Dear Diary

October 16, 2013

Everyone needs some time alone.


Last Saturday morning I was on a train, waiting for it to start moving towards New York, where there were several Rookie events I was planning to attend, and at some point I realized that I was calm. Calm? How could I be calm when I had spent most of the night before awake, running over directions and coaching myself on how to be as quiet and not-annoying and not-stupid as possible without being one of those people who just stand there fake-smiling through all social events? How could I be calm when I didn’t know where exactly Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is on a map, and yet that was where I was going?

I stared out the window at what looked like an unbroken tunnel of cloud and fog, feeling pleasantly in limbo, sitting in this vessel enveloped in a cloud, completely cut off from the rest of the world. I felt calm.

Which is maybe why I composed several texts to my brother but didn’t send them. I put my phone away and didn’t even look at it again until late that night, which is when I discovered that my brother had been genuinely worried that I had gotten lost in the city or that someone had stolen my phone and hurt me. This whole trip didn’t feel real, so I hadn’t felt a need to check in with anyone from my real life.

In New York I tried to hide by moving around a lot in small social settings, and, in larger gatherings, alternating between locking myself in the bathroom and stepping outside when I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of people around me. I talked to many people I had wanted to talk to, but I worried that all my hiding was making people think I was bored or that I hated them. Unfortunately the only way to maintain my calm was by keeping my distance.
It stormed on the way back.

Now that I’ve been back at school for a week, I feel stupid for the way I acted in New York and stupid for the way I’m acting here. I live in a small dorm with about 80 other people and am becoming known on my hall as “that person who kind of hangs around with that one girl” or as someone a lot of people apparently think hates them. I’ve been trying to find something to join, but I failed to make the literary magazine staff or to find anything else that might work for me.

This next thing is stupid, and it demonstrates a part of my personality that I don’t generally like others to know about—the part that becomes unreasonably emotionally attached to banal objects. But OK, so when I got home I cleaned out the backpack I’d taken to New York and was about to throw out the folded, crumpled piece of paper on which I had written my directions for the trip, then I changed my mind, I brought the paper to my lips, then put it on the windowsill. What a stupid gesture. But that paper felt like a guide to me, and an emblem of safety and ease. I tend to hoard stability and security, even when those things run counter to my best interests. I also hoard myself, which I know is the reason that, when my mother asks if I’ve ever made a connection with any human being outside our family, she expects me to say no. It is also the reason she will be right.

The worthless slip of paper sits on the windowsill getting bleached by the sun. I sit behind that same window becoming pale and estranged, detached from the rest of humanity. ♦


1 2 3 4 5


  • jessmargo October 16th, 2013 7:33 PM

    ugh, Britney your entry resonates with the thoughts I’ve been obsessing over lately, and you described it so eloquently. A little over a week ago a girl from my school died. She sat in front of me in a study hall only days before. Its so sad and uncomfortable knowing someone who is present and breathing and feeling and thinking one day is gone and spoken of in the past tense the next.

  • saraldn October 16th, 2013 7:58 PM

    Loved them all as usual, especially Ruby’s… your relationship sounds pretty magical.

  • Maki Unicorn October 16th, 2013 9:06 PM

    Ruby, you said that a video you made got deleted. Why did it happen?

  • DANNI October 16th, 2013 10:18 PM

    i’m sorry, britney :(

  • constance October 16th, 2013 11:06 PM

    Ruby Ruby Ruby, I’m so happy for you!!

  • elliecp October 17th, 2013 7:16 AM

    ahh ruby! sounds so amazing <3

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica October 17th, 2013 12:54 PM

    What beautiful diary entries there are this week! (◡‿◡✿)

  • silvermist October 17th, 2013 2:45 PM

    As someone who uses the train to commute to the closest city I get your feelings, Britney, for people dying on the tracks and for death in general.
    You have such a special way of writing things :)

  • hollyshould October 17th, 2013 4:35 PM

    Katherine, you are my spirit animal.

  • Tambourelle October 17th, 2013 5:12 PM

    Katherine I am feeling you right now! (err that sounded gross) Anyway, I know that exact feeling of hiding away from people because it’s just too much to deal with, I get really bad social anxiety. And the other day my friend told me that when I left the classroom this girl went up to the teacher and asked ‘does Hannah hate us?’ And I was like oh my goodness I had no idea that people thought I hated them! That was the way people were reading me! The only person who I am normal around is my Sister she’s the only person I talk to normally which I guess is okay to have like one main friend, but she lives in another city at the moment so I really need friends (like proper friends who I can be as free with) here too.

  • taste test October 17th, 2013 5:40 PM

    Katherine, once again, I’m pretty sure you’re me. I am really trying to be more social this year, and it’s a lot better than last year, but I’m still far from a part of any group and 95% of the time when I want to do something no one wants to do it with me.

  • Tiger October 17th, 2013 6:12 PM

    Yo britney. Your writing always seem to resonate with me, it’s beautiful. I feel the same way about everything. <3

  • cleobea October 17th, 2013 11:29 PM

    Wait you tied a couch up in a tree?!? That’s so awesome. I would love to sit up there, too

  • sezthecat October 18th, 2013 1:35 AM

    Magical and emotionally provoking; these, as usual, are beautiful.

  • doikoon October 19th, 2013 2:38 AM

    It’s so easy to read these. They’re like reality television that stars people I can think of as people.

    Katherine – I feel you.

    Ruby – your writing is like a watching a sofia coppola film

    Britney – you are awesome

    Naomi – I will remember what you said about the contorting pain and apparent pointlessness of college love. I hope I remember that thesis right.

    Caitlin – bravo

    (sorry for the noncommittal punctuation/caps, but not sorry enough to do anything about it)

  • womanalive October 19th, 2013 10:16 AM

    Ruby: You SEE them. “When people come to speak to me, whatever they say, I am struck by a kind of incandescence in them, the “I”…the loveliness is just in that presence, shaped around ‘I’ like a flame on a wick, emanating itself in grief and guilt and joy and whatever else. But quick, and avid, and resourceful.” –Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

    “Love is not blind. Love is the holy vision.” –Ann Voskamp

    “In a society of possible gods and goddesses,…there are no ordinary people….it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit.” –C.S. Lewis

    “…a radiance can emerge from faces and bodies, making them truly beautiful…from love and intimacy…sexuality…in vulnerability, or wit…someone telling a story, or listening intently to someone else.” Naomi Wolf

  • Kourtney October 19th, 2013 7:29 PM

    Katherine, I feel you in my bones.
    It’s hard for me to be around people because holding conversations with them remains difficult and occasionally tedious. I believe I’ve lost all my interpersonal skills (if I had any at all), by becoming more introverted the last few years. Lately, I’ve been torn between trying hard to talk to other girls at my new school and staying close to the few I’m comfortable with, or eating alone. I’ve felt detached from humanity for quite some time now. It’s like looking through glass when I see the other girls laughing and gossiping amongst themselves. Fortunately, I’ve met a few girls that were friendly and approachable (it’s funny because they approached me). Anyway, lovely entries <3

  • vintagebarbie October 20th, 2013 9:29 PM

    Ruby, to say the least, your entry was gorgeous. I have friends but I hope one day to have the mutual love you and Sev have for each other. You guys have an awesome relationship.

  • dragonfly October 21st, 2013 12:57 AM

    I love you all <3

  • rexoatie October 23rd, 2013 9:48 PM

    Ruby, you made me cry. It’s lovely to know you’re both happy with each other. P.S, I adore watching your youtube videos

  • calyssa November 10th, 2013 6:46 PM

    This is magnificently beautiful. Stay gold, Britney.