I know. No one should begin a blog post on the topic of vulnerability with “Last weekend, in a yoga class…” But I’ve been trying to practice the fine art of not giving a shit this summer so I’m going to do it, even though I know you might stop reading right here.
So, last weekend I was in a yoga class, and the room was set up so the instructor was in the middle and the rows of mats on either side faced the center of the room. What this meant in practice was that once the room filled up, my mat was very close to my neighbors’ mats. And when we were in cobra pose—bellies down, backs arched, gazing forward—my face was just a couple feet from someone else’s face. I cannot imagine who thought arranging the room this way was a good idea. Apparently everyone else in the class was a Sunday morning regular and perfectly content to updog right into someone’s post-coffee breath.
I like yoga because, like all writers, I spend a lot of time in my head and yoga forces me to remember that I have a body. I like it because it’s good exercise, but it doesn’t have the existential demands of, say, rock climbing. (While doing yoga, for example, I never wonder if I might break my ankles). But I like it much less when the spritely instructor asks us to come into a deep lunge, raise our arms high in the air, and make eye contact with someone across the room. And then, if we want, to “turn up the corners of our mouths.” Here one is forced to either smile gamely at some sweat-soaked stranger across the way or to actively avoid their serene faces and out yourself as the one very uncool, very un-Lululemon-ed member of the group.
I harbor certain useful illusions about myself as an open person. I write about my life for public consumption. I am lazy about closing the bedroom curtains. If you asked me to tell you a secret, I’d have a hard time coming up with something my friends didn’t all already know. Once I was on a date and I mentioned that sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I lie in bed and say the prayer I said every night growing up: Now I lay me down to sleep…. “It’s not that I think someone is listening,” I said. “But I find the words soothing.” “Wow,” he said, “That’s a pretty revealing thing to say on a second date.” This had not occurred to me–given the context of the conversation, it seemed relevant to share. Conversations like this inflate my sense of my own openness.
the bride- and groom-to-be
Lately, however, I seem to be bumping up against the boundaries of my openness. This experience has taken various forms, but the most prominent one is my utter terror at giving a speech at my sister’s wedding. My sister is getting married! In two-and-a-half weeks! And I am so happy for her. I think this is the right thing for her right now. I think her boyfriend is the right guy (or, to be technical, because I staunchly oppose the soul mate myth, I think he is a right guy; I think he is great and they are great together).
When people ask me if she and I are close, I always tell them that she is my favorite person in the world. She is. It’s no exaggeration. I’ve even thought about mentioning this in my speech. But the idea of articulating even this minor anecdote in front of a room full of the most important people in her life makes me want to cry-slash-puke. It’s hard to explain my anxiety to people. They say, “But you’re a writer.” Or, “But you talk in front of groups of people for a living.” Yes, but I don’t regularly stand in front of my students and verbalize my deepest, most sincere joys and anxieties (while wearing a floor-length tulle gown, no less).
I am the oldest and my sisterly protectiveness seems to take the form of deep empathy. When she cries, I cry. I’ve done this my whole life. When she’s happy, I experience her happiness as if it is my own. I tell my sister I love her almost every day, but a wedding speech demands this love be articulated in a very specific format. It is essentially an invitation to publicly declare to the people you love the most that you find their happiness so overwhelmingly good that you can hardly stand it. This is a version of openness I am struggling to grasp.
For me, the gap between writing these things and stating them is expansive–expanding. I am pretty good at one and petrified by the other.
Continue reading →
The atmosphere was simply breathtaking: the sun was shining brightly over the calm suburbs. Being a few minutes past midday, most people were indoors, most probably taking their lunch or afternoon naps. In his room, Kevin sat on the bed, glum and heartbroken. His room was all messed up, with fashion magazines littered all over the carpeted floor. On one corner, there lay empty tins of hair gel and perfume bottles. The sight of these immediately brought back memories of Anne, the girl Kevin had loved with all his heart.
His memories were jolted back to the time they first met. It was during a high school dance, and amidst all the other girls in attendance, Anne simply stood out. Her blue eyes were the most beautiful Kevin had ever seen. Her charm was amplified by the curly hair that was neatly tucked in a high, bouncy ponytail. Tall and slender, Anne had lovely dimples that any man would have given up anything for. With that first glimpse of her, Kevin was rendered speechless. Instead of approaching her and declaring his immediate thoughts and feelings, he simply shook her hand and walked away. He could not find the right words to describe his emotions at the time. Thankfully, he managed to get her number from a schoolmate; three days later, he called and expressed his interest in seeing her.
Anne’s response was apparently encouraging; she had promised to think about Kevin’s proposal to meet with her and to keep in touch. But on this day, a full week since the promise, Kevin was a disheartened young man. Staring idly into space, he wondered why Anne’s response was not forthcoming. His face was covered with perspiration at the thought that perhaps Anne did not feel the same passion he felt for her.
As the wind grew stronger, Kevin’s demeanor was equally becoming more intense. Almost abruptly, he arose from his bed and began kicking everything in his path. At this point, he spotted a small bottle on which were written the words “Rat and mice killer.” Convinced that life had deprived him of the one girl he wanted to be with most, he took the poison in one big gulp.
The news spread like bushfire, and the local ambulance was at the door of his room in no time. Anne’s eyes were all teary as she implored Kevin to hang on, that she loved him and was ready to become his girlfriend. As fate would have it, Kevin opened his mouth but speech failed him as he fell lifeless onto the floor. Anne wept uncontrollably; playing hard to get had been unimaginably costly to her. Dark clouds gathered in the sky as Kevin’s body was taken away.
Tips on narrative essay writing:
As is evident from this sample essay, narrative essays on love are very intriguing, both to the reader and the writer. Anyone can write a narrative essay on love, provided he or she is creative enough. For one who enjoys romantic novels and has some creative ideas of his own, such an essay can be completed within a few minutes. A useful tip when writing a narrative essay on love is to base it on everyday happenings. For example, the essay can center on unreciprocated or one-sided love. Like all other narratives, this type of essay should involve some elements of fiction, such as use of pseudonyms in place of real names.
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Tags: essay on love, narrative essays