Thursday, July 25, 2013

nothing gold can stay

"Because school's about to end, Parker, and when it does, everything's gonna change. You're going away, and I'm staying in town, and no matter how much we want things to stay the same between us, they won't. You'll make a bunch of friends at Stanford who are all crazy smart and driven like you, and I'll stay home and try not to become my mom, and pretty soon there'll be too much between us that's different. Things change, Parker. It doesn't take a valedictorian to figure that out."

She stops and I glance up in time to see her drop her eyes to the floor.

The anger welled up in my chest softens, then starts to recede with the realization that this may be the first time I've ever seen a weak spot in Kat's bravado. She clenches her jaw tight, like she knows she gave too much away. Like she doesn't know what else to say. Kat doesn't do tender moments.

It makes me want to reach out and hug her and promise that none of that is true. But what if it is? What if she's right, and everything changes as soon as I leave? I don't know what to do with this moment either, because now we're both standing awkwardly in the middle of the Casa Junction food mart, and I'm pretty sure if we look at each other, one or both of us is gonna cry.

Life is made of moments. and choices. ...but as much as we wish it were different, the truth is, our worlds are sometimes balanced on choices we make and the secrets we keep.

"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I let the line hang there a moment, hoping the audience understands just how important this question is before I go on...

"Up until recently, I had a plan for my one wild and precious life, and it's one I've stuck to for as long as I can remember. It's pretty simple, really....I've spent plenty of nights studying instead of going out to parties. I've put in community service hours instead of taking spring break trips.
....a few days ago, I made a choice. I took a risk for something I totally believed in, and I failed. And right now, it still stings, but I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I did it, because I was about to leave high school without ever having taken a real chance on anything...because I was scared."

(all quotes from Golden)

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?** Your one life...your one chance...wild and precious and beautiful and broken and it's the only one you've got.
I've been thinking about change a lot since my 16th birthday, mostly because this is the first time in my life when the future has turned into the present right before my eyes and I'm finding it incredibly scary. Possibilities are becoming probabilities, dreams are becoming choices, and the crossroads that have always seemed so far away are really impossibly close.

I read this book called "Golden" today, by Jessi Kirby. And it just resonated with me (isn't that a lovely word, resonated?) because the main theme of the book was change. And choices, and crossroads, and the characters all knowing that life was speeding up and there was no going back. And a lot of the words that the main character (Parker) spoke, felt like words I might say. That's such a good feeling...finding a book that speaks for you. Because as much as I love talking, sometimes it's good to use someone else's words.
I have a hard time explaining myself to people, making myself understand how I feel. I dunno, maybe that's normal. But when I find a quote that describes me, it just...validates how I feel, it makes me feel like my emotions are real, and they make sense, and I'm not alone. And that is such a good feeling.

This is the kind of book I want to write. The kind that makes you think, that you walk away from saying "that is EXACTLY how I feel," the kind that makes you believe that somewhere, the characters are real, living their real lives with their real problems...and that you're not alone, because someone else has been there, even if it's just a fictional character.

People are always telling you to take a "road less traveled" (Robert Frost) or to "go instead where there is no path and leave a trail," (Ralph Waldo Emerson), and sometimes that's good. To strike out on your own, figure things out for yourself. But it's easy to get lost if you go wandering in the jungle without a guide, and sometimes stumbling onto a well-worn footpath, with the prints of thousands of people who have struggled along the way before you...sometimes that is just such a good thing. And you just want to sink down on the dirt path that proves you're not alone, that others have come this way and seen what you see and felt what you feel...and you just want to breathe.

Not being alone is so good.

**Mary Oliver

P.S. A few minutes ago, I was wandering through my backyard wondering what the heck I was going to write about. And then I came inside to write a letter to a friend and I thought "huh, maybe this would be good to put on my blog," and here we are.



    16 days left <3



      Really? O.O That's crazy. We're going to have a blasttt!

  2. I LOVE YOU.
    I win :3

    Yeah!! So close, eh??
    Wow, I'm actually kinda nervous. What if I'm not good enough?? D:

    1. That is not a fair card to play. jsyk.

      I know. I always get nervous before. Tomorrow I'm picking up my flute again, going to practice up! it's always good to have a refresher. :) I wouldn't worry too much if I were you, though. Your drum teacher can't be harder than Laurel, and you're there to learn. Most of the students don't play over the summer, so the teachers are expecting it, I think.


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