I just moved in, nice to meet you.

Kaia Wirth, Editor in Chief

When I was younger, I had a recurring dream of a house. 

It was a small cottage, white shutters and large windows built on a precipice. To the East, floor length frames overlooked rolling fields of lilacs. To the West, the underside of the bluff harbored a rocky cove, waves raking the shore so stormy that on often an occasion, the salty mist rose up  to the house, so that I could very nearly taste the seawater in the air. There was a strawberry farm in the backyard, and a wrap-around porch worn from years of evening dances under the illumination of fireflies. In this dream, I would lie on the roof at night, marveling at celestial skylights, in awe of their simplicity. Of the fact that although they are millions of light years away, they burn so brightly I can still see them. 

But then I would awaken the next morning, and the dream would evaporate as quickly as it had come. This dream filled me with an overwhelming sense of belonging, not to an organization or materialistic product of my own design, but simply to the earth itself. The expanse of the dreams that have followed since are filled with a similar beauty and warmth, yet I now fear I may never have the opportunity to revisit them. Living with the restraint learnt from the years I’ve been able to remember my dreams has surpassed my ability to live how I always hoped I would. Now, I actively feel myself sinking into a pattern of behavior, encompassing my previous longing for that life I thought I’d be living. I don’t rise from my bed until the sun screams into my eyes. And when I do, it’s only ever to exchange trivialities with shallow women, to bat eyelashes at remarkably mediocre boys, and to write beauty that I deem unpublishable. And upon my return home every night, I find myself utterly dissatisfied and disgusted with myself. But why? I’ve lain in my bed, wishing that tonight the dream would return to me, throwing pillows aside should they be suffocating my memory, or imagination, or whatever source this dream was coming from. I’d lay barefoot on my roof (my real one) while I waited for some epiphany, some lucid dream where I could discover that I was a part of something larger than myself. I need to believe I am a part of something larger than myself. Because if this is all there is, if all I am meant to do is write poems I barely have the confidence to share, then what. Is. The. Point? If all I am meant to do is shrink like a violet when bullies threaten me with words dashed with poison, or love those undeserving of it, or fail Algebra quizzes that I knew the information, I swear I did! Then what is the point?

 There’s a certain familiarity I associate with past periods of my life. The scent of a laundry detergent I used in the summer of my freshman year or a playlist deep in the archives of my Spotify account unleash a nostalgic wave of comfort, and for a time I wasn’t able to live without them. I bought the detergent, I listened to these songs on repeat, which may sound insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but I needed them. I’ve recently realized that I’ve been so preoccupied with reliving my past that I was dissociating from my real life. Days come and go, all while I grapple with my own identity, stuck in the past unable to progress. Progress that was imperative to my own sanity, progress that I sacrificed in futile attempts to grasp onto past moments of euphoria. I wasn’t ready to cope with the utter uncertainty of it all, of life-but I now know that I must. I’ve decided that from this point on I will live for myself, I have to. Not through my past self or past playlists, not through moments that have passed by me over time, but for the present. I’ll stop waiting on dreams that refuse to come to me anymore. 

So when I grow up, if I ever grow up, I might move in next door. In the small cottage with the white shutters and wrap-around porch. I’ll invite you over to watch fireflies. I’ll try to persuade you that my past was indeed as beautiful as I remembered it. But you’ll always be so skeptical. I’ll show you my songs, and although I know every word I’ll hold my tongue and swallow them. If you can’t appreciate my history as I do, if it’s a life that I’m no longer living, then what’s the use of remembering it?