Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Is Making Me Beautiful

For my first college essay, I wrote about me at my absolute must vulnerable.
I wrote about the time when I grew the most, and the time that hurt the most.

The essay is sort of long, but I decided to put it up on this blog. You don't have to read it. You're under no obligation to me. But this essay explains where I've been and why I'm me. Maybe you'll see something of yourself in it, too.

*Author's Note: Names are not changed in this essay. Also, it really is truly me at my absolute most vulnerable. I'm sharing it with you all with great apprehension. Please be respectful of what this story means to me.

This Is Making Me Beautiful
            The light from the streetlamp glowed through the car window and hit Daniel's glasses, reflecting my own face back at me.  He slowly nodded, giving the answer to the question I had just forced out of my throat.
            I grimaced. "Get out of my car." My voice sounded like shards of glass.
            "Kimberly, I really want to talk about this."
            "Get out of my car." I repeated, no less harsh.
            As we both climbed out of the car and into the cold December air, I knew what I was going to do. I had received a full education from Hollywood romance movies, and I knew what I was expected to do after having just been dumped. I walked towards Daniel who stood motionless under the streetlamp. Playing the role of a broken-hearted ex-girlfriend perfectly, I slapped him straight across his face. I punched his chest. I yelled. I stormed away.
            "Kimberly, please." Daniel groaned, picking up his glasses. They had been knocked off when I slapped him and had snapped in half. "There are some things about our relationship that I need to say."
            As I heard him, my favorite person to be near, my Daniel, lay out all my flaws, I felt my heart numb as it was coated with bitterness. The words he threw out stuck to its cold exterior. Childish. Needy. Stubborn. Insecure. When I couldn't take the attack any longer, I scrambled into my car and drove away.
            During the ride home, the words seeped through my heart's defenses and I finally felt them and all their power. Childish. Needy. Stubborn. Insecure. For eight months I thought I had been doing so well; I had been satisfied with myself. There seemed no reason to change what I was doing or who I was. Someone loved me. I was fine the way I was. However, Daniel's words brought me to the time before that, a time with a different boy.
            My romance with Carter had been completely unrequited. It was one of those junior high school loves that fed itself on silly quotes and ridiculous wishes. Most of my emotions during my freshman year were controlled by my communication with Carter. If he said "Nice to see you today, Kim," I took that to mean "I wish I could see you everyday and you make me happier than anything, Kimberly." When he didn't talk to me, I was devastated. Knowing he didn't love me seemed to gnaw at my insides. For a long time, I could not look at myself in any mirror. I was ashamed of who I saw. When I glanced at myself, all that was visible to me was a girl who was unworthy to be wanted. A girl who was childish. Needy. Stubborn. Insecure. When I finally met Daniel, those troubles seemed to fade into the backdrop of my being. I could look at myself in a mirror without cringing. With Daniel, I knew I was loved and that whatever character flaws I had did not change how he felt about me. Obviously I had been wrong to think that. All I had to do to remember this was look where I was right now.
            When I finally pulled into my garage after driving home from Daniel's house, I had to will myself to get out of the car. I paused at the house door, knowing what would be behind it. After composing my  face, I opened the door and saw, sure enough, my mother sitting at the kitchen counter and waiting for me. I glanced at her concerned eyes for a split second and then I lost it. Before the first sob had fully erupted, she wrapped me in her arms and rested my head on her shoulder.
            The crying, blubbering, and gasping went on for quite a while. After I told my mom everything that happened, I whispered "He's so awful."
            "No, he's not, Kimberly. You know that." I didn't respond. She knew I understood. "You have to grow differently, that's all. Daniel helped you learn so much, and you can now do it on your own. You don't hate him."
            She was right; I didn't hate him. But that didn't make me hurt any less.
            After quite a few more tears had escaped, I trudged up to my bedroom. My bed looked so welcoming, I all wanted to do was sleep away my grief. However, I had to do something first.
            Remembering my mom's words, I closed my eyes and moved a few steps to the center of my room. Daniel had shown me the sun glowed within my chest, and now I needed to recognize it by myself. I opened my eyes and looked straight into my mirror.
            I saw my reflection staring back at me, but I did not flinch away. Her hair was mussed, her cheeks blotchy, and her eyes intensely bloodshot. Still, I did not look away. I liked this girl. I knew she had a good heart. A broken heart, but good as well. Childish. Needy. Stubborn. Insecure. The persistent and puncturing words entered my brain again. I continued looking at the reflection in the mirror. We're going to do this, I thought, We're going to get to know each other, and we're going to like us.
            Over the next few months, I practiced looking at that girl in the mirror. Many times Daniel's words would come back and loosen the stitches I was attempting to sew in my healing heart. However, I did not give up. Nothing scared me more than going back to that worthlessness I had felt with Carter. I wrote the same phrase in red pen on the palm of my right hand every day: This Is Making Me Beautiful. On awful days, I would trace over the ink multiple times until I thought I might as well have given myself a permanent tattoo. This Is Making Me Beautiful. This trial is making me beautiful. After a while, I believed it.
            My reflection and I became friends, eventually. Looking at her felt as if through a time warp; she was me when I yearned for Carter, she was me when I had Daniel, she was me in the present, and she was all of my potential. Inside of her, she held the pain of a girl who thought she could never be loved, the pride of a girl who thought she didn't need to change, and the hope of a girl who loved herself. This trial really had made me beautiful. I liked who I was; I aimed to become someone even better. Remaining stagnant and relying on someone else to hold me up no longer appealed to me. I was on my way to becoming mature. Independent. Understanding. Confident. Me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I don't know where I clicked with my boys.
Maybe it was somewhere in the middle of Latin class.
Maybe it was when I came home from New Zealand and they said I no longer looked like the school floor. (Best compliment ever?)
Maybe it was when they would throw paper balls at me in Computer Technology.

Or maybe it was way before that.

Maybe we clicked when I gave Coray that mini soccer ball for the gift exchange.
Maybe we clicked when Reese and I stood on the curb in front of Big H on October 26th in the seventh grade.
Maybe we just always knew we'd be friends.
Or maybe not.

But the point is, we clicked.

It hasn't been that easy here.
There hasn't been a click.

I meet people and I go to parties and I watch boys chug milk.
But none of them have clicked.

I went on a date. Really, I did. He was nice and he was funny and he was cute [and he had bright red hair].

But I don't want him to click.
Because 18-year-old boys turn 19 and then they leave.
And the redheads, you know, they are the ones you have to look out for.
...Even if you click.

Disclaimer: I'm happy, Mom! I'm having a really, really wonderful time. Do not worry. I like to write blog posts like this for the same reasons I like to watch Finding Neverland. I just like to. Life is good. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


So this weird thing has been happening.
I kneel down to pray at night, and in the middle of my prayer I just get this tiny thought in the back of my head that goes like this: "You're going to die, and that's fine."

I know that sounds SO creepy. But it's not. And it's not morbid or depressing or anything like that. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm going to die any time soon. But this thought comes to me pretty much every night.

I think it comes so that I actually appreciate my life. Since I've been thinking about dying, I've been thinking about actually living.

I enjoy the color of bright red boots. I marvel when I gaze at tree canopies. I pick up green acorns and carry them with me around campus. I listen to my favorite songs on repeat. I do really bold things. I say the things I want to say. I attempt to be more grateful. I step on every crunchy leaf I see.

There is this line in the play Our Town that goes like this: "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?"

That's what I'm trying to do.

I'm trying to realize life while I live it.

Every minute.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What's In A Name

My name is Kimberly.
It is not Kim.
It is not Kimmy.

I go by Kimberly.

The funny thing is--other people have my name, but they aren't Kimberly.
Some are Kim's and some are Kimmy's (bless them).

We share the same name and the same letters, but to me they mean different things.

'Kimmy' is young and flirty, but I will forever be reminded of Kimmy Gibler, the annoying friend in Full House. I have never been, nor ever will be, a Kimmy.

'Kim' is fine. Just fine. Okay, I think it sounds like a girl who was popular in 1988 or something. Kim is what I used to go by. Everyone called me Kim, and I hated it. It's what I went by but it wasn't me. Or maybe it's who I used to be. Kim is blunt, honest, sharp, and fast.

'Kimberly' is who I am on my way to becoming. Kimberly is graceful, elegant, and understanding. To me, Kimberly shows love. When someone calls me Kimberly, I know they care about me. Kimberly also holds Kim inside of her. I think I will always be at least a little bit confrontational, and I hope that I will always be honest.

I'm also Kimbie, KeeBee, Kimlan, Kimbersilly, and Kimurritto. Always, though, I'll be Kimberly.

When I was born, my parents had no problem naming me. They just knew. I was Kimberly Noelle from the start, and I'll be that girl until the end.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet? I don't think so, Shakespeare.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I Never Knew

Things I Didn't Know Before Right Now:
1. People don't magically get good at giving peer reviews in college. "It was good..."... and this is an honors writing class. I'd like some feedback, please.
2. It's a good thing to have a big family that inhales all junk food in the span of three minutes. When you have a whole box of doughnuts to yourself, you end up being like "PLEASE take a doughnut so I don't have to eat it!"
3. When you don't have an internet curfew, you find yourself looking at facebook at midnight and nothing has changed since the last time you checked.
4. Sundays are not, in fact, a day of rest. They are a day of endless meetings.
5. I got incredibly lucky with my roommates. We're all extremely close already.
6. When you become a freshman in college, you simultaneously become a junior high school student again. I feel like I'm in eighth grade. For this reason, I steer clear of freshman parties. I'd rather not regress to being 14, thanks.
7. Three concerts in one week. Your feet start experiencing spasms and cramps. But it's worth it.
8. Learning patience sneaks up on you. It's not really something you can actively control all the time, but then suddenly you're like "Hey! I'm being patient right now!" and it's awesome.

To be honest, this post was an excuse to say one thing: I never knew a 'please' and a 'promise' could hurt so badly. I feel like the Amazing Spiderman. I'm making a promise that I do not want to keep at all.

The last thing I didn't know before right now... being vague is hard to do when you're a very open-book-type person.

In Nostalgic Mood by tangyauhoongSo don't do it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here's To

18 candles stuck out of my peach cobbler. Exactly 18. Two of them were the numbers1 and 8, but they were arranged to show "81". Yep, I reached adulthood and became an old woman.

"Make a wish!"

For the first time in my entire life, I didn't know what to wish for. I wanted to yell "Wait! Sing the song again! I haven't had time to think of a wish!". But I didn't, and I hastily blew out the candles with a pulled-out-of-the-air wish.

Because here's the thing: My life isn't perfect, but I'm liking it too much to yearn for some big something.

I am happy. I am learning. I am growing.

So here's to my classes that I love.
Here's to my Fantastic Four, who will always be with me.
Here's to my roommates, who are already some of my closest friends.
Here's to the endless stack of food-presents I was given. I've gained like 5 pounds already.
Here's to new experiences, like wakeboarding and being a vegetarian (two months!).
To my calling, which is going to chasten me and help me grow.
To every attractive RM I speak to. I want to marry all of you, but I've got a few years in front of me before I do.

Here's to moving on. To leaving the corner of my heart that I've been inhabiting in for a long, long time.

A couple months ago my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I had already assigned my presents (Mulan, Beatles book, 10 dollars for a vinyl sticker, and a license plate cover that says "My Other Car Is The Millennium Falcon") and I told them I wanted a Hope Chest.

I wanted a place where I could document my past and hope for my future.

So thank you, everyone. For filling my  heart so much that I didn't even need to make an earnest wish this year.

My hope chest might as well be full to the brim.