A Hug and an Extra Squeeze

I know a girl who would give anything for a hug. A hug and an extra squeeze, please.

I know a girl who wishes someone were around to help her eat up the soup she made. The soup enough to swim in.

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I know a girl who just about broke her arm hacking into that squash. Who forgot to stick it in the microwave it for a minute first, but remembered to roast it sweet before scooping it from its skin.

I know a girl who hasn’t kissed or been kissed in over a year. I know a girl who worries it will not be like riding a bike. Who thinks nope, analogy not applicable, because isn’t biking mostly about balance? About two legs, working in tandem? About a brain already kicked into gear, already catching right up.

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But kissing — good kissing — is all about losing your balance. Isn’t it? It is not about which way is up, which way is down, which way is backward, which way is forward. It’s about reveling in how it good it feels to be coaxed momentarily off-kilter. To know you’ll have help, someone to reach out and steady you, when it comes time to find your footing again. But after a long hiatus, kissing is also about hands and lips and noses and teeth and tongues, and forgetting where they all go when. Isn’t it?

(I know a girl who needs kissing badly. Who should be kissed often, and by someone who knows how. I know a girl who has never done more than thumb through Gone with the Wind, but isn’t about to let that stop her.)

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I know a girl with a messy heart. A laugh that wrinkles her nose.

I know a girl newly enamored with the moon. The way it winks at her, some nights. I know a girl who likes to get the dishes done well before the sky goes from blue to black. I know a girl who often has to stop and swipe her cheeks before she dries her hands. I know a girl who blinks back at the moon and thinks same sky.

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I know a girl with a bright yellow sticky losing its stick. Everything will be so good so soon // Just hang in there and try not to worry about it too much. I know a girl who wishes she had nicer handwriting. Cleverer things to say.

I know a girl who has a Word document way too long. I know a girl who has titled it fifty times. Finally: This Book is Not for Sale. I know a girl who half-wants to shut her eyes and send it off into the ether. Say Love, Hannah.

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I know a girl who still finds it easier to shower with most of the lights off. I know a girl who thinks that’s a shame.

I know a girl trying REALLY REALLY HARD to love herself as much as she wants someone else to. I know a girl who’s doing it.

I know a girl who knows there is no magic cure, but hopes so hard for one anyway. I know a girl who knows making it all go away forever can only come one day at a time.

I know a girl who feels so, so, SO sure the best is yet to be.

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I know a girl who admires her mom more than anyone in the world. I know a girl who needs more role models.

I know a girl who knows that love is more than three words mumbled before dropping off to sleep. Before hanging up the phone.

I know a girl who knows how important it is to say it, just say how you feel. I know a girl who’s not doing it, but is planning on it. Soon.

I know a girl who wants to have coffee with so many people, and WILL, someday. Somehow.

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I know a girl not on Facebook. I know a girl who misses the easy updates from her friends, but doesn’t miss the rest. The way she would often click the X feeling less.

I know a girl who really does believe that it’s better to be the one who smiled first than the one who didn’t smile back. I know a girl who is a little out of practice.

I know a girl who wonders what you’re up to. What you’re working on, what you’d like to be working on. What it looks like where you are.

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I know a girl who needs to be surrounded by green growing things. Who spent a pretty formative year in New York, figuring that out. The hard way.

I know a girl who thinks a good hard rain is good for everyone, for every thing. I know a girl who thinks Oregon is one watercolor painting after the next.

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I know a girl who hesitates before NOTHING quite as much another year’s lease.

I know a girl who feels like she’s having a selfish year. Another one.

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I know a girl who wants to know how people meet.

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I know a girl who wonders if everything we do in life isn’t really just another effort to be loved a little more.

I know a girl who wonders about a boy on Instagram. A boy in the woods with his dog. A boy with his MCAT book cracked open on his lap, at 7am on a sunny Saturday.

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I know a girl with bedroom walls still blank. I know a girl wants to make a woven wall hanging, but probably won’t drum up the enthusiasm to go to the class offered locally all alone.

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I know a girl who wonders if she should move. (Where on earth she could go, to feel less lonely.)

I know a girl intimately acquainted with the three-fold luxury of a new book, a nice afternoon, and a dinner already in the crockpot.

I know a girl who can cook. Who forgot how, for a year or two.

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I know a girl who has to resist the urge to physically plug her ears every time someone mentions their latest low-carb diet or kick-ass exercise regimen. I know a girl desperate to drown out all the noise.

I know a girl who wants to live in the country but also not too far from the city but also close to the ocean but also next to the mountains. I know a girl who doesn’t know WHAT she wants. (And thinks she should have a better idea, by now.)

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I know a girl killing it at work. I know a girl who wishes she were doing something more creative. Who has a voice that whispers yeah, but this is safer. 

I know a girl who has realized there really is so very little in her control. (I also know a girl who thinks what a relief. What a staggering relief. And how did I miss that memo.)

I know a girl who is still so self-conscious — so afraid people will think she’s let herself go. I also know a girl who doesn’t care. I know a girl who likes milk in her coffee and butter on her bread. I know a girl who is really, really grumpy after a doll-sized breakfast.

I know a girl who once did everything in her power to make life a little neater, a little more orderly, a little more contained. I know a girl so grateful she failed.

{Long road by @griffinlamb, pretty moon by @robbyzabala, cloudy sky and birds flying by @bythebrush, Portland waterfront by @batmobile88, cherry blossoms by @anastasiamika, Portland sunset by @alex.mcintosh, and Mt. Hood by @seattleempress — all on Instagram.}

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