Living in the Now

You know that feeling when you do something you haven’t done in a while and then it sort of hits you in a cinema style fashion, why haven’t I done this for so long?

Lately since my life has been going through a great deal of all that. I’ve started dancing spontaneously again, breaking out singing Hamilton on my way to class (quietly of course) and in the shower (when the belting comes out), not caring what others think, being sassy, spunky and flirting again.

I met a cute guy in one of my classes a little while ago. Well, let’s just say it’s been funny so far. It might progress or it might not, but regardless I just need to stop acting like I’m in 6th grade and dysfunctional around boys every single time he talks to me. I literally have forgotten what to say around him sometimes and well it is, uh quite bad.

Last time I saw him in passing, he smiled adorably and waved. I felt like an absolute idiot with this dumb grin on my face when I waved back. I haven’t done anything quite so embarrassing yet around him (key word- YET) but stay tuned because it’s bound to come. Love always starts with embarrassing stories right? Send me some help.

I’m not quite sure he is fully aware of my existence for sure. He has my number. We have texted quite a bit, surprisingly, but at the same time, how can you tell if a guy is interested if well, the way you text him is strictly business? I’m wonderful and great with boys. Not. I guess we will find out- you and I are both curious as to where this is going, which is well, hopefully somewhere!

I absolutely love the way things are going now. I became extremely sick a few months­ and also fell into a relationship then that supported me when I needed it most, but realized through all of that I sort of became dissatisfied with my life because I was unhappy and lost myself. Things broke off with that relationship for their own reasons and it just wasn’t working, and everything happened for a reason to get me to where I am today. And now, I’m gaining it all that I lost in myself back.

When you’re sick and cannot be yourself, you lose the flame inside you. The spunk that fired the sassiness; the throwing caution to the wind so that the road can rise to meet your feet. Even though I was supported and loved, I wasn’t me.

And now, slowly and steadily I am regaining who I was and transforming into who I want to be. I am rebuilding piece by piece the shattered glass I became, broken and scratched and unknowing of the uncharted territory I fractured into.

But this territory, it’s a new place I find delightful. I may have different people surrounding me and be a part of different things, but I have never felt brighter or clearer or sparkled more.

I feel at peace with certain things of my past and am leaving those things there.

Now I am bubbly and bright, sassy and spunky, unfiltered and willing to be riskier than I used to when I was that shy, timid, complaining, whiny sick good girl who never felt good. Now I smile like an idiot at cute boys in the hall and go out with friends until 4am and not worry about if I’m going to enjoy it or be healthy enough to go out.

Now I participate in writing and theatre and am a recognized photographer on Instagram by a few professionals that have reached out to me. Now I have started working with cerebral spinal fluid of rats as I work with my neurobiology lab’s model to discover more about Alzheimer’s. Now everything feels as if it’s falling into place.

Now I live without looking back, something I’ve wanted to do forever.

Now I have the chance to do it, and I’m not ever letting go.

xox,

M

Time, Mistakes, & Skipping Rocks

Time is one of the only phenomena that there is no control over. It moves on with or without us. It doesn’t observe boundaries. It keeps going and going and going and nothing can stop it. Until, that is, it runs out.

I never truly realized the way things can change in an instant. One revelation, one action, one little thing can send off a ripple reaction and change everything.

There’s a girl standing by the edge of a pond full of navy-hued water. Lush, leafy clover green trees circle the perimeter of the pond, breaking into an opening by where she stands. In her slender fingers encased is a smooth gray oval rock. Her cascading chestnut hair is tied up in an intricate pony-tail. Her cornflower blue sundress brushes the tops of her knees and her bare toes tickle the edges of the pond water. She keeps turning the rock over and over in her hands, as if she’s unsure of what to do with it and the rock was the life choices she has to make.

In one motion, she bends her knees leaps forward and extends her arm, the orb of earth flying from her fingers. It dances across the water, skipping from one ripple to the next.

One.
Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

Plop.

It swims down through the opaque water, deeper and deeper into a world it’s never been. A world in which it doesn’t think it belongs but it will try to survive in anyways. A world with a clear divide from where it once was.

The girl sits down in a patch of grass edging around the pond and peers into the water, her reflection’s eyes matching up with her own.

When did things get to this? How did things get to this?

Mistakes. Regrets. Looking back and wishing you could do something about a story written in the stone of the past. Decisions you made leading to things that not only hurt you, but those around you.

There are moments where I think back to and I cringe. I wonder if I had done something else if that would have changed anything. If I would still have the people in my life now that I hurt.

The most painful feeling is knowing you hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. It eats away at you from the inside. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You took the tools you had in your life and you abused them. And now, you are left sitting on the edge of a pond wondering why you did what you did and if anything can ever repair the power mistakes have to wreck.

You think back to the most dangerous weapon your mind has to offer: memories. The beautiful pictures you painted, the laughs you shared, the moments that went unseen. And you shudder as a shiver runs through you as you acknowledge it was your mistake that ripped that all to shreds. And because of that, because of the power of mistakes, everything changed. And for once, there might just be nothing you can do about it.

Mistakes and regrets are terrifying because the ramifications are immensely powerful but the ways to repair are sensitive and obscure. It takes an incredibly forgiving and patient person to accept an apology and move on.

Apologies aren’t easy by any means, but that doesn’t mean a person shouldn’t try. They don’t justify the action that was taken that resulted in the hurt, nor should they be seen as an excuse. They are the only and best way to try to mend what has been broken. Only sincere apologies demonstrate ability to recognize those negative actions and hopefully can help to reinstall the trust that may have been broken in a relationship.

Mistakes and regrets shatter glass in an instant that takes forever to perfectly piece back together. If you have a clean piece of paper, take it and crumple it up. As tightly as you can. Fold every corner, crease every crease, squeeze it tighter than tight. Now undo what you just did. Get the paper back to its unfolded clean slate. It’s still crinkled? You’re right. It’s extremely hard to undo what you’ve done, frustrating and nearly impossible.

The girl looks at her arms, stained wet with charcoal colored streaks from her mascara. The crystal droplets from the corners of her once big, bright honest eyes are murky, clouded with the traces of makeup. She wishes with everything she could go back and change things. But she can’t go back and re-do time.

Because much like time, you can’t take back mistakes. You live and you learn and you keep moving forward. And you can only hope that those who you’ve hurt, they can find it in their heart to understand, let you back in, forgive and trust you once again.

sincerely,

M

Drip.

Drip.

Plop.

     Sunlight crawls its way through the cracks in the rocks of the ceiling of the dim alcove. The scent of mud and moss wafts through the air and nips her face when a gust of wind latches on and crawls in with the sunlight. The wet walls are claustrophobic, and the space stuffed with menacing stalagmites conjoined with stalactites.

Her cascading cocoa hair is stuck, sopping with cave residue to her bare back. Her skin glistens with the dew of the morning. Soft mud minerals seep between her toes and wrap around her feet.

Dried mud dots the underneath of her chipped candy apple red nails.

Her eyelashes are holding back the droplets that are desperately trying to fall from her once sparkling eyes. She had a spark. How did she let that fade? How did she find herself here, farthest from where she wants to be? Alone, left with herself to be the only one to find a solution?

Drip.

Drip.

Plop.

The residue from the ceiling lands on her shoulder. It teeters on the edge, unsure of where it wants to go. It has to make a decision. It can’t stay there, on the precipice of the shoulder, forever.

It could evaporate.

The residue droplet takes a deep breath and rolls. Down her shoulder, down her back, down her hip, down to the floor. A droplet in a race to the finish line against itself.

A shiver races down her spine and escapes through her feet. She needs to get up. She needs to get out of here. She doesn’t know what she is doing or where she is going.

But sometimes, the thing needed is to just go.

Her alabaster fingers close into a tight fist.

Her palm is spread wide open.

She squeezes her eyes tighter than she ever has before.

And then she opens them.

There’s an opening.

And she runs.

A Lyric in a Song

In high school, I was an athlete. I chose to be a three-sport varsity athlete since freshman year, resulting in my sacrifice of other things. Tennis, Fencing, Badminton. Nevertheless, I pursued science research, the literary magazine, the school newspaper and photography. I worked with autistic kids. What didn’t I do?

Senior year, I joined a class. Stages. No, Stages was more than a class. It was a group of people I would have never talked to, never bothered with. Why not? Well, we were from different social scenes, different crowds. Some people were cooler than I was- why would they bother with me? But Stages managed to do something no other class I’d ever taken had done. Stages made us all equal. Together, we fought like siblings for a year to create a musical from scratch. The monologues, the score, the everything: we did it.

The show was called Rock Bottom, about a man and his daughter who went into witness protection to hide from a mobster who was coming after them. There was one character, one song, that I’ve realized still sticks with me, in the back of my head anywhere I seem to go. It was one of taking chances. Empathizing in a tough situation. Saying, “I’ve been there. I’ve been you.” Saying that the person being sung to shouldn’t be afraid and that if they don’t try, “You miss all of the shots you don’t take.”

Lately, it feels like my life has gone through the wringer. I’ve lost loves, lost friends, lost some hope along the way. But in the back of my head, I can’t help but remember that song. The message. Keep trying, because you miss all of the shots you don’t take. Never would I have thought that I would be here, thinking about this right now, when it feels like there’s nothing left. But in reality, there is. There is so much to be grateful for.

Right now, I’m in a position where I have everything and absolutely nothing at the same time. How can that be? Money can buy you anything but the most important thing in the world. Money cannot buy happiness. Would you rather be rich and alone or poor and happy? I ask myself this question every day. Rational me would probably say rich and alone. I could do good things and try to make everyone around me happy. But the idealist within me would say poor and happy. But in reality, can someone be truly happy without some sort of monetary source in this day and age?

Regardless, it’s weird to have everything someone could want or potentially have it within reach but feel like you have nothing at the same time. Watching other people go on in life without you, making bonds with each other, forgetting you exist. Other people doing the things that you wish you could do- if you were only healthy enough.

But you see, there’s a book. It’s called A New Normal. It was written by a young girl when she felt like she had nobody and no guidance in life. She decided that no child should feel that way, the way that she felt. So, she took her mind, her words, and created something. A something she wished that she had when she was in the loneliness she felt. But she took a shot at something she didn’t know the outcome of. That girl, that’s someone I want to be.

I’ve decided. To be that girl, the girl who I was in the past, I need to stop overthinking. I need to do. Go after what I want to make into a reality. When someone says I cannot do it, find a way around that. Because if not, I’d be missing all of the shots I didn’t take. And me, now, I don’t want to be a girl who doesn’t try. Because if you don’t try, don’t fight, you’ll never know.

So, if you know me, you know who I am and what I’ve gone through. And now’s my chance to turn things around and little by little make things a bit better. Because, this is my rock bottom and now I’m digging my way up and out.

A lyric in a song once read,

you         miss          all             of         the        shots       you        don’t            take.

 

xox,

M