an #amcurrently post

its nearing the end of february and i am excited

im in a good head space right now. ive just finished my summer school course and felt more confident about this paper than perhaps ive felt about any other so we will hope that means amazing things. either way, im excited to begin semester 1 and fully dive into my major (moving one step closer to being the badass nerdy research scientist i hope to be whenever i have a good mental health day and stumble upon some interesting piece of cognitive psychology)

i want to join the glee club at my university and get into musical theatre. my high school did not have a glee club so ill be new to this but its an absolute dream of mine to perform again. i do so love to perform, especially if it involves singing. and it has been far too long.

speaking of singing, ive been obsessively listening to walkthemoon, dermot kennedy, and hayley kiyoko (i need the new album. now. please.) recently. throw in a few the 1975 favorites for good measure and you have my recently played. tonight ive also been re-appreciating the beauty of mika’s voice in “happy ending”. that last chorus gives me chills … that note, the little waver in his voice. i. cant.

still, im a bit dry on new music so please recommend stuff to me.

ive booked an appointment to get my hair dyed (finally) and im going for green, blue, and purple so i can finally be a mermaid. let me tell you, i am BEYOND EXCITED. i cannot wait.

now. in other news. ya girl really wants to buy a polaroid so she can take cute pictures but she cant decide if its worth the price (in between getting my hair done and bills). id also dearly like some scented candles for my room so perhaps i should begin with those. it would be lovely to finish reading the brothers karamazov by candlelight before uni starts (fingers crossed on that).

wait. you didnt think i would possibly make a post here without mentioning something about boys, did you?……………………….no, i didnt think so. theres no way i could practice that much self control. but, in a sweet sentence, ill let you know that its been a lovely two months with my boy now and i couldnt be more grateful and in love. truth be told, though, it hasnt been all smooth going. however i think it pretty much comes down to two problems. two problems that we can fix with time and effort. so i still have my hope.

this month is showing me again that beautiful things can and do happen in between everything else.

so. i am looking at the stars.

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strengths

i took this quiz a few days ago that finds your top strengths. i admit, i was a bit nervous as i filled in my answers because it was quite clear from each question whether it represented a strength or a weakness – and my answers definitely tended toward weakness.

but i got my results anyway and they have a ring of truth. i can see them in me – sometimes. i can see them in my optimum, mentally stable self, but i can even see them in my worse self. i thought it would be interesting to examine them here

my top strength was LOVE OF LEARNING. i like that because i need not pretend i am a virtuous person to have a strength. i am not a disciplined person at all. i may be one of the laziest people around. but i get tired of doing nothing eventually.

it always feels like theres too much i want to learn and know and not enough time. i wonder why i dont take more advantage of my hunger for knowledge. i want to learn new skills and gain knowledge but im reluctant to always put in the effort. however, sometimes i end up learning anyway just by living, and thats a wonderful feeling

my second strength was HONESTY. thats a bit hilarious when you think about it, considering how often i lie (and im not bad at it, if i do say so myself). i hate it about myself but sometimes its just easier to lie than to start conflict and i hate confrontation. however, im getting better at this. and while i do lie about things that would cause major conflict, im not afraid of smaller conflicts or potentially offending a stranger or acquaintance so i tend to be quite blunt about everything else.

the results page also says that honesty includes presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting sincerely and taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions. i think im always a bit anxious about being “fake”. maybe a bit too anxious. i dont want to be someone im not and i may overcompensate a little but thats still interesting that i seem to be succeeding? and for all my faults, i do believe i am self aware and can at least recognise when i behave badly, even if i dont always do anything to change it

the third strength was JUDGEMENT which at first made me panic a bit because i always try to be as nonjudgmental of others as i can. but reading the description, its not about judging others but about thinking things through, not jumping to conclusions, considering all sides and weighing evidence fairly, and being able to change one’s mind in light of said evidence. in essence, it’s the opposite of being overly judgmental. it has a ring of empathy to it. and that made me very happy to see it on my list of strengths.

although i suppose what with my love for introspection and pros and cons lists, it would be disappointing if i DIDNT manage to make this a strength.

the fourth strength was APPRECIATION OF BEAUTY AND EXCELLENCE. im glad this was included as a strength because this is my creed and one of my main motives for life itself. there is so much beauty in the world and it makes life worth living.

the other strengths that followed also felt right to me in their progression. all in all the test was a bit of a reassurance for me and an interesting window into an aspect of my own identity

happy place

in the quest to be content with being alone, an absolute necessity is to find your happy place.

i didnt think id be writing this post. if i was looking for quite a sickeningly positive term, the opposite of the melancholy personality i profess to have and separate from my romanticising of sadness, i couldnt do better. i cringe to type out happy place, even as i cringe at my self absorption. which is why im writing this post, because ive come to the realisation that for me depression is a bit of a revel. A revel in sadness and suicidal thoughts. And its a bit like an addiction. Doesn’t feel great but its easy to get stuck in it.

a happy place grounds you into reality. keeps you there. makes you realise that there’s color in the world if you can only keep your mind at peace for long enough.

my happy place is sitting down in a cool room in front of a computer and pounding my thoughts out, with music blaring in my ears

my happy place is walking in the city streets and feeling the cool air on my skin and a drink in my hand

my happy place is cooking good food and eating it and tidying and cleaning my apartment until its something i can say im proud to have worked for

my happy place is what makes me feel that i could be alone, all alone in the world, and i would be ok. it’s what makes me feel like there is love, wonder, and beauty within me. within my own heart. and thats not all i want. but enough to survive.

these places ground me. they make me know in my heart that im not ready to die. even if this was all there was (and i know its not … oh how i know that theres more for me in store), i dont want to leave. i want to read one more book, drink one more drink, write one more thought, and discover one more thing about myself.

or two. or a hundred

pass

it passes as I knew. All good things must come to an end. Oh, you naive naive girl. Not that you didn’t know it would happen. Oh you knew. You knew it so well in your bones. The high never lasts.

But I had hoped and believed that maybe it would last more than three weeks. I don’t want to be ungrateful. Three weeks is better than three days just like three days is better than three hours and three hours is better than three minutes and three minutes better than three seconds and three seconds better than nothing.

Every time, I feel the hands wringing the tears out of my soaked heart but, every time, I’m at a loss anew. You would think that I would have learned to deal with this. But every time, it hurts as much as it did. My throats catches and it’s hard to swallow. I need someone to hold my heart and hold my hand and yet I cannot share the pain. I get angry when I only want to be comforted.

wish i could pass on this

press restart

Maybe it’s not an ending

Maybe it’s a beginning

-WALK THE MOON

I’m obsessed with new beginnings. New Years is always such a marker for me. It means new horizons, new opportunities, and starting afresh. It means a new school year, new friends, new adventures, new goals, and new chances to always be successful. It means the possibility for a new identity and a new destiny.

Yet this year I don’t feel any significance to today. New Year’s party was a good time but it was more an excuse to have a party and meet with friends than anything else. I haven’t made New Years resolutions and I don’t believe I will. My only resolutions this year are to be braver and do the things I want rather than let anything get in the way. And maybe that statement half explains why I haven’t made resolutions this year: because what matters to me is doing what I want to do, rather than writing a list of to dos that a few months from now might not be current or relevant to where I’m going and what I want anymore.

As for a fresh start, I suppose I use the New Year as an excuse to start over. But what exactly am I starting over? The only thing that restarts is in my head. And if that’s the case, there’s no reason that this cannot happen any time of the year. But a new year lets me make that mental shift seem natural and right.

2017 was a year of many restarts. They happened because life happened and life doesn’t conform to dates on a calendar. I had plans that abruptly had to be changed. I had big changes smack dab in the middle of terms. I lost people and met new people and couldn’t have predicted or controlled when that happened. In December, I got to a point where, I suppose for the first December in my life, I felt satisfied with my life and didn’t feel that urge to wipe away the past.

Don’t get me wrong. I would dearly like 2018 to be very different from how 2017 went.

But I suppose changes are going to happen if I need or want them to happen and when it’s relevant and I really cannot expect that to conform to neat tidy numbers. And although change happens, some things stay the same and right now, I’m happy that way.

wonder

in june, i started a word doc. it was called “everything i used to love”.

I was feeling wonder slipping from my fingers. It didn’t start in June. It had started long before that and it came in waves, sometimes more intense than before. but it came to a point where i was finding it hard to remember what wonder felt like … to remember if i had ever really held it in my palm.

but i must have. so i wrote that doc, and i finished it three and a half months later. i thought if i could at least remember everything that used to bring me wonder and write it down, maybe i would remember what wonder felt like and maybe id be able to bring it back.

i cant believe that i feel wonder now.

im giddy with the realisation. im giddy with love and life. im giddy with

wonder.

it was a combination of life events and a strength ive found in myself and the healing of time and luck and good health.

i feel like a child again sometimes.

i see wonder in the cool air on my skin.

i see wonder in my own face that i am coming to love. makeup or no makeup.

i see wonder in the colors on my eyeshadow palette and the endless possibilities. i see wonder in turning my face into a canvas and painting it with beautiful colors and shapes.

i see wonder in the comfort of my bed and the warmth of my blanket and the softness of a toy.

i see wonder in the eyes of small laughing children.

i see wonder in pretty dresses. in twinkling christmas lights. in sweet sodas and good home cooked meals.

i see wonder in people’s happiness. i see wonder in walking the city streets. i see wonder in gorgeous music that makes me want to cry. i see wonder in tears.

i see wonder in the people who love me and the people who stand by me.

i see wonder in the eyes of the people i love.

i see wonder in the soft grass and wildflowers that grow there. i see wonder in the cold water and the hot sand of the beach.

i see wonder in greeting strangers. i see wonder in movement. in feeling the wind blow your hair back. in feeling your heart race and pound.

i see wonder in soft kisses. i see wonder in the touch of a hand.

i see wonder in pretty words. in crinkling pages and the smell of books.

i see wonder in faces and bodies in pictures. i see wonder in the kindness of people and i see wonder in the humanness.

i dont just see wonder. i hear it. i feel it. i touch it. i smell it. i taste it.

ive been writing so many posts these past days because im filled with so much excitement that i want to share. my words and ideas move faster than my energy. im filled with so much desire to create and reflect on love and give it through my words. i wonder often if i should schedule posts instead of just pressing publish as soon as i write them. then perhaps we would have consistent and fairly frequent posts throughout the year rather than a spattering of 10 in one month and none for six.

but i love publishing immediately. i suppose because that’s the moment when the words are most true to life. they are most raw and real because this is the moment that i thought them up and this is where i am right now. it wouldn’t be true to life if i published this post two months from now about wonder if i was having a depressive episode then(but fingers crossed).

and mostly im just far too excited and trigger happy to care.

maybe i see it as a case of … what if the world ended tomorrow? Why the fuck would i wait until tomorrow to scream out all the excitement?

i am wonder

WONDER WONDER WONDER

the statistical probability of love

ive heard it said that its rare for two people to meet and become lovers. life partners. rare for two souls to intertwine in love and intimacy. what are the chances? people will say. the stars aligned and destiny and events aligned so that two souls who fit each other could collide and create a beautiful mess

what are the chances, indeed?

quite high, i think.

the truth is that most of us are longing for connection. we’re longing for love. we’re also incredibly drawn to the beauty of other humans. in essence, at any given time, there are a lot of people in close proximity who are all ripe to fall in love

we’re waiting and yearning to hold someone’s hand. to tell them all our secrets. to hear all of theirs too. to kiss someone under the stars. to hold someone in our arms. to have our spirits belong together and with one person alone. to have someone to take care of us. to join us on adventures. to love and be loved.

so its not hard. its not hard for two souls to fall together because we want it. and we have many people from the same generation with some similar ideals and experiences and interests.

and oh, how we want it.

but that’s not to say that the phenomenon of love and unity isnt still magical. it is. i suppose … it makes sense and its statistically probable. that has been my hypothesis this whole post. but statistically probable love is still love. i guess what we can glean from my idea is that – love might not be as elusive as we think. we play a huge part in making things happen.

and i think that we should be pretty hopeful in that knowledge

self fulfilling prophecies

i couldnt begin this post in a more cliche way, but im going to do it anyway

when you believe you are a certain way, you end up becoming more and more like it. im sure there are always exceptions, but beliefs about oneself that may not really be true can limit you in ways you dont realise

a prime example (because this is essentially a post telling me not to be like this): my belief that i am a socially anxious, socially awkward human who is bad at anything social.

and i honestly dont know how true that is. some people tell me im the most awkward person to ever awkward, while others say im completely normal. yes, i am anxious. but once i get comfortable with someone, im fine. once we hang out for a couple months … sure, there are still those awkward silences and weird moments when youve just said hello but the conversation doesnt kick off immediately. but you know what? i survive those moments. and theyre really alright. i dont get sick in my stomach (usually) before having to meet someone. its really not as bad as i make myself believe …

as i do make myself believe its bad. but maybe if i told myself that … no, socially awkward and anxious is NOT who i am and things sometimes really ARE easy and natural … i would actually feel less of this fear and more freedom

what if i believed that i can and am sometimes the person i wish i was – confident and talkative and fun?

ive also realised that im not as awkward or untalkative as some people. thats not to say anything against them – but just to say that maybe the narrative i keep telling myself isnt true anymore.

if i dont want this to be my identity – and i dont – and if i want to change my narrative … then i can

but i need to shed these labels and stories first

work

so … like any other university student, im working a part time job in retail to pay for my rent and keep me alive while i study because student loans are not enough and besides i would prefer not to be in debt for the rest of my life …

i dont enjoy it. not at all. im working in a supermarket. sometimes packing salads and pricing meat has a certain satisfying monotony to it. greeting customers on loop? not so much. i remember my excitement during my first job but i think that was just the novelty of actually being paid to do something and the fact that my (future) boyfriend at the time worked there too.

im parttime. i work two days a week. its very manageable. but i cant help but admire every full timer who gets through 40 hours a week of this.

its funny how central a job is to a persons life. we spend five days a week working so we can live the other two days. it floors me how much time of our lives is spent … not really living.

or maybe not. maybe im wrong. maybe forty hours a week is not such a big price to pay to live. living is a pretty big thing, after all.

perhaps a better way to look at it is that our job is our way of contributing to society. which it indeed is. maybe its more a case of five days of living for someone other than yourself.

i suppose i just think that idealistic as it sounds, id like to work a job that i truly enjoy and truly feel passion for. i dont want to spend most of my waking hours not really feeling alive. i know there are always unpleasant jobs that someone will have to do but the goal is to make them take as little time as possible, right? With the advent of technology, we can do that more and more. and again though this may seem idealistic, wouldnt it be wonderful to have a world where we can all find a career path that sparks at least a little passion in us and dont have to work a soul sucking job?

when you describe who you are, you typically mention your name, your age, and your job. but if your career is so central to who you are, i think it should have your spirit

2017

2017 has been a wild year. I dare say, the wildest year of my 19 years so far, which to be fair, is not saying very much. If I’m lucky and remain healthy, I’ve lived a quarter of my life – which is to say, there are many more potentially and hopefully wild years to come.

Still. Wow. It’s strange. 2017 has passed remarkably slowly and so so much has happened. It amazes me that so much can be packed into a single year. I started 2017 depressed as hell. I was working three days a week and aside from that, more or less, I was grounded. It drove me crazy. I can’t tell you how claustrophobic it felt. One of my greatest fears is a lack of freedom and I felt that lack. Acutely. It made me panic and it felt like walls closing in. I compensated with holding on, working, and waiting for uni. I tend to hate holidays as well. Without the routine and distraction of schoolwork and without seeing my friends everyday, it is easy to fall into depression. Which I did. Hard.

Life gets better. It really does. But not right away. 2017 saw my first year at university and I don’t know what to say about that, even now. While other parts of my life got better, university was rough all year round. I felt like all the socialization I’d done in year 13 had gone out of the window. I was back at square one. I had no idea how to make friends and was too terrified and exhausted to speak to anyone anyway. I can tell you that I made 0 friends from university this year. Maybe 0.5 friends because there is one person who always says hi to me when we pass?

I can tell you that university didn’t exactly help the depression.

But. There’s something to be said for adventures alone. Even if it was isolating, it was also freeing and eye opening and incredible to go on adventures on my own for, really, the first time.in my life. It was fun taking public transport, as strange as that sounds. It was great discovering the freedom of being able to get around on your own and to go everywhere around the city. It was fun discovering what it means to be your own person … to buy what you want, eat and drink what you want, dress how you want, go where you want, hang with who you want. It was freeing to have the option to go or not go to lectures. It was freeing to have the world as my oyster, even if I was too lonely and sad to fully appreciate that. Still. It was nice to know that that was an option.

I moved out. It still amazes me that that really happened. I’ve been dreaming about moving out since as far back as I can remember and to think that it actually happened … when I was 18 like I wanted … I can’t stop marveling in it. I don’t remember to appreciate it nearly as much as I should … that I’ve really achieved this dream of mine. I rent an apartment room in the city. It’s mine and mine alone and it’s cozy and comfortable and cute. And it’s in the city! Tell me that isn’t lovely. I can look out my window and see the city lights up close and I can go anywhere at midnight and I’m on the 13th floor! If that was my only achievement this year, I could even say that I was happy with it.

Academically, uni was fine. I got the grades I expected both semesters, and even better than I’d dared hoped in second semester. I didn’t take advantage of extra help and I ended up simply studying for exams and assignments much of the time rather than truly immersing myself in learning. I found myself too depressed and tired to care about uni unless grades were involved. That makes me sad. But I made it through and next year will be better. Yes, I always tell myself that but that doesn’t mean it won’t really happen.

I suppose if my social life took a dive, at least my love life became existent. A hella lot of flirting, three relationships, and a rollercoaster ride later, I can say that I’ve come out better for the experience. It was beautiful. It was fun. It was eye opening. It was all of them. I can really say that. It was the friendship that I didn’t have platonically … but also love. I fell in love for the first time, and I would venture to say, it was a good thing … if I had to classify 2017 into columns of good and bad … but of course I don’t do things like that. I deal in grey. Always grey. I suppose it was grey. But a pretty grey.

I discovered some of the best music this year. It’s wonderful. Coupled with the amount of public transport I take, I do really need it. I’m in awe with just how good music can be.

I learned to cook. If you can call it that … 75 percent of my food is good or edible. The other 25 percent must be disguised with copious amounts of sweet soy sauce … but I get by. I learned to clean a shower … sort of. Spoiled child that I am, it’s been a process.

I feel like I’ve found my style this year … or at least a good portion of it. I’m dressing in clothes that I really love and wearing colors I want on my face. I’ve learned to do makeup and it’s brilliant. I am in love. I’m trying not to let fear and embarrassment discourage me from looking the way I want and I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of that. Two years ago, I was self conscious about my mascara looking too obvious. Now I WILL wear a bright red dress and I WILL wear green lipstick and I WILL not care that I look like Christmas.

I’ve tried a lot of new things – food, drinks, places, movies, experiences. I’ve taken risks. Social anxiety aside, I’ve made choices and gone for experiences in which my bravery impresses me. I didn’t like some of them, but mostly I loved and breathed everything life has to offer.

Creativity-wise … I suppose 2017 has been a flop. This blog has been one of the only things I’ve been able to keep up. Flute and piano practice have completely gone out the window and I have written …. let’s see. 2 songs? I have progressed backwards on every language I was learning. I wrote 15000 words of a novel. I read more than twenty books but they were mostly for my uni course. I’ve been taking the year slowly. That’s ok. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will probably not have a creative career and that I’ll probably be happier for it. I’m doing and creating what feels right when it feels right because … that feels right for me.

I’ve written a lot of introspective, non fictional content. I’ve had this platform … always there for me when I needed. I’ve written pieces on the things I love, on music that speaks to me, on boys. Ah, boys. Boys. There have been love letters. There have been existential crises. I’ve kept up my instagram accounts and found art there.

I’ve gone through more than one identity crisis. 2017 didn’t help at all. But I feel a lot more clarity now. I am every feeling I feel and every mask I put on. I am all of them. I am dynamic and colorful and a kaleidoscope. That was a discovery.

A lot of friendships have faded. I haven’t forgotten my myriad of posts on loneliness just one to two months ago. Loneliness is real. It may be one of the most real things in my life. But. (There’s always a but) I’m feeling positive about it now. I’m looking up.

I have a friend that I know I can rely on. I have a friend group that is flaky and fragmented but … we do have good times. Sometimes. I’m not sure who my real friends are. But maybe that doesn’t matter so much. Even though there’s a part of my brain that tells me that THATS ALL THAT MATTERS … I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just come to a point where I’ve realised there’s no point in getting upset over it. I’m a little resigned right now to being the third wheel … or fourth or fifth or seventh wheel. To being the one to ask to be invited places. It doesn’t matter. I’ll find happiness where I can. I’ll give love where I can. Maybe people don’t care especially for me. Well maybe I don’t care especially for most people either. We find people that make life bearable and that surround us with noise and fun and maybe … in rare moments of luck … friendship. What is a friend even? Maybe it doesn’t matter. The people I know are enough. Maybe one day I’ll find the place where I belong. Until then, maybe I’ll be a nomad.

I’m obnoxiously giddy with happiness right now. I’m not sure why. Maybe because the year has been good after all. That might be because I’m in a happy mood and am only therefore remembering the positive moments in HD (my psychology classes would say that’s why – see, I didn’t forget everything). But if that was the case, I’m glad it is. I’d rather remember the good because it was pretty darn good. I achieved and learned so much. I’m in a place I want to be now. I’m living where I want. My relationship with my family is better. I have the best friend a girl could ask for and I have lovely people in my life. I’m in a relationship and I have so much hope for it. I’m maybe dangerously happy with my boyfriend and dangerously committed in a dangerously short amount of time. I don’t care. Life is short and I’m one quarter of the way through. 3 quarters of a lifetime is hardly long enough to do everything and discover everywhere and share the infinite love of a bursting heart with another person. I’m going for what I want.

I’m so so excited for next year.

I know that the high will fade eventually and that maybe the low will come in. Sooner or later. But that’s ok too.

Right now, it’s 2017. And I’m alive.