Illustration by Oamul Lu

On the cusp of running wild

“Jiyoung, don’t stay out of trouble.”

I take worlds with me. I am a vessel that carries books in her hands, thoughts in her mind, and stories in her heart that move selflessly to the tip of her tongue. A vessel, yet a quiet one.

You’re a very private person,” my dad said to me a few months ago, as he passed by me writing in my journal at midnight on the dining table. I never defined myself as a private person. I mean… I write. And to my closest ones’ possible dismay, I’m a big talker too. But maybe what my dad was referring to was the existence of the worlds in my mind. These worlds are vast and yet they exist only for me.

I carry stories in my head and hands, because maybe I desire to live in a big, epic story myself. Maybe I hope to be an adventurer too.

When I read Cho Nam Joo’s Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, my mind immediately turned to a tweet I saw a while before by someone I follow, how the book made them feel so much of their womanhood.

For me, this book also felt really close. I thought, deep down, am I closer to most women I know? Do they feel scared too most of the time? Do they also think they’re different and out of place sometimes? I wonder what secrets and stories they keep, dreams they are holding on to, and which ones they let go.

Women are (traditionally) known to share thoughts and feelings with each other, at least more than men. But we keep more from each other than we realize. I think I partially understand why we keep things private though.

The world ruins.

It finds its way to the expressions of our feelings, the sharing of our stories, the opening of our hearts. And it destroys.

So we keep our worlds to our own beings and tend to them with all our might, in hopes we can keep expanding it safely, as we are adventurers ourselves.

As a writer, sometimes I share slivers of mine through words like this. At times I question why I do it; I thought I was just doing it for myself. But I guess all along I was just trying to move my worlds closer and closer to everyone else’s.

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microscopicals by sara

microscopicals by sara

tiny stories by a tiny 23-year-old writer • she/her/hers