Do you dare…?

by | Dec 12, 2023 | Diary

Dear Diary,

It’s been a few (crazy) months since I last wrote you. A lot has happened. My four blank walls and (mostly) myself have decided not to wait any longer and to just pour it out. I came to you the most this year when my head was packed and I had “negative” emotions. I dislike when emotions like sadness and anger get a bad rep from people. It’s just emotions, and we all have them. We adults just like to pretend that we don’t. We just want to play along with this thing called life as if we know what we’re doing every step of the way. Anyway, I want to tell you about my “sprummer” today. That doesn’t sound right, does it? 

Summertime sadness

Well, the summer is slowly passing by. Technically, it ends on September 22nd this year, but summer never ends in Aruba. I miss fall and that feeling of starting fresh after almost two months at home. School is starting next week, and this is the first year I will work in a school. You know that’s always been a dream of mine ever since I played with Barbies. Speaking of Barbies, I did the Barbenheimer thing on the release date of the movies (it’s almost been a month now), and nothing could have psychologically prepared me for what I faced that day. My husband and I left Gloria with this unmeasurable tension in my throat and head. I felt like I was a balloon that was about to explode.

I did. But I waited until I got in the car and ensured that my brother and his friends had no sight of me. Then I burst. I didn’t understand what made me so sad. Was it because I thought it was fucked up when the scientists cheered when their experiment, held 78 summers ago, months before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was successful? The audience knew what would happen next. Their faith was sealed. We knew what was next. For a moment, I wished this was one of those movies where they slap “based on a true story” right after the title card to make the audience feel more connected to the story and characters. This movie didn’t do that; the title card was left until the end. I felt sick. It was wrong. I cried.

Paradoxically, I was able to understand and imagine the joy of the scientists after years of research and hard work. But the scene was haunting. It showed little but told so much. And still, a lot of information needed to be included. I have yet to dig a little deeper myself. At the movie theatre, there was this older man, who seemed to be his two sons, in front of us, so I tried hard not to let them hear me cry. 

So, Barbie isn’t a comedy?

Oppenheimer triggered me, but that day, Barbie might have broken me. After Oppenheimer, my husband and I quickly entered the room where they showed Barbie. My brother and his friends were already there. They were sitting two rows ahead of us. I said hello to them and said they would probably like Oppenheimer very much. They litterally did Barbenheimer. They watched Barbie first and Oppenheimer last. I hoped they wouldn’t notice that I cried three times during the movie. In my head, “Barbie” would be the comic relief that I very much needed. How foolish to think that something so colorful and sparkly would do that to me. Not even clothes have that effect on me anymore, Diary.

This year, I started noticing a pattern. Maybe those around me didn’t, but I know myself, and I’ve been wearing less colorful clothes. First-world problems, I know. But what if this is it? What if this means that I’m growing up? Am I conforming? And even though my husband thought I looked cute in those black crop tops that he loves so much or those jeans, my friends at work always compliment me. Or that short skirt I wore once or twice to work that raised some eyebrows. You know I would rather wear a blouse full of colorful cats and a green velvety skirt with bright yellow boots, right? Barbie taught us that we could be anything, right?

The movie felt like this long, warm embrace I didn’t know I needed. Deep down, people, especially girls my age, also needed it. I won’t talk long about it because you’ve probably read many articles already. You may have even watched the movie. I wouldn’t change anything about it. And I’m glad that Barbie apologized to Ken near the end. If that didn’t happen, the film wouldn’t be in balance. In this fight for equality, women and men need to be allies. So I was glad to see that in there. I would have told Ken something along those lines as well. And my husband loved that movie. He left me cry, and I mean sob, till goey boogers came out of my nose, all the road back home. Then we watched Masterchef because there is something relaxing about watching Chef Ramsey lose his temper. The next day, I got my period. Almost five days early. So that explains why I felt like someone stuck a dagger into my sensitive heart the day before.

So long, farewell

In the meantime, my baby brother went to the Netherlands to continue his studies. Diary, you know how important family is to me. I didn’t cry, well, at least not immediately. I waited until I dropped my mom home and put “Fix You” by Coldplay on my way home. Then, the tears streamed down my face. It wasn’t out of sadness, though. I’m happy that he is so determined to follow his dreams. When will we ever be five again? Physically, I mean. What will happen to their empty rooms? The clock ticks and doesn’t stop. If I accept this, does this mean that I’ve grown? You remember how scared I used to get of losing them. I still am. And when I get asked what my biggest fear is, what keeps me up at night, the answer is still the same. Why do I love so deeply? Why do I care so much? 

A new journey (finally)

Next week I will start my new job. I was excited, but I thought that the feeling would be different. I’ve been longing for this change for a long time. You know this mean voice that’s in my head sometimes? Well, sometimes it comes back. It’s not as pesky as it was back then, but it’s been trying to get to me. Telling me that I don’t deserve this, telling me that I’m making a mistake, wanting to make me afraid. The lady in Barbie would say that I’m feeling anxious, too. The professionals will say that it’s normal, that it’s just part of the change. The regular folks would say to grow a pair and that I mustn’t be scared. I have tons of unposted pictures and words unwritten of me saying goodbye. When nothing happened because I kept waiting for the “perfect” moment to do all that, the summer went by. The only closure I got was delivering my keys back to the office, but I also got a killer speech from my coworker at my going away party, which will suffice.

Diary, I’m not only happy about my new job. I’m also glad for the people that I have in my life. Last year, I started letting more people in. People started noticing that, too. I even got a few compliments this year for that. People thought of me as scary and unapproachable (their thoughts, not mine), but now I’m starting the conversations. I even held a short presentation in front of 150 people in the spring. Not bad for an introvert, huh?

Down, with the sickness

I wanted to hold my husband as much as possible for the last days of summer break. God knows when we will get this much free time again. Then I started coughing. I noticed this prickly sensation in my throat as well. And I never get fevers. So I wasn’t shocked when the home test that I did yesterday showed positive. I started quarantining, but I’m unsure if my husband is safe from the virus.

Ultra indulgence

So what have I done the last two days? I stayed in bed. Rest. Finished “Sweet Magnolia.” Which is a show that I usually watched when I had lunch at work or when I didn’t know what to watch. I kept it as my last resort. Which is not fair because it’s actually good, like my mom’s and Jason’s (my husband’s) bowl of chicken soup. Read TSAONGAF till I got tired. When Netflix didn’t have “Bridesmaids” (in my region, at least), and when the internet got terrible, I turned the room upside down in search of the old external hard drive my husband gave me that had most of my favorite movies in. I watched “Coming Back to America,” which is always a good thing to do because of how bizarre the film is (in a good way). These are weird picks, but most of the movies I’ve seen at least five times already. You can call that external hard drive my treasure box because it contains movies that will make me feel good.

Then, when the internet started to behave again, I watched one of my sister’s favorite shows: “Dash & Lily.” I watched it once, but she’s seen it multiple times. Did I click on it to feel closer to my sister because this is the first summer that we haven’t gone to the beach, eaten ice cream, laughed, or held hands? Maybe. I was also curious. The first time I saw “Dash & Lily” was when it came out. I had no idea that my sister would stream it so many times. Now, I know why. Because it’s fun, intriguing, colorful, cheerful, and well-written. Watching the whole thing in one sitting is easy because the episodes are short. You can watch it like a movie, Diary. You would love it. I’ve been in my comfort zone. And I’m writing to you to be productive and not to guilt-trip myself for being lazy. I may not even publish this, but I haven’t typed this fast in a while, and I’m smiling (if you were wondering). 

Diary, I’m not the type of girl who believes in destiny or that everything happens for a reason, but fate may have pushed me to click “Dash & Lily.” It might also just be a coincidence (that I do believe in). There were two words mentioned in both series that I watched this weekend: Be bold. Miss Frances (of Sweet Magnolias) wrote that in her Diary. Emphasizing the importance of having the strength to say and do things fundamentally important to us. Then, those exact words were mentioned again in “Dash & Lily.” Yes, “Be bold” does sound right. I might have even written that on my leg to remind me to put that in this story, but it wasn’t necessary. I remembered anyway. And I know you’re probably thinking, why am I getting all worked out for two words? But they are meaningful and powerful; I’ll need them next week. Oh, and overall, “Dash & Lily” is romantic, and it’s a Christmas story. I hope we get a conclusion because those two have been stuck at the library for quite a while now, but sometimes, that’s the only ending we get. It just needs to be good enough.

That’s it for now, Diary. Talk soon?

Oh, and my husband is also coughing right as we speak. So, the quarantining was all in vain. And I also binged on Beef. You thought I didn’t have it in me anymore, didn’t you? But I finished the whole thing in two sittings. I didn’t mention it in my story because Beef is the kind of masterpiece you don’t talk about but just stare at, bewonder, and contemplate. I could go on and on for the soundtrack alone, but you should see it for yourself. It’s a shame my husband didn’t give it a chance when I asked him months ago. I had it all to myself, and it was quite a ride.



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