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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Quiet Please

“So your confidence is quiet
To them quiet looks like weakness
But you don’t have to fight it
‘Cause you’re strong enough to win without a war…”

-“Invisible” by Hunter Hayes

 

All I want for this Friday night is a nice, quiet night in after this loud week. And I’ve got Hunter Hayes’s new song on replay, too. Once again, that boy has written a song like he’s written it for me. Meaningful lyrics, smooth vocals, lots of acoustic guitar… This is the kind of music I enjoy.

You know what kind of music I don’t enjoy? Pitch Perfect.

In case you’re not quite sure what Pitch Perfect is (which I really wish I didn’t know), it’s a really popular but really overrated musical. I generally enjoy musicals, but that one just runs on gross humor. We finished watching it in world music class yesterday because we had a substitute (again!), but afterwards came the highlight of my day: WE WATCHED CAMP ROCK! That is basically my favorite movie of all time, and I had wanted to watch it in the morning during guitar class, which we also had a sub for. However, my friend was very adamant about her desire to watch The Lion King. Her choice won by an overwhelming popular vote.

Pitch Perfect wasn’t the only loud annoyance of my week. We had a substitute in English last week. The instructions left by the teacher were simple- read this story and be ready for the test next class. Well, next class came. After showing us a video about the author whose work we’re reading, my teacher said, “Okay, guys, we need to talk.” Those words, of course, strike a note of fear in  the heart of each and every teenager. And with good reason this time! The sub had left him notes: 1st period- only class who actually did their work, received 10 bonus points on the test; 2nd period- you don’t want to be them…; and, finally, 3rd period- only about four girls were actually doing the assignment. The rest of us were chatting and playing “Flappy Birds” and showing off the new phone speakers we got for our birthday. We were rewarded with the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take the test without the notes some of us had worked very hard on AND write a 150 word essay on the story (and Stephen Crane is not an easy author!). I was so elated that I almost ran out of time to finish my essay. I’ll never understand why some people just have to be loud at the most inappropriate of times.

You know what else can be loud? People’s opinions. Someone left a very mean note in my friend’s backpack this week, calling her things like “mean” and “ugly” and something about a monster. But I loved her reaction. She goes, “I am not ugly! I have beautiful nails and the world’s softest hands!!” She then reported the note to the front office, and they are taking care of the problem for her. I just love the way she handled it, though, like it didn’t even bother her. She knew nothing in the note was true, and so she refused to believe it. That’s the kind of confidence I admire. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer quiet over loud any day. Especially after today, when I’m not feeling so hot after failing at donating blood. Kristen, how can one possibly fail at donating blood?! Oh, but you don’t know me. I can make anything go awry. I filled out all the paperwork, got approved, and I even had the needle in my arm, everything according to protocol. But then, my arm decided to stop bleeding. The nurses on the Red Bus (the school’s Interact Club was running a blood drive this week, BTW) couldn’t fix it, so they took it out, told me I wouldn’t get any results back because the donation had been no good, gave me juice, and sent me on my way. I felt fine, just a little tired afterwards. I came home and lay down. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time.

And now, for a quiet, restful weekend. And like the song I quoted at the beginning, I believe that  quietness is strength. This quiet night will help me regain the strength I lost to the screwed-up blood drive needle.

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Not Afraid To Fall

I accidentally wished my bus driver a happy Thanksgivingukkah.

That really happened.

This is why I’ve been asked twice if I’m Jewish.

I’m not.

I’m just…. culturally aware?

So, yeah, it’s been quite the day, as you can tell. Guess what I did in school????!!!

Squat.

First period, we had a party in Spanish class because we’d just finished a unit about food. It was nice; I didn’t have to think. Next was geometry. I’m usually prepared for class, but today of all days, I’d left my workbook at home. Panic seized my heart. But good fortune had my back. The 98% freshman and sophomores class had planned a “surprise party” and brought food. The teacher magically agreed to an impromptu party rather than the seventy problems she was about to assign. I breathed a sigh of relief. I got up to get food, sacrificing my leftover polvorones from Spanish to the party spread. The rest of the class decided that the oldest students would go first, so, as the only juniors, my sister and I were at the front of the line. I ate well this morning.

My morning at school was so much better than my morning before. It was fine, actually, until I walked out of the house. I was just heading down the driveway, bag of cookies in hand, when I slipped on some mud and the opening of”Sweeter Than Fiction” popped into my head: “Hit the ground, hit the ground, hit the ground, oh oh/ Only sound, only sound that you hear is ‘No’/You never saw it coming/Slipped when you started running/And now you’ve come undone and I, I, I, I/Seen you fall, seen you crawl on your knees, eh eh….” Because that’s what I did. I slipped and fell on my knees (But no worries! I made a quick move that enabled me to save the cookies!).

The afternoon went blessedly quickly. We had a sub in chemistry and were left to our devices to work independently. I finished my assignment relatively easily, but I needed to google a few terms. I used my assigned laptop to finish, but then I was left with empty time. So, naturally, I passed it in the most logical way: I fanfictioned 🙂 I’m almost done with the story now.

During my last period interning, I filed. I had like 20 folders spread out in the back of the classroom and a huge stack of papers in front of me. Now, you must understand, as someone who’s philosophy is “Life’s too short to be organized,” sorting and organizing isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. But I spiced up the menial task with some T.Swizzle (thank you, earbuds!). It wasn’t that bad, actually.

I spent the last few minutes of the day in a media center chair, chipping away at Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. It’s not as good as The Raven Boys, but her writing style is just so… how I wish I could write!

Finally, the day was over. After locating our bus (it was at the end of the line today and no one had bothered to announce it), my sister and I were on our way home.

And now it’s Fall Break (or as we called it, “Thanksgivingukkah Break”)! And it’s already as beautiful as they say school vacation is. Heffron Drive put out a new song, so my day’s been made!! It’s the little things in life, I guess 🙂

Happy Fall Break/Thanksgivingukkah!

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Just Another Manic Monday

Guess what?! I can read!

Yeah. I already knew that, too. I was called to the office multiple times last week. One of them was because the results of the reading test I had to take (after two weeks of “tutoring”) had come in. I got a five, the highest level. I passed a reading test. Who would’ve guessed?

Last Monday I was called to the office to be notified of the authorization of my pre-excused absence for that Tuesday. I think they mispronounce my name 80% of the time over the intercom. That is, unless there is a “Christian” somewhere in my school with the same last name and schedule… Anyways, the absence was to attend a Veteran’s Day luncheon with my dad. And it couldn’t have come at a more convenient time! I got out of taking the ASVAB test (yet another standardized test!). I didn’t have that much work to make up, either.

I think that last week, my teachers all got together and decided to plan to give tests all at the same time. I had two difficult English tests, a geometry test, AND an unannounced chemistry test. It was not a good week to be Kristen. I have two more tests this week, too. Seriously, it has been so stressful. I had a hard time sleeping due to nightmares all weekend. That generally happens when I’m stressed. And then I stay awake trying to figure out what they meant, and that just makes it worse…. Yeah, not fun!

But today was much better. I didn’t want to wake up, though, because it forced me out of a dreamworld where I was not only going to a Heffron Drive concert every night for a week, but I was friends with the band and wandered between the front row and backstage at my leisure. It was much preferable to a Monday with chemistry class any day! At least I didn’t have any of those tests today. It was actually a relatively easy day. We had a really cool demonstration in chemistry where the teacher burned different elements in the Bunsen burner, and they gave off different colored flames, like fireworks. And we’ll get to try it for ourselves in the spring for our lab final (identifying elements in unmarked testubes). Yay…

     Hey, my favorite part of today: it’s almost TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19!! That, my friends, is the day I have been counting down to for over two months: the release of the book Staying Strong by Demi Lovato. I’m excited; can you tell? 🙂 I’m the person who tends to get really excited over things like CD or book releases. What can I say? I like to make countdowns.

But speaking of books, I fell in love and then had my heart broken last week. I read this completely amazing book called The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater over that weekend. The author’s exquisite writing style pulled me in, and her unique storyline and memorable characters kept me there. I was literally hanging on to every word until the final page. So, I got myself through the weekend by promising myself I’d go and get the sequel from the school library on Monday. I got through the day and to the library- no sequel. Feeling let down, I Christmas-listed both the books.

Now I’m reading a rather odd book about a girl who’s half dragon. I still have a good chunk of it left. Homework’s done, so I better get to reading. A hot cup of peppermint tea is calling my name…

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen

Sweeter Than Fiction

“There you’ll stand, ten feet tall,

I’ll say I knew it all along.

Your eyes are wider than distance,

This life is sweeter than fiction.”

– “Sweeter Than Fiction” by Taylor Swift

     I may have noted before the deep affinity I have for reading. So, you can imagine how the thought of life being considered “sweeter than fiction” would appeal to me. It’s a phrase that’s been on my mind since yesterday morning when I downloaded the new Taylor Swift song by the same name (And let me tell you, it was quite a good way to start off my week 🙂 ). One of my favorite lines says, “Now in this perfect weather, it’s like we don’t remember the rain we thought would last forever and ever.” I smile when I hear that line, because I love the realization that the “rain” doesn’t last forever, and life is always brighter after the storm. That’s when the rainbows come out, right?

      I think that I’ve seen a lot more rainbows this year. Not just because it rains more in this region of the country, but because I’m so happy. If you had asked me back in August, I would have only been able to tell you that I was terrified about starting all over again (again!) at a brand-new school. But now, I’m happy to say I know I made the right choice. 🙂

     Today is the last day of the nine weeks, meaning grades will come out and I have survived my first quarter of public high school! <insert applause here> Wow….

     So, what can I say? It’s good. Other than being pre-distracted by the fact that my favorite band Heffron Drive is FINALLY going on an American tour and tickets are on sale and really really wanting to go (to the point where I accidentally threw papers at my geometry teacher! 🙂 ), I’m doing well. When my sister and I received our quarter grades of 100 in geometry yesterday, several of our classmates chorused astonishment, like we had done the impossible (just mentioning, we had Algebra II last year, which I think is making geometry easier since we went over the basics, and our Algebra I class was really good about the constructions and graphing!!). I’ve finished reading my library book, and so I’ll get a new one sometime tomorrow (ahh, the things that excite us nerds!). And, to top it all off, I actually did well on my guitar proficiency today!

     Speaking of guitar class, have I mentioned before that I’m basically the resident pick-dealer? Whenever someone needs to borrow a pick, they come to me, for I own a plethora of guitar picks for some odd reason. So, like usual, I’d lent out a few today, and I had one non-decorative pick left. Well, I lost it. And, right as I realized that I had lost it, the teacher asks the class, “Does anyone have a pick I can borrow?” All eyes turned to me. My name was said. I hesitantly selected what I hoped would be the least strange pick to lend him, choosing a Taylor Swift pick with the RED album cover art on it. (Hey, it was either that or one of my Big Time Rush two, and nobody touches my Kendall Schmidt pick! 🙂 ). I brought it up to him, apologizing for the kind of pick it was. He only thanked me. And then, literally right after he returned my Taylor pick, I found the Fender one I’d lost. That’s the trouble with Swifties…

  

     So, in a nutshell, as these first nine weeks wind down,  I am “happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way” (another T. Swift quote, from “22”). But, yeah, it’s good. I think I like where I’m at in life, and where I’m headed. It can only go up from here. And one day…

“There you’ll stand, next to me,

All at once, the rest is history.

Your eyes, wider than distance,

This life is sweeter than fiction!”

– “Sweeter Than Fiction” by Taylor Swift

    And with a life sweeter than fiction, any lemons it throws my way will be turned into some pretty tasty lemonade 🙂

Stay strong and fearless,

Kristen