Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Girl Made of Ink

little prince
truth



I like to think that ink pulses through me. I like to think that when I walk by people they catch the scent of old, yellowed pages. I like to think that old film strips flicker behind my eyelids.

Put simply, I read to live. I read because I feel this void without books. I don't just read the "best" books. I read classics and I read teenage romance and I read science fiction and I read self-help.

If my eyes ever look dead, pass me the nearest book and watch me drink it up. I just need a little bit of literary sunlight and then I'll be filled again.

My condition isn't rare, really. There are plenty of bibliophiles in the world. We're the ones who weep at the beauty of a symbol. We're the ones who get lost for hours in a world that isn't our own. We're the ones who were grounded from books because we hid with out flashlights under our sheets because we couldn't bear to go to sleep and miss one minute that we could have spent reading.

We're not the fan girls. Fan girls come and go, fan girls obsess about one series or one character or one genre. That's not us. We'll read almost anything: romance or not, difficult words or not, happy ending or not.

Our cousins are the cinephiles. I have my cinephile tendencies. I relish movies like Citizen Kane and Shawshank Redemption, but also The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride. The cinefiles criticize and analyze their beloved movies. They rip them apart, looking at angles, script, lighting, and fifty other elements. They don't see simply the big picture, they see them smallest pieces and connect the dots.

I have the eyes and brain of a cinephile and the mind and heart of a bibliophile.

In the words of C.S. Lewis, "we read to know we are not alone." I read to discover myself. I read to empathize. I read for that sense of catharsis. I read to escape. I read to find beauty. I read to dream. I read to experience the mere act of reading.

I'm a girl who bleeds ink. Please tell me if you do, too.





Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Letter to You on December 11th, 2012

Dear,

December 11th, 2011 was the worst day of my life. I have written in my journal every single day since I was 14, but I didn't write in my journal December 10-11th 2011. I didn't even think about writing in my journal. I just sat on my ground, laid on my bed, rested on my mom's shoulder, and cried. I felt like there was this hole inside of me, right where my heart-- no, my stomach, no, my entire torso-- should be. I felt like my ribs had been open and everything they were protecting was ripped out of me. I felt gutted.

Let me put this in perspective for you: I didn't cry at graduation, my sister's wedding, or any missionary farewells (except one: yours). But oh, how I cried December 11, 2011.

I've changed a lot in the past year. I committed to being so much better than I was before. I decided to start saying "I love you" to my family. I don't  want to take them for granted. I've tried to not sweat the smalls stuff. I try to do more service. I'm someone that I like to be.

Can I tell you something? December 11, 2011 was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only what you did, but how you did it. You tore me apart. Then you ignored me for 3.5 months. You left and you took my life with you.

So I started building a new life. This time, on firmer ground.

I'm happy. A while ago I tried to wallow about something. I couldn't do it. Honestly: I had my ice cream, my TSwift, my baseball tshirt. But I couldn't do it! I liked life too much! Yes, I have my bad days. But they don't revolve around you. You don't hold me down anymore. I think you'd like that. 

See, I love you. One year later, I still do. But it does not envelope me, confine me, depress me, upset me, obsess me. I've said it before: I love you with the good kind of love. You made me a better person, even in your leaving. And maybe one day I won't love you anymore. I'll be happy when that happens, because that means my heart will have found its way back to me. That day isn't today, but I'm not going to wait for then to be happy.

There are two things I always want to say to you: 1)I'm sorry. My apologies weigh down my tongue and I try to make sure they all sail over the sea to you so you'll understand that there are only two things I regret in life and I've tried to make up for both of them the best I can. I hope one day they'll be enough. 2) Thank you. For everything. For Sunshine and Minnie and quality and cheesesteaks (that I can't eat anymore, I'm a vegetarian!) and kisses and Star Wars and LOTR and Captain America and the email I got from you on Monday. Thank you.

Oh, and, 3) I love you. But you already knew that, didn't you?

This year has been a great year. Today is December 11th, 2012, and I am happy.

Love,
Kimberly Noelle




Friday, December 7, 2012

Pegs

I'm a square peg.
Square, because I'm a goody-two-shoes.
Square, because I'm on time for virtually everything.
Square, because I kick boys out of my apartment promptly at 11 on weekdays. No exceptions.
Square, because I don't say certain totally-normal words. Like boob and fart. I feel dirty even writing them. I know they are not offensive... but I don't think they're polite, either. 

An imperfect square peg. Kind of more like a trapezoid. Or a parallelogram.
Because I'm a concertgoer-bookaddict-BBCfangirl-exballerina-llamanecklacewearer-slightlyDemocratic-treehugger-mostlyvegetarian  peg. 


But I know one thing- I am no circle. I shoot strait. I have corners. 
Too often, I try to fit in circle holes.

I squeeze myself in and I shave off my corners and my sides feel raw and I'm uncomfortable.
You know how toddlers just hit the peg against the mismatched hole again and again and again?
I feel like my head is being jammed down again and again and again.
Maybe this time it'll fit. No? Maybe this time!

And I find myself thinking "Maybe all the holes in the world are circle or triangle or star. Maybe I'll have to keep grinding bits of me to dust until I fit."

Then, I'm reminded: there are pegs like me hidden in corners. Maybe I got sorted into the wrong toy box. But somewhere, they're there.

I went to a concert. We drank fake martinis and we stared at our collective-attractiveness and we sat on bean bags and the boys had beards and we all wore sweaters but we didn't try to be edgy or ironic because we're BYU students on BYU campus and that's virtually impossible for us to do.

We didn't all match. Most of them were trying too hard, and I liked the ones that weren't trying at all. That didn't take themselves too seriously. They didn't all fit me, but they certainly weren't circles.

And then I heard these lyrics:

So where do I fit in the stories you read to me?
I need some dreams to fill up my sleep...

So I run my fingers over this ink 
as I run these pages across my wrists over the sink.
Fictitious characters don't bleed like this
and I don't know why my bloods spilling out
like so much prose
as the black white page of my tile grows
more re(a)d than the books of my childhood. 

My heart said "oh!"

And I realized the world was full of pegs like me. I've just been looking in the wrong places.