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Young Lady in a Fishbowl

by Coffeeism

**Author's Note: mostly looking for whether this autobiographical work is interesting enough to continue, as well as punctuation mistakes/alternatives :)**

Young Lady in a Fishbowl

It is almost a survival instinct to deny personal life regret, but when you emerge from a bedroom in a house in a small town to a world of strangers who swoosh by without a second glance, the regret starts to laugh at you. It laughs and laughs and laughs from all around, until the intensity of it burns like ice pressed onto bare skin.

Am I too young to regret? I think that’s a remarkably unhelpful question.

At one ambiguous point in time I possessed enough pride to misidentify this comfortable trap as “reclusive soul-searching”, and in some sense it was, but I have since been stripped down in the most gentle of ways. No one warns you about the kind threats, the maternal thoughts that console and forgive and offer sweetness instead of personal power.

My wavering female palms reach out to the world – the smiling people before me, the lights, the noise, the things I don’t understand, the tall buildings, anything “out” – only to grasp a mirage of closeness.

I never fathomed how unfathomably lonely a single existence could be until now. Really. This face of loneliness is immortal, and it is terrifying.

I am twenty years old. Something about that number has changed me, as if I have become a puzzle space reshaped to fit the piece marked with that represented age. I didn’t feel this way at nineteen, nor eighteen… especially at eighteen.

My past is dull like the stairs I wore out between high school classrooms, floating back and forth until I forgot who I was and where I was going. My eighteen-year-old self wriggled impatiently within her private school uniform, longing for the horizon at the end of the graduating year.

This longing was not all good, I’ll have you know. In many aspects this horizon looked awfully similar to the edge of an impending waterfall, and what came after it was either resurrecting hope or doom in descending slow motion. Either way, it was something new and destined, and I longed for it the way Shakespeare characters long for a noble yet tragic death.

But this is no angst-ridden tragedy. It is a story of contradictions and consequences of all flavours for being a young person who is alive and who makes choices… even if that choice is indecisiveness.

Because I got out of that place. I graduated from the mandatory school fishbowl I’d known for most of my life – not spectacularly, but enough to pass. For right or for wrong, I busted out of there and seldom looked back – and here is where this adult story begins.

This is a story about a young lady of the 21st Century who likes to stay home. Some may say a little too much… however that is but one fishbowl perspective. It took me a couple of years to realise we all live inside unique fishbowls, even in adulthood. These fishbowls are constructed out of habit and commitment, and can trap us for years and years – potentially our entire lives. This makes us all very much the same and forever amiss from each other.

Not to put the blame on fishbowls, but they can drown you with regret and make you mindless, until one of your attempts to escape flails outward and latches onto something else.

Or fishbowls can be so beautiful at times that all you can do is cry in bright, sparkling colours.

***Find the continuation at my blog page: Young Lady in a Fishbowl

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631 Reviews

Points: 24491
Reviews: 631

Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:18 am
ShadowVyper wrote a review...

Hey CoffeeCat,

Shady here with a review for you! As you requested help on punctuation as well as whether this is interesting enough to continue, that is where I will attempt to focus my review, but I'll also point out anything else I notice :)

and what came after it was either resurrecting hope or doom in descending slow motion.

This is really good. I like your description here. I feel like it is an extremely accurate portrait of what life after high school is like.


Okay, as far as punctuation goes, you had several sentences that were very long. I could quote a few of them for you, but I'm guessing if you skim through your piece you can find them easily enough yourself. I didn't pull them out specifically because I didn't know exactly how to suggest how to improve them. Usually when people ask for punctuation help it's because they're putting periods on the wrong side of their quotation marks or have run-on sentences galore.

So your writing is significantly more refined than I expected when I saw you asking for punctuation help. It was a pleasant surprise, but I'm afraid of leading you astray, so I won't offer suggestions on how to punctuate better. However, the longer your sentences are, the harder your reader has to work to be able to read them. I think in those super long sentences you have, it would benefit your work to use more periods and semi-colons to break it up and slow it down a bit, to give your readers a bit of a break.

As far as interest goes, I think you've got a promising piece here. You've got an enjoyable narrative tone and right now you're offering a perspective on a necessary evil that we've all had to endure (or are currently enduring/going to endure, depending on ages of your readers here) so it's nice to step back and view it how you portray it.

One caution is if you keep it on this overhead view of things, so to speak. While this piece was enjoyable, and, because it was so withdrawn, easy to relate to -- I fear that later chapters might feel a bit dry if you continue to focus on experiences that every has in life, such as high school. Make sure you're owning it and telling your story in the process, not just giving generalities about your experience.

I do think you have an interesting concept, though. And you definitely have an interesting writing style! I would encourage you to keep writing this, if it holds your interest and you continue wanting to write your autobiography.

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)

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107 Reviews

Points: 58
Reviews: 107

Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:38 pm
Katnes wrote a review...

Please feel free to ignore my advice it is not meant to offend you or hurt you in anyway, nor is it meant to demean your story or make it seem bad, however brace yourself for impact regardless of what I have stated that said . . .
1. What I liked
I loved you heart felt this is, how modest it seems. Well it should be this being your story but still I love heart felt stories.
2. Sentence structure & word usage
You beautifully portrayed the emotion of the sencarios, but I guess I have on sentence that I think could work on

**This face of loneliness is immortal, and it is terrifying.**

that it is doesn't seem to fit. try taking that out.

This sentence as well

I didn’t feel this way at nineteen, nor eighteen… hell, especially at eighteen.

I think you should replace that hell or take it out. Not that it's a bad word, but that it doesn't seem to add to the sentence. It sounds better with- especially at eighteen. Secant nor also could be replaced or that first part rephrased. It sounds a little odd thats all. Though that problably is just me.
3. Emotion & Feeling
I mentioned that this pact alot of emotion and heart felt feeling, but I think you tend to use comparisons alot, it would be better if you varied the sentence structure and include more power pact words it would make it even more heart felt then it already is. Just a suggestion.
4. Encouragment
Yes, this is interesting enough to continue definatly. Keep working on this. Your voice I think shines through. That was cool.
5. Overall
In the end I think this was an interesting read it was neat.

Does anybody else passive-aggressively refresh the page to see if anything you said made it into the quote generator?
— RavenLord