i have two papers due and an enormous final that covers every inch of this cruel, empty world, but i am too emotional to write. i am still a little bruised from three unrelenting months and winter shrieks so cold in the cracks of my soul that i couldn’t forget them if i tried. but somehow, my heart has managed to hold, and it is fuller than i can bear.
i took a solid four hours today to admire mother nature, the greatest creator of all, in her multicolored aquatic glory; the minutes flew faster than time ever should, but the sounds of surf from the wild reefs in the basement still ring in my ears like siren poetry. and we? we had precisely twenty-four, down to the final minute, a perfect full circle back to square one; except it no longer hurts to recognize how cyclical we are.
so as of tonight, i know two new things. i will spend the rest of the year dreaming of a baby beluga’s knowing smile - and i can never, ever kiss you enough.
finals week to-do list
I wasn’t sure whether you stuck around because she was doing something else or because you wanted to speak to me. A little bit of both, most likely. Either way, I took my time. I gave everyone my complete attention for as long as I could. I tried to focus on myself, on my friends, on my family, but by the time I finally got to you I was still trembling.
You noticed immediately and, in fact, were the first person to do so. “It’s over, you know,” you reminded me, and I met your eyes for an emotional second before ducking my head. “Exactly. That just means I can finally let go now,” and for a moment tears flooded my eyes. They weren’t born of any specific emotion; rather, I was overwhelmed. My heart was full, and you had nothing to do with it.
It was a relief.
Voices may be my poison, seeping into my grades and my sleep cycles and my eating habits and my mental health and even my friendships, but it is also my saving grace. Throughout all the time I have spent here at this University, it is the closest I have gotten to discovering self-produced and self-sustaining happiness. My own, as ever, a boy I lost once said. I envied the satisfaction he could gain simply from being alone. I am determined to find it for myself.
Directly after this moment of illumination I returned to reality and saw you standing directly before me, as tangible as the floor beneath my shaking feet. I still have trouble believing in what your existence has become - or, more accurately, what it could become, in relation to mine.
Both slightly at a loss for words, you filled the silence by reaching into your pocket. Chocolate. Did you think about this beforehand? Probably not, but I appreciated it nevertheless (as did my tastebuds). I was ready to fold up the wrapper without looking at it when I saw words and unconsciously glanced downwards.
”Forget the rules and play by your heart. Love, Dove.”
Wordlessly I handed it to you and you summed up the entire quarter in a single overused but still thoroughly appropriate word: “Wow.”
Wow is right.
I don’t know where this is going, but I can’t wait to find out.
i’ve developed a few weird mannerisms this year, especially through the process of having to become a director. i am unsure of their origin. when i hit 8th grade i figured i would use that year to test out a bunch of different versions of myself, verbally, aesthetically, musically, even romantically, so that i could pick out the characteristics i wanted to keep when i moved from one academic landscape to another … after starting high school i realized i would just have to figure things out as i went along, but resolved to hit my stride before college.
first year i thought - chronologically speaking, at least - everything had managed to work out just the way i had hoped it would. second year, however, has taught me that there is never really a point in your life during which you really ‘figure it out’ or ‘figure yourself out’. we are all constantly shifting and changing, and our identities continue to grow and adjust. unless you are the type of person who somehow manages to shut your doors in the face of life itself, you cannot avoid development. you will always, always, always be in the process of discovering who you are, and life, first and foremost, is always going to be a journey, within which joy lies in the steps that are taken rather than in the inevitable end.
it occurred to me tonight that one of the most beautiful things about the modern world is our ability to move, to see new places and new things. if you’re really determined to do it you can get yourself from one place to another - even if there are thousands of miles in between - with no more than a few dollars, a little charm, and a genuine smile. in a couple weeks, regardless of the state of my finals and haphazard collegiate romances, i will be going on tour and there will be gas on the fast track to our waning ozone layer from the back of our rickety university van as we cross more state borders than i feel inclined to count. in a couple quarters, i’ll be on a plane somewhere new. in a couple years? who knows? he’s mad about london and she’s dreaming of the west. he still wonders about the kobe harborlands and her spirit is still floating somewhere above the red roofs of prague. me, i just want to go someplace i haven’t been before and stay a while. maybe longer. maybe shorter. maybe always.
after all, there isn’t a soul in the world that doesn’t crave a little adventure. you can be as secretive as you like, but stagnation is for the dead and the open road is for hearts that still beat. a rhythm, the siren call of the unknown, more innate than circulation, more intoxicating than love.
i’ll be damned if i don’t answer. even more damned if i do.
The 4 foot 10 inch little-girl act is cute, but if you’re constantly fighting to be taken seriously, you’re going to have to go through a period in your life during which your guard goes down for nothing and no one, not even family. People remember. People associate. People exploit. Worst of all, people patronize.
So find a way to get to the top shelves by yourself. Aside from the closest of your friends, don’t ask for help, even when you really want or need it, because you need to learn how to become self-sufficient (and not just appear like it 4 out of 7 days of the week) in order to assert control over your world. “Be the change you wish to see”; be the kind of woman that those revolting articles can’t classify in a sentence or a paragraph or ten, because you are a person, not a cliché. Particularly, the next time you enter a relationship, make sure there’s nothing in the universe he can do for you that you can’t already do for yourself.
This is true freedom. This is self-given and self-maintained and self-loved independence. This is you establishing that no one knows you and does better for you than you. And that knowledge is power - the kind that no one, not even your weak, fickle heart, can take away from you.
Because trust me, you will never be happy with the alternative.
I love you,