for all of the nights that stay warm and you can start having drinks on patios under the stars, featuring tunes by new artists like King Princess and Chelsea Jade, new songs by Florence and the Machine and John Mayer, and a bit of Leon Bridges' new album for good measure.
KELSEY BARNES (born November 11 1992) is a writer, procrastinator, and mess of a human being. She is famous for annoying people by constantly reminding them that she is a scorpio and for that time she was in an elevator with Greta Gerwig and she told Barnes that she liked her shoes.
Barnes was born in a small town in Ontario, Canada where nothing really happens. She is the middle child, but that has not given her the middle child syndrome (if anything, she is the child that demands the most attention out of her three other siblings). She never played soccer or hockey or any sort of team-building sport or activity. Instead, she took art classes and an obscure rhythmic dance class where she twirled a ribbon in the air, thus teaching her zero social skills. She was not good at either of these things, which is why she decided to spend her time writing about her feelings on the Internet. The only thing she is really good at is eating an entire bag of chips in an evening and telling everyone that she's a Scorpio*.
Barnes' first job was a paper route in her neighbourhood when she was 13. She always took a long time to deliver the newspapers because she was too busy making stories in her head about the houses she would visit to drop the newspapers off and picking dandelions as she walked from home to home. To support herself through college, she worked in retail and learned how to talk to the public without wanting to scream. She believes everyone should work in retail at least once in their lifetime so they learn how to fake a smile when a customer is acting like the worst.
After her boyfriend broke up with her for another girl, Barnes began writing about her feelings on the Internet (like all completely sane people do). Although this career was inspired by this breakup, Barnes wrote throughout her life, whether it be writing about her school crush in a personal journal, writing stories about her favourite characters, or through a blog writing for strangers on the internet. Clearly, she has always loved exaggerating and being melodramatic in some form. She is constantly seeking out different angles and ways to make her life into content, which she realizes is very likely to be both draining and problematic. Although this further solidifies how melodramatic she can be, it also shows that she is self-aware and knows how annoying and ridiculous she is.
In September of 2005, she went on a weekend retreat with her church's youth group and met a boy named Sam from another church a few hours away. Since he was her own personal kryptonite (kind eyes and curly brown hair), she became very smitten. After he declared his love for her behind a shed during a game of sardines, they spent the weekend flirting (standing near each other) and falling madly in love (they shared cookies under the moonlight). Since that was the good ol'days when social media or texting wasn't really a thing, they spoke just once after that weekend on the phone. They talked about how excited they were to see each other soon and were so excited to be together. After that, they never spoke again. Barnes still wonders what happened to Sam, and sometimes she gets a bit tipsy and searches him on Facebook just for fun, even though she only knows his first name and where he lived. She has not been successful in her investigation.
During her first semester in high school, she fell in love with a boy who worked in the produce section at a grocery store beside her school. Like Sam, he had dark curly hair, which further validated her own personal kryptonite. She, along with her friends, would visit this grocery store and pretend to examine the fruits and vegetables near this boy. After one of her friends were tired of Barnes' antics, she dared her to give him a form of contact. Even though she was shy and quiet in her teens, Barnes did not want to back down from the dare. She purchased a card from the dollar store that had a kitten on it, wrote her middle school email on the inside, and gave it to him. It was no surprise to anyone when she did not receive a response.
From July 1st to July 3rd 2008, she camped out with her best friend to see the Jonas Brothers at the Much Music studios in Toronto. She was front row and during all of the screaming and hysteria, Joe Jonas knelt down in front of her and gave her a white rose. Although she still has the rose to this day, she continues to decline Joe's advances since her heart really belongs to his brother, Nick. This plot has inspired Lifetime movies, a Netflix original TV series, and a soap opera storyline that currently spans over 1,000 episodes.
She's very close friends with Emma Stone, Ella Yelich-O'Connor (the artist known as "Lorde"), and every cool girl she's ever followed on Instagram. She's also known to have Alexa Chung call her up for style advice and is pen-pals with Cheryl Strayed.
From her late 20s up until her death, she lived in a cottage in England where she owned a west highland terrier named Olive, drank 47 cups of tea a day, and wrote about her time as a millennial that really loved her life.
Awards and accomplishments
When she was 12, during her eighth-grade graduation, she won an award from her librarian that, essentially, meant that she read a lot of books. Although this was a lovely gesture, little did that librarian know that she was the one that stole the copy of The Perks of Being A Wallflower because she could not bear to have another person have the copy she read the book for the first time.
After seeing the premiere of The Theory of Everything, Felicity Jones touched Barnes' shoulder as Barnes wept about the film Like Crazy. She has not washed her shoulder since.
In 2040, she received a Nobel Peace Prize in literature for writing about her life. It created world peace because, since her life was such a joke, it made everyone cringe and laugh.
Barnes died as she lived: by embarrassing herself. From accidentally flashing a parade float during a Christmas parade (who wears dresses in the wintertime with sheer tights?) to completely messing up Nicki Minaj's verse in Monster after trying to impress a boy, to volunteering to act as a horse on-stage at a children's show at 11 years old, it is a surprise that Barnes did not die from embarrassment sooner. Here are just some of the times a piece of her soul died due to embarrassing herself:
- When she believed she could avoid 5 months of math homework in 4th grade. She told the teacher she was "working on it" but chose to go home and watch Digimon or read a book. It got to the point where her teacher had to ask her parents to come in for a parent-teacher meeting, and her parents had no idea. She then spent her entire summer catching up and hating every second of it.
- When, in the green room at a gig of a pop band, she received a lap-dance from the lead singer and her face turned into a tomato. Everyone pointed out her red face, and to this day she cannot listen to their music without remembering that moment.
- When her family found her notebook of fanfiction at 10 years old and talked about it at the dinner table. Although the franchise that she wrote about was never disclosed, it is rumoured to be Sailor Moon.
- And finally, when she went back 4 years into a past love interest's Instagram account and accidentally liked a photo. And when she tried to unlike it very fast, she just ended up liking it for a second time, most likely sending him two notifications. Rest in Peace.
(*Has she mentioned that she's a Scorpio?)
for the month that welcomes spring, featuring tunes from Florence and the Machine, King Princess, Alvvays, Wolf Alice, Arkells, and more.
Write something that empowers and inspires you and tape it somewhere you look at every morning. While you're at it, you might as well make a playlist that makes you feel good while your getting ready. It might be 7am on a Monday morning, but at least you can start your week off with a good quote and a dance party in front of the mirror. Sleep naked. Your self-love will skyrocket every morning you look at your body with all of its flaws and lumps and scars in natural light. Moisturize your neck and your elbows. Read the books you enjoy because life is short and there is no such things as guilty pleasures when it comes to reading. Feed your brain with books in any genre—from young adult to harlequin romance or whatever else is frowned upon. On the topic of guilty pleasures and good, it's good to remember that there are none. Eat what you like, and if that makes chocolate cake or chips or French bread with butter, so be it. Marie Antoinette* didn't say let them eat cake for no reason. On days when you feel like you don't want to deal with life, open your curtains. If it isn't freezing outside, crack open the window and let air get into every inch of your room to remind you how good it feels to be awake, to be alive, and to remind you that there is always air even when you feel like you're suffocating.
*Marie Antoinette did not actually say this, but I like to believe she did.
"So what do you do?""...it’s kinda hard to explain.""Because what you do is complicated?""...because I don’t really do it."— Frances Ha, 2012
I have been feeling a bit like a fraud lately.
I thought it was school. I really, really did. I thought that was what was making everything heavy. Once exams were over, I could rest my mind and the words would come. Once exams were over, the knots in my neck would ease and I could sit at a computer screen without wanting to scratch my eyes out. Once exams were over, my mind would settle, my thoughts would form properly and I could actually be relaxed and write again.
But it's been well over a month and the words weren't really arriving.
Writing has always felt like coming home to myself; it has always helped me make sense of what is going on. It is a way to teach me how to make every emotion tangible in some way.
Writer is what I call myself. It's the thing that I believe defines me. It's the word written in all of my bios on various social media networks. But I haven't published anything on this little space on the web since the end of March, with the last piece called Changing of the Seasons.
The optimism I had when writing something felt like it was on the tip of my fingers awaiting to be embraced. Everything was starting to feel exciting and fresh and new and I felt ready to step into all of it and let it take over. A few days after I published that, I had a few setbacks. Some so tiny that others would say they should be irrelevant, but in addition to the large setbacks they seemed like mountains. All of a sudden there wasn't really much to look forward to. I watched as all of those new and exciting things slipped away from my fingertips.
For some time afterwards, I wasn't very interested in writing. I felt really exposed. This has always been a place where I could be a bit of a vulnerable mess without anyone really saying anything about it. But then I thought about people who are just meeting me for the first time and how easily I could be written off as being too emotional, too dramatic, and my personal favourite: too much.
If there is one thing I hate more than not finding words, it is being too much for other people.
The thought of it made me want to cover myself up and hide. The fact that someone could read what I've written and write me off completely did not sit well with me. It felt like when teacher's used to read your work over your shoulder while at school, leaving you paralyzed in fear that what your writing is total shit. I made this little space private and hid for a little while and took time writing in journals instead, even though I still felt major writer's block and I felt like a fraud. Calling myself a writer but not being able to write? What a joke. Not posting anymore on my blog because of the fear of being too much for other people and knowing they can judge me before even speaking to me? Horrifying.
Naturally, I did what anyone in this situation would do: I cried a lot.
And then I did the next thing someone would do in this situation: speak to a friend who is much smarter than I am. I sent her frantic texts throughout the past few months that can be summed up in two questions: Am I really this thing that I say I am when I don't really do it lately? and Why am I so afraid of being too much for people?
Her response? Just like fishermen are still fishermen even if they don't fish every day, you're still a writer.
I can give myself time to just be with my thoughts. I don't need to be where others are or adhere to a schedule to make progress. Some days I will want to write by the lake and other days it will be a chore to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). Sometimes I will feel incredibly small and inferior to others who seem to be progressing so much faster, but I will get there on my own time. I won't feel like I need to hastily grasp at things that seem good before they disappear. I am teaching myself to embrace progress as it comes. There is no final destination. At the end of the day, I write because it makes me feel better. I need to remember that the words will come when they are ready. When I am ready.
And when it comes to being too much for other people, I think about this interview with Lorde where she states:
“It is a difficult thing, the relationship between writing about people and knowing them. Loving them. But it comes with the package. Because, y’know, make no mistake about who I am.”
My smart friend reminded me that the people who are worth it will not only understand, but would want me to embrace every facet of myself without fearing that I am being too much. Anyone who cannot handle my too-muchness is not worth it if it means hiding away bits and pieces of myself to make them comfortable.
This is who I am. Take it or leave it.