Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Patchwork Quilt

These last two months, most of my writing has been stitched together from patches of work I've done over the last four years. As I've been constructing my college and scholarship essays, I've flipped through every journal since freshman year, skimmed through every blog post, and browsed my folders on Google Docs. All of this material makes up the meat of every essay I've written so far. It's the raw material that captures the essence of the moment. Without these journal entries, blog posts, and class assignments, I would be forced to toy with my memory, which at the surface does not produce much more than cliché muck. Mind you, there is still lots of muck I have to trudge through, namely the food anxieties and the unrequited love. I should tally the number of journal entries in which I promise I have "cried for the last time" about a boy; I will no longer "use his name;" I am "over him," only to find his name three pages later. For my own self-dignity, though, it is probably a good thing my journal is physical and therefore doesn't have a "Find and replace" word feature. 

But, amidst all this muck, I have found some gems––single lines or paragraphs or ideas that shimmer. I love seeing the themes that repeat––justification on the stage, experimentation in the kitchen, dreams of travel. It has been gratifying to finally string these together, and try to formalize, for example, why I love theatre. Writing these application essays, I have been able to relive the highlights of the last four years, and I am so grateful I have these words to jog my memory.

As senior year continues, I will keep my needle and string in hand, sewing together the best patches of my last seventeen years. 

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