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Month: September 2016

To the person that I thought I knew. A work in progress.

one – Are you my soulmate?

I laugh. My heart jumps, it is made out of cotton candy. Pink and plush, running through high grass on a humid summer’s day.

two – Are you my soulmate?

I sigh. My ears not believing what they are hearing, for the first time in so long, opening up like old, rusty blinds, finally letting in the light. Finally letting in the air that I so desperately need to breath. But you only take my breath away. Your words weaseling your way under my skin, between my fingers, running your hand through my hair, tickling the back of my neck, caressing my earlobes, whispering: Are you my soulmate?

My insides are pulling themselves together, longing for words they never dreamed of, coming up for air after spending ages under water. Gasping.
But you only take my breath away.

three – I am lying in bed, you just cancelled our date. The familiar war behind my face washes over me, pulls me in deep. I cannot see the picture frame on the other side of my wall, my smiling face seems so unfamiliar. Where is she?

four – You look at me, with honest eyes, you see me. You. See. Me. Are you my soulmate? Piercing me, through and through, four simple words, they have no meaning to me, but hearing them from you means everything.

five – When is the last time you spoke with him? I have news for you.

six – No, this is the wrong life, this is the wrong line, my dreams have already taken over, I know the truth. This is not happening to me. All this time you were lying. Someone else. No, this is not you, no, this is not me. No, this is not her. This is just a bad movie, I am in, there is someone playing games with me.

seven – I feel so stupid. You made me into a cliché, you made me half. There is no explanation.

I will not believe this story. Would I have thought that you were the one that would betray me? You did. This is having your rug pulled out from under you and I am falling, falling, falling without ever waking up. There is no waking up.

Breath in, breath out. Let the disappointment wash away all the pain of feeling whole. Of trusting someone and having it all shattered in a matter of seconds. All that is left is emptiness.

eight – this is washing away the beautiful painting I made with my ideas and dreams and songs and seeing the gray truth behind it. Who are you?

And the question that will never be answered.

Why?

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Reflecting on Moving Out

A year ago, I moved out of the house I was raised in into a tiny decent sized apartment with another girl to go to university. We live above the funniest bar, so it is never boring (or quiet, for that matter).  I had mixed feelings about the move, but I instantly loved it. Being completely independent is a feeling I wouldn’t want to miss anymore and I found that mundane things are easily incorporated into my schedule. I have learned a couple of lessons in the last year, five of which I want to share today.

  1. Just do the dishes

Do your dishes right away (or within a reasonable amount of time) because you deserve to have a clean sink. You might not want to do them right now, but your motivation is not going to get any bigger and you will hate yourself if you have to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. Regard it as a treat to your future self that you are doing them now.

  1. How to be an adult

Sometimes (more often than you like) adult stuff will creep up on you that you suddenly have to deal with. Afternoons will be spent on the phone talking to the bank, or insurance, or landlords, or university staff. The list goes on. Even though they are not the most pleasant things to deal with, they are responsibilities that come along with the newly introduced independence. Therefore they are good things. And that feeling after successfully dealing with them – priceless.

  1. Find a roommate that is on your side

I got extremely lucky with an amazing roommate, one that I look up to like a big sister. It is so great to live with someone that you like, someone who will listen to you moan but someone who will also leave you alone when you want to be left alone. It’s intimate to live with someone else, after all you see them at their best and at their worst. I found it important to be open minded, guaranteeing that you will always find a way to make it work.

  1. Leave the apartment at least once a day

I’m an introvert, I use downtime to recharge my batteries. I have days where I don’t have any plans and therefore no reason to leave the apartment. Yet I have learned that it is important for me to get out regularly. Otherwise, I’m more likely to spiral downward into feeling bad about myself. So I make sure I take a walk, go shopping or take my bike for a spin at least once a day to keep my mind at Zen.

  1. Landlords are also just people.

This one is probably just relevant for me.

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Is it okay not to be okay?

1I am having a rough time at the moment. Nothing bad happened – nothing in particular anyway. Rarely is anyone’s life ever smooth sailing, I find there is always something to worry about. But usually, I can look past that. But right now I feel like there are so many things that are not going my way. I have been having an even harder time not beating myself up about it. A monologue repeats itself in my head about 50 times a day: You’re not happy – why? You should be happy. Everyone else is. Be happy. Now! But that’s not how it works. It is almost impossible to silence the voice in my head. I strongly believe that happiness is a mindset, one that you have to work for. But I find it really hard to be positive right now. There is no acute tragedy. Maybe the tragedy is in myself and I’m having trouble accepting it. I don’t feel like myself.

I find it hard to be around certain people right now. In my head, we usually get along because my rhythm and theirs flow well together, but at the moment mine is off-beat. Talking to those people shows me how off my beat really is, reminding me that I am not doing good. There are also people who are good for my troubled soul, they know how to adjust their rhythms to harmonize with mine, or remind my how the melody goes. The one that I normally know by heart.

In the back of my mind, I think I am aware of the tragedy. I am always scared of not doing enough. Right now, I feel like I’m waiting – I just don’t know what for.

 

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Small talk.

 

I hate small talk. Really. If you ask any of my close friends, they will agree. They know this about me. I don’t like the pretentious smiles and introductions. The meaningless information you share with strangers don’t make any sense to me.

But we all live in a society that values small talk. We are surrounded by strangers and if we want to get into contact with them, we need to suffer through the small talk and get to know them. At least that’s how I though it works. But I am starting to see that there is more to these first conversations than I thought. There are most certainly what you make of them. I think I have learned a few things talking to strangers. First of all, burst through that barrier. Go out and talk to people. It sounds so difficult, trust me I know. But it helps. Don’t be scared, because what could happen? They won’t talk to you? Well, they are not talking to you right now, so there’s that. And make the conversation meaningful. Be present and ask questions that actually matter. Go into detail and be specific. Nobody likes talking about the weather so be a little more creative. Be generous, be kind. Listen to understand, don’t listen to talk.

Just try it. Believe me, as an introvert, it is draining for me to go out and talk to people. But I learn and I grow from each conversation and I am a little prouder afterwards. Be aware of your environment and take the little chances the day gives you.

Because small talks are actually doors. They can let you in and share with you anything or nothing. It is all up to us. So leave your door open from time to time.

 

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House of Cards

I picture every relationship as a house of cards. We build them on a foundation – a mutual feeling or interest. And then we build further on that – layer by layer the relationship evolves. With some relationships, we will eventually add the last layer. The relationship reaches it’s best before date, and we move on to build new houses. I’ve learned that not every person is meant to be in your life forever, we grow up and change, all that crap. That’s okay –  sometimes it is even good. Or necessary.

What I like about the house of card analogy is the fact that it could collapse at any moment in time. It’s two people building the house of cards – one mistake could ruin everything. Have you ever looked at someone and thought ‘there are things I could say right now that could completely ruin this‘? “I cheated on you” or “I don’t love you anymore” will do the trick with a significant other. “I’ve murdered someone” to a friend or “I copied  someone else’s work” to your favorite professor sure changes things. I consider these big things – like wrecking balls that will ruin almost every relationship.

But it’s fairly easy to avoid most wrecking balls – what I am more scared of are the houses of cards that collapse at the slightest blow, even though you were confident they would last forever. You didn’t realize at the time that too many cards were crooked or uneven. Somehow it all worked and you could still build on them – to a point. You couldn’t tell it was all doomed. You can’t pinpoint your finger on what it was that made it all fall down. Maybe it was not meant to be. Those are the relationships that haunt me the longest.

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