp and homecoming would ask me to prom or on any date or just ask me to hang out or even respond to my texts. I asked him if he wanted to come to a homeschool dance, but he was busy. I responded with “Okay :(“.  I was at a competition and also had to meet with some people to plan a major project that could be used for two years of college credits, so I couldn’t say much more. The next day, I typed him and said “I really hope there’s some time we can hang out before prom. I miss you.” Eight days later and he still hasn’t responded.

I need some help. If you’re reading this, please leave a comment with some advice. If I can get just one comment on this post, that will set a record too.

 

Seriousness

via Daily Prompt: Seriousness

In all seriousness, stop with the masks. Tell me how you feel, how you really do. Don’t text me every day then stop for two weeks and leave me wondering why. It really hurts. You may not mean to, but you meant a lot to me and now you’re just not there. There’s not even enough momentum behind it to cry, and it makes me finally understand Brendon Urie’s words:

Image result for being blue is better than being over it lyrics

I don’t want to be over you. I want to hang on to that fantasy that we could be something. I met you at summer camp and felt a connection then. Those nights on floor four hanging out with you and the rest of the squad while blasting the entire Death of a Bachelor album were amazing. I still remember what you said to me after the extemporaneous speech competition; “Your public speaking skills are just as beautiful as you are.”

We lost track of time that last night of camp. We were all having so much fun. I didn’t go to sleep until 3:30 am. The next day, our teams competed against each other, and the last time I saw you was when you received your second place medal. We never got a chance to say goodbye.

We texted more and more after that. I realized we were associated with some of the same homeschool groups, and I asked you if by any chance you were going to homecoming. You said yes.

I walked into that room that November night and you were the first person I looked for. There was a part of me that wondered if I would remember what you looked like. It had been four months since I had last seen you. There was also a part of me that knew I could never forget you. You were late. I made small talk with some of my other friends from camp, but you were the only one I really wanted to see. Some of my friends from my county arrived, and we went to the dance floor. 30 minutes later, I saw you and my heart stopped.

We were wearing the same color red. I went over to say hi, and my head went silent. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I’m a prospective communications major, and I couldn’t think of anything to say. I faded away and rejoined my county friend group. Later, I went back with one of my friends, and she helped me remember how to speak again. You said that your friends were geeky, and I said mine were just as bad and suggested that we all be geeks together. You laughed and walked to the middle of the dance floor with us.

Soon I remembered how to talk again. All was going well. I didn’t say anything stupid. Time flew past, and soon it was the last song of the evening. The DJ gave a speech about asking that special someone so you’d have no regrets, and when I turned around, your hand was outstretched as you said “May I have this dance?” Once again, my heart stopped. I felt the biggest smile on my face as I said yes and we started dancing.

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey was playing. You started awkwardly trying to make conversation and asked me what I had been doing that day. I said “Not much, I’ve just been here for the last few hours.” You awkwardly laughed. A moment of silence went by. You said “Sorry I’m such a geek with my robotics friends and all the talk about robots.” I laughed and said “It’s fine, I am too.” You laughed too, and then said “Seriously though, I get it if I’m too geeky.” I introduced myself and said “My hobbies are science competitions and aerospace and I dedicate all my free time to them. Trust me, you’ll never be too geeky for me.” You smiled, and at that point we were actually talking. After a minute or two, you said “Are you coming to prom?” I asked if you would be there. You said yes, and I said “Then I’ll definitely be there.” You smiled again, and we went back to talking. I don’t remember what we were talking about, I just remember being really sad when the song ended.

We talked for a little bit afterwards in our whole friend group, and one of your friends told me about various robotics mishaps. My mom arrived and I had to leave. You hugged me goodbye. I smiled the whole way home and until I fell asleep.

We texted a lot after that, almost every day. Then, after Christmas, it stopped. Suddenly you only texted once every two days. Then, it was January, and you texted even less frequently. Now, the last time you texted was over two weeks ago. I wish I knew why. I hope you’re just busy, but I am too, and I still make time to talk to people. It hurts, but the pain is numbing, and knowing that is even worse than the pain itself. I miss you. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, which is already my least favorite holiday, but now it’s even worse because it means I won’t be able to escape the thought of you.

A part of me hopes you’ll do something romantic and all will work out, but the rest of me remembers that I hate Valentine’s Day and would probably detest you just a little bit for being a cookie cutter person. I think I just thought we’d be together by this point and it hurts that we’re not.

If you are reading this, tell the person you like that you like xem¹. You’ll never have to wonder the what-ifs, and you’ll never unintentionally hurt xem if xe feels the same way. Plus, if you’re the person I wrote this to, I’ll get to know for sure. If the person you like is like me though, you might want to wait until after Valentine’s Day or make it very clear you’re not trying to be a sappy, cookie cutter romantic because otherwise you may leave the person you like very conflicted on what to do.

¹Xem- Gender neutral pronoun. I have decided to switch to using the gender neutral pronouns xe, xem, xyr, and xyrs whenever applicable to include more people and make writing less awkward since “they” and “them” are inappropriate when referring to a single person and s/he can be awkward

Successful

via Daily Prompt: Successful

Take a wild guess to figure out what this one will be about. I’m still doing great, I’m incredibly successful, and if I want things to stay that way I need to keep studying. You may wonder why I even bother with posting everyday if I’m doing so great. It’s because my therapist told me that writing stream of consciousness or other things just to reflect on the day can help ease your mind before going to bed. This method has also been proven to help make writing easier in general and prevent writer’s block, so I do it every day to ensure that I’m on the right track to being successful in my long term goals.

 

Privacy

via Daily Prompt: Privacy

On here, my life is private, hidden behind a screen. If you knew me, you’d know that I had a ton of fun this morning because I was at a public speaking workshop meeting new people and coming up with the weirdest things for two truths and a lie. I’m an extrovert, through and through. My mind is in a strange state at the moment. I’m in study mode, so it’s hard for the words to come, but on the same note, once they come they don’t want to stop. I’m currently studying breeds of sheep, swine, goats, and cows because I felt humiliated at the last practice when I didn’t know any of them and I won’t let that happen again so I will study for hours a day. I will drive myself mad if I have to, but I will win.

It’s a weird situation. I have a slight crush on this guy from another county, and normal girls would try to talk to them, join the person’s friend group, etc. In this friend group at practice, I’m already friends with all of his friends, and yet I sit alone because I want to win. This doesn’t help at all though because I usually do better when I can be directly competitive and I think he’ll think I’m a nerd if I’m taking non-stop notes. I am a nerd though, and he’ll figure that out sooner or later, but I’m so much more than that. For starters, I’m also a basket case. I promised myself I would check my phone after studying swine breeds. I’ll be back in a minute.

When I said my life was private, I obviously didn’t mean private private. You know all of my inner thoughts and emotions, yet don’t know the exact event I was at, at that makes it anonymous, but really it’s more intimate than when you ask your best friend how their day was. It’s tricky to explain. I really just want to be studying right now. I have to beat my friends and prove that our county leader wasn’t wrong about me. I can’t let him down. He’s believed in me for the last decade and I don’t want him to stop now.

Exposure

via Daily Prompt: Exposure

Leave me in the light just a little bit longer. Let me soak up some more of these rays of light so I at least have a tan to prove that I’ve been through good times when I find myself back in the dark, bitter cold. A nice tan may last only a few days, if that, before fading back to its usual paleness, but it will still show in the pictures. I know the clouds will return any day now, or I’ll simply lose the energy to keep going outside, but I don’t want it to. I want it to stay forever.

Sometimes, when it’s cold, it snows, and it brings about new possibilities and beauty within the bitter cold, but that hasn’t happened in a long time. Instead, it just rains, and not the good kind of warm rain that makes you feel like you’re in a movie. This is the freezing cold rain that shoves you inside all day and gives you headaches from the air pressure.

Leave me outside just a little bit longer. I can’t hide from the weather any more. Even if it is cold, I’ve been through colder. If it’s sweltering, then we’ll go to the pool, the harbor, or the beach, and life will be even better. We’ll go on hikes in the freezing rain and we’ll fly kites when it’s windy, but I’ll still run back inside as fast as I can the second I hear a rumble of thunder.

Overworked

via Daily Prompt: Overworked

The people who have helped to get me to this point in my life are overworked and underappreciated, but today I’m going to try to put into words all that they’ve done for me. Before I continue, I know my posts have been a bit all over the place; from anxious to optimistic, and from power hungry to inspirational, but that’s just how life is. At the end of the day (metaphorically of course since all of these posts are typed at the end of the day), I’m in a pretty good place, but I still post every day with the negative and the positive to show that nothing is ever perfect. I will never be that person on the internet who pretends like everything is great, but I will never act like I’m a solid mess either. Anyways, back to my actual post.

To my mom:

You can be a real pain, but I love you anyways. You work hard every day to get my brother and I to everywhere we want and need to be, and even when you’re pissed because you’ve been telling us to do our schoolwork all day and nothing’s happened yet, you’ll still come back to give us each a hug and let us know that you still love us. I’ll never admit it to you, but I don’t know where I’d be without you.

To the most amazing volunteer and project group leader I know who got me my first job:

Thank you. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for always being optimistic and never judgmental. Thank you for always being there to support me in whatever way you can and for encouraging me to do what I love. People like you are why I didn’t quit and why I’m still moving forward. You do all of this out of the kindness of your heart and you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for being one of the best people I know. I am forever grateful for everything you have done for me, my club, and our community.

To my coaches and club leaders who supported me with their somewhat rough demeanor:

You said I could do anything if I put my mind to it and worked hard enough, and that you were pretty sure I just wouldn’t. When I said “Can to,” as a six year old, you gave me my first chance at public speaking in front of over a hundred people. You convinced me that I was proving you wrong, and that’s what pushed me to do my best and what still does, but as I found out over the summer, you believed in me all along. When I trained for competitions, you told me “Don’t get discouraged when you don’t make top 10, it’s really tough competition and this is your first year.” At the awards ceremonies, you cheered the loudest when I got two ninths, an eighth, a sixth, a fifth, two fourths, four thirds, a second, and a first. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I hope I can continue to make you proud, and though I know it’s a lot of work, I hope you’ll continue to be the outstanding coaches and leaders that I’ve had the privilege of knowing for the last ten years.