12 6 / 2013
"‘You disappear so completely into your head sometimes,’ he said. ‘I wish I could follow you.’"
10 6 / 2013
07 6 / 2013
05 6 / 2013
Whilst digging through my old journals last night, in a fit of insomnia nonetheless, I came across this.
An Open Letter to My 11 Year Old Self
Right now you’ve just started Junior High and for the most part things seem simple. It’s bigger than you expected, the halls more crowded and you no longer have the luxury of navigating the route to class in straight, safe lines. You’re on your own. Everyone suddenly towers over you and maybe for the first time in your life, you realize how tiny you really you are. Get used to it, that feeling only strengthens with age. Still, it’s not so bad because you have a small group of friends you spend the day with, eating lunch on one of the long white cafeteria tables along a yellow wall. The six of you read Harry Potter fan fiction and play conga for forty-five minutes, then you head to biology where one day you watch a video about the circulatory system. You will faint because you hate the sight of blood, thus reinforcing your decision to stay away from medical school at all costs. You’ll follow through on that one. As you progress to seventh and eighth grades, the entire structure of school will change, your friends will be separated and though you’ll still pass each other in the hallways, you will exchange nothing more than polite hellos. But it’s okay, because you have two best friends who will stay beside you throughout high school and even most of college.
This may sound a bit weird but high school will be some of the best years of your life. Yes, I know. The stereotype holds that high school is The Great Terrible Awkward Stage, and of course, it won’t be all giggles and good times but you’ll look back on those years and see how much you grew. Emotionally and psychologically, not so much physically because let’s face it, you’ve been three-quarters of an inch shy of five feet since fifth grade. You’ll meet so many new people, friends who will last for years to come. You’ll lose friends just the same and you’ll often wonder how on earth you were ever fond of those people. Somewhere in the midst of all this changing you will slowly but surely break out of your shell. At fourteen you will get your heart broken for the first time, not by a lover but by a guy who was more than your best friend. But he will leave and come back into your life at least six times in the next eight years until one day, he will disappear forever and you will never get a chance to properly say good bye. You won’t have a boyfriend in high school, you won’t get your first kiss until you turn seventeen but this doesn’t bother you because random, meaningless hookups and other typical adolescent behavior has always made you uncomfortable. So you will spend a lot your adolescence in the shadow of your friends, observing the world around you and learning vicariously through everyone else’s experiences. Sometimes you’ll wonder if this is the easier, safer way to live, learning lessons via other peoples’ mistakes and maybe that’s true to an extent. The truth is, you made up your mind a long time ago not to give your heart away until you’re positive you’re giving it to the right person.
You’ll find a friend in an unexpected person, someone everyone will warn you to stay away from but you have always been too hard-headed, too naïve to listen to anything but your own intuition. You could have saved yourself a lot of pain if you just heeded the warnings, but it’s so much the better you didn’t because this relationship will help you almost as much as it will break you. He will soon become your best friend, in a way the only person you ever completely open up to. He will be your first kiss and your first boyfriend. He will fall in love with you and you will convince yourself that you have fallen in love with him too. You will lie to yourself for three years. He will betray you and you will be amazed that you don’t really care because your feelings weren’t that strong to begin with anyway. You have been numb for too long. On your twentieth birthday he will propose and you will suddenly realize that the only thing you’ve fallen into was a tangled web of deceit. And you will finally gather enough courage to walk away.
You will spend the next couple of years concentrating on school. College will become a sort of safe haven. You’ve always liked school. Even in high school you were excited for the college life. Not because of dorm parties and clubbing and Thirsty Thursdays and Happy Hour every hour but because you never really felt like you belonged. You’ve always felt that you were too different from everyone else, even from your closest friends and you need college to be the place where you find more people like you. And so it will be. You’ve known what you wanted to do with your life since the third grade. Ever since a faux dilemma in mission control during a class trip to Buehler Science Center crushed your dream of becoming an astronaut, you were certain you wanted to become a teacher. So you will enter University as a psychology major; it only seemed obvious since you spent your entire life observing and analyzing and playing therapist for your friends, you might as well get paid for it. By the time junior year rolls around, you’ll tack on a second major: English Literature because reading and writing has always kept you sane. You will make up your mind to be a professor but you’ll struggle with which course you want to further in grad school. You’d be happy either way but you’ve never been good with decisions. When there’s too many options to choose from there’s too much to lose, too much of a chance that you will make the wrong choice. You can only hope that you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.
You’ll fall in love. The real kind of love, the kind you tried to persuade yourself you felt for He Who Shall Remain Nameless. The kind of love that hurts almost as much when you have it as when you don’t. It will happen unexpectedly the spring semester of your junior year. He will be tall and skinny and your kind of geeky cute. He will sit next to you in class lost in books (he reads…for fun!) or scribbling song lyrics in his notebook or lost in his own world of music filtering into his ears. You will harbor this crush for months, not saying anything about it or even admitting it to yourself because what’s the point if he’s graduating in May? One late April morning he will show up with a broken leg and a limp and you will walk him to the subway after class. On the last day of the semester he will give you a single yellow rose, a quick smile and a promise to see you again and things will never be the same. It’s too good to be true but it is. Both of you will aimlessly wander around the city for hours, saying things neither of you have ever revealed to anyone else, amazed and frightened by how it feels like you have known each other your whole lives instead of just a couple of months. He will hold your hand when you cross the street but won’t let go until the very last second before you head back home . You will feel in the depths of your heart everything you had read about as a child in books and fairytales; things you dismissed as merely fiction will suddenly become terrifyingly real. Your heart racing as it skips a beat, reverberating against your ribs, heat rising in your cheeks, difficulty forming coherent sentences, euphoria and desire and passion that may very well be symptoms of your prefrontal cortex shutting down, dopamine levels rising to zenith, but logic doesn’t matter anymore. He will teach you how to trust again and how to smile for no reason, how to laugh out loud and revel in happiness without feeling guilty or scared. He will spin around in circles until you’ve made up your mind about the simplest of things like where to eat lunch, he will give you a piggy back ride across Times Square and kiss you in the middle of street seconds before the light turns green and carry you princess style into the subway when your feet are tired. You will fall asleep together, holding each other’s heartbeats under your palms. These will be the most wonderful, most fleeting moments of your adolescent life. But one day you will wake up and he will be gone. And you won’t get a chance to say I love you, much less good bye. I wish I could tell you that you’ll meet him again the way fated lovers always do in movies and every story ever told. I wish I could tell you that that piece of your heart he took when he left, which deepened the same void that has been growing with every person whose hand ever found its way into yours and out again will eventually be filled by someone else but I can’t. Because the truth is, ten years from now, you’ll still be will still be waiting.
The older but not much wiser, you.
05 6 / 2013
03 6 / 2013
I have a habit of falling in love with souls who have yet to be at peace with their bodies, their minds, their weaknesses. I try to build them, to find the parts of them that are missing in me. I end up with holes in my chest.
03 6 / 2013
03 6 / 2013
"If it’s meant for you, you won’t have to beg for it. You will never have to sacrifice your dignity for your destiny."
01 6 / 2013
29 5 / 2013