Lately for some reason, this has been bothering me. I used to be able to do things years ago, and when I try to do them, I just can’t seem to with the same talent that I once had. For instance, take drawing: growing up, I thought for sure that I was going to be an artist. I took a lot of art classes and was always drawing in my free time. People would compliment my works and I felt that they were good and would be able to get me somewhere in life, even though I didn’t know at the time how slim the chances were of a young artist becoming a millionaire overnight. However, a couple of years ago, I got too busy and was focusing more on my studies in general and I didn’t have time for art, something I had once loved so much. Now, when I try to draw something, it is never as good as I could’ve done it years ago. This saddens me to know that I have lost something that I enjoyed so much. Also, I used to play piano. I would spend time practicing, having a natural knack for playing by ear. However, I gave that up in 4th grade for basketball. Now I pursue neither basketball nor piano, and the latter is something I regret. My grandma always wanted me to play piano so I feel obligated to her as well as myself to play. Now, when I see a piano, I don’t even know where to start. Hopefully I can get back to it someday. Why do we lose talents that we seemed to love so much? Maybe we should start focusing on flourishing the talents we love and enjoying them in the process so we don’t end up regretting things in life.
Everyone always says it’s the best four years of your life, the ones you’ll never forget, and I for one agree. So bear with me because this is a cliché post on everyone’s favorite thing to hate: high school. Personally, I freaking love high school, I love every aspect of it, even the drama. To me, that makes it so much more like high school. For some reason when I say these things, people think I’m crazy and need serious help. But high school is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me, like if I would’ve been homechooled I think I would’ve ran away. I love the work and the people and the craziness of it all. Especially in my school, where not a day goes by that something spontaneous happens. However, like all things in life, I’m going to have regrets. I’m going to regret that I wasn’t as involved, that I didn’t join show choir, that I didn’t meet more people. But we have to look past those regrets and remember all the great times we had with the people we did meet. We have to remember that even through the bad times, high school is temporary. Life goes on. But even so, we need to cherish it while we still can because it is truly, I believe, the best freaking four years of anyone’s life, especially if they choose to make it that way. So do what you want, try out for the musical, take another AP class (since you already have five, why not even it out at six?), ask that guy you’ve been fawning over to prom, because when you have your high school reunion, you want to say, “I can’t believe I did all that!” rather than, “I wish I would’ve done more.”
These days, everyone is focused on the science, medical, and mathematical fields. After the USSR launched Sputnik into space in 1969, the Space Race between us and them was on. NASA was founded and jobs in science and math were highly sought upon, all to produce better and faster technology that would make us unprecedented globally. Nowadays, and even locally in my own school, there are classes specifically for S.T.E.M. jobs, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These jobs, for some reason, are highly fought for. A lot of people I know are going to major in different branches of engineering. Rockwell Collins is a local industry where I live and many people need degrees that relate to S.T.E.M. jobs. However, the people racing to become physicists and chemists are trampling the people who want to be writers or historians. I would like to major in history education when I go to college and hopefully end up teaching world history to high schoolers. We need to know our roots before we create new branches. People may ask why we need to care about history or reading, and I honestly can’t answer that. I just care about them because I enjoy them and I want other people to do the same. History is so intriguing to me, you can learn all about the past, a place you can never ever travel to (unless the science people I mentioned above figure out time travel or the Tardis pays a visit). My friends at least understand my love for the past because they bought me an AP world history textbook for my birthday. But some people will never understand. This goes for writers and musicians as well; people who want to publish the next great American novel, or write a hit song that will stay at the top of the charts for weeks are looked down upon, and even scorned by society, especially by those older than us. Maybe it is because of their experience, or maybe it is because they had similar dreams that had to be given up for practicality and security. Schools also discreetly force science and math into curriculums in the hopes that it will spark something in a student who isn’t willing. Personally, I believe by the time you’re in high school or if you know for sure what you want to do, you should be able to plan your coursework accordingly. I always joke that the only math I really want to know is the history of math, not math itself. Basically, governments support and fund science because it is seen as an economic and technological gain to them. History has shown what can happen when governments get too hungry for war and defense. The Cold War is a good example of this. The USA and USSR were the superpowers of the world at the time with the nuclear means to completely obliterate each other. There were many close calls, especially with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This is just one event that we can use to tell future generations the consequences of increased technologies used for negative purposes. In conclusion, I believe that more emphasis should be placed on history and especially the arts, like how many times do your parents get excited when a song from the 80s comes on? People remember places, events, leaders. When equations and formulas fail, history makes up for it.
Recently for a project, I read Blue Zones by Dan Buettner that discusses how to live longer. Everyone wants to live life to the fullest, and to do that you have to live for a very long time, or so some think. The author traveled to some pretty remote regions of the globe to find centenarians, or people that were 100 years of age or older. The four places discussed were Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California. These places have a high concentration of centenarians and Buettner set off to discover the secrets to these people’s longevity and to see how they’ve managed to stay alive so long. Overall, he discovered nine basic things in life that help you live long: 1.) Move a little everyday, get your muscles working 2.) Find your purpose 3.) Find a routine that helps you distress 4.) Stop eating when you’re 80% full 5.) Eat lots of veggies 6.) Drink wine in moderation 7.) Belong and believe in a faith 8.) Keep your family close 9.) Establish a group of close friends who encourage good habits and lifestyles. These nine things were all found to be a part of centenarians lives around the world, recurring habits that they all practice in their own way. More information about Blue Zones can be found at their website http://www.bluezones.com/ which has tips on how to make your life more like on of a centenarian along with quizzes and checklists that you can do for further life improvement. One thing I didn’t really like about the book was the author’s style of writing. To me, the book should’ve been presented as research, but the way the author wrote made it sound like he was trying too hard to write something like a memoir. Other than that, the book was interesting, especially knowing there are a small number of people who have had the privilege to live for so long.
Lately, I have had no free time to do anything. Between school, homework, and my job, I rarely get a moment to just breathe (or when I do, I should probably be doing something else). For example, my reading material for the past few weeks has been this (and not by choice):
Looks thrilling, right? Wrong. My blog posts, if you haven’t noticed, have downright sucked. I feel that they’re not that creative and the spark isn’t there. Hopefully things will calm down and I will have the time to make my blog posts better overall. I literally almost didn’t have time to make this post, so be happy! My four AP classes keep me busy with homework until around 10 o’clock each night. My job keeps me busy on the weekends, with a shift every night. This leaves little time for homework on the weekends. If I find time to do it, it leaves little time for friends and hanging out. I have actually had to make some tough decisions because of how busy I am and it has really effected my life. I just wish I had time to do the things I want to do. Like, I’m taking the ACT in 8 days. 8 days!! I have read half of that book pictured and I haven’t really glanced at the practice test that I have. However, it doesn’t look extremely difficult and I can always take it again which is a plus. So, I apologize if you were thinking of reading my blog tonight looking for an intellectual post about my latest read and you came across this whiny post but I felt like I just needed to get this out there. Hopefully, my posts will get better (for the sake of your sanity) and even more, I hope that my schedule slows down enough to take a breath.