Letters to July // Day 3

Dear July,

I am very tired, my friend. But before I go to sleep I have a few thoughts I’d like to run by you. 

1. Making friends is really hard and terrifying. I feel like I’m out of practice so now making friends that are going to college with me is so freaking scary. 

2. Also why is small talk a thing. I’m very bad at it. It’s very confusing and I hate it. 

3. Fireworks are overrated. 

Ok. Goodnight, July. 

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letter to July // Day 2

Dear July,

I’ve started to notice something interesting amongst my friends this summer. 

I noticed it first on my small group camping trip and then again a few days later hanging out with different friends and I keep noticing it. And especially these past two days I’ve noticed it. 

You see July, I think everyone’s starting to refill again. 

In the months leading up to summer I saw each of my friends slowly get drained from all the stress of school and planning for college, and they were left as sort of sad defeated shells of people. 

But now I think everyone’s starting to refill, to reinflate. They’re refilling with joy and with hope. They’re drawing close to their friends and allowing themselves to try new things and just live their best life. I’m seeing my friends laugh again and you can even tell a difference in pictures. We’re all cheesin’ and it’s a beautiful sight. 

I’ve noticed this in myself too, July. I feel less drained and less exhausted. I can let myself try new things because there’s no longer such a high cost for failure. I’m being more honest with my friends and I’m fully experiencing the present, or at least I’m consciously trying to. 

I don’t know, July. I just think there’s a bit more spring in everyone’s step and a bit more life in everyone’s eyes. And that makes me happy. 

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 1

Dear July,

I’m meeting you this year in kind of an odd state. 

A lot has happened since I saw you last. The biggest thing is probably the fact that I finished high school and will be heading off to college soon. 

And I suppose I’ve changed a lot too. In addition to my new hair color and my new “fashion” sense, I think I’m just much more me. I’ve worked hard since we were last together. I’ve been working through some of those things you’ve seen plague me in past years and I think I’m finally seeing progress. 

I’ve got a lot of work to do while we’re together this year. I’ve got several trips planned- a few last adventures with my friends before we all go our own ways. I’ve got some more college preparation to do and I still need to find time to let myself breathe, create, and process all this change, so I don’t leave you with my head in too much of a panicked state. 

But , I’m hopeful. 

I’m hopeful that you’ll give me time to be. Time to exist without apology. 

You’ve always sort of been a midsummer oasis. An island in the middle of the year to let my creativity run wild. 

And July,

 I’m glad to have you back. 

Love, Nikki Robinson

** This was inspired by the brilliant Emily Diana Ruth. I’ve watched her Letters to July videos for the past couple years and they’re fantastic. Check her out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/emilieofnewgloom

Pals & Trains

 

Hungry for adventure

With ten bucks and some change

We’ll set our sights to the horizon

And board the next train 

We’ll figure it out as we go

With each step that we take

Because when you’re on an adventure

You’re truly awake

My Trip To Slowtown 

  I took a trip to a land where everything moved slower. 

Decompressing in the woods with my trusty companions. 

See, in this world there were no deadlines, no responsibilities, no homework. 

And because of that something special happened. 

We tried new things, we let go, we got goofy and some of us even found our “passion”.

We were suspended in time. 

Free to rediscover the little parts of ourselves we hadn’t been able to find in awhile. 

I think that forest had some magic healing properties. 

Because with a deep inhale of campfire smoke- I realized something. 

I can breathe again. 

Nikki Robinson 

I graduated 

The whispers were liars. 

The taunts of failure were wrong. 

Because I did it. 

I survived. 

See, I proved myself wrong. 

And I’m terrified for what’s next. 

But fear keeps me sharp. 

So I’m going to slice through whatever’s ahead.

Because it’s time. 

And I’m ready for it. 

Nikki Robinson

Late Night Mumblings: The Dream

Okay so this is going to be a pretty weird entry but I can’t sleep.

So for the past few months I’ve been having these really horrible reoccurring dreams. It started several months ago when I woke up in the middle of the night in a horrible panicky sweat. For some reason I had a dream that a friend of mine killed herself. Yea so like that wasn’t great to wake up to. But it was fine and I didn’t think much of it since it was just a dream. Except, it happened again like a week later. And it keeps happening more frequently. It’s always a different person, but the general premise is the same: one of my friends kills them self. Lately it’s reached a point where this dream is happening almost nightly and I have no idea why. But I’ll wake up most mornings sweating, crying or with a pit in my stomach. It’s such a bizzare and unenjoyable thing. I don’t know, I guess losing someone I care about has always been one of my biggest fears and so maybe that’s manifesting itself in dream form? Or woah what if the dreams have to with the fact that I’m leaving for college soon and essentially leaving all my friends? That’s trippy. Yea I don’t know. It’s just the worst feeling to wake up to and I hate it. See, I’ve always been a really fiercely loyal person. Like, if I decide I’m going to be your friend, it’s not a light decision. I pick my friends carefully and have such a loyalty/love for them that the idea of losing any of them makes me sick. And so yea this dream is actually the worst and it’s made me afraid to sleep because I don’t want to lose a friend. 

Also if I’ve been unusually nice to you or texted you first thing in the morning it’s probably because I had that dream about you. Honestly I’ve had the dream about almost all my friends. Like who does my subconscious even have left to kill off??

There’s not really a resolution to this. I just wanted to ramble about it. 

Maybe I’m just going insane who knows?¿

Okay I’m going to try to sleep and hope I don’t have the dream tonight. 

Nikki Robinson 

Late Night Mumblings: Fear and Friends and Stuff

*Note: I’m going to start writing really informal and unfiltered late night posts that I’ll call Late Night Mumblings. They probably won’t make a lot of coherent sense but that’s fine.  Okay cool glad we got that figured out. 

I’ve never been that type of person who had a lot of really close friendships. 

I’m very particular with who I choose to be friends with and I’m not one of those people who will talk hours into the night and share all their secrets and fears and hopes and dreams. 

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why. Why I don’t let myself get too close to anyone. And I think a lot of it has to do with fear. 

I guess I’m just really afraid of being fully known by someone? I’m scared to let people in because I don’t want them to see the things about me that I hate. There are things I wish I didn’t even know about myself and the thought of other people knowing those things is really terrifying. 

I think there’s another layer of fear too. I think I fear that I’ll hurt people if I let them get too close. In that book The Fault in Our Stars, the main character talks about how she feels like a grenade. She doesn’t want to let anyone get to close to her because she fears that if she “blows up” she’ll hurt all those around her. I really get that. I’ve always had this horrible fear of hurting the people I love. It’s easier to keep my distance than risk hurting someone I care about. 

But lately I’ve started to feel the negative effects of living like this. I build barrier after barrier to keep people safe from me. But I don’t think I want that anymore? 

I don’t think I want to keep people at a distance. I mean I suppose some people won’t like what they see if I let them in, but I guess I can’t be bothered to care anymore. I think the reality is I have friends who will see me and accept my brokenness and embrace my mess. 

And I don’t think I need to be so afraid of hurting people. It’ll happen, I’ll hurt people, but I think that’s part of what we sign up for when we become friends with someone? Friendship is a two-way risk. We agree to get close knowing that it could get messy and I think that’s kind f the beauty of it. 

I mean, I’ve never learned anything about my friends that drove me away and I’d risk being hurt because I trust and love my friends. 

I’m not sure but I think I’m finally understanding that is okay to need friends and to let them know you. 

Because frankly pushing people away is exhausting and it hasn’t been working too well. 

I think I’m hopeful. 

-Nikki Robinson

Claimed

I’ve noticed recently that people leave traces of themselves in my life.

When people come into my life they claim things.

You see, Becca claimed Cabernet Matinée chocolate bars and now whenever I see one I think of her.

And then Jenna claimed fake nails.

Alaina claimed “Miss Missing You”.

Aliya claimed Cinderella and Tiana.

Rachel claimed “Carpe Diem”.

Shannon claimed Miley Cyrus.

Erica claimed ice cream sandwiches.

Kristopher claimed McChickens.

Dhivyaa claimed bunnies.

Kristen claimed Doc Martens.

Jeremiah claimed man buns.

Katrina claimed Spanish.

Taylor claimed Bees?

When people come into my life they leave traces of themselves on various things.

Like little memories echoing long after they’ve left.

I can’t go to Denny’s anymore without thinking of the night Zoe and I went there for several hours to drink coffee and write.

I can’t eat ice cream anymore without thinking about how Candice would be so proud of me.

I can’t walk in the street anymore without thinking of that late night dog walk with Megan.

Wherever I look I see traces of people I care about.

It’s a funny thing how this works.

I’m sure MaryRose never intended for me to think of her whenever I see a Claude Monet painting or a space joke. But I do. And I probably will for a long time.

The thing is: having your world claimed is inevitable.

And I think it’s a special thing that people can claim parts of your world.

You made a human connection if only for a short time.

I think I’d be pretty lucky to one day live in a completely claimed world.

Nikki Robinson

Dear me at 14

These next four years will be a lot- more than you could’ve expected. See, you’ll fall in love. Actually, you’ll fall in love with the idea of love. But you’ll realize you don’t need external love. I know it seems like a necessity and that having a boy will fill what’s missing. But it won’t. It didn’t. You are okay. You’re more than okay without romance. 

You’ll have to face loneliness in a match. And you’ll lose several times. Loneliness will knock you down so many times. You won’t be able to see it at the time, but there were people helping you up to face it again. And sure the loneliness won so many times, but it’s a tough opponent. You’ll always have people in your corner. 

You’ll be really lost. You won’t know who to listen to or who to follow. You will wander that metaphorical forest for years. But I’ll let you in on a secret that seems obvious now- above all, listen to yourself and follow yourself. You know what you want to do with your future. Let yourself believe in yourself. 

You’ll be really afraid. You’ll fear death, you’ll fear life. You’ll fear the dark, but you’ll fear the light. You’ll be so afraid and a lot of times you still are today. We’re still working on that one. But just know that it’s okay to be scared. It’s scary to face the world some days, but it’ll get a little easier. I promise you. 

You’ll feel really wrong. You’ll feel unhinged. You’ll feel not normal and you’ll feel other. But you’re going to find a way to communicate those weird things that you’re thinking but you don’t know how to say without sounding insane. But you’ll also kind of embrace your insanity. You’ll channel it and you’ll use it. You also don’t need to worry about those secrets you have. Those secrets that you can’t even rationalize right now. You’re not as screwed up as you think. It’s okay to be known. 

You’ll feel discouraged. You won’t get it. You’ll get tunnel vision. You’ll find it difficult to balance between not seeing far enough into the future and seeing too far. If your perspective is too small you’ll feel hopeless but if it’s too big you’ll get anxious. Be patient with yourself and with the universe. 

You’re still struggling with these things. Love, loneliness, confusion, fear, insanity, and anxiety are difficult emotions but they have a purpose. You’ll become more focused. You’ll focus on wearing what you want, being with who you care for, saying what you think and doing what you love. You’ll stop hanging out with those people who bring you down. You’ll work up the courage to wear flannel and dye your hair dark. You’ll develop your own thoughts and opinions on the world and modern culture. And you’ll find that thing that lets you out of your mind. You’ll find your passion- but I won’t spoil it for you. 

It was rough, but you’re okay now. 

Love, 

Me at 18