Dysfunctionally Functional

Blogger: Anastasia Meininger, “Offbeat Rhythms”

You know what’s funny? I always seem to get writer’s block, maybe it is because I always tell myself I don’t have a “story,” or that my life isn’t this fascinating journey that people want to read about. However, I realized that my life, and yours too, is made up of other people’s stories. Your family, your friends, and even those people you don’t necessarily find too appealing are all compiled into your story.
I did not fully realize this until this year when I finally found a group of people I really feel a part of. Don’t get me wrong, I have always had lots of friends.  I have my best friend who lives in Connecticut, my overprotective guy best friends, dance friends, friends who I have known and loved my whole life who are now seniors in high school, my musically talented Friday-shabbat-dinner-friend, my best friend who happens to be a twin, one friend who always likes to “spill the tea” with me, friends from this group and that group, plus more. No, I am not trying to have an “everyone loves me” fest, but I truly have always been friends with everyone. Despite this, I never felt like I fit in with a specific group, I always had separate groups, and me being the person I am, always tried to include everyone, but being the bridge between groups never seemed to fully work.
This year, however, things have changed. It’s my junior year of high school, and I take physics this year. Naturally, as most 21st century students do, a group chat was made for students who have our physics teacher 1st or 3rd period. This group of people is not one you would think could mix, most of us were not friends, and had never even really thought of befriending each other.  However, something about this chat made us all click. As I like to think, we are dysfunctionally functional. I know what you are thinking, “a group chat really has this much significance?” Yes, actually, it does. It’s more like a place, a realm, and almost like a black hole in that you can never leave, but in the best way possible. We even had “beef” with another class group chat because as someone once texted, “They are just jealous of our bonds and friendships as a class of ppl who you would never think would hang out together.”  But we do, we had a Friendsgiving, a Friendsmas, went to the movies, ice skating, play various sports together on the weekends, watched the Super Bowl together and more.
There has never been a day that we have not texted in this chat.  Every day it’s filled with memes and videos, anecdotes of our lives, random emojis, and weird new sayings, but rarely any physics. It is a slew of emphasizing, loving, and even disliking each others messages. We text in the morning, at night, and all throughout the day, and if you do not look at your phone for an hour you sometimes come back to 700 messages. No, I am not kidding.  Others may find our conversations ridiculous, random, or odd, but it is our normal, and for those of you who haven’t grown up in the age of technology, I am sure this all seems foreign, but this chat is more than just an excuse to look at our phones. It is what binds all of our stories, and lives together.
If I explain too much or give away more of the “secret happenings”, our precious little sector of the world will lose its magic, but before I move on, they all wanted to be mentioned. There is a lot of them, so bear with me.
Our corner of the world is compiled of a hilarious young rapper who creatively tells the story of his life, and one of his best friends, a gentle giant who somehow comes up with funny things to say daily. It is made of a pair of twins, one is the most down to earth, selfless, and humble person I know, and the other perfectly mixes with her determination and care for others. Our chat is composed of an iconically monotoned, yet lovable boy who drives a 2018 Jaguar – and the best friend he drives around who’s very similar (and who’s jawline could cut someone). It even has a football player turned lead in the school musical, and a vocally talented girl who rarely speaks in the chat but reacts to us in “real life”, otherwise known as class. It has a boy who is one of the smartest people I know (yet is also kind of dumb sometimes), another who speaks in words people often don’t understand and comments on the world as he sees it through his eyes. A hockey player (yes he has the hair) who likes hearing all the gossip. Our world also has two inseparable best friends, a vacation-loving girl who is always on a cruise, and a girl who truly sticks to who she is no matter what. There is also a sweet boy who provides a constant flow of memes and is unorthodoxly funny – and two very smart guys who usually come into the chat just to lightheartedly make fun of people (AKA me, but it is all in good fun). There is a kid who used to be small but had a growth spurt, and who sometimes likes to pretend he’s meaner than he actually is – and another who likes to give big hugs and is always there when you need him. Another member of our group is one of the nicest people I know, who is California dreamin’, and lives his life looking out for the people he loves. There is a gymnast who’s intelligence and feisty attitude mix with her kind heart – a friendly, free-spirited girl who couldn’t care less about what people think of her – a funny girl who’s constant motivation shines through and who’s dog is hilariously aggressive – a super cool, athletic girl who happens to be quite the mathematician. Finally, there are three people who don’t speak as much in the chat- but are just as much a part of it- a humorous girl who’s intelligence prompts her questioning, a dainty and poised girl who loves to dance and sing, and a tennis player who sits in class and laughs at the crazy ongoings around her.
Each and every single person I described has a unique personality, a different look, different ethnicities and most importantly an individualized story. There is a beauty in diversity, and even when people seem like pieces from different puzzles, there is a way to make them fit. These people will forever be a part of my story and who knows how long the plots of our lives will intertwine, maybe it is only a page, or a chapter, or even the end of a section called “Junior Year”, but for us, right now, the rest is still unwritten. All we can do is continue to connect our stories and fill them up with excerpts from each other’s lives.
I think there is something truly beautiful about how our lives are made of other people’s lives and their little anecdotes. Isn’t it interesting that although you are the main character of your story, you are just another character in someone else’s? You could be the jokester, or the best friend, or even the villain, but somehow we all have a role in someone’s narrative, even if it’s just a small paragraph. So, if you are like me, just remember that even if you think you have “no story”, you sure have a lot of characters and you are most definitely part of someone’s narrative.
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anas

Anastasia Meininger, aka “Offbeat Rhythms”, is a high school student in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City. She lives with her parents and older brother, and her life is filled with her hilarious and loving Italian, Irish, Greek, and German family, as well as her wonderfully crazy, and diverse group of friends.

Anastasia is a normal, yet distinctly unique teenager who loves performing, making people laugh, and even going to school! Her favorite subject is Science, especially Chemistry, and when she’s not studying, you can find her at her dance studio, where she rehearses for her dance competitions, and vocal showcases.

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