you know how a manifesto acts as a blanket for whatever it is that it’s covering? how it hovers around something like an orb, pulling you in and preparing you for whatever it withholds? it has the ability to stir your guts and make you queasy with anticipation and it can feel like flowers smell, or how the stars look in the night sky when you’re outside of the city for the first time in months. it sets the tone. it grants possibility. that’s why i’ve decided to write a manifesto for each month of my life – before it happens – because without purpose, as big or small as it is, it’s easy to float around unanchored in time.
“september looks like couch surfing and blissful uncertainty and an uncomfortable decrease in personal finances and weekend escapes without my phone, laughter during the night and tears in the shower, too much black coffee even though i want skim milk and not enough (but still tons) of platonic cuddles, and checking my twitter while im facetiming someone in a mcdonalds because there’s wifi, and having dry skin and too many plants in places that aren’t my own. previously owned shoes and no privacy and not scoffing when i pass people in the streets who’re smoking, meeting strangers who’re only that way for moments, making grand statements like im a vegetarian because i need to be defined by something concrete. september looks like fall, but not the season, rather a change in personal altitude. it looks like how i think of myself but am not, like less pity and more reliance but only in the form of independence and walking everywhere, absolutely everywhere, because it gives you bearings. it looks like long bus rides for nearly no money, secretly taking pictures of people, singing out loud when you’re peeing in a park and skimming through the isles of grocery stores at night and letting yourself just be without guilt. it’s waking early enough to catch the morning fog creep across the grass and pressing flowers before the earth’s change takes them. asking your grandma about her love life and writing, writing everything you hear, think or see down. it looks like relevance, but in no one’s eyes albeit your own.”
although it’d have been ideal to have transferred this initial manifesto for september from my crunched up notebook to this blog, i kind of ended up living perfectly within these guidelines, and therefore did too much running around to stop and think to share it. a couple of things that happened in the month of september:
- it began with the end of my cross-continental road trip, breezing through alberta, minnesota, south dakota, montana, wisconcin, illinois, indiana, michigan, and toronto in a used subaru. the dream gem i went with and i had the time of our lives, happening upon carnivals, jumping in rivers, flashing traffic and summoning the ghosts at “crazy woman creek”, being sucked in by wall drug’s insane marketing technique, stealing wifi from target, dancing behind gas stations, quietly crying in the night, chasing lightning storms, feeding mountain goats boom chicka pop, and increasing our red bull tolerance.
- temporarily moving in with an old friend who i hadn’t seen since i was 13 years old. we only shared a living space for a short amount of time, but it was so gat dang awesome to go gangbusters into our reunion, last seeing each other in our early teens and not again until i arrived at her apartment door, soaking wet from a rainstorm with all of my bags – to skip formalities and instead of catching up over coffee, catch up under the same roof, sharing music in the night and texting each other from our bedrooms that were less than 10 feet away, peeing with the door open and developing an abnormal fear of bed bugs, complaining about poor service at local restaurants and not seeing each other for days at a time and sharing career advice and jokes from our very distant past.
- road tripping to chicago for RIOT FEST with one of the nearest and dearest to my heart, her nearest and dearest boyfriend and his friend. we stayed in a hostel right downtown and tracked down a mystery comic book store located at the top of a weird artist-run building, got covered head-to-toe in rain and mud during the offspring concert, met brian sella from the front bottoms after their concert and instead of just taking a fan grrrl photo with him, we all shared the bottle of whiskey he was given backstage, watched amateur wrestling, wore our underwear inside out, rode carnival rides, ate an inhumane amount of pizza, let 24/7 exposure to each other get the best of our tempers, drank beer for breakfast and made it back home with exactly no money.
after a month that my mother deemed “the summer of emily”, im fresh into october with an entirely different set of emotions, goals, and butterflies. stay tuned for my october manifesto in the next couple of days.