A young woman notes down her childhood memories in a diary entry as a love letter to herself. The script is a voice-over narration accompanied by POV visual poetry. The message is one of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity. This concept originated as a promotional short for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
When I remember back to my childhood it always starts with the storm. There was a huge storm in my hometown. I was alone in the trailer with my dad - I was so scared because it was the first and the last time I saw a sky like this. It was frightening with orange and black but it was day, not at night. I watched from my kitchen and began to cry because of the noise. My father came and took me in his arms, kissed me, reassured me that everything was okay and I fell asleep in his arms.
I was six years old when my little brother came to life. And before me there were my two big sisters so he was the first male of my family and I remember I was fascinated by this baby who had something very different from what I have between my legs. So I asked my mother why he had such a thing and she explained to me the difference between girls and boys and so that’s the day I understood.
The first time I kissed a boy I was eight; I had a boyfriend named Kevin and it happened after a school trip. We were coming back on the bus and after two hours of travel I gave him a discreet kiss and after that I was so ashamed of what I had done that I did not speak to him for another week.
Our family went to the same place every summer, up north on a big farm owned by family friends where we would camp. Every morning I went to get milk from the farmer which was still hot. We also went often to the amusement park. When I was 18 I traveled alone to Wichita, Kansas to visit one of my friends who was studying philosophy.
My first sexual experience was when I was thirteen years old with my first “real” boyfriend. His name was Michael and he was seventeen years old and we had different experience levels. He was not a virgin anymore but I was and before him I did not have any sexual experience. But after three months together he started to have expectations of me that I was ready to meet. He was nice and he was not pushing me at all so I accepted to open myself to him but did not have sex at first. I wanted to first be sure of what I was doing, and with whom I was doing it. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t making a mistake because losing your virginity when you are still a child is not easy. It happened six months later in his parents home. I stayed with this guy almost five years. Of course my best sex was not my first, because the first time it hurt me so much and I just wanted to stop. My best sex was this past winter with Jose. I’ve never had so much pleasure before, it was amazing. I had maybe ten orgasms - I did not even know that was possible. I’ve never felt as happy as I am with Jose in my life.
I’m not good with my hands. The only thing I was able to do with them is play percussions and I did that for five years but I had a problems with the principal of my school and so I stopped. But I regret this decision because I loved to play percussions and I miss it. I befriended someone who will give me lessons and I’m very grateful for this. And this year, Jose gifted me a little notebook in which I started to write everything which passes through my head. Sometimes I feel that I need to write and so I’m doing it.
With Jose we will probably get married and then he will be able to come to California, and after four or so years he will hopefully be able to get citizenship and we will be able to travel the world together. We have a plan to open a coffee shop where there will be live music and everything but we still don’t know where we’ll do it. I have had a dream for a long time; I want to buy a Harley Davidson and when I met Jose I learned that he also wanted to buy a Harley. So one day I or we will buy one and travel in tandem.
I went to Sunday school from age eight to twelve. First it was nice because we got candies but after three years I was bored of this even if it was just two hours in a week. When you are a child you want to do things other than hear the bible and sing songs. So in my last year a friend and I went to the park next to the church instead of going to school. After those four years, I made my first communion and then I stopped going. It was not fair that my little brothers didn’t have to go to Catholic school. They always had more liberty than us girls. Until I was seventeen I could not go out after midnight if I was not with my boyfriend. I could not stay in my friends’ home if my mother hadn't spoken with my friends parents first. But you know when you are a teenager you always find ways to go out, to get drunk, to do whatever you want. I was not like this, I did not cross the line because my big brother was using heroin and my father was an alcoholic and I saw the consequences of drug abuse up close. That’s why I always was conscientious and careful. Of course I got drunk more than once and smoked marijuana sometimes.
My best friend is Michelle who I met in school when I was fourteen. We are still very close friends even though now we are far from each other.
My saddest moment was when I was sixteen years old, my mother tried to kill herself in our family home with all my family there including my little brothers. She tried to kill herself with rum and pills. I was so angry with her. How could she do that with five kids including two little children she was responsible for? I remember that day well; it was the 4th of July, Independence Day. So when my mother was at the hospital with doctors trying to save her I was watching the fireworks. I can never forgive her for this.
My happiest moments were when my parents were still together and with them and my two sisters we were going all together to holidays in Napa. We camped on our friends’ farm. I had many friends there; all day long we were hiking and picnicking. My father was taking shots or he was fishing and when the evening was coming he was cooking, which was delicious! And in mornings I went to the farm to get milk that was still hot from the cow. Another happy moment was when I got my diploma with honors in high school. And the earlier this year I went to Mexico to see Jose and we finally moved in together three weeks ago.
Aubrey, you were once eleven years old and you do not know this yet but you will live many hard times after this year, your parents are getting divorced now and I know it’s hard for you and you won’t get by so easily but don’t make the mistake to hurt yourself because you’ll regret it, and even if Michelle is a hand-full sometimes you can always rely on her, she will listen to you, help you whenever you want and support you in all the big decisions. But all those hard things will make you strong to face the storms life brings and keep moving forward. You’ll mature fast, which is a good thing. You will be a good student in school even though you are a lazy-ass. Just be careful of your friends. People will tell you who you are and what you are and will try to answer that for you. Just be a good person and believe in people, trust them, but stay strong and always face your problems that life will bring you. There will always be storms but don’t forget to enjoy life because we never know if there will be another tomorrow.