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Simona's blog

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Autobiography: Oceans and Dreams

When's it my turn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore that world up above?
Out of the sea,
Wish I could be,
Part of that world

--The Little Mermaid

 I’d sing along, my young self draped over the coffee table in front of the TV with a huge smile on my face, I was a mermaid. I even asked the shopping mall Santa to make me into a mermaid that year, my heart filled with mild disappointment when I awoke to a Little Mermaid toy doll under the tree instead of real life fins on my feet. I didn’t recognize until recently the irony in this wish, how I so badly wanted to become a mermaid and escape to the sea while I sang along to a tale about leaving the ocean to become human. Ironic, even, that this mermaid became human in order to commit to a lover, while I wanted to become a mermaid to find freedom and independence.

Yet, my mom sometimes recounts a story of a very young Simona experiencing the ocean for the first time. I put my hand into the sand, looked at the grains stuck to my skin, stared at the waves, turned my eyes to my mom’s face, and began to cry. Sand was a foreign substance, and the ocean was as threatening as the unexplored depths it guards. This fear of the sea as a young child compared to my love for the underwater world found in films is a confusing contradiction. What impacted me more, the fantasy or the reality?

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Home: Self and Space

Many of my friends envision bright futures for themselves living in cities like DC or Boston, or Madrid or London, working for non-profits or law firms or architecture companies during the day, and exploring the sleek streets by night. A good existence to be sure. 

But when I shut my eyes and imagine where I’d like to be, I conjure up images of a yurt placed softly on harsh fields of tundra and dark basalt, a delicate scent of ocean intermingling with the perfume of anticipation as rock and soil emanate that one smell only found right before it rains. The sky is lightly grey and overcast, but not without light or warmth. My fingers feel slightly cold while my cheeks are warm with mild windburn, lungs invigorated as they sip fresh cool atmosphere. My booted feet move with the excitement of places unknown, almost dancing as they tread rhythmically across the land. Exploration calls, and my smile widens. Now if only the leafy greens, avocado tree, and fresh strawberries I also imagine planting in that cool damp earth could flourish as much as my hopeful dreams… Potatoes it is.

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Hey Hi Hello!

In all honesty, I've been struggling to decide whether to present my full (and real) self to the online world or make up an anonymous symbolic name-- and it seems I've decided to use my real identity. Maybe this is me trying to take ownership over something I don't usually express with such marked intention, my words and ideas. I've never written anything with the explicit purpose to be read (except by a professor or a potential boss). So, here, I'm curious to see how this new ownership of expresssion will develop, and hopefully how it will contribute my growth as a writer and thinker.

Choosing my avatar was also difficult (can one image really represent someone's identity?) and while sifting through old facebook profile pictures, I was surprised to realize how much I have changed over time. None of those images resonate with me strongly anymore, I feel more like an outsider looking into (and judging?) someone else's life. I am no longer in any of those spaces, physically or mentally. So instead, I chose to go back to my roots, my childhood, and maybe all my different identities really are within that same little girl.

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