I’m Going Home

 

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Not my window, but a dreamy window indeed

 

I can totally do this.

The past few days have been filled with pain and the past few nights have been filled with consciousness. I am tired and tired of studying. I am sick and suffering, but I can do this.

Two tests left. My window is open to let the cold, crisp air in and onto my face, and every now and then I remember to breathe. I have a playlist of Coldplay, Maroon 5 and Beyoncé to keep me from getting too bored of my material, and a yellow highlighter that matches my dried mango (god’s gift to man).

A classic study set-up.

Not only am I motivated and uplifted by the light I can glimpse at the end of the tunnel, but I now have something to look forward to: I’m going home. I moved away from my hometown when I was 7, and in many ways where I live now is a larger part of my identity. It’s where my family is, where most of my friends are, my school, and my past ten years of life. This culture now feels as much an inseparable part of my identity as the culture of my early childhood.

But still, the thought of going back for a visit makes the words “I’m going home!” shout in my mind, bang around and jump up and down (primarily as I try to study). For once I have something to look forward to, and by golly, is it uplifting.

I just feel like I can do this, I can make it through these tests and then go home. The first time I went back to visit was many years after we moved away, and at the sight of my neighborhood I began to cry in the back of the cab. Those tears were because I missed it all and I wished we’d never moved. The tears I’m sure will come this time will not be the same. I’m no longer a 7-year-old girl. In a few months time I will turn 18 and I will need to accept that the fibromyalgia will become a part of my adult life too.

This time I will cry because I really need a break from the reality of my life that is so often sad and frustrating.

This time I will cry tears of joy, because despite it all I love the person I have become and I know I would not be the same if we had never moved away.

This time I will cry, and then leave the tears aside and focus on being where I am. The Dalai Lama said that there are only two days that do not exist: yesterday and tomorrow. In my life, my yesterdays always carry over to my todays (in the form of a headache) and I can’t help but worry about all of my tomorrows.

This time I will cry.

Yours,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Millions of miles from home in the swirling, swimming on, when I’m rolling with the thunder, but bleed from thorns, leave a light, leave a light on. –Midnight, Coldplay

 

Stay tuned for part 2! I plan to write all about my trip.

Part 1: I’m Going Home

Part 2: I’m Home!

I Deserve a Nobel Prize

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At the end of last year, my classmates and I took certain country-wide tests that are a pretty big deal. I only took two, and therefore this year I have eleven. It’s going to be great fun. But the point is, we get our test results back only at the beginning of the following year.

Milling around the lobby of our school, the entire 11th and 12th grade (it’s not that many, don’t get excited, it comes out to 25 students or so) were chatting excitedly with each other. A senior was standing with all of the grade sheets (discreetly stapled so as only your name is visible), and handing them out. I walked up, took a deep breath as he searched for mine, and prepared myself.

Standing against the wall, my teacher happened to pass by (he taught one of the two subjects I was tested on), and I asked him if he wanted to be present for the historic moment. Yes, that’s how I worded it. He waited while I pried open the sheet of paper, shrieked, and passed it to him. 100! On both! On everything! He passed it to the principal who was passing by, who shrieked too (sort of) and congratulated me. All of that hard work last year, it served its purpose.

I joined the milling teenagers and pretty much everyone was satisfied with their grades (our school’s average on these tests is in the nineties). I was chatting with two girls about how despite being happy with the grade, it feels like there’s something missing…. Then I graced them with this beautiful dream scenario (the presenter is Ryan Seacrest, the result of watching the American Idol finale the other day):

I’m standing in a really fancy dress on a big stage, while a good-looking man in a suit (with pretty hair) walks up holding a gold envelope. The presenter (there will be a presenter) narrates to the audience, “The good-looking man is walking down stage to Ella, and is holding the gold results envelope in his right hand while his hair shines and swishes. He is presenting Ella with it. This is it, ladies and gentlemen, here- we- go. Ella is prying open the envelope, the results are in, she shoots, she…. She’s smiling, she scores!”

And the hall erupts into erroneous applause, everyone is on their feet, cheering and stamping! Confetti is falling from the heavens as my test scores flash on the screens behind me. A red carpet is being unrolled before me, and the good-looking man holds my hand as I navigate my way into the people. I’m laughing and crying, camera flashes are going off like I’m actually photogenic, and everyone is overjoyed on my behalf. The day is forever declared the “Ella did it” day, to be celebrated by no one, ever.

We were all talking about how this slip of paper doesn’t feel substantial enough, and we really just deserve the Nobel Prize. As my friend corrected though, we’ll settle for a simple Oscar or Emmy.

Instead, we just went on with our day. But that could have been nice. As it is, I’m very happy with my test scores and I’m glad all of my friends did well as well. This is exactly what I need to fill me with some sort of non-depressed feelings about starting school again. Now I’m a little bit buoyed. Mini yay!

Yours truly,

Ella

P.s. This post is dedicated to my friends, with whom I spent whole days cramming for these tests. Our study dates have a special place in my heart, forever.

Song Quote:

These are the days that bind you together, forever, and these little things will define you, forever. –Bad Blood, Bastille (alright, so the name of the song sounds negative, but this quote isn’t, so just go with it.)