dear me on February 8th, 2011:
so. you think you own the world, huh?
senior year couldn't be better. you're acing your classes-- you always have.
you've always preferred your independence, but you've fallen into a great group of friends
and are having a blast doing so.
and, in short, you're owning the dating game.
i'm happy for you. cherish those moments. drink in the easy flow of things.
lock your fingers tightly around the place of yours that you've made for yourself.
because at some point in your life
about a year from now
you're going to be sitting in your bathtub
(that's an indulgence you recently discovered).
And you're going to have a bit of an identity crisis.
You've realized since the beginning, since the very first day after moving out
that life now very little resembles what you considered life to be before.
In many, many, many ways that is an excellent thing.
An exciting necessity.
those labels from before were ripped off the second you walked out of that school without looking back.
what a wonderful thing, to be stripped of the stereotypes. and how terrifying.
it's a human need, i think. to have a want, even unto a nearly primal need, for a known place.
having a place, wherever it may lie, entails that we do indeed have a place. a belonging.
ok, you go here, right here.
and we hate it. we detest and fight it, conforming to the mass of free unconformists.
but no matter who we are, be we called the jock or the musician or the average, bookwormish blonde, we cling to it. because then.... we are never nothing. because then we are something. because when somebody looks at us, we can thrust our tag in their face until it fills their whole vision, and we are safe behind the printed words.
we are safe there, hiding.
letting them write whatever they may please
and pinning it next to your blouse collar.
every change gives you the chance to tear off the old and waltz on over to the new place, where you hand them a sharpie and demand that they get to work on your new tag.
we go through like this.
and, amidst the silence but for lapping water,
you realize that it's all a series of bandaids
ripping and renewing
stripping and replacing
covering up, plastering over, healing for naught.
and you realize you will have to decide.
everything about you.
and now you are finally, finally passed that responsibility.
you refuse to hand over the sharpie.
it's time to write your own tag
and that is what's terrifying.