Nothing could have prepared me for the blood on my sheets yesterday morning. Fantastically red, smeared all over my thighs as if my skin were canvas. Splatters like cherry trees. I had never seen periods in this way: kind of beautiful, actually.
Though a little annoyed that I had to clean this up (and to think I’d want a puppy…), I got on with the task at hand. Sometimes you just have to do it. Like, cleaning your flatmates plates and taking out the trash before anyone else for some peace of mind. Like, starting a ten paged report, bulking up your skeletal resume, and going to that 9am class when your body feels like lead.
I praise God for a more adaptable attitude and an optimistic problem solving style. Instead of shying away from challenges and feeling defeated, I’ve noticed that I now respond to failure and disappointment in a more level-headed way. Am I stressed out about my Linked-in, the looming GRE and grad school applications? Absolutely. But I’m not going to be paralysed by anxiety. There is no ultimate deadline: success is growth at whatever pace works best for me. Most of the problems I’ve faced aren’t unsolvable, my screw-ups unsalvageable. And best of all, my God has planned every day that lies before me.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. – Psalm 139:16
Maybe I should’ve planned my winter holiday better. But hey, I’m on holiday. I’m trying to relax here. I’ve finally finished my two songs and posted them onto Soundcloud- now I don’t feel like a fraud when I tell people I “write songs for fun”. I just can’t find the time for personal hobbies during the school quarter- it always feels like I should be doing something else. Anyway, how frequently do you have to do something for it to be a hobby? How long ago was that a habit? Do you currently write/sing/hike/draw/read? Erm not really.
At least I’ve replied all the important emails and I’ve seen some important friends- though I tick them off the list and think I’ve done my part after one meeting. I’ve done some Christmas shopping, crafted some cards, watched The Intouchables (brilliant French film). I’ve still got Dim Sum and a massage on my mind. Another song. A book to finish. But I’m not going to fret if I don’t complete everything; last summer was a bummer because I couldn’t do it all. This winter will be different because I’m #chill.
Tongue like a viper. I haven’t spoken to a quick witted male in so long I’ve forgotten how to flirt. I think I might be flushing. I’m particularly taken with ‘darling’ and ‘my love’, even though that’s what bartenders and fathers do. The English have a way, don’t they, even when they’re ginger and not particularly good looking.
I had a crisis moment. She said something that could have been sarcastic. She wasn’t. I used to be able to tell, easily. The Brits are superior.
“I love colours but only if they’re black”. She said Jesus did Jewish magic and that she had Wicca friends. Went to a festival for druids and witches. Believes in communism and disagrees with old fashioned social categorisation. Gender fluidity, unidentifiable sexual orientation, a child of the 21st century. She thrived in Catholic school- the parties were wild. I listened but I was two strikes away from saying “don’t talk about politics and religion on a first date”. I hadn’t seen her in so long, it might as well have been our first meeting.
I missed the train by one minute. One. I ran/ jogged to the station as fast as I could in my sandals, slap slap on the concrete. I had to focus on retracing my steps from the station but was distracted by the sun skimming over the sea, the belly of a boat nestled in the streaks. The sky a dazzling blue.
It was getting dark- the first time I’ve been anxious on my trip. What would happen if I missed the stop? Would there be a last train home? How will I find my way back from the station to the house when I am blind to streets in daylight? My stomach lurched when the guy spoke through the speakers overhead, horrified by the thought that I might have been on the wrong train. Romsey. Thank God! I scrambled out and saw my grandad on the bench, waiting for me. As we walked home, he said “I know you would have found your way back, you’re a big girl, but I do feel a little responsible for you”. I nodded in gratitude, hushed into contemplation of the child I still very much am.
That amazing feeling of turning a corner and feeling the cool of the shade, pine tree shadows skimming over my skin. They don’t look real either: they’re running in front of me, in sync. Moving figures, two dimensional. Watch as they faint away into the set.
These days I’m a fan of brevity. Cut to the chase before I throw my heart where it’s not enough.
I see myself stepping off the ledge, aiming for the spot between the two buildings. I imagine the drop, the windows flying above my head and then disappearing. I wouldn’t do it out of despair, no. I’m just no longer afraid.
I had to scrap this post. I don’t know why I even care. If I post something I later deem unsatisfactory, I will put it away and try again. The problem is, it’s hard for me to decide when things are good enough. I will not toss words together and leave it at that, or repeat the base-line for a song when I haven’t got a clue what to do next. I have to make sure that the song progresses, that the thought is well-rounded and executed. Oftentimes I will ‘draft’ these, save the songs or film projects for a later time- when my head is clear-, but after each alteration, the due date is postponed. I am trying my hardest to just write, because my older posts have a refreshing quality to them that I seem to have lost. Maybe that’s the price paid for practice?
Anyway, here is my fear: I cannot bear to be uninteresting. As egotistical as that sounds, I am a human person (Biomedical Ethics has me saying things like ‘human person’) in college, surrounded by brilliant minds competing for the attention of a few professors. Get recommendations, get opportunities. Not only that, I am inspired by people all the time. Questions in lecture, unabashed students in discussion. These people have a lot to offer. These people will make changes in the world, for they have already stirred something within me. I admire people who are engaged, passionate, and curious. I say this all the time. If I seek these qualities in people, shouldn’t I strive to possess them too? I realize that you can not acquire knowledge and formulate intelligent, insightful thoughts without engaging. Every person can contribute something- it’s just a matter of whether or not they are attuned to their surroundings/ themselves. Passionate people observe, question, and piece things together, building upon a personal understanding they have of their own lives. What they take in, they absorb and then spit out, leaving a unique, self-saturated idea. There is hope for me!
When your heart is pounding and you’re worried you might get your foot tangled and it’ll be embarrassing because all these people are watching… Just do it. Run in and jump that rope. You can do it.
Let them order you a shot of tequila even though you’ve sworn since the last time you can’t down the thing without gagging. Thinking about the taste makes you want to retch. You can feel the adrenaline rushing and you’re so nervous you’re shaking. But throw your head back. You can do it.
Stare into the tiny bottle. It’s counter-intuitive to let something drop into your eye. You feel the urge to blink, to protect your eye from the foreign liquid. But your eyes will feel better, promise.
Dare yourself to sing at the next open mic session. The jitters are natural but they aren’t necessary. It’s like that after every performance… You learn that fear is transient and that it is quickly replaced with comfort, trust, ease. You always want to do it again.
You’ve always imagined waxing to be unbearably painful. But it’s not nearly as bad as you thought, was it? And how about that time, at six thirty in the morning, when nobody would jetty jump? You raised your hand and quietly regretted it. But that reprimanding voice lasted only a second, because when you made that splash and let the coolness envelope you, you realized that the drop was worth it (and proceeded to jump again and again).
Do things that scare you- things that you know won’t hurt you really. It’ll be fun, exhilarating. The experience will be it’s own reward- like you’ve survived something you didn’t think you would. Do it and be proud (looks like Nike says it best! lul). Make the list of things you’ve done, the times you’ve embarrassed yourself grow longer. Collect those stories, your little milestones- because you’re the most exciting person here.
On that note, I’m reminded of the poem Parachute by Lenrie Peters. Check it out. 🙂
I dreamt that I pierced my hand all the way through and had shards of glass stuck in my throat. The pain is something that I cannot describe in words- because I’ve never felt anything like it. My dreams leave me with the impression that I have a high tolerance of pain. I’ve never broken a bone or gotten seriously injured so I have yet to find out whether or not this is true. My confidence is unfounded.
Dreams of being trapped and pursued absolutely terrify me. And I’ve had so many of these kinds of nightmares.
Construction workers knock on my door, calling out for my sister, the ‘little girl’. I recognize a particular man through the gate from some street we’ve once passed. It’s a memory from a dream within a dream. We lock the doors and run into my parents’ room where there is a random secret door covered by a chair backed into a corner with a coat hanging off of it. We have to crawl through the chair legs in order to reach the small cramped space and wait. We know not to breathe. Not yet.
People are looking for me and I hear them as they crash through my house. Adrenaline courses through me as I make an impulsive decision to open the window in my room and step out. I feel my way down the pipes. I don’t quite remember but I think I managed to escape.
But by far the worst nightmare (it gives me an uncomfortable feeling just thinking about it) is the recurring dream of the figure up the stairs. The wooden door is open and the only thing separating myself from the stairs that lead to my house is a metal gate, which is slightly ajar. The green tiles of the stairs are dimly illuminated by white lights and a figure makes its way towards me. The nightmare is a prolonged moment. It’s the perpetual moment of utter fear. I know Its coming and I need to get to the door. I need to shut the gate before It reaches me. I never see Its face and I’m always just about to pull the gate. I feel like the gate is never going to shut and It’s close. It’s so close. And I never know what happens after.
I once was able to stop the dream because I recognized the fact that I’d lived through the dream before. My friend in my dream nodded with understanding: “oh, so this is the part where you have to close the door”, because I’d once told her about it (in real life). I shouted “this is a dream”, prayed and woke up. So strange how memories of reality and of the imaginary world fuse together. So strange how we can distinguish between them. I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me over and over again.
that you’re disappointed,
that it’s not enough to be plain
or whatever it is that clothes me,
And the cold, it’s seeping in
through fingers bent over a keyboard
(you’re not one for conversation).
Don’t let it freeze what’s in my veins;
I’m too young to be tentative,
too young to be afraid,
but I think I might just get used to
Whilst loneliness is promiscuous
and easy to please
(she’ll take anyone)
I’m partial to your jaded self.
You colour me bitter and blue
and that’s infinitely better