Free Moon

One month into my freshman year of Catholic high school, I stood eating goldfish in a crowded hallway with my newest friends. We were amid a ten-minute break and the conversation had begun to run thin; each orange cracker placed in my mouth allowed me a few more seconds of socially acceptable silence. Though I knew one friend from middle school, the rest were entirely from that month and we had not yet bridged the defining stage of friendship: inside jokes.

After several long minutes of bearably awkward freshman conversation, one particularly enthusiastic friend whipped out her phone to capture my goldfish-eating moment and simultaneously asked for my number. Midway through typing my name, she paused and slowly raised her head to look at me. Noting her wild gaze, I immediately ceased movement and, with a lone goldfish hovering in my hand, awaited her next move.

“Monica,” she said. “Moooonica. MOON-ica. What if someone asked you to prom and said, ‘I’ll jump over the MOON for you?!’” We locked eyes in silence for several seconds until she abruptly deleted what she had typed and replaced it with what would forever become my nickname in that emerging friend group.

Since that fateful day, no one has asked me to a dance saying they would jump over the moon for me, and most people do not even call me Moon, but the name still feels essential to my friendships and, in small part, my identity. Plus I think the real moon is pretty freaking rad and the mere concept of space and the universe spirals me into an existential tizzy every time it comes up. Fundamentally, I feel connected enough to that gray sphere to make it 50% of this blog’s title.

The other 50% comes from the entire purpose for this blog. Since starting college I have felt freer to choose my own adventure than when I first read Goosebumps books as a child. Now I can write my own chapters and go back to the start when I need and even keep moving forward when the first adventure should end. My capacity for curiosity and exploration is endless, my quest for meaning and purpose is uninhibited and my desire for universal justice is unchanging.

This blog is essentially my attempt to release my thoughts to the world and create something meaningful.

This may emerge through opinions or stories or pictures but it will always reflect my fundamental belief in equality and it will always parallel my struggle to make sense of the world. I cannot predict how this story will end, but the adventure begins now.