Diaries Magazine

323: Catching up

Posted on the 15 January 2016 by Lizb12 @elizabethbrinks

323: Catching up
I'm not exactly sure where to even begin in trying to catch ya'll up.
I'm sure you've seen my many Instagram posts, and Twitter connections-I've been very busy.
Senior year is well underway, and I'm smack-dab in the middle of curling season, just about half way through. It's been my most emotional year yet and it most certainly will not be getting any easier. There have been many instances where I've even considered giving it up, and if you've followed me for awhile you know just what a drastic change that would be and it's not a decision I would take very lightly either, but for now I want to stay because it's what I love.

For those of you that are frugal, perhaps you remember or just know, Senior year is very expensive. My gracious parents bought me curling shoes and a broom (not cheap), and I myself paid for my senior pictures, but then there is insurance, appointments, gas, senior trips and the band trip this year (which I am looking forward to, but again, expensive) It's not easy, and I decided to buy Christmas presents this year which really put a dent in my budget-but I'm learning, you know?

And heeeeyy, check out those pearly whites up there! That's right, just about a week into November and I finally ditched my metal gear for some sparkling, straight teeth! It's been great learning to really smile again, and sometimes I get a little obsessed with checking myself out in pictures  because for real-they look so good.

A person never stops learning, and this passed year and already into this new one I've been learning many adult things. My great grandma passed in December, and it was very difficult to come to terms with the fact that an entire branch of family tree on my mother's side had disappeared. The stories my mother tells me about her great grandmother, that will be me when and if I have children; something that still haunts me. I was fortunate enough to be involved with the funeral planning, and it was bittersweet-getting to be there as decisions were made, but also knowing that much sooner rather than later will I be the one with the baby water bottles examining the books of poems and well wishes planning out the funerals of those I hold dearest. I can't think about that anymore...
Just this evening my mom and I returned from a quick jaunt over to the emergency room where my father's grandma, my last remaining "great" relative was admitted due to some issues today. She's a stubborn old mule, and I'm so proud to have her blood flowing through my veins-but I still feel it's "too soon" for anyone else to pass.
My seasonal depression kicked in right on time when fall rolled around, and so did the anxiety. I've realized that for many years I've taught my brain to shut down when I started feeling or thinking thoughts that made me upset; I'm learning to open up those dusty boxes and explore what I'm feeling, to name it, embrace it and work through it. It's very hard, but I've already found myself being able to say, "This is something I cannot do" even when everyone else is telling me, "If anyone could do it, it would be you".
Folks that's why I go to counseling, because sometimes people don't realize that expecting someone to be perfect is exactly what drives people off course and into depression. It's no one's fault that my brain chemistry isn't just right, but words have a lot more power than a lot of people realize, and it's important to think two steps ahead before you say something like that. 1) How would I react if I told myself that and 2) how is that person supposed to react after I say it.
If you can't find a good answer after either of those, please bite your tongue.

I'm still a vegetarian, and I would love to go vegan; but I feel there's a certain commitment I need to work up to. One of the biggest things I love about being vegetarian is that it doesn't bug my guilty conscious. I know that I am helping our planet survive a little bit longer; I understand going vegan would be the next step, but part of this new found bravery in understanding that there are some things I cannot do is that I've been able to realize I am not yet ready to be vegan, if ever. I also believe my anxiety may worsen if I became that "picky-eater" but we'll see; never say never, eh?

In a small way, I think I've come full circle. A common topic of jokes at my lunch table is just how changed I am from the uptight, religious and closed-minded freshmen, even eighth grader I was. I'm now comfortable swearing, making friends in the LGBTQA community. My beliefs are different, and I'm still exploring that area-something I'm not sure will ever end. I think everyone should have a voice, but I'm learning that sometimes my silence speaks a thousand times louder than if I speak against someone's closed mindedness. When an opinion comes up that I disagree with, I can find nothing better than to retreat or wait for a prime opportunity to throw my two cents in. I have the most fantastic friends, that respect my opinion and morals; we're this tightly wound, very strange support network, something I hope to never lose. I've learned it's okay to not like people, and to not butter them up or portray myself falsely. I'm not naturally an asshole, if you're wondering; if you think I don't like you I will gently but straightforwardly tell you why or why not it is that I appreciate you. 

I know it's hard to understand every aspect of a person from a very open minded blog post, and I'm sure if I were to have this conversation in person it may be very different; for starters being able to read body language must be my greatest weapon of conversation as it gives me an even deeper understanding of the person before any words are spoken. 

What I'm trying to say is that I'm not this perfectly open minded individual, sometimes I say really stupid things, and I don't realize the racism, or homophobic sound it has to it. But I am striving to improve; and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

So here we go, 2016

It's been real 2015
And I really hope I graduate,
Saying goodbye to childhood
and hello to stress,
Liz B

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