I spent the first day in Barcelona wandering, waiting for my friend to get out of class. I’d saved all summer to visit her while she studied abroad and I was going to have fun, even when she wasn’t there to show me around. Down the road from my hostel was a church built in the thirteenth century and no it wasn’t a church for dinosaurs. It was a human church. Human beings went to that church (i.e. Humans existed then.) It was incredible; it was magical! I also stumbled upon a food market, where I bought a loaf of bread and walked around snacking on it all day. I felt very European.
Later that afternoon I bought a ticket to see La Pedrera, an apartment building built by Antoni Gaudi. I wondered what could be so special about an apartment building; I’d lived in apartment buildings my entire life, and I knew everything about everything, so I wasn’t very impressed.
I wasn’t very impressed, until I approached the corner and looked
up at the giant, goofy-looking, majestic structure in front of me. The rounded rooftop, the wave-like windowed exterior, and the cartoonish arches were completely and complexly stunning. I had certainly never been to an apartment building like this before. Inside I was taken on a tour of grand, open, effervescent rooms filled with tinted windows and shapely furniture. Door knobs looked like they were sculpted from bronze Play-doh, windows looked like water-color paintings, and the energy was as clear and refreshing as the Pacific Ocean.
I had finished the entire tour, when I went back and bought an information head-set. I revisited every room and exhibit in Casa Milà (La Pedrera) learning the architect’s vision. The light was so beautiful because Gaudi had intended the windows to leak the most natural and beautiful amount of rose-colored light into every corner of the room. He had sculpted chairs to mold perfectly to the spine. Door knobs were created to be gripped—the hand slipped perfectly into the nooks to make it an extension of the human body. His designs were conditioned to the human form which was why there were no right angles or linear walls. What was so striking about the building was its imperfections, just like the human condition. Humans are curved. Straight lines are manmade. Perfection is synthetic and we are not meant to be straight and perfect. Everybody is deeply flawed, and that is gorgeous. Sticking the landing isn’t nearly as remarkable as the hundreds of times you’ve messed up in training.
I can try my hardest to be punctual, my hardest to make my bed every morning but when I don’t—I’m not messing up. I am being a human and I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. My peers are human—they can offend me, make me feel silly, not laugh at my joke, but they are humans. They can’t be perfect, and I can’t expect them to be. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is La Sagrada Familia. My roommate’s crazy cat is Park Guell.
And so when I came back from Barcelona, undoubtedly hung-over (I’m human, remember?) and I walked by the picketers outside of Planned Parenthood on my way to class, I took a breath. Humans. When I prepared for hours for an audition and didn’t get a second call back, I’m human. When I wore my sister’s yellow dress without asking and spilt burrito all over it—I’M JUST A HUMAN!
I want to write for humans. I want to write flawed characters who make mistakes, who stain their sister’s clothes, and have strong and sometimes misguided beliefs. I also want to write characters who forgive, who are flexible, and who don’t try to be someone their not. I want to write stories for people to tell—stories that show people that humans are flawed. I want to play characters on stage who are messy, flawed, and relatable. I will spend my life creating art that connects people to one another to their shared, crooked, humanity. I want to exude acceptance, awareness, and humility. Give me a script, and I will show you your own humanity. Give me a pen, I will write you into loving your scars, and scabs, and mosquito bites. I promise.