I tried my best this year. I tried to be brave and soft, unforgiving and free. I wanted to be the girl of my own dreams-- someone I could look up to and be proud of when the time came.

And before I could get a full grasp of what I was asking of myself, I fell apart-- inwardly so that only I could witness the break, but enough to render me immobile and elusive all at the same time. I was running from myself without anywhere to go, and I made makeshift homes wherever the world let me.

I don't know if I'm more golden today. Last year was supposed to be my year of understanding and realization. I wanted to shine, but I also knew that meant a kind of darkness. I can't tell if I'm on the other side. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.

film strips from Berlin, at the end of my 3 months away; my aura portrait by radiant human; some polaroid film from my solo birthday getaway on the coast; and pressed flowers from my father's grave

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