Prompt: What is in the sky?

Have you ever wondered what is contained in the stars above you? It was said in a legend long ago that each star was an ancestor; another said that each one was a king or a queen or a leader of some sorts. To move into contemporary legends, some say that the stars are other life forms living among us… watching us. If you asked a practical person, such as a scientist, what stars are, they would explain to you that they are simply just collections of gas in space.

I feel as though the question “what is in the sky?” is more complex than it looks. If you take the time to think about it, you will come to realize that many things are up above us. The first things you will think of will be the most visible, such as birds and clouds, or the moon and the stars; however there are also conceptual items that seem to be in the mass of the unknown, such as prayers, sorrows, wishes, and even a higher power who controls the world in which we live.

For those of you that believe in a God, you know that when prayers are said, they are always sent up – never down – because up is where the heavens lie, and down is where despair awaits. You also know that your God is far above the clouds, invisible to the human eye, way beyond where our galaxy dares to reach. To ask for a blessing, you beg the planets and the stars to align in a fashion that brings you what you wish for. Everything that you ask for is sent to a place in the sky with hopes that something miraculous will be sent back down to you.

As for sorrows, people often use the phrase “letting go”. Whether letting go is acted out in a physical manner, such as writing down your burdens on a Chinese lantern and watching it float on into the sky, or figuratively, such as taking a deep breath and allowing your troubles be exhaled to a place beyond your reach, you are pushing something away from you in an upwards manner. As people, we feel the need to have balance in our lives, and it is believed that the sky brings that feeling of relief to us.

If I can bring you back to the image of stars for a moment – have you noticed that the number of stars visible is different in every part of the world? In America, you see quite a few, yet in the populated areas of China you see next to none, and then in Canada it seems as though the sky is lit up with glowing freckles because of the millions on millions of stars that you can see. If one of the legends is correct, that the stars truly are our ancestors whom have gone before us, then does that mean that one area has more than another?

I don’t want to seem as though I am full of ignorance. I know that pollution and gasses and such affect the visibility of the sky above us, but just think with me for a minute; pretend those facts don’t exist. Perhaps the places with the most stars are where our ancestors feel the most at home. I believe that I would much rather look out at the mountains for eternity instead of a busy city.

So if you were to ask me what I believe is in the sky, I would tell you so much more than the stars and the moon and the planets and the birds. I would tell you that everything I have ever dreamed, every prayer I have ever said, every wish I have ever made at 11:11 and every burden I have ever pushed away from me. Part of me is up in the sky above me, as is part of every other organism here on this earth, and maybe after we finish our time here, we will be reconnected with our lost pieces up above.

What inspires me to write

What inspires me to write?

Everyone comes with a story. Some people like to say they carry a lot of baggage, while others say that they travel light. Personally, the amount of luggage I claim depends on where I am going. Either way, I promise I will have a story to tell you.

I often write about other people, and how they relate to me. I find it to be quite easy to share other people’s stories. I like to show other perspectives to encourage my readers to have open minds, and through that, you can learn my own personal thoughts. I, however, have yet to write a post strictly about myself, and so I thought that today would be a good day to share a piece of me with you.

At least once a week, I am asked what inspires me to write. I don’t think people understand how complex this question is. I could go on for hours naming all the different parts of my life that have inspired me to become a writer; there are so many unique experiences I have had that have convinced me to spend my life telling stories. For you though, I will keep it somewhat short.

So what inspires me?

One: The incredible stories of other people. One of my favorite things to see is someone’s face light up as they talk to me about something they are extremely passionate about. It’s my passion to share theirs with all of you. I like to serve as a middleman, taking in the excitement and distributing it all over the world. (Yes, I see you my international readers – thank you).

Two: My beautiful family, amazing friends and my too-good-to-me boyfriend. Without them, I don’t know if I would be going into journalism. Although I am the first one to make a career out of something non-business related, they do appreciate my work and support me with every decision I make, such as moving to Chicago. I will always have to thank my family for encouraging my writing, my friends for taking the time to share it with others and my boyfriend for working with me through a long distance relationship and giving me plenty of topics to write about.

Three: Emotion. As stated in one of my previous posts, I am an extremely emotional person. Those feelings are what drive my words and they are where my power comes from. With every sentence I construct, I do it with some sort of emotion, whether it be with anger, happiness, sadness or any other. There would be no thrill to writing if my mind was not wired to react at the littlest of things.

There are so many more inspirations for me, such as role models like Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams (pre-scandal). I did say that I would keep it short, and I keep my word.

If you’d like, comment below what inspires you to do what you do. I would love to hear your stories; as stated, other people’s passion is my number one inspiration.

A poem: Infinite

what would you say if I told you I was infinite?
would you laugh at me and kiss my face,
or would you look into me deeply and understand
my soul
and how it yearns for you
and screams for you
and aches for you?
if I explained that it was your love
that allows my existence
would you put your arms
around my waist
or rather
around my throat?
and when I put my lips to your ear
and whisper my heart to you
will you take in my words
and let them swallow you whole,
consuming every part of you?
but also, when I ask you to watch
the sun go down
will you tell me to stay with you for the night
to watch it come back up again?
baby please, I’m begging you to tell me,
will you love me forever
and hold me tonight
and each and every night to come?
my dear, if you would, I will live forever,
because my infinity is you.

CHALLENGE DAY

This post is beyond overdue, but I have to share this day with you all. Last week I had the incredible opportunity to experience a day called “Challenge Day.” It involved 100 people: a mix of students and teachers at my school, and activities that brought out every emotion. The overall goal was to prove that everyone is going through something and so we should not be too quick to judge. I can tell you that it achieved that and so much more. So, let me explain why this day was so incredible.

It started out extremely awkward. The leaders of the day were trying to pump everyone up and get them excited, which is very hard to do with an apathetic group of 80 high school students. We were paired up with multiple different people and told to express certain parts of our life in order to wean us to a more comfortable mood. From there, everything exploded into a whirlwind of emotions.

The leaders started by sharing their stories; what made them who they are today. They shared the negative things in their life with all of us, showing that no matter what you go through, you can come out strong. They showed us that sharing your story is a sign of courage, not weakness. So after that, we all had a chance to share our stories.

That’s really where the tears started.

As we went around in small groups and shared our stories of how we became who we are today, it was obvious that people were beginning to become more comfortable with each other. People stopped judging their peers on how they looked or how they talked for a little bit. Everyone, for once, just listened. It was heartbreaking to hear how much people have gone through, but it was also refreshing to be able to share what has happened to you.

I had never seen a group of people connect like we all did that day. As I cried, girls and guys I had never seen before were putting their arms around me telling me that it was going to be okay, and I did the same for them. Teachers were beginning to understand how hard some students have it, and students were learning that some teachers have it just as bad.

We gradually began to understand each other and accept that although we are all different, there is no reason why we cannot help each other. I heard stories that made me want to go and take on the world and I heard some that made me want to fall to the ground and sob. I wanted to help each and every person in that room, and I wanted to help myself as well.

This day was so inspiring to me and made me a little bit more aware of who I am walking next to in the hallways. It led me to take on this piece of advice: no matter what he or she looks like or how he or she previously acted, if they are hurting, you are capable of helping them.

I took this advice to heart. I have seen one to many friends harm themselves or end their lives because they felt as though no one was there for them. I realized that I have all the capability in the world to help those people around me and to make them feel as though they are not alone. Even if no other person on this earth wants to even look at them, I am able to make sure they know that I will be there. That’s what “Challenge Day” did for me – it put me up to the challenge to help all those that are hurting. So that is exactly what I plan to do, and that is what I hope others will do for me.

challenge day

My college essay

Last year I met a boy named Jacob. No adjective is worthy enough to describe his personality, but if I had to pick a word I would choose “glowing.” He had a contagious energy; he could fill a room with laughter. He found a joke for everything and made sure everyone was smiling. His favorite hobby was dancing. Coincidentally, I met him at a National Honor Society sponsored dance in February.

Jacob was born with an extra chromosome. However, he would shake a finger at me and scold me if I classified him as disabled – because that is the opposite of how he sees himself. This dance had been held for kids enrolled in special education classes. I had never seen such a varied group of people before. Jacob stood out from them all, with a huge smile on his face, already starting to dance to the faint music behind the doors. When I had asked him how he was doing, he replied, “I can dance, I love it!”

Usually dancing in a room half filled with people wouldn’t be on the top of my list, but I couldn’t resist when he asked me to join him. I was just so fascinated with his optimism. I didn’t know what to expect when I first walked through the gym doors, and Jacob didn’t allow any time to absorb the set up. I was led smack dab into the middle of the dance floor. From there, I was taught to dance. He brought meaning and life into every step and twirl. It was as if the sun was shining through him in that dark room.

I was taught a multitude of other lessons too. One, don’t ever judge someone by their looks. Although Jacob was only 4’3”, he was the best dancer I’ve ever met. Two, start saying yes. If I had denied the opportunity to attend this dance, I would’ve missed out on Jacob, and I would’ve missed out on some of the best conversations I’d had in a long time. Conversations with true meaning, filled with laughter and wonder.

Lastly, no matter what’s happening, there’s always something positive. It so often happens that when something didn’t go as planned, I would get down on myself. Jacob taught me to look through the negatives and find the ray of light, because no matter what, something is always shining.