Fire Escapes

It’s amazing how a day can go from great to terrible with one thought: “I didn’t know.”

I didn’t know, for instance, that when I went on drama team two years ago, my friends and I would drift apart. I didn’t know that working as an editor would be as liberating as it was. I didn’t know that I would miss my coworkers there as much as I do. I didn’t know that the job I now have would become my stabilizing purpose. I didn’t know that I would feel so lost in my chosen field. I didn’t know that I’d be looking for an escape.

But that’s where I am. What do you do? I can’t quit school or I’ll lose my job. And if I did quit school and lose my job, what then would I do? What would I pursue?

If my life were a movie . . . I would be Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. I would be the divergent. Only unlike both of those characters, I can’t fit into the mold, and I can’t take over the world. I’m stuck in the middle. I’m only one person, one person who keeps to herself, one person who wants to be left alone.

So what do you do after a day when nothing you do is right, when you can’t fit in, when people laugh at you, when no one supports you, when you’re humiliated? Well, you get angry. And then you get so angry that you cry. And then you want to talk the anger out of your system, but you can’t because you’re crying. You don’t want anyone to see you when you’re crying so you lock yourself in your bedroom for an hour before you have to go deal with whatever life is handing you. For me, that was a free evening of birthday shopping. And after shopping, because your sister loves you, she buys you coffee at Starbucks. And then you cry some more and go home to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. And then you eat two or three while watching White Christmas. After all, who can’t be happy when Danny Kaye is singing? But he stops singing, and you are finally in a position to talk out your anger, but the tears come gushing out too. And then you go to bed because the morning makes everything look better. At least that’s what your mom tells you.

But I wake up, and nothing changed. I still don’t fit in. I still want an escape. I’m still discouraged. And I suppose that’s it. My life can’t go back to the way it was. My only option is to look up.


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