1. Unpacking your belongings in your new dormitory room. A fresh new start. A beautiful new beginning.
2. Setting your alarm for five a.m. and actually being able to wake up at that time. A long, hot shower, wrapped in the warm glow of your own free-associating thoughts. Dressing carefully in your uniform for the first time in months and walking with a light step to school. The morning air is clean and cold, and it is sweet.
3. Actually managing to control yourself to eat half your usual portion and some horrendously slimy salad for breakfast! HAHAHAH. I just hope this keeps up for this whole semester…which is highly unlikely.
4. Having friends who will run eagerly up to you first and throwing their arms around you, saying with utmost sincerity, “I’ve missed you.”
5. Having three cynical and very platonic boy friends tell you you’ve actually gotten much prettier over vacation. WIN. I love you guys:)
6. When two friends you’re really fond of celebrate their 100th-day anniversary of surviving a romantic relationship in a school that bans dating.
7. The last class with your favorite teacher ever – sad but heartwarming. Especially when she mentions you in that last class, saying, “Esther’s writing is beautiful,” and recommending other students to take a look at it for an example of excellent essay writing. <3 I’m going to miss my English teacher so much.
8. Throwing away all the textbooks in your locker from last semester. Stupid statistics. Stupid biology. Into the bin, every one of you! There are few sounds as satisfying as listening to the heavy thump of your torturers crashing into nonexistence.
9. A good friend giving me an unexpectedly lovely gift of a small writing book from a Cambodian night market – so thoughtful of her.
10. An adorable text from a younger sister. A kind word of encouragement from my mother. Thank you.
this year will not be splintered through with ungrateful complaints or uncontrollable depression.
this year will be one shining with gratitude, and intense joy, and smiles that break forth in spite of the tears.
hoping and praying that I will never forget to find happiness in these small, daily shards of beauty in life!