drive

im 23. i still feel the same, maybe

they say it gets better. i guess it has. time heals. it does. its hard for me to remember just how hard it was four years ago. but i know it was. i know that i was frozen and i was so so so scared of everyone. and i remember more years ago … pretty much as far back as i can remember … all i wanted was to die. i didnt know what happiness was until i was 17. people always say your childhood days were the best of your life and they wish they were five again and i just stare in wonder. having no responsibilities doesnt mean you will be happy. im happy now. most of the time. but its still hard. it still comes back.

will i ever be free?

will i ever be the girl i dream of?

i like to be alone most of the time 

i guess i do. the more alone i am, the more used i am to it. but i know im happier surrounded by love and laughter … but being around people doesnt mean youre not alone. not quite. sometimes when im around people i feel more alone than if i wasnt.

is it all in my head, what they said? 

i ruin my own life just for nothing

im always afraid of wasting time and wasting life. i know i could be so much more. but i dont do it. i fall into the same old comfortable habits and watch my dream girl crumble to dust

i drive fast so i can feel something 

why

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am i still a writer?

its strange how something that was so central to your life can become optional

im thinking about writing. there was a time when writer was synonymous with my identity. there was a time when writing was the only thing that kept me alive. there was a time when i lived and breathed for the beauty of words. there was a time when words spilled out of my ears and eyes and skin.

of course i still write. i write everyday for at least one of my three english papers. i write texts to my love. i write through comments and posts on social media. im writing notes, essays, and lab reports.

i suppose i write now more for some other reason than writing itself. and thats whats changed. i dont write because i must write. i dont write so much to sound beautiful. but most of all, i dont feel this drive. i feel that writing is something that has become less and less a part of my life. when i think about it, i realise it is not so because ive never stopped. not at all. but i feel its become more about obligation than love.

so am i still a writer?

do i like to write? do i want to write? do i need to write?

does it matter?

of course it doesnt. it only matters for this tricky little thing called identity that i still havent quite grasped.

no it doesnt matter but i still wonder because how can i no longer be a writer when writing made life worth living? how can something that made life worth living suddenly become unessential?

how strange. how ephemeral

yet now im an english student. im someone who looks at the art of weaving words. if im not a writer, i write about being one and i write about what other people have written. i suppose now im on the outside.

im not sure how i feel about it

id love to get into writing again but i dont know if it gives me the same kind of feeling of magic and i miss it

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

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.

fear and ambition

I’ve talked about struggling with a lack of motivation and a desire for greatness. It’s a terrible combination.

But I’m here today to talk about a different aspect of ambition … it’s partly linked to my previous post. I’m talking about fear and ambition.

I have many goals I want to achieve and possible career paths to follow and knowledge I want to attain and ideas I want to realize. But so many of them require a huge amount of hard work, knowledge, talent, creativity, and effort.

And I think, I can’t possibly expect that I can gain that knowledge and that I have that talent and creativity and that I’ll be able to put in that hard work and effort.

I’ll leave it to someone else to do it … someone better, more qualified than I am.

And it’s partly motivated by laziness, this impulse, but it’s also motivated by fear.

Because … what if I can’t EVEN if I try?

Wouldn’t that be the most demoralizing? So it’s better to just not try.

Excuses. They’re all excuses.

I find it very hard to believe in myself. I am afraid … fucking terrified … that I can’t achieve anything that I wish. I know I won’t achieve everything because there simply isn’t enough time. But I’m terrified that I won’t be able to achieve just one. I’m terrified of the confirmation of my own incompetence.

But you know what? Fuck that fear. It’s pride. I don’t want to see how lousy I can be. But trying will do nothing for my goals other than bring me closer to them. Maybe I still won’t reach them but what’s the harm in that if I wasn’t even going to try in the first place?

I want to shoot for the stars. Goddamit I really do. I always have. But I shy away from it because I’m a coward and I’m proud and yes, I’m really fucking lazy and I lack resilience and I lack willpower.

But I’m still here and I’m still dreaming … in the rare moments when I forget myself and let myself dream.

So today I make the resolve to stop letting realism dictate my actions. I’ve always been a rather practical realistic person. It’s always been about what is possible and what is probable and what I can expect. And I really thought, I’m just being realistic and that’s a good thing because it saves me from disappointment.

No, it doesn’t. Because I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed at how much I think I need to limit myself and at how much I let myself be limited.

I can be a bit of an all or nothing girl. So if I’m going to have a goal … I want to have confidence in it or I simply won’t do it. Because I don’t have confidence, I need something else to put all into … I need some other 100 percent. For me, that has to be determination. That means putting my all into it. I don’t want to put in all and receive nothing to show for it.

If I choose a smaller goal, I could put in all and be sure to receive something to show for it.

At the end of the day, we all have one life. We can choose how we spend it. And yet, I think that if we’re going to die anyway, maybe it doesn’t really matter so much if we don’t reap rewards.

I would rather risk it and know that I chanced that my all was enough.

braindead 

Im rather appalled when I think of it at how dead my brain has become

It feels like it’s been far too long since I’ve used it at all

I can feel it’s definitely worse for lack of use. It’s essentially like a muscle that needs to be worked or it gets weak

The other day I was having trouble getting my brain to absorb information from my psychology homework. But I decided that if I was going to procrastinate, I might as well procrastinate in a “productive” way. So I opened up my folder full of my novel drafts – finished and unfinished – and plans, with the goal of finding something to work on.

I was – and I can’t find a better word for this – rather amazed by what I’d done. Don’t get me wrong. My work is nothing to shout about and needs much improvement. But … I had written novels. I had written multiple novels. There were a lot of words and a lot of effort put into them.

I couldn’t imagine doing that now. I struggle to write a paragraph of fiction … how am I supposed to write 50,000 words? And yet I did it and I can only imagine the focus and determination that went into it.

I was inspired to brush up on my French language (pretty much non existent at this point) and I remembered how I passed three years worth of French … how I completed Duolingo and was attempting to read classic French stories like Sylvie.

I can introduce myself and order food now (badly). That’s about it. And every time I resolve to learn it for real this time, the resolve lasts a week at most.

I could go on with these examples … how I listen to my old songs from 2015 and haven’t written a full one for months … how I was learning the piano and reached Grade 3 and would sit there for hours learning new pop songs but I can barely muster up the effort to remember how to play my own songs now … how I used to write fricking English essays for fun and I haven’t put a word to my essay for my upcoming exam.

In short, I’ve stopped trying. I give up so so easily. At the slightest sign of difficulty, at the slightest blank of my mind, at the slightest suggestion that my brain will have to work, I run. I shut my laptop. I switch to facebook. I go to bed. I. Give. Up.

I’ve lost resilience and my brain is losing strength. I’m terrible at focusing. You don’t understand how huge the temptation is to switch the tab from this post and go to social media instead, or watch a video.

Yes, social media plays a huge part. I can’t deny it any longer. It does. I still can find a million ways to procrastinate without it … but it gets boring much faster. And there comes a point when my own thoughts interest me more than no thoughts at all … when working my brain becomes entertainment. But with social media, I am constantly entertained by a barrage of …. stuff … that I have little incentive to use any form of entertainment that would require effort. It’s too easy now.

That said, eventually social media too can become rather repetitive and I do feel the urge for something different. I long to stretch my brain … even as I panic because it’s hard and it makes my brain hurt.

Mostly, I need to learn to stop giving up and that’s more a case of willpower than anything else. It’s a mentality that if you start something, you goddamn finish it. No excuses. Because that’s how you progress.

Deleting the past

I have a chronic habit of deleting old blogs. A week or so ago, I decided to revisit some of my old blogs that were still up … It brought about a mixed bag of feelings …

I was incredibly different as recently as two years ago. My beliefs, values, opinions, interests, and even personality were different, and – I’m honestly not proud of the girl I used to be. Yet the fact is, I can remember some of those feelings from two years ago and I know that I only ever meant well and I only wanted to do what was right. Sure, that girl was naive about life and things. But I don’t think I should be ashamed of her. And even if I did have something to be ashamed of about her … she was me. I won’t say she IS me. But without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. She was the stepping stone and an integral part of my life.

I cringe so much at who I used to be and the things I used to do and the words I used to write. But at one point that was me. What does it say about me that I want to hide the past?

The Internet is a gift and a curse. I started writing a blog at around 11 years old (although it was a private blog, thankfully) and giving someone of that age the ability to share virtually anything with complete strangers from all over the world is rather terrifying. Imagine if everyone knew what we were like at 11. When you think about it that way, it seems a gift that archives from the past can be deleted. Because archives from the past can be deleted (as long as you’re not too famous on the Internet). But that can be a curse as well.

Think about real life. With the Internet, if you obtain a pseudonym, no one knows it was YOU who did it and you can always start over. In real life you can’t erase someone’s memory of yourself and it’s much harder to be anonymous. So our pasts inevitably stay with us. We don’t have the option of deleting them so we are forced to learn to come to terms with them. I mostly try to avoid thinking about the embarrassing or bratty moments of my past but what do you know? The people in my life still love me. Those things happened and people saw and I survived. It’s all turned out fine. I turned out fine. I didn’t ruin my life.

Should we delete the past if we don’t like it? I’m not going to say a flat out no. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong in wanting to erase the less than stellar moments of our lives and I won’t fault you for wanting that. After all, the internet is a public place and I know I would rather not torture the Internet with younger me (or even current me … I’ll probably regret this blog in future). And it is possible to make mistakes with huge consequences that will bite us in future.

But I just want to say – and I guess this is more as a note to myself than anyone else – that we shouldn’t be afraid of regrets. Or, to rephrase that, we shouldn’t have to be haunted by regrets.

The past is what it is. We do things we’re not proud of. Many of them have consequences and we have to live with them. But it’ll be alright in the end.

Live and do your best.