[the short version]

I am 18 years old. I am a freshman at Stanford. This is my blog.

[the long story]

In the spring of 1990, this really amazing lady gave birth to a baby girl a little bit earlier than expected. Nothing about this girl was ever predictable before that moment and nothing has been predictable since.

Four years earlier, that girl’s parents were struggling to get pregnant. They gave up hope and adopted instead. Little did they know that they’d get pregnant with a boy about a year after the adoption of their first daughter. The boy was to be the final addition to this happy family. Unexpectedly yet very fortunately, they got pregnant again very shortly after the boy’s birth (with the aforementioned baby girl). That baby girl was me. I am the reason why my brother had to stop breast feeding early and I think he will resent me for that forever.

Eighteen years later, I am preparing to leave for college. That is what this blog is about.


[The full story is here.]

This blog was named after a game that I played as a volunteer for an outreach program at a school in New Orleans. It was a week long program where we’d venture to a different attraction every day of the week, taking kids to places that they probably wouldn’t visit otherwise. At the end of each school day, we’d go around in a circle playing “Oranges and Lemons”. In it, we’d each give our “orange” and our “lemon” for the day, the orange being the thing we liked most about the day and the lemon being the opposite. On the final day, a girl who’d been very hostile toward me on the first day told me that I was her “orange” for the week. I would’ve cried right then and there if I wasn’t on a bus full of kids who would’ve made fun of me for those tears.

So that’s what this is. Essentially, that’s what all personal blogs are – oranges and lemons, what we like and dislike about this day or that person. We are all writing the same stories with the same tragic twists of fate, happy endings, and new beginnings. We’re telling these stories in the hopes that the person on the other end of that LCD screen will be amused or saddened or excited by an experience we’ve had, be it a breakup or a makeup, a horrible day or a wonderful one, a lemon or an orange.

I do not blog because I entertain the notion that my life is so utterly fascinating that it needs to be documented in great detail. I do not blog because I believe that I’m the most talented writer to ever grace the Internet with her presence. I blog because I am a teenager. Yes, that’s exactly why. Kids my age have a tendency to keep things inside until they are on the verge of a breakdown, not because they don’t have friends or family but because sometimes they don’t know how to say what needs to be said. Keeping it inside prevents them from finding out that there are other human beings out there who have gone through the exact same thing. Not knowing that you are not the only one makes you feel as if you are. I think the term for that feeling is “lonely”.

I started blogging when I was sixteen and I continue to do so because one of the most amazing things happened after I started writing about my life online. People responded. They responded with “been there” and “done that”, with “oh, that’s sad” and “wow, that’s funny!”. They sent birthday e-cards, book recommendations, and tips on how to deal with the stress of being an overwhelmed high school student. Lengthy comments and e-mail conversations with strangers showed that you don’t necessarily have to know me to know where I’m coming from. You were once eighteen once (most of you, anyway). You can relate.

Simply put, I blog to feel less lonely. When you’re a teenager, it doesn’t matter how many people you surround yourself with – there is the inescapable truth that at times, you feel utterly, terrifyingly alone. Oranges & Lemons is my remedy for that.

This blog is more of a Chapter 2 than the beginning of the story. Chapter 1 was the blog I used in high school. Remnants of it will continue to exist in an archive on this blog (as soon as I figure out how to make that possible).

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