This is ~Very!~ Unlike Me

I have never mentally recognized that I am working towards a goal. I’ve 100% done it before, like I’ve been working towards my goal of finishing college, of being tanner, of earning money to enjoy my year at school. All of these things I don’t recognize as goals, mostly because I’m not a goal-oriented individual. As I’ve been learning this summer, I am a people-oriented individual, and often my ups and downs with others reflects itself in my life. When I am at a good point, most of my relationships are vibrant and active, and when I am at a bad point, you can assume that I’m having a problem with someone.

And that’s just it- I actually am accomplishing my goal of learning more about myself and my mental illness this summer. It feels so good. I actually said I was going to do something and did it! Usually I just do things and just don’t pay attention to the consequences or don’t read into it. It feels so strange to be writing this positive of a blog post, but it reflects how I feel right now. I actually made a new friend yesterday, and I haven’t made a friendship I feel comfortable in since high school. All of the people I met in college are great, but there is a disconnect somewhere, like I know that we will eventually lose contact in a few year’s time, so what’s the point.

But something I found that was more rewarding to focus on rather than all my shortcomings with forming relationships, is celebrating and growing my current ones. By simply choosing to not focus on the fact that I haven’t made any new friends and make that an issue, I chose that it didn’t need to be. I figured out what kind of people aren’t for me and why, and I thought about how me and my current friends work together and why, and I think that will set the tone for the new year at school and who I will give my time to. I just feel overall smarter in my decision-making. Maybe I’m not sure of my outward appearance and what that should look like, but no one ever is. I have two sides of me that fight each other constantly, and all I know is that I should give them equal attention, no matter how much money that costs (lol).

I think working on my relationships first was an important step since they are so important to me. Now that I have that for the most part sifted out, I can be happy while examining myself because I know I have a strong support system. I have learned that I have a lot of energy and can keep going for long periods of time with little sleep and no caffeine, and I’ve seen that at play during ten hour shifts at my new summer job. I like that about myself. I also learned that maybe I’m not as lazy as I thought I was; I’m just impatient, and when things don’t happen fast enough for me, like cooking, I choose to just make mac and cheese or eat a snack. Practicing patience has been a challenge but I’m working towards it. I also learned that I need a shit-ton of independence, like the most independence one can have, but I can never fully attain that because I’m bad with money and need to rely on someone for financial support (how surprising). So basically I’m really hopeful to get a well-paying job in the future or at least be near some bomb thrift stores as an adult.

Which leads me to the big huge realization: IT IS SO! OKAY! THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. It’s very okay that most of my friends have plans or timelines or boyfriends that they want to marry but it’s also MORE THAN okay that I don’t! The last thing I need to do is compare myself to someone who is EXTREMELY differently wired than me. I am a unique individual who can choose to plan out her life or not. And I’m not the biggest planner! I have a planner but I only use it for homework and even then sometimes I’m lazy and don’t write it down. So why would I have to have my entire life plan laid out when I can’t bring myself to write down that I have to read a chapter for Spanish II? I find it way more fun this way; at least, I did when I changed my perspective. My life could go so many ways and by my choices and intentions, I can kind of control it.

So through all of this I chose not to spend the summer stressing about my major change, my bad luck with friendships, the friendships I had that were fizzling out, my eventual possible lack of a job that I made up in my head, or the fact I don’t want a boyfriend. I chose to focus on my jobs and going to the beach. Not that hard to focus on, and not that hard to change my mindset to do so. I highly recommend going to therapy and putting a little mental structure in your life. Coming to you live from Ashlawn Farms, I can finally say I have hope for the future and I don’t think I will stop for a while. 🙂

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I Want This Quote Tattooed On My Body

“We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone would be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time. Years ago, a friend of mine had a dream about a strange invention; a staircase you could descend deep underground in which you heard recordings of all the things anyone had ever said about you, both good and bad. The catch was, you had to pass through all the worst things people had said before you could get to the highest compliments at the very bottom. There is no way I would ever make it more than two and a half steps down such a staircase. But I understand its terrible logic: if we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.” – Tim Kreider (READ THE ARTICLE TOO)

Yesterday I was in the mood to write a blog post so I could finally share some of the thoughts I have meant to flesh out recently, but after I procrastinated that for an hour, I came across a simple post on Instagram from a quote account I follow. I mostly follow it for its aesthetics, if I’m being completely honest. I like the gradients, the pretty colors, the font. But the post from yesterday, captured above, hit me so hard that everything I’ve been worried about for a while now suddenly connected into one giant problem that I now understand! That’s cool.

I’ve had a lot of trouble with friendships throughout my life, starting around middle school when I started to despise being alone (mostly because I thought everyone was hanging out without me). In high school it took a while but I found my people, or so I thought. And in college I tried to find my people, I might have found them, I don’t know, or so I thought. It seemed that everyone I tried to count on, or even counted on in the past, just let me down one small incident at a time that by the time I tried to bring up my grievances, they didn’t get it. I felt, and I still feel, like an irrelevant human being that doesn’t deserve friends. That is the biggest lie I believe about myself.

I don’t want to 100% put this on myself, because I know for a fact I have encountered some grade-A horrible human beings that for sure wronged me, but I think I project this feeling outward. I also have hyper-focused on it this summer to the point I stopped doing things I was supposed to do to improve the quality of my life, like clean my room or take a shower at a convenient time or write in my journal. All because I was convinced my life was boring because people weren’t knocking on my door to hang out with me. I was just waiting for them to do so, and I lost the whole point in the process. If you just live your life and focus on what you do have control of (yourself and your actions), people will come to you. Friendship isn’t a job; while it does take work, it’s supposed to be fun work that will benefit you and other people, like volunteering.

I remember freshman year towards the end of the year when I sat on a field eating a papaya by myself while I watched everyone around me play frisbee with their friends, listen to music with their friends, skateboard with their friends, study for finals with their friends. I’ve had so many moments like that; visible representations that I’m very, very alone. They all seemed to happen in college, but when they started to happen at home, the place where I am comfortable and can be myself, I noticed that it wasn’t college. It wasn’t being away from my home at all. If you tell yourself you don’t deserve friends, and after each friendship that fizzles out you blame it wholly on yourself, you aren’t going to make good friends. You’re going to get desperate. And I got desperate and gravitated towards people that sucked the life out of me. This also happened during an identity crisis, which I think I’m towards the end of! (or maybe my life is just one big identity crisis!)

That identity crisis is the crux of why I struggle to make friends. I used to think that no one wanted to be friends with me because I was confusing; I dressed seven different ways each week, I went to the gym for two weeks and then didn’t go for two months; I listened to Alvvays and Current Joys but also Travis Scott and NAV but also really, really like Sweet Home Alabama and Wagon Wheel and I could never not like The Doors because of my high school obsession and I also really like stuff on Soundcloud that sounds like you should be laying on a beach and just having a fun time and not caring about important world issues but I also just want to listen to one song on repeat for six years; I cut my hair, then regretted it, then didn’t, wore makeup every day and didn’t shower or the opposite. I was doing a million different things everyday. But that’s just who I am right now, and it shouldn’t confuse people, because we are all contradictory and complex. We are more than just dual, like my gemini sun sign says we are, we are multitudes, we are everything. I’m tired of feeling like I have to subscribe to one shell of a person just to fill this abstract idea of being liked. Because no one really likes me, and I don’t really like anyone. Why should I pretend?

This realization, while comforting, is also scary. It just reinforces the idea that I will never want to be in a relationship which is annoying because all my friends are in one or want to be one or are always talking to a guy. I don’t remember the last time I talked to a guy other than my dad. To be honest, I don’t care. I can say that with complete confidence. The only time I want a relationship is when I’m bored out of my mind and no one will hang out with me. When I’m at a concert, or singing by myself in the car on the way to work, or making a really fucking good sandwich, or talking about stuff I love, there is no lingering “I want a boyfriend” voice in my head. If there is in yours, I’m glad, because you’re listening to your wants and needs and I hope you find a boyfriend or girlfriend or someone in the near future that makes you happy. I remember when I really liked someone in high school and heard that voice when I was just living my life and I listened to it. But recently I’ve been making up these voices in my head that just don’t need to be there and I need to stop it, it just makes me drive myself crazy for absolutely no reason.

I want people to know that I am hard to grasp. I want myself to know I am hard to grasp. I change every day, all the time. And I hate that, I really do. I wish I had as concrete of an idea of who I am as I did others. But I think it would do me well to remember that nobody is just somebody, everybody is everyone. Everyone does dumb shit all the time, myself included. I will never be perfect and I will never please everyone and I will never be able to PR for myself or control my image. I think Instagram gives people the idea that we can do that, and maybe if you’re very constant and boring (which is a good thing, we need to destigmatize boring, I want to know what that’s like) it’s easy to get a cohesive idea of what people should think about you, but most people can’t. If you are one of those people, I encourage you to embrace the fact that you are imageless. No one can bottle you up and distribute you to others. Not able to be described; the ingredients change and may vary. The salad bar of life. You pay with cash and card and sometimes throw out pennies and your hands are sweaty and feet are cold, but your stomach is quite warm. Nothing is black and white! We have gray, but we also have apricot, and aquamarine, and pink. Because fuck the spectrum it does not exist. Remember that the color wheel was invented for a reason. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ALL OVER THE PLACE, if you feel that inside of your soul.

What I want myself and hopefully whoever reads this to take from life today is to forgive other people for being complicated. Imagine if everyone wasn’t complicated; yes, life would be so much easier, but everyone would be predictable. And while it’s nice to value consistency, consistency does NOT equal predictability. And adopting this idea will be hard, because where do we draw the line between people just being complicated and them treating you badly? It’s one of the things I think I will try to learn throughout my life, but will never fully understand. I think it’s something we can’t change but can learn to deal with.

With that, I am going to leave Cilantro in Guilford with my peach iced tea and go home to make avocado toast even though I just ate Doritos yesterday, and on the way there I am going to listen to country music, and I just emailed some girl from South Carolina about believing in God, and then I’m going to go to my high school job where everyone drinks Monster and smokes weed in the parking lot during breaks while I drink kombucha and eat a nectarine. Yeah I’m a ~contradiction~ people what are you gonna DO about it. I’m laughing at myself right now. Which is good. I’m going to start letting myself be known. Not just the good parts of me, but the bad parts too. And especially the things that don’t make sense. Because they don’t have to make sense! People don’t make sense. (That’s why I hate science sometimes because when it comes down to it everything is made of dust and I don’t know how we got feelings or fireworks or lemonade or stickers from dust) Have a great day everyone.

Early Summer Moodboard

While summer is always on my mind, it’s been taking up most of the space in there recently.

Finals week switches something in my brain that gets overly excited for summer. If you look through my email history, for the past few years most of my purchases are made in correlation to the timing of my exams. My fruit consumption has gone up; I’m wearing my first sun dress of the year today; I started crafting my summer playlist.

The start of the summer season is a fresh start not only in the timing of one semester ending and bleeding into a break, but a fresh start in terms of the constant sunshine, the new yet familiar smells, the first bike ride; the first pair of shorts you take out of your closet; the first coating of tanning oil on your skin. You receive the comfort and the excitement of knowing that these firsts will turn into multitudes and multitudes, creating memories that blur into one movie in your head: the summer of whatever year it is, wherever you are.

I can’t wait for tomorrow; the start of my summer. I can’t wait for the similar amount of happiness two different days will bring for me: the one where I wake up at ten, eat oatmeal, go to the beach for the whole day, go to my best friend’s house until 3 a.m.; the one where I wake up at seven, eat oatmeal, drive to work with the windows down, go to yoga, have a dinner on the grill cooked by my father and watch a movie with my mother. And these are just skeletons of the days I will have. I will go to my favorite cities; I will go to fireworks showcases; I will go to concerts; I will go on road trips. These things are what make my life worth living.

sundream ~ rufus du sol (x)

love lies remix ~ khalid and normani (x)

more colors ~ kidswaste and chelsea cutler (x)

drugs ~ m.a.g.s. (x)

the sun ~ myd (x)

Lake Turnover, Existential Crises, and Seasonal Depression

In AP Environmental Science, we learned about lake turnover. Lake turnover is the process of a lake’s water literally turning over from top to bottom. In essence, as the seasons change from fall/winter to spring/summer, water and debris that existed on the bottom of the lake (called the hypolimnion) moves to the top of the lake (called the epilimnion) and vice versa. In deeper, larger lakes, the hypolimnion is never reached by the sun’s radiation during either season.

I think about seasonal depression as lake turnover. In the fall and winter, my surface level as a person is dense and heavy, iced over, brewing with sad or angry emotion; everything I’ve let simmer at the bottom of my hypothetical lake since the last “turnover.” Everything I ignore during summer eventually surfaces during the next turnover season. In summer, the surface water of my hypothetical lake is nurtured by the sunlight, bringing back all forms of life and movement. I like to think this is why I feel really shallow or surface-level in the summer, because I am able to focus on lighter feelings like happiness and carelessness because of lack of pressure from school or avoid cooped-up isolation due to cold weather conditions.

There were a lot of things I didn’t fully finish feeling or face over the course of last summer. And, of course, in the middle of the fall/winter season, I switched schools, so that affected how I’ve been feeling. Long story short, there were a lot of things that I had to overcome and conclusions I had to come to over the past fifty-three days I haven’t posted. In those fifty-three days, I have changed so much I don’t even recognize myself anymore, physically and emotionally.

Before anyone gets scared, I think this is good. I know everything is changing all the time, but I felt I was in that phase of my life too long. I became a whole different person when I got out of a relationship in 2015, almost like a child that needed to learn how to exist in the world by myself again. I made a ton of mistakes over that first year, then I went to college and experienced such rapid growth that I don’t even know how to assess it all. That version of myself got old, and over last summer I knew something was going to change, something big was going to happen, and I was going to have to say goodbye to some things and start some new things.

Conveniently, Saturn changed signs in December. Since then, my life has been reorganizing itself. I have a clearer version of what I want out of life and more confidence that I will be able to achieve it. I have made peace, for now at least, with the fact I am a million different people at once. I have faced problems in most of my relationships with important people in my life and confronted them with the knowledge that I will repeatedly have to battle these issues because it’s just what happens when two people are friends. I ended a quasi-relationship in the dramatic way I wanted to, accidentally shook up some other ones, and cut my hair. I have accepted the fact that I am one of those college students who always wants to go home.

I like this new me. I am more hardworking and introspective and calm. I have written two coherent poems and have read them in front of other people. I am more detached and understanding and less quick to react. I don’t wear makeup. I am in the process of obtaining a second job. I don’t shake uncontrollably when I drink a cup of coffee. I have finally realized what does and does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Is this maturity?

Whatever it is, unfortunately I had to reach some record lows to finally gain some emotional stability. But I read an article recently that made me feel better about this; a girl who lives out of her car and teaches yoga and spirituality in Australia says her mantra is “no one cares about a movie where nothing goes wrong.” Since I’ve accepted that I will probably always live my life pretending I’m in a movie, what better time to adopt this mantra and use it to justify my shortcomings in life! But no, really, I think it’s taken me almost twenty years to realize that everything going wrong makes my life interesting. More than half of this blog is dedicated to me processing the things that go awry in my life. My life would be devoid of creativity and emotion if my life went well all the time.

So I’m going to forgive myself for being off for the past fifty-three days. Everything that happened led up to today, where I’ve had two cups of soup and my professor comforted me about my fear of public speaking and I found great new music on Spotify and I finally remembered to spray heat protectant on my hair before I straightened it. Not the best day, but not the worst day. Soon everything will be better or just different, and that’s all I can ask.

existential crisis playlist:

center of gravity the brazen youth / all that and more (sailboat) rainbow kitten surprise / going gets tough the growlers / jackie wants a black eye dr. dog / where’d all the time go? dr. dog / oh! starving car seat headrest / ifhy tyler the creator  / this must be the place (naive melody) cover the lumineers / close to me the cure / sunburned shirts car seat headrest / the good times are killing me modest mouse / a$ap forever a$ap rocky / be above it tame impala / femme fatale the velvet underground / archie, marry me flyte / see you again tyler the creator & kali uchis

things i did during my existential crisis:

watched twentieth century women, american honey, frances ha, wild / started breaking bad / finished thirteen reasons why / worked a lot / went on a hike in the white mountains / hosted a poetry reading / discovered a great salad at one plate, two plates / stopped going to therapy / ate a million bags of cadbury mini eggs / started tweeting again / started my spring 2018 spotify playlist / started working out again / hiked in the white mountains

Hey Guys, Don’t Transfer in The Middle of The Year

I need to write this post in the middle of the Student Union as my hands shake uncontrollably. Why? Because I’m so scared of everyone for no reason. Even typing these three sentences I have clicked in and out of WordPress like five times. I turned down the brightness so low I can barely see what I’m writing. All because I don’t want the streams of people walking by me to see what I’m doing.

I thought coming here would cure that. There are over twenty six THOUSAND students who pass through the Student Union presumably every day. And that’s not counting teachers, staff, visitors, etc. Not one of them gives a single fuck what I’m typing on my blog that less than ten people read. But I can’t stop glancing up, changing tabs, or internally screaming.

Why can’t I just not care?

For a few days I’ve been coming to terms with the fact I have somewhere along the line developed crippling social anxiety. So I’m forcing myself to write this in public while a cute father and mother pull up chairs to the table behind me to eat dinner with their daughter. Hello, you’re probably reading this. But also probably not because you’re eating dinner.

But hey – that’s the point! I really shouldn’t care. If I really believed in the content I was putting out, and wasn’t scared of who I am, I wouldn’t care. I guess those are two things I need to work on.

Unfortunately, this translates into my everyday life too. If I just garnered up the confidence to ask a simple question, I would have been able to go to a concert tonight. If I didn’t immediately flee a social situation at breakfast, I would have gotten the correct spelling of this person’s last name I’ve been meaning to look up on Facebook. My read receipts on my text messages have been texting me, and I’ve gathered up so many text messages I’m afraid to read because I don’t know how to respond.

I just responded them, because so what if my responses are dumb. It’s a text message. It does not make or break a friendship. Just because they don’t respond, or question what I said, doesn’t meant that I did something wrong.

Now I look like a heavy-breathing, sweaty crackhead wearing a fur coat and green eyeshadow on the brink of sobbing in a public place. Does this make me less scared? No. Probably more scared. But this is necessary. What’s the point of life if you can’t make friends because you’re so scared to open your mouth and say something because you are terrified they’ll hate you or desert you for someone better. I’ve been through that and it sucks and I think that’s why I’m scared. So, one big sincere fuck you to my freshman year friends that decided it was cool to just leave me out of everything. But also thank you because I was wasting my time with all of you. But also fuck you again because you made me feel like shit.

In conclusion: it’s hard to be a freshman all over again. ESPECIALLY when no one else is learning with you. Every freshman has an upper hand on me because they’ve been here for one semester; same with every regular transfer. Yes, we can discuss how different our old schools were from UConn, but when I say UConn is big it already seems small to everyone else. I don’t know where most buildings are, I get on the bus when they are going the wrong way, and when I try to use the excuse “I’m new here” people are confused because it’s February.

I hope I start figuring it all out soon because I’m tired of being a freshman. I know it’s one month in but I’m so done being scared and underprepared everywhere I go. I just wanted a fresh start and all I got was sweaty hands and endless uncertainty.

 

And Now, I Finally Publicly Admit That My Nose Was Too Big For My Face in 2010

As me and all my friends edge closer to 20, I want to properly mourn the last decade of our lives.

I remember turning 10. It was the end of fourth grade, and our class pet, a hermit crab, had died overnight. We were sad. We still had my cupcakes though. It was a Thursday.  I doubt that turning 20 feels as important as 10 did, but still, like I said before, we are all going to be different people because now we’re going to be old.

It’s coincidental that I thought of this article idea the night before Man Repeller posted this article, but maybe it’s not because I’m convinced that blog/Leandra Medine is a vision I had in an astral projection I construed a long time ago.

But yeah! This is basically just an ode, but also a calling to full-on revive, every aspect of yourself that you have feared yet simultaneously loved over the past ten years. I think it will be fun.

Like, will you bring back the overnight braid, also known the cheap (wo)man’s crimper? The ones that were supposed to come out like this but ended up looking like an even greasier version of this? Or maybe it will be long layers with a hint of ~scene~ bangs, as seen in 2009 from Shailene Woodley? Or will it be something more recent, like shitty multicolored ombre or, my favorite, dying your hair with Kool-Aid? Was that just me? Possibly.

I also want to bring back aspects of culture SO bad. I miss soft-grunge so much. I miss the upside-down crosses complete with light Satanic undertones, those #teenagerposts on tumblr (which, I have a theory on why those were so popular- that we were just all discovering the commonality of the human experience in an incredibly obnoxious way, complete with poor font choices), and Take Care (Deluxe Album Version) by Drake, which I never really stopped listening to in the first place? Or maybe it will be a bit more ~advanced~, a little more mid-2010s, and you bring back Arctic Monkeys lyrics juxtaposed against pictures with horrible lighting, trying to own every LUSH product in the entire universe, maybe even a little Squaready on your Instagram? Ah, the simpler days, when people used to edit their photos AFTER putting it in Squaready and gave me chronic headaches.

It’s easy to erase all of the horrible times of being a teenager and remember the highlight reel, but I also think it wouldn’t be honoring our past selves without reflecting on all the depressing things that we thought made our lives so mundane. Mine was sitting in the library across from my high school for hours until my mom picked me up. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. It was also when the lock was stolen on my locker twice the first month of freshman year, or maybe asking my friend to ask a guy to hook up with me at a birthday party the summer before 8th grade and getting curved and realizing I did it only because of peer pressure. Or maybe it was my entire love life and my gross choices! I don’t know. Pick your favorite mistake and laugh but also be thankful that now all you have to worry about is whether you want to get married or something and paying taxes. I think that’s better than accidentally shaving your eyebrow off because someone told you you had a unibrow in Spanish class.

On a lighter note, think of that pesty body part you’ve finally grown into. Mine is my nose. It was always so big. In seventh grade a kid told me it was too big for my face and I started crying. My mom told me it wasn’t true. But guess what? I look back on old photos, and it was too goddamn big for my face. Now it’s perfect! And has way more blackheads. But such is life.

Shout out to the past ten years for formulating all of us, you were brutal but necessary. Maybe none of us will tear our ACL, get hives from shaving our upper lip, or get tempura paint from art class on our new shoes in the next ten years, but I bet it will be just as messy and ugly. But in a good way, of course. We know more now. We know we’re gluten intolerant, allergic to strawberries, or dyslexic now; we know that we would maybe hate to live in Florida, or statistics is the bane of our existence, and we might always sleep late on the weekends even when we want to get shit done. I think it’s cool that we know ourselves more now. But things were cool when you didn’t know. Your old self is really funny and interesting (in a good way), no matter what you think, because she was trying. And you even have stuff in common, I bet. I still listen to Frank Ocean when I’m depressed just like I did in 2012, and I still eat pizza upside down like I did in 2005, and I can’t let go of my side part I got in 2011.

Here’s a photo of me liking coffee just to prove that I hate coffee now and ~people evolve within the confines of their projected personality~, also wearing neon orange lipstick to prove that we all make mistakes…

IMG_4538 copy

a (forced) love letter to being alone

I don’t want to write this but I have to. I hate being alone. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Unless it’s on my own terms, I don’t want it. Like, right now, I didn’t want to be alone so much that I walked to someone else’s dorm and sat in the study room with a random guy doing some sort of hard online homework just to write this.

I ate dinner alone today. I eat alone a lot. Eating alone makes me feel fat because doing stuff when no one else is around feels pointless. I don’t know why it does. I do some of my best thinking alone; in the shower, in the car on the way to the bank, in my journal, at night in my bed starting at the ceiling. It makes me feel like I’m shouting into the void and that’s a scary thought.

Why do I feel like I waste so much time when I’m alone? Unless I’m doing homework, I feel like doing stuff I like is a waste of time. Sometimes I feel like writing is a waste of time because I feel like I could never make something of this. It’s been so long since I’ve written fiction that I’ve actually shown someone. When I was alone when I was little I used to write and read and repeat. Reading about all my favorite subjects and all my favorite series made me so happy; ancient Egypt, the American revolution, Lemony Snicket, Harry Potter, insects, fashion. I wrote over ten books and over three hundred songs and hundreds of little snippets of ideas that never came to fruition.

I used to share my writing on a website. Only two people I actually know in person knows that I used to do that; my cousin and a girl who was a year younger than me at my high school. So many people read my books. I would finish one and people would comment asking for more. My books would trend on the home page of the website for weeks. I started posting poetry and songs and even journal entries for people to read. I don’t know what it was about my writing that people liked; I wish I knew because I would try to channel that in this blog. It felt so good to be recognized for something I absolutely loved doing. Every day as soon as I came home from middle school, I would write for hours and now I can’t even churn out one half-page of text a day.

When I was in eighth grade I became really depressed. I tried to kill myself. I always forget I did and then I say it in front of people and they’re shocked. And since then I’ve been on and off suicidal. In the past couple of years I’ve only gotten to that point twice, so I guess that’s pretty good. My interest in writing faded as my interest in the world did too. I stopped reading. All I would do was watch Youtube videos on fashion and how to recreate Australian accents. When I was diagnosed with depression in ninth grade, I started going to a hospitalization program for half of the day, five days a week.

Instead of going home immediately after a long day of school to my literary fans on the internet and my sticker-covered journal, I would get picked up in a white van at 12:45 p.m. every day from high school. It always smelled stale and gross and everyone in the program with me most likely does heroin or something and has children by now. I know at least one girl does because I saw her Facebook once; her baby is cute. They basically taught you how to deal with life and talked about the layers of depression that we’d experience. I think the staff liked me because they knew I actually cared about getting better. My parents tried everything, but made it worse; disconnecting me from social media, taking my phone away at night, and monitoring my texts and phone calls only heightened the fact that I felt so alone. Because of my isolation and probably the fact that I was really emo and scared of everyone, I had few friends. I had nothing to write about except my growing sense of loneliness and despair. I would sit in my bed and listen to Lana Del Rey and refuse to eat.

When I’m alone, I guess I just think of who I was when I spent so much time alone. But a lot of people, including myself, have told me that I am not the same person I was six years ago. I can’t believe it was six years ago, because it feels like yesterday and a century ago at the same time. I could sit here and write about how Perks and Nirvana and Teen Vogue changed my life as a teenager and made me feel less alone, but it feels like bullshit. I know it was just time that healed everything. I know that going back to the partial hospitalization program a second time was bullshit. I know that getting a therapist before college to talk about how scared I felt was bullshit. Literally, all I had to do was not be so dramatic about my feelings. I know being alone isn’t the root of my depression. It can’t be, because being alone is just. a. part. of. life. I wake up alone, I fall asleep alone, it’s just the way it works.

I could have saved myself from depression, I sometimes think, because all I could have done was got my ass out of bed and joined a club or sport or picked up a video game besides Minecraft and reteach myself how to HTML code or learn how to cook or something. But I’ve come to the conclusion that my teenage depression was a side effect of being alone. In middle school, people hung out more, and Instagram began to exist. Suddenly, I felt I had to being doing stuff. And me, who had never done stuff, was so confused.

And I love doing stuff. I really do. I think it’s just part of who I am. But I need to get back to the person who did nothing and learn from her. Because when I’m alone I’m creative and introspective and smart. Yeah, I might stare at the wall and listen to Frank Ocean and ponder the meaning of life, but that doesn’t mean I’m depressed. It means I just know what it’s like to hang out with yourself. And that’s okay.

So I guess this is the part where I call myself to action: No more being social! Stay home every night! Start playing video games and watching more movies and finish the entirety of The Office in four days! But honestly writing that makes me want to throw up everywhere! So here’s to trying to watch less Youtube videos about people with aesthetically pleasing lives and here’s to watching more Youtube videos about graphic design and ancient Egypt and making collages.

I always say I want to create more, to learn more, to grow more, and I think the part I’m missing is that people do that when they are alone.

Eat more Annie’s mac and cheese, people

I had a very typical New Year’s Day: I woke up crying because I was insanely depressed, all I wanted was a bagel but my dad wouldn’t let me leave the house, so I grudgingly ate a hot dog instead and slept for the entire day.

Since my day was completely shit for the first few hours, I decided to just say fuck it and text all my friends from school that I was transferring to UConn because why not make everything worse? Then I changed my school on my Facebook about page to UConn. Then I listened to Lana Del Rey and cried more and fell asleep for the entire afternoon.

I woke up to a lot of well wishes and a lot of people that were sad that I was leaving. I seriously thought no one would care. Even the girl I was supposed to room with this year that completely avoided me the whole summer because she was transferring and didn’t bother to tell me liked my post. It’s kind of nice. I feel like I’m actually leaving something behind that is worth missing.

The senior in my Spanish class first semester freshman year even texted me. As soon as I saw her name pop up onto my phone I was so excited. She had transferred to UVM from University of Maryland for her sophomore year because as much as she didn’t mind Maryland and made a few friends, she didn’t feel herself there. She’s graduated now and lives her best life hopping from European country to European country and wearing cool scarves. It gives me hope.

I have no idea where my life is going to take me. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable or happy or consistent, but I really hope I do. I hope I ride more planes and eat more boxes of mac and cheese and smile at strangers walking down the street. I hope I walk into Walgreens and have conversations with the employees about their days because they actually do care about stuff like that. I hope that three years from now I’d have gone on a life changing trip to somewhere I’d love to live one day. I hope I show up to my five year high school reunion really overdressed and get drunk off of half a glass of wine.

Maybe it’s my fault, but everything in my life feels really unstable right now. All of my relationships with people seem really hopeless and I know that it’s just my negative, small thinking but someday soon I’ll get the bigger picture. I don’t know what to expect from anyone or anything. Absence of expectations scares the shit out of me because I always have expectations. I had expectations for New Years Eve that fell short. I ended up looking weird not wearing a bra with my dress, my makeup looked terrible because my cheeks were flushed, and I cried more often than I intended to.

A lot of times I say things that I know are overly dramatic or send texts knowing people won’t respond or care. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I over complicate my life. I don’t know why I constantly cry over dumb things like not being able to get a Cohen’s bagel. I don’t know why I can’t just reassure myself that everything will be okay. That not everyone loves me. That sometimes I’m just too much for people. And it’s fine.

I hope in 2018 I can stop living in my head. It seems like I don’t because I’m social and always wanting to be doing something, but so much goes on inside my head that I don’t ever talk about. Mostly because it’s hard to talk about this stuff, because a lot of people I know wouldn’t get it. But I do know people that would get it. I hope I feel endlessly inspired regardless of how uninspiring I think the world is.

I knew 2017 would be hard and it was and now it’s over. I can’t put a word to how 2018 is going to be but it is going to be just that. A lot of warmth. A lot of becoming an adult. A lot of doing what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

And I’m also going to pretend that January 1st doesn’t count. If today is any indication as to what 2018 will be like, it will just be filled with chocolate and sleeping in the middle of the day and eating pasta. Well maybe that isn’t so bad.

2018 Resolutions

  1. Maina, you have a 0.0 GPA right now. Please do not screw that up. Get over a 3.0 please.
  2. Spend money on your passions. Buy more paint, buy more used books, buy more pens when you run out of the ones you use for your journal. Buy more film cameras.
  3. You are already aware that you are special and beautiful and amazing, so stop trying to prove it to everyone else because they should already know.
  4. Make more mixtapes for your friends, and let them know you’re thinking of them often.
  5. Finally find some peace with your body. Go to the gym with Riley. At first you’re going to look dumb and fat but eventually you won’t.
  6. Improve the blog. Buy a domain name. Post bi-weekly. Whenever you’re thinking about boys or watching pointless youtube videos stop doing that and write a post.
  7. Make friends. Go up to random people and say hello. Pretend UConn is your senior year of high school. You run the place. Give people gum and compliment their shoes.

An Argument: Let Time Dictate Your Life

Being snowed in alone is the ripest kind of bittersweet. I really hate being alone sometimes but ultimately it really reconnects me with how I’m feeling and who I am at this certain point in time. And, since I don’t really know what to make of life recently, today was very much needed.

I mostly sat with a bath bomb tucked underwater while reading a book I’ve had listed on Goodreads for 10 months, listening to Old Money by Lana Del Rey and staring at the snow falling outside from the big window in my room. All I’ve eaten is seven Dove chocolates. I haven’t brushed my teeth.

I’ve been meaning to make a big post about a big decision I’ve finally made, but it doesn’t feel that monumental. I thought about it yesterday, and everything I would miss, the snow, the solitude, the familiarity, but that’s the closest I’ve gotten to realizing the weight of what I’ve actually done. And if you know me, everything is a big deal. Which is why I’m confused.

I guess the closest I’ve gotten to making a big revelation was when I was emptying the bath and I made a post on Instagram of a few photos I’ve taken during great moments of 2017. A panoramic view of York Beach in Maine, Sylvan Esso during my favorite song of theirs in Brooklyn, walking down the street in Georgetown. And I started to think about how everyone will collectively agree that 2017 sucked. And it really did! In many ways. 2016 for me was arguably so much worse emotionally, but in 2017 I felt nothing. This year was a flatline, with summer slightly elevated through all of my travels and my one period of emotional stimulation.

In the back of my head when I catalog time, I always hear my friend Emily saying “Time is fake as shit.” As much as that is true, and empowering in a lot of senses, time still dictates much of our lives. I’m still in school. Semesters and due dates circulate around me for nine months out of the year. Breaks have beginnings and endings. My work shifts are in thirty minute or hour intervals. Birthdays only last twenty-four hours, and then what are you supposed to feel.

Time is fake as shit but it’s here and we have to make something of it within the confines that society created. For me, I know 2018 will be very different from 2017. With a whole new set of people, thousands of people, in a new place that I’ve always known existed and have been before. Familiar but unfamiliar. New routines, new walking routes, new starts and endings. Who knows where I will be working in the summer? Who I’ll meet in my economics class? Where I’ll live, where I’ll travel to? I’ll have a good idea of where (probably Shoprite, probably someone from a town thirty minutes away from me who knows my cousin, on campus, and somewhere within driving distance) but within those confines, there are still options.

So if time ever gets you down like it has to me, just remember there are options. Maybe your 2018 will look just about the same as 2017. Maybe you just realized your entire life is a flatline. Maybe you realized that you need a flatline year. Whatever it is, make a new year’s resolution, because they matter. And if you don’t stick to it, doing it for however long you did is still a change. Predictions can be accurate but not precise (tbt to high school science class).

Here is my callout post: Make a change. Make a big deal about that change. Put glitter on your face on December 31st. Wipe it clean on January 1st when you get out of bed, and feel like a different person, because it’s 2018 and you are allowed to.

Wine Renaissance Aesthetic

I have two #moods: shimmery and saturated. We can talk about saturated in March or something. Shimmery is the most important one at this time of year because the holiday time slowly intensifies it.

Shimmer \ˈshi-mə-riŋ, ˈshim-riŋ\

Intransative verb

  1. to shine with a soft tremulous or fitful light (glimmer)
  2. to reflect a wavering sometimes distorted visual image

At Thanksgiving, I usually stray away from shimmer. I wear brown eyeshadow and muted tones, MAYBE a forest green somewhere. Anything shiny comes from a Free People necklace or a polyester light-reflecting picture effect. But now it’s December 1st! And I can jump right back in.

Also I NEVER drink wine in the spring, summer, or fall. That is a very rare occurrence, only if I am somehow enticed by my cousin owning an expensive brand or something. I drink copious, copious amounts of wine in this month. I have finished two and a half bottles of Pinot Grigio since Thanksgiving. Which I also have decided is my favorite. And I think I’m actually going to buy champagne that does not cost thirteen dollars this year; let’s see how this goes.

Here’s a moodboard, completely taken from my tumblr:

I know, I know, there are very heavy Gossip Girl overtones; Blake Lively in particular. But she knows how to be shimmery! What can I say. Also, yes, there are about 4987203 pictures of Manhattan, but WHERE ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON SO MAGICAL?! Maybe in a small New England suburb, but that’s a whole other aesthetic. You can’t really wear a shimmery dress to a suburban holiday party (unless it’s the coastal/metropolitan elite) and not get a few looks. I will do it anyways as I do every year.

And, of course, no curated aesthetic goes without a playlist:

doses and mimosas ~ cherub // warm water – snakehips remix ~ banks // memories feat. kid cudi ~ david guetta // it’s strange – whethan remix ~ louis the child feat. k flay // weight in gold – louis futon remix ~ gallant // what you need ~ bank & nika // my type – saint wknd remix ~ saint motel // bloom – lane 8 remix ~ odesza // automatic ~ zhu & alunageorge // you know you like it – tchami remix ~ alunageorge // never be like you feat. kai ~ flume // falling – whethan redo ~ opia // wasted on you feat. rozes ~ louis futon // help me lose my mind ~ disclosure & london grammar // january – kaytranada edition ~ disclosure // gemini feat. george maple ~ what so not // smoke & retribution feat. vince staples & kucka ~ flume

That playlist is pretty high energy and very Soundcloud, so I’d recommend listening to it when you’re getting ready alone because no one can judge you for being really extra. If I ever have a winter rooftop rager with a bunch of rich influencers in Manhattan or Los Angeles, I’d play this and require everyone to wear a fur coat.

I’ll close off this post with a note in my phone I’ve been filling for a few months. These are words that remind me of this whole #mood; enjoy!

fragmented shimmery silver and gold starburst whizzing frothy deep sparkling crystalline pearls champagne flutes sweet liquid honey dry luminous eye shadow big silk scarves middle part cat eye west village view from the whitney gray white brown metropolitan lucent fine art auroral tiny cities glossy lips sanguine roses lustrous waxy refined rich agleam sequined structured flowing glitter

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