No Strings Attached

Hello there kids,

WOW. Wow. wow. This week has been quite a long week hasn’t it? I didn’t notice it before until someone mentioned it in class today, but last Saturday seems like it was AGES ago. I really don’t know why it seemed long though. I mean, it was STAR testing all this week, but because of our Senior status, the Seniors got to come to school around 10-12 am every day. Then again, I still woke up at 6 am every single day, courtesy of my sister. Maybe that’s why I feel so tired , as if I want to close my eyes and just never open them again. Ah, I didn’t want it to sound that emo, but I guess you can say it’s my mixed emotions weighing me down again. But I can’t be in this ‘funk’ right now. In ONE week (and a weekend), my testing officially begins with the oh-so wonderful IB English exam. So I have to shake all this off and stay above everything because this is it. In 24 school days (about 3 weeks), my high school career is over and I want to leave DBHS with ‘no strings attached’. I don’t want to have trails of regret or a bad report that follows me out.

I’ve already started ending the things that made high school what it was. Last Saturday was my last Color Guard Championuntitledships after 7 years and it was a very bittersweet moment. There are different definitions for committed in our guard. There are those people who practice really hard who are considered dedicated. There are those people who live and breathe guard and are considered dedicated. There are those who come to every practice and event without ever being late. And there are those who just excel in the sport itself. I can’t say I’ve practiced or dedicated my life to Color Guard 24/7, but I can say that I have remained faithful to it these past 7 years. And being the only person in the guard to have done it for such a long period of time, I don’t think anyone could have felt the exact same way I felt. The feeling, was indescribable. But as much as I will miss it, I think I have ended Color Guard on great terms, with a fantastic last show and a Scholarship Award. But you know the best part of that day was? It wasn’t me being able to take a hilarious candid of Kristina with Michael. Or seeing tears run down my fellow members’ faces aswow they read my good luck notes. Or even seeing the old woman next to me jump up and down, clapping like mad as she saw Corona perform. No, it was seeing Diana, Tim, Freddie, Roger, Ayesha, Dominic, and Jeff, all come to one of the most important moments of my life in order to support me. Seeing there faces, and performing to them . . . looking straight at D’FAT <3 when I did my favorite part in the show, the nutcracker. It was that memory that will forever remain with me.

On Monday, I went to my 5th grade teacher’s class to help her out. For some reason though, stepping on Quail Summit’s campus felt completely different. Usually, going back there made me happy because all the little kids are so cute and innocent and there’s no need to build a barrier against them. But this time, I felt as if I was a stranger walking the school grounds. Times have changed and as I am about to start a new chapter of my life, I realized that the good times are not solely when I was younger. True, things were MUCH simpler back then, but I don’t think I’d trade all the experiences I’ve had, both the good and the bad, just to stay at that innocent, young age forever. I’m moving forward, not looking back.

I think another reason why this week has been so long is because it was THE “prom asking” week. All those creative, cute prom askings are revealed and you see at least five bouquets of flowers every day. And of course, if you weren’t one of those lucky “askees” you might harbor the slightest animosity.

“Always the middleman, never the askee.”

I helped out with 5 or 6 askings this week and I am quite glad I did so because it revolved around people I cared about. I helped with C./C., C./M., J./J., Y./A., and even indirectly helped with Brandon and Jennifer’s as we convrosesinced her mom to let her go with him. And of course there are more in the works (: But I admit, I was hoping for that one person to ask me. That one person who would have fit in the picture perfectly. So yeah, I was quite disappointed about that. However, my entire Thursday was brightened by what the kids did for me at lunch. I walked into Mrs. Karasawa’s room and long and behold, there was Tim, Freddie, and Diana, holding up posters with D’FAT spelled out, chanting “Will you go to prom with us?” dfat1Haha, now my first reaction was “WHOA, this is random”, but as I kept looking at them, I was just . . . speechless. Who else can say they were asked by three people – three people who they love so dearly? Yeah, I wasn’t asked by a guy. So no, I don’t really have a date. But as Young pointed out, most of the girls who were asked – it wasn’t by their ideal guys, so they just have to suck it up and bear with it. But me? I got the most GORGEOUS roses in the world as well as the three greatest dates (:

I almost screwed that up today though. I won’t go into detail about that, but Jeff’s right, I tend to think the most irrational thoughts. I have NO CLUE why, so if you figure it out, please let me know. But yeah, I overthink WAY to much. Simple conclusions that other people come up with it, I exaggerate it, dissect it, think about it some more, BEFORE I come upon that same conclusion. I wonder what’s wrong with me? >.< But looking at all these great kids in front of me who appear to love me as much as I love them. How did I get so lucky? (:

<3 A.

P.S. Orphanages of Thailand Fundraiser tomorrow! (:


High Hopes and Respect

Hello kids,

Ever had any of those far-fetched visions that you knew couldn’t happen? Those dreams that you knew would never occur, but still get you through the day? Well you’re looking at the person who dreams and wishes daily. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m quite the realistic person at times, however, I generally try to look at the bright side of issues. I know what you’re thinking. If you’re really an optimistic, why would you talk about “Jumpin’ off the J Building”? Well, whenever I said that random comment during times when my friends were about to give up, they would suddenly smile. I don’t care what anyone else says, but smiles and laughter gives one just a little boost to keep going. And that goes the same for those little far-fetched visions and “pipe dreams”. However, it’s when those dreams are taken more seriously and then the realization that they are just visions hits, that one is hurt the most.

Remember the wonderful Youth Symposium experience I wrote about a little more than a week ago? The fever I was in as if I was high off ecstasy because of all the memories? Well, a vision sparked in my little, naive head that maybe, just maybe, a Youth Symposium – Part II could be created. Just so I could have that one last adventure with my Leo family. But what made this vision seem realistic was that at the beginning, everyone agreed to it. It seemed like this was something I could actually pull off. So YS 2 became my top priority. Researching, planning, coordinating meetings. However, like everything else, when reality began to hit, everyone realized that there was too much work involved in this process. So now it’s over. It’s kind of sad, because this morning, when I woke up, the first thought that came to my mind was that I couldn’t wait for the meeting at 5 pm today. But as the day went by and everyone began to raise separate issues, by 5 pm, I realized that my dream had lost it’s hope and meaning. I mean, sure, there are other ideas like, just going to Disneyland for two days, just to socialize. But I know in my heart it’s not the same. This supposed dream trip in my head involved a road trip to San Francisco, where we would go to another school’s Leo Club meeting, inspire new Leo Clubs in other schools, clean up graffitti in local parks, visit colleges and most importantly, initiate a new way to broaden Leoism outside of Diamond Bar’s boundaries. Haha, stupid me right? When I dream, I dream big, and when I fall, I fall hard. One day, I know I won’t be able to get up from such a fall.

But being the optimistic person I am, I usually get up and pretend that nothing has happened. I continue to help everyone and anyone out and strive to commit my best to anything. And yet, I’m one of the few who hasn’t received that happy ending. Yes I know, my story hasn’t ended, so how can there be a happy ending. Well, life isn’t a story, so why should I have to wait for a happy ending? Why can’t something really good happen, without repercussions following, giving me some kind of hope that everything I have done, everyone whom I’ve cared for, has not been a waste? Or maybe, I’m just blind, and I really am not the good person who I perceive myself to be.

Or maybe God’s just telling me that I’m too trusting and caring. That whatever I do, I will never exceed or even meet other’s expectations. You know, at the end of Junior year last year, I made 10 resolutions for senior year. One of them was being a great captain and getting us into WGI finals this year. No joke, I took my becoming captain seriously, and even though I wasn’t the greatest spinner in guard, I wanted to leave an impression, especially on the freshmen. But because of all of the circumstances, we find out that we can’t go to WGI this year. But there’s still hope that we could win Circuit Championships and go home with the gold! And yet, even though I’ve repeated these thoughts so many times to the the veterans, it’s honestly as if no one cares. Or at least the majority. And it’s so frustrating that even as captain, I don’t get the respect that I want. I mean, I’m not Hitler. Hell, I basically don’t command at all. And yet, there are certain people who just refuse to grow up and just listen. And what irks me even more is these certain people are now influencing others, who used to be so nice to me, to ignore me as well. So what’s the point right?

And yet today, I went to watch the JV practice, and they truly inspired me. I was able to host practice for a little while until Michael showed up, and it was just so much fun. Color guard, despite all the complaints of having practice certain days, is truly something I like to do. And having them all listen to my ideas and work so efficiently . . . it just felt good that at least SOMETHING was going well. And when I left, all of them came up to me and told me how much they loved having me host practice. Just hearing that, it felt good. So, why is it that I can ellicit love and respect from younger kids who I just met last year and not from those who I have spent almost all of high school with?

This week I am just riding on an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve felt so much that I feel like tomorrow’s already Friday. I just keep getting this mental shock as I realize it’s only Tuesday of this long week. I felt accomplished and overjoyed when I finally got to go to my first sleepover Saturday night. I felt as if my just rewards had arrived. And then the practice on Monday comes, along with this hard YS reality check today, and now I’m just upset. That and ecstatic, annoyed, hurt, depressed, confused, pleased, and disappointed.

I just can’t believe that a little over a week ago, I was in Fresno and having the best weekend of my life. How does time just quickly pass by? When you want something to come, it’s as if the days have stretched out immensely. But when you never want to leave a certain moment in your life, time accelerates to the point when you look back and everything is a mere blur.

I think I may have a psychological disorder. Because at this moment, life is Pointless. Confusing. Disturbing. And all together Lovely.

<3 A.

Wiser, Really Now?

Hey kids,

So yesterday I was upset over my music issues, but I realized that compared to other circumstances in the world, my concern was mediocre. I mean, we have purgings going on in other countries and we have our own economic crises going on. However, there are issues that I witness in my daily life that I feel are not as trivial as a full library.

Adult. What does that word actually mean? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, an adult is someone who has attained legal age or maturity. So the adults in our lives make mature decisions right? Not only are they older, but they are wiser. I’m not saying that adults are perfect and therefore cannot make any mistakes. I mean, according to our laws, most of my friends are adults now and they sure aren’t any wiser as they were at age 17. But really, adults have gone through all the obstacles we have, so they’ve learned most of the lessons that we are currently learning. So why is it that certain adults in my life insist on acting like children, forcing adolescents such as myself to have to step up and do their jobs?

So in my previous blogs, I wrote about how unusual it was that my Color Guard instructor still had not signed our guard up for any shows this upcoming season. I mean, even in October this alarmed me, but I thought that I was being my neurotic self, and therefore should wait patiently because SURELY the adults would pull through. Well folks, today is January 28th, and the first show of the season occurred last week. So hello, what’s going on?

Before I was worried because of this whole Youth Symposium busniess and how if I found out before that we had a show during that weekend, I wouldn’t go with the rest of my Leo family to the Youth Symposium. However, now I could care less. I know that’s pretty sad of me to say, but really, I tried everything I could to find out if there was a show during that weekend, and NO ONE could give me an answer. So I made an educated, an “adult” decision. I’m going to the Youth Symposium. PERIOD.

So why does this matter still upset me? Well personally, and I’ve talked to other Seniors as well, it doesn’t matter if we don’t have ANY shows this year. I mean, we had our share of shows and we put all our effort and heart into this guard. But if circumstances beyond our control such as financial issues and our instructor losing interest in us happen, then we just have to suck it up and accept it. HOWEVER, there are still the freshmen. The freshmen who joined guard because we TOLD them how fun and worthwhile it would be. How disappointed would they be if they knew that all these practices, all their time has been an utter waste?

So being one of the last veterans to have any ounce of concern for the guard and its future, I continually made visits to the Band Room to talk to Mr. A about scheduling our shows. And Mr. A would either say “Oh, Cookie/Michael is handling it” or “I’ll talk to them”. And then I would go to Cookie and ask for a list of shows and she would say “Oh, we haven’t gotten money from the school yet”. And then there’s Michael who says “Oh, your first show will be February 14th” – FYI, that is NOT 100% certain at all because our name is still not on the official list. So what am I going through right now?

Mr. A: Go to Cookie

Cookie: Go to Mr. A

Mr. A: Go to Cookie

It’s the SAME thing over and over again. I’m basically running around in circles for something that’s NOT going anywhere. For god’s sake, if the adults can’t handle the responsibility, they should just admit defeat. They shouldn’t pretend like they have everything under control or that they’re the big hero because they’ve “taken care of it”. Just give US the responsibility if you can’t handle it. Even if it means running a one-man show, I’ll make sure that our fees are paid – I’ll actually tell the guard that they have payments (gasp, what a concept!). Or I’ll go onto and actually SIGN us up. Because like I said before, it’s not about my shows in Senior year anymore. It’s about the freshmen who have started to love this art of performance and want a chance to breakout and show the world how good they really are.

Sappy right? But totally true. Let’s see if anything happens during this week to patch up my view on adults.

<3 A.

Common Cold

Hello kids,

Have you ever woken up with a tickle in your throat? Or a head so heavy that you feel like you can’t lift it off your pillow? Well my friends, if so, then you have been hit with the common cold. And you know what’s the worse part? The nasal congestion? The watery eyes? No, it’s the horrible sore throat that causes you to change from an independent young adult to a whimpering child in seconds. So when all these symptoms suddenly bombard you early Sunday morning at 1 AM, the most one can do is just lie there and think about the events that have just passed.

When you think about it, the common cold somewhat correlates to the negative events in one’s life. You try to relieve yourself of everything by blowing your nose on a tissue, and for a mere few seconds, you do suddenly feel better. But as quickly as it went away, your head becomes cloudy once more and that aching feeling spreads around your body. This past week has been, in simple terms, hell for me. Yes, I know it was finals week so of course, everyone else thought it was hell too. But there were so many other factors, that by Saturday morning I had felt as if I had climbed up a steep mountain with a boulder tied to my back. Actually, I don’t even know if I reached the top of the mountain . . . I may just be at the bottom still, struggling to make some kind of progress forward.

That’s been one of my life problems. I take one step forward, and then because of my stupidity, I am forced to take three steps back. For example, after we got out of school for Winter Break, all those worries I had completely went away. I had such a wonderful Winter Break, helping the community, getting enough sleep, staying on top of my homework. And then 2009 came in, which was celebrated in such a right fashion with my wonderful family – my Leo family. The Rose Parade itself made me feel like everything this year was going to go right, as I waved at people and brought smiles to their faces for acknowledging them. And then school kicks in again.

And when I say “kicks”, I literally mean that school completely kicked me off my optimistic, happy cloud and caused me to hit hard, dirty reality. I’ve always had to rely on that extra credit, or an easy final, to maintain my grades, because with color guard, I really couldn’t focus on school 100%. But usually, I was able to come out in the end successful, content that another semester had been executed in the right fashion. However, this semester was truly my hardest semester. I don’t know why . . . everyone says that Junior year is the hell, but honestly, I would take Junior year all over again then have to have taken this past semester once more. I thought that I would be able to pull it off, at least for one more semester, but I couldn’t. Even those classes that I thought I didn’t have to think about twice failed me at the end. And that was why I was near tears Thursday during lunch.

Most of the times, I can hide my emotions with a mask. I offer my assistance to anyone and allow myself to become an outlet for him or her because I know how it feels to keep something built up inside. However, when it comes to me, I feel that in order to be a “rock” for others, I have to maintain a pleasant composure the entire time, or else, that rock will crumble, and all those who find me as a support will feel as if I have failed them. I hate disappointing people, which is why I never like to burden someone with everything that’s on my mind.

And that is why my head remains clouded constantly and it is so easy for me to “drift off into space”. I can take one factor and start over-analyzing it, wondering what I “should have, could have, would have”.

Alright, so we got school down, which covers IB, now the other two major activities in my life: Leo Club and Color Guard, which happen to connect with one another quite well this time. Leo Club and Color Guard. Color Guard and Leo Club. Two things I couldn’t live without, no matter how much I sometimes am annoyed with them with a passion. However, having been Leo President last year and Color Guard Captain this year, I have tried to please both sides without ever having them conflict with one another. Now let me tell you something kids, nothing ever goes the way you plan it. Or at least for me. First major conflict of the year? The All Club Food Fair. I don’t want to go into depth about that, but let me tell you, it’s one of those events that I will never forgive myself for. So now arises another conflict. Since last year, I knew I would be going to Youth Sympoisum 2009 on Valentine’s Day weekend. After having such a wonderful experience the year before, I was completely ready to make memories this year. Then I find out that there is a possibility we, as a Color Guard, might have a competition on February 14th. Since October, I have checked WGASC (the official Color Guard site) 3-4 times a day, praying that this show wouldn’t be confirmed. But because of the situation we were in, where Mr. A wasn’t doing anything about our financial needs and because of Mr. A, our instructor, Michael, couldn’t do anything, the DBHS Color Guard wasn’t signed up for ANY shows. It’s like being on a basketball team and knowing that you still aren’t signed up for any games with any other teams AFTER the season has started.

So now I’m in a predicament, where I don’t know whether we have a show that day, and the money/forms for Youth Symposium are due. I message my instructor, talk to Mr. A, talk to some girls in the guard, and ultimately I decide to choose the Youth Symposium. Then, on Friday I find out that our first show, my first show of my LAST season of Color Guard, is on February 14th. I have no idea what to do. On one hand, I love my Leo family, and this year, I’ve been nominated for an award – so the Youth Symposium should be priority, especially since I’ve already went through all the practicalities. On the other hand, Color Guard has been my life for SEVEN years and this is my first show as captain. What would everyone think if their captain wasn’t at the first show? I honestly don’t know what to do and I feel as if I am being forced to choose between two of my children.

Now my social life outside of school. In less than 90 days of school, I will be graduating from DBHS and whether I do decide to go to a school in the opposite side of the United States or in California, most of the relationships formed in high school will slowly begin to fade away. My best friends, who I love so dearly, will start their lives and go off in opposite directions. So second semester of Senior year means making the most of these friendships and forming lasting memories. But how can that happen when with my full schedule, I have a family who constantly must suffocate me and keep me within boundaries. My parents don’t understand how much friends means to me, and therefore are relunctant to allow me my freedom. I spent the last three years within boundaries and I regret that so much because this year, I finally realized how much I missed out when it comes to my friends. My parents have constantly nagged me to focus on academics. But you know what? I basically sacrificed myself by entering IB and for what? Nothing. There are people who are ranked #1 in our huge 2009 class and they were able to enjoy their ENTIRE  four years of high school with their friends while taking a few challenging courses. So you know what, I’m following Freddie’s advice. Screw all these plans for the future and just live for the present. I am NOT going to leave high school with the feeling that I didn’t achieve as much as I could have.

So as second semester of Senior year comes in, I am definitely going to take it by storm. No more holding back, afraid of what other people might think or say. No more fear of rejection. I WILL accomplish something worthwhile.

So now I am having tea with a dash of lemon to help my “common cold”. You know how the heat of tea just rushes throughout your body, warming everything from the tips of your fingers all the way down to your toes? It is as if the warmth causes the fog in one’s mind to clear up and disappear. That’s what I feel every time I write in this blog. It’s a place where I can let everything out without having to worry and the jumbled mess in my head can be laid out in a practical manner. So of course I am going to write often and write a lot. A few people have told me that my blogs require too much focus and that will cause people to not read them as much. But you know what? This blog is for me . . . I’m not trying to please anyone else. If you want to read this, go ahead, and thank you, if you know that something’s been up with me and just want to know what’s going on. However, no one’s forcing you to read this, so don’t bother if it’s “too much to handle”. Maybe that’s why I’ve never bothered to tell you all of this in person. Just a thought.

For those of you who really do care though, I love you so much. Being able to say “I love you” is hard for me, but when I do say it, I mean it. Just know that whenever you need someone to talk to, I am ALWAYS here.

<3 A.