Today, I turned 22-years old. My true Taylor Swift year, and yes, I am most certainly feeling 22. Let me tell you, I've learned a I learned a thing or two about life. Here are 22 things I learned by the time I turned 22-years old!
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Recently, I've found that writing has become a great stress reliever for me, and it allows me to organize all of my thoughts. I thought it would be interesting to write a "letter" to you for when I graduate. Why? You and I have written an intricate story that has found some peculiar beauty to the mess it created. We met a little over a year ago, and I would have never guessed that I would become so close to you. As you already know, this relationship that we have goes through many phases, and we are about to enter a difficult one: graduation. I know it's hard enough as it is not seeing each other often, but this fall I won't be living in the same city as you which is a little scary. However, the same rule always applies for us: no running, only towards each other. I absolutely cannot wait to see the amazing things you'll do for the rest of your high school career, and you sure as hell better tell me all about them. You've been alongside me for mine, and I wanna be there for yours.
A topic that always seems to be the elephant in the room is us. What about us? What will happen to the idea of us? My feelings for you will always be there, and you will forever be the one that got away. I know that you have found happiness elsewhere, but one day, if the stars and planets align, there may be a chance for us. We can't change the decisions we made in the past, but there's a big future to be written and perhaps we'll write our own someday. Until then, I am seeking my happiness and focusing on bettering my mental health. We both have a mutual caring for each other, and we only want what makes us happy. I am a text or call away, always. And yes, I still have your phone number memorized for just in case. We can't say how the days will unfold or change what the future may hold.
Something we never talked about that I've always been curious to discuss is the answer to this question: did I ever love you? Here is my answer, truthfully. No. I care about you deeply, and it has been exhausting thinking about this whole situation, but I can't say those three, little words just yet. I think they hold a powerful meaning, and until you're all mine, I'm not ready to deliver such a message to you. The one issue we had with each other was consistency. One day, we'd be happy and on top of the world, and the next day we can't decide what we want. And if you do become mine, all mine, then I will give you the world in those three words.
Where does this friendship stand? Is this the end? I can't answer either of those questions because it's not completely up to me, and I can't see into the future. I don't want to lose you or what we have, and I would be thrilled to see this friendship continue to build. We have invested too much time and conversation to throw it all away. I feel like we know the deepest parts about each other and the little things that make us happy. I want to see you in the summer when I'm home, and I want to come back and watch you perform in the stands and on the field during the fall. We're not running, remember? However, we should allow each other to grow to see what the world has to offer. We'll take it one day at a time and take it all in.
My advice to you for when I'm gone is to do what makes you happy, love yourself, and cut yourself some slack. Take all of the solos in jazz band and make sure the freshmen know their place in marching band. You have changed my life more than you'll ever know, and I mean that in the best way. You have so much potential if you apply yourself and push harder to reach impossible limits. Remember that I absolutely adore you, and I will always be yours. I hope to see you do well, and I wish you nothing but happiness and success.
You are something else, Clark Givens.
All the love,
The sound of helmets clashing. The brightness of stadium lights. The sight of a roaring crowd. The countdown until kick off. This is what every fall Friday night is all about. The rush of excitement is out of this world. Football season.
You are in high school. It is a warm fall Friday night. You are getting ready, decked out in whatever theme of the night is. You are about to pile into a car full of your closet friends.
The crowd is growing, and you rush to a good spot. Kick off is upon the night and you hear the walk out song. The crowd is already going wild, and all eyes hit the field. Football players creep out of the tunnel and rush the sidelines alongside the coaches. You get to experience the sight of the players and coaches' bond. It's game time.
It is almost halftime and your home team has overtaken the rival team. The night is still alive. The band is preparing for their halftime show. The cheerleaders are preparing for their halftime performance. Yet, the eyes of everyone are still glued to the game because anything can happen.
It is fourth quarter, and somehow the game is now neck and neck. Your team is barely ahead but still anything can happen. The players have not given up. The clock is running out and everyone is on the edge of their seat. Your team has the ball. The quarterback is scanning his options. His eyes lock on the open player standing in the in zone. He throws a perfect pass. Everyone watches the ball as it flies through the air. The receiver jumps up and catches the ball. His feet hit the ground as the buzzer goes off. Your team just won. Fireworks burst into the air. The crowd screams as they rush down to meet the team. The adrenaline is still rushing throughout everyone. You can't wait until next week.
Now boarding ALL ZONES.
I find the airport calming. For the most part.
I was sitting at gate A33 just the other day at the beautiful McNamara Terminal in Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and I had the chance to recollect my thoughts for the first time in over a week. The week prior was filled will exams and papers and no sleep. But as I sat in one of the thousands of seats in that airport, I realized, the airport is a metaphor. A metaphor for life.
We all travel to and from the airport, in different ways, means, and from different places. Some people catch a ride from friends or family, some catch a bus, and some Uber or Lyft, or park their car in short or long-term parking. We all make it to the airport in someway to get to a commonplace, the airport, at the same time. We all check in to our respective flights and head for security, where honestly we all just want to get in and out of as soon as possible with no problems after taking our laptops out of our bags. Annoying, but we understand this is for everyone's safety so we tolerate it.
Exiting security is where I find airports to be a metaphor for life the most. We all started at similar beginnings and had to go through similar processes, involving getting to the airport and going to security, but now you are free to go. Similar to everyone being a baby for the first few years of life, you have very little control over your beginnings. You do not get to choose what you eat, the family or people you were born into, or where you were born. You have no control over these things. But security represents the beginning of your ability to change your life and make your own decisions which I believe happens from the young age of 4 and 5. You are free to choose who you want to be friends with. You can be picky about what you eat or wear. You can decide. In an airport, this is similar to how you are free to browse through pop-up stores selling overpriced clothing. You are free to grab some coffee or food before your flight if you feel like it. You are free to do whatever you want before your respective flight leaves. You can make your own decisions before you go on your way to a new location.
But what I find outstanding is the simple amusement of watching other fellow travelers pass by and guess where they are heading to. Where is their next location? Who are they going to see? Are they starting a new beginning? Are they traveling for their own pleasure? Are they going to see family? What are their intentions? I love guessing where someone may be traveling too and what they may be feeling at that particular moment.
The airport reminds me that we are all on different paths. Some in a hurry, some relaxed. Some ready to leap into a new adventure, some not able to leave the past behind. But all of our different paths cross at this particular time on this particular day at the same place: the airport. The airport reminds us and emphasizes that we are all on a journey. The airport brings us down to earth, that we are just one of the billions in this world experiencing the journey of life. We may not all know where this journey may each take us, but we are not alone. We are together.
Together at the crossroad: the airport.
There are some things Japan does better than most of the West. Here are the top 7.
TrainsFile:Bullet Train Kyoto Japan 1997.JPG - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Recovery Plans from EarthquakesJapan is a world-leader in thwarting the risk of natural disasters.In the first episode of this special edition of Target Japan, we head to Sendai, the capit...
Excellent food in 7-11s and equivalent stores
Vending Machines for multiple food
Literally anything else you can imagine
AnimeAnime or Japanese Animation (アニメ) is perhaps one of the most influential forms of media in the modern world. It has a history spaning over a century and is i...
Accommodations for shy, introverted, or socially anxious people. Japan has automated, robot, kiosk, or self-service for things which in other countries would require you to talk to another human being
How humanity discovers new ways to commit the same old sins
The core tenet of spirituality is to understand our spirit rather than the desires of flesh. Easier said than done. What takes you away from spirituality is sin, which is the opposite of having the discipline of faith and the understanding of grace. To achieve discipline, the gospel is a massive source of strength and truth to many. Here are some best quotes from the book of how the gospel has been twisted over generations to confuse the message of God.
1. the best trick of the devil is getting you to think his ideas aren’t just yours, but even God’s . So he creates his own “gospel,” a perversion of the real one. It sounds like good news because it appears to answer questions we’ve always had, satisfy desires we’ve always felt, solve mysteries we’ve always pondered. If he can give his lies the ring of truth, so much the better.You Don't Have To Go To church to see godYou Don't Have To Go To church to see god
2. Sin isn’t purely about the malfunction; it’s essentially about the faulty wiring.
3. Works righteousness is like that forbidden tree in the middle of the garden. We can see it in our midst. It is al- ways within eyesight of our reveling in grace. And every now and again, we hear a serpentine whisper: “Yes, yes, grace. But there’s more. There’s an enhancement. There’s real power, real enhancement here , with this. Take and eat.” And it’s so tempting, because it promises to make much of us. Legalism pets our pride so smoothly. “God helps those who help themselves” is the lie that promises to gratify our desire for recognition and re- ward. But in the end, it leads only to exile.
4. What the Keswick higher life theology teaches is a division be- tween “Spirit-filled” Christians and “carnal” Christians. The Spirit-filled Christian accesses blessings in apparently automatic fashion, while the carnal Christian is still stuck “trying.” At its best, “let go and let God” is simply about repenting of anxious worrying and instead trusting God with our cares. This is something the Bible doesn’t just permit, but commands.
5. Wisdom weighs all the facts, not just the convenient ones.Wisdom,message,rock,brown,tan - free image from needpix.comwww.needpix.com
6. The devil likes to traffic in fear, but it’s not his immediate go-to, because he knows that fearful people often cry out for help, which means fearful people are very close to having their ears open to divine rescue.
7. TRUTH IS CENTERING. THE TRUTH IS STABILIZING. The truth is clarifying. That is, if we are willing to upend our devotion to our preferred version of the truth. If we are not, the truth is disorienting, disturbing, and confounding.Truth - Free of Charge Creative Commons Chalkboard imagewww.picpedia.org
8. Forgiving people do get taken advantage of. But unforgiving people, Paul said in verse 11, get taken advantage of by Satan!
9. When power becomes your god, you’ll do as much biblical gymnastics as it takes to get it or keep it.
10. And it’s how stupid the accumulation of stuff—be it possessions, money, or simply fame or success—can make us, if we’re not careful. It is a lot like drunkenness. Many men find their sense of invincibility is enhanced when they become intoxicated. Everything is exaggerated, including the ego. They feel and act bigger than they are. But they are actually slower, dumber, and more vulnerable. Money, fame, and stuff are like that. The more we have, the more secure we may feel, but if the Bible is to be believed, the more spiritually vulnerable we actually are. It’s as though we’ve become drunk.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign