The Sun Always Rises Sydney Weisstuch

The Swing Set

The swing set was my happy place. That was until my dad took it away and replaced it with a stupid fire pit that we never use. It had two green swings, where I could feel the wind blow through my hair as I kicked my feet up into the sky. I would swing from the bar hanging next to the swings. I would try my latest gymnastics skills, and challenge my friend to a contest. There was also a rock wall and a ladder into a tree house. I loved it up there. I would collect things and put them in the tree house. Rocks, bones, flowers. It then started to grow moldy and had spider webs as I got older. My dad said it was useless. I said that it was part of my childhood memories and he couldn't take it away. But he did anyway. He had people come and break it down. Then people came to add new stones and plants and chairs and a fire pit. The days that I spent there as a child were now gone. I can now roast s'mores, but it's not as good as swinging up to the skies.

No Dogs Allowed

I do not have a dog. I have always wanted a dog. A little, cute, furry friend to cuddle with and to call my own. Maybe white with curly hair. I don't not know why my parents will not let me get a dog. I have stopped begging them. They used to say it's too much work, they make a big mess, and do you really want to clean up the poop? I always promised I would walk it and pick up the poop, but they never gave in. I just don't get why no dogs are allowed. Both of my parents had one growing up, and they both loved them. They both like dogs, but our family has just never considered it. We babysat our friend’s dog once, when they were away. But apparently it was too much work for my parents because they are so busy. I loved it. My mom always complains about how she doesn't talk to any of the people in our neighborhood. One thing would solve that: getting a dog. Everyone walks their dog around the neighborhood and if we had one, my mom could talk to the locals. But we don't. I can always hear the barks of other people's dogs from my house. I always wish that one day I could get a furry friend. But I don't think that will ever happen.

The Three Royal Sisters

Once upon a time there was a little princess who loved to dance. She had two older sisters, who also danced, and the little sister always strived to be like them. One night, the King and Queen had a beautiful celebration in the palace. There was food, music, and many friends and family. As a treat, the three princesses were going to dance for the big crowd that attended the party. The two oldest sisters danced so elegantly and got a huge round of applause from the people. When is was time for the littlest princess to dance, she ran and hid in another room in the palace. She was scared that she wouldn’t be as good as her sisters. And even worse, forget what she was doing and embarrass herself and the King and Queen in front of so many people. After an hour of looking for her, the oldest sisters found her crying in her bedroom. The oldest princesses asked her why she was so upset. The little princess said that she would never be as good as her sisters, and she was going to mess up in front of so many people. The two oldest sisters didn’t know how to respond at first. They told her that dancing is supposed to be fun and feel free. They told the little princess that it didn’t matter what other people think of you, it's about how you feel inside when you leap and twirl. The older sisters then sprinkled their pixie dust on the youngest sister and wished her good luck.

With that, the little princess left the room and headed to the big ballroom. She queued the music, and kept her head held high as she danced along. She felt wings sprout on her back. They spread out so wide and she flew higher than she had ever before. When she finished her performance, the crowd started cheering her name and gave her a standing ovation. It gave the little princess the biggest grin that the palace had ever seen. Her wings glowed and sparkled so bright that people from miles away could see them. Then, her sisters came up to her and hugged her so tightly. She would always remember that her sisters were there to lift her up and let her fly, not bring her down.

This is 14: Swinging on a Swing

This is 14.

14 is swinging on a swing. Swinging back and forth between childhood and adulthood. The easy child years behind. Adult years yet to come. Getting a little wind from each. Constantly swinging back and forth from being a child to being grown up. Receiving a sense of what it's like to be on either side. It is a transition forward, but you can always go back. You strive to swing forward, and not let gravity hold you down.

14 is the base of Mount Everest. At the bottom, ready to hike up to the top. It gets harder and harder each step. Harder to breathe every time you go up. The base is flat. Minimal school work, easy life. When you walk up, it's rocky and steep. Your hike just gets more challenging from here, that is until you summit. That is not for awhile though.

It is being confused and experimenting. It is worrying that you aren't good enough, that no one will ever like you. It is being brave. It is trying new things. It is sitting with your own thoughts and making something of them. It is a puzzle, where you, and only you have to put the pieces together.

Fourteen is a tornado. You move very fast without stopping for a breath. You pick things up quickly, then drop them. Discover things, then move right on. Unearthing new journeys, friends, and experiences. Rapidly turning in every directing and very unpredictable. You can be calm, but you can also go crazy. You can be very harmful, and you never let anything get in your way.

At 14 you are ignorant. You don't know much, and are trying to figure out how to be more like an adult, and less kidlike. Not everything works out for you. You think your life is hard, but it really isn't. 14 is is the beginning pages in the book of life that no one really cares to read.

It is the first taste of champagne. Sweet and bubbly, but you can't have it all. It is just one little taste of the future. You get a feel for what the rest of life could be like, but you just have to wait and see. You want more. You want to have that bubbly feeling all over again. The start of high school is pleasing. It's not too sour or bitter or bland. It is just right.

Fourteen is when you realize that this is real. You are going to grow up. You are going to go to college, to get married, to get a job, to succeed. You realize that it's not all fun and games anymore. Life is a real train, and you can't get off now. You just have to keep riding. 14 is a turning point of realizations and maturing.

14 is bees in a beehive. Busy with many activities and commitments. Jobs to take on. Time is limited and things get crowded. Everyone is working for the same spot. All of the people around you are striving to get the highest grade, or the most Instagram followers. There isn't a lot of time for resting. It's always go, go, go. Sports, clubs, friends, school. Busy trying to figure out how things work and what works best. Fourteen is occupied with ideas and tasks.

This is 14. This is me. Now.

Gymnast

Come in quickly; don't be late; put your water bottle and your grips down; don't spend a lot of time looking in the mirror; warm up efficiently; stretch your shoulders, roll out your wrists; if you talk you are going home; get prepared for competition; line up straight with your level; height order; but I'm always at the back; go to floor; don't dilly dally getting your tiger paws on; get in corners; warm up your tumbling; higher and straighter on your layout; but I'm trying to; call orders for routines; warm up front tumbling; stay tighter; be more aware of your landing; warm up your dance and leaps on the side; get your split to 180°; go the full way around on your tuck full; you are going to get deductions; sit down and watch other’s routines; walk onto the floor like a poised gymnast; get in your starting position; listen to the music; perform for the judges; add more personality; tumbling could be stronger; get a drink; you need more endurance work; I know I get really out of breath by the end; switch to your next rotation; warm up for beam; go straight back on your back handspring; don't let the back leg fall; push harder on your back walkover; don't stop in between; less wobbles; don't throw your head back on your dismount; four more routines; I cannot do that many in 15 minutes; go on the next beam; head up; stay tight; focus on your arms; rotate to your next event; get your grips on; don't take too long chalking up; swing faster; do the drill; cast higher; get your wrists around the bar; hold your core tight; SWITCH!; do sprints; do handstand pops; don't wait to warm up; set the table up; put six springs in the board; run as fast as you can; chest up before the table; don't pike on; extend the whole way through; stick your landing; arms up; why can't this be easier?; go to trampoline; do conditioning; do 50 crunches; 20 leg lifts; get a drink of water; why did I choose this sport?; come back quickly; 25 push-ups; you can go home now; get some rest; be on time for the competition tomorrow; but what if I'm not prepared enough to to do well?

A Note From the Author

Making the multi-genre was definitely challenging, but very rewarding. I love re-creating pieces that have already been written, and making them into my own. It's feels great to tell about my life, but in different formats and structures. They capture my story because throughout the pieces, different aspects of my life are portrayed. They emphasize that even though my life is very busy and there are many layers to it, each day eventually turns into the next and the sun always rises. Even if I have a problem or am having trouble with something, it doesn't stay there forever.

The pieces relate to each other because they all show sides of me, but in different shapes and forms. The vignettes reveal parts of my childhood and home life. The fairy tale describes how I think about my sisters and what role they play in my life. “This is 14” demonstrates what it is like to be my age and how I feel about being 14. “Gymnast” goes deeper into a huge part of my life that I love, and puts the reader in my shoes when I do gymnastics.

These short stories helped me learn a lot about the kind of person I am. They helped me realize that I take many things for granted. When I was writing these pieces, I came to a conclusion that people can see me in many different ways. I learned that I am the kind of person that has a very busy life, but lives a happy and fortunate one. I am so glad I could share these unique pieces of writing about my life with you.

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