I blog but I’m shy. I don’t put myself out there as much as I’d like to, as much as I fantasize about. I start pieces but I quickly relegate them to the round file. I’ve always loved to write. I was the girl in school who was excited to start her term paper. I was the one who thought she’d write that Great American Novel. But I didn’t and now I blog. And now before I never do, I want to write again. With a little inspiration from my best writing friends, I’m just writing whatever comes to mind, and don’t know where I’m going with this yet. Bear with me. I’m unedited, unpolished, and rough.
I see you. I know you don’t think I can, but I do. You’re getting up early because of the time change and you’re not really sure what to do. You know you can get dressed and venture out into the world, but really can you? Can you let yourself do that? Don’t worry because soon enough you give yourself permission. So in those early morning hours, still in limbo, you watch. You sit on your bed and watch. One day watching will become the story of your life, but you don’t know that yet. You watch Rue Trousseau wake up that June morning. You’re half a world away from home. From everything you’ve grown to know and be familiar with. Eleven hours and your world is turned upside down. You forget that this is someone else’s home though. It’s not that much different than yours. Look down the street and what do you see? People going about their daily lives. Sure you think their lives must be so much more exciting than yours, after all they speak a foreign language, but they’re not. It’s life with a spin. Get used to that, everyone has their own spin. Look straight across the street. What do you have? A school. The Anne Frank School. It’s tucked in with apartment buildings and storefronts. You wouldn’t even know it was a school except for the kids who pile in and out, and the engraving above the door. You like the way it blends in. Kind of like you. Blend in and sometimes when people look a little more closely they’ll discover the real you. You aren’t thinking that then though, because you don’t even know who the real you is yet. You want to know, but you’re seventeen. Who knows anything when they’re seventeen? Gradually you start to see more people come out from doors, heading to work, to school, to life. They’re gorgeous. Truly they are. Even the ones who would never get a sideways glance are gorgeous in your book. But you have to remember this, they’re all regular just like you. I know that as you watch them start their days you are thinking about yourself. All those feelings of inadequacy are coming up. One day you will confront this head on, but now, you are starting to doubt yourself. Right now there is nothing about yourself that you are not doubting. I would tell you that it’s a waste of time, but it’s not, it’s a part of growing up. We all doubt ourselves. But after the doubting comes the realization that every other woman out there is doubting herself, and the realization that the doubting is holding you back. But at seventeen you’re not doubting how to balance family and friends and parenthood and a job and a checkbook. No, you are doubting how you look. No deep thoughts here. You are positive you brought all the wrong clothes. And especially the wrong shoes. Don’t worry. Life is so simple when you’re seventeen. You’ll look back on this time and laugh at your innocence. You’ll walk down the street in your shorts and keds and no one will mind. Sure you will mind, but in fifteen years you’ll still be having the same debate about shorts and keds and you will finally settle on flip flops. You’ll come to learn they make your legs look better. Back to this June morning. You want to capture the waking up of this street in full detail. You want to photograph it and study it later, to make sure you don’t miss anything. But you have to conserve your film. You don’t know where to buy film and don’t want to waste your money on it. Soon you won’t have this worry and you can click away to your heart’s content. But this morning you start creating the scene in your journal. Sure it doesn’t capture everything you want it to and your hand gets tired and you really don’t know what you want to write about. But this is all you have, so this is all you can do. So you write about the school and the people going to work, and the fact that you’re actually here. You can’t quite believe it. You’re here. You’re waiting to wake up from a dream but it’s true. You can’t sit and watch anymore. You are itching to feel. It’s gray outside, but still it’s a different gray from home. You need to get out there. You need to be a part of the city. You need to feel it. You slip into the shower, then slip into your clothes. You are simply going to slip into this new world out there that is waiting for you. Slip. That’s what you do. You slip into situations. You slip out the door, down to the sidewalk and you look out into this new world. It’s not what you had imagined. But you will learn that the world is more than you can ever imagine. You can feel the air this morning. You can practically drink it, it is so thick. Never mind. Drink your fill. You turn your neck to the right and then to the left, debating which unknown path to take. You smell your hair. You know its length will never dry in this humidity; soon you will tie it on top of your head just to get it off your neck. But that smell. That smell will never leave you as long as you live. The smell of your hair, that fresh perfume of Dep; this summer is that smell. For the rest of your life, when you smell it you will be transported to that hazy, sticky morning that you ventured out alone, truly believing that the world was your oyster. Close your eyes and you are seventeen again and you wondering which way to turn.