Thursday, September 18, 2014

college lyfe

I guess a post about college is probably overdue by now, considering I've been here for over three weeks -- nearly a month. To be honest, I still feel kind of weird about writing here because I know there are things I can't say because of people I know who will read this. I want to be as open and as candid as I can be, but I still have to show discretion. Which is annoying, but that's what journals are for, I guess.


I've noticed I tend to appreciate life most when it matches some idea I've acquired in my mind of how it should be; that is, when the scene in front of me looks like a picture I've seen before, or when the action or feeling of a moment reminds me something I've read in a story. I'm hopelessly idealistic in that way, my brain swamped with visions of how life could be. That's not to say I'm disappointed when life does not meet these vaguely defined expectations, for it rarely does and there is something to be said for the gritty, 'realer' experiences, but it does mean that when life happens to resemble a dream in some way or another, I am perhaps disproportionally excited and, in many ways, at peace.

In life, it is the picturesque moments that stand out and the uglier ones that I sweep under the table. By picturesque I mean beautiful -- not necessarily happy, but poetic. Something you can write about without it sounding like a grocery list. A contrast to the prosaic mundanity of the every day. This is how I live: by collecting these moments of beauty and holding fast to them, for better or worse.

This has been my experience at college as well. The moments I have enjoyed most are the ones I imagine as being lines in a poem, or scenes in a photo, or a part of a movie. I love working in the library, reading about mythology or writing a paper analyzing Sappho, because to me, that's, like, what college is supposed to be. I love lying down in the grass on a sunny afternoon, reading. I love hanging out in people's dorm rooms, watching a steady flow of people in and out, catching snippets of their stories. I love the grad school campus because it has a place in the shrubs called Narnia, but the outside looks like the Secret Garden, with a swing hanging from an apple tree. I love lying out on a hill in the dark with a bunch of people, waiting for the Northern Lights to come but knowing they probably won't (they didn't). I love that someone can text me, "hey, wanna come study?" at 8 o'clock at night and I can just walk five minutes and see them. I even love the feeling of having done my laundry, or of having taken care of some errand, not because it's pretty, but because I feel responsible and independent, and like an adult.

It's not all fun and games and picturesque moments. It's getting easier, but the first week was pretty hard. I miss my friends more than I thought possible, and I miss Sundays at home, reading the Sunday Times leisurely while Dad makes pasta and homemade bread for dinner, and I miss things like being able to walk over to my bookshelf and flip through any book at any time. Sometimes, I'll randomly wish I could be somewhere like, oh, Central Market, or wish I could eat tacos (real tacos), or pet my cats, and I....can't. But those are small things. And if I think about it, I probably have enough memories stored in my brain that I could live forever.

Sometimes it feels claustrophobic, being surrounded by people all the time, and sometimes the temptation to just stay in bed and not go to classes is Very Real, but most mornings, I wake up and I'm glad to be here.

Hope you're all doing well, wherever you are.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

another dying august

It's been a weird summer.

I was supposed to get a job, and finally get my license, and have one last fun carefree wild summer before college, but I kind of messed all that up. So it goes. I regret a lot of things, but not everything. I read a lot of good books this summer. I went camping and biking in Idaho and saw the most breathtaking places and met the most interesting people. I canoed and went stand up paddleboarding around a lake and saw two bald eagles. I went to the beach with my friends at the beginning of the summer and I still have tan lines from it. I played Paint Twister with my friends and walked around the neighborhood in the middle of the night, paint all over my clothes, paint all over my skin. I babysat for a family that just moved from Florida, played more hide and seek than I'd like. I swam in a river while it rained and swam in a different river under the light of the stars. I went running with my old teammates and jumped in Barton Springs afterwards. I learned how to do CPR, and parallel park, and bake a pie. I got my ears pierced again. I went to a One Direction concert and had the time of my life. I said a lot of goodbyes. I still have to say a few more.

I'm leaving for Oregon on Tuesday. Everything's kind of crazy right now, suitcases and duffel bags sprawled out on my floor, stacks of clothes and blankets and uncompleted to do lists. I'm leaving the house I've lived in for 18 years, in the only city I've ever called home, and for the most part, I'm done being sad about it. I'm still a little scared, but I know it'll be okay. When most of the people you love have already left, it makes it easier for you to leave, too.

I think I'll do my best to keep blogging in college. I didn't really want to leave this place. I just needed time to recalibrate. I think now's a good time to start over.

See you on the other side.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Okay,'s the thing: I honestly don't really know what to do with this blog anymore. I never thought I'd stop writing here, always imagined I'd continue for a long time and that this site would follow my life for years and years until at least I was an adult, whatever the hell that means. But now, increasingly, I just don't really know what to do.

It feels like most people have abandoned blogspot by now. So many of the blogs I used to read, so much of the community where I made friends years ago, seem to have been left, or transferred to some other site. I appear to be a part of this mass abandonment; whether because other people left first or for my own reasons, I do not know. Likely it is some combination. This is what happens when you grow up, after all.

This is a strange in-between summer, after graduation but before moving, true, but it's been weird for the past year or so. I haven't blogged nearly as much lately as I did when I was fifteen.

Now I'm eighteen, and a part of me feels like I should just leave this here as a monument to my adolescence -- some untouched, left behind relic of the past. Maybe I should move on -- but to what, I don't know.

There are so many things I can't explain. So many things I don't feel I have to explain.

I want to continue writing, but in what capacity? I'm on my tenth journal in the past three years which is good -- it is more than good, it is necessary -- but sometimes I still want to share my thoughts with other people. Maybe this is just a human compulsion. Maybe I've just been convinced that the only way something is valid is if other people validate it for me, which seems a bit of an arrogant, annoying way of thinking.

Well, I've come to no conclusion, but I still thought I should say something.

This is not a goodbye.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

that's what's up

Things that have happened in the past few weeks (ignoring the fact that it has been way longer than that since I've actually talked about anything that has actually happened in my life)

+ I had my last day of high school. It started off terrible and I was late to class and my life was finally like a movie in that everything was going wrong on such a significant day in my life. I only had one class, and then my mom picked me up and I cried all the way home.

I knew I was going to do that, and then I didn't think I was going to do it, but then I did it and felt really awful for a few hours and then felt a lot better later on. I haven't really felt sad about it at all since then.

+ I graduated the next day. It was fun at first, with all the energy and excitement of everyone together, but waiting for everyone to go up and get their diplomas had me almost falling asleep. Afterwards we had a little graduation party at my house with family and friends.

+ That night, I went to my school's Project Graduation held at a YMCA and stayed up until 7:30 in the morning, the latest I've ever stayed up. It was an interesting night.

I had a Real Life Moment on the way home when "Fade Into You" came on the radio while we were flying down the highway at 6:20 in the morning, the roof down and the dawn sky blue and hazy around me, the cool wind in my face, feeling tired and disoriented from being up for around 22 hours and it was perfect until Claudia's mom changed the radio station.

I went home and sat on my porch writing and processing things for a while until the bugs got too annoying and I got too tired and finally went to bed. I woke up at 2 in the afternoon feeling utterly disgusting. Later, I laid on the bathroom floor in excruciating pain for a while until I threw up three times, which, as my friend pointed out, is probably worse than what would have happened if I had spent the night drinking and partying. Ah, life. So that was how I spent my first day of summer and as a high school graduate.

+ The rest of the summer has been better. I went to the beach at Port Aransas for a few days with my friends and got terrifically sunburned. I saw sea turtles, dolphins, and weird flying fish in the ocean. It was a fun time.

+ Last week I took a lifeguard training class. It was at least ten hours a day, though Thursday it went for twelve. It was very strenuous and stressful and I learned a lot, most importantly that I do not want to be a lifeguard. So, there's that.

+ I don't really have many plans for the rest of the summer. I'm going to Idaho (? why) in late July for a few weeks with my family, where we'll be doing some sort of bike trip. Needless to say, it's a big departure from the past few summers where I've been jetting off somewhere new every few weeks, but I wanted to spend more time at home and with my friends before I leave for college. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I know at the very least it will involve more World Cup watching, running by the lake, swimming, random adventuring, reading, and other things that are the staple of summer and why I love this season so much.

Hope you've all been well! xx

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I'll see you when we're both not so emotional

I said I wasn't going to do this, but the thing is, I can't not.

It's my last night of being in high school. We went for burgers for dinner, and while the rest of my family was still finishing off their milkshakes, I left to wander around the shopping center. Sometimes I need to be alone. The restaurant was playing the OJ Simpson car chase, and it was making me sad, how confused and convoluted the world can be, so I went for a walk. I climbed on the columns outside the camera shop and sat there, looking out, until a policeman came and told me I had to get down. It was a liability thing, he explained. They didn't want to get in trouble if I fell and hurt myself.

I always like to climb on things, to be high up, and I'm always moving fast so I often scrape myself in the process. Today alone, I gave myself a paper cut and got a bright red gash on the back of my thigh from when my sister threw our cat on me. I dabbed at it with water until the napkin was stained more red than my skin.

It's my last night of being in high school, and I said I wasn't going to do this, but I couldn't not. I was sitting on the ledge and I was looking out at the past four years right in front of me. There was the pizza place we went to at my friend's birthday party in freshman year. There's the Walmart we stopped at this New Year's Eve to buy firecrackers, only to find they didn't have any. There's the movie theater where I saw Catching Fire, and the Grand Budapest Hotel, and Ponyo, so long ago. There's my family's favorite Indian restaurant. There's the Tigermart of my friends' legends -- it's not a Tigermart anymore, though. There's the streets that lead to school, and there's the ones that lead home.

I'm home now and reading something my friend wrote about this very feeling -- the 'being on the precipice of leaving everything behind' feeling. Sometimes I get stupid but when I think about a different life my throat hurts. My eyes are wet. Don't look at me. High school is over and that's cool. High school is over and I want to die. I'll settle for something in between.

I'm excited for college, don't get me wrong, but right now, tonight, I'm in mourning. This is my valediction to high school -- to skipping class to go to H-E-B and Jamba Juice, to early morning carpool blasting rap music, to our lunchtime group in that little corner by the library. To crying in the bathroom about the future, to class periods spent taking selfies and online shopping, to those times we'd stay after track practice just to talk and stretch. To making faces at people in the hallways, to sneaking into hotel pools just to dip my feet in, to misunderstandings that make your blood boil and make you slam doors. To all those late nights writing papers and working on projects, late start breakfasts, karaoke nights, picnics in the park, football games, flashcards, acquaintances who became friends, funny teacher stories, field trips planting trees, signing yearbooks, riding the school bus, camping in backyards, lab partners, college applications, driving home late at night with the car quiet except for the music, Coffeehouse, everything everything everything. Goodbye to all of it.

Maybe this would have been easier if I had been asleep, she said.


Maybe then it wouldn't hurt so much.

 But maybe then it wouldn't hurt so good, either.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

all those wasted hours we used to know

I wrote this a few weeks ago for an English assignment. It was based off this post of mine from a few years ago, because if I'm not annoyingly self-referential all the time on here then who even am I?

So my high school experience is about 99% complete and suffice it to say after a lifetime of being submerged in pop culture surrounding this mythical time in a young person’s life, it has completely failed me.

My high school experience was not a classic coming-of-age film or like any teen book I ever read, nor was it anything an article in Seventeen could possibly have prepared me for. My high school experience was more like a low-budget comedy sitcom that was canceled after the first season. It has a pretty good cast, but the plot is, quite frankly, terrible. I mean, nothing ever happens. There are way too many shots of the main character just lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling, while some kind of soft, sad indie music plays in the background.

Most of the conflict and action is internal and it doesn’t really translate to the screen well. The show is marked by awkward dialogue and a lack of a real storyline. The conversations can be uncomfortable, the main character can be frustrating. Sometimes you wonder whether she is capable of empathy or any emotion at all, and then the next moment you realize the reason you hate her so much is because she is the manifestation of all your own flaws, staring back at you, and then you’re quietly sobbing in front of your television. The characters are all infuriating, and they all let you down, and that’s how you know it’s true to life.

It is pretty funny, sometimes, in a bitterly ironic way. There is a lot of subtle humor and inside jokes most people probably wouldn’t get the first time around. I appreciate that. Sometimes, though, it was just laughably bad. There’s a lot of falling and people injuring themselves, which somehow doesn’t stop being funny after four years.

There are a few subplots that are actually more interesting than the main one. The lovably idiosyncratic minor characters provide much entertainment amid a main plot rather devoid of action.

The soundtrack is pretty solid, too, probably one of the most redeemable parts of the show. There’s a wide variety of music, but it works. It’s paired with skilled cinematography and the result is a number of really sublime scenes where nothing happens but you still feel it’s somehow contributing to the narrative.

Overall, I’m not really sad this show is over. It had its moments, to be sure, but all the actors are moving onto better things. If for some reason you feel like reminiscing about your own days as a sarcastic teenager with no clue about anything in the world, then, sure, I recommend it. It could have been a lot worse. Three out of five stars. 30

Friday, May 09, 2014

home by now

I feel really weird, maybe because it's Friday and I've spent all afternoon at home doing nothing except for ordering a pizza and feeling rottingly nostalgic. It feels kind of like sophomore year all over again right now but weird in that strange irreversible things have happened since then so it will never really be the same. 

When I was younger, in middle school, I used to read the news online for fun in class. I used to do all my homework and do it well. I used to have books checked out from the library at all times. I would write frequently -- poems, personal anecdotes, the beginnings of novels, blog posts -- just for fun. I used to take pictures everywhere, of everything, and spend time getting the composition right, making sure the aperture and the ISO all lined up. I played soccer and had guitar lessons and went to youth group every Sunday. I spent a lot more time with my family, and a lot more time by myself. 

And somewhere along the way from then to now, I stopped doing all those things. My soccer team fell apart and I replaced it with track and cross country. I stopped playing guitar after my finger got hurt in November. Books and photography and magazines I replaced with Tumblr and blogs and hanging out with friends.

The only thing I didn't really stop doing was writing; if anything, my journals became more regular. Of this, I am glad. I am so, so thankful I have this way of documenting my life.

I don't want to make it sound like I want to go back to when I was younger, because I don't. It's just become increasingly clear to me that although I am fundamentally the same person I was sophomore year, I'm in a different place. I have more experiences, so to speak, and although I'm still rather hopelessly naive when it comes to, well, pretty much everything, I'm ever so slightly less so. Which is, I think, is probably a normal side-effect of growing up. More than that, I became less lonely, more sure of myself. I don't hate myself the way I did when I was thirteen. I don't hate myself at all. 

It's kind of like, forgive me my cheesy comparisons, climbing a mountain. Of life? And I'm not at the top and if the top is true enlightenment then maybe I'll never get there, but I've made some progress, and now I'm at a vantage point where I can see where I started and see how far I've come and how things have changed since then. Maybe not all the changes are good, and maybe I've tripped once or five times on my way up, but there's perspective. And there's good company, and good food, and hell, I'm going to be okay, I'm always going to be okay. 

Sometimes I feel like I lost a part of myself when I stopped doing all those things that defined me. I know part of growing up -- being alive -- is shedding skin and shedding chains, even if it's kinda sad. Sometimes, maybe you do lose parts of yourself in the thick of it all. But you gain things, you lose things, the ebb and flow. It'll come back, the parts you want to. Not all of it should. 

I want to start reading more and writing more, seriously. I also want to keep running and keep hanging out with my crazy friends and sing pop songs with my sister in the kitchen while I still can. I want to not be sad about the things I've lost or am losing, but just. Go with it. Just love. 

I didn't mean for this to get so cheesy and reflective but God help me if I ever write something that isn't. God help me if I ever manage to write a post without asphyxiating it with nostalgia and "weirdness" and some saccharine sentiment about growing up. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, etc. I'm not. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

and it's hard to come of age

Inline image 1

So there's about two months to graduation and some days I want nothing more than to leave. I'm sick of sitting in these desks, watching the clocks, waiting to go home. Wishing I was anywhere but here.

On these days, college sounds exciting. I can't wait to meet new people, to learn and read, to explore new cities and countries.

And then some days, when I'm happy, I never want to leave. I never want anything to change. I don't want to start over, not when what I have is already enough.

Some days, it is hard to think of the future because I can't imagine meeting anyone else I love as much as the people already in my life. I'm scared I'll never find anything better than what I already have. That's the scariest thing, I think.

Winter is hard, but I always forget that spring hurts, too. April and May taste sweet like summer but bitter like end of the school year nostalgia. Last year was particularly bad; this year, I don't expect anything better. It still hurts to listen to Arcade Fire because it sounds exactly like the sadness of spring and growing up and leaving your childhood behind.

For a while, I've been coasting through with a kind of apathetic attitude, but it kind of hit me this week. My last track meet yesterday, for instance, was a real kicker. It marked an end to the past two years of running for school, and yeah, I'm going to miss it. Mostly the people. It's them I'll miss, more than the adrenaline of the first 100 meters or the stadium sunsets; more, even, than fruit snacks or Snackimals. Wherever you go, whatever you do, it's the people that make it what it is. That's something I've learned.

This second semester senior thing is not as chill as you'd think, but it's okay. I'm counting down the days, but I'm also trying to enjoy them. Oh, life. It's so cyclical, isn't it? Wasn't I just talking about the same exact thing last year? Feelings come and go and then they come back again, when you don't expect them. I never even know what's going on half the time. I hope you're all doing well.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I can feel your energy from two planets away

*A gratuitous cat post while I think of something else to write*

Did I mention we got two new kittens back in January? I feel like I probably forgot that detail, but anyway, here they are now. They're a brother and sister and they're absolutely psychotic. They've already murdered like two plants or something. But they're pretty cute, I guess.

Monday, March 10, 2014

we're half awake in a fake empire

This has been the longest winter. It's spring break now, and the sun's out for the first time this weekend, but it's still cold inside and I've got a blanket wrapped around my shoulders as I'm eating cereal and it just feels like Winter Break 2.0. 

This has been the weirdest winter. Weird, my default adjective. It doesn't really describe anything, does it? But that's the thing -- everything is such a hard thing to describe. That's the reason for my absence. I've been trying to condense every feeling I've experienced in the past three months into one poem and it just isn't working. So I've been practicing radio silence. Looking at the winter sunsets. Dreaming in rhymes. Doing a lot of waiting. 

In several ways, it feels like everything is falling apart around me, very quietly, in increments, as things do, and I'm just kind of sitting here, nodding my head. Letting it happen.

Growing up is a funny thing. You know this, everyone knows this, but every so often you realize it more acutely. 

Somewhere there is a poem I haven't written yet and it starts: Everyone I've ever known who's died has died in winter. This poem relies a bit too much on metaphor, but it also isn't a lie. It was born on the second day of the new year, driving home from the vet: the three longest red lights in history and unspoken words spiraling out the window. You could see your thoughts as clear as your breath. The poem continues in February with a short email that made think of 98 years of life and how I'm glad I said goodbye at least once.

This winter has been self-destruction, roadside construction, self-immolation, good intentions. Realizations of apathy meeting overwhelming empathy. I'm a pendulum swinging back and forth between happiness and a sort of anxiety-induced frustration. It's just that this is uncharted territory and all I've got is a compass that only ever points north, which is not always where I need to go. It's just that sometimes I want to go home even when I'm already there.

I stay up late, talking my friends down from their ledges. I stay up even later, talking myself down. I think we're all a bit terrified of what comes next. We're all surviving off five hours of sleep and half an order of French fries. We're all clinging to whatever we can, holding on too tight but at the same time, so ready to let go. 

I was talking to my friend about the helplessness of seeing someone else hurting and about what it means to be a good friend. We agreed that when it comes down to it, you really just have to work through your problems by yourself. All you can do is be there for other people, love them and support them. "Sometimes you don't need someone to slay your dragons for you, you just need someone to come home to at the end of the day."

I keep writing angry poems about the people in my life and they always end, "I love you, but." I keep writing poems about being confused, because that's the only thing I know for sure. Nothing. This whole season has been one long winter weather advisory, and I have a headache. 

Friday, February 07, 2014

then the snow started falling

The sky is pretty, driving home. It's a nice day, for winter, that last part being the operative phrase because it may be nice, but it's still winter, and it's still kind of sad with all the skeleton trees and the bitter winds and echoing loneliness of the month. The sky is so blue, but summer seems like several lifetimes away on both sides, past and future. Time is a funny thing. I still can't figure it out.

The sky is pretty, driving home, white clouds threaded through the blue sky, but it's still freezing cold. We're both rubbing our hands to keep warm and it makes me think of that line in "Blood Bank" and winter all over again. "You said, ain't this just like the present / to be showing up like this?"

There's a lack of color in everything but the sky, and us -- red hands, raw, shaking. Red lips, cracked and dry. Hazy green-brown eyes, flicking left to right, past the steering wheel, out the window. I always say thank you, and goodbye. I should start saying happy birthday.

This winter has been a weird one. I remember back at the beginning of December, thinking it hadn't been that cold that early in a long time. And now it's February and school was canceled today again because of a chance of ice. So far we've had two weather delays and three snow days, and only actually one tiny baby instance of anything that remotely resembles snow. This morning: absolutely nothing. But I'm not going to complain too much about a day off. I can't remember the last time I had five whole days of school in a row, which, you know, is kind of fitting for the whole second semester senior thing.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

this is what makes us girls

On One Direction, the Misogyny of Music Snobbery, & the Importance of Teenage Girls

I thought I’d start off this attempt of mine to be a Serious Member of Society by telling you that my past three lock-screens have been Harry Styles. I have three One Direction posters on my walls; one of them is there because I did in fact receive for Christmas, from my mother, a magazine with them on the cover. I have all three of their albums on my iPod, and I also have several of their X-Factor performances and some songs that were never actually released.

Listen to me: I never wanted this to happen. If you had told me three years ago that I would be in this deep, I would have been a little short of horrified.

But the thing is, now, I’m not ashamed. I mean, okay, I’m a little ashamed of the sheer amount of time I’ve devoted to rewatching the tour diaries and the number of Google searches on my computer that feature the words “Harry” and “tattoo” and maybe I would like no one else ever to read some of the emails between my friends and I on the subject, but I’m not ashamed for liking One Direction. Why should I be?

Music snobbery, in general, I find to be tiresome and a complete waste of one’s energy. Maybe once upon a time I cared about what I listened to, but then I grew up and realized that it literally doesn’t matter at all if what you like is played on the radio or not. The fact that some people continue to think that listening to Ke$ha means you’re vapid just boggles my mind. Like, whoa, homie, back up. Your music taste (and movie taste, book taste, etc. etc.) is absolutely no indication of your intelligence, and neither has anything to do with your worth as a person. Enjoying a good song is not a crime. In fact, it’s one of the best parts of life, and if you can’t let yourself take pleasure in that, then I feel sorry for you.

I don’t even know how people think they can judge someone at all based what they listen to. I mean, my starred songs on Spotify include B.o.B ft. Lil Wayne, Fleetwood Mac, Britney Spears, Seabear, Imagine Dragons, the Weeknd, and the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. Is that supposed to be able to define me? Ha. Good luck with that.

Music elitism is annoying to be sure, but sometimes, it can be downright offensive as well. When people deride rap music for its problematic treatment of women, their critiques may be valid, but their argument is weakened by the racist motives in their singling out that genre. Why is it always rap music and never indie rock? Think about it.

I’m so guilty of doing that sort of thing myself because it’s easy to go along with a common line of thinking without pausing to consider its implications. It’s what we’re socialized to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. To return to my original topic, before I went on one of my typical winded tangents, I had also let this sort of prejudice against music like One Direction prevail.

Like so many other people, I used to dismiss fans of boy bands like I thought I was supposed to, complying with the subtly misogynistic idea that music catering primarily to teenage girls was not worthy of my respect because--why else?--teenage girls were not worthy of my respect. And this was something I thought, however subconsciously, as a teenage girl myself. Which is pretty freaking messed up.

Why do people love to hate on artists like One Direction and Justin Bieber*? I’ll tell you one thing: it's not because they lack talent. And while it is perfectly reasonable to simply not find their music to your taste, the majority of the criticism they take is not based upon that. In fact, funnily enough, most of the criticisms are, you guessed it, a brand of thinly veiled elitism whose misogynistic undertones often go over even the critics’ heads. I’ve seen this countless times. Just yesterday, I asked my friend what he had against One Direction after I mentioned them and he said “ew.” His reply was “everything,” but he was unable to actually pinpoint anything specific that bothered him. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but yeah, if you say something like that, I’m going to assume it’s the fact that they’re a band geared toward teenage girls that bothers you.

Because teenage girls are the root of all evil, right? They’re narcissistic, always taking selfies and tweeting about their lives. They’re vapid, they’re shallow, they only care about clothes and makeup and boys. They’re overly emotional about everything. They never stop squealing. And they’re all so mean to each other, too! Teenage girls are the worst.

People don’t always say it in so many words, but the idea gets across. No one wants to be caught listening to One Direction, or the Jonas Brothers, or Justin Bieber, or whoever else, because no one wants to be compared to a teenage girl, not even other teenage girls.

I think this is a little sad. No, actually, I think it’s deplorable. It’s disgusting. The whole system is based off society, industry, telling us one thing -- that we need to buy and wear makeup, that we need to lose weight, wear certain clothes -- and then punishing us when we actually fall for it. Of course, this is a problem for all women, but it’s a different case for teenage girls. We’re not just emotional; we’re hormonal. We’re a special type of crazy. While a self-possessed, successful woman out in the world may demand respect, fifteen-year-olds certainly don’t.

They’re mocked, ridiculed, for loving what they love. No one takes them seriously. If you like something, it’s either a stupid thing to like (fashion, “chick” lit, boy bands) or something you don’t understand and have no place being interested in (video games, politics, older music -- “What do you kids know about bands that had their prime before you were born??”). You just can’t win.

Because being a teenage girl is hard in a way that’s acute and separate from all the normal pains of being alive. I didn’t write this with the intention of complaining or unloading all my personal problems, but yeah, sometimes it really sucks. Sometimes it’s razors slicing open your knees and that extra inch of fat above your waistline and boys who just won’t love you back. Sometimes it’s shoving your hands deeper into your pockets when men whistle at you through car windows and blow-drying your hair late at night for half an hour when you’re already tired out of your mind. Sometimes it’s tugging down your shorts so they’re in the dress code and wondering where all the books written by women, about women, are in the curriculum. Sometimes it’s “please talk to me like an adult,” and ten minutes later it’s, “As long as you live here you will do as I say.” Sometimes it feels like everyone is telling you you’re worthless from every side and you’re just can’t do anything about it.

But I love teenage girls because despite everything they have to put up with, they’re still capable of incredible power. They do so much good for the world: they create amazing things, they ignite revolutions, and more than that, they have such a capacity to love. Teenage girls can be so passionate about the things they’re interested in and this should be celebrated, not dismissed. Instead of making fun of someone for something they like or something they do (something which does not affect anyone else, I might add), we should recognize the legitimacy of their emotions and support them.

So yes, I am a teenage girl and I love One Direction. Wholeheartedly, unabashedly, as things are meant to be loved; none of that “guilty pleasure” crap. I don’t care if you don’t love them, but if you want to think less of me for my own tastes, I’m going to have to ask you to sit down, shut up, and think about your own gross internalized misogyny for a while I have fun listening to “Midnight Memories” for the forty-seventh time in a row. Good day.

*I’m talking about before he went and got arrested and did things that warranted a loss of respect, SMH Justin, I was rooting for you

Friday, January 17, 2014

look at your life, look at your choices

High school summed up:

  • hanging out in the parking lot after school, watching a boy recite Shakespeare while he vomits up the milk he drank in the gallon challenge
  • spending half an hour on the library computers searching for proxies on the sketchiest websites known to man just so you can get past the school system’s infuriating restrictions and listen to, erm, a certain song, it doesn’t matter who it’s by, don’t worry about it
  • lockdowns and gas leaks (repeat ad infinitum)
  • praying that one of the raccoons that live in the ceiling will fall through into your classroom in the middle of a test
  • eating half your lunch and looking down at the time to realize it’s only 10:12 AM and then thinking, what’s even left to live for?
  • listening to your English teacher lecture seriously about the different facial hair styles of the Victorian age as one girl in the back of the classroom quietly flips chairs over
  • not even caring if you’re accidentally shoving people as you walk past the freshmen hallway because Lord, someone needs to teach those kids how to walk
  • waiting outside a teacher’s classroom to talk to him and then seeing him casually climb into his room through the window 
  • interpreting “use this class time wisely” to mean “blogging”

Monday, January 13, 2014

I think I'm running low on inspiration

Please tell us about a gift, given or received, that was particularly meaningful to you. What was the gift, and why was it meaningful? (150 words max)
The most meaningful gift I have received recently was an email from a close friend of mine. Simply titled “Friendship,” the message contained a single gif of a shirtless, sleepy, and frustratingly attractive Harry Styles, repeated dozens of times. While I love it when my fellow fangirling friends send me emails like this, coming from an artsy punk who wouldn't be caught dead listening to One Direction, this gift is means even more. Such gestures of self-sacrifice in the name of friendship are something I will treasure all my life. They are, truly, better than words.

Friday, January 10, 2014

my heart is breathing / for this moment in time

Sometimes when I don't know what to blog about, I ask my friends for ideas. "Write about the bittersweet passage of time," Caitlin told me, half-jokingly. As if I ever write about anything else.

Seventeen is strange: right now is strange. With only one semester of high school left, it feels like everything is ending. There's a finality to every moment, a sense that every day is laced with lasts. My heartbeat is a countdown, a time bomb, and I stopped saying goodbye a while ago. I never meant to but maybe it's easier this way.

I feel like I'm prematurely mourning the loss of my childhood. I just keep thinking: this is it. This is all the time I get here before I graduate and go to college and everything is different. One semester and a summer, half a year or so. Give or take. I just keep thinking about my house and my neighborhood and my city and how someday, it will be "the house I grew up in" instead of "my house." That makes me kind of sad.

I've already lost some things. Taz, the cat we've had since before I was born, died a week ago. We had to put her to sleep. And it's weird that she's not sitting on the couch like she always is. I don't know how long it takes to get used to things like this.

I don't want to grow up. Well, I do and I don't. I want to go to college and travel around the world and meet new people and get a tattoo and a dog and mostly just not have to be in high school anymore. But the future excites me so it also terrifies me. I mean, being a teenager may suck at times, but it's comfortable. It's fairly predictable. It's all I've really known. And, I don't mean to be bitter, but I feel like life still owes me certain teenage experiences. I still need to slow dance in the gym to really cheesy songs and kiss someone in their car and sneak out of my house in the middle of the night to lie in a field and look at the stars and I definitely can't grow up before I attend a wild party in someone's basement and drink beer stolen from their parents' and stumble out the door before the cops show up as some song with an incredibly loud bass makes my heart beat a little faster than it should. Why haven't those things happened to me yet? What the heck, life? You have approximately six months to get your act together.

In all seriousness, I'm very okay with the way my adolescence has progressed and I know that not only am I still quite young, things don't happen at the same rate for everyone, and also, life will never be like it is in books and movies and musics. This is possibly (definitely) the greatest tragedy of my life, but it's okay. I have my own story, remember?

I'm sorry if this turned out kind of depressing. I guess all this stuff about ending is kind of sad but it's not all-consuming and it's all going to be all right, really. I'm taking things one day at a time, better than I used to. I'm soaking in this strange time in my life as best as I can. School sucks but lunch time with my friends doesn't. Laughing in the car in the morning doesn't. Listening to Jack's Mannequin while running through my neighborhood as the sky turns the prettiest shade of pink doesn't. So that's what I'm going to remember.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

save me, san francisco

Breaking news: It is actually physically impossible for me to make a post without titling it something extremely cheesy. Scientists around the world are baffled at this phenomenon and as of yet there is no known cure. Incredible. Anyway. What was I saying?

We were recently in San Francisco for a few days, book-ending our Christmas in Chico with my grandparents. San Francisco has good views and good food, so of course I brought my camera. Actually, vacations seem to be the only time I take pictures anymore, which is a little sad, but here you go.

Salted Caramel Sundae at Ghiradelli Square ayyyy

(Not gonna lie, I just kinda liked how my hair looked. Whatever)

I love flower shops so much.

Lombard Street

I swear I've seen a picture of this house somewhere before! I saw it in real life and was like yooooo

I want to have a party on that balcony with all the lights. Aha

The streets are really steep okay?

 Does this need a caption, honestly?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


I didn't get to publish this earlier (i.e. last year) but I always like to look back at my favorite parts of the year so here it is, mostly for my own benefit, a little late.

Displaying afterlight.jpeg
And in lieu of a time-consuming collage, here is a selfie that I think accurate sums up my year.

some memorable moments of 2013

  • Spring break, the first day back home after visiting colleges in the frigid Northeast. I biked down to Castle Hill where I met my friends. We walked around, took the bus down to South Congress and had smoothies. The weather was wonderful and the city was beautiful and when my friend said, "I don't ever want to leave," in that moment I agreed.
  • District track meet, when I PR'd by almost a minute on my two mile time, feeling breathless and incredulous, stumbling off the track into a hug. And later, running across the infield, chasing laughter into the night.
  • Work camp in Colorado, and how for the first time I really bonded with my team.
  • Post-practice team breakfasts of chips and queso. Nothing better.
  • Luxembourg Gardens right before closing; the open air markets that felt exactly like France should feel; skipping through Paris after dark.
  • Sitting around a fire with my cousins and family, roasting marshmallows and telling stories. Thinking this is how summer is supposed to be spent.
  • That last sunset on San Juan Island.
  • An end of the summer reunion of sorts, after everyone being gone for so long -- catching up on stories from Germany & the Dominican Republic over late night pancakes and enchiladas.
  • Paddle-boarding on the lake on the last day of summer.
  • Our last football season, especially: the tailgate before the McCallum game and how we skipped it to go to the Fashion Outlet and split a pint of ice cream from H-E-B; all the wonderful chants we made up throughout the games; the end of the last game, a big group hug after one final "Whose house? Jags' house!"
  • Late nights. I don't regret all those nights I should have gone to sleep earlier, you know? I really don't. I find peace in being the only one awake; I like listening to music and writing by the yellow glow of my lamp; I enjoy talking to people late into the night. I regret procrastinating on homework a little, but maybe not enough.
  • Luxy's birthday party...yeah, I don't think I'll forget night that any time soon.
  • New Year's Eve, last night. It involved ridiculously fattening doughnuts, karaoke, and a bit of light trespassing, ice skating rink style (what else is new?). A good ending to a...really weird year.

There are so many more, but that's what stands out right now. I'm tired, and it's winter.

Here's to 2014 and maybe blogging more often.