sometimes it’s important to exercise until you feel like you might vomit to prove that you’re in control of the heart beating out of your chest. college ruined my confidence in a lot of ways, partially because a lot of my self-delusions quickly shattered, partially because i was surrounded by a lot of assholes and geniuses. i can remember those moments when i had something to say in class and i would look down to see my heart beating through my shirt. it’s, like, nice to feel calm, but i want to commit to my anxiety because i want to commit to failure, failure to say the right thing or be who i think i’m supposed to be, failure to be self-contained and easily defined. today i can feel my pulse in all my limbs, not from fear, just a gentle expansion and contraction. growing up by the coast means the ocean’s rhythms never quite leave your bones. there are vowels that hum inside my chest. when i’m afraid, it’s an “eh” sound. when i’m there with my feelings, it’s an “ah” sound. i once played a part where i had to try and kill myself on stage while screaming “mama.” of course, that’s a potent word on it’s own, but all i can remember are those “ah’s” tearing through me. i think a lot about where my face ends and the rest of the world begins. melting into that. i told m about how i have the opposite of resting bitch face. strangers on the street smile like they know me & i feel confused until i realize i was smiling first. an index card in my purse says, “1. love 2. faith 3. anger 4. loneliness 5. freedom 6. fear 7. curiosity 8. grief 9. because i can’t not” on one side and “1. anxiety 2. exhaustion 3. frustration 4. confusion 5. paralysis 6. time” on the other. sometimes i write “what do i want?” over and over again in my journal just to remember that i can’t stop asking that question, even though the answers are unclear. i spent a lot of today feeling guilty that i wasn’t someone else, but what’s the use of that, i don’t believe even believe in individuals.