BEDA Day 31: On Heroism, the Bright Side, and My Rollercoaster that Only Goes Up

It’s the last day of BEDA, so I want to end with a hopeful note: an uplifting closing statement to wrap up my month of daily blogging and, on the grander spectrum, my summer. A lot of things happened to me over the past months – some good, some bad – but I’ve learned from all of them.

I fell in love and then had my heart broken. But you know what? That’s okay. I couldn’t have picked a better person to fall for and I couldn’t have asked for a better way for it to end. It wasn’t in God’s plan for me, and I accept that. It’s taught me a lot about the fragility of things and most importantly, it’s taught me that I have so much more in my life besides relationships and boys and petty fancies. I am out conquering the world: writing novels, becoming the next Yo Yo Ma (ha – I wish), spreading intellectualism in my little ways. I have beautiful friends and happiness surrounding me. I have so much to live for, and even though what happened was painful, and even though it was (is) so important to me, of the life I’m living. An important speck, yes, but a speck. I am going to do so much more in this life of mine, and honestly, I can’t help but smile at the memories. They’re sad memories: but they’re sad because there was so much joy that came before them. And the joy is the important part. That’s what I have to remember.

I learned a lot about my family this summer, too. My family is nuts and crazy and every single one of us is a force to be reckoned with. I’m not sure why it is that God decided that all of us needed to have strong, stubborn personalities, but we do – so we clash. Frequently. But part of being graceful and humble and, well, loving your family, is holding them in a higher esteem than you hold yourself. Deferring to their opinion to avoid a fight. Allowing them to have their way. Not making them feel stupid over something they’ve said. Overcoming my own stubborn, I-am-always-right frame of mind and being a little more subordinate than I would like. I love my family, and they drive me a little less crazy when they’re not all shouting at one another. 😉

Another thing I learned this summer: perseverance and hard work. This came out especially in my cello over the summer. I had auditions and a recital that I had to prep for – I practiced every day for months and months straight, and that stubbornness I mentioned earlier comes out in my inability to give up when I really want something. I work for what I want, even if practicing sucks up all my free time or it’s boring or it’s hard, and I think that was really driven home for me this summer. Nothing ever just falls into your lap. It’s not that easy.

A note on heroism before I move on. This morning I went down to the hospital for my third appointment in my series of can-we-please-take-my-wisdom-teeth-out-already appointments. The operation was scheduled for 9/11 (but it’s been moved — again) (active duty military guys apparently have trump points when it comes to making an appointment, so I’ve been usurped twice), which got me talking to my mom about 9/11. I think sometimes people forget that 9/11 wasn’t just the Twin Towers, but also the Pentagon, and then the one plane where the passengers overcame the terrorists and crashed it into a field to prevent it from hurting anyone else.

I mean, that’s heroism right there.

And then I started thinking about the shootings in Aurora, Colorado – about those men who threw themselves over the women they loved and sacrificed themselves for them. That’s heroism again.

And the way I see it is this: bad stuff happens. We can’t change tragedy. But we can find the best of humanity brought out by the worst. The heroes amid the villains. We can either focus on the bad, or we can celebrate the good. 9/11 was an awful, awful tragedy, but the heroes who saved lives and sacrificed themselves give me hope.  The men who gave their lives to shield others from the spray of bullets – they give me hope. They remind me that even though awful things happen, good shines through the bad. Heroic, beautiful, self-giving acts are brought to the light of day. The clouds part and we remember that in the midst of tragedy and loss and corruption, there is good. And it’s beautiful. Tragic, but beautiful.

Focusing on the bad in life will get you nowhere: you have to look up. Chin up, I always tell my friends who are upset about something. Chin up, feel the sun on your face and remember to look forward. Time goes on. Sometimes it crawls in a petty pace from day to day ( 😉 ), but it is bringing a better tomorrow.

Right now, my tomorrows are looking pretty good. I am riding a roller coaster that only goes up, my friends. I have a dance next week and then orchestra starts up for real, (and at some point I get my wisdom ripped out of my skull, so, yay) and then we move and I get to decorate and lovely things, and this whole while I’m having a fantastic time with school because my classes are so awesome, and then it’s my birthday, and then Halloween, and then there are some other things thrown in there but let’s skip to CHRISTMAS because I love Christmas more than anything… And then New Year’s and prom later on and… Yeah. This school year is gonna be awesome.

I don’t really like this roller coaster metaphor, though, and you know why? Because only going up on a roller coaster means that the whole time, you’re waiting in fear for that moment when it suddenly drops. And honestly, the roller coaster speeding downward is the best part. But the analogy does work in one way: when my roller coaster takes a turn and speeds downward, I’m going to throw my hands up and not let it worry me. After all, it always shoots back up eventually – and I refuse to live my life dreading the point when it’s not awesome anymore.

Who am I kidding. My life is always awesome. 😉 But that’s only because it’s filled with people I love and books and cello and all the things that matter so much to me. So thank you for being in my life and making it awesome. I don’t think I could have made it past the lowest point on my roller coaster without all of you.

Really quickly, before I go and get back to Beowulf… Starting as soon as I finish the Great Gatsby (it’s awesome so far), I’d like to begin a series of critical book analyses (but done in a fun way, of course) where I review the book and point out some things that I liked and try and uncover some of the metaphors and hidden meanings (if there are any to be found — not everything I’m going to read will be a classic, deep book). Here’s a little preview of the books you might see.

Probably not in this order, maybe not all of these, hopefully more (think Dickens, and Verne, and Salinger, and some more of the classics – I have a number of books on hold at the library). Also, if anyone has read The Sound and the Fury, tell me if I should read that one – I’m going to have to clear it with my parents first, but I saw it on our shelves and it looks good and the title is a reference to that Macbeth excerpt I quoted yesterday, so where can it go wrong? 😉

Have a great night all of you – I will write again next Wednesday. I’m taking the weekend off. I think I’ve earned it.

Love & best wishes,


3 comments on “BEDA Day 31: On Heroism, the Bright Side, and My Rollercoaster that Only Goes Up

  1. Julia Byers says:

    Ooh, please do “Around the World in Eighty Days!” I’ve always wanted to read that one, and this’ll give me an excuse!

  2. Rachel R. says:

    I love your views on heroes in our world. Sometimes you don’t realize how much someone means to you until they’re either dead or a death’s door. But if you can save that person whom you love dearly, you do it. Without any thought usually about yourself and your own safety. That is why those men from colorado who died to save their girlfriends are called heroes. Without even caring about themselves, they threw themselves over their girlfriends and took the bullets for them. I believe that those girlfriends will forever be grateful and if they aren’t, they shouldn’t have been with those chivalrous men in the first place. I believe that we will be calling on heroes soon to defend what is good and just. I hope I’m not right, because if those heroes have to get called on, our world will not be in the proper order. And many of those brave heroes will die for us. That is why I don’t know why so many people don’t respect our veterns or anyone from the army. They faced death everyday to keep us safe and what do they get in return? For most, nothing. A few who are blessed can get a job. What has our world come to when we can’t provide for those who kept us safe? I for one, will not turn my head away from a vetern. I owe my safety to him and all his comrades in arms. I just wish I could create a business to give every person from the army a job.

    anyway, that’s what came to my mind as i read your heroes part of your blog.

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