Reflecting While on this
Crazy Pause on Life
Since there is not a definite date in which life can go back to “normal,” it is difficult to imagine what life is going to be like once the social distancing restrictions are lifted.
Because I am only a junior, I still have a shot for experiencing another year in high school, and that is something that I cannot take for granted. This pause is allowing me to realize just how short these years are and how much I want to be present for my senior year. I am sure the class of 2020 wishes they had another chance for these experiences, but unfortunately, they must move on with their lives very soon.
As I thought about this situation, I came up with a list of things that I will make sure to fully experience (and maybe even appreciate) next year:
Crowded hallways, crowded choir concerts, crowded student sections, crowded assemblies, and crowded classrooms. There is nothing like the sense of community at WHS and the students really pulled through this year for each other. Whenever we do get to go back to school, I’m sure I won’t take the crowds for granted.
There’s nothing like late-night drives with your friends after a long week. Instead, this quarantine has been an extended weekend that we didn’t ask or prepare for. I would do just about anything to go visit with my friends in person. Maybe, after this is all over, we can all go skating again - just like when we were in middle school.
I never realized how stagnant life could get once you stop working. I gave my hours so the other servers that financially support themselves had enough. The rush to get to a 4 pm shift on Tuesdays and Thursdays and those early weekend mornings spent working have been swapped out for Netflix binges and dark chocolate. I often wonder how the regulars are doing since that was where they would catch up with their friends and favorite waitresses. I can’t wait to get back to brightening up a customer’s day with their favorite meal, or learning life lessons from our elderly community.
Since the competition season has been put on hold, we have zoom classes throughout the week to keep up with our training. It is a new experience and I’ve never been in my garage for as long as I have been recently. Not only am I missing out on studio competitions and classes at this time, but Jaywalker tryouts have been postponed and we are waiting for more details for that. Everything is getting rescheduled, therefore possibly making my summer months quite hectic. I am sure it is occurring to the majority of people.
There are no definite dates, so I don’t know when the next time I will be on the stage is. I am concerned about scheduling conflicts between Jaywalkers and my studio team. Hopefully, it won’t interfere with me performing for Fright Fest, but we have a few months to figure it out. That is out of my control, but once we are allowed to move on with the season, I will never take those moments for granted.
Other Things I Will Not Take For Granted Include:
Everything is so different now, but it cannot last forever.
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
― W. Somerset Maugham
Stay safe, stay home, and stop the spread of COVID-19.
The sooner we do this, the sooner we can get back the things we miss.
- Randi :)
Stepping into the Kitchen
For the majority of families in America, food is what brings them together. My dad and I love food, but we both dislike the cleaning that comes with cooking at home. Instead of having homemade meals, we eat out roughly once or twice a day. It is to a point where the waitstaff at many of the restaurants in Washington recognize us and know our orders.
Since it is just the two of us, the bill isn’t a problem, and we don’t have to go through the trouble of grocery shopping, preparing the meals, or cleaning up messes created while cooking. Because of these factors, there really is no need for us to eat at home.
That is why when I was challenged with the task of planning and preparing a meal for my family, it caught my attention. Sure, I know how to make basic meals, but we never experiment with the few things we do end up cooking at home.
After a long weekend in Kansas City, I thought it would be a good idea to put a meal together for my dad: chicken stir fry.
First, I sauteed frozen onions in a skillet with a pat of butter. Then, I added a bag of frozen vegetables that included snap peas, carrots, water chestnuts, and broccoli. Frozen vegetables tend to be the best option for our little family because we don’t have to use them right away. They last longer than fresh veggies and still are packed with nutrients.
After those steps, I let the ingredients simmer in the skillet, so that the water would cook out of it. Finally, I added frozen chicken and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
It was simple to make and there was plenty of food for the two of us. Dad and I enjoyed the meal together.
Overall, it was really nice to be able to provide a warm home cooked meal for my dad. My dog even got a bite, too. I hope to learn how to cook more advanced recipes and broaden my palette over the upcoming months!
Don't forget to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, Blue Jays!
Almost everyone goes through a time in their life where acne affects them; whether it is when they are in middle school, or once they’re adults. Acne affects nearly 50 million people in the US alone and it has a detrimental effect on the persons’ confidence. Although it is extremely common, there is no definite cure for the skin condition. Personally, acne has impacted my confidence for the majority of my life starting with the one blackhead I had when I was nine.
At that time in my life, I did not know how my hygiene could impact those pesky little black dots. Once I started getting flare-ups, my mom decided to put me on Proactive. I would follow the three simple steps twice a day, but it seemed to have no effect on my face. I never thought about the other factors that went into acne, but by the time I hit middle school, I started using the internet as a way to educate myself.
Many companies advertise themselves as cure-alls, but that is unrealistic and very far from the truth. That is why when I heard about Curology for the first time, I was not very interested because of my previous investments in my skincare. It was not just people online anymore talking about it; my peers were trying it out and they seemed to be reacting well to the treatments.
In January of this year, I decided that it was time to give it a go. I was skeptical and didn’t think it would do much because of how resistant my skin can be at times. Right away there was not much improvement, but I knew that going into it the treatment wouldn’t fix everything imminently, so I kept at it and restricted other bad habits that irritate my skin. Once I hit the one month point, I started to tell that the life of each zit was shorter and would dry up much faster.
So with the help of Curology, and the other various acne medications that have been prescribed by my doctor, I have gained more confidence with my skin without makeup. There were times during my Freshman year that I would not leave my house without wearing foundation. I was uncomfortable with how I looked and felt that that was all that the people around me would see. Because of these efforts to clear my skin, I feel like I don’t have to worry about the little things on my face as much. Of course, it’s not perfect or where I want my skin to be, but it definitely is a step that has made me feel okay with myself.
Be the Change
It is that time of year again. Whether or not you celebrate the holidays, you have to admit that this season is the best time to give back.
I am very fortunate that I have not had to go without the basic necessities, but many people in our community are struggling. When the winter season comes around, it seems even harder to get by.
Giving back to local food pantries helps families right here in our own neighborhood. This year, that is how I wanted to make a difference.
I headed to Aldi and picked up a few canned goods and other non-perishable items. I was unsure of where to donate, so I asked around. I found out that Mercy was in need of donations. With my dads’ assistance and a tour from some nurses on break, we found a pit stop for my donation.
Even though this wasn’t much, I know that it can make a difference in someone's life. I hope that I will be able to donate more in the future. I hope that my donations will be impactful for someone fighting their own struggles. If we could all work together, we could be the change we wish to see in the world.
If you wish to donate, there are many places where you can do so right here in Washington. Just do what I did, and ask around! People are often more than willing to let you know where your donations can do some good.
Until next time,
Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone
This photo is from one of the many times I have helped install windows with my dad. It goes along with the quote because in order to make the finished job presentable you need to take those extra steps that lead to a quality installation. Thinking it only takes five minutes makes each step of the way so much more simple and less overwhelming!
Finding Clarity in Life
Thanks to My Dog
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
When you go home, what is the first thing you do? Maybe you visit the porcelain throne or make a call to a family member. As for me, the best part of going home is seeing my dog light up because she missed me so much. I always get the same reaction, even if I am gone for only 20 minutes. She is something within my life that brightens me up.
Like most pets, my dog is very loyal, but she tends to be quite moody. Like how many dogs sigh when you stop petting them, or sit on your homework when they haven’t had enough attention? My dramatic beast always keeps me on my toes.
She is my best friend and without her support I would go bonkers. Whenever I need someone to vent to, she is who I go to first. Of course she cannot reply, but being able to speak with my dog always gives clarity to my problems. When I think about something I cannot live without, it is my dog that comes to my mind immediately!