Just Getting Started

Okay, so, the most exciting thing happened to me last Tuesday. It may not seem as incredible to anybody else, but it made me over-the-moon with elation. 🙂 You may have inferred from previous posts that I am a hardcore fan of Nickelodeon music group Big Time Rush. You may also be aware that BTR member James Maslow is on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars this season. You may not, however, be aware that he has a weekly blog about said competition show. Well, on this blog, James answers questions from Twitter. I, an avid Twitter-user, have asked him several questions.

Then this happened:

from James Maslow’s Parade blog

 

So, yes, James answered my question, and I’m pretty much still smiling about it. Anyways, James’s answer, as well as his being on Dancing in the first place,  served as a reminder that Big Time Rush is over as a television show and on a break as a band (which makes me sad 😦 ). Though the guys are still a band, they’re going their separate ways for now. It makes me think of their song “Just Getting Started,” which I believe is about how “it ain’t over” for them as a group, even though Carlos is married and Kendall has his own band and James is starting a solo career and Logan is doing who knows what… It ain’t over! It all serves as proof that you can move on from something while at the same time it stays a part of you.

I’ve done a lot of that in my life. Three high schools and 800 miles later, the people, places, and experiences that I loved are still a part of me, even though they’re not with me anymore. They helped me become who I am, and I will always, always hold them in my heart. One of my favorite songs by Kendall’s band Heffron Drive goes, ” I keep building walls/but you’re always on my mind/Won’t let them fall down./I’m tired, can we give up, /the art of moving on?” Even though it’s hard, even though it gets rough, even though I still miss them terribly and want them back every single day, I keep going, keep moving. The bridge of the song says, “…we chose to say goodbye but I choose you…” I believe that even as we keep going and moving forward with our lives, we can choose every single day to keep in our hearts those people and places that we said goodbye to.

Even though I’ve had a lot of finalities and goodbyes these past few years, I have realized that my life is just getting started. Just like the four members of BTR, I am getting ready to move on to bigger and better things. I’m getting ready to sign up for dual enrollment and AP classes for next year so I can earn college credits early. I received a National Honor Society acceptance letter yesterday. It’s the last quarter of junior year. I’m starting to plan for college and the rest of my life. It’s crazy, and… it’s only the beginning…

Right now, feels like it’s the last page
But we’re just warming up the stage…

The night is young
And we’re just getting started
(We’re just getting started)
The best is yet to come
And we’re just getting started now.”

-“Just Getting Started” by Big Time Rush

With the people and places and experiences that made me who I am held tightly in my heart, I’m ready to move on to whatever’s next in God’s crazy plan for my life. It’s just getting started. 🙂

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

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Wildcard

“And baby you’re my wild card
My perfect little twist of fate
You’re my first spark, shot in the dark
Favorite part of everything
And baby you’re a sweet surprise
Lucky like a shooting star
You’re a strong, free, just what I need, wild card”

-“Wildcard”by Hunter Hayes

 

Before the start of spring break, we were assigned partner projects in English class. My class has an odd number of students; I got permission to do it on my own. So, I completed the assignment- make a Prezi about a poem (mine was on “The Garden” by Ezra Pound, the first one I saw listed in the book). Thinking it needed a little something extra, I added music. Being the person that I am, I added traditional Irish bouzouki music (which is especially wonderfully when dueting with a banjo, I might add). I asked the teacher to check my project and make sure it was the way he wanted it to be. He asked if he could use it for another class. I forgot to mention the bouzouki music.

I thought we wouldn’t be presenting until next week, but when I walked into class on Tuesday, the teacher smiled at me and said, “You’re on today!” I went through my oral presentation awkwardly, accompanied by the Irish background music (which actually helped calm my nerves 🙂 ). I finished it with the only hitch being the music’s volume (my teacher had to  turn it down halfway through my presentation).

And that’s basically everything you need to know about my school career.

These past few weeks, I also received an application for National Honor Society. Whoop whoop! I’m currently in the process of filling it out. When I began, I thought to myself,“You’ll never get in anyway; you haven’t had any school involvement or anything noteworthy to write down.” But as I continued, I realized I was wrong; I was so,so wrong. I filled in the appropriate spaces on the application:  Interact Club, Literature Clubs, lead role in school play, Handchime Choir… It definitely gets weirder as it goes on. Laughing to myself, I realized my application would stand out as a smorgasbord of all that I’ve collected during my journey through three different high schools. I smiled, remembering Hunter Hayes’s new song “Wildcard.”

I’ve mentioned before how I find Hunter’s lyrics totally relatable and his music totally spectacular ( I believe my exact words were Hunter Hayes basically writes my life 🙂 ), right? Well, with his new album’s release date FINALLY set, I was super-excited to hear his newest song. And of course, I found it to be… perfect. My second-favorite lines come from the second verse: “I’m an unexpected dreamer/Just watching through my every day/You don’t follow any leader/You make your mark, and make a change…” They remind me that it’s okay to be… not average. It’s okay not to feel like you have to fit a certain stereotype. It’s okay to wear Vans instead of boat shoes. It’s okay to listen to  Big Time Rush and not One Direction. It’s okay to read when otherwise you’d be sitting in awkward silence.  It’s okay to like random Irish music. It’s okay to be a wildcard.

 

‘It’s funny when you tell me you don’t think you’re all that interesting
I beg to differ, with you I’m out here on the edge of my seat
And every minute guessing, holding my breath and fueling that fire…”

It’s those of us who dance to the beat of our own drum that are able to fuel change in this world. In the wise words of another blue-eyed, blonde country singer, this one a few feet taller and a few Grammies more famous than dear Hunter, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.”

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

 

The Other Side Of the Door

“It’s been a really, really messed up week,

Seven days of torture, seven days of bitter…”

-“Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae

 

First week of second semester has just been splendid (I’ve heard that sarcasm is related to intelligence, right?). Well. I am so glad it’s Friday.

Monday really was splendid. We had it off for MLK Day, AND there was an all day “Big Time Rush” marathon on TV. I was a happy girl. But then came Tuesday. Tuesday, Doomsday…. Because Tuesday was the first day of the semester and our last day before exams had been a B Day, I assumed it was A Day. I brought all my books and stupid, stupid Earl (my guitar towards which my feelings are ambivalent). The one day the “A Day/B Day” sign in the Commons is actually correct, I’m wrong. I was frantically calling my mom, smartly hidden in a bathroom stall (sometimes life calls for us to bend the rules- forgive me), and I gave an exact description of the books my sister and I needed and their locations. Being the absolutely incredible, amazing, loving mother that she is, she brought our books in exchange for Earl, whom I had left in the office. My mother was the hero of my Tuesday, and I could not have been more grateful for her bailing me out. 🙂

Wednesday is a blur, lost in translation. Yesterday, Thursday, I learned that I am strong. In all the craziness and hardships of this past year, I have had my best friend beside me through all of it. My twin sister and I vowed to never leave each other alone in the uncharted waters of public high school. But life sometimes overrides even the best intentions, and she was sick yesterday, leaving me to go it alone for the first time. It was lonely, but okay. I do have other friends, and they are kind and gracious and willing to keep me from being a loner. Also, I had time to read The Scorpio Races (and I am sooo close to being finished that I want to skip last period today and read!!). And I got to teach my geometry class that, contrary to popular belief, twins do not get sick at the same time.

That brings us to today. Friday. Today. Ewe. I don’t want to be here. I want to be home. I want to finish my book. I want to be done for today. First period was not nice to me. We had a surprise playing test (it’s guitar class), and on top of other things, I’m done. At least second period was a free period, so I drowned my sorrows in a jar of Nutella. Today is an A Day, so I have B lunch, and since I have no friends in B lunch, I am here, a-bloggin’.  Yay for today.

But it’s Friday, and as soon as that bell rings at 2:55, I am closing the door on this week. I will forget it. I will wash my hands and be done. And it will be good, because on the other side of the door is promise. I’ll be able to finish that book, and learn alongside Puck Connolly that life gets better once you get past what makes it hard, and to keep pressing forward ( I love this character, by the way 🙂 ). I’ll have time to practice my major chords and do better on the next playing test. I can look forward to my stellar report card coming out next week. I still have some Nutella left in that jar. And, best of all, ABC Family KNEW I would be in dire need of a Harry Potter weekend. 🙂

It all awaits me on the other side of the door.

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Halfway There

“So we take what comes, and we keep on going,
Leaning on each other’s shoulders
Then we turn around
And see we’ve come so far somehow

We’re halfway there
We’re looking good now
Nothing’s gonna get in the way

We’re halfway there
And looking back now
Never thought that I’d ever say
We’re Halfway there!”

-“Halfway There” by Big Time Rush

When the bell rings a one o’clock today, I will have officially completed my first semester of public high school. I will have made it out, alive, in one piece, all four limbs intact, smiling in my victory.

[img]http://tuitionphysics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Success.gif[/img]

I have, at this point in my life, survived midterms. May the scores by with you, I told myself and my fellow exam takers in my head, anyway). Guitar was the hardest ( a completely  written test for an instrument. really?!); Spanish was the easiest. I checked my grades, and I’ve done pretty well so far. I’m quite happy with my grades, actually. Considering my week began with a terrible nightmare concerning the guitar exam, I have done fairly well. I just took my last, and most boring, exam- World Music, a class that sounds fun but is in reality the exact opposite. I now wipe my hands of the exams. No more will I mention them.

The past semester has brought a monumental amount of change into my life. My world has been rocked and shaken, but now, in the end, it’s all come together for good. It is, in fact, good. I’m happy with my life and the way it’s going, and I have only good things to look forward to in the spring semester. Halfway there, halfway to go. It’s all up from here.

“Oooh we’re halfway there, oohh livin on a prayer!”

-Bon Jovi

[img]http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article8966115.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/white3.jpg[/img]

 

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Reflections On A Testing Week

This week has tested me. And I do mean that quite literally. It began with the Algebra EOC. It also threw me several English tests, a guitar test, and a chemistry test. And Friday surprised me with one more…

     I was sitting in Spanish class, about to use the last few minutes to study for the chemistry test when the office paged the teacher, requesting that “Christian” be sent to the office. We concluded that it had been a mispronunciation of my name, and I was sent to the front office. Fear gripped my heart as I walked. Why was a I, a well-behaved honor student, being sent to the office? It had never before happened in my life! Once I got in the office, I was sent to another room with two other students. A faculty member soon came in and gave us the news that we would be taking a certain standardized test in two weeks. Apparently, everyone in this state’s public school system takes this test sophomore year. I, however, spent my sophomore year in private school. If you didn’t pass the test in 10th grade, you can take it again junior year and senior year, and after that you keep taking it until you pass. It’s required for graduation.  I’ll be required to take the test because I did not take it in tenth grade. So, we were then told that we would be required to attend tutoring classes for this test last period on B days for the next two weeks. I groaned inwardly. Last period, interning, is one of my favorite classes. The woman then dismissed us but showed me where the classroom I’d be tutored in was located. I went out on a limb and asked if there was any way I could just take the test without the tutoring. It’s a reading comprehension test, which, again, honor student, I could pass it easily. I’m rather good at reading. But, no, the school required these small-group tutoring classes, so my fate  was already sealed. 😛

     When last period came, I went to the classroom. It was empty except for the tutor. He reminded me that I needed to check in with my teacher I’d have that period before I came. So, I went back and signed in for interning. but the teacher in charge wasn’t in her office. Deciding signing in was good enough, I found my way back to the room, which was now full with the four other members in my small group.

     I took my seat, read my papers, and did my practice questions. Simple. We waited for everyone else to be finished (We waited quite a while, mostly because one guy decided he needed a restroom break and probably got lost coming back). We went over the questions. I got every single one of them right. Why, I asked myself, did I need to even be here? 

     We were finished about half an hour before school let out, so the tutor sent us back to class. I, of course, did not have a class to go back to. Again not being able to find the teacher in her office, I did what I generally do when I get back from interning at that time. I sat outside with my iPod and a snack. It was nice, actually. At one point, a faculty member walked by and asked me who’s class I was in. I told him I’d gotten back from interning, and he went on his way. 

     I had another run-in with fear this week. I once read a book about kids who got kidnapped by a substitute bus driver (who wasn’t actually a real bus driver). I had thought to myself earlier in the week, “I hope that never happens to me. I hope I never have a substitute bus driver.” But low and behold, when I walked out to the bus Thursday after school, we had a sub. I triple-checked to make sure I was on the right bus before I warily made my way on board. I tried to shove the book from the back of my mind, but all I could really do was hope and pray. I also wanted to laugh at myself. Real life isn’t like movies or books, Kristen! 

     Quite obviously, everything was fine. I’m good, really. I’ve just got a couple (thousand!) more tests to study for this weekend. Well, I should’ve been doing that yesterday and today, but I am so easily distracted! 🙂 Somebody says the words “Big Time Rush” and whatever I was doing is suddenly forgotten…

     Whatever tests you encounter in life, take it in stride and look at the bright side: you are not being kidnapped by a bus driver. 🙂

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Misadventures in Irresponsibility

     This weekend was Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family. I have been into this sort of thing since I read the books last winter. So, naturally, I spent my weekend watching Harry Potter movies, balancing that time with reading the new book I got. This, my friends, is how the dorks of this world procrastinate.

     So, 7:30 last night, I finally decided to start studying for the two tests I had today. Then I went to bed and fell asleep quickly. I had a nightmare about English class where I got in trouble for knocking out all the lights by popping a balloon. I bolted upright in bed and remembered the vocabulary assignment I had forgotten to do. So, at 4:30 AM, I was using dictionary.com to finish my homework. I was just thanking God I had remembered!! 🙂

     Two hours later, I got to wake up to the sound of Big Time Rush screaming “GET UP! GET UP! GET GET GET UP!!” (yes, they do have a song that starts like that 🙂 ), thanks to the alarm my sister had set. I much preferred it to the usual screech of the other alarm, but it still didn’t keep me from muttering, “Shut up, Logan,” in reference to the loudest member of the band on that part of the song (also happens to be my least favorite member).

     I pulled it together enough to get myself and Earl the guitar onto the bus in one piece. In guitar class, we are actually starting to learn things because our teacher is back.  I am, naturally, still the world’s worst guitar player. I barely had the D chord down before we started playing the entire progression as a class. But at least I tried, and I didn’t stop playing! The teacher commended me for that. But I think Earl tried to kill me on the bus in payment for torturing him with my  terrible playing. I almost fell off with him today!!

     Geometry is geometry. Math and I still don’t like each other. I still don’t have the fuzziest feelings for English either. The book we are reading, The Scarlet Letter, isn’t really my cup of tea. But at least I was able to get some of my obscene amount of homework done during lunch!

     And back to the responsibility thing… I should be working on geometry homework right now. I just got a little distracted by the announcement I found via Twitter about the new book being released by none other then Demi Lovato! Totally the best part of my Monday 🙂

     Now, I need to stop being irresponsible, especially because I have a paper on responsibility due in a few weeks!

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen