a dark side of journaling

I reread some of my old journal entries from last semester, and the intensity of my preserved feelings shocked me.   They were so raw, uncensored, intimate.

My journal entries are startlingly frank because they hold nothing back: as my private outlet, there’s no self-consciousness for conventions or melodrama.  So there’s something terrifyingly real about them.  It’s like I dipped my heart in ink and rolled it around the pages, and the imprints are just as fresh and poignant as if written yesterday.

For the first time, I wished that I hadn’t amberized that time in my life.   Continue reading

Emotional Containers

This past semester, I felt locked in a post-you era.  Even though, after you said those fateful words — “I’m not looking for a relationship” — I stopped liking you and even stopped hurting for you, I failed to restart, like some stuttering obsolete computer.   I felt like I couldn’t, not without some sort of signal to transition.  I wanted to flip over the page to the next chapter of my life, but it felt like the same chapter kept going on and on — even though different stuff started happening, even though you stopped being a character.  I guess I wanted to look up at the night sky and see the stars aligned in the words: THE END.  I wanted a sign.

But now, the semester is over.  There is no boundary as definitive as the beginning of sweet summer.  I brush the dust of you and my leftover feelings into the container called Freshman Year and seal it off for good. Continue reading

Relationships

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what even is the point of having friends, family, and lovers.  Especially since — if you think about it — the definitions of these things are so abstract and bendable sometimes.  After all, isn’t a group of friends like a found family — a beautiful little eclectic clan brought together by chance?  And doesn’t a family sometimes feel like people who you’re expected to be friends with for a lifetime?  Isn’t a lover just a best friend that you also sleep with — or are friends just lovers that you don’t sleep with?  I guess the confusing thing is that the word “love” blankets all these categories — sure, you can add modifiers like “platonic,” “familial,” and “romantic,” but our clumsy language includes that baffling universal solvent: L O V E. Continue reading

Loneliness

The close conversation had reached that point where we had run out of superficial, cheery things to say.  I wrung my hands as a thought forced itself into speech: I had been afraid that saying it aloud would make a tentative idea more real than it actually was, but I couldn’t help it, it had been haunting me for too long:

“Um, I don’t know,” I began slowly.  “I think, more than anything, I want to be in a relationship.  I know that’s a lame thing to say…I believe in feminism and independence and all that, but…it’s true.”

I lowered my head and blushed as my friend reassured me, but I couldn’t help but taste the aftertaste of a remark that was not articulated finely enough.  Because, in truth, I enjoy being single.  I like going to concerts and kissing strangers without worrying about someone back home.  I like quiet moments by myself.  And I see people constantly holding hands, constantly spending the night in each others’ dorms and I think: I don’t want that.  I don’t want all of that, at least not all the time.  

But I definitely want something.   Continue reading

Morning After

There was no obliviating fade to black, and then a reemergence of consciousness and light.  I had been laying in the diluted dark for hours, listening to him breathe deeply next to me, tiptoeing to the bathroom, until the gradient of day and night pulled itself over the horizon, shifted across his bare apartment, and the birds began to chirp. Continue reading

In the Company of Myself

Recently I’ve been smiling sadly my high school self; I’ve been re-reading some journal entries from her senior year English notebook.  Essentially, she was lonely and confused, searching for a sense of identity and starving for companionship.  She wrote down dreams of long hugs and soft hand touches. Continue reading

Aspiring Author (?)

So, my relationship with writing has been changing.

In case it wasn’t clear before, I used to have serious daydreams about writing short stories and  (once I improved enough as a writer) novels for a living.  I also had a significant interest in STEM too, of course, but I was worried that a move towards that field would be sacrificing my Dream of being a Writer™; I was worried I would be one of the many sad gray souls that chooses the “safe” option over something risky.

Shit changed in college though.  Basically, I realized that I really love Biology.  I took BIOL121 and was the only kid I know who considered it her favorite class (despite my lackluster grade!)   Something about nerdy shit like cell division and alternative splicing just sets my blood on fire, I’m not joking.  I realized that I could enter this field with genuine passion; pursuing Biology no longer felt like a duller “second choice” for me. Continue reading

Relatable Charlotte Brontë

My first Brontë read for English class, Villette, has been fucking me up.  It’s always striking to see parts of me in old literature, even in as strange a protagonist as Lucy Snowe.3226-villette

Because I’m cynical and complacent and resigned:

I suppose the orb of your life is not to be so rounded; for you the crescent phase must suffice…I see a huge mass of my fellow-creatures in no better circumstances.  I see that a great many men, and more women, hold their span of life on conditions of denial and privation.  I find no reason why I should be of the few favoured.  I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots.  

Because I’m recovering from heartbreak: Continue reading