My Biggest Regret

Listening to certain songs can transport people back in time. When I hear a clarinet, I am transported back to middle school, where Awkward and Gangly were my two middle names. But after school a few times a week, I took on a new identity…not as a superhero, but as a member of the band. I played the clarinet, and after my first semester, my teacher made comments about my “talent”.

What is this strange word? I thought. It’s never been applied to me before. And for the next three years, while Awkward and Gangly still plagued me during the school day, at least I possessed a little bit of Talent, too.

At the end of the seventh grade, I bid a fond “see-you-soon” to my band teacher, making promises to practice over the summer. I never saw or heard from him again. No explanation.

Out of spite, I refused to continue playing the clarinet. I tried percussion in high school, and I can plonk out a few tunes on the piano or the harmonica. But my biggest regret is quitting the clarinet. It was a source of joy and an escape from Awkward and Gangly, and I should not have let that go without a fight.

Also, I wish I had discovered The Phantom Tollbooth and running sooner.

Brave

With only 10 minutes to showtime, my sisters and I buckled into the car and jetted over to the local cinema just in the nick of time to see the new Pixar, Brave.

Wow. The trailer doesn’t do the film justice at all. The film is a rousing blend of Scottish music, breathtaking animation and landscapes, a wonderful examination of true freedom, and a beautiful portrayal of a mother and her love for her child. Full body goosebumps for the 100 minute run. I teared up for the some of the scenery, but by the time the credits rolled, full out tears ran down my face and my sister was offering me a tissue.

Wow.

In other news, I have a new acronym/motto: KTFA. Keep the fight alive, or fire. I thought it up while I was thinking on a long car ride yesterday. Now, thinking used to be the enemy. The depressed person is trying to escape her mind, but now that I’m stable, I’m learning to embrace thinking again. I want to keep thinking, to keep connecting  and organizing ideas…basically, I want to keep writing in my head. I want to learn. I want to be more eloquent, so that this paragraph inspires you instead of whatever lukewarm reaction you have right now. I want to create something, or be something, so beautiful that it moves people to tears.

Happiness No. 1

Every once and a while, some acquaintance catches me off guard and makes a comment along the lines of, “You’re the happiest person I know!”

And it catches me off guard, every time. All I can do is smile and make some sort of laughing noise.

What I really want to say is, “No. No, I’m really not,” in a rather dramatic way, with a piercing look upon my face that conveys other messages, such as, “I’m secretly an awful person” or “I’m secretly tortured” or “You don’t know me”.

Why can’t I just let myself be happy like everyone believes me to be? I track my mood, for health reasons, and I’m never more than an 8 out of 10. Why is that?

Colorado

Sorry, folks, Colorado was pretty insane. Still, I owe you.

I just got back from taking an astronomy class in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, and it proved to be one of the coolest experiences of my life thus far.

One night, I stayed up late enough to see the Milky Way rise. It stretched across the sky, an arc of clouds of stars, like a nighttime rainbow. My friends and I were so in awe all we could do was stare and recite a prayer or two. It blows my mind how small and big we are at the same time.

Another day, I drove up to Cumberland Pass with some friends, and saw the purple mountain majesties. I sang a broken, more-like-I’m-talking rendition of America, the Beautiful as I drank in the sight. Then we drove up to the Alpine Tunnel, and I went for a run at 12,000 feet.

We learned about the Big Bang and black holes and I can point out constellations. I was still enough for hummingbirds to land on my finger.

That’s what Colorado was. I was just lucky enough to  be in the right place and of the right mentality for a hummingbird to pause and land upon my finger. The world stood still for me in Colorado, and I just let it wash over me. I wish I had written, yes. But I’m not going to regret it. I’m just going to learn my lesson and keep writing no matter what, and see where it takes me.