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

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

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

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

Monthly Me (August ’17)

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

reflecting on freshman year

Read my first semester summary here, and here

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

Monthly Me (July ’17)

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

Easy

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