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It is what you wanted to do and it can still be what you want to do.

Gathering the ancient Christmas decorations from their crushed boxes, giving them all their yearly dusting, freeing something else too.

Some people are parts of you. Some people struggle to be until they stop struggling and try somewhere else.

She is beautiful. She is strong. She is confident. She is smart.

It is only finished when there is no room for anything else; the universe is expanding.

It is over now, I wrote our story down, and wept when it was necessary for me, and the tissues gathered up the love I still had. It is all for everyone else now, and they accept it, and they love. Everything is new and you are rotting somewhere old.

We will be happy again, and still, and people watching will think we carry laughing gas in our pockets but it is only in our hearts.

The snow is falling in a way it never has and never will again. Watch.

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The old men in the old country
die with unannounced poison in their bones
cheeks turning red to black,
far past rosy vodka friendliness
whispered slurs of slipping away
wrapped in the same white sheets they were born on
surrounded by ancient grandmother pillars of pillows
soon to be buried next to all previous generations
under neon-colored plastic flowers
and broken china cups of rain water to eternally sip
worn out weary legs bent under hay-making shoulders
rheumy watery eyes and lotion-less skin
big belly gut heaving from the lung stress
sitting splayed on the one one person-sized mattress
thinking of his father
thinking of me
thinking of nothing
semi-encircled by the entire village family
throwing arms in the air clutching vodka swallows;
nothing much is different on this his last day.

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1. I wish I was cool enough to say “big ups”.

2. Stop assuming he/or she hates you. Just ask, then you’ll know for sure that they do!

3. Let’s all love and care about each other a little more this year.

4. You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up! You never have to know! Next time someone asks you what “career” you want, just throw a flower/balled up piece of paper/dollar/smile at them and run away!

5. Romania is “in” this year. Let’s go! Are you buying me the plane ticket? I only do window seats. Thanks!

6. For the past month, I’ve suspected that 2014 is going to be good. Now I hear that Paolo Nutini is releasing a new album this year! Fantastic.  April 14th, where are you?

7. Not all stories have happy endings.

8. The only thing more interesting than art students is their hair.

9. No, really, what are we supposed to do with all these Beanie Babies??

10. Put a dollar bill (or the equivalent, international friends!) under someone’s windshield wiper the next time you’re in a parking lot. Do it! Then tell me about it.

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I went to Europe because I was searching for something. Europe wasn’t necessary; somewhere was. Europe happened to be my somewhere. I was just searching. I had been searching for a long time. I thought I might find it, whatever it was, once I got to wherever I was headed. I searched for a month in Europe, and then longer. I couldn’t seem to find it, whatever it was. I found other things, things I expected to find, like new places, with beautiful buildings and interesting history and wonderful people. I found unexpected things, too, like understanding, confusion, sadness, joy. But I never found what I was originally looking for. So I went home.

Home again, home for the holidays, back where I started. It seemed, at first, like nothing had changed, like I had never left. But I was different. I am different. I think, afterall, that I found something. I never knew what it was exactly that I thought I was looking for. But that doesn’t matter, because I managed to find it anyway. I found it. I know now that what I was looking for exists. That it’s out there. That I can go find it again.

What did I find? I call it “acceptance”. Acceptance of the journey. I’ll never know exactly where I’m headed. I think that’s for the best. At least for me. And it’s ok. It’s fine. It’s life. It’s beautiful. It’s a winding journey.

I moved out of my parent’s house for the first time in June. It was weird at first, being around roommates who were not my family and who weren’t designated by birth to care about me or love me. I noticed that right away.

I remember feeling confused and lonely. I thought I was lonely. But I think I was just looking at the world in the wrong way. I thought the world owed me something. I thought the world was supposed to love me. I thought the world was supposed to offer to make me toast for breakfast. I realized a few weeks later that the world doesn’t owe me anything. I just live in it.

In the second week of November I moved back into my parent’s house. I had accumulated a few more belongings since I’d left, like too-tight shiny disco shoes and even more books and a box of pasta. Four days later I moved to Prague.

Moving out of your parents’ house is strange and hard. But after that, after you stop believing that the world and the people in it owe you something, it’s easy. Moving is easy. Moving to Prague, was, surprisingly, easy. (Aside from the leaving your friends and family part.) You just get on a plane.

The world doesn’t owe me anything. It’s not going to hand me anything. So, I guess I have to take it.

People have called me brave. I am not brave. I just do things because I want to do things and I know I should do things because doing things is better than not doing things. Moving is better than not moving. Telling the boy you like him is better than not telling the boy you like him. Buying Nutella is better than not buying Nutella. Etc, etc, etc. That’s not bravery. That’s just doing. That’s just taking stuff, in a way, from the world.