Dear Diary

June 20, 2012

Moving on.

Naomi

This past week I had my last therapy session. Therapy, in one form or another, has been a constant in my life for almost three years now. I am not scared though. I think I have learned as much as I can learn about myself at this point. It used to be refreshing to talk to someone outside my family and circle of friends, but eventually I just grew bored of talking about myself. In the beginning I needed someone to help me carry the load. Now, on my good days at least, I feel strong enough to carry it myself. Maybe this means I am stronger than I have been for a long time.

I am unsure about my near future—the idea of going back to school to complete my education gives me feelings of trepidation, of course—but I’ve learned to be a lot more in tune with myself, and I often know how to make myself feel better when I’m low. I’ve figured a lot out on my own.

The other day I went on one of my marathon walks and sort of compared my life over the past year to walking a long distance. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes looking down, sometimes looking ahead, and sometimes—perhaps not often enough—glancing around to admire the scenery. Occasionally I looked back on a long sweep of a road to see how far I’d come. I’d think, I did that, and then look at the next curved path and think, I can do that, too.

Cheesy metaphors aside (LIFE IS A JOURNEY; DON’T FORGET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS, SON), it is difficult to fathom how far I have actually come in the past year. While I was walking my iPod was on shuffle and a Sufjan Stevens song from his album The Age of Adz came on, and I remembered how crucial that album was to my getting better. Last August it was the only thing I could listen to that made me feel anything. That month, my walks were hard. I had to struggle to lift my iron legs and usually could make it only as far as the nearest park. But I made myself walk that far, at least. Those tiny walks, accompanied by that music, somehow made me realise that I could live again. I feel a little wistful that that music doesn’t have the same power over me now. It meant so much to me just nine months ago; now it’s just like an echo.

Last year it took superhuman strength just for me to leave the house. When I forced myself outside, I could sometimes make it only as far as a bench 15 metres from our door before I had to give up and come back. Now, I feel light enough to walk for miles.

These days, I can make it all the way to the belly of the city—the last frontier for my limitations and anxiety. The city centre used to seem big and scary to me, full of people much bigger than me. Now I walk there and realise that I have grown, while the city has stayed pretty much the same. I fill its spaces a bit more, and they no longer feel like they are going to swallow me.

I used to wish I had no limitations. Now I realize that most of our limitations are only in our heads. I know I can be strong. ♦

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28 Comments

  • purrr June 20th, 2012 7:12 PM

    ruby your speech was lovely and i can most definitely agree with you that middle school is a nightmare – to me, highschool was much better in terms of figuring myself out and even though i didn’t make many friends and had self esteem issues, it still has affected me in a good way and i am sad to leave it as well. anyway, get ready for a rrrreasonably exciting time in your life :)

    http://angiemoonslawn.tumblr.com/

  • la fee clochette June 20th, 2012 7:21 PM

    I loved reading each one of these.

    And, Ruby, you are a wise and sweet girl. I am about to turn 24, but I can still learn a lot from you- great speech.

  • jill June 20th, 2012 7:24 PM

    ruby, you are so eloquent!

  • mariaantoniavs June 20th, 2012 7:25 PM

    Ruby, I love your speech and what you wrote. I also “graduated” middle school last week. I can relate to so much of what you say. I hope you really do enjoy your new town and school. I’m not going to have big changes for next year, but I also consider high school a new start.

  • Tyknos93 June 20th, 2012 7:25 PM

    Ruby you are ADORABLE and your speech was great! Good luck in high school. I can’t remember what I said at my 8th grade promotion…probably something about food…

    http://blazoningpens.blogspot.com/

    • Tyknos93 June 20th, 2012 7:38 PM

      And Katherine your entry is almost exactly what I went through last weekend. I’m sure my family members all think I’m stuck up because I don’t say much around them…I JUST HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO SAY. I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of it after 18 years. I also kinda don’t mind it anymore…

      http://blazoningpens.blogspot.com/

  • MissKnowItAll June 20th, 2012 7:28 PM

    Ruby!
    I love you! You spoke so amazingly and I’m proud o you. Middle School is pretty dumb, but you’re closer to high school now! congrats love!

  • jennbx June 20th, 2012 7:47 PM

    Go Ruby! Good luck at your new high school, girl :)

  • decemberbaby June 20th, 2012 7:55 PM

    Thanks for telling us about the lunar eclipse, Dylan — I’ve been going through a huge “shake-up” in the past two weeks in a friendship that I really care about. I’m relieved to find out that it’s in the solar system, and not all my fault! Btw, I love Minna’s collage for this week.

  • Kathryn June 20th, 2012 7:55 PM

    Ruby, I WANT TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND. I was super impressed by your speech! And also, I love your dark hair and cat eye glasses. <3 <3 <3

  • Tiger June 20th, 2012 7:57 PM

    I feel for ya ruby!! I have the same situation at my icky middle school (which I still have one year left of). For some reason people seem to think it’s some kind of SIN to dress creatively and uniquely! But best of luck to you at your new school next year…you are totally awesome:)

  • Tiger June 20th, 2012 8:17 PM

    OOh and Naomi! I loved your article too. Be strong! Go get ‘em!

    And, like, I know right? About the Age Of Adz? It’s all anyone needs, really. This might sound really creepy but…which song was it? Futile devices and Too much are my favorites but I love them all:) and congrats again

  • GlitterKitty June 20th, 2012 8:32 PM

    Ruby, your speech was lovely. I loved all the bits about the ocean. I wish there was a good speech at my grade 8 graduation. Sadly, I just got rambling from the school principal and overly Catholic themed messages from the valedictorian (Catholic school, it happens).

    And Katherine, thank you for putting my feelings into words.

  • Dylan June 20th, 2012 9:12 PM

    I want to be near you guys all the time. Ruby, your speech was a gem, I’m really stoked for you.

  • June 20th, 2012 9:29 PM

    RUBY!!!!
    You never cease to amaze me . Your speech was incredible and very heartfelt. Im in middle school now and I can understand why you hate it so much and even though I still have one more year to go I’m glad its over for you ;)

  • ladyjenna June 20th, 2012 9:55 PM

    Lovely speech, Ruby!

    Loneliness sucks, but Rilke says that you discover yourself in solitude. yay, more quotes.

    P.S. Where did you get your glasses?

  • Catherine_CC June 20th, 2012 10:17 PM

    Katherine, I really connected with what you said—though I am slightly different in social situations. I’m either the life of the party and can strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone, or exactly like you said, “my personality just goes away” and I’m kind of numb and an empty shell void of anything resembling a social being.

    I also sleep a lot. I’d rather be asleep in a world of my own than be wake in a world out of my control with so many things to worry about.

    Thanks for writing about your week!

    -Catherine
    http://atinybitquiet.tumblr.com/

  • MinaM8 June 20th, 2012 10:33 PM

    Katherine, I totally get what you mean! I feel like that every once in a while.

    Ruby, that was an amazing speech!

  • Amy Rose June 20th, 2012 11:36 PM

    Hell yes, Ruby. Serious congratulations to you.

  • Ginny June 21st, 2012 12:13 AM

    Ruby, your speech was awesome. (Also, you are my glasses hero.)

  • Looby June 21st, 2012 4:45 AM

    “Sometimes I find that my personality just goes away”

    Amazing – totally get this.

  • lilkitten June 21st, 2012 9:23 AM

    The age of adz has gotten me through so much

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini June 21st, 2012 3:26 PM

    Ruby, your speech was beautiful. I also graduated (this middle school/high school hybrid called 8th-10th grade) today, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

  • Lucille June 21st, 2012 5:43 PM

    RUBY, CONGRATS ON YOUR GRADUATION THING AND SPEECH!YOU ARE SO SMART!

    xo

    http://fashion-babel.blogspot.com

  • norienoire June 21st, 2012 6:34 PM

    Oh Naomi,The Age of the Adz is a total coping mechanism for me, too. I think that because the whole concept of the album comes from a place of recovery after a long period of absolute fear and uncertainty, it gives me hope that I can go on without being paralyzed by my problems. If Sufjan could, there’s no reason that you or me or anyone else can’t heal as well. It’s intense, but I owe a lot to that album and I’m so glad that it exists. Period.

  • Janelle June 21st, 2012 7:51 PM

    Everyone wrote such relatable relevant “entries” this week. I loved it. Ruby, your graduation speech was ace. I gave a speech at my eigth grade graduation, way back when, and I didn’t have the guts to make such an honest and inspiring statement. I love how couragous you are, and always so true to yourself! Never stop being amazing, okay?

  • lubs June 21st, 2012 10:00 PM

    oh Katherine, I totally feel that personality thing sometimes. The worst thing is when you meet an awesome person when you’re with your personality and when you meet them again you’re so bland and numb. Those people must find me such a weirdo.

  • Sorcha M June 23rd, 2012 3:10 PM

    Naomi, your piece is so accurate about my life right now. I’m working off the last droplets of agoraphobia and finishing therapy and I swear your entries have been in PERFECT PARALLEL WITH MY LIFE. Well done <3