I was reading through my old stuff from high school, and decided to start posting my writing. Here’s one during all the college BS:
Winter Break (not including the Choate Tournament) was well-deserved. I needed a break just to step out of the bubble I no longer wanted to be trapped inside of, and spend time as the person I tucked away in my back pocket since the summer. Katherine (no to be skitzo—because I’m not. This is a concept I read about in Modern European Novels— Sartre’s Nausea) was there. For once, Kat was the one tucked away. And Katherine was the one who traveled to New York with her Mom and spent New Year’s with friends not Kat. Kat’s too cold, too quiet, too adaptable. I felt myself winding down, like my gas tank was at the half/three-quarter point. I had been pushing myself to the limit for three and a half years, and I had to just keep going. (Wow, I just sounded like my Grandpa, an old man seeking other’s approval, reaction, shock. This really shouldn’t shock any of you seeing as that we all have probably been chasing this relentless, meticulous dream of ultimate Lawrentian perfection.) God knows why we attach ourselves to such a purpose, but for whatever reason I bought into this mindset too. Nonetheless, I saw the end on the horizon, and slowly allowed myself to slowly fall back into existing through my own experiences with the world rather than my previous compromise of surrogate vicariousness. I went up to Staten Island with my Mom and saw all of my relatives that day. I miss them and the balance they provide me. They remind me not to be too hard on myself (especially my little cousins who tugged on me to play tennis and on the swings with them.) But after about fifteen minutes of my car ride up, I decided to being self-humanization; I refused to sit like furniture in my Aunt’s apartment or even a heating blanket that murmurs a bit noise just to realize that it’s there plopped on the couch next to you but not enough to comprehend its purpose. I would begin to allow myself to live life. Starting now.
My Mom drove us up and I drove us back. We listened to this concert over Sirius Radio with all of the artists that I loved that fall into that undefinable soft rock-hipster-chill-out-music-that’s-still-fairly-mainstream. (i.e.: Mumford&Sons, Safetysuit, Augustana, Eric Hutchinson, and so on.) A little bit before then my relationship with my Mom had weakened and shallowed because of the college process. For months, we talked about nothing but college. Nothing else. Nothing about friends, the tv shows that we both watch, or even family. Before junior year, we had never been the type of mother/daughter duo to feel awkward around each other, like there was nothing to say when we wanted to say something, or like we didn’t know each other. She knows me better than anyone and she’s my best friend.
That car ride— in my memory— sticks out as a moment/point in which we were morphing out of our dull just sucky phase of “Did you do this? You know you should do this for this college.” During the car ride we still talked a bit about college since a lot of my college applications were due that day, but after a few condescending but maternal questions, we started joking around again. I burped after slurping down too much Diet Coke. Barb’s favorite soda. She laughed. I stacked my feet on her dash board, and looked out the window at the gray Highway 278. Our silence soothed instead of mocked or shook us uneasy. I guess it just shows how emotion can trump perspective because for whatever reason, I remember looking out at the highway and seeing familiar, unwavering, beauty. Bayonne never looked better. Of course, even though my mother is a born and raised New Yorker, we almost missed our exit and would have gotten stuck on the Verrazano Bridge and had to turn around somewhere in Brooklyn. My Mom and I both yelled “Oh, shit, thank God,” in near unison. “Thank you baby Jesus! (a phrase my grandfather, her father, always says.) We didn’t get stuck in that mess.”