In early August I wrapped up my lab job and headed back home before the start of school. I made a stop at New York City along the way to see my sister. Though I was in a rush to go back home, I was also in sort of agony in leaving Philadelphia and remember feeling sad and nostalgic even on the Megabus. I was in a very strange and oppressive anxious mindset: I didn’t like the liminal feeling between summer and school starting I guess, and I felt, I don’t know. Inadequate in several ways. Continue reading
A modern pop song hailed as “summery” has a catchy melody as addicting as the sunny day, instrumentals like ice cubes clinking into a tall glass, and carefree lyrics about beaching and kissing. But this summer, two pop queens dropped albums that crack open this narrative of blissful summer: none other than effin’ Lana del Rey and Lorde themselves.
I’ve been delaying this reflection. Mostly, because when I try to describe my freshman year, contradictions crop up early on. For instance, I can start by saying that this first year felt much denser and more eventful than all four years of high school—“I’ve aged ten years,” I joke to those who ask about it. So, a lot happened. But then again, not really. I mean, there were a few milestones of course. But other than that…nothing that dramatic happened to me. I think about how by the end of the year, I still felt mostly like myself. It wasn’t, like, I metamorphosed into a different person or had a ton of wild shit happen to me. But even though the before and after pic is not very altered, distance does not equal displacement. There was a winding path in between my starting and ending point. Though not a lot changed, technically, the emotional journey feels long and profound for me.
I can still say, without a doubt, that after this year I know myself much better, and I can say that I feel more grown up. I can also say that I really like the person I’ve matured into.
Here’s why: Continue reading
Companion journal entries about overthinking
I’m glad I (briefly) got messed up with you this summer – at least it gives my brain something to chew on.
Maybe my whole life is all about me finding the next morsel to stuff in my mouth, regardless of whether it’s good for me or not. Regardless of whether I bite off more than I can chew. Continue reading
Words drip off me like condensation beads on a bottle, when the inner temperature in my skull is at great odds with my surroundings. I break out in musings like I break out in sweat. Continue reading
Lana del Rey’s new album has been in my life for over two weeks now. And even though the song is old news by now, Lust for Life expands the concept of “summertime sadness” into explosion — into narrative. And, for a moody teen living on her own for the first summer ever, the lyrics from this album reflect my emotions this season — and save me a little.
Summer’s meant for loving and leaving,
but I was such a fool for believing that you
could change all the ways you’ve been living — but you just couldn’t stop.
This month I felt productive: in work and in fun and in growth. July started with a trip to New York City, to visit my sister during the Fourth. I had the fortune to see the holiday in both of my cities: fireworks over the Delaware river, fireworks nearly blocked by skyscrapers. New York is an amazing city — but I love Philadelphia more, and it loves me back. Continue reading
After the first time I had kissed a stranger — in the blushing light of a music festival — I was reeling by how easily it had happened. He had seen me, chatted a little, put his arm around me…the only reason why we didn’t kiss sooner was because I was too naive to realize what he wanted.
In high school, finding someone to kiss would have been much more difficult, to say the least. Not because I wasn’t interested in anyone — but my shy and awkward demeanor didn’t attract boys at my school. The option of hooking up — being physically intimate with someone without the emotional aspect — was never really on the table, mostly because I was idealistic and unpopular, partly because high schoolers are actually more romantic than society portrays them as. Continue reading
You know how when you travel, a place can be nice, but only in a superficial and touristy way? Like, you enjoy it of course, but you don’t feel like there’s enough substance left to visit again anytime soon? I feel that way frequently when I travel — but not for Budapest.
As my sister and I flew from the Netherlands to Hungary, I realized how little I knew about the country. I didn’t know anything about Hungary aside from brief mentions during history class. I hazily imagined a quaint, sleepy city, but really had no idea what to expect. Continue reading