turning on the lights.

so, in retrospect, how would you say your year has been?
i wouldn't know.
and why's that?
i don't know. i've never been one to make end-of-the-year reviews and stuff like that. i mean i've tried, but it just never ends up working.
have you tried writing it down as you go?
i mean yeah, you have proof of that. but even so i don't find myself capable of summing things up. a lot of things have happened.
okay. so let's talk about the things that stand out to you.
sunday afternoon walks with her. crying at my graduation. buying a lot of semi-useless things that i enjoy. the train rides. the nap i had tuesday afternoon in the RTF building. when that boy stopped me and told me i looked really good. feeling really good. opening up my skin. and selfies, i guess.
are you sorry about any of those things?
i'm sorry for hurting myself. i'm sorry for seeing it as a way to deal with the onset of self-determined failure.
and how are you now?
i'm okay.
i'm okay.

sorry things have been so mellow and low and melancholy and quiet and dark around here lately. i promise to turn on the lights soon. this was written for my end-of-the-year review post that i never finished and thus never posted. but after reading it again, i think it ended nicely where it was. a lot of things happened last year that i don't remember, a lot happened that i do. and i can't summarize this year so far very well but i can tell you this: i said goodbye to someone i've known all my life last sunday. i cried a lot. we all did. it was hard and i'm going to miss her, but i know she'll be back and stronger than ever. i have to send her a letter soon. the next day, i slept over my friend's house who i've also known all my life. we stayed up past one and played rockband drum solos and pitch perfect and miss congeniality and the only drum solo i'm really good at is the final countdown. i would've made it to expert level but she didn't want to hear the song again so i'll have to play it when i go over there again. the next day, she and i and her siblings and our friends went to the rodeo. her sister bought me a wristband and i feel bad because she spent a lot of money on me but we had a lot of fun regardless. i rode quite a few rides. i screamed a lot. i laughed a lot. i ate a lot. but you know what? it was the first time in a really long time that i felt completely present. sometimes when i'm at church or at school or even at home, i don't feel like i'm completely there. i feel like some of me is missing, as though i'm halfway in a dream. but this time, i was all there. and it was so wonderful. i haven't felt this much nostalgia since i went to see la dispute with helayna last year (incidentally, that was a year ago today). the rest of this week felt weird. but i feel okay now. and i'm ready to go back to school. i guess there isn't really much of a point in me saying all this, i just wanted to. a lot of things are happening at the moment with school and life and friendships and stuff. but it's all okay. i have God on my side. 

-kiss kiss kiss, light jacket-
{pea ess: GUESS who's in a new tv show?! guess. it's peter pevensie. and i'm excited.}


let them spill their guts, cause one day they're going to slip on them (and God, sometimes i hope you do).

real talk.

i was taught that forgiveness was a big deal. and it is. it was engrafted into everything i was trained to be. if someone did something that i didn't like and it hurt me, we were supposed to come together and forgive. the following is a really bad example, but bear with me. imagine one of my friends says they don't like my drawing because i'm colouring outside the lines, and my feelings are hurt. and our moms say "hey that's not nice, you should apologize" and they do, and then my mom says "okay, they apologized to you, do you forgive them?" and my arms are folded and i'm scowling as much as my face allows, but i still roll my eyes and say "yes" and then hug them and then the whole thing is forgotten. how and why is that effective? sure, our first instinct after hurting someone is to reconcile. but are we doing that for them or are we doing it for us? and the real question is, when they've hurt us, what's really going on inside of our heads? do we really want to forgive them? are we ready to do it at that very moment in time?

i was taught that because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, everything we'd done or would ever do would be forgiven. but if you harbored unforgiveness in your heart and didn't forgive as God forgave you, you wouldn't be forgiven. so the way i saw (see) it was that if i didn't forgive on the spot i would go to hell. so for the longest time, when someone's asked me if i forgave them, i'd just say yes and leave because i didn't want to deal with the potential consequences of anything else.

or, what if you're told to apologize to someone, but you don't want to, because you're not sorry and they've hurt you and you don't want to forgive them? what then?

the point is, i have issues with forgiving people. if you hurt me bad enough i will ruin your reputation and i will not be sorry. sometimes people make me so angry i have to isolate myself so i won't be tempted to physical retaliate against them. because as you get older, forgiving is hard. especially when you can think for yourself and evaluate the situation in greater detail. i can't even tell you how many times i've gone to God and been like "listen, i'm having a hard time forgiving this person right now, and i can't do it by myself, so i'll need your help." at this point, i feel like nothing has changed. there are people who have done things to me repeatedly which makes forgiveness that much harder. so at this point, i'm terrified that if i don't simply find the balls to let it go, i'll go under.

i know my mom thinks (and is right) that i let people have too much power over me. and to be completely honest, i do. but here i am, too far in to turn back. and still unready to let it go.

obviously we need God a lot more than we let on.

-kiss kiss kiss, we got our riot gear on-
{pea ess: 2/3 of the title is via paramore's interlude "moving on."}
{pea pea ess: don't take that personally.}


but i stay quiet.


disclaimer: i'm not here to complain, even though i kind of am. it's just that this is how i feel right now. and i'm working on that. but i'm not here to apologize for it. let me speak for the things i have experienced.

my sister took these on Christmas day. it was mid-afternoon, i think, after we opened presents, and this dress was one. pinupgirlclothing (or pinup girl clothing if you like spaces or PUG if you like acronyms), the film noir dress in green velvet. or something like that. i'm not too good with titles. i don't remember if i ever properly told you, but i dress vintage now. that is, i'm a self-proclaimed housewife. give me pincurls or give me pizza. anything from the 1890s to the 1960s is my interest. and i'll take it retro (but preferably original), with a side of heels and S-waves to boot. and the best part is, i've started earning a little bit of cash for myself now, so i can buy where i want and on my own time. i mostly buy online, though, so things are extra convenient. 

i'm not here to tell you about my journey into buying vintage clothes or whatever, but let's go from the part where i own a few 80s pieces, some 90s, some 70s, but i don't have anything from the eras i really want. like the 40s and the 50s. and the earlier 60s. part of the reason is because i buy mostly from instagram where the prices tend to be a bit more affordable (etsy, i suppose, is the cream of the crop where things are a bit more steep), and part of the reason is because, well, not much fits me. 

my measurements are 40-32-40. depending on who you're buying from, that's a large or extra-large. and anything above a large is considered a rarity. and these sizes didn't start really becoming normal until recently, which makes me wonder what women my size and bigger did back then. did you make your own clothes? did you have to go to speciality stores? did you wear last decade's hand-me-downs? did you cry and hate the parts of your body that wouldn't give in to fabric?

i bought my first 1960s dress maybe a month and a half ago. it's a yellow shift dress with black polka dots and HUGE pockets. it fits like a charm, no chest-squeezing or straining to get buttons buttoned. it's in perfect condition, the quality is impeccable. i decided then that i would do my best to be prime vintage (1940s-60s) to get that kind of quality. and since then, it really hasn't been easy. i've bought some things that were supposed to fit but aren't quite there. i have a lot of things that don't completely zip up in back and i have one dress that's torn because of it. and that's when i realized that everything i wanted was catered to sizes labeled "smaller than me," and i was just a novelty.

and that's hard. loving yourself really isn't a seeing yourself in the mirror once, believing you're beautiful and running through meadows for the rest of your life kind of thing. there have been plenty of times where i think i look like trash (apparently that's an aesthetic now??) and felt horrible because of it. just because you love yourself doesn't mean you have sunshine and lollipops from here on out. there are some thunderstorms, too. and tornadoes. and tsunamis and volcanoes and stuff. sometimes when i see something i want and it's three sizes too small, i want to grab everyone who can fit those clothes (and not even buy them) and shake them and say "YOU DON'T DESERVE THIS!! THIS SHOULDN'T BELONG TO YOU!!" because that's how i feel. even if there were diets in the 50s that caused you to gain weight to look like such-and-such movie star, things are pretty similar now as they were then. and that's crazy hurtful, because these clothes aren't going to last forever. and what you want won't fit you.

but i stay quiet, and i keep scrolling. because that is what i'm good at. and that is what i do.

-kiss kiss kiss, my man godfrey-


this is not fact, it's fiction.


"Let's play a game."
"Walter, it's cold. It's fricking cold."
"It's not that bad. C'mon, it'll warm you up."
"Setting yourself on fire isn't my idea of a game."
"It's not that." He pulls a pack of Marlboros out of his right jacket pocket. 
"We're going to get high?"
"Nah. It's a deck of cards." He opens the top flap and reveals them to me. I don't have a response. 
"So here's the deal" -- he sniffles and grabs his nose for a moment -- "you call a card. Any card. Twos, threes, fours; jacks, Kings; aces, e.t.c... And pull it from the stack. And if you get the one you picked, I'm in love with you."
"Does it matter which suit?"
"Do you say it out loud?"
"See, that's stupid. Because if we both know, it takes away the element of surprise. Or secret knowledge."
"Nah, it's fun!"
"Have you played it before?"
"Just made it up," he tilts his head skyward and through the faint light I see the shadow of the bags under his eyes. 
"Cmon, let's go." He says, shuffling the cards on the sawdust ground and filleting them out to me for picking.
I sigh, rolling my eyes. I doubt he can see that. I doubt he can see a lot of things. 
"Seven," I say, reaching for the middle of the stack. I retrieve a six. 
"Ahhhhhhh," his laugh is hoarse from all that screaming. It sounds even better than before. "Cmon, go again."
I draw a second time, pulling out a six.
"Ssss," he hisses. "Tough. You were so close."
"Just go," I retort, taking a swig of my beer. 
"You sound dumb when you say that."
"Shut up. Two." He draws. Jack. He draws again. Joker. 
"This is no fun," I groan. "I bet everyone else is far away by now." 
"It's your turn."
"Ten." I draw a jack. I draw again from the same spot and get a ten. 
"Looks like you're on a roll."
Two more rounds and we haven't guessed right once. He stops drawing twice just to see if I fail in the same way, and I do. I almost forget the point of this game, then--
"Dayum, girl," he laughs, his face coming out of the dark. "This must be some kind of miracle or something. You always draw one away from the number you called. Sometimes even from the same place in the deck."
"What are you trying to prove?"
"I'm not proving anything. It's your hand. I'm just saying you were sooo close. And you missed it."
"Okay," I let out a shallow breath, retreating further into the dark so he can't see my lip beginning to quiver. 
"I don't want to play anymore."
"Why, because you lost?"
"You lost too!" I say bitterly. 
"Alright, alright," he retreats. "One last go for me. Five."
"That's my favourite number."
"Then this is your lucky day."
He draws. The moon comes into view. We both look at the card, we look up. Our souls catch fire. 

i want to tell you something. i played this game by myself while my church family was playing just dance after the ball dropped (what a stupid tradition, if you ask me. it wreaks of innuendo, but it's still kinda funny). i got the exact outcomes the girl (i've named her jourdan) did in this story. and to be perfectly honest, it's not a good game to play. in fact, i think it's very damaging. i wrote this on a whim in the car on the way home after the party. i was listening to paramore and la dispute and everything was pitch black except my phone screen. and i've decided it's to be for the girl who commented here so long ago, about the boy. and i know it's not as optimistic as my other poetry but what i want you to know is, i've spent a long time, on and off, doting over the idea of having someone who liked me. and like you said, though you know Jesus is all you need, it's hard not believing you need a boy too. and it's not easy to unthink that problematic behaviour that's been passed on from friends and older relatives. but i want you to take care of yourself. i want you to know that i have been on this earth eighteen years and though i've begun to receive nice compliments and some notice, i'm still very much on my own. and now, in a world where women are saying you are strong and independent and don't need anyone, it's easy to feel bad for wanting someone. so whoever you are, whatever your situation, don't feel bad about it. but who you are isn't a direct function of who likes you. does that make sense? you can't force yourself to unlike someone or unwant them. but you have to take care of yourself. you have to. so i love you, i hope you're doing well, you're special and i'm so sorry to get this to you so late, but i hope you see it.

happy new year, darlings.
-kiss kiss kiss, heavens to betsy-
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