2014: A Year of Firsts and Joy

January 29th is the date.. 29 days into this new year, and it is already a year of new beginnings. This past Monday was the beginning of my last semester in high school, a first. Yesterday, we received the first snow of this year. Today is our first snow day of the year.. Get the drift? 

Each New Years, you hear the countless tales of new starts and new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions are just examples of peoples’ so called “dedication” to a new start. Did you know less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually carried out? The majority of these new changes are directed toward weight loss or healthier food habits. 

No matter the “change” from one year to another, each year is bound to also bring along new sadness and pain. New difficulties and challenges are presented, and people either face these struggles with renewed strength, or run away with fear. The presence of hurt and grief in this world inspired my personal resolution; it is one that I intend to actually keep.

Happiness- a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness)

That one word, happiness, is my resolution, my goal, and shall be my outcome. People will try their hardest to put me down, make me feel bad, but guess what? I’M HAPPY. Mistakes are unavoidable, disasters will happen, but you know what? I’M HAPPY. Nothing will cut me down, or shred me up. Happiness, contentment, joy, however you please to address it, is my motivation.. and it should be yours too. 

 

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An Epilogue

Writing creates a relief from the stresses of everyday life; it allows a writer to vent emotions, express thoughts, and also communicate feelings through words. Through this blog, I have found an escape from stress linked to school, college, and personal struggles. In my writings, I have discovered bits and pieces of who I am, only to turn around and share these newly discovered qualities to the world through this one project. 

Hoping that my wonderful teacher, Mrs. West, reads this, I would like to sincerely apologize for my delay in the completion of this assignment. As enjoyable as it has been for me to complete, I um… I also was given the lovely opportunity to discover what a true procrastinator I am. However, late though this project may be, I plan on continuing to post, in hopes that I may discover even more of my true self. Perhaps my next post shall be on my love for cheesy pick-up lines. What do you think Mrs. West? You will most certainly have to share any that have been used on you. 😉

This assignment has shown a love for writing that I never dreamed existed. It has taught me that should I ever become frazzled or stressed or just plain confused in the future, I should simply take a seat, and write. I appreciate the experience to create my very own blog, and look forward to continue TheGingerGene posts. However, my work here is done…. For tonight. 

In other words….

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t- you’re right.” -Henry Ford

“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.” -C.S. Lewis

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” -Rafiki

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep burning and unquenchable.” -Bruce Lee

“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.” -Lucille Ball

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” -Shakespeare

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius

“If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never had got anywhere.” -Marilyn Monroe

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

Who Am I?

SISTER~ I am a sister.. to one of the most amazing girls on the planet. Sarah, my younger sister, is my best friend. She is kind, smart, caring, a little feisty, but what can I say? She learned from the best. My sister puts up with so much crap from me, yet never once has she abandoned me in my time of need; she looks out for me, and I always know she’s got my back. I love my sister so much.. I don’t know what I would do without her. 

STUDENT~ I am a scholar. Next year I shall attend a 4-year university in hopes of furthering my education and pursuing a career as a civil engineer.. Boy, am I scared. I’ve always tried my hardest in school, tried to be the best, and tried to make good grades, but with a change in my education as big as going from small town Maiden to big city Raleigh, who knows what will happen. I get called a nerd, a geek, but really, it was just natural. I will strive to succeed in college like I have in high school, and maybe, just maybe, I will be successful.

ATHLETE~ Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t go a whole week without some sort of physical exercise. Not because I need it due to weight (Dear Lord, no, I’m not fat), but because I love to have fun, exercise. In the fall for the past 7 years, I’ve devoted every minute of my time to perfecting my volleyball game. Even much so, that the past 4 years, I’ve used that dedication to motivate me through year-round volleyball on a club team. I love the sport. As sad as it is to say, my volleyball career is winding down. My senior year of volleyball is long over, and I’m devastated to think that I might not be able to play next year. However, my love to be outdoors, and to run will keep me active. I’m sure of it.

DAUGHTER~ My mother and father have done the best that they can to raise me into the young lady that I am today. With much effort, and sometimes I may argue selfishly too much effort, they taught me morals, and concepts to live by. My parents are the reason that I strive to do my best, and the cause for my outstanding success in school. I know I am spoiled, but it humbles me. Mom and Dad are able to provide, and for that I will truly be grateful. Sometimes I may take advantage of them, but I hope they know how much they will always mean to me. My parents are my cornerstone, what keeps me grounded. Without them, surely lost is what I would be.

INDEPENDENT~ I am independent. I like to do what I want, think what I please, and act how I see fit. I enjoy starting every sentence with ‘I’, even though I know that it is grammatically frowned upon. I realize that in the above paragraph I stated how my parents taught me morals and concepts to live by; however, I do prefer to think through things on my own terms, and believe what I chose to believe. Being independent isn’t an excuse to act selfish; it is a reason to research ideas, learn to think for yourself, and not rely on the knowledge of others.

 

Remembering the Child

Me- “I remember you telling me something about trips to the grocery store while I was just a baby. Do you mind telling me again?”

Madre- “What? You mean every time that I went into Food Lion and could not get down more than two aisles before someone stopped me to comment on that beautiful child, with the copper penny hair, and ocean blue eyes?”

Me- “Yes. That story.”

Madre- “Well, all I have to say is that you and your sister are both beautiful girls, and were beautiful babies too.”

Me- “Aw thanks Mommy… So have I always been as stubborn and independent as I am now that I’ve gotten older?”

Madre- “No.”

Me- “Well, what happened to me?”

Madre- “Your second grade teacher accused me of being to strict with you, because you were always so quiet and timid in class. However, each year, your abilities (voice turns high and squeaky) to speak your mind and question authority, (stern voice) have increased, (sweet, loving, and caring voice) making you and enabling you to become a strong, and independent young lady.”

Me- “Thank you for your time, dearest Mother.”

Madre- “Is that all?!”

Me- “Yes. Goodnight.”

Extraordinary Pet

Ahh Dixie.. you smell so bad, yet I can’t stop myself from cuddling with you. At one foot tall, you manage to jump three feet up on me, and share the dirt that caught a ride on your shiny black fur. Your cute white patches ruin the hide and seek games that we play in the evening. I love it so much when you give me kisses, and I so desire that you could come inside to cuddle.. But considering you’ve demolished every flower pot within an acre of the house, their wouldn’t be much house left if you were allowed inside. Your cozy dog house, and fluffy bed outside will just have to do.

Dixie is the latest addition to the Martin family. She isn’t even a year old, but she is growing exponentially; her body can’t hardly keep up with her overlapping skin folds and fur. Half lab, and half australian shepherd has to be by far the cutest combination ever. Dixie keeps me company on my weekly jogs, and is the best company I could ever ask for. Her legs are almost as long as mine compared to her lean body. I swear her tail never ceases to wag, and her ears are never far from full perk. 

No matter what anyone has ever said to me about dogs not having feelings, I don’t believe it, not one bit. The sparkle in Dixie’s eyes when I give her loving every morning and afternoon right after school, every time we play fetch, and even when I give her treats, just lets me know that she loves me.. maybe as much as I love her. Dixie is the best dog I could ever ask for, the true definition of an extraordinary pet.

What’s in a Name

Hannah…. HANNAH…. hannah…. spelled forwards, or backwards, my name is the same. The Hebrew word “Hannah” means grace.. hahahaha Like I’m graceful. That’s funny. If anything, I feel awkward half the time, and appear clumsy to many of my class mates, even when I try to dance, *laugh* TRY to dance; although I must admit, I received many compliments for my moves at the latest dance at my school. Then again, the main admirer was drunk soooo that’s probably not a very reliable source. Needless to say, I’m no professional. 

My parents named me after Hannah from the Bible, because of her faith in God and the grace that He showed her. Although I’m not near as religious as I’m sure they would hope me to be, I respect the path that they laid before me. Hannah was a admirable woman who never lost faith, no matter what the situation. She was a strong woman, and because of her example, I too hope to have strength.

What is in a name? Memories, love, affection, acknowledgment, personality… Everyone has more than just their legal name; they have nicknames. For each nickname that I possess, a story backs it up. Ginger, Gingy, Nannerz, Big Red, Hannah Smartin’… They all help define who I am. Although most of my nicknames originate from the fact that I have red hair, it makes that a larger part of my life than if they didn’t acknowledge it what so ever. Each name, each story, plays a role in my life. I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Mamaw always tells me, “I don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me”. As much as she thought she meant it, it hurt her feeling when my sister and I called her Icky Vicki. Names can hurt, but at the same time, they can bring butterflies to anyones stomach. Beautiful, smart, sweet, angel, etc… These are all examples of uplifting names. To me, Hannah is the best name I could ever be called. It uplifts me more than any little pet name ever could. It’s who I am.

Advice to the Young

Dear Young Person,

Your life is about to fly by. Elementary school is a joke, middle school is full of awkwardness, and high school is an excuse to act crazy before you go off to college. I beg you to cherish your childhood while you still have it, because before you know it, you’ll be stressed with constant work and struggles. College applications, homework, scholarships, and non-stop complaints from your parents will fill your life during the year before freedom. As nice and independent as college sounds, it comes with a price. A literal huge chunk of money, and an emotional toll on both you and your parents. The people who raised you and helped you become the person you are today, your parents, are about to witness your growth of wings as you fly off to college; on the other hand, you are about to be presented with the stress that college has to offer, as well as the temptations of parties and relationships. Don’t ruin the rest of your life just because of one stupid mistake.

Your parents told you this, and now I’m going to… Think before you act. That’s not to say don’t have fun; by all means, take advantage of this point of your life. Make new friends, go to parties, and have fun, just not right before an exam. College is school, and if you want to pass and someday get a job, you better study hard. Now the same goes for high school. As I said earlier, it is a time to act crazy before you go off to college, but you can’t get into college if you flunk all your classes. Try hard in school, do your work, and make good grades so that you aren’t left at home while your friends go off to some huge university and leave you in the past. 

Most importantly, figure out who you are while you’re still young. You know the things you like, and what makes you happy, so don’t change that. Don’t let the pressures of society change who you are. No one else can be like you; you are unique. If you let temptations and pressures change your likes, and change your overall being, you aren’t you anymore. Stay true to your beliefs. Let the world judge if they want to; who cares? They don’t have the right to judge, because they have their flaws too. Keep yourself pure, and don’t let the things of this world get in your way.

Sincerely, 

Hannah Martin

Are You Hungry?

A large, warm, decorative plate loaded with my favorite fried rice. Pieces of onion and greenery mixed in with the golden slices of teriyaki chicken and steaming, green broccoli. I ask to have the sweet, cooked carrots to be left off the entree, and in return, they reward my growling tummy with even more rice grains. Each ingredient to my heavenly meal comes in different piles; I must join the puzzle pieces of this amazing dish together, and bond them with a nice drizzle of shrimp and soy sauce. 

Tosaka Japanese Restaurant is by far my favorite restaurant. They serve this absolutely amazingggg meal with great speed, and an even better price. Each costumer receives a warming bowl of french onion soup to sip on during the 3 minute wait for their meal; following the conclusion of the main course, fortune cookies are served with the bill. These cookies are so yummy, and usually leave me wondering what my fortune could possible mean for my future. This is the perfect place for a date.. *hint* *hint*

The Perfect Present

In the Bible when God asks King Solomon what he wants the most, the humble king simply replies, “wisdom”… I hate to try and pretend to sound noble, when in all truthfulness, the first time I read the title of this post, my thoughts immediately went to a fancy car, or free college tuition. However, after digging deeper into the prompt, I understood that this “perfect present” isn’t a material object. It’s a quality, something to effect more than just our physical life.

I need wisdom for more reasons than I could possible imagine. My life could use as much wisdom as God could provide. Mistake after mistake is just pure stupidity. Plain intelligence and common sense would be of some help, but true wisdom would be the cure to my problems. Accepting the gift of wisdom would help me to not only make better decisions in my life, but in return, help other people’s perspective on my life; through me, wisdom could be shown to many others as well.