United Arab Emirates

Heyo! I’m Lauren, a high school sophomore who loves reading too many fantasy novel series, listening to music, and eating a probably unhealthy amount of ice cream.

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June 19, 2020

Day 1


That plane of existence we all exist upon in the current moment. Sometimes, existence is hard, seemingly futile, as we're dragged down deep into the depths of despair, forced to face the howling monsters within and outside us. Other times, existence is wonderful, extraordinarily so. And still other times, existence is unexplainable--in that foggy, gray area of in-between emotions. Though it's not always wonderful for me, I hope to see that side of existence in every day of my life, even the not so great ones. The bright side, if you will. 

The cynic would call it "misplaced optimism" - a dreary term that elicits thoughts of a horrible gift given with well-intentions. But, I have realized that even when I'm sitting at the very bottom of the abyss, it's always good to look up, and see that bright glimmer at the top. 

That glimmer is what matters most to me, the things I would miss if I stopped existing. That glimmer is my life's meaning. It anchors me, and gives me the strength to float out of the abyss and keep going. 

One of the things is my family. 

They brought me up, they taught me how to live, they laughed with me--and most importantly, they were there for me when I needed them.

My mom, an overly anxious person who worries about every single little thing, but with a heart and soul as vast as the universe. I'm one of her biggest worries, and though I may not have always appreciated what she did for me, I worry about her too. Sometimes we fight, and we cry, and we don't feel like ever talking to each other again. But I love my mom, and she loves me, and we end up hugging and laughing again. 

My dad, a humorously goofy person who is the consistent rock of my life. When we're drifting aimlessly, he is the foundation that keeps us together, the cement that keeps us strong. He finds humor in every moment. His jokes aren't always that great, but well, bad jokes are better than no jokes. He doesn't always know what to do--and being a master procrastinator, me and my mom are the propellers to push him along. But when he does do something, he does it with every bit of his caring soul. 

My cat, an adorable creature who doesn't have words to speak, but screams volumes with his vociferous meows, his flailing paws, his big blue eyes. He sits on my books when I'm studying, providing silent encouragement. He investigates what I'm doing and tries his best to comprehend trigonometry. He doesn't have the best temper, and he's an enormously picky eater, but when he's snuggled up against you, there's almost nothing better in the world. 

That's my family. We weather tough times, fly through great ones. We're definitely not perfect. We have our flaws, our hopes, our expectations for each other. And yet, we're together. We're existing. We're alive

Day 2

Another of the things is music. 

Sometimes, my brain likes to torture me with the thought of all music gone from my life. It's a horrible thought, one immediately followed by a quick tussle for earphones and the play button--just to make sure it's still there. 

Music, a seemingly simple, two-syllable word for indescribable heaven. Music, in a sense, is an upgraded version of speech. Every blurted sentence has a potential beyond its clipped syllables--a potential to morph into a gorgeous cascade of notes, a flowing waterfall of melodies. 

And ear-worms, those little bits of music that wiggle their intangible tails into my cranium. Though they can be annoying, at times painfully so, I still treasure them deeply. I never know what kind of ear-worm my brain will conjure up for me, like a mental audio-player whose audio is consistently random, consistently shifting with my thoughts and whimsies. 

Under the heavy blanket of dull silence, even as it surrounds me, music still swirls in my head. Soaring violin solos, against the melodic wave of a lively orchestra. Snippets of a song I've listened to recently--angry rock guitars, defiant voices, catchy pop tunes, sweet sad ones. I find myself tapping my foot unconsciously, to a beat no one else can hear. 

Producing music, too, is incredibly precious to me. As my fingers flit across piano keys, I can't help but imagine, those tiny hammers, buried behind wood, tapping away at strings, creating clear notes of sound, melodies unfurling their wings to fly. My piano skills are miles away from Carnegie Hall, but to me, being able to play a piece well means I've left my auditory hand-print in the air, notes humming long after they have been played.

Music to me is an auditory refuge, an anchor to keep me steady, inspired, and brave as I confront whatever the future holds for me.

Day 3

The third of the things is somewhat related to music, in a sense (pun intended). It's my sight, my hearing, my touch, my sense of smell, my voice. 

That brings up memories of playground conversations--asking each other odd, but thought-provoking questions. If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would it be? 

An unsettling thought, indeed.

Without sight, my world would be cloaked in darkness. I wouldn't see the blue sky, the white wispy clouds...I wouldn't see vivid sunsets, aquamarine beaches. There would be no colors, no shapes, no faces.

Without hearing, my world would be robbed of sound. I wouldn't hear voices, bird song, cat meows...I would lose my music. Sure, the inner music would play on, but it would remain unchanged, limited only to the last songs I had heard. I could play piano, but my fingers would play muted--keys descending and ascending soundlessly. 

Without touch, my world would be frozen with numbness. Fluffy cat fur, buttery leather, the feel of smooth piano keys, condensation on iced tea--all lost. I wouldn't be able to feel hugs from the people I love, wouldn't be able to feel their warm arms circling me, their half-smiles left on my shoulder. 

Without smell, my world would be listlessly tasteless. The finest of foods, reduced to dust on my tongue. Hot, creamy tomato soup, gooey cheese omelets, rich alfredo spaghetti, melty sushi, salty sweet caramel ice cream...all reduced to gross mush. 

Without a voice, I would be silent. Limited to sign language, or perhaps words written on paper, my voice would never speak, never laugh, never philosophize, never yell, never sing. Thrown into a cacophonous crowd, I would never be able to make myself heard. I would simply be a muted throat and tongue, working uselessly to produce some sort of sound--but only rasps are yanked out, quickly drowned by surrounding noise. 

The thing is, a significant percentage of the world's population suffer complete or partial loss of at least one of their senses. They are the ones who cannot see, cannot hear, cannot feel, cannot smell, and cannot speak. Yet, though robbed of such senses, they strive to keep living, to experience life at the fullest they can achieve. 

And as a person who has all her senses intact, I feel inspired to do the same. 

Day 4

The fourth of the things is intertwined with my sight. That is color, the invisible paintbrush that flushes the world with vitality. Some of us are blind to color, a sobering fact that makes me all the more grateful to see it every day, illuminating my life. 

I realize that we closely tie color to objects' identities. Apples are stereotypically red, seas stereotypically blue. We also tie color to people's identities. What's your favorite color? is a question that you've probably asked not a few people in your life this far. Color is an expression of our outward personalities, our outward perspectives on life. 

My favorite color falls in the serene swirls between shades of blue and green. Turquoise, cyan, teal, aquamarine, and quite a few other shades whose names I'm not quite certain of. But that doesn't mean I forget about the other colors in life's extraordinary rainbow. 

Shades of plush grass, box macaroni and cheese, rainy days, dark nights, bright valleys, city scapes, home. The colors of libraries and shopping malls, the colors of mountains and sunny hillsides, the colors of the sky arcing overhead. 

But there's another side to color. Perspective is what makes all the difference. Perhaps you think of the color red in a different way than I do.

That's perspective. I've come to realize that the filters through which we see life depend upon ourselves. Through rose-hued glasses, everything is wonderful and perfect and amazing. Through rose-hued glasses, people forget about the other sides to life, the darkness and the grittiness, the sadness and the pain. But through downcast glasses, people cloak their vision in shadow. They don't realize that all they have to do is take off the glasses, and see the world from a different perspective. 

Of course, doing so isn't easy. It's hard to change the filters you've used all your life.

Yet, I've found that reading books, articles, journals--any form of writing that provides a differing perspective--provides me with new ways to perceive the world. I don't have to agree with what they say--I only need to make myself aware of viewpoints different from my own. That way, the view from my glasses extends beyond what I already know. 

I suppose the meaning of color for me is far more than just the hue of apples and book covers. Being able to listen and learn from other people, to see the colors of life--provides me with meaning for existence. 
Four days down, one more to go! I had lots of fun writing this :D

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