It’s that time of the year again! High school seniors all over the country are in the midst of getting their long-awaited college acceptances and those dreaded denials, getting excited about their future and freaking out about tuitions. The only difference is that, this year, I am one of them.
I remember when I was a sophomore and I watched my roommate, a senior at the time, go through all that stress and she said something along the lines of “believe me, all this will sneak up on you sooner than you’d think.” I thought to myself: that’s what they always say, I’ll have time. Two years are a long time. But, hell, I was wrong!
Now it’s that time of the year and now I am the one pathetically refreshing my email and checking my mail box, hoping to be admitted into at least a safe school. I’ve gotten into two schools so far, but neither of them are my top choice. I don’t even have a top choice anymore, to be honest. I have no idea what country I even want to be in, let alone what school I want to spend my next four years at!
No matter what choice, I’ll be fine (probably). Nevertheless, wish me luck!
but, we both know deep down that we will most likely never be fully okay.
i ask myself all the time… what could i have done better?
how could i have helped you, made you see what i saw in you?
you sat on the edge for a while, staring over the ledge at the busy freeway. i stood starring at you from below, sobbing.
in your mind, there was nothing to live for, nothing worth living for.
live for me, i thought. live for me. please live for me.
it’s selfish, but i needed you, in all honesty, i still do.
i loved you then, i love you now.
you didn’t jump because you knew that if you did, it wouldn’t kill you. you’d survive the fall and, when you woke up, you’d be sent to a place far worse than the center we were at.
i lived with you for two months in a residential treatment center for eating disorders until we were both discharged.
we suffered together, we cried together, but we laughed together too.
we’d talk in spanish complaining about the staff, we’d talk about boys, we’d talk about all the things we’d do once we got out of center for discovery (the treatment center we were at), and all things we would do together.
at the center, all sharp objects, from knives to pen caps, are locked in a cabinet which only the staff has a key too.
i remember that one night in our room. i heard a noise coming from your side of the room.
the staff who watches us at night had fallen asleep and someone had forgotten to lock away a pen cap.
you lay in bed, a broken pen cap in your hand, and blood on your wrists.
i ran to you and tried to take away the cap. you pushed me away, i lunged at you again and took it.
i grabbed your arms and forced them around me. you sobbed, begging for the cap. i could almost hear you internally begging to me, “end this please, end me please.”
you kept on saying please in between sobs. over and over again: “please.”
“shhh,” i whispered crying. “shhh”.
you were seventeen at the time, i was thirteen.
i was a ninety-pound, anorexic, thirteen-year-old girl living in a metal hospital.
you were a bulimic, suicidal, seventeen-year-old girl living in a mental hospital.
i held you for what felt like hours, i hugged you until you stopped crying.
i don’t see you much anymore, we talk sometimes though.
you were sent back to the center twice because you relapsed.
you seem better now though, you seem happy now, but i worry a lot.
you’re nineteen. if you go back to your old ways, you’re parents can’t legally force you back to the center, you’re an adult.
if you wanted to, you can find a bigger ledge, one that could end it all.
i can’t protect you anymore, i’m not there to grab the pen cap.
you are happy now, but we both know how fast things can change.
i hope you stay happy forever. please stay happy forever.
if you are ever sad, please tell me.
thirteen years old in a treatment center, fifteen years old in my room writing this, twenty years old wherever i’ll be then, no matter what age or what place, i will always be here to hold you.
I always go to the movies purely for entertainment. I’ve never gone to a movie where I’ve left inspired about my future.
But after watching On the Basis of Sex on Saturday, I couldn’t wait to be a lawyer.
The movie was based off the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was the top of her class at both Harvard’s and Columbia’s law schools, but she wasn’t allowed to practice law in New York City solely on the basis that she was a woman during this time.
The story followed her through her first case following a male who wanted a care giver tax deduction, but the law stated that only women or widowed men could be care givers.
This case was the spark that started a series of changes in laws contributing to giving women their rights, many cases won by RBG herself.
Ginsberg went from a lawyer fighting sex-based discrimination against people who wouldn’t listen to being a Supreme Court justice with a 96-3 vote from Congress.
If that’s not inspirational for a young female and aspiring lawyer, then I don’t know what is.
Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I would make up cases and make my family act as the other lawyers and defendants. I went to a mock trial program at UCLA over the summer and most of my daydreams lately have been about excelling in law school.
I’m pretty sure I’m more excited for law school than I am for college.
Watching that movie made me excited for my future, excited to live in NYC, and excited practice law and work on influential cases.
So, thank you RBG. I hope to follow in your footsteps on the path you’ve helped create.
On the center of the granite countertop of the mini bar in my grandparents’ house, a home I spent the majority of my childhood in, sits a single polaroid. In that polaroid is a picture of me as a little girl, food all over my face with my dog right in front of me.
That is the only photo I have from my childhood and I can barely remember the story behind the photo. Now, it makes me wonder how many memories I’m missing out on because I can’t remember. This is also because I have no photos to revamp my memory.
I have no photos of myself with long hair, with my parents, or pictures of my dogs. All I have are my memories; the ones blurred between the lines of trauma and bliss that was my childhood, the ones I desperately want to forget and remember all at once.
It’s terrifying that I have such a clear memory of the smallest details nowadays, but I can’t even remember the details of my parents’ faces. The little things in life that were defining aspects of my day to day life as a kid are blurred images in my mind today.
All I would have are these photos, but I don’t even have those.
Now, I have an abundance of videos and photos piling up in my Snapchat memories and phones new and old holding numbers of concert videos that I barely look at anymore. Videos that I refuse to give up, in case I want to look back on them and smile. I have photo albums filled with developed photos, polaroids from prom and random nights with friends, lining the shelves of the desk in my dorm room.
Some people say you need to live in the moment, to put your phone away and let your mind keep the images. But, I can’t. I don’t take photos and shaky videos to post them on my social media; I take them so I can hold on to the memories forever in the literal palm of my hand.
I have no photos from my childhood. Not a single one. Not in a photo album, on my phone, but I wish I did. As much as I try to forget everything from my life before I was ten, I wish the memories weren’t becoming just memories. I wish I could hold on to a photograph and relive the moment all over again.
But, that’s why I take photos all the time through the lens of three different cameras. So in thirty years, I can look back with a clear image and not just rely on the one in my head.