ENGLISH 1A – 5PM

Time to use your own life as literature. Start writing!! About what….. About a time in your life that taught you about happiness. Take this in any way you want. You’re the author, you’re in charge. Just write. Tell a story. It could be about an unhappy time that made you wish for better day, or a really happy moment that made you think something like, “I want this feeling again and again….”

DO. NOT. THINK.

JUST. WRITE.

Length: 2 FULL pages. Due BEFORE next class, 9/24/20. No late submissions accepted.

Post below!!!

11 Comments Add yours

  1. jakesilva753 says:

    Pow

    Personally, happiness never came by easily. I’ve always struggled with just enjoying life as a whole. Freshman year of high school was probably my lowest point of my life. I know what you’re wondering ‘what could a freshmen high schooler possibly hate about their life’? At the time I was surrounded by toxic people and it really had an impact on my happiness which seemed non-existent at this point. My so-called ‘friends’ always brought me down and the family around me did the same thing twice as hard. I thought it was normal and it would pass; then I realized that wasn’t the case at all. Fast forward to my sophomore year of high school. Still the same situations, just a different year. Then, something life changing happened. As I was having lunch with toxic people and hating my life, an unfamiliar face came up to our group. A guy named Marco, or Pow as they called him. Pow knew some people from the friend group and wanted to hang out with us. For some reason he gravitated to me from the beginning. Why, you may ask? Well, I still have the same exact question. I’m very blunt and qutie honest, kind of an ahole. So I was genuinely confused as to why this random kid was so motivated to make conversation to me. As the school year goes on, Pow tended to be a part of the group now. He made me look forward to lunch just so I could have a friend to hang out with. Day by day we got closer and became really good friends. I felt happy and finally welcomed by another human being. Then, disaster struck. Pow had broken the news to me that he wasn’t going to come back for the next school year because he planned on dropping out. I felt as if it was the end of the world. Finally I found a friend that makes me happy and he’s being taken away from me. As that summer passed by I didn’t hear much from him. My ‘friends’ said he stopped talking to everyone for whatever reason. No one had heard from him ever since he dropped out, including myself. But then a miracle happened. Pow had dm’d me on instagram to say hello. I was in shock; I thought I’d never hear from this boy ever again. I asked him why he essentially ghosted everyone from school. Pow basically stated there wasn’t any reason to keep in touch with them. Again for whatever reason, he felt the need to keep in touch with me. He continued saying I was the only friend he had at school and couldn’t just let go of it like nothing. The amount of joy and happiness I felt in that moment is honestly unexplainable. I never in my life had someone care about me the way this kid did. I’ve never had a friend go out of their way to keep in contact with me. Typically it’s myself trying to contact people without an answer. So the fact someone had thought I was worth keeping around; really gave me validation and happiness. Jump to today, we are the best of friends and will always be there for each other. We spend every weekend together and when we aren’t hanging out we’re constantly texting one another. I could firmly say I am the happiest I’ve ever been in one heck of a long time. I’ve finally surrounded myself with positive people that love and support me. It took that one person to impact my happiness and overall look on life. And for that, I will be forever grateful Marco Hernandez has had such an impact on my happiness.

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  2. finn ransome says:

    I can think of the first time that I played a tackle football game. As a kid my dad never really let me play tackle football. He would always tell me,
    “You cannot play tackle football until you get into high school.” Of course, I was annoyed by this since I had been playing tag and flag football since I was able to walk. I would say for about the first 11 years of my life I never once put on pads and a helmet, and full on tackled someone. Though I can always remember it being such a big dream for me.
    Now my first football game however, did not begin in high school. My dad coincidently in 8th grade allowed me and my twin brother to both play on a preteenager team from around my area. I was so excited That I could not help but exclaim how happy I was to my dad the second he told me. Although I look back on it and see how little it seems in retrospect of my childhood, I see it as a big part of my beginnings of maturing. That summer was the first time that I was being made to be a part of something almost every day of the week. We would meet for two hours every day except Sundays, and if it wasn’t a day before the game, we would be wearing pads. The first time trying on pads I felt so sluggish. I couldn’t catch anything let alone throwing a football very far. Although it took me a while to get used to the pads and the headache from the tight helmet. I overcame the challenge near the end of training camp; before the season started.
    “you better have your pads on in 5 minutes or else your running laps.”
    I find it so funny thinking about how horrible it was but also how amazing and exhilarating at the same time. As a kid I honestly can’t think of a fonder time then playing football on the street or on the field. It was a place where I would finally feel free.
    Anyways, back to the story at hand, the week of the game. Although I can say that It wasn’t technically a real game, it was a scrimmage against another team at full gear and tackle. So, I count this really as the first time I played in an actual competition. At this time in the season I played as a corner and a wide receiver. I would sometimes play a safety, however those first two positions were about the majority of the time I spent on the field playing. We had been installing all kinds of plays the whole summer for this first scrimmage and when the week finally came for the first opportunity to play, we all were fighting for the spots. I can distinctly recall being asked a question in one of our first, but surely not last, film sessions, and how I answered it correctly just before my coach was going to go and ask the other receivers trying to take my spot at wide out. A wideout receiver is the person closest to the sideline and catches or blocks the defensive player. As a corner you are just trying to guard or shed the wideouts routes or blocks. The game was on Saturday and it was Monday.
    The first day we went to look at film for the first hour. It was pretty basic going over all the normal formations we are going to run that week, as well as defensive schemes and other tips on how to stop our opponent from scoring. When film was done, we would head out with just helmets for another hour and practice on the field all our plays we just went over in the room. If we got anything wrong, we were yelled at and did it again until we got it completely right multiple times. Although practice was tough, we found ways to have fun while doing it as well as things to do when before or after these functions too. A thing that I think is overlooked when people analyze young athletes is their ability to be able to find happiness in the horrible. When you are running 20 gassers after you just had 3 hours of practice in pads, you are going to try to find some way to ease the stress with humor or entertainment in some way or else you are going to hate it and never want to do it again.
    The one thing I can say is that I did love football a lot back then, almost as if I was addicted to it in a way. The night before my first scrimmage I felt sore. I didn’t know why we just trained the whole day and now, I have to play the first game I’ve ever played in pads tomorrow. I just couldn’t believe it. It seems foolish to say it now but that was a real thought I had as a kid, especially when It came to knocking other people’s heads it took a second for my brain to wrap my head around it.
    “Just get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be good for tomorrow,” my dad said to me before saying goodnight and closing my door. I honestly didn’t sleep much that night in the ironic part of it is I probably did the exact opposite what I was support to do. At the time I felt like I had no choice though, and the anxiety filled with the jitters kept me up until I was about to get about 3-4 hours of sleep. I woke up feeling unusually rejuvenated and in a complete state of innocence. For a second I even forgot I had a football game that afternoon. I opened my door walked downstairs and was able to get some breakfast my mother most graciously made for me. I got all my gear including jerseys and extra pairs of clothes, and was on the way to the game. The first scrimmage was at the el Molino high school in their upper field. When I got there, I was completely in shock, my heart was racing and I was starting to feel very anxious and scared. I had no idea what to expect though at the same time knowing I was just second guessing myself and I’ve been over this in practice many of times. I knew I couldn’t mess up on any plays and had been studying for the past couple of weeks to get the offense and defense down.
    When I was able to get all my gear on and finally get on the field we started to warmup. First, we started with active stretches. Stretches where you are moving. Once that was done all the receivers went to the sideline and ran down a straight line warming up our hands by catching a couple of throws. Our finally step was coming all as a team and practicing some of our basic offense plays as a team. Once we finished with that the kickoff was away and I couldn’t believe this was happening. For about the first 30 minutes of the game I didn’t get passed to and was just blocking. However, the first catch I made was a slant or a route where I cut a diagonal path through the middle of the field. I caught the ball and ran for about 10 yards before the safety and corner were able to get me down to the ground. That was the first time I had been tackled by someone that wasn’t my teammate which was an amazing but terrifying thing for me. It was like going on a rollercoaster for the first time and being super scared until after your ride. Where you can ride it 5 times in a row no problem. That’s how I felt. I felt invincible as if this was the pinocle of my football career but I had just been tackled. It didn’t matter in the end because the day was too much fun, we won the hard-fought scrimmage and I couldn’t have been happier.
    This day not only was the begin of my football career as a young boy and the happiness it gave me, but also the way it helped me to become who I am today. If I didn’t face any of the hardships in the practice or in the game. I wouldn’t have felt so rewarded after a victory. Or the sadness I felt after a loss. I think both were equally important and although I did see a lot of happiness while I played football, I also experience sadness, anxiety, fear, and most of all disappointment. Hardships and life decisions that have shaped who I am and who I am to become because my past was at the very least rewarding and feel blessed that I had the opportunity to see that kind of happiness, a lot of other people do not have the freedom to do so.

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  3. gwen phillips says:

    I have many little moments I’ve experienced through the course of life so far that have brought me such happiness. Such as family time, getting to take a break from everything and traveling, relationships, (romantic and friendships) and much more. Although these are great, it’s not everyday that you get you to do everything that brings you fulfillment. In the past couple of years life really has started to pick up and look a little more serious for me, which is good, working and going to school are good things, which I will always be grateful for such opportunities. This change has although led me to be have less time to find true enjoyment. So, I really needed to figure out how to find everyday happiness or else life would start to feel like a job in itself.

    A lesson that really changed my perspective in the past year or so is really understanding that I can change the narrative of my life. I can reframe my life and how I view it. It sounds easy, but this has been a very difficult lesson to learn with all of life’s distractions. My own distractions started to feel justified to me and I was creating excuses for doing things that had no value to me which led to contentment and unhappiness. It has been hard to change what has been ingrained in my unconsciousness for the longest time, but there just came a little moment of realization one day where I realized that life doesn’t have to be this way, and that I can form my perspective exactly the way I want it with a little practice.

    I challenged myself to turn everyday negatives into positives, tried to see how I could find to be grateful for something I didn’t want to do. Engraving this mind trick into your subconscious is truly no easy task but It has changed my mood at the end of every single day. I don’t get caught up over what once used to perceived to me as weaknesses or insecurities, instead I learn to adapt, overcome and grow and not get held back. It’s a hard thought to understand, but time doesn’t stop for you or anyone so neither should you. Especially for small inconveniences.

    Overall this thought process has led me to have a more determined mindset and everyday happiness, which what was once something I didn’t think was possible. I do still have overwhelming days, but I practice mindfulness at the end of the day and go to sleep with a healthy head. I remind myself everyday (or try to) that there is no rule saying that I can’t control my own life narrative and it’s a very powerful feeling once I practiced enough to get there.

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  4. Dominic Costantino says:

    2018 was a year that taught me the value of time. An interesting fact about me is that my mom’s side of the family lives in England. For the entirety of my life, we’ve had to hold a distant relationship because we couldn’t and still can’t afford a trip over there. I’ve always had a special relationship with my Nan who I referred to as Nanya. You see, when I was a baby, I couldn’t pronounce Nan without the extra ya. My favorite memory with her is her magic tricks. She would always have something new to show me and for a long time, I believed that she was actually magic. Plus, she had a cool British accent that made everything sound fancy.
    In May 2018, my mom and I got a message from my grandad saying that Nanya hadn’t been feeling well. At the time, they told us that she had a mini-stroke but that she would be just fine and there was nothing to worry about. A couple of days after we found that out, we were filing to get our passports renewed. Nanya always kind of struggled with her health. There was always something that was bothering her, and the stupid doctors always gave her heavy drugs to treat it that made her loopy. After about a two-week process, our passports were completed and we were looking at flights to England. For some reason this time my Nan’s health scared my mom and me enough where we just decided to drop everything and head over. We booked our flight for June 4th, 2018.
    The flight both there and back were AWFUL. Let me emphasize the word awful. I think that I’d rather get stabbed by the devil’s pitchfork than do that flight again it was AWFUL. First of all, this was pre-COVID so there were all sorts of gross things happening on that flight. Babies screaming and throwing up in the aisles; Karen being upset that the flight attendant didn’t have the fancy sparkling water she wanted, and my poor 6’3” body wanted to shrivel up in a hole and die. On the bright side though, because it was an international flight, I got to drink as much as I wanted. The little bottles they give passengers are so small and frustrating like just give me a real bottle of vodka so I can stop bothering you. I swear I had them make like at least five or six trips so I could get drunk. I’m also petrified of flying. It isn’t that I think that the plane is going to crash and explode into a thousand pieces, I KNOW THAT IT IS GOING TO CRASH AND EXPLODE INTO A THOUSAND PIECES. I call it my irrational little friend. After the sixth drink, I had a good combination of alcohol and weed in my system where I could go into a coma for the next few hours and hopefully miss my soon-to-come death. I woke up 30 minutes before the plane landed- right on time for my ears to catch on fire as we descended. After what seemed like an endless cycle of flying in circles, we landed at Gatwick airport.
    The airports in England look different than the states. I don’t know what it is, but they just look better. Maybe it’s the national health care system or the fact they don’t have Trump. Either way, it’s like being transported to a completely different universe. My mom and I wandered around the airport and tried to figure out the cell phone my mom had that were supposed to work in the country. Of course, to nobody’s surprise, the phone did not work. Yay. Eventually, we found a payphone and called the taximan to pick us up. We arrived in our all exclusive 5-star Travelodge Hotel. (For anyone who has never stayed in a Travelodge, I was joking it isn’t five stars.) A nice bald man came and checked us in, and we settled into our new home for the next two months.
    Remember how I said Nanya had a mini-stroke? I emailed her immediately after and I’ll never forget how she told me, “don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll be fine.” After we were all settled in, we all went to the doctor to hear about what was making her so ill. Nanya was a smoker when she turned 13. Smoking cigarettes back then was a common and normal thing. She smoked for years and years until she turned 60. The doctor explained that the smoking caused her to have lung cancer which spread to her neck and spread to her brain. I guess it wasn’t a mini-stroke at all. I think that my mom and I knew back in May that this would be the last time we would get to see her and spend time. She got ill randomly and had to spend a good few weeks in the hospital. My family has a lot of mental illness in it, so being able to sneak away to the hospital with my mom was nice. We would hang out with Nanya in her bed and play crossword puzzles and giggle. In the hallway close by there was a vending machine with good crisps in it that would always give us 2 for 1. We would sit, eat crisps, play crossword puzzles, and we’d force my Nan to eat by making plane sounds and making her. Eventually, after being there for weeks, we insisted on bringing her home. She had signed the do not resuscitate order; it felt like they just wanted to keep her to be annoying.
    My favorite meal with the family was fish n chips from the shop a few blocks away. Everything is fresh and all the portion sizes are ginormous. Nanya had her little plate that we made for her and we all sat at the table. This was a really important day in my life because it was at that moment, I learned a lesson on time. I lost so much time with her because of the distance. I lost time with her when she was trapped in the hospital room. I lost time with her when I got sick the first few days of me being there. At that moment, though, I appreciated being there. I was able to value the time I had. The food that day was especially delicious, the sweets I bought from Tesco were even sweeter, and I felt at home for the first time in my life. I felt like everything in the world made sense. When we left England, it was the hardest moment in my life because I knew that it would be the last time I would see my Nanya. A couple of weeks after we left, my Nanya passed away peacefully in my mom’s childhood bedroom. To this day, I think that she stayed alive to see us, and she lost the will to live when we left. It was like the final piece to a thousand-piece puzzle. When all pieces were together, it was all done. The flight back was filled with tears and sadness. When we think of coming-of-age stories, this one is mine. I grew up a lot in 2018. I miss Nanya, but it makes me happy to know that I was able to spend that time with her before she passed. Don’t take life for granted because things can change fast.

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  5. Mis Viajes a México
    Cabo San Lucas, México. Five hours on a plane to a desert next to an ocean. No place I’d rather be! It all started when I was seven years old and my dad worked at his old construction company, Treadwell & Rollo. He was friends with one of the guys working there and my dad was expressing how he and mom were trying to find a good place to vacation for a bit. The friend explained how he actually had a beautiful house in Cabo, beach front and had a pool. He showed my dad some pictures of the place and told him it would be no cost to stay there. My dad loved that for sure but now it was the hard part, convincing my mom. She was very spectacle about it but ended up agreeing to it. Best decision she made!
    We ended up going to that same place for two weeks out of the year, seven times for the next 10 years. I’ve made some of the best memories there.
    This one time, on the beach, my sister and I were playing with each other but Ciana didn’t want to get her hair wet. I’m two and half years younger than her and at the time I was the annoying pesky little sister. I splashed her and we started to push each other trying to get one another under the warm ocean water first. She, of course, overpowered me by a lot but I didn’t let that stop me. I got her under the water, hair soaking wet. But she wasn’t going to let me win so we continued on rough housing and she ended up stabbing me with her nail right in the middle of my ribs, scraping a hole in my skin. The salty ocean water BURNED my open wound while she made her escape. At that moment I didn’t think it was the best turn out, but now looking back, I remember the pure happiness I felt while playing with my sister in the crystal clear ocean and now leaving a physical memory on my body to remember that time.
    Another time that I’ll never forget was when a small tropical storm hit Cabo as we were there. The first night of the storm my dad was freaking out and stressing about the house because he has never experienced a tropical storm before. He was constantly checking the storm radar. But come day time and time to go to the beach, the storm was the best thing! Compared to the flat tiny waves the ocean usually makes on a sunny day, the waves were huge! We don’t get the chance to swim in nice warm water at home, let alone waves that won’t kill us, so we took the opportunity to body surf and rolled with it. Those waves were just big enough to carry you but not drown you. After I let a wave take me with it closer to shore, I laid on the sand in the water trying to get the salt out of my eyes before I opened them and when I did, another wave was right on top of me and under the water I went again. You can imagine what a big wave hitting a 13 year old girl looked like. It had my dad laughing so hard. And me too honestly. My sister got taken out too, multiple times. We had sand in ever crevice of our bodies but it was 110% worth the hour long showers to get them out. Those waves also took my dad’s sunglasses with them too, never to be seen again but always remembered.
    Gosh, I wish we could go back. It was paradise just going from beach to pool to nap to beach again. I miss it too much. We haven’t gone since 2017 because my dad’s friend who owned the house passed away. He gave the house to his brother and his brother was shocked that he let my family go there for free. He told us we could go back but it would be like 1,000 a night, or something like that. Such a shame someone so kind could be related to a selfish bootyhole. That place always gave me such happiness, it’s so sad to think I’ll never see my childhood vacation getaway again.

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  6. adrianv7272 says:

    Turning 10, Blues, Babes and Vegas
    It’s the night before my 10th birthday, I was up watching the orange Giants clock on my nightstand. 12:23 it read,my door burst open and a beam of light shines in.Immediately I cover my head with my Pokemon blanket sure Pikachu would protect me from who or whatever was coming. I felt a calloused hand grip the corner of the blanket near my feet, with one tug it was ripped off. I let out a yelp and opened my eyes to see my father in front of me bent over chuckling. He proceeded to tell me to hurry and throw a day bag together, we had to evacuate he stated urgently.Great I thought to myself a day before my birthday and we have to evacuate, I was far too gullible to understand it was all a hoax, a ploy to hide my birthday gift. I quickly packed, grabbed my toothbrush and ran out the door to the already running car.
    I awoke to the sound of a car honking its horn as it whooshed past. I brushed the eye boogers out of my eyes unsure of where I was,I peered out the window and saw San Francisco in the distance. As we neared the massive red bridge, I felt as if I was entering Mordor (Lord Of the Rings), the steel pillars on either side reminded me of a gate to another world. I quickly raised the question “Where the hell are we going” which was followed by a smack and “watch your mouth”, which I kept shut the rest of the ride.As we pulled up to SFO, they told me where we were going,Vegas. I thought “Vegas what the hell am I gonna do there”. As we went through security and finally took our seats, I was excited yet slightly apprehensive and thought “Well maybe I’ll see some boobs”.
    We stayed at The Circus Circus Hotel, I, who was worried about the amount of clothes I had was pleasantly surprised that my father was lying to me when he said he didn’t pack me anything. The first day we were set to walk the strip, which in the hotel room sounded like a boring idea, was anything but. As we strolled out the front door of the hotel and out with the commoners, I was immediately greeted with pictures of naked women, everywhere and I mean everywhere.There were cards on the ground depicting naked women, as a 10 year old boy who’s never seen anything like that my mind…was blown.We had tickets to see the Blue Man Group and right then and there I was happy, the happiest I’d ever been up until I met my girlfriend. The show was so amazing there was paint flying everywhere, I felt as if I was inside a glow stick. The lights changed from every color of the rainbow shown through their show. Each time they beat on their drum the paint would fly and rain down like a meteor shower. You couldn’t take your eyes off the stage. As the show wrapped up I was happy, grateful for my parents for taking 10 year old me to Vegas.

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  7. niannavalle says:

    As I coasted around the turns I thought about how truly happy and at peace I was in that moment….
    Ever since I was a little kid I have loved car rides. Something about the air blowing through the car, the music playing, and laughing with your friends just brings me joy. As long as the car ride wasn’t with my family, I loved it. I always enjoyed the journey more than the destination. It was a warm summer morning with clear sky’s and just the right amount of wind, the only downside was the pandemic surrounding us. Today was the perfect day for an adventure. And when I want to go on an adventure, I know exactly who to call. So I called my cousin, Marin because she is always ready for some fun. And today was special because it would be the last time we got to hang out before we both started working full time.
    After making plans I started to pack everything up, I grabbed towels, blankets, games, crafts, and a few extra bags, and then I was off. Marin lives in Petaluma, so I made my way there to pick her up. As I pulled up she came right out of her house. She strutted you to the Jeep and tossed her stuff in through the side, seeing as there is no top to contain the interior. I put on a nostalgic playlist and we headed to the store.
    Every time we go somewhere we always bring snacks, especially when we know we will be out all day. After having to go to 3 different stores since all the COVID scavengers picked all the stores clean we were finally ready to get the adventure going.
    We’re bad planners, and we always have been since we were little kids, so we picked a first destination and went from there. The first place we went was the inkwells. The inkwells are natural swimming pools that were carved into rocks by the moving water. There is a shallow creek in addition to the swimming areas. I love going to the inkwells, and if you get there early you can get some peace and quiet in the trees. This is near Lagunitas and Point Reyes, and only a short drive to Stinson Beach.
    We stayed at the Inkwells for hours just talking and having fun, with the occasional people watching of all the tourists being dumb. We stayed on our colorful knit blankets and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Eventually we got a bit too cold and all of our jackets were in the car so it meant we were off to go somewhere else.
    We hopped in the car, took a second to think, and decided on a direction rather than a destination. We chose to make that choice when we saw something worth stopping for.
    We headed southeast for the next part of our journey. We’re jamming along to the music for a while when we finally hit a town. And that town is Stinson Beach. We decided to stop here since we’ve been to this area before. Our main goal was to find some water because we had ran out earlier. We stopped at a snack bar that is outside of the exit for the actual beach. There we sat like little ducks in a row waiting to order some water. I noticed how everyone around us seemed to have a different mask, all of us the same but still being unique.
    We waited for quite a while until my water and her smoothie were finished, and once again we were off. This time we were onto one of my favorite drives. Driving along the cliffs from Stinson Beach to Sausalito. As I coasted around the turns I thought about how truly happy I was in that moment. I was with my favorite person, in my car, in a beautiful place, with nothing but good vibes to go with us. It felt almost surreal, or like we were in a movie. All those teen coming of age movies set in a beach town in Southern California, that is exactly what we looked like zooming around all the cliff side bends.
    Once again we had no destination, just enjoying the journey. We drove for a while longer until we finally hit areas that were populated. Now we were on highway 101 headed south towards San Francisco, but instead of going over the bridge we wanted to stay on the north side and explore the battery’s and forts nearby. Our first goal was to go up to battery spencer, but that didn’t go to well
    Battery Spencer has a small road and parking lot before it, but as we drove up they were closing it for the night. So instead of sulking we took pictures of the bridge and sunset because it was beautiful. Then we shifted back to Sausalito so we could go to Fort Baker. Fort baker is heavily populated and we saw lots of people walking around. First mission there was to find a bathroom, which took a long time to succeed at but eventually we did it. Then it was time to look at Battery Yates.
    We climbed up the small trail and enjoyed how our day had taken us there. It is one of the prettiest and most unique views of the Golden Gate Bridge and is just such a peaceful place to be. I have always wanted to go inside one of the buildings of the batter but alas, the doors are painted shut along with locks. We stayed in that spot for a while. After climbing around and having fun, it was time to be at ease and embrace what the day had given us. We saw a couple on a picnic, friends having a photo shoot, a woman working out, lots of hikers, and so many more people.
    But this still is not where our day ended. This time when we got in the car we had a destination in mind, Sausalito. Marin had never been there before so I drove through it and showed her the places I used to go when I was a kid with my grandparents. After that we decided it was finally time to head back to Sonoma county since it was starting to get late. Home was not the goal, just the correct county.
    While heading north to Rohnert Park, we drove through Petaluma which seemed like the perfect opportunity to get tacos. We stopped at one of our favorite places, El Roy’s Taco truck. We got our food and officially headed home. Once home we watched The Angry Birds Movie 2, which was the perfect end to the day. It was so funny and let us have a resolution that was just as happy as the rest of the day.

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  8. Aiden Seifert says:

    How Time Goes By
    From early childhood I was fortunate enough to live in a situation where everything in my life has gone relatively well and I was oblivious to the fact that other
    people didn’t feel the same as me. Being raised in a nice quiet suburb sounds like the ideal place to mull over one’s existence but that didn’t come for me until I was a teenager. As a child it seemed I almost lived happily everyday and even if I would get sad it would be because I scraped my leg or had a toy taken from me. Not once in these years did I have the thought to consider if every lived as happily as I did in that time of their life until I got a rude awakening. It came from one of my own friends in the seventh grade and I wasn’t sure how to react when I heard about him, it appeared he had some sort of mental illness. I was clueless as to what this would be or even was considering the worst thing I had seen at this point was my parents getting into an argument. Immediately I equated this illness I had no grasp of to not being happy but I could not have been further from the truth.
    It would be until I had my own bout with depression that I learned he had Asperger’s and couldn’t properly socialize with anyone over the age of 12 or 13 unless he was behind a computer screen. The last day I ever saw him he had distanced himself from the crowd and stood alone near the office and occasionally looking over in our direction as if he was forbidden from talking to us before quickly looking back down at his feet. That very next year as I mentioned earlier is the first time in my life I felt true despair or what seemed like it. Life came to a crashing halt as life turned from enjoyable to monotonous in a matter of weeks. On some weekends I would barely get out of bed by 3 and just contemplate what I was even alive for, for what purpose had I been put to suffer on this Earth for. Looking back things could have gotten much worse but in time I managed to get over it by myself and a year and a half later I ended up going to therapy to try and see if it would help relieve these awful memories of feeling worthless and exhausted for no particular reason. My therapist had come to the conclusion that my depression was hereditary and I had it by chance and was destined to feel it at one or more points in my life. Hearing this softened the blow of having to suffer it but still left me resentful at my existence for putting me through it in the first place, I wanted so badly something to blame or pinpoint but there truly was nothing but genetics at play.
    That summer while starting off being bitter at the world I actually managed to turn around my position on life and reclaim some of that lost feeling that had strayed away from me for so long. Whether it just depended on the time of year or who I was around once again my perspective changed showing me that life was worth living. Instead of one pivotal event happening slowly and over time of hanging out with new friends and doing lots more therapy I came to actually enjoy myself once more. Ever since then it’s fluctuated but never have I reached the pits I felt as just an 8th grader, of just feeling hollow and almost soulless. Keeping happiness a reasonable amount of time since then has come from the fact I believe I have the ability to make myself happy and motivated. It’s what makes me get up in the morning knowing that any challenge that I come to face I can come to to conquer or achieve it. The determination to live a life with meaning and limit time wasted on things that only consume daylight for the sake of entertainment or boredom. With this newfound hope I still use it everyday to help myself get through the day and will probably use similar methods when things get tough and I have to say I will be much more prepared to face it when it does.

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  9. Daniel Bagley says:

    As a child I was raised by my mother and my grandparents. My father was to say the least wasn’t active in my life as much as he should have been. However that won’t be relevant until later in my story. Anyways to get to why that matters we need to start at my 13th birthday. My family and I went to Great America. My grandfather was getting increasingly agitated throughout the day due to the fact he left his dog at home for an afternoon to spend time with his family. If you haven’t guessed already he likes his dogs a lot more than us. I took my friend that year whose name i can’t remember but that’s irrelevant to the story, my grandfather’s wife and my grandmother on my dad’s side and my mother. Anyways we did what any family did at Great America we went on roller coasters and had fun. Anyways after a couple of hours my grandfather got even more agitated and started arguing with us specifically my mother. After a small incident and an argument later between her and I, she abandons us. The rest of the day was spent trying to get her to join our group again which didn’t work until we left Great America and she needed to come with us as we all went in one car. The car ride went about as well as expected . complete silence and a long ride home.

    Second incident was about as fun as sticking your unmentionables in a garbage disposal system. Sophomore year of highschool I was a horrible student and I was in an even worse relationship. I got held back in math my freshman year so I had to retake the class just to give you an idea of how bad of a student I was. Anyways that’s not important for this part of the story. Anyways I had to deal with a very toxic and straneus relationship that lasted for over a year. To sum up a long story into a few sentences or less. She was unstable mentally and because of that we had a lot of fighting and a whole lot more sleepless nights than i’d like to remember. Anyways we broke up after a year and a half after she had had a few unsuccessful attempts on her own life and we had more than a few fights over what i could handle so i cut it off with her. Anyways I was tired and a mess myself after going through a relationship like that so I turned to my family for support. What I got was told to move on and get over it. Of course I moved on quickly but the only person who was there for me was my father’s mom. My grandmother whom I love with all my heart.

    Now the reason for these two stories is to talk about happiness. Not my happiness but my father’s happiness. In both those stories and most of my life he wasn’t there. But that’s the moral of my story. He wasn’t there and throughout my entire life he was fine with that and he was happy and he still is. That’s my story for this assignment thanks for coming to my ted talk.

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  10. Shantel Shaw says:

    Grit and Growth
    Ever since I can remember, I was always found outside getting my hands dirty and experiencing the outdoors. Watching my mentors who included my family members work on the family dairies, dripping sweat as they step inside for a brief minute before working the fields. My fascination with farming, agriculture and the outdoors has greatly deepend through the years.

    “Rain or shine my job as a dairy farmer I have to care for my cows 365 days a year” my cousin Steve Riebli once told me. My cousin Steve was one of my biggest role models through my childhood years up until the last few days of his life. He was one of the toughest men I will probably ever know. He lost his battle to cancer last year after an eight year battle with this horrible disease. He taught me that it was ok to get my hands dirty, the importance of agriculture and hard work. I am forever grateful I was able to spend the years I had with him feeding the cows, and learning life long lessons. Being raised in an agricultural background beside him, I have spent several hours a month working on my cousins dairy. My tasks slowly increased over the years. The tasks range from feeding cows and calves, cleaning calf pens, bringing the cows up to be milked, and vaccinations. This hard work has paid off, when I was eight years old I was finally given the opportunity to raise and show my first dairy heifer.

    One of the biggest opportunities I have had is FFA which stands for Future Farmers of America. The FFA is a national organization that gives young adults like me a chance to become premier leaders, experience personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Without this organization pulling me out of my comfort-zone, I would not be the President of the Sebastopol FFA Chapter, or the President of my 4-H Club. We are all given a countless amount of opportunities. Most of them we take on, but the majority we miss. It is an opportunity like FFA that keeps me busy and directs me to the person I am to become. Before entering this organization I was a very shy and reserved individual that wanted nothing to do with speaking in front of people. Now you can’t keep me away from the podium leading 70 members in a monthly meeting.

    Coming from a family background of farmers who are hard to take away from their work; my family is very family oriented. I can say that my family played a huge role in making me the young lady that I am today. I know that as I become older I start to become more independent, but at the end of the day, I know that the only reason I am where I am today is because of my family. By family I’m not just talking about blood relatives. I have a large extended family in addition to my blood relatives. I look up to each and every one of them in many different ways.

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  11. Sarah Harrison says:

    Well That’s Not What I Expect: A 22 Year and Counting Journey

    I can’t be the first to come to the realization that life is not perfect. I certainly won’t be the last. So why was it that, while I was growing up, not one single adult sat me down and said “Hey, don’t feel bad about changing your plans. Try not to get to fixated on one possible outcome for things.” Or at least something along those lines. Why was it that coming from 2 parents who were married for over a decade before having me and THEN proceeded to get divorced, I never heard “It’s okay to be wrong, doesn’t change your value as a person”?? My parents engrained in to me from a young age that I needed to be the best. That failure was unacceptable and disappointing. That I needed to play the best in each sport, that I needed to get the best grades, that I needed to be the most presentable and be exactly what society idolizes. There was no room for B’s. B’s made my parents faces fall and their tone change. B’s got threats of “we’ll let it slide this time, but you need to study harder because this shouldn’t happen again.” If I didn’t want to play a sport it was never “well what would you enjoy doing?” And always “you need to play a sport because it will look good when you’re ready to go to college and it’ll keep you from gaining weight.” Now, forgetting all of the trauma that this caused me and my self image, it gave me a truly distorted sense of the world and of my parents. Needless to say, growing up I had a HUGE reality check when I figured out that EVERYONE makes mistakes, my path in life doesn’t have to be exactly what my parents laid out for me in order for me to be happy, and that my parents were normal people… and they were a mess themselves. I saw glimpses of this throughout my childhood, but my parents kept me so sheltered from the real world and inside this bubble of privilege that it didn’t really hit home for me until after I graduated high school. Then it all went “downhill”. At least it did in my parent’s eyes. Here’s where we get in to the rough and tumble stuff that shapes someone as a person and, by extension, shows you what your own happiness is. I graduated high school at 17 and had at least figured out by that point that I didn’t want to go to a university. Of course I was still telling myself it was because I wanted to stay close to home and save money, but it was a start. About 2 semesters in, however, I had already dropped out. Now, in my parent’s eyes, I had done the unspeakable. How dare I not focus on getting a college degree immediately after high school and then, immediately after that, get a job, then an apartment, then get married and have children and live happily ever after because that’s what they thought happiness should be? To me, though? I felt a sense of relief. I couldn’t articulate it and chalked it up (thanks to that wonderful self-image my childhood had fostered) me just being a lazy person. I was still working almost 40 hours a week though and exploring music, art and love, but that certainly couldn’t be really happiness…could it? Never the less, life continued. And while I made no attempt to go back to school amidst the threats of my parents to kick me out or make me pay all of my wages to them in rent, I was still not as miserable as I had been throughout all of high school. I felt guilty for not being miserable though. Certainly no one could or should feel happy when they were ‘failing’ so miserably at life. To make matters worse (actually it made life much better, I just wouldn’t realize it for a while) I got pregnant. 18 closing in on 19 years old, no degree, no career, still living at home and I was going to have a baby. I was terrified, My parents were mortified. And all of us had come to the conclusion that my life was over. Everything my parents said to me from that point on was condescending. Every decision of made was questioned. Certainly someone so stupid as to get pregnant this young couldn’t be capable of being in charge of their own life. My mother completely took over every part of my life. Where the baby would sleep, what the baby would eat once she could have solid food, when and where the baby would go to daycare, which vaccinations she would get if any. Now, up until this point I had dabbled in being a rebellious teen. A small act of rebellion here, a disagreement there, but still very much taking the advice of my parents because they had instilled in me that I was young, dumb and couldn’t possibly know any better. Don’t get me wrong, I had my own thoughts and opinions that actually greatly differed from my family’s. It wasn’t until I was 37 weeks pregnant, however, having a discussion with my mother about who SHE thought should be there when I was giving birth, that I snapped. It went a little something like this.
    “… your grandma should be there, and definitely your aunt Cathi, probably not Carolyn though because she isn’t as close with yo-“
    “No”
    “Excuse me?”
    “I said, ‘no’. I don’t want a bunch of people there when I give birth.”
    “That would be rude not to allow them to come. They’ll at least visit at the hospital after she’s born.”
    “No, I don’t want that. I don’t want them at the hospital. They can visit once I’m home and ready to see people.”
    “Sarah, you’re being selfish. They were all there when you were born and I was in the hospital-“
    “That’s great for you. I’M the one giving birth, though, and I don’t want them there. If you want to have another baby then you can choose who you want in the room. It’s my labor. I’ll be ‘selfish’ if I so please.”
    This would enrage my mother and cause her to throw what I can only describe as an adult tantrum in an attempt to get her way. I stood my ground. It may seem like an insignificant conversation, but to me it was a huge step in the direction of finding my own happiness. It was the first time I had truly advocated for myself and what felt right to me. No shame, no guilt. Just happiness. It was the first step (that would be followed by many others) towards learning that my happiness was important. Even if it looked different from someone else’s. Even if it pissed a few people off. It was my happiness. Having a child truly opened my eyes to considering what I wanted out of life and what would bring me joy. Cliche as it is, having a child helped me grow up and, in turn, helped me learn what true, authentic happiness looked like to me. Not to say that there haven’t been moments where I’ve felt unhappiness, but I was now able to rest assured that I’d bounce back. That I held the standards, the key to my own happiness and that it could look like whatever I wanted it to be. And I didn’t have to be ashamed or guilty about whatever it looked like. I learned that I would make mistakes and have moments where I was unsure or wanted to quit something, but I wasn’t any less deserving or capable of happiness.

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