The Things I Carry

At school we are currently reading “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. On a somewhat related note, my English teacher assigned my peers an I to writing a one page poem about the things we carry on a daily basis- tangible and intangible. Here is my poem; I’m just putting it out there.

A Forever Kind of Weight

In my backpack,

I carry more than my heavy textbook,

The books of wisdom and knowledge from the past,

The notebooks with perspective in the form of the messiest handwriting,

The accordion folder holding the important files and documents for class,

The binders filled with worksheets from a semester ago.

I carry these things around,

But only temporarily.

Like the various colored pens and pencils I own,

The six different flavored lip balms,

The sweet smell of a lotion given as a gift,

The various amounts of metallic jewelry clinging and clanging together,

The white headphones, with the jack still raw from being pulled from my phone,

The ringing from some of the best music one’s ears will ever hear,

The echo of me and my friends laughing together,

The trace of a smile on my lips.

It’s all temporary.

Take a moment to consider what I might be carrying at all times.

The fatigue and exhaustion that comes with a life plan like mine,

The lack of excitement I feel when I’m let down,

The impression that the yelling leaves on me,

The degree of stress that nearly pushes me to the edge,

The tears I choke back.

But it’s not all negative.

The things that last come in different forms.

Like the crumpled up notes with declarations of love.

The ragged handmade friendship bracelets.

My passions scribbled repeatedly in my journals.

My visions drawn out in my sketchbook.

My hopes envisioned and ingrained in my mind.

My love for this world,

Regardless of the good and bad that comes with it.

That is what I carry with me.

That is a forever kind of weight.

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Florida.

In Florida, there was a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School.

17 people died.

The suspect, an expelled high school student, was taken into custody.

How does something like this happen? How often does this occur? http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/ tracks it for us. As of now, there are nearly 6,600 incidents involving gun violence 2018 alone. Approximately 6,600 times, people used guns to commit some sort of societal crime. I personally don’t think I could ever understand the reasoning behind why someone would do something like or would want to. However, it is a known and proven fact that some people continue to do these things and commit these crimes. We see on a yearly basis that incidents like the mass shooting at this high school continue to occur at other high schools, churches, communities, or in different places. This continues to happen. People continue to die at the hands of other people who have their own weapons.

So what is America going to do about it? What are we going to do about it?

First, I think that people should stop themselves and really think about what happened. Once you realize how terrifying and horrifying these shootings are, you might begin to gain a different perspective on what to do about it. Next – yes, there is a next – society has to learn that they cannot depend on big politicians to take the issue into their hands and do something about it. We see the rest of the American public mourning for the losses in these mass shootings, and sobbing along with them are those who have the power do to something about it, but choose not to. Prayers and condolences will do nothing for the people who have died at the hands of those with gun control. America’s sympathy will not help the friends and families of those dead. Instead what these people need is change. America needs change and action with respect to this topic – and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Teachers, students, teens, victims, the public, and others all in some way shape or form may find these kinds of events disturbing and want this part of American culture to change, because yes, this violence is now part of the American culture.

There isn’t much that I ALONE can say that will change anything, but if more and more people feel the same way I do and speak about the way they feel, we can influence a change in policy. The idea of just sending thoughts and prayers to victims and their families is purely not enough for me and for the rest of the world. People around Ameria are recognizing the issue at hand and it’s definitely not too late to finally do something about gun control. While a sensitive topic, it’s something that NEEDS to be addressed and not pushed away. Stricter gun laws will not create problems for responsible gun owners. They would not present any objection to a little more difficulty in obtaining guns if that means that they can live a safer life knowing that there are responsible owners out there. There needs to be some form of action to address the violence that continues to happen in America.

So… What are we going to do about it?

Procrastination Appreciation?

Hello again! This post is here mainly for any readers to comment and share what they have been doing over the past few months. I’ll fill you all in with what I’ve been up to.

In June, I ended my sophomore year of high school and officially entered the time of Summer Break. While I did not go to many places or see many things, I still had fun being with those I love. The past break included the very short trips of going to Southern California, San Francisco, etc. I did get a chance to finish most of my junior year summer homework in a timely manner which really helped me not to stress when nearing the end of the break. If there is any advice that I can give to anyone – younger, older, more experienced, less experienced – then I would say, don’t procrastinate. This idea really stuck with me over the course of my summer and it helped me prepare for the stressful year to come without actually stressing that much. I think that’s especially important at this age where almost anything is more interesting than the job one is doing at the moment. Just so you know though, I definitely don’t have this no-procrastination-perfection job down quite yet, but I am learning, hopeful that it will become a part of me in the very near future. In any case, I find this topic intriguing because procrastination is something that no one really likes to talk about but nearly everyone actually does procrastinate.

In any case, besides learning about procrastination and how working hard will actually help one reap some sort of benefit, I did enjoy my summer outside of the work it entailed. I had time to leisurely go outside or go to the library whenever I felt like it. California weather makes it so easy for me to love and enjoy the outdoors year-round. Even more so, I had a chance to connect more with my friends and family. A lot of the time we would have fun on the little trips we went on, which were seemingly too small to be meaningful, but ended up becoming some of the best memories I have ever had.

Anyway, THAT is a little glimpse into my summer and what I’ve been up to for the past few months (is this a procrastination post?). I’m excited to get back on this blog and let you all into the jumble of swirling and twirling thoughts in my head.

– ruhikanblog

(P.S. Let me know of topics to write on if you’re interested in seeing anything)

Day of Silence

Today is 4/21/2017 and it is currently 11:21 pm.

It’s taken the whole day to formulate my thoughts and think of a way to put everything I want to say into legitimate words.

Today is the Day of Silence.

This day represents the struggle that LGBT people face from bullying and harassment, as well as the silencing effect it has on them. So, in order to illustrate that, people in my school (and many other schools) decided to participate. I was one of those people.

What I did wasn’t in any way monumental. All I did was duct tape my mouth shut and carry cards so people who question me would see and understand. However, it was powerful. I, myself, am not purely part of the LGBT community, but I am considered an “ally” to it. I have friends who are in this community and this is one way I can show to them that yes, I am here for you. One would think otherwise, but I really did feel the emotion of going through with the action of keeping my mouth sewn shut by the vows of silence.

I am not writing this post to just explain what I did or why I did it, but to show you what happened when I did it.

My school is said to be very open to all of society, but it was almost a little hard to see that today. When I walked around the halls with green duct tape carefully stuck on my mouth, I saw people stare. I don’t want to infer anything without knowing any facts, but one could say that their face illustrated, “Oh! I didn’t know she…”  or “Is she…?” The funny thing is that I’m not… (should I complete their thought?)… gay. I’m not a lesbian, nor am I bisexual/a transgender/queer, but I AM in full support of them. On an even more serious note, here is another experience I had today: As soon as I got the tape, I put it on and started to trot down the stairs, happy with my decision to participate in this collective day of silence supporting a part of society that feels oppressed. Once I got to the ground floor, I turned and started to walk the hallway, noticing a group of boys on one of the sides. As I neared them, they all stopped talking. One of the guys turned another guy around to look right at me in the eyes. He saw my mouth. What did he do?

He laughed.

I shot him the dirtiest look I could and shoved him one of the “Day of Silence” notices (I’ll set it as the featured image) people were handing out during the day. I was so angry, and as I stormed off I thought, “Is this REALLY the type of stuff that people go through? And on a daily basis?” Just that little laugh meant so much and I felt so much with it. I’m not directly affected, but now I have an idea of what it could be like: much worse than what I experienced. I’m lucky that I’m in a school where not all of the students are going to laugh in someone’s face like that, but I don’t want to forget that people do much worse. Society, in its own way, has made it hard for LGBT people to be accepted for who they are and it has affected the mindset of the youth. My and future generations have to be the ones where people are accepting others for making their own decisions and choices, not deliberately laughing at them.

Today is the Day of Silence. Whether you took a vow of silence or not doesn’t matter. It all comes down to whether or not you can accept others for WHO THEY ARE and who they choose to be.

We are all just people.

Accept the similarities. Accept the differences.

It’s now 11:59.

Tomorrow, let’s speak up for those who need help to rise above the hate.

Later or Never?

Later.

What exactly does that mean to you?

By the dictionary it means “Afterward in time” or “At some unspecified time in the future”. Really think, what does this mean to you? Maybe it has no meaning, maybe it isn’t relevant. Let me give you some perspective.

Later, to me, feels like an empty promise.

Later, to me, feels like a goal left unachieved.

Later, to me, feels like the inevitable end to an idea.

Later, to me, feels like one is postponing what will never happen.

Later, to me, means Never.

Now, it does matter how the word is formally used. Because it doesn’t always imply the crude note I’ve attached to it. For example, when someone says, “See you later!”. This doesn’t convey any harsh tones or give any saddening feelings. Compare this situation to one where someone asks for a moment of your time and you say:

“Later”.

Think about it.

What does this achieve? This blatantly and cruelly shuts someone down. Whatever that one person had hoped for is completely out of mind because you’ve taken away their importance. You’ve then taken away the importance of what they wanted to say or convey to you, and to them, you have even taken away the importance of conveying that message to you. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the word for now, but it’s true. Say you have loads of work to do but you just said “Later”. What would you be doing in between Now and Later? Would you be achieving something- learning something new? Would you be going out and finding something interesting and valuable to you? Is there any way that what you had planned to do being postponed will be beneficial to you? Ask yourself that.

As for me, I’ve been in that situation (no denial there). As a high schooler I am a victim to that, of course. In that way, I’m not the perfect student or the perfect daughter or the perfect person, but I do try my best to stay true to myself, my ideas, and the people around me, giving them importance and time. I think everyone at some level is willing to say “Later” to something that doesn’t matter as much to them. Just make sure that when you do say it, that it isn’t to the things that matter because that won’t achieve anything. Remember how often you do end up telling this word to people because if too much, then the only one you’ll be hurting is yourself.

 

-ruhikanblog

via Daily Prompt: Later