Growing Out

I love bookstores.

The Modern Classics table at the Strand can take me from a bad mood to a good one in a heartbeat; luckily it’s at the front of the store. All of the unread stories are like options for me, little escapes.

I think this is also why I love cities. On weekend mornings I take my laptop to coffee shops like the true, unapologetic millennial I am. I genuinely like it. Sometimes I can write. Sometimes I can’t; I like to watch the people. I like to go sit in parks or walk down the street and look at everyone. It’s amazing how positive you can feel when watching a parent have a one-on-one breakfast with their six-year-old.

Seeing these people and these books jogs my imagination. I am proud of my bookshelf in my room; it’s filled with great books, modern and classic. The Goldfinch is next to War and Peace and Zadie Smith is next to Jane Austen. However, I have a serious problem with reading. I don’t have enough time.

I also have been writing so much that all of the stories inspired by my walks and mornings in café’s can’t be written. When there’s so much work to do, it’s hard to use any down time on creative expression.

Here’s what I am thinking about:

  • Loving cities and moving to a new one
  • When my friend told me, at a party last night, that I didn’t have to worry about how I dress because I have a boyfriend
    • This is fucking ridiculous.
    • My boyfriend likes when I wear nothing so it definitely matters that I like getting dressed for myself.
  • Revising the book I wrote
  • The people that came into my life this year, and why
  • Good lyrics, collaboration
  • Food

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My friend and I saw The Heidi Chronicles last night and when we left we discussed being back in the US.

“I feel like I learned so much this year that I’m finished,” he said.

But there’s still time left. I feel like I should graduate this May, but I have a year left.

What happened this year to get me here?

  • I made peace with my body.
  • I had my heart broken and recognized that I was being controlled. I learned that someone could love you and still want to hurt you.
  • I learned what a real loving relationship felt like and recognized the feeling of knowing you’d do just about anything for someone.
  • I reconnected with my best friend from childhood, and we brought our friendship out of our hometown and into our new homes.
  • I spoke rudimentary French and learned a new transit map.
  • My childhood dreams became too stifling, and I shed them. I redesigned my future, this time with so much room for new dreams, new cities, and new people.

After this transformation, there are times (many) when pieces from my old life are uncomfortable. Still, knowing that I have set out in a truthful direction is so gratifying that a couple growing pains are worthwhile.

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Relationships

The idea that what a woman wears, says, or does is less important because of her relationship status is dismissive and underestimates all of us. Ironically, the people I find making this assumption are often women. My dreams have done nothing but grow and expand due to my relationship. Through the travelling I’ve done with him and the love we feel for each other, we have both become better, wider and more explorative people.

There’s a difference between having someone and feeling love. The difference determines why we stay in relationships too long and ignore warning signs. It’s why people can call you names and blame you for their problems. It’s why we become manipulative rather than giving. It’s why we’re lonely when we have ten good friends, but no guy.

So What

All of the books and coffee shops hint to me of untold or unread stories. I get the same feeling standing outside of theatres and looking at marquees; I want to know the story inside. The feeling of the lights going down in a theatre, of a song that just begins to play.

This period of my life feels exactly like walking into a bookstore. There are many avenues I can take. This past year has both turned me away from routes I now know are wrong and opened up more.

Even when I am stressed, disappointed, or hurt, there is no reason to be sad when there are so many possibilities.

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