Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tied together with a lie

What if we lived in a world where we could not feel the way the wanted to feel? What if we couldn't think the way we wanted to think? What if we couldn't tell people what we wanted to tell them?

What if we live in that world?

Each time words spill from my mouth, they are filtered. They are filtered for profanity, racism, offensive comments, and for the truth. Most of the time, I speak in a circular lie because there is no way I can tell the whole truth without crossing lines of decency. There are times when I get to be filterless, but those times are few and far between.

I try my best to be considerate. Consideration is a tricky subject. This allows people to walk all over you in the process. When I am driving, I am very considerate (or at least I think I am) but I draw a line to where consideration becomes unsafe for myself and my passengers. Sometimes, this rolls over to my real life. I try to be courteous; I try to not step over lines; I try to keep the peace. Yet somehow, I am unable to achieve those things.

To keep a peace, tiptoeing is necessary. You have to be fully aware with what you are dealing with even when you are not dealing with it. One wrong word can release the missiles; the missiles being aimed at you and every move you have ever made. To avoid this, you lie. The lie to the other person does not hurt as much as the lie to yourself. The lie is to protect them. The lie to yourself acts against your instincts unless your instincts are to lie, which may be so if you are accustomed to lying. The biggest lie is being sorry.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not actually sorry because you are wrong. You hurt me and I don't want to be sorry. I just want to be mad and vent about you to my pillow. My pillow is the only one who supports me these days." This is a feeling that so many teens feel at one time or another. But we cannot say this. If we say this, nothing is going to get better between us and our friends. We lose a friend because we are too self-centered. And then we complain about not having any friends, but that was all because we told the truth. The truth is a heartbreaker. We cannot afford to break our friends hearts because we need them for when others break our hearts. So how can we win?

A battle is won with a surrender. No matter how many bombs have been cast onto innocent people, there is always someone willing to surrender. However, to surrender is to lose and to be consumed with blame. No matter what they do to repair relations, it was their fault. They are the ones that admitted that they were wrong. They bit their tongue. They swallowed their pride. The world in turns swallows them. All they wanted was for the war to end and peace to arise. Yes, they may have done some wrong things, but so did the other side. No war is one sided no matter how hard you fight for that point to be made.

To salvage a friendship worth saving, a sorry can start the healing process. But sorrys lose their meaning when they are over used. A coach of mine once said that he would never say sorry to me because he did not love me and knew that it does not have meaning without love. So each time you say sorry you should ask yourself if you love the person enough to use this precious word. Even if you aren't sorry, the love you have for the other person should be enough for you to be willing to use it.

Sometimes my filter is clogged and has to be let out. Those are where the heartbreaks happen, but usually I can mend them. Hopefully there will be a day where the truth won't hurt and everyone can be real without the fear of tripping a booby trap. Until that day, my filter will have no rest.

This is what I was allowed to see on my pier. What are you allowed to see on yours?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meaning without action

It's hard to listen when the words being flung at you have no meaning. People can be told to eat their vegetables, but they don't until they are facing serious health ailments. Life brings meanings to words and that is the only way we are expected to listen.

Laws are written. Some people follow them blindly because that is all they have ever known. When a law becomes enforced, either people start to oblige to it or they start to question it. Most people want to avoid getting punished so they will be a law abiding citizen, but others argue for the justification of certain laws if it in some way offends them or their way of life. The bottom line is that a law is only as effective as its enforcement.

Laws are not the only thing that lack a certain meaning until they are acted upon. Deaths are too. Most people have a feeling of certainty that they will live to see the next sunset, when there is no guarantee in that. But we continue to live that way because we have to keep our lives in order. There is no time for us to live our lives the way we want because the way we want to live requires us give up something else. When someone we know dies, we have a surge of life. We realize that life is precious and that we should not be wasting it.

This befuddles me. Why must someone die in order for us to value our time? Every day is a gift. That means that it was graced upon us and is a mystery until the day is through. Receiving a gift is a great feeling and we should never take it for granted. Why do we think that each day is a natural right when nature can take it from us at any time? It is just heart-wrenching that someone needs to pass in order to make us live our lives the way we want, at least for a few moments.

We should be leading a life we can be proud of at any time in our lives. That does not mean we should just quit our jobs so we can go backpacking through Europe with no money. This means that we should live for the now and appreciate what we have while we have it. If you are working in a job you do not particularly care for, you should remember that plenty of other people who do not have jobs would be more than willing to fill in your slot and take your salary. If you can make the positives in your job bright and shiny, it will be hard for you to notice the dull, lackluster negatives. Life is not measured in possessions, its measured in smiles and happiness.

Life is meaningful and death should not be the only thing that reminds you. Don't live a life that you don't want to live because that can only hurt yourself. Live for love, not for money. Live for laughs, not for fame. Live for family, not for gold. Live for yourself, not for anyone's approval. Life is precious and we should remember that every day. Make your days better by starting it off with a smile at the crack of dawn and finishing it with one too. Life is what you make it and you can make it anyway you please. Happiness is the key to locked doors. Go and open one today.

This is what I saw on my pier today. What will you see on yours?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The AP side of things

Starting in elementary school, and even in preschool, students are split into groups based upon their learning abilities. Kids in each group grow up with the same people in their classes and create a kind of society within a society. The AP side of these societies are dismal if you shine the wrong light on them.

In the "AP Society," there is a social order that is in place, but no one ever talks about it. There are several divisions in our society. Of course, there are the slackers that barely make it through each of their classes. These people are necessary for others's successes because they make the elite look better. There is also a middle class of "average AP students" that get so-so grades, but we know are smart enough to be in these classes. And of course there is an elite power that rules with the power of extra credit, hundred-percents, and 5s on APs. This is the class that sets the ideal roles for AP students that pressures others to be like them. This society is in place and everyone knows, but no one talks about it.

The "AP Society" is pretty competitive. We live to outdo others and get into the best of colleges that the world (which means UCLA, USC, and Cal). No one boasts with a B or below. We save it for the As because those are the only grades that we want. Some of us are only in school to buy their As with their excessive studying rather than for the knowledge. Some of us are willing to go to teachers and kiss them where the sun don't shine so that they will give us a grade that we probably do not even deserve. But we don't care. It's like a businessman who works in scheming ways so he can get paid even more than he should. That is what we are expected to want and expected to "work" our way to.

AP students do a lot of work. We do homework that can be piled up in the most inopportune times of the year. We study at the latest of hours of the night. Most of our work is repetitive memorization of information. We only need to remember things for a few days and then we can forget it until AP tests come up. That is how we work because that is how our societal standards are set and we must comply.

When it comes to college decisions, we are expected to make it into the best schools according to lists that arbitrarily rank colleges on nonsensical standards. If we do not make it into our dream school, we feel like we failed our society. If we got into our dream school, we make sure to let everyone know so they can feel inferior. State schools are a laugh to us because we often think of ourselves as too good for them. Don't even mention community college. Community college is like an excommunication from the "AP Society." You are not allowed back in after your decision to slum it with the average Joes. To avoid this, you must go to an incredibly expensive or highly respected college just to keep in good face.

This society is messed up at times. Outsiders who are in the occasional AP are hardly thought as insiders by the society. If they are an AP test virgin, then they are ridiculed for their lack of experience. If these "outsiders" ask an obvious question, there is a sea of rolling eyes to swallow their self-esteem. The rules are set and if you do not know them, you better find out soon.

I think each one of us thinks that we are not a part of the society. We think we are better than these demoralizing ideals. I look at the elite and think I am better than them and at times can overthrow them with higher test scores and college admissions. Other times, I am replaced. Lately, I have felt as though I am not completely a part of this dystopia. I look at them and think of how they are going to afford the life they want to live. Not only are the schools that they long to attend are beyond the price tag that I am willing to pay, they also are going to be losing their elite status when they go to schools with the rest of the elites in the country. I don't know if I would want to be in that society. I fear it could be worse and lead to an unhappy experience.

I am looking at college in a different way than most of my peers. I look at it as a path that is going to take me to a place where I get to do what I want. And the only way I am going to do that is by looking at the content and not the grade. It's one thing to get a grade, but another to retain the things you need to know and apply them to your real life. I'm looking for life experiences, not for grades.

I'm a dissenter.

This is what I saw on my pier. What kind of societies will you see on yours?

DISCLAIMER: Most of this post is exaggerated and some of it is spot on. Take a look at the "AP Societies" in America and see if the society is prominent in your school. Just remember that the light you see something in paints the picture in a different color. I used a dark brush to connect this to 1984.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Serious to Sass

You would never guess that when I was in second grade my teacher said that I was serious! No joke, she actually said that! Today I would not say that I am as serious as I was then, but at times I can be pretty focused.

I think when I first heard my teacher say that I was upset. I did not realize that I was do serious. My teacher must have mistaken my love of school for seriousness, because really, I just loved going to school. I have journal entries that say that I love school to back me up on that. School was just so fun and I got into it. But apparently my getting into was construed as a sense of seriousness.

Since I developed a sense of seriousness towards school at a very young age, I remained self-motivated throughout my schooling. I usually try my best and it shows through my grades. Not bragging or anything, but I'm doing well in life at the moment. I think I can thank my younger self for loving school and being serious because it paid off, or at least for now.

I was not serious all the time when I was a child and I often was a little on the silly side. And now, I am pretty silly and sassy when I am not in class. On my water polo team, I became the Sass Master. I honestly did not know that every time that I spoke that I was being sassy. Sometimes I was trying to be serious and my coach would call me a sassafrass. At times, it actually frustrated me when no one would take me seriously when I was actually being serious. But my sassing did start at a frustrating time in my life. This year, the sass was toned down and a freshman came to be my Sassprentice. She learned a lot and even taught me some new ways to be sassy. It was a good year filled with sassing, while also being slightly serious.

In my psychology class, we are learning about human development. One thing that we discussed in class was whether our personality stays the same or it changes as we age. Some things do stay the same while others change, either intentionally or subconsciously. I think that I am still a serious person, but only when I need to be. In most classes, I am focused, except for economics where I zone out, draw pictures in lecture, and miss like ten days and still get an A. That is because I am self motivated to learn and do my best, even if I could care less about what I am learning about. I don't mind going to school everyday because it gives me something to be serious about. When I am outside of school, I can go crazy and sass all day. (My terms of crazy are going home and watching dozens of episodes of Friends and then getting my homework done).

I like who I am today. I'm passionate, creative, silly, and serious. I am at a time in my life where I am discovering myself and I am really enjoying where my heart takes me. If it were not for some serious little girl, I would not be where I am sitting right now.

On my pier, I saw a serious little girl turn into a sassy teenager. What will you see on your pier?