Hey there, John Locke

Dear Mr. Locke,

I read your Essay a few years ago and, if I’m being entirely honest, it didn’t do much for me. Let’s just say your prose is a tad heavy in the hands of an adolescent millennial.

To be clear, this letter isn’t to shame or criticize your work. Actually, since that point in my adolescence, a few key things passed into my life that augmented the relevance of your Essay in my mind.

The first was Latin.

Latin has shaped my view of life and has become a constant source of discovery. (Try writing an essay analyzing prose – first you have to quite literally analyze the prose. Case, number, gender, anyone?)

So the meaning of tabula rasa, which of course I learned when your Essay was deconstructed on the white board of my history classroom, wasn’t all that new to me. But, now that Latin has become a passion, just hearing a casual “et cetera” in someone’s dialogue, or finding a cf. in the footnote of a textbook, makes me that much more intrigued in the subject matter.

The second wasn’t something that passed into my life. “Through” would be a more appropriate choice of words.

I met my best friend in kindergarten. We’ve since bonded over Harry Potter, fatigue in the fourth mile of our run, and Daenerys’ epic woman power. I’ve known her about as long as I’ve known myself, which makes it hard to define myself and keep my identity secure now that she isn’t around.

(Forgive the rambling, Mr. Locke, I’ll get to the point!)

I wish I was back in elementary school when we had recess and stayed in the same classroom all day and there wasn’t homework and college was a figment of our imaginations and sex was nonexistent and there were playdates and we went sledding and didn’t wake up at 5:30 and we were friends.

The best part of being a child is, like you note, Mr. Locke, the blank slate state of being that comes with it. How irrational, that the slate you speak of can’t be erased? I can’t unsee, unexperience, undo, or unlearn.

Everyone’s lost their blissful ignorance, and the tabulae rasae aren’t just marked, they’re scarred.


Winter Wonderland

Yep…it’s definitely not winter. At least it doesn’t look like it. No picturesque cozy town…no trees sprinkled (yes: sprinkled) with snow…certainly no hills calling to little kids and the cheap, hurt-your-butt-going-down sleds.

Everything is green here. Green! And it’s January.

So, to distract myself from the absolute pathetic state of this Massachusetts winter, I’ve been painting what I would really like to see going on.

Sometimes there’s no other way to describe it besides stressful. I’m not in any way trying to emanate Rembrandt, but I don’t want to lump in my canvas with the finger paintings of my toddler self. But, if there’s music on to pump me up, and it’s a really good playlist, then painting becomes such a great stress-reliever. And then, you know, you get kind of proud of it…

Ex: My bird is so cute!!!!!!! (Seriously, look at it up there ^)

Arts and crafts help me more than physical activity. Sure, I do really like running or cleaning my room, which I know is beyond strange to a great many out there, but that only releases the stress of feeling like a cramped, unfit hermit drowning in laundry. Creativity makes me imagine.

Today, holding my paint brush, I was successfully  out of college. I didn’t get as far as thinking about what job I had, but I did create a new mindset where everything that is so important right now (id est: grades, standardized testing, other vomit equally as unfortunate) didn’t matter at all.

Thinking about my life where college doesn’t matter anymore is as bizarre as thinking about the Earth with no nighttime, or people with rainbow skin, or a secret hotel hidden in the core of the planet. It is also fantastic.

Because I’m hypoglycemic and a little crazy right now (I used exclamation points in a row just a few minutes ago), I might as well just wrap this up.

Goal for the next few months: continue with creative endeavors, those which give me an alter ego that is, fantastically, still me!

Painting is not scary. Go to The Paint Bar and you will understand.


T-4 days

I am very much looking forward to Sunday. Something odd about vacation is that there’s never as much rest and relaxation that there’s advertised to be. Or maybe it’s that R&R is so elusive that once I’ve got it, I don’t really want it. Or maybe I’m just bored. Either way, sitting on my couch playing mind tug-of-war over what I should really being doing isn’t all it’s chalked up to be.

Sunday marks the start of 2017. It could be sentimentality, or a nervous itch in the back of my mind, or even just hormones, but I’ve made a New Year’s resolution already so that Sunday can sit back and not worry its pretty head over what failure of a promise I’ll make this time around. This blog is my promise.

I could walk up to any person at my school and ask if they’re feeling stressed and the answer I would expect every time is a yes. Who isn’t? Seniors are finishing up the long haul that is High School, and every ounce of effort they put into their applications matters. The Sophomores are already having guidance seminars and the idea of college drilled into their brains – that is, if their parents hadn’t started ahead of time. Even the Freshmen are worried about their upcoming tests…and then there are us Juniors.

Pause for a moment for a quote from a since-graduated NSHS student: “The only good thing about Junior year is that it ends.”

That’s pretty much the mindset all of us Juniors have been in. What with the constant pressure of standardized testing, quarterly grades, and the search for that special factor that makes each one of us unique in the eyes of college admission boards, there isn’t a second to slip-up. This is something that I became more cognizant of recently. This…and the fact that all of my conversation-starters prompt a discussion about the stress, upset, and violent worry that is the College Preparation Process.

So…I made a New Year’s resolution. This blog is, as titled, for my own happiness. It is to document everything I see and do that lifts the mounting pressure of the coming year, and encourage me to go play paintball, or call a friend, or take a longer shower– if that’s what will make me feel happier.