Camomile Tea

It seems like everyone is so stressed lately. Summer is coming to a close and the hustle and bustle of the school year and official work year is getting everyone in a haste. Though it seems like none of us have time for this, I believe we all need to take a day, or an hour, or even a few minutes and just chill out. Everything anyone needs to get done will, and you work more proficiently when you’re relaxed anyways. Everyone I’ve spoken to lately has been complaining about not being able to go shopping, or not having the work done, or not having the teachers ready for when school starts (my mom is a principal). If you keep stressing out about things like that, you’re not making it get done any sooner or making it any better. I stress out a lot but I’m not afraid to admit that in the big picture, when I take time to complain and stress, I’m just being selfish. I can’t sit there and make anger about things when I’m wasting my time doing just that. If I’m gonna spend time not contributing to the situation at hand then I might as well make use of my wasted time. I might as well relax for a minute. Which leads me to say that everyone has time to slow down and relax because I know we all definitely make time to worry and complain. It’s kinda like being angry at someone. If you spend your time being mad at them, the only thing you’re doing is making the situation worse. You’re not contributing to anything and if you care enough to complain then why waste time not fixing things. If you’re not gonna put in the time to fix things, then I say you don’t deserve the right to be angry…or complain. I can almost guarantee that once you slow down for a minute and reevaluate the situation and calm down a bit (relax) that you’ll be more ready to come back and start working on what you need to do. You’ll also be happier because for once, you’ll be able to breathe and clear your mind. We all want a break right? So let’s give ourselves one. If you reflect on your day I’m sure you can point out many activities you do that aren’t necessary but you make excuses for anyways. If you cut just one of those activities out and use the unused time to relax, then you’ll automatically be more proficient. Now I’m not saying for everyone out there to stop what they’re doing for good and take a nap. I’m just saying that we waste our time doing un-useful things, when we could be doing something that’s not the task at hand, but is contributing to it in a positive way in the long run.

Basically we all just need to step back for a minute, sip our Camomile tea, and calm down.

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Sweater Weather

Alright so I have no idea what to blog about so I decided to discuss a song I have been listening to non-stop for the past week. I’m absolutely obsessed with the song “Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood. It mixes hip-hop (ish) and alternative rock into a perfect song. I encourage all of y’all to listen to it if you’ve never heard it, and if you have heard it, you should go listen to it again. I don’t listen to the radio at all so if it’s an overplayed radio song, I apologize. Another song by them called Wires has also been on repeat quite often this week. Sorry this is all this post is. I will for sure make sure the next one is 100% longer and more interesting. I’ve been super busy with back to school stuff so yeah, sorry, Have a nice evening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCdwKhTtNNw

The Best Way To Find Yourself…

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Gandhi 

I’d like to spend this post talking about my time I’ve spend volunteering. Not only have I learned about myself through this, but I’ve also been able to reach out and better the lives of others. This experience has been so rewarding to me that I’d like to encourage all of you to follow.

A little over a year ago I started volunteering at a nursing home by my high school. I don’t like animals nor do I enjoy watching little kids and I wanted something to do with my time, so I decided to help the elderly. The first day I got there I walked into a room filled with elders playing games and enjoying their time. I immediately felt a sense of belonging and I knew this was where I needed to be. In the two short months that made my summer, I spend five days every week there working ten till four. I had to care for the residents, play games with them, clean, help wait tables in the dining room, bus after meals, and spend time with the residents as well. Though the work was hard and I wasn’t being paid, I had never felt happier. Each day I talked to the residents the compassion they expressed towards me was something I had never felt before. The smile on their faces when I had talked to them made up for all the hard work. To see how much they really appreciated and cared that I was there only made me want to help out more. When the summer drew to a close I knew I didn’t want to stop. Any break I had during the school year I spent at the home (as long as I wasn’t traveling). I still spend any free time I have there. I’ve found a second home and a second family.

Through volunteering I’ve also met some of my best friends. Not only do we share a passion for helping people but we also want to do whatever we can to help anyone we can. Volunteering has really bettered my life and I’ve realized that even if you only spend one day doing something, you’re still making more of a difference to someones life than you would if you never helped out. I’m not asking any of you to dedicate your life to volunteering, but I am asking that you at least spend one day helping someone out. A weekend where you have nothing planned, or even a few hours during the week can make more of a difference than you could ever image. If you’re having a bad day it can completely turn around your mood. After All, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”

There Is No Glory In Illness

I’ve written this story out two times. Both times were for school assignments in my lit classes. Though the story is personal, I’ve never felt that how I’ve been delivering it is quite that. It’s public. Now I want to type it out for my blog. You might think that putting a story out on a blog is more public than turning it in for a class. I would agree to some point, but then I can’t help but think that at least here I don’t know who it’s going to. Though some of you may read this, I don’t know you personally. The only one I truly know reading this is I. That comforts me more than anything.

I should probably start out by introducing you to the main character, my grandma. My mom has never been much of a mom to me. She would always drop me off at my grandparent’s house when I was little. As I got older she was never around much to mother me either. My dad and I were and still are close, but not on a personal level. I know nothing about him and he just convinces himself that I’m emotionally stable and that nothing is wrong with me. He doesn’t need to know my personal life I guess. My grandpa and I have gotten close but that comes at the end of the story, not the beginning. Out of the small part of my family I have living near me; the remaining person would be my grandma. Not only did she listen to me, but she mothered me. She loved me more than anyone in my family ever could. I could tell her anything and she would listen. She was an inspiration to me. She worked a job she hated but every evening she would come home and smile. If I was at the house she would play with me and she would always book a vacation to a beach for me and her and my grandpa to enjoy once a year. She held things together between my dad and mom. She was the angel of our family.

It was early in 2009 when my grandma first thought something was wrong. She was more tired than usual. She brushed it off and excused it as exhaustion from extra work she was doing. We all brushed it off as that. As the year went on she grew more and more tired. I was only eleven at the time so detail wasn’t shared with me, but in early August my grandma went in to get a screening for breast cancer. My dad and I as well as my grandpa stayed optimistic about the results for as long as we could but the thought never left our minds. I was in the car with my dad one night getting a ride back from my grandparent’s house. He looked at me and said, “You know it could be cancer.” I turned and told him I knew.

The official diagnosis was given in late September. My grandma had breast cancer. She would be starting chemotherapy soon. I would go and see her every day to cheer her up. My whole family only talked about optimism and positive attitudes. My grandma was strong and we were all confident she would beat the cancer.

Thanksgiving day my grandma stayed up to cook an entire meal. Everything was going great until dinner was served. My grandma looked at all of us with tired eyes and started crying. She was too tired to stay awake for dinner. We reassured her that it was okay and silently watched as she retreated to her bedroom. It was then where it really hit me and my family. We were putting off cancer as something that wasn’t so serious, when in reality, it was just that.

The following weeks up until Christmas were a blur. I only remember visiting the hospital to see my grandma more often than visiting the house to see her.  She hated the hospital more than anything. As Christmas grew closer she wanted to leave the hospital more than ever. Finally a few weeks before the holiday, they discharged her. She would have a nurse that would come to teach my grandpa how to use the hospital equipment she was being sent home with. They would install a hospital bed into the house and my grandma would be able to stay at home with weekly checkups from a nurse.

Things went well until Christmas day. We were all sitting at my grandparents’ house opening gifts as my grandma lay in her room. I walked in to show her my gifts after we had all finished unwrapping everything. My parents started cooking dinner as I sat and spent time with my grandma. She looked rough. She had lost so much weight, most of her hair, and her ability to talk. The cancer had spread all over her body and her chances of living were little to none. After finishing my dinner we all spent time with my grandma individually. I had no idea what she was mustering up the strength to tell my parents and grandpa.

It was nearing nine o’clock. I had to go home with my mom soon. My dad was going to stay and help my grandpa for a few more hours after I was leaving. As I got up to say my goodbyes I walked into my grandma’s room. I looked at her and I was completely taken aback. She was shaking all over and nodding her head profusely. I was scared. She wasn’t having a seizure; she was just too weak to control her body. I didn’t know what to say to her. I thought I would see her again after that night. My mom walked in the room and asked if I wanted to tell my grandma anything before we left. I said no. I went over and hugged my grandma and then I ran out of the room. This would be my biggest regret.

Around thirty minutes after I had gotten home my mom said that my dad would be coming over soon. This was odd since my parents didn’t live together. When my dad arrived at my house I ran to him and hugged him. To my surprise he gave me a huge hug and we stood there for a few minutes. My mom walked down the stairs and it hit me that something was wrong. My dad looked over and said, “your grandma died.”

My world shattered in seconds. I didn’t tell her I loved her. I was too shocked to cry so I stood staring at both of them and then I retreated to my room. It wasn’t until months later that I was able to cry.

In the previous times I’ve written this I’ve always tied in a lesson as if I’ve learned from this; “Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.” But the truth is, I haven’t forgiven myself for not telling her I loved her. I haven’t really learned to not take things for granted, as I’ve said so many other times. I wanted to write this so I could be truthful for once. This event in my life has altered me forever. I’ll never look at Christmas the same way. I’ll never hear the word cancer and disregard it. This event made many things mean more to me in some ways, but it has also destroyed me.

I think most of us that have dealt with something like this try to make it into something good. We try to give it a positive meaning. We try to act like we’ve recovered. We know we haven’t though. Someone I loved was taken away. That won’t change. Luckily this has brought me much closer to my grandpa. That I something I’ll always be grateful for.

As for my grandma, the angel of our family; she is now a shining angel in Heaven. If I could tell her anything it would be that I love her. I always will.

The title of this post came from one of my favorite books, A Fault in Our Stars, By John Greene. For those of you who have not read this book, I highly suggest that you do. Not only is it an easy read but it’s an emotional journey. You’ll find yourself laughing throughout the heartbreaking novel, and by the time you close the book it will be impossible to hold back tears.

We Belong To Nobody & Nobody Belongs To Us.

So as the curious teenager I am, I decided to go back and watch classic movies. I’ve always had a love for old horror movies such as Psycho..really anything by Alfred Hitchcock. Tonight I wanted something different though. I spend my days volunteering at a local nursing home. It is there where I find my peace. I can relax and truly do something I love doing. The residents have become my family, and the center has become my home. If ever I feel lost or stressed, I help out for a day there and my problems go away. Today was a particularly good day there. The residents were all happy and fun activities were being held. Unlike the tired vibe often felt by late afternoon, everyone seemed awake and energetic. This radiated into all of the workers causing everyone to be beaming. After coming home from a good day I was taken by surprise when my grandpa bought me more charms for my Pandora bracelet. Once I was finally settled in at my house I was given the news that I would have lunch this school year with many of my good friends. It was quite an outstanding day, and in my thinking, what better thought than to end it with an older movie.  I sat down and went on Netflix. I found myself typing in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I never would have thought that by the end of it, I would find myself almost in tears and completely in love with the movie. A wonderful and inspiring journey of a lost girl who winds up falling in love with the right boy. How perfect can a movie be? It reminded me of the Artist, but in a colored and more classic way. With stunning Audrey Hepburn leading the movie, it was impossible to not be engrossed the entire time. I fell in love with a timeless classic tonight. I’d like to make that public.