By Alin Suarez
citrus youth is a blog filled with present-tense moments of a friend group, as well as memories from one of those friends. this idea came from my own friends and how funny i think we are, but also the question of how i will decide to remember us now when i’m older. this represents my best work because i think it comes at a time where many individuals my age are questioning what’s going to happen. a big part of our stability is our friends, and i think it’s going to be nice for us to remember these moments.
regarding my blog– i think in the times i’ve been alive, the world has just been a chaotic place. i’m in the generation post-9/11, i am too young (and poor) to have any real recollections of the recession and i’m not having a high school graduation! i think that’s why i created citrus youth. this blog is about three friends, wendy, effie and sulli. and they, like me, are very confused about the next phases in life. however, they are mixed up, written in present moment as they are happening and as memories an older, wiser sulli has. the reason for this is because i think remembering the friends i have now is important to me and though i am still 17, i think it’s important that i start to be okay with not being with them all the time. the name is citrus youth. youth because it’s characterized as “the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”. Youth is an experience that may shape an individual’s level of dependency…” (thank you, Wikipedia) i think it’s obviously very fitting of the experiences i want to write for these characters. and citrus because of the real life relationship me and my real life wendy and effie have with citrus fruits! okay that’s all. enjoy :-)
the idea for citrus youth came from my own friends. they are both officially 18, and i have a melancholic feeling about how it’ll be my turn soon. i made this into a tumblr blog because i feel like tumblr represents a cultural moment for anyone around my age! using tumblr actually helped me better understand the beauty of it and how one runs a blog. the only real setback was how to do basic things, such as changing the fonts or the layout. when i finished, i felt inspired to do more with this concept.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Alin Suarez & Mentor Kiele Raymond
Alin’s Anecdote: Throughout my wonderful year at Girls Write Now, the highlight has been going on diner dates together on Saturday mornings!
Kiele’s Anecdote: One winter morning, Alin and I stumbled into a Midtown diner after our first plan fell through. We ordered coffee and mozzarella sticks and started talking. Ever since, it has been our tradition to seek out the unassuming diners of Manhattan. I love hanging out with Alin because of her breadth of curiosity. She is an expert on The Twilight Zone and Jamaica Kincaid and K-pop. We both come from big families, and it’s clear that she feels a deep love and loyalty to her mom and siblings. Most of all, I love seeing how her voice transforms when she turns to the page. She has the wisdom and insight to turn an everyday dialogue with friends into rhythmic prose poetry, full of inside jokes and swapped bottles of juice. This piece especially speaks to Alin’s widened sense of self and how she discovered that her reserved nature comes not from an absence of empathy but from a fear of how powerful that empathy could be. I for one cannot wait to see what she does next.
Alin Suarez is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Bronx, NY.