searching for a guide through life


I love that last section in Oprah’s magazine.. Not necessarily what’s in its contents from month to month but just that title. I love it. ‘What I know for sure.’ Well, this entry isn’t technically a ‘what I know for sure’ but rather a what i’ve learned through the years piece. Lord knows I still have a LOT more to learn, but here’s some bits and pieces of stuff that I have learned…

+If you want to learn things, sometimes you just have to teach yourself+

One of the kinda ‘sad, but true’ lessons I’ve learned. My brother and sister – they are a lot to look up to. I mean, sure I probably know how to do things that they don’t, but natural sibling rivalry and perhaps being in the position of the middle child sometimes has me thinking that I wish I could do some of the things they can do. Like my brother, I know he isn’t the great computer genius like I’ve thought of him in the past, but he does know how to do a lot with computers. And for the longest time I’ve been begging him to teach me.. I would LOVE to make my own website, and it would be nice to at least know what to do if my computer crashed one day. But when I asked him to teach me, his response was to learn myself, like he did…  My sister has found ways to occupy herself this summer by learning how to sew on the sewing machine and recently learning things on Adobe Photoshop. My whole approach was “okay, Carin, you learn and then you teach me.” As of now, I have yet to master even the beginning skills of either. Now I have learned a great deal of stuff through teachers. I pick up things easily but it’s nice to have that lead and instruction. But what I’ve learned also, thanks in part to my siblings, is that sometimes you just have to teach yourself. I mean, every teacher had to learn somewhere and it’s not truly out of your reach to pick up some related books, to look up some online info, or to set time out to just do some trial and error to work out the kinks for yourself. And not only will you have learned something useful to you, there’s a type of pride in knowing that you’ve learned it all on your own. Moving on to the next lesson…

+You can do it!!+

Haha. Everytime I hear these words I think of that Geico commercial with the exercise instructor. I love that commercial! But anyways, this lesson is similarly related to the first one. The thing is that sometimes you don’t even realize it, but you are the one holding you back from what you want. There’s this little voice in the back of your head going “You can’t do this. Who are you kidding?” And you don’t even realize you’re hearing this or actually sunconsciously believing in it. Of course, there’s the excuses.. I don’t have time.. Such and such is a roadblock for me… But truly, deep inside, (and yeah, I know I can really be optimistic at times) you can do anything you set your mind too. (And I’m talking in the positive, accomplishment way, not like “yeah, you can rob that bank” or “yeah, you can take over the world.”) I mean, look around. Okay, yeah, I may only be 18 years old, but hey, there are many people out there, my own age and younger, doing the damn thing and going for their dreams. There’s the celebrities – the rappers, singers, actors/actresses, models, ballplayers – but then again, there are the business CEOs and entreprenuers, the inventors, the prodigies. There are the everyday folk who have worked at so and so store since age 14 or something and are being considered a management position. There are the kids who hung out at the local garage or tattoo parlor and are now finally coming in to their own. And then there’s me – a kid with DREAMS but nothing else to my name. I mean, yeah, I am going to college. And higher education is wonderful. But I could have written a novel by now and I could be working towards developing my own publishing company. I mean, nothing’s holding me back if I choose not to let it. Everyone has hardships and roadblocks but the first step to curing it is to believe 150% that you can do it. Onto a different subject…

+If you love someone, let them know+

Now as I’m naming these lessons, I want to clear up the fact that these are just struggles I’ve personally dealt with and the lessons I’ve learned coming out. Some things I haven’t exactly put into play yet, even at the second, third, etc. chance around.. Like this one. I don’t always put it out, but I’m going to be straightfoward and honest. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I’ve never been kissed. That said, I’m not a virgin to the whole love deal because I have fallen in love before. So much an optimist, I can be very critical and picky about love. So I wouldn’t say I’ve been in love unless it was the real deal. I fell in love at the age of 12 and I don’t care WHAT people say — I know my truth. Met him when I was 9 and turned him down everytime he’d ‘ask me out’ back in elementary school. When I first knew I was in love with him, I hadn’t even spoken to him in over a year. (He had moved to another school.) Since then, I have barely spoken to him either – although we had been TIGHT back in the fourth grade. The last time I saw him was March 2004. The last words I said to him was “goodbye.” For so long, I had agonized about my feelings for him, cried over the fact that I messed up by pushing him away and never telling him how I felt. Falling for him changed my everything – especially the way I saw all other guys – and I was upset over the fact that I never had closure… I never got to say “goodbye.” So when I saw him so unexpectedly working at McDonald’s that day, I made sure that I got that last “goodbye” in.. I don’t even remember if he said it back.. All I remember is the look in his eyes. Still now, today, I hold regrets about him. And I really do regret never letting him know that I loved him.. and always will. Telling a person strong feelings like that is scary.. it’s crazy.. but it’s real. What’s the use in denying it? Although there’s always going to be that whole “well, does he/she feel the same about me?” thought in your mind, you have to remember that love doesn’t always come in pairs. You can love and not be loved back. And someone you don’t love can love you. I remember when this boy told me (in an original poem he’d written and shown me) that he loved me. Though sweet in thought, I was totally weirded out by the whole notion. I had no romantic feelings for him whatsoever and probably viewed him more as an associate than even a friend. So I let him down gently, but still, to this day, we talk. He stills cares for me and I’ve grown to appreciate that and I’ve grown to even genuinely care for him back. But best believe, he won’t be “wearin’ me down” (ie. Steve Urkel) in the future, near or far. But basically, we’re cool. I admire people for speaking their true feelings, and I wish I told my first love how I truly felt. So in the future, if I fall in love again (and I think I might have like two years ago — and again, not told the boy who I felt), I hope I’ll get up the courage to speak my mind.

This has only been a sample of my lessons learned and perhaps this will be a ‘to be continued’. But it’s getting late, and I gotta go to bed so that I can get up in the morning and learn some new lessons perhaps…

love life. live love.


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