Journal #1

This question is really vague so I’ll just start with this: I’m Yasmin, I’m 18, I grew up in the Bay Area and now I live in the city. I’ve lived in California, Virgina, Pakistan and New York. I like The Sopranos and Fiona Apple and peanut butter sandwiches.

I feel that, in my life at least, I have no stand out life shaping experiences. I just don’t think that life is like, Atonement, where you have one moment that makes you the person you ‘are’. People can’t just be defined by one choice that they made or one experience they went through. Life is made up of lots of tiny moments that shape you because every experience shapes you in some way.

A tiny moment: My first night in New York after I moved here I had to walk across the Roosevelt Island Bridge at 3 a.m. carrying my suitcases. I was jetlagged, freezing and depressed and hated New York City because of it. I expected life in the city to be like a Woody Allen movie and this was my rude awakening.

Another moment: I started volunteering at a nonprofit bookstore café downtown. They donate all their profits to help fight various causes. I spent last Friday afternoon shelving and organizing books. I went up and down the stairs carrying piles of books, placing them in Fiction, in Memoir, in Economics, in Occult & Superstition. It was basically my first job even though I don’t get paid – the store is largely run by volunteers. A man was asleep in a corner reading a book on the old west. A group of old women asked me if it was okay to block up the aisle with their chairs. I felt tired and sore at the end of my shift but also really good and happy. I was helping to fight a cause, I got to talk to people about my favorite books, I was a part of a bookstore that I loved spending time in, and I bought a David Bowie record with my volunteer discount for 50 cents.

Another moment: Once, a homeless man asked me to marry him. I said no. He said he would wait until I got older.

Hopes for college: to join the paper, to be in the literary magazine, to work with the radio, to get a good gpa, to make friends, to meet interesting people, to write more, to not be too stressed, to enjoy myself, to do study abroad, to travel more, to have internships, to learn, to graduate.

Concerns for college: that I won’t get to fulfill any of my hopes.


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