Yesterday I was looking around my room. I noticed the “gullible” written in pink chalk on the ceiling above my bed. My boyfriend can trick me most of the time: “Hey do you have Google Maps on your phone? Of course! I have an iPhone! Because I keep getting lost in your eyes. Damnit!” So this summer I one-upped him with the words…”yep, it is written up there.”
I also noticed (let’s be real I’m not really “noticing” but rather fucking around with Instagram to bide my time) the wooden blocks my ex-boyfriend Casey carved for me when we dated for a few months in high school (well I was in high school and he was dating a minor). I never really got the impression that Casey was particularly into me, mainly because I was three years his junior and he lived three hours away. Casey made drums, which was cool, and eventually dumped me because he was “incapable of loving” me, which sucked. There were a lot of wood scraps involved in the drum making process so one day when I was on vacation Casey sent me a phone picture of a carving he’d created with his new…carving tool. Three blocks each containing one word formed the phrase: “Connelly the optimist!” I was ecstatic. As soon as I returned to Gloucester I went to his house to collect my gift. He directed me to the trash can, telling me that he was “just messing around.” I dug through dust and nails to find those three wooden blocks. Casey’s long gone but the blocks (after a paint job) have resided in my bedroom, my dorm room and both of my apartments. I’m an optimist, right?
Looking at these blocks yesterday I started to laugh. Even in those “dark” days of high school, when my hair was too short and my journal entries were too damn depressing, I was enough of an optimist for myself and my 20 year old boyfriend, who was clearly suffering from some kind of misplaced soul searching.
So what happened to the optimist? And what even happened to the gullible girl from a few months ago? I believe that my soul searching is just as misplaced as the drum maker of my past. You know when you think you can do something on your own and then you just cannot, cannot, cannot? That’s a jar of pickles that’s been sitting in my fridge, top on tight, for at least three months. That’s every draft of every blog post, story, fanciful essay topic sitting stagnant in a folder on my computer. That’s me trying to reclaim my optimism and failing miserably. But I think, if I can tell stories about what was and what can still be, I’ll be fine, eventually.