Of Quitting

It’s been exactly six months, twelve days, three hours, and forty-five minutes since I quit club swim. And though I sometimes wonder what would have been different if I hadn’t, I don’t regret it. Quitting is such a derogatory term. It’s always associated with the bad. It makes you think of someone who is giving up. But sometimes, there’s just no other choice.

As this school year began, I found myself swamped with a huge workload and new responsibilities. There was just no way I could balance all this with a three-hour swim practice every day. I tried to do this for the first three months of the school year, but it just wasn’t working. I couldn’t focus my efforts on one thing, so in result, I began slipping in everything. My swim times were getting slower and slower, and I couldn’t devote the time to being an editor for the newspaper, or even being a good daughter to my parents.

Once I realized that this wasn’t going to work, I realized that I had to give something up. I had done club swim for six years and had a couple really good friends on the swim team. Quitting was certainly difficult, since I knew I wasn’t going back. Once I had opened up that three-hour block of time in my schedule, I felt so much better. No longer was I bound by the commitment to come to practice each day even if it meant I had to miss other things. No longer was I physically exhausted every day.

Without swim in my schedule, I was able to explore so many other things rather than fixate on something I wasn’t getting better at. Of course, I continued to participate in high school swim in the spring, because I didn’t want to drop it all completely. Though difficult, quitting is sometimes the right thing to do.

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Of Endings

Endings are bittersweet. They happen before you even realize and are over quickly.

As the school year comes to an end, I can’t help but think about all that I have done and could’ve done this year. There’s been so many new experiences I have been able to have, and looking back, it’s all been great. I learned how to drive, got a car, made new friends, became editor in chief of the newspaper, won second place for our newspaper, and made it to CIFs for swimming. There’s still so much that will happen within the next year, but it’s nice to look back and reflect upon the past.

Though we still have a couple weeks to go, the school year to me ended with the end of my last AP test. Though I have no idea how I did and will have to wait until July to know, there’s an enormous sense of relief that it’s all over. With testing out of the way, there is so much more time to explore new things.

It seems that no matter when things end or come to a close, there will always be something else that follows. Life keeps going, no matter what has happened in the past.

But like they say, endings pave the way for new beginnings.

Of Handling Rejection

Rejection stamp

The reality is that everyone at some point in their lives will have to deal with rejection, whether it is over a relationship or a college application. Knowing how to handle rejection can speed up recovery and lessen the pain that follows.

  1. Give yourself time to grieve. Only time can heal the feelings of humiliation and discouragement that rejection causes. Use this time to indulge on large amounts of ice cream or to cry out the pain in the shower. However do not allow yourself to grieve excessively, as this will only make matters worse.
  1. Accept the reasons for the rejection. Be honest with yourself and try to understand why you were rejected. Put things in perspective; the reasons may not even be personal. Do all that you can to learn from it and give yourself credit for at least trying to make things work. Think of what you can do differently to avoid being rejected in the future.
  1. Take your mind off of it. After the grieving period, do not obsess over the fact that you were rejected or fantasize about what could have been different. Instead participate in mindless activities to help yourself get over it. Playing video games or binge-watching Netflix can help ease recovery.
  1. Move on. Begin falling back into your normal routine but also do not be afraid to try new things. After taking steps one through three, the situation is now out of your control and the best thing you can do is move past the rejection. Explore new options and take this time to rethink your objectives.
  1. Get used to it. Rejection happens to everyone all of the time so expect it to happen again sometime in the future. Develop a healthy attitude toward rejection and you will realize that it is not as bad after going through it multiple times. Don’t let rejection discourage you from pursuing your goals but just know that it exists.

*This post was originally featured in The North Star, the school newspaper that I write for.

Forces of Nature

Nature collage

These photographs were taken at 三清山 Mountain in China during the summertime. The hike I took was beautiful and eerie, and I felt in sync with nature. It is almost as if the fog were wrapping itself around the mountain ranges weaving itself in and out of the rocks and trees. At times, I would look out into the scenery and see absolutely nothing but white.

Nature is mysterious, and that is what makes it beautiful.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature