Hawaii Travel Diary

dear readers,

This post is approximately three weeks over due but… This winter break my family and I went to the Hawaiian islands, a set of tropical islands floating in the Pacific Ocean, about a five-hour flight away from SF, California! Because of its proximity to the equator and being surrounded by the ocean, Hawaii is a beautiful, warm paradise. I’m going to share my week on this beautiful island, documenting my amazing adventures, from clear blue waters, to tropical jungle, to live flowing lava, this was such a productive and fun trip to Hawaii’s big island!

 

day 1

we arrive in Hawaii (the island of Hawaii-or Big Island) at the Kona Airport. after picking up our rental car, we see that the island isn’t very lush or green, filled with lava rock barren landscapes. Unfazed by the extra terrestrial like landscape, we set out on our one week adventure with hope and happiness.

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we stop for some Poke, a raw fish salad usually with rice and other sides served as an appetizer or main dish in Hawaiian cuisine.

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We drive up the northern tip of the island seeing it get greener as we drive up, finally we reach the beautiful Waipio Valley. The view from the outlook is stunning.

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finally we check into our bed and breakfast hotel on the east coast of Hawaii, a cozy place to stay that also provided homemade breakfast and a nice pool right in front of the ocean.

day 2

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started the morning off by visiting the beautiful Akaka Falls. After a short, lush hike filled with exotic plants and mini waterfalls, we reach our destination, the grand Akaka falls!

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Next, we stopped by to the Hawaii Tropical Gardens, full of blooming orchids and stunning ferns, perfect in structure.

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Afterwards we drove up the shaky road to Mauna Kea, the highest mountain from base to peak in the world to see, I’m not kidding, a mountain of snow, and a gorgeous sunset view. Now I can say that I’ve seen snow, in Hawaii.

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the view of the snow from my window

After being SHOOK from the snow, we had to turn back from the mountain because our engine gave out from our rental Jeep and we returned a little bit lower and watched the sunset. It was gorgeous.

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day 3

A nice relaxing morning, spent at a local farmers market filled with fresh fruit like flavorful apple bananas, fresh and vibrant rambutan, and delicious Hawaiian street food.

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In the late afternoon the real adventure began, a forty minute bike ride and hour hike to see live flowing lava. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but all I could say was my expectations were fulfilled and exceeded. One the way their, lava rocks like these were beneath our feet, swirly and outer space like

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Finally, heat began to seep underneath our feet and the glow of lava became visible in the distance. Even though we were tired from the long bike ride and intense walk, we hiked up more lava rocks and eventually reached the beautiful lava, flowing right underneath our feet. This was definitely a highlight of this trip and a once in a lifetime experience.

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day 4

We spent the day in Hawaii Volcanoes National park. To be honest, not much of a national park gal, and was not looking forward to this part of the trip, but was actually an interesting experience. I definitely preferred the lava flow hike than this park, but it was pretty cool to hike to the bottom of a crater, walk through a tunnel made by lava, and drive to the free ocean.

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we hiked all the way to the bottom of this huge crater! This is the hike to do if you have limited time in the park.

Then, we drove to the west side of the island, the Kona-Kailua side filled with resorts and beaches!

day 5

We woke up bright and early in the beautiful city of Kona, bustling with tourists and activities, we drove out of the city and down to the southern most point of the USA, south point, and the beautiful green sand beach. Yes Green Sand. Hawaii island is home to one of the only four green sand beaches in the world. After the hot windy hike (yes it was long, boring), we reached the most beautiful beach, with blue blue waters and green sand!

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after a tiring hike, this was the best destination, a small secluded beach with soft green sand

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On the way back, it was getting hot so we hitched a ride with the many locals driving trucks to and from. It was definitely a bumpy ride but also a fun experience, the beautiful scenery on both sides of us as we rumbled along the nonexistent road.

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Coming back home, we watched the sunset (and accidentally stepped on spiking sea urchins) at Kahul’ulu Beach. PSA: it hurts when you step on sea urchins! wear water shoes when exploring tide pools!

day 6

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On day 6, we visited some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. First, we took a snorkel tour where we went on a boat and then sailed to a big reef. We water slid off the boat and began swimming. Fun fact: I am scared of fish which sounds dumb but its a real fear! I just am afraid of their slimy fins and little mouths. However, the fish were far away from me, more deep down in the reef, so I admired them from a distance. Another fun fact: my parents do not know how to swim, so even with three pool noodles, a snorkel, and a life jacket each, they struggled in the water, and even being in the ocean for ten minutes, got scared and had to swim back.IMG_0209.JPG

We then went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit. Then, we drove up the coast and stopped by Manini’owali beach (Kua Bay) which I have to say was the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever seen. Clear waters, soft soft sand, rocky parts too made perfect for adventuring and exploring. The only thing was, this beach was pretty crowded.

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Next we drove to Hapuna beach, a bigger and very popular beach, similar to Manini’owali, but, in my opinion, not as good. Still absolutely gorgeous and so fun to run into the clear waves. We kept driving up the coast and made a beautiful little valley right before the sky got dark, stopping for creamy macadamia nut ice cream on the way there, and seafood on the way back.

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It was our last night in Hawaii.

day 7

This day was more relaxing, we spent the morning paddleboarding at our hotel’s beach, ate a delicious poke lunch and got ready to say bye to the big island.

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First we made a stop at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park oh the way back from the airport, and were greeted at the beach by sea turtles basking in the sun and swimming in the waters!

This was so cool since I LOVE SEA TURTLES THEY ARE SOSOSO CUTE, and I could see them up close (but not too up close, since law prevents people from going more than 10 feet from them.

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Finally, it was time to leave, and now, reflecting on the memories, I wish I could stay there for another week or even longer, as there is just so much to do on the big island, and so many adventures still waiting for me, and such a positive vibe that I haven’t found anywhere else yet.

 

thank you so much for taking time to read my travel diary! If you have any questions, leave them down in the comments!

I hope you have a spectacular day!

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

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Stressed Out//new year not so improved me

hi readers

it’s currently 11:25 pm and I’m up writing a blog post. Why? Because I am so stressed and I just need to vent.

This year, I began high school and it’s been a hard, but fun process. I like having a big school with different people, and a wide variety of classes and electives. I feel more free than middle school, popularity isn’t really as much of a thing as it was back then. The first semester school work was a lot, but definitely manageable, but this year I’ve had trouble getting back into my work and not feeling stressed.

Today, I had my 2nd panic attack of 2018.  My panic attacks aren’t intense, they are not even that serious but it just feels like a wave crashing down on me. A flood of teachers and parents yelling, homework piling, dance corrections shouted. I usually cry during these attacks and my breathing gets heavy. I need a way to outlet this stress and deal with it. This is only freshman year, to be quite frank, if I can’t get through this year, how will I be able to balance Sophomore and Junior years. I really don’t know if I can..

Does anyone have any tips on dealing with stress, time management, and panic attacks? Sometimes I feel so mad because my parents don’t listen or understand, my teachers don’t explain themselves clearly. This anger is not healthy and often builds the wave. Sorry if this post was not in a regular format… Give me any tips and ideas you have or if you are going through a situation like this.

xoxo,

californiangirl

my top ten favorite Lush products//californiangirl

hi readers-

what’s up! As we are approaching the final days of 2017, I decided I wanted to write a few blog posts! Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Lush products. Lush is all natural cosmetic brand that I fell in love with the moment I received my first bath bomb from it as a birthday gift. After that, my Lush love only grew and I collected more and more products, branching out from bath bombs to bubble bars and face masks and shower jellies! This summer, I even visited the biggest Lush in the world, on Oxford St in London! I’ve tried a lot of products and I want to share with you some of my favorites and how to use them!

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A wall of Lush Product in Oxford

1. twilight bath both

Twilight was the first Lush product I ever used and made me fall in love with the comapny and brand. First of all, this bath bomb is absolutely GORGEOUS in the waters. It is all sorts of colors, from purple to pink to a soft blue, great for bath art. Next, it smells so so good, like musky lavender, perfect before bedtime. And finally, it makes the bath super silky, leaving your body smooth and soft!

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the bath bomb itself is a plain purple-ish color with moon and stars imprint but it unfolds into the colors of twilight

2. cupcake face mask

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for me, Lush face masks are hit or miss. This is the one that really works for me.

This is the only Lush face mask I have tried that has truly worked for me and clears up complexion quickly. Others have also kind of worked but were too harsh, oily, tight, etc for me. This mask not only smells delicious (minty, herby, chocolate heaven) but feels super cooling and soothing. The only thing I would say that’s perhaps not so great is it is a little bit thick and hard to spread. (see full review here)

3. shoot for the stars bath bomb (christmas product)

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Another bath product that smells delicious and is also beautiful in the water is the Shoot for the Stars bath bomb which is unfortunelty an xmas product, but nonetheless a favorite of mine! It smells like honey and makes the waters a gorgeous blue, leaving little stars everywhere!

4. twilight shower gel

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just look at the sparkles and the color!!

On to shower gels products… I love the twilight shower gel. It has the same musky lavender smell of the bath bomb it’s named after and also possesses the same luster and mysterous color, a deep, stunning purple. This is one of my favorite scents from Lush and I love the shower gel!

5. rose jam shower gel

Okay I lied, this is my ALL TIME favorite scent from Lush. Before you set off on a rose jam buying spree (there are a ton of products that share this delicious smell), not everyone loves Rose Jam. It’s very sweet and floral which I love, but isn’t for everyone. This shower gel is so good because it not only smells delicious while showering, it stays on your skin for at least 3 hours after. * quick note: I think rose jam and twilight are both seasonal, but can be purchased through gift sets all year round (how I get them)*-please correct me if I’m wrong haha.

6. ro’s argan body conditioner

Sharing the same scent as Rose Jam, and a year round product, Ro’s Argan is the next best (or better thing). It’s a body conditioner which may sound weird at first, but it is used on your body the same way you condition your hair. After cleaning your skin (with Rose Jam perhaps?) apply to your skin and lightly rinse off, leaving your skin soft and fragranced for the day! This is a wonderous product and always leaves my skin smooth.

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I’m not sure what I like better, its scent or its effects!

7. santa’s belly shower jelly

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yep it’s literally a shower JELLY!!

I did do a full review here, but just wanted to put this on my favorites because, while I thought it was too wobbly then, I’ve learned that squishing some into a wet loofah and then applying is the best way to do it while still having fun and making bubbles! The crisp apple smell is the best part!

8. creamy candy bubble bar

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Run or crumble under water for big big bubbles!

This wouldn’t be complete without my favorite bubble bar! I love the Creamy Candy bubble bar because it smells super sweet and makes huge bubbles. It makes the waters a light pink color, so I enjoy adding another, more exciting bath bomb in with it!

9. pumice power

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used to soften your cracked heels and rough feet

As a dancer, let me just say, my feet aren’t pretty. They are rough, calloused, and bruised from hard work in pointe shoes and bare feet. So let’s just say, pumice power was a savior! It’s the perfect texture, a rough moisturizing solid, to pamper my feet after a hard day. Bonus: it smells like fresh orange! They do go by fast, so buy a few to stock up!

10. outback mate soap

Finally, you can’t have Lush with out their world famous soap! Lush started out as a cute little soap shop, people mistaking their wheels of soaps for exotic cheese. This is my favorite soap because of it’s colors and zingy, rejuvinating scent. Ladies (and Gents) I present to you…. Outback Mate

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It’s stunning visually… and don’t even get me started on the scent! I love using this soap to impress guests. After washing their hands, or going to the bathroom, they often ask where I bought the “beautiful soap.”

 

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great rest of the new year and enjoyed learning about my favorite Lush products!

Let me know your top products in the comments below!!

 

xoxo

californiangirl

what I got for xmas 2017

hey readers-

Merry 2 days after christmas everyone! I hope everyone had a great christmas with your family and friends, full of joy and love! I certainly had a great Christmas, staying at home with my family and seeing the movie Coco (which btw I totally recommended). Today, I’m going to share with you what I got for Christmas this year from my friends and family. I also did this post last christmas so if you want to check that out, click here ***Disclaimer: I’m very thankful for all I got and am not trying in any shape or form to brag.*** Now let’s get into the post!

 

giani bernini choker 

As a very girly type of girl (if that even makes sense), I love delicate jewelry pieces. I’ve always wanted a choker as I feel like they are edgy and really trendy, but I don’t really have the style to pull off a thick velvet choker. My mom knows me perfectly and got me a delicate real gold choker which I love so so so much! Also since it’s such a small choker, I can wear it everywhere (school, dance, travel, the gym) without it tangling and making a mess!

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not completely sure if the choker above is the correct one but it is very similar

 lush gift set (rosy christmas)Okay hold up the train for a sec. If you are new to my blog, you probably don’t know how much I love Lush. Check out my Lush Cupcake Mask Review if you want to learn about one of my personal Lush Favs. Anyway, one of my friends knew me so so well and got me this lush gift set, featuring my favorite scent (rose jam). Girls, get yo self a friend who knows your favorite lush scent. It comes with the Rose Jam shower gel (which is so yummy… it smells like roses, and honey, and happy days), and Ro’s Argan (a body conditioner-I know crazy-with the same scent). Let me know if you want a Lush Favorites/Lush post because I haven’t done one of those in a while!

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The best part of the set is it’s wrapped in an ADORABLE rose patterned knot wrap–a bandana like thing you can use for pretty much everything

more lush?

My other bestest friend got me another Lush product… one I’ve never even heard of before! A snow fairy dusting powder…okay first of all, it smells amazing, like cotton candy and candied raspberries. Second of all, I LOVE HIGHLIGHTER (which I also mentioned in like all my beauty posts) and this is a highlight bar pretty much! It’s so pretty and I can’t wait to use it

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other snow fairy products that I’m excited to try!!

jansport backpack

This year, I started high school, and my old backpack wasn’t working so great. In fact, during finals week, it ripped under the crazy weight of textbooks, binders, and notebooks. So my mom and dad got me a new jansport backpack and I’m so excited to start using it next semester!

Leggings from VS Pink

As a dancer and active teen, leggings are a staple in my closet. Leggings are the most comfortable thing I will slip into for school and dancein the cooler months. However I’m kind on the shortage of nice full length quality leggings. My parents, who are mind readers, got me a new pair of fleece lined, full length leggings from Pink and I’m obsessed!1!!

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sissy movie night kit

My sister being the adorable kind sister she is made me a supa cute DIY sissy movie night kit! What is that you may ask? Well it’s exactly what it sounds like, a kit for movie nights with your sissy. She filled a cardboard box up with popcorn, candy, snacks, and a list of movies for us to watch in 2018. How sweet!

 fuzzy socks!

One can never own enough fuzzy socks! This year I got approximately 6 pairs of fuzzy socks and I’m thankful for all 6 of them!

sunglasses

I totally forgot to tell y’all about this but… I’M GOING TO HAWAII NEXT WEEK!  SQUEEEEE!! I’m so excited and I got a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes this trip.

mariia leotard

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you can never have enough leotards !

As a ballet dancer, the cuter your leotard, the better you feel in class. My mom got me a supa dupa pretty leotard from the brand mariia which is my favorite brand!

 

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great rest of 2017! Look out for a hawaii travel diary and some more posts coming your way soon!!

how was your christmas? let me know in the comments section!

 

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

 

what christmas is supposed to be about

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Dear Readers

With all that has been going on this year, it seems like the holiday season has come so soon. With deadlines, projects, finals, tests, grades, homework, disappointments, losses, and stress circling our lives, it’s hard to focus on what the holidays are really supposed to be about, spending time with the ones you love and relaxing. Christmas doesn’t seem to hold the special-ness it once did and now seems to just be another day. Another day of stress.

Christmas isn’t supposed to be like that. It is supposed to be special. A golden day of magic and family and cookies and presents and happiness. This year has just been different. Our family just got our christmas tree like a week ago. And it’s not even a real one, we have a 7 foot plastic tree living in our living room. Because of finals, I pretty much still have a huge ball of stress around me.

But now, the closer we are getting towards this holiday, I realize this day should be a special one. A day of hope and fun. Like how it was when we were young children.

I’m not going on my phone or the internet at all this christmas. I will cherish the memories I make this holiday without worrying about anything.

And I encourage you to do the same!

 

xoxo,

californiangirl

dealing with mean girls: how I put up with jealousy and backstabbing

dear readers,

hey what up it’s your girl californiangirl and I’m baackkkkk! Welcome back to my blog and if you are new, welcome! We’ve all been talked about behind our backs. Bullied, put down, ignored, hurt, and betrayed. And it really does hurt and can be hard to put up with. Today, I’m going to tell you all about my “mean girl” experience and how I’m going to deal with it and move on.20142f012f262fef2fwhisper-dd31c

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a competitive dancer and dance nearly 15 hours each week. My dance family is pretty much my second family and I love them to death. Most of them at least. In a family, we know there is always fighting and competition and our little family is no exception. Some people don’t really realize how competitive dance is. Who gets a solo, a special part, who gets to be the lead? Who is the teachers favorite, gets the attentions and the corrections to help them succeed? Really, dance is one of the most mentally demanding and competitive sports .

Last year, me and three other girls became very close. Let’s call them Tiffany, Grace, and Chloe. We were really close and kind of made our own little group. Even though we never left people out, we had a group chat, a growing list of inside jokes, and did pretty much everything together at dance. I was already good friends with Chloe and Tiffany, but I became really close with Grace that year, even though she was new to the studio. During the spring show was when our group was the closest. I have a wall of polaroids featuring us four smiling and laughing together.

Fast forward to this school year. Over the summer, Chloe and I were not at the studio, going to other summer intensives and traveling out of the country while Tiffany and Grace stayed behind. Time to introduce a new person. I’ll call her Kelly. Kelly has been the favorite at our studio for the past couple of years. She hung out with the older, advanced girls, and was known for stabbing people in the back. She was the queen bee of our dance studio. We were kind of friends, but not super close, and only talked once in a while. During the summer Tiffany and Grace grew closer to Kelly. the first day of dance, grace completely ignored me when I tried to talk to her. Tiffany stayed pretty nice, but stuck to Grace and Kelly like glue. Now those three laughed together and left me and Chloe out. Kelly and Grace would ignore me and give me dirty looks. I got a featured role in the dance we were doing in the show, and their mean looks and isolation got even worse. i rarely talked to Grace anymore who was so close to me before. Kelly, Tiffany, and Grace walk around together in a group, acting like they are better than me, with their rude remarks, and angry stares.

I guess I might be over reacting but they hurt my feelings. Especially Grace who completely ditched me for Kelly because I wasn’t cool enough or good enough. But really, why should I care what Grace thinks? Today, I decided I don’t need Grace, or Kelly, or Tiffany’s approval, and came up with this short list to help me move on and rise above these girls who have been so rude to me. I need to be the bigger person.

  1. don’t fight fire with fire. even if it’s hard, trying not to put even more fire into this situation. Instead, kill em with kindness. be nice in a genuine way, maybe they will realize all you want is friendship with them.
  2. tell the people how you feel. As someone who likes to keep all my emotions inside of me, i’m going to work on confronting the mean girls in a respectful calm way, and tell them how I feel.
  3. put down your thoughts. If you are not ready to confront your bullies, try writing out your experiences like I am doing now. It really helps, trust me.
  4. don’t be defensive. As an extremely defensive person this is hard for me. Try to see their point of view, why they are acting this way towards you. Maybe you did something to cause them to dislike you.
  5. have your space. Avoid these people if you are having a bad day or don’t want to deal with them. Instead, spend time with people you love and trust.
  6. don’t react. If you react to the mean comments, your bully will see it as encouragement to keep going. hold in your thoughts and let their remarks bounce back
  7. move on. Why should their opinions matter, take a breath and put your head up high princess!

thank you for reading! It’s night time for me since its 12:30 am…

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

dear ex-best friend…//what I want to tell my old friend who is drifting away

We’ve always had that friend, the one you love and care about and can’t imagine a future without. Sure they had their problems, but you never thought you would or could let go. They were almost part of you as a person, and were nestled into your life deeply. I had that friend and I thought we would be best friends forever, but this year, since we started a new big school, we’ve drifted apart. This is what I want to tell her, and maybe some day will. But for now, I’m just going to keep this letter to myself until I’m ready to share it with her.

dear ex best friend

hi. I just wanted to tell you that I miss you. We had such a close bond even though we were nothing alike. Everyone thought it was kind of weird how we were pretty much conjoined at our hips knowing our differences. I was petite and still looked like I was in 5th grade. You looked almost like a woman and could pass as a high schooler the moment you hit your growth spurt in 6th grade, and towered above my small figure. Not only were our physical appearances different, you were risky, bold, and outgoing, I was quiet, introverted, and only funny once you got to know me. I loved school even though I would never admit it and did well in it. You on the other hand, didn’t like school. You didn’t care about your grades or academics at all. But I knew you’ve been through a lot in your home life and I was magnetized by your confidence.

We became friends in 7th grade. A fast friendship formed, and soon we would walk to our lockers together, be partners in PE, and text all the time. You were friends with some other people. People that were too cool for me. But then we started spending more time together. We ended up making our own lunch table where we would sit everyday and talk. You told me your secrets. Some stuff were light : who your weekly crush was, some more heavy : the depression your sister went through. I absorbed them and learned to be a listener. in our relationship, you were the talker, I was the listener. You would dump everything on me and you became so clingy that I started to miss my old friends and try to avoid you.

8th grade. We had no classes together so I thought I could hang out with my old friends more. But I was wrong. We became even more close. Sometimes I loved our relationships, other times I felt trapped. You asked to hang out every weekend and usually I would try to make up excuses because I was tired of spending so much time with you already at school. I would try to avoid you sometimes, but still relied on you and loved you.

Freshman orientation, you found me and we clung together that day. I remember this as the last time we really spent a good chunk of time together with each other. I wanted to make new friends but I didn’t want to leave you. The weeks went by, I would sit with my other friends as I couldn’t find you since our school was so large. About once or twice a week we would sit together and talk. Well mostly you would talk.

this is when I found out you were moving away later this school year because of your depression. I didn’t know what I would do without you. I decided that I would try to sit and catch up with you more. Every week, I would sit with you by the theater alone and we would talk.

Then one week, we didn’t sit with each other. I don’t know what really caused that shift if it was my fault or yours. After that week, it began. I would see you, but you would ignore me. A couple weeks after, you had a group of new friends surrounding you and you would ignore me. It hurt… Now when I try to talk to you, it’s awkward and uncomfortable. I miss what we had but I guess our split was for the better. I have other friends now, that are more similar to me. You do too.

 

sometimes, I just miss you. and it hurts.

 

californiangirl