“The teacher told us to pay attention to our breathing, and said if a thought came into our heads we should pretend to write it on a balloon and let it go. If a thought came? Right. As if my mind ever quieted. Still, I gave it my best try.
Breathe. Breathe. What color would the balloon be? Would I write on it with a Sharpie? What color Sharpie? Would it pop, or blow away?
Breathe. Are everyone else’s eyes closed? Better close mine. Is my shirt riding up? Better pull it down.
Breathe in, out. In, out. In, out. How is that girl so thin? Does she even eat? Stop thinking.
Breathe. In and out, and in and out. I am the biggest person here. I am the ugliest person here. How do you write that on a balloon? Stop.
Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Again. Don’t cry. Everyone will notice.”