Hey! My name’s Esther, which a lot of café baristas have trouble spelling accurately. I’m Virginia-born, but I’ve been living in New York since I was eight years old, so I’ve officially lived over half my life here.
I think a lot about whether I’m actually living or just existing – am I making my years count or am I just going through the motions?
Hopefully, the former.
A little about me: I’m a creative-arts kid raised by a hard-logic fanatic. As much as I’d like to tell my mother that my favorite subject is math and that I’m doing super well in science, I’ve always come back to the arts – my dad and I share that quality, as well as the one where we like to crack often-terrible jokes to make others (and ourselves) laugh.
I often get intimidated by the sheer amount of stuff there is to do in this universe. For me, time is always running out; I am always one second closer to never being able to do the things I want to do. I can only hope that I accomplish everything on my bucket list before I actually kick the bucket. I’ve lived out a little over a fifth of my statistical lifespan, and it terrifies me to think that I haven’t done anything that makes my time worth it. Hence, the living vs. existing conundrum (great word, conundrum).
I try, though. While I wouldn’t consider myself completely reckless, I never pass up an opportunity to try something new, even if it means taking risks (and occasionally injuring myself accidentally). Whether it’s trying new foods, learning new instruments, or going on a new adventure, I jump at every chance I get to take a break from the monotony of the sorta-depressed-high-school-kid-who-lives-in-the-suburbs life.
Which means I have a lot to write about.
A lot of my struggles come through in my writing pieces – namely, my family and my anxiety. I remember writing a lot about overcoming adversity – that seems to be a recurring theme in my poems.
It’s interesting to see how my writing has changed over the past year, because I’ve changed a lot in the last year. I cut off nine inches of my hair last January, and since then, I seem to have gained a little more confidence, I’ve made greater efforts to keep the negativity in my life to a minimum, and my life itself has gotten slightly less tumultuous. My writing isn’t so much overwhelmed with adolescent sadness anymore as it is tinged with hope.
Of course, there are still struggles in my life that I can’t ignore. And I still have a hard time getting the most brutal honesty out of my writing. – truly bleeding on paper. When I acknowledge hardships in my life in my pieces, I find myself toning it down, making it a little less emotional.
I still have a long way to go. But when I look at how far I’ve come, I realize it’s not about getting anywhere. It’s about what you do on the way there, how you change, how you grow. I’m always going to be chasing after life, not existence. And I’m excited to see what’s in store for me in years to come.
"I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."