I’m Nikki.

I’m 17 years old. I’m a sister, a daughter, a niece and a cousin to many. I believe family is very important. I’m a former fish owner (RIP Penelope), and a dog owner. My dog is one of the most important people in my life. I think animals can understand a lot more about humanity than we can. I’m a joker and a laugher. I think laughter has magical healing abilities. I think finding humor in situations is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. I’m right brain dominant. I’m a ukulele player, a saxophonist, a lover of all things musical. I think music can be incredibly healing. I think all art can be incredibly healing. I’m a photographer and aspiring filmmaker. I want to use my media to inspire people the way so many films have inspired me. I’m a lover of traveling, specifically a lover of England. Being in the land of my ancestors helps me feel connected to history. I’m a writer. Actually I’m a blogger. I believe that everyone needs a platform to voice their opinions. I’m a supporter of self expression and reflection.

I’m a believer in people. I’m a supporter of equal rights that transcend gender, orientation, race, religion or anything else. I believe everyone is united by humanity and I believe everyone has a redeeming quality. I am religious. A Christian to be exact. I believe that Christians have caused a lot of harm and oppression. I believe that truly practicing Christianity isn’t condemning, it’s loving. I believe that there’s a lot of pain and suffering in the world. But, I’m trying to remain hopeful. I believe the purpose of life is to spread kindness. And I believe if people were imagined much more complexly there’d be less hate.

I’m hesitant to be honest. I’m hesitant to be emotional. I’m hesitant to let my guard down. I’m afraid, I’m worried, and I’m uncertain. My future excites me. My future scares me. I’m afraid of failure. I’ve felt like a failure in the past. But I’m not a failure. I’m too stubborn to fail now. I was a sick kid. The hospital was my second home until only three years ago. A large part of my personality was formed there. It helped me to understand, to be patient, to be empathetic. I’m uncertain who the new, healthy me is. I’m excited to find her. I don’t like to be pitied. I believe pity is a weapon to make people feel alienated. I’ve felt alienated by the ones I love. They weren’t alienating me, I was alienating myself. I’ve felt alone. But I’m not alone. Loneliness is a lie. I want to be normal. No one’s normal. I want to be okay with not being normal. I think I’m okay with not being normal.

I’m learning to be independent. I’m learning to be adult. I’m learning that being adult sometimes means having no clue what you’re doing. I’m learning to speak my mind, to advocate for myself. I’m learning that pursuing passion is more important than pursuing safety. I’m learning who I am. I’m learning to embrace my past. And I’m learning to tell my story.

The End of Dear Canada.

The end began on August 24, 2014 around 3:15 pm when my IPhone plummeted to the ground- the screen shattering.

Thankfully the phone was still usable. Unfortunately not for long. The following Saturday the digitizer (part that sense when you touch the screen) stopped working.

My phone was now a useless chunk of technology.

I did have insurance so in exchange for $170 (ouch) I got a completely new replacement phone. So great everything is well and resolved. Perfect.

Well, it was perfect until I decided to edit together Dear Canada day 6.

You see, I was excited about day 6. The footage consisted of a beautiful hike through the Canadian forest and rock climb along the beach and I was quite happy with the writing for the audio.

I was excited to share this one.

So I go to my phone to send the videos to my iPad (I find it easier to edit on a bigger screen). I open my restored camera roll and scroll up to find the footage.

And it’s not there.

None of my nine days of footage is there. Apparently Apple only backs up pictures and not videos.

Needless to say, I am very annoyed.

Nikki Robinson

A letter to my 22 year old self.

It’s hard for me to imagine what must be happening in your life. 6 years is quite a long time for someone my age.

So how are you?

Have you finished art school? Please tell me you are at least at art school. I hope you haven’t lost track of your passion. You better not have settled for some boring medical degree. Don’t kid yourself, you and I both know that you’ll never feel content doing that. So if your not at film school make sure you really think about the choices you’ve made. Are you where you’re at because you want to be there or because mom and dad want you there.

Speaking of mom and dad, how are they? Is mom deaf yet? Because lord knows she practically there already! Is she still working? Has she given up coloring her hair yet? How about dad? What was it like when he retired? How annoying was it to have him home for all of senior year? I hope you still talk to them. Don’t be one of those adults who ships their parents off to an old people home. Even though they weren’t the kindest to you, they are your parents. Remember that.

How’s Drew? Let’s see he’ll be about 25 now. Make sure you keep in touch with him. I know that the way you guys communicate is through being jerks to each other but you love him. And he loves you. Remember a few weeks ago when you were saying good night and you said you loved him and he responded, “same I guess.” Be there for him. Let him know you believe in him. Let him know he can do it. Whatever it may be.

I was about to ask how Fawn is but I can’t imagine she’ll still be alive. An 18 year old dog is highly improbable but hey who knows? If you have your own dog I hope you named it Jeffrey. You always wanted a dog named Jeffrey.

Nikki Robinson

Note: I wrote this almost a year ago with the goal of it being a sort of time capsule and I had always intended on adding more to it but I suppose now it’s been long enough that I would like to leave it as is- existing in its slightly disjoint, completely unfiltered, and half-finished beauty.

Another 1:00am existential crisis.

I’m lying in bed and I’m hearing that old familiar voice again telling me I’m not good enough. And you see normally I can silence it and go to sleep but tonight the voice seems much more prominent.

In general, I like to think that I’m pretty confident and self assured. I make a conscious effort to develop my own sense of self identity and to love myself but I often struggle with feeling useless.

And I just don’t get why.

Do I really think that I’m never going to accomplish anything with my life? No of course not. I’m way too determined to give up on my dreams that so many have told me are very unlikely and far fetched.

But maybe that’s just it.

I don’t feel like I’ll never live up to my own standards. I fear that I won’t live up to other people’s standards.

That voice in my head could be my mom saying that art isn’t a real career. Or my dad saying my grades aren’t good enough. Or any other voice of rejection, disapproving or doubt.

And to those people I say “put a sock in it!”

But that’s just one face of the multi headed beast of self doubt.

I think there’s a small part of me that’s afraid of success. I know that sounds weird but I guess I’ve gotten comfortable with these thoughts. If thoughts of uselessness and incompetency were human then they would be that friend that you don’t really like but still hang out with because you always have.

Doubt is my blanket and I am Linus from Peanuts. It makes me feel safe and comfortable.

So I suppose I have come to a sleepy conclusion.

Do I really feel like I’ll never amount to anything or am I afraid of what’ll happen when i believe that I can?

Nikki Robinson