black and white and red and summer

Why do I waste good outfits on a fifteen-minute coffee run and then wear the same five boring outfits to school all the time? Seriously, it’s a problem. At least today, I had the decency to take some pictures of my nice outfit so the world could see it anyway.

Remember how I said I was going to keep up with posts despite my busyness? Yeah, sorry about that. Tomorrow I take my last AP exam (Biology! Wish me luck. I feel morbidly underprepared.) and then I’m home free for basically the rest of the school year. My two hardest classes become donut parties and laid-back project planning periods, the days keep getting warmer, and all my after-school activities dwindle to a close. I’ll finally have time to read Storm of Swords and spend time with my friends again, and I couldn’t be happier.I can’t tell you how excited I am for summer. I’ve made countless plans with friends, and because so many of them are headed off to college in the fall, we’ll be sure to close out our time together with a bang. From stargazing to windsurfing to adventuring in the city, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of adventures to share here, and plenty to cherish by myself. It’s been one roller coaster of a year, and I can’t believe how much I’ve changed in such a short period of time. But it’s all been for the better. I haven’t been this happy in god knows how long.

crop top: forever21 / chambray shirt: my mother’s closet / leggings: who knows? / flats: TJ maxx

Lately

I haven’t been so great at keeping up with blogging lately. Life has been incredibly hectic, what with APs and SATs swiftly approaching, increasingly frequent rehearsals for a show I’m in, and lots of events with friends, but I couldn’t be happier. The world is coming back to life: every day there’s a little more green, and the sun doesn’t set until almost seven thirty. Excuse the cliche metaphor, but I feel as if I’m on a roller coaster that’s only going up.

I’ll try to post more real content within the coming week, but for now, enjoy these snapshots of my weekend.

This is my adorable friend Georgia, moments after a random stranger walked over and posed with zher.

This is my adorable friend Georgia, moments after a random stranger walked over and posed with zher.

Have you ever been friends with someone for a while, stopped talking to them for years, and reconnected only to become best friends with them? That's what happened with me and Brandon. We "dated" in middle school, and now at the end of junior year we started talking again and realized how wonderfully alike we are in personality. He loves BMX biking, so we had a really fun shoot yesterday by an abandoned bridge.

Have you ever known someone for a while, stopped talking to them for years, and reconnected only to become best friends with them? That’s what happened with me and Brandon. We “dated” in middle school (lol), and now at the end of junior year we started talking again and realized how wonderfully alike we are in personality. He loves BMX biking, so we had a really fun shoot yesterday by an abandoned bridge. You can see more on my Flickr!

Oh, and I got my braces off about a week and a half ago. With all the smiling I've been doing lately, I don't think the timing could have been more perfect.

Oh, and I got my braces off about a week and a half ago! With all the smiling I’ve been doing lately, I don’t think the timing could have been more perfect.

As always, there’s more to see on my Flickr! Stay tuned; posts may continue to be sparse, but I’ll try to make them good. I hope you’re all enjoying your lives as much as I have been lately.

Spring Goals

So much has changed this past week, I hardly know what to do with myself. I’m in a lot of emotional pain, but all I can do is try to focus my energies on the positive things. When you’re with someone for more than two years and suddenly they’re not a part of your life anymore, you start to put all of your choices into perspective. What have I, personally, been doing with myself for the last two years? How have I changed, and what old habits and keepsakes am I still clinging on to? For the first time in a very long time, I’m starting to think about what’s good for me. I’ve come up with a very long list of things I’d like to change.

Luckily, spring is the time to do just that. Temperatures are climbing up into balmy afternoons with a cool breeze, and I’m starting to open up all the windows in the house again. With so much fresh air and fresh blooms in my backyard, I guess this is the perfect time to start completely new.

P1110254I have so many spring goals, but there are a few that aren’t already encompassed in my New Year’s resolutions! They are as follows:

  • Make dinner once a week. In an effort to eat healthier (and foster my love of cooking!) I want to start making meals for my family. My mother is always complaining about eating the same things week after week, so each recipe I make will be something we’ve never had before! Whether it be an asian-inspired stir-fry or just a different chicken marinade, I’m excited to promote health and new staple meals in my household.
  • Start decluttering and donating. Gosh, my room is a mess. I have so much stuff. So many papers on my desk and shoved under my bookshelf, so many clothes I simply never wear. This goal goes hand in hand with a more long-term one of refining my wardrobe. Almost all of my clothes just don’t say “me” anymore, and that bothers me more than I can say. I’m excited to clear out the old and maintain a smaller, better quality, and better fitting wardrobe that more accurately reflects my personal style.
  • Study for half an hour each day. This goal is kind of icky. I’m in several AP classes, and exams are looming ahead. The days seem to be passing with terrifying speed, so it’s really time to start studying. I’m the sort of person who has never had to study for anything in my life, so this is going to be a difficult habit to adjust to. I can’t even remember the last time I sat down at home and did my homework in one sitting! I’m praying that I can make it out of junior year alive.
  • Visit farmer’s markets and go thrifting. I always want to do this and never seem to, so I’m making it a priority this spring and summer. Farmer’s markets are a fantastic way to support the community, and who doesn’t love fresh produce and handmade goods? Thrift shopping is also a great way to save money and find unique and quality pieces that liven up the wardrobe. My goal is to visit these places with friends. I’ve failed to notice for a long time how many amazing friends I have, and I’m finally starting to spend more time with them.

This seems to be a big period for change in my life, and I’m trying to capitalize upon it as much as I can. In the end, all I have is myself. I have to take care of me first. (:

P1110255

I have several other small goals, like restart the garden in my backyard, start jogging again, take more time for my photography, and hang my artwork. What are your spring goals and resolutions?

On NOT being superman

via pinterest

via pinterest

I feel like there’s a lot of pressure for people our age to do something unheard-of and spectacular to get anywhere in life. This unsaid social requirement pounds against my skull nearly every waking hour of the day. I’d like to be able to just be young, do what I love and enjoy my life, but it’s hard to breathe when it seems like most other bright and capable teenagers are superman. Some sixteen-year-old boy in another state is winning awards for scientific genius, while another is starting a unique and successful charity, and another has her photography published in newspapers. I recently read an article about one of my classmates concerning the basketball fundraiser she’s created to fund cancer research, due to her experience with cancer several years ago. It was inspiring at first to read about her amazing story and efforts, but then the article went a little something like “while most teenagers are worried about grades and summer jobs, Caite is focused on helping others.”

That pissed me off, for many reasons.

For one, the phrasing of that sentence makes it seem as if she’s impossibly compassionate and dedicated. I know Caite, I see her every day, and while she does dedicate much of her time to this cause, she’s also a human being. She worries about her math test and laughs with friends and goes shopping for prom dresses just like any “normal” girl our age. She’s doing amazing things, but she’s also doing normal things. I think that distinction is incredibly important to make.

Secondly, is there anything wrong with worrying about grades and summer jobs? I am a junior in high school. I am not financially independent. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with my life. In my opinion, my main concern right now is getting through school and trying my best. This time of my life is meant to be the time where I figure things out and pave the path of my future. As a teacher of mine used to say, I am a “full-time professional student.” I would really like to be just that, but I am constantly being bombarded with the overwhelming feeling that I have to make a name for myself at this age.

While I’m studying for an AP bio test, I find my thoughts straying to charity work and plans for finishing that novel I’ve started. When I pick up my camera, I feel like I’m taking the pictures for someone else to notice and appreciate and buy. My art has become impersonal, tailored to the tastes of the masses. My transcript is exemplary, but I feel as if I’ve learned nothing. I am a robot trying desperately to make myself interesting for colleges and employers and talent scouts and I hate it. It makes my head hurt.

Because I am a human being who’s just trying to figure it out, like everyone else in the world. I don’t have to be superman. I’d sure like to start a charity or publish a novel or run a marathon or cure cancer or open a business before I turn twenty, but I don’t have to. I probably won’t. I probably won’t be spectacular or famous or distinguished. I want to change people’s lives, sure, but at this point I can hardly get through the school day without exploding from anxiety and stress.

I greatly admire my friends who have already dedicated their lives to charity work or composing music or photojournalism. They’re saving lives and getting into Juilliard and being published in papers. I am just trying to keep myself afloat. Maybe some day I’ll be the sort of person who does yoga at sunrise, volunteers in soup kitchens in the evenings and teaches creative writing classes on Saturdays. But today I am letting myself be average.