The Beginning of Junior Year, and Life

by Joy Lin

by Joy Lin

Student from La Jolla Country Day School, Class of 2019

I still remember how people tried to scare me about this year. They said I would feel the completely different stress as soon as the semester started.

And I did feel it. The tense time arrangement of study, sports and socialization were so different, busy and even exciting. Three AP courses may sound challenging, but it just felt like going back to the high school in China. I used to think that American History and English would be the most difficult, but I could actually handle all the assigned essays, projects and tests so far. In the more advanced dance class, which focused on choreography ability I was not confident with, I surprisingly found out that the inspiration just kept coming up to me no matter what type of dance I was working on.

Last year, I played both seasons of tennis and softball. I did not have to play another sport this year to graduate but still chose tennis again in order to release myself from the boring exercise of jogging. I learned and hit every ball as hard as possible, and also tried to join the conversation with my teammates. The coach even said I was gradually becoming more outgoing. I was able to chat with people in a relaxing way. I kept making new friends. They either shared the same interest with or always picked a different way from me, but we could still have heart-to-heart talks. There was neither awkwardness during socialization nor loneliness or distance even if I stayed alone.

To be a junior, it seemed that everything worked smoothly and even better than before. However, the most comfortable period of a day to me was actually the mealtime.

My parents used to ask me all the time to put down my phone and focus on the eating. I thought that would be too boring, but now it has been the excuse for me to relax. Every day I was looking forward to having lunch. I would appreciate every bite of every meal because I could not eat anymore if I felt full. The whole motivation of my life has become the next meal. Maybe I was so interested in food that I went crazy for it, so I even started to consider about a related major in college.

Or the enjoyment was just simply because eating would be the most relaxing and healing time in my day.

Some of my friends often mentioned how suddenly and unreasonably happy they were when we met each other. Then I would smile as the response to these excited people, waiting for them to cry about other things happening in a few hours.

I thought they were too childish. They said I had too plain sentiments, so I could not feel them. In a trance, I realized that it has been a long time for me to attain the excitement without any reasons. It has been a long time for me to act crazily, screaming that I love them to any of my friends, singing out loud in public, or behaving ridiculously but bravely.

I was probably too jealous to take a glance at their dramas.

At that time, the only two things bringing me happiness were eating and going back home, the real home.

Rather than getting homesick, I would like to go back to the past. The past is filled by devouring and being freezed by the popsicle after jogging with dad on weekends, by carefully looking towards my crush on purpose and quickly moving my sight away from him at school, by wandering in the bakery and enjoying the fresh smelling of bread and cakes, by always choosing the farthest way home from school just for chatting for longer with friends, by being blamed by mom when stopping having dinner to watch TV, by being reminded of eating fruits while doing homework, and by fast typing in the darkness and being forced to put down the phone before sleeping.

Consequently, I could not imagine how on earth I got so much free time, and I even miss the most boring news on TV at that time.

Have I ever regretted? No and never. It is already so much better than the situation of having no goals, being confused and helpless, and spending every day in a seemingly relaxing but painful mode. The laziness of human nature and pressure in my mind keep fighting against each other and cooperating to torment me together.

At present, I am busier but feeling easier. I enjoy my new host family and roommate, enjoy my food and weight, enjoy hanging out with friends at school, and enjoy my satisfying grade. I am already owning enough happiness not to regret even a little bit.

Now I am finally able to walk in my own way, but why am I still feeling so tired?

Probably every way is tiring like this.

Is it right to have this kind of busy and tiring period?

I am enjoying it though while solving the tasks one by one in order. Someone told me it was a gift to have fun in anything and keep up with it.

If everything making up my life is interesting, why am I still desiring for fun?

I seem to be bothered by confusion again, which I expected myself to never step in again. Isn’t it an advantage in some ways if I tend to write more about it?

Sure enough that people have to be busier, or they will think too much unnecessarily even if they sometimes enjoy their thoughts.

Once I even question myself whether my affectation is only an excuse for writing although it has been a while for me to start a new fiction. I do not remember if I was at the same spot before deciding to study abroad here.

But I am fortunately used to writing down all the ideas immediately after coming up with them. The speed of inspiration is too much faster than memory for me to catch up with. Oppositely, I often seem to remember all the conception but have no clues to the problems of a stressed math exam.

Therefore, I usually circle the unsure part and move on to the next question first. We have to keep starting another journey. Being busy with and enjoying the life in front of me, I can leave everything remained to time afterward.

What is the phrase again? Living at present?

No, it is that “sorry, you don’t have access to your future at this second, so please wait and continue trying hard with all your patience and positive mind.”

Understanding this is such a relief. My interest is still changing from one subject to another, while I do not sensitively consider my future major anymore. It is too early for me to be anxious about it, and I just need to bravely try doing well in every course. When hearing that my friends plan to go shopping on weekends, I will not wonder why they have so much free time and energy to go out, while I only enjoy simple and comfortable days. We just have different lifestyles. In some days, I can do a shorter jogging and dance in my room instead if I feel like it. Without eating too much during a meal or extra dessert, I will definitely taste the new cake baked by my host family. After working hard for the whole day, it is understandable to watch some shows or surf online as a little bit reward.

Gradually, I feel that food is not as worth rushing to get, but still important enough to support my life for sure. I seldom stare at every single one airplane breaking the blue overhead and imagine I am on my way home with it, but still look forward to the break. I mean, who doesn’t?

The life is just starting. It will be so wonderful if I can keep the gift of enjoying and appreciating each moment now.

印象中有过很多人吓我,说十一年级一开始就感觉完全不一样。

确实不一样,忙碌得很让人兴奋,对于学习、运动和社交的时间安排都紧张又刺激。三门理科AP听起来好像很有挑战性,但其实也不过是好像回到国内的初高中;想象中最为困难的美国历史和英语大概是因为学期刚开始的缘故,作文和考试对自己来说都意外的得心应手;高了一个级别的舞蹈课很注重我一直没有自信的原创能力,却惊喜地发现自己尝试各种即兴编舞都能够灵感不断。

去年打过网球和垒球两个赛季,今年其实可以不用参与一项运动来满足毕业要求,但我还是继续选择了网球,为了让自己从平时跑步锻炼的枯燥中挣脱一会儿。每一球都认真地学用力去打,也试着大胆加入队友的聊天,教练说我不知不觉好像变外向了。可以更自然又有趣地聊天,身边有了新的朋友,志趣相投或是道路不一却可以谈心。与人交往不会尴尬芥蒂,独身一人不会无助疏离。

踏足十一年级,好像一切都很顺甚至是比以往更好的样子。但好像,最顺的时候竟是每天的饭点。

以前父母老叫我放下手机专心吃饭,我嫌无聊,现在却成了放松的藉口。每天最期待的时刻就是吃饭,每一餐的每一口食物我都会满心感激,毕竟饱了就不能吃了。整个人生活下去的动力好像就变成了下一顿,我以为我是对食物太感兴趣以至于疯魔了,甚至开始联想起最近感兴趣的化学而认真思考大学相关专业的可能性。

但也许这只是单纯因为,只有吃饭能够成为一天中最轻松治愈的时刻了吧。

身边的几个朋友,会在某天偶遇时突然提到自己今天不知原因地心情很好,做什么事都很激动。然后我会笑笑地回应,心里暗道幼稚,等着几个小时后她们又来哭丧着脸诉说其他事。

她们说我是情绪太没起伏了,所以体会不到那种心情。恍惚间回忆起,我已经很久没有那种莫名兴奋的时刻了,可以随便抓着一个好友恶俗地示爱,可以不顾场合唱起歌来,可以表现得浮夸又堂堂正正。

所以大概是嫉妒了吧,才会对她们不屑一顾。

现在唯二能让我想到就突然有点开心感觉的事,除了吃饭,就是回家。

与其说是想家,倒不如是想回到过去。和爸爸周末跑步完哈着凉气还大口吞咽绿豆冰棒的时候,在学校故意与喜欢的人对视又假装匆忙瞥开的时候,放学可以尽情逛面包店的时候,回家路上一定要绕远路只为了多聊一会天的时候,晚饭时盯着电视里一遍一遍循环的动画片而被妈妈说幼稚又伤胃的时候,做作业被提醒吃水果的时候,睡前在黑暗中飞快地打字而被突袭催促着放下手机的时候。

于是会感叹自己当时哪来的那么多空闲,现在我连以往最无事可干的新闻联播时间都想念得不得了。

后悔吗?却不后悔。尤其是比起出国前一年在家里专攻美高理科却又毫无努力的目标,迷茫无措之际,每天都过得悠闲堕落又痛苦。天性里的懒惰和心理压力不断互相抗争,却齐心协力折磨着我而惶惶不可终日。

现在忙碌的自己要心安理得的多。我喜欢新的住家和室友,喜欢自己的食物与身材,喜欢在学校的朋友圈,喜欢自我满意的成绩。我现在这么幸福,所以不后悔,一点也不。

终于已经走上自己的路了啊,可是怎么还是这么累呢?

或许每条路都是这么累的吧。

这样的忙碌,真的是对的吗?

可是我明明很享受啊,在把一个个任务排序解决的时候。有个人告诉我这是天赋,我可以在任何事中找到乐趣并坚持下去。

如果组成人生的每件事都是乐趣,那我怎么会渴望乐趣呢?

我好像又开始困惑了,一个我自以为再也不会陷足的状态。这种心境下,好像会写出更多的东西,从某种意义上来讲是好事吧?

果然,人还是不能闲,一闲下来就容易想七想八,虽然自己在这过程中是很惬意。

有时候我都怀疑自己的矫揉造作是为了能够继续写东西而找的借口,虽然我已经有一段时间没有开始新文了。我不记得自己到底是决定走上美高这条路之后变成了现在这样,还是原本就经历着相同的感受。

但我很庆幸保持了随时写下脑洞的习惯。有时候想法的速度比记忆快太多了,我跟不上。相反的情况应该是数学考试的时候,明明似乎都记得概念却是无从下手,虽然这是题外话。

把有困惑的地方圈出来记着,先去面对下一题,人总是要不断出发的。先忙碌并享受着眼前的事,然后把接下来的一切都交给时间。

那个词怎么说来着?活在当下?

不,是抱歉您对未来暂无访问权限,请带着耐心积极地等待并继续努力。

领悟了这点之后,好像就可以活得释然一点了。对于学科的兴趣一直在变也不会过于敏感地思考专业方向,焦虑还为时太早,敢想敢尽全力学好每一节课就行;听说朋友周末逛街的计划也不会去思考她们怎么那么多空闲和对出去玩的兴趣,而我只是喜欢安逸而已,不同的人有不同的生活方式;有时候少跑一圈,在房间里多跳点舞效果也会等量;没有正餐暴食或吃额外甜品的情况下,晚上尝尝住家的蛋糕也还是可以做小仙女的;完成功课的话看会儿吃播或是舔屏爱豆,给自己的努力一点奖励也无可厚非。

然后渐渐就感觉,食物也没有那么值得急不可耐了,当然还是很重要到支撑自己活下去的地步;不会盯着每一架破开湛蓝的民航,幻想那是自己回家的飞机,但也会满心欢喜地期待着放假的那一天。谁不是呢?

生活才刚刚开始,会享受会感激现在这一刻的天赋,如果能够一直这么延续下去就好了。