Personal Styling Essay #1


I saw a religious bible camp.  It reminds me how every time we pass it on the way up to Mt. Baker Nicola always says, “Andrew, it is the religious bible camp”.  I don’t know whether Andrew needs to know it is there because he has attended it or if it is just because he happens to be religious.  I always have so much fun on the way up to Baker, and the camp is just another friendly reminder that we are on the right way.  Graham’s sign, with it’s bright ice cream cones, or Micheal D’s car that we always fight over whether it is green or blue.  There are always the rolling hills, either clouded over grey, or shiny in the morning sun.

We blast the music on the radio, or some old rock tapes in the truck.  Andrew and Nicola sit in the back, and I sit in the front with my dad.  The Grand Canyon sleeping bag lies on top of me, smothering me with warmth.  A book on my lap, my legs curled under.  This is the way that it always goes, leaving early, getting home late, with tired legs.  Then I consistently fall asleep on the way home.  The blanket, the setting sun, and the weaving of the cars make staying awake almost impossible.

It doesn’t matter if it was a powder day or a racing day.   They tire me out the same.  By three o’clock I can barely make one more carving turn, or jump another mogul.  I fight my burning legs all the way up until the end, trying to get in another run before the lifts close.  I try to see if I can get one more run down Pan, or one more racing run down five.  I think that maybe they will take pity on me if I am a poor little girl stuck in the middle of the mountain, when really all I want is one more run down Gobbles.  I usually decide that I won’t risk it, but every once in a while; when it is just too good to pass up I speed down, hoping that the lift wont be closed.

I love Sundays, the certainty of it, the way I always know what is coming, but there is also the surprise of what will happen, the knowing that no day is the same.  The conditions always change, leaving me adjusting, looking forward to the next day we pass the bible camp.



Lately I noticed that I don’t care about the little things. I am letting the things that are small enough to slip through my hands, slip through.  There is no need to catch those things.  They are so small, so insignificant.  I was never a detail-oriented person.  But I always hold into those small things, the things that happened years ago, the ones that don’t matter.  I could remember that look that some girl gave me, or those little words that an angry eight year old told me.  I held  the memory of my friend’s mom screaming me.  It always haunted me, leaving me scared of parents, not wanting to spend the night at anyone else’s house.

Then all of a sudden it was too much, I couldn’t hold  all of the things, my hands were too full, unable to catch the look the a girl threw me in the hallway.  And it started to slip, it all started to slip away, down into oblivion.  And that is where they should stay.  They don’t need to be brought back up, relived.  It was never my job to remember them, it was my job to forget them.

I have tried numerous techniques to try to live a more fulfilled life.  I have tried exercising every morning, I have tried writing every evening, I have tried doing yoga before I go exercising.  And from all of those things I have gotten more in shape, more flexible, and better at writing, but it never made the difference I was looking for.  It never stopped me from focusing on the small dark things in my life.  It didn’t change my outlook on life.

It was a look the girl gave me.  Maybe it is the small things, the things that happen in an instant that you don’t try to create that change who you are.  People try to change themselves without the mental ability to do so.  You wont be able to change until you realize there is no point to stay the same.  There are things that I want to change about myself, but some of them I cling to.  I want to desperately keep them, because they are who I am.  I cling to them because maybe I can use them to make myself a better person, but this time I changed because I knew there wasn’t a point to hold on anymore.




I always wait for the roses.  They come out in the summer.  There are yellow roses in my garden, my favorite kind.  I love the yellow roses, their petals are so thick and clean and strong.   The backyard doesn’t get very much sunlight, because it is behind my house, but it is in this patch that can still reach the sun’s rays even when it is setting.  I always loved to watch the roses reflect the sunset.  There was always a rose in my room.  I came home from French camp and it was their greeting me.  I loved watching it, not wanting to part with it.  I let the petals fall to my bedside table, not wanting the seasons of the roses to end.  It was always my favorite season.  It was the summer, filed with many surprises, many days of adventure.  I used to get bred in the summer, wasting away days rereading old books, too lazy to go to the library.

I know that a second shouldn’t be wasted; I go hiking playing with my dog, bot that I ever seem to have a moment to spare, even in the summer.  This summer I will go to Senegal and then to French camp, I can’t wait.  I love knowing what will spread out ahead of me will be fabulous.  I know that every moment will be lived to the max.

I wonder why I wait for the roses to come out to do that.  Why aren’t a living this moment to the max, why am I not seizing the moment as my dad would always lecture his soccer team.  Of course that was about soccer, reading the plays, knowing that within every play lies an opportunity to succeed.  But it does in life to, every moment, every single moment.  I should realize that, and I should take advantage of it.  Instead of walking by someone in the hallways awkwardly, start a conversation.

I always work hard for opportunities that will be later in my life, but I forget or ignore the ones that present themselves every day, every moment.  Every moment is an opportunity to do great things in.  I know I will always love the freedom of summer, the yellow roses, and the days that last forever.  I will always look forward to the long rays of light, but I wont wait for the buds of the roses to start enjoying every moment, I will start now, seizing this very moment.



I remember the smell the dock the night we slept on it.  It was chilly night.  It was nice, to be able to be huddled in my sleeping bag without being uncomfortably hot.  I woke up with my face pressed up against the side of the dock, taking in the smell.  It smelled like a mixture of crab, and salt and dirt.  It had a trace of oil, and maybe a bit of wood, but it smelled of memories, good ones.  The night before we had all laughed together.  We had sung and danced, and we had smiled.  My friend had started to break dance in the middle of the gap between where the boys slept and where the girls slept.  My other friend had started to sing “every little thing is gonna be alright, don’t worry” and at the moment I truly believed her.

She was right, and she would always be right, because these memories were perfect, absolutely perfect, and nothing could change that.  I remember leaving only last year.  I remember watching my tears fall in between the grates of the dock, falling down with a plop, and rippling out into the still bay.  Then my parents had arrived with their kayak.

It was good they arrived, I had missed them, and there were perfect moments waiting for me on the inland, but I couldn’t help crying, leaving this entire world behind.  I could wondered if I smelled a bit of my tears from last year, but I knew it was the dark rippling seawater below that smelled like the salty tears I had cried.  When I woke up there were a few rays of sunlight bouncing off the water.  We would go sailing today, I could feel the wind, just right for a fast cruse over to Shaw and then back again.  The day would begin before I would know it; it always did, and when we went to bed it felt like another year had bonded us together as a family.  After the first day I felt like I knew more about them then I did anyone at my school.

Maybe that was what the dock smelled like, happy memories.  It was the mixture of the French cuisine, and burnt cakes, it smelled like the pie we smuggled into our tepee, and the water balloons we dropped on people’s head, it smelled like the clash of swords when we fenced, and the tightness of the string at the archery range.  It smelled like the sweat we shed during a whole island game of capture the flag, and the sparks that were lit on Bastille Day.  It smelled like all of these and much more, because they were combined, creating something that could never be recreated or described.


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