August 8 2014 / 4:47 AM / Friday / Newer Room

I’ve been pretty lazy ever since i’ve come back home. I don’t know, i just haven’t been feeling it to type stuff in here ever since i got back from governor school. I don’t really know why, i’ve just gotten lazy i guess.

Anyways i went to this mission camp in new york city. I thought i would be able to at least look around a bit but i was very wrong. I ended up spending 3 entire days with a bunch of passionate, religious people. It was an experience. It was definitely different. I went from an environment where the motto was to “Accept Nothing, Question Everything” to “walk by faith and not by sight.” The first day i was more than a little skeptic and doubtful that the camp would have any lasting impact on me and i was almost right until i met a couple of people like Judy and Eugene. From what i learned when i was there were a couple of things; it’s easy to bash the religious as ignorant. But if you see things from their point of view, actually cross that out, not even seeing things from their point of view but just observing them you start to admire them. If they have the courage to put their entire faith and belief on one concept, then i can respect that. I can’t even do that, i’m not that strong. I guess that’s what makes the religious so courageous and brave, at least brave enough to live in an area where the entire country thinks their belief is wrong. Brave enough to be persecuted. I mean, what did Colleen die for?

Anyways i can continue on my rant on how the camp effected me but that’s not what i really feel like talking about tonight. I will include the fact that i gave a short testimony though. It went along the lines of something like: “Keep doing what you’re doing. You guys inspire me, that kids my age and even younger are willing to live months in far off countries to spread what they believe in. To be seperated by your parents in hostile countries. To live with little water enough to shower every 4 days voluntarily. To study your butts off months before the trip to study the language. That’s something i can truly respect.” After that testimony, a couple of days after a guy emailed me. I guess my testimony made some sort of an impact (which i’m glad about).

Ok ok so real talk. What did i want to talk about. Well i don’t know why but i was smoking outside when i suddenly remembered a random memory. Hannah and I went to Brusters and we were eating ice cream. A car’s headlight was shining in our direction. Hannah’s chocolate brown eyes glanced at me sadly as she said “sometimes, i just don’t feel like living anymore” and at the moment i didn’t really know what to say. I looked down at my cotten candy blue ice cream and just let the words sink in.

When that memory flashed into my head, i got sad. At the time i didn’t know what to tell her. I didn’t want to be ignorant or lie. I didn’t want to pretend like i didn’t know what she was talking about. I knew that feeling very well. That feeling of misery, loneliness, emptiness; like as if nothing was working and nothing was worth it. But now looking back i finally have an answer. We are given opportunities that some would kill for. People around the world wish they could have the options we have. So many times we complain about the things we don’t get that a few do. But if you live life thinking that way it’ll only hurt yourself. In life you have to work towards things that you can live for. Whether if it’s on living a healthy lifestyle like working out or eating properly, or helping others through volunteer work or servicing others. Whether if it’s for a religious cause or for people important to you. It’s no wonder she and i were miserable. All we cared for was our freedom, for having good temporary times, for friends that we both knew weren’t really our friends, for experiences that wasted our youth.

I would tell her now about this but i’m sure she’s fine. I’m sure she’s off doing her own thing so the best thing i can do as a friend is wait. I’m always here for her. Last time i remember, she was the one who told me back in 8th grade “friendship is about patience and timing.” 

talking about things to live for, i think I’ve finally found what i want to live for. Daniel. No not the actual guy but something he made me realize. So this kid has been my friend since freshman year. I would consider him as some what of a slacker in academics and really goofy(that’s what i loved about him). I would always run into homeroom with a bunch of papers in my arms trying to cram in as much possible for the test in my next block or doing homework for the class in the next period. Then, i would see him, just laying around not giving a care in the world. It would infuriate me and i’d yell at him and i’d end up doing his homework for him because i wanted him to do well in class. I would get so frustrated at the kid. I don’t know why but i wanted him to succeed. He was such a nice guy with a genuine friendly personality. After a certain point, around sophomore year i would do his homework in exchange for snacks and then it evolved into me staying after school to tutor him in classes i had the year before. While tutoring him, i felt relieved thinking that maybe this is how i could help him. After all, he had helped in multiple ways. But then junior year struck and i REALLY couldn’t do much for him- i just simply didn’t have the time. During these past 3 years, i barely spent any time with the kid except for the occasional homeroom periods. I don’t think i would’ve ever gotten to know this kid if he hadn’t been in my homeroom. I would’ve just listed him off as some idiot who didn’t value his education. And he is but.

As the years went by i slowly realized that there was much more to him than just his level in academics. He struggled with family issues, with money issues, and with health issues to add on top. Yet, he was the one who helped me out whenever i had problems with figuring myself out. I found out that he volunteered a lot just to volunteer (since he’s not exactly smart enough to know that he can get credit for those volunteer hours by submitting them to the school, psh he had no idea he could do that). he’d help his friends whenever they needed him (he payed half for deon’s car and paid me $50 for deon because deon owed me $100 and it was only 50 because mind you that was all he had).  

He works hard on things he believe matter and that’s something far more important than any of the kids who do things half-assedly to benefit from them like listing shit down on college applications or get money. Yeah he struggles in academics but i know that if he got extra attention he would be fine (i tutored him and he got an A in chem, shit man i was so fucking proud of the guy). If his parent’s weren’t ignorant they’d get him tested for dyslexia. Damn. And you know what he told me a couple of days back? Very nonchalantly, casually, after i had told him about governor school (and after he freaking asked me if i was learning to be a governor) he said “yeahh, go be a politician and change [the education system] for me so that i can actually have a future” 

It’s been days since he’s said that and it’s still stuck in my head. It reminds me of how on the last day of governor school someone’s question was “ The media often spouts things like:”The poor are lazy” , “The homeless are just drunks”, and “poverty is natural”. In a country that claims to value the poor advancing in society, why do we attack them so much?”

Man. The kid has faults but at the same time we all do. It’s just he wasn’t as fortunate as the rest of us and ends up last and looking bad.

I want to change that. I don’t know how and i don’t even know if i will or if i’m just saying this stuff because i’m 17 but fucking damn. I want to change that. Not just for him, but for probably all the other kids out there who were never really given a fair shot. And i don’t mean the bullshit  ’fair’ like the “oh they have the option to if they ‘look’ more into it” meaning asking 103947498572 people and fighting against obstacle after obstacle but the fair as in mentors and guides who genuinely care enough to want to help others around them to have the opportunity to grow along with everyone. Ok maybe this sounds really far-fetched but hey that’s what dreams are there, to fight for. 

All my life i was placed in a system where the more intelligent are placed in environments where they’re grouped together. Therefore, i grew up without being in classes with those who were less academically interested meaning i grew less of a tolerance to understand them. It was easy for me to list them all as kids who didn’t want or care for a future. It was easy for me to seperate myself from their problems as someone who was always in a different flow of education. But now, in my senior year of high school, am i finally started to see things differently.

I want to pursue a path of helping others.

More specifically i want to let others around me know that education is not limited to what typical schools teach, that there is far more than that. Things that people have yet to discover, just waiting.

Dude i’m starting to sound crazy, i need some sleep man