Every once in awhile, I’ll post something from my manuscript. Last time it was some nonfiction. Today, I decided to share with you some of the rough draft I'm working on right now. I don't know when I'll finish it, and I don't even know if it will publish. But it's fun to write and I wanted to give you a peek.
Call me Emerson.
At least, that’s what my parents named me. Friends call me Emmy, those closest call me Em. I don’t know if I like any of those options, considering my dad insisted on naming me after some dead, white, male poet.
I am neither a child or a poet. At least, not anymore. I think I used to have a piece of that poetry inside. Now it just seems a little broken. I am neither brooding or isolated. Emotions, in their overwhelming need, make me feel uncomfortable. But, in the same breath, I need my people.
Let me be honest here: I don’t really know who I am - at least, not in the philosophical sense. In so many ways I’m your typical teenage girl and in so many ways - so many ways - I’m nothing like you’d expect. When I was younger, my father would tell me I didn’t live in reality. He told me a girl who loses herself in her thoughts will eventually lose herself to what’s around her - and I guess, in a sense, he’s right.
I’m just now coming up for air.
For the first time, I’m realize what it means to be free. Free from obligation, free from worry, free from guilt or shame. Most importantly, free to really figure out what it is I’m made of in this flesh and bone.
There are moments where I feel I may have captured who it is I truly am - the part of me I hide from everyone, even myself. Moments like this possess an element of rightness, where I feel true and alive. Moments like now, sitting on the beach and watching the storm roll through the waves. I remember a poem from my literature class, before my parents withdrew me to homeschool. It referenced the constancy of waves. The going, the pulling, the bringing back. Like memories and time, it all comes back. Everything changes and moves and disappears or ages, but not waves. Waves are constant. A moving piece of time.
The breeze turns into a gust of wind and whips my dirty blonde hair into tangles. Frustrated, I angle my neck and grab the unruly piece in my hands and contemplate wrapping it into a ponytail before deciding against it. Right now, the chaos of wind in my hair seems nice. I breathe deep and feel the wind against my skin, the sand brushing up underneath my feet.
Yeah. Here is where I feel most me.
I stare at the waves some more, watching them crest and crash over each other, building velocity as the storm grows out in the gulf. The weather men warned against this storm, but I know the ocean. It’s here I feel most centered, almost as if there’s this invisible anchor settling deep in my chest, silencing the doubts and fears pestering my otherwise feeble existence. Closing my eyes, I feel the air around me pulse with energy.
This storm would be strong, but not as strong as they anticipated. It may not even reach the shore.
The tide comes close, lapping at my ankles and creating sink holes of sand around me. I don’t move. I need it this way. Need to remember sink holes are just a fact of nature and not something I cause. Lately, it seems destruction follows me - lapping at my ankles like the tide and leaving sink holes in my wake.
Of course, I know this isn’t true, but I’ve also realized old feelings die hard and well, I have years of monstrous feelings aching to be released.
My thoughts wander to earlier in the day - my parents arguing again. I just couldn’t handle it - couldn’t deal with the anger - so I just left. Maneuvered myself out of the living room without them even noticing. Don’t really know why it surprises me. I run my hands through the wet sand, letting it stick in between my fingers and under my nails. Leaning back against the towel, I drift to the rhythm of the crashing waves. I’m use to being invisible.