11:46pm monday night thoughts

I am feeling quite melancholy. (pronounced mel-ONKOlly, like megamind says it). Partly because of the drab late march miserable weather partly because of this growling voice inside my belly partly because I miss talking to people who I could really talk to partly because I don’t know.  I think of the true friends I have. Many of them are gone. A few are still around. True friendship is one of those things that we don’t realize is there until it has slipped from our grasp. I miss being around people where I was completely myself. I miss just sitting around participating in real conversation; where the company of those around you was better then any tv show or movie. Completely fulfilling conversation. Talking, sharing ideas, telling stories, saying how you truly feel. The people where simply being around them is enough to brighten your day. The people where you don’t have to hold back for fear of being weird. Let us not forget to live in these true friendships, for often they last for far too short of a duration. Let us not be afraid to develop real friendships, to care about others, to care about their true personalities, to find out who they really are.

elementary

tether ball on the asphalt
reading books under the table
building the bat mobile
mechanical valentine boxes
brown hair short
trying to find friends
the words on the side of the school
jumping in puddles
filled with wood chips under the slide

shooting the puppy dog in the head

I stand in a crowded room looking at the faces of those who surround me. Each face is consumed by the device in hand, which illuminates their face with a slightly fluorescent glow.  They seems oblivious to those around them, aside from the occasional comment to their neighbor, perhaps about how many likes they got on their last Instagram or something they posted on their Snap chat story.

These types of experiences seemed to be increasingly apparent in my life. Note, this was a few months ago, I have been meaning to write this post for a while and haven’t got around to it. Back to my train of thought: This consumption of digital media was starting to bother me, not only because my close friends seemed to be devouring an unhealthy amount of social media, but because I noticed that I used social media more than I would like.

At this point is was late November, and I remembered something that my friend Stockton had challenged  me to do the previous December. Stockton challenged me and most of our friends to take the month of December and be free of social media: delete everything from our phones and wait till the month is over. I remember I completed the challenge, and it was fairly rewarding thing to complete.

So I remembered this challenge and decided it was something I really wanted to do again. I knew it wouldn’t be very hard, but I wanted to make sure that I could do it, I wanted to make sure that Social Media wasn’t an addiction for me like it is for some other people. That wasn’t the only reason though, I was probably spending 30 minutes to even an hour on social media daily and I realized it was a huge waste of time as well. I decided that if I could take the time that I would normally use social media and use it to learn knew things, help people,  or focus more on my schoolwork, that I would be far happier and more productive.

I texted most of my friends. I sent them out a text telling them what I was doing and told them they should do it too. (I think only one of my friends pulled through and completed it however haha). I completed the challenge. It wasn’t very hard. I mostly noticed advantages in my life, but I did notice a few downsides I guess. Here they are:

More Time: This one wasn’t a surprise and I expected it. But I definitely had more time to do productive things. One thing I did was learn some music. My music career before then consisted of me quitting piano when I was 12 and that was about it. I picked up my sisters ukulele and guitar and started learning those with some of the extra time I now had. I ended up learning some songs and chords, which eventually led to me getting more into the guitar which I now enjoy quite a bit and feel like i’m alright at. I also picked up the piano again. I learned a few songs of YouTube, just memorizing the notes that they played and trying to play by ear. It was much more fulfilling then scrolling through an Instagram feed. I also committed myself to do more religious study, I tried to study 30 minutes I night, which I still do.

Stopped worrying about friends and crap: This was something that surprised me that I wasn’t expecting. I realized that I stopped caring what other people were doing. There are often times on social media when I’ll be scrolling through my feed and looking at what everyone else is doing. Its easy to get caught up trying to be ‘cool’. I remember times when I’d see things people were doing and feel left out or lame. Without social media on my phone I stopped caring whether my friends were hanging out without me or whatever. I didn’t care if I didn’t do anything with people, I spent more time with my family and I was ok with it.

More aware of those around me: This was something I tried to do before hand but I noticed I did it even less without social media on my phone. I absolutely hate when you are hanging out with a friend or a group of friends and everyone is all on there phone or checking it quite often. I am guilty of this too. Its hard to resist the urge to check your phone when you feel the buzz. It was weird at first having like zero people texting me or contacting me, so there was never any thing to check my phone for. At first I would catch myself checking my phone for no reason, but I eventually stopped all together and it was really nice. I noticed when I was with my family I was more aware of them instead of being on my phone more then i’d like.

Out of the Loop: This is really the only disadvantage I recognized happening and I didn’t expect it. I noticed that when hanging out with friends that I wasn’t super close to I was much more disconnected and out of the loop, I really didn’t know what to talk about, or whats been going on. This wasn’t a huge disadvantage, but it was definitely frustrating at times.

So overall it was a great experience for me and I think if you want to try it you should. It is definitely rewarding to break bad habits and prove to yourself that you can exert some self control.

didn’t think this would be so frickin long but ah well

 

my life sounds like this

this was an assignment from english 1010 that i was actually proud of and ethan told me to post it so here it is.

 

An Unexpected Adventure

My life sounds like cheers and applause and lyrics from “We are the Champions” by Queen. Just kidding. Too many songs describe my whole life, but I believe every song conjures a memory. Listening to music I’m reminded of a vivid memory that helped me learn how much I love the outdoors.

A jagged cliff is next to my face. My fingers grip the sharp rock. Slowly, Connor, Ethan, two dogs, and I move down the face of the cliff that belongs to part of the “shortcut” we take on our way home from a backpacking trip. Just 24 hours earlier we were bouncing around in the seats of Connor’s truck as we made our way up the rough road to the start of our destination.

“Children, wake up. Hold your mistake up before they turn the summer into dust.” Looking back I can say that my friends and I lived by those lines from “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire. Connor, Ethan and I had a fever that summer. We had the fever of adventure. We got really into this ultralight backpacking thing. Basically you pack only what you really need, then go forage in the wilderness for a few days living off dehydrated food and granola bars. Sounds like fun right!?

We stand at the trailhead of High Creek Canyon. My feet are planted in the moist dirt as a cool breeze ruffles my hair. I watch Ethan check his pack one last time to make sure he brought everything. Connor and I stand anxiously waiting to start our journey.

As we make our way up the steep, loose trail, music rings in our ears. We have this set of songs that we listen to whenever we are on one of these backpacking trips. One of my favorites from the playlist, “Welcome Home” by Radical Face, always meant the outdoors and adventure to me. “I’ve come home, all my nightmares escaped my head.” Often times the lyrics in a song don’t come out and say their meaning. Sometimes the personal meaning comes from how it makes you feel and the memories it conjures.

Wildflowers scatter the early August vibrant foliage. Cherry Peak looms over us as we stop to refill our water in a mountain stream. Step by step we make our way up the faint trail surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Finally we arrive at our destination: High Creek Lake. High Creek lake is a beautiful mountain lake nestled just below Cherry Peak.  We find a spot to hang our hammocks next to the lake. I lie there in my hammock watching the sun disappear from the horizon without a worry in my mind. No job to stress over, no phone to worry about, and most of all no school to attend.

We make our way to the summit of Cherry Peak as the sun rises. I imagine the words of “Celeste” by Ezra Vine playing in the background. “I’m on the road with my clothes in a rucksack over my shoulder following the whispers.” We sit on the peak for a good moment just taking it all in. At 9,765 feet the whole valley sits under us. I sit on a rock eating dried apples and pink lemonade fruit snacks. The dogs sniff around on the rocks while Ethan and Connor snap pictures of the view. Eventually we decide to move on.

Now, all we need to do is follow the trail down the other side of the mountain to where we will be picked up. The trail sort of curves around a bit and makes this big switchback that adds about 2-3 miles to the actual distance to the bottom. Of course with us being teenage boys, we decide to forget the trail and just go straight down the fairly steep looking face. Thinking we’ll save loads of time and energy, we all agree. Half sliding half jogging, we make our way down through the small bushes and loose rocks. As the going gets rougher and steeper, we realize that the trail served as the better option. But we keep going.

The ground flattens out a bit and I walk forward to where Connor stands looking down. As I near closer I see the problem, a particularly steep hundred feet or so of jagged rock cliff.  With steep cliffs jutting out to the right and left, moving around the cliff isn’t an option. We discuss our problem: dogs can’t rock climb. Eventually, we come up with a plan. Heart pounding, I start out. I climb a few feet down the cliff. Ethan then hands me one of the dogs. I hold the dog in one hand while Ethan climbs a few feet below me. I then hand the dog to Ethan, and climb a few feet below Ethan. We repeat that process until we make it to safer ground. It takes a while, but we make it work. Eventually, the steep slope flattens out and we see the friendly sign of the faint trail. Talking about the adventure we just experienced, none of us regret it.

As I look back on this memory I think it describes me well. I love anything in the outdoors, and I’m not afraid to take risks. Through this memory and many others I learned how much I love spending time in the outdoors. Those trips that we took that year, and others more recently, taught me how sometimes you just need to get away from it all. In conclusion a few lines from a song that I love fits well, “Stay Alive” by Jose Gonzalez : “There is a truth and it’s on our side, Dawn is coming, Open your eyes, Look into the sun as the new days rise.”