I wrote this on Xanga on March 29, 2013. I found it again, like I’ve always thought I would, because I remember this poignant and eloquent letter so vividly; I remember reading it through tears, covered in a blanket of exhaustion on the living room couch of our house.

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Dear 25 year-old me,

Please tell me you got that dream internship at NBC and now you’re working for the big dogs in New York City.  Please tell me you live in a cool apartment in the Lower East Side, you own that PS1 bag you were constantly pining for, you have that leather jacket that you saw at the mall last month, and you go shopping with your friends regularly for new heels at Barneys.  You know, I became a 25 year old Blair Waldorf with less drama and more smarts?  Kind of like that girl in 13 going on 30: you have the glamorous life, which is what you always wanted since you were little.  Oh, which reminds me, did you end up getting into that program at Columbia?  Nice.  How about a boyfriend?  Nice.  I hope your skin cleared up too, you lost tons of weight, you fit in a size 2 now, and you look amazing in bodycon dresses.  You lost the tummy fat, your hair is less stringy, and you actually go to the gym on a regular basis.  I’m not even going to ask if you cook, because knowing you, the answer is no.  Besides, you probably go out for dinner every night.  Life’s good.

But beyond the tangible aspects of your life, what’s going on in your head?  Is it any better?  Do you feel good enough now?  Have you made it?  Are you happy?  Are you proud of yourself?  Are you finally okay with yourself after 25 years?  Do you still reminisce about lost potential?  Do you still compare yourself to others?  Do you regret anything?  Do you wish you had stayed/left?  Do you think you’re selfish because you chased after what you wanted?  Off topic, but how did you ever pay to go to school in New York City?  I hope you maintained integrity the whole way through; I pray for the both of us.

To be honest, I don’t really care what happened to you.  Well I DO… but I don’t know where you ended up.  You could be lying in a ditch right now near Cincinatti, living at home, or travelling the world.  All I know is that you exist somewhere down the timeline, and YOU know what happened to me.  All I want is for you to tell me that I will be okay.

Did it end in heartbreak?  Did I say goodbye or did he?  Or did we just grow apart without a goodbye, like it tends to end for me?  Did all of it lead to nothing?  Did something happen?  Did something BAD happen? Did it end just as badly as I thought it would?  Did we lose touch?  Did he ever tell me the truth?  Did I ever tell him how I felt?  Did I ever yell at him and tell him how I didn’t trust him and that he played me and I knew it and I kept letting him roll the dice?  I feel like it was never meant to be and I think I have willed myself into feeling vulnerable, just to live a little, and I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.  I want to have my heartbroken, just to feel that.  Was it real? You know, how I felt about him.  Was it just lust or foolishness?  I hope it didn’t come to define me… it’s spreading through me and I’m fighting back, but I have no idea how this will end.  How’d you do it in the end?  How the fuck did you do it?  How did you move on?  Remember D?  Remember C?  Those were childhood friendships that ended so badly and it took you forever to be okay with it.  Sometimes, you still haven’t gotten over how badly things ended with C, so I can only pray extra hard that J won’t fucking destroy your life, your mind, your sense of self-worth.

In all honesty, I want to cry a little if there’s a good reason for it.  I want a good story that you can tell when you’re 23 and walking in a park alone with that guy from work.  I want you to feel that you can trust someone, you can open up, to be vulnerable, to let yourself lose sometimes.  I pray that you are stronger than I am right now; I pray that you can handle disappointment, you can have some guy string you along until he leaves you on the ground, and you slowly but surely help yourself up and dust yourself off.  I pray that no one will ever get in the way of your dreams and desires.  I pray that you will be wise in what constitutes selfishness and personal drive. I hope you are prepared for the real world in the way that I am not.  I hope you still write.  Otherwise, you’re probably insane. I hope you still sing and draw and play piano and maybe even dance.  And even now that you’re in NYC, I hope you still make some time to go biking.

Are you still close friends from people in college?  Besides, what happened to some of them?  Are they better than you now?  Are they happier than you?  Are you okay with that?

I hope you still read too.  I hope you love to read.  I hope you still love those trashy teen novels once in a while… because… well… you know us.  Fuck what everybody else has to say, we still love ’em.  I hope bad grades never stopped you from pursuing literature, that whatever a certain professor might say/do that enervates you, you can breathe and move on and get on with your life. I’m rooting for you kiddo.  I’m rooting for you to learn from all the mistakes I’m making right now and that you’ll make better mistakes in your life now.

It’s weird to give advice to someone older than you, because you’re less wise, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Please know that you’ll always be good enough.  Nobody’s perfect, regardless of how you might will yourself to believe that.  Please know that everything will end up all right, even if you cry at night, thinking about the same things over and over again.  Please know7 that no one knows you as well as you do; take people’s advice with a grain of salt and trust your superb intuition.  Please know that the people in your life do not define you, even though you used to say this proudly, but rather, you define yourself.

Please know that I won’t be too disappointed if you didn’t end up going to New York City (yet) to head Time Warner, but that day will come.

Please know that I love you, that I trust you with your decisions, and that all I want is for you to be happy.

 

With all my love,

20 year old me.

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i don’t edit my posts

it’s not an aesthetic and it’s not a rule, as there are occasionally posts that I have revised

but i don’t edit them because they had been written at some moment in time and those sentiments, those thoughts, are frozen even if they are incoherent at parts and fraught with grammatical or spelling errors

i sometimes think about fixing them but i can’t. because it’s almost like ruining some artefact, meddling with the past.

i spent part of my evening reading some of my old posts. i just need to breathe a little now. i’m just absorbing the confessions that i’ve typed out and thinking about them in hindsight.

cody + charleston

cody

I’ve listened to a lot of Cody Ko’s vlogs (Orange is the New County, Insanely Chill) and really enjoy them because they make me laugh out loud in the most inappropriate places and they evoke this nostalgic Californian aesthetic that’s almost like this virtual high.  They’ made me think a lot about where I want to go in my life, and I’d like to process them, so here goes.

I like that Cody talks about what’s going on in his life in all its ups and downs.  It’s so neat to see how things work: how auditions work, how people fall in love (like the makings of Taco Tuesday girl), how shitty travelling can be, how he met his friends.  I find it very realistic, and I really need that because I tend to romanticize everything and have found Instagram to be so frustrating because I take everything at face value even though so many websites and people have warned me that these are edited highlight reels.  So in essence, Cody keeps me from falling into a deep depression, because he reminds me that things are not what they seem, that they aren’t always glamorous, and that having a life that seems as amusing as his is attainable.  And that I should laugh at myself a little bit more, I should love my friends a little bit more, that I should take a break and breathe.  And complain loudly to myself in my room sometimes.  That helps.

Also, his instagram aesthetic is amazing (good quality photos, fun, and don’t take themselves seriously) and if I had instagram, I would strive for an aesthetic like that.  It’s like a feel-good aesthetic… I find sometimes I find certain accounts/photos too unattainable and it makes me sad even though I shouldn’t be trying to live up to that expectation.  And it was actually his girlfriend Kelsey’s instagram (along with @c_bergs) that inspired me to buy my first pair of hoop earrings, and things have only gone uphill from there every since i started wearing them.  Like they literally transform you outfit, hair, and face. 10/10 would highly recommend gold hoops earrings.

Also, I have loooved learning about Cody’s friends.  They have such a genuine true friendship, and they’re so funny (especially Devon, Marcus, and Sam) and have great chemistry with each other -I’ve never had many close guy friends and I think by seeing how amazing their friendship and dynamic is, it’s helped me see what type of friendship I want to build with my friends.  And it’s also made me rethink how I feel about frats… imagine that!

I’ve long battled this need to feel/be good enough… for myself, for other people.  And although I may have started out watching Cody’s vines and much later on, his YouTube videos, out of pure amusement, I think watching his videos has actually helped me feel more comfortable about being who I am and helped me put aside this voice that tells me that I constantly have to compare myself to others, that I have to strive to be better, that I have to be someone I’m not, and to silence this nagging voice that everybody else has figured this whole “thing” out and that I’m the only one who hasn’t.  Because now I see that so many people haven’t, that everybody’s just wading through the “next”, through the “future”, without much foresight and are just as clueless as I am about what life has in store for them next.  But what I have realized is that you have to take risks in order to get somewhere you want to be, and it’s okay to have a little fun with that, to make mistakes as you go along.  That people are here to support you, that you don’t have to do this alone, that your worth is not measured by your social media presence and contents, and that in order to be happy, I need to focus on myself and stop focusing on comparing myself to others.

 

charleston

I also recently visited Charleston, and typically during trips that I embark alone, I engage in lots of self-discovery and reflection.  And oddly, I found that I didn’t have time for lots of self-reflection or perhaps I was unwilling to engage in it when I travelled to Charleston.  So I wanted to write in an attempt to pair some coherence to a lot of thoughts that are swimming in my head, so that maybe I can breathe better, to sigh and feel some relief or something, to feel refreshed, to find closure.  Here goes.

I find that I can’t relax, that I’ve been on this mission forward, to not dwell on the past and to think about progress forward exclusively, ever since Everything That Happened around February 2016.  While ETH wasn’t a remarkable event, it has shaped me and my trajectory over the past two years, I will reluctantly admit.  It inspired me to run, to get healthy, to have side projects outside of work, to think about where I wanted to go with my life: forward.  I had to figure out what forward looked for myself, and how I would get there.  In some ways, ETH made me a better person in that I was more productive, more ambitious, less bothered by a boy who had hurt me.   These metrics, I must point out, are rather limiting, and I wouldn’t say they are metrics that I would want to define me or that I would take as true indicators or parameters of my success.  Back to the trip: my trip was marked by the need to Go Places, to See Things, to Eat Things, to Drink Things.  It was all about these things that I had to do.   I never just sat and did nothing.  I would do that at night, I suppose. But it’s different.  I felt this urgency during the day to not waste time, but the whole purpose of my trip was to unwind, to relax, to relearn how to breathe. I never got to muse, I was constantly on a bike weary of ruining my brand new sneakers.  I never really got to muse, to take inventory of my life, to check up on myself to make sure I was okay.

I feel rather alone. I think part of it was going to Charleston where the demographics are so different from the place I call home.  I think part of it was travelling by myself.  I think part of it was wondering what holds for me in the future.  It’s scary.  I think being put in a position where you are fending for yourself puts you in survival mode, and there is little ease that’s required to open the door to self-enlightenment, getting lost in your own thoughts.  I mean… I certainly realized some things about myself: I am a city person at heart, I want to get to a place in my life where I am sitting in first-class, I liked the South as much as I had suspected, I am Not One of Them and I am OK and also Not Okay with that.

I sat at Husk (because I was told that it was a hot restaurant) and maybe it was fate, but I saw next to a mother-daughter pair having dinner.  The girl was a year younger than me, and she was telling her mother about the boy she was seeing, and getting frustrated that although her mother didn’t explicitly disapprove of the boy, she was judging him (asking what his family background was, what his goals were, how much she liked him from a scale of 1 to 10).  I kept thinking about how my mother and I don’t have this relationship: that we would never go to dinner alone, and even if we did, we would not have such a candid discussion about something so personal.  And maybe it’s a cultural thing.  I have never sought for a relationship like that because that is not something I’ve ever known.  But if I ever had a daughter, I hope that I will have these discussion with her.  To tell her stories about my life and for her to trust me enough to tell me about the things that scare her, about her own life, about the boys she has fallen in love with, about how I could help her.  Her mother was telling her about how her life had changed after she had met her father, how she had pressed pause on her corporate career to raise a family.  And I remember silently thinking that I didn’t agree with that… to halt your career ambitions to raise a family.  But what do I know? And I tried Madeira for the first time, and I think I preferred it more than wine.

When I sat next to the mother and daughter, I kept thinking about how they ended up here, about what their life was, what their relationship was like, where the father was, if the mother and father were still together, and how the mother had continued to build trust with her daughter so that they would end up there, seated on the Husk balcony eating dinner, talking about life and love.  And I wondered where I would be in 10 years.  Would I be in Charleston, all idyllic but narrow-minded, all manners but no backbone?  Who knows?  The city is so flawed, but I suppose I could live with some resignation in that idea because I don’t condone it.  But to what degree do I become complicit in letting things slide?  After all, what annoyed me the most about Charleston (but not to the point of rage) was that it simultaneously acknowledges and downplays the role of slavery in its origins.  This is a slave port, this is a slave city, the aristocrats of this city made their money directly and indirectly to the slave trade, and what the city touts to its tourists is its history that has been heavily edited and white-washed.  That left me very conflicted.

After a short run, I sat across from someone at the Black Tap Coffee communal table who told me that the city’s buildings aren’t allowed to be repainted in colors other than their original ones and even graffiti that’s over 75 years old must be repainted back on buildings.  And there it is: this selective conservation of history.  That the city is so insistent on preserving its history through its architecture, but not in other ways.  That it will flaunt its buildings, but not the stories of the bones that built it.  That it is undergoing a renaissance in the form of a white bourgeoisie gentrification, evident in the closing of music shops and grungy dive bars, in favor of instagrammable food shops and boutiques, but the alarming issue of affordable housing is completely absent from public discourse.  That this is America in its purest form, this is capitalism waving high above the epistle, that this is quintessentially the South, and how I love this Southern charm and its food and its weather and its beautiful, beautiful colonial homes and single houses, but its politics and narrow American Dream leave me conflicted.  And it’s so true: gentrification has its highs and lows, and it is so conflicting.  It is so, so, so conflicting.  Just like love, just like all the boys whom I’ve loved before and all the men that I’ve come to admire who are not perfect: where do you draw the line?  How far do you let things pass before you are on the verge of ending your balancing act and can no longer stand your ground?

When I am overcome with a frantic sadness, this is when I fight.

I fold the world inside-out with the smooth ease of wrist-flicking, I climb out of this hole with cuts and bruises but I get out and that’s all that matters. I set fire to the world and walk just fast enough to keep it nipping at my heels, tarring my skin, scarring me a little if I bothered to look. I skate over thin ice as if I slowed down I could walk on water, but there is no grace to it, because I am focused only on the goal, which is to get myself out of here.  In moments of desperation, when grief builds up, when panic rings through my whole body and I am forced to listen, when I am forced to hear soprano voice nastily ringing the need for self-realization and how little self-preservation I have left, I am set in motion and I can’t stop.

Idleness does me good even if I think it does my body bad. My mind will race into every corner, flick at all specks in the dust, try to find solutions with only sticks, stones, and other weapons that are meant to break me.  Idleness sets me into a run, a sprint towards an only goal of getting away from Here.  Getting away from the Idleness, from what I find too difficult to look at, to escape the grief, to spin around enough times that I’ll be different when I examine myself once again.

It has been a year and this still hurts.  It’s futile in so many ways.  I have gone on walks, gone on bike rides, hiked mountains and fallen down valleys of emotions to try to come to some closure that I can’t seem to zip up completely.  I have come to terms with the fact that I equated my happiness, my self-worth, my everything to his approval of me, to his decision to stay.  That this was not my fault and yet I can’t swallow this statement no matter how many times I knock it back like a shot.  It just comes back up and I’m retching, and I am a mess, and I don’t know whether or not I simply cannot accept this truth or I will not accept it. That there is someone better, just like what happened with J, that there is someone that I am absolutely not, and that is the reason.  That is the reason I am here on my bed, writing what is basically a paragraph designed for some love letter whose recipient cannot be found, whose address always bounces back. But maybe once you lick the stamp one too many times, it will stop sticking and you’ll stop trying to send it.  Is that even a good thing in the end?

I am in a search for excellence. I am exhausted. I am always exhausted, but now I am very physically exhausted. I have large, tall goals in the stratosphere that are shielded by the clouds and I’m not sure what to make of it.  I’m not sure what to make of this big dream, I am not sure how I will handle failure. I am not even sure how I will handle attaining the goal, of getting past one goal post in an enduring and long road to success.  I want to leave, I have ten million paths I want to pursue, and I find it difficult to choose because they all get me to the same goal of escaping Here, even though they all lead to different destinations. I cannot stay, I have said it for so long, but when is the right time to leave? Is it Now?  Is it because I am in fight-or-flight and I will fight anything and anyone to get the hell out of this town.  It’s not that I think I’m too good for this town even though I may have thought this when I was younger. I realize now that I must get away to preserve whatever sanity is left in my body, that I am slowly going insane and haven’t noticed it because it has been a slow degeneration, it has been the slowest dying.

I have read so many books, randomly selected and recommended, and boiled down to it, they are all about moving on with your life, going forward, exploring the world or another part of you.  And what is keeping me in this city? Just my ambition, just my willingness to leave.  But my feet are pounding pavement right now, and I can’t stop, I dare not stop, I cannot stop if I want to survive, if I want to move on from this grief, if I want to go somewhere else.  I am lost, but at least running will get me somewhere. I will not run in circles, and with that, I will compromise by allowing myself to fall. I am not shaking but my body knows, it knows that I cannot stay here, it knows that I need to get on the highway and gun 80 out of this town.  I know it too. I know it too.

I’ve been frustrated by the success of others, only because I don’t see any of that in myself. I have big goals, but have had such difficult in getting there.  I’m not sure where I’m going wrong, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. So I go back to my old pony tricks and hope one of them sticks, and they never stick for long.

I hope that the next time I write, I won’t be so anxious, my muscles won’t be so tense, I won’t have this need to escape. Maybe the next time I write, I will have some news to assuage you.

xx

the creeping panic

lately, i’ve been silently panicking and i really need to write this. so many things have been bothering me and i want to address them, but i need to write in order to think clearly, to figure out my course of action.

  1. As i’m typing, my computer is flashing technicolor so i suppose one thing to add to this notorious and budding to-do list is to buy a new computer and perhaps a new phone. i’ve had my laptop since 2010 and it has been trusty, though numerous bugs have appeared where things always flash or my caps lock doesn’t work properly (you can’t undo caps lock unless you click shift).  my phone, i’ve had since 2013.  i don’t want programs with licenses to expire.  but that’s going to net me a good $2000 or something to get my laptop and phone replaced.
  2. I need to save money for something next year and I’ve got a pretty long way to go.  I need to eat out less, refrain from buying clothes as much (anyway, I don’t really need more dresses and I’ve got 13 already), refrain from buying more candles, etc.  It’s been so hard doing this.  I’ve got to try harder.
  3. I’ve done a decent job cleaning my closet in terms of trading my old clothes for other useful things, or trying to sell them online.  I don’t know how it will go.  I’ve also been trying to declutter by trying to use up .  I’m giving my extra pair of Hunter boots to one of my best friends, so it will be her going away to school present and will also free up some space in my house.
  4. I want to travel. I think I need to get out of here.  But what’s stopping me is this need to save money. so should i do more short trips? Do I go to europe anyway?

something made me search your name today

whatever provoked me probably laces its fingers with fate

and now i know you’ll be off doing great things abroad

strolling along the clean, kept path to become the person you’ve known forever that you’ll be

and maybe you’ll see my running haphazardly in the grass far away but close enough to be visible

and one day i’ll run farther than you

maybe it’ll take me a little longer

because my path is winding, messy, sand-ridden and uncharted

but i hope it’ll go past you to somewhere you haven’t dared venture

and only in hindsight will you wish you had.

a response

ten months ago, i would have cried, “how did you let him go?”

for he was kind, he was sincere, he was smart

armed with power and handsomeness.

 

and for that i, in the present, would answer

that he was like a bird in a house

a butterfly in my room

that i could not keep trapped

for he wanted to leave.

he would have left anyway

when he realized he couldn’t save me

and sweetheart, he tried to save me,

but i was not his to be saved.

 

that he took up the whole room

and you loved that.

until the day i realized that it made me feel so small.

that he was perfect, i really think so

but i stopped remembering to breathe

i just held it all in

hoping this moment wouldn’t pass too soon

hoping that i wouldn’t wake up

hoping that if nothing changed and time stood still,

then he surely had to stay,

right?

but alas, i let go even when i didn’t want to

my face was turning blue

all i wanted was to breathe again

even if it meant bursting the idea of him

even if it meant feeling lost again

even if it felt like i was unwanted again.

so here you will be,

wearing my shoes,

falling into my footsteps.

 

sweetheart,

the world is bigger than the glass globe,

the world is bigger than the stories that you write

the world is bigger than the one he walked through

the world is bigger than the one he has now adopted

the world is bigger than the one you thought was all you needed.

 

someday you will learn.

sweetheart.

someday the world will be yours for the taking even if it seems overwhelming.

someday you will seize all that you have given.

Fiction

Dear 21 year-old Me,

This summer in your life is the most rocky. You are in a perpetual state of panic and stress, you feel almost electric under your skin, you feel like you are two steps away from exploding. The world is against you, and you are walking this world alone with tortoise-shell glasses perched atop your pretty little nose and five inch Louboutins under your feet.  Damn, you are so strong in your mindset and confident in your public presentation yet so fragile in the art of understanding yourself that it almost constitutes an acute oblivion. But you don’t know it.  Because you’re always right, and the world is wrong.  And everything in your life is somehow wrong at this point.  Everything is broken. Absolutely everything.

You are young, you are reckless, and most of all, you have lost: you have lost your job and I hate to break it to you, but you are about to lose the relationship that you’ve been frantically trying to save in a few weeks.  You are in what you consider to be hell on Earth: you are a 21 year-old precocious banker in San Francisco who is simultaneously trying to mend your failing two-year relationship.  Let’s be frank, you fucking hate San Francisco.  The thought of those two words sour in your mouth.  You hate it so much you commission a shirt at the beginning of your San Fran stint that declares this antipathy against the land flanked by the notorious Golden Gate bridge.  And then at your end of your summer you commission another shirt, this time somehow even more acerbic, in loopy cursive in the form of rope that underlines that hate.  I fucking hate San Francisco.  Your anathema is swelling and alive; you might as well compose a diatribe against it and submit it to the Los Angeles Times, because the seething emotion on that subject would compel someone to publish it.

But this summer is a turning point for better times, believe it or not.  And I know you won’t.  Twenty-five year old me has little sway over these deep-set thoughts in your mind -you wouldn’t take this advice even if it floated in a bottle right to you with a silk ribbon on it as you sat along the Santa Monica beach wondering where you went wrong.  You are exhausted, you are overwhelmed, you are slowly spiralling and you think this is just a lull but everybody else can see that you’re plummeting to rock-bottom.  So I won’t give you advice, because you won’t take it, but I’ll recount the lessons that you soon learn, in case that will prod you to see things differently.

Love finds you again.   The months after San Francisco are tough even though you put on a smile and laugh through it; you will become lost, you will become defeated.  But I promise that in a year, love finds you.  It starts right as San Francisco wraps up, surprisingly, with a text to a house party from an individual whose invitations you frequently decline.  But for some odd reason (or no reason at all), you decide to go this time. And there at that house party, you strike up a conversation with a stranger who is so different from you and profoundly bewilders you, and who just so happens to own a Tesla X that you were considering buying.  So he offers to take you for a test drive around the block, and in the following weeks, you keep thinking about the conversation and how kind and brilliant he is.  And when love finds you again, you’ll barely recognize yourself.  And that’s a good thing -it’s the perennial vestiges of growing up as you learn that a relationship takes work together, to ponder your long-term ambitions and the person you want to become, and learn that the act of challenging each other can be rewarding.  Not everything is a fight, Kayla, and that will be a lesson that takes so so so long for you to learn: not everything becomes won or lost.  You can only build or stop building.

Oh, and as some valuable advice, disclose that you broke your arm in Vietnam instead of lying about all injuries for two weeks out of embarrassment.

You are not invincible. There are so many days when you want to save the world, but you fall into bed thinking that you haven’t done enough.  Yet you’re completely exhausted and the guilt weighs incredibly heavy on yourself.  It’s okay to disappoint people, you know, especially yourself.  It’s okay to take a break even when people consider you to be their source of strength, and you don’t have to try to please others or impress them.  When a reporter tells you that you need to set a better example for young girls who want to follow into your footsteps, you will tell her that women aren’t perfect and that this is the way that you have decided to champion women’s representation in professional sports.  And even when you occasionally ponder whether or not this was the best answer, please know that there is no better answer in this unchartered territory; you are at the forefront, this cause’s inherent and unwilling leader, and you will make mistakes, but that’s a good thing.  We can’t always be the heroic feminists that we wished had been there when we were growing up,  and know that this doesn’t make you mediocre, this doesn’t make you apathetic, this doesn’t make you lazy.  It most of all doesn’t make you incompetent.  It makes you human.  So get some rest, kid.  You’ve got your heart in the right place, and I’m proud of what you have achieved even if it’s not the moon and more.

Cherish your years in hockey. It goes by in a blink of an eye, even if it doesn’t feel like it on the days that all your friends are posting pictures of their New York escapades, you’re sitting on your balcony alone facing the CN Tower and missing home.  And even though you laugh at me now about this, you get to play sports for a living and so few people get to say the same thing!  The friends and support network that you build in Toronto are indispensable and you don’t appreciate it until after you leave.  So go out with the boys for drinks and dinner more often, and savour the white and blue veraciously. It’s a surreal experience with its own set of challenges.

how i know i will have made it

1. i fly first-class and don’t have to make budget compromises to do that

2. i get to swim in a bath house in budapest

3.  i experience cape town. i climb the tabletop mountains.

4. when people think of me, the first that comes to mind is kind

5. i show up in a magazine or newspaper in the society pages

6. if i get married, i plan a wedding that i’m proud of.

7. i sit in a sailboat and bask in the sunshine.

8. i read a book in martha’s vineyard.

9. i trespass on backyard beaches in the hamptons.

10. i master French.

11. i give a talk on any topic at a conference.

12. i forgive.

13. i fall in love at least once.

14. i learn from it at least once.

15. i read regularly.

16. i learn to be less bitter.

17. i become a source of strength for my friends.

18. i learn to dress well.

19. i remain healthy.

20. my family remains healthy to the best of my ability.

21. i am successful in my career, and become an icon in my field.

22.  i smile everyday about something that’s happening in my immediate life.

23. i take risks. i learn not to be so afraid of moving on, letting go.

24. my house is tastefully decorated

25. i help the environment.

26. i am confident in my decisions.

27. i am thoughtful in my direction.

28. and to be continued and to be refined….

what i wouldn’t give to tell you that this ends well,

to stuff some optimism in you in these trying times

to try your hand at something other than typing out heartbreak

arms across your chest preparing you for the blow.

what i wouldn’t give to tell you what i don’t know.

man, i don’t know.

god, i don’t know.

 

what i would give to not regret

what i would give to sleep soundly

to sleep early

to sleep with the promise of a new fresh day

to sleep without desperately hoping for a new fresh different day

to sleep knowing that you are out of my reach

but i won’t stop reaching for it anymore.