Sitting at the red light listening to Goodbye Graceful, my car suddenly reverted to my ’96 Acura Legend. My trademark platinum hair wears a headband with a bow, just like it did a decade ago. I looked down and was surprised to see today’s skinny jeans instead of my ’06 skull and crossbone leggings (yes, they also had neon hearts and lightning bolts) with a denim skirt. Still wearing the flats and a skull-covered sweater. Not a lot has changed, I guess. But for a moment, as I sat there, I was 16 again. I could smell the aroma of my old car: cigarettes, weed, and a faint hint of Vick’s Vapo Rub underneath it all. I was tempted to toss my bangs back in the typical old emo flip and blast my screamo music, not caring who it annoys. Then reality kicked in.
I may be almost 30, but sometimes I’m still 16.
I’m working on a new sporadic segment that will be a series of letters that I never plan to send. Writing is therapy for me. Names will be either omitted or changed for the sake of legal issues that could potentially arise. These will be personal, they will be honest, and they will be heartfelt. My life is an open book.
I have never felt like I thank you enough. Sure, some of your decisions were less-than-great but we all have learning curves. You did exceptionally well for being such a young single mother. We all make mistakes and there is no manual on parenting that covers every single possibility, yet you still did better than most do.
Mom, you have always been an inspiration to me. Watching you struggle to make my childhood seem lavish and comfortable never appeared strenuous to me (except the one or maybe two times I saw you cry from stress). You always seemed to have everything planned and under control. We went on vacations, we went to festivals, we tried new restaurants, we always had family gatherings for every holiday (no matter how small). Now I know that you couldn’t afford half of it but you still made it work to make sure I had a wonderful childhood.
No words can express my shame in regards to how I acted in my teen years. No one deserves to have their kids talk to them like that (yet, sadly, most have it happen anyway). I can make any number of excuses to rationalize that awful behavior, but I won’t. I will simply say that I truly am sorry from the bottom of my heart.
Having you as a best friend now that I’m “all grown up” has been such a gift to me. Hearing your friends compare me to you is the greatest honor I have ever had bestowed upon me. Looking like you is a gift, but truly showing that I have inherited your personality and morality is a pride beyond measure. You’re my support through all of my hardships.
You’re my hero and I love you.
Writing Fever is the time when all you want to do is write, but the words don’t flow. You grow restless, fatigued, delirious. Your inner thoughts feel like they are cooking your brain. Your fingers tapdance across your keyboard but nothing meaningful comes out. Sweat drips off your brow as you struggle to express your ideas and you fail spectacularly.
Eventually the fever will either break or kill you.