I’m always 10 minutes late —
Silently, squeezing in between seats,
waiting at the counter,
or sighing in between sprints.
I arrived at 18 finally, wanting all these different things.
The excitement of a new promise to
dig deeper and be more
fantastic, more fun, more full of knowledge
and somehow still the same.
I found myself being jerked
around instead, with the start and stop.
At times it felt like giving up
To not participate in the raised
hands in class,
dinners out, and papers unwritten.
After the sparkling particles
of newness had faded,
and I was faced with turning
into my norm,
I took on convincing.
Me convincing myself
to stay, when
sometimes growing felt like tearing
off chunks of myself
in favor of more precious pieces,
given to me like
a robot made of flesh,
struggling to find connective tissue.
I learned how to tether myself together,
in the confines of a newsroom,
using iced coffee and monologues
filled with the tip tap of typing,
complaints of writer’s block
and hopes that we could
Going back on the record
of my life since 2019,
examining the transcripts and
videos, I imagine
tracing my silhouette, to see
where I end and the rest
of the world begins —
But the shape has changed
where I learned
Grief, where I found
a love for writing, where
new friendships formed.
And everyday when I choose
to reinsert myself
into the new and old spaces, to find the borders of my mind,
less and less
afraid to push them or just let them be —
I’ve found that I arrived at them
right on time.
Mela Seyoum was a 2022-2023 staff representative. She joined The Daily Californian in spring 2020 as a general assignment news reporter and then worked on the race and diversity and student government beats. She was a deputy news editor in fall 2021, and news training manager, editorial board member and senior staff news reporter in spring 2022. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English.