My Last Carnival

Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Last Carnival” is something I have been listening to a lot lately. For me, it holds so many different meaning and resonates with so many events happening in my life right now. First of all, I lost a dear friend to a motorcycle accident on April 10th. I haven’t really been ready to talk about it because I was ready to face the “sorry for your loss” again, but at this time I feel like I need to leave a tribute to her. What better way to do that than to listen to a song that reminds me how alive she was.

“We won’t be dancing together on the high wire
Facing the lines with you at my side, oh no.
We won’t be breathing the smoke in the fire
On a midway.
Hanging from the trapeze, my wrists waiting for your wrists.
Two daredevils high upon the water’s edge.
You throwing the knife that lands inches from my head.”

She enjoyed walking on the wild side of things. She was a limit-tester. That friend you could do anything will no matter how crazy of dangerous. Springsteen encompasses above exactly how it felt to be with her and the grief I feel that I won’t get to have those adventures with her anymore. She was fearless, and she made me fearless. She was the most alive person I knew, and I know wherever she is at now, that hasn’t changed. She always walked the line of risk like it was a tightrope. Where is she is, she’s pushing the rules. She’s existing beyond the way all of us exist, and that is exactly how she lived her life. “The last Carnival” reminds me of the last time she and I did something out of the ordinary. We were at a parade in our hometown, and we got bored, so we walked through the parade band and then made our way a few miles up the road. She was determined to walk in the middle of the road and dodge any vehicles that came at her. That was our last carnival.


This song also reminds me of my MSA family. My literaries and I have been through thick and thin together. We have argued, almost fought, laughed together, cried together, got to know each other in the most mentally and emotionally intimate ways. The past two years have been a roller-coaster ride, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to love all of these fantastic people.

Thank you, Ms. Vickie for being my mom away from home. You were always there to listen when I was having a hard time and ready to give me a laugh when I needed it most.

Thank You, Mr. Benny and Mrs. Suz for always checking up on me and pushing me to be the best I could be.

Thank You, Mrs. Kathy for sitting with me at dinner when I was alone, you have no idea how much that meant to me.

Thank You, Mrs. Sibley for being the best mentor I could ask for, learning my love language, and never letting me give up on myself. There were times when you had more faith in me than I did, and your guidance has helped me grow as a writer and especially as a person. I know I was a handful, and I can never fully express my gratitude for everything you have taught me.

Thank You, Kerri Bland for always being the person that could make me laugh until I couldn’t breathe. You are heading for amazing things, and I am so proud of the person you have evolved into since we first met back at camp. I have lived with you for two years and over that time you have become one the best and most memorable friends I have and will ever meet.

Thank You, Morgan Crosby for being such an amazing listener and supporter. You have never judged me. You have always pushed me to do great things from raising my ACT score, to listening to me read my pieces over and over even before they were done, for feeding me comfort food, for the warm hugs, for listening to me complain all the time, you are a great human being and I love you so much.

Thank You, Victoria Jerde for helping me gain confidence in myself. You were there each time I doubted my abilities or my strength. I am grateful that I got to know you because you were one of the few people who understood everything I was suffering with. You are so beautiful and smart and strong, and never let yourself get down just like you never allowed me too.

Imani Carter/Skipwith, we have been through some stuff together for sure, but I am glad we were able to solidify a bond and friendship this year. You have had my back when it counted most since that summer we roomed together at camp, and you are going to do such amazing things with your words. I am proud and excited to see where you go.

Micheal “MJ” Coleman, man am I going to miss you. You are such a shining star. I am going to miss hearing you sing, hearing you laugh, and watching you dance. I’ll miss our talks. Remember last year when I sat by you in the lab and we would always cut up? You really became my brother over these years, and I love you so much.

Kia Nations, we weren’t really that close, but I’ll miss your ability to stand up for yourself no matter what. Your writing has grown so much, and I can’t wait to see where you wind up. You have such a bright future, never let anyone try to get you down because you are a force to be reckoned with.

Finally, Chloe Russell, my best friend, my future Millsaps roommate, I won’t even try to explain how much you mean to me. You came into my life at the perfect time. You made me stronger. You made me a better writer, gave me a better outlook on life, and help me become a better person. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t of took me out for that drive back in the beginning of last year and gave me a new friend when I had no one. You keep me going, and wherever you wind up, I’ll be right beside you cheering you on.

To my juniors, and to their juniors, and so on: Seize every moment, bask in it, love where you’re at and love where you are going because if you are apart of this family, you are destined for great things. This is my last carnival, but I know that you all will only make the carnival bigger, greater, and incomparable. Love you all.

“Moon rise, moon rise, the light that was in your eyes is gone away.
Daybreak, daybreak, the thing in you that made me ache has gone to stay
We’ll be riding the train without you tonight
The train that keeps on moving
It’s black smoke scorching the evening sky.
A million stars shining above us like every soul living and dead
Has been gathered together by God to sing a hymn
Over the old bones.

Sundown, sundown.
They empty out the fairgrounds.
Where are you now my handsome Billy?”


It kills me that I have to say good-bye to you all like this, but at least it’ll be in a place for me to always look back and remember. Thank you so much MSA, for changing my life, for helping me become great.

How Boys Feel About #MeToo

This was an English Composition assignment. I decided to critique an article on how boys are affected by the femimist movement against assault. Because I feel the matter is interesting, and should be further contemplated, I wanted to share my critique on a larger board.


The article “The #MeToo Balancing Act in High School” by The New York Times journalist Andrew Reiner is discussing how the #MeToo movement is affecting young men in society. The movement is centered around young women speaking up about their experience with sexual assault and how it should be avoided, but in this article, Reiner reaches out to high school boys to see how they feel about the movement. I must admit, it was insightful despite its slightly mediocre format and language.

Reiner opens the article by explaining a guy named Chris’s experience with the movement. Chris talks about an event his all-boys high school co-hosted with an all-girls high school where the girls talked about the #MeToo movement and made a lot of the guys feel attacked. Chris made it clear that he does not stand for sexual assault, but the girls made the guys feel that their natural, and societal-taught instinct (such as making the first move when he has romantic feelings) is wrong.

The boys would later challenge the double standard of girls being able to hit guys, but guys cannot hit them back. Then girls shut them down and said they shouldn’t have to answer such questions. While even I have witnessed women growing tired of this always being the first come back, I find it to be a fair enough question. If they cannot hit us, then we cannot hit them. If they cannot sexualize us, then we cannot sexualize them. A double standard has developed; I cannot deny that.
Speaking to the younger generation of men was a good idea and seemed like great sources to get the information the article was searching for. He even reached out to some college women who are close friends with guys who must be too cautious to ensure they never accidentally touch a woman and offend them. These women helped even out the bias issue that I was noticing in the article before.
This is a very serious subject matter because it seems that as the feminist and #MeToo movements have grown and women’s voices have gotten louder, men and young boys don’t really have a voice to explain themselves. They are constantly being labeled negatively for accidents, or they have become too afraid to even call a girl pretty in fear of offending them. It is clear that Andrew Reiner wants his readers to look at this matter seriously and consider how it is affecting the opposing gender, but I feel like it is important for women to thing about as we move forward in the feminist movement. We want to be equal, right? As of now, I feel we have overpowered in many ways and things do need to eventually even out.

when the world didn’t end

when the world didn’t end by Caroline Kaufman is a poetic book full of deep thoughts the break and then mend your heart. When I got this book, I was drawn in by the title. It told me that the poems inside would somehow tell a story about healing. We all know the pain that feels like everything is over, the moment I read the title, I knew this was going to put that pain into words and go beyond. The poetry is a journey toward strength and acceptance of one’s self and past.

The book is separated into three parts: what waswhat could have been, and what became. The author chooses not to use capitalization in most of her titles; I find this interesting, as I could not quite find the reasoning behind this choice, but I also found it satisfying to look at. It also made all the problems she wrote about seem small in a way. I was fully aware of the seriousness of the content, but perhaps the point was that all problems are small once you get passed them.

what was

This part of the book was the capturing of suffering. She discusses rape, heartbreak, depression, self-harm, coming of age, the struggle with sexuality, body dysmorphia, insecurities, peer-pressure, and how you lose yourself in the midst of all these things. Below are some of my favorite quotes from this section of the book.

“Survival was the only outcome we weren’t prepared for.”

“The universe is infinite, and still, I occupy too much of it.”

“I made a career out of never letting go.”

“You’re getting good at remembering to say just kidding at the end of every self-deprecating joke.”


what could have been

This portion of the book is more of the “what if’s” thoughts. What if that person had loved me back? What if I was never depressed? What if I was smarter? What if I chose better people to surround myself with? What if I never read poetry? What if I never became a writer? What if?

“How do we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become?”

“Maybe I will not focus on the complicated at all.”

“You are not a gentle tune. You are not a lullaby no matter how many times I fall asleep thinking of you.”

“When I tell you I am passionate, I mean that I am suffering.”


what became

The last part of the book is all about healing. This captures the soul of accepting that you can’t change the cards you’ve been dealt, but you can embrace them. You can turn them into something beautiful, and you can grow from them. The story doesn’t end with your pain.

“Sometimes I’ve found that loss can be a synonym for growth.”

“It is hard to forgive without an apology, but I am trying to do it anyway. Not because you deserve the forgiveness, but because I deserve to move on.”

“I am not the house cat- I am the lioness. And If you try to cross me? I will not hesitate to bite you back.”

“Is this longing for the childhood I can never get back? Or is this hope for the person I will become?”


Kaufman captured her journey in a painfully beautiful and relatable way. I would love to ask her questions about her easily appreciated unique formatting. Her strange and whimsical ideas to depict emotions and carry out her story are far-fetched and heart-wrenching at the same time. I deeply recommend her work to any modern poetry lover.

Last Poem:

“every minute I have on this earth

is borrowed time.

I fought for it,

almost died for it,

and won it back.


I deserve to spend it

doing what I love.

I deserve to spend it

with the people I love.


and most of all,

I deserve to spend it

loving myself.”


Yes, you do Caroline Kaufman. In fact, we all do.

Tragic, Beautiful, Incomparable Love

Love, the most tragic and beautiful abstract feeling. When you’re young, you take what you can get. The first boy to say he loves you may wind up being your first everything else. Your first kiss, touch, the first boy you bring home to meet your parents, and almost inevitably, your first heartbreak. I’m sure most of you reading this have already experienced this first love kind of pain, and those of you who have are probably still searching for a way to let go and move on. It seems almost impossible to see yourself loving another the same way you loved your first, and I cannot be entirely sure if pure, innocent love can ever be reused. The thing is, there are greater loves out there. There are stories much more monumental for you to be a part of.

See, I’ve noticed that when a girl gets her heart broken for the first time, they often spiral in self-consciousness and deprecation. I did it, I’ve watched my friends do it. You convince yourselves that if the first love wasn’t forever then no one is. Then you move forward. Date again. Kiss again, but you’re still missing him, aren’t you? Of course you are. You have managed to put yourself so far down that you don’t think you deserve another shot at love. You’re too scared of it. You tell your friends you don’t want to love anyone but him. They tell you that you’re stupid; may even make you feel kind of bad about it; but it’s probably due to the fact that your on-going heartache is reminding them of their own. We are all in pain here. It’s a painful world, a “love” is a painful word.

The good news, rather it be your first heartbreak or your eleventh, it will fade. The beautiful thing about love is that it has no limits. Think of it the way scientists view the universe, expansive and infinite, there is not a solid person or thing that you must invest this feeling into. You meet new people every day. You have a new opportunity to love and grow with every moment that passes by. I can’t tell you how to let go of that person you are hanging on to. I can’t explain how moving on works because I’m not too good at it myself, but what I do know is, while the love we have inside of is unmeasurable and unconditional, our time to use it, is not. So, don’t waste time dwindling on the pain and sorrows, just run, not away but into, the arms of the world and all the tragic, beautiful, incomparable love it has to offer.

White Flag – Bishop Briggs

White Flag by Bishop Briggs is currently my fight song. The song personalizes what it’s like to have a person or people in your life determined to bring you down, but deciding for yourself that no one can you back. It’s a very sharp-edged song, but it is so impactful and I am honestly in love with it. 


Take a hit, shoot me down, shoot me down

I won’t ever hit the ground, hit the ground

Playing dead, I’ll never do

Gotta keep an eye on you

Patience is wearing thin, paper thin

Promises broke again, what a sin

But it only feeds my energy

So don’t expect no sympathy

Smoke, fire, it’s all going up

Don’t you know I ain’t afraid to shed a little blood?

Smoke, fire, flares are going up, flares are going up


The mood is set. You are preparing for war, and all the misfires are only making you stronger. There is no mercy. You’re fed up and red-eyed. There will be no surrender from you, this is do or die. 


Oh, won’t wave my white flag, no

This time I won’t let go

I’d rather die

Than give up the fight, give up the fight, give up the fight, give up the fight

Won’t wave my white flag, no

Oh, I won’t go down slow

I’d rather die

Than give up the fight, give up the fight, give up the fight, give up the fight.


You are fully aware that you may not win this battle, but you refuse to be coward anymore. It’s time to be ruthless, there is no way for the enemy to break you. 

I love the determination this song brings to life. It truly captures the breaking point, when you can’t take being pushed around anymore. That adrenaline kicks in and it feels like nothing can stop you. 


Put an X on my chest, on my chest

But I’m still standing ’cause I won’t forget

The hell on earth you put me through

I’ll save myself in spite of you.


They won’t target? Fine, you will be a target, plain as day. Good luck hitting the bulls-eye because you are fueled up, and there is nothing they can throw at you that you haven’t swallowed before. 

The last line hits really hard. It really approaches the “what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger” ideology in a different way. To me, this line is saying that she is going to prove to the enemy that she is not as small as they have tried to make her believe. She will be better, and that is the best revenge. 

The song continues the repeat the chorus a couple times, but the entire song just puts you in the mood to exceed expectation. We all have been belittled and pushed around at some point in our lives, and this song, for me at least, is a big IN YOUR FACE to those people. “I’ll prove you wrong. I want give up until I have established that I am great.” It’s very impactful and empowering, and because of the way it gets you kind of angry, but in a good way, and makes you believe in yourself and your abilities, I find it very inspiring.

I Wish – Tom MacDonald

I wish I wasn’t fat, I wish I wasn’t gay
I wish I was’t black, I wish that I was brave
I wish, I wish, I wish with every candle on the cake
That I could quit doin’ these drugs, but I can’t and I’m afraid
I wish that I was smart, I wish that I was rich
I wish it wasn’t hard for me to grow up and forgive
I wish that I could help, I wish I wasn’t sick
I wish that I was Tom MacDonald, I’d be just like him.

The song begins by going through many types of people who wish they could change something about themselves. This intro instantly makes the song relatable. The last line is a child wishing he could be like the Artist, Tom MacDonald. This is a big moment for the song, as we enter the rap and learn more about Tom MacDonald and how even he has things he wishes he could change about himself.

I wish I wasn’t sober, I miss it when the party wasn’t over
Happiness was right around the corner
Every single night was like the best one of our lives, now we’re older
The good ol’ days are out of reach, I wish that they were closer
I wish I wasn’t anxious, and I wish I could fast forward
And I wish that I could rewind but they don’t make that controller
I wish the nights were longer, and I wish the days were shorter
And I wish that I could sleep enough to maintain my composure
I feel crazy, I wish that I was normal
I wish that I could **** but also be immortal
Take me to the oracle, I heard that time is borrowed
Can you give me back my yesterdays, I’ll give you tomorrows?
Forget all of my morals and just live like I cannot remember sorrow
Before all of the tattoos and the cornrows
I was different, I was happy
I was calmer, I was young and full of hormones
Now I’m wishin’ for a time machine
I’d step into that portal and be gone

The first verse allows us to enter his life, and all the ways he suffers. It is a very vulnerable moment for the Artist, as he opens up about how even he wishes he could be a kid again and not as broken.

I wish on shooting stars, or were they satellites?
Maybe they were too far, hey-oh-nah-nah
I must have blown apart a million dandelions
Now they don’t grow in my yard, hey-oh-nah-nah

The chorus has a cry-for-help vibe to it. He talks about wishing on shooting stars, but there must be a problem because it’s not working. Maybe they were to far away, or perhaps not stars at all. He has wished on so many dandelions that he has used them all up. The chorus really shows how hopeless things can feel, no matter how hard you try, there is sometimes just not enough wishes to wish on, or not a possibility of getting what it is you desire most; your childhood back.

I wish I didn’t care about the day that I’d be buried
Used to live like I was ready for it, always in a hurry
Now I’m worried, all my memories are blurry
I’m just barely turnin’ 30 and the voices in my head are tryna hurt me
The choices that I made make me feel dirty, I was 25 at 13
I was smokin’ with the seniors, drinkin’ beer and gettin’ flirty
Now the **** ain’t workin’ I need somethin’ even stronger
Give me childhood, my mother and my father and my sister
And a Christmas to make up for all the recent ones I’m missin’
While I’m tourin’ the country for a livin’
Give me a hug and a Nintendo and a toy box in the closet
Give me everything I wish I had, oh wait I think I got it
I’m a rapper like I always promised them I would accomplish
This is awesome man, I wish I had a friend to tell, I’d call ’em
And I wonder if I jumped from here if I’d survive the bottom
And would everyone believe me if I told ’em I had fallen?
I’ma jump

This verse hits really hard, as it discusses his fear of dying, how he grew up too fast and never got to enjoy the simple childlike pleasures, and then goes into how part of him doesn’t see the point of living.. even if he is terrified of what is on the other side. He has no friends, his life is just about his career. He feels like he has nothing, and he wishes more than anything, he could just have another chance at being a kid.

I wish we were kids again
Before everything was on Instagram, hey-oh
Things were so simple then
Me, my tree fort, all of my friends
Way back when, on Beaver Drive
When the floor was lava, I could fly, hey-oh
Wished I was big like them
Never thought I’d wanna be a kid again

The bridge adds more to the nostalgic feeling of the song. We all remember having a club house with our friends, and feeling invincible. We all also remember wanting nothing more than to grow up. Now that we have, can we just go back?

the stars are lines that were too vivid and were taken out for respectability.

Where Things Come Back Chapters 1-13


Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley has so far been one of the strangest books I have ever read. Cullen Witter, a boy from small town Lily, Alabama begins telling this story by identifying his cousin’s dead body. Goes home, barely mourns, talks about how dumb his cousin was, and sleeps next to his little brother, Grabriel, who he admires for being able to be himself when Cullen remains awkward and self-deprecating.

His best friend, Lucas Cader is the total opposite. He is charming and popular. Everyone likes him and knows him. The reason Lucas is friends with Cullen is, in his words, “because they just are.” They are a very strange pair, and since Lucas’s older brother died in a car accident, he is very attached to Gabriel as well and kind of resides as another older, more protective brother for him.

There is also Ada Taylor, who is a Black Widow. Both of her boyfriends has died, and in the beginning she’s dating the bully, jock guy who she later leaves. Right after she leaves, he is an accident that leaves him paralyzed. Still, Cullen is “in love” with her. Weird.

So basically, a dude comes to Lily and see’s this woodpecker that is supposed to be extinct, and then the whole town goes crazy. It’s discussed that this is the first exciting thing to happen in the town in ages and it’s a symbol of hope. It almost becomes an obsession for everyone. Then, out of no where, Gabriel disappears. Reports go out, the family is falling apart. Lucas borderline starts losing his mind. A fifteen year old boy just disappears out of thin air. Cullen convinces himself that he’s dead. It’s a whole mess, but I notice that Cullen disassociates a lot. When something big is happening, like a spirit guide making them dig 10-feet under ground because she is convinced that Gabriel is dead and is buried in this certain spot, he begins to imagine the spirit guide performing a ritual that makes his brother appear covered in mud and blood. Or imagines bullies as zombies and him as a slayer or something. He is very… Creative.

Cullen has also went from messing around with a 19 year old who is in the middle of a divorce, and then she breaks up with her because it gets too serious (Dudes). All the while Lucas is in a very committed long-term relationship with this girl named Molly.

Then guess what, Ada Taylor and Cullen get together! Woah. Who saw that coming? okay literally, that was the only part in this book so far that was predictable, and that’s okay because everything else still has me puzzled.

At this point, I’m a little over half way done, but I have no clue what to expect next. It’s all so strange, and it carries this erry nostalgic anxiety to it. I really hope they find out what happened to Gabriel. I also want to know what is up with this woodpecker, is it real? Did that dude just claim to see it for fame? Is Cullen going to die now that he has bee with The Ada Taylor? I don’t know, but the author has me stumped and pumped to see where this goes.

American Pie

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
In the February of 1959, three rock and roll legends (Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens) died in a plane crash. Twelve years later, Don McLean would respond to the heart-breaking and monumental day in history with his song American Pie and refer to it as “the day the music died.” McLean has been interviewed countless times about the song and it’s meaning, but he never wanted to give one. It wasn’t until April of 2015 that he finally gave a purpose. “Basically in American Pie things are heading in the wrong direction. … It [life] is becoming less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense.”
Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singin’
McLean referenced to many more legends in the song, “The jester” is thought to be Bob Dylan. “the king” and “queen” assumed to be Peter Seger and Joan Baez. They were all big names in the folk music industry in the early 60s. The other “King” is Elvis Presley. He was drafted during this time, and while he was at war, Dylan “stole his crown” when he started changing genres a little. (The courtroom line is about the Kennedy assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald being killed, and therefore, never convicted.) James Dean is a given, as is John  Lennon and the Beatles becoming political. I feel he is trying to say that before the accident, rock and roll was booming, but after, everyone lost their sound, even the biggest and greatest. “The moss grows fat on the rolling stone.” says to me that there wasn’t much to sing along to anymore. “We sang dirges in the dark” is referencing the death of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, which all happened in the 60s.
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’
Charles Manson killed a bunch of people in the summer of 68′ because he thought the Beatles song “Helter Skelter” was angels telling him to kill people. A group called The Bryds got really popular, then busted for illegal substances and sent to rehab. The “players” are protesters, and the song begins to discuss the movement against the government and Vietnam. The Beatles changed the standard of music around this time, and it became something to listen to, instead of dance. “Do you recall what was revealed?” The generation failed. The government was beyond fixing. McLean wasn’t a fan of the 60s.
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Okay so American Pie is an almost 9 minute song. There are 3 other verses that I don’t have the word count to go over, but McLean goes on to talk about Woodstock, the moon landing, and then the second Woodstock that ended with Hell’s Angels beating and killing people while under the influence. That ended the 60s, and McLean seems to think of it as all a waste. He then talks about the death of Janis Joplin, the Kent State murders, and the Death of God in our nation.
This song is a history lesson, and that is why I appreciate it so much. It’s so very dark, and you couldn’t tell much if you just listened unconsciously. It doesn’t have much of a sad tune, which I really enjoy. I really appreciate McLean for vocalizing how he felt and teaching people so much with just a single song. Honestly the whole song is left to interpretation, he never gave an actual meaning, but based on what I know and other opinions, this is what I think.


It has been quite a year, perhaps one of the most stressful ones I’ve endured, but I can’t deny that I have learned so much about myself here. I didn’t have any phenomenal break-throughs like some. I didn’t discover an entirely new aspect of myself, but my horizons were broadened. My spectrum was lengthened. I grew.

I kicked off this year crying over the anniversary of my friends death, from there I stopped wearing make-up often and shut myself out. I secluded myself out fear of people and the things that they could make me feel. I also set a diet plan, that I did for a while, but eventually quit due to lack of result. My weight has been one of my biggest enemies this year.

Eventually people began to see how sick I was, and I feel many, at some point, grew quite annoyed with my constant illnesses, fatigue, and complaints against my body. I have yet to figure out what is wrong with me, but hopefully that will surface soon.

I stayed in a soap opera of a relationship. That part even annoyed me haha.

I battled with stress disorder, and had a few stress seizures along the way.

Two more of my friends passed away.

My best friend walked out on me.

Yeah, it hasn’t been all to great.

But you know what? I went fishing for the first time since my friend (K) passed away. I found peace in his death, and found his soul by the pond behind my house. I learned to accept it, and though I miss him, I know wherever he is, he’s happy. That boy was always happy.

I came out of my shell. It happened a little late, but I did it. I started speaking to people, and laughing. I found joy somewhere in this school, and it was so relieving. I realized that there are really great people here, people I will cherish for the rest of my life even if I never speak to them again.

The diet never worked, but I got off the medicine that was causing the weight problem, and then got a new one that helped me lose some. I am currently working the weight off and have seen real progress.

I got my mom to agree to get me tested for Lupus, and other autoimmune disorders. I’m going to get a full screening over the summer to find out what is going on, so with the highest of hopes, I will be being treated and feeling better next year.

I haven’t had a stress seizure in a few months, and I really believe I am figuring out how to control it.

I keep the families of my two fallen friends in my thoughts everyday, but a wonderful teacher of mine taught me that it’s not fair to myself to dwindle on things I can’t change. I love both of those girls dearly, but they aren’t suffering anymore, and I use that thought to give me peace.

I made a friend who knows how to diffuse my bombs, instead of setting them off. It has been a long time since I had a friend who treats me as an equal, and she is honestly such a phenomenal person. I am so thankful that I got the chance to know her, and to now call her my best friend. I know I will stress her out sometimes, but she is the first person I have trusted in I don’t know how long.

I made many accomplishments this year, and I had many set backs. Yet, I feel I have finally found solid ground.

To our rising juniors, don’t be afraid. This is a place to hurt, a place to grow, a place to laugh and cry. I hope you are ready, but if you hit a hard spot, you can come to any of us.

My fellow rising seniors, Are You Ready Kids?

Ya’ll keep writing. I’ll see you in August.

Back on the Dock

I was terrified to go back out there without him. It’s been almost two years since the last time I stepped out on the dock with a rod in hand. I stood there for a moment, peering at the water and waiting for a sign of where to cast my line. There was a small ripple out towards the weeds, so I pulled my pole back and held the button. I couldn’t throw it out.

I let go of the button and let the plastic bait hit the dock before I began reeling in up with a sigh. I wondered if I should even be doing this without him. It just didn’t feel right. Cross-legged, I sat at the edge of the old wooden peer, looking down at the dirty water and my face looking up at me.
(K) would think I was stupid for being scared to fish without him. I could practically hear him laughing over my shoulder and making some snarky comment about how I would never get in the sun much if he weren’t around. He wasn’t wrong. I could already feel my cheeks starting to burn and my stomach turn. Maybe I should stop. This is dumb, I don’t even remember how to do this. It had all kind of buried itself. I never thought I would be out here again. I miss him. I want to do something that will make me feel him. I got up and looked out into the pond while I shook out a breath. I remember (K) holding up a bass the size of his face. I smile, pull the pole back and let go of the button as I cast it out. The line some how wound up caught on the other side of the dock. (K) was probably rolling on the floor at this point.

After three or four more tries, my body finally remembers how to cast a fishing pole. There’s a plop, and I sit there in silence, reeling in some of the slack on the line. I’m too impatient, so eventually I pull it in and cast it out again. I repeat this a few times just for good measure. I didn’t catch anything, but I felt closer to (K) than I had in quite some time. I didn’t want to leave.

It was just fishing. Something I had spent my whole childhood doing to kill time and make memories, but I needed to remember my old friend, and no one knew him better than those fish.

I miss you bud, but I’m going to get through it and keep you with me along the way. I hope you’re resting easy and I hope you’re proud.