Author Archives: Anna

No Regrets.

It’s 5am. The birds are singing morning melodies outside my window. The night is aging and the stars are slowly losing their dark mystery to the morning haze. My mind is at ease and my thoughts are collected and calm. Unusual for me after being at such an amazing party (Bear Bash!) But instead of drowsiness, worry, anxiety, or the countless list of “things Anna MUST do” running through my head, I am filled with peace and a sense of security. Sure, my future is uncertain and a giant leap from my former way of life, and yes, in only two and a half months I will be driving to California, my new home. However, I have no fear. No worries. And strangely? No regrets. I look back on my high school years fondly, with warm memories and even failures that have aided me to be stronger.  If you knew my back story and the things I went through, you might ask “How can you look back and feel so… good?” The truth of the matter is, I think I’ve realized something very important about life. Through these four years if teenage drama, massive piles of homework, hectic schedules, and personal tragedies, I’ve learned that every bad situation is not the end of the world. Every time it seems like I had fallen too far to get back up,  God proved me wrong. He reached out His hand and said, “Let me help you with that.” I look back with a smile on my face. With warmth in my heart. I hit a lot of bumps in the road and accumulated a few bruises, but for every bump, there is joy, for every bruise, there is healing and love. High school has taught me to be my own person, and not to define myself by who hated me or who enjoyed my company. Rather, it taught me to define myself by God and His unending love. High school was a time for everyone to figure out who they were, and that journey continues into college, the work force, or the armed forces. Our lives are all connected and everyone has a story. Everyone has something you don’t know about them. And everyone is on similar journey’s. No, we don’t lead the same lives, but we all struggle, we all hurt, we all dream, and we all love. We aren’t as different as we would like to think.

Despite the many bumps I hit, I don’t regret a single one. Because each bump has a story. Each bruise has a lesson behind it. And if it were not for those specific lessons and stories, my life would not be the same. I would not be on the path I am today. God has a plan for each and every one of us. He isn’t some kid sitting on an anthill holding a magnifying glass (I love that movie…) Rather, He uses those bad situations for good, and He uses them to mold us into people of strong character, integrity, charity, and people of God’s love. God is a huge part of who I am and of my life experience thus far. He has shown me my errors, corrected my perceptions, and taught me how to love. My patience with people has grown exponentially, and my love for myself and for God’s Creations has followed suite.

Although this chapter of my life is over, a new one has begun. I plan to take the lessons I learned in high school and apply them to my future goals. I dream, I imagine, I create. I strive to succeed, and strive to live every day like it could be the last I’ll ever have. One very important lesson I learned from high school is that you never know when another curveball might come. You never really know when your life could be turned upside-down. So instead of defining yourself by what you do (sports, music, activities, academics), define yourself by who you are (loving, kind, generous, strong, honest, etc.) Don’t waste your time trying to be somebody else or please someone else. Don’t try so hard to “fit in” if the mold you are attempting to fill will harm you and compromise who you are as a person. Look ahead to the future, but don’t wish your life away waiting for the next step on the “ladder to success”. Live in the moment, and make every second count. Living in the moment does not mean try to party and live recklessly, but it means to live your life fully. To fulfill yourself and others. To love, to laugh, to learn. To truly live. Pour into others. Create long-lasting, strong relationships built on firm ties that are not shrouded in lies, petty envy or deceit.  It is NEVER too late to mend a broken relationship, or to apologize for a wrong that happened years ago. It is never too late to forgive or be forgiven. It is never too late to love those who did not treat you well. And it is NEVER too late to say yes or no.

Life is a journey. Take it one step at a time. Keep your goals in mind, but remember that today only happens once. Strive to live your life to the fullest. Remember to live, laugh, and love. But most of all, keep positive and try to live life with no regrets.

Signing out, listening to the bird sing me to sleep,

I am yours truly,

Anna

Sometimes I wonder…

You know, I may never see most of you after high school. I may never know what you become, if you thrive or just survive. If you succeed or fail. If you marry or stay single. I wonder how your lives will be shaped. I’m curious how you’ll all grow, who you’ll become and what you will do. I wonder what each of us will contribute to the world and somehow become Generation J (Justice) or just flop like so many people think we will. I pray we prove everyone wrong. I pray that this generation has something to contribute. Something to offer and something to explore, expand upon, and change. Life doesn’t end nor does it completely change after we graduate. College or whatever you see next in your life is not something to be partied away or squandered. The next leg in all of our journey’s is not going to be easy. We have a responsibility to this world and to ourselves to make our lives matter. To make a mark on this earth before we depart. How will we leave that mark? Will it be no more than a carbon footprint doomed to eat away at our planet? Will it be nothing but a money trail that will soon disappear as our offspring consume it for themselves? Or will it be something more? What are we going to leave behind? Will it be worth it? I just have been puzzling and puzzling. I want my life to matter. However, I see kids who really could care less. All they want to do is survive and maybe make a lot of money one day. They give up hope and would rather coast on by and die a small speck on the universe than make their life count. I urge every one of you to be determined, be responsible, and defy the low expectations put down on us. We are more than capable of drastic, life-altering change and improvement.

Just something to chew on.

Yours truly,

Anna

Forgiveness is a process. It doesn’t happen instantly.

Time for a rant/vent post. Apologies beforehand…

Does anyone else see this ever growing problem in society called instant gratification? Only, it’s not just with material possessions. This virus has somehow trickled into our emotional, mental, and relational lives. We don’t think we should wait out the given punishments our actions may merit. Our ability to take consequences and responsibility is dwindling and deteriorating. It’s a difficult thing to process and watch as it unfolds and devours our society. Instead of taking responsibility for our actions and accepting the consequences, we want to be forgiven and have every action looked past NOW. People don’t care if your life was ruined by what they did. They don’t care that you may not particularly want to be their friend again. No, all they want is to instantly be forgiven and their deeds forgotten. So they can do it to you again three weeks later with little to no consequence. Forgive and forget. Forgiving is a wonderful thing, yes, and we should never hesitate to do so. However, the problem arises when forgiveness merits normality. A situation cannot become the same as it was after an injury is inflicted. Your skin will never be the same after a scar has formed. Sure, it doesn’t hurt anymore, and you are able to live life normally, but the skin remains changed. Sometimes situations can be fully mended, but usually it takes time. LOTS of it. I’m afraid we are forgetting this. We are forgetting that time is the best medicine, that time is the only way some things can be rectified. Not everything can happen INSTANTLY. Not everything will go back to normal after you make a huge mistake. And we have to learn to live with that. To accept that. You will grow and become better for it if you allow situations to heal like they are supposed to. A scar that heals too quickly will eventually need to be ripped open again to heal properly. Same with a bone, or a broken relationship. We need to slow down, take a deep breath, and learn to wait.

Okay, rant over. Have a good day!

Yours truly,

Anna

The Anticipation Grows…

Long time no type huh. Sorry about that. =\

I’m sitting here in the chair, wondering when I’ll be able to leave. Anticipation laces through my mind with probing questions, “How many more days? How many more events? What are your grades like? What will you do this summer?” My mind is achingly bored. These classes, though fun, are mind numbing on certain days and make me want to punch in a wall. Or a sheet of tissue paper…. that might be less painful. I’m jittery and on edge, counting down, figuring the hours that I still have to endure within these walls. It’s a tiresome wait. An agonizing wait. The days drag by slower and slower. I discover new things daily, and attempt to live with zest, zeal, and positivity. But it becomes difficult when no one is trying, no one is expecting great things, and no one expects things of you. I’m waiting. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting. What will tomorrow bring? What will my future look like? I can probably answer this question easier than the others. All I have done is obsess about my future, about the plans eventually to happen. Pouring over the various checkpoints to reach my first class of college August 24th. I have created list after list, calculated, searched for jobs, filled out various applications, and conducted mini surveys of my mind about how it might be. Gah! I am tiring myself, sitting at home and participating in these silly brain games associated with the “to be’s” and “not to be’s”. Can the summer approach any slower than the sluggish pace it has carried over these past four weeks?

Summer, if you’re listening, this is not the time to be lazy.

Yours truly,

Anna

Complacency

I have been struggling with something recently. This idea of complacency that has consumed America. We sit around on our butt’s as we see news story after news story depicting the horrible instances that happen around the world. We see the pictures of children in Haiti, the war in Uganda, or even the battles in Iran and Afghanistan.  We sit, we watch, heck we even cry a little, but we do nothing. I find it baffling and ironically funny that we can look into a refrigerator full of food and say “There is nothing to eat.” Or peer into our wardrobe full of clothing and remark in dismay “Ughh I have nothing to wear!” Think about this: You can only eat one meal at a time. You can only wear one outfit at a time. Yet we have weeks worth of food stocking our pantries and freezers. We have months worth of clothing filling our closets. We have $5 in our pockets, and complain that it isn’t enough for the lunch we want. Half the world’s population lives off of $1 a day for pete’s sake! I’ve been troubled by this phenomenon for weeks, even months. I have read a book recently called Primal by Mark Batterson. There is a section called “Are you okay with this?” It goes something similar to this: Every 28 seconds, a child dies from contaminated water. Are you okay with this? America’s poor are in the top 5% of the richest people in the world, and the world’s poverty is dropping. Are you okay with this? And on and on it goes with the heart pulling statistics. So let me ask you: Are you okay with this? Because I sure as hell am not! Sometimes I think we get stuck in the rut of “It’s too big for me to impact.” But we are so wrong. We think, Eh I’m just in high school. What can I do? We think we have to be rich or famous or even an adult to make a difference in the world. Guess what? That’s a lie. King Tut was 9 years old when he became Ruler of Egypt. Jesus’s Disciples were between the ages of 14-18. Joan of Ark was age 19 when she became known. The examples could continue. My point being, your age should NEVER hinder you from changing the world. And you don’t have to be famous or rich either. You can start by making a difference in the lives of people around you. Maybe it is your calling to travel over seas and help out the Orphanage in Uganda. But maybe your calling is to help out that seven-year-old who is struggling in school. Or maybe helping your next door neighbor who can’t shovel the snow from their driveway. Even tipping the barista who just made your favorite latte an extra dollar to brighten his/her day. Saying hello to someone new in the hallway. Helping your sister or brother out with their homework. Offering to do the dishes tonight, even when it isn’t your turn to do them. ANYTHING helps. I’m not saying sell all your clothes and never buy groceries. Just realize how blessed you are and try to reach out to others who might not be so blessed. Write a letter to our troops, even if you don’t know them. DO SOMETHING. Anything except let the world pass you buy as you naively sit and watch the television. Things are happening around you. Be aware of them, and try to make a difference in someone’s life today. Or tomorrow, since it is pretty late. Haha.

Yours Truly,
Anna

P.S.  Long time no see huh? So sorry. My life has been one crazy roller coaster, but it should be settling down a bit here for Thanksgiving.

P.P.S. And I also apologize if this post is jumbled. I’m tired, and revved up about this topic all at once so I’m sure it’s a bit confusing. Oh well.

Senior year – oh boy, here we go.

Hello blog readers! Before I start on my philosophical journey about senior year and all its wonders thus far, I think it only fair to introduce myself. Just so you know what you are getting into. Buckle your seat-belts kids!

Some Anna info:

Age:17
Year: Senior
School: Billings West
Hobbies/Interests: Music [singing, piano, guitar, flute, harmonica, composition], Art [drawing, sketching, painting, pastels, etc.], Photography, Writing [duh…], Jewelry making, Reading, and going outside to do random crazy things. Like camping and hiking haha.
Activities: Speech and Debate, Worship team at Faith Chapel, co-president of the West High Meistersingers with Tasha Zoani, perhaps some intramural sports in the future? When they come along. Hopefully participating in plays and musical, and adding a dash of outside lessons and adventures. Possibly joining Ecology club too…
Current Job: City Brew Coffee on King avenue and 24th St. W

Alright then, enough about Anna, let’s move on to the topic I have in mind: senior year. It is the year that everyone looks forward to. The year that you get to be the top dog in high school. The year that signifies the end of your high school career. Some rejoice, others groan.

This year is supposed to be the year that we make yet another huge choice in our lives: Where will we go next? Is it to college? If so, which one? What will you major in? If not, what do you plan on doing instead? Where will you live? What job will you get? So many decisions thrust upon such young individuals. It is rather intimidating if you think about it. But it can also be liberating. You get more responsibility, but you also get more freedom. You get to pay your own rent and make your own food, but you also get to decide where to go, when to go, and what you want to do.  Senior year is supposed to prepare all of us wayward teens for this reality.

My hope for this coming year is that I and all of the seniors attending high school in Billings, MT come out of this year with the confidence that they can proceed to the next step, whatever it may be. Perhaps this hope and dream will become a reality, perhaps not. Either way, I plan to make this year count. I don’t want to be stuck doing the same old thing that I did last year. I want this year to be vibrant, exciting, fun-filled, and a sprinkled with a little adventure. I have words of encouragement for all of you who will graduate and throw your hat this spring of 2011:

Do not let this year be just any other year. Make this year YOUR year. Have fun, work hard, and don’t forget to make your life count. Though we are young, we can make movements to change the world we live in. We just have to believe it! (:

Yours truly,
Anna Elizabeth

P.S. Sorry it is so short. I promise I will write more and in better detail with better organization in the future…. d: