Have you ever felt like you're drowning? Suffocating. Being able to feel the liquids fill your lungs, and then your organs, and finally, your brain. Every crevasse in your body is water. The water slowly but surely fills all the way to your fingertips, and finally, you're gone.


That's how I feel. Some days, more than others, but that feeling is always there. 


I am drowning, but there is no water. Only the sorrows in my heart, leaking into the rest of my body. 


When did things get so heavy?

Why am I so alone?

Alone...


I take for granted those of whom I love and reciprocate that feeling. Everyday I am screaming without any sound, and the few who reply to my shrieks are never enough to soothe my aching throat. And everyday I hate myself more because I cannot let those few people be enough, even when I tell myself it is.


So here I am, drowning. My throat aching from my silent cries for help that will never be heard. And even if they were, it would never be enough. Nothing ever seems to be enough anymore.

 
There’s only one boy who has truly broken my heart. It’s probably not in the way you might be implying. He was my best friend. We’ve never been romantically involved, and I never want to be. People typically believe love comes with lust and romance. That is not always true. Love, at its purest form, is just a certain type of passion and caring for a person that is unfathomable until you feel it. It is not lust. It is not romantic. It can be, but at its purest form, it is not. Of course, this is my own belief, and others may not agree. Either way, I love that boy. He’s the only long term friend I’ve ever had, given that I’ve transferred schools so many times. He’s my baby, and there’s nothing I fear more than him getting hurt. But he’s grown up, and he doesn’t want to be just that anymore. I’ve watched him grow up, and he’s watched me. We have watched each other turn into monsters. I can’t fix his collar, I can’t tell him to not trust her, I cannot change what he thinks. He is an independent young man, and I am an independent young woman. I cannot be that protective best friend anymore, because he sees that as a threat. I cannot protect him from all of the bad, because he does not want me to. He always tells me, “I’m not that chubby little kid from middle school anymore. I’m fine.” Either way, I love that boy in a way a lot of people have not experienced. Without romance, without lust, only love. But he doesn’t feel the same way anymore. He has moved on. He’s got himself a girlfriend and a ‘nice’ group of friends that doesn’t include me. There is nothing worse than ‘breaking up’ with your best friend. It’s so much worse than a boyfriend or anything remotely like that because you’ve lost your secret keeper, the person you can talk to, everything. When a boy breaks your heart, you run to your best friend. But if your best friend breaks your heart, you have no one to cry to. He left me, he moved on. I was only a phase of his life, one that he has very clearly grown out of. Everyday I still worry about him. I always hope he’s okay, because he does not talk to me, and I never know. In a few words, he broke my heart, but then again, I let him.

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." -Robert Brault
 
Hello Dream Box! 
     How have you been? I feel like we haven't been talking very much recently - okay... I know we haven't been talking recently given that this is a one sided relationship and I haven't been giving much to you to work off of... And I apologize for that. But you know what I realized? Even when I have been talking to you, everything I say seems to be a rant that is completely meaningless. And I apologize for that too. What happened to the good ol' days when I wrote blogs like The Magic Mayo? Or Summer at its closing point? Or Amazing England? Those posts really meant something, those had passion and were a joy to read [in my personal opinion as I look back at all the memories.] 
     What happened to the blogs that had meaning? What happened to the blog posts that I was proud to share with the world because I worked hard on them and I cared about what I was talking about. Now, of course those are all questions for myself, but I felt like they had to be shared. Maybe y'all have not noticed, but I am sure that you all have. Anyways, because of this realization, I've decided to come back to my senses and talk to you just one on one. I've missed you, Dream Box, I really have. So here goes nothing:

Dear Dream Box,
     I am sorry for all of the days I've missed, the blog posts I deleted, the meaningless blogs that I left up... Everything. But I cannot truly be sorry for all of that, because a lot of it I am proud of. Hell, I'm proud of myself for even making this blog, because two years ago I was a timid girl who wanted to say something but wasn't sure how to. And you know what? I figured out a way. My way to put myself out there and have a voice was through you, Dream Box. And I love you for it. So although I ignore you for weeks, abuse you sometimes, and use you for a lot of the wrong reasons, I love you. You're where I can go for anything, and I know that. And to be perfectly honest, there's a lot I haven't told you, and I probably haven't been completely honest with you but it's just because I don't want to have certain information on the internet for all to see.
     But, just to let you know, recently things have been a bit crazy. Now, you may be asking: Crazy good or crazy bad? Well, crazy amazing. I don't even know what to say about the past month-or-so, but it has been an amazingly wild ride. I've got to tell you, Dream Box, there is never a dull moment and I am perfectly okay with that. You see, I've been trying to write this blog post since December 25th, and right now it's January 8th, and I really hope this is going to go up tonight, but if it doesn't that only means that I am - once again - lost for words. 
     I can't help but smile when I look past at the past few months. So much has happened, in such little time. One moment I'm Skyping my friend Tessa and talking about boys, and another moment I'm off playing guitar until my fingers hurt. Next I'll be at my volunteer job, helping girls with gymnastics who need it and hanging out with my friends, and then a second later I'm talking the most amazing guy on the planet who makes me the happiest girl in the world. I guess I can honestly tell you that when I wished at 11:11, my wish came true. And the few things I wished for for Christmas, came. And that's all that I could possibly ask for.
      But now, it's now March 25th, and I cannot stop smiling as I reread this. So much has changed, and I know -- like I thought on January 8th, so much will has has changed in so little time. What happens next, I don't know. But right now. Right here. I know I am happy. And Dream Box, I'd like to tell you a little bit on why. 
      Last Christmas I learned that nothing will just come to you, and that you need to realize that if you really care about something, you need to go to it. People need to stop thinking that things will just fall into their lap without any effort, because that is NOT the case. If you want to reconnect with someone, do it. If you want to be with someone, talk to them. Do NOT just sit around and wish something were happening. 
     Victor Frankl once said, "We need to stop asking questions about what life is and question life as a whole; and realize that it is actually life who is questioning us, monthly, daily, and hourly." I took this quite literally and thought, "If life were to literally approach me, and ask me, what the hell are you doing? Would I be proud of my answer? Would I tell life, Oh, I'm just sitting on my ass, waiting for life to be the way I want it. Or I could tell life, I am being the person I've always wanted to be." I mean, of course, realistically no one will never be exactly who they want to be, but I sure as hell would like to be more like the person I wish to be someday than that teenage girl who sits on her ass and does nothing all day.
      Also, the world will send you curve balls, yes, but that does not mean you need to give up. It does not mean that you have an excuse to fall apart. In fact, when things get harder, you just have to be stronger. And I understand that it sucks to hear that. Every time something happened when I didn't think it could get any worse I did not want to go on, but I'm glad I did. Life is hard, yes. Life is scary, hell yes. But love, in every way, life is worth it. 
      And I know that I am in no way qualified to give any of you -- whoever 'you' are -- advice, but we're all on the same boat, and we all have our ups and downs. And, no, I'm not exactly the person I truly want to be, but sometimes I don't know if really want to be that person anyways. I like who I am, and god, whoever you are, I like you too. It doesn't matter if you can be bigger and better, it just matters what you can do, and that you do it now. Be who you are, take action, take a risk every once in a while for god's sake. Alright, well I really don't know where I'm going with this, so I'm signing off. Just remember what I told you. I love you guys. Have a great day, and stay beautiful.
     Love, 
         Natalie <3

PS. By request, there will be more Dear Alexander letters. Just letting you know :)
 
     Life is scary. 
     A few days ago my friend asked me "how life was," and so I told him, "Exhausting, beautiful, surprising, tiring, amazing, astonishing, enlightening, and in no way relaxing, but in every way worth it." He told me that that was truly wonderful. That which had come together with a few words that I had strung effortlessly to give an intellectual and truthful answer meant so much to him. But then I remembered what I had forgotten to tell him: Life is scary. And when I told him this, he became confused. 
     "Why? I mean... I guess it could be.. But why?" He asked.
     So then I so sincerely replied, "Life is scary, and breath-taking, and confusing, and fantastic. But it is so, so scary. I love a kid who lives 2,069 miles away from me. And I will always know that we could never give one another exactly what we need or want. I cannot go to his fencing tournaments on the weekends and cheer him on. I cannot go to his concerts and be there to support him. I cannot go to his house when I am truly upset, and I will never have the comfort of having him wrap his arms around me and tell me everything is going to be okay. And that scares me. How can I love such a person who cannot always be there? How can I ever know that everything will be okay? 
     Also, there are so many other things in life that I want to do, but I am just too scared. It is not the world that limits us, but it is us who limits ourselves and later blames it on the world as we try and compensate for the questions left unanswered. But life is not a question that is mean to be answered, and we all need to realize that. All things will end; John Green once said, "That which comes together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly." (Looking for Alaska p.219) If we all realized that, if we all took time away from either our care-free or our stressful jam-packed lives we would realize that: that which comes together will inevitably fall apart. In that way, life is downright scary. But what we must also realize is that we must embrace what we fear and live the life we wish we had. Because the mystery of what will come, the terrifying unknown, and the rare happiness that all people strive to find; that is what makes life the beautiful thing that it is."
     I thought this was important to share with you, Dream Box. Be careful of how you live, but never be ashamed of how you live your life as long as you are happy. Have a great day, and stay beautiful, Lovelies. 
      Best Wishes, Nat <3
 
Happy National Alaska Young Day everyone! AKA, my favorite day of the year. :) 
     So, just to jump into everything, the reason why I absolutely love this day is because it makes you think. People explode with quotes from Looking for Alaska like crazy on Twitter and other social media sites, which always makes me happy. But every single quote comes with a different meaning, and another way to look at life, death, the labyrinth, and all the grey area in between. This book is by far my favorite book I've ever read and here's why:
     1) John Green knows how to connect and relate to his audience in such a way that you cannot help but feel as though you're in the book and you get emotional when the characters get emotional, and when they're hurt, you feel hurt, etc.
     2) The characters are so real, and they're just teenagers like you and I, but yet they're more than that. They're not "just teenagers." They're brilliant, and amazing, and smart, and engrossing. They make the book come alive, and in Looking for Alaska, you cannot help but fall in love with Pudge, the Colonel, and - of course - Alaska.
     3) Although Looking for Alaska taught so me much about the people in it and their lives. But more importantly it taught me about myself. I literally quote it everyday of my life. It's taught me so much about the world, and my point of view, and other's points of views, and that's really all that I could ever ask for. John Green once said:
     "Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than the stories and people we are quoting."
     And I could not agree more. It doesn't matter who we're quoting, it just matters about what it means to us. And I find myself quoting things from Looking for Alaska everyday. When I'm mad, I think "The only way out is to forgive" and "We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth." When I was sad and frustrated that friend had left, I thought "I hated her for leaving, but I also hated myself. Because if I had been good enough, she wouldn't have wanted to leave." When I was terrified for my mother's life, I just told myself "We are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be." When I feel stupid and told myself I should have known better, I say "We can't know better until knowing better is useless." When I have  a person that I'll never understand, I remember "You'll never get me, that's the whole point." And these are just the few of many that I can think of off of the top of my head.
     John Green's interpretation of the labyrinth give me hope, and that's all that I need. So today I leave you with one final quote: 

"When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they're old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater tan the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful." 
 
Hello lovelies!
     I feel like it's been way too long since I've last talked to you guy and I've actually really missed talking to you all. So how are you? How have you been? Are you out for Winter break yet? Dear god I hope so. I've been waiting for this break for so long. I cannot wait to go out shopping, go ice-skating at Seattle Center, drink apple cider, order drinks off the Starbucks 
     Anyways, Just seven more days now until Christmas is here! And I'd like to ask you what you'd like this year. To be perfectly honest, I don't really want anything this year. And I am perfectly fine with that, in fact, I am proud of that. I'm proud that I don't feel the crazy need to consume and that I am genuinely happy with that I already have. But of course, it's not bad that you  want something for Christmas, that is completely normal.
     I'd like to ask you, if you could have anything you ever wanted for Christmas what would you ask for? I would ask for a ticket to Chicago, although that seems a bit last minute and unrealistic... That is definitely what I would ask for. And, if you were to write a Christmas letter to Santa what would it say? Mine would go a little something like this:
Alright, well that is all that I have to say for now, have a lovely winter break and I will talk to you as soon as I can. :) And if you watch 5Countries1Vlog, I will see you on Monday! Best wishes! -Nat
 
Hello lovelies!
     How have you all been? I guess you have noticed that my blog posts have become more and more spread out, but you see, although they are more spread out, I am proud of every-single one I write because I think about them more and spend more time writing them for your benefit and for mine. I hope you all realize that. If you don't.. Well, what can I do about it? I'm just an awkward teenage girl on the internet. 

     Anyways... As you all know, November is in one hour. And you know what that means! NaNoWriMo begins! I am so excited this year, although I don't feel as motivated this year just because of the fact that I have already done it and keep thinking "Meh, I don't HAVE to do it again.." But no! That is a false statement that is getting into my head! I am taking on the challenge again, and I hope you guys do too! Whether or not you are an old veteran or a NaNo-newbie, it really doesn't matter. Because the sweet joy and reward is worth much more than anything the world could give you easily.
     NaNoWriMo is great because it forces you to just sit down and write. And even if you don't reach your goal by the end of the month, so what? You still wrote more than you would have any other month. NaNoWriMo gives you a challenging goal and an impossible dead-line, and with that, you get progress. It's amazing how much you can surprise yourself. Last year I was just 14 and I got out an entire 50,000+ novel out in only one month while juggling gymnastics 3 hrs each day except Sundays, high school, a new boyfriend, and all the stresses of being a teenager. I took all of that and made something beautiful, and I would have never thought myself able to do such a thing.
     So this month I challenge you to write. Write when you're happy, write when you're sad, write when you're busy, write when you're mad, write when you don't even feel like writing. Whatever it is, it doesn't even have to be good, it just needs to be written. 
      No book was fantastic in its first run through, no book was beautiful, and brilliant, and jaw-dropping, and perfect in its first draft. And that is exactly what it is: A first draft. If that's the thing that worries you the most, don't let it, because no matter what it is, it's your own work and you were able to write it. How many of your friends can say they wrote a 50,000+ word novel? How many of those friends wrote it in a month? Not many. So take my challenge, and this challenge isn't even mine to give, it's WriMo's. So do it, and if you fail to finish, be proud of what you wrote, and if you do finish, kudos to you. Because this entire month you will be competing against people from all around the world to get a sweet taste of victory. Beat them to it, I tell you, pass them and let them write in your dust.
      So I encourage all of you to take the challenge of National Novel Writing Month, and even if you're not up to writing 50,000+, at least try to write this month, because it will be well worth it. 
      I love you guys, stay beautiful. 
 
     Not too long ago, my good friend Stone told me a story. Today I'd like to share it with you because I know at least personally when it comes the the beginning of a new school year I always seem to blow things out of perspective. And if that's how you feel too, and even if you don't, this story might just help:

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.He then asked the students if the jar was full.They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.He then asked the students again if the jar was full.They agreed that it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.Of course, the sand filled up everything else.He asked once more if the jar was full.The students responded with a unanimous "yes."The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed."Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions - and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.The sand is everything else - the small stuff.""If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls."The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you."Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
     One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.The professor smiled.
     "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


      Now, I want to ask you. As you were reading this, were there things that came to mind when you learned about the golf balls? What about the pebbles? The sand? And finally, the people you would share the coffee with?
      When Stone told me this story, things instantly came to mind when he told me of the golf balls. To me, the friendships I've made in Cambridge, my family, my friends at home, my health, my happiness and the happiness of those around me were all golf balls. And then when it came to pebbles I thought about school, my home, the internet that keeps me connected to those who live far away, etc. But I also realized that some of my pebbles were once thought to be golf balls in my life, when they really shouldn't have. Some things that seem important to us at one point in our lives may not be as important in the future. And sometimes we just blow things wildly out of proportion due to the stress level we are at and the given circumstance. 
      So I challenge you to this: Today tell that one person that you love them; connect with an old friend you've been meaning to talk to but never got around to it; call up your parents and thank them for everything they did; go out and do something that makes you happy; and finally, share a cup of coffee with a dear friend and just relax. Enjoy what you have, and don't dwell on what you don't. So always remember the mayonnaise jar, and the fact that with just the golf balls, your life is still full. And if you take care of the "small stuff" so be it, but make sure you set your priories and that the golf balls always come first. But no matter how full it is, there's still room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.
     Have a great day, and stay beautiful. With love, Natalie :)
 
Dear everyone,
     I am very mad because I have written you SIX beautiful - and very long - blog posts in the past four days, but every time I try to publish them my browser freaks out and closes down. Which mean I loose all of my efforts and am too infuriated to re-write it. Luckily, I've decided to switch over to Google Chrome which is SO MUCH BETTER. 
     So now I'm just mad, but I feel like I owe you a blog post because I haven't posted in over a month so let's just talk for awhile. 
   
     Hello, how are you? Good? That's great.....Okay, that's enough of that. 
     So yes, it's been over a month. I'm sorry. I've been too busy working on homework, reminiscing about Cambridge, working on my international collab [5Countries1Vlog] and getting used to the new school year. And yes, those are not good enough reasons to abandon you but that's okay. Anyways, I missed talking to you. I've missed our weird conversations, you know, the ones where I blog as if I'm talking to someone but I'm not and then you give NOTHING to the conversation. Yeah, I've missed those. And [just in case] you use with website to stay updated on my life - which I hope to god you don't because this site is the biggest fail in the world of fails - then just check me out on my Twitter instead because I use that at least once a day.
     So right now I'm being boring, and I don't have much to say to you. So I'm going to go, but look out for me tomorrow because tomorrow is MONDAY! [And this week's theme is Nerimon's YouTube Survey] Have a great day, guys. :) -Nat
 
Hello there Lovelies!
    I have good news and bad news.
    The good news is that I've started another novel, which in a way could also be the bad news... I mean, it's great. Yay! New novel! But at the same time, who knows when I'm going to finish it? But believe me guys, this ones going to be good one. :) And now that I'm excited, you guys better get freaking excited. Or not, you know... your choice. [If you'e been with me long enough to laugh at the joke and understand it, then: "Cheers!"]
    Some other good news is that school is starting this Thursday! And who is excited for that? *raises hand quietly* No one? No?? Oh, okay... Just me again.
     Anyways... The bad news is that although I've been preparing for school and all that, I haven't exactly read my second summer reading book. It's amazing how I can re-read Looking for Alaska four times in one week, but I can't even read one chapter of my summer reading book. It actually quite sucks to say the least. [Not the Looking for Alaska part, but the summer reading book part] 
    Wow, this is such a failure of a blog post.. Sorry about that, Dream Box. I guess all of my writing skills are going towards my novel - and only my novel - tonight. So I'm just going to awkwardly wrap this up because I want to get back to writing, and I really just have nothing else to say. Alright, well I'll see you soon, when that is? I have no idea - but I'm getting there.