It seems I can't get words out unless they're in reply to another person. Journaling feels too odd now; something I did a million years ago. But I know it's needed sometimes since I cant go off on random tangents to someone, especially if I don't know them well enough.

Maybe people don't mind tangents or random thoughts too much though. I can never be sure. I've been feeling a certain way about growing older. I'm not so old that I can't remember my past through a dreamy sort of lens; like disjointed movie scenes.

They feel strange to me now, and when I look at myself I can't believe I was ever eight-years-old and that my life ever had the texture it did. The 90's were very much dreamy on their own; quiet. I don't want to go back and relive the hell of growing up, the bullying, the dumb shit I did, and the inevitable disappointment that comes with being a human child and learning that you're awful at a lot of things. I remembered I was the worst at comforting my friends. I'd quickly change the subject, brighten my tone, like it'd fix their misery somehow. I should've put my arm around them and said it'd be okay. That's a normal response, but I was such a little freak. I'm still trying to figure out why the fuck I did that. I don't know if I'm any better, and I don't believe I've ever held someone who was crying. It's always been the other way around.

I want to get better at comforting because I believe it's a necessary and important skill. So much more important than learning Excel.

If I could go back to being an eight-year-old for a few days or a week, I might do it, just for shits and giggles. It would have to be at a time I wasn't in school, because fuck that place. When I was around eleven/twelve I wrote love letters to a boy. I snuck them into his desk and would sometimes include one-dollar bills in them like he was a stripper. (Well, back then a dollar went a little bit farther). I think I started off writing them by hand in this dressed up (ugly) cursive to disguise my handwriting (not that he knew what it even looked like) but oh I thought of everything.

Looking back I think I liked him because he looked like a girl. He had such a girlish face and long glossy hair.

No one suspected me because I rarely spoke. It cracks me up because all anyone had to do was look at me for more than two seconds to figure it out. I shook like a bald Chihuahua the whole time, on the verge of passing out. I had to hide in the bathroom to calm down. (And still no one noticed my absence). You know what though, fuck this memory, I hate it. Let's move on. If you really want to know what happened, email me and I'll reluctantly tell you.

My childhood for the most part was unremarkable and I think when we look back on our lives, we think our silly stumble into adulthood was more beautiful than it really was. I don't remember many beautiful moments, though I'm sure there were. I think the beauty came along later, around fourteen.

I wasn't a freak then and people liked me. The point is I keep leaning into my memories and assigning all this weight and meaning to them, like they mattered more than the present. I remember how the late 90's early 2000s felt. Gritty and warm, with people looking into my eyes and me smiling so damn big, those smiles bursting with love. I'd get the same amount in return. I think I still do, but something's dulled around the edges. Maybe it's me. Everything feels a bit more hollow now; an Instagram filter slapped over the world and onto our words. I hate this.

This isn't how it's supposed to be. I thought the internet would strengthen already existing communities, since the whole damn point is to connect. But all I see is everyone in their own corner, ready to jump down the throat of anyone who dares to disagree with them. Why?

This is what I miss about the past, the difference in humanity and how people regarded each other. That's what I'm nostalgic for. Not the clothes or the tech or anything else.

I also miss the feel of my grandma's hand in mine; the strength and love in this gesture. We were taking a family picture one year at Thanksgiving. She sat next to me, reached for my hand and held it tight. I hate pictures, and it was quite the job fitting everyone on our tiny couch. I remember her house, and will never forget it.

She used to pick me up from school. I liked to sit on the arm of the couch while I waited for her. She'd push me so I'd fall onto the cushions. At fourteen/fifteen I saw the kissing scene from Personal Best at her house. Grandma was in the other room. I'd never seen the movie before but my heart started to jackhammer, knowing where the scene was going. I couldn't believe that 1.), I'd walked into the house * just * as the women were about to kiss and 2.) that such a movie existed.

That memory replays a lot. Life can feel like a movie itself when things like that happen. You're innocently channel surfing and find a movie that whispers: 'hey little baby dyke, it's okay. You're gonna be fine.' Their kiss was intense, and I felt on the verge of cardiac arrest. I changed the channel fast enough to give myself whiplash. Grandma never caught me, which is a another movie moment. The Baby Dyke is safe for now, folks, but tomorrow she might not be! And I went home replaying that scene in my head over and over, while pretending I wasn't thinking about it.