Safe Haven

Being a teenager is all feeling safe and sound. When you're surrounded by people that know you and that comfortable sentiment is reciprocated, that's when you're at peace. Home is where you can be your absolute most honest, open, uncompromising self. You can do whatever and be the best version of yourself without all the societal influences that govern your actions the rest of the time. Home is like a safe house under witness protection, you just go and disappear into your own little world. This is safe haven.

Thanksgiving for me is an absolute godsend. It's the first time I've been back home to Ohio since this school year began. You all know it was more than necessary for me to take a break. Thanksgiving is a family time, it's also my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving us exactly that, a time to reflect and take notice about what you have to be thankful for. I'm thankful for first and foremost my parents, brothers and sister. Without them, I would not be where or who I am. (Do you ever wonder what'd it be like to be born into another family?). It's as soon as I get home I realize how different I am at school. It's like I'm a completely different person. I get to be free and let it all hang out at home instead of my pretend put together facade at school. I'm thankful for my friends, they've been so awesome and we've all made that just necessary try to stay in touch - but we'll always be friends because when we're all together it's effortless. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've been given this year, with all the people I've got to meet, the laughs I've got to share, and the ability to bring smiles to people's faces. I'm proud of what I've done so far and will continue to do. I'm thankful for the basics that I can even think of as basics, like my freaking wardrobe of everlasting possibilities, food and drinks to nourish me, healthcare, and money to buy what I "need." I'm thankful that I get to lead the kind of life I do, because it's not "normal" and there are legitimately billions of people who don't have the things I do. I'm thankful that I've been kept safe with so many near miss incidents, accidents, and the craziness in between. I'm thankful to God for all he has done for me, with his blessings, mercies, and admonishments that have kept me sustained, whole and protected. So many people are no longer with us, or had terrible things happen to them - but by his grace I'm alive and well. Thanksgiving is that time where we all look back at our #firstworldproblems and realize how lucky we are. We've got the necessities and even more - this is our safe haven.

Hanging out with my siblings is always the highlight of my otherwise busy life. I just get to relax and legitimately do nothing except eat and play video games. This Thanksgiving was a little quieter than usual and we were missing my oldest brother Rocky and his fiancĂ©e Kristen (#struggles of being an ER physician). The rest of us Oteng kids, Eugene, Christian, myself, and Bianca took back over our humble suburban home. There was just so much food, so many laughs, and those constant bickering arguments that make the house our home. I spent the majority of my shortened week home playing Halo 4 and Borderlands 2 with Eugene. 2-player co-op is the definition of our brotherly relationship. Halo 4 was an absolute masterpiece. I loved every minute of it, the enemies were challenging, the landscape was beautiful and the missions were unique. The storyline had my drawn in from the minute we were awoken. Master Chief will forever be a badass and Cortana is the greatest AI of all time. We beat the game after a day (aka staying up all night and then pretending to sleep when our parents came downstairs in the morning) and a half. Borderlands 2 however moved a little bit slower, but we finally leveled up enough to make some moves and do the most. We only made a small dent in the story which is quirky funny one in the first place. The characters are so unique, and the weapons are literally neverending. I will finish that game someday somehow. I highly recommending copping both of those ASAP, they are must buy shooters. Everything is better with a partner as well, get a buddy and ride it on out.  Oh, lastly I also played a few songs on Just Dance 4 for the Wii and it was an improvement. The moves this time were harder to pick up, but the songs were more relevant and way more current which greatly improved the game. Definitely a worthwhile party game. When you're in your gamer's den, nobody can come at you. This is your safe haven.

Other than just gaming it up, I was a snapchat fiend with my sister. The amount of selfies taken this past week must be the stuff of legend. Bianca and I also went on multiple adventures together which always started with me picking her up from school. Oh my goodness, revisiting my former high school parking lot just brings but so many memories of all the petty drama and ridiculousness that went down there. Like seriously, no bueno. The amount of grocery shopping, Starbucks runs, and random fast food stops I did was unreal. I legit love grocery shopping, it's like my favorite pastime (if it can be called a pastime) - especially when I've got a big haul to pick up, it's even better. There's this thing called a limit - just like in Mean Girls, it doesn't exist. I also ended taking sister girl to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 which was definitely one of the most irrelevant movies I've ever had the displeasure of watching. But actually, I cannot believe I for real saw that - like what happened in that hour ... oh wait, absolutely nothing. Spoiler alert - if you haven't seen that sorry excuse for a vampire saga do not read this - the epic battle that was all a dream was a major rip off, literally and figuratively. Without it actually anything happening, the movie was irrelevant. Taylor Lautner gives all of us guys a bad name because homeboy is muscled out - his strip scene was a little to random and weird in the middle of the woods though? Renesmee was like the weirdest looking baby ever - like what was that - the CGI was so ugh. Resume post - sorry about the rant. Skyfall on the other hand ranks up there as one of the best movies I've ever seen. The plot was amazing, fast paced and driven by dialogue instead of constant mindless action. The backgrounds and the scenes were shot beautifully and they played  major part in setting up the context of what was going in the movie instead of an after thought. Daniel Craig came into his own definitely in this movie, and Judi Dench played a flawless "M" as always. I've seen all the other 22 Bond movies and this one is perfect. The character was developped nicely and more sides of his complicated persona were shown. The diabolical plan was modern and actually realistic as compared to the previous far fetched "take over the world" (Pinky and the Brain anyone?) plots. Javier Bardem as Silva and the villain was a masterpiece. I highly recommend the heck out of that movie. Safe haven.
 
Being a teenager is all about being the best you possible. It's about being around people that allow you to be yourself with all your faults, flaws, and scars. It's about being who you really are at all times and finding the people who bring the best out in you. Breaks where you get to go home reminds you where you come from and what that means. It's about those values, morals, and that good family feeling that keeps you on track. It's your safe haven.

My blog post question for the day is ... what's the best movie you've seen recently? Skyfall by far is one of the best movies I've ever seen point blank, period - like end of story.

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