Slice of Life-Take 2-15/31

When the words begin to blur on the computer screen, I let out a loud sigh. I turned the music that was playing from my headphones and closed my eyes, hoping it would make the rising headache and stress go away.

My eyes hurt from staring at the computer for so long, and I knew I needed a break. The break couldn’t last long, because lots of work still had to be done before Friday. The stress was beginning to overtake my mind, and I desperately wanted Friday to come.

A light tap on my shoulder pulls me out of my thoughts. My vision is blurry as I try and figure out who is standing near me. Once my eyes adjust and I identify the body, my lips quirk into a smile. As he begins an elaborate story, full of Science Olympiad and Star Wars, I feel relived.

The distraction I didn’t know I need appeared right in front of me.

Slice of Life-Take 2-14/31

As the room buzzes with potential ideas for our spring break trip, I can’t help but become excited. The images on phones screens have me itching to take pictures.

I’m excited for the tummy dropping moments, the congested airports, and the warm weather.

While it’s the fun and happy moments that make vacation memories conjure up feelings of warmth and happiness, it’s the other ones that make it memorable.

The stressed out Father in the airports.

The long lines.

The sunburns.

The head throwing, belly aching laughter.

It is these memories that last much longer than the vacation.

When we come back from Spring Break, we are left with subtle reminders of where we have been-both mental and physical.



Slice of Life-Take 2-13/31

As I walk out the side door into the garage, I am greeted with a cold blast of air. I walk further out into the cold, feeling the bitter winds wrap around my body.

I continue to tiptoe to the stack of water bottles, and attempt to grab two that aren’t frozen solid. I grab my water bottles, and flee to a warmer surface on my toes. I stand on that wooden staircase, and turn around.

I see the snow peacefully falling, and am brought back to the memory of the first snow this year. One that was filled with such hope for days off, snowmen, and hot chocolate.

Instead, this snow seems to depress me. This snow has me questioning whether spring is truly coming. The sprouting flowers I saw earlier, had me hopeful for the soon coming warm weather. This snow storm makes me reconsider.

As serene as the scene may be, the upcoming school day seems to depress me. The constant yelling and high pitched voices make my already conjested head seems to wince.

Slice of Life-Take 2-11/31

As  I walk back into the room, I feel laughter bubble out of my stomach. The sight of my dog, wrapped up with the blanket I was just using, sitting in the spot I had just stood up from, was too much for me.

I had stood up from the spot on the couch about two minutes ago. I hadn’t anticipated Lucy taking my spot, but I knew I should have.

Before I had gotten up, Lucy was sitting next to me. She seemed relatively happy, while she slept and I alternated between reading and watching TV. That is until she let out a heavy sigh as soon as I nudged her the slightest bit. She waited a few minutes hesitated a few seconds, and sat up. She turned her head and looked back at me, with an accusing look in her eyes. She hopped off the couch as gracefully as her short legs would allow and sat on the area rug next to the couch.

Coming out of my daze, I walk over to Lucy’s declared spot on the couch, and attempt to get her to scooch over a few centimeters so I can sit down. Judging from the deadpan look I receive, I know that I am not succeeding.

Taking a page out of Lucy’s book, I sigh and squeeze into the little space she left for me. I tug the parts of the blanket that she isn’t sitting on and attempt to cover my legs. She looks up at me, with those big brown eyes, and patiently waits for me to get comfortable. I take the (not so) subtle hint and sit still. Lucy sighs yet again, and rests her head on my knees. For now, she seems to be satisfied.

Slice of Life-Take 2-10/31

As I sign along to Party in the U.S.A. alongside my friends, I can’t help but let out my inner child, which involves lots of dancing and belting out the entire song. It may have been released over eight years ago, but I know every single lyric, with a full set of dance moves to go alongside it.

At this point in the Dowling Dance, I was full of energy, and a throwback song is always willing to ignite that. Being surrounded by multiple people helped me look less psychotic. All of these said people were dancing, even if they claimed to “not know how to dance”.

Thinking back to only a few hours before, I had been desperately shoving in my earrings and putting my dress and jewelry on. I was trying to get ready as quickly and efficiently as possible, all without messing up the small Dutch braid secured to the left side of my head by three bobby pins. As I looked in the mirror, I stopped rushing for a few seconds. I realized that in fact my sister did do good work, and managed to take away most traces of sickness from my face.

I could feel the Mucinex taking effect at this point, and was not ashamed to admit it. I wasn’t sick enough to stay home, but just sick enough to have a pounding headache, a massive amount of sinus pressure, and delayed reflexes that would  allow me to hit in the face with nearly any moving object, if the situation were to present itself.

Coming back into the moment, I am incredibly thankful for thinking ahead and taking the cold medicine. While the dance caused lots of drama as per usual, I was glad to be able to end it with a different group of people than what I had expected, but perhaps the best one of all.

Things have an interesting way of working out. While things rarely go as planned, some times things that are unscheduled seem to fit better than those who had always had a spot cleared for them.

If this was a sign of what was to come in my life-even just temporarily, I was excited. I was looking forward to the new memories, friends, and perhaps something even greater.


Slice of Life-Take 2-9/31

As I walk out of the orthodontist, I feel defeated.

Another appointment, another power chain. Along with the power chain, I have a new set of rubber bands that are supposed to be put on different teeth.

I can already feel the dull pain making it’s way to my mouth. I swallow thickly and remind myself I will be done in six months, according to the snooping I did on my personal chart.

Six months, roughly four appointments, lots of Advil, and Mac & Cheese.

I can do this.

Slice of Life-Take 2-8/31

The low lighting of the fancy Italian restaurant helps make the building much more friendly.

The live, acoustic bands has many people slow-dancing, including some older folks. The band plays the kind of songs that make you tap your fingers or toes, but conversations can still be held at each table.

I break out of my daze only to hear a joke being told at my table.  The entire table breaks out into a fit of laughter-the genuine kind. Not the fake chuckle to make joke teller feel better. This is the belly shaking, head throwing, and the kind that nearly brings tears to your eyes.

I treasure the sound of the joined laughter, and the jazzy sound of the band. The elderly couple swing dancing is enough to melt my heart.

Moments like these make me realize that no matter how much hatred may be in the world, there will always be good. This good is presented in many different sizes, shapes, and forms. You have to be willing to look for it.


Slice of Life-Take 2-7/31

I stretch upwards and arch my back as I release a low yawn. I look out the window only to see the familiar colors glaring back at me.

The sunset is starting to fade downwards and disappear. With the disappearing of the sun, comes the best part–the colors. These winter sunsets are like no other.

While each one is slightly different, they all have the same basic colors–orange, yellow, and light blue. The orange and the blue are the most obvious, and last the longest. The yellow is fleeting, and leaves when the sun does. The blue however, lingers. It stays with us for as long as we bother to watch.

Once the magic is over, all returns to usual. Snow still falls. Winds still whip at windows, exposed skin, and rosy cheeks. Hands are shoved into mittens and gloves to keep warm.

Life goes on. And so do you.

Slice of Life-Take 2-4/31

As I ripped a small hole in the package magazine, I let put a giddy form of something crossed between a warrior cry and a cat meowing.

The glossy paper peered up at me, the cover hiding an entire world.

A world filled of the world’s past, present, and future.

This issue of National Geographic is full of Viking history, undiscovered locations-far from the urban areas we know, and teaching children (and adults!) about the importance of protecting what we have.

Whether the education focuses on climate change, or the yaki monkey,  kids needs to be educated on problems that may seem out of reach now, but will soon become our own.

We will be the generation these types of problems fall on.

It’s up to us to pick them back up, brush them off, and get back to work.

Slice of Life-Take 2-3/31

I stood up, with anticipation flowing through my veins, and French numbers running through my head.

The overwhelming expectation to do well consumed me, even if it was just a game. The simple game wasn’t worth anything-but my personal expectations were high. I had to prove to myself that I knew these, while still being competitive.

I thought back to the disappointed looks of the teacher when she realized we hadn’t been studying, and wanted to redeem myself. While I could only control myself, I wanted to encourage others. We were in this together-through the ups and mispronunciations-whether or not we wanted to be.