It’s 2006

and A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out is playing through my headphones as I take on the bunny slope at Steamboat mountain during snowboarding school. I feel unstoppable, on top of the world, and invigorated. I am dressed in an all-pink outfit while my braids flap in the wind. The blonde girl you connected with is screaming the lyrics with you during the lunch break as your teacher, “Goose,” looks on mortified, but you can’t help but laugh.

Being in Steamboat again floods all those memories back, but I actually began to reflect on all of this weeks prior when I hear the songs that I used to burn on every CD I could get my hand on. It started with me buying way too much music on my iPod Nano to discovering the world of Limewire and having everything I could have wanted at my fingertips.

And because of that, there is an etherial period from 2003 to 2009 where all the music I sang along to then stricks a chord with me as an adult. I hear the famous note from MCR, the guitar rift from Sugar We’re Goin’ Down, Alex Gaskarth’s strain, and Brendon Urie belt out lyrics, and I can’t help but feel the same as I did when I was singing along as a teenager.

In the past decade, I have funneled into more acoustic singers, moody folk, indie bands, atmospheric instrumentalist, and orchestral ballads. Still, this music lives within some of the best memories and low times. I remember the first time I heard I Write Sins Not Tragedies on the radio, and having the CD blast in the car when I had my license. I remember feeling an immediate bond with and jealousy of my Freshman Year roommate after we exchanged numbers via Facebook, and she told me she was at Warped Tour.

This music brought me friends, connections, boyfriends, and conversation. I dated the boy that thought he was a rockstar and played in a cover band. He played songs that I played over and over in my bedroom as I dreamt of the punk boys and then realized they were better suited in the dreams. The songs brought me inspiration in the past and are nothing but happy memories now.

All of it felt full circle once Remembering Sunday came on shuffle while winding the curves of Olympic National Park in Washington and I watched the massive lakes glisten under the sunshine, and immediately felt like a teenager riding in my car and looping the song over and over just to feel at ease. 

NYC Bedroom

Sometimes I miss my old room.

There was a quaintness that came to waking up every morning to some exposed brick and the sunlight drenching the white curtains hanging in the window and ivory sheets that cloaked my body. There was an elegance that came with cozying up in my emerald green, crushed velvet chair that sat in the corner and became my nook for writing, reading, and studying.

I am looking forward to making this new bedroom even more exciting, although it is smaller, but a new home for myself in the coming year. As this new place is a work in progress, enjoy some interior inspo from my last place and enjoy a sneak peek to the way I incorporate the past into my new space!

17 August 2016

I would like to insist that life is accompanied by a user manual. That way our birth certificates can be bound with all of the experiences we could encounter in life. So as we transition we can recognize them while they happen. Love is a verb I struggled to define before I really experienced it romantically.

I came home to my roommate a year ago today and asked when she knew she was in love with her partner. It was deep into their relationship for her, and here I was just two weeks into getting to know a man who had already confessed his love for me and I was thinking I really loved him.

He hit me with a foul ball plummeting from a universe I was so unaware of. I was ready for him to open up about something difficult when he asked me if he could tell me something without me freaking out, but I couldn’t prepare for the feelings he unleashed. I read the words everyone who has had a crush wants to see, hear, and feel. A man loves me!!! He loves me, yet I froze. So much had happened two days prior and our future felt futile, yet there I was thinking about moving away and falling in love. simultaneously.

I stared down those three words—8 letters—a simple construction of subjects and verb to which I was instantly filled with a pulse of electricity. It radiated from my heart down to my fingers and toes as I read them over and over. When it fell into my stomach the upheaval of emotions I suppressed for most of my life twisted at my innards. They were emotions I had never felt at this intensity and I was nervous.

He overwhelmed me.

My thoughts thrashed violently around my head. I had no idea what I was doing.

ABORT! ABORT! ABORT! 

He left me speechless, so that was what I responded with:

“You and making me speechless.”

“Is that bad?”

“No”

Then he started backtracking & attempting to explain himself. I felt like he was filling with anxiety because at that exact moment those words were too heavy for me to throw back in his direction. I began to get anxious. I was so unsure what it was that I felt because I didn’t have my user manual handy. 

Is that what love is? Feeling lighter than air as you float to the heavens while you simultaneously feel a magnet’s pull, that surpasses a human’s tolerance of g-forces, towards another soul? That you want to black out and throw up from the effects love has on the body? Is love a drug that forced its way into my bloodstream? I was scared to simplify it a year ago, but today I know that was how I first felt our love.

It grew to become something I needed. Soon it just became happiness. It filled me and my days with incredible thoughts. I walked around knowing someone loved me. I barely understood affection before him; hugs and kisses, romance, and the meaning I put to love were all different before him. I stepped into this world and had no intention of leaving. I spent my days telling him what I could not put into words a year ago.

Now I feel empty.

I freely share a love with all. The want to radiate it outwards comes naturally to me. However, this love came at a different rate for him. This love knew no depth—it knew only of infinite goals. This love poured out of me for him. I am yet to find the shut-off valve; I bust at the seems and let it flow from my eyes as I forcibly hide it each day. I feel constrained to only suppress it now. That I have no choice but to bury it alone in the darkness when all I want is to let it free. I am compromising for him.

I spoke to him on the phone a while ago and I said it again. I told him I loved him a month after he broke up me. He said nothing except that he doesn’t know what to say to “that”. Life came full circle. I blurted it out like he did a year ago and like me, he didn’t say it back. I never said it to hear it back when we were together, and I didn’t say it that day to change his mind. I just know I can’t spend my life pretending that I am okay with what we are now.

I feel like a liar if I did. 

Leaving Wedgewood Way

I was enrolled in a writing course during undergrad where our first assignment was to look abstractly at our definition of the word home. Broadly it was feelings I received alongside a coordinate on a map. I found a home to symbolize the togetherness of the humans I surrounded myself with. I never felt it was as if the word only amounted to the physical embodiment of a structure, but in this case, this residence has remained my home for so long.

After the age of one, I reached all my milestones at this address. I developed and grew while the structure remained the same. It was here that I ran under the countertops until I was too tall and slammed my head into the granite. It was here that my parents collected photos of me falling asleep in strange places. I would wake up on Christmas and excitedly run to the family room shake all the presents under the tree that Santa gave me.

My flowered wallpapered was plastered up before moving in and then stripped and painted electric blue when I challenged the femininity of my personality while being a sports fanatic in middle school. My eyes strained at the color and eventually more coats of purple paint covered the brightness because my mom wouldn’t let me paint the room black in high school. I left for college and it was redecorated and updated to keep up with my changing personality and maturity. It remains now like it is in the photo above in my memory.

I would sit outside on my driveway and stare up at the stars in the evening and understand how infinite life felt. I would walk my neighborhood and adventure with friends. I would leave and return feeling incredibly grateful for this home and where I grew up. This city has made an impact on my life that I always felt I would want to return and show the one I love the city that developed me, but I would never return here to live. It would be to walk down memory lane and highlight all the highs and lows throughout my time here.

Those feelings felt real this time more than ever. I stared down another move, and I have a feeling this could be the last time I ever reside at this residence. I am hitting the age where moving back in would seem counterproductive. I am pursuing the dreams to get myself established and that won’t happen in this home.

I have never known what it will be like to not be able to return to my childhood home and walk inside. I know my parents have desires to find themselves elsewhere as well. There is a chance that soon my room, which has only ever been my room, will become someone else’s. I took it all in before I left.

I started out my window at the view and saw the branches I used to climb sway slightly with the breeze. I looked around at the emptiness that remained. I pulled my bedroom door behind me and felt it latch shut. I gazed around the shared living areas and stepped outside. I watched out the car window as the garage door descended and closed. I looked back to see the flowers planted in the lawn I ran around and played in with our family dogs.

The trees in the neighborhood whipped past me and blurred into a green haze as I closed my eyes to remember that I was ready—I was ready to soon establish my own home.

11 August 2016

I have been known to go the extra mile throughout my journey. Whether it be in my education, relationships, or daily tasks, I have gone further and would continue to seek an above and beyond mentality to better my days where I could. However, I tended to exhibit perfectionist ideals while I strongly believed there was something more I could do, or do differently, because of the extra mile I was and am willing to walk.

I have learned to not let that ideal weigh heavy on me. I am aware that I do not have to be, nor will I ever truly achieve perfection. I have settled with unperfected pieces in school and life even if I shouldn’t have. I allowed first drafts to be seen and I did so to protect myself and my mental state from wavering under the pressure. By doing that, I allowed for mishaps in order to lessen the outcome of stress and have grown in a new direction.

I internalized the bad grades and worked at time management and performance in academics to excel. I noticed where my efforts were needed more and where they could falter a bit for balance and cohesion in life. I became selective with the company I kept. From the imperfections, I saw my strengths and weaknesses under a spotlight and I became a better person because of the lessons I learned.

A year ago today, I was given a lesson on my heart. It was different from the lessons that I became accustomed to. I had not hoped to learn a lesson from it, rather learn and grow with it. I laid the foundation that provided me a way to strengthen my needs, desires, and feelings. I was making sure they were met first by myself and then through others, I had relationships with. I was not aiming to perfect this, but not half-ass it in a way that I had been previously.

I openly discovered parts of myself that had been left overlooked. I used to neglect my needs and did not put enough effort into what made me the happiest. I had a voice, and I used it occasionally, but I also had an internal sense that spoke to my hopes and desires, and I finally had no choice but to listen to it a year ago.

There were often times in the past where I subconsciously did not settle for “unperfected pieces” when it came to partners because internally something felt off. I did not know it at the time, but I was able to keep myself at a distance from them and protected my heart doing so. Together, I and another played Operation and we found the points that made me buzz. Finally, there was someone who encompassed more than what I could have ever expected to find because I found what I deserved with him. 

I literally drove the extra miles to have a chance at this evening, but never could I have dreamt its outcome when we planned the trip. In turn, I left no distance between our souls and by doing that, I found myself. I began to understand why I overlooked everyone else before this moment. I learned why I walked away so often, and I did not question why I felt my feet beginning to firmly cement down. He was not perfect, but he was doing a damn good job at making me feel incredible about who I was.

I still am learning from this evening a year later. I am more in tune with my needs in all variants of relationships I encounter. I have been told to remain single until someone who completely cherishes my compassion comes along. To find someone who regards my intuitive side as a strength and where my care-taker abilities are not exploited. This night I felt thoroughly cared for. I felt an unsurpassable passion then and he was emotional enough to validate me in ways I needed. I stayed single until I met him, and it made all the difference in understanding my heart.