The alarm goes off. A loud, unsettling chime continues to ring until I hit the alarm button. I take a peek outside to see the crisp, blue air waiting for sunrise. Why am I up? It isn’t time for school, I think to myself. Then I remember. The night before, I had waxed up my board and shoved it into the car. My wetsuit sits draped over my chair. I slip the suit on, run downstairs, grab a bagel, and hop in the car. As I sit there eating the bagel, I think about my decisions. Nobody wants to get in frigid water when the air is already cold. Nobody wants to wake up before sunrise at all. Nobody wants to exert all their energy into an activity before their day gets started. So why am I doing this? I arrived at the beach. Slipping the rest of my wetsuit on, the frosty morning dew hits my face. I grab my board and head in. The brisk water sent energy through my whole body. I paddle out, sit on my board, and look around. This. This is why.
Another Day Survived
The bell rings, marking the end of the school day. I grab my backpack, walk out the door, and the fresh wind of relief hits me. No matter how poor my day is, I know that another school day is over with. Step by step, I continue on. Deadlines, failures, and poor performance make me feel stuck, but I know that if I get a small task done it is progress to my goal. This is just like failing a test. Trust me. I spend the night before studying as much as possible, just to stare at a piece of paper with a blank face. The feeling crushes me. And in less than an hour, someone takes that paper off the desk. The thought of failing and all its consequences run through my head. The whole day is ruined now, or so it feels. But when I wake up the next morning, the pain shallows away and life continues.
Friends are what Keep Us Strong
Everyone needs a positive reminder of good times once in a while. Periodically, I flash back to summer vacations. From camping, rafting, and hiking, to relaxing poolside on a sunny day. But of all my good memories, what hits hardest are the feelings of being with friends. Most memorable, Traveling to Utah with a group of buddies. 10 people packed in a van for 9 hours, only good times are created. One by one, everyone falls asleep after hours of chaos. I wake up in the morning and an eventful day gets started. From setting up camp, playing games, and preparing, the bulk of the day involves a 16 mile hike. Difficult challenges like this are only possible with true friends, as encouragement and perseverance is a necessity. Hours of grueling pain later, everyone celebrates with an enjoyable dinner. These are what make true memories, as well as strengthen friendships.
The Quiet Times of Life
Rain is falling outside. My room is dimly lit from the illuminated computer screen. Calm music plays in the background, mixing with the pitter-patter of raindrops. Wearing pj pants and a sweatshirt, I sit at my desk in the dark. Time goes by without me knowing it. A few hours. The rain stops, but the sky goes dark. I turn on a few lights in my room to brighten the space. Before I know it, the day is over. Is this the fulfillment of life? Did I make the most of my day? Am I happy with where I am?
A Day As a Pilot
I hit the battery switches on. Panels illuminate. Some clicks and a quiet hum begins. The aircraft starts like waking a beast. Passengers file in and find their seats, cargo gets loaded, and tanks are topped off with fuel. I climb into the right seat. The person next to me starts reading a checklist. Rambling, he continues through each step of preparing the plane. 300 buttons and switches later, it’s time to start the gigantic engines. With flipping two more switches, the beast roars to life with all its power directing towards two large fans. And within a few minutes, this intricate piece of machinery would lift itself off the ground at 170 miles per hour. I hold down a button and request procedures from air traffic control. Like TV static, the transmission comes back of approval. We inch our way towards the runway. Once it’s our time, I line the airliner on the centerline and give it full power. The engines roar louder. We speed down the strip of pavement and lift off the ground. Off we go.