Sideways

Perhaps it’s because I grew up next to the ocean, but it’s always been something I’ve known.

In the event of a riptide, don’t fight it. Don’t try to swim against it. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of it, then take a diagonal path back to dry land.

Granted, my hometown is nestled in a cove within a cove — by the time the water came to us, the mighty Atlantic had been tamed into gently lapping ripples. You could get bigger waves a few towns over in Nantasket, but not by much. Continue reading “Sideways”

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What’s Next.

“Well, always busy, busy, huh!” she says. I choose to take this as a compliment. “So, what’s next?”

The question feels like a tag-along echo, in some ways.  Acquaintances catching up on the year so far have asked it.  Close friends have asked it.  Family has asked it.  I ask it.  Constantly, I ask it.

What’s next. Continue reading “What’s Next.”

A New Chapter

It started with a conversation about the shifting winds.  A talk about how this fiscal quarter feels so different than the last — about the things that have already changed or are about to change, the major shifts that could happen as early as this summer.

“It feels like a new chapter,” I remarked.  And thus opened up both the can of worms and the rabbit hole: the concept of a new chapter.

Perhaps it’s the writer side of me: the side that is always trying to find and piece together narratives, even when there isn’t one.  I know I have to be careful with that: it’s the same part of me that seeks out the story like Don Quixote and his windmill giants.  It’s the same side that’ll exhaust my soul in the effort to find the happy ending, even when the ending has no choice but to be ambiguous and unsatisfying.  It’s the same side of me that can attribute personality traits and personal motivations to people when the opposite proves to be true.  The side that will assume things are far deeper than they actually are.

But it’s not just the writer side of me.  Chapters can act like milestones, like moving pieces coming together, like markers to show you just how far you’ve come in the grand scheme of things. Continue reading “A New Chapter”

Insomnia and Mirrors

And so it is that I’m up at 1 in the morning, writing about mirrors.

These wee hours of morning. For a few weeks now, they’ve been my consistent companion. Whether I find my nights stretching into their territory, or I’m awakened in the middle of the night as if to be reminded of their presence, I find myself here. As a naturally early sleeper, I take pause when this happens. Such a disruption of my circadian rhythm is usually a sign something is afoot, or evolving — or, bare minimum, wants me awake for it.

But, yes, mirrors. Metaphorical mirrors. Perhaps I’ll start small and go from there. Continue reading “Insomnia and Mirrors”

Messages

I.

Let’s set the scene: I’m in high school, and left in the wake of yet another terrible relationship.

The relationship had been a special kind of toxic, the kind that should’ve heralded a warning: that this was the type of guy I would keep on attracting until I could actually find some self-worth.  I’d been treated like dirt, cheated on, and unceremoniously dumped.  He’d eventually return and I’d take him back, because it’s amazing how far you can bend over backwards when you don’t have a spine to stop you.  He’d dump me again, this time with a pocket full of insults instead of another girl waiting in the wings.

Let’s set a more specific scene: I’m in the car with my mom, sitting both passenger side and in the wake of the final break-up, venting about the newest set of verbal sparring — the terrible things he’d said about me, the things I’d said to friends in response, the anger and repulsion felt towards a guy I once thought I’d loved.

I look over and my mom is smiling amusedly.

“Oh, you two will get married someday.” Continue reading “Messages”

My Voice

“Everyone can sing.  It’s just a matter of finding your range.”

“I’ve heard that before, but I don’t know if I believe it.”

It was one of those conversations in passing — a few lines before the dialogue shifted to something else — but it echoed a little bit in the back of my head.  It bounced off the cylinders that always seem to be running — the introspection and self-analysis, always trying to crack the code, always trying to reveal what might still be hidden. Continue reading “My Voice”

Thaw

You don’t realize how stale the air is until you open the windows and let the spring breeze in.

It reminds me of something Melissa Febos says in her memoir Abandon Me: some burdens can only be measured by their relief.  I’m sure there’s bigger a tie-in for that quote somewhere, but, for now I just let it simmer, hanging out in the smell of melting ice and shifting winds.

Spring has been shyly introducing itself over the past couple days, and it is through this thawing that I realize how stagnant I feel. Continue reading “Thaw”