Secret Hideaways

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“For the first time in my life, I’ve got butterflies. And they aren’t because some boy noticed me or sent me flowers or someone I didn’t know complimented my new shoes or smiled at me on the bus. It’s because, for the first time in my life, I am excited. I am doing what I want to be doing. I am putting myself first, I am making myself happy. And I am terrified, but damn it, these butterflies are the best things I’ve ever felt. So I’m going to feed off of it. I’m going to turn my nervous energy into happy energy and be that girl I was always jealous of. I am going to conquer the world and love every minute of it. I am going to love myself and love what I’m doing and I am going to have butterflies for the rest of my life, and that’s all anyone should ever want.”

Approximately thirteen hours ago I posted this quote as the status on my Facebook page. I found it stumbling through old scripts stored on my computer late last evening as I reflected upon the drastic decision to change my major from pharmacy to literature after two years of college. Deep inside a file last edited in the year 2010, I found a folder labeled “Completed”.  Opening it, I stumbled upon a collection of words I coined myself, ranging from prose to poetry, script to essay, everything one could possibly imagine.

This induced a flashback.  I was thirteen years old again, full of preteen angst and the built up belief that my parents hated me — wow, was I naive.  The world was a dark and horrible place, and I escaped it by hiding in my Queen size bed with purple leopard print comforter.  I loved my bed, but not because it was comfortable (it wasn’t) or matched my taste (at the time, I wanted all things skull covered and black), but because it had this two “secret hiding places”. 

Now these were nothing more than sliding panels in the headboard designed for storage, but many times they saved me from my parents. You see, I had a bed time, but I didn’t much like it. I would sneak a flashlight into my room with me and I would read all night — books were my escape from the real world.  I also wrote.  I filled page after page with words about life, love, my future, fictional characters, my friends, anything you can imagine — I even dabbled in song writing — yes, imagine how well written those were. But any time my parents came into my room because they heard a sound, my “secret hiding place” was there to save me.

As I grew older, these habits didn’t change, but the bed did. It was retired to the guest bedroom and a new bed inhabited my room.  It was much more comfortable, and I still spent many hours in it reading/writing. As everything changed, one thing remained the same — I loved literature.

And then it became senior year, time to submit a written manuscript to the Thespian Festival.  I wrote a haunting play about the death of a close friend bringing a girl to recognize the important things in life.  And the closing line is what that quote was from. I never went through with submitting the play for review; I was beyond that. Just like my books and writing when I was a little girl, I shoved it into a “secret hideaway” on my laptop and closed that chapter of my life.

I applied to pharmacy school, was accepted, and began attending Ohio Northern University. I packed a box full of books to bring to school with me freshman year, but Thanksgiving break, they were all taken home. I didn’t have time for my one true love anymore.

And now, two years later, I realize the biggest mistake I ever made. I read the script last night, for the first time since I was a senior in high school and realized, I had finally, two years later, recognized what I knew all along. I wanted to be happy. And the eight people who liked it on Facebook seemed to agree that I’d made the correct choice.

I am a writer. I am a bookworm. I obsess over the details of my first meeting with my department head. I am a giddy school girl. I am a literature major, and for the first time, I really do have butterflies.

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