April 1999

Victoria, 14, is an eighth grade student in New York

Life 101

Ok, so I haven't written in a while. I've had bits and pieces of nonsense in my head and this is probably just as disorganized and chaotic. But I finally figured I might as well spit some of it out onto the page. I'm not sure what issue this will get into but either way it's out there so I'm happy. At least about that, other things, well I can't really say that about other things. Life in general, I've found most recently, is screwing with me. I'm almost sure the outside forces are laughing in my face. They seem to get extreme pleasure from throwing me around. Just when I work things out and I'm happy they get pissed, so they throw me around some more! Have you ever felt like that? Ok, I know when you write you're not supposed to talk directly to the person who's reading but if I was reading I'd rather know the person was talking to me and not the rest of the world.

Life....isn't it just a game? I'm playing, bluffed at a thousand angry faces. You have a rose, and your red trickled finger tips can't go without that sweet scent resting underneath your nose. That's me. I've been there, knowing life has its thorns, but everything can't be pleasure. There have to be rough spots, I just try not to forget all the goods things I have that outweigh the bad.

The game, everyone plays the game. Everyone has to because you live it everyday of your life. No matter how old you are or where you are in the world, life will always be a playground. You can play hard, walking the splintered roads, or play well and sail away silky smooth with a smile and the knowledge of experience. It's all how you play. Then there are those that don't play at all. They let the world go right by them, never taking any chances or making decisions, never breaking out of the fray to individualize. They remain pack rats to the foot steps of everyone else, following other paths to other places. I'm sure everyone is a pack rat at least once in their life, but there comes a time when people should start following their own needs. For me I'm just a little part of the smaller game, in the smaller world, but fighting the right battles one by one to achieve my goals is better than fighting the world.

Now... more on life. Sorry for those of you that are "in" with the angle of death I know this must be kind of boring but you don't have to read it if you don't want. Anyway I've been thinking lately a lot about it. I've figured out that all of life is contrast, a natural equilibrium. Think about it, good with bad, pain with pleasure. Each time I get hurt a little part of me dies. Every time luck tends to side with me and I'm extremely happy a part of me comes alive again.

I've experienced so much in the past year and it's changed me in a lot of ways, but I wouldn't change anything because even though some of it was hard to get through it's only taught me how to better myself come the next round. It's scary looking back from the beginning of my life thinking, what if. What if that didn't happen? What if you never met that person? How would you be different? But I guess you can't live your life on what ifs.

I was thinking the other day how fake some people are. For those people out there who want to know what it feels like to become so mentally sick that people lock you away and try to fix you back to normal I suggest reading The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. People think that when someone is totally crazy they have do dig deep to find the root of their problems. But by doing this, they become completely false, because they stop looking at you as a person. They start looking at you as a puzzle, and try to cover it up by appearing sincere. I tried to talk to my guidance counselor once, it didn't work. I could see right through the mask. I felt like I was talking to a scientist not a counselor. I wasn't being listened to, I was being analyzed and believe me there is a big difference!

I think a natural reaction for people when they hear about someone who is suicidal or has mental problems is to question everything about that person. But I've found that when I was depressed the only person I could turn to was my best friend Erin, who understands me more than anyone on this earth. And I asked myself why I could talk to her and feel better than when I talked to a counselor. I figured out that it was because she wasn't judging or analyzing. She was just listening, taking everything in that I said. Sharing her opinion maybe, giving her support, but not trying to discover some deep dark secret. She was listening to ME as a person, as myself, with personality, as an individual so that I could feel recognition even if she didn't have the answers because I knew that she at least tried to understand.

There is a major difference between trying to understand, and blocking out comprehension to work on fixing something. How can you solve a problem or issue if you don't understand it! That's where fake people go wrong. A lot of this false feeling is mentioned in the book I wrote about earlier. When Sylvia Plath tried to kill herself everyone all of a sudden lost respect for her, felt disappointed, mistrusted, and she had no one to turn to. That has to be the scariest, loneliest feeling in the world and I say thank you everyday for the fact that I have such good friends. Well that's all my gibberish for this month I'll try to be back next issue. If you have any questions or want to reach me you can e-mail me at Cyrano89@aol.com.

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