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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a sandstorm of interference / a quiet sense of happiness

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

-

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

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

 
#2: august 13 2017 16:14

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

/

(august 17 2017 10:37)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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