Saturday, November 30, 2013
Stealing Stories and Making Memories
Before I took for granted how beautiful a day is when it comes to you without any expectations. And now, while my life is full of amazing, good things, I've been quite taken by these hours that seem to fold in on one another. I've started a little love affair with Saturdays, and I couldn't be happier.
ii. On my birthday, I had a moment of panic. A moment of wanting to just stay in bed and forget that this was what day it was. Where I could blissfully ignore the calendar. I was afraid because I didn't know how to be seventeen. I was another year older, another year farther away from everything that had happened during the past year, which felt like a good thing but also made me nostalgic. And throughout the day, I kept making these mental notes. What it felt like to sit at breakfast, surrounded by family. What it felt like to look at my relationships. What it felt like to get my nose pierced, what it felt like to drink a latte while wandering around the mall, what it felt like to buy the dress. And at night, when I emptied all of what I felt onto a page, I felt full. I was leaking over, bursting with all of what I couldn't hold.
Is this what it felt like to be seventeen?
I still don't know what it feels like. I think I'm a combination of every age I've ever been and every person I've ever loved and every place I've ever gone to. I don't think there is one way to feel a certain thing. And I'm excited to figure it out, to keep collecting memories until I'm full and then empty myself out, starting all over again.
iii. I've taken to stealing things. Bit and pieces of people's stories, taking tiny fragments of something they said or did or how they moved or what someone else said or did to them. I've taken to storing them all, stealing moments that belong to other people and creating something. I think I should wear a pin on my shirt, one that warns all oncoming people that I might just write about them someday. The way he looked at me in that one moment, or the way she walked down the hallway, or the way she closed the door and stood in the closet, taking a deep breath before walking away. And I'll never know what these moments mean to other people, but I do know what they mean to me, and that's why I write about them. That's why I turn them into a song or into poetry or into a scene in a story. That's why I doodle it on the side of my math homework or pull out my guitar or throw things around in the kitchen. Because I have to put it somewhere.
See, I collect these moments.
As much as I don't like talking to new people, I love eye contact. I love the thrill I get in my chest when my eyes lock with someone else. For a minute, it feels like a collision.
Yesterday I made eye contact with someone, and I found myself thinking about that brief second for the rest of the day. Something about the look in his eye moved me, and I couldn't put my finger on what it was.
I think that when you look someone in the eye, for a split second you're inside of their world and they're inside of you. It's this exchange, only for a second. It's one of the most powerful things I've ever felt, the honesty in people's eyes for that first second when you make that connection. Its enough for me to write pages and pages, filling up notebooks.
I wonder what people see in that brief second of honesty when they look in my eyes.
So I take the honesty I see in the world, the words other people say that make me feel something, and I close my eyes, putting myself in that moment. I put myself in a story that doesn't quite belong to me, and I make something out of it. I make it mine.
And I think that's why I feel so heavy sometimes, so full. Because I collect these moments, these brief glimpses of a universe that doesn't belong to me, and I hold them. And I remember them and I make them mine. And carrying around all those stories is hard sometimes, but its what I love.
I love that honesty, I love that eye contact, I love the vulnerability that happens without saying a word. That's the kind of language I speak on a daily basis. The language of stories, the language of the heart.