• November 6, 2014 /  Life

    I decided that I needed some fun in my life, so I joined the Slacklining club. Slacklining is pretty much just like tightrope walking. I had never done it (or even heard of it) before this semester, but one day I was walking past the library and saw this guy walking on a rope between the trees. He saw me staring, called me over, and convinced me to give it a shot. Apparently I’m a natural, because he was really surprised that I hadn’t slack lined before! It has now become a weekly occurrence. On Thursday afternoon I head out to the trees by the library, meet my friend, and slack line with him for an hour or 2. It is surprisingly peaceful. The line isn’t high up, so you don’t fall that hard. Yes, I fall often. Am I ashamed of that? No, I’m just beginning! I get straight back up and give it another shot. I put my right foot on the line, concentrate on the other end, and stand up on my right foot. When I do that, I don’t really even think. I just look at the tree I am walking towards, and its just me and the line and the wind. Then I’ll take a step or 2 (my record is 10) before I fall. And falling isn’t fun. Yet, it is completely worth that feeling of freedom and peace for those few seconds on the line.

    You are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “This is about to turn into some moral story for my life, isn’t it?” Well, yes. You can look at life this way. You can say that life is a challenge and that everybody falls, but the risk of falling is worth the effort. It is true, but that isn’t my point here. I have found that college is a delicate balance. I’m walking a line of trying to do all my homework, get involved, go to church, make friends, be healthy, get enough sleep, and still have enough free time so I don’t go insane. I’m falling short in many ways, but things are getting better. Slacklining has been a big boost to my mental health. It is a way to relax in the middle of the week, and gives me something to look forward to. It’s helped me make a friend, as well.

    No, I didn’t tell you this story to give you a moral lecture. If that part of this helped you, great. It helps me sometimes. But my main purpose here is just to give you a little update on my life. Yes, I’m struggling. I’m 3 months in to my first ever semester at college, and it is hard. I keep falling off the line. I’m still trying to find that balance, to find a place where I fit. And yet, as difficult as it is sometimes, I’m doing alright. I’m finding things I love to do. I’m getting closer to where I want to be. For right now, that’s enough.

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  • September 3, 2014 /  Life

    All my life, people have been placing me in boxes.

    One of the first was “tomboy.” From approximately the age of 6 onward, I refused to touch anything “girly.” I played tag on the playground with the boys. I wore T-shirts and dirty tennis shoes. Anything pink I professed to hate with a passion. I grew out of this, with time. While I still don’t enjoy makeup and doing my hair, I will occasionally dress up and I enjoy skirts.

    Not long after that came “smart.” I earned more and more labels relating to this as the years went on. Bookworm, nerd, goody-goody, I’ve heard them all. The additions continue with National Merit Scholar and Global Engagement Fellow. I’ve come to resent this particular box. I’ve always felt that it makes me out to be better than everybody else, that others should strive to obtain something I have that I can’t help. My teachers gave this impression all through my school years, causing the other students to ostracize me. I always felt alone. These days, I have a hard time accepting when people call me “smart.” I will not say whether it is true or not; it is simply a box that I am unwilling to accept.

    The box that has permeated all aspects of my life is that of Mormon. Yes, I’m a Mormon. But this box is not what most people think it is. I belong to The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe in Christ. I have a testimony that He lives and that He loves me, and I have seen His hand in my life. I will always be grateful for that. The box I have here is the one I am happy to call my own.

    One out of many isn’t much of a track record for the boxes. With my own bad experiences this way, I have tried hard all my life to not judge people. There’s no such thing as a perfectly fitting box, so why even try? Its not worth it. Not judging has been worth all the effort, and without that policy I would not have some of the friends I have today. There is one in particular who it was so hard to give a chance to, but I did. And he became one of the best friends I have ever had, or likely ever will. I hope I can continue with this, that I can keep my eyes and heart open, and not label people. They are PEOPLE. They need no labels. I only hope that others feel the same.

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