She draped herself over the unmade bed, a long, loose-fitting t-shirt falling just below her waist. White sunlight gleamed through the dusty window, highlighting the soft outline of her body. She aimlessly hummed a tune as she grasped lightly at the rays that sloped above her head. He lay next to her, watching as she slipped deeper into her own world. He payed close attention to her hand as it danced through the air, to her pale eyes as they flitted back and forth, to her chest as it rose and fell to the beat of his heart. His eyes flitted to the golden wedding band on her left ring finger, glinting in the morning glow. In that moment, he regretted nothing.
We all want to feel beautiful. It’s almost cliché to write about- this need ingrained in our minds to be beautiful. But there’s a reason why it’s talked about so often: because its an omnipresent insecurity that even the most ravishing human beings posses.
Here’s the thing, beauty is unbelievably subjective; it truly lies in the eye of the beholder. I can bet that at least once a day, you walk past someone and think to yourself (in that impressed whisper thinking voice that we all have), “Wow! They are so attractive!” And how many times do you think that has happened to you? More importantly, do you think that this person goes home, looks in the mirror, and thinks “Wow! I am so attractive!” No, of course not! Despite the confident façade, that person looks in the mirror the same way we all do. “Ugh that pimple is so annoying. My entire face is so bloated, and EW my thighs look huge.”
Why do we do that? Why are we so quick to hold others high while at the same time we violently tear ourselves down? Looking in the mirror shouldn’t be a one way ticket to a life sucks mindset partnered with “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad” by Moby.
Now this isn’t to say that we don’t ever see ourselves as pretty- everyone has good days, confident days where you know you look bomb as heck. However, they aren’t in the majority. What we see in the mirror can change within hours, minutes even! Flaws disappear and reappear before our very eyes.
Our quick judgements reflect the beauty standards that permeate our society. They change at the drop of a hat- only a month ago it was sexy to have a thigh gap, but now it’s considered unnatural and unhealthy. With every new beauty trend comes a new insecurity, a new flaw to worry about.
We understand that everyone has some imperfections, and yet we continue to hold ourselves to impossible standards. We continue to strive for perfection- something that doesn’t exist in any part of society no matter how hard we search for it. It’s time to stop the witch hunt; the longer we keep it going, the longer it’s going to take for us to feel good about ourselves. And that’s what we all want- to feel beautiful.
The feeling of release, the feeling of tranquility, the feeling of true liberation; that’s right, I’m talking about the feeling when you pop that nasty whitehead sitting directly below your nostril. Everyone’s had at least one little bugger who shows up at the most inopportune time possible, pulsing with pus. You can feel him mocking you as he ruins what otherwise might be considered as a semi-aestheticly pleasing face. As he grows, so does your anger, until finally, you splatter his guts against the mirror. Nothing feels better than that moment you feel him burst open, and nothing is more satisfying than wiping away any trace of the murder. However, the homicide is never truly gone; in his place, a scar forms. A permanent reminder of the horrible, engorged mass that once was.
It was one day during Rent rehearsal where my world started to turn grey. He took a seat next to me out of the blue, smiling this doofy smile that I had never seen before.
“Hey Kelso. Scarlet Letter, eh?” Not the most interesting topic of conversation, but it didn’t matter- my heart surprisingly jumped into my throat anyways.
“Y-yeah! Just started it- and I don’t hate it? Is that weird?” I tried my best to keep my cool as I looked into his dark brown eyes, noticing the way they glinted in the dimly lit theatre. As we talked, I noticed the way he ran his hand through his silky black hair, noticed the way he gingerly twisted his sunglasses in his hand, noticed the way he stole quick glances at me when he thought I wasn’t looking. I felt my own smile stretch across my face to match his, felt my heart palpitating as if I had an IV shooting caffeine directly into my bloodstream, felt the world around me slow down until nothing else was moving except for us. . What was this feeling? It had a familiar twang- something I hadn’t felt in about 3 and a half years. Oh shit, I thought to myself. I have a crush.
It was a time of first world hardship- I was staying in an overcrowded dorm during a sweltering Boston summer with nothing but a fan to keep me cool- but in the midst of a true tragedy a symbol of hope revealed itself: the red blanket. It seems odd to me now that amidst the heat I would find a blanket so appealing, but it’s comforting appearance put me at ease. No longer would I worry about dying of heat stroke with the fuzzy cloth enveloping me; but first, I had to obtain this prized item. See, it belonged to a remarkably simple boy with sandy hair and blue eyes: a true New Jerseyite. I wormed my way into his heart, similarly to the way his blanket had mine. I had many an adventure with him, and even grew to love him (as a friend of course); but when it came time for our adventures to come to a close, I made my move. I thought quickly and hid the blanket away to where he would never be able to find it. He searched up and down and all around until finally he gave up and hobbled home to NJ-blanketless. I was victorious!
This red blanket reminds me of a time of adventure, a time of music, a time of love; but most importantly, it reminds me that I can get away with- excuse me, accomplish anything if I work hard and put myself out there.
Why is fag a term that is acceptable to use now a days? To some people, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just is another way to make fun of their friend. But while they are trying to call their friend stupid, another person is overhearing them use this comment, and shaking their head. Every time someone uses fag thinking its okay, we take a step backwards. We have come so far- especially with the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US- and when someone calls someone else a fag, all the progress disappears. See, even if they don’t mean it, they are still calling a sexuality stupid. Do you know how LGBT+ people feel when their sexuality, something that they can’t choose, is criticized? They get enough heat already without ignorant people loosely throwing around a term with so much history of degradation to their community. This can’t go on.
Which is better, the memory or the experience? Memories are just reminiscence of the experiences; but they can evoke wonderful emotions, such as happiness, nostalgia or excitement. With memories, one can relive their past, and sense change within themselves. They can see old times; funny, happy, exciting or sad, depressing, and anger-filled. The emotions they felt in the past are not recreated by the memories, but are morphed into different forms. Both sadness and happiness turn into nostalgia; anger turns to frustration, humiliation, or even forgiveness; excitement turns to euphoria. Experience turns to memory.
But memories can distract from the moment one is living in. Experiences create the memories; they are worth undergoing, whether they cause hurt or pleasure. They are the proof that one has a life worth living, that they have a livelihood that must be maintained. The meaning of life is to live in the moment, to see new things and make a good day. To experience is to satisfy the need for life. And one day when one is old and grey, they can look back on old memories, and see that they had a pretty good life, that they got to enjoy life.
Which is better, the memory or the experience? Both have good and bad qualities, but both are important to human nature.
Something is wrong with the college application process. You have to write down all of your accomplishments and grades and extracurriculars; and if you’re like me, they add up. But somehow, you second guess yourself. You think that your resume isn’t good enough, even though you have top grades, three years of the same community service, four year dedication to the same two sports, and variety yet coherence in extracurriculars (from drama to debate, from Model UN to creative writing, from a World News column to choir). You’re just exploring your fascination in a particular area. Maybe you want to be a writer, or work in international relations, and that’s what your classes and extracurriculars are pointed towards; your future goals. But will colleges look towards your future the same way you do?
Sure you’re not a cookie cutter model, but why would you want to be? Just because someone else is president of ten clubs doesn’t mean your resume isn’t as good. You shouldn’t be punished or reprimanded for having fun with your extracurriculars; that’s what they’re for! The extracurriculars you do show more passion than the kid who’s president of every club. You should be proud of what you’ve done if you’ve enjoyed it. But somehow you take a look at all of your success, and it feels like nothing, like it was all in vain, like you should have done more. You feel insecure, like you’re looking in the mirror and pinpointing all of your flaws in front of this admissions board. “The application isn’t everything,” people say, but it feels like it is. Its a problem when you’re willing to lose all of your connections with friends and start spending all of your time studying and volunteering, just to get into the school of your dreams. Yes you want it, you want it more than anything in the entire world, but it shouldn’t be this way. You stand out, you know you do in this moment. But when it comes time to have your future decided by the admissions office, you feel like you are just a speck of dust on a dust bunny.
We are forced to read classics in school, from Sophocles to Vonnegut, from Homer to Salinger. They can be exciting, they can tell wonderful stories about the past, fact or fiction. They can be meaningful, making points true to the times. But why do we want to read books written in the past about the past, when the future is so thrilling, so bright, so mysterious? Things happened before the 21st Century, but lets leave that for the history classes. Times have changed and civilization is not the same as it was ten years ago. New technologies, such as smartphones and tablets have emerged. Art has been modernized, films and plays have been created, and different genres of music has emerged. There are books being written every day, holding brand new concepts, ideologies and stories within the pages. One day, these books might be known as classics, defining books of the times. But for now, they are contemporary, and they teach us about what’s happening in the world around us. The world has drastically changed from Homer’s time, and Fitzgerald’s too. Infrastructures have been built, economies have grown and fallen, wars have been fought, and new entities have been created. Societies standards have changed drastically; same sex marriage is legal, there is no more slavery, and woman are respected more. This seems like a better and more advanced time and place. Obviously there is still room for growth, but growth has occurred since the time of the classics. Why would we want to look back on a time that African Americans were owned by white men, when we can experience the world around us and appreciate what we have today? Why wouldn’t we want to see new and more relatable characters facing life in the 21st Century? Why would we want to be closed to the changing world around us and just read Brontë and Lee? Why can’t we explore the present as well as the past? Who knows, there might be a modern book sitting in a bookstore, waiting for it’s genius to be celebrated. Maybe one day that book will become a classic, and be read in schools everywhere; but for now it’s just a book. A book that glorifies life in the present. We just have to open our eyes, move past the former revered novels, and pick up something original, something that we have never seen before.
I thought blogging would be a waste of time, but then I realized that I had time to waste! So this blog is not only for the people who enjoy reading overly existential short stories, school essays, and life experiences; but it is also for me to enjoy. I can look back on my old writings and see what I have done and how I have grown. I can live through my words. What is better the memory or the experience? I say memory, and that is why I am recording mine here.