New Romantics

***written November 2014 but I forgot to publish it oops…I still stand by it though. Newer posts to come soon***

For the past 6 months, almost exactly, I’ve been wanting to see one of my best friends but not been able to. I’m honestly not even sure why. And the other day I finally did, and I’m happy, but the results were not what I was expecting.

I’ve been saying lately that I have no expectations of anyone, which is more or less true, but I still have expectations of myself. I expect to feel certain ways and say certain things in different situations.

And that didn’t happen.

I was so just beyond anxious the entire time, partially because of the setting but partially just because I didn’t know what was happening. And then me feeling that way scared me even more, making me even more anxious, because that normally doesn’t happen. Normally I feel at peace. He’s my oldest friend and one of the only people I feel truly safe around. I don’t want to lose that feeling.

I also don’t remember that night that well, even though I was completely sober and it was THREE DAYS AGO. Maybe that’s an anxiety thing? Who knows. I’ve been noticing that a lot lately with important moments. I remember bits and pieces but not nearly as much as I want to. Continue reading

Jump (Then Fall)

3 months ago I had this very, very brief thing with this guy, and I never wrote about it publicly until it was over. Except I did write about it, and it’s been sitting in my drafts. I went back to it and was going to delete it, because it’s now irrelevant. But then I realized that that’s what makes it so important.

This is an example of how quickly feelings can change, of how wrong you can be about someone. How even the smartest girls can get all wrapped up like this.

The only saving grace is that now I know that this is possible – unlikely, but possible. Stupidity is awful, but it’s also fun while it lasts. Every girl deserves a little fun now and again, something that I had been sorely lacking. And I’m okay. I didn’t fall in love. And I’ve been through worse.

This post will probably make you want to punch yourself in the face, it’s so adorable. And it makes me want to punch myself in the face too for different reasons, because he didn’t jump, he didn’t understand, and we didn’t make it through those hard conversations. Continue reading

The Black Hole

So, I’ve been working on a book for the past 6 months that features a lot of personal details about my life, and as you would expect, writing it has been interesting, to say the least.

As I’m writing, I’m forced to remember things in painstakingly accurate detail, and this is either excruciatingly painful or touching or hilarious or all of the above. And sometimes this sticks with me for a little bit, but then a funny thing happens – the memories disappear.

I mean, they don’t really, of course, but they become no longer my memories, real things that happened to me, but a fictional character’s memories. If I tried hard enough, if I went back through all the old pictures and documents and scrapbooks and gifts that I sifted through in the first place, in order to recall these things, I would remember. But assuming that I don’t do that, I remember things the way I wrote them. In third-person, about someone else, who is me but not me.

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You, with your switching sides
And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again
As if I don’t already see them
I walk with my head down
Trying to block you out cause I’ll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again

I bet you got pushed around,
Somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now
Cause you can’t lead me down that road,
And you don’t know, what you don’t know…

I’ll be living in a big old city

And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
I’ll be big enough that you can’t hit me

And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
-Taylor Swift

Nearly 3 weeks ago I was officially hired as the Creative Projects & Communications Assistant at the non-profit that I interned at over the summer. I’ve known this was going to happen since my last week there, I just wasn’t sure what exactly my role would be so I didn’t want to talk about it too much. Actually I still don’t know, considering that my title was just made up for me, but we will find out! Over the summer I mainly handled media related things but for the past year I’ve sort of been someone who just does anything and everything (except for for math and science), so who knows. But I am getting a paycheck and I have my own office now, for some reason, so that’s all I’m concerned about. I’ve enjoyed what I do so far so I’m sure it will continue that way.

This is basically the best thing that could semi-realistically happen to me. Let me explain that – I’ve mentioned (several times) that I had a dream to get married and shit, and I’ve come to realize that I also had a dream to have a tight-knit group of friends who would support me. These things will never happen. Not the way I want, anyway.

And out of that darkness came this newfound ability to be…me. Who I really am, I guess, not that I knew that as it was happening. Someone who can be highly functional even during her darkest periods, who speaks her mind and isn’t particularly scared of what anyone else thinks, someone with good ideas. And as a result I ended up building a new dream and the beginnings of a career.

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Until It’s Too Late

On Thanksgiving Day my brother found out that his best friend died, and in a way it was fitting because nothing reminds you of what to be thankful for more than loss.

We don’t know how he died – it could have been suicide, but maybe not. I’m not here to talk about that. What I am here to talk about is paying attention to your life, and to the lives of the people around you.

My brother’s friend died a week before the police broke down the door of his bedroom and found his body. He lives with roommates, who I guess didn’t think to check on him. I can only imagine how they must feel now, knowing that he was there, dead, this entire time as they went about their daily lives mere feet away.

As someone who has contemplated suicide many times, a thought I always had was that if I made that choice, no one would notice for a very long time. I didn’t have a lot of friends and the ones that I did have were pretty absent (and still are for the most part if we’re honest), and I don’t talk to my parents regularly enough for them to worry about me. I attributed all of this to the fact that my life was just awful so that was probably even more reason to do it. That was the depression talking, of course, but I still think about that every now and again, and I still felt like there was no way that that would ever happen to most other people, who are swimming in friends and family and so on.

But it does, doesn’t it? More than we like to admit. Our culture is so hands-off. We feel like we’re bothering people and being pushy or nosy if we ask questions. We think that they’ll come to us if they need something. We don’t say things that we should say because we assume that they already know. I do it too. Sometimes for those reasons but more because I assume that they don’t care about me, and since they don’t get involved in my life they certainly won’t want me getting involved in theirs.

Sometimes it’s big, serious things like mental illness, but sometimes it’s little things like relationship drama or a tough job search or even a particularly trying school assignment. Asking all of your friends, “Hey, are you okay? No seriously, ARE YOU OKAY?!” every other day is probably not going to be helpful, but showing interest in the smaller aspects of their lives can be. If you don’t show that you care on a ‘normal’ day, how will they know that they can turn to you when the shit hits the fan (which it inevitably always does for everyone at some point)? I can’t tell you how much it would mean to me for people to just check on me every couple of weeks, like, “Hey, how are you? What’s new?” instead of having to seek them out when I want to tell them something.

Don’t just wait for people to come to you. We are all full of various insecurities that stop us from seeking out love and attention. Go to them. Even if you don’t feel like they’ll reciprocate – maybe one day they will. Be hands-on. BE touchy-feely. Say how you really feel and often, even if all you’re met with is silence.

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Learning to Let Go

It occurred to me recently that I actually have no idea who I am right now.

I USED to have a fantastic sense of who I was, so much so that I refused to deviate from the path that I (and others) had set out for me. Please, I could never be a leader, I could never write anything halfway decently, and I can’t wear crop tops because my boobs are too small and I can’t wear tiny shorts because I have too much leg hair and it takes forever in the morning to shave, I can’t get good grades in university, I can’t make new friends, I could never be interested in anyone else. And on and on the list goes.

This sounds bad, but it isn’t really. I loved my old life. I did. I’m still sad and heartbroken that it’s over. But let’s face it, that path isn’t working for me anymore, and it’s not working for anyone else involved either. Who knows why, but the reasons aren’t really important – it is what it is. Now what do I do?

I’ve been asking myself that question for the past 4 months. I thought this was going to be the summer that we learned how to hold on to what we had, as much as possible, but it turned out to be the summer that I learned to let go. It became apparent before summer even technically started that that was what I was going to have to do, I just refused to see it. I did, I always do at one point or another, but that’s a shitty feeling, so I choose not to feel that way. I choose to try to make it better. Every time. And it works for a while. But not for long enough. People tell me that I’m bad at choosing to be happy, to change my thoughts, etc. but that’s not true – I’m actually really GOOD at that. When I want to be. Too good. I can believe that I have a chance when I don’t. I can see love where it doesn’t exist.

Last year I let this ruin my ENTIRE summer, almost. And it nearly ruined this one, too. But right at the end I decided – not this time. I’m reclaiming these last 3 weeks. I’m just gonna do me.

But wait – who is me?

Who AM I when I walk away from someone I love? Who am I when I stop trying? Trying is my LIFE. I’m the girl who tries way too hard, who puts everything into people she loves. And I’m weirdly proud of that.

Now I’m someone else. I don’t know who yet.

But does that have to be quite as scary as I’ve been making it seem? Not really. It can be exciting if you’re optimistic about it. It can be great, if I’m as passionate about finding NEW things and people to be passionate about as I was about my old life.

And I’ve already made some progress. I have Active Minds, which is my child, and I’m in my last year of school, so as a reward/experiment I’m taking a creative writing class. I have my internship, which is over now but it was still cool. I’m going to start blogging for them and hopefully stay connected (spoiler alert – I might be getting a job. Like one where I get paid). I have new friends and they’re awesome, even if one of them is going to Ireland for 6 million years (CHARLOTTE) and some of them are leaving the country permanently in a few months. I’m oddly invested in Taylor Swift and Marianas Trench, who both have new albums coming out this fall (THE STARS HAVE ALIGNED, FINALLY), which is awesome. TV shows are starting up again. I am also oddly invested in those. I have cats and cute clothes and cute hair and cute shoes and cute handbags and a new chair. I got a new high score the last time I played 2048.

So maybe these are steps in the right direction, even if it’s not the final destination. And although they may seem unimportant, a lot of little steps can add up to a pretty substantial leap. I have to convince myself that those things, like work and school, are not just “important” or “necessary” but meaningful. Just as meaningful as the things I had before. I have to stop telling myself that everything is superficial and won’t lead me to true happiness. Probably not, not on their own, but maybe this is just the beginning. I doubt that my new dress is going keep me warm at night, but maybe it will make me feel more confident the next time I’m with someone I like. Maybe they’ll lead me to finding even more good things – like a yellow brick road leading me on a winding journey to Oz.

So let’s see what happens. The next chapter starts now.

And we were dancing, dancing
Like we’re made of starlight, starlight
Like we dream impossible dreams
Don’t you see the starlight, starlight?
Don’t you dream impossible things?
-Taylor Swift