Dear Diary

June 25, 2014

Another new diarist joins our coven!

Lilly

The bus tires crunch across gravel and then come to a halt. I open my eyes and unfold my legs, slowly returning to the world after hours of floating between sleep and awareness. I don’t recognize our surroundings.

“Where are we?” I ask my mom.

“Pit stop in Lahinch,” she says. Lahinch, Ireland.

We file off the bus and onto the boardwalk, squinting as the sun flames out from behind the clouds. The beach is a flat expanse of sand, bordered by concrete walls that block the rising tide. Brave surfers in dark wetsuits float in the water. As we watch, one of them paddles frantically to catch a swell, then hops to his feet as the wave begins to crest. It’s only a few seconds before he loses his balance. The sea flips him from his board with much less effort than it took him to catch the wave.

My parents wander off to find a coffee shop. My cousins sit on the concrete wall and kick their heels, taking pictures and peering at their phones. I stay exactly where I am, entranced by the surfers and relishing the sting of the salty air on my sunburned neck and shoulders. I take no photos. No camera (in my hands, at least) could capture how perfect this moment is.

By the time we leave, I am a little bit in love with Lahinch, Ireland. In love with Ireland in general. I have stood inside prehistoric Newgrange and felt how heavy my blood becomes when I am surrounded by something so old. I have walked to the top of the Cliffs of Moher and hugged the rocks at the edge of their thousand-foot drop. I have traced the writing on ogham stones in ancient churches and read the story behind the Claddagh ring in dozens of shops.

I had never left the U.S. before this trip, and now Ireland feels like a second home. I’ll come back, I tell myself, stealing one last glance at the cliffs and the sea and the surfers still flying across the water. I promise.

I get on the bus. ♦

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18 Comments

  • mangointhesky June 25th, 2014 7:36 PM

    I LOVE all of these- every week, i somehow feel like the dear diary entries might as well have been my life story (lol :))!

    http://electricsea.blogspot.com

  • Guadalupe June 25th, 2014 8:18 PM

    I never comment on any Rookie entries (though I read the mag everyday). Marah’s entry this time was so heartfelt I couldn’t just go on without saying a word. Congrats for such a beautiful piece of writing, it really touched my heart :’) Love,
    Guadi.

  • clairedh June 25th, 2014 8:36 PM

    Britney I was literally feeling the EXACT SAME this morning. Can I suggest that you read honorary-Rookie (OK I’m putting that title there myself ’cause shes so great) Joan Didion’s essay On Self Respect (http://profacero.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/joan-didion-on-self-respect/) Good luck girl, you got this <3

  • Amy Rose June 25th, 2014 8:54 PM

    HEY, ANANDA! I could read you wax heroic about Lois Lane 4ever, but I’m very stoked that I get to read your thoughts on all kinds of topics to come.

  • Paola June 25th, 2014 9:30 PM

    What’s up Ananda, (I get so pumped for new diarists?) you seem so great (Lois Lane is the bomb)!!

    Also Marah: a killer last sentence that is still echoing through my brain; I think you are so strong.

  • Britney June 25th, 2014 11:58 PM

    Marah, I usually don’t comment but I had to say something. Your diary really affected me. I cried when I saw the sentence about your first love being killed, and I can only imagine what you went through. I’m so sorry. Your writing is beautiful and this entry was a testament to that.

  • book_kitty June 25th, 2014 11:58 PM

    Ananda: ooh new diarist!! yay!!!

    Lilly: I’m away right now too (not very far from home, albeit) but it still feels wonderful and romantic and dreamy and a very good start to summer. :) I hope Ireland is the same for you.

    Marah: Your writing is so beautiful! I loved this piece especially. Maybe its just that I’m in a fancy hotel and I can hear a saxophone playing, but your story gives me the aesthetic of a World War I love story – a young couple hopelessly in love and the soldier going off to war. My brain just does this automatic romanticization of the war that you live in – and then I remember that this is real and current – this is your every day reality. And it makes me realize what privelige I have and I am grateful.

    (I think the romanticized aesthetic I am describing is summed up in this iconic photograph: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Kissing_the_War_Goodbye.jpg)

    Britney: I love you and even though my feelings right now are very different – I relate. You are strong and beautiful – remember that. ;)

  • strawberryhair June 26th, 2014 4:41 AM

    Lilly, I live about half an hour away from Lahinch <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed your time in Ireland :) x

  • mangachic June 26th, 2014 7:27 AM

    Marah-there are no words to express what you’ve been through. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope that there’s an end to the war soon, somehow..
    I have to say it seems a bit disrespectful to her to idealize his death…I’m not Marah, of course, but I don’t think she ever felt that him getting killed was aesthetic or romantic in any way.

  • normabates June 26th, 2014 8:25 AM

    Marah this entry was beautiful and heart wrenching, your writing is a pleasure to read every week

  • honorarygilmoregal June 26th, 2014 8:43 AM

    Hey Ananda! Lois Lane is great.

    Marah, that diary entry was beautiful and heartbreaking.

    http://perkstobeinginfinite.tumblr.com

  • ray sims June 26th, 2014 9:06 AM

    ANANDA I JUST FINISHED GCSES TOO HOLLA i think every 16 yr old in england is just eating cake and sleeping now but it’s gr8

  • itssabine June 26th, 2014 11:23 AM

    Once more, all of these are amazing!
    Britney, I can relate SO SO SO much! You’ve put several things I have been experiencing lately into words perfectly.

    Ananda, HI! You already seem super cool :)

    http://cursive-type.blogspot.com

  • itsireepie June 26th, 2014 11:27 AM

    Lilly, I’ve never left the USA and I dream of going to Ireland! It’s beyond beautiful there and I wish I could have the experience of a better-than-a-picture moment.

    Marah, your writing is so beautiful! I wish I had the courage to really write how I feel as well as you do. I don’t read the diary posts very often so I’m glad that I did today. You and and the other writers make want to write so much more! I have a paid writing internship that I start on Monday, so perhaps that’s my first step.

  • Erin-Isabella June 27th, 2014 6:40 AM

    Marah, your writing was inexpressibly beautiful. I am so heartbroken for you and your story, as well as always being interested in what you have to write. I can’t actually put in to words how you made me feel to read that, but you have a true gift for writing. xx

  • Yazmine June 28th, 2014 4:35 AM

    LILLY: I am from Ireland and my aunty lived in Lahinch and I too fell in love with it! The sea is always wild and I just want to become a painter in a little thatched roof cottage there!

  • Elsary June 28th, 2014 4:37 PM

    MARAH: I’m so sorry. I didn’t cry, because I don’t cry so often, but I felt pain in my heart, for you and for that boy who’s life ended too soon. Your writing is so beautiful and touching. All the best things for you.
    BRITNEY: I have felt the same sometimes, and still do. It’s so stressing and nerve-cracking, and the part about wanting to feel aggressive: I identify so much! Everyone else seems to show their anger and frustration, and I find pics of those girls in tumblr and we heart it, and I feel myself so weak, not doing the same things.
    LILLY: Your diary was somehow really bright and energetic. I could almost feel how it was, standing in there.
    ANANDA: I’m currently lying on my grandparents’ bed, listening to Rookie’s Be Your Own Hero playlist. I loved how you put it there, because I wanted to visualize it. Great to have a new diarist again! Welcome!
    CAITLIN: I miss winter too, though here it hasn’t been so hot now. But burning yourself is like one of the worst things ever.

  • VagabondZombie June 29th, 2014 12:42 PM

    Britney, I often wonder if I am the one at fault for the situation I’m in. I try to be happy too but I can’t sometimes and seeing other people have a good time sort of lets me down a bit because it makes me wonder why sad things happen to us.

    Marah, my heart breaks every time I read your diary entries but this entry in particular made me even wish that we could all do something to help. My heart goes to you and I hope that one day things do get better. I’m really sorry you went through such thing. :(

    Lilly!! I wish I get to go to Ireland too. Your diary makes me crave of an adventure that will yet happen sooner in my life. PLEASE TAKE ME WITH YOU!

    Ananda can we please fangirl over comic books one day?

    vagabondzombie.blogspot.com