i will love you in memories

I will love you in memories, and the memories will be many.

Hold it in, oh let’s go dancing – I do believe we’re only passing through. Wired again, now look who’s laughing – me again, all fired up on you. “Time is Dancing” is the kind of song that fills my soul, like poetry does when it’s written beautifully or with a bite. Sometimes nature does the same thing, rain spilling down the window like tears or evergreen trees packed together like the prettiest sardines you ever saw or a doe in a field, ears perked and big brown eyes watchful. My eyes are brown but they aren’t big; they get all crinkly when I smile, which thankfully I’m doing a lot more of these days. Is it wrong to feel upset with someone for hurting my friend, even if the one who hurt her is a friend too?

We had a discussion in my women’s studies class this week about the “haves” and the “have nots,” about how everyone is a “have” in some way and it got me wondering: who is the most unfortunate person in the world? Surely not everyone can be a “have” – there has to be at least one person on this planet who has it worse than any other. But maybe we all have it bad in our own ways; our suffering is uniquely our own. Why do we suffer, in the sense that we are consciously aware of being unhappy or in pain? And do souls exist? If they do, what does mine look like? These are the kind of early morning questions that hover above my barely conscious existence and trail me throughout the day. “So what is the point? You go to bed with the same thoughts of yesterday, then you wake up only to find that life hasn’t changed one bit. You are still alive, but what are you alive for?”

Now I’m caught between what to say and what I really mean. I read a quote recently by Friedrich Nietzsche: “We love life not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving.” Is that true? It’s a bit of a conundrum, because we were all alive before we loved, but we were loved long before we began to truly live and understand either life or love. Which came first, the chicken or the egg, and does it even matter? We certainly define love the way we experience it, but I still haven’t figured out what love means to me. I don’t think you can love someone without seeing them bare, without knowing and embracing their flaws. I’m working on loving myself as much as I want someone else to, more even. Oftentimes, I find myself reminding the voice inside my head to be patient, gentle, kind.

I miss Finland and my dear Finnish friend often and I dream of going back when the trees are green and the sun rarely sets. I booked a trip to India last night and it’s a relief to finally have some sort of plan for where I’m traveling this summer. Africa has been calling me for awhile, but there’s always next summer. I have to remind myself that it’s impossible to see everything, especially all at once, and that the only thing I can do is take one trip at a time and try to make the most of each.

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sleepless

Getting ready for bed is a ritual, like smoking a cigarette. A long drag: deep inhale, eyes closed, exhale in a puff of smoke that looks like a wisp of cloud that trickled down to earth. What’ll happen when the world ends?

Going to bed without a dream is what leads to sleepless nights, lying awake staring at the ceiling with my eyes closed while trying to conjure a worthwhile picture into my mind. Sometimes I go back and look at travel photos, sometimes I stalk other people’s lives and imagine what it’d be like to be them. Just something to help me ease out of consciousness into a land of whispering deserts and rolling waves, far far away from here.

I’m very adaptable. The way I talk changes depending on where I am, who I’m surrounded by, as does the way that I dress. Am I not good at being myself or are there just many versions of me, possibly ones that I haven’t even discovered yet because I haven’t put myself in the right setting for them to exist? I haven’t felt this alive in a year, probably because I’ve settled into a routine and have stopped taking as many risks. But man, when I almost booked a flight to Cairo on impulse this afternoon, the world changed and my blood fizzed like it was soda and my core grew warm and I was suddenly living again, full of tremendous energy and hope for the future because now, suddenly, there is one beyond all the papers and due dates and monotonous busyness that I fill my time with these days.

The night is cool and crisp and I wish I could dance or fly away or maybe touch a star, though I’d certainly disintegrate from heat or light far before I reached it. I want a cigarette but I don’t know why, probably because I’m struggling to keep a grip on myself. Slipping into my Birkenstocks, all worn leather and peeling cork, is like coming home and I’m probably more attached to my shoes than to most people. I’m working on becoming less materialistic, though.

I’m feeling restless and anxious for no particular reason and not knowing why I feel like bursting just feeds into the cycle. But that’s what GAD is so I shouldn’t be surprised at this point. My body’s given me three periods this month because it hates me and I keep forgetting to breathe, maybe because my nose is so stuffed up that I literally can’t. I need some sort of release; I feel like crying or screaming or running away, anything to let all this pent-up nothingness out.

mood songs: “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA // “Pray for Me” by The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar // “SHE DON’T LOVE ME” and “BRIGHT” by ZAYN

suit and jacket

I ain’t trading my youth for no suit and jacket

I still walk a fine line with food, in my mind at least. Is there anyone who doesn’t? I’m sat in my ocean bed thinking about castles and California and how I could be smaller, but that’s a dangerous path to start down again. So instead I keep it locked up and admonish myself and that’s okay, or as all right as constantly chastising myself for being a human and eating food can be, as long as it isn’t him. I haven’t heard that voice in a long while, haven’t seen his phantom face leering behind me as I squeeze myself in front of the mirror and for that I am glad. I hope I never have to again.

A friend messaged me today and nearly brought me to tears. He sees me in such a different light than I see myself and while I appreciate his kindness from the depths of my soul, I wonder whether maybe he’s being too kind. I’m not special, I know that now, and I’m learning to be okay with it. To embrace normalcy and the middle, not standing out or setting myself apart in every way I can. But he talked about my heart and soul and how they are alight; how can he see that when I feel like I’m riddled with holes and impurities? I’m moody and needy and independent, all at the same time, and I make selfish choices. I should be glad that someone sees the best in me as all of me, but I also feel unworthy of such a favorable judgement. I feel like I’ve deceived him, unwittingly.

‘Cause everybody I know, everybody I know
Is growing old, is growing old too quickly
And I don’t wanna go
No how am I supposed to slow it down so I can figure out who I am?

The header of my blog is a picture from Zakopane and I was staring at it earlier, reminiscing on and missing Poland very much. I had an amazing time there last summer but I suspect that I’ve also built up the experience in my head over the last eight months. A friend who I met in Krakow is coming to visit tomorrow and I’m well excited to catch up with her in person and give her a big hug. She understands me in a different way than many of my friends and she says I inspire her which, again, has me feeling a little unworthy. Because obviously I have self-esteem and think I have some great qualities and all, but when other people tell me that I’ve actually made an impact on their lives, I can’t quite comprehend how. Which is a little absurd, seeing as there have been plenty of “normal” people who’ve influenced me.

I miss being at school. I miss the busyness, the sense of purpose, that there’s always someone to hang out with or something to do and I’m so busy all the time that even lying in bed and watching Parks & Rec for a few hours at night feels like a worthwhile activity. Being home and having such open, empty days is depressing and, in a strange way, overwhelming.

Some of us surviving
Some of us just roaming
Some of us just hoping the world will move more slowly
And some of us alive
We’re all gonna die one day

scar tissue

Oh, Saturday Sun
I met someone
Out on the West Coast
I gotta get back, I can’t let this go

Self-perception is a funny thing. Why are we such fickle friends to ourselves, when we are the only person we have to live with for the entirety of our lives? Why can small, stupid things nearly destroy friendships that are worth far more than a night in between someone else’s sheets? Why does music make me feel whole when words alone can’t? Why do I miss someone who, in the grand scheme of things, I barely know?

Being home is nice and boring, all at the same time. I have a huge bed that feels like an ocean and I love the way sunlight dances off my walls. The clear blue sky outside speaks of endless possibilities, but I find myself caged by small tasks like laundry, doctor’s appointments, and planning a sorority formal. I can’t decide what to do with my summer, or where to go, and it’s swiftly approaching with only two months left of school that are probably going to be overwhelmingly busy. I don’t even want to think about my friends who are graduating and leaving me and what my life will be like next year without them.  What about the year after?

What do I want from all of this? On the one hand, it would be nice to have someone, a partner of sorts. On the other, I’m terrified of being tied down. Is it normal to have such conflicting desires? And how does one choose between them? I’ve been enjoying sunbathing and swimming and despite my attempt to get rid of a bunch of stuff, I want to go shopping. I’m looking forward to slipping into that slinky black dress, the one I’ve never felt prettier in, and seeing the look on his face when I step out in it. I wish I had more occasions to wear dresses, even though I’m notorious for despising having to dress up for anything.

but love means pain.

// later //

I’m going to go. Traveling, that is. Lately I’ve felt torn over how long to go away for this summer but one day at home without my lovely British visitors has left me beyond frustrated and irritated; I think I’d go insane being here longer than a week or so at a time this summer. I certainly wish I were elsewhere right now, off exploring some new-to-me part of the world without the baggage of home and family to drag me down. Sometimes being home makes me want to smoke till I die, to run away and escape to anywhere except here, to have another place of my own to call home. We’re so cruel to each other sometimes and the negativity weighs on me; I don’t have anything like this back at school and maybe it’s only now that I’m away and happy most of the time that I realize how draining and toxic this environment can be.

I think it’s both a blessing and a curse to be so in touch with my feelings. I usually feel comfortable talking about or addressing them but I also wear my emotions on my sleeve and I have this unfortunate need for others to understand my perspective in order to be okay. I wish I weren’t so dependent on other people in order to move on from things that upset me, but I don’t know how to fix myself, so to say, without just building a wall that keeps everything out.

“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”
— Cheryl Strayed

Oh, tell me you love me
I need someone on days like this, I do
On days like this

It’s on days like this that I realize how fucked up I actually am. I’ve got a lot of baggage that doesn’t rise to the surface often, so I tend to forget about it or think I’ve moved past it. But then I miss a trigger warning and it pours out of me again like venom and before I know it, I’m covered in snake bites I didn’t see coming. My friend was talking to me today about her desire to have one person in her life who knows everything about her, who sees her for who she truly is. As open as I am, does anyone really see me? All of my strengths and weaknesses and everything in between? I’d never really thought about a partnership serving that purpose; it’s a whole lot of vulnerability to show someone everything, scars and all, and hope they accept you for it. No, embrace you. Draw you into their arms and whisper “you are enough.” When it feels like everyone is against me, I have to remind myself that I should be those open arms for myself.

Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know-it-all
Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, cause
With the birds I’ll share this lonely view

Blood loss in a bathroom stall
Southern girl with a scarlet drawl
Wave goodbye to ma and pa ’cause
With the bird I’ll share
With the bird I’ll share, this lonely view

Soft spoken with a broken jaw
Step outside but not to brawl and
Autumn’s sweet we call it fall
I’ll make it to the moon if I have to crawl