My life in Roman numerals


i) They say that I don’t smile. Almost every person I know looks at my empty face and asks why I’m looking at them like I want to kill them.

I took a look at my face in the mirror the other day, nay – I stared deeply into my eyes and saw that indeed, I wasn’t smiling. My lips were pursed, my mouth was closed. I conveyed neither disapproval nor distaste; I was completely neutral of emotion. Maybe then, you can see me through my eyes. What is it that they say about eyes? That they’re the windows into the soul? Maybe it’s my voice. It’s expressive but meanwhile horribly deceiving.

The truth is that sometimes I wear my emotions on my coat like badges or flashes of color for all to see, but I can also suppress them, like a lid on a pot of boiling water. So perhaps I’ve been too suppressive of my emotions lately? Is that why people keep saying that to me? 

ii) I’m not totally sure how other people organize their music, but I have iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and an account for basically every other music search engine program out there. Lately, I’ve been defaulting to Spotify, and I compile all of my motley music on one gigantic “Starred” list.

So if you scroll all the way down to the bottom, you’ll see what kind of music I was into in 2011, essentially Jessie J and Hot Chelle Rae.

But we don’t listen to music conventionally; we like what we listen to because people recommend it to us, or because we hear it playing the background of ads, or because it’s drifting out of the big speakers at an event that we attend, the point being that when you listen to a song that you starred from the summer of 2012, it brings you back.

You’ve pushed memories and feelings to the back of your heart, but all at once, they’re alive and writhing within you.

Suddenly, you’re back, but back to where? Your surroundings are fuzzy as you look around this rememory. Distinctive smells and familiar tastes and a recognizable breeze brush against your skin, but that’s about as far as you can sense.

We can return perhaps to a time and place, or even an individual’s face, but more likely, it’s a feeling at which you ultimately arrive.

I can’t tell you if you’re going to like it or not; the music could slam at the sides off your heart but it could also coddle you very gently like a newborn.

iii) When everyone else is quiet, my mind is buzzing away. Sometimes it throws images at the walls of my brain, sometimes it spins words of gold.

It shouts in choppy phrasing but also speaks poetry so three-dimensional that a two-sided paper wouldn’t be able to handle it. It argues to itself and comes away with new conclusions; that’s where my best ideas come from.

I’m tired of speaking up in conversations and starting with the word “sorry.” If I write a book, I won’t apologize for how irrelevant or wrong someone might think my opinion is; it’s time to stop negating my ability to convey my perspective, and time to start acknowledging that I might have something valuable and unique to say once in a while.

iv) Every few months, I have a sort of nostalgic relapse. For a few days, I’ll sort of spend the evening reliving my past, whether it be from years, months, or days ago. I’ll just replay a scene and try to remember every detail, no matter how insignificant it seems. Every element helps recreate the setting.

Lately, the internet has been throwing around the phrase “nostalgia for the present.” I’ve interpreted it as the sense that the life you’re presently living will join the past one day, becoming yet another memory. As these recollections clutter up the sides of your brain, I think I’m having my first encounter with what feels like infinity.

v) I had this wonderful dream-like goal of writing a novel as a young adult, and getting it published before I turned twenty. That dream’s been abandoned so many times, but the thing is…the dream is attainable.

I spend hours every day preparing posts for this blog; is a book any different just because it requires a longer time commitment?

I’ve always come away with excuses for trying to get something big done. First, it was the SAT. Then it was the ACT. Soon came college apps. Then when I thought I couldn’t possibly have anything to prioritize second semester, arbitrary excuses always find a way to obtrude the path to victory on this writing project. I’m tired of pushing my aspirations aside for reality. We need a little dream to keep us hopeful and productive.

vi) Lately, I’ve been underestimating the music that I enjoy. When I was in junior high, I used to be into Jessie J and the Black Eyed Peas and I made it my first priority to memorize the lyrics to songs.

But of course, those songs spoke as deeply to a junior high girl as they could (not very deeply) and I never took away much from them. I used to be able to name a song just by listening to the first five seconds.

These days, I don’t know the lyrics to any of my so-called favorite songs, and it takes me quite a while to even recognize them. There’s so much under appreciation for the lyrics that it appalls me, because just this morning I took the time to actually listen in to the lyrics to one of my favorite songs and it astounds me how long it took me to realize what the song was about.

The strange thing is that it makes me feel more comfortable with myself knowing that someone else, a song-writer (though not necessarily the singer) knows what I’m feeling.

I’ve learned that sagacity comes from very unconventional places. Kanye is insightful, Miley knows what’s up, The Neighbourhood can see into my soul, and Wild Child tells the story of my life in three and a half minutes, I swear.

Lots of sounds for today’s post:

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