The Central Trend is not your diary—but it was mine


Natalie Mix

A million different versions of me, all preserved on The Central Trend

There was a fourteen-year-old girl who walked into Room 139/140 four years ago. I could write a lot of words about her, but I honestly couldn’t promise any of them would be true—so much time has passed. 

But that fourteen-year-old girl started to write her own words, and we don’t have to depend on what I can conjure up from blurry memories. A big number 277 next to the words “mine” tells the stories of that girl who walked into Room 139/140 and decided to stay.

Now, there’s an eighteen-year-old girl saying goodbye. 

And she doesn’t think she’s going to do a very good job. 

I’m not very good at goodbyes, but they’re stacking up like teacups teetering on the edge of a shelf—some that I always knew I’d have to say and some that were never supposed to be said, not like this. I don’t know how I’m going to do this goodbye justice, not me as I am right now. A different me was supposed to be writing this, but goodbye shattered my teacups in ways I hadn’t yet imagined. 

I still have to say it though, this goodbye that was always meant to be, and I think it starts and ends with thank you. 

Because once upon a time, someone—and I really can’t remember who—said, “The Central Trend is not your diary.” But four years of my life are scratched onto the walls of this site, and it feels a whole lot like a diary. 

Nothing lasts forever, no matter how tight you hold on.

Like goodbyes, I’ve never been good at diaries; consistency has never been my strong suit. But consistency wasn’t a choice I could make within The Central Trend; it just was—except when sometimes it wasn’t. And now, four years of profiles, features, reviews, columns, and even the occasional editorial tell the stories of the life that I poured into them. 

I remember the person I was as I conducted each profile or feature interview. I remember the girl who sat in front of her computer crafting leads for reviews and wondering how far she could go, how much of herself she could pour into it. I remember the rare editorial—agony, but nonetheless, a different side of myself. I remember the short stories that I didn’t know how to end until I was writing the final lines. I remember the tears cried over poems on hopeless nights trying to make sense of the pain I felt.

And I remember my columns, more than anything, my columns. I found myself in my columns, between metaphors and personification and imagery, between words that may have changed lives—or so people say. 

I can trace the lines of my columns to the girl who’s sitting in front of her computer now, a pit in her stomach, because her goodbye was never supposed to include this. I wrote about so many beautiful things, and now those beautiful things are gently fading away, even the things that promised they wouldn’t. 

This hurts, and I can’t even entirely feel it. Goodbye is emptier than I thought it’d be, an entirely different pattern of teacup pieces on the floor than the picture I painted in my head. 

But this really is just a piece of the story I told on The Central Trend. All of this is just a piece of my story. 

And that story included a lot of pain, so it only makes sense that this ending is fraught with it too. But as much as it all hurts, I know every goodbye serves a purpose.

Spring becomes summer, summer becomes fall, fall becomes winter, and winter becomes spring again. And the butterflies always return in the spring. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how tight you hold on. You have to let go of the butterflies, trust that they will return someday. 

So this is it. The end. And it’s different than I ever imagined. But I hope four years of stories can make up for the weak tremor of this goodbye—I know they will. 

The Central Trend is not your diary; but it was mine. And this is the final entry. 

Thank you—for accepting what I could give, for showing me who I am.