Something By Isabel Garcia


There's no better descriptor than the word "something."


Sometimes I don't know what I'm doing. Not the faintest idea at all. I think writing is like sometimes. Or all the time really.

This is the first time I've actually sat down and written something, like an actual something, in a long time.

I remember when I was younger, I'd rush home after school and scurry upstairs to get my hands on the computer (an old desktop by the way, imagine that). I'd write for a good hour or two. I loved the way the keyboard felt on my fingertips. There's something incredibly soothing about typing. I always thought so. The sound of fingernails clicking across my grandma's wood floor downstairs. Nothing beats it. Except maybe high heels on that floor, but that's different.

Writing is something.

I used to be obsessed with getting the perfect words, the perfect phrase to capture this insane vision in my head. The ultimate romantic declaration of love between the two characters I had been envisioning in my head for days. The perfect scene that encapsulates the novel and fills everyone with a sense of perfect poignancy I've experienced from so many books throughout my life.

I haven't written in years.

I mean I've written essays and these campy little articles and scholarships and letters. But I haven't written that something like I described earlier in a long time. I didn't even have a vision when I started writing this. What a concept.

I was on the verge of tears because I've been going through the roughest patch of my life since the first time in sixth grade, but I suddenly had the urge to write. Intrusive thoughts invaded my head prompting me to revisit characters and story lines I've held onto through the years. Maybe chug out a little scene for them. But I'm not. Or maybe I am?

I miss those guys. Those funny, fleshed out, intriguing little guys. I have their whole stories planned out in my head. I can still imagine the front covers of their stories I want to publish someday. That's when I was younger. But it's still me.

Oh yeah, I had a poignant point I wanted to make earlier about the whole rough patch in life thing. I was contemplating this horrid decision I have to make and for some reason the familiar fantasy about me being an award-winning author rushed back to my head. I hadn't thought about that one in a while.

Then I got in bed as one does, and the feeling came over. The feeling to write. The feeling that all writers get when the life of words courses through them. I think Maya Angelou once said it's a very painful thing to have a story that begs to be told inside of you. It's that feeling.

I don't like that I said, "life of words." That's cheesy.

See it's that manufactured pressure I don't like that's kept me from writing. Well and the lack of this feeling. The lack of this feeling is what I'd call "writer's block." And every great author, English teacher, and WikiHow advice article will tell you that you shouldn't rely on "the feeling" and get writing. But when that feeling comes the magic happens. Writing is a process.

Oh yeah, the poignant thing I was trying to say. When I got that feeling, I was reminded of the ocean. How it calms you whenever you go to the beach and see it. Well if you're me it does. Writing is another way I go to the ocean.

I've been dealing with a lot and it's hard to remember who I am and what's real and what's not, but I know this is. I don't want to stop writing this even though the close feels natural. Writing is like coming home.

I feel like my most authentic self when I write. And writing essays is great and challenging and it teaches me a lot but its not my something. Writing like this with that feeling that's my something. And maybe one day I'll harness that, and I won't need the feeling to write and I can become the next J.K. Rowling in this dying age of print and literacy, but I haven't yet.

So, when I get this feeling, I say thank you. Because I know that "me" is still in there. That true, authentic beautiful feeling I've been so disconnected with. It's still there.

I'm still there.

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A Letter To High School Seniors On Graduation Day

The rest of your life begins today.

Dear High School Senior,

Today's the day you've been waiting for your whole life. You'll wake up a little earlier than usual, brush your teeth and go downstairs for your last breakfast as a high school student. Your mom will look at you with tears running down her cheeks wondering how her baby grew up so quickly. Your friends will be texting your group message non-stop with words of disbelief, wondering where the time went. You guys made it to the day you've been counting down to all year long.

You'll start to reminisce on things like your first pep rally and the dorky outfits you wore freshman year. You'll laugh at things your old teachers did and remember the ones who left to teach somewhere else. You'll wonder how the guys in your grade actually managed to grow up and laugh at how young you all looked when you had just begun. You'll remember all of the football games you attended and consider how strange it will be seeing other people wearing your guy friends' numbers when the Thanksgiving game rolls around. You'll drive by the soccer field and think of all the blood, sweat and tears you gave to it over your high school career.

You'll recall your first real kiss and joke about how upset you were when the first boy broke your heart. It'll feel like yesterday when you walk through those doors for the final time and look around at all of the empty lockers. You'll gather with your classmates together in the same place for the last time and think about how you're all going to be in different places next year. You'll be excited but nervous because in a few hours, life as you know it will change.

So before you sit down to hear the Valedictorian's speech and walk the stage to receive your diploma, make sure you take the time to appreciate the memories you made in those halls. Thank your teachers, even the difficult ones, because when you're sitting down in your first college class, you'll feel grateful for the work they made you do. Thank your parents for supporting you. It's not easy raising a teenager, but they did not give up on you regardless of how brutal puberty was.

Thank your friends. They're the ones that got you through your first heartbreak and made sure that you were going to be okay. They listened to your complaints after a big fight with your mom, even if they thought you were wrong. They forgave you when you were wrong and understood your bad days. They stood up for you when you got yourself in a bad situation. They brought you coffee when you didn't have time to get it yourself. They took you home when you couldn't make it there alone. They celebrated your good news and helped you through the bad. They made you laugh uncontrollably and created memories that you'll hold on to forever. They made you who you are today.

After you receive your diploma and throw your cap in the air, make the most of the time you have left with your high school friends before you all head off to college. You only have a few months before you're sitting in a dorm room surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Work, but don't forget that memories last longer than money. Go to the beach, take lots of pictures, go out on Friday nights and enjoy the days that summer has to give. Trust me, college will be awesome, but you'll never be the same person that you are today.


Your College Self

SEE ALSO: 11 Pieces Of Advice All High School Students Need To Hear

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.


I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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