Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Years, everyone! There's something refreshing about today. The thought that tonight at midnight, I can leave whatever baggage I picked up during 2011 behind. As soon as the ball drops in Times Square, NYC tonight, I will be reborn. Every year on the 31st of December, we are given an opportunity to redefine ourselves. A new year brings new beginnings, so the saying goes. So now, with the final hours of 2011 ticking away, is a perfect time to reflect on 2011 and make plans for 2012.

New Year's resolutions are very popular in our society. They can range from broad goals like studying harder and running more, to specific ones like losing a set number of pounds and trying a new sport. Goals give me a sense of purpose, something to work towards.  I am the type of person who's always making goals, even in something as small as making a To-Do list for a busy weekend. There's something satisfying about crossing something off a list, checking off a box.

I find my biggest challenge is in actually following through with these goals. In the hustle-bustle of everyday life, sometimes they get swept aside and then will blow back into our paths periodically throughout the year. Something my cousin told me about several years ago was to take something that will remind you of your goal--a picture, quote, whatever it may be--and hang it somewhere you look every day--above your bed, on your mirror, wherever is most visible. This way, when you wake up every morning, you're reminded of what you want.

It's hard to imagine 2011 is already fading away, another year come and gone. In saying goodbye to 2011, it is also the time to abandon any negative energies or feelings of regret. For 2012, my main goal is to live every moment for the moment, in the moment. There's so much promise with a new year. Tonight is the night to set the stage for what you want the new year to bring. And of course, 2012 is the perfect opportunity to tackle those crazy dreams. Wishing you joy and inspiration in the new year.

xo Megan

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Merry Christmas everyone! Just looking outside it doesn't seem like Christmas due to the lack of snow, but holiday cheer is surely swirling through the air and seeing all the lights and Christmas trees aglow in everyone's homes is reassuring! Everyone has their favorite aspects of the holidays: the gift-giving, the food, the decorations, but my favorite is by far the family.

Last night, like every Christmas Eve, my mom's side of the family all gathered at our house. It was so much fun to see all of the cousins, especially because many of them are off at college now and Christmas is the only time of the year I can usually depend on seeing them. My cousins Sarah and Joe hadn't seen each other for two years because Joe couldn't make it to Christmas last year! It was a bit melancholy as I thought about everyone veering off in their own directions and moving out on their own. Everyone's growing up and going to live their dreams, but it was nice to see everyone coming back together. I feel fortunate that we have such a solid base to return home to every year.

The night was filled with the annual corny traditions, including my uncle dressing up as Santa Clause. There's always some new aspects of his wig to make fun of, and this year we all could've sworn my uncle curled the bangs. We continue the tradition of Santa for the younger cousins, which now only includes little Annie, who's 5, and Grace, who's 2. I'm glad we still have the joy of the younger ones, and it never gets old to see their wide-eyed faces as they anxiously help Santa give out the presents in his bag. It's the same jokes every year, with Santa never being able to read our names properly--"Sug? Sug? Is there a 'Sug' here? Oh! 'Gus'!"--, but somehow we still laugh every time. There are some things that never get old.

What are your holiday traditions? I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday filled with lots of joy and laughter! Maybe we'll get a little bit of snow by the end of the day so we can have a white Christmas.

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Between You and Me

This past week in World Lit., we've been working on our position papers. Everyone really seems to have gotten into them, considering we all had to choose topics that we felt passionate arguing about. This week, I have had the pleasure of peer-edited multiple papers on controversial topics like gay marriage, the death penalty, abortion, and police lying during interrogations. It has been really interesting to read my classmate's opinions, and has certainly given me some food for thought.

For our assignment, we didn't necessarily have to do any research; our paper could be based soley on moral values. For my position paper, I chose to write about where the responsibility of a friend lies when told a potentially dangerous secret. My target audience was fellow teenagers, and I think the topic is really relevant to the issues that many teenagers either have already or evidently will face in the years to come, as their world fades to shades of gray, versus the clean-cut black and white of good and bad from our childhood. Therefore, I have decided to share my paper with you. Please feel free to argue or challenge me on any of the points that I make, ask me questions, respond with a personal experience, anything you'd like!

Just Between You and Me

“Hey, I have a secret. But first you have to promise not to tell anybody.” Between friends, there is an unspoken understanding of trust. When we tell our friends a secret, we assume we can tell them in confidence. We don’t have to worry about it becoming a Facebook status or the next hot topic at the lunch table. However, as we grow older, it can become more challenging to keep such promises of an untold secret.  The friends we thought we knew may start to become involved in risky activities like drinking, smoking, or sex, and the secrets they tell us turn into difficult predicaments rather than innocent sleepover gossip as we struggle with what to do with the information. It was their secret to tell, but now that we have it, its ours to protect. Or is it? Rather, should it be? This is the place where we must question our responsibility as a good friend. Do we maintain our friend’s trust and keep their secret? For some, this may be an easy answer of, “My friend told me not to tell, so I’m not going to.” However, in life there are situations that require us to use our best judgement, take a leap of faith, and break our friend’s trust.
For anyone who has ever had a friend, a friend’s life is often one we treasure as dearly as our own. I want what’s best for my friends. Therefore, when one of my friends makes a decision that negatively impacts them, they hurt me too. Their success, their happiness and their well-being take priority over all other things, and God help the person who hurts them. But what happens when they begin to put themselves in danger? What happens, for example, when my friend confides in me she got drunk at a party last weekend?
One may argue that my friend’s poor behavior is between my friend and her parents; I am not her parent.  However, isn’t my job as a friend similar? Don’t I also have a responsibility to love my friend unconditionally? To support her? To do what’s best for her? When a friend confides in me, I believe she is asking me for reassurance, to tell her that everything is going to be okay. Or she may be using me as a sounding board to relieve herself of the stress of carrying it on her shoulders. Almost as if saying, “Can you take this from me?” Therefore, I may have to make a decision she is unable to.
Parents sometimes have to make difficult decisions. Think of all the times you argued with your parents over going out with your friends. Most likely, your parents knew their decision would result in your unhappiness towards them, but they made it anyway. Sometimes, the best decision isn’t always the easiest one, and while it may be difficult to see at the time, they do have your best interest at heart. This is not to say you must alert an adult if your friend gets a detention or skips class. However, if your friend tells you she has an eating disorder, you would not be helping her by not telling anyone. In the end, you must weigh out which is more important. Your friend’s secret, or their ability to lead a happy, healthy life?
To spend time listing possible scenarios that warrant telling an adult could both drag on and also still not leave one feeling anymore confident about the situations that require adult assistance. This is because there is no set rubric to check off when assessing what to do with a friend’s secret; no “If you chose mostly A’s, then this.” When it comes down to it, you have to know your friend and what behaviors are abnormal or alarm-worthy for them.
As we grow older, the decisions we are forced to make in life become more difficult. We can’t always confide in our parents. There are situations where all we can do is self-assess, and use our best judgement to come to a conclusion. The decisions our friends make may unsettle us at times and we may not want to keep their secret. There are situations where we unfortunately may have to break our friend’s trust to alert somebody of their dangerous behavior. However, if your friend knows you, all you can do is hope that they will trust you have their best interest at heart because, as Arnold H. Glasow wrote, “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newspaper Nails

When I was at my friend's house over the weekend, I came across a new kind of nail art...newspaper nails! You don't need to go out and buy any fancy nail polish or stickers or gems; in fact, you should be able to find all of the necessary materials around your house! What I love most about these nails is that they're unique and subtle. They don't jump out an blink red lights. But, they are intriguing enough that someone may say, "Hey, what's that?" So, when my friend from Tennessee came over yesterday, I thought I'd give it a try! Here's the run-down of how to glam up your nails with this scholarly new twist!

The supplies you need are really simple:
  • base coat & top coat (We forgot to use a base coat, and it still turned out alright. However, a base coat may produce better results.
  • light color nail polish (white or cream works best)
  • newspaper
  • scissors
  • rubbing alcohol
  • small glass dish/container
  • Optional: 
    • cotton balls
    • Q-tips
    • nail file, clippers, etc.
First, above all things, cut up your newspaper! Small, rectangular shapes work best. Don't cut them to fit your nail; they should be slightly bigger. You'll need a minimum of 10, but cut out more just in case. Feel free to search for fun fonts or small graphics that you like (like a star), but make sure it's black text on a white background. Also, as we learned, it is a waste of time to search for specific words that you want to appear on your nails because 1) They'll come out backwards and 2) They most likely won't all fit. Plus, the surprises are always the best!

Now comes the painting! If you're feeling fancy, take out your cute polka-dot nail file or clippers and shape your nails as you desire! Then, follow this brief video tutorial for instructions on painting: 

Here are some tips we discovered while painting our nails that they don't include in the video:
  1. Use a cotton ball to press the newspaper on your nail. This will apply more pressure. Hold for 30-40 seconds.
  2. The results come out best when you press the newspaper on your nails so the text is in a linear line.
  3. In the video, they say to use gray nail polish. However, any light color nail polish will work. White, creams, grays, etc.
It may take a couple tries to master, but once you get it down, the result is really satisfying! Have fun!

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding Time

"Can't do this, can't do that. Owen, please! I just don't have time," I found myself yelling to my brother the other night. Time is the one thing we never seem to have enough of. Rather, it seems to be the one thing we always tell ourselves we don't have enough of. Like my mom says about money, no matter how much you have, if you're always telling yourself you don't have enough, you never will.

Easier said than done, though, when you have homework, friends, sports, drama, family, and a million other things pulling you in a million and one directions. I often find myself struggling to enjoy being in the moment, because I am constantly thinking about what I have to do later. It's sometimes hard to enjoy hanging out with my friends when I know that I have a huge history paper to do later   that night. I need to put myself in a box, blind and deaf and unaware of anything else around me so I can just focus on being right there, right then, in the moment. Because, as the cliché goes, life is too short, so we must live every moment for what it's worth. And if I'm constantly thinking about the next thing on my agenda, no matter how much I accomplish at the end of the day, it will never be enough. As Emerson wrote, "It is not length of life, but depth of life." I would much rather die young knowing that I made every second count, then live to be 100 with nothing accomplished. 

So I must make the time for what matters to me most, because if something's important enough, I should be able to find the time. This blog is important to me. It's a way of expressing myself, a way of reflecting, and serves as a good self-check. And, it's a way for me to share my stories with you and hopefully a place where you can share yours with me, too. So when you go to sleep tonight, think about what you accomplished today. If you find yourself struggling to find something, then make a pledge to make tomorrow count. Find substance in whatever you do. 

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays. Rather, I think it's become one of my favorite holidays as I've grown older and began to appreciate the holidays for more than a fat man in a red suit and a big bunny who brings me presents and candy. As I've grown older, I've realized how fast time flies. (Cliché, I know,  but so true!) Every year, the crowds change a little bit around the holidays as one cousin's off in Puerto Rico studying abroad or another brings their boyfriend/girlfriend to meet the family. Everyone has their own schedule, and unfortunately, family doesn't always take priority as sports, schoolwork, and just life gets in the way. So, I've come to be thankful for the moments I do get to spend with my cousins and aunts and uncles, because before I know it, either they'll be off in college and getting married or I'll be. And that's when things get complicated.

Every year we've spent Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family, and so even after my parents split we've continued that tradition and my brother and I have spent Thanksgiving with my dad. I love hearing about all my friends' Thanksgiving traditions, where they head off to and some of the corny things they may do. For the past five or six years (I believe this year was my sixth), my family and I have run the Thanks4Giving Turkey Trot 5K in Lowell, a charity run towards the Alternative House, an abused and homeless children's refuge. Back when my mom and I first ran it in 2005 I believe, there were only 200 or 300 runners. This year, there were over 1000 pre-registered runners/walkers, and more came after! It's always a fun time, and there's always someone who comes in some festive costume. Each runner always gets an apple pie after, too, but if that's not enough incentive, then my dad will usually take me and my brother out to Dunkin Donut's after for breakfast (this year it was more for Owen than for me).

After burning all my calories for the day so I can gain them back later with my uncle's sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows and toasted pecans, (If you've never had it, you can't judge. Because after you've tasted it, there's no looking back. Here's an easy recipe:

we might turn on the Macy's Parade to see what celebrities are on the floats this year.

Another fun tradition we have in my family is the Thanksgiving tree. It's really simple to make, and we've been doing it for years. Just find any stick thick enough to support itself and with enough branches sticking off to hang the leaves on. Find a small pot and place the stick in it. You can help it balance either by filling the vase with rocks or, like we usually do, get a block of styrofoam and stick it in there. Once your tree is balanced, cut different shaped leaves out of orange, red, and yellow construction paper approximately life-size, and hole-punch the stems. Tie yarn (preferably brown, but any color will do) around the stem to make a loop so you can hang the leaves on the branches. Space out the leaves among the "tree" and place in the center of the table. When everyone sits down at the dinner table, ask everyone to take a leaf and write what they're thankful for. When they're done, ask them to hang their leaf back on the tree. When all the leaves are back on the tree, have everyone randomly select a leaf (preferably not their own), and go around the table reading them aloud. It's always fun to try and guess whose is whose!

(I haven't made ours yet, but I just wanted to give you a visual. Don't worry...mine never looks this pretty.)

It's a beautiful day for Thanksgiving, at least where I am. Cool but sunny...classic fall weather! There really is so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for my friends who are always there to make me laugh, my family who supports me, and this beautiful life God has given me! Today is a great day to tell you're loved ones how much they mean to you; I hope everyone has that opportunity! Happy Thanksgiving!

Megan xo

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When You're Bored...

So here's that Play-Doh post I promised you a few days ago! The recipe is really easy and a lot of fun to make! Plus, once you're done, you get to play with it! The fun never ends!

First, gather your ingredients. These are all ingredients that you can most likely find around your house (perhaps with the exception of "Cream of Tartar." Before I made Play-Doh, I would have guessed it was something to do with Tartar sauce. Apparently it helps with the elasticity of the Play-Doh, but we didn't have any in my house and it still worked fine.)
     1 c. flour (can be substituted for corn starch)
1 c. water
1/2 c. salt
1 tsp. oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring (opt.)
(Adjust the quantities of each ingredient based on how much Play-Doh you want. The recipe above probably makes about the equivalent of one container of Play-Doh.)

With the exception of the food coloring, mix together all these ingredients in a pot and stir over medium heat. Stir until the Play-Doh resembles mashed potatoes; it should be sticky and thick. Let cool.

Now comes the fun part, and that's the food coloring. There are multiple ways you could do this. However, if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then I would recommend kneading in the dye, just because it's a whole lot more fun! Now, my friend and I didn't have any food coloring available, but we did have blueberries!

So, we substituted the food colored by heating up blueberries in the microwave (you could also blend them) to get all the juice out, and then rolled it in the juice as if we were making a snowman. Then, we really kneaded the dough. Let it ooze between your fingers. Roll it, twist it, smooth it, pound it, shape it, have fun with it! While mixing in the dye, if you're finding the dough to be too sticky, you can add more flour/corn starch.

After the dough is fully dyed, either place it in a plastic container or seal it in a Zip-Loc bag. Keep refridgerated. Enjoy your homemade Play-Doh!

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

LOVE/hate, love/HATE

I know I've been getting on my mom's nerves lately. Heck, I've been getting on my own nerves lately. The other day Mom told me I was probably the most contradictory person she had ever met...I think I have to agree.

Well, let's start with running, which is mainly what Mom was referring to. Running and I...have a love/hate relationship to say the least. Every day during the last month of track last season, I complained. I didn't want to run. "I'm done with this, I'm done with that. Give me my summer!" I chose not to go to Nationals, which I qualified for in two events. I just
wanted to be done, and done for a long time. A long time. But then I have a race like my 800 (remind me to tell you about that sometime), which I had been working all season to get sub-2:30. Every time I ran it, though, I made a different mistake: didn't run through the line, picked it up too late, looked at the clock the last stretch. Well, I had pretty much done it all, except for false-starting as my friend kindly reminded me. Finally, my last race of the season, I got the sub-2:30! And I was on Cloud Nine, 7th Heaven, whatever all those clichés are. At that moment I was assured why I was a runner. I wanted to be a runner. That feeling reminded me of why I run.

Last year, I was the number one girl on the cross-country team, and battled for first overall with two other boys. I won my league championship, my times were constantly improving. I was known for being "fast." Over the winter I trained, and come track season,  I was well-ahead of the majority of the team and ended up doing a lot of workouts by myself.

Where did it all go? Where's my urge to surge? Where's that competitive drive when someone passes me? That desire to push myself and get inside the "hurt box?" Where's the motivation, the desire?  Am I a one-hit wonder with my glory year?

Yet, if I were to answer myself honestly, I don't want to be number one. I don't want to be an Olympian or an All-American. I love to run to feel healthy, to feel strong. The winner of the Mayor's Cup Women's 5K was interviewed and said, "I didn't know the course,  but I knew I was going to do whatever it took to win. And therefore I knew I was going to have to make it hurt." I don't want to do what it takes to be number one, I don't want to put in the effort. And it's because there's other things I love and want to do, like drama and writing.

But I love to be known for  being fast. I love being able to keep up with the boys. I love to be known as a runner. I love, I hate, I do, I don't. But, you see, except, what if, although...see what I mean?

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Safe Shout-Out

Hi all! I hope this post finds most of you now safe, warm, and with power. It's certainly been quite the week for those of us in Massachusetts! Who would've thought when they predicted the snow for the weekend that it would turn into a week-long power outage for some places? Although I can't complain too much as I was at Cape Cod during the heart of the storm Saturday night, I was certainly kept in the loop from texting my friends and family all weekend. I was shocked that nearly all of them, ranging from Worcester to Athol, were all under the same predicament: powerless.

This week felt like a police chase, never knowing how much longer we could go without school. It was probably the first October Vacation in history! And I think it was probably one of the best vacations yet. Yes, I went without power for a day or two after coming home from the Cape. My family and I camped out in the living room by the fire place, my brother Owen and I on the couch and my mom and stepdad Michael on a futon mattress. It gave me the opportunity to wear those crazy Happy Feet sneaker slippers they sell (or used to sell rather, I'm not sure if they still do) with the thickest pair of fuzzy socks I could find. Going through my drawers for long-sleeves and pajama pants and sweatshirts, only in the morning did I actually see what long-sleeve I picked out; I was just determined to get warm as quickly as possible. I braided Mom's hair (or tried to with her many layers) as the rest of them played Go Fish. After, Owen found one of his old scary story books and read them by the one flashlight in the house. (Seriously, we have one flashlight in the house.) We also have a crankable lamp, but considering 100 cranks lasts about 5 minutes, we gave up on that pretty quickly.

This vacation gave everyone, or me at least, the opportunity to catch up. Not on laundry or cleaning the bathrooms or even my homework, which I needed the Internet for. It gave me the opportunity to catch up on life, on things I had been putting on hold for months. Like reading, my writing, and just plain family time. And I'm not talking about family time as in all being in the same room absorbed in our own worlds, Mom lost in the Provincelands with Mary Oliver, Michael grading college essays, Owen trying to become the new Fruit Ninja on his iPad, and me texting three friends at once. Family time as in talking. What else are we going to do when the power's out? Cell phones are dead, the Internet is down, everyone's scattered across Massachusetts trying to find a refuge. All we have is each other.

This week, I caught up with friends I hadn't seen in awhile, and I could really enjoy them. No homework hanging heavily over my shoulder, no nothing. It was like being in the middle of summer again; my time seemed endless. My friend and I made Play-Doh, for goodness sake! (I'll post directions for that separately.) I feel refreshed, recharged from this week. I hope all of you do, too!  I'm excited to go back to school Monday and hear about all the things people did while the power was out. One of my friends said they played musical chairs, another said he was in Starbucks for 7 hours. Please feel free to share your stories!

Sweet Dreams,
Megan ;)

P.S. I wish I had some pictures to post! I promise, I will try to do better with taking some of my own versus just getting them off Google Images!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Weirdly Coincidental Dream

Some people claim they don't dream. I heard once that everyone dreams, but it is a question of one remembering them. Personally, I love to dream. Sometimes when I lay down to sleep, I just stare at the ceiling for a few moments, wondering what I'm going to dream about. It's exciting, really, because in a dream, you're invincible. You can be anyone, anything. The possibilities are endless! Often I find that I'm much braver in a dream than I would be normally, bolder, more confident. Sometimes I wish I was more like my dream-self, sometimes I wish I lived in a dream. I love the idea that nothing can go wrong. Because even if you mess up, you can always wake up. I love that feeling when you wake up after a bad dream, lay in bed and feel that relief of, "Oh, thank goodness that was just a dream." I had a dream once where I realized I was in a dream during the dream, and therefore realized I could do whatever I wanted! Unfortunately, the dream ended before I got to the place I had intended to go, but still, fun!

Over the years, people have studied the meaning behind dreams. There are always those forwards that go around with things like, "If you dream about someone, that means they went to sleep thinking about you." Personally, I don't buy it. However, it is interesting to read into the possible explanations behind dreams, especially when they seem extremely irrelevant. Check out this fun website if you're curious about your own dreams!

I usually find that my dreams are oddly relevant to what's going on around me, like last night. Our cross country team once again raced at Franklin Park today, home to the infamous Bear Cage Hill. However, today was fairly more...professional, crowded, and, to be frank, out-right intimidating. There were over 1000 runners registered between the four age groups, about 130 in mine (13-14). As you may recall from last week, my goal was to beat my two teammates who decided to sneak up on me the last 20m. That must've been weighing pretty heavily on my mind last night, as well as my best friend who is recovering from AML Leukemia. From what I remember, I was racing my two friends, which would symbolize the upcoming race. However, this wasn't just a cross country race; this was a cross country race on unicorns! I remember thinking to myself in the dream, "Unicorns were her [my best friend] favorite animal when we were kids! So, I'm gonna win this race in honor of her!" Representing my "urge to surge." Unfortunately, my teammates beat me, and I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, half-delirous, "Could this be a sign?" Ignoring it, I went back to bed.

In the morning I told my teammates the dream, which we all laughed at. However, when we arrived at Franklin Park we saw, plastered on every poster, none other than...a unicorn! And sure teammates beat me.

That's probably one dream I wish didn't come true...but it was still a good race :)

Sweet dreams,
Megan ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Urge to Surge

"It's a big field. Know why it's a big field? 'Cause it's a big line." This is the inspirational speech my friend's coach gave to them at the beginning of a Franklin Park cross country race, last year. Now here I am, a year later, on this same field. And it's is a big field. To my left, to my right...jerseys. Boys and girls, whether we want to be here or not, we all have the same thing on our minds...the race. I tunnel myself so I can't even see my teammates beside me. Get out fast...Find my place, then my pace... "On your mark...set..." Only the field ahead...And the horn.

Franklin Park, one of the most famous cross country courses in the country, not for it's particularly fabulous scenery or hills, but for the field. That big, big field. Because you see, that big, big field becomes a marshland when it rains, sucking up cross country spikes like a black hole and sinking the runners like quick sand. You must drive your knees, get on the balls of your feet and explode off that starting line. This course especially, you determine the race within the first 100m.

Bear Cage Hill is another infamous aspect of Franklin Park cross country course. Long abandoned and featured in 2003's crime/mystery/drama "Mystic River," it crumbles like dry sand and weeds grab through the rusty bars like old witch's hands. Pictures do not do the eeriness of the cages justice, as I reach the top of the hill and swear I hear a distant roar. I quicken my steps and roll with the downhill. There is this boy on my cross country team who told me that whenever he's feeling slow in a race, he just imagines a giant bear chasing after him. Well, here you go!

It is just a 1.1mi race today, and already I am more than halfway done. In fact, coming out of the woods I see the finish line, a quarter mile ahead. By this point I am probably about 5th or 6th, so I lengthen my stride a bit but probably not nearly enough to notice. Then, the final 200m. Time for my surge. But again, I may pump my arms a little harder but really I just keep my decent pace and zone in on the finish line. 20m to go...I beat the boys! But...

Out of the corner of my eye I see the first boy on my cross country team, and looking back I should've realized then and there that the others couldn't be too far behind him. But I didn't; just kept my pace and then I saw...the second and shortly after, the third. This race, I focused on going out race, I should probably work on finishing strong too...

Sweet Dreams,

Megan ;)

On Moving On

Bad Romance Lady Gaga
Breakeven (Falling to Pieces) The Script
Fifteen Taylor Swift
G.N.O. (Girl's Night Out) Miley Cyrus
Grenade Bruno Mars
Hot n' Cold Katy Perry
Just the Way You Are Bruno Mars
Love Drunk Boys Like Girls
Fall For You Secondhand Serenade
Mixed Up Hannah Montana
Picture to Burn Taylor Swift
Shine Hilary Duff
The Story of Us Taylor Swift
Teardrops on My Guitar Taylor Swift
Who's That Girl? Hilary Duff
You Belong With Me Taylor Swift
7 Things Miley Cyrus

We're not gonna win every battle; we're not gonna win every guy. We're not gonna win every race; no matter how hard we try. Sometimes we try, and we try and we try and we try and we still, still cannot get the guy. All we keep asking ourselves is, "Where did I go wrong?" Nowhere. Most likely, you did nothing; even more likely, you probably did everything right but it just wasn't enough. Sometimes it won't always be, no matter how many times people tell you, "Your best is good enough." Sometimes, we just have to take our losses and move on, because after a certain point, the more you bet, the more you lose.  And you owe it to yourself to not prolong the pain. Don't get stuck in a whirlpool.

When I find myself stuck, I listen to music. I make playlists and listen over and over and over again. It's comforting, because you realize you're not alone. Someone else, someone even as popular as Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars, has felt the same pain as you. They, too, have been vulnerable at some point. And where you, we, I at least, may lack the words, they fill in. It's almost as if eventually, after listening to a song enough, I start to believe it.

Sweet dreams,

Megan ;)

Crazy Dreams

First off, I must start by saying that this should have been posted over a month ago. I've had this written since the middle of September, but who knew high school would be this crazy? High school! High school is the time to make something of ourselves. To redefine who we were in middle school. Whether we were the dorky kid with glasses or the school jock, we’re all jumping into high school without a life vest. Isn’t that why 9th grade is called “Freshman Year”? So we can become a “fresh” “man” (or wo"man”)? High school is the perfect opportunity to start over. Whether you’re going into a brand new school, whether you know everybody or not a soul, even if you’re with the same kids you’ve been with since 7th, and some 5th grade (like my school)...I wish I could say no one’s going to remember the time you walked into a door in 7th grade, or wore that hideous sweater to picture day in 6th. But what I can say is that it won’t matter; it won’t matter as long as you don’t let it get to you. Because those moments aren’t you, and as long as you don’t define yourself with them then nobody else can. We live in a society where we believe what we hear. If you stand confidently enough, people will believe who you say you are. 

We all really are “wild magnolias” coming into high school. A lot of us (me at least) enter high school shielding our face with our petals, our only goal how to get from Point A to Point B without being noticed. But within that shy flower is blossom. The possibilities are endless. As Natasha Bedingfield writes, “Drench yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open. Today is, where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.” Like having a blank journal, like the one I just bought. 200 blank pages. 200 blank pages just waiting to be filled. In some ways I feel like it is all already written; I just need to scratch away at it, like a lottery ticket or one of those black pieces of paper that you scratch with Chinese sticks and underneath is a rainbow of colors; whatever you call it. But of course that is impossible, because not all of it has happened yet. Rather, none of it has happened yet because I still have to live it. It’s exciting, having 200 blank pages to fill. It’s like standing in a wide open field and just sprinting across, barefoot. The possibilities are endless, and I can’t help but wonder who will be the main characters in this book and who will be pushed to the side. Who will be the love interest or who will make in-and-out appearances and where the twists will occur. 

The quote on the cover of my previous journal was by Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Wouldn’t it be perfect for the cover of a journal that travels to Spain and Ireland and goes cross-country? But while I may not have been living it up in some foreign country with croissants and Piña Coladas, my very first entry was about my friend Ide. A poem written as if I were a bystander underneath the water, stuck in a glass case that I couldn’t break out of, as he drowned. That summer the phrase, “Live your life,” was the theme song of my days. After Ide died, I made it my tribute to him to make every second count. Whenever I hesitated, I just ran and plunged in harder, like a warrior on a battlefield. So, I “lived the life I imagined”.  

My new journal sports the proverb, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly...” In other words, “when one door closes, another one opens.” So the next year or two years or 15 months or however long it takes me to complete my new journal, I will always look ahead. I will walk until the rainbow emerges.

And “Crazy Dreamer” is the title of my blog. In fact, everything I’ve mentioned is the reason why I’m writing this blog. Because I love to write, and I want to publish something someday. So I need to practice. Like running track or being in the drama program, I need to make a commitment to my writing if I want to make my dream come true. And sure, maybe that dream isn’t outrageous; I’m sure there are millions of people who dream of getting published. But I also have dreams of traveling; of going to Africa to teach, of studying abroad, of getting married and having kids dreams are endless. But the point I want to make is that no dream is “crazy”. Or, scratch that, maybe it is crazy, but aren’t crazy ideas always the best ones?

High school is our time to shine. It is the scary reminder that time really does fly, because when you’re in middle school and you start thinking of what you want to be when you grow up, you have “Hey, I still have all of high school,” to lean on. But when you’re in high school, the next step is college. So now is probably a pretty good time to start thinking what you want to do with your life. And I’m not saying you have to be absolute; heck, some people don’t realize what they want in life until they’re 40.  But it never hurts to get a head start. 

So I promise you, my readers, that I will update this blog a minimum of once a week with tips I pick up, funny stories, or anything that inspires me. And I urge you to do the same! In fact, I beg you to do the same! Because this journey through high school is not something anyone should have to do alone. So come along, join me for this crazy roller coaster ride. Post anything that comes to mind! Because this is your blog as much as mine. Make the most of it! All I ask is that you promise to never let go of your crazy dreams.