January 2, 2015

"Joy from Journaling"

Dear Reader,

This past year I lost a lot of sleep over something. Some nights, it kept me up long past midnight. Don't worry, though... it wasn't a guilty conscience that kept me from enjoying a long night of rest. What kept me awake this year was my resolution to journal daily.

I have to say that it was very tedious at first. I had to force myself to stay awake long enough to write. Early on, I realized that if I made "Well, it's late and I'm tired" an excuse not to journal, I would never write. So, in the beginning, I forced myself to do it. As the year progressed, it evolved from a chore to a habit. Now, it's a passion. I LOVE journaling. There's nothing quite like being able to look back and see how terrible and beautiful life can be. I can look back and identify moments where I goofed up or did something right and then watch the consequences of my decisions play out. Life can be different every single day, so my entries vary dramatically. Some are comical, some serious. Some are denotative, others more abstract and reflective. But they're all priceless to me.

There were a few nights this year where I didn't journal for some reason, and I regret every single lost day. The experiences of those unrecorded days are nearly impossible for me to recall, which is tragic.

But the most tragic thing I have realized is that I HAVE LOST YEARS AND YEARS OF MEMORIES. I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I DID NOT JOURNAL BEFORE.

I beseech of you, my dear Reader, if you have ever considered journaling to stop making excuses and start now. If you haven't considered journaling before, then consider it now. Again, I can't believe that I didn't journal before. It is extremely difficult, but it's certainly possible. I challenge you to keep a daily journal. If you do, you will find great joy. You'll come to love it as I do, and then you'll find yourself saying the same thing. "I can't believe that I didn't journal before."

NM

November 26, 2014

"I Would Rather Be Ashes Than Dust"

Dear Reader,

My journey began in math class last week, when I overheard some friends talking about tryouts for our school's basketball team. After considering their conversation for a moment, a radical thought came to my mind. Why don't I try out for the team? I decided I would give it a shot and gave my word to my friends that I would try out.

I'll be frank here, my dear Reader. Aside from 4th grade Physical Education class, I have had little experience on the court. Before going to my first open gym last week, I considered my strengths and weaknesses. "Can I make shots consistently? No. Can I read an opponent and determine what they're about to do? No. Do I have mad ball-handling skillz? No. But can I try my best despite my shortcomings? Yes. Yes, I can."

This last thought carried me through the entire tryout process. Did I miss a bunch of shots? Yes. Did I have to look at the ball as I dribbled? Yes. Did I make tons of mistakes? Yes.

But I powered through and did my best. Though I knew the odds of making the team were slim to none, I went hard to the very end.

These words, attributed to Jack London, help explain why I even tried in the first place.

"I would rather be ashes than dust! 
I would rather that my spark should burn out 
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. 
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom 
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. 
The function of man is to live, not to exist. 
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. 
I shall use my time."

Though I didn't make our school's basketball team, I am glad that I seized this opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. I would rather be ashes than dust. 

NM

(Congratulations to those who made the team! ROCK the court this year, y'all. Rock it.)