Dear February

There isn’t a lot to say about February. Mostly because it was a blur and I don’t remember half of what happened during the short month. There was a lot of crying, laughing, laughing until crying, inside jokes, random noises, another magazine, bottomless mimosas, yelling, cats, and ice cream. So much ice cream. I wish I took more photos this month or kept up the video I promised myself I was going to do. I wish there was more swiping right on boys instead of my haughty “no!” as I quickly swiped left. There was Drake and seeing different sides to new people. There was Trops and apartment hunting and snuggling to Baloo. There were so many things in between and upside down and loved. More than I can count. There was the fear of March and turning 24 but here we are and now we’re moving forward.
   
    
    
    
   

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What I Know About Paris

paris

Paris is love and light. Paris is and was my first introduction of Europe. Paris is what people warned me of. People are going to be rude. Snarky. Hate you because you’re an American. Paris is leaving early for the airport with a nervous mother. It is the nervous excitement while waiting with four other students. It is almost missing a flight and the airport saying they can squeeze us on the next flight. It is waiting in Chicago and talking to him next to me. Noticing his phone was in French. It is hilted conversations and nervous glances. Paris is the colorful lights, Galeries Lafayette ads and a small toilet in the airport. It is meeting Anne-Laure and her showing us the city. It is walking along the streets and not quite believing it was real. Paris is the passing cars, L’opera, kebabs, modern art, Sacre Coeur, kissing, and lots of smoking. Paris is the music in the metro, the trumpets in the streets, the art lining the Seine. Paris is going to the top of the Eiffel Tower and seeing the world from that far up. Recording a scene for our French class and repeating the phrase “C’est la Seine” over and over again. It is turning 18 on a boat floating along the river and my classmates singing me happy birthday with others soon following along. It is the apple tart Anne-Laure made me and the bag she gave me to remember my time. It is buying sweets on the street and my 24 year old teacher explaining, “monsieur, je parle français!” after he repeatedly answered her questions in English and he laughed and we laughed and laughed and laughed. It is seeing him, from the airport, on a side street and walking away. Paris is the gardens of the Louvre and crying, realizing I was there. It is two years later with new strangers. Laughing and drinking in the streets. It is Nutella crepes and the boys handing us their numbers. It is making amazing friends. It is sandwiches with hard boiled eggs, new bags, shoes and a denim shirt that I bought at a random boutique. It is drinking until we got drunk, eating gyros in the Latin Quarters, singing loudly in an American bar and being applauded by the people inside, the bartender laughing at us the whole time. Paris is getting lost in the streets and enjoying the street art. It is walking against people to get to the Eiffel Tower at midnight. It is seeing it sparkle at night. It is sitting at a random, expensive cafe drinking more wine and eating creme brûlée. Paris is walking back to the hotel on the wrong side of the Seine and trying desperately to find a cab. Paris is meeting Australians and Parisians who help map your route. Paris is the lovers. The friends I made on the streets. The passing children in their school uniforms speaking rapidly in French. It is the long drags from stranger’s cigarettes and the many cups of espresso. It is walking up a million flights of steps to get to the top of Sacre Coeur and seeing the view from the top. It is the feeling of being in a place that has so much life. Has so much love. Has so much energy. Has so much appreciation of life.

Dear August

life

I apologize for this letter being a little late this month. There has just been a lot going on and I feel like I needed to collect my thoughts before writing them all down.

August, I didn’t like you this year. You really tested me and not in a good way. Maybe one day I’ll look back on this month in fondness, but right now, today, I can’t wait to put as much distance between us as possible. I lost sentimental belongings. I became more anxious. I stopped going out as much. I had something to complain about every day, and I stopped looking hard for the good in life.

I don’t know what to say about you, August. You hurt me. You made me question a lot of things that have happened so far in my life. Made me second guess every decision I have been making while staring along my Facebook news feed and wondering if I should be playing catch up with the families and weddings that keep appearing there.

You made me feel unsupported and lost and that’s the worst feeling to carry around with you. August, you made me fear little things in the world, things that I used to love doing and now I wonder if I’ll ever get over it at all. I wonder if I’ll ever feel comfortable driving again instead of digging my nails into my forearm and driving 35 on the highway when there is traffic. Dear August, you made me feel stupid and unsure of myself during your 31 days and I hope that feeling goes away. Soon. I need it to.

I know that things will get better and I need to start looking at the bright side of thing, but August, you made it really hard for me. You flipped me upside down and unable to find my footing. Maybe September will bring me a new path of footsteps.

Universe Thoughts

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of life being stagnant and how I want more originality, personality and beauty. Yet, does the fact that I believe life is not moving forward mean that I am the one who is standing still waiting for life to happen to me? I know I keep moving back to this topic every few months, but I can’t help feeling this way. I know most people in their early twenties feel this way, but I wish that wasn’t the case.

By the time I am 27, I want to be living abroad. With a little bit of savings. Perhaps writing and vacationing in the south of France. Perhaps I’ll have a boyfriend but get bored of him because I seem to get bored of anyone who shows me interest. Perhaps I’ll finally be at the weight I’ve wanted to be for the past three years. Back at that weight when people were “worried” and I finally felt good.

I overheard a conversation the other day where the girl was saying that she feels she could do something amazing with her life or she could mess it all up. How she doesn’t want to be the person that people comment and say she was destined for greatness if only she had set her mind towards it, but fears that might end up being the case. I couldn’t help but reacting to her words and nodding in agreement. I can’t help but think that’s exactly how I feel and what I am afraid of more than anything.

What do I want out of life?

1. Friends I don’t regret.
2. Adventures that I can write about.
3. Showing my mom different parts of the world outside of her bubble.
4. Staying connected to the world.
5. Try not to go insane.
6. Travel.
7. Travel.
8. Travel.

I guess love should be on the list and it is in a way – love I feel towards my friends, my mom and the travels that I want to experience. The love that I want to give to the world with the adventures I want to go on.

Adventures I want to have:

1. Skydiving in Fiji (Thanks for that idea, Susie.)
2. Road trip to California
3. Zip line in Costa Rica
4. Arthur’s Seat
5. Wineries in France (not Bordeaux, maybe…)
6. Clocktower in Bruges
7. Not be terrified to scuba dive

Maybe I make too many lists. Maybe I think too much about the future. More than I should. I just can’t help but compare things to other people’s lives. Others who are the same age as me and seem to be more adjusted more rounded more alive than I am. People who are more interested in drinking and hanging out with people out in the world, where I would much rather just stay inside on the weekends and watch Netflix. Is that bad? Should I move on? Should I stop thinking so much and join people in society and follow their lead?

Am I okay?

I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay.

Right? Sure.

I’ll get it figured out one day. I hope. I’ll be living in France soon and then off to London, where I hope to never leave.

Just needed to get it out in the universe. Maybe it’ll make something happen.

A Poem Loved By Someone Else

For Emma, who is always close even though she is very far away. Because sometimes you get hit by a car and life gets put into perspective. Like the fact that life doesn’t always think of you.

“It is all loneliness, the way you live.
You get up and make the bed like you are trying
to prove a point. You make coffee that is
never
quite right and never finish it. This is the third day
you’ve worn this shirt. Eventually, you will paint
your nails again, wash the grease from your hair.
Once you have someone besides your own reflection
to impress.

You go to parties where you know
you will only stay an hour. Lean quietly against the wall,
watching people with enviably easy laughter.
Your smile is a cracked boat in a flooded river. Close,
but still useless. You do not talk to strangers, just sit there
like a begging dog beside the dinner table,
with eyes that say “Please, come, be my friend.
I am a coward, but I’m hungry.”

— Clementine von Radics, “But Lately”

Dear July // A Time Capsule

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Dear July,

I have a video for you somewhere in my computer, but I’m much too lazy and frankly too nervous to put the footage together. It’s 11:59 on your last day and I feel as if you didn’t really happen. Were you really even here? You must have been, but it seems as if every time you are here, you go by much too quickly. You were…really great, July. I’m talking to you as if you are a person because all the memories that happened inside these 31 days are enough to make a person. I left my job of four years, my comfort job for something that makes me so excited while at the same time so nervous. It was a leap for me and one that I’m anxious about, but I know it was the correct, best and most thrilling move I could make. I have loved the people I met this month and knowing that these people believe and see something in me that I can’t quite see yet makes me want to work so much harder. I’m really happy, July. I inspired people this month and let my voice finally be heard that I kept quiet and hidden for a very long time. Because I was afraid of what would happen if I did let my opinions be known. Because I was much too young or too naive to have an opinion, or so they say, yet after a week, they are still talking and my desire to spark a conversation has turned into a full fledged forest fire. So, thank you, July. You were here much too quickly, the year is half over, but you made me realize I have a voice. That my opinions can matter. That, although the world can be a scary and daunting place, sometimes you just need to jump. I can’t wait to see what happens in August.

Memories // Remember Me

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How I want you to remember me:

In the crook of your arm when you’re wrapping your arms around your pillow because you can’t fall asleep at night. The blankets are too hot and you kick them off your body as everything sticks to your skin. Remember me resting a hand on your back so I know you didn’t stray too far.

In your morning coffee while you try to wipe away the sleep from your eyes and wonder what time you finally fell asleep. You’ll put in too much milk because that’s how I made mine and you’ll wonder why I drank coffee when I poured so much milk in. Remember me smiling over my mug and blushing as you look at me.

In the early light of day, right after your alarm goes off. When you roll over to turn off the beeping and see the light creeping through the blinds. Remember me hiding beneath the duvet to try to grasp the last bit of sleep.

On the couch in your parents’ house where you accidentally told me you loved me and I whispered back that I loved you too. Remember me standing up too fast, giggling down the hallway and stubbing my toe against the door frame. Remember me cursing. Remember me limping for the rest of the night.

Remember my laughter as you would say something to make me feel better. Remember all of our jokes. Remember my hand somehow always finding yours. Remember. Remember. Remember.