life lessons

Little Blue Bird

It was long after midnight. They were both perfectly placed on his bed. Her hands were resting on her stomach, and she watched her heavy breathing move her body up and down. He had one arm outstretched around her, and the sides of their bodies were pressed up against each other, but that was all.

He broke the silence first, saying, “Tell me a story.”

She smiled, “I don’t really know any.”

“But you always tell such good stories. Please?”

She thought hard for a moment and then took a deep breath.

***

There was once a little blue bird who lived in a forest with many other birds. Some birds had dark feathers, some had light. Some had long tails, some had short. But the little blue bird was different from all the rest, not just because she was blue, but because she had a purpose. Every day she flew to the far end of the forest to find things to build her nest. She left early in the morning and did not come back until dark. It was tiring for the little blue bird. But every day her nest would grow and grow. This made the little blue bird happy.

One day, the little blue bird was flying towards the end of the forest when she saw her friend brown bird. Brown bird flew next to her as she hurried to get more twigs for her nest.

“Blue bird, why do you always have to fly so far away every day?” brown bird asked.

The little blue bird kept flapping her wings, trying to pass the brown bird, but he kept up with her.

“Well,” she said. “I have to work really hard to make my nest. That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

The brown bird stopped flying with her and paused on a branch. The little blue bird wondered what he was doing. She didn’t want to stop flying because she had more to do. But she couldn’t get herself to continue her journey; she had to join him. He looked at her when she reached the branch, and all of sudden, he shot up into the sky.

“Follow me blue bird!” he screamed.

She didn’t understand what he was doing or why, but she couldn’t resist. She felt her wings flap, as she chased after him, higher than she ever thought she could go.

They flew for what seemed like miles, until finally, they reached the top of the forest. The little blue bird just stared.

The brown bird watched her.

“Little blue bird. This is what you have been missing your whole life. I needed to show you that there is more to the world than building your nest. I know you think that is your purpose, but there is so much more,” said brown bird.

The little blue bird didn’t know what else she should do. She just stared down into the dark forest, and she wondered what she was supposed to do when she returned to the bottom.

***

When she finished her story, she looked over at him. She saw the clock on the wall, which was telling her it was well past 2 a.m. She wanted to tell him who the little blue bird was but she realized it didn’t matter; he had fallen asleep.

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Old Shoes

Sometimes you just find your mind wandering to old memories or things of the past, and you can’t help but sit and think. In the short span of time I have been alive, I’ve figured out some things of relationships. I know I’m not older and wiser, but I know I’ve had my fair share of experiences in the subject, and I’ve concluded one of the worst parts about break-ups or ending relationships is seeing them happy without you.

Even though I know that the relationships I ended were for the best, it still kills me to see them fine without me. I don’t know what I anticipated them doing without me, but I guess I wanted them to miss me like I miss them.

I saw an old friend at the gym the other day, and I couldn’t believe how different he looked. We parted ways years ago, but still inside of me I couldn’t help but feel anger towards him for throwing away the relationship we had. I wanted him to see that I was an older and happier without him, but he wouldn’t look my way. I wanted to be the one that was better off. I wanted him to be the same slightly overweight, fun-loving guy who liked my company and I hoped that upon glancing at me, maybe he would feel something about our past friendship.

I had this friend (ironically one who I am no longer friends with) who said, “Everything happens for a reason.” This phrase gets tossed around so often it’s hard for me to even believe it anymore. But, I have come to realize that everything does happen for a reason, and I wish I could thank her for always telling me that.

It’s hard to live a life where you tell yourself the bad things that happen are for a reason. Maybe your religion tells you that a higher being is doing things for a reason, or maybe you just believe you have this predetermined path set aside for you; either way the bad stuff still hurts for some time.

There have been so many things that have already impacted my life at such a young age, it’s hard to imagine how things will get when I’m older. I know to some I’m young and naiive and I have yet to endure the hardships that others will experience, and maybe eventually, myself. Something I have experienced is the ever-continuing loss of friendships in my life, something I nor anyone else can control.

You can say high school changes people, college, marriage, children; change is inevitable. It’s how we deal with the change that determines the marks we make on the relationships of our lives. Relationships are so crucial to our lives, and it’s certainly not a new discovery. We are taught to share in pre-school, treat others with fairness in grade school, build relationships in high school, and form long-lasting bonds in college. From there, we learn to make meaning of our lives, and then hopefully take the relationships we’ve made along on our journeys.

I’ve had friendships that have been so great and wonderful, but after awhile they just fell to pieces. It’s like a favorite pair of shoes. You buy new shoes and they’re so perfect, and then eventually they become worn down, tattered, old. You want something new, you want to replace the old. But, you know that would be so wrong, you want to fix them and turn them into what they once were. So maybe you try to tape them, glue them, tie them up in a way that they almost look new. This bandaid-technique works only for so long, and then they break again, and you’re left wondering if all that trying was for nothing. All that wasted mending, for what? Sore feet.

I can’t help but think I’ve made mistakes that I will never learn from, but I hope in time I can. Whenever I think that I’ve done something terribly wrong (in regards to my losing of friends) I think of what Demi Lovato did to her circle of friends. After rehab, Lovato turned on her phone and expected tons of texts to flow in, but instead she only had a few from close friends. She took a hard look at all of her relationships at that moment. She realized most of them didn’t have her best interest in mind, so she sifted through them and found her most faithful buddies. I like to think this is what I have been doing all along.

As I finish up the summer, I will enter my junior year of college, which means only two years left of college. I know this is a long time, but still this will go by so fast and before I know it, I will have to be ready for the real world. That’s what life is all about, moving on to the next step. I think relationships are the same way, you either move on with them, keeping up with the fast times, or you let them go.

So, for the friends that I couldn’t keep in my circle, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your best interest wasn’t in me, because I can assure you, you were always in mine. I don’t think I will ever truly forget how I chose to move on. I chose to make my life the way I want it, without you. I chose to end the five year relationship that I thought would only grow. I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about you, about us, or about the mistakes that I made; the mistakes that we made.

I tried to fix our relationship as best as I could, but there’s only so much tape and glue can do.

Halfway There

This past Friday was officially the end of my sophomore year.

My mom drove me to the train station on Thursday and told me, “Can you believe you have two years of college under your belt?” And later, on Friday, my friend said, “Madi, you’re technically a junior!”

Oh my, I really can’t even believe it myself! Those people who warned me to enjoy every bit of college were right, it does go by so fast!

I’m trying to absorb everything about college and sometimes sitting down and writing about it really helps. Actually, it’s rather hard because I have to think of all that I have done and what I’ve accomplished.

I was really hoping to make honors and the Dean’s list this year. Last semester, my Trig course brought my GPA down. Let me be frank, I understand I need to be a well-rounded student, but please tell me what journalist ever used parabolas and radians to conduct an interview?

Miraculously, I got all A’s (well, one A- and all A’s) and I am so happy! This hasn’t happened since middle school! Not to mention, most of my classes require a hefty amount of reading and writing, and on top of that, I work about 30 hours a week. Thanks for letting me take a nice break from blogging, WordPressers, you can give me a virtual pat on the back if you would like!

This last semester has been great, but difficult all at the same time. Thankfully, almost all of my classes were major-related, so nothing was a worthless GenEd course (except for Modern History of Western Societies, sorry Prof.!).

The literature course I took was extremely difficult for me. I’ve never been that good at figuring out themes, analyses, or applying outside knowledge to the texts. I’m more of a “give it to me straight” kind of girl. The course, overall, was mostly fun since we got to look at graphic novels and the theme of heroes and villains. You would think it’s all, “Oh yay Batman!” but the course really gave me a whole new perspective on comic book agendas and heroes in general.

I had a news reporting class (seriously, how cool does that just sound to you!) which gave me the chance to meet some fantastic friends in my major. I have convinced a good handful of media and communication students that we should all start working on having a school newspaper, and this summer our advisor and myself will be working towards just that! I do believe my willingness to get this going should make me some sort of editor, what do you think?

Speaking of my advisor, this year I had the chance to really get to know him, and he could probably say the same thing about me. I didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, so I’ve really been reaching out to try to improve things at the college. Our major is really unappreciated, and while I sense a lot of exciting things will eventually happen, it’s hard to keep your head up in the meantime, knowing a lot of people at the school don’t really think of your department as important. That being said, what does keep me going is knowing that all the professors in the English and media and communication department care so much about the students. When I say they care about the students, I don’t just mean they occasionally stay in their office a bit later, or they wait after class for me. I mean they let me text them with final exam questions at 11 p.m., they read my blog, they hand me jobs for working on campus, they mentor, teach and act as a guiding hand towards my success.

Alright, now you may just be thinking I am trying to sweeten them up for a good grade (did it help??) but I’m being completely serious. Sometimes I think about transferring to a school in the city. I really want to try something new, and I think some of the schools in the city are great for just that. But, when I think about leaving the faculty, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Without them, I’m sure I would be having not only a miserable time at school, but I wouldn’t be the student I am right now.

My advisor in particular is probably the reason why I haven’t lost faith in my future career/plans. Reporting changes whenever technology does. It’s more than just being able to write, and I don’t think I knew that until about a year ago. I always thought in high school that because I could write, that would get me the job. My advisor has taught me that yes, I can write, but the fact that I’m driven and I’m able to adapt is what people will want. He’s helped me at all hours, night and day, answer the question I wanted an answer to. His knowledge and experiences has helped me figure out what I need to do to be successful, and I can’t wait to make some changes at the school to make him and the department proud!

The other class I thoroughly enjoyed this semester was my Theory of Writing class. Never have I had a class where at the final exam, a professor would bring in chips and salsa and have us casually sit in a circle and read aloud a final paper. It seems like a fun time, but it was more than that. It wasn’t a professor giving us an easy way out. He wanted us to sit and express something greater than any 12 page test could do. The point of the assignment was to write a series of snapshots (known as crots) that would explain how far we have come with our writing (I will post my paper later!). These snapshots could be anything from theorists excerpts, short stories, poems, lyrics, letters, text messages, thoughts, experiences—heck, you oculdn’ve even used a fortune cookie message. We had about four or five students cry while reading their papers, and most of us were teary eyed listening. What they had written, what we had written, was so moving that only by reading it aloud could we see how expressive we all are. This is what the class had taught me. That through writing, you can do more than just get a good grade or become a person who “writes well.” You can make mistakes and still get your point across. You can say, screw the conventions, and just write a series of blurbs to make an essay come alive. You can make meaning of what you are writing. I did all of that and more with this class, and it’s one that I never want to forget.

"The definition of liable is..."

“The definition of libel is…”

My professor who taught that class is more than just some salsa-loving guy who wants us all to sit around and cry over our words. He wants us to do something greater with writing, and I think we all have learned that. He’s the reason I no longer write with some silly five-paragraph essay, and the reason why I try to write in my own voice and not someone else’s. He also asked me to be a writing tutor next year, and I’m so excited to be a part of that team! It’s great to see my development as a writer is recognized.

Overall this semester has been so many things, and I don’t think I can say it all in just one post. Technically speaking I can, but I think you all would start to get bored. I’ll just leave it at, sophomore year has been great but I am happy for it to be over with.

My summer is looking great. I have an internship at my college, where I will be working in the marketing and communications department. I will also be keeping my job at the library, I can’t leave the House of Books (as my friend calls it). So again my summer is working 10 hour work days, which is fine by me! I love to stay busy. I also joined a gym so you will be seeing posts about me actually being active. I plan on reading a lot too, and maybe I will even pick up a new hobby! Who knows, life is full of possibilities, and if I learned anything from this year, I can make things happen!

How about I put that on a t-shirt!?