The following entries are thoughts, observations, and stories from my as of yet untitled life. Nothing here is fictional. The entries will appear in the order in which they are written.


Smart

When I was little, they said I was smart. I scored high on the tests where you filled in long columns of bubbles with your number two pencil. It's funny. When your seven years old, the far away future glitters with possibility, like something you might see in a fairy tale. I was certain that I could become an actress, a lawyer, a famous writer, the president. But as you grow older, the closer you get to that palace, those arrival gates, the more you see that you can't have that. You're inadequate. Your high school GPA wasn't nearly high enough for access to the best universities, the highest paying jobs, the fairy tale castle. You take the SATs and there are questions that might as well be written in Elvish. We learned that, you think, was I in class that day? And before you're eighteen, you're regretting your whole life, hating the confines of a future you haven't even lived yet.

I sit in math class and I start wondering where I went wrong. Was it the problems with my family, the discouraging attitude I encountered at home? Maybe it's a learning disability: I have ADD and no one ever bothered to diagnose it. If only I had done my homework or eaten a breakfast fortified with Vitamin C. I could have been something. Now I sit in the back row of a classroom and listen to the high school guidance councilor talk about careers, consider what is left for me.

Sometimes I wonder what the childhood me would say if she could meet the present one. I can see her face tilt in confusion, her wide forehead crinkle as I explain all that's happened to us in the past eight years. I worry that she'd hate me. I wonder if she'd recognize me at all in this room full of bored high school students. What terrifies me most is the thought of meeting my thirty-five-year-old self. That woman would probably despise me more than anything. After all, it's the present me that ruined her chances for fame and fortuneā€¦ Or was it the thirteen-year-old me, the nine-year-old, some combination of all of the above? I riddle through my past for the exact moment when I betrayed myself. When did I ruin my future, and why? When did I sell away my magic?