Sometimes I worry that I have changed too much. In less than two years, my hair has been six different colours. Eleven-year-old me in her Blink 182 t-shirt and skateboard under arm would stare quizzically at my vast and treasured makeup collection. An uncountable list of people have taken my heart in their hands and squished it like clay or patched it up gently. I am stronger and I am happier, but am I the same person at all?
When I was thirteen and waiting at the crosswalk between my new school and my new house, I saw words scrawled on the curb stating, ‘Drunk words are sober thoughts.’ When I was fifteen, a boy who was too afraid to hold my hand while sober threw back some beers and told me he loved me. When I was sixteen, a girl I considered my most true best friend took nine shots of raspberry vodka and spat in through her teeth that she didn’t believe me that my father had beat me. When I was seventeen, a girl who had slept with more boys than she had Facebook friends split a bottle of wine with me and told me she’d known she was gay since she was five years old.
Maybe drinking is not so much about telling the truth than it is about being true. Because when I drink, I’m still afraid to tell people I’ve known for the six most important years of my life that I can’t take another shot because my medications are not terribly compatible with whiskey. I still can’t tell my mom, driving me home from a party while I roll around in the passenger seat, that it’s not my own lipstick smeared across my face. Punk music still makes me jump. Bambi still makes me cry.
Laying on the bathroom floor, tears falling like pine cones, skin pricking like pine needles, limbs spread like tree limbs, a tiny girl with a coniferous soul grows up, out, up, taller, but the greenness of her body stays through winters and storms. I do not think I will drink anymore."