Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Last night I fell asleep listening to my very favorite music.  All of the memories that are entangled in each note of each song brought tears to my eyes.  But it was something more ... after so many songs I shouldn't still be shedding tears.  Even this morning my eyes feel glassy, as if at any moment I'll burst into tears & have to hide my shame.  Oh the conundrum that poses.

The question that's bothering me.  The one that's settled down deep in the pit of my stomach, the bottom of my heart.  The one that makes me unable to sleep, unable to eat, unable to breathe.  This question is, what am I?

Not who.  I know who I am.  I understand all of the intricacies of my personality.  My social anxiety, my high expectations, my wanderlust.  I have an unabashed sense of self.

I am Cal.  I like beagles, so I got one.  I can't stand wearing pants, so I have a vast array of dresses, tights, & leggings.  I am a feminist.  I believe in Truth above all other things. (In the Henry David Thoreau sense of the word, it's real meaning, nothing religious going on here.)  I enjoy the complexities of space & the vastness of our universe - the possibility that ours is but one.  (There's a theory about the origin of the Big Bang being such as a popcorn popper, with universes being the popcorn.)  I enjoy riding bikes, running in my neighborhood, living in a town where I can walk anywhere.  I somewhat idolize mass transit, & romanticize over the prospect of taking a train to work.  I draw, mostly with an illustrative style similar to Kurt Halsey.  I have the potential to do great things with my version of art.  I am an environmentalist.  I am a member of the Sierra Club & I subscribe to National Geographic & FOAM magazine.  I enjoy indie music (Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Moldy Peaches, Elliot Smith, Au Revoir Simone), indie films (Garden State, Dedication, Take This Waltz, Safety Not Guaranteed, Lars and the Real Girl, The Future, Juno, anything Wes Anderson), indie books (No One Belongs Here More Than You, It's Kind of a Funny Story, How We Are Hungry, The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep & Never Had To, McSweeney's), & independent coffee shops (Augie's).

I enjoy words.  I love expression in many senses of the word, & I love to see it brought to live by brilliant minds.  Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Wes Anderson, Tina Fey - authors, writers, story tellers.

Even more than this, I love bringing words together to perform a great dance, a choreographed mix of thoughts that would create a shockingly awe inspiring masterpiece.  They wouldn't evoke tears, but maybe a slight sense of inclusiveness, of knowing, of finality.  Or quite possibly unknowing, questioning regard to the human condition, a sense of complete wonder.  I really enjoy telling stories, writing, reading, & writing again. Coming up with random ideas that may be a part of some larger novel, or of separate short stories, complete thoughts in themselves.

So what am I?

I suppose I could be called a "fucking hipster" based on the amount of "indie" crap I like.

There are many labels that can be applied to who I am.  But what, what am I? is the question.

I am a writer, a story teller.

Maybe one day I'll be an author.

So ... what's with the tears?  The ones I spoke of.  The ones that dried on my cheeks as I drifted into sleep.  I have a theory.

I think that naming something gives it power.  This may be due to the fact that I've read A Wrinkle In Time way too many times.  

What happened was this:  by silently naming myself as a writer, a story teller, I gave that incarnation power.  With that power gained, I took away from another label.  This label, as an environmentalist, lost some of its power.  This doesn't mean that who I am isn't still an environmentalist, among many other things.  What this means is that what I am, is a writer, & that takes precedence over every other aspect of who I am.  So despite the fact that who I am is an artist, an environmentalist, a feminist, a dog owner, a camper, whathaveyou, I am a writer.  

Just as my mom is a teacher, & my dad is an engineer.  

I am a writer.

Giving up the idea of becoming an environmentalist in career form, I think, is what caused the tears.  They were slow, & met the rhythm of the songs that were playing.  But I believe that they were a release.  Not that I was giving up, but letting go.  But also embracing the thing that I've done longer than anything else.  Based on habits, on life long tendencies, on school projects, on recreation, on rehabilitation - I am a writer.

As much as I rambled in this post, there was a complete thought.  If you got through it, I applaud you.  & I thank you.


  1. Looooved this. It kept me hooked from start to finish. Consider your "first day" as A Writer a success!

  2. I loved this. You are a gifted writer my friend, and you're freaking adorable in that photo.

  3. maybe one day you will be an author!! :) you are a beautiful writer, and such a beautiful girl.
    have a great day!

    much love.