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 If You Don’t Try, You Will Never Know

             Freshman year is quickly coming to an end with only four weeks left. It feels like just a month ago I was packing my bags into the trunk and crying out the window as we left my driveway. That was one of the hardest days of my life. I knew it was a new chapter in my life that would be the beginning of a new story but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to leave my closely-knit family and experience dorm life. I don’t like change. I was excited but scared, sad but curious. Saying goodbye to my friends who had been there for me for the last ten years of my life, to know fun times would turn into memories and that everyone would be departing their own way and finding a new path was unimaginable. Everyone was so excited to leave the small town of Petaluma and leave their nagging parents and strict rules. I wasn’t. I just wasn’t ready. Still don’t know if I am.

Maybe that was the reason my transition was so hard. Maybe that is why I couldn’t open myself up and accept these changes. It was hard, probably one of the hardest times of my life so far. Being far away from home where I had no family or friends, where I couldn’t just go home for a nicely cooked meal and where support wasn’t just in the next room over. That was hard. I just wasn’t happy and all I wanted was to be happy again. I missed my family and friends, I missed my home but most of all I missed comfort. There was none here for me and I wanted to get out of here so bad. I began transfer apps and other options. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to come back for second semester. It was just too much change at once.

Second semester began and completely turned things around. I was done being upset, I was done crying to the point where I couldn’t stop, and I was just done with it. I came back for second semester with a new attitude, an idea that things could and would get better and they did. I can’t really explain how and why it happened but things just started coming together. Unneeded relationships from home were ended and my soon to be best friend entered my life. I am a strong believer of that quote, “when you have enough courage to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” and that is exactly what happened. I guess things really do happen for a reason and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have been in a while.

Even though first semester was terrible, people were worried about me and I felt so lost and weak, like it was out of my control. But it taught me a lot and as much as I wanted to give up and go home or transfer, I am so happy I stuck through it because it changed me as a person and taught me a lot of good lessons. It taught me that no matter how hard things get, that they will get better. And I am honestly so proud I got through some of the toughest months of my life. It gives you a feeling that you can conquer anything. This experience showed me my true friends and family and how grateful I am for them. It also just made me a stronger person all around. I feel determined and lucky to be here now. You can tell it’s a good sign when you look forward to the future! The difference between semesters is night and day, my whole world changed around and I am so grateful for that. I am capable. Sometimes people need to fall down and get back up to realize that.


Twisted with thoughts

Alone with fear

Confused by words

Hurt by silence


Fuzzy like the black and white films from the past;

Hazed like cloudy December days.


Warm butterflies, soft heart, comforting arms

Jealous feelings, sharp stabs, unexpected twists


The inconsistency, the tormenting, the daunting ideas,

The compassion, the hope,

The dream that this may last forever


Fear holds us back, holds us from that feeling.

Fear embodies the brain and empowers it.

Fear of rejection, fear of love, fear of dishonesty, fear of trust

But, if you don’t try something you fear, how will you ever know?


It is powerful and weak,

It is scary and beautiful

We may be lost with it,

But really we are lost without it.



“Think about it: a time when newly graduated college kids could come to New York and get paid to write. We had no clue what were embarking on careers that would vanish with a decade.”

Nick and Amy from Gone Girl were both writers who lost their job. In the first couple pages of the book, Nick explains his magazine career that soon vanished with the creation of the Internet. This quote was taken directly from the text when Nick explains the large change in the writer’s world. This idea stuck out to me because my Dad works in the magazine business in New York City and he is experiencing similar issues.

He graduated with a master’s degree in Journalism and lived in the heart of magazine business, New York. When he first started, the magazine business was a high and acknowledgeable business to be in. It was flourishing. When I was a young child he was working in the US weekly and then New York Magazine. He was a writer and wrote and edited articles for the magazine. He noticed the shift in the business as time progressed.

He moved to Colorado about seven years ago because he was done with the city life and he adored Colorado for the weather and the number of active people. A couple years later he decided to move back to New York to make money and get a career again. This time, it was harder, a lot harder. Finding a job in the magazine business was struggling because they weren’t hiring a lot of people and their businesses were falling. He finally got a job as an editing manager and is still involved in that business but he sees the dying business first hand and says, there won’t be magazines pretty soon. A lot of Dad’s work is for the online publication of the magazine. He says that with the creation of Ipads, the magazine business has taken a turn for the worst. People aren’t buying hard copies of magazines because they can just get it on their Ipad or computers. This business like Nick explains, is coming to an end. Something that was so amazing and popular is dying because of the technology advances. Some say this is a good thing and others don’t. It will save trees, that’s for sure, but people like my Dad and Nick will loose their job that was once high paying.

Gone Girl (pages 3-65)

The thickness of the book was worrisome to me. A four hundred page book can be intimidating, especially with all of your other classes as a college student; reading a hundred pages a week is a lot. I am not much of a reader, never was, but just the beginning of the book was a breeze. I usually want to pull my hair out after reading 60 pages in one night, but I actually enjoyed it. The author’s structure keeps the reader on edge because it’s different. His choice of alternating perspectives and times through each chapter is interesting. One chapter is told from the husband in the present perspective and the next chapter told by the wife where you learn about the past. The structure and choices the writer makes really captures my attention, along with the intense plot and blunt diction.

The imagery and comparisons made throughout the writing emphasizes the language. His use of simile and the thoughtful adjectives he uses creates power: power through diction. As an example, Nick explains the intricacy of Amy’s mind by saying “her brain, all those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast frantic centipedes.” This sentence could have easily been written saying ‘her mind is complex with a lot of thoughts constantly running through her mind’. Both relay the same message, one is just more affective. As a writer, I think the author does a stellar job of creating emphasis and strong images. This simile the author uses has impact, instead of saying her thoughts are fast, the frantic centipede relays the image and idea much more effectively and creatively.

The tone of the novel is somewhat conversational, which helps the readers be attentive and engaged. It’s not like reading a Shakespearian play where most of the language is completely foreign to you. That is challenging to even pay attention to, let alone comprehend. The author’s uses of swear words allow the words to jump out of the page. You can actually hear him saying the phrase in your head as your reading the words across the page. I find it that the use of conversational tone and swear words makes the literature more personable, which than again makes it more engaging and interesting for the reader.

In addition, the author does a good job of making the reader believe one thing, when really that may not be true. For example, the deep descriptions about Nick and Amy’s profound and intimate love and the “soul mate” references make the reader believe their love is genuine and real and that nothing could come between them. However, at the end of the reading Nick explains his reaction that came out of no where, “a killer smile.” As the author has done all this preliminary work to make the reader believe Nick would never do anything, this foreshadows and leaves the reader purely confused.

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got. Forgiveness isn’t easy but it’s the sunshine that allows you to grow”

My Dad has never really been there for me. He chooses to live 3000 miles away and has really kept his distance my whole childhood. Time is fragile and with every second, minute, month, year that passes is time you will never get back. For the longest time, I resented my Dad. I chose not to visit him or really even communicate with him. I was so hurt and almost ashamed that someone who is suppose to be so important in my life, would just leave. I was angry that my own father was content with how his relationship with his kids turned out. I was frustrated that he never made an effort to make a change. All that hurt, resentment and anger towards one person wasn’t healthy for me or anyone. It wasn’t doing anything for me and it sure wasn’t making things better.

It wasn’t until recently that this quote played a role in my life and attitude. Maybe it had to do with me maturing and growing up, I don’t know but sometimes you just have to accept that apology your never going to get. It simply just makes things easier. The biggest mistake someone can make it having high expectations because you just let yourself down. I finally came to the conclusion that the only person hurting and suffering was me. It just kind of hit me one day that there was no use in being angry or waiting for a long tearful conversation with numerous apologies and regrets. It wasn’t going to happen. However, everything is a choice and it was a choice for me to accept that wasn’t going to happen. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you forget the crime but it means your ready to move past it

Within the last year, my Dad and I have stepped foot into a new relationship. He came to California for my graduation and then in September to visit me at Chapman, something that never would have happened before. I planned a trip out to New York this winter to visit him for a week. I know I have changed and by doing that for myself, I allowed him a second chance to be someone different. I want him to be my Dad but that would be impossible to get if my anger and distance stood in the way.

I know things aren’t perfect and I know there is time that he missed that I can never redo but I am happy to see things progressing. I know this has changed me forever but I also know that accepting this apology that wasn’t going to happen, has taken a huge weight off my shoulder. There is nothing I want more than to have a strong, healthy relationship with my own father.

“We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.” –Christopher McDougall

This quote was taken directly from last weeks reading in the second chapter of Born to Run, and for me it meant more than its literal meaning. The author embedded this phrase into his writing for the literal and metaphorical impact on the reader. As he talks about how running has affected him, he explains that running is part of our everyday life and is essential in his personal lifestyle. As human beings, when we are scared or threatened by a certain situation, we are taught to run and flee the area. When we are excited, we run around to express our joy or purely to have a good time.

However, the metaphorical connotation derived from these words stood out to me even more. The parallel structure and repetition of this sentence caught my eye and created emphasis. It made me reread the sentence over, even highlight it and think about it. It is inevitable that we do literally run in all these scenarios, but it also portrays our natural instinct to escape reality at times. We “run” around to have a good time so we persuade ourselves that we are happy. We tend to try to dodge our problems, and avoid them at all costs because it is simply easier. We want to hide when we are scared because it is safer. The author portrays the good and the bad associated with our instinct of running as a human kind and it was an interesting concept to see how one action can have several meanings.

This sentence, in particular, stood out because I can closely relate to it. I find myself constantly running, never just static and content. I often run around all the time looking for something and forget what I have. This is true with a lot of people because sometimes “running” is just easier.

Can passion really be defined? Are we born with our passions or do they arise as we grow old?

I envy those with passions, those who can have the worst day and be brought instant happiness when they practice what they love to do. My friend’s passion is singing. Whenever she is on the verge of tears, singing can build her up. The power of passion is so great. It lifts the soul with courage, strength and happiness. Passions can broad from singing to sports, knitting to kites. They are what you make them to be.

I always wondered what my passion was. When I was having a hard time, I wanted that one thing to fall back on that could make everything just a little bit better: something that I truly loved to do. I played softball and soccer for years but I gave those up without hesitation. It wasn’t until recently that I actually did have a passion but I didn’t realize the power of it until it was gone.

I was an equestrian; I rode horses for most of my childhood. It came naturally to me and I remember the exact swaying on the back of the horse, with the wind hitting your face and rushing through your hair. The feeling as if you were free, riding with no worries. It was my favorite feeling and my greatest joy. The connection your make with your horse resembles a best friend. Together, we went riding bareback on the beaches, trail riding and then to competitions, even made it to the state fair.

I hadn’t realized what I gave up until it was long gone. I stopped horseback riding in my sophomore year of high school because I wanted to focus on my traveling soccer. However, like I said that ended shortly before my senior year due to coach and team downfalls.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss the memories and my horse. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss the wind in my hair and the sway of the ride.