yet another beginning, yet another goodbye

hello !
 
i'm in college now. college is: wellesley; strong and inspirational women with soft voices and strong opinions it is amazing speakers hundreds of informational sessions learning names over and over again "i'm from sweden" "oh WOW that's so cool!" and getting lost a thousand times. it's sunday night bingo mit frats "what classes are you taking?" amazon prime 69ft of fairy lights moving in and starting over, once again. 
 
being at college is strange. i’ve been trying to figure out a good way to formulate exactly what i’m feeling but it’s hard because i’m not sure i know, yet.
 
#1: a different city, a different life, will it ever feel right? (oh why am I complaining 'cause this feels so right)
 
on the 28th of august i set four alarms on my phone: 5:20 am, 5:23 am, 5:25 am, and 5:27 am. (yeah i'm that kind of person). and then i ate a bowl of greek yoghurt and checked i had my passport a thousand times before i walked out the door realizing i forgot my favorite water bottle in my brother's apartment. sigh. and then boarding the greyhound gray tank top sweaty from lugging my overweight luggage around, loyle carner on the bus and trying to sleep but being unable to and so i write long messages to people i miss and move-in day is hectic and stressful and i find myself crying quietly and softly into the familiarity of my soft pink moomin sheets at the end of it. to strange unfamiliar arms that became comfort i write: ”i feel so lonely. i wish you were here” almost like hoping they’ll embrace me from afar hold me tight hold me close keep me safe keep me sane ;            it’s a strange way of coping because it shouldn’t be 
 
and, i thought that was why i am here. (i guess i'm still learning growing creating who i am and who i want to be)
 
-
 
the rest of orientation is a blur. every day is packed with activities, an overflow of information and new people. it feels as strange as any new and unfamiliar thing does. i meet with my advisor and he discusses things i've written over the summer, mentions the fear i had described about starting an all women's college, how i'd written about how different of an environment it is from what i've always experienced: a lifetime of boy best friends and brothers. i think of lázaro and simen and mihir and mikael and dewey and benja and nacho and i think of looking up to men: men like haruki murakami, or kristian gidlund, or even andrew and doug. and i think of the male-dominated media i surround myself with, of vampire weekend, arctic monkeys, king krule, mac demarco, frank ocean, tyler the creator, loyle carner why is my world so much MEN MEN MEN everywhere it amazes me that this is the point my sheltered upbringing has brought me to. to my advisor i chuckle nervously. i hate saying that the thought of an all women's institution freaked me out in the beginning; that i didn't recognize how powerful and empowering it can be. to him i say: "it's funny because now that i'm here i barely notice it. it seems as if i just happened to be at a place and time where there's a lot of women, and it's great. except here that time and place is everywhere and all the time, so i guess that's even better"      ; 
 
and it really is. wellesley truly is wonderful.
 
i had no idea what to expect before i got here, but whatever those expectations were, they've been exceeded. i'll try to put the beauty of campus into words in a later post (when i've had more time to reflect and find the right words for it), but let's just say that i've been trying to take an instagram-worthy picture for days not being able to because it just can't compare to how beautiful it is in real life. the lake from sev green, the shadow play of rustling leaves against white walls (finally WHITE walls!!! no more cream yellow!!) in the feeble morning sun, munger meadow in the setting sun and the luscious greens walking to lulu. i really like it here. 
 
-

(like a bear preparing for hibernation)
 
on my first sunday on campus, the pavement soaks itself in september rain and the morning breeze feels frigid and unwelcoming. i nestle into my sheets pull them over half my face cradle myself in the homemade void i keep writing about but can never fully explain. /

i scroll through my camera roll soundtracked by the melancholy of bob dylan’s harmonica; don’t think twice, it’s alright and memories of autumn montezuma flash by my mind. sun stroked cheek crystal tears reflecting its vicious rays montezuma mornings spent crawling back into my own bed at 7 in the morning closing new and unfamiliar doors after me just longing for that warmth that intimacy that someone that could hold me close that could tell me everything was alright that i was yearned for that i was needed that i was OK.                    and so my t-shirts a mixture of sweat and cologne ;

maybe it’s the massachusetts rain that is putting tears into the corners of my eye and gloom in my heart somber greens through my window waiting to turn orange and fall to the ground death death death and now alex turner and miles kane and their soft voices against analogous piano and this is everything i’ve come to expect flashbacks of taos and the stress of third semester finally lifting from my shoulders on the bus ride home aspens flashing by the car window but it’s so ironic because i was coming home to work on my process portfolio to be more stressed to meet deadlines to take care of work so i had to go home home home to montezuma new mexico the red zia on its yellow flag waving proudly outside against the blue sky outside my window and i think of the yellow leaves against the clear sky the snowy peaks and chilly mornings and evenings spent in bathtubs with my bestest friends in the entire world and then flashbacks to the stress of third semester death death death in my heart the deepest voids as if a hollow had opened somewhere behind my solar-plexus a hermetically sealed cavern without entrance nor exit murakami’s eloquent words once again accompanying my sunday mornings sunday mornings headaches but not dehydrated just tired, this time ;

and suddenly, this.

-
 
(the flow of time and its flow of people)
 
i spend a lot of time alone. i accompany meals with murakami short stories and stan getz and i spend evenings writing by the soft shine of my picture clipped fairy lights: lázaro and lulu that early morning during survival week (still my favorite week at uwc), lázaro and carmen's dog that early morning on our last day of classes. dewey and i during welcoming ceremony, libbie and I by our miniature christmas tree (the-day-after-a-breakup), me zsuzsa and avital at the start of the year (the Start of Noise Violations and Third Semester Breakdowns), and avital me and zsuzsa outside the globe in london (30 min-before-I-started-crying-for-no-reason-at-all-and-nacho-had-to-walk-me-home-at-3am-in-the-morning). elias tom and dewey in dewey's bed after culture shock (that night we made wilderness pancakes and hung out in MB second floor at two in the morning) and that selfie mauricio took of him and me and láz and simen (during one of those many denali 212- nights that came to be). and hugh in roy and the beautifully red sandstone of new mexico (when Things Became a Repeat of Late August), helena joey selina and i on chossy crescent shaped limestone (my favorite place on campus). lázaro and the montezuma sign (that warm morning in may when we walked to the ice skating pond before his rugby game) and carlie ben and i in front of the santa fe locomotive (after we got our zia tattoos and before ben treated me to coffee at starbucks). and me and my mom in front of rainbow falls (where the water was freezing but my heart was warm) and my little brother in front of the climbing wall (where I was the proudest i've ever been of him). a photo from when i was five, my older brother crouching beside me (back then still in round glasses and i with straight bangs), and us again, fifteen years later (my bangs now parted to the side and him glassesless) ;           and to the side of all the pictures is my favorite quote taped to the wall above my desk. 'varje dag är en födsel'. yeah call me miss inspirational (shoutout to simen) and on top of it is a speaker (that looks like an amp) and all my favorite books (10 murakami, and the god of small things). and then a candle that mihir gave me, a moomin glass i found at erikshjälpen, and a cactus lamp that i found in the kids section of target and ended up buying because it reminded me of new mexico reminded me of home and i guess that's why i was so eager to get my room set up so anxious to get my pictures on the wall as soon as possible so impatient to unpack and unravel my suitcases cluttering unfamiliar with familiar   ;
 
so that i could feel like i had a base in this strange environment so that i could feel,
at home. so that i could convince myself that a change of location doesn't actually really change anything at all. because it's all in the MIND it's all in MY mind (thoughts of things i've written before about old journal entries and so little things changing about aspirations and dreams and WE ONLY LEARN BY REPETITION and andrew's words echo through my mind:
 
"when you grow older you'll realize that you're the exact same person as you were ten years ago. you're the person you're always going to be, right now. down the road you'll just have a little more experience") and i am the same person as i've always been and MY MIND 
 
can be at peace ANYWHERE. even if it's unfamiliar. i just need to take care of myself. that, and time.
 

(a pool of afternoon sunlight)
 
and then, comfort. i know how to take care of myself now. been trying to find ways for the past five years rid my thoughts of negativity of the hefty feeling of nothinglessness and sometimes it doesn't work but at least i know how to try. i no longer care about little things; they just aren't worth my time and energy. i despise the rain but as i venture out without a hood attached to my jacket i don't bother being upset about it anymore. i am scared of judgement but as i sit down at a single table at lunch i no longer care if people think i'm a loser a loner that doesn't have friends. i am horrified of being lonely but i recognize that being in my room by myself is okay because surrounding myself with people for a long period of time makes me physically exhausted. i feel more in control of myself now than ever and it's a wonderful wonderful feeling.
 

#2: a letter to myself from myself two months ago

"2017/06/27

Dear Anneli,

You're about to start college. That's pretty damn scary. At least I think so right now. Maybe you'll be more prepared when you open this again in two months (shit it's exactly two months left). I know yestrday you were sitting on E's balcony eating Piggelin saying that you feel like you're never good enough. You are. I know as you were walking down to Folkets Park with his arm around your wais you said that you're pretty shit at everything. You aren't. Even E recognized that. And he's known you for what? a month? when he said: "Well, you're pretty good at this climbing thing. and at going on dates" to which you smiled and kissed his soft lips as a reply.

And you're so much more than that, too. You can't ever be defined, remember? No one should ever have the privilege to define you to a set couple of things because you're bigger than that. You're a power house; a strong bright burst of electricity through a pitch black sky. You're full of life, even though you don't want to recognize that yourself. Please remembert hat, because you're worth to live a life of fullness and laughter and blossoming friendships and resilience. You deserve to feel like it's worth living. Like you wouldn't want to change anything for the world. Like regretting nothing, because at some point even the silliest things will feel like the most important thing in the world. Like how for a while nothing seemed to matter than the bike rides down Hardeberga after orchestra rehearsal,or how nothing else seemed to matter than getting a 7, or having H pull you closer in the middle of the night. Silly, in retrospect. Life is grander than that. Bigger than you could ever imagine. But I guess small details make a bigger picture (or make a picture). I hope you remember that. Cherish all those small moments: the color on E's socks (gray w/ white stripes), or the weather when you were eating ice cream with Kevin after he came back from school (sunny for the first time in weeks), or the sound of Hugh's laughter from your window (high-pitched and familiar), or how it felt to finally send that heel hook problem in upper wifi (fucking awesome). Cherish them because they are your life, and that is pretty damn beautiful. And you deserve to live a beautiful life because you are beautiful, too. Even though you can't see it yourself. Remember Doug thinks you're "awesome", remember E thinks you're "good at dating", remember Hugh thinking you're intelligent. You're all those things. And so much more. Take Wellesley with storm."
 
#3: august 24th 21:09 2017

yet another beginning, yet another good bye. always in motion never in the same place for long enough and it’s exciting yet so so so tiring. leaving familiarity once again, leaving everything that was everything that is and everything that had the potential to be.

leaving today felt a lot like leaving one and a half years ago; crooked smile and good bye and leaving for the airport. only this time it’s not winter and i’m not traveling in my oversized red nike nor my dr. martens and what follows isn't a return home and a scent of citrus burning in my window sill. this time it’s e, e and his beige hat and curly hair. e that’s been with me the entire morning, his beard rough but his lips soft. e and his sad eyes, his ”it’ll be alright. we’ll see each other soon again. right?” as if telling me that everything will be fine but really just reassuring himself that it will be. e with his ”there hasn’t been a lot of good things happening this summer”, looking me deep in the eyes (his clear green with a soft aura of hazel brown), stroking my arm. as if to say ”except for this, but now you’re leaving, too”. e and his naïveté, his insecurity like looking me in the eyes for confirmation. e and his singing, his fingers playfully plucking the guitar. his voice surprisingly good for my expectations. he sits by the guitar and i sit besides him, admiring his every move, arms around his neck, lips against his skin. i just wish we had more time. 

in my phone notes i write:

"and there'll always be the 'what if'. always in motion never constant everything fleeting nothing ever finished;
beautiful yet painful. how temporary things can be how fleeting and unfinished and craving the unexplored yet the familiar ; 

and i think way too much for my own good."

 
#4: september 4th 2017 16:30:

i find myself lost ; 

in thought in solitude lost in the transience of the feeling of home — maybe 

the serotinal shadow play of green leaves in soft breeze and maybe 

chuckles through laptop speakers tired voice through headphones conversations 5000 miles apart far so far away, home ;

disjointed disordered displaced ? / home, at ease at peace

 

perpetually tired.

 

”a thick black cloud brought from somewhere by the wind, a cloud crammed full of ominous things i have no knowledge of. no one knows where such a thing comes from or where it goes. i can only be sure that it did descend on me.”

i no longer know how to feel.

 
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a sandstorm of interference / a quiet sense of happiness

#1: august 12 2017 10:41
 
slow daze, lazy haze. listless and lethargic, negligent and phlegmatic.
 
I collect a single teardrop from the corner of my eye with the back of my hand. left eye left hand. it sticks to my skin before running down my arm leaving a salty trace behind it, like how snails leave rails behind them: slimy and almost unnoticable, and like how rain has made the windows weep every single day this summer. I observe it running down my forearm, slowly and then faster. a single line of salt. and then it seeps into my skin almost like merging with my being. (I guess it's just coming back to where it came from)
 
the sky is painted in a blatant white. actually, I guess, it's slightly off-white -- but not like the disgusting cream yellow walls of my previous dormitory room, rather a shirt that's been washed with color laundry so many times it's stained itself in a permanent gray -- but it’s still white enough to make my eyes hurt when I look out the window, blinded by what seems as if the entire sky was just one big cloud waiting to smog the world underneath it.
 
and the clock keeps ticking and the world keeps moving.
 
when I was younger the ticking clock was a sound I was used to, a sound I could easily sleep through. when my friends came to sleep over they would take down the clock from the wall and muzzle it underneath pillows to drown the ticking. taking out the battery was never an option because we were scared of losing time; scared of diminishing it to nothing, of making it stop, and so after we'd been whispering secrets and giggling about boys and watched spirited away for the second time and they had left in the morning, I'd dig out the clock from underneath the blankets and put it back up on the wall. time hadn't stopped. tick tick tick said the clock, as a comfort and a reminder. that the world kept spinning, that everything was in motion, yet.
 
I took my clock down the first thing I did when I returned home this year. its ticking a nagging annoyance in the early hours of the night, my jet lagged insomnia richer for it. this time I took the batteries out. time might as well stop. nowadays I like that thought more than time being an everlong extended period of nothing and everything. most days it feels like the world is in motion around me. like I'm simply observing, from distance. I can't really explain it, but it scares me and I prefer living without it. and so I find my eyes gazing over the empty spot on my glaringly white walls where it used to sit. the nail it was hanging on the only remainder of the infinite circling; the lingering looping of time. what a scary concept.

-

heart on my sleeve tomato sauce stains on a freshly laundered shirt berry stained fingers white cotton dipped in red
the color of blood             ;
blood is the color of death.
 
/
 
the worst thing is that i'm still dreaming of cold coffee lost amongst cuddles and kisses and still the constant craving for confirmation and comfort of soulless strangers (like an ache in an amputated limb)
 
in my phone notes i scribble: "there is something so distressingly beautiful in the mundane, in the everyday, in the ordinary; in the routine, the structure, the habit."
-

i listen to säkert! and i re-read the first pages of norwegian wood and i cry. everything hurts but i don’t know why.

 
#2: august 13 2017 16:14

there’s a lot in this world that makes me angry. small things, like how when moa introduced herself she said: ”hi, i’m moa. i’m victor’s girlfriend!”. yeah, you’re also just moa. keep it at that. you’re no one’s anything. (it reminded me of how during faculty introductions two years ago doug was asked to introduce nandita and nandita stood up and said "hi, I'm nandita and I can speak for myself, thanks" (wellesley woman right there)). or how the first thing I asked freja when there was a guy at the club that didn't understand that she wasn't interested was "did you tell him that you have a boyfriend?", when really, a no should be more than enough. or like how i’ve been craving to write for so long but how i can’t seem to find words or thoughts or anything that i want to write about. i feel uninspired yet itching to write and i hate it so much.

/

(august 17 2017 10:37)

there's also a lot of big things in this world that makes me angry, too. like how it's 2017 and nazis are free to roam our streets to a president that isn't even condemning. or how it's 2017 and antiblackness is still so prevalent among my asian peers. or how it's 2017 and things like this are no longer surprising. I watch a VICE documentary and it leaves me in tears. I read columns after columns of the hate he dares not speak of and it infuriates me to a degree of hopelessness. but it is in times like these that we cannot forget to fight, to resist, to stand up for what is right. here's a list of things everyone can do.  it is in times like these we simply cannot be complicit.

there are so many things in this world worth giving a fuck about. and there are so many things in this world that are arbitrary and meaningless. and it is in times like these that I'm reminded of that, over and over again. I've once again delved into the world of self help books (ha-ha, I know right?) and am currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. I often wish self help books were more widely accepted because I can never take myself seriously when I discuss them, nor do I feel like anyone else does, but I DON'T GIVE A FUCK! (see, I'm already applying my newfound knowledge).

anyhow manson argues that we ought to give fucks (because everyone has got fucks to give); you just gotta choose your fucks wisely, because if you give too many fucks about everything, you'll simply run out (and thus have wasted your fucks on arbitrary things). he writes:

"Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give too many fucks about the rude gas station attendant who gave us our change in nickels. We give too many fucks when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give too many fucks when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. [...] You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. [...]

There is a subtle art to not giving a fuck. And though the concept may sound ridiculous and I may sound like an asshole, what I’m talking about here is essentially learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively—how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values. [...]

Because when you give too many fucks—when you give a fuck about everyone and everything—you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the fucking way you want it to be. This is a sickness. And it will eat you alive. You will see every adversity as an injustice, every challenge as a failure, every inconvenience as a personal slight, every disagreement as a betrayal. You will be confined to your own petty, skull-sized hell, burning with entitlement and bluster, running circles around your very own personal Feedback Loop from Hell, in constant motion yet arriving nowhere. 

and: "Who you are is defined by what you're willing to struggle for".

seems like an awful lot of common sense but put in perspective and applied to the context of (at least my) own life, it's not. it's a pretty sensible book, to be honest. manson resonates with me a lot. pick it up and give it a shot. trying to better yourself, is (at least in my opinion), one of the things worth giving a fuck about. KKK members roaming our streets is another.


#3: on assholes, appreciation, and admiration (august 10 2017 12:41)

wow, what a strange 24 hours it's been. i feel emotionally drained. 

mihir spent two days here, which at times felt strangely familiar yet also strangely distant. it’s strange sometimes how lives that used to be so intertwined come about to be completely different. sometimes i think distance really does matter. last night we were out at mejeriet with mikael. mihir and mikael. my two best friends, my two brothers. we squeezed down on the wooden stairs at mejeriet for one of their pub quiz evenings and later retreated to ariman to squeeze down in the sofa's where me, zsuzsa, and elias had been sitting just a month earlier. and then we ended up getting a huuuuge box of fries and walked to the station for mihir to catch his train to the airport at one in the morning. and so we sat down on the bench and I pulled up my phone to figure out my plans for tomorrow. "when do you get off work tomorrow?". and then everything stopped for two seconds. the screen of my phone lighting up my face would've surely noted my surprised expression; hint of smile but mostly confusion, left hand gesturing in a "what?" manner as by reflex. "WHAT THE FUCK?" I almost yell out. and then I read the message out loud. "...you're giving me a lot of pain", "tired of playing games", "goodbye Anneli". and then I couldn't do anything else but laugh. "is this some sort of joke?" I ask. neither mihir nor mikael say anything. if this was a game I was bound to be the loser because I didn't even know we were playing. and so I just kept laughing because it all felt like a giant joke. maybe I was just hoping that the one cider that made me blush so much was actually making me feel drunk, that this was all just a drunken illusion, that it was just some weird dream or an absurd joke that my mind had made up. or I was just laughing because maybe I was right that one time — laughter is the best way to cope with pain. laugh pain in the face and it can do nothing back.

and then followed the two am walk back home, mikael's hand on my shoulder and my laugh echoing through the empty streets of lund. I've always loved walking back home in the middle of the night. there's something special about occupying empty streets, almost like knowing something no one else does. like you're a carrier accidentally stumbling across secrets spread out in the frosty night breeze; the contrast between the yellow lamp posts and the night sky making it appear bluer than normal. but this walk felt longer than usual. time really moves in its own way in the middle of the night. and mikael kept saying that in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t matter at all; much like how when we were younger we used to always quote submarine by richard ayoade and say that: "none of this will matter when I'm 38". and in the grand scheme of things, he’s right. 

and after he dropped me off at home, I sought refuge in different time zones in the confusion of the night. and carlie kept saying that I had nothing to do with anything and that I have so much else to focus on in life. and she’s right.there is so much else in life that is beautiful. so much else that is worth paying attention to and that is worth embracing and experience to the fullest. I’ve been getting all mushy all morning just thinking about it. and it reminds me to not waste my fucks on things that don't matter; on things that are arbitrary and superficial. that have no meaning in the grander scheme of things. 

and so I've been thinking about things in life that are beautiful, like how beautiful it is that I have a friend group like klanen — how grateful I am for their existence and support, even though seemingly superficial at times. there is no one I share more inside jokes with, no friends I have more memories with, than them. they are family, and now more than ever that is starting to hit me: when sara is moving to linköping, and siri is moving to scotland, and linnéa is getting her own apartment, and jonathan is moving out too, and freja is becoming a doctor, and malmer is traveling the world, and herman is just.. being herman. and I’m moving to boston. we lead such separate realities now and in many ways i think that’s the most beautiful part — that despite that, we’re still good old klanen. we’re still ugly dancers and backstreet boys and ugly singing and wonderwall. although hopefully nowadays people don't hate and despise us as much as they used to. I love these people and I know they love me too, even though we don’t see each other as regularly or much as we used to. there are so many exciting things in store for all of us, and I’m so curious to see how the future will play out for us all. 

and so I've been thinking a lot about UWC, and how grateful I am to have had an opportunity and experience like that. how valuable it has been to me and how much I seek refuge in the thought of montezuma; memories collected underneath chihuly chandeliers and secrets hidden within cream yellow walls. 

and so I've been thinking a lot about the things in life that are worth giving a fuck about. like my little brother on the climbing wall, or my future nephew and the fact that henry’s 28th birthday present is a soft toy dog -- just like his christmas present to me 16 years ago was the plush dog that rests besides me every night. that my parents are yet again going to be blessed with the wonders of a small child, and that they in essence will stay young forever. that they’re healthy. that we’re all healthy. 

there is so much to be grateful about. so much to thank and so much to take in of each and every single day. kristian gidlund was right. every day is a new chance, a new opportunity, to be re-born. to re-prioritize and to realize. today is a day like that.

two more weeks left before I go. I’m getting excited to leave, but first, let me appreciate every single day that I have left, here.

#4: varje dag är en födsel and eight months of not trying hard enough (why I decided to go to an all women's college)
 
I've been trying to draft this for the longest time but for some reason haven't been able to. it feels like something hard to write, and in many ways, I guess it is. let's just say I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I'm going to an all women's college lately. let's just say that I've been thinking about it a lot, in fact, ever since I started applying to college. and let's just say that I'm scared shitless of that fact.
 
when I think about it, it all dates back way further than eight months, but let's start there. on january 6th 2017 at 7:30 pm, I write: 

"I think back on 2016 and it feels surrealistic. can't believe everything that happened actually happened within one single year. it feels like a lifetime.
 
I think a lot about how my entire year revolved around guys, how I craved for confirmation and how they often got to define me for short (or long) periods of time. different boys, different definings. how naive I was. how I let most of them take up huge chunks of my life over long periods of time. in retrospect I'm just sad about how inapprehensive I was. how I thought the times I was treated like shit were just... supposed to be like that. that I deserved it, for some reason. [...]
 
I think a lot about all-girls schools. about wellesley and barnard. that maybe I need to go to a place like that. be away from boys for a while. be away from the constant craving for attention for self-validation. fuck."
 
and eight months later, I'm thirteen days away from wellesley. fresh starts, new beginnings. "varje dag är en födsel", kristian gidlund once wrote. it directly translates to "every day is a birth" which sounds lame and unintelligible, but maybe the message carries through anyway. every day is a chance to be reborn, however corny that is. it sounds better in swedish, I promise. it's a cheesy cliché quote but it's one of the only ones that has stuck with me through the years; during my last months at uwc I let it sit proudly on the little whiteboard I had on my wardrobe, a glance away from intense studying and the first thing I saw getting dressed in the morning; and every time simen would come over he would say it in a ridiculing swedish accent like it was stupid (but it's not. yeah, screw you simen>:(). every day is a new day and every day is an opportunity for change or new beginnings. a memo that it's never too late to start trying     ;
 
something I keep trying to tell myself now.
 
/
 
it's funny because I look back on that first page of my 2017 diary and I realize little has changed. I cloud my summer entries with despair; a longing for intimacy. when life fails to bring me what I want, I find new things to be excited about. lips that taste of cigarette smoke (camel rather than marlboro this time) and new birth marks to count. I write about blueberry pancakes messy blankets and the attractiveness in the unattractiveness of the vulnerability that is naked bodies; when life fails to bring me what I want, the vitality of dynamism that I keep writing about, I create my own. the homemade void I wrote about in my last entry. it becomes a refuge, a cloud of familiarity, a constant reaching for new highs, but I already know how it's going to end. I know too well. and so my july 26 entry ends: "WHEN WILL I STOP FEELING LIKE SHIT?"
 
-
 
it's funny because my dismantling of five oversized boy t-shirts into a door mat generated a lot of response. people would either shit on or celebrate it; there was simply no in-between. I guess that kind of behavior isn't really normal either, but it was a statement, nevertheless, and it made me feel powerful and in control. and then, on grad I returned a shirt that survived the genocide along with a note that said "color didn't match with the rest of the rug. also you should probably become more non-materialistic anyway. sorry for turning you into a meme. - anneli" and when I left for sunport for the last time we hugged and he said "not too bad of a year anyway, huh? good luck with everything" and then my favorite sweater smelled of his cologne as I boarded my flight to new york.
 
it's funny because elliot asks me if I think that I'm true to myself. I tell him yes, or at least I'd like to think so. and then I realize that maybe I'm just too caught up in what others think of me to ever be true to myself. like how I adjust to others to keep the image they have of me in their head; like how my always wanting to be and sound intellectual ended in not being able to say anything at all but when in fact I am not one single shell rather a layer; a multitude of complexities and perplex emotions thoughts and anticipations. but somehow I fail to see myself as such. comforting thought in theory, scary in practice. (yeah, I'm not sure what I mean, either)
 
it's funny because in my half-drunken haze at mejeriet last weekend, an old friend came up to me and said something about admiring me, about inspiration and me being a strong girl. it warmed my heart and I replied with a hug. and then I biked home feeling like a hypocrite.
 
it's funny because avital writes to me about her boy free years at an all-girls high school. "do you ever think about taking a boy break?" she writes. "I know boys have been taking so much of your time and energy and really messing with you emotions for the past year". to her I write about boys having become coping mechanism, distractions, the easier way out it’s easier focusing on other people and your relationship with them than focusing on yourself and inner monologue: "It's just hard (or it's felt hard) to look inwards when I have no idea of what I want to do (which means no tangible thing to work on in terms of achieving) and most parts of myself I just really dislike and so it's easier to just dismiss them completely." and then I write "I really do hope that the physical separation will help though- I honestly think I just need it and that'd it'd be healthy for me".
 
it's funny because I keep telling myself that I just need to spend some time on myself, on my own, scrutinize my being in relation to myself (and myself only). that I need to define myself only in relation to who I  am. not anyone else.
 
it's funny because it's so sad. because the root of all of this is simple, really.      ;
 
it's hard. it sounds like some kind of ridiculous addiction; in fact, all of this sounds so incredibly dumb, stupid, naive, but for me, it's hard. obviously it's been hard if I've spent eight months thinking that I need to take a 'boy break' but not being able to because boys have somehow always ended up being the easy way out. it's hard looking inwards and it's easy surrounding myself with minor problems (such as boy problems) and let other people define me instead of trying to figure it out for myself. but it's also incredibly self-destructive, if not even inherently so. I realize wellesley being an all-girls school won't hinder me from chasing new comfort and confirmation; that it's all just a matter of reprioritizing and for me to stop being so fucking millenial; for me to realize that sometimes it's better to actually deal with problems from the root of them instead of constantly trying to reach for new highs. for me to realize that 'varje dag är en födsel', that every day is a new opportunity to do things right, to change old habits, to become the person I always wanted to be; to dismantle shirts without doubting when the smell of cologne lingers in my hair; to become the 'strong girl' that elizabeth was talking about. I don't know where I want to go with this and maybe that's the reason it's taken me so long to draft this post. I simply don't know yet; can't know yet. all I know in what is here and now is that I'm excited for a change of scenery. that it'll be healthy for me. I hope I'm right.
 

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in search of lost time

#1: homemade void / nostalgic silence (july 30th 11:30 pm)

in half an hour it’s going to be the last day of july; which means in twenty-four hours and thirty minutes it’s going to be august; which means in twenty-four hours and thirty minutes and twenty-four days, I'm going to be 4000 miles from here. again. 

??? 

time passes in strange ways and weird directions. in many ways this summer feels like one long extended rainy day; eyes staring out the bus window and tyler the creator in my headphones. blurry mind and the feeling of always having something I want to say, or write, or express, but it never taking the shape I want it to, instead staying an uncolored space, retreating into an untouchable void, its outline an unfamiliar abstract idea. I can't grasp it yet. it's not ready. not ripe. can't catch nor harvest. instead helplessly trying to find lost words, lost thoughts, lost time. gray haze. thick fog. my own little void. it provides me a quiet voice and soft-spoken questions and pursed lips and eyebrow crease and indifference and an unwillingness to say anything. familiar and comfortable yet every other place is a place I'd rather be. stuck in my own head. too much, too often. a nostalgic silence. I wonder why that is, and I wonder what that is. I guess only time can tell.

-

everything is moving slowly, yet days are passing by quicker than ever. I've written about it before and I'm writing about it again. it seems to be the only thing I ever write about because right now it's the only thing I can relate to, much like how all my posts pre-summer seemed to be relating to the inevitability of us leaving UWC. I read. I think. I climb. and I read some more. it feels like I’m living in slow-motion; life hasn’t been like this at all for the past two years. it’s always been hectic and intense and incredibly dynamic, and for the first time in what feels like eternity, life has retired itself to routine; habit; ritual. life has become an instruction tape playing on repeat, stating the steps of each day with great care and careful description; so nothing can be interpreted wrongly, so everything goes according to plan. so that every day looks the same, because after all, the instructions made me survive yesterday so that must mean I'll survive today, too. 

"somerset maugham once wrote that in each shave lies a philosophy. i couldn't agree more. no matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act. / if you don't keep repeating a mantra of some sort to yourself, you'll never survive."

-

it's now 00:05 which means it's the last day of july. which means in twenty three hours and fifty-five minutes it's going to be august. which means that in twenty-three hours and fifty-five minutes and twenty-four days, i'll be 4000 miles away. again.

??? 

#2: such is life (sometimes when I think about life, I feel like a piece of driftwood washed up on shore)

during the last months of school, andrew, selina, and I had countless discussions about emotion and the human condition; as two distinct phenomena but in (according to andrew, unfortunate) inevitable relation to each other. and selina and I would argue all for emotion, because what else makes us human, really? 

what is more beautiful than unrequited love? the act of loving so painful and powerful that it seems to overshadow everything else, fetal position in wrinkled bed sheets and never ever wanting to face the day. and what is more beautiful than requited love? the infatuation of a new-found lover and the lingering warmth of bodies, legs tangled in the golden daze of missed morning classes. what is more beautiful than feeling someone else's pain? soundlessly sharing their sulking, pursed lips and hand on shoulder, the one look that means "it's going to be okay" that only you and them know about. the understanding eyes and the looking down into the floor, as if to say "I wish I could take away your pain and even though I can't feel it completely, I'll help you carry it". what is more beautiful than the small acts of kindness? the nods of strangers, bus drivers that greet one with a smile, finding secret messages in hidden places, the big eyes of small children, curious about everything and everyone in the world. and what is more beautiful than the common humanity? about not having to say a thing; yet silence not threatening because although lost for words, something else is being shared. the horrifying reality of being alive in this world, perhaps.

we would talk endlessly about the dynamics that emotion provide; about how amazing it feels to be alive. about how great it is to cry when you need to cry, like how crying used to overshadow the fact that you dropped your ice cream; pain taking the shape of salty tears running down your cheeks to be swept away by the familiar hands of a nurturing mother. like how crying now overweighs the pain of anxious thoughts; a mind focused on the uncertain future; tear soaked cheeks consoled by a caring lover, fingers brushing through your hair, a chuckle and "you taste like salt". four words and lips taking the shape of a smile.  ;

     about how great it is to laugh when you need to laugh, and how laughter spreads like rapid wildfire, like how I would smile whenever I heard hugh's laughter through my open window, or not being able to last a single second in the not-laughing-game, staring into the eyes of an old friend, trying to keep the bubbly feeling of laughter down like trying to calm down the excitement of a child standing in line, and then bursting into a big and irresistible "HAHAHA". things like that. and then we'd smile at each other, satisfied at our attempts of expressing vitality of dynamism.

and andrew would shrug at our ideas, his shoulders up and down as a small sign of doubt, of impatience. like we were too young still, to truly understand. yes, emotion is beautiful-- he got that too. but for him, emotion and persona were completely different. for him, feelings existed as a separate reality, a different entity; a separation of mind and body, perhaps. one where he could distance himself from everything that he felt to focus completely on a set task. and he would shake his head as to shut us down, as if we weren't yet ready to truly listen. and he would say that emotions get in the way. that you have to separate them from who you are: from your character, and that you can't let them define you. and he would tell me that he thought that was a problem for me. that I let feelings get in the way so much that they made me perform worse. he didn't have to exchange a word with me but could catch a glimpse of me on the climbing wall and deduce from a six second climb how I was feeling that day. "it could cause troubles for you in the future" he told me. "you get stuck in your own head too much". 

and we shrugged at andrew too, rolling our eyes teasingly to each other behind his back as we would walk down the dwan light trail, the late afternoon sun peeking through through the tall pine tree shadows. we too, condemned- but not the inability to understand, rather the one of listening carefully. 

four months later I have dwelled in self-help books and headspace meditation, watched countless "the school of life"-videos, seen every alex honnold documentary there is on youtube, and finished all murakami's published works. and now I'm starting to think that andrew was right from the beginning. I always knew there was something in what he was saying, but I refused to live his way of life. "you're taking the beauty out of living; out of feeling everything so vividly and experiencing life so profoundly", I would say. maybe I'm doing the opposite living the way I am. I just don't know another reality.

the word of the day on dictionary.com is ANOESIS (noun): a state of mind consisting of pure sensation or emotion without cognitive content. I think it ties into this nice murakami quote that states his/andrew's ideas pretty well in "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running":

"I run in order to acquire a void. [...] The thoughts that occur to me while I'm running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky was always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky. The sky both exists and doesn’t exist. It has substance and at the same time doesn’t, and we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in." 

 

       and such is life.

(that's another thing andrew used to say all the time. whenever something happened or something bothered me, he would give me a disappointed look for letting my feelings get in the way, and he would say "you really need to cheer yourself up" or something like that. it was never as blunt-- I think andrew knew better than that-- but I think that's pretty much what he meant. like "hey, you're letting your feelings get in the way again. stop doing that". and then he would say: "such is life". as a reminder. this summer has been a very such is life-summer. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'd like to think that's good. at least I know andrew would be proud).

 

#3: phone notes (july 23 - july 31)

July 24, 2017 at 11:43: "can I get a kiss? and can you make it last forever?"

July 25, 2017 at 10:30: "no one knows how wretched I felt, how deep the abyss. / I wish there was a machine that could accurately measure sadness, and display it in numbers that you could record. And it would be great if that machine could fit in the palm of your hand. I think of this every time I measure the air in my tires."

July 25, 2017 at 10:42: "you are a pastel-colored persian carpet, and loneliness is a bordeaux wine stain that won't come out."

July 26, 2017 at 18:57: "AFTER DARK

unremarkable but adequate / anonymous and interchangable

people with places to go and people with no place to go; people with purpose and people with no purpose; people trying to hold time back and people trying to urge it forward.

total surrender of consciousness

a soft, enigmatic darkness

walk slowly; drink lots of water. / you just have to live one day at a time.

a new silence comes to overlay the silence that is already there

an emotional punctuation mark.

people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn't matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. they're all just fuel."

July 28, 2017 at 21:18: a sugar-soaked sentiment for sceptics / start to giggle as the ridicule reflects this / you just feel a little lonely needing someone to press your forehead against chest (+44 - loyle carner)

July 30, 2017 at 16:04: "WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

a veritable paradise

a writer has a quiet, inner motivation, and doesn't seek validation in the outwardly visible.

emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.

i quietly absorb the things i'm able to, releasing them later, and in as changed form as possible, as part of the story line in a novel.

life is basically unfair. but even in a situation that's unfair, i think it's possible to seek out a kind of fairness-

no matter how much experience i have under my belt, no matter how old i get, it's all just a repeat of what came before (i swear murakami and andrew are like the same person)

when people pass away, do their thoughts just vanish?

their hearts, lost in thought, slowly tick away time.

just because there's an end doesn't mean existence has meaning. an end point is simply set up as a temporary marker, or perhaps an indirect metaphor for the fleeting nature of existence.

being eighteen until you die means you die when you're eighteen.

a vague, faintly colored mist over a late-spring peak"

July 31, 2017 at 10:23: "FOUCAULT

är sunt förnuft baserat på historia? -> nutidshistoria

Sanningen existerar med andra ord aldrig utanför makten (Truth never exists outside of power).

Att bli den vi blir är på samma gång att skapa oss själva på ett visst sätt. (To become who we are is at the same time creating yourself in a certain way).

Makt existerar endast som utövad makt. (Power only exists as exerted power).

Makt måste analyseras som någonting som cirkulerar, eller som någonting som bara fungerar i form av en kedja. Den finns aldrig här eller där, aldrig i någons ägo. (Power has to be analysed as something that circulates, or something that only works in a chain-like manner. It never exists here or there, and never in anyone's possession).

Makten utövas utifrån en strategisk position. Det är då viktigt att betona att det är själva positionen som studeras och analyseras, inte de subjekt som innehar den. / Maktrelationerna är på samma gång målinriktade och icke-subjektiva (Power is used from a strategic position. It then gets important to highlight that it's the position that should be studied and analysed, not the subject that has it. / Power relations are at the same time goal oriented and non- subjective)."

July 31, 2017 at 16:09: "A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING

in search of lost time

zuibun nagaku ikasarwte itadaite orumasu ne / i have been caused to live by the deep conditions of the universe to which i am humbly and deeply grateful

if you waste time is it lost forever? and if time is lost forever, what does that mean?

i never think anyone gives a shit. / is that sad? i don't think that's sad.

the way you write ronin is with the character for wave and the character for person, which is pretty much how i feel, like a little wave person floating around on the stormy sea of life"

July 31, 2017 at 23:38: 

"life is suffering-- and yet."

 

#4: past days (unremarkable but adequate) 

something changed the flow within me. it sounds like I'm talking in terms of some murakami novel right now (I did finish four of his works this month so I guess I'm inevitably under the influence), but something did. something made everything "OK", and that something that has changed within me has suddenly accepted the notion of distance. I wonder why that is; what happened. maybe it's because I've learned that I get by pretty well by myself; so well that I'm naturally becoming accustomed to solitude. during one of my first conversations with elliott he asked me how long I can be alone. like really alone. I hesitantly answered "a week, maybe?" to which he said "woaah. I think I could go two days, maybe". two months later and I wouldn't be hesitant anymore. almost longing for that sensation of complete independency. "we [something] alone, we die alone. everything else is just a distraction." (or something like that). (that's a crappy teenage quote from a crappy teenage film (the art of getting by). mikael gave it to me for my 14th birthday or something.)

anyway. something in my being came to simply accept that this is how life works; this is how love works. sometimes. "such is life." 

-

one night i spend with klanen. or half of it. we sit in sara’s garden sipping wine and listening to music; talking about life and everything that used to be. I come to realize I share so many memories with these people. I guess it’s inevitable when you’ve been friends for so long (seven years). I laugh more than I’ve laughed in a while and I think about always finding laughter in friends rather than in anyone else. maybe that’s why I’m so bad at telling stories— or telling jokes. I just never really learned how. and maybe that’s why I take every opportunity there is to burst into laughter. and maybe that’s why people always ask me: ”why are you always laughing at me?”. they should know I’m not laughing at them, I'm just taking the opportunity to widen my smile and let my laughter escape my throat while I can, because at home, my lips are pursed. it’s sad, because I’m a pretty smile-y person otherwise. I smile a lot. I just never really smile at home. I wonder why that is.

anyway. klanen. it’s a weird discrepancy nowadays. having been away for two years, hanging out with them is just not… the same. or, it is. it’s always the same; the same as it’s always been, but at the same time, things are different. I can sense it in the air. it’s not different for me, but it’s different for them: that’s how it feels. the way I remember them is completely different from how they see themselves. or at least so I would imagine. they’ve grown accustomed to a life without me whereas they are always going to be backs to lean on, for me. for me, they'll be the friends that I know I'll cherish forever. that I know (and hope) will always be there. that will always bring laughter and old memories and good conversations. I hope they feel the same about me, but if they don't, I guess that that is what life is and that is how life works. "such is life", once again. 

mihir gets here in seven days. I’m excited but also scared to see him. I’m nervous about how our friendship will adapt to being home (because it is like a separate reality), much like how I was nervous about having carlie here, and much like how I was nervous about simen coming for a day. and sam visiting last year. back home I’m just a different person: one filled with reticence and very keen about my personal space. maybe because that’s the life I’ve always known here. I’m sure that I would get thrown into my easygoing bubbly character if I got back to uwc though. no doubt. maybe I just adjust to my environment; like a chameleon hiding in its surroundings, a wallflower carefully observing its competitors; and then blending into the scenery. acting in accordance. not necessarily conforming to the norm, but finding a way of living appropriate to the scene. like how at home it seems appropriate to be more reserved and spend time alone, and at school it seemed appropriate to throw myself on lázaro’s bed, scream in the cafeteria, and cry in class. how strange one’s being is, because then, WHO REALLY AM I? if i keep changing. 

?

 

#5: ok ok ok ok ok ok oh (chirp chirp)

on the first day of every month, I create a new playlist. and on the last day of every month, I type a description.

for the description of my july playlist, I write: "london heat and orange juice park dwellings; warmth in my heart and toxins in my blood. / raindrops tracing lines down the windowpane and eyes staring out the bus window. mornings spent reading and afternoons spent in the climbing gym"

song of the month: see you again - tyler the creator. 

 

#6: on murakami

I finished my last murakami a couple of days ago. doesn't seem like a big deal, except for me it seems like (a hard-boiled wonderland and) the end of the world (HAHA!!!!!!!!). and what now???

???

"the murakami curse" they call it. "feeling v emtpy !" I write in an instagram post. how else do I convey exactly what I'm feeling to an audience that doesn't understand? which proves itself to be exactly right, as lázaro writes: "Murakami is so mainstream". ignorant fucker. how do I consider him my best friend? "i really don't know what your point is here." I reply. 

!

/

I don't even know where to start. everyone who knows me knows I love murakami, almost always having one of his works within arms reach wherever I go. whenever I enter a book store I go straight to their fiction section and scout out their M writers looking for older versions of his novels (the old vintage covers are so pretty. I like the concept of the new ones but I really dislike their looks -- and so, naturally, I now collect his old vintage cover paperbacks. which is hard, because I've managed to pick up quite a few Murakami's here and there. and so they never really match. and it wasn't until last year I decided that the old vintage covers were the prettiest ones). whatever. I know he's problematic. I know he never gives much attention to women outside of them being sexual objects or occupying man's mind. I know, I know. I know his protagonists are almost always middle-aged (30-ish) Japanese men, lost in life. yes, it's sad. no, it never gets tiring. don't ask me how. I wish I knew.

it all started on september 19, 2012. or at least then I posted a picture of "kafka on the shore" on my instagram along with the caption: "taking a break from work and homework". haha. when I thought slaving it away as a mail distributor was work and when I thought having an 8th grade math test was crucial to my character. oh how I miss being fourteen. september 19 2012. that's almost five years ago. it took me five years to get through all his published works. I guess that's a pretty long time. although let me add, in those five years I barely read anything else. trust me, I tried. but I never found anything as captivating as murakami; never found the same magic as I do in cats and dead authors and deep wells and fish raining from the sky. and so I've always retreated to his works, their spines now like old friends watching over me from the shelf above my desk, re-reading works again and again, trying to puzzle the pieces together, link the stories. separate universes, parallel existences. in five years I've managed to re-read:

kafka on the shore x3 (once in swedish, twice in english)
norwegian wood x2 (once in swedish, once in english)
sputnik sweetheart x2 (swe, eng)
south of the border, west of the sun x3
the wind-up bird chronicle x2 (swe, eng)
the elephant vanishes x2

I'm not exactly sure what i'm trying to say here. maybe I'm trying to write about essence, rather than the truth. or maybe I'm just trying to humble brag about how much I adore his work. next time I re-read I think I'll re-read them all in order.

also I've been wanting to type up a long essay on how his works link together for a very long time now. before I left for the US I was going to do my extended essay on murakami (except then I realized I couldn't). there are so many links and concepts that float through all his work; like the wells, for example. norwegian wood. wind-up. kafka(?). pinball. some of his short stories. even in his 'memoir' (what i talk about...), he writes about wells. bringing characters back -- like how ushikawa (from wind-up) makes a reappearance in 1Q84. note also that wind-up (at least parts of it) is played out in 1984. sppooooookY!!!!!!!!!! I have this weird theory about kumiko's brother being the cult leader in 1Q84 but I have a hard time re-calling 1Q84 -- it's been four years since I read it. also the man in the TV in after dark? someone tell me that's not kumiko's brother, too?!!! 

sorry. now I'm partly freaking myself out (I find all of this so fucking creepy, even though it's fiction. truth be told, I can't read murakami as soon as it gets dark and I'm by myself because I freak myself out and start thinking I'm in a separate reality or something. when I read/finished 1Q84 I was so scared every time the moon was out because I thought I'd suddenly start seeing a little green moon next to it. now I'm freaking myself out again.

also, this is so different from the rest of this blog post that I'll just stop now. I get carried away with murakami too easily, yet I have a hard time explaining exactly what about his work is so appealing. I guess you'll just have to read them. I'd recommend 'kafka on the shore'. that was my first one, and that's still my favorite one. although I honestly really really liked 'hear the wind sing', but I think that was mostly because it resonated with me as a writer. for his more realistic work, I always preferred 'south of the border, west of the sun' more than 'norwegian wood'. I don't know why. when deeva finished 'norwegian wood' she said it "fucked her up". she never mentioned anything like that when she returned 'south of the border'. people have also told me they struggled with 'the wind-up bird'. I can't remember if I did the first time around (it's been a while since I read that one, too), but second time around I could link together pieces I wasn't able to link together the first time, which was exciting. I've struggled too, though, with his work. the one I struggled most with was probably 'hardboiled wonderland and the end of the world'. mindfuck. 

I got carried away again. I'll stop for real now.

/

#7: it's august

and in twenty-two days and forty-five minutes I'll be out of here. again. how strange.

 


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