Directions To Where I Live This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 15, 2012
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Start out on a winding back road in southern Connecticut where the trees lean over the street in anticipation of falling mid-storm. Run around in the yard in nothing but your underwear and catch raindrops on your tongue. Watch your big brother hide gold coins in the lawn and tell you it's a scavenger hunt. Get a dog. Get two dogs. Never be lonely on account of the three dogs. Go to school. Make friends. Get proposed to by an eight-year-old with a tinfoil ring.

Ride on Dad's shoulders and watch the fireworks from the Connecticut College field. Watch the first dog get hit by a car. Bury the dog. Get more pets. Hear your dad scream “s**t” at the Cowboys game. Write “s**t” on a project at school. Get in trouble. Get yelled at. Play ninja with your big brother and pee on your big sister's floor when she refuses to let you borrow her grown-up dress.

Learn from MTV how to “shake your money-maker” and proceed to get yelled at for doing it. Bake cookies with Mom. Watch scary movies. Force your brother to walk you to the bathroom after the scary movie. Go ice-skating with Dad. Fall on your a**. Realize that ice-skating is not for you.

Move. Get caught kissing a boy. Find out you have bright red cheeks when you're nervous. Wonder about everything. Ride bikes with your friends. Eat lots of Irish food. Jump off Indian Rock into the icy river in late September. Bundle up on the trampoline and have your friends try to “pop” you. Watch parents get a divorce. Get mad at parents. Get happy again because now you have two Christmases. Listen to Mom tell you she's having another baby. Get jealous. Draw a baby on your wall and write “stupid” under it. See the real baby. Fall in love with it.

Do sports. Hate them, but do them anyway. Step on broken glass and get crutches for a year. Learn to walk again. Walk to the corner store with Maizie and eat Carmelo bars. Get a boyfriend. Get a couple. Break up. Cry. Repeat. Realize how sensitive you are. Worry a lot. Go to Hawaii. Fall absolutely in love with it. Spend all of your time at the beach. Get a driver's license. Hit a couple things. Get used to “you look just like your mom” and “you have rosy cheeks like your dad.” Go to concerts. Write all over your walls. Paint over it all. Tell too many jokes to your friends.

Listen to Mom tell you your grandpa passed away. Cry some more. Get angry. Get bored. Get moody. Dip toes into writing. Dive into writing. Spend a lot of time by yourself. Spend a lot of time with people but still feel like you're by yourself. Fight with your little brother. Drink lots of chai tea.

Visit your sister in New York. Meet a nice boy. Take rides through back roads and get home late. Kiss him. Make him laugh. Fall in love. Make him your best friend. Talk about things. Talk about growing up. Talk about college. Get sad about college. Get excited about college. Take a writing class. Adore the writing class. Plan your future completely around writing. Write this.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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BeilaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 7, 2015 at 12:03 am
The brutal honesty it took to write this piece is admirable. This is the answer Gus wanted from Hazel when he asked, "So, what's your story?" Thank you for sharing your story in such beautiful writing. The last few lines, especially, are perfect... and beautiful.
Sketched97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm
I absolutely love this. It's touching, evocative, and brilliant, not in spite of its simplicity but because of it. 
mailakahon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm
Thank you so much!
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