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The Uncertainty of Life

Steam rises from my little glass teapot. It's the fifth brewing of the Tung Ting Oolong, so it's a little bit weak even though the color is still a clear gold. Employees of the tea shop are in front of me, an older couple across the way, and a single girl behind me. In the other room are more groups. The chatter rises above the music, but I can't understand any of it because it's all in Hungarian.

I'm here by myself. Two friends visited, but one had to go home to London, and the other to a conference in Zürich.

I have a tendency, when traveling alone, to stay holed up in my AirBnb. But after a day of that I wanted to get out. This place is perfect. I can drink my tea, feel like I'm around people, but not be distracted by their conversations.

My favorite game to play by myself is to imagine a kid version of myself could see me now. What would he think? Usually he'd just be surprised, I think. How random is it that I'm sitting in Budapest, by myself, writing? It's not significant in any way, but I wouldn't have guessed it, either.

2013: A Year In Review

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Last year, I did a Year In Review to sum up and show my growth throughout 2012.

A few days ago, I planned on doing something similar for this year. But then, I wondered to myself about whether this year would really be considered a success or not. At first, I thought it would again be defined by running and Breakthrough, the same two subjects that summed up 2012 for me. Now yes those aren't the only two things I've done this year, but they have made significant impacts in 2013.

In March, I broke the sub-5 mile barrier in the mile. I had a rough cross-country season, but my state championship meet ended up going very well and I surpassed all expectations I had for myself. Currently, I'm in my senior year of high school and am training for what may be my last track season ever. I can say for a fact that I will be running faster times than I did last spring. I do have some ambitious goals I want to accomplish in this upcoming season, but even if they aren't reached, I know I have improved regardless. This year has solidified the fact that I'm going to continue to run after high school.

My experience with Breakthrough has also changed significantly. This summer, I got the opportunity to be a full-fledged teacher intern (I was a TA the summer before). Responsibilities increased tenfold and I had to deal with copious amounts of stress, but it was an enjoyable experience overall. I was able to bond with my students more and truly understood what it meant to be a teacher.

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