Right now, I'm sitting outside as a cold glass of lemonade leaves a watermark on my wooden chair. I'm taking in the salty air that is Nantucket, Massachusetts. Lots of ideas are going through my mind and this is an article that probably won't be finished in one sitting. Hearing the conversations between two neighboring yacht owners put this train of thought on the tracks.
It started with a simple question, "I love your chairs, where did you get them?". The man didn't notice he was being talked to. The question was repeated louder, but when the man still didn't respond, the chair-lover shouted the name painted on the side of the man's yacht. "REEL ESTATE!". The man finally looked up from his task of reading a fishing magazine. He tilts his glasses lower on his nose, sets down his glass of red wine and stands up, sighs. Oh, what a hard life. Then we get the answer we've all been waiting for- some shop in India! I stopped listening at that point. I tuned into the birds and waves and music. Still, I couldn't help but hear pieces of their seemingly never ending conversation. The phrases like "spent the year in Italy" and "our place in the Bahamas" felt louder than others.
Was that man ever sitting in bed at 2 in the morning wondering how he was going to pay for college? Did tears ever run down his face after losing a high school sports game? Has he ever had a job at a small corner ice cream shop? Who knows, but what happened before he went ahead and bought those unique chairs from India? Before he had the comfort of the pillows on his yacht and the preppy sense of style, complete with Vineyard Vines shorts? I can't categorize or judge him on the small piece of life I'm witnessing him living. The lame moral of the story is, don't judge a book by... chapter 21.
You never know what people have been through. At the same time we hear how horrible people are, humans are amazing. Humans can take on huge amounts of pain, both physically and mentally. We have the capability of overcoming problems, thoughts, conflicts, diseases and things initially thought to be impossible to prevail over. Here's a gold star to us. We all deserve something for the hard work we've put in. Your gold star could be a brand new lake house, but remember Jane's gold star is food on the table.
Continuing the train of random thoughts on a more personal note, I've come to understand the realness of leaving for college in a week. Leaving all I know to start a whole new chapter of my life with new people, teachers, schedules and work. Hopefully this transition will be a good one. I don't expect it to be easy at all, but I do expect it to be a good, needed change in my life. A lot of people don't like change, don't like time itself, but why waste it as you sit there wishing it went slower? Ironic. If I could take one thing from this summer alone, it'd be the importance of spending time with people you love most. People who make you nothing but happy and people you know understand. There's going to be very few people like your best friend and don't take that for granted. It's not all about who's answering your Snapchats first or giving you your hundredth like on that post, it's who's still going to be there when you're too depressed to Snapchat or post. When you're so down and confused and feel like you have nothing to do but worry about pointless things all day. The person who wants nothing else but to see you smile. And those are the people I'll miss in college. On the other hand, I'll miss the kid that said hi to me everyday in ceramics. We weren't exactly close friends, but he did have a weirdly big impact on my morning extending that simple "hi". I certainly have the people I know I won't miss and then the people I'll realize I don't miss. It's crazy how life works and how people are placed in it at certain times, sometimes when they're needed and sometimes completely randomly. Everyone has a purpose, everyone has something they aspire to be, somewhere they dream of ending up, someone they hope to be with, but not everyone goes the length to fulfill their purpose.
Today, I ask you to really look back on yourself. Reflect on your choices. Don't hate yourself, but remind yourself what you'd have done differently if you regret any of them. Somethings you just can't change anymore, they've became out of reach ideas, so kick that regret out of your head. This is all about clearing your mind. Don't get down over things out of your control, it's being in the passenger seat while someone else drives your car. Don't blame yourself for another's problems. Just like before take off they tell you in the event of an emergency to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others, live for yourself first. Live by those words the flight attendant tells you. Once you've got that under control, go out and make yourself useful to the ones you love. Provide the knowledge you possess, but don't live to provide to those who could care less. Also, try not to provide things you don't yet possess. That's impossible and causes confusion for everyone. Grow through mistakes, others mistakes, grow through success and self realization and allow yourself to experience a feeling of reward when no one seems to be on your side. Follow your mind and be real with yourself. Don't let people get their hands on the key to your brain, and be careful not to lend the spare one to the wrong person. Remember how the highs feel when you hit your low. When people laugh, push harder, when people doubt, shake your head and put in that extra hour of work. You know yourself the best and don't ever think differently. Get your mind right and run with it. That's what I'm going to do once I pick my feet up off this balcony.