I’ve never really been a hugger. In college its like people find validation in the number of hugs they receive/give with reciprocation. Someone is always trying to hug me and it drives me absolutely crazy. The conundrum that I so often find myself in is that if I deny the hug, a person feels that I don’t like them, but if I accept the hug, as per custom with open arms, squeals, and a smiling face, then the people around me are led to believe that I enjoy the ridiculous, friendly gesture and are then so incline to wrap their filthy limbs around me more, and more often. But the thing about hugs is that such a simple form of human contact, something that people participate in almost daily, can mean so many different things. For me, a hug means that I need you.


Do you remember the first time you cried? I sure don’t. But parents tell you things. They tell you the reasons you would cry when you were pocket sized, and how as you aged you learned to abuse the system. I’m sure you remember the tears that seemed to flow endlessly until you got an ice pop. You know, the freeze pops that were basically just colored sugar water. The one’s that summer just wasn’t complete without. Those were the days. But do you remember, right before the pop, the moment when your parent took a look at your right knee, which had lost some skin to the pavement after you crashed your tricycle for the first time? Do you remember when they scooped you into that never ending bear hug? The type of hug where your tiny little peanut head fit perfectly into their neck and they just held you as you cried and they told you that everything would be okay? Do you remember that feeling? Safe. In that moment you feel like nothing can touch you…

But, back to the crying bit… that’s not the only memory I’m talking about. I’m talking about the first time that you were so emotionally wrecked that you broke down…and you knew you couldn’t get through it alone. I’m talking about that day in fourth grade when you came home from school and the minute you got off the bus you shed giant golf ball tears as you ran to your house. I’m talking about when you lost that best friend that you thought you would have forever, or the first time your heart broke. Those times when you needed that shoulder, when nothing else could get you though aside from that feeling that you had when you were three, and your mom or dad would just hold you and let you cry. And they might have said a line like, “let it all out”. Do you remember?

At a certain age I decided that crying was a weakness and that to cry at all was ridiculous…let alone crying in front of someone. Or, God forbid they try to make you feel better while you are emotionally unstable. After I turned six or seven I just shut down. When my parents would try to comfort me I would yell at them to go away or if they tried to touch me I would scream like their touch was acid.

What I’m trying to say here is that I never felt safe. I am not even comfortable enough with my own parents to allow them to comfort me. I don’t like touching people, or allowing others to touch me because even that small amount of comfort, that little human moment, shows that I have a weakness…that I have flaws. I refuse to feel broken. But recently I have realized that I might not need repaired, but rather, saved.

I have forced myself to rely on no one and in doing so have pushed everyone away. But there are times when I attempt to let my guard down and I am just hurt worse.

Sometimes you meet a person whose presence alone makes you feel better. They make you feel warm the way your favorite blanket does on a cold night, or warm you from the inside out like a cup of tea. I use to feel that way with you. Safe.

Now, it feels like my insides are on fire and to extinguish the flames all I have to do is reach out and touch you. Sometimes that comfort, that safety, is just out of reach.

When I’m with you I’m locked in a cage aflame and the key sits on the welcome mat. I’m so close, but always without.


Waiting for Australia

I always dream things to be much greater than they are. So great in fact that once experienced, the reality can in no way live up to the expectation. I call it, the Gatsby effect.

The only way for me to find happiness is for it to smack me in the face as hard and as fast as a freight train. You see it all started the first Wednesday of class. I took my seat and across from me was this gorgeous bearded man. I’m not usually one for the facial hair, but there was something about him. It was in the eyes. It’s always in the eyes.

Weeks have past and I have yet to talk to him. He doesn’t even know my name, I’m sure, and yet I think about him all the time. It’s creepy really. I’m not afraid to admit that. I am stuck so far in my own mind that I think there is a version of this reality where my dreams come true. I know now that it’s just my imagination. Life isn’t a movie. Things don’t just work out in your favor. That brooding hunk isn’t waiting in some secret alcove to kiss you.

I have this dream, the dream is to go somewhere that no one in my family, no one in my life has ever been to. I want to go somewhere no one knows my name. Start a new life. Sometimes I imagine myself as a mute, sometimes the victim of a tragic accident where all my family is killed leaving me with everything and free to go on a life altering adventure. Sometimes I imagine Australia. But now, after realizing my fatal flaw of exaggerating life in my mind, I’m afraid that if I do visit the enchanting desert of Australia, it will not live up to everything I hoped for.

With one quick glance at a boy, I am filled with this Australia feeling. This feeling that he won’t be everything I hope for. That no one can ever be what I hope for. So I sit here amongst a collection of my peers, looking across the classroom into his crystal blue eyes and hope that he is my Australia. That he is everything I dream of. That he will one day, rise from his chair and approach me with a smile and ask if he can take me for a drink at the pub.

Although most people think I am of a different species, it is true that I am just like every girl. All I want in this life is a happy ending. I’m afraid it will never come.

And the stars look upon us, And the wind blows against us, and the world keeps turning

I have been watching the days pass endlessly, waiting for the tides to change. Waiting for that shift in the current that brings to shore the treasure of a lifetime; a ship with endless bounty. But aboard this vessel we count no jewels, nor splendor. But the simple acts of the everyday, the moments that take your breath away. To quote a famous pirate, “not all that glitters is gold”. The people and the memories we share are what make this world worth living in. I have witnessed too much injustice over the past years. I have witnessed too much agony. I have to believe that ship is on its way so I can hop aboard and never look back. I can’t help but imagine that that ship will never appear on the horizon. I watch as the sun rises and falls. I watch its magic extinguish as it’s orange glow plummets into the sea. I watch as the stars peep, hidden in the vast galaxy of darkness. They watch too. Can you blame them. As they peep, their prying eyes see all which is sadness, and hate, and anger, and ruin. But they also see that which is love. Love is what drives us forward. Love keeps our head up and OUR eyes open. Love makes everything we endure worth it. Those of us without it, see others who bask in it and secretly loath them for being so happy. We are jealous of them for feeling such bliss, but we also love them for showing us what true love is.

Some people deserve the world. Others deserve nothing at all.

Why am I still single!?

I sit at a small table next to the window, book in one hand tea in the other, and contemplate my surroundings. As I try to read I notice a common trend. Lowering my book a little to peer over the top at the line forming in front of the bagel shop, I realize what I’ve been witnessing. It is the time of year right after all the major gift giving holidays when the weather gets warm, the bathing suits come out, and a massive number of people begin coupling. There is nothing more beautiful then love, but when you are single you start to really feel lonely. It is in moments like these, simple moments, in a sea of people, that I feel the most alone. It’s not a bad thing, don’t think I hate being on my own, but sometimes you really miss being close to someone. Glerb! It is feelings such as these that make me embarrassed to be a female. But, as I was saying, it just seems at times that everyone has their person. I mean there are some times when I’m just like, “Daaaumn, All I need is a knitted blanket and a hoard of cats and I’d unequivocally be the definition of single.” And I know there are other college girls out there that feel like they are a crochet needle and a hand knitted tea cozy away from being forever alone. Back in the 80s a talented spunky, colorfully dressed pop star told the world, “love is a battlefield”. Well, I thought over my options and decided that instead of shooting myself in the foot and being medevac’d from the battle zone,  I was going to find out the reason (If there is one) that I am still a party of one.

Here are eight reasons you might be single.

1. “I am unworthy” Disorder

Let me just say, you are not the dirt that men walk on. You are better then that. Stand up straight and strut your stuff. If you hang your head low enough you will in fact become the grime beneath his feet. I mean he’s cute and all but don’t be his pedestal. Don’t put him higher then he belongs. Make eye contact and smile damn it. You’re awesome! He should lift you up not bring you down. Just accept it and move on.

2. The “I need you, I need you” Complex

Stop! Just, Stop. Calm down, take a couple deep breaths, and back away from your man. If you want to keep him, get out of his ass. That is not comfortable for anyone involved. The more you call, text, leave weird voicemails, climb on him like a monkey, expect him to do your bidding, tell him you just cant stop looking at his face because you want it to be perfect in your dreams, ask him for fancy things, um, I lost my train of thought, oh ya, the more things you do to him the less he will like you. That’s not attractive. Be your own person!

3. If He’s not Prince Charming, He’s not for me

You are too picky. The perfect prince charming, man candy, hunk of loveliness wrapped around a sweet caring center does not exist. Disney lied. I’m sorry. You’re standards are too high. Stop being unrealistic and discriminatory. Give the sweet nerdy guy a chance. When he takes off his glasses and puts on a button up over his Star Wars shirt he’s actually pretty cute. …well…you never know until you try.

4. Trying to Catch the Bandwagon

All of your friends are in happy sing-song relationships that make you want to sing along and throw up at the same time and you are, due to this new musical form of the flu, painfully aware that you might just be the last person on the face of the earth without a boyfriend. Oh No, there go your friends, riding two by two in the back of the wagon…still singing. And there you go, running along side it, trying desperately to catch up. True Story.

5. Horrible Break-Up Syndrome

You just came out of a relationship that felt like a grizzly bear clawed your heart out, eat it, digested and excreted it on your front porch. We’ve all been there. It sucks worse then that midget rodeo, but you bought the tickets, so you must now sit next to the large drunk gentleman that bought seats next to you and laugh at his horrible demeaning jokes. Eventually the pain will stop, your tears will dry and the little people will go home to their families. It will all be over and everyone will be able to happily forget about the whole thing. And I don’t want to hear any of that, but it would have been better if (enter ex-boyfriends name here) was there like he was suppose to be. He loved midget rodeos. You hate midget rodeos! You are more important! Move on!!

6. Irrational “History Repeats Itself” Fear

Do not say “oh, I messed up the last relationship so I’m bound to mess this one up too”. No self sabotage! Every single relationship is different and if you think that everything in the last relationship was your fault, you are going to think your way into ruining this one. If you like your new guy then prove it. Don’t tell him how horrible your last relationship was. Don’t even reference your old relationship. Use new to your advantage and forget about the old.

7. Broing too far

You are just too cool. Girls are cute and sweet and sometimes manage to relate to something a guy likes and then over time reveals that she likes some guy things. But this is not you. You put it all out there and from a very early point in your relationship you are hardcore friend zoned. You are officially a bro. You hang out with the guys talking about the best action movies, outdoorsiness, sports, and video games. If you know the names of all the original 150 Pokémon and reference Frodo’s cum face in conversation, or if you argue that the original three Star Wars movies are better then the new ones and can keep up in sports conversations, Ooo and if you aren’t offended by dude speak, you are a bro. It’s especially hard being a bro because none of your guy friends think of you as a girl and all new guys you meet in the presence of your dudes realize your level of brodom and immediately catalogue you into the “unavailable due to extreme bro status” folder. It is near impossible to escape the bro circle which definitely contributes to your single relationship status.

8. Bad Timing or No Time at All

You know that you are awesome. You have the whole package thing going on and you still cant find your other half. You aren’t even really looking, it just so happens that he hasn’t presented himself to you. There are three ways this can go. Scenario 1: you haven’t met a guy because you are in fact the type of girl that is smart, pretty, and talented making you the marrying type and boys are not looking for that in a girl at this point in their lives. Scenario 2: You have met a guy that likes you but for some reason you guys can’t make it work. It could be distance, or schedules, or it could be one of those “I’ve always loved you but you told me too late and I’m in a relationship with someone else” situations. Scenario 3: You don’t even realize that you give off the “I’m taken” vibe. You don’t give boys the time of day and its not because you don’t want to, you are just oblivious. You are almost too comfortable by yourself and therefore turn guys away without even knowing it.

I fall under way too many of these categories for it to be ok. But, knowing is half the battle, right?

I Just Want to Fly

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Can you see it?

Can you see me fly,

over the rainbow and into the sky?

If I could change anything,

anything in this life,

I would pray to the gods for the gift of flight.


Not everyone would be given this magical gift,

only those who could make it more than it is.

Some would take it for granted and fly too high.

For that their wings would melt as they cry.

Like Icarus, if they thirst for more,

their gift will be lost as they crash to the shore.


But for those with kind hearts and generous hands,

they would treasure the gift as our father had planned.

If people could fly we could help those in need.

We could help those with hunger.

We could help those diseased.


If people could fly, we wouldn’t need cars.

we could end this pollution and in the city see stars.

The once hazy nights filled with sighs and off glances,

would be instead made of deep breaths and romances.


If people could fly imaginations would soar.

There would be no limitations.

There would be ideas galore.

Like a bird we could migrate to where we felt warm.

And in that warmth would be acceptance.

There would be no more scorn.

We could learn others’ language.

We could learn their beliefs.

There would be no division,

only relief.

dust particles

I was once tasked with writing a about an aesthetic experience. But telling me to choose such an experience is like telling someone to choose a second from their lifetime. Everything I see is beautiful in its own bazaar way. But, if I was being forced to choose the most beautiful of all the experiences I would have to choose the most simple and minuscule of them all.

Each morning when I wake it is before the dawn. Rising as if a corpse and moving reanimated by the pursuit of happiness. It is on the weekends that I am given the chance to sleep like the world outside of my room is dead, and when I wake the world does too. As I woke this morning I did not move. I let my eyes adjust to the world and as the images around me came into focus I caught sight of one of my favorite things on this earth. As sunlight streamed through my window it caught the tiniest of dust particles in its glow and illuminated them. As they shift and turn, I always imagine life in its simplest forms. The world outside that little shaft of sunlight vanishes and all I can see are the dancing of white fairies. They are too small to describe in accurate detail and for that I imagine beauty. Simple, elegant, playful beauty unlike anything the human eye can see. They turn and move with a rhythm that makes me believe in something bigger, something secret, something magical. I have struggled this summer with the idea that magic is disappearing from the eyes of those that should see it. Children are filled with wonder, questions, and ideas of what the world should be. I have noticed that in a flash, children grow up, and without even noticing, they lose what makes them happy and ignorant; magic. It’s a shame that such a magnificent world is wasted on men with meager minds. Mine, however, follows the sun. It is in the moments that she peeks through the trees or rides on the oceans rough waters, makes silhouettes of the people I love or gleams off of skyscrapers that build a city that I realize that life is worth living, and in living it, happiness becomes not a pursuit, not a destination, but a mind set. Set in your mind now that this will never change, and you will forever be happy.


For many college students the time they spend at their university is not only a chance to enhance your mind and absorb knowledge, but also to experience things you never have before. Its a time to take chances; a time to make mistakes. For me, Wilmington was the perfect backdrop for the perfect adventure. A new place filled with endless possibilities. A place where dreams come true. A place where memories are made. I never expected to have half the experiences I’ve had so far and I hope to have many more. But there is one particular memory I will never forget.

It all started with a belief. A belief in…something. That’s right, there is no big revelation to be made or dream in which my faith and my belief brought me to the divine. No, it is not a belief in God, Nor is it a belief that candy will rain from the sky and cats will one day rule the earth (although that sounds awesome now that I think about it). It is simply to believe in whatever makes your heart skip a beat. To believe that there is something out there that makes you smile just a little bit more. I believe. Simple. My belief could only be symbolized by the one thing that I believe in. Mermaids. Maiden of the SeaNow calm down out there, I’m sure you are all thinking, “WTF?”, But let me explain. As a child you are told that there are magical beings that exist such as, Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny. But at a certain point you realize that the magic you were told to believe in was all a lie. You realize that every generation since the beginning of Coca-Cola has told you that a jolly fat man in a red suit breaks into your house and leaves you presents that tiny people make in the land where humans can’t breathe because its too damn cold. At this point in life all you can say is, EVERYTHING IS A LIE!!! I at some point in my short existence have lost faith in everything that I once believed in, but for some reason I still have hope that mermaids exist. I always wanted to be one swimming in the blue waters and breathing in the salt (1) A creature of two worlds. A creature of sand and sea. That’s part of the reason I chose UNCW. I guess my heart has always belonged to the ocean. I decided that I wanted to recognize and eternalize my belief that magic still exists and believe in the now. I decided to get a tattoo of a mermaid on my left foot. I spent weeks designing the cutest most elegant little mermaid tattoo poring my heart into it knowing that my little mermaid would symbolize everything that I am. I get to the tattoo shop and my heart feels like its in my stomach. Excitement courses through my veins and there is no fear. I hand my design to the tattoo artist, Rob, and he hands it back to me. “The design is too small. As you age the epidermis swells causing the image to distort. I don’t want my name on an unattractive tattoo”. *Sigh* Why does this happen to me. “But if you want something else I can do it. You already scheduled the time”. I decided on the symbol for Hakuna Matata. I saw the idea on Pintrest and I thought it was perfect. Pintrest you fooled me. It was not perfect. Not even close. As Gina on Brooklyn nine-nine might say, “Oh little mermaid what have you done? He is a sea witch in disguise do not sing into his shell”.

When I got home I realized my mistake. I never made sure my permanent art was actually what it was said to mean. After a little research photo (2)I found out that my symbol was from an award winning Korean film entitled the “The 500 Pound Beauty”, in which the main character undergoes dramatic plastic surgery to become a popstar. In the film she draws the symbol to mean, Hakuna Matata and luck in love. I accepted that and moved on. A few days later…I realized it was backwards. The moral of the story is when getting a tattoo, do a backround check. Check the studio, check the artists, check their work, check your tattoo, check EVERYTHING.thCAM700IY In Wilmington there are a slew of studios from the beach to downtown and all of them are unique in some way shape or form. Hardwire Tattoo downtown is the only place in Wilmington that will do white ink tattoos. Cape fear tattoos has a few really great artists and their studios are decked out in star wars and comic memorabilia. Jade Monkey is a little expensive but that usually means they have artists worth paying for. Cadillac Tattoo is the least expensive and they do mediocre work. My experience there was not great, but everyone’s experience is different and all it really comes down to is where you feel comfortable.

Everyone has something that they have always wanted to do. My advice, do it. This is the time to experiment and figure out who you are and what you like. Just be sure its exactly what you want and not an impulse decision.