Brown Eyes, Brown Eyes

Brown eyes, brown eyes—actually, yours are gray.

The vestige of laughter wore off any traces of fatigue in the dimly lit classroom. Loose bonds knotted from the previous day's testing bound this small triplet in the corner together. Nothing, sans the chatter of the classroom detracted my attention from delight of the conversation. From the side of corner of my eye, you weaved your way past the musicians blocking off the entrance. An array of pink, brown, and turquoise flank the desktop. Thud. Our trio, still enraged over our individual, yet equally fastidious, essay prompts, roared over our meek responses.

From the corner of my eye, something caught my attention. Future plans were touched upon during our trio's hour-long wait drenched as sprawled figures on the floor, sure, but all recollection of such a jovial time shut under lock and key. Maybe it was the good mood of the morning or my sleepiness, but when I glanced into your expression, I saw you don the exact expression I wore nearly three years ago where our roles were reversed.

I inhaled sharply. Fear, with a pin of uncertainty rung your eyes, your lips, your snarky remarks silent. For the first time in a while, my eyes directly contacted with another's, and my body ran cold, even as our teacher tapped at us to look to the whiteboard.

Our minds cower away and filter our perceptions to what we wish to see, yet as clear as day, the first day of growing up flared in my mind. There was you, wearing a pink flowing shirt with skin as tan as the coconut oils of Hawaii. I, vesting a gray shirt resting snugly on my shoulders. Us, both cackling away at a sanitizer joke. This was before the ranking, before intellect was prioritized over friendships, before the underlying scintillating, scathing scorn strained our ties for they had chosen you, before our positions into moving forward in the next step had us locked with little leeway in movement.

Both of trajectories were both for success, but yours was a straight path, while mine zigzagged its way, straining to grasp the top. Over the years, we sat across the table, indifferent to the individual sitting across from us. Genetic makeup may dictate otherwise, but our struggles mirrored each other as if placed on opposite sides of a mirror.

The days flow murky as we swam (you could swim—you were a fish) in the sea of school. Locks clicked lightly into place. Colorful lunch boxes slapped the hallways to and fro. Your snappy comebacks stood as a usual medium for sleepy mornings in the classroom. Life dictated for years to us to eschew, separating into our respective groups of friends. Yet somehow, conversations sprung from our parched mouths, sometimes one-sided on both ends, but still a conversation. "The test was hard." "Oh, she said..." Banality blocked the roads, and we clawed our way past, nails bleeding and functions etched in our hands.

Time had not been good to us. From hindsight, your sass did not stand on par with my earnestness. Sentimentality? A foreign word not spelled out in your nearly impervious armor. We hardly know each other! We hardly know the other's personalities or eye color!

Our minds cower and filter a perception we wish to see, but now? It is time to step out and meet you in the day's light, and I honestly cannot wait.

p.s. A small thought piece, with some elements of fiction & nonfiction weaved in. Which parts are which, though, is up to you to decipher. Something I wrote last night before panicking over Declamation forms. Check out my Guestbook & Survey, anyone?

2017 New Year's Resolutions & Survey

The New Year has arrived, and it's that time of year to create new year's resolutions. Now, I've read some pretty decent posts by my good friends Rachel, Hannah, and Oakstar. Self-improvement is a lifelong process. It's exceptionally important to understand the root of the problem of something one is trying to improve at and then work towards that, although not having to follow the traditional set path put on the ground. These are all important things to consider.

Here are the targets I have for this year. Except for the writing category and one in the Life section, every single target set on the list is broad. I’m not too keen on having a set plan that lacks a chance for any sort of wiggle room. Many more targets exist, but these are the ones I want to strive for this year, as I do believe they are practical and easy to accomplish.

// If life allows for it, get a job. (At the very minimal, a summer job.)

// Write snail mail. There is something simple and grounded in handwriting a letter and sending it to another person in a physical form that electronic communication sometimes fails to express. One of my mentors over the past two years moved away, and I've been meaning to send her mail because she did leave a way of communication.

// Study effectively for school and have an idea about post-high school life. I've progressed in my study habits degree, but little details need to be tweaked for finer improvement. Also, as for what I'm planning to do after high school? Go to a university, for sure, but to major in what, I don't know. Right now, I'm considering to enter Environmental Engineering with Creative Writing as my minor. Thinking about the future terrifies down to the legs, but a choice which needs to be solidified (at least, as an action plan) near the end of the year.

// Drink lots of water and moisturize often.
// Stretch and get active frequently. With dance lessons and potential rehearsals, this should be fine.
// Read at least 75 books. I miss reading lots, but my to-be-read pile is ready to be read.
// Open to the future more certainly.
// Comment on more blogs.
// Stick with good close friends that can be relied upon, and view them as equals.
// Stress less, and learn how to relax more.

// Write at least 500 words daily. If this happens, then it would roughly come 182,000 words over the year! That’s a lot.

// Finish editing Hidden in the Shadows by spring. My editing process has been snail-paced in the fast-paced world screaming to prepare for college, but I may or may not have accidentally told some people who I interact on a day-to-day basis that they can beta read starting a certain date. Externally, I quietly smile as said people flail around because they've been wanting to see my writing for months. Internally? I'm screaming my head off while also fangirling too much at the world created to do productive work. At least there's a fixed reason editing needs to occur, pronto. 

// Write the first draft of its sequel. Hidden in the Shadows is a part of a five-installment series (which I'm super pumped to unveil). There is so much that goes within the surface that I want to throw a party with confetti at the end— the story of my four protagonists is burning to uncover itself. Especially when (insert a million spoilers here) happens!

// Write around sixty blog posts. 

// Enter more writing competitions. Kate of Clover Kate cracks me up so much because she's 
always complaining about scholarships and the hunt for college money. There are five competitions I'm eyeing at that provide money—every little bit is going to help. I'm also entering for the sole purpose of competing. Showing off my work isn't in my comfort zone, but I must admit, it's a little bit fun.

// Submit pieces for lit magazines. Christina Im, who I've known for almost five years where I know her screen name from her youthful NaNoWriMo days, dominates this area (as she does with everything else). Her work has been published in so many lit journals, both in online and print format, and why not submit work to them? I'm so excited to step foot into this aspect of writing, and suddenly, it makes this aspect of the world appear more defined.

// Complete things for a bucket list that I won't be revealing until May. This is a specific bucket list that needs competition at a certain time, but it needs more time before it's revealed. Why? There are many reasons. All I can say is this year is going to bring it.

// Explore more of the state and travel. The chances of my family traveling are somewhat probable, so wherever we decide to embark to, the trip will be great (expect a travel log)!

// Attend youth group more. I'm so pumped for the activities we're doing this semester. Hiking? Acting nights? Captain America movie marathon? Yes, please!

// Work on the other project related to my introversion and sort of fear of social conversation... talking is hard when you're getting to know people, but it's incredible, the meaningful one-on-one conversation that can pop up. Meeting new people can be fun, sometimes, when not bombarded with numerous names at the same time. This is more of a personal project that won't be discussed much on the blog. Yes, there is fifty ongoing projects and their long titles are rather vague, but trust me, there's more to them than how I'm wording it right now. 

What are your New Year's resolutions / targets? What are your expectations and fears for this year? Also, maybe take this survey!