And so..The Adventure Begins

6 years ago this month, I was driving my trice-recycled ‘94 teal Chevy Malibu with the windows rolled down from my high school to the Senior Picnic–just days before graduation.  “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer came through the radio waves and it just seemed right.  I was full of optimism and excitement for a fresh chapter.  And what better way to kick off the next adventure than a class-wide picnic with my 700 other classmates?

If I remember correctly, the picnic was lame and I didn’t know where to put myself, like the rest of my high school experience, because some things never change.

I was driving to my last day of work this morning, in my ‘10 Ford Focus that mercifully doesn’t spray water in my face every time it rains like the Malibu did so I’m clearly moving up in the world.  Andy Grammer’s familiar tune came warbling through the FM again and I felt the echoes of that same optimism bubble up.  And then a new Maroon 5 song came on with the same tune they were using 6 years ago. Some things really never do change.

But some things do. I’m more cautious now than I was back then.  I’m not as willing to chase every idea but have learned to patiently wait for my dreams to surface.  I’ve stopped caring about eating lunch at the cool table and although I’m slower to act on new ideas, I’m braver in carrying them out.  During the last 6 years, I pushed to find the limits of how many things I was capable of doing simultaneously and now I’m content to find the few things in life that are worth pursuing deeply.

I’m thankful for nostalgic songs that inspire reflection–even if that includes some awkward high school memories–before starting this next adventure.  Besides learning the Russian language and acquiring a fur hat, one of my biggest goals for our time abroad is to grow in wisdom, character, and flexibility.  Hopefully by the next time I hear Andy Grammer on the radio in June, I can see those fruits in my life.

Until then, just gotta keep my head up.

Standing on my Shallow Soapbox

Now is the time to write.  In the past, my creativity was being forcibly taken from me by a busy schedule and projects.  Conversations have also drained my ability to put coherent thoughts on a page, yet these I do not regret.  Typically, I have at least one nugget of an idea a day which I’d like to write about.  If I’m lucky, I write it down and don’t lose the scrap of paper.  Lately, however, I have had some very decent talks with some very decent people which gave me another outlet for thinking.  Good for myself and my friendships, bad for a blog.  To be honest, though, I’m not writing for whoever is reading this.

I can’t talk.  I’m always talking.  But not today.  And it’s killing me.  My soul is restless, I can feel the words, thoughts, phrases, and clauses, trying to come together.  They keep missing each other, like a failed high-five, an inch away from collision, a centimeter away from forceful contact.  This is my attempt to put them together so that I can feel the impact of words once again.

Today my blog is my soapbox.  I have completed high school which gives me a relatively shallow box to stand on and give advice, but it is my box and I am going to use it.

As a result of scholarships, senior awards night, and making an obnoxious amount of display boards and scrapbooks, I have come to two conclusions:
1)  I find myself quite annoying at times.  I feel like the poster child for anything and everything and if I could be someone else and know me, I’m not sure I’d want to.  This is the last time I will spend a concentrated amount of time reading about myself.  I much prefer reading about others.
2) It is my sincerest wish that my time in private school, home school, and public school does not simply add up to a resume of accomplishments, awards, and certificates.  I was looking at a sheet with all of those listed and realized that those things did not embody the success of my schooling, not by a long shot. This led me to reflect on the things that I did in high school that actually did matter and this is where things get a little soapbox-y.

I have met some of the most incredible people in high school, particularly in the last two years.  They aren’t the people that I was supposed to be associated with.  They weren’t friends because they boosted my outward reputation.  Sometimes we didn’t have that much in common.  The majority of them started off with poor first impressions and misjudgements.  So my word to the wise:  never overlook anyone.  Never write someone off after the first conversation, first month, or even first year.  People continue to surprise me with how much they add to my life and much of their value you probably won’t even realize until they are gone.  If you want to limit yourself to the people that approach you first, that are accepted by others, or don’t require you to exit your comfort zone, feel free.  You’ll miss out on knowing and learning from some of the most original and wonderful people you’ll ever know, but hey, at least it won’t be uncomfortable and you’ll always have that little group of friends that are exactly. just. like. you.

We are now drawing near to the end of my writing abilities.  Significant events generally spur on significant writing and while these past few weeks have certainly not been lacking in significance, I have only brushed the surface of their impact on me in this post.

Until I have more time,
Chloe