Happy Sunday, y’all! I am back “SLOme” and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t know what it is about this apartment, this town, this school, but I can’t get enough of it. I am in love with San Luis Obispo, and being here is everything. But that’s not news, is it?
Here’s the thing, I call Burbank “home” just because that is where I lived eighteen years of my life. You know, it was an alright eighteen years. Of course, it is the place where I went through the darkest times of my life. The days when I felt so low that I dreaded waking up in the morning, even on weekends when I didn’t have to go to school or see people. It wasn’t always my social life that caused such sadness, but it was also my family. Family is supposed to be everything: supportive, loving, encouraging. Honestly, I do not feel that when I am in Burbank. I do not like being “home.”
When I came home at the beginning of winter break, I cried. It was awful. All I wanted was to go back to Cal Poly, where I feel love unconditionally. In Burbank, I feel like I am nothing, like I have no purpose. My “home” is a prison. I am suffocated and trapped in the one place that is supposed to make me feel safe. That isn’t supposed to happen. That isn’t right.
When I went home for winter break, I was nothing but a burden to my family, and I did not like being around them. I was just annoyed at every little thing, for reasons I am still rather unsure of. You know when you find someone extremely irritating and every word out of their mouth makes you want to punch something? That is what it felt like almost every time my mother opened her mouth. I am not supposed to think about about the woman who raised me. I am not supposed to feel this way about my family.
They just do not understand me. But then again, I guess I do not understand them either. I have never felt like a part of the family. Maybe it is because I look different from all of my siblings (although, my brother is taking up some of the Lefevre side looks).
There is one photograph of us kids, taken when I was probably eight or nine. Chelsea was sitting on a chair with Mitchell and Haley flanking her. Me? I was placed on the floor underneath the chair. You better believe I threw a mini tantrum. Why was I on the floor, away from the rest of my siblings. And that was the day I truly realized I was different. It didn’t matter what anyone said to try to make me feel better. You could cut out the bottom quarter of that photograph and not even know that another Lefevre kid even existed. I hate looking at that picture, but there it is, in my living room, for me to see every time I walk by.
And here I am, in my room, crying about this.
I wish I could show my family love because it’s not always bad. We all have some really nice times together. But that doesn’t change the fact that I do not belong, and I never have. I am not sporty, like all of my siblings are. I like to sing and dance and write. I love to get lost in my own world, but they only want me in reality. I can’t live like that.
I am still holding onto the belief that the reason I am still here today, the reason that I never killed myself, is because I allowed myself to get lost in the world of books and reading and writing. Those breaks from reality–and all the crap that I was feeling–made it seem like there was more to this life.
That’s why I love writing so much. I want people to read my books and get lost in the world I have created, to get attached to the characters, to inspire them and help them believe that made up worlds can change your life. I love that I can disappear from real life for a while and immerse myself in a story. I wish there was a better way to put it into words, but even the best can’t quite describe the feeling. And that is where we get the word “indescribable.” I could try and tell you what it feels like to fall in love with characters and places and plots, but it wouldn’t compare to actually knowing what it feels like.
Just a few days ago, I came across a page in the notebook where I am writing my book. I used to write little rants and makeshift journal entries on loose-leaf paper and in notebooks. This was one of those. From March 3rd, 2013:
I’m so hurt. I’m almost crying. It hurts to hold back the tears. They don’t even know. Maybe I brought this on myself. No, not maybe. I did. I don’t regret it, but…I just can’t believe they won’t consider my feelings at all. I joke about it, but I really have lost my friends. Why is my life on repeat? I wish I was as strong as I think I am. They won’t even look at me, let alone talk to me. I feel so alone. And if this is my life, is it even worth it?
There’s more life that, but they are longer and from April of 2012, when I was going through a very bad rough patch with Stephanie. I regret the things I said about the situation back then, but it was all I knew. I didn’t know how to be happy, and therefore didn’t know how to be happy for her. The last line of the second one is, “I’m too broken to be fixed. My heart is too shattered to piece back together.”
I look back and I realize how much I didn’t want to live, how little reason I had for living. I look at my life now, and I see all that I have to live for. But I can’t see it when I am in Burbank. It is a nice town and all with great opportunities and whatnot, but I cannot live there in the future. When I graduate, I either need to go to graduate school in New York, just move to New York, or live with my aunt and uncle in San Diego (well, Cardiff by the Sea, which is a gorgeous little town that I would love to live in). But New York is just so far away–I mean, that’s why I wanted to got to school there in the first place. And I want to study abroad in England. And visit Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. I want to do all these things and write about them and blog about them.
All I have ever wanted is to live and be happy. That is something I never thought I would get. I am learning how to achieve those goals here at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. It is just far enough away from Burbank. It’s kind of a different world, to be honest. That’s why I like it, I think. It is a different pace, and I needed that. And so now that I am out of Burbank and back to the “happiest city in America” (thanks, Oprah!), I’ve got a couple of things to say.
Thank you for putting up with me that last four years. I was not always the best friend–or even a good friend. I am sorry for that. I am working really hard on it. I guess, when you look at how far we have come, I have been making some good progress. You have helped me through some pretty terrible times in my life, even if you didn’t always know it.
I only hope that I can be more like you in the way you take control of things and can handle confrontation very well. You really are an amazing person and I love every bit of you.
You are my best friend, and I do not think I can put into words what you mean to me. So even though your letter is the shortest, just know that you mean more than the world to me. There aren’t enough words for it, so I am not going to pretend like there are.
My roomie. You are the first person I have really talked to about depression and eating disorders, and that is a really big leap for me. Even though we have only known each other for a short time, you really are one of my best friends. You are pulling me out of my shell little by little every day. And I guess, you could say my dark hole rather than a shell. We bond over Tumblr and Vine things which is awesome because I never have anyone to show funny things to.
You get the whole “I kind of hated high school” thing, and we have both grown so much in our time so far at Cal Poly. I am so proud of everything you have accomplished, like [insert thing that is personal and does not need to be said on my blog], passing chemistry and biology, and not always sleeping through your alarm.
You are beautiful and sweet and I love you lots. Thank you for being a wonderful roomie.
How could I forget you? Worry not, I would never. Even though we do not agree on many things, that does not affect how fantastic you are. Thank you for scolding me and my late night eating habits. I act like I do not, but I so appreciate it.
You are very firm in your beliefs, and (even though we do not see eye-to-eye on some of them, you know what I am talking about) I highly admire that about you. You stick to what you believe in and you put so much effort into making sure everything is perfect. It really is, too. The brunch we had, party game-planning, roomie dinners…it has all fallen into place flawlessly because of you.
You are an awesome human being and I am very jealous of how well-traveled you are. Note to self: be as adventurous as Alice.
My summers were made because of you. We used to see each other all the time–a few weeks apart was like a lifetime. Then there would be months when I would not see your beautiful face. Thankfully, this summer, you have made constant appearances. I have had most of my greatest laughs with you, so many, I won’t even mention them because no one else would understand (except maybe Gracie, but I will get to that). We have been through so many high and lows together, I cannot even count.
Of course, we got on each others nerves all the time–no one who spends as much time together as we did does otherwise–but it never lasted. All it took was a little time (minutes even) and it was back to normal.
Thank you for accepting me for the weird person I am, and thank you for being my built-in best friend. I would be lost without you.
Oh, you can read everything I love about you right here. But that’s not the point. the point is that even though we have known each other since we were five years old, I have never felt closer to you than now. This past summer with you and Edie made me realize how lucky I am to have you in my life.
You love me when I do not love myself, and that is everything. We help each other out of meltdowns and stress and you let me raid your closet (even though you are much taller than me). Your bright personality and fire is what makes you such an amazing person and friend. You bring out the sassier, witty side of me. Thank you for that. I do not know how to be shy when I am around you, and I am grateful for that.
You have a beautiful soul and I love you to pieces.
I am sorry for everything that has gotten in the way of our friendship. We had a bond that was unlike anything I had ever shared with anyone. It was us against the world, and I had never had anyone to go to battle with before. It was new and exciting. You helped bring out a piece of me I did not know existed. It was a good thing at the time because it made me overlook the hurt. I look back and I realize it was just anger and it never solved anything for me.
I am sorry we fell apart the way we did. Neither of us deserved that. I miss the friendship we had.
But that does not change that, even though we have only spoken a handful of times since graduation, you managed to shatter my trust. You told my secret to who knows how many people. A secret that nobody needed to know, and if they wanted to hear it, they should have heard it from me. No highway option. And the people you told, told other people, who them kept spreading it.
I do not think we can ever mend what we had. My trust in you is gone, and it may be petty, but I do not want to give you a chance to get it back. That is a long process, and I cannot keep giving out second and third chances to people anymore. I am sorry about that.
I do wish you well in everything that you do, and I hope you accomplish all of your goals.
The reason I am angry at you is because of what you did to my sister and myself. You told her that you did not want to pursue your friendship with her, then weeks later, acted like you had not said those things. You shoved her aside like she was nothing and it broke her. I do not know if you realize that. Then you kept apologizing, but it was “that she felt that way” or “that she took it in that way,” which is not actually apologizing for anything.
Then you cut me off because you cut her off (for a reason that was not a very good one, I might add). I saw you as my sister and a best friend. I told you my secret. Surprise, surprise, you already knew, thanks to Isabela. Then you told other people who had no business of knowing. You shattered my trust, and because of that, I do not know how I can ever trust anyone. So thanks for messing up all my hard work in that department.
Chelsea may have forgiven you, but I have not. You cannot just say those things to people. All I ever wanted to hear from my middle school “friends” was that sentence. It would have stopped me from trying to push myself into a world I did not belong in. Because you said those things to my sister, I personally believe you cannot take them back. If you told me you did not want to be my friend anymore, I probably would never speak to you again.
You are lucky she forgave you. But I swear, if you ever pull anything like that again, you are dead to me. And I will probably punch you in the face or make you into a volleyball net burrito. Or both.
I am sorry that I am not enough for you. Do not bother saying it is not true, because nothing you say will change how you have made me feel the last however many years. I am sorry I was not the perfect straight-A student, who was good at everything and skinny enough. You can have Mitchell for that. I am sorry that I am “weird”–do not say that I am not. Do not tell what I am or what I am supposed to be. Do not compare me to you in your teenage years, or my siblings, or our family friends. I am not any of those people, and I never will be. Please accept that I need to be myself. And if that means being irritated beyond belief by you, then that’s what it has to be. I have never felt appreciated by you, and I do not think I ever will. I am sorry that I have not always appreciated you, either. It is just difficult because you could not accept me.
I am sorry that I give you a hard time about everything, even if you do not realize it. I do not mean to, it is just me fighting back form all the times you told me to be more like someone else and less like me. I am sorry that I overreact about most things. I am still trying to figure out my emotions and feelings. If you only knew how much I am improving by being away, I think you would cut me some slack. At least I do not want to kill myself anymore, and that is a step up.
Yes, I wanted to kill myself. Is that surprising? No, I am not being dramatic. Never ever say that to me ever again. Please understand that when you asked me if I wanted to see someone, I was too afraid to say yes. Afraid. Scared out of my skin. Why? Because it would be just another reason I was not perfect to you.
I am sorry for all of this, and the fact that I could never say any of this to your face. You will probably never know about this, and that is okay.
These are the words I hear in my mind, but I cannot speak. This is why I am an English major and not Communications. But now it is out there, and I can move forward from it. At least, I hope I can. These past three weeks set me back, and I have some ground to cover. I am ready for the challenge.