from then until now (winter/spring)

eight months ago I promised I would write soon. and I did. and this is it (eight months later):
 
JANUARY
 
1. I got interrupted last time I wrote. as usual. I can’t remember how, or why, or when, but at least that’s what happened.
 
there’s been a couple of things that have happened since last time I wrote, just three days ago. most of them have to do with aleksander. aleksander and his golden hair and crystal blue eyes. aleksander with his crooked teeth and wrinkles around his eyes. aleksander, soft-spoken, soft-lipped, holding my hand in the january air, freezing. aleksander and his familiar body around mine; 

lingering warmth.

two years later. 
here we are again, aleksander. 

-

taking the bus to dalby feels strangely familiar, except it doesn’t at all. I’ve never taken it from centralen before, but as I sit down and lund flashes by my window, I remember the many times I’ve stood at professorsgatan waiting for it to arrive. 160, sjöbo, via dalby. we hug as the driver closes the door behind her, her face lighting up in a smile as she sees us kiss. and then the she drives away. “we can walk this way”, aleksander says. I can’t remember the last time I was at dalby busstation. it’s been a while, and so I can’t remember the way.  

as we walk, it quickly comes back to me though. as does everything else about aleksander. his soft voice and the way he walks. the way he closes his eyes in a cheeky sigh when I ruffle his blonde hair. the way my hand feels in his, ten fingers intertwined. his breath against my skin; 
warmth, lingering.

our legs tangled together and nibbling his earlobe. hushed moaning as he enters me, soft moaning as his sweaty body yields itself to me, exhausted breaths and our bodies against each other;
warm lingers.

-

that night, aleksander sleeps besides me. I've missed sleeping with someone; having slept only with people i consider one night stands for the past few months. sleeping with aleksander is different. it’s cuddles and low volume talking, it’s “I’m really happy you’re here” and ten fingers intertwined. it isn’t josh falling asleep instantly nor alex turning his back to me. it’s hugging me closer, tighter, as if afraid that I’ll disappear. because we both know that I will, soon. I forgot that he snores.

/

2. winter break was long, bleak, and dull, but towards the end of it I didn't want to leave. I have a hard time explaining everything that I am feeling; I can't put emotions into words (or any other expression). just lump in my throat and glossy eyes but my heart is warm. I like this boy so much. he makes me feel whole. /

when I see freja she asks me: "how does it feel to be going home so soon?" ( H o m e ) and I think: home is him.
 
on the day before The Day I Had To Say Goodbye, I have lunch with mikael. we don't speak much; somehow it feels like we don't have to. as we walk the streets of january-lund (freezing), I see leo in the distance. leo, soft-spoken and intelligent, my head on his shoulder and him guiding me through his art history class, animal crossing and champagne. leo, who was one of my closest friends two years ago. haven't spoken to him since. my heart races. he opens the door to love coffee and instead of shouting his name I follow. almost as if he's seen me through the corner of his eye he greets me with a smile, hug. "I just saw you walking down the road so I thought I'd say hi", I explain. "I haven't seen you in forever." my hands feel shaky. I stumble across my own words. he looks so cool, so composed, so grown-up. it makes me nervous. how did he become over the past two years and how did I not?
 
/

3. I take the bus to dalby. aleksander. the boy that feels like Home. he gets on at univ-sjukhuset, all navy blue again. he smiles his aleksander smile when he sees me. "maths didn't go too well today," he says. his hands are freezing. I kiss him in return. I like this boy a lot. 
 
aleksander crawls into bed with me that night. I love feeling his bare skin against mine, his heartbeat drumming into my ear. aleksander. boy who feels like Home. I cry in his arms. quietly at first but then I can't help myself anymore. tears stream down my face. he hugs me closer, almost like he's scared I'll break and vanish into nothing (I am, too). he kisses my eyelids. "it'll be OK, anneli", he tells me.                           and I trust him. 
 
/
 
4. TAKE #2
birthmark stained cheek. 27 (club 27)
argent apatile eyes (effulgent emerald eyes)
 
coruscating chrysocolla,
captivating,
capturing
 
heart-ache, dolor   
                    desolation/isolation/toleration
                                                     pation
                                                     patience.
parce-que c'etait lui, parce-que c'etait moi
                                             Montaigne
 
/
 
5. bright boston skyline. incadecent city. everything's big. luminescent. in in the uber back from logan, bastienne says: "man, I really don't want to go back". to herself or to me, I don't know, but I nod in return. "me neither". 18 min of silence and then pushing my heavy-tag-luggage up the path to the quad, cramming myself through the small green doors of shafer. shaf shaf shaf 115 room furthest down the hallway back-door-alarm always rings too long. my headphones tangle in my keychain when I open the door. bright yellow lights. tatum's home, but not here. maybe in the bathroom? don't really want to see her; don't really want to see anyone. (heavy jet-lagged mind.)
 
I take a long shower. rinse off airplanes and traveling. I pull aleksander's sweater over my head. big. warm. comfortable. smells like him. smells like Home. I never want to take it off. hate wearing sweaters in bed yet there I am huddled hefty heavy drowning (in warmth). he answers my call at 2:10am it's only 8 in MA but my head is still stuck in swedish time. heavy eyelids. it feels good talking to him. telling him I love him miss him (so). Beautiful Boy. I want him to come here badly. it's important to have things to look forward to. like anchors. promises. takes stress away. anguish. focusing on the NOW seems so hard when all I want is for time to pass fast faster Beautiful Boy I miss you
 
/
 
6. lofty and fiery thoughts/gleamy brow, kingly eyes
 
blindly and insatiably as into a bottomless pit
 
childlike joy/childlike folly
 
an angry joy
 
/
 
7. being here feels more exciting again, which is good. I really want to enjoy this semester. have so much I want to do and accomplish during this period of time.
 
I wonder how people do long-distance. only been here for a couple of days now but am scared the lives we lead are too different. it's hard keeping up. how much contact is appropriate to have? somehow feel saddened by short replies and things left on seen, but this is the way things are going to be for the coming four months and I shouldn't try to change that. things take time. maybe it's better to back off. live seperately and experience life together this summer. I have no idea. (the soundless war of patience reminding me of things forgotten)
 

 
FEBRUARY

1. yesterday I took the bus to cambridge and spent an afternoon there. walked from central to newbury twice and couldn't stop smiling. the charles was so pretty, waves splashing towards the melting ice, blue skies above. frisk air sunshine joy. so at peace. at noon I sit on the stairs to 77 mass and tell my parents about aleksander. I tell him we're dating now and that he's coming here in two months. my dad utters something like "I knew it". I'm happy. I hang up and smile all the way to newbury. at barrington I have a cappucino and do my art history reading: moxey, visual time. one table away, an old man is discussing an exhibition he is creating. I have thelonious monk in my ears but I can't help but catch on to some of the things he says. content doesn't even seem to matter – his pure excitement/the excitement of his gestures are enough to intrigue and inspire. my heart feels like its overflowing.
 
/
 
2. THE ONENESS OF DUALITY
 
/
 
3. I can't believe it's thursday already. feels like I was sitting at barrington listening to conversations about art just yesterday. time is such a strange mechanism and works in a way I cannot comprehend. in many ways, time in itself feels very arbitrary.
 
aleksander comes here in 40 days which I'm very excited for. we haven't talked much for the past couple of days but that feels pretty OK, too. like we're both recognizing we have a lot to do on our own ends of the relationship. I don't know. it feels good. ok, at least. I don't miss him as much as I long for him. does that make sense?
 
/
 
4. how do you deal with feeling ugly all the time? I look myself in the mirror and I despise myself. I wish my stomach was flatter, muscles more refined, skin clearer. it's like that feeling I always get right before getting my period; of feeling gross and unattractive. except it's not my period, and it's been like this for quite a while now. been going to the gym a lot lately. Idk. feel very unhappy with my body at the moment. 
 
/

5. I went to hawes' office hours yesterday. he gave me not so many answers but said:
1. "as an artist, you just have to keep exploring. you're doing that every day. in that way, every day is an experiment and you just have to see what happens."
2. "I have a feeling that you're just the sort of person that will find her thing and just... figure it out; even if the road there goes in zig-zag."
 
tokio is here too. yesterday we were out in cambridge; him, me, josie, and melory. we went to pkt(?) but they played really shitty music so we took an uber to some other frat (forgot the name) where they played latin music and served straight vodka shot. low-key but fun. tokio and I smoked a bowl in the window – reminded me of smoking with carlie. her birthday was yesterday. I miss her quite a lot. 
 
/
 
6. this past week has gone by so fast, but I'm not sure if it's been in a good way. I've talked increasingly less to aleksander – there is something about him, about us, that really has the ability to piss me off. I don't know what and I don't know why. we had a really gross phone call yesterday in which I called even though I had no desire to speak to him – or anyone at all – and it was awful and just worsened my already bad mood and I think in many ways it's hard realizing that he doesn't know what I'm feeling or doing or thinking if I don't tell him explicitly because HE'S NOT HERE.
 

 
MARCH

1. YOUR THOUGHTS IN MY THROAT

/

2. May Kasahara - Aomame (wig factory and thinning hair)

Tengo’s dad, Manchuria. Is Tengo the little boy in Wind-Up? p. 114

Aomame ”opening up” p. 170

End of the world p. 247

The café in Shinjuku- after dark?

/

3. a poem is a painting without form and a painting is a poem with form.

/

4. FALL 2018

  1. 11.001: Intro to Urban Design and Development (MIT)
  2. CS 230 
  3. ARTH 200 (Architecture and Urban form) 

ARCHITECTURE MAJOR

  • ARTH 100
  • ARTS 113
  • ARTS 105
  • ARTH 200/231/228/216
  • Two 200-levels
  • Two 300-levels, one at W.
  • Two additional:
    • 4.021* Introduction to Architecture and Environmental Design
    • 11.001: Intro to Urban Design and Development 

CS MINOR:

  • CS 111
  • CS 230
  • CS 231/235/240
  • One above 100: 220?
  • One 300

 11.001: Intro to Urban Design and Development
11.001: Intro to Urban Design and Development
11.002: Making Policy
11.XXX (11.158 Behavior and Policy: Connections in Transportation)
11.XXX (11.016[J] The Once and Future City)
11.XXX (11.123 Big Plans and Mega-Urban Landscapes)
11.XXX(11.140 Urbanization and Development)
Lab req: 11.188 Urban Planning and Social Science Laboratory

= 7 classes total. 

ARTH minor @ Wellesley:

  • ARTH 100
  • Americas: 231
  • Africa/Middle East/Europe: 224
  • Asia - 238?
  • Period before 1800 in East:  
  • Period after 1800: 200? 226? 335?
???????
 

 
APRIL

1. hard to breathe, don’t really know what to say, what to write, what to do. i feel so empty.

aleksander just left after having spent two weeks here on the east coast, with me. it seemed like the two shortest weeks ever, but i am so happy that they happened. i love this boy so incredibly much. thinking about him brings tears to my eyes, seeing double for the fiftieth time today. he left four hours ago but i miss him so much already. aleksander,

i feel like i need to write but i don’t know how to explain or how to put down in words anything i’m feeling or anything i’m thinking right now. my mind is blank. my head is heavy. most of all i just don’t want to do anything at all. i don’t want to be anywhere else than in his arms. 

-

ok let me try to explain, from the beginning. from when It All Began.

ariman, january 7th. seeing him feels strangely familiar. like we’ve done this a million times before. like we’ve known each other forever. like nothing’s ever changed. like nothing ever did. him and me and I can’t stop smiling. he makes me happy, and talking to him feels good. when we wait for the bus he holds my hands. I want to kiss him so bad. my eyes meet his, smile, look away. my bus comes. he hugs me. we decide to meet again. I kiss him. to mikael i write “I’m so in love with jawo. again.”

again, 

and then follows the Same As Before. where I smuggle him into my room and we wake up and have breakfast together, where low-voiced talking and soft-lipped kissing and hidden hickeys become a Thing again. where his hand fits perfectly in mine, where my feelings tie themselves in a knot in my chest. I feel so strongly and I haven’t felt so strongly in so long. the night before I leave I tell him I love him. I’ve been trying to gather the strength and courage to say that for the entire night. it’s 3am in the morning. he says: “wow… that’s a big thing to say”. I say: “yeah, but… that’s how it feels. here.” and I point to my chest, like he always points to his when he says he is feeling something, strongly

and he says:

“I’ve been wanting to call you ‘älskling’ for the entire evening. I love you too, I think.”

I leave for the US.

-

we keep in contact, aleksander and I. of course we do. I still love him. I meant it when I said that. we talk about the possibility of him maybe coming here for spring break. I ask him if he’s serious when he talks about it. he says yes. I say ok. I say I’m willing to commit if he actually comes here and if he actually is serious about this, about us. he says yes. he says “I see a future with you”, and I feel the same way. I tell my parents on my first free Wednesday in Cambridge. I walk across the charles three times and then I sit down outside Mass 77 and call them. “I just wanted to let you know that I have a boyfriend now, Aleksander”. I tell them he’s coming here for break. I’m happy. 

-

a lot happens during the days between That and This. we are apart for two months but they’re two heinous months. I am happy at first. I love aleksander and I love talking to him, video calling two or three times a week. I come back from parties when he’s just woken up and I call him and tell him I love him. he makes me happy. 

and then he doesn’t,

we don’t talk properly for two weeks. I am frustrated angry I don’t know why, there is something nagging me I don’t know what. when he comes here I am more unsure about our relationship than I’ve ever been before. he feels too immature, this feels too naive and dreamlike. like we’re Living a Lie.

of course it feels good to see him coming out of the airport. I meet him halfway between terminals. of course it feels good to once again be in his arms, to feel his embrace. but something feels off I don’t know what

and when we wake up the next day and walk around the lake something feels off, 
I don’t know what. 

we have a long conversation at Tatte. my matcha latté is lumpy and tastes like shit. I ask him if he’s happy he’s here. why he won’t talk to me. I explain why I feel so off, so defensive, so arrogant. It feels like I’m pushing him away even though I don’t want to. “stop being so insecure,” I tell him, “there’s a reason I love you.” we join our bodies that night, 

and when I wake up in the morning everything feels a little better.

-

we spend a couple of days in boston, aleksander and I. we have breakfast in pom and lunch at lulu and he learns the names of the buildings in the quad. he meets melory and josie and we go out for korean food in allston. we look at art at the MFA. I take him climbing in framingham. it feels good being with him, waking up by his side, leaning my head on his shoulder on the peter. it feels so natural. like this is the way things are Supposed to Be. Like this is It. 

(I wish it was.)

-

we get on the bus to NYC on march 24th. he lets me lie on his chest for the entire bus ride there. when an old lady passes us she says: “a boy pillow – now THAT’s what I need!” we giggle. my boy pillow, aleksander.

I'm nervous about bringing him home to henry and siwen. am afraid he’s going to be awkward, I don’t know. sometimes I forget why I’m so in love with him, I guess. he reminds me quickly every time I forget

seeing him interact with my brother and his son makes my heart warm. I feel so comfortable with  him and so confident in him. it feels so natural to have him by my side. I love him

I LOVE HIM.

I want to scream it so that everyone can hear me. so that everyone will know that this boy is mine. that I am his. that I love him, that he loves me, that we love us. 

-

we spend eight days in new york. they pass by faster than ever. we go to museums, eat good food, walk around the city; central park, soho, high line. in the evenings we watch black mirror and make love. being with him makes me feel so confident in us. it feels better than anything else has ever done. it feels so Right. like this is the way things are supposed to be. like we’re supposed to be. together. 

I want to move in with him, I want to have a future with him. seeing him care for eddie makes me want him as the father of my children. it sounds dumb to say when you’re 20 and it sounds dumb to say when you live 3000 miles apart, but this boy makes me so incredibly happy and being with him feels so right. i feel it now more than ever and I don’t ever want to forget this feeling. how good it feels to be with him, how it feels like he reads my mind, how he knows everything I want, how weak he makes me, how happy I am that he’s mine that I’m his that we’re ours      o u r s .

 

2. THE ANXIETY ATTACK

it’s getting harder to breathe. my lungs won’t fill up with air, or so it feels. breathe in breathe in breathe in breathe in my breaths out are fast short inconsistent. don’t want to breathe. don’t
want to be here. 

everything’s starting to itch. my own body doesn’t feel like mine. i want to crawl out of my own skin. it doesn’t feel like it belongs to me anymore. want to scratch it off. want to sink through the floor. don’t want to be here.

i roll up in a ball
my breathing inconsistent
my nails digging into my skin, won’t let go 

“anneli”
his voice

he holds me tight

“breathe with me. ok? are you ready? in, out, in out.” calming

“i’m ok”, i say, over and over again. “i’m ok. i’m ok. i’m ok.” i look at him. “i’m ok. right? i’m ok.”

he says nothing but holds me tight.

i sit up take a sip of water and then i launch at him, my body yearns for him i push him down in the mattress the palm of my hand around his neck grasping the back of his head i want him i want him desperately i want him to kiss me to hold me to

FUCK ME

hard 

like he really wants me.

and so I shove my tongue in his throat I lick his neck I bite his shoulders I don’t know what I’m doing or what is going on but I want him desperately inside me I want him to hold me tight and never to let go ,

I WANT TO BE A PART OF HIM. I WANT HIM SO DESPERATELY BECAUSE I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE HIS SIDE.

“I’m really confused” he says. “i’m ok”, I reply. “i’m ok.”

I’m not. 

next thing I know I’m curled up in a ball again, sobbing my eyes out. everything hurts and everything is confusing I don’t know what I want or what I’m feeling I’m not thinking straight 

“this hasn’t happened in a while”, I tell him. i tell myself,

he says:
“it’s ok. it seems like you’re having a pretty bad anxiety attack and it’s ok. I know how it feels like, I’ve been there. I love you, anneli.”

he holds me tight

“I’m sorry” i tell him over and over again. “i’m so sorry. i’m so sorry. i’m so sorry.” i can’t stop crying ,

he says: “you have nothing to be sorry for. stop. i’m here. i love you.” 

we fall asleep.

in the morning i say

“thanks for taking care of me yesterday. i’m sorry”

he says:
“you have nothing to be sorry for. stop it. i love you.”

-

he has 28 birthmarks on the right side of his cheek. i know because i’ve counted them, 

thrice.

i’m ok.

 

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draft #15 (a collection of letters)

hello world. i've been meaning to write for a very very very long time but have felt very very very unable to. at this point in time (january 12, 11:09pm), i have fourteen unfinished posts in my drafts,
:- ) sigh.
 
it kills me that this is what it's come to; a frustration of inability. thoughts need to be spoken and spread and emotions that tumble within me need to be let out and it's strange because in the end they all seem to be moribund; ineligible for the real world, and so they terminate within me. i'm not sure how to make it stop, so here's a collection of excerpts from letters I've written during this period of time. i feel like if i publish something, the rest will come by itself.
 
                                             to andrew
 
(october 12)

[...]
I've been thinking a lot about who I am and who I want to be. It's funny because I was reading through a diary entry I made a year ago, and in many ways my life seems to keep repeating myself. It's ironic and laughable but it makes my heart ache and my head feel heavy. I'm reading One Hundred Years of Solitude for my English class right now and there's this one passage that seems to capture it all pretty well:
 
"What day is today?" Aureliano told him that it was Tuesday. "I was thinking the same thing," José Arcadio Buendía said, "but suddenly I realized that it's still Monday, like yesterday. Look at the sky, look at the walls, look at the begonias. Today is Monday too. [...] On the next day, Wednesday, José Arcadio Buendía went back to the workshop. "This is a disaster," he said. "Look at the air, listen to the buzzing of the sun, the same as yesterday and the day before. Today is Monday too." "
 
like everything is moving forward yet repeating itself. Like today is Monday, too. It's so ironic. 
 
I dreamt about H last night. It was a weird and confusing dream and it seemed so real yet surreal that I had trouble detangling what was reality and what wasn't in the haze of waking up. My relationship with H somehow always felt... unfinished, and in many ways still does. It pains me because that boy destroyed me from within, yet I've always looked up to him with awe and admiration; almost like haunted by a thought, or a feeling; something that doesn't exist -- a memory that maybe never even was there to begin with. I can't separate right and wrong anymore -- it seems arbitrary anyway. What I do know, however, is that he somehow managed to rub salt into an open wound within me, made it grow exponentially along with a perpetuating insecurity and a feeling of never being good enough. And soon enough that homemade little void became comfortable enough for me to make it become defining -- something I ended up hating (naturally). And so all this time I've found myself chasing meaningless highs to fill up that void within me; a constant craving of confirmation from soulless strangers and finding comfort in the validation from unfamiliar arms. It's a superficial comfort and that's what pains me the most, because that's exactly what H used to tell me: "You're so superficial."

And it's ironic because I keep telling myself that I've changed a lot. And I have. It's only now that I'm actually starting to feel it; like I'm almost disconnected from who I used to be: emotional and fragile and tears on my pink pillowcase (that has started to fade). Now face stern, emotions disconnected, determined, untouched. I haven't cried in a very long time. I don't know how I feel about that change within me. Maybe I desire to again feel everything all at once because maybe that's better than feeling this; not happiness but not sadness, caught in a limbo, a homemade void, but not one of darkness and anger. nothingness, perhaps. It feels strange and unproductive. So once again I turn to meaningless highs, spending weekends in the bed of strangers of Boston's back streets back bay questioning what the hell I'm doing. I thought I came here to escape that, exactly.
 
A couple of weeks ago I went on a date with a hipster boy called Max who had dreams of bridging the gap between Israel and Palestine by translating poetry. He made noise rap ("inspired by Death Grips" but absolutely horrendous) and wore worn-out Dr. Martens that looked awkward and big on his feet. As we got on the T together he asked me what I thought about being Chinese, brought up in Sweden, and now living in the States. "Don't you feel like you're losing your sense of self?" he asked me, and then added: "It's a shame society is becoming so cosmopolitan because culture is diminishing. I have no sense of belonging anymore. No one does. That's why there are so many negative forces in this world." It made me sad because there was no doubt that he was partly right, but if he was -- then what would have been the point of my two-year education at UWC? What would've been the point of having that tight-knit diverse community if to not give a sense of belonging -- because isn't that exactly what I got from that? Or at least the sense of belonging I felt at UWC was more than anywhere else I've ever been. But maybe because at UWC we all came from different backgrounds but shared... the culture of UWC, I guess. I don't really know. I tried to explain it to him but my thoughts wouldn't leave my mouth and so I was left dumbfounded. He was an English major at Harvard, after all, interning at the Boston Review. If anyone knows how to formulate their thoughts in an eloquent (and slightly patronizing) way, it’s probably a guy like him (or H). As we walked past a homeless man on the side of the road he turned to me and said: “Isn’t it just fucked up that you can walk past him and feel absolutely nothing?”. I didn’t know what to say. 
 
[...]
 
and then I turn 20. It comes to be my saddest day since moving here, weirdly enough. I felt overwhelmed by melancholy for the first time in a very long time; a similar feeling to the sort of gloom I usually feel on New Year's Eve. I can't really pinpoint that feeling yet-- locate its origin-- but it's a strange feeling to have on what should otherwise be two very happy days. I think this time, turning 20 just made me feel very out of place. H once told me that I exhibit "regressive behavior" and that's also something that has followed me ever since. "It's funny you say that, because I've always felt like people treat me like I'm a lot younger than I actually am", I told him back then. "I think because I've always looked really young, and because I've always been someone's something -- a little sister, a daughter, a role that someone is expecting out of me -- that I've come to somehow have a hard time taking up a lot of space." He tells me: "Yeah, but you're no one's anything here, and age is arbitrary in an institution like this". and he's right. and so I turn 20, but I'm still a freshman. It feels weird and it's something I'm constantly trying to justify for myself - for what reason? I don't know. It just seems embarrassing that I know less than people younger than me, somehow. That I'm 20 but am still a freshman. That my 17-year old friend is getting better grades than me. That I still don't have my driver's license. Things like that. But in reality, I guess I've just had a different experience. As a birthday present for myself, I buy a ticket to see one of my favorite artists, King Krule, who's playing in Boston in two weeks. My friends give me a scooter. It's so funny because I'm 20 and I'm getting a scooter with a packaging that says "The road to fun!" along with a little kid on it. I love it, though, and so now I scoot around everywhere on campus. It's great.
 
For fall break (which just finished), I went to New York to see my brother. It sucked because he was working all the time, and so we only had the evenings to spend together. And so one night we stand on one of the balconies of his apartment complex in the middle of Manhattan and watch the life of the city drift by, constantly in motion. Glimmering lights and the honking of the cars and it's 11 pm but the night has just started. I have such a hate-love relationship with the city. It seems to reach an almost-peacefulness at the 30th floor, the October breeze strangely warm on my bare skin. My eyes blur out of focus, like everything is beautiful although just too overwhelming, and so I turn my gaze to the ground; the taxi cabs, the people. The city works in strange ways: like everything is exactly where it's supposed to be. Like from the 30th floor everything seems to work in perfect harmony -- in contrast to the distress I feel walking across Times Square to get back home, the tourists iPads in hand and the wrinkle between my brows growing increasingly big out of annoyance. Too impatient. Always too impatient. But from 30 floors above it all seems to have vanished; everything just fits in with the flow of the city. Like everything has its own place. Like everyone seems to be exactly where they need to be at that point in time at that point of their life. In December my brother is having a baby boy and before they go to bed, he and my sister-in-law sit on the couch reading parenting books out loud to each other. It's cute and I'm so excited for them. 
 
Yeah, life is well and pretty beautiful despite all its strange twists and turns. I am still really enjoying Wellesley. I spend a lot of time alone and the solitude is something I've come to really appreciate after having spent two years at a boarding school. It's nice being able to manage my time exactly how I want to, and it's nice being able to withdraw and be left unbothered and to myself. I am still having a hard time finding my voice in class (everyone in here is crazy smart and I'm still learning to recognize that I wasn't an admissions mistake - that I, too, am capable of being like them), but I do really enjoy the academic rigor that this place has to offer. 
 
On a completely opposite note, I also wanted to thank you for what you wrote about art, and for calling me an artist. I think most people are, yet have never validated myself as one. It's definitely something I downplay and spend too little time on. It makes me both happy and sad that you feel like you got to know me best through my work because, in the end, I think that's what's been the 'truest' form of me. My art show in the castle was essentially an exposé of all my insecurities. It was a putting all the things I've always been so terribly afraid of (failure, not being good enough, mental illness, making mistakes) on the front line, and having to act like I wasn't nervous about it at all. This summer I spent a lot of time writing long rambly blog posts that I published on the cyberweb for the world to see. There's just something so powerful about exposing yourself to the world, I think. About being openly vulnerable. I also spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that everyone is an actor of this world to the extent that I am, to myself. Does that make sense? That every human being is the center of the universe (for themselves) and therefore all humans end up becoming too self-absorbed because life cannot be experienced outside the borders of the self. Like everything is shared, but nothing is shared, really. Like 'no man is an island' but everyone is, because we don't know any other way. It freaked me out, but it also made me realize that everyone's just an awkward lump of meat, filled with fears and vulnerability, just like myself. I wonder how you convey that same feeling through everyday life. How do I exhibit that 'truest' form of myself, always? That thought also made me realize that there is nothing in this world that consoles me more than the art of writing. It is something I wish to pursue yet something I'm still trying to figure out how to validate for myself.
 
and so I am trying to live a life without excuses; one of honesty and without fear (guess what! I took off my iPhone case and then cracked my screen three days later. I just laughed). It's hard because in many small ways I can see myself being more okay with failure, yet in the bigger picture I still don't know if I'm being true to myself. It annoys me when my friend says she failed a quiz and then justifies it by saying "but I feel like it's ok because I was like half-asleep when I took it". It annoys me when go to parties and they say they're from a different school than Wellesley, justifying it by: "Oh, I love Wellesley but I just don't want to deal with other people's comments". Small things like that. I don't see the point. I failed the quiz because I didn't care enough to study for it. I prioritized other things, like climbing, and that's something that I have to be either OK with or change if I'm not. I take pride in going to Wellesley - who the hell gives a shit about what other people think? Especially boys. If they're judgy, they can go fuck themselves and we deserve better than them anyway. (Oh, I have such a funny story about this super cocky Harvard guy I met at a party! He asked me for my Facebook when he was sitting next to me, saying he wanted it because he was "interested" in me. Of course no fucker in this world is called Anneli and goes to school around here and so he finds me and sees a climbing picture, to which he says: "Oh, I'm a climber too!", to continue with: "Yeah, I went climbing a couple of times and I'm pretty strong so I was pretty good at it", like I'd be impressed with that. and so I start laughing because I think it's a joke. "I'm pretty strong so I was pretty good?" I chuckle. "Yeah???" he replies. I just laugh. He gets really flustered. "You've got attitude, girl. Who do you think you are?". Apparently, after we leave, he continues trash talking me to his friend for a solid fifteen minutes. Wow. Harvard boys. Yes!). I think I'm turning into more of an Angry Asian Femme than a Sad one. Wellesley is making me super feminist and as much as you probably think that's bullshit, I'm just gonna say that it's put me in a place in which I feel more in control of my body and my sexuality than ever. I've spent too much of my life letting teenage boys treat me like shit and I'm happy I can feel different about things now. 

OK. End of thought dump. I hope you're well. Send Eve my regards.
 
love and gratitude,
anneli
 
                       to avital

(september 15)

dearest Avit,

I’ve been trying to find time to write this for what seems like eternity now. life here is hectic (but in a good way, mostly). I find my days filled with knowledge I can’t wait to absorb and process, readings that I clutter with notes, hours projecting in the climbing gym, candles burning on my desk and leaves casting shadows on my wooden dormitory floor. life here is different — still trying to find a balance between healthy solitude and utter loneliness; in many ways still hoping i will find my people, but in many ways also reluctant to search. I find an old habit of reticence coming to the surface, an unwillingness to engage, fully. most of all it’s almost scary how comfortable silence has become. 

I find comfort in music (rostam’s first/new album dropped today, and you should definitely give it a listen) and I keep myself occupied with work. I eat most of my meals alone, accompanied a book and my headphones, and it feels strangely okay. I also find pleasure in company, of course, but it can never compare to the strong feeling of community that UWC carried. the relationships just aren’t even close to being the same - and I wonder if maybe it’s best that way. I find amiability in most people here. it’s really not that. maybe i’ve already gotten too comfortable. I don’t really know. 

[...]

I’m still struggling to find my voice in classes; something I did struggle with at uwc too. I raise my hand to start trembling out of nervosity just from getting the opportunity to speak and so I lose words among tangled thoughts they become intertwined and I stumble across them and it’s like one big word vomit full of ideas but none of them formulated well enough to actually make sense. and so I get even more nervous, feeling my cheeks turn hot and turn red and I stutter and... people are so intelligent here and it’s intimidating. I’m still struggling with the thought of myself being one of them. 

other than that, campus is green and beautiful and i really like it here. I feel more comfortable than I thought I would this early on in the year, and that in itself makes me both happy and proud of myself. 

I miss you a TON.
anneli

 

 
                       to selina

(august 10)

        what a weird couple of days that have passed since I last wrote you (a mere six days ago). it feels as if life has been completely left up to fate; like someone is just throwing a dice determining what is going to happen next. super confusing. maybe I could describe it better by saying that if I were to be a village, there has been a storm coming in (unexpectedly) every single day, trying to ruffle every single nook and cranny of me; rumbling every household and every living thing to get some kind of response. rustling leaves and fallen heroes. and here I am, trying to resist, to persist, to stand strong.

                    or maybe I could describe it better by saying that if I were to be a citizen of that village, the wind would be blowing through my hair so violently that it’d get all over my face, covering my eyes and vision, and I’d be holding onto a tree branch in order to not get blown away. but little do I know the tree branch is so thin it’s going to break if I don’t let go and find another branch when the winds calm down but then again it's blurring my vision and the calms are so unexpected that I wouldn’t know when to let go anyway. and so soon the branch will break and the wind will carry me away as I view the world underneath me, cracking and cackling and gasping to stay alive. and the tears in my eyes won’t just be from the harsh wind drying them out. i'll cry for my city and i'll cry for myself. but it’ll be too late. (or will it?)

-

sorry, now it happened again. yet another one of life’s unexpected and disgustingly unfortunate turns. this one is more silly though (don’t laugh at me). I'm currently writing at the kitchen table. it's a beautiful day so I left the back door open. and now I just had to run away because there was a butterfly that made its way into our kitchen and kept flapping its wings at the window because it couldn’t find its way out again. and so I had to actually run away into a different room where I remained paranoid and scared until the flapping stopped and now I’m really just hoping it’s not gonna creep up on me but that it found its way out. help. haha. wow. that really stopped my writing flow. sorry.

i miss you

 

(august 12)

[...]
l is wearing a maroon t-shirt, blue jeans, and his green adidas sneakers. last time i saw him he was matching the military green of his sneakers with the sleeves of a baseball shirt; and underneath it he wore a military green vest. I remember because I wanted to ask him if green was his favorite color, because his burton backpack was green as well. it went well with his beige baseball hat. today he’s wearing a black one. when I first encounter him he’s talking to a friend. I don’t know whether or not to interrupt and so I stand awkwardly until he signals he’s seen me and hints for me to come over. I give him a hug and shake his friend’s hand. he’s called Fabian and apparently he’s been wanting to try out climbing. or at least that’s what l tells me. ”we keep saying we should go, but it just never happens”, he says. they both look old; a lot older than me. like grown-ups. I look like a 16 year old in comparison, although in reality there’s only a year separating us. they end their conversation with ”we’ll have to grab a beer some time”. I remember because at the time I’m hit by some kind of hopelessness because that’s such a standard thing to say. ”we’ll have to grab a coffee some time” or ”let’s grab a beer some day”, and it’s all so loose and then it never happens because in the end you’re just trying to shut down small talk so that you can go do whatever you intended to do in the first place. or maybe that’s just me. and then l buys me a cappuccino and gets a cortado for himself. we’re at the corner of a coffee shop at Möllan, watching the world go by. 
 

I like Malmö a lot. it’s a different pulse than the slow, steady one that you find in Lund. no traces of the boringness of academia and the posh elderly people living in professorstaden. Malmö is a melting pot; a meeting place; its diversity showcasing itself in all kinds of smells and flavors and people circulating Möllan. it’s nice. I never realized before how whitewashed and sheltered the place I grew up in was until now; the Spyken kids and their PC-ness, talking about acceptance and how open-minded they are, yet I know that if I were to bring in many of the people I met and encountered at UWC, they’d immediately shut down and shut out. no doubt about it. it becomes interesting because everything that seems to encounter us in our modern day society are confirmations of what we already believe. post-modernism. there are several truths (and therefore, no truth), and so everything that circulates around us are repetitions of what we already believe (and repetition is the only way through which we learn). it makes me wonder then how I should re-invent myself because there is no doubt I’m just as narrow-minded as those Spyken-kids, stuck in this invented reality of my own made-up open-mindedness yet so condescending to anyone who thinks differently (because if there are several truths then the one I believe in must be the truth, too).

I try bringing that idea up to l too, but I’m lost for words. it’s been a long time since I discussed these things in swedish — something I also notice when I’m trying to discuss the Google incident with my father. the words so clumsily leave my mouth and often times find their way in repetitions and saying things that I said just five minutes ago, trying to formulate and straighten out my thoughts for myself. it’s annoying and it makes me feel stupid. maybe that’s why I liked being with e — speaking in english felt comfortable. it was a continuous conversation I was used to having, that I knew how to express, and maybe that’s why I felt like we clicked so well. I don’t know. in any case my entire trying to bring it up with l ends in lots of distractions and not wanting to finish my train of thought because there seems to be no point: I don’t even understand myself what I’m trying to say. nothing formulates itself eloquently and I can’t get it to, and so I give up. sigh.

I miss e. with him it all came so naturally. I wonder why that is. maybe the concept of vibes isn’t so easy living and meme like anymore, but something that actually exists; an intangible presence and non-concrete thing, yet a more powerful force than most other things. sigh. self-validation's such a strange thing.

 

(october 2)

i am 20 now. yet another year. “i just don’t understand why people make such a big deal out of birthdays” i tell jackiel. i’m old now. it sucks. i wish it wasn’t my birthday. 

i re-read andrew’s email over and over again and it hurts me a deep sort of pain that can’t be pinned down but is sensed in my entire body. reading what he has to tell me puts me to tears. if there is any one being i could attribute my entire being to, it would be andrew. andrew and doug. nobody else has ever had as big of an influence than they have had.

i think a lot about what andrew has to say. about art, and our place in this world, and about honesty and staying true to myself.

to be completely honest, the reason i chose to go to wellesley keeps hitting me in the face, over and over again. it’s been more than a month since i got here, now, and so little has changed. painfully little. it pains me.

i don’t even know what to say. 

(october 13)

I read through a diary entry from a year ago. it’s about h. h, who I dreamt about last night; h, who never leaves my thoughts. like he’s inhibited his own little space in the back of my mind, resting peacefully until he pushes his way to the front. it hurts. it really does. I don’t know why he keeps coming back to me and I hate it so much. haunted by a thought, a feeling, something that doesn’t exist; a memory that maybe never was there to begin with.

in the end of the journal entry it says: “i sometimes wonder why I always feel the need to be better. I think he’s why. and i hate it so fucking much.” and it breaks my heart. like someone is stomping on it like it’s shattered on the ground splashed on the pavement no one’s watching but it’s there it’s beating red flesh exposed underneath the afternoon light the sun shining through the leaves changing color in the crisp october air. 

how are things an exact repeat of last year? how can I not let this boy go? why is everything the same the same the same like my life is a for loop that doesn’t have a return and so it keeps going an INFINITE loop as we learned in cs today. it breaks my heart because i feel so weak 

and maybe I am

despite how I ten minutes ago wrote “I feel more in touch with myself now than ever” IS THIS THE SELF THAT I AM? my eyes water

 

                           to doug
 

(november 27)

college is strange. it’s really now that I’m starting to reflect upon the past months that have been, and it’s only now that everything is slowly sinking in; or maybe washing over me. it’s kind of overwhelming. I’m not really sure how to feel.

it’s strange because I came here and adjusted so quickly and felt so at home that I never second-guessed my being here. when I Skype my mother she tells me: “You look so much happier now. You have no idea how happy your dad is that you’re finally smiling”. and it breaks my heart because I tell myself I am, 

      happier. 

  and now I tell myself that maybe I’m not. not sad but not happy. apathy, rather. ? maybe? i can’t tell. void…ness. like always. comfortable, familiar; like always. in english class the other day my professor joked and said “you know that void in your heart that you’re trying to fill? it might never fill. just… trust me on that one.” he laughed so I laughed too, but it stuck with me, something nudging my cold december heart, itching underneath. is this what life will always be like? why do I keep attributing apathy to happiness? because it’s better than sadness? but is it really? maybe once again I desire to feel everything all at once. I just want to feel something.

over the past months I’ve come to realize that my priorities have shifted a lot too. academically I’ve never performed worse than now; correlating of course to me caring less than ever before. and this is me. someone who used to be so disappointed when not receiving 7s, stressing out over every single paper and cramming so hard for exams. maybe it’s the shadow grading that first semester has to offer, or maybe I’ve just changed. I don’t know, but I can’t recognize myself anymore, and it's making me terribly confused. there are so many other things that I would rather focus on right now. so many other things I’d like to explore and pursue; like rock climbing, or creative writing, or creating art. things that I tell myself to make time for, over and over again, but that never seem just important enough. except for climbing. I’ve been climbing a lot. therapeutic, in its own sense.

[...] 

hmm,
college.  

:-S
 
-
 
 I’ve also thought a lot about being 20, and about growing up — or maybe the lack of it. in the car to the climbing gym one day, I ask Michael about things that you can only really ask real adults. real adults that have their shit together: that have a job and a family and a dog and that worry about things that are realer than trying to figure out what major I want to do, or if I should go to class or not. or something like that. I want to be a real adult too. I ask Michael about growing older, and growing more mature, and what that really is. what is it to be more mature? what is it to grow up? because looking at myself it feels like little has changed over the past couple of years of my being alive. reading through old journals this summer made me realize that many of the thoughts and emotions I wrote about then, I still write about now. it feels like I’m stuck somehow. stagnated, maybe. is this who I am? is this who I will always be? I think a lot about what andrew used to tell me: “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 the thought of that continues to shift from being the most scary to the most comforting thought ever. if I am who I will be right now that means I can also alter my future self, right? because if we only learn by repetition and I’m constantly perpetuating my being, a slight change in attitudes and repeating them means I can alter and have power over who I become in the future. right? Michael says: “when I think of myself I think of myself at the age of 16”. he’s 38. “I don’t know why, but somehow that’s just how I see myself. maybe it’s because even though I think about different things now, I still hold true to many of the values that I did then”. he laughs at the thought of feeling 16. I laugh too. but in reality, the thought of it stings (a little bit). taking control of myself seems harder than I want it to be.
 
 (january 17)
 
a couple of days ago, I met up with aleksander; an old friend I hadn't seen for almost two years. seeing him again feels like two years ago could have been yesterday. everything comes back to me in an instant; things I haven't thought about since we last spoke, two years ago. things like his voice, or the way he walks, or the way he always ruffles his own hair, the patterns on his knitted sweaters, his crooked teeth... things like that. seeing him feels distant, yet so familiar. we talk over coffee at one of my favorite cafés in Lund. he asks: "do you think you've changed?" to which I reply: "haha, yes! I think I've changed a lot." and I tell him about things I thought a lot about this summer – about you, and Andrew, and UWC, and how my values and priorities have shifted. "don't you think I have?" I ask. he replies: "I don't know... now I can't remember exactly how you were two years ago, but this feels strangely familiar to me. like little has changed." maybe he's right. I don't know. I've always compared returning home to hitting the play button on a videotape. it feels as if everything is the exact same way as I left it. it's been like that ever since I moved out. it's so easy to fall back into old habits, and picking up friendships never feels like... picking them up. instead, it simply feels like I never really left, home, or wherever else I'm returning to. at the same time, the view I have of myself now is very different from how I imagine myself viewing... myself, a year ago. in other words: I feel very distant from who I used to be. or at least I think. I guess it's hard to tell. but seeing aleksander and being reminded of his crooked teeth and the way he ruffles his hair, made me feel like the relationships we have are always put on pause, no matter how much the people in them change themselves. much has happened over two years, but my relationship to him in many ways feels... the same. it's a weird thought that I can't really wrap my mind around and fully understand, but it's kind of comforting to know. that no matter how much I change, an older version of me can always emerge through my relationships with other people. like I can inhabit all of these different me's within the one person that is... me. that nothing is ever lost, kind of. only gained. 

[...]  i miss you a lot! 

lots of love,
anneli
 
 
          to you (on not being able to write)
 
(january 6)

as soon as i try to write, i’m lost for words. it’s been like this for four months now. writing, deleting, writing, deleting. as if nothing is good enough. as if the words aren’t finding their way to my fingertips, somehow, typing away at the keyboard in front of me. 

writing has never been an act of thinking for me. it’s been a free-flowing serenade; a mindless symphony; a careless act, almost. one of caressing consolation rather than careful consideration. four years ago i discussed the exact same thing with leo, but in relation to the visual arts. “i wish the visual arts came to me the way writing does”, i told him, “being an act not from the mind but from the heart, rather. not over-thinking, maybe not even thinking, just doing. doing, and letting it be.” lately, i haven’t been able to do that, at all.

i’m not sure what happened or what got sucked out of me, especially since i wrote so much this summer – almost every day by my desk as sunlight hit my wooden floor, dust becoming apparent in the strips of sun shining across my room. i tapped away, eagerly, on my keyboard. i wrote letters, i wrote prose, i wrote poetry. on bus rides i’d ponder my emotions, thoughts, aspirations, and i’d diligently write them down in my phone notes. and then? i don’t know. 

writing became something to be shoved away; something that was “i’ll do that later”. it became something i told myself i could do at night, right before going to bed, “because it doesn’t require that much effort”. my other work i ideally worked on during the mornings; psets for example, and long sociology readings. i’d happily overstay my table in the dining hall with either. but that much time was never carved out for the act of writing, and writing alone. writing without goal or aspiration; writing for writing’s sake. for the consolation it gives me. the comfort. the happiness. almost like essential for my survival. well-being. thinking. breathing.

anneli the breathmaker,
anneli the textmaker turned into anneli the testtaker,
where was anneli the heart acher?

i miss the act of writing.
i miss the act of creating.

-

lately i’ve been thinking a lot about getting a little wind-up bird tattooed on my chest. that, or a little sputnik. to remind myself that i need to wind myself up. that i can’t be dictated by others. in the wind-up bird there is a saying that goes: “Did the wind-up bird forget to wind your spring?”. i can only wind my own spring, be my own inspiration, follow my own aspirations. i need to keep writing, but to keep writing i need to start writing. i need to wind myself up. and who else has inspired and motivated me to write other than murakami? my hero. 

i often re-read work that i’ve written before. some of it i really like. some of it i hate. most of it is so incoherent that i can’t judge it objectively at all. i really wish i could write something longer; somehow really have the urge to. i just don’t know what i would write about, what i could write about. what would be capturing enough. maybe if i start writing it’ll just come to me: but what do i start writing about, then? i don’t know. 

everything i write seems pointless and without meaning. too unstructured, too little guidance. but isn’t that what i love about writing? isn’t that what i cherish so much? the act of letting it be free-flowing, of letting it come out of my fingertips before hitting my mind, like the art of writing seeps through my blood and hits my muscle memory before i have time to even process the words that i’m writing. like doing before thinking; for once in my life. maybe that’s why i enjoy it so much. it’s literally typing whatever comes into my mind, without restriction, without limitation, just doing, just letting it be. 

-

right now it’s 23:04 and i’ve been listening to james blake’s ‘vincent’ over and over again. james blake and his soft piano and wailing voice. bearded man, portrait drawn two years ago. i’m in my bed, second-hand bed, 120 x 200. on the day we bought it august and I slept in it together, non-crammed in my room for the first time in a long time. 

we had dinner at calle’s the other day. not only me and august, of course, it was a whole gang from katte: allan, ran, hedvig, pontus, andrás, lander, johan, calle, louise, and us. before allan drove us there, hedvig and i met outside of katte. she asked me “so how are things between you and august now?”. it caught me completely off-guard. “uhm… they’re… fine! i hope?” i reply, smiling. august breaking up with me was probably the hardest break-up i’ve experienced. i remember it so clearly. i didn’t want to get out of bed for weeks afterwards. such mixed emotions. come to think of it now though, i hold no hard feelings for him. it’s weird to think that we were even together at one point. to think that three years ago, he was my entire world. to think that i know the exact number of birthmarks he has – 116 – and the frequency of which my fingers have ruffled his gel-put blonde hair and traced his jawline. how wrinkles form around his eyes when he smiles, and how much i hate-loved that goofy smile he used to make; boyish but cute (but in a childish way). how he would bury his head where my shoulder turns to neck and how i would curl up in his pale birthmarked-stained arms. it’s weird to think of august in that way. to think of him as an old lover. it feels so far away. yet, talking to him brings back part of that. i miss him, in a way. i really do. i am grateful for what we had; in many ways a very healthy relationship, and i’m sorry things ended the way they did. at the same time, that was the only way things could end at the time. if they wouldn’t have ended in that way, so many things would have been different. i wouldn’t be as strong as i am today. i feel pretty confident saying that.

in other news i just finished murakami's “novelist as a profession” / “författare till yrket”. decently inspiring read, but not so much a how-to guide but more an itching to get back to writing again. i think i also just have a really hard time with the swedish translations of his work – makes me want to get into translating because they’re so unenigmatic in comparison to the works translated by rubin and birnbaum. translating is hard, though – something i’ve come to realize shifiting in and out of english and swedish: both of which i've come to struggle with; both of which feel out of my full control. it’s something i sense especially when i’m home and get thrown back into speaking swedish again, trying to simultaneously write in english. much of both languages become lost within me. i direct translate, my vocabulary is increasingly limiting, i take on things other people say too easily. and at this moment in time i’m thinking in swedish, which is just making this entry really awkwardly written and very confusing. sigh.

man, i really can’t seem to focus on anything right now. i think it’s because i don’t know what to focus on. i have no idea what to write about so i’m just jotting down everything that comes to mind. i feel restless. like i’m headed somewhere with no end goal in mind. no sense of direction.

 

(january 20)

it's 1:41am right now and this blog post is so incoherent and rambly but I'll publish it anyway. kudos if you read this far. I guess it turned out pretty long. I'll write a proper blog post soon. lots of thoughts bubbling within me, just waiting to get expressed. in that way, writing is a lot like thinking.

what else is new?

i'm reading happy city by charles montgomery right now. good read. i'm applying to writing workshops yet still can't find inspiration to write. my ankle still isn't healed. been solely listening to jazz for the past four days. mostly thelonius monk. also bill evans trio. monica zetterlund. still can't really distinguish between different jazz artists. downfall of technology. jazz just reminds me of dominic anyway. will be back in BOS 27th. not sure if excited or not. just skyped simen and miss montezuma alot. got an email from andrew this morning after having scheduled "email andrew" for today in my google cal like two weeks ago. weird how things like that work out sometimes.

i think that's it.

i'll write soon. promise.


if this blog post touched you in any way, if you like what i do, or if you simply want to support my being alive, you can buy me a coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/annelixie. it would make my day. 

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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.


if this blog post touched you in any way, if you like what i do, or if you simply want to support my being alive, you can buy me a coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/annelixie. it would make my day. 
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