“If I ever have a daughter, I would hope she’s a lot like you,” said my Champlain College advisor, friend, and extremely well-educated, well-travelled, and awe-inspiring friend.
We are at Three Needs, and it’s the summer before I’m graduating from college. I am shocked. Me, but I’m so weird! It was huge. He said it was because I’m tough. I am tough. I’ll try and explain why.
When I was four, I gave people directions, to my house in Long Island, when they were driving in from the city, I knew the roads and told them where to turn on the phone.
Then, I knew that bugs, trees, waterfalls, and outside, in nature, is where I played the happiest, so I’d spend all my days at the creek with my cousins, or, as a teenager, choosing to lay with a book in a hammock outside, instead of eavesdropping on the three way calls my friends were making to catch another ‘friend’ in a trap, although I occasionally did that too!
I hated middle school; part of me, inside, knew it was because I wasn’t honoring my Higher Self. I succumbed to little girl bullshit, meaning, I was a bad, mean girl, to my friends, the same way they were bad and mean to me. I wanted to fit in. Instead, I stood out, I wasn’t happy then, but I wasn’t true to myself either.
I kept it up through high school, uncovering and unfolding the parts of me that were eccentric. I love to read, and write; summers were spent laying in the grass and reading. I liked to write and wanted to become a published author, always.
My body was different too, for some reason, it bothered me. I stood out, puberty came early, or so I felt, so I had to punish it. I wouldn’t have done that if I’d loved myself the way I love myself now, and each and every single day, I remain a product of my thoughts towards myself. I am loving, kind, and hard on myself, all at once.
I see others with boyfriends they met in High School, I think, “How can they still be happy,” I love people in love, sweetly gesturing and giving to one another, with all they’ve got. Awesome to see it, I have to say, but that takes guts, I don’t know how gutsy I am.
I secretly, not so secretly, want that too- but I am scared.
Aw, man. When I was younger, I wanted to travel, I wasn’t afraid of anything, no really, ask my Mom, anything. I will talk to anyone, say anything, become a ballerina at 22 and box, wash dishes in a kitchen for a summer, or work at the Home Depot. Whatever it takes, gumption? I’ve got it, a lot of it, and it’s a gift. Still, I wasn’t always secure; I went out of my way to stabilize my life early on with benefits and a smart girl job, but I still get that tingle to scratch the travel itch.
The Freedom fairy sleeps next to me often and I wake up with her dreams on my cheeks. Whenever I get sad or depressed, I look up places to go, haven’t said it out loud in a while, but stopping what I’m doing to start a new life elsewhere might be alright with me- one day.
Now, I’m 25. Every time I meet someone, I ask personal questions, about their life advice for someone younger than me. Last night I went to a bar with some friends and I asked a man in his 50s who loves to travel, is successful, and a man who is 36, who loves to have fun, and is successful, how they’d do things differently if they could.
“Get the fuck out of here, Vermont. This is a bubble, everyone knows each other, and you’re going to stay comfortable for too long. You’re going to always have RiRas, and what you know, but you won’t know who you are until you’re willing to change it all.” Said the older man,
and,”If you’re always thinking about getting married or being in love, that’s energy you’re giving away you can’t get back. If you’re not thinking about that at all, you can see a lot more of how you can use that energy elsewhere.”
Needed what I said to come out today, so I went out of my way to say it. Je T’aime.