We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofGizelle Rodriguez

Everyday is the same. I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, make my bed, log into zoom for school, go to work after school, workout after work, shower, eat , and sleep. I repeat that cycle for five days a week. I am surrounded by the same four walls everyday, all day. My whole life feels like it is on a computer screen with remote school and remote work. It’s been like this for a few months now, and has been my new norm. I do manage my time very well and work hard everyday. However I’m often stressing about the next assignment or the next test that I need to accomplish. There’s never a time when I just sit down, take a breather, and acknowledge what I have accomplished already. 

Until one day I went out with my mom. Since Covid- 19 I haven’t gone out that much. But since things are getting somewhat safer we decided to get out of the house. It was a beautiful day. Just recently actually, the sky looked nice and blue. The weather was amazing too, not too cold nor too hot. We were almost to our destination and that was Boston Harbor. At home I look out my window all the time admiring the weather, I see the pleasing sky but nothing like this. Something about today just seemed different. I got out of the car and walked around. There was never a time when I completely stopped what I was doing, stopped stressing over the next assignment, stopped worrying about what I did or did not accomplish that day. But, today I finally did.  

Perhaps it was the only time when I felt like I could take a breath . A breath of release, of happiness. And in that moment I just felt so peaceful. It was around noon, the sun was beaming over the city. Straight ahead there were a flock of birds. As I looked up there were dozens of tall buildings, each with unique structure. To my left was the harbor. The water was bright blue and rocking back and forth. Every glance I took there was something new to discover.

My mom and I were quiet. No one spoke. We just watched. We let everything else do the talking. Like the subtle breeze of wind that whistled gently into my ear, as well as the currents of the water clasping back and forth against the pavement. Since that very moment I knew that this is what life was actually worth living for. It was to explore and just live in the present moment. Constantly stressing over the little things builds up inside of you. After a while , It weighs you down and makes you feel exhausted. This day showed me I just need to let loose and enjoy life more. Even though I’m still going to go to school on zoom every day, I'm still going to go to work, and everything is going to be remote. I now see that in a different way. 

I will now try to take every chance I get to enjoy life and do things I love. Sometimes when you’re so busy you forget about life’s purpose. You get tangled into technology and what society pins on you. I don't  want to focus on what’s next, but focus on what’s here now. The world has so much to offer. I want to see more.

© Gizelle Rodriguez . All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.