Went | Brooklyn Birthdays Part I

Yesterday was my birthday. Every year, my birthday turns me into a kid again. The cards in the mail, the cake and ice cream, the giddy expectation of gathering everyone I love into one room for a meal. I grew up with four siblings, each spaced four years apart and then seven between me and my youngest sister. When we were young, my mom used to dress me and my sister Bea—the next oldest from me—like we were twins. Our birthdays are 17 days apart, so we always had joint birthday parties, wearing the same dress in different sizes, our bangs poofed to perfection.

Something about that experience year after year has conditioned me to gravitate towards friends with birthdays near to mine so we can celebrate together. Cyndi and I have managed to get together for our birthdays two years now (we're a year and ten days apart)—last year in Boston and this year in Brooklyn. We rented an airbnb, stayed out until 4 AM, and ate bagels and cereal milk ice cream until we almost burst. It was the first time that we've had Mike and Zander together (spoiler alert: they got along swimmingly, probably talking trash about us), and the first time I'd seen our friend Matt in years. We reverted to our high school selves, teasing Cyndi about her outbursts in public places and her baffling inability to navigate the world around her. In short, it was a perfect start to my birthday week.


Those who came before | Part I

I remember you as one of the first things I really really wanted and ended up getting, if only for a week. You were my first lesson in how moments in our lives can be so fleeting, how cherishing them is the best way to honor them, to honor ourselves, and letting them go is the second best way.

I fell in love with writing sophomore year of high school, the same year we watched the news of 9/11 on TV in our creative writing class. Our teacher said we'd always remember where we were on that day, and I felt comforted knowing you would always remember me. She encouraged us to write about it. I wrote about you.

There aren't many ways our story was different from any other high school friendship-turned-romance-turned-friendship, other than my memory of it. It was what excited me about growing up. It wasn't love, but it was my first taste of that willingness to do anything to just sit next to one other person, that guttural need to breathe the same air. I'm supposed to look back now, say it was just teenage hormones, but I won't dismiss you as such. You were my first glimpse of what would come, of feelings that lay just below my skin.

I saw you a few years back. I had moved to the city you went after you graduated, and we sat on your living room floor outside Harvard Square. I pass that building on my way to work in the mornings now, on my way home in the afternoons. Back then I felt as though I were miles outside the city, but now I know how close we were to everything that backdrops my daily life. We were giddy with reunion, but I remember realizing how nothing would ever be the same. We were four years beyond the people we were when we'd last seen each other, trying to remember what that friendship felt like. We didn't see each other much after that, you moved on to a bigger city, but I still think of you some mornings, groggy with sleep, and I remember those cold mornings driving to school in my 1986 Mitsubishi pickup. I used to wake up a full half hour early, drive in the opposite direction of the school so I could pick you up and sit next to you for that much longer.

Those who came before was inspired by Brittany erin's beautiful series, My 7 Broken Hearts


On new beginnings.

On our drive back from New York tonight, I was telling Mike about how fall always makes me excited. I don't know whether it's because it's my birthday month and something wakes up inside me, or if it's residual giddiness from my love for school, but something about the ending of August fills me with anticipation that explodes in September. My house fills with empty notebooks and new pens, and as I get older I start to accumulate other things, like freshly picked apples, jars of preserves from roadside stands, jugs of cider.

I've been quiet here because this summer has been a time of reflection for me. My friend Crysty and I call it staying in our rooms, where we take time to ourselves to work things out and articulate our own feelings on a situation before seeking and welcoming advice. That's where I've been these past few months, working out what I want from this blogging thing, where I want to go with writing and all of my side interests.

I'm taking my cue from the throngs of students in Harvard Square each morning on my way to work and recommitting to the Skillshare classes I've signed up for in graphic design and Illustrator. I downloaded Illustrator on my new computer on Friday, and I have 30 days to prove to myself I'm serious. After that, we'll see. For now, today marks the beginning of my favorite season and my own, homemade sort of graduate school. I hope your new beginnings are as exciting as mine feel right now.


September Saturday.

We are just back from Western Mass, where we went for 24 hours to visit friends in Connecticut, eat too much at the Big E, and make some money off our junk at Mike's parents' friend's annual yard sale. We came home to the last of the tomatoes promising to be done this week with fresh beer in tow. I am so grateful that the weekend is hardly halfway through; Mike's going to a pick up Tchoukball game (don't ask me what that is), so the day is stretching out before me with possibilities. I'm thinking macadamia waffles, brunch with Meg, a walk to Whole Foods for my favorite chocolate milk, then sewing up my very first Scout tee. I finished the muslin on Thursday night semi-successfully and it's been blue balls all weekend waiting to get back and make the real deal.

Something about September every year feels like coming home, and this year is no different.