My Obituary

a public and personal letter in the case that i die young

I’m not suicidal, but this is the letter I want people to read if I die young. Continue reading

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Monthly Me (Nov ’17)

  • Biked to a cute Java cafe to study.  Constantly falling in love with the city
  • I went to my first concert of the semester to see ODESZA.  Such a concert restores your belief that electronic artists too have tremendous talent.
  • Did well in Physics!  Not so well in Chemistry.
  • I participated in elections for my school newspaper and will be a recruitment editor next year!
  • Donated blood.
  • Started a studygram (study instagram)
  • I saw my favorite stand-up comedian, Mike Birbiglia!!

Continue reading

Revelation, 2017.

Even though she didn’t like Vronsky, even though she knew she should be happy for them, there was a visceral reaction within her that rebelled against being “replaced,” that demanded to be wanted.  But didn’t she know better than this?  Hadn’t her whole life solidified her understanding that no human being belongs to another, that everyone has the right to demote others for happiness?  Why couldn’t she internalize what she so strongly believed in?

And she eventually realized that her rational philosophy to let people live without revolving around her was thwarted by her voracious addiction for attention and validation, as if she had a bottomless deficit to fill.  And this selfishness, when it came down to it, was due to her insecurities, the lifelong feeling that she was a misfit accident that needed to be “approved,” that she was undeserving of love.  She had the knowledge to free people from her idealizations; her infirmities caused her to grab on tighter, still, like a reflex.

And while she did not think that all people who are kind also have to be secure, she knew this for herself, at least: she needed to love herself to be fair.  She needed to love herself in order to be a good person. Continue reading

a brief history of me and love

My first love was in kindergarten, in the curly blond hair of Nicholas and his round white cheek that I sought with pursed lips.  He dodged my advances, but still played with me all the time.  I think we were best friends.  Then he moved away, and in an act of operatic melodrama that I wanted others to see, I sat on top of the playground and sang sad songs.

My idea of love was standing in front of my parents with a Bible in my hands, pretending to be a priest that married them after they had a fight.  As if each re-marriage would start their love anew.  I now think that they probably needed a divorce.

Love in elementary school was crushing on every boy who sat next to me when the seating arrangement refreshed.   Continue reading

Bright Spots

Over the summer I realized that, maybe, I obsess over my own sadness too much.  This was not apparent to me because I laugh often; I am an optimist; I take joy in little things.  But I also read journal entries from my low points in life, listen to sad music, and tear up a lot.

For a long time, I’ve thought that it wouldn’t be that tragic if my adulthood is luckluster, because my childhood was so bright and rich.  As Charlotte Bronte wrote, “I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots.”  And so I don’t seek out constant gladness: I just try to take care of myself while having opportunities that are so full of pure concentrated happiness that they counteract some of the gloomier parts of my life.  Continue reading

Asterisms

An exercise for my creative writing class

1.

I never knew there were so many stars.  In a dewy clearing ringed with evergreen, fifty other students and I stared up at the upside-down bowl of the sky.  In the clear Poconos air, every star clamored for attention, and I thought that there were almost too many.  The sky nearly looked cluttered with white pinpricks.

At my school, a student can sign up for a camping trip before the official start of freshman year.  I thought it was a good chance to fulfill my longtime dream of adventuring the wilderness.  We were sitting in rows in the grass when a camp leader started a monologue:

“Look at the stars.  The Milky Way.  Light from stars travel billions of miles to reach your eyes at this spot, at this moment.  The light itself is ancient.  Some shine from stars that have already passed away.  This can make you feel temporary.  Fleeting.  And small.  But you also know, looking up, that you are not alone.” Continue reading

Teenage Manifesto

In one week, I will be twenty years old.

During my teens, I would be kept awake by the thought that I would forget what it feels like to be young.  Maybe it’s narcissism, but I think that adolescence is an incredibly formative and dynamic time that deserves attention.  I vowed to write as much about teens — real and fictional — to document the experience.  Aside from narcissism, I think this was also an act of self-preservation: I could feel myself being replaced by incrementally older versions of myself and the memory of What it is Like to Be Michele at This Second blown away like forgotten dust.  In each moment of my life, I desperately did not want to lose the version of myself at that time.  I guess this is another way to say that I’m afraid of dying. Continue reading

Shedding Light

For my creative writing class, I’m writing a lot about how scattered small/distant lights influence my life.  (It’s abstract and artsy, I know).

Walking around the campus of my east coast school in autumn, I was trying to figure out why the season evokes such a sublime sensation within me.  It was mostly to do with the beauty of trees during this time of year, I thought.

It wasn’t until I came across a sidewalk strewn with orange, red, and yellow leaves when I realized that fallen leaves are a variation of the random lights that I write about.  Leaves are, if you think about it, concentrated reservoirs of light (OK: more accurately, they are sponges that absorb light in which plants do their most important chemistry).  Continue reading

Thankful Thesis

I just checked–I’ve never written a “Thanksgiving” post on this blog.  In the three years that this blog goes back, the timestamps on my posts conveniently skirt the 23rd.  I consider myself an appreciative person, so I don’t think it was because I didn’t have anything to say.  I think I just wanted to avoid saying something cliche or generic.

My mind changed 30 minutes ago when I saw an Instagram celebrity post a block of text as an image with the beginning sentence: “I am beyond thankful for my friends who have forgiven me.”  Though it’s in the same theme as the common I’m thankful for my friends and family, its specificity says so much more about the speaker and about her friends.  I wondered: Does my thankfulness have such a thesis? Continue reading

Friendly Skies

Hours after my last final exam, I stepped onto an airplane set for Amsterdam.  I boarded the plane with a single suitcase and a lingering ache from the emotional end of my freshman year.  

Excluding an infant wailing from the back, I knew that I was the youngest person on the plane — it was predictably full of retired senior citizens ready for a vacation.

Except for the guy in the seat next to me.  I remember pausing and blinking upon seeing Mateo, a strikingly handsome twenty-something from Colombia.  I wondered how I was going to survive a six-hour flight next to someone with such a symmetrical face.  I settled in my seat, ready to retreat into some movies and games on my phone, but Mateo insisted that we talk to each other during the flight. Continue reading