what I know

  1. Friends are difficult to acquire, good friends are even more difficult, and I have both.
  2. Being a girl is terrifying and wonderful.
  3. It is hard to find what you love.
  4. The right pen makes all the difference.
  5. You will never feel worse after exercising.
  6. Journal-keeping is the secret of the universe.
  7. Sometimes people will be more talented than you at your talent. And sometimes you'll have to keep your cockiness in check when people are less talented than you at your talent.
  8. Math never killed anybody.
  9. Bubble tea seems like a dumb thing to purchase so often, but it really isn't.
  10. Siblings should be your best friends.
  11. All-girls schooling was probably one of the best things to ever happen to me.
  12. Restaurants decorated with a blue color scheme are unappetizing. No food is blue.
  13. Getting your bra properly fitted is actually extremely important and necessary.
  14. Homeless people are so, so happy after Subway gift cards.
  15. Your favorite albums will always be your favorite albums.
  16. Nothing brings me more sadness and happiness at the same time than Harry Potter.
  17. People can change.
  18. People change.
  19. It will make people feel good if you act interested when they tell you their dream.
  20. If you get hot & sweaty enough, it just starts to feel good.
  21. There are very few places in the world where I feel 100% safe, but it feels so good when I am in them.
  22. Girls will be mean to other girls and boys will be mean to girls and all of them must be stopped.
  23. It's okay to be embarrassed of who you used to be, but that shouldn't make you edit who you are now to appease yourself in the future.
  24. Texas can feel like the kindest state in the nation, then the meanest.
  25. Hating the rich doesn't solve anything.
  26. Rich people aren't all terrible people.
  27. Teenagerhood is a weird time.
  28. Not all people are scary.
  29. Life is wonderful even though it's scary.


truth bomb

This message is meant for a lot of people, but mostly the state of Texas. 


there is a parade

Trying my hand at some semblance of typography. This is a very nice day which calls for the loveliness of "These Things Are The Way You Make Me Feel", which I have found to be the universal cure for a case of the bummers (not saying today called for it, but last week did...) I cannot watch it and not come out feeling more smiley/more melty/better as a human.

Have a beautiful Mother's Day!


I was twelve years old in the backseat of my babysitter's silver XTerra in the summer, watching the tendons on her hand pulse as they draped over her steering wheel. I marveled at how they looked, casual and elegant and pretty. She drove prettily. In the backseat, I curved my hands to look like hers around an invisible wheel. I had tics- I would snap my neck back and blink hard and tap things once on each hand and then once with both. I didn't think I could ever be able to drive prettily with all those damn tics. I didn't know how I would be able to drive at the age of sixteen if I would be snapping my neck back every minute and rolling my eyes into the back of my skull so it hurt and squeezing my eyes shut. I would kill someone, I thought. I was scared of myself then. And it was a secret and I thought that I wouldn't tell the people at the DMV that I would snap my neck back and they would hand over a driver's license without suspicion and that made me feel guilty. I was twelve, worrying about a driver's license that I would or would not get at sixteen.

I don't know when the tics phased themselves out, but I didn't have them when I took my driving test and they didn't ask me questions about why I made my eyes hurt. But the tics crept back in a few weeks before my eighteenth birthday. Now I hate driving even more than I used to, because I don't text but I shut my eyes hard for two seconds and I shift my hands around to touch my turn signal.

I am twelve while being eighteen and I do not drive prettily.


dream a little dream of me

I've been keeping a dream journal for two or three months now. I've always been obsessed with dreams, and my sister will testify to wanting to smack me across the face because I would never stop telling her my dreams that she didn't care about. So then I started transferring those dream rants to my dream journal.

I had an idea a few weeks ago. I notice themes in my dreams, especially looking through the journal, and I wanted to make a sort of map, connecting the "plots" of dreams to their underlying and continuing theme in my dream spectrum. I didn't know if it would actually work, but it looked terrific in my mind's eye. I did it tonight, this dream map, and I'm damn happy with it.

The topics in ovals are the themes I notice continuing throughout, and the separate lines all represent separate dreams. Maybe this only makes sense to me, maybe it will be of interest to others. Either way, I'm sort of smitten with myself right now.

I dream a lot about men attacking me. I dream a lot about being vulnerable. One of these days I'm going to look all this up and see what it all means.


hey girls

On Friday, we watched an incredible documentary at school. It was called Miss Representation, focusing on women's portrayal in the media and what we can do to change it. I'm confident in saying that it changed the life of everyone who watched it, but it did bring about some discussion that I was baffled by.

"Yeah, I loved the movie. It was really amazing."
"Oh, are you like, a feminist?"
"Oh no, definitely not. But it was really cool."
I go to an all-girls school. I've gone to an all-girls school for eight years. My school is wonderful because for eight years, I've watched girls attend the greatest colleges in the country because they work hard and get jobs they love because they work hard and achieve their goals because they work hard. I've watched them succeed because they are driven, confident women. They've achieved high power positions that men said they couldn't succeed at. They've made me proud to be a student here.

So why are there students at my school who don't consider themselves feminists? Here's the thing. Feminism is not a bad thing. It's not even an extreme thing. It's nothing but women wanting the same rights as men. It's women being seen as equals. That's all it is. 

I asked them why they didn't consider themselves feminists, using the precise arguments I used above. Why don't you want your rights? Why don't you want equality for yourselves? 

"I don't know....I mean like....it's not like that....I just like when guys hold the door open for me, you know?"

That's...manners. You can be a feminist and have someone hold the door open for you. That's just not it. I hate that there are girls at this school, this school that celebrates women and empowers women, who don't consider themselves people who want to achieve equality. Feminism is not something a woman should have to decide she is or is not. Women should be feminists, from the day they are born to the day they die, simply because THEY ARE WOMEN and THEY SHOULD PROBABLY WANT RIGHTS.

It's 2012. I'm wondering why this is even still an issue. I'm wondering why there are groups of men making health care decisions that only affect women. And I'm wondering whether America's women will make the right choice on Tuesday and not set the country back 50 years for themselves. 

I love ladies. I really, really do. And ladies should love themselves too.


chapter 1: sad talk

My mom found this yesterday and the timing was almost spooky. This was the first chapter of a book I had cleverly titled "My Book About My Life". I don't remember much about September 11. I wish I had written more. But I remember now not knowing a thing about what had happened for a long, long time. So I don't really blame six year old Sophie. I remember where I was, though. The exact room in my elementary school.

But it doesn't matter where I was. I had nothing to do with it. I don't have a story. The people with stories are those who actually were there, actually lost people, actually saw the smoke rise up. There are people that were a part of this, a part of this horrible thing, and those are the important stories.

It just makes me wonder about America when, for 364 days of the year, we bitch and moan and scream at each other, harping on everything that's wrong with the country, and then for just one of those days, everybody is universally united, no matter what. On this day, we're respectful. We're together and we're actually a country. But come September 12, everyone's back to being cynics. It's admirable that so many people can come together on one day, but then again, it's pretty disgusting that so many people can come together on only one day.

But on a less pessimistic note, let us all remember those victims and those who gave their lives to save the lives of others. Today and every day.


sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal

From the time I was a little girl, my mother would never censor anything my sister and I did. We were watching Grease every day (the innuendos, language, and mature situations sailing completely over my head- I only found out about Rizzo's almost-pregnancy a good eight years later). She took us to shows like Guys and Dolls and let us listen to all the music she did. Most importantly, she encouraged us to read whatever we wanted.

There are so many parents that are far too invested in what their children listen to or watch or read. They think anything that is not sealed with the feathery yellow Big Bird stamp of approval will surely perish the tiny minds (that is certainly not to say that we didn't watch Sesame Street--it taught my brother how to read). And I think that's such a problem. And perhaps it's not my place as a seventeen year old girl to be giving parenting tips, but that's not a good way to raise your children

Censoring gives way to rebellion, without a doubt. If children are told they can't do something or watch something or read something, they will want nothing more than to do or watch or read that thing. And maybe it's just my character or maybe it's my parents' (in my opinion, superior) anti-censoring style of parenting, but my greatest rebellion in recent memory was going to a park by myself without my mother receiving a text about it. I don't rebel because I don't have anything to rebel about. BECAUSE MY MOM LET ME WATCH WHATEVER MUSICALS I WANTED.

The censoring of Harry Potter is one of the saddest problems to me. On more than one occasion, I've struck up conversation with little kids I'm babysitting regarding Harry Potter and whether they've read the books. And on more than one occasion, they've replied that their parents won't let them read it.

Frankly, no other piece of fiction has shaped my life and my character more than Harry Potter. And to think that so many kids aren't getting that beautiful experience of cracking open that spine for the first time because their parents think it's full of witchcraft or too scary or whatever? That kind of tears my heart in two. There's absolutely nothing like reading a Harry Potter book when you're a little kid, and I want more kids to be able to do that before they're all grown up. The fact that parents are actually discouraging their children from reading is tragic. To me, if a kid wants to read a book, you let them read it. Unless it's 50 Shades of Grey, more books in a child's life is never going to hurt them.

To put it very shortly, let your kids read and watch and listen to whatever the hell they want. Whatever you are trying to protect them from will dawn on them eventually. But when they're kids, they're nothing but words.

photo sources: one, two, three, four

(title from John Green's The Fault In Our Stars)