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summer polaroids

i have three weeks until i leave for los angeles. back home i go. 

it's weird. i'm living these summer moments home candidly and with the intention and the knowledge that they will be my last in this sort of situation, as a high schooler living in new york. that's weird to me. i won't be seeing anyone from home until november. what????? i'm on my own. 

i thought i'd reflect on a few photos that don't exactly sum up my summer but thought were indicative of the sort of stuff i've been up to. they're not in no particular order because chaotic order is more style. or organized chaos, i guess.

i've been walking around and eating and dining and making and doing and cooking and baking and reading and relaxing and visiting museums and seeing people and eating ice cream and dying on the really hot days. 

i remind myself every few days that i must really savor these moments with the people i love here. this is not an ordinary moment. thank you to everyone who's made it special.

i was grey
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here's the thing about graduating at my school. you wear white. pure, crisp, blinding white. or, at least, that's what you're supposed to wear. commencement is a big deal for obvious reasons: it's a nod at our efforts to succeed at school for the past 13 years and it's a celebration of our last moments of being a teenager in high school. like a lot of other schools, we honor our graduation with diplomas, singing, and our families and close friends in front of us while we grin onstage. we are being championed for us. i am being championed for me. 

the symbolic purity of white dresses is something i've only found at my school, (though i know others do it as well in the city). i wasn't exactly white though.

on graduation day, i knew it was coming-- looks (greatly disapproving) and comments towards my dress. i acknowledged that i was pushing white. even though i had expected some pushback before i came to school, i was still so excited to feel beautiful on a day that celebrates me for me, because that's what commencement is all about, right?

someone had approached me before we walked on stage and told me that the color of my dress would ruin pictures. i kind of spiraled into a whirlpool of self-deprecating and self-conscious mind junk after that. 

i did not feel beautiful, i was insecure. i felt ashamed. i didn't smile wholeheartedly until i realized that people didn't have to look me up and down anymore. the biggest day of our entire upper school life and i showed up looking abnormal. 

but eventually i sucked it up. 

i am me for me. maybe my dress wasn't white, but it was me. "irrefutably you" is what one of my friends told me. 

and that was it.

i was grey. 

⌇ 

i'm learning
 image by  haleyisokay

image by haleyisokay

i'm learning.

two weeks ago there was a mass shooting in parkland, florida. i'm ashamed to have only just felt this intense urge to do something now, after so many other tragedies.

i'm inspired and empowered by the voices of my fellow teenagers. the survivors of parkland have transformed and gained hold of the national dialogue. in those two short weeks, they've already enacted change.

i'm learning to use my voice too.

i'm learning to become more educated on our country's current standing on gun control among about other issues that i am passionate about (of which, at times, it seems there are too many). 

i'm learning to call my state and local reps and communicate my own views.

i'm learning to break the boundary of doing, beyond planning, beyond hypotheticals. 

vote! organize. walk. scream. march. debate. and continue.

i'm learning to do all of these things. i'm finding the power to do all of these things.