yearning for seventeen
learning that accepting the past is accepting yourself
Me again :) How have you been since last week? I’m happy to report that February is treating me much better than January. I also finally finished my reread of The Secret History and if anyone asks, I am not okay. (I’ll share more on our chat later this week perhaps). But the show must go on so I am here with another Tuesday post just for you.
I always find myself wondering if I am living the correct life. Sort of. I like who I am and the lifestyle I lead—pretty quiet, introverted, cosy, chill—but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I’m missing out because I never partied or got really drunk or because I have a lot of allergies/food issues/anxiety, the list goes on, I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy a dinner at a fancy restaurant or trips abroad with friends. Sometimes I am okay with this, sometimes I am not.
I wrote an essay about it, and I realised while writing that this may be my “big problem”. Before I sort myself out, I’ll make some art about it for now I suppose.
I fear there will always be a part of me which yearns for the past. I don’t want to, but I do.
A little part of me deflates when I see someone very young doing something I wish I had started back then. It’s a forceful reflection, a sudden reminder of the clock. A new line forms on my face, I grow a little older, a little more bitter. I don’t want to, but I do.
Don’t you think books stay more true to life than the movies? Girls on the screen at 17 are riding in cars with the top down, kissing boys and living until their hearts explode. A million stories to tell before their heart gets broken for the first or second time. Girls on the page at 17 are riding waves of imagination, kissing distant dreams and living in their heads until they explode. I always wonder what it would have been like to be a girl on the screen. I don’t want to, but I do.
It’s not enough to know you’re being melodramatic, the drama continues. I am facing the wrong way on the treadmill, everything keeps moving forward but I want to start again, return to the flood and use the energy I have now to hoist myself out of the waves. I must remember this is where she lives now. I don’t want to, but I do.
I’ve dipped my finger into a bag of sugar and squinted my eyes tight at the sweetness. Some go back for more but I found other places just as sweet for me. Yet I still twist my neck in doubt, afraid I have mistaken sour lemons for ripe oranges. I feel childish for preferring a sweet rosé to a dry red, the shadows from the sun against my bedroom wall to the shadows cast by moonlight on rain-kissed evening streets. I don’t want to, but I do.
I am unsure why this feeling keeps returning. It’s starting to mimic the rise of acid in the throat, a palpitation in the chest, a quick disturbance which leaves a lingering dread. Dread of repetition, dread of never being the last time. I feel certain of who I am, until I am not, and we must ride this mental merry-go-round once more. Is there a time to get off? To accept the pages have already turned? When will I learn that the past is already dead.
I want to accomplish good things. I hope my mind will be kind to me and allow me to keep on as I am right now, a vision of a late spring flower under the approaching radiating heat of the late July sun. I am hellebore. I am viola. I am peony. I am phlox. When I am 37, I will look back on the last 10 years and shake my head and laugh. You are so young, I will call you my inner child soon. I want to, perhaps I will.
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