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April 8, 2013

Small Life Moments

My brother’s birthday is this month. He’s turning 21, which is completely blowing my mind. I can’t believe my big brother is already so old! It’s so crazy. I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, and one specific instance from my childhood that I hadn’t thought about in far too long resurfaced.

Before I moved to Alaska, I lived in Denver, Colorado for about four years. After living in one house for three, happy years, my parents decided they wanted to move for a variety of reasons, so we packed up all of our things and moved a few miles away. Personally, I thought this was a really strange choice to make, but my eight-year-old self took it in stride and adjusted to our new life in a new home in the same old town. After a few months of living in the new house, my father took some contract work in Anchorage, and then got an offer to work there full time. How exciting, right? Right as we were getting settled in a new house, we make plans to move again. My parents decided that it would be a good idea to hold off enrolling us in school that fall, since the school year in Denver started much earlier than it did in Anchorage, because going to school for a month and then leaving is completely preposterous.

Since we weren’t in school, my brother and I had a lot of free time on our hands. We spent a lot of time at the movies, in parks, and wreaking havoc through the new house my mother was trying so hard to prepare to put on the market. One day, my brother and I were cooped up in the house, because we decided it was too hot to go outside. We both posted ourselves on opposite sides of the couch in the living room, staring at the television for lack of better things to do. At some point, my brother noticed something about the new house that the old house didn’t have; a ceiling fan. Within minutes, my brother and I had gathered all of our pairs of socks and carefully placed them on the blades of the ceiling fan. Then we turned on the fan and split our sides laughing as a storm of socks rained down from the ceiling fan as the soundtrack from Fantasia 2000 blasted from the stereo. My brother and I did this over and over again until my mother came downstairs to investigate the noise and got mad that we made such a mess.

Sorry that I’m not sorry about it, Mom.

That one specific moment highlights a shining fragment of happiness that stands out in an otherwise stressful and weird time for both my brother and me. I’ve pondered over that specific moment several times over the last week or so as I continue to navigate the seas if college, which are only getting stormier as time goes on. However, smooth sailing never made a skillful sailor (those are some words of wisdom that I read on the internet that I’ve taken to heart lately). What I’ve concluded from it is that small moments like the one that I shared with my brother are moments that make a hard time a little bit better.

A lovely snapshot of one of the shining moments at the College Democrats of Massachusetts convention

A lovely snapshot of one of the shining moments at the College Democrats of Massachusetts convention

I stumbled upon several of these moments during my adventures this weekend at Gala and the College Democrats of Massachusetts convention in Boston. They were small, and to anyone else they would seem majorly insignificant, but they were meaningful to me as small moments that brought some sunshine into a strange, stressful time of my life. As the rest of the semester throws itself at me, and the end of the semester draws constantly nearer, I’m going to try with all of my might to focus on the small, bright moments of happiness rather than the larger, overarching, dark, stressful funk that accompanies the end of the year rush.

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