my lighthearted summer wardrobe of shorts and breezy tanks has officially been replaced by large, comfy sweaters with long sleeves that wrap down over my always-and-never-not-icy-cold-hands.
already sporting the brown leather boots and missoni for target leggings (seriousy--wanna know more about the altered-and-italian-designer-line for one of the worlds largest retailers that crashed their website and caused havoc in target stores around the world? read here). oh and already indulging in one-too-many chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. mmmgh. so-num-num.
the air is becoming crisper with every day that passes. which are seriously flying by. i can't believe it's been another year.
i've got some crosby, stills & nash, james taylor, and bill withers playing in the background.
and yesterday i saw a line of trees with red, orange and vibrantly yellow leaves.
oh, and i guess i should say hello as well. being that i recently returned from a small trip to the world of panem. district thirteen. and the capitol. (eh-hem. yes, i literally just spent the last three days reading the hunger games trilogy. it was like heroin or something. once i started i was absolutely obsessed.)
i honestly feel like i just returned back to earth. and even then, i often find my thoughts wandering to president snow, peeta, gale, and the district rebellion.
but then i remind myself. that is not real life dear kristen. get back to reality.
you see, i am kind of a nerd.
while growing up, reading was my favorite thing to do. i excelled at it. and whipped through just about any series that i could check-out quickly enough from the school library.
my elementary school worries would get lost in the mysteries and adventures of nancy drew. the ease and simplicity of little house on the prairie. the blunt, growing-up-as-a-girl details of the alice books. the beauty of the secret garden.
my high school days kicked off not with the homecoming football game (with the exception of making fun of the cheerleaders and pretending to be school spirited with my student council sweater on) but with the dark and sacred truth behind the scarlet letter. the tall grass and meaningless details of my antonia'. the life changing principles behind the chosen. and the enjoyable and frightening reality behind the days of olive kitteridge.
and now. i escape my obsessively-independent-and-difficult-mindset in the political struggles of a post-apocalyptic world, beginning with a story of a girl sent into an arena with the one and only purpose to kill. filled with emotional struggles and the fight to keep others alive. understanding ones own darkness and own good. ending with a bleak, life-shattering victory. left--with a defeated evil--with conquered love--and also a wounded soul that may never fully heal.
tell me about it.
i'm an obsessive creature, i am.
once you get me liking something. there is no turning back. i will take it and run. and run. and run some more. it is good. and bad.
there is a point when this characteristic begins to frighten me.
case and point: running.
for me--running became the greatest mental game of my life. and once i realized how much of a mind game it was, i became obsessed. full-on-nicotine-addict-obsessed.
not a cute obsessed.
we're talking like out running in the early winter mornings while sick with strep throat kind of obsessed.
yes, that's me. the-stupid-obsessed-girl. let it be known.
then again, maybe it is also passion.
the fact that i cling to certain things and not others.
why is that even?
like how out of my entire childhood of dandelion-field-kinda-memories, i cling to the memories of running around the salty ocean side with chicken pox. coming home from school and watching full house. playing 'no bears are out tonight' with grandpa hiding in the closet ready to jump out and scare us. and riding in the back of a mini van, cuddled up with my siblings in our pajamas, slowly drifting off to the serenity of christmas lights intertwined with icicles...and frosty windows reflecting off dim light from the street lamps, and an acoustic version of silent night softly playing over the car stereo.
why do we do that? latch on to certain memories? hold them much-too-close to our hearts and then block out others?
like how i seem to have effectively erased from my memory the first year i moved to utah. a year when i felt very alone and lost in this little world.
a year when i cried myself to sleep. and prayed for friends to find me.
and how that one line. the one line out of so many that were said. after talking for hours, until three in the morning. that one string of eight words that seemed so insignificant at the time. those are the words that randomly come to my mind when swiping my credit card at the gas station or standing under steaming hot water at 6 a.m.
sometimes i swear life seems to make less and less sense as you go along.
you'd think it would be the opposite way around.
but instead, i stand here listening. listening to the words that this stranger is hesitantly releasing for me to absorb, analyze and file away. realizing how different our experiences are.
i don't know this person.
and they don't know me.
and yet, my stomach churns at the thought of someone causing them pain. of this moment passing and our lives continuing on. of what the future means for each and every one of us.
then there is that little girl that always comes to mind.
the one with the blonde hair and big blue eyes. the one that reminds me. reminds me of the world i live in. the world i'm scared to let her venture off into.
i don't want her heart to be broken. i do not want others to tell her things that are not true. things that will eat away at her. and possibly cause her to doubt.
in fact, at this moment. if i had one wish. i would wish to hold this small angel forever and make sure no one hurts her in anyway.
as of now, she is perfect. unharmed. untainted.
one day. that will change.
she'll grow up to be beautiful. she'll have men that give her things and tell her things and make her wonder. they'll flirt and use their abilities to persuade. people will tell her she's great. just stay the way you are, they'll say. some may be genuine. same may not. and then--in her lowest moments--she'll hear whispering from behind the door. telling her to be prettier. to be skinnier. to be more than she is.
to be perfect.
no, i won't be able to stop the world from getting to her. i'll have to face that. i guess. i guess, we just have to hope that she'll be strong enough to face it herself.
the stupid-obsessed-girl with the nancy drew novel. who will just have to figure it out for herself.
and perhaps, she'll end up writing.
writing to express her feelings. even in the most scattered, unruly of ways. honesty will ease and haunt her at the same time.
she'll tap at her black keys. with a cup of hot cocoa to her side. dreaming of all the beautiful things that are out in the world. skipping over the dark and cynical things she doesn't want to know of. or deal with.
fall nights will come. she'll find herself running through corn-mazes with frightening masks appearing behind her. laughter will fill her life as pictures are taken and words that mean very little are spoken.
it's september again.
and fall is one of her favorite times of the year.
her coat will be buttoned and layers of decorative scarves and necklaces draped around her neck. she'll lace up her boots and take a quick glance back at the mirror.
then--at that momnet--she'll be taken back.
to a september years before.
a day past when she sat in front of a glowing fire. a fire that was made by her indian friend. made from practically thin air and dead grass.
the smoke follows her. they joke of her beauty and long blonde hair.
innocently laughing at things she can no longer remember.
and then, from across the flames. in the darkness of a early autumn night. her cherokee friend with the leather ropes tied around his wrist, leans over to whisper in her ear. she shivers as his long black hair brushes over her bare hand.
the girl remembers the warmth of his breath against her ear as he sighs, leans in just a bit closer...close enough for her to hear over the crackling flames.
'you darling, are a lost pearl in a lonely sea.'
their eyes met and then the world went on.
the fire continued to pop. and the other conversations never even stopped.
she didn't know what he meant then. wasn't sure whether to be appreciative or offended. but for years, she never let the memory escape her. she held onto it for no reason at all. she latched onto the words like they were some key to a future puzzle. some sort of riddle that would one day provide an answer.
and now. as she looked at her reflection. twenty-three. lost. fragile. unique. one-of-a-kind. and often confused.
the words of the cherokee boy. yes, they suddenly had meaning.
so, when the evening comes.
she'll sit down at her computer. the stupid-obsessed girl and she'll type.
because it's how she proves to herself that she understands.
it is how she makes sense of things.
and she'll begin.
"it's september. again."