The Importance of Recognizing Subtleties

The Importance of Recognizing Subtleties

Explore the little details within a world of bold statements

During my Historical Fencing Club meetings, we frequently learn about proper form and technique when we use a foil. The goal was to look “French.” Through using delicate motions on the fingers, one can maintain control over their weapon and make attacks. It also involves having control over form from the upper body to the legs.

My fencing instructors would notice on how I collapse my arm, changing my position from an “offensive” to a “defensive” one. I also noted how my knee would lean towards the left rather than above the toe, and how I would get exhausted easily, thus throwing that form away.

Everything is based on subtleties--in which they have to be recognized in order to conquer them.


Are you a night person or a morning person?

The question is frequently used when somebody wants to know about one’s habits, and can be found in most roommate introductions. It also helps when one wants to plan out their day, so they would not make the mistake of taking 8:30am classes or working at night.

Despite knowing when I stop becoming productive at night or sleeping too late will make me even more unproductive, I don’t usually think about this question. As a college student, I assume a lot of people would be ones with the night because of the college stereotype of “partying” or “studying” hard, or because of UW’s Rick’s Ice Cream--it pulls students in like moths to a flame.

These subtleties make sense when I try to wake up, and I have to be careful because I don’t want to wake anyone else up. There are things people remind you at the beginning of the year when they talk about their cycles, but it’s something one reminds themselves when they make even the smallest move to brush teeth, change clothes, or open and close doors.

It feels a bit more ominous everyday--in which one has to recognize and exploit these quirks. It feels good until things start tumbling out of control…


Emotions wreck these subtleties and they influence our mood.

In high school, I wrote a short piece for my Fiction Writing class about running to lunch, tripping, and then scratching my skin. While everybody came over and helped me, I felt pretty lonely in those moments and wondered what everything meant if I had nobody.

On the other hand, I would meet people whom I haven’t seen for a long time, and it would lighten up my day. Just talking to them or hearing about their lives since we left school is something to behold.

I feel like my interactions with people is a bit of a subtlety in itself; I want to be around them and feel like I’m loved. I’d think it’s because I had a close family growing up, and therefore didn’t need that much attention from within the house since I could call them and they would be there.

I’d have to learn that I’m going to be lonely at times, but when the small changes in relationships happen, I’m not necessarily alone.


In the end, I’d like to think the subtleties in life are like a puzzle I'm trying to figure things out. They are like drawers which nobody notices in boxes. And, they are like nuisances which somebody thinks they’ve gotten, but appear in the wrong moments.

When people feel like the latter, it’s tempting to paint everything with a paintbrush one uses to paint a wall. However, in life, as well as policy, missing these little details can be the difference between a messed-up date, a messed-up campaign, or ending a life. One needs to get a smaller paintbrush and fill in the details and the moments in the light.

The importance of subtlety is to observe the world and to make those little corrections so one can stand up straight while fencing or paint a realistic piece of art.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.


I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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