Lifestyles that Inspire

It’s hard to believe that my sophomore year has concluded. Let me tell you, how dramatically things change. Ambitions fluctuate, dreams alter, and nothing besides the name you were given at birth stays the same. That being said, I’m making some big changes to my life.

I’m trying to live more honestly. I’m staying true to myself, and my passions. I fell away from writing, photography, running, and martial arts even, for fear of finding something out about myself that was overwhelming. And avoiding my passions only helped to suppress the person I was bursting to become.

Now, I’m more honest, not only with the people around me, but with myself. No matter how much the truth hurts, it’s better to experience all the emotions in the spectrum, rather than go through the motions with the few you’re comfortable with. I’m learning, at 16 years of age, how to not just survive, but to feel alive.

That being said, I’m taking off for Fiji tomorrow. On a school trip, I’ll be traveling from Fiji, to Auckland and Rotorua in New Zealand. After that, I’ll fly to Sydney, Australia, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu.

There’s some gratification in earning something you really want. Even something you need. For me, it’s this trip. A chance to experience new cultures, learn a new language, and spend two weeks writing and taking pictures as a part of the college course I’ve enrolled in for photojournalism. I’m paying for this trip, and I think that magnifies the  excitement of this trip for me.

While away, I’m seeking 5 themes to collect for my assorted “photo essays” for my college course. They are: “community”, “isolation”, “nature’s architecture”, “experimental learning”, and “repetition”. These are the themes I’ve chosen myself, and I think they’re easily relate-able to our lives state-side.

In an effort to isolate ourselves, we end up building communities of people who are, in turn, reaching  out to those around them. Similar to doodling on the stall doors of the bathroom, what started out as a mode of personal expression becomes a group of other lonesome bathroom doodlers, and together they find sanctity in knowing they’re not alone in the small community they’ve built. No matter how perverted it may appear.

That’s what I’m searching for. A kinship of human beings, stepping into a world of interdependence, where nothing’s really guaranteed or certain. Where all you have is the trust of others around you. I need to know that it’s possible that two people can stay happy together forever. I need to see a true example of living for yourself without a complete disregard for others around you. I want to live a life of inspiration. To be inspired, to inspire others.

I’m expecting a lot out of this trip, naturally. This isn’t just a vacation for me like it may be for other students on the trip. Nothing was promised to me about these moral gratifications I’m seeking, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get more out of this than a few brilliant pictures!

( I’ll try to post on this blog while there, but if I can’t, you can follow the school blog at http://mascosouthpacific.blogspot.com/ )

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3 responses to “Lifestyles that Inspire

  1. … and who’s inspiring us in the blogosphere? ; }

    your journeyS remind me of the one in Maughams Razor’s Edge, which opened with a passage like The sharp edge of a razor is hard to slide over, and so the path to Salvation is hard.

    Enjoy Mandi, and keep on sharing!!!!!!

  2. Amanda,

    For a 16 yo who just finished her sophomore year at Masco, you write like a dream. I can’t remember the last piece of written media that left me thinking so much.
    I believe there is a community of people around you (and each of us) holding an invisible net to catch you when/if you fall. Sometimes we screw up and may drop our hold on the net for second to juggle other nets or to steady ourselves, but we pick it back up in our imperfectly human way and hold tight. Those people are around you now.
    To paraphrase Buddha “The secret ….is to live in the present wisely and earnestly.” Keep doing this and have so much fun exploring the world!!!

  3. … and who’s inspiring us in the blogosphere? ; }

    your journeyS remind me of thjostled in Maughams Razor’s Edge, which opened with a passage like The sharp edge of a razor is hard to slide over, and so the path to Salvation is hard.

    Enjoy Mandi, and keep on sharing!!!!!!

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