Three years ago I woke up at 5:30am because I was too hungry to sleep, too wired and anxious, had too many lists to make, was too cold, and my legs ached. Two years ago I woke up to a routine good morning text from someone who I truly thought was the love of my life, and rushed to get ready before he picked me up to discuss the beautiful future that would never end up happening, over black coffee. Last year I woke up on the verge of tears and vomit, feeling regretful, embarrassed, in denial of my pile of schoolwork, and on my way to spend my last $2 on pull-n-peel twizzlers. This morning I woke up in a boy’s bed with all of my clothes on “We were pretty drunk and didn’t feel well so we just went to sleep”. Since when does that stop a guy from making any moves in this day and age? I remembered last night finding him at a party and making him dance with me, and then walking back to his house to play with his kitty and kiss a little, which has become semi-routine the past few weeks. I remembered  “Jeffe Blanco” and hopping a fence and doing my first, and most likely last, keg stand and I guess it rained last night too because then I’m standing on his front steps in my socks and it’s wet and he scoops me up and carries me to his car and brings me just around the corner to the Sunshine House.

Three years ago I was so lonely and dark and I mostly did it to myself and I would have never imagined all the love that came next. Two years ago I had a constant and a love and it was a different kind of love, it’s own kind, like they all are, and it was safe and steady and all honeymoon phase and idealism and public displays of affection. Last year was heart breaking and tears and half hearted flings with all the wrong people and trying to fill some missing part in me and getting emptier. This morning he drove away and I was so relieved to be alone again and in my own space and it’s not because I don’t like him. He’s cute, respectful, genuinely nice, doesn’t get me flustered or say enough to either make me hate him or love him, basically ideal for the boy down the street, who you find at parties and kiss on occasion (but aren’t obligated to have sex with, honestly ideal). I’m not in love, nowhere close. I might have been, close I mean, earlier this year before today and maybe I’m saving my heart for that or for something like that or for something even better to come, but I’m not so reckless with it any more, my heart I mean, and I use a lot more of it on myself and my favorite platonic people and for writing things like this and I pour it into my goals and aspirations and it’s in pieces as always and a little messed up but the heart I have left in me is nowhere near empty anymore.

Three years ago I ate blueberries (I don’t even like blueberries) and a singular rice cake with thinly spread peanut butter and green tea, 200 calories exact, threw an apple in my bag for later, and I kid you not I still felt overwhelmingly anxious about it all, about all the numbers and yearning for control. Two years ago he made me a peanut butter and honey sandwich and convinced me to get a macchiato (instead of black coffee or tea), with milk in it and so much sugar, and I let myself enjoy it and it felt like it/he/whatever, had fixed me for a minute, but I still was all too aware that it was a 700 calorie meal and that I’d skip my afternoon snack later and that he would turn into an asshole in college and break my heart. Last year I ate cold pizza for breakfast and remembered the days I was afraid of pizza and wondered why being able to eat pizza now and still maintaining the freshman 15, made me feel increasingly worse, even though it should have meant I was doing better. This morning I came home still slightly buzzed and rushed to make coffee and started cutting up potatoes for home fries and put jack Johnson on and I had a bit of my favorite smoothie too …and peanut butter toast, I ate my delicious vegan masterpiece and still have no idea how much or how little I ate, nor did I care. I was just happy to have enjoyed a satisfying cruelty free breakfast and happy to be alone and alive, and now I know I’m better.

Three years ago I took a nap for a few hours because I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 8 or 9 and woke up at 1am and made coffee and wrote a 5 page paper. Self discipline maybe, or partially disguised self-destruction. Two years ago I sat by him reading for leisure because we had helped each other finish our homework already and we knew we would be doing the same thing after work, like our real jobs, a million years from then, we were so wrong and delusional that it’s hilarious now. Last year I started writing. Writing this actually, this exact document that I keep all my writing now. I was sort of at a loss and I didn’t know where to put my energy and I started writing and I couldn’t shut up and here I am, writing this today, except I write different things now. They aren’t all about boys who don’t matter. They are about some people, who truly do, and about me, and about things that matter more than all of us combined probably. They are just things I have to say. And it’s all different now. I’m not always avoiding my school work (sometimes of course I am) but now I have all A’s and its so much more satisfying than when I had the sort of A’s that involved me starving and staying up all night and dragging myself around. I have the kind that I want and so I am getting and I am excited about them and I know I don’t need them but I know I deserve them and am so capable of getting them, and that I have the ability to find ease in the effort and to find everything I’ve been looking for.

Three years ago, everyone got their parent’s old cars and I cried over driving time and had panic attacks, like the kind where you cant breathe at all, during drivers ed and I never told anybody about them. Two years ago I realized I needed a license to be independent even though my boyfriend carted me around everywhere at the time, but my mom lost hers for a while and my dad was in the city and I couldn’t be there all the time and I think this is all part of why he stayed with me for longer than he should have (the boy). He felt so sorry for me and felt like I needed him and I hate more than anything that I might have (needed him) at the time. Last year, I got around by whoever would bring me around, and I had so many places I wanted to go and needed to get to and I never got there. I only got where whoever was driving me wanted to go and I couldn’t ever drive off alone and I have almost never felt more stuck in my life. I couldn’t sit still and I felt claustrophobic wherever I went, whomever I was with. This year I figured it out. I might have got a ride home today, but tomorrow I’m driving myself home (home home) in my own car and I can play whatever music I want and stop whenever I need and it seems so simple and dumb but the thought of it makes me so happy I could cry. It’s a luxury, an ultimate luxury to get away or to at least have the option to. It’s maybe more just having the option to. A couple months ago I even drove all the way to NH and back, 3 hours each way, and yes it was mostly to see the boy with the greatest smile (I still have yet to find a better one, the boy down the street who drove me home this morning doesn’t come close, but anyways) part of it was just to prove to myself that I could do it and so I did. And now, that day, today, I can actually do anything, I actually can.

Three years ago I was really alone, completely through my own doing, sort of lost and entirely confused. I would read books alone at this cafeteria table after school (Wuthering heights) and it seems cute or quirky or romantic except it wasn’t at all it was depressing and anxious and a racing relentless a mind and I thought it would always be that way unless someone pulled me out of it. Two years ago someone did. It feels like it was longer ago because I’m so out of touch with him now but he did do that for me and at the time I needed it, it’s awful and sad to say, but I did. He helped me out of it and he did everything he could and I loved him for it and he loved part of me too but the more me I become and the more “better” I got and the college and the changes and the life happenings, luckily cut him loose. I say luckily because last year I got to be alone, really alone, and not the kind that I brought on to myself. The kind where there’s people all around and you still feel something is missing. I didn’t know them all too well yet and was left with myself…just me.. and then soon realized that I didn’t know me either, no better than I knew any of them. So I fucked up big time. I made hilarious and dangerous mistakes and a lot of things happened also that weren’t funny at all too like The Bad Night and sobbing in stairwells and pouring 5 liters of wine down the sink and perhaps the “Weird Night” (although I can laugh about the Weird Night now and will even tell you about it if you ask) . You can disagree all you want, but I think it’s so important that I had that year and that all of those things happened because I learned what I hated about me and about other people and about life and love in general and that is the most round-about but accurate way to discover what you love, I have decided. I love so many of the other messes of humans I met that year (some more, and some less, messy than me) and I learned the sort of people to keep around and the ones to let go of and I learned to take pictures of it all, good and bad, and to write about everything in between, and I learned about myself and I’m still learning we will all always be learning and maybe I will have another messy year someday when I need it again. Today though, I woke up and everything is different and everything is better and I don’t hate myself or anyone and I’ve let that go and I’m not angry anymore. I still miss people and my heart is tired but it’s no longer because it’s hungry (not for food at least) or all empty and longing and missing something. Now it’s because, well ok I still miss people, but mostly now it’s because it’s filled with so much, so much love and so many thoughts and ambitions and true simplistic happiness, so much that I could explode at times.

I’m not fixed nor will I ever be, or ever need to be, nor does anyone ever need to be. I’m not “a new person” or whatever and I don’t ever say “I cant believe I did that…was like that… thought that…” in reference to the past few years because I can believe it, I mean, I was there. I still cry and I still read books alone and feel heartbroken and make embarrassing mistakes sometimes. It’s just all so different now, different and better.



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