Downers, Deep Thoughts & Determinations / by Sarah Kakusho

The new school year is fast approaching.  What have I been doing this summer.  I can't remember.  Highlights?  There were none.  Coming home I suppose.  But, coming back home definitely left me at a deer-in-headlights state forever.  It was like this:

All I'd become was the afterthought of a city, where, for me time had stopped, but for the city itself, time continued to flow no matter where I went, and I had no choice but to pick up where I'd left off. Before I knew it, I found myself playing tag with my past, chasing it to the ends of the earth until I'd caught up with the flow of time. 

And through these estranged experiences, between who I was in the past and who I'd become, I lost myself. I lost focus. I lost direction. I got stuck in routine, shackled where time neither moved backwards or forwards. It stood still. Haunting, isn't it? Unable to do anything while watching the world pass you by. 

I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Friends were in town when I wasn't.  When I was here, friends were in class.  Miserable at home, watching the house dwellers bring their friends over.  I was breaking down.  Where had my social life gone?  I kept thinking that.  

And then I remembered, it was always like this.  Before Soka, it was ALWAYS like this.  I was miserable, locked away in my room.  Friends were friends, but only in school.  After the last bell at school rang, it was an alarm clock had woken me up from a dream filled with people that didn't really exist outside of that.  

IB left me in my room for hours, studying, procrastinating, sleep-deprived.  Miserable.

I especially realized this when a friend had called to tell me that she wasn't able to come in town to visit.  "There are a lot of people in town.  Let's see who did you hang out with?"  Silence.  I would like to know.  Who did I hang out with?

3 months is way too long.  Thought making a movie would help, but I went and screwed that up too.  I had a script, for once.  But I had no cast, and no money to pay non-friends.  Friends were outta town, those who I could honestly say were friends at least.  I found myself getting jealous over little things.  I know it was wrong subconsciously, but instinct made it right, in my head at least.

Instinct made everything bad.  People were turned against me with ulterior motives.  But what people?  The household?  It's all I ever saw.  Oh, she's having a party?  It's to make me look bad, right?  No, it's her telling me that she's better than me. It's to tell me that she is better because she has more friends than I do.  

But, you see, that's the thing.  She is better than me.  She has more friends, more talent, more focus, more direction, more style, more life, more everything than I will ever have.  And I have nothing.  I'm just selfish.  I thought she was selfish, but I am more selfish.  I thought she was a brat, but I'm more of a brat.  Do you want to know why?  Because I have no one right now, and refuse anyone that comes near me, because not only am I the latter two, I am stubborn.  

The world I've come back to is nothing like the place I was at.  I make myself wonder, how I cannot continue to be the person I am over there, when I am here.  Florida makes me sick, literally.  There is no life to come back to, because I never had one to begin with.  I became aloof, and kept my distance.  Numb.  I could never get close to anyone.  Indifferent.  Alone.  And that made me sick.

I'm recovering now, slowly.  It's all but a sinus thing now.  And it's come down to the last 2 1/2 weeks of summer.  And I'm determined to make the most of it, even if I have to do it myself.

Regardless of what my past was like, there's no point in dwelling in it now.  There's nothing to be changed, and this summer is no different.  Nonetheless, although last year was probably one of, if not, the best years of my life, I've made so many mistakes experiencing it.  I may not be able to change the past, but I'll definitely be able to change what I do from here on out.

This year, I will get to know each person I meet before I make any judgments, not let others make those judgments for me.

This year, I will be more patient and watch my words.

This year, I will listen to every word each person tells me, and imagine that their problems are my problems so I can help them in the best way possible.

This year, I will work with endurance and consistancy to the best of my ability.  I will not give sorry excuses.

This year, I will see everything through to the end, and will do it with everything I have to offer.

This year, I will maintain my health and keep up my grades, while helping out in the SUA community.

This year, I will build a closer bond with each and every person I know and build a strong founding bond with each and every person I meet.

This year, I will not do anything I'll regret.

This year, I will continue to protect friendship, justice, free will, courage, compassion, wisdom, and creativity and I won't lose, because, today again, I am alive.

This year, I will not give 100%, but 1000% of my effort.

This year, I will not lose to myself.

This year, I will not give up, no matter how hard, how painful, how much I suffer.

Last year, I let myself forget why I flew across the country to go to a college that none of my friends knew about, a college that didn't have a film program, a college that, at first, I didn't want to go to.  This year and here on, I will remember that I am here not only for myself, but for every person that has helped me get this far.

In our lives, we all have a sense of urgency to find how to live our very lives.  But regardless of whether we've found our purpose in life, we must never give up because "never giving up is happiness.  Never giving up means we're already winning." (Ms. Wendy Clark, Letter to the Brothers, o4.14.2oo7 at SACC).

How much can we accomplish in our lifetime?  How much can I accomplish in one year?  Like a warrior in kendo, I will uphold the fighting spirit, the tenacity, to overcome obstacles because obstacles are like the challenges that push us forward.

"Life is all about resolve. Outcome is secondary. It is resolve that determines the value of your life."

May the new school year bring great obstacles.