Once upon a time there was a girl named Jessica whose childhood was one mistake after another and it didn’t get easier when she became a woman. I bet you thought I was going to tell you a fairytale. I bet you thought I would tell you that once upon a time I made mistakes but now I’ve learned from them and I’m going to have a happy-ever-after. I’m still waiting for that. Life is not a sparkly pink fairytale. It’s fresh red blood from my nose and gums. It’s grimy nature waste that could infect you with vomiting about the same dirty browns and greens. It’s fat, clear tears marking every year I’ve lost my friends. It’s the grey-stained sinks I run to for hacking up thick globs of yellow mucous. Have you ever read a fairytale about all that?
Once upon a time there was a girl named Jessica who didn’t know any of this would happen and she wouldn’t have cared if it did. I bet you didn’t know this. I bet you’re surprised to see that there was a time when I would’ve let it all happen and not think anything of it. Being a kid is kind of neat because you’re not required to think about your mistakes and your actions. You don’t have to take responsibility for anything because you’re not responsible for anything. You don’t worry about blood and gore because you don’t know why it happens. You don’t worry about getting down and dirty in nature infecting you because you don’t know it can. You don’t worry about losing friends because they were butts anyway and you can always make new ones. You don’t worry about year-round allergies because it’s just those gross kids around you making you sick and it can’t possibly be your body overreacting. It’s so nice when nothing is your fault and you can just blame everyone else around you.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Jessica who wanted to return to those days. I know I can’t, not really. I know even if I had a chance I wouldn’t actually return to those days even if it was perfectly safe and going back wouldn’t have any negative impacts. There’s a reason we only get one shot at living these things. If I knew what the reason was, maybe I wouldn’t make so many mistakes. Maybe I would do it all right the first time around. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s better that the only way to return to those days is to look at pictures.
Once upon a time there was a girl named Jessica. This is her story.