Tag Archives: break-up

You have created a YouTube revolution of echoes, a resounding chorus from teenage girls.

day 9 – someone you wish you could meet

Dear Taylor Swift,

via weheartit.com

I think you and I would be best friends in real life. Not just because we’re two 20-something-year-old girls from southeastern PA trying to find our place in this world, but also because we both have the same worries and the same aspirations.

Sometimes I think you are writing the story of my life instead of yours. Sometimes I want to call you up and have a heart-to-heart about life and love and figuring out where I fit in this world.

I know that you’re in an entirely different ballpark than me. Red carpets line your sidewalks and broken beer bottles litter mine. I walk outside of my townhouse to a small town populated with 18- to 22-year-olds and you step outside to a big city, a sprawling metropolis.

But — and this is a big but — you’re not that different from all the girls who sing your lyrics in the shower with the water drowning out their lack of tone. All the girls who strum guitars and softly whisper along to the melody in front of a webcam, sharing their own feelings with the rest of the world the only way they know how. I don’t know you, but I know that that’s what goes through your head when you write.

I am a writer, too. Us writers, we have to stick together. You use words to string together a powerful argument that you otherwise might back down from rather than articulate. I do the same thing.

Know that by doing that, by standing up — hard as it may be — you are doing a tremendous service to the teenage girls in the world who are silencing themselves for the sake of others. Your presence in the media gives you power, and that power gives you a choice: speak out or conform.

Thank you for speaking out, for sharing your missteps and mistakes with anyone who will listen. But don’t be afraid to keep making mistakes and keep searching for new experiences, new boundaries to cross.

I know you said college isn’t for you. That high school wasn’t for you, either. And I know that you’ve never met me and probably never will, but trust me when I say that I’ve been there. I was there less than a year ago.

Give it a chance. Please, please give college a chance. Because the most wonderful feeling in the world is figuring out you do have a place. Waking up each day and knowing where you fit into this universe.

College isn’t for everyone. And maybe it’s not for you. But don’t let your fear be an anchor holding you back.

I wrote this with the entirely naïve believe that someday down the road you might read it. That’s the only way to write. Laying your heart out there for the world to take it in. You’re living proof of that.


Spreading love like cinnamon sugar on buttered toast.

I am not a quitter. It’s a word I struggled with one February night as I pulled apart my slice of cheese pizza in a dimly lit kitchen, taking my frustration and angst out on the soft crust, the saucy, cheesy mess. I punctuated each word with another tear, another rip of bread.

But sometimes, you have to acknowledge that holding off on one thing might make everything else better. When you’re being sucked down, you have to figure out what the anchor is and reel it in.

When I was thirteen and frustrated, that anchor was competitive gymnastics. A year or so ago, that anchor was the person I’d become. Right now, that anchor is the reverb challenge, taking away from all the other posts I could be writing. All the other words you want to skim through. This world, this blog, is not about me. It is about all of you, and all of the wonderful people I’ve encountered. I don’t want you to forget that.

Having said that, this is my letter to my ex-boyfriend, as coinciding with the letter challenge. This one is going to spread some love like butter and cinnamon sugar on a slice of toast on a Sunday morning.

via weheartit.com

Dear Juan,

On any given month, I waver between whether or not I made the right choice. Not in ending our relationship, but in allowing you to start it. It’s the million-dollar question, the one that nobody ever wants to ask, but the one so many keep coming back to. Would it have been better, in the beginning, to just be friends? Hold onto that friendship and still be able to talk like nothing happened now, or to give it a shot?

I can honestly say, with certainty, that I made the right decision. If I had to go back to that night in your car, idling in my driveway at two a.m., I wouldn’t change my answer. Because I believe we’re completely different people because of it. I think we were two kids—me barely eighteen and you barely nineteen—who thought we owned the world. Fresh out of high school and not yet freshmen in college.

And we did own the world for a while, like all naïve high school kids do.

I believe that you forced me to grow up. If it weren’t for you, I probably never would have let myself love anyone. Not until I was at least thirty. I probably would have been just fine wasting away my money on fast food milkshakes and sundaes at the diner. I would have been just fine never going beyond that.

But after everything fell apart, I hit rock bottom. You hit rock bottom. We spread our love like cinnamon sugar on buttered toast. So sweet and never enough but rough and bitter after a while. We were all highs and lows with no middle. We sort of headed for it well before sophomore year, but didn’t really admit it. And plenty of other people would have stuck it out, but neither of us would’ve done what we wanted. We would have suffocated each other with our own agendas.

You wanted to be in LA in a tux on the set of a movie. And for a while, that seemed like a wonderful idea. But I love NYC. I love being quiet sometimes, writing by myself. You’re the boy with more friends than a girl can keep track of.

You’re a great friend, but a lousy boyfriend. I didn’t figure that out until a few months ago, but you always had this idea of me that didn’t measure up to the Actual Me. The Kaleigh standing in front of you.

I hope I didn’t break you. And if I did, I hope you heal back stronger. Because if you love some girl half as much as you thought you loved me, she’ll be lucky. Just don’t try to change her. This is your life. Accept it and take hold of it.


Let go of the car.

Sometimes I worry that I’m giving off the wrong impression, creating an illusion that everything about me is always neatly tied up and everything in my life works out. I’m not above the world of disasters and heartbreak and pain. Barely a few months ago, I could understand how forward progress could ever come about, how I could stop myself from spinning in endless circles.

This is what I discovered.

Everyone always tells you the first break-up is the hardest, that it feels like the world should end, because how could it possibly get any worse? What they don’t tell you is why.

It hurts because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. You start doubting that said tunnel even exists. You’ve never been there before so it’s hard, near impossible, to believe that you’re going to come out alive. Unscathed. How could you, right?

Everyt time you see that car, same color, same model, your breath catches for a split second and you find yourself staring hard through the tinted windows to make out the features of the driver rather than concentrate on the road in front of you. Maybe it’s him, you say out loud. So what? So he didn’t die? So he’s still out there in the world, just like you, and guess what? He’s breathing, living, honest to God moving on.

But you give yourself that tiny moment when it crops up anyway, because as much as the pain holds you back, it’s a smack across the face that says to move forward, to go back to being a productive member of society. That one moment says a lot to you.

And just when you think it’s over and you’re going somewhere, you see that car again, falling into the same godforsaken trap. You wonder if it will ever end. It does.

You think about the nights spent in that car, the early morning hours that you wanted to pause or slow down. You can’t get them back. No, you have to have new nights, new memories, a new car. You have to stop recreating the image of that bumper sticker on the back window, wondering if it’s still there, or the smell of chlorine that fills your lungs until you’re almost drowning. You have to stop wondering how a car can say so much, hold so many moments. You have to stop wanting to crash the car so you never have to see it again. You have to.

And then one day you’re driving, you see that car, and your breath catches again. But because you’re hoping it’s not him, that you don’t have to relive something like that ever again. You stop remembering only the good and start letting in fragments of the bad.

The car driving off until it’s just a speck, cresting the next hill. The mess of clothes and books and papers in the backseat with the window down on a cold winter day. And the smell of fast food staining your clothes. Most of all, though, the silence that comes when there is nothing left to say.

Please, save yourself the agony and stop. Stop holding on. Please. Let go of the car.