My last name is Miller. Yeah, like the beer. Best served cold.
The thing about us Millers, though, is that we’re anything but chill.
Glenn is my dad. Brash, charismatic, and confident to a nauseating degree. The man moved to Hawaii in his early twenties completely unintentionally. (That’s the thing about us Millers, most of our intensity is almost always unintentional).
It was supposed to just be a short vacation, but Glenn cancelled his return flight and spent the next few years smoking weed, surfing, and working. He still does two of those things. Take a guess which ones.
My brother Matt is a lot like my dad. Charismatic and social, of course, ‘cause he’s a Miller. And he’s wicked smart. By age twenty-two, he built himself an off-road race car from the ground up. Multiple times.
The only reason the guy doesn’t have a girl completely swooning over him is because no girl has yet been able to keep up. (Consider this a casting call, for any interested ladies out there.)
There’s my mom, too, and my half-brother. Neither are Millers by blood, but in spirit they’re up there with the best of them. Driven, hard-working, social, charming. That’s all there is to it.
And then, there’s me, Megan. The youngest of the clan, and the only Miller daughter. Except, I don’t feel like a Miller.
While the rest of my family is in overdrive, accomplishing things, blazing trails for themselves, I feel out of touch. Stagnant. Numb, even. A real Miller grabs onto things with two hands and doesn’t let go, but I have this way of floating about passively.
I call it sleepwalking. And it’s through a world that has never felt quite my own.
Back in August, I bought a ‘95 Ford Bronco. And over the months since, I’ve been fixing it up. I’ve spent hours researching, toiling, working, and getting my hands dirty, like a true Miller. And you know what people say?
“At least you have Matt to do all the work for you.”
That’s where they’re wrong, in more ways than one. If Matt was the one working on it, the whole thing would’ve been taken apart and rebuilt by now. Cause that’s what real Millers do.
And I’m just a Miller poser.
Seriously, I’ve never even tried the beer.
On New Year’s Eve of 2019, I met this boy with blue eyes whom I could ramble to the stars about. We started dating.
We dance to Taylor Swift in my kitchen. We drink wine. When I’m with him, butterflies skip their migration south and make a home in my stomach. I feel like I can conquer the world and then some.
And you wanna know how I met him?
Through my brother.
Those four or five friends of mine? Also met them through my brother.
The cute dog everyone always sees in my Instagram stories is my dad’s. People compliment my cheekbones, but my mom had them first, and she wears them much better, honestly.
Did you know I’m not even the only Megan Miller at Chapman?
I wonder if she feels the same way about her own Millers.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. And I know they love me, even though I’m not quite like them.
I’m not social; I’m introverted. I’m not fearless; I’m anxious. I’m terrible with numbers and mechanical things. I feign confidence, I lack charisma. Shit, I can’t even smoke a joint without coughing.
But who’s to say any of that defines the Millers? There’s only one thing we’ve actually all agreed upon, and that’s the saying: “Intensity runs in the Miller blood.”
Sure, maybe I float around a bit more than the average Miller. I might not be the most social, but I can be pretty fun if you get to know me. And I’m a Scorpio, so I’m pretty intense.
If you’ve read this far, I guess that makes me charismatic, too.
I still get moments of doubt about who I am and who I’m supposed to be, sure, but that’s not a strictly Miller thing. It happens to everybody.
But I know I’ll be okay.
Millers always end up okay.
Megan J. Miller is a senior student at Chapman University, studying journalism and documentary film. When she isn’t writing, you can find her working on her ’95 Bronco, exploring new hiking trails, or scouring the thrift stores for the best vintage finds.