Hi, I’m Sammy. No, not that Sammy. A different Sammy. That Sammy can’t come to the phone right now, as she’s decided to become a Secondary English teacher and no longer feels comfortable to share her personal thoughts and experiences with the world. That Sammy will no longer be blogging at Literary Pixie. She’s quit her job and has decided to leave social media behind. She will be focusing on making the world a better place through her passion for literacy, and thus handed all of her social media accounts and blog to me.
I met that other Sammy, who from now on I’ll call Samantha, on a train. She was crying and writing in her journal. Poor thing. Too afraid to share her pain with the world. It’s not her fault she suffers from social anxiety and thinks too much about what other people think about her. So much so it traps her voice in her throat and she can’t get anything out and has to grab a pen instead. As Charles Bukowski says, “writing is the only cure for my illness.”
Anyhow, it was an empty train on a Sunday night headed to Liverpool Street station. I had just come from a Beat Studies conference where I was presenting my essay on Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”. I am a little bit obsessed with him since I discovered his poetry and realized we have the same last name.
I saw her crying, and unlike most people in the world, I sat down next to her and said, “I’m Sammy, and I want to listen. I was told by this poet I met in Paris, ‘If you can be an angel, be an angel,’ so that’s what I’m trying to do. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to, but I’d really love it if you did.”
I’m lucky I look so young and innocent and friendly or she’d never have told me everything she did. If I didn’t look the way I do, this would have been creepy. I’m very grateful for my childlike appearance. That was seven years ago. We began meeting regularly for coffee, and slowly became friends. Recently, we’ve both been going through a difficult time, and began meeting every morning before work for coffee. It was our dream time. It was our therapy. We had this vision and we needed to figure out a way to make it real.
We both think that the world is suffering from a crisis in listening. We’re so busy trying to be successful as individuals that we’re not listening to each other. We’re so distracted by social media and entertainment that we’re not even listening to ourselves. Our own thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams are waning while Kendall Jenner, Elon Musk, and Beyonce’s dreams are taking over the goddamn planet. Because things are so visual now, we’re not practicing our literacy skills enough and so we’re struggling to communicate to each other.
That’s where Samantha and I come in. Samantha has decided to teach and I’ve decided I’m going to listen. I’m going to be honest; I’m going to share my thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams with you, and I hope you’ll share yours with me, too. I’ve been listening to “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson on repeat and my new mantra is “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make that change”. The song is really just a catchy pop version of the Gandhi quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and I fucking love it.
Get ready for a fuck ton of blog posts… because the bad bitch is back. And she’s got a plan.
NEXT: “The First Time”
Check out the full list of blog posts “How to Value Your Own Thoughts”