I know nothing.
Say it with me: "I know nothing."
Now you're ready.
I've always wanted to figure things out. I thought being the Nancy Drew of my fate would ensure that I was a firm step ahead: I dotted my 'I's, crossed my 'T's, filled sticky notes with lists and left my seven-year-old stamp collection to Marissa Goldstein, incase I died. I'm a planner. I'm a woman who prides herself on her neurosis and a girl who waits for you to call. I'm four steps ahead and three steps behind. And I'm thankful for the advent of the text message because it means that I can passive aggressively say all the things I couldn't say out loud. Or bite my tongue; rewrite, revise, refuse to send.
This is awareness.
The rest we learn as we go on. This is something I've only recently accepted. Because I like answers. Particularly ones that can be neatly wrapped with some truth and some twine. But this past year has been a real lesson about learning to let go. (For the record, this has nothing to do with Frozen). It began with uncomfortable walks into unconventional classrooms; tossing lesson plans to the wayside- to live in the moment.
It was furthered by the people that I've met. By the ones I opened my heart to. By the things that I've let hurt me and the roads I've walked- or walked away from.
This is called a loss of innocence.
This is called growing up.
And so, in less than a year, life threw me curves and I learned how to curve right along with it. We learned a tango all our own: We laughed between the confines of all the things we thought were perfect- because life knew, way before I, that it wasn't meant to be easy.
This is something they never tell you.
I keep having this recurring dream where I'm chasing a girl I used to know, in an effort to figure out how we drifted apart.
I keep begging her to fill in the blanks, to explain our demise in words that I can understand.
I keep hoping for closure; another part of my life that can be neatly wrapped and put at the bottom of my giant storage bin, next to my Ireland memories, ex-boyfriend boxes, and the moments I've made concise, with time.
I've spent so much of that precious time fitting old memories into new boxes that I had taught my bones to fold into neat corners. I'd grown comfortable in only what I knew.Turns out, life doesn't always fit in boxes, or casually at the bottom of a storage bin. And it doesn't have to.
I'm becoming a rebel with age. I'm still a neurotic list-maker and an extreme over-thinker, but I'm learning to use my voice. Respectfully. To let it out of it's cage on occasion and sing. I think I'm validating myself as a human, which is something I didn't know how to do until I left for New York and started painting my own world. That's the fun part about painting. (I've been painting canvasses and, every time I invite The Boy to join me he says "I'll just mess it up.") No, you can't mess up art. And, even if you could, you can always paint over a poor paint-job. That's life, I guess: A canvas. And that's a cliche.
But, if life is a canvas, that means life is unfairly expensive, rarely discounted, and textured. Maybe those are the bumps along the road. And maybe that's why it's hard to write our stories in a Nancy Drew-esque fashion. We've been using the wrong instrument all along.
So, pick up a paintbrush.
You can't mess it up. But you're missing out if you don't start painting.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.