I want to tell you how Tim McGraw is my favorite Taylor Swift song, and I’m not sure why, except it makes me feel nostalgic for a boy I never even knew. I want to tell you about movies, how I can never stay awake through the end, and that one time, in the dark basement, huddled under my favorite zebra blanket, I fell asleep like usual, and my best friend shifted next to me, letting my head fall onto his shoulder. I want you to ask me about adventures and tell me about your adventures, all the nights you stayed out, wished on shooting stars, wishing again and again that the night would never end, swinging high into the air at the elementary school playground in the middle of the night, tipping your head back to gaze at the stars, letting your hair drag across the ground and shrieking with laughter when a boy you’ve just met grabs your waist and, “I shouldn’t have told you I was ticklish!” and he just laughs back at you, and I want to tell you about the time I broke into a church and we ate Popsicles in the back room, ducking down whenever headlights grazed across the window, and I want to tell you about standing outside a boy’s house, everyone with their arms wrapped tight around their bodies to block out the cold, and I want to tell you about his mom inviting everyone in, and shivering on a wooden chair inside his house while you sip hot chocolate in an effort to warm up. Tell me about the way you grip onto memories with white knuckles, refusing to ever let go of them.
Reading this makes me nostalgic for a place I only went to once and a person I don't look like anymore.
Summer turns into Winter and people change and grow up and I know all of these things. I know that never again will things be like they were in that memory that I hold on to with white knuckles.
I'm much more cynical now then I was when I was that girl in the memory - the one who believed in magic. I felt more free then, more alive and bursting within my own skin, more passionate and spontaneous and I loved without questions. It's kind of hard to believe i was that girl once.
Sometimes I ask myself what I would do one thing for myself, one self indulgent moment, one moment of feeling totally spontaneous and alive, what I would do.
I was a lot less cynical once, believe it or not. I believed in the world, I had faith in myself, I had faith in other people, I trusted life a little more.
If I could do one thing, anything, I think I would write a million words that all felt like coming home. None of these words I write are what I think they will be about. Some of them are about desperation and heart ache, but some of them are beautiful, about life in all of it's forms, but mostly, whenever I write these words, they taste hopeful to me.
And so, after a night of fierce desperation and panic and frustration, I whisper the words I wish would be true:
Help me release Cynicism.
Help me let go of bitterness and frustration.
Help me release the cynicism about where I belong and who I am now.
Help me remember I belong here, that I am the girl who dances barefoot to Ed Sheeran love songs on the radio that sound like break up songs.
This week I began writing my story, the birth story, the death story, every minute of this transition from the girl in the memory to this one, and hopefully back again. A year ago writing the words I'm writing now would have felt so far away from the me I thought I was.
But it is my journey, my story, my truth. It is empowering and inspiring and hopeful. And I am working on releasing that cynicism and the bitterness, the unforgiveness and the pain. It's a long, hard road, but I'm working on it.
So I keep writing words that feel like home, and it makes me nostalgic for that girl I don't look like anymore, and for the place I loved once upon a time.