I went to bed at 1:30 last night, and the only reason was homework. However, I did get a hundred on the quiz I stayed up to fill out the study guide for, so maybe it was worth it. There’s one thing I don’t understand: homework is supposed to be for extra practice – to make material stick in your brain – to reinforce it. Homework isn’t supposed to totally consume your life and not allow you to sleep. Us 13-year-olds are still growing, and we need sleep to do it.
Today I played tennis for the first time in what seemed like forever, though the last time was Sunday. It was the first time I’d felt happy (without any worries) in a while. A long-ass while. (Haha I’m supposed to give up cursing for Lent you can all see how that’s going).
I’m going to a mandatory church retreat this weekend and I’m nervous because they’re going to take our phones. It’s not because of social media or shallow things like that (though I’ll be sad I won’t get to stalk people for an entire weekend. Don’t you judge me. But seriously, there’s a girl who’s going who’s getting her neighbor to keep her Snapchat streaks going. Seriously people?) It’s because my phone is where I do a lot of my poetry and story writing and a lot of music devouring/discovery/killing me in a good way. If I can’t listen to music for two whole days…….let’s just say there are going to be some issues. At least I can take a notebook to the retreat and a flashlight is on the packing list (so I can write if I can’t sleep). Also, this means I’ll be forced to be social, and I am not so good at (which is why high school will be so rough for me – I’ll have to make new friends all over again and I’ve had the same friends for the past five years. But that’s something to panic about later).
And I’m posting this here because I’m becoming antisocial and writing instead and I don’t get to talk to the people I really want to talk to about the things I need to talk about. I have to let it out.
So here’s this.
So. Story time with Ivy. (Yes, all that ish about the retreat wasn’t story time. Also warning this going to get just a tad bit weird). There’s a park in a neighborhood in my town. The park has a tennis court that I love to go to because it’s the only time I can be in slight unity with nature or the outdoors.
It started with one skateboarder. A guy with tied up long hair and cheap clothes. (Okay, let me just say that sometimes these people look really trashy. Sorry. But they do.) So I was like, okay, I can live with one person watching me failing to hit tennis balls correctly (sometimes). So he’d skateboard, sit around on his phone, skateboard some more, etc, etc. The he took his shirt off and I was like oh look my vision seems to mysteriously cut off where you come in. (After a while I braved a look. He looked okay – lean and toned – muscles I was jealous of. Don’t judge.)
My coach says they probably have little parenting. And I can kind of get it. It makes me a little sad but…I don’t know. Sorry. Moving on.
One weekend, he brought a friend and was teaching him tricks. The next time it was two. I joked to my coach that an infestation was beginning. (I’m a bitch sometimes). So they brought a box to jump on and off of. And one weekend eight of them came. Eight. (You know, it’s really hard to spell the word eight). And I hated them for pushing the people who wanted to play tennis off the courts. For making me nervous playing because they came too close. My coach called the police on them because they;re not supposed to be there, but nothing happened. The court maintenance person hung up one of those generic public rules signs next to the entrance. You know, on of those that say no skateboarding, rollerblading, things like that.
They scratched out the word ‘skateboarding’ on the sign. I laughed and shook my head when I saw it. At least when people come to take up two courts (the skateboarders use two courts) they leave. So now they have a bunch of boxes (not really boxes but those wooden things they put the boxes on. I can’t explain them), a ramp, a railing-like thing (I have no idea what it’s for), and there’s a lot of them.
So today, the usual parade began. I am totally used to the sound of a skateboard hitting the ground behind me now. (Though I’m pretty self-aware. I can kind of sense (and hear) when someone is coming, and when I look I’m right). It started with him. I don’t know what to call him. I’ve stopped totally ignoring them and watch them skateboard. I’m sure they watch me (hopefully not while I’m failing). With every addition of an audience member, I’d get nervous for a minute and fail then gather myself again.
Something changed to me. I’m feeling increasingly caged by my house and my parents and my homework. (I can’t fucking wait until I can start driving). I suddenly admired that they had hours to come and waste and skateboard. I found a new appreciation for the tight turns, the balance needed for their skateboarding. I have no idea what their lives are like, but I admired their freedom.
The fact that they could spend as long as they wanted outside. I can hardly have five minutes without having to do something. So it’s a small miracle I’m writing this – that I have time (I should be going to bed. Oops). This is the longest thing I’ve written about me or my life.
I watched them, and, in that moment, I longed for a car. I’d hop in and drive straight across the country. I want to be grown up. I want free time. The way it looks, I’m going to spend my entire life working my butt off. And I don’t want to. Is it because I’m smart? Is it because somebody recommended my school to our family and I kind of realized my potential there? What if I want a break? Why don’t I get any breaks?
There’s a lot of shit I want in life – love, horses, writing, family, just to name a few. But people don’t do that much work and they get these things. Why?
Okay. Okay. I don’t know where this is going. I’m trying to make it meaningful, worthy of your time spent reading it. Somehow. I just don’t want any obligations. For a month. Maybe when I’m 18. Or in my late teens. So I could do something I wanted. Even if it was sitting somewhere in California holed up (or outside) writing.
But I’d want someone to share it with. To go to random places and hike. Watch the sunsets. Maybe even post a story of it. Kiss under a tree on a mountain peak under the hot sun or the cool stars. Someone who won’t just read my stuff and tell me it’s great, but someone who will tell me how to get it even the tiniest bit closer to amazing.
I hate being thirteen a lot sometimes (a lot of times). You thought you were too young for things when you were little. But now that you understand the world better and know more things, you know that all the things you really want to do you can’t to do until you’re older.
And maybe I’m crazy. And maybe I’m just too in love with the idea of love to really know what it is. And maybe I’m just really impatient. And maybe I’m just afraid these things will never happen. But I’m going to end now. I really hope you got something out of this – it took a long while to write. I’ll end with this:
I admire your freedom. I want to experience it. I want to ask your names and maybe try out a skateboard (and crash and burn). At any rate, have fun.
Enjoy your lives. Enjoy your youth. While everything lasts.
But who am I to say these things?
Until my eyes hurt from looking at a screen…