Nonsensical post

No structure: free form, degraded hand-writing. Cursive, illegible. Makes me think: rap, jazz, free-style. You do it often enough and it sounds rehearsed; you get it right the first time.
So here I go, this was my day:
God, help me. I didn’t want to get up from my bed. Limbs weak, eyes dry. I put on my make-up, had Oreos for breakfast. Put on my falsies and got in an Uber: 8am photoshoot.
Some people can put on more makeup and look beautiful- I however, can only go so far. I look middle aged or like my face has been painted on like a festival mask (it is le Dia de Los Muertos). I am also awfully self-conscious in front of a camera. I focus on the fact that my eyes don’t crinkle when I smile, that I must look dead and insincere. I don’t know where to position my body, so my arms are fat and my shoulders are hunched – the body of a hag. Crazy to think I used to get a kick out of play-pretend modelling. Sleepovers were for perfecting catwalk, bootcamps for sexy squints.
I went home to rip off the lashes and put on my workout clothes. I went from acapella to boxing crew, all of whom were wearing hoodies as uniform. Made a joke about running on Oreos. Chimed in on the banter, got teased for my “night-before” makeup. I love this group: so encouraging  when I forgot the combo and even more so when I got it right (whoops, cheers, high-fives). It’s frustrating to deal with memory blanks. I check out and my body goes berserk. Don’t think about it, just feel it? Ironic that the key is mental repetition. Think about it.
Microwaved chicken, left over couscous with parmesan cheese. Bread and jam, two eggs. And Oreos for the rest of the day. Insulin spike won and I took a nap, only to be woken up by a phone call. I had agreed to Skype but my soul was dry. I LOVE MY FRIENDS but sometimes I let my temporary discomforts take over. I am drained, I am annoyed, I am bothered by the prospect of socializing. But remember: she’s going to graduate- you are lucky she even makes time for you.
Today I scrolled through my phone and wasn’t all present in conversation. Today we talked about this temporary home- it feels real now, like it could last. But we are just passing through. But speaking of the ephemeral, I downloaded Tinder and swiped for a brief fifteen minutes because I remembered this cute Burning Man guy who didn’t reply me after asking to hang out. (??) Such is life.
Talked to God seriously in the shower and came across something profound:

If obsessing over a certain kind of behavior will actually increase the probability of that behavior manifesting itself, and if it’s the intent of our heart that really matters anyway, doesn’t it make sense to take the emphasis off the behavior and place it on making sure the intent of our heart is right? Doing this accomplishes two good things. It will restore our relationship with God, helping us to regain our victory, and it will make the manifestation of the behavior less likely by depriving it of its importance.
– Jack Kelley

#preach. Food does not have the power to control me- neither through the fear of giving in or through obsession. We are all works in progress. I’m okay with that.

I watched a presentation on childhood development and technology and loved it– I realize I love research for it’s findings, not for it’s methodological design (bye pHD).The concept of contaminated time is also so real and intriguing- with technology and constant access to people, work, and school, we no longer have separate spheres of life. We no longer have a set time to do different things; we forget there are seasons in life and do everything at once. We can’t get away from work and are constantly stressed. I recently learned that some French companies will shut down email access during lunch hours for their employees. The French know what it means to live well. I also frkin love podcasts. I daydream about listening to them during research but it can get distracting so I listen to music instead.
I was pleasantly surprised by an interview offer for the developmental minor I applied for- although, the only available time slot for me is TOMORROW. Good luck to me!!!!!!

Sleep beckons.

 

So far

It is currently 2:13 am and I am forcing myself to write. I have forgotten how great it feels to walk around in the dark, naked. I am beyond full from a tray of Animal Style fries from In-N-Out – maximal gut distension- and am relying on green tea to kickstart my metabolism. I have been finding it difficult to refuse things I don’t even need. I am not listening to my body.

Last time I felt compelled to write, it was 6am on a Monday as I was riding the buzz off the coffee I’d chugged to complete an application for a minor (due later Monday). But alas, I did my French homework and went to sleep. I would like to reiterate that college is not conducive to hobby maintenance.

This quarter has involved a string of responsibilities I asked for but did not understand the realities of. I expected a quiet quarter- more space for relationships to grow, more time to weave networks. Instead, it’s been stacked acapella rehearsals, greater investment in the Schizophrenia treatment lab, lots of planning for my sorority’s philanthropy. I attempted a 21-day fast (learning as I went) and have recently come off a binge. Post-Application/Stress Monday was cheat day. As was every day since.

Whenever God changes something within me- whenever I am no longer struggling – I seek out the very things I’ve been saved from. No longer craving peanut butter? Let’s eat peanut butter for the hell of it. I remember post-fast brownies: disgusting. But I kept eating, hoping the next bite would taste as good as I had once remembered. My first bite of an Oreo was strange- not nearly as satisfying as I thought it would be. How interesting. Why, Lord, do we still chase our former idols? It’s like, not wanting to take antidepressants for fear of getting better- for fear of transformation. Who would I be without my vices?

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of who He has created me to be: free. All things are permissible but not everything is beneficial. I am mindful of what I put inside my body. I take only what I need, no more, no less. I am content, I do not crave. I seek Him first, over any material goods, and I live according to the belief that all actions have a spiritual consequence.

Although I am so far from this goal, I have faith that God can take the worst of me and write me a beautiful story of transformation. My evils will teach me Your redeeming grace, Father.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. – Romans 8:15

 

Wined and dined

This restaurant might be too high-calibre for us. Take the telecom tower stools, for example. We clamber on like children straddling our horses. We watch, bewildered as they switch out the forks and knives: one for entrés and one for mains. Why they would do such a thing eludes me.

The napkin is dropped once and retrieved by the waiter. It is dropped twice and retrieved by the tip of my heel. I am an imposter in painted red lips, checking my reflection every so often to remain in an upright posture, as is only proper.

We have just one glass of wine each, the cheapest on the menu. I spit on my arm mid-conversation. We have tap water, the small portions. But there’s tripe, porcini mushrooms with potatoes and four postage stamps for Ravioli. Garlic bread, complimentary- a highlight with the olive oil. We are surprised by it’s quality and potency. Being here is like scraping a C in the top set for Maths, or buying a Rolex when one eats dirt on a daily basis.

***
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the siblings who wanted to share their rack of lamb and rocket salad dish. They had ordered too much. “That’s nice of them- not the fact that they offered but that they didn’t want to waste food”. Rare in a place like this, perhaps. How very lovely.

“Si” he affirmed each order. The Italian waiter- I suspect, the manager- who reminds me of my Dad’s best friend. The one I used to have a crush on, with his stubbly chin and sparkling smile. He stood a little too close. Touched my wrist gently in recommending the porcini, when he caught my eyes scanning for the bathroom. And he did so with a smile bright enough to have been the one before the kiss.

Transcendent

Meditation is not only about embracing stillness. It’s about absorbing the moment and being mindful of present sensations, like being aware of the interminent ticks of the clock and the snoring of my sister, the weight of my chin on my hand, the soft pillow beneath my crossed knee.
—–

2005. My ‘second birthday’- when I made the official decision to commit myself to Jesus Christ. My family surrounded me and my aunt even bought a cake to commemorate this new life. As I watched the candles wink and envelop me in warmth, I thought to myself: this is unreal. Like a picture.
—–

Euphoria. A dopamine/ endorphin rush. I’m on a high, with just enough alcohol in my blood. But Red Bull is most likely the culprit. There are certain moments when I say to myself: I will remember this. It’s the mental snapshot that I take. The boys are coming over to us, pushing through people with their necks strained above moving heads. I squeeze your arm and say “they’re coming now.” And suddenly we don’t care. We dance. We DANCE. And I get this feeling that I don’t want to forget. We’re illuminated in blue, weightless, smiling with our teeth and shaking our heads at each other. This is my meditation.
—–

We have an exam on Monday… So wanna go out tonight? I’m half-joking, kind of contemplating it. I’m trying to seduce her with the idea and she hates me for it. “You’re just trying to make me say that I want to go and then you’re going to say that you’re just joking”. But we do go. She has her maths lesson and when we arrive it’s already 12:45. Straight to T I think (our new homebase). No Antoine tonight- although someone does look a lot like him. We get a few drinks (some free) and go to all these fun places. Then we push onto the platform. The lights are slicing through consciousness, we’re hogging the airconditioned corner, and it’s the same feeling as the one previously described. So happy. Elevated. Would die happy in that moment.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun hasn’t taken over the sky yet, but it’s not grey. The sky is blue and purple-ish. The clouds hang dark and we’d have found the moon if we tried. Remember these streets, the padding of our feet along the middle of empty roads. We buy 7/11 food like we haven’t eaten for days and talk about the last time we did this. Could it top that time? On par. Top night.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re listening to Jesse Mccartney and David Archuleta. We’re bringing back the babes of the last decade, so of course we’re listening to Shayne Ward. We’re shouting the lyrics to ‘Breathless’: if we had babies they would look like you, in flat tones and bursts of laughter. We’re flinging our arms wildly and smothering ourselves in sound.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re buying marshmallows and cookie dough. We want to make s’mores. The chocolate digesetives look deformed and we’re poisioning ourselves with gas-burned marshmallows but the crunch followed by the sweet lava is so worth it.

SO PERFECT I LOVE MY LIFE.
To remember.

Prom

Prom consisted of walking back and forth from the bathroom to the tables, lifting up our dresses as we did so to prevent from tripping over our hems. It also involved tired feet, chair-sharing, compliments flying and shutters clicking. The money for makeup, meticulous hair and unique dresses was all spent for one night. If it weren’t for the money (and sentimental decor for my future room), I wouldn’t have scrambled for so many photos.

prom

There. Immortalized: my ladies.

Although most of my excitement for prom came from the expectation of great food, I had the shittiest appetizer. It was some sort of mushroom leek cake; they tried too hard to create a gourmet delicacy and failed miserably. My date (best friend) commented on the fancy napkin holders and joked that his mum would most likely have taken them home with her. I must admit that the hotel itself was beautiful. Gold everywhere. I was particularly impressed by the amazing bathroom with its full length mirrors and cushioned seats. Chair seats.

Then it came time for a compilation of embarrassing videos of people. We weren’t in it, though it’s safe to say that our videos are tucked away on YouTube and set on ‘private’. I found myself in tears watching our tags and skits the day after… We were such embarrassing children.

Also, I always have such awkward conversations with teachers… It starts off fine, but once everything has been said, how does one say goodbye? How should one exit the situation? I always wish for someone to kindly interrupt and take me away.

One teacher challenged us to stay after 12:00 am to dance with the teachers. We didn’t. But I did think about what she said: “I hope you’re enjoying this as much as we did when we had our proms. It’s the last time you’re all going to be in the same room at the same time”.

As it neared 11:30, we threw off our heels and whipped our clothes off in the hotel room. I recall such a comical image of BT feeling his way to the beds with his eyes closed. I searched for shorts but couldn’t find any, due to the misplacement of a bag of stuff (long story). I only brought spandex. So I was pulling on my white T-shirt, relieving myself of the gown, when Kwix asked “why don’t you just roll those up? They look like disco pants”. So I did. I was HANDS DOWN the most comfortable one out.

We split off into our taxis and I reflected upon the fact that the night was already happening. Our prom had just finished and after-prom had just begun. As I’m typing this, the day after, I think to myself that even that has ended.

Then it’s the same dancing and riding through the night. It was fun, I guess, but my inner homebody longed to be HOME. And I couldn’t stop thinking about food. Eat sleep no-fckin-rave repeat.

That was it.

Tuesdays and other things

What better place to spend a post-mock-exam Tuesday night than in SOHO? We go to this place called Peel Fresco because Tuesday nights feature live music. And there he is breathing into the mic, with hair falling in front of his closed eyes. He’s completely absorbed in his creation, in the flow of the music carrying him from chord to chord. We wait for our drinks, alternating between listening and throwing each other a comment or two about his voice. “He’s really good”. We watch his hand pull his hair back. ‘You didn’t caall’, he suspends the note. The black man beside him is feeling the beat, bobbing his head, flicking his fingers as they glide down the strings of his bass. Sway. They’re on the same ride, floating somewhere we can’t touch. We both have a pint of Heineken beer in a tall cup; cold, bubbly, sweating.

We have to say something to those cuties.  She tells me I have to request a song to sing. As much as I hate to admit it, I can be shy and can only recite the lyrics to Happy Birthday with ease. She goes to the bathroom and I see that the cuties are about to leave. If I don’t say anything now, there won’t be another chance. As he comes close, I go “hey, leaving so soon?” He smiles, deepening his dimples, and says that it’s late and that they’ve been playing for a while. He introduces himself as Bambi (he’s French) and his friend (whose name I now cannot remember) comes over. We have a chat and they think I’m Columbian… which is new. Not long after, she comes out of the bathroom and I can tell she’s glad I said something. Trepidation takes you nowhere. What did we have to lose? Bambi yelled after us “see you girls next Tuesday!” And we have yet to go there again.

– – – –

We get two packets of extra buttery popcorn and a massive Cadbury chocolate bar. We browse through YouTube videos and best friend tags, and it doesn’t take long for the bowl to empty, save for a few disappointing kernels. We decide to watch old movies from the 2000’s, finally settling on The Pacifier. Helga is still the freakiest bitch. I’m happy. And I let myself feel the moment, with my fingers sliding over the keys of her laptop that give way to the pressure. Smooth. Bouncing.

– – – –

We get a huge jar of jelly. We’re so wild.

To remember.

12/03/14

She wakes me up at 8:10 and I shrug her voice off. “Time for school already”, she says gently. And she repeats it and paraphrases it as if hoping to hit the jackpot with a certain phrase programmed to prompt a reaction. It’s highly irritating and all I want is to block out her voice with the blanket I have wrapped around my head and body like a cocoon. “Five more minutes”, I mumble, abstractedly waving her away. The difficulty I have getting out of bed reminds me of how I’ve often gone to sleep at eleven, setting the alarm to midnight to remind myself that I have to wake up and work, no matter how tired I feel. Every time, sleep cannot resist seducing me and coaxing me back to bed, leading me to wake up in the morning feeling disheveled, disorganized and panicked. I simply will not get out of bed unless it is absolutely necessary. Like, my bladder is about to give up on me, I’ve got an exam to take or there’s a fire burning my house down.
– – – – –

I start with the intention of taking a taxi to school but find myself walking briskly across red lights, past the hospital and finally through the school gates. I’m early for my Spanish orals and luckily, I bump into a friend who directs me to the right rooms. I am honestly so clueless. Then I bomb my orals.
– – – – –

The day is pointless, if not for my exam and CAS interview. I read the timetable wrong and rush into the room thinking that I’ve missed my appointment. “Sorry! I thought it was at 1:15 instead of 12:15”. He shakes his head and says “no, it is at 1:15”. “Oh”, I smile sheepishly and let him finish the interview I’ve just interrupted. As I wait outside and overhear an Indian girl (I could already tell by her accent) in the middle of a monologue about the place that India has in her heart, the principle walks by and I wave. Apparently, the wave is an invitation for a chat. He asks me questions and compliments my singing. I continue to say thank you and it’s awkward. Always awkward. And he’s always supportive and adorable in the you’re-old-and-excitable way. When it’s my turn for the interview, I can’t seem to say anything other than “cool”, “it was a great experience” and “it was rewarding”. Formulaic responses imbued with a false sense of enthusiasm. I swear, he’s heard it all before and he’s got no real interest in my activities whatsoever.
– – – – –

I write myself a note, sign it, and leave. She says “come to my house” so I roll with it. We get on a bus and we’re engulfed in fluffy white fog, rising from the trees like a scene from twilight. Soon enough we’re off the bus and we’re walking towards her house, along a street that looks as if it could’ve been lifted from another country. She gets changed into “ratchet” clothes, consisting of some random shorts and a t-shirt with hair pulled on top of her head in a bun. I think she just looks comfy and at home.
First things first, we snack on apple pie, coffee and huge chunks of Toblerone. We proceed to the basement and flop onto the couch, where it’s dim and quiet. Sometimes she says the most ridiculous things (the good kind) and she’s utterly sarcastic. You can tell she’s sarcastic by the way her eyebrows go up and how she speaks with the corners of her lips curled upwards, threatening to break into a real smile. Which does happen when you respond with laughter or another comment that takes the ‘joke’ a step further. We then look through thought catalog and mutter in disapproval over articles that try to justify cheating. Articles that are too long. Articles that are just lame. And then there are some posts; compilations of quotes by poets and famous people which we pause to appreciate.
After a while, we raid her fridge. I find pomegranate seeds and I pinch a few of them. “Don’t worry, I’ll only have like, five”. She raises her eyebrows and goes “fine, but only five. If you have six, I’m not your friend”. “I’m not your friend” seems to be her go-to threat.
We also have dumplings but she ‘cooks’ them in a way that I’ve never seen before. She dumps them into a bowl, pours water into it and then microwaves it. I’m hesitant and weirded out but she assures me “hey, I’d be dead by now”, so I take a bite and they’re great.

When people say “what shall we do now?” or “can we please do something fun?” or “why are our lives so boring?” I never know what or how to answer. What should we do? What better things are there to do? Eat chocolate cookies I guess. Savour the moment. Do teenagery things like watch Last Vegas and feel drowsy slumped on pillows in the dark.

We talk all the time it’s hard to remember specifics. But she said “I guess we’re lucky we found each other”, referring to our group of friends. And she is so right. We are kindred spirits and we each ground each other, support one another and understand each other in different ways. Friends are the best. And I tend to overuse understatements.

To remember.

Be kind to the body

I know I know I know I haven’t been blogging. In my defence, I’ve been coughing and busy wearing away my trachea. I also have an inexplicable back ache which makes sitting uncomfortable- curling up in a fetal position on my bed is the best choice. It makes me think that I’m getting a sneak peek of what old age feels like, after my muscles have retired, deciding finally to attack me with their remaining strength out of contempt for slaving away for years.

I’ve also been sleeping a lot. I don’t know if it’s the pills I’ve been poppin’ or if I’m just drowsy all the time and physically weak (using the pills as an excuse to sleep). It makes me think about being more health conscious. I set myself up on a crusade to do more exercise, eat healthy and de-stress. Mind, body, spirit, the whole deal. But obviously, it’s not happening or working the wayI had hoped. There are moments when I seriously understand the implications of not taking care of myself properly and I am determined to do something about it. Everybody’s complained about being un-fit, huffing up the stairs, possibly refusing a cookie in fear of becoming fat. Everybody wants to look their best and feel confident in themselves physically. But looking good with abs and toned legs are only superficial benefits of eating well. I’ve heard all the gabble before and I’ve simply shrugged my shoulders. I know yadayadayada but my brother hit home when he talked about eating for his body and brain. He said he felt sluggish and slow after eating heavily fried, carb-loaded, sugary foods. We were grocery shopping when he frowned at the packaged chips and processed food in boxes and cans and said there was nothing healthy to buy. He said that he feels bad whenever he eats junk food, and I asked him “why, do you feel guilty?” He replied with “no, it’s just that once you start to eat right you never want to go back.” Basically, he talked about how certain foods left him feeling like shit. He described feeling heavy and lethargic. Sleepy. And that’s how I feel a lot of the time- not that I feed myself fries every day. It just made me realize how much of an impact food can have on how you feel. How much brighter and sharper would I feel if I ate brain food? Clean food. Fresh food. How much more positive and productive would I be if I took the time to respect my body? Also, I’m still developing and my brain structures are still forming and maturing- now is the time to look after myself. I’ll thank myself later.

I think fundamentally, I struggle with long term goals and future orientation. I like to see results now and I am encouraged by rewards that I don’t have to wait for. This is something I definitely have to work on. Most things worth having/ achieving require effort and sacrifice. To be able to delay present rewards and instant gratification will serve me well in the long run. I must keep this in mind.

I admire people who are able to persevere and work really hard for an extended period of time. They reap what they sow and it’s all worth it. Work too hard and you miss out on life. Don’t work at all and the same applies. Balance is key but so hard to achieve.

Sobe
xx

French toast & other things

Eggs and jam are disgusting.
French toast and strawberry jam doesn’t sound too bad, but trust me… No. I’ll blame the horrid taste on the low quality jam and the soggy eggy bread combination. But whenever there is two of any kind of food and I have nothing better to do, I will eat it. And I should probably stop that.

I caught a taxi to school, thanked God for one just as I stepped out and onto my street and got to school early. We’re supposed to be signed in by 8:10, which used to be an impossible feat for my lazy self, and I’ve succesfully arrived before 8 for two days now.  Achievement!

I was also excited about the newly renovated two-floored canteen, where coffee is available and a salad bar casually chills. It’s just there. Against the wall. Looking fiiine. Unfortunately, it offers only one type of leafy greens. Lettuce. And the pineapples have that pale, canned look to them which makes them unappealing. Such a disappointment. And it turns out that the hot coffee is gross as well… But gross coffee is better than no coffee. I suspect the energy and feeling of productivity I felt today had more to do with the placebo effect than with the caffeine itself. But in thinking that its a placebo, does it stop working? :l Speaking of placebos: to ponder

I have also realized that I’m exceptionally good at spotting what people are looking at. When conversing with someone, I will always note whether or not they are looking into my eyes, at my nose, lips, shirt, or even the desk to my right. I don’t do it on purpose but I am always conscious of where he/she is looking. If people look away often, my mind will start to infer a reason for their behaviour. I’ll wonder if:
they’re shy
its a force of habit
I make them uncomfortable.

I don’t know.

I also worked hard today (compared to the Nothing that I do usually) so I feel good. & I’m happy hard work pays off. I was doing terribly in my internal biology assesments and was told that it’s one of those things that people either get the hang of or don’t. So basically, I was told that it wouldn’t make much of a difference to try again… But I went from an 8 to 15/18. !!! PARTY IT UP!
Encouragement that prayer and effort works.

That’s all that’s worth mentioning today.

From Sobe to Sobe to remember.