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
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
”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.