This moment – mornings, afternoons, evenings, and everything in between


Natalie Mix

The view as I walk up to those double doors outside room 139/140 every morning

It sometimes seems that I can only write on the bad days. Consequently, my written memories are disproportionately drowned out by days that were poignantly horrendous. 

As I perpetually struggle to separate bad days from bad weeks, to allow each of my emotions their own individual space and nothing more, this skewed written record doesn’t help. 

I’m working on it. 

I can’t completely do these last few months justice in the space that this page and this late hour offers me, but they have been glowing—happy, happy, happy—a tapestry that I delight in gently unthreading, tracing each strand back to its origin in moments of existential awareness. 

I’ve said it before, but I can’t believe I’m here. And any time all of this begins to feel normal, I think back to the girl I was a year ago, the girl I was four years ago, and I know she’d believe it even less. 

My mornings are filled with sleepy habits that are hard to shake, cloudy rays of sunlight streaking through the closest windows, soft blankets and cardigans, and my Spotify playlists circulating through my headphones. 

I snag a banana as I race out the door every morning, and I eat it alongside my iced coffee that I pour from a carton. I neglect the stories in pending in favor of catching Emma and Avery up on persisting topics, and I bear the consequences through the various open tabs on my computer throughout first and second hour. I wrestle with confusion in AP Lit, desperate to understand the jumbled words of the greats, perhaps more content discussing less-esteemed, but just as stunning, works with Mrs. Penninga. 

I fit seamlessly into the patchwork of this school that seemed so unknowable three years ago. 

My afternoons notably start at a cramped table tucked between the tall windows, vending machines, and brick pillars. I’m at home, at peace in the most chaotic sense—wandering the halls, finding my little pockets of family, feeling seen, heard, and loved. I fit seamlessly into the patchwork of this school that seemed so unknowable three years ago. 

When I exit through the glass double doors outside room 139/140, no matter the exhaustion that weighs on me, I am reassured that I’ll return as the sun begins to peek out over the top of the brick building the next morning. 

My evenings are occupied sporadically, emblematic of the perfect in-between of seventeen. While there is a reliable routine to turn to when I crave dependability and comfort—homework, Emma, whatever show we’re currently enthralled in, and a predictable trip to D&W—there are scattered deviations from the established rhythm—an hour spent reading The Picture of Dorian Gray at the downtown public library, an entire evening blurred into memory at the mall, impromptu thrifting excursions to prepare for weekend plans. 

These evenings will forever stand out as the golden days of my senior year, filled with mundanities that seem like adventures because I’ve found all the right people to share them with. 

My weekends belong to a version of myself that I thought I’d left behind, a girl who absolutely would not believe the product of one or two sleepovers years ago, who spends all week waiting for those texts to become tangible. 

My weekends are four-hour shifts with my best friends, embracing a version of life that I vowed to embrace months ago. I could never have guessed then how it’d look now—how committing to being grateful for what I had, rather than what I wanted to have, would leave me with renewed relationships and completely new, completely thrilling ones. 

This is my world right now—shedding tears without shame in the middle of classrooms, collecting phrases and stories to repeat with reckless abandon, regarding my outfits as art projects and my happiness as a game to play.

This is my world right now—the mornings, afternoons, evenings, and everything in between.