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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in search of lost time

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

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

??? 

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

-

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

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

-

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

??? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

       and such is life.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

unremarkable but adequate / anonymous and interchangable

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

total surrender of consciousness

a soft, enigmatic darkness

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

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

an emotional punctuation mark.

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

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

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

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

a veritable paradise

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

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

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

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

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

when people pass away, do their thoughts just vanish?

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

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

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

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

July 31, 2017 at 10:23: "FOUCAULT

är sunt förnuft baserat på historia? -> nutidshistoria

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

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

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

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

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

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

in search of lost time

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

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

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

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

July 31, 2017 at 23:38: 

"life is suffering-- and yet."

 

#4: past days (unremarkable but adequate) 

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

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

-

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

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

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

?

 

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

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

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

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

 

#6: on murakami

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

???

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

!

/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

/

#7: it's august

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

 


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depressingly chaotic / chaotically depressing

#1: currently ;

life is moving in strange directions. neither forwards nor backwards, yet i’m not standing still. most of the time it feels like i’m walking in circles, re-discovering things that have already been re-discovered from the time they were first discovered. yet everything comes in new forms, new formations, new formulations. new realizations? maybe.

maybe.

it's a strange thing, being alive. i read through my old journals -- like the one i had on my bedside table in eighth grade in which i wrote down my dreams: both the drowsy hazy ones from mornings waking up with a dry sensation in my mouth, as well as those of sudden sparks of inspiration finding me at 2am in the morning -- or like that one journal i had with me when i was traveling alone for the first time, fourteen years old with my back leaned against the central park wall along 59th street, listening to 'white sky' on repeat. i read through my old journals and i realize that much of what i felt then, i feel now; much of what i aspired to be then, i still aspire to be today. some things have changed, of course. i no longer dream of vampire weekend and i no longer cling on to the idea of love embodied in brown curls and hazel eyes and bony arms on a weekday afternoon ;

but much of the anxiety i feel is the same, the thoughts that cluttered my mind back then still cloud my mind today. i am 14 and not feeling good enough. i am 19 and feeling like a disappointment. i am 14 unable to sleep because i'm scared of dreaming. i am 19 and i never dream anymore. i am 14 feeling lost and wanderlust, dreaming of a get-away. i am 19 feeling wanderlust but no longer in a pretty beautiful teenage tumblr girl-way but rather one of having a strong desire to travel out of myself; of diminishing myself to nothing; of disappearing, slowly and quietly. five years later i am realizing that the wanderlust dreams of big city life and ocean salt in my hair were all just a trying to get away from everything that was at the time. five years later i am realizing that ultimately, i was trying to get away from myself.

it’s a strange way of being alive because that was in eighth grade and i’m five years older now. i think a lot about what andrew told me during my final week at school: that one day when i caught him in the dining hall and we had brunch together, him and me and selina. and afterwards i walked down the stairs with him and i taught him how to climb the field house in his flip flops while i hugged eve on the ground. on that day he'd told us: 
"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 as i read through my old journals i'm starting to think that maybe he's right. and that thought, in itself, freaks me the fuck out. 
five years older and five years wiser, or so i thought. but we only learn by repetition and in the end i guess we become what we repeat. in this case, an endless self-perpetuation of anxious thoughts that spread out next to me in bed every night. like an unwanted habitual; a compulsion.

;

but the mornings are sacred. mornings i have retired to routine. a piece of peace of mind before i tackle the rest of the day. the sun will peek in my dim room and my family will rise at eight in the morning, leaving me in a sleepy haze. and so i hit the home button on my iphone placed trustily besides me on the bed to ensure myself it is still early, and then i doze off again until my alarm rings at 9:30. what alarm signal goes off depends on what alarm has been on top of my alarm list, and so whether or not i have taken an afternoon nap the day before. i have four alarms. two of them go off to "playtime" and two of them go off to "slow rise". i don't usually save my alarms but somehow have four different ones from different occasions. actually, they were probably all made when i needed to wake up really early and ensure my waking up and so i set four alarms in a row. right now they're at 09:30, 13:20, 16:37, and 17:30. i did not take a nap the day before then, because i always end up changing the top alarm to whatever time i need to wake up to, and the top alarm is still set at 09:30. anyhow, if the first alarm weren't to be set at 09:30, but something else - say a usual nap time (17:00) - then that wouldn't be the first alarm in the list anymore, but the 13:20 one would end up as number 1 (iphone alarms rank in order). and if the 13:20 one was on top then that one would be the one i would change to "9:30" before i went to bed in the evening. and so some times the alarms are all different. although right now i haven't had to change my alarm because i haven't taken a nap, and so tomorrow i know i'll still wake up to "playtime". i've woken up to "playtime" since i first had an ipod touch (in like... 6th grade) so that tone has become strangely familiar. it's like waking up next to an old friend. i'm the only one i know that uses it. the "slow rise" one i don't know why i have. i blame it on waking up on purple bedsheets next to blotched red cheeks every weekend morning during third semester. but if he or i set the alarms, i don't know. i just know that's the one he used to have on his ipad, and that is the one that used to wake me up to see him rise and throw on shorts and a flannel and sit down by his desk to study on weekend mornings. sometimes he would make tea for us. other times he'd stay in bed with me (but that'd always stress him out, afterwards). whatever. point is, i wake up at 09:30 every day. 

i allow myself to dwell in bed for 30 minutes. i check my messages (living with friends across a million time zones does that to you), see what's happened on instagram, look at what crazy nights my friends have had on their snapchat stories. i am too obsessed with social media but it's never bothered me. i don't know if it should. it probably should. but right now it's like a following of lives you used to know to feel like you still know them. i don't know if that's sad or beautiful. maybe both. 

i used to always skip breakfast but now breakfast has become habit-- one that i built during third semester, too. after i've gotten up from bed i go down the stairs. my mom will always be reading by her laptop and my brother will always have his head buried in headphones watching some youtube video and so i'll greet them with a good morning and reach for a bowl from the cupboard and grab a spoon from the drawer. i take the yoghurt out the fridge. prepare a cup of coffee. one and a half spoons of coffee (zoegas skånerost) and one full cup of water. i pour yoghurt into my bowl. pour müesli on top of my yoghurt. chia seeds. nuts, occassionally. and then i'll put the yoghurt back into the fridge. place the bowl on the table. grab the book that i'm currently reading (troubling love by elena ferrante, right now). and then the coffee machine will make that razzling noise indicating that my coffee is finished and so i'll pour it out into my favorite cup: a white one with pink roses that i got for my 14th birthday. and then i sit down at the opposite side of the dinner table from where i usually sit (i always sit in the wrong chair when i eat alone. i don't know why), and begin breakfast. an intricately simple preparation.

-

i haven’t read this much in a very long time. it makes me happy to have built that habit again. i devour murakami like i’ve always done, reading his novels back to back. i read his first two works: "hear the wind sing" and "pinball, 1973", and the introduction that comes with them, written more than 30 years after their release. i fold down the lower corner of pages that evoke emotion: pages that contain words that i read over and over again; sentences that end up compiled amongst my phone notes; sometimes entire pages of thoughts that resonate with me. i finish "hear the wind sing" in two days and when i close it it seems three times thicker from all the pages that i’ve decided to fold down so that i can re-read them again. i haven’t related so much to a novel in very long. and that’s when it hits me. i want to become a writer. it's a violent force hitting me stronger than before. it's always been in the back of my head but this is the first time it's actually felt real. like this is what i actually want. like this is what i actually need. writing has saved me so many times. nothing consoles me more than writing. 

and so i write a lot. i think a lot. i scribble down things amongst my phone notes. i write letters to selina and facebook messages to mihir. and maybe one day, that’ll become something. i just don’t know what, yet.

 
#2: a week in phone notes
 
July 15, 2017 at 21:51: "WRITE A NOVEL"
 
July 16, 2017 at 13:43: "what's the difference between love / friendship? why does one require intimacy while the other doesn't? why is friendship ultimately more stable and more trustworthy than one of lover's arms?
 
July 16, 2017 at 17:08: "gnawing feeling of never being good enough. the nagging voice of being replaced. never occurs in friendship. / is love underrated or overrated?"
 
July 16, 2017 at 17:12: "chalky calluses and tobacco tongue. rainy hugs and dreams of a better tomorrow. and indifference. an endless void of indifference"
 
July 16, 2017 at 21:27: "PINBALL 1973:
p. 119 (about venus. and love) everyone's heart is overflowing with love / so you love in anticipation of death?
 
we were prone to so many disasters-- lives lost to suicide, minds wrecked, hearts marooned in the backwaters of time, bodies burning with pointless obsessions-- and we gave each other a hell of a lot of trouble.
 
heartbreakingly common
 
on any given day, something can come along and steal our hearts. it may be any old thing: a rosebud, a lost cap, a favorite sweater from childhood, an old Gene Pitney record. a miscellany of trivia with no home to call their own. lingering for two or three days, that something soon disappears, returning to the darkness. there are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts. birds fly over them.
 
the mad buzzing of a dying bee in a pool of winter sunlight. / slender plumes of smoke rising straight into the air, like magic ropes.
 
people are awkward creatures. a lot more awkward than you seem to realize.
 
a dream without substance. 
 
tennessee williams once wrote: "so much for the past and present. the future is called 'perhaps', which is the only possible thing to call the future." yet when i look back on our dark voyage, i can see it only in terms of a nebulous "perhaps." all we can perceive is this moment we call the present, and even this moment is nothing more than what passes through us."
 
July 16, 2017 at 22:25: "i crawl into bed with crippling anxiety spreading out besides me. the nights are the worst. the loneliest. i dislike that word because i can use those letters to spell his name."
 
July 16, 2017 at 22:00: "can't get out from bed"
 
July 17, 2017 at 09:29: "can't get out from bed."
 
July 17, 2017 at 10:00: "TROUBLING LOVE:
mutual estrangement
 
i had sat for a while tasting my name like an echo of memory, an abstraction that sounds without sound in one's head."
 
July 18, 2017 at 11:30: "i know exactly what i'm doing, but i just can't stop. that's my greatest weakness. / the summer sunlight baked the ground with dumb intensity."
 
July 19, 2017 at 10:21: "MEN WITHOUT WOMEN:

p. 88-89 contains description about 'equal' love, e.g: it sounds like you're trying your best not to fall too deeply for her, but also hoping not to lose her.  exactly. it's contradictory, i know. [...] i just can't lose her. if that happened, i'd lose myself. 

as with most people who are well raised, well educated, and financially secure, dr. tokai only thought of himself. 

WHO IN THE WORLD AM I?

 p.95: realizing the simplicity of humanity

 my heart moves in tandem. 

 p. 113: description of the importance of raw love for human emotion and life"

July 20, 2017 at 22:58: "depressingly chaotic"

 

#3: excerpts from my diary (2012)

(sorry the english translations are really bad. swedish is a pretty nifty language and sometimes it just doesn't translate very well. i tried, at least).

"B R Ä C K L I G och vill att någon ska rädda mig. jag behöver en vinterdrog som kan lugna mig under årets kallaste dagar. något som kan tina mitt frysna novemberhjärta. vill inte falla tillbaka i dimman. V I L L. I N T E. " // "F R A I L and i want someone to come save me. i need a winter drug to calm me down during the coldest days of the year. someone to defrost my frozen november heart. i don't want to fall back into the void. I D O N ' T W A N T TO".

"saker som är fula: LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET LIVET" // "things that are ugly: LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE"

"hjärtat skaver men dina kyssar bedövar" // "heart is aching but your kisses numb the pain"

"imorgon fyller jag 15 vilket är lite konstigt, men fortfarande okej. förutom att jag vill inte bli äldre. så egentligen är det nog inte så okej" // "i turn 15 tomorrow which is kind of strange, but still okay. except i don't want to grow older. so i guess actually, it isn't that okay"

"00:51: jag tror jag vet varför jag känner mig så ensam. ingen berättar något för mig längre. inga hemligheter att dela, förälskelser att tjuta om. tyst tyst tyst. ps: jag har ingen att berätta något för heller. fast jag vet inte vad jag skulle berättat ändå så det kanske är bäst så.ds" // "00.51: i think i know why i feel so lonely. no one tells me anything anymore. no secrets to share, no infatuations to rejoice about. quiet quiet quiet. ps: i don't have anyone to tell anything to either. but i guess i don't know what i would have told them anyway so maybe it's better that way. ds"

"ljusslingan är på hela tiden nu. de små gula ljusen ger mig någon slags komfort, en trygghet - fast rädslan är kvar. denna ständiga rädsla, blandad nu med en bultande irritation som besöker mig oftare och oftare. i takt med att natten blir längre sönderfaller jag: faller faller faller (rädd)." // "my fairy lights are always on nowadays. the tiny yellow lights give me some kind of comfort, a safety of sorts -- but the fear is still there. the constant fear, now mixed with a pounding irritation that visits me more frequently than ever before. as the night grows longer i fall apart: falling falling falling (i'm scared)."

"lyssnar på E18 och känner mig tom. hjärtat skaver men det gör inte ont. tomt bara. tomt. snart är klockan 01.30 och jag är rädd för att sova. rädd för att drömma" // "i'm listening to E18 and feeling empty. my heart is aching but it doesn't hurt. just empty. empty. it's almost 01:30 am and i'm scared of falling asleep. i'm scared of dreaming"

and on the last page it says:

"för första gången på länge gör det inte ont. jag är bara tom. tom, men ganska glad ändå. denna sommaren kommer bli bra." // "for the first time in a long time it doesn't hurt. i'm just empty. empty, but pretty happy still. this summer is going to be a good one."

#4: from my diary (2017)

the past seven days have been spent pondering my not being good enough; scrutinizing myself and my character into tiniest detail to try and figure out where things went wrong. it’s been exhausting. i’ve felt like shit. i feel better now.

forest green t-shirt tucked in black shorts in the bouldering hall. awkwardness. he seems to be scouting the area for me and little does he know i’m right behind him. i poke him in the back and stick my head out to his left, to which he turns around to the right just to have to do another 180 spin and embrace me. his voice is tired. he kisses my forehead. he asks me how i am. i say i’m good. i’m lying. i ask him how he is. he says he’s really tired. he looks really tired. 

none of us say much. it’s uncomfortable and i don’t want to be there. i just want to get up on the wall and not think about anything for a while. i want him to stop talking. i want him to stop trying to make things not awkward. i just want to climb. and so i race up three problems to get my body warm. it makes me feel a little better. he's not climbing at all. it makes me slightly frustrated. what’s the point of being in the gym if you’re not going to climb? he blames it on his being tired. "why are you here, then?” i say. "because i was going to see you”, he replies. i force a smile. it feels in-genuine. probably looks in-genuine too. he gets frustrated when i try helping him on the wall. it makes me frustrated, too. i really despise people that believe they can be fully independent. i despise them because i’m the same way. 

"have i made you frustrated lately?” he asks me after a while. at this point kisses have been exchanged, laughter has been cracked. 
"what, with your crappy motivational speeches?” i joke. 
"no, in general, i mean”. he turns serious. i turn serious too. 

i tell him the truth. i tell him: yes, yes you have made me frustrated. i’m just not a very stable person either and i get really anxious sometimes. he tells me he doesn’t want that for me. i tell him that’s just how it is. i tell him about knowing how it is like to cut people out. i tell him about knowing how it is fucking up relationships because you’re mentally unstable. i think about my behavior making my ex boyfriend turn to counseling. i tell him he just needs to be honest with me. he nods. he tells me he understands where i’m coming from. he tells me his illness is delving into darkness. he tells me he has no intention of hurting me. he tells me he would like to be there for me. he tells me that sometimes he can’t. that right now he can’t. that right now he’s so focused on taking care of himself that everything else becomes secondary. i nod. i tell him it makes sense. he tells me he knows himself well enough to realize he has the capacity to hurt me without realizing it. i sit quietly. i tell him i’m sorry he feels shitty. he tells me that’s just how it is. he shrugs. i shrug, too. i tell him that just because it’s become a normal state of being doesn’t make it not shitty. he shrugs again; a
nd so i shrug too. 

"so what are you telling me?” i ask him. if he wants us to stop seeing each other i want him to just tell me that straight up without making excuses. 
”i’m just telling you how it is." 

i appreciate his honesty. i tell him i don’t want to be a contributing factor to his feeling bad. i tell him that i don’t want to make it worse. he tells me he doesn’t resent me in that way at all. he tells me he likes spending time with me. he tells me that this is why he didn’t want anything serious. he tells me that he’s having a good time. he tells me this is a good day. he tells me a good day is one where he is capable of doing the simplest things: like forcing a smile, or holding a conversation. 

i tell him: "so just spend time with me when you’re feeling okay”. 
he replies: "yeah. we’ll leave it at that, shall we?”. i nod. i try to smile but it feels fake. he kisses me on the cheek. my entire being feels indifferent. if my entire being could be one mode of thought it would be: such is life. andrew would be so proud of me.

he asks me if i think love is over or underrated. i tell him i think it’s neither. i tell him i don’t think you can classify love like that. he chuckles. ”you’re such a diplomat” he tells me. wow, how familiar. thoughts of my parents telling me the same thing ten years ago when i couldn't pick favorites flash by my mind. oh, and that sunday when we were route setting on the climbing wall and hugh had taken one of the grips that i wanted to use for my route and i got really jokingly upset but in actuality i was actually quite upset because that was my favorite grip and i really wanted to use it. that sunday andrew had asked us about our families, and i had revealed to him that i was a middle child to which he had reacted like that made SO. MUCH. SENSE. and like he had now de-coded and finished psychoanalyzing my entire being. 

and so he'd said: "so that's why you're so obsessed with things being fair!" like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

and then he helped tie hugh's rope to the wall so he couldn't move up or down as he was self-belaying. it made me laugh. and then i thought about what he'd said for a long time. although i doubt andrew thought about it much himself, it stuck with me. and so that's what flashed by my mind as i got told i'm a diplomat. that, and a strong taste of the bittersweet. because i hate that quality of myself. i hate it because it's a coping mechanism that is limiting and compromising. and ultimately, it's protecting myself but in a manner that is also hindering my own will, independence, and self-confidence. and also, i miss andrew. and hugh. and route setting sundays on our 20ft campus wall.

;
and so i turn to instantly saying that i think love is underrated. i say i think love is underrated because i think people are scared of not feeling lovable. because people can't love without validation. and so people never fully give themselves away to the act of loving, because when there seems to be nothing to gain, the fear takes over. and that act, the act of giving yourself foolishly selflessly wholeheartedly, is the most beautiful thing there is. and that's why love is underrated. i don’t formulate it that way — i’m really clumsy in conversation — but ultimately, that’s what i mean. and the denial. the denial as a coping mechanism. denial as a compromise. denial as protection. i hate denial.
 

-

when i sit on the bus back home i think a lot about love being under/overrated. i think love is underrated because i think people are too scared of what it can become. i think love is the purest form of emotion; the rawest exposure of human nature; and ultimately, the most beautiful one. however fleeting, however temporary. maybe even more so, then. the intensity of love, of the act of love, is grander than anything else. that’s what i think. and i don’t think a lot of people agree with me. or i think they do, because that’s the image of perfect love society has forced into our minds, but ultimately i don’t think a lot of people would make that sacrifice. put themselves on the line like that. love is about giving: and purely so. love is raw and love is masochistic and to love is to give. to receive love is not the same. and that’s why it’s such a beautiful act in itself.  

i wish i could love without fear. i wish i could love without validation. i wish i could love without having to be diplomatic about it. when i become more mentally stable, that’s the first thing i’m going to work on. to love limitlessly. to never compromise for the sake of protection. to never fear.

 

#5: a recurring thought

every human is the center of their universe and therefore all humans are too self-absorbed because life cannot be experienced outside the borders of the self. and so everything we feel and think and relate to tie back to our own experience. our world circulates around us. my problems are my problems and your problems are your problems and your problem when it becomes my problem becomes only my problem. and so your problem becomes mine, but in a different sense than it is to you because i can never know exactly what you are feeling because my sense of being alive will ultimately differ from yours. and so everything i gain from the world i internalize and make my own. and the same goes for every single human being on this earth. everything is shared but nothing is shared, really. and that's both cool and freakishly scary when you think about it. that "no man is an island", but in reality, everyone is. because we don't know any other way.

 


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