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12 September, 2016

Shrinking Before Expanding

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✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Usually, I’ve stopped writing for one of a couple of reasons. The most likely is: something very large and detail-specific took place in my life, and recording every aspect of it is going to require of me an hour or two of silence, attention, and a strong memory. As a perfectionist, I’d rather not begin something that will barely meet my personal standards of “good work”, so I don’t write this event down until the time is perfect. However, I can’t bring myself to continue journaling my day-to-day life until that event is taken care of. So I don't write at all.  It’s a very long cycle of evading.

Until one day I’ve had enough! And I can’t bear it any longer and I must, I must write! Except not for any heroic reason: more, like… writing is the only place I built any real identity, other than my self-pity. And I gotta reconnect every once in a while.

That’s something I deeply resent about myself, by the way. Pessimism turned into a defense mechanism when it suddenly became uncool to be enthusiastic and high-pitched. Through the years I began to believe it. The voice in my head? That said, “Well, actually, have you considered…” every time I thought a nice thought. It’s so uncool!... but it’s so easy! How does one stop believing this?

I'm looking forward to the day where what I write doesn't sound so sad.


a walk with dani

Dani and I take a hike through the highlands by her home. I haven’t seen her since I pointedly secluded myself in my home months ago. She is very lively, shiny and bronze. Her long, wavy hair is beautifully caught in a tangled ponytail, woven through a baseball cap. She has a lot of things to tell me about herself, which I love: I am very submissive, and prefer any one else other than myself to be in control of a conversation, or any interaction in general. Not to mention that she’s a fantastic verbal communicator, a gift I’m, unfortunately, jealous of.

Romance is one of my favorite topics to meditate over: I love trying to prove it, trying to disprove it, trying to figure out at which moments it exists. Talking about it with Dani is very fun: She tells me that a large part of her enjoys the attention she receives from guys, and that’s enough for her. I tell her I support her doing anything she wants for attention. She laughs and thanks me. “Most people would judge me,” she says, and I know that she’s right. I wonder whether she has found herself feeling worn out by a man’s detachment in the past, a position many women find themselves in regularly. I wonder how anyone could possibly blame her for wanting attention.

I take pictures of Dani as we walk and talk, and she calls me her little photographer, which makes me beam. We reach a fork in the road. “We can hike up the rest of the mountain; it’s very steep, but it’ll take us directly back home. Or! We can go down this slope. I’ve never been down there, but I’ve heard this trail circles around the mountain.” Not one to pass up a chance at a significant event to occur in my life, I say, “I don’t know that I’m feeling up for hiking a steep mountain right now,” and she grins and says, “Thank God, neither do I!”

The further we are from civilization, the more afraid I get. I begin to see images of scary men hidden in the trees, wild coyotes, a stray rattlesnake. Worse, I wonder whether we’ll be lost out here.


I wonder, can it be understood that I am aware and I am grateful for the things that I have, most of them which I don’t deserve, and I am still unhappy?


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I’m sitting on my bed, right next to my window. The sun is setting to my left. I re-arranged my room last October for this very reason: to be able to watch the sunset every single night.

I’m writing and Paolo Nutini is crooning from the other corner of the room, the sound escaping from a tiny speaker. He’s singing about his girl making him want to be a better man. Can I just say? That Paolo Nutini makes me feel something on the surface of my skin? I’ve been trying lately to avoid using clichés, whether I’m speaking or writing, so I don’t know how to put across the idea that Paolo Nutini is very important to me without using a tired phrase, and also, my love for Paolo Nutini isn’t important at all, but one of the main characteristics of my personality is record-keeping: I have to remember that Paolo Nutini was very important to me August of 2016.

Speaking of August of 2016, I celebrated my twenty-first birthday on the twenty-fourth of August. For my birthday, I got a piñata (shaped like a colorful donkey) filled with Hershey bars, and a gold necklace with a pendant in the shape of California. It was the happiest birthday I had ever had in my entire life. The reasons for it are somewhere in my journal.

Paolo Nutini just finished crooning about being a Better Man and two helicopters just flew above my home. More than three families on my street are moving out. I feel like something is stirring outside my universe, and every one else knows but me.


After thinking about it for some time, maybe I don’t know how to describe how I love Paolo Nutini because I’m not interested in explaining myself. Which I understand sounds harsh, but as someone who considers herself one of the biggest people-pleasers she has ever met, this is very good news.


My first day of my senior year of college began this week, after taking a semester off. This is the first year I attend college back home, in Southern California, after having studied in New York City. The school I attend now is in the city also, which gives me a false sense of being back in Manhattan. And that’s enough to keep me going.

I’ve had a rough start, though: my courses begin at 9 am, and I have four classes back-to-back. The night before my first day of classes, I was so nervous that I wouldn’t sleep enough. I was so nervous, in fact, that it kept me awake all night. I didn’t sleep not even ten minutes. It was a trip driving to school; however, I was forced to ask my parents to pick me up from school when I figured I could probably die if I attempted to drive back home. I’ve never been drunk in my life, but I wonder if the feeling was similar.

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Thank you, pal.