"ÄR DU LYCKLIG NU? HAR VI TID INNAN ALLTING TAR SLUT?"
"constantly trying to be better than the person you are improves the human condition"
in many ways it feels like drowning. drowning, but not yet at the level where the unconscious body is floating peacefully in the sea, but rather at the level where panic is most present. in the frenzy of trying to gasp for air, of trying to push your head above the surface. trying to breathe. trying to stay alive.
it’s like being curled up in a thick blanket on an early January morning. warm and comfortable and hefty and heavy, and
in many ways it feels like drowning. wish i had a candle to light. a warm light in the cold dark. bob dylan and i’m on the dark side of the road, but i shouldn’t think twice. it’s alright.
except it’s just not. it’s a void, a black haze, the thickest fog i could imagine. can’t see the path in front of me clearly. it’s so blurry.
me and mihir sit up at the treehouse today. i’ve never been there before, but we sit there in silence and everything that can be heard is the new caf guy and his phone call. i feel heavy, bleary, and blurry. and those are the only words that come out my mouth. ”everything’s so blurry”. i feel so at peace, but i feel so empty at the same time. it's a weird mixture.
i don’t know how else to describe it. it’s like the hour after the sun sets. when the sky turns deep blue and the colors starts disappearing. it isn’t the pastel pink skies before the magnificent orange clouds over the montezuma castle, and it isn’t the thousand glimmering stars above the hot springs afterwards. it’s the transition period. the color disappearing off the streets. the rods and cones having to adapt. the ugly dark. the one that’s before stars and light and everything that is beautiful.
i don’t know how else to explain it. it’s morrissey’s voice on a saturday night and ”i don’t want to wake up on my own anymore”. it’s staring into the ceiling of the art room. it’s the cream yellow walls in my room that i hate so much. it’s the nothingness the emptiness the vacant vacuum and i’m,
stuck somewhere in-between desolation and isolation.
i try to study but my mind is heavy. my eyes are heavy. my body is heavy. everything is moving so slowly. getting out of bed feels like a five-star mission. i don’t want to move. want to stay there forever.
keegan asks me how i am. ”bad”, i say. we listen to lua in silence. i’m not sure what the trouble was that started all of this, the reasons all have run away but the feeling never did. it’s not something i would recommend, but it is one way to live.
i do nothing on my to-do list. on my goals for the coming week i put "SELF-CARE" in big letters.
in many ways it feels like drowning.
#3: i'm 19 and my life is a joke (october 4)
i'm 19 now.
???????????? i don’t even know what to say. i feel so old. there's this weird juxtaposition between me and all my friends back home. all my friends back home that are either working or studying at university and i'm still here trudging through high school, complaining about extended essays and internal assessments and they're back home talking about joining workers unions (no kidding). it's exciting and i'm jealous. and i feel so incredibly small. tiny. immature. like life is going backwards. i thought this experience was supposed to make me grow up, grow independent, grow mature. i'm not saying it hasn't done that -- i definitely feel like it has -- but it just doesn't feel like it because i'm still stuck here. in high school. it's like i'm at least two years behind where i'm supposed to be. i've come to realize that life just isn't really about age anymore, yet i feel so old and so young at the same time.
the night before my birthday, mihir and zsuzsa organize the first retro party of the year, a 60s/70s flower power party. lots of abba and the who and mihir playing the air guitar for 90% of the time and a unison of voices singing bohemian rhapsody. it is probably horrible but it feels like the best thing in the world. at least we know all the words.
when the clock turns to midnight, the girls bring me the most absurd cat teapot and a card;
happy, happy birthday! we love you so much. you are sweet, funny, smart, and so stylish. we love your cute laugh, your great smile, and your perfect photos. hope you have a good 19th, and know we always think you are interesting and special!
- avital and the girls"
and on the back it says:
"anni! ps: climb soon ;)
i can’t tell you how absolutely thankful i am that you are in my life. you are an inspiration to me. and such a comfort. enjoy.
i cry. i cry because i love these girls so much. they’re like sisters to me. i’ve never had better friends than this. this is just… different. something i will never be able to put into words.
we end up in grace’s bed. her LED lights switch from pink to blue to green to yellow to red. we set it on blue. it feels right. ”it’s moments like this when you just remember why you’re here and what really matters at this place”. i can’t remember who said it but i remember feeling the exact same way. these are the people. these are the moments. this is what life is about.
i've been listening to a lot of skepta lately
#4: real time daylight thoughts (october 19)
i haven't written in a while now. two months. so much has happened, but in the end, little has changed. i'm mostly just so incredibly sad over how everything came to be. again. about how everything turned out and how everything is set up to become. when will i stop making mistakes? when will i learn to take care of myself?
in the end of august i lay on his chest and talk about life. in my diary i write about how he pulls me closer when we spoon. how his hand searches for mine and how well it seems to fit in his. ten fingers intertwined. held tight. as if it is the only thing that matters. as if it is the most normal thing in the world that i have his t-shirt on one night and fall asleep in his bed with my hand in his. i ask him what the fuck is happening. is this what friends do? because that's really all we are, right? "horniness and stability" he replies. giggles. "shut up" i say. smile.
i guess it ended at the former. everything just kinda fizzled out, like that was a normal process too. just like summer passed, this too, did. i don't even know if we're friends anymore.
there's nothing left. no conversations, no laughs, no hot springs, nothing to share, nothing to take part of. he doesn't want to listen, shuts me down, makes me feel awful about myself. "why are you so superficial?" he asks me. "why do you care so much about arbitrary things?". it gets to me because maybe he's right. one night i go visit him and "do you think i'm stupid?", i ask. "no, why do you ask that?". i tell him how i feel stupid everytime i talk to him, how he shuts me down every time, how he doesn't want to listen, or at least doesn't want to understand. about how he tells me i'm superficial. "i think you can be smart and superficial" is all he replies. and that was that. i couldn't say anything else. "you're such a dick", is everything that comes out of my mouth. another day i ask: "do you care about me?". there's a long pause. "yeah. yeah, i do. i want you to be happy".
i sometimes wonder why i always feel the need to be better. i think he's why. and i hate it so fucking much.
#4: real time 2.0 (pre-trimester exams)
i think it hit me some time in-between huge amounts of stress and the feeling of caffeine at midnight. in-between early wake-ups and long skype calls home. some time in-between messy desks and unwashed coffee cups. in-between studying with a plate of powder scrambled eggs and the caf's jasmine green tea. in-between comforting hugs and kili south freak-outs. solitary hikes and evening naps. collective hikes and morning naps. somewhere in-between, it hit me. how much i love this place. how much i appreciate this place. how grateful i am for this community. how lucky i am to be here.
this trimester is over in one week and ??????????? i don't think i've left my room in legit a month, except for school, dinner, weekends, and occasional visits to lázaro. this is it. it feels like all i've been doing is studying, but the work just never ends. it feels like i've done nothing. i feel so incredibly unproductive. there's always that short spur of euphoria when one assignment is finished and handed in, but there are so many more that it just feels rather meaningless at this point. like they're just another mark that needs to be checked and completed (although perfectly so).
there's a tremendous passive stress. unfinished assignments. standardized testing. college applications. recommendation letters. grades. things that shouldn't define me but that do. things that shouldn't map out my happiness, but that do. there's the academic stress, and then there's the mental one. the one of questioning who i am. where i stand in this community. why i'm here. why things matter. am i really making the most out of my time here? what experiences do i value? what is it that i really want? big questions and tiny answers. most often none at all but the occasional "I DON'T FUCKING KNOW". lots of thoughts and no time to reflect and it just ends up being the worst fucking haze ever so gray and so thick and i can't see i can't breathe,
feel myself going increasingly insane. like nothing even matters anymore. i'm biting pens. peeling skin of my finger tips. hair is coming off so easily. constantly tired, constantly caffeinated. i need a detox.
i've been listening a lot to kent recently. rediscovered my love for them. they were the first band i ever saw live, back in 2010, when they had just released röd. and now they're no more. it breaks my heart.
jag kastar stenar i mitt glashus, kastar pil i min kuvös. och så odlar jag min rädsla, sår ständigt nya frön. och i mitt växthus är jag säker, där växer avund klar och grön. JAG ÄR LIVRÄDD FÖR ATT LEVA, OCH JAG ÄR DÖDSRÄDD FÖR ATT DÖ.
hur kommer livet bli efter allt detta är slut? efter allt är över. all stress och allt helvete. all kärlek. mitt älskade new mexico, hur kommer livet bli efter dig?
#5: real time 3.0 (during trimester exams)
i got disrupted last time. again. i feel like this entire blog post is just one big blob of mess and unstructured thoughts and i'm sorry and i don't know what to do. i always end up writing but i never finish and i never know where it's going to go nor wheter i want it to go and i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry.
it's exam week right now and it's freaking me out. skyped my parents this weekend and it was all fine until it wasn't. it was my mom teasing me and my brother with swedish candy and listening to my little brother's laughter in the background until it was me crying and them lecturing me on how i'm stuck in a bubble. how i just need to push through. how this time is the most stressful time ever, and how i knew about this. how i should've just figured my shit out a long time ago, pulled it together, and pushed through. how i should've just been prepared. but i'm not. i never was. don't know what to do.
there's this enormous frustration of studying and studying and trying and trying and it just never being good enough. feels like all i've done this semester is work but simultaneously it feels like i'm dropping in all my subjects. how does that even match up???? i really don't know. it's so frustrating. i should just stop complaining.
after ultimate frisbee on sunday, me and zsuzsa sit in the hallway and talk about boys. boys suck. that's my only conclusion at this point.
i'm gonna take a nap.
#6: real time 4.0 (post-trimester exams)
i never published. again. sorry. i probably ended up taking a nap. been napping a lot lately. it's nice. try it.
first week of second trimester has just begun. trimester exams are over. i finished my extended essay. submitted my tok essay. i never want to do standardized testing again. is this it?
when i finish my SAT subject tests on saturday, campus has never been as gloomy. i lay in bed all day doing absolutely nothing. i write:
"idag har varit världens konstigaste dag. bara seg och slö och melankolisk och så otroligt k o n s t i g. tuggummi-trög, fast liksom inte sådär lekfullt ljusrosa utan mer den där äckliga tuggummifärgen, av gråvit eller vad fan det nu är. har inte tuggat tuggummi på länge."
i think it's a combination of the change in weather -- like fiddling with a switch. how it turned from late summer to early winter over one single night. how the sky isn't clear blue for the first time in a month. how the leaves on the ground aren't vibrant in yellows and oranges but rather grays and browns. how gloomy campus seems to be. how all i want to do is go on a hike, or go to the hot springs, or do anything. but all i end up doing is laying in bed doing nothing. that was pretty okay too. i think i needed that.
zsuzsa comes over before evening art class and talks about how excited she is for college. that she feels ready to leave, already. that that is sad. that communities are hard. that she doesn't feel like a prominent figure here. like it wouldn't matter if she left; like she wouldn't be missed. it strikes me because i've had the exact same thoughts. re-call a letter i wrote to an old friend where i wrote:
"[..] it’s the opposite, rather. unwanted; like how i feel i am as well. that, and insignificant. like it wouldn’t matter if i disappeared off of this earth.
it’s funny, because i was sitting at the hot springs talking to Lázaro about it a couple of days ago, and we were talking about this year so far and about our co-years and how much we appreciate everyone. and we were talking about someone and how even his presence on this campus would be missed if he disappeared, even if none of us are really that close to him. but still. he has his place here, you know? like he has his place here and without him, campus would just simply be different.
i don’t feel that way about myself.
i feel way too unengaged for my own best. i’m not as prominent of a figure of this community as so many other people in my year is. people like hugh, deeva, nacho, josefine, morales, benja, ange… people who are just engaged with this community. who try to make things happen. who try to create change. and i’m just here. i think there’s something wrong with me."
but unlike zsuzsa i'm not ready to leave. i'm scared shitless to leave. yes, i miss cities. yes, i miss being able to do whatever i want. yes, i miss being able to get away. but no. no no no no i am not ready to leave. as i discuss a gap year in budapest with zsuzsa, and as i talk about swedish universities with adam, and as i lay on josh's chest watching how i met your mother, and as i freak out about life with avital, and as i sit in the hot springs with simen and lázaro; i'm beginning to fear that i never will.
after the elections on tuesday, campus changes. wednesday morning, things just feel different. i wake up with a puppy underneath my desk, a puppy that gets to sleep in my bed as i go to social a and talk about how this could have happened. how someone who's politics run on white privilege managed to get in power. what this means for everyone else. i've never experienced anything like that. COMMUNITAS, maybe. a sharing of experiences and suffering. a communal melancholy. as we have string ensemble that evening, everything sounds unusually harmonic. like we're all in it, together.
#7: an ending thought
i need to learn how to formulate myself better in english. i can type and type and type in swedish and it just never stops and it flows and shapes itself and i don't need to think about it and i just wish the same would happen in every single language.
har lyssnat så jävla mycket på kent att jag tror att jag kommer gå sönder snart. zsuzsa kommer in i mitt rum nån gång förra veckan när jag blastar hagnesta hill och frågar "is this the sad swedish band you've been talking about" och jag säger "yes, i've been listening to them non-stop for like a month and i'm starting to think it's really self-destructive" och hon säger "wow that doesn't sound very good" och flinar lite och allt jag kan säga är "it's autumn, it's okay. this is the season to be sad".