Category Archives: Cross Country

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 )

A First Time for Everything

It’s no secret that there’s a first time for everything. Once you endure something once, the hard part is over, and the novice that goes in, can say they are now somewhat experienced. Like, for example, starting high school, or cross country.

I’ve been looking forward to high school since I was a little girl. My babysitters would come over here and there, but they all had one thing in common when they did come (besides the incessant need to text while playing with Rachel and me):  they all brought their homework to work on after we went to bed. I know it sounds weird to look forward to, of all things, homework, but something about the independence of doing your own homework, and studying from your own textbooks, seemed so sophisticated.

And so, I’m finally here, and enjoying every minute of high school life. Which then leaves cross country. I haven’t done a sport other than martial arts since I quit soccer in 3rd grade, so I was a little unsure what to expect. The main reason I joined was so I could be a part of something going into high school. But I hadn’t expected the team aspect to be as powerful as it is. The captains are so supportive of everyone on the team- not just the freshmen, but returning members too. Not to mention, the other members of the team are so motivational, helping every one of their peers to finish the 4 mile run we did on the first day, despite how hard it was.

Overall, cross country is turning out to be even better than I imagined it could be. Not just the teammates, but the sport itself too. I’m learning to set goals for myself in my running. It’s something I can see myself doing throughout high school.

So there’s a first time for everything, that’s a given. Now it’s just a matter of balancing school, martial arts, cross country, band, homework, babysitting, and my new hobby of carbo-loading for cross country. Not to mention the photo club and school magazine I want to join…maybe even Model UN? On top of that, where do I fit in time for my family, friends…and myself? I’m still taking suggestions on that one if anyone’s interested.


The Busy-Body of the Ninth Grade