These past years, I have been too afraid to do the wrong thing or take responsibility for 

my actions because of how it will reflect on me. You get what you give. If I give love to others 

around me and my passions, they will give some back. With each drop of love, my soul will 

slowly fill and that is fulfilment. Maybe I am not looking for happiness, but fulfillment. 

Happiness does not reflect the hardship, work and character that it goes into meaningful 

relationships and experiences. Yes, I think that is it. I will live with fulfillment in mind instead of 

being distracted by happiness’ beguiling song. Okay, I am going to the hospital to bring Olivia 

her favorite ice cream, Maple Fudge Swirl. I hope she is feeling better. 

-- 

And someone is not automatically a good person if they are tremendously beautiful; their 

external beauty doesn’t reflect internal complexity. I have found that it is rarely that way 

actually. So, why does it feel so good to be told that you are beautiful? 

-- 

The sun stretched and yawned, bathing the sea in a wash of overwhelming gold. As the 

waves crested, veins ran up and over the face, giving the waves a living pulse. In the ocean I am 

forced to be present in the moment - the worried voices in my head are drowned by my 

concentration on tangoing with the sea - is that line a wave? It is - paddle, paddle, paddle, 

breathe. 

-- 

My sister Olivia says that she likes her school. Anyone would probably like her because 

she is the kindest person I know. She moves through the world like a river that gives life to 

things around it. Here, in Carpinteria, my favorite memories are cooky dance parties around our 

small warm-yellow house, staying out to watch meteor showers, taste-testing our way through 

farmer’s markets and lounging in the sun. I am so grateful for her. 

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My Sun-Drenched Rain-Worn Life

Maddie Lowe

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