Journal Excerpt: Bones and Muscles and Skin

Re-reading anything Maggie Stiefvater triggers dark, dark thoughts.

March 14th, 2015.

It’s like the whole thing has been forgotten, brushed under the rug, like it somehow did not actually happen, and I am feeling a plethora of emotions I can’t even name, but primarily—I’m angry. At myself, mostly, because it’s my own fault for continually failing to speak my mind clearly like a normal person. But also at everybody else, because they all seem intent on misunderstanding me completely, and this is what makes it so hard for me to say anything. Because four times out of five I’m met with incredulous gazes. Not actually saying, “You’re crazy,” but meaning it all the same. Their eyes are practically shouting it. If not that, then there’s the unmistakable dismissal of the adult to the impulsive youth, as if this were nothing but a rash decision born of said youth’s unpreparedness for the unforgiving reality of adulthood. But no. No. That’s not it. I am despairing—why can’t they understand? And why do I care so much that they understand? When I know I don’t need to justify the workings of my heart to anyone? But there it is. For all my Nenen-is-an-island-ness, it appears I still long for the idea of someone who can genuinely tell me, “Make me understand,” without raised eyebrows, without selfish preconceived notions, without ready replies that start with the word but. Because then, maybe, it would be easier to say the things I can’t say, the things I carry that are too heavy to roll off my tongue because they mean to me the most.

This wasn’t a sudden decision, I want to say. The only thing sudden about it was my employing the embarrassing bravery to finally start whispering it out of my heart, towards the ears of another human being. (And another. And another. Til it reaches those who matter.) This isn’t something light, either, although I try to take that tone—because how do you casually say in conversation the whole unblemished truth? When it’s not at all pretty? It feels like I am dying slowly inside day after day, I want to scream, like I have been for months, until now that I feel empty, only bones and muscles held together by skin, nothing more. My soul has dried up into a shadow of what it was. Of what it could be. And I am tired. And I am miserable. Tired I can deal with, actually, but misery? Every day? That kills. I can’t even stop to think about how sad I am because if I fall apart I don’t know if there is enough in these days I am currently living to inspire me to get my shit together. The truth is, I am still so young, and I could be so bright, but not here, not doing this. And what—for the rest of my life? No way. I can’t do this anymore. I mean, I can, because what are my bones and muscles and skin if not persevering? But how could you want to keep doing something that feels self-sacrificial? I have pored over every other possibility, actually, a million times and back again, between pillow sheets and tears, over the flipping of several calendar pages, and I honestly put quitting in the very bottom of that list. But despite everything, it is what it is: Quitting is the only thing that reads to me as freedom. And what follows quitting? Starting over, of course, on a path that most brings with it thoughts of hope, and energy, and happiness, and more. Nothing about it feels like giving up, and everything about it feels like piecing my soul back together and throwing both arms into the air and laughing out loud until there is no more breath left in me. And I want more than anything to finally allow myself to choose that. That’s why. That’s why.

But mind you—I can’t even go over all of that without crying, and you can’t exactly insert hysterical weeping in a normal day-to-day conversation, can you? The possibility of being dismissed as being overly-dramatic is there, as is being laughed at, and there isn’t anything like the hurt of having someone whose opinion matters to you tread on your deepest desires like they’re nothing, like it didn’t take every bit of you to gather the courage to say them aloud. Trust me. I know.

And then there is what follows: “If it was possible to do it on my own, I would. But as it is, I need your help…”I told myself I should prepare for the answer to be no, but look at me. It isn’t even a no yet, just the absence of a yes, and I’m already struggling with the weight of a million more feelings over the ones I already have, strongest of which is anger.

Because fuck it—why do I feel so much? Why can’t I be content? Why am I not a person built to just suck it up?

But then again, why am I made to feel like the worst person in the world for choosing what I want for my life?


I should probably just try and win the lottery or something. So I can fend for myself without needing to convince other people who so obviously don’t intend to be convinced. Bah.

In other news… it’s pi day. Whoop.


  1. Whatever you decide to do, Nen, the world is keeping its fingers crossed you never decide to shut out this part of you that will always fight neck and neck to be honest with yourself. I have absolute faith in you, in your personality and abilities as a whole, that you will give it your 101%. 🙂

  2. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I think this is a phase almost all young adults exprience… Like a maturational crisis we all go through. There’s always this voice telling me ‘what, you’re doing THIS for the rest of your life?’ and it’s so hard to silence. It’s disturbing. And I salute you for making the giant step to quiet the nagging voice. I couldn’t do it myself. Ughhhh. It must have been so hard to face THE LOOK. The one they give you like you’re out of your mind. Like you’ve just said you’re marrying a hippo.

    Anyway. I feel yah.

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