Who am I, really? Beneath the glowing smile and behind the glowing eyes, just who am I? You probably wonder the same thing. Do you ever wonder just who the girl behind the screen is? Who belongs to these words and these outpourings of her heart? I do.
I won’t deceive you. This post isn’t meant for me to explain to you who I am, or to convince you that I’m a good, interesting person. That is for you to decide. This post is more or less for me, as I continue to figure out who I am and where I’m going. And try to learn to be a bit more confident with who I am, both inside and out.
So here I am, just a simple girl in this great big world of ours, with wide eyes, taking in everything and every place I meet. A smile to welcome strangers, who may well end up becoming life long friends. Open arms to comfort the people I care deeply about. Strong shoulders to carry the weight of living. Gentle feet to take me to wherever it is my heart desires, and to dance of course. And soft hands to hold my dreams and expectations, and take hold of the promises of life.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine –
and shadows will fall behind you.
It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything. For the past few months, everytime I sat down to write, i felt like I didn’t have the correct words. Even now, I still don’t feel as though I have anything interesting to say.
But I suppose you all deserve an update of sorts, so I’ve compiled a list of three things I’ve been doing.
- I have been taking more photos and storing up the memories for a time when I will need them. Just today I pulled over whilst driving just to take a few snapshots of the sky and the clouds. I want to remember what the sky here at home looks like when I had to college. I am a very visual person, probably because of my extremely artsy streak. This is why I cherish photographs so much, for looking back at them can almost take me back to that moment in time. Photos, to me, are like dogeared pages in the book called “my life”.
- I have been taking more risks and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I really enjoy comfort zones. I get nervous easily and I’m incredibly shy when you first meet me. But, with a little encouragement from a few friends and a whole lot of practice, I’ve become the person that walks up to strangers and asks them how they’re doing. I no longer cringe at the thought of first encounters, but welcome them. It is now quite easy for me to carry on an interesting conversation with someone I barely know. I believe this will help me tremendously as I enter University in just over one month.
- I have been spending more time alone. This may sound a little odd to you, but spending time with just myself has taught me so much. I’m learning how vastly complex I am, and that that is just fine. I’ve discovered that if my friends want to hang out and I really do not wish to, it’s okay to say no. I do not need to push myself to be the person everyone expects me to be. I’m learning that I am much stronger than I once thought. Learning to be content by myself has also shown me that I need not look for a relationship at the moment. Although it is disheartening that most all of my friends are in relationships or have significant others, being single is where I need to be. In fact, I quite like the freedom of not having to worry about such a petty thing like wondering who likes me and what not. There are still many complexities to my personality that I haven’t yet figured out, but I know I will get there soon enough.
As you can see, I’ve learned in these past few months. As for the experiences and things I’ve gone through in that time, I don’t have enough space to even begin to explain it all. But perhaps that will be saved for a few future posts.
All in all, my summer is going quite wonderfully, and I hope the same goes for you all.
I sit here writing, not daring to stop,
For fear of seeing what’s outside my head.
– Bob Kaufman, a surrealist poet belonging to the beat generation.
Kaufman penned these lines in form of a 34 part poem called, “Jail Poems”. Kaufman belonged to the Beat Generation of poets, one of my most recent of interests. When Kaufman came up with these lines, he was in fact a prisoner in a physical jail. Trapped by metal bars and watchful eyes, he was quite literally a prisoner.
Unlike Kaufman, I am writing in the comfort of a mellow coffee shop, with a cup of tea by my side. I am trapped by my thoughts and by the watchful eyes of curious souls. I am held captive, but not necessarily in a terrible way. You know? that made a lot more sense in my head, I promise. I’m typing away at my laptop, as the steady hum of casual conversation drifts about me. My friends often tease me and say that I’m always holed up in a coffee shop somewhere, scribbling away or typing away. I shrug, because it is true. My words are so jumbled and congested in my head that I absolutely have to let them out in some way or another. I’m afraid that I cannot do much other than write and write and write. I write because I must.
Writing gives me a clear picture of my thoughts and helps me to actually see my thoughts. It’s very therapeutic in a way.
There are many interesting people in the coffee shop at the moment, many pouring over books or homework. A group sits in the corner, conversing and laughing hardy laughs. The kind of laughs that make me think they’ve not see eachother in a very long while. An elderly man sits across from me in an armchair, reading a J.K. Rowling book. I smile quietly, as people come and go and I continue to sit at my lonely table with my laptop in front of me. I find that I like to observe and I like to understand. That may be largely due to the fact that I am a wildly introverted person, but I think it comes from my passion for understanding other humans. We aren’t much different than we think.
I adore my days writing in the coffee shop.
(to quote Mr. C.S. Lewis.)
It’s hard for me to accept this sometimes. Although I may be an incredibly over ambitious person, I’m still very content with my life where it is now. I’m surrounded by incredible friends, and this small town life isn’t too terrible. I love the comfort of being able to stroll in town to my favourite coffee shop and seeing familiar faces and hear an abundance of “hello Erin!”s.
Truthfully, even as adventurous as I am… starting a whole new life at college terrifies me. The thought of having to make new friends or finding my way about a place I really don’t know is so foreign to me. I’m going to a new place where I will only know a handful of people, much different than where I am now – where it feels like I know everyone!
Now I know no season is supposed to last forever, but I find myself wishing for “just a little more time”. I’ve tried in vain to discover just what it is that terrifies me about starting a new chapter in life. Most of my friends are absolutely ecstatic about the chance of starting over and becoming new people at their select colleges. I think that the thought of starting afresh is exciting, yet also scary. The adventurous side of me is counting down the days until move in day, but the other side of me is holding onto every precious minute I have here. See, I think that it isn’t the whole “starting over” thing that scares me…what scares me is leaving everything I’ve known here. I’ve practically grown up with most of my friends since the sixth grade. It seems odd for all of us to be partying ways.
Dont let go, said the leaf to the tree,
I dont know myself without you here with me.
But as she let me go, I knew
Our shining season now was through
Nonetheless, that is how life works out. Nothing is too permanent and I understand that at some time, I must accept the inevitable change. It’s bittersweet. I know incredible things are in store, yet it’s hard to see that. What has helped me accept that I must move on to better things are the memories that I’ve made in the past few years. Leaving and moving on does not mean forgetting. I will cling to the fond memories I’ve made as I journey on into the next phase of life.
Better things are ahead than any we leave behind
Let the sun set so a new one will rise
But always remember our time
(our time by Jane Marczewski