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

 

Excelsior

       Imagine this: you have two huge tests, you forget about a quiz until the morning before, there’s one day you have to sit through a college’s presentation twice, you dragged your guitar all the way to school only not to need it on a day you almost left it at home out of sheer laziness, you’re assigned nearly 60 math problems (your least favorite subject since time began), you leave your cookies at home, and you are one dime short of being able to purchase a Vitamin Water, all in the same week. That’s basically how my week has gone.

      So, I have been everything from bored out of my mind to frustrated beyond belief over the course of five days. And to tell you the truth, it’s not been that fun. But I have found myself trying to find the good, the highlights, the silver lining, because otherwise, it really is a bad day. Past experience has taught me that it is up to you how happy you are. You can either let all the bad stuff weigh you down, or you can let it roll off your shoulders so you can keep looking up. I prefer to stand in the sunshine.

      Therefore, I will choose to let it roll off my shoulders and keep looking up. Let’s rethink that first paragraph:

     Imagine this: you rock two hard tests, you ace a quiz you nearly forgot about, you get to spend two class periods watching funny videos created by film production students from a visiting university, you are going to learn to play a song by your favorite band on guitar, you are almost finished with all your homework, you bought a delicious dark chocolate bar and shared it with your sister, and you ordered two books that will be delivered later today, all in the same week. That’s basically how my week has gone.

     There. Much better.

     And thusly, we will move onward and upward to my favorite part of the week: the weekend. I have an exciting one planned, one that involves going out of town for a Christian girls’ retreat and reading those two new books I bought (sidenote- something funny I realized about those books: one of the main characters has the same first and last name as my uncle 🙂 ). I can sum up my anticipation in a single word: Excelsior. Excelsior is a Latin term meaning “higher” or “loftier” and is used in the English language as an exclamation meaning “forever upward.” It’s also kind of my new favorite word. 🙂 I keep telling myself, “Keep going, no matter what. Remember: Excelsior!“So, onward and upward and to the weekend.

Excelsior!

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Who You Are

     Over the past week, I have been asked if I was a twin, telepathic, and Jewish. Only one of these, of course, is true for me (As for the other two, it was a twin-telephatic joke, and I was the only person in my Spanish class who knew the word for “bar mitzvah”.). Things like that have got me thinking- “who are you, really?” 

      To some, such as the security guards in the cafeteria, I am the girl who brings a jar of Nutella everyday for lunch. To others, I’m the person who spends way too much time in the library (what can I say? I have a very bad book habit 🙂 ). In my guitar class, I’m the girl who loves Taylor Swift and always has an extra pick you can borrow. I’ve been, “WOAH! Are you twins?!” quite a lot this year. In English class, I have to try not to be Hermione Granger ( if you don’t get it- a literary figure who “knew it all” and was constantly raising her hand to answer every question the teacher asked).

     There are things I strive to be, like a straight-A student and finished with all the standardized tests they make me take. There are also things I don’t want to be, like late for class or the bus, or hacked on Twitter, like yesterday 😛 Then, there are the things I’d like to be, like a  National Merit scholar, that probably won’t happen. For now, I’m just glad to be done with the PSATs for, like, ever!

     During my time in the library today, I decided to get a head start on something interesting- a contest to win a Kindle Fire tablet, which would do wonders for my book habit! All I have to do is read ten of the sixteen “teen read” books and take the AR tests on them, by spring. Ten books in six or seven months? Easy! So, I chose my first book today. The Latte Rebellion is a story about identity and standing up for who you are. I’m barely into it yet, but I have a feeling it is going to be good 🙂

     High school is generally where you do a lot of “discovering who you are.” You try new things, meet different people, decide what you want to do with your life… I’m far from having it all figured out, but, so far, I think I like what I’m finding. 

     I believe that staying true to who you are is one of the most important things you can do. 

“I am a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”

     -Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen

     I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stay the flamingo than try to be a pigeon any day.

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen