Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stuffed Turkey Thankfulness

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey day is almost over already.
I guess the question to ask is--what are you thankful for?
I can tell you what I'm thankful for in a long list, but what gives that thanks meaning is showing that you're thankful. I guess that's what the Christmas season is for anyway. Thanksgiving is to say thank you, and Christmas is to show how thankful you truly are.

So, thank you God for putting me here on Earth and giving me the life I have now, even if it sucks sometimes. I thank you.

Thank you . . .
Mom.
Uncle.
Auntie.
Nicole.
Emma.
Tim.
Joan.
Timothy.
Grandma.
Robert.
Denny.
Krisi.
Hemy.
Noriko.
Paola.
Andrew.
Heidi.
Vincent.
Naomi.
Matthieu.
Gladys.
Judith.
Pierre.
Remi.
Christel
Pastor Ron.
My teachers--big shout out to Mr. Rios, Mr. & Mrs. Carroll, Ms. Burgett, and Ms. Corona for dealing with me multiple years.

And to everyone who's been in my life, because without you, I really wouldn't be where I am. The ripple effect is real. To all of my family and friends in Paris---I love you all and I am praying for you. It is the least I can do after all you have done for me. I've changed because of the loving and welcoming experience with you all.

No matter what situation you're in, there's always something to be thankful for. You may be stuck in an alley in the cold rain, and not as well off as others, so maybe you're bitter and hateful, but why waste your energy being bitter? There's always light in the dark.

There's always moonlight or starlight. Don't forget that.

Thank you readers, if you're out there,

Alena

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Batman isn't Crazy

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Today I had an interview with an alumni from Brown University. I was nervous, to say the least, but when the time came, it wasn't so bad. At least now, whatever happens, I'll know that I did the best I could.

I started reading Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight by Travis Langley, and I realized how similar Batman and I are. Not to say that I am a hero or anything, but I can relate to his character in a way that I didn't realize before.
Now, how does this relate to my interview? I'll explain.
An hour before the interview, I continued reading the book, and the book is what the title implies: the psychology behind Batman.
First of all, Batman's parents were shot in an alley by a robber right in front of eight-year-old Bruce Wayne. This traumatized him for life, but it is the event that awakened the Batman.
People deal with trauma in different ways, whether it be attempting to shut out the pain with drugs or alcohol, denying the events, giving up, or fighting for a better world. Langley discusses Batman's ability to focus his concentration that "exceeds that of most people's," and by concentration he means his rage or any feeling he feels––he has control (44). Also, Batman doesn't have a restricted range of emotion, which is one criterion of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), a disorder some may think he has. In fact, Bruce Wayne represents a human being that grows stronger after a trauma––he is resilient, and I love how Langley words this: "Highly resilient individuals show greater morale, self-efficacy, self-reliance, perseverance, and purpose in life" (50).
When I was young, I suffered through trauma similar to Batman, as a lot of others have. They say losing a parent when you're young is one of the most traumatizing events that can happen to a child, because they've lost the guidance, the nurturing figure, the people they were drawing themselves from. It makes sense to feel lost after losing your parent.
Bruce Wayne could have given up or sat back in his mansion and live in luxury forever, but he didn't. Instead, he vowed to fight the criminals of Gotham and avenge his parents. His ability as a child to stand back up and fight is admirable.
Resilience is a great, sustaining power.
After I fought through what I did, I remember feeling some sort of change in me, something that told me, "Once you go forward, you can't go back," and I was okay with that. Now, I strive to make a change to prevent people from feeling to same pain that I did.
Resilience.
We are all capable of it.
That's why Batman is the most admirable superhero––he's human. He is a symbol that any person is capable of being a hero, of surviving, and of fighting.

So after reading this particular section of the book, it reminded me of why I wanted to attend Brown University in the first place; I want to go somewhere that can help me make that change. What change, you may ask? Well, I want to help adolescents that go through traumas, or maybe I just want to help people, but these years are the most vital in shaping their adulthood, and if I can show these kids that they are all Batman, what a change that could bring! It'd be beautiful.

If you're going through a tough time or have ever felt like giving up because you feel weak, alone, and attacked, remember that you're not the only one and that no change is small. You're not the only one, and you are capable of making a change.

If you're interested in Batman, psychology, or even inspirational books, I recommend this book. It's entertaining as well.

Now, do something,

Alena

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When there's no school in the middle of the Week

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, so there's no school tomorrow, in the middle of the week––who knew that it could feel so good to have a day off on a Wednesday?
It's actually a nice little break.

That's not really what the day off is for. I think a lot of people forget that because we're really selfish beings that need to make an effort to be unselfish, and that's okay––nobody's perfect. We're selfish from the moment we're born, I mean, didn't our parents really have to teach us that we have to share our toys (hopefully)?
I guess this all depends on what you believe about virtue. Evident in Plato's Meno, the origin of virtue is as conclusive as is the beginning of time. There's the opinion that we are born with virtue, and the opinion that we learn virtue.
Just some food for thought.
If you haven't read Plato's Meno, the link at the bottom. This may seem a little boring, but it is rather interesting and I guarantee you that you'll run into it again sometime if you ever take an English or Philosophy class in college.

So which is it? Are you born with virtue or do you learn virtue?

The world may never know.

Alena

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/meno.html


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Jinx

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

I think I jinxed everything, or maybe I just spoke too soon.
Right when I was in winter paradise, the sun decides to break out and burn through my black clothes all over again.
I guess it'd be a nice day to go to the beach and just swim in the ocean. . .
Too bad I don't have a car.

So I'm sitting in a coffee shop (very typical, I know), and I was trying to continue writing my novel, but guess what? My fuel of imagination has run out, and the wonderful streak has died. Coincidence that today is also the day the weather happens to be above 75 degrees? I think not.

It is National Writing month, and it started off like the first 400 meters of a mile race––fast, efficient, and confident––then the sun decided to come out and the dreaded second lap of 400 meters has begun, unfortunately.

Whatever shall I do now?
(Maybe stop avoiding your friends like you have for the past week) ?

Hope that those of you who enjoy the sun or are able to go to the beach are happy. If I could go to the beach, I wouldn't be complaining now about the weather.

Anyway, I apologize for this uneventful, uninspiring post. I hope you stopped reading it midway because then I'd feel bad for wasting your time with this nonsense.

Well, I'm treating one of my best friends out to a birthday dinner tonight, and by that time, the sun should be setting, right?
Sometimes I think I'm half vampire (that exists, right?)

Enjoy the sun (for now),

Alena 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I am home.

5 November 2015

The below-sixty-degree weather this week has truly brought me back to my home; I write with a cup of hot tea next to my laptop while I type away my next novel or poem, a stream of imagination flowing from my fingertips to the document.
It's as if all of my creativity was locked away in hibernation during the endless, hellish season of blazing sun rays glaring on my skin, and as soon as the cool clouds formed an overcast, the ideas sprung out of their holes.

Or perhaps it's simply the upcoming holiday season––Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, etc––that's lifted up the mood. I feel like it's Christmas even though it's more than a month away, because it's cold outside; therefore, I am happy because I am being constantly tricked into thinking Christmas is right around the corner.

Logical, right?

Anyway, I hope you're all surviving school, or your job, or your family, or anything you're trying to get through at the moment.

Don't you wish that we had a specific pronoun to use to address more than one person like the french do? You know, they use "vous" to say "you," but it's plural, so "vous" is used to address more than one "you," if that makes any sense.

It's 6:55pm and dark as midnight––I am home.


Alena





Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thankful for the Cold

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Home has come to visit me in the form of winter clouds. 
The cold nips my nose and numbs my fingers, but my sweater blankets over my heart, even if my lungs breathe in oxygen from icy air.
Though the trees are not green like home, as I mentioned in my last post, the fact that the clouds have even considered coming to this town is enough to be thankful for. 

Thankfulness––that's really the theme of November, isn't it? With thanksgiving coming around and whatnot. 

Now that it's finally below seventy degrees Fahrenheit here, I wonder if the leaves will change color, but maybe that's being too hopeful.

Dusk cloaks over in a blink of an eye, and the exhale of my breath forms a cloud of warmth, mingling with the slow molecules in the atmosphere.

This weather is fueling my creativity and sending it off in crazy directions––maybe that's why people write and drink a lot of hot tea or coffee where I'm from. I think I've had four cups of tea just today.

Blue––summer waters, a clear sky, a night sky, depths of the ocean––the winter cold. I like blue for these reasons, too.

Appreciate the cold while it lasts,


Alena

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mondays

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

It is a universal truth among students that Monday is the least pleasant day of the week, and that's putting it delicately.
Why? Well, there's the bags under the eyes from the sleep deprivation as a result of the work teachers expect done over the weekend because, after all, you have the whole weekend to do the work, why shouldn't there be an extra load? With that logic embedded in every teacher's mind, you end up with at least four hours worth of work.

Then again, we might as well get used to working because we're going to be working for the rest of our lives.
So think about this: if you absolutely hate math class, dread doing math homework over the weekend, and cannot wait until the day you're told you never have to find the square root of anything ever again, imagine being stuck in a job you absolutely hate for most likely five to six days with longer hours and no variation in subjects. That would suck, right?
You know how everyone tells you not decide what you wanna do with your life based on how much you're going to get paid? This is the reason why––every day will be a Monday morning.
I don't think anyone can stress enough how much regret takes up in their baggage, especially when it comes to choosing money over passion.

Now, I'm not saying that I know all about life's crossroads and that all situations are either right or left, but I guess I'm just rambling on about all these things on this blog because maybe, just maybe, there's someone out there thinking about whatever I'm writing about, and they're looking for answers. I can't say I have all the answers, but sometimes reading another person's thoughts helps mold your own perspective.

Anyway, it's pretty cloudy and cold here for the first time in a long time, and I love it. It's like home, but at home, the trees are quenched and green, rain and umbrellas are close friends, and hot chocolate or coffee is the main food source.

Can you guess where home is?

The least pleasant day of the week is almost over (at least for another six days).

Stay warm,

Alena

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Run or Rest?

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Today is the deadline, everyone. Turn it in tonight or forever rest your application for the regular decision pool.

Besides college application deadline day, it is also Sunday––the day reserved for rest, and I hope you are all well rested, especially with the extra hour of sleep from daylight savings.

I woke up this morning at eight (technically nine), and put on a pair of running shorts and tied up my shoes, ready to run until my lungs would give out.
The sun had shoved its way out of the clouds by then, but the track made of dirt was still damp from the morning mist, evident from imprints of my footsteps. Ed Sheeran's new duo with Rudimental filled the hollows in my ears, but my heart wasn't listening to the beat and instead drummed to the beats of adrenaline, adrenaline triggered by the thoughts of someone chasing me, the thoughts of being able to survive in the wake of danger, of threat and suddenly––my lungs burst after breaking the mile mark.

Sunday is a day of rest. I guess everyone's definition of rest is different. One's work can be another's rest. Biblically, it's a day of worship and rest––to focus on the very being that made you, to appreciate, to reflect––what you make of your Sunday is really up to you in the end.

If you work on Sundays, I hope you that when you put on your running shoes, you run, but I hope that once you break that mile mark, you wash the worries and sweat in a cool shower, and refresh your mind with soft breaths and beauty rest.

Goodnight readers,

Alena