Crash 

Driving down the unlit highway feeling nervous about the black abyss. Hardly a street lamp shone on the dark deserted road. The music was playing yet she wasn’t listening, she was too focused on attempting to see the road from the darkness that seemed to fall on everything like black tar. Her eyes strained to see just a few yards in front of her even with her brights. Going five miles above the speed limit she climbed a hill on the old highway. The night was dark. It was late. She wanted to be home. To distract herself from her eerie surroundings she went over a checklist of chores and things todo once she got home. As she descended the hill she noticed something strange in the center of the road. An odd tree branch that had fallen perhaps. Suddenly the branch moved frantically. It all came to her quickly. The branches we people waving their arms frantically she tried to slow down in case they needed help but she looked ahead to see the mangled car that was approaching too fast for her to stop. Everything slowed. The impact sent a rush of fear through her and she had a few conscious thoughts: 

I haven’t even paid off this car.

What will people think when they’ve found out you have been in another accident?

Am I going to live?

Her senses rushed her telling her to grab the wheel once the airbag deployed and she swung it. Her feet reached for the break petal that no longer seemed to work and everything was moving so slow. Think she thought. She closed her eyes smelling smoke and feeling the car come to an abrupt stop. Smoke. Suddenly it’s hard to breathe through the air. The car could be on fire, get out. Quickly reaching for the door handle her hand failed to open it she tried again feeling it release and throwing herself out into the wet concrete gasping for air. She was alive. Alive and well even. That’s all she needed 

Last night I was in an accident. A car heading northbound had crashed in the center of the wrong lane. It had been flung up into the air after hydroplaning on what was believed to be an oil spill. The front and back axle were broken and the lights didn’t work. Two men stood beside it seeing the wreckage when a car came approving too fast for them to warn. They saw her attempt to slow and swerve but hit the tail end of the car and spin to the other side. It stopped and for a moment there was no movement. The combined smoke from both cars was enough to choke someone. Suddenly the car door was flung open and the girl kept onto the concrete coughing. 

This was the scene of my second accident last night. I have never been so scared and anxious in my life as I did in feeling the moment of impact. When I got out of my car I stood to make sure the two men were okay. They were and when I saw a car fast approaching my car I screamed and shone a flashlight frantically. Tears were in my eyes and the man stopped his car rushing to the scene. There was no service. Hardly anyone on the highway. We were eventually saved by a sheriff deputy that was responding to a call of liquids in the road. They found us and quickly called for backup. My friend came after the fire trucks and hugged me. I needed it. 
I didn’t get home until 1am and left with a swollen hand and forearm. And a migraine that developed vision loss. I was okay. That’s all that mattered. As much as I’d like to worry about everything else I cannot forget the countless people stopping and telling me “you’re lucky to be alive”. 

Change

Change is inevitable. It’s like trying to guess what a set of waves will look like before it even is seen. We can’t forsee our future as much as we can’t forget our past. The daily routine can be disturbed by the slightest change, but imaging it changing all at once. Everyday something is a little different than before until eventually routines aren’t the ones we started out with. 

We ourselves change drastically. Our hair, our clothes, anything to make it feel as if we have gone through with something that makes us feel like we have altered our ways. So then what is our future without our past? Routines come and go but it doesn’t mean that they never existed, just as people come and go. 

This may seem like a ramble. Quite frankly it is. The only way I feel confident in expressing myself is through writing. A jumble of words on a piece of paper can have such a profound affect on me that it is amazing. 

Lately I haven’t been sharing my personal life on the blog. The reasons vary and don’t seem important anymore. What is important is that I want to share now.

My life has been a series of major changes much as other people’s lives have been. This particular week has been crazy. My life is always crazy but this is different. I am about a month and a half away from being 18. On Monday I found out that I had to move out as soon as I turned 18. I wasn’t angry or sad about it. It was a reality that I just accepted. So I began to search. Monday night I didn’t sleep, searching ads on Craigslist. On Monday morning I searched in my second period class. I found an ad for a room almost out of town. I quickly messaged the person asking about it and by lunch I had an appointment to go look at the place. By that afternoon I was there with my tow friends touring the place. It had all utilities included and the kitchen had an extra shelf for my food. The room itself was spacious with a loft bed. The thing that shocked me the most was the fact that the lady treated me as an adult, as an equal. I suppose I have never really noticed but I have been expected (especially these last few months) to be preparing to be an adult yet put under restrictions that didn’t allow me to learn how to be an adult. The lady said I could move in as soon as this weekend. So I took it. Without hesitation, I took it, went home and with the help of my friends, packed my stuff. 

I felt a bit of whiplash that day. That same evening, the same friend who helped me pack also got me an interview at a restaurant. So much changed in just 24 hours. At first I was scared and made to believe that this wasn’t a positive thing and rushed into it. Now I look at it critically and there was no better way I could have been more efficient, more professional, and more calm than I was. While being told I could do it but facing doubts from those same people who said it, I succeeded. This is what growing up is. I’ve wanted this freedom for what seems like a life time and now I am getting it. With the help of amazing friends, I am making it on my own.

This hasn’t been without conflict. The past 24 hours were a whirlwind of emotion. After two interviews today I’m left with a choice. Something that no matter what I will benefit yet cannot get off my mind. The first interview I had today was for camp. To be a camp counselor. Every year I wait for camp and it’s what I look forward to. Leaving everything behind and reconnecting with great people is the most appealing thing to me. But because I live in a town where the best time to make money is in the summer, and because I have made such great friends and have fallen back in love with my home town, I cannot choose. Stay for the summer or go away. It is unlikely that I can be hired at camp if I don’t go for the entire summer, I have to choose between the two. This is the hardest decision I’ve had to make out of all this change. Perhaps I’ll hate the job and want to go. What I’m afraid of is that I actually don’t mind the job and want to stay because of friends. 

I want to talk about this more in depth but for now I need to sleep and think about the coming days. Life isn’t going to be the same as it ever was. I am no longer a freeloading teenager. The sense of responsibility both frightens and and excites me. Wherever I’m heading I know it isn’t bad, no matter what I choose. 

Ignorance 

Something we all possess no matter the degree. For me personally, I have ignorance for my own feelings and responsibilities. This ignorance is somewhat of a mental block. It grows into a consuming force or it abides by life’s twists and turns yet is still subtly there. 

The saying ignorance is bliss always struck me as funny. I believe it was derived from the Adam and Eve story when the fruit of knowledge was eaten. They had paradise and immortality until they ate the forbidden fruit. I personally don’t believe in the story because the maker of the story emphasizes their tranquility and peace. How can you know peace if you haven’t known war? How can you know light if you haven’t known dark. These sharp contrasts in life help illuminate what is in front of us. Therefore ignorance is not bliss, because you cannot know ignorance of you have not known knowledge. With out knowledge ignorance is non existent.

These small ignorances we struggle with in day to day life can either affect us or not. It depends on so many different factors that it is impossible to generalize it. 

I am ignorant to my feelings and self esteem. I choose to ignore it at all costs hoping it will flutter away when in reality it is a pot that is boiling over, splashing over the sides and sizzling. 

Everyone is prone to this because of their comfort zone. We want to stay in it. That’s human nature. You can never not have some sort of comfort zone. I watched a TED talk about how stepping out of your comfort zone can significantly bring up your confidence. Things like laying down on a busy sidewalk or socializing with people you wouldn’t normally socialize with. Perhaps we can help aid our ignorance with confidence but even in that realm of being you can be ignorant.

I believe the world is set up with rules. These lines that are difficult to cross or can easily be crossed and either way keep us on one side or the other. In other words it can be either a giant ridge that you are trying climb over that represents a line or it can be a tightrope made of floss. Either way, you are usually stuck on one side, never perfectly balanced in the middle.

So perhaps ignorance is one of the many factors that upholds these walls. Regardless we all have them. Some have negative connotations some have positive and others are just neutral. Being ignorant to certain factors of our own lives, our own inner workings, is what makes us human. It’s when the ignorance reaches a level of absurdity that it slides down slope into the idea of absolute negative connotations. 

I strive to vanquish ignorances that threaten the aspects of my life that are needed in order for me to stay afloat. With depleted confidence and sense of self esteem, I have been actively attempting to rid myself of the specific ignorance that I care about what others think of me. If you were to ask me if I cared what people thought, I would say no. I am ignorant to my own personality trait that in fact dismantles my social life. 

I try to work on these ignorances that seem to carry the essence of negativity in order to become a more refined and overall happy person. 

*I have not been writing in the blog for a while for a few reasons. First of all, I’m not going to list some lame half assed excuses on how I have been busy or not had time because in fact I have. I haven’t been writing because the blog has felt like a negitive thing for many reasons and I decided to take a break. I love the blog dearly because I can get everything out but sometime I need to wrestle with my brain as much as I need to write out my thoughts. It wasn’t writers block, more of a writers vacation. For those who have stuck around on the blog, thank you. 


Jobs

I am 17 and about to have to face the world on my own. I would be fine with this except I can’t even get a job. Now I’ve heard it all: “you’re not trying hard enough” “you’re not looking in the right places”. Well let me tell you.

I spent a whole afternoon handing out resumes to any place with a help wanted sign. Nothing. I emailed and talked to people all over town. Nothing. I have been hunting Craigslist like a mad person and have only run into scams and jobs I can’t make it to. 

Let me explain: the first thing I heard from was a serving job for a wedding job and they wanted to interview me. Problem is it was way to far. So I had to politely decline. The second one seemed to be a legit housecleaning gig until they told me how much they were paying and I had to look it up because I couldn’t believe it. Turned out to be a scam. Finally today I found something that was near me and in my area of experience and everything about it seemed perfect and they wanted to know my availability. Well while looking through my emails I saw the email they had sent to me and decided to put it aside and form a coherent email while going through and archiving all my trash mail. You know what I did? I deleted their email. I was so frustrated and mad so I went back to Craigslist and searched for it and sent them another email hoping they won’t think I’m an idiot. 

I have no where else to turn. It also just so happens that my summer camp that I live so much might not pay me. The thought of going all summer without income for someone who is about to be thrown out is terrible. Who knew it would be this hard to get a minimum wage job.
The blog hasn’t been updated in a while because as you can see I have been slightly preoccupied. My apologies. Life happens. 

Empathy 

This blog was an idea spawned from the brains of great people who encouraged me to improve my writing. As it has progressed over the past two months it has been a major stress relief for me. I was completely honest on this blog when I stated that it was a way I could vent without having to constantly complain to my friends which I still do but it’s normally about the small meaningless things in life, the 1st world problems. 
My audience for this blog consists of friends, acquaintances, and a few strangers who enjoy my writing. The majority of this audience reads to check in with my life and/or to see how my writing is improving i’d presume. Correct me if I’m wrong. This being said there is bound to be conflict in these rants of mine because not all perceive reality in the same way.
What I’m trying to say is this: we all see different variations of reality and can’t always come to a consensus because of this variety of the verdict. In short, this is how wars are started. I believe that one’s experiences dictate their perception. This is precisely the reason that I am a firm believer in empathy.
The other day I was braiding Taylor’s hair and she was watching a video on Facebook on the topic of empathy which sent me spinning in thought after the month’s events. The definition of this word didn’t become a clear picture until I was 12 and in a group home (for those who don’t know what this is it is a housing unit that is basically an orphanage but is run like a prison). A girl had made it apparent what empathy was. I kept to myself in those days because it was an everybody fends for themselves kind of scenario. This girl who was a year or two older than me seemed to go along with what anyone else told her and didn’t stand up for herself but rather aimed to please in order to have friends. 
For whatever reason, this timid girl decided that she could trust me. I hadn’t paid her much attention until she began to open up to me. She explained that her therapy sessions didn’t seem to help in any way and she still felt awful inside. She explained she felt guilty. As we became better acquainted she revealed more about this guilt. I began to understand that she had no need to feel guilty. That the horrors that she had been exposed to had been pawned off as being her fault by those around her. So from that moment on she found herself guilty to everything she had ever been exposed to even if it plainly wasn’t her fault. One night she cried to me about it and I felt her pain but I also saw how our perspectives were completely different from one another.
With all that being said I find it easy to find empathy for others after countless experiences similar to this one. This sometimes leaves me at a disadvantage because I would expect the same from others around me. Just because somethings scary to me doesn’t mean that it’s scary for everyone. That leaves a different sensitivity scale for each individual. It is impossible to gauge this scale from what meets the eye, hence the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”.
The basic understanding of human empathy is impossible without life experiences. The relatability that causes us to comprehend another’s pain, happiness, and sorrow. This relatability that people utilize to understand one another is often what can make us feel even more alone in the world forming this strange paradox. To put in other words: if you struggle and you find someone who also struggles, the matter of such struggles can differ just ever so slightly to the point where the common ground that was foreseeable in a moment of desperation has now disappeared into a fog of confusion and frustration.
Therefore, I ask for understanding over immediate redemption. That although there is a mending ability between ties that are broken with automatic forgiveness, the strongest bonds were made of perceptiveness of those around you. The ability to feel what another is experiencing or had experienced is a learned skill that can be developed through awareness.
 It is impossible to walk a mile in another person’s shoes but the effort in trying can prove to be fruitful.

Thursday

I wasn’t kidding when I said they were cursed. The worst things happen to me on Thursdays. 

Today I was told I was being kicked out. I’d like to look at this from a few different aspects. Many teens especially my age are told this same phrase including some of my closest friends. Getting kicked out for them means crashing at a friend’s house. For me, that means I have to live with another foster family. It means I have to start all over again. 

Financially it is a train wreck to even think about and would put my dreams on hold. Emotionally it would probably kill me. 

Since I could cook eggs I have been independent. I prefer to do things my way; however as a minor, you are not allowed to do what you want because you have to follow rules and guidelines lines. That’s just a fact of life. My childhood consisted of figuring things out for myself and learning what to do on my own. I have been independent for a long time.

This isn’t saying that once I move out I’ll know exactly what to do. I actually have no clue what to do as far as paying bills and doing taxes. I’m independent in other ways though. Education has always been an independent thing for me, people who have been in my life have cared about my grades but never especially pushed to get straight As and so that is one thing that I took into my own hands. As far as feeding myself I would consider that an independent thing, in many of the homes I have lived in I was expected to feed myself and have grown to prefer that way. My views on almost everything contrast those around me because I wasn’t introduced to my families stand points on many issues and was left to choose my own thoughts on many things. 

Being kicked out has an affect on me emotionally as previously stated. I become emotionally numb. A kind of dull aching pain that I push to the pit of my stomach to try and avoid so I can think rationally about a back up plan. 

Physically, it makes me take inventory of everything I own for the 18th time and proves to be, in the end, stressfull on my body. 

Financially it takes away vital opportunities that can lead to some of my biggest aspersions.

Mentally, which for me, differs from emotions slightly. It severs bonds. I love my aunt dearly and with recent family news and built up guilt, loosing her and my uncle would not make things any easier. I thrive in an environment where I can practice my tenant and renter relationship because not only will I have to be facing that soon as well as it gives me a sense of freedom. Yet I understand how family might view that as me being antisocial and ungrateful.

Getting kicked out could mean several things. I could be moved to a foster family far away from where I am, I could be moved to a family in the same area but it would be likely I wouldn’t last long even in these last few remaining months because the stress I have at the moment is nearly crushing me, add a placement change and I might loose my sanity. It could mean that I get moved to a group home which to me is the equivalent of jail and I surly wouldn’t survive. Lastly it could mean that I have to say goodbye to my friends. It’s been a short time but already I have formed solid bonds. It’s not everyday you can find a group who can jam to 2000 Taylor swift and The Rolling Stones, or play pictionary on the beach on Saturday nights. 

I’m not good at goodbyes, when I left Napa in June and it was confirmed I wouldn’t be returning in August, it nearly ripped my heart out to say goodbye to Ally. These connections that I make with people sometimes last a lifetime and sometimes fall through with distance. 

So being told I’m being kicked out leaves me numb. It consumes every fiber of my being until I can’t feel anything and only hear a ringing in my ears that echoes all the negativity buried in my past. 

What I need is stability, I crave it. Just a few months to be assured the carpet won’t be ripped out from under my feet and can be assured that I won’t be abandoned. I understand and am fully aware that this is a give and take situation. I see any situation in a foster home to be a trade off similar to a tenant and renter regardless ofminey for basic commodities or in my case chores for a bed and food. I try to stay between these lines but if I am rushed with a heavy work load at school, it can be hard to juggle between home life and school. I often prioritize education over chores which is ironic considering my opposition towards college, nonetheless, I still hold education to be a priority no matter how it is obtained. 

Exuses aren’t my goal, if I have a dirty room then I should clean it bottom line, but sometimes I look at a simple task and it seems overwhelming because of anxiety. I don’t expect anyone to understand taht feelings nd know I should just do what’s in front of me but sometimes I just get nervous or stressed and want to hide under my covers all day. Sometimes seemingly for no reason other than just being scared.

Lately, with an uncertain future I have been terrified, with the exreamly likely idea taht I will be kicked out that stress and fear has manifested into a depressed state. All of these factors contributing to a coming cause of anxiety and stress that I don’t talk about because I try earnestly to knock myself out of it and just get done what I need to get done. 

With all that being said, today was a day where I saw a glimpse of some of my biggest dreams and watched them disappear faster than I could even take a good look at what my future my hold. Who knows how things will turn out in the end.

Reality

Life isn’t always fun. Not even close. Today was one of the worst days of my life. 

Picture this: 

A teenage girl driving home from school trying to figure out how to explain to her family why she called her self out of class. A song comes on that she lives but she can’t even appreciate it because she’s going out of her mind insane with how she’ll be dead when she gets home. A car pulls into the street next to her and she looks to see if they are close to her car. As her head swings back to the front of the wheel and her hair brushed her shoulder she sees nothing but break lights. Three cars with in dead stops. She slams on the breaks but the combination of wet pavement and bad breaks doesn’t help. Impact. She is thrust into the steering wheel and then pushed back into her seat while her foot is nailed to the break. She looks at her steering wheel expecting the air bag to deploy and potentially break a rib. She can’t breath and the wind is knocked out of her but she’s okay. Her body is shaking with terror as she comes back to reality. She realizes what’s happened and pulls to the side and puts it in park. Then she wishes the impact would have killed her.

She looks at the couple who get out of their car. The back end seemingly fine while the hood of her car is scrunched up like a scrunchey hair tie. The headlights are shoved into the car. The tears come effortlessly and she fumbles for words. She is in so much trouble, she doesn’t know what to do. This is when it hits her.
Up until this moment I thought I was prepared to be on my own. I thought I knew what to do in every situation and I was nearly an adult. I knew finances were going to be hard but I’d figure it out. Past that, I had it down. I messed up. I totaled my car. I had no idea what to do in such a situation. I am not prepared and I’m terrified of the future. I felt like a little girl thrown into the real world. I don’t know how I’m going to survive.