There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Beginnings are always the hardest part, figuratively and literally.

I think it’s fair to say I’m more emotional than I used to be, but I also think that’s an outward misconception. I’ve always felt these emotions, I’m simply more willing to show them now. I thought I used to cry a lot, but Past Me would be baffled if someone were to tell her how much I cry now. I’ve come to accept it; I think a big source of my conflicts from before were a result of keeping too much bottled up. Cathartic release is essential to a healthy mind, and so I cry heartily and often. It’s comforting to know the tears are not always sad, though.

As of today, I have applied or am in the process of applying to a total of 16 schools. So far, I’ve been accepted to two and deferred from one. I won’t find out about 12 schools until the week I am at national competition, which is totally unfortunate.

I’ve had three people tell me I should write a book, one going so far as to say I should write a memoir. I worry that I’ll never be able to see the potential and talent that so many others seem to see in me. Maybe one day. In a coffee shop. A couple years from now.

I’ve been doing very well lately. I’ve cracked down on myself to check my sugars more often and give my insulin when I’m supposed to. I’ve been having a lot of lows, but I’m going back to my doctor in two weeks so hopefully that will be fixed. Health insurance is still a bitch, and the looming responsibilities of impending adulthood are threatening to overburden me, but I’m hanging in there. Writing helps a lot.

I’m trying to make it a point to make love normal. I know this sounds weird, so let me explain.

As of December 23, 2016, my mother has told me “I love you” three times. My father has said the three magic words only once. I was raised in a household devoid of affection and love, and that has affected me profoundly. I’m not going to let it ruin me any longer. I will be open to love. It will be commonplace for me. I will hug and kiss the ones closest to me, and I will remind them every day of how much they mean to me and how much I value them. Most of all, I will remind myself. The past seven months have been a saga of self-forgiveness and acceptance, and slowly but surely I am learning to love myself. So long as I can be happy with myself, I will be okay.

I am okay.

Survivor

You write when you’re sad, you write when you’re in pain, but mostly you write because you don’t want to live anymore but you’re too scared to die so you exist in this state of in between.

It’s just a bump in the road, Eileen. You’ve been through worse. You can get through this.

You were diagnosed at a year old. You’re getting through it.

Your parents abandoned you when you were seven. You got through it.

Your grandpa died when you were 14. You got through it.

You were raped at 15. You got through it.

You cut for three years. You’ve been clean for five months. You’re getting through it.

You now know the suffering of heartache, a pain wholly unique in and of itself. You can get through it.

Pick yourself up. Wipe the tears away. Do your math homework; or better yet, copy it from Mar. You are okay. You will be okay.

Be happy. You’ve been doing so good for so long. It’s okay to have a bad night, but pick yourself up at the end of it. And for God’s sake, stop crying. Tears never did anything but make your eyes swollen and give you a migraine. Who needs cathartic release.

Plan competition season. Get good grades. Get into college. 2 schools down, 12 more to go. Get more tattoos, fuck what Pelican thinks. Make good art. Do something and be someone you can be proud of. You’ve come so far. Don’t stop yet.

It’s just a bump in the road. A wrinkle in time. The ebb and flow of nature.

Remember the dream of Papá. Know that he’s proud of you, wherever he may be. Know that Mamá loves you and supports you.

Read more books. Listen to more music. Check your sugar more often. Count your carbs right. Get more exercise. Tell good stories.

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be in pain. You’ll be a better person for it in the end. Be more understanding. There’s no such thing as having too much empathy. Be realistic, but hope for the best in people to shine through. Never stop believing that a person can be better than they once were, including yourself. Think better of yourself.

You can get through it Eileen. Be your own supporter for once. Stop tearing yourself down.

Chin up now, pip pip.

Water Under the Bridge

I think I’m due for a brief life update.

I’m doing okay. I’ll hesitantly even go as far as to say I’m doing good. I’ve been struggling a little on what to do with my alone time, since I seem to have an abundance of it now. I spend a lot of that time sleeping, though I don’t know if that’s to catch up on the sleep I miss during the school week or it’s the depression. I’m not lacking motivation anywhere near how I was during my bad months a while back, but every now and then it’s particularly difficult to get out from under my covers.

Recently, I told myself that it’s okay to be sad and I just have to ride out the wave whenever it comes, because only then will I be able to truly appreciate the times that I’m motivated and energetic and content. It’s a sensitive balance, but I really do think I’m managing it okay.

Things with Pretty Boy fell apart so fast, it’s hilarious honestly. I’ll spare the details, but I learned two things from that experience: 1. I’m (almost) ready to date again. 2. I’m terrified no one will compare to Ex Boyfriend.

It’s the second lesson that has been particularly eating at me, no matter how hard  I try to send it to the back of my mind.

December is 7 months since I broke up with him. The beginning was grueling; I had no idea how to be my own person. I had no knowledge of my personality or how to change it, had no concept of my personal aspirations, and I generally didn’t know how to live as my own person.

Since then, I have worked slowly and diligently to create a person out of the shell I so long inhabited, and I am so proud of my progress. I’ve learned it’s especially important to praise yourself as much, if not more, as you critique yourself, so I don’t feel ashamed to admit that I’m proud.

I was lower than rock bottom at the start of 2016, and I didn’t really start to come out of that rut until just a couple of months ago.

In the beginning, I missed him with a weight and pain that threatened to crush me. I definitely do still miss him now, almost more I’d say, but in a different way. I don’t miss the attention or affection as much as I did in the beginning, though there are moments I long to bury my face in his neck or pull on the hairs at the back of his head, but more than that I miss his company. He was my closest and most valuable confidant. I miss our lengthy conversations about nothing and everything. I miss the way we could communicate with each other just by glance, without having to say a single word. I miss the hours spent together without speaking, just enjoying each other’s quiet company. The times I dream about him, I wouldn’t say that I’m happier, but that I’m consumed by this overwhelming sense of peace. When I wake up from the dreams, that peace is immediately what I realize is missing.

I know who I am God damn it. I know what I want, and I have intricate plans for how to get there. I’m taking care of myself, I’m expanding my relentless pursuit of knowledge, and I am growing more comfortable with myself and my body with every passing day. I know (I KNOW) I’m bound to meet incredible and inspiring and exhilarating people when I go to college, but I’m truly scared I’ll never stop wanting or needing him.

August 20, 2014. You walked into the studio with your schedule change in hand to show to Pelican. It was the third day of school and I was going mad trying to finish the first show. I had just stepped down from the stage where the anchors’ desk was mounted when I looked over and saw you and stopped in my tracks. I’m sure I could go back to the studio and point to the exact spots where both you and I were standing. I didn’t see your face from the front, only profile, which is where you got the platypus name from (when I look at you from the side, your chin does this thing that makes you look like a platypus, I’m sorry). You never saw me, but I swear on my life and my heart and my brain and everything that matters to me that I felt a pull, as if a string connected us to each other. You know how I am about my gut feelings, and this time there was a voice in the back of my head that just said “You need to know him, be close to him. This one’s important.” Nothing, nothing, nothing eats at me more than this single memory does. Nothing.

 

I needed to get that off my chest. There are still things I keep bottled, no matter how much I talk or vent. This memory is a weight that follows me around, almost whispering that I can’t let you go no matter how hard I try. I’m sorry.

On the Nature of Daylight

I’ve been struggling as of late to decide on what major I’d like to pursue once I enter college, and I can already see that this struggle will persist for a long time. I’ve sifted through being a law clerk to lawyer to editor to journalist, and while journalism has been where I’ve felt the closest to finding a niche, I still don’t think I’m there yet.

I love language- specifically English-, anything and everything having to do with grammar and how humans as a species communicate with each other. I love dissecting what a person is saying not just by the words they use, but by how their body reacts and how their pitch influences meaning and how they order their sentence and what implications that may have on expression.

I’ve read books passionately and vigorously since the fourth grade, eager to down as many words and pages in one sitting as possible. Always expanding my ever-growing capacity for empathy, I developed a burning love for reading. My room is quite literally crowded with hundreds of books stuffed in every nook and cranny possible. I haven’t read a third of the books I own, and yet I still buy more. I love having the ability to immerse myself in alternate realities, become a totally different and oftentimes more compelling or charismatic person, and I deeply appreciate that in turn along the way, I pick up certain traits and aspects that mold me into a more understanding person. All of this is done through the power of language and communication.

I just saw the movie Arrival with a small group of friends tonight and a major premise of the film is on language. Coming out of the film, I know that I need to take a linguistics course when I go to college. This is so much more than a desire at this point, it feels more like a necessity to see if this is what finally clicks for me, if this is what will finally feel right.

I love journalism because it provides me an outlet through which I can communicate with people, deliver ideas and messages, and ultimately bring people together. Where I struggle is in the stigma against journalism, and how dirty the work can often be. It also doesn’t always fulfill my artistic nature (though mostly pushed to the background in my daily life, it’s definitely there).

For now, I’ll take what I can get, and journalism is my best bet.I made a promise to myself (and to very close people around me) to never settle for anything less than extraordinary, and I am set on holding true to that promise. Hopefully sooner rather than later I will finally find what makes me feel alive.