Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I like to put things into boxes; Tiffany boxes, lined up in pretty rows with pretty bows that get lots of Instagram likes and lots of eye rolls and heart shakes and vibrations of jealous current. I don't like to talk about the boxes, because I don't like to admit they are there. I made the boxes because I like their organization and their alphabetization and their simplicity and their complexity and because someone once said I should. I made the boxes because boxes get good girls good grades and good girls do well and good girls, good girls, good girls. Good girls go into boxes like Barbie dolls with shiny hair but hairless skin; but did you know, women naturally grow hair on their skin? And did you know that you can't put yourself into a box because, eventually, you will suffocate from the lack of oxygen? And did you know, that my mom tells me all the time, "You can't put things into boxes, things don't fit into boxes." But, she puts shit in boxes too.

Why are we always trying to minimize the space we take up? Why are we constantly trying to fulfill the role that was chosen for us and nothing more or less? Why is it easier to bite our tongues until blood fills up our throats than simply say the words scratching to be let out of our lip doors? Why is it easier to give up on ourselves than on someone else? Why did we build the boxes and what are they here for? There is a woman box and a man box, a race box, a who-you-like-to-bang box, a money box, a loud box, a fat box, a box for daddy issues, a box for addicts, a box for perfectionists, a box for failures, and a box that holds the dreams that didn't fit in the boxes we brought with us. But the thing is, boxes aren't real; they are made of air and lies and some stupid shit some philosophical oppressive wig-wearing fuckbags pulled out of their pantyhose constricted assholes.

Sometimes I listen to Marvin Gaye and other times I listen to Bob Dylan and sometimes Sia and 80s pop and some really awful shit and some really beautiful shit. Some days I want platinum blonde hair and other days I want to shave my fucking head and other days I want a pixie cut and on Wednesdays, I wear pink. I like to solve chemical equations and write and debate everything and I have a hard time communicating my emotions. And some days I wake up and know it is all going to be okay and other days I wake up and realize that, "Everything is going to be okay," is just a box that a scared person made because everything is not always okay. There is a part of me that thinks I should run far away from college and civilization and write books about teenagers who don't know how to accept love in pretty ways. There is another part of me who wants to go to school forever and get all of the degrees I fantasize about having, and not so that I can be smug in PhD arrogance, but so that I can do whatever I fucking want to do and be awesome at it. Sometimes I want to be bony and sometimes I want to be curvy. Sometimes I am really disappointed in the people I love more than anything because my expectations are difficult to understand and they don't fit into boxes any better than I do. They fit perfectly into my heart and that will always be enough. Sometimes I want to be the one that leaves wreckage in her wake and sometimes I want to be the one who fixes the wreckage until it sparkles again. Sometimes I want to put everyone in a box together so we can all hug and be happy and sometimes I want you to all step the fuck out of my box before I send trained wolves to slowly eat your limbs off.

I am small and yet, I need a lot of space. I need space to fuck up and space to do better than I ever imagined. I need the world and not to take but to explore and touch and inject. I need enough space to run and build treehouses and have babies and careers and catch dreams in an ever-growing net. I'm gonna need a lot of oxygen, a lot of opportunity, a lot of passion, a lot more than a box's worth. So fuck boxes. Fuck the box someone told you that you belonged in and fuck the box that you put yourself into. We are multi-colored, multi-talented, kaleidoscopes of possibility and potential, and a box is made of fucking cardboard. Rock breaks scissors, humanity breaks cardboard.

And you can put me in all the boxes that you want. You can call me a dumb blonde or a spoiled white girl or a crazy, evil, manipulative bitch from hell or a Jesus freak. We have a box for that, we call it the God Box.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Big Girl Summers

For as long as I can remember, summertime had meant a certain doctrine of sacred activity. Cheerleading camps and Nelson Ledges and the Street Fair and the Greek Fest and driving around aimlessly after 11 pm and endless runs on the bike trail and lemon shakes and cotton candy and searching for cattle to tip over and watching the sunset at Mosquito Lake. Summers were reserved for sleeping till noon and staying out until...well, whenever we wanted.   We wasted all of our gas going to see boys in different zip codes and searching for beaches off the coast of Ohio and listening to our favorite mix cds. We had little to no responsibility other than getting darker than we'd gotten the summer before. I can't help but be nostalgic about these summers, they had been my favorite way to live with my favorite people in the world for seven years running. We grew up and we spread out, but we promised that come the end of May, we'd find ourselves knee deep in blissful irresponsibility.

But for some reason or another (most likely the looming proximity of the future that you become aware of in college) I didn't find myself skinny dipping in Mosquito Lake or flashing thirteen year olds on bicycles or staying out till 5 am (not that I'd ever done any of these things, Dad). But I worked. Like a lot. Like more than I ever worked before. 8:30 to 5, five days a week. And I really loved it sometimes (when I got to show girls--just as stressed as I had been--the campus where I realized dreams can come true). I really hated it other times (usually at 6:30 am when my alarm went off or when a four year old asked me to wipe his tiny bum). It was full of schedules and structure and bank accounts and time constraints and "I can't, I have to work"s. There were several, "Let's just not go to work today"s and we always ended up going, like some fucking adults. I only had a frozen treat one goddamn time, and it was only cus I had a meltdown about buying books. I didn't attend a single dirty fair, which is infuriating because I love those bitches. I didn't spend any gas money, in fact, I think I only drove two or three times (one of which was Lori's Mustang, so it's fine). I only got to run on the bike trail once, but I tripped and fell on my face plenty of times running in Pittsburgh. It was a summer devoid of most of the things I'd grown to adore about summer.

But it was the best summer of my life.

I was knee deep in blissful irresponsibility and blue, green, and brown water in Deep Creek, the Jersey Shore, the Florida Keys, and Boca Raton. I wandered down beautiful beaches, weathered one way streets of Pittsburgh, and library shelves. I watched my mother's dear friend get married, and then her daughter, my dear friend, got engaged. I watched movies on couches with Jill and Justine and stayed up all night, all dolled up with Jill and Justine. I read a thousand feminist blogs and watched all of Orange is the New Black (which you should be watching right now if you haven't already, bitches gotsta learn). Lily told me I was her best friend in the world. Maddog 20/20, that is all. I watched baseball games in Ohio, Florida, and Pittsburgh. I swam with manatees (kind of, mostly hid behind Zach) and saw dolphins. I ate a lot of really good food and drank a lot of really good drinks. I got to spend my beautiful angel of an aunt's 40th birthday with her, in paradise. There was Led Zeppelin and yoga and bug bites and museums and a bad night at the beach shack (as if there are ever good ones). There were sunsets and rainstorms and movie days and movies in parks and movies in bed and movies at the movies. There were boat rides and airplane rides and 'beer cruises' and ADVENTURES (primarily, the journey home from Key West). And last but not least, I fell in love with my favorite person in the world.

All I can think is that, I finally know, like I suspected all along, the best years of my life are not locked away in a yearbook or in a time capsule or in the suffocating, yellowing walls of Lakeview High School.

The best years have only just begun.