Saying Goodbye

I’m not good with goodbyes. In fact, I avoid them at all costs. I always run away right before the end. This is going to sound dramatic. But Pretty Little Liars changed my life. When I first saw the books in my local Target, I avoided them, The premise seemed interesting but in the moment I was turned off by the covers with the dolls (which I now have grown to love). I couldn’t tell who they were meant for. But when I was nineteen, life got derailed a little bit. I came home from college after being severely bullied to the point of suicidal thoughts. My parents were divorcing, I quit my job but it felt like I lost it, and I was lonely and bitter and tired. I bought the first book, even though I was trying to stretch my money. The books was impossible to put down. The narration was impeccable, fast paced, hooking. The characters were like celebrities. They truly came alive on the page. I went back to the store and bought the rest of the available books in the series. After that , I preordered every book as they came out.

My grandmother was also my savior at that time (and always). I stayed with her for days and weeks, and at night I would turn in early to read my beloved books. Not since Harry Potter had I been so enthralled with a series. I am a lover of all books, not a chooser of favorites. When I found out PLL was going to be a show I was worried. How would they manage to convey these characters I loved so much, and the plot I held so dear? I tuned into the pilot and I haven’t tuned out since.

The show has been equally paradise and hell for me. One thing they certainly did get right was keeping the essence of the characters while adapting and growing them for the show. The TV plots weaved between from-the-book and brand new, the twists and turns were shocking. Could they do this on ABC Family? Could they do that?

Characters lived longer on the show than in the books. New characters were introduced. It all felt canon. It all felt right.

And then there were the disappointments. Sometimes the show dangled too many questions and gave no answers. The mystery, having been extended over more than 100 episodes, was getting more tangled and harder to figure out. Plot holes were around every corner. Yet so many of us stuck with it.

I discovered the tumblr community. The theories, the youtube videos. I had discussions with friends, taking notes as I watched each episode for future talking points.

2 weeks from today it is all over. There are 3 hours left, and one special. I am ready. I am not ready. I am ready to cry. In fact, I cried twice this morning. I’m an emotional gal. I cannot wait for the end. But mostly I am grateful for netflix and hulu – as long as they host the show, I can rewatch it, over and over. To comfort me when I’m in pain,

the autobiography project

It might seem silly when I tell you to “write your autobiography.” You’re not famous, you don’t feel worthy, you don’t think anyone would care, or just plain simply, you don’t think you need to or even want to for yourself. But you should! One day your memories won’t be so sharp. They’re already starting to fade. As it is, we make up so much of our memories anyway. It’s better to get the ones you remember out now rather than keep them inside until they shape-shift, warp, and disappear.

I keep a diary, but I’m not always “good” at it. It’s not organized. It’s not about my day or even about significant life events. There are redundant entries and lists and notes about lectures or events on reading and writing. Just a place really for me to dump my thoughts. But a few years back, when I had some free time on my hands after college, I decided to write it all out, chronologically, by age/grade, starting with birth.  I want to remember my life, both the agony and the ecstasy.  What started out as a few bullet points per year now has all of my memories racing at me at once. i can barely write down the outline before the next bullet is hitting, and as i write each sentence from the bullet point, things get clearer and clearer, until i am facing the past and moving forward wth my future at the same time. handwriting it is making it more personal, and now it will be in my diary forever. I also now have the opportunity to see patterns, and learn from the past, as well as see the direction I am heading in the future.

I never want anyone to read my diaries. They showcase the good, the bad, and especially the ugly. They are all mine, but they are sacred to me, no matter how messy or muted my life is, I have a place to explore it, and I want to put it to good use. In addition, I freewrite, use journal prompts… etc. I spend hours exploring the internet looking at diaries and bullet journals and art journals and planners, and I will probably never share more than a page or two once every few years of mine. But that’s okay. I like my journal the way she is. Unpredictable, like me.

something i wrote a year ago today…

Being yourself is one of the most courageous ways to live. If you think it’s hard being yourself and there is no way you can do it, think about how much pressure you put on yourself every time you pretend to be something you’re not.

On the TVLand show Younger, Liza is a forty year old woman pretending to be twenty six so she can have her dream job, her dream boyfriend, and a “second chance” at life. Yet even though she now has the job, the man, and the life she dreamed of, she feels like a fraud. Not only does she have to lie every day to the outside world, but now she has friends and a lover she can only be so real with.

It is so hard to feel like a fraud. To feel like you are nothing, you’re ugly, you’re stupid, you’re just pretending to be something you’re not. For so many of us, myself included a lot of the time, looking in the mirror is a chore. Depression, anxiety, and Impostor Syndrome are real things. You don’t feel connected to yourself or the world around you. And even if you remember that the times you’ve been the happiest were the times you let go, accepted yourself, and lived harmoniously, you just can’t shake off the insecurities.

I think the first step is opening your eyes to realizing that everyone can be captured by these feelings and thoughts even if just for a moment. Even the most confident, gorgeous person in the world, someone who literally glows from within, can wake up and feel ugly sometimes. It’s so easy to throw yourself under the bus. It’s like when you see the same friend every day, and maybe their quirks become irksome – you inhabit your own body and mind 24/7 and you can irk yourself. But it’s important to remember:

No one else can ever be you. You are loved. You have something to offer this world. You can do this. You are beautiful, and smart, and kind, and most importantly, you are unique. A fingerprint that cannot be replicated.

Don’t let yourself get too down.