The Summer I Grew Up

The Summer I Grew Up

Living with your eyes open.
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You don't realize how fast life is going until you really look into how much time has passed between each memory. I think about when I was sitting in the car as my mom drove me around because I didn't have a license. It feels like that was simultaneously yesterday and a lifetime ago.

There was a time when you worried about getting up early enough so you don’t miss the school bus and about what you’re going to wear for Halloween. Problems were so simple and you had time to worry about them. Now it seems we move so fast that you have to have all of the solutions in place before the problem occurs. “I have to have a minor in case my major isn’t good enough.”

The summer between freshman year of college and sophomore year is where I’ve done the most growing up. Obviously once you leave home and you have to fend for yourself (for the most part), you start to grow as an individual. However I’m not talking about individuality or relying on yourself, but growing up in the context of perception. I now see that time is precious and every minute has to be taken advantage of - and in this I have found a way to make an experience out of everything.

Sunsets used to just happen every single day; that is all that they meant to me. It signified the end of my day as I worried about how my mascara was running out. I remember looking out of the window on a car ride and noticing the sky looked pretty, but then I had to choose the next song to come on. I went to school in Manhattan freshman year and this is when I realized how much they mean to me. I couldn’t see the sunset from my apartment and there was nowhere nearby to fully enjoy the sunset in its entirety because buildings were always in the way. Like they say “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Now I go outside every day and I sit behind my shed and watch the sunset. I have come to realize that every sunset is a new experience; some more marvelous than others but they never fail to empty my mind and make me feel better.

Everything about our generation is planned. It’s so important to find time for yourself and appreciate the life you have, the people you get to love and the beauty. Beauty being in whatever you want that to be: the windows down as you drive on an empty road with music blasting, the feel of your favorite blanket, the smiles on your friends' faces because you said something witty, the silence, or the sunset.

I've been alive for 19 years now, but I feel as if I have been living with my eyes half shut. I realize now there is no such thing as wasted time or need for regret. This is what living is and the sooner that's realized, the better. The best moments are unexpected and time is fleeting. Make sure to catch those moments before you realize they're gone.

“Forever is composed of nows.” - Emily Dickinson

Cover Image Credit: Emma Korpics

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.
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With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Poetry On Odyssey: A Map Of Your Past

The past, the present, and you.
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one.

In every high school biology course

students sit and learn about genetics;

finding that a single human being

is a recombination of their parents’ genes

and their parents’ parents’ genes,

stretching all the way back

to the very beginning.

You are a mixture of everyone

who has ever come before you.


two.

You used to dream about leaving

and starting somewhere new,

but now that you’re here,

away from your beginning,

you wonder what will happen

to what you so freely left behind.


three.

Years later you sit in a lecture hall

of the new place you call home.

They talk once more of genetics

and you are reminded that your history

is not so easily hidden;

because it lies in your eyes,

their very color a map of your past,

a mixture of everyone

who has come before you.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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