nostalgia

nostalgia

overcast day

I came to present a paper at a conference.

feeling foreign in my business clothes

formally dressed in this place where I was so casual

no bra bare nails no skirts long hair no heels my bare face

I had this event on my calendar for months.

reptilian,

is how I felt,

seeing the remnants of the skin I had just shed,

but still uncomfortable in my new face.

This was the first time I had come back since I left last December, and now I admit that it was because I was afraid.

everything so familiar, the quad, the clock tower, my professor, some of my classmates,

yet so different, with a new building sprouting and people not recognizing me and the most important people gone or changed.

nostalgia and nausea, and discombobulation.

I came with two friends from my new life and seeing them there made me feel even more out of place.

everything is different, but still looks the same.

omniscient tickling of my brain that tells me that I have been dreaming that I have been back here since before I left,

stumbling around the quad in my dreams, sleeping in JRC, talking to Kierra about everything, kissing under the street light,

and your hands cupping my face while I look into brown or blue or green eyes that only seem to blankly stare back at me in my

nightmares.

As I give my friends a tour, images flash back to me of memories that feel only weeks old but are actually from a year ago.

Talking to you under that tree, sitting on that marble bench, saying good bye to my Mom for the first time in that parking lot,

learning that my grandmother died in that parking lot, crying in my car and in that office and in that room.

I am very proud of the paper I gave, and I was commended by professors and peers by how I answered questions afterwards.

I couldn’t fully appreciate it because of the suffocation I was feeling from my new skin tightening around my neck.

It didn’t occur to me until now, 5 days later, that I was dumped twice in that same building, just one floor up.

Doing homework with him on the couch outside of the chaplain’s office, doing homework in the booths, crying in that

bathroom. Giving Danny the riot act, telling Evan that he could trust me, doing homework in those booths,

writing the paper I presented on Friday, you meeting me there, my phone not working,

you not even unpacking your bag,

you telling me that we need to talk, you telling me that we were too different,

you telling me that it wasn’t my fault,

you telling me that I was too liberal,

you telling me that you didn’t mean to hurt me, you crying too.

you getting angry when my anxiety escalates, you putting your head in your hands,

you not responding when I say that it isn’t fair, you apologizing.

you saying goodbye.

me feeling my stomach sink like a rock, me in total shock,

me unable to convince you that we were the same,

me seeing that you had already changed.

me feeling defensive, me feeling violated,

me starting to cry big fat tears, me turning red, me my nose starting to run.

me feeling exposed, me telling you off for doing this in a public space,

me texting Kierra to ask her to stay awake until I came home and that it was over,

me crying some more, sobbing into my sweater to muffle the noise.

me still having to tell you that it’s okay, me holding your hand.

me wiping my face off in the bathroom, me staring at my face morphed by tears in the mirror.

me barely holding it together. me asking to walk home alone.

me walking past all of our street lamps, me hiding in darkness so no one would see my face or hear my tears.

me crying myself to sleep that night, me waking up.

me getting into the business school the next day, me feeling genuine pride and joy, me being congratulated by my classmates.

me writing my paper, me doing my homework, me studying for finals, me acing my classes, me dancing with Kierra at formal,

me seeing the students I tutored succeed, me taking charge of my peers at work, me being given responsibility,

me loving my work, me looking toward the future, me packing up my stuff and putting it into storage, me leaving Oxford behind.

me coming to business school, me joining a sorority, me struggling in my classes, me loving my friends,

me making impulsive decisions, me being reminded of you with him, me calling my family every day, me turning 20.

me doing my best, me being proud of what I do, me having genuine friends both new and old,

me being more me than ever before.

I know what I was afraid of now.

I was afraid of remembering this and so much more pain that comes with growth and adulthood.

I was afraid of coming and finding that everyone had forgotten me and it was as if I was never there.

I was afraid to remember that this place was once my home.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

of age/ twenty/ two years.

I turned twenty recently,

in the past,

I would be “of age.”

No debutante, am I.

I don’t feel more adult than I did

a week ago,

but looking back, I know I am.

two years ago

this blog began as

a place to

vent my spleen,

show my poor, lacerated teenage heart

to an anonymous and unknown audience.

Unbeknownst to you readers, I am more adult now.

Two years ago,

or even a year ago,

I would agonize over text messages to boys who ultimately did not matter,

composing them scores of love and affection that could never be reasonably returned.

Now I agonize over emails to recruiters,

and currently I am more anxious about

gaining a job this summer and a lease for next fall

than my nonexistent lovers.

I loved the balloons,

they were perfect when I chose them at 17, when I turned 18, and still good

when flew into 19.

19.

Brick wall, mountain to climb.

Window to jump through,

doors to lock.

Chances to take,

friends to make.

People to meet,

hands to shake,

hands to hold.

Felt abject terror,

love, grief, and compassion

after I turned 19.

Good bye 19.

I turned 20 recently.

Thank you for reading Poems by her.

Today is the two-year anniversary of its birth,

and I want to say thank you, whether you are a first time reader

or have followed me through the rollercoaster of absences and depression and pure joy and poems.

Thank you!

this is real.

this is real.

this is real,

coca-cola red real.

heel stuck in the side walk, real.

skinned knee stinging real,

runs in my stockings real.

the way you smiled at me on the bus, real.

texts at 1 am, real.

forgetting my text book in my dorm room real,

running into you on campus unreal,

eyelashes- yes, they are real.

wide smiles, white teeth, real.

fingers touch, I blush coca-cola red, real.

it could be so easy if he was real.

It’s time for Magic

It’s time for Magic

I had a eureka moment a night ago,

of course it’s at night when I was feeling low,

when a happy photo slid down my newsfeed

and, on it’s way, planting a introspective seed.

The photo was recent but it made me think back at loves before,

memories I kept locked because they make my soul sore.

I am young, but these thoughts make me feel ancient.

Looking back, the story I tell you has a blue tint.

My first love was Sean.

Older and wiser,

On his way out the door as I was just entering a world, fresh faced and giddy.

I put him on a pedestal,

I thought he was smart and strong and cool.

Every moment was filled with passion,

excitement, and bliss.

My glasses would fog when we kissed,

My palms would sweat every time we met.

It all tumbled down so fast,

and I cracked like a teacup,

dropped from his tray.

So when I saw a photo of him and his new girlfriend,

(who used to hate him),

despite my prior knowledge of their togetherness,

I felt the teacup crumble a little bit more.

Why do I care?

Why do I wish that he had stayed?

It was 3 years ago,

what’s wrong with me?

But can’t you see,

that the reason you’ve been puzzlingly unhappy with all men

since April 20th, 201o,

is that you never really got over him?

Oh crap.

After your breakup, you played it safe.

Half your heart put on reserve, just in case.

The long relationship afterwards

was safe in the worst way.

Oh you loved him, of course.

But your glasses never fogged,

heart never danced,

palms never got sweaty.

Maybe you weren’t ready?

The new guy was Grant.

Steady, calm, and sweet,

but there was no impromptu dates,

no big dramatic kisses,

no long stares,

and no sage advice.

You realize after it ends,

that there were few moments where you loved him in the same way.

Those moments were beautiful, and properly mourned a couple weeks ago.

But now, as I have recovered,

I realize that I haven’t truely been myself these past 2 and half years dating him.

He never laughed at my jokes like Sean did,

he thought my sense of humor was weird,

so I slowly stopped being funny.

He hated it when I was overdramatic or made a scene, so I started keeping things to myself.

He thought poetry was for pussies so I wouldn’t share it with him, and worst of all,

he didn’t believe in magic, so I couldn’t believe in it with him.

He wasn’t abusive or a jerk, but he changed my personality so slowly that I didn’t even realize until he was gone.

I miss the girl who made jokes to be funny, who didn’t care about where she was when she was yelling, who believed in magic.

I miss the passion, abandon, and love of the first guy,

but until now I only remembered crying for hours afterwards, the loss, the grief, and the harsh rejections.

I spent so much time hating Sean for our horrible breakup that I forgot why I loved it so much.

It’s time for me to be funny, sing in public, and be silly.

It’s time for me to believe in magic, dragons, and the ridiculous.

It’s time for me to be childish and to feel utter joy.

No more restrained smiles, no more slight hugs.

No more chaste kisses, only ones with tongue.

I have no lover now, and I won’t for awhile,

but the next one won’t be

so safe it’s suffocating

nor so fast it makes me breathless.

It’s time for magic.