Fourteen

Hey guys!

I’m sorry it’s been forever, I haven’t been feeling my best lately. But I’m doing good today so I thought I’d write a bit!

Summer is upon us for most of you, right? I’m pretty jealous. Because of some difficulties I had at the start of the school year, I began my studies a bit late, so I probably won’t be done until July or so.

I was looking through some old photos I have the other day and had one of those nostalgic reminiscing days (no, I actually didn’t cry!!). It’s strange for me to see the image of a little girl with long brown hair and a Dorothy Gale costume on and realize that at one point that was me.

  
Have you ever thought about what you would say to your younger self? It’s a pretty common question that’s asked. But really, what advice would you give? (If any of you wanna leave what you would say in the comments below I’d love to read them!!)

I think that I would say… Nothing is going to turn out the way you had planned. But it’ll be okay.

I’m serious! If you’d asked me a year ago I’d probably say that I would tell my younger self that your weight doesn’t define you or your beauty, or something about friends. But now? I would one hundred percent tell my younger self that things are going to spin out of your control, but that doesn’t mean your world is going to end. I think it would’ve been very beneficial to me to know this piece of information. It would’ve made things easier.

I remember when my school had my senior prom a little while ago, and I didn’t go. When I was starting homeschooling, I knew I wouldn’t care. I’ve talked about this in a old post. I never have fit in with people, so going to a gathering of kids that I don’t belong with and plummeting into an ocean of social anxiety did not sound appealing in any way. It still doesn’t. The only part I wanted to participate in was the dressing up in the pretty gown.

But on the night of prom, when I was sitting alone in my room and kids from my class were posting pictures of their makeup and hair and outfits, I still cried.
I remember walking into my mom’s room with that pitiful wobbly lower lip as I tried to hold back my emotions, and when she asked me what was wrong I just came undone. She pulled me into a hug and said, “I thought you didn’t care.”

I told her, “I don’t. I don’t want to go. It’s just that as a kid I had all of these expectations, about how I would have a boyfriend in high school, about how I would go to the prom and be apart of something great and make a ton of memories. Instead, no one likes me and the only memory I have is walking through the halls and wishing I had someone to walk with to class.”

As a kid, you don’t plan for stuff like that to happen. At least I didn’t. 

I was always fascinated by the idea of love. I always thought I would have one of those cutesy romances I read about in books, that I would go to prom and have the best-friend-turned-boyfriend dancing by my side.

Sigh. Shoutout to Disney.

When you’re a kid, you don’t plan to be rejected by your classmates. You don’t plan to not be able to say things you mean. You don’t plan on being the weird kid, or on eating lunch in the bathroom stall because you’re too scared of the cafeteria. I thought that I’d have at least one person ask me out, and yet here I am at eighteen and I’ve never so much as held hands with a guy.

As a kid, I didn’t expect my thoughts to get out of hand. I didn’t expect to have nights where I’d lay in bed and just wish with everything I had to stop existing, if just for a little while. I don’t think anyone expects that.

So when this all started to happen, I was pretty crushed and freaked out about it.
But you know what? I bet there was a time when no one expected an a Capella group that won The Sing-Off to win two Grammys and be number one on the Billboard charts.

  
I bet there was a time when no one expected gay rights to be legalized in all fifty states.

  
I bet there was a time when no one could fathom all of the things a smart phone could do (and that wasn’t very long ago!!!).

  

But when those things happened, did they turn out bad?

Nope.

And everything is still okay. Your world is still in one piece. You’re still breathing, you’re still alright.

Just because things didn’t turn out as plan doesn’t mean they can’t be amazing.

How boring would life be if everything was expected, anyway?

So, please take the advice that I’d give to my younger self and carry it with you: things aren’t always going to go as you imagined, but it’s going to be okay. More than okay, even.

I promise.

  
Love you all,

Sofia

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Thirteen

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

I’ve always liked Mother’s Day, because I am surrounded by a lot of loving female influences in my family. When it comes to loving your mom, I’m like Tyler Joseph. My mom is one of my very favorite people in the world, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

  
I’m also now included as someone who is celebrated on Mother’s Day! My youngest nephew, Lukas, is also my godson, and he gets me a little something each year. This week I got a bag full of Frozen accessories and a Starbucks basket! For a little boy, he’s got pretty good tastes.

  
It’s crazy to think back on how many memories I have with my mom. It’s not often that I forget things, because of my weird brain (unless it’s for Chemistry tests… Grr…), so sometimes I’ll lay in bed and simply reminisce. A few years ago, for Halloween, my mom bought me a TARDIS dress from Hot Topic even though we couldn’t really afford to spend too much luxury money at the time. She saw how bad I wanted it, and I guess that was enough to prompt her. She got her money’s worth out of it, too, because I wore the heck out of that thing. I still do, even though it’s more of a shirt than a dress on me now.

It’s little things like that that stick with me forever.

Memories are weird. I’m not going to delve too much into the topic because we don’t need a group existential crisis, but it’s fascinating to me to think about how much our brains can hold. I can remember back to years ago, when my mom would drive us to school, and she’d always park in front of this bird feeder because she liked watching them fly about for food (even though I was terrified of the stupid creatures). It was a few moments of peacefulness before classes began, sitting in our minivan and listening to Black Keys by The Jonas Brothers because my mom was obsessed with that song. I brought this memory up to my mom just last night, and she laughed and remarked that she couldn’t believe I still remembered that. It’s weird what our mind stores.

A lot of memories are being wrapped up for me at the moment. Tomorrow, the people in my class will be graduating and ending their high school journey. That’s a pretty big deal. Four whole years, four years of changing and turning from a child into a young adult… It’s insane, and I can’t believe it’s over. Wasn’t I just walking into freshman orientation yesterday, trying to piece together names to the faces? How am I already seeing those names next to their senior quotes?

When I started homeschooling for my final year, I really and truly did not think I would miss out on anything. I was pretty quiet in school, no one really noticed I was there. I didn’t get invited to many parties, I wasn’t a social butterfly. I wholeheartedly felt that I wouldn’t care about missing yet another year of dances and field trips. It just didn’t matter to me. In fact, I was ecstatic about the fact that I got to stay home. I knew it would make it easy for me to focus if I wasn’t constantly worried and aware of all the people that I didn’t fit in with and that they were surrounding me.

Yet it hit me the other day that I will never go to a single school dance, I’ll never attend a prom, and it made me somber.

I’ve been told that it doesn’t really matter, that prom is overhyped and lame, and I get that. I guess I’m just freaked out that the opportunity is gone and will never be presented again. I guess, somewhere deep down, I really did want to go. I wanted to take part in something that almost everyone goes to at least once in their life. And now I just… Never will.

I’ve talked in a past blog post about how goodbyes are really hard for me, and I think that’s what’s getting to me overall. Everyone I know is going to be leaving soon, going on to really start their lives, and that’s hard for me. Suddenly we’re not just dreaming anymore, we’re putting a plan into action. We’re not going to be asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The new question we’ll hear all the time is, “What are you doing?”

Crazy. I don’t want to grow up! I still want to feel the comfort of having my friends and family close by. All of this goodbye business is sad and unsettling and I just don’t like it that much. Why is part of becoming an adult mean that I’m isolated and on my own?

Kirstin actually messaged me something simple when I shared these feelings with her, something that gave me hope and brought just a bit of comfort: “It’s not always goodbye.”

It’s not, is it? We dwell on these major moments, something that seems so final like graduation and last days of school. It makes everything seem overwhelming, and keeps you from remembering to look at the picture as a whole.

Sure, I’m not a kid anymore in legal terms. And while that’s emotional, it doesn’t mean I’m not still going to curl up and watch Bates Motel with my mom every Monday night. I’m going to have to get a stable job, but that just means I’ll be able to do more things that I’m unable to do now. It really is all about perspective, and if I don’t want to go insane thinking about how time is slipping through my fingers then I’m going to need to change mine.

Maybe it was because I had some weird awareness of harsh reality, but, as a kid, I never wanted to be older. I didn’t want to grow up, or propel time forward. Unfortunately that’s still true, and I’m tripped up because life doesn’t really care what I want. Too bad if I want to be Peter Pan, because Neverland doesn’t exist and I’m still going to keep aging. But that’s okay. Not everything has to change. Just because my friends are leaving doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not ever going to talk to them again. Cell phones are a brilliant thing that exist.

I went to public school for three years, but decided to be homeschooled for senior year. I won’t be walking in a cap and gown with the rest of my class. Instead, when I finish my last assignment, I’ll just be done and that’s it. No big fancy ceremony. But maybe, for me, that’s for the best. Maybe that’ll make it all easier. Maybe it will feel like less of a goodbye if it remains an average day.

A chapter is closing in my life. But that’s okay. This doesn’t mean my story is over.

I’m excited to see you on the pages to come.

Love you all,
Sofia.

P.S: Since we’ve made it to post thirteen and thirteen is my lucky/favorite number, I decided to change the layout up a bit. I’m hoping to make things a little easier to access!! So I’m sorry if there’s any glitches or things take longer to load than usual. Bear with me!! ❤️

Twelve

So, I’m sure you all heard the news at one point or another a few weeks ago. I turned 18! Okay, I know that’s not a big deal for some of you, but it was for me! It was like this huge checkpoint I had set for myself, a “goal” that I’ve been working toward. I got to celebrate it in the best way possible, too: spending time with my very favorite people in the world for practically the entire day. My mom and sister went out and bought a small cupcake and stuck a candle in it to sing me happy birthday in my room in the morning, and even though I couldn’t eat it (which my sister enjoyed), it was touching that they cared enough to do that even after all these years. 

They say birthdays get lame as you get older, and I guess that’s true for people who are getting old. My family says that everyone stops caring after you turn seventeen, that it’s not really a big deal to have a birthday at that point. I don’t know about that. Birthdays mark another year you’ve survived on this earth! That’s quite an admirable feat, if you ask me, and I think it’s a day that should always be celebrated in some way. 

I know that it’s somewhat taboo to talk about mental health still (let’s change that soon society, hmm?), but I think that for one blog post it will be okay. For many years, I’ve struggled with a lot of anxiety and depression, and it’s made a huge impact on my life. Not like an oh, I’m sometimes sad thing. That’s not just what depression is. It made an impact in the way that I had a hard time making it through a day without crying, without wishing that some sort of void from outer space would zap me up so I could stop being trapped inside my head with my thoughts for a while. My mind is my own worst enemy, and we’ve always hated one another.

Back when I was a sophomore, I couldn’t fathom the idea of turning eighteen years old. To me, back then, that was something that would never be accomplished.

Yet here I am! That same girl who didn’t think this day would come had a hell of a good time hearing Pentatonix sing her happy birthday at their sound check. And now it’s two weeks later, and I’m still breathing. Still living. Still Sofia.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… If you’re reading this, and the future seems unfathomable because your present is too much to bear, don’t give up hope. Even if you are dead certain that you know exactly what is ahead of you. Because, realistically? You don’t, no matter how much you believe otherwise. You have no idea what’s around the corner!

Am I saying that within a few years all of your problems will bippity-bop themselves away? No, hah. I wish it was that easy! Forget glass slippers and a pretty dress, Fairy Godmother, I wanna stop being upset even when good things are happening to me!

What I’m saying is that things change. They really do.

Kevin told me to take my story and inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their circumstances. So, like, that’s some heavy stuff, and I don’t know if anything I’ve got to say is that impactful, but I do wanna take his advice and let you know that things can remain crappy for a very, very long time. But there are so many good things that can happen to you despite this. Is it always going to be easy? Absolutely not. I wish more than anything that I could tell you otherwise, but I can’t. Life happens, and it’s not always fair.

You know what I do when I’m sitting in my room, having one of those nights where I can’t stop crying and hoping that music starts helping soon? I flash back to my favorite memories. It sounds tacky, but I really do suggest that you guys try doing this as well. Write down your very best moments, times where you were so very happy to be alive. Keep that piece of paper you write them on handy, so that when it all gets dark you can remember the light. 

For example, I remember how loved I felt when I made a mistake and Alexx and Anna still forgave me. I remember how comforted I felt when Mitch held me in a hug, back in December. I remember Taylor Swift blowing Anna and I a kiss. I remember having one of the best days of my life at a Neon Trees concert. I remember jumping on the bed with my cousin Anna and screaming Complicated at the top of our lungs. 

When things are dark, it’s important to remember the light. Vital, even. It can be so hard to do, because the dark is so much more powerful and makes us forget that light even exists at all.

But can I tell you something? Your life isn’t done yet. You can’t even begin to imagine how many more good times are headed your way!

So, don’t give up. Don’t stop running. I’m glad I didn’t, despite all of the struggles I still have.

Maybe you’re dreading a birthday like I was dreading mine. Try to think of it in a different light. It’s kind of like you’ve made it to the finish line of a really long and tiring race, and now to celebrate you get to eat cake! (Speaking of…. I already miss that beautiful gluten-free cake my sister Erica made me. Complete heaven. Can I have another??)

Also, thank you to everyone for the kind birthday wishes! I really did have a great day/week. My mom bought me a Peanuts balloon that I’m obsessed with. She still hasn’t completely deflated, miraculously.
Oh, and I just have to share this photo. When Avi came out to see us after the concert, I asked him if he wanted to wear the birthday sash I had on (thanks Alexx) for a picture. You know, since it was his birthday as well. It turned out pretty great.

Love you all.

Sofia.