November 2016 – Part I

Wednesday, November 2nd
… It’s strange, but I sense some learning curves (or growth spurts, or whatever-) some of my friends are going through. Things that you don’t realize you are in the middle of even though you are up to your neck in it. Freeing yourself from parental expectations struggling to stay vulnerable; recognizing that there will always be certain space between humans that can’t be bridged; learning to live with uncertainty instead of seeking certainty. …

Thursday, November 3rd
… I go to the trees when my head feels too big and time is slithering through my fingers like water. Gazing up at the ancient lives who have witnessed events from the far past and who will live to see the far future. My head shrinks back and I am enveloped by the life bigger and vaster than I could ever be. Smelling in the damp earth, my inner animal stops growling and settles back, content for now. …

Friday, November 4th
I decided to follow my heart and be a writer, but I haven’t been writing.
I knew the road wasn’t going to be suddenly smooth, and I have to make the decision again and again, every day. It’s hard to find the heart, and a lot harder to keep it, because it’s helluva easy to lose it.
The human interaction between fictional characters (movies, books, etc.) – Erich Fromm was spot-on. They are imitations of the real thing, and we turn to them because it’s easier, more accesible, and less risky. But they also don’t linger. These quick bursts of warmth and humor are fleeting and they leave you feeling emptier than before, thus starting and enabling a vicious cycle. …

Saturday, November 5th
… I feel lost. Lost and scared, even though I know what I want to do. The decision to trust my heart was just the first step, perhaps the highest point for a long time to come. I did say I was descending (or ascending, or maybe it’s just straight ahead) towards madness.

Sunday, November 6th
Connection/Disconnection. Lately, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. That precious moment of shared human-ness, striking that space in us that is full of longing for belonging and of the need for connection. …
But also the disconnection – the dissonance in the melody of relationship, the surface of ego demanding spotlight. It’s time to step back, take care of our inner child, and ready ourselves for another meeting on the level of the spirits. …

Monday, November 7th
I am scared. I am scared shitless about the future. … I am afraid of turning out to be a mediocre writer, although I don’t see what’s wrong with that – perhaps it’s the social pressure of finding the dream job right away, the idea of our jobs representing who we are. … I realized that I don’t have many – any? – concrete, tangible fears. I am afraid of abstract things such as the future/uncertainty, and also of not being understood/accepted/loved by other people, but I can’t think of scary experiences in my life – for me, it’s a perpetual, long-term fear, not a moment of fear bursting into a flame and extinguishing itself just as quickly. I don’t want to play the victim card again (but I probably am), but when you have already experienced being an outsider, when you have already gone through several identity crises, perhaps your fear of spiders or operations cease to have such a huge influence on you.
In my melodramatic moments, I fancy myself an orphan – which is a slap in the faces of all the people who really do not have family, or parents who are so bad that being an orphan would be the better option. What I had refused to see, however, was how many people were trying to be my temporary family in small ways. But I never really let them, priding myself over my emotional independence, telling myself that while they were nice, I didn’t need them. Then, being a hypocrite that I am, I bemoan the fact that I am alone with my actual family far away.
Why do we isolate ourselves? Why do we push people away? Why do we punish ourselves?

Tuesday, November 8th
… I was feeling discouraged, and I did what might not have been such a good idea: I called Mom. My security blanket had been ripped off me, I felt hypersensitive and raw all over – like everyone was staring at me & judging me -, so I wanted to slip back to the role of a child and seek the comfort of my mother’s lap. Only she could not provide it anymore. So I start keeping things from her, and from my family. …

Friday, November 11th
… I don’t know how to love people whom I can’t see, touch or hear. I am constantly seeing only parts of their lives, and call me a perfectionist/purist/extremist, but I can’t love like that. I want the physicality of love or nor love at all.
… Is family a structure in which the members need each other or want each other? Is it both? Or neither? Or does it depend on the individual family?
… Maybe I don’t feel confident enough yet to face my family’s opinions. Maybe, one day, I will be able to comfortably share all of myself without worry or fear or anxiety. Until then, I’ll keep my life to myself.

Saturday, November 12th
Behind being torn about the future lies a fountain of feeling inadequate and the lack of my belief in myself. The fear of not knowing myself. Not trusting myself to be strong enough to survive the world outside of the academic bubble.
… I am afraid to trust my words, as if they are an entity to themselves, as if I could mangle them if I touch them. Maybe that’s because they seem to just pour out of me when I enter this zone of beauty – no, of life – and thus seem sacred. It must sound very pretentious to say that my writing seems sacred, but it’s not the really the words themselves; it’s the experience. …

Monday, November 14th
… I think it’s our human need to be understood & accepted that leads us to tell the people in our lives all sorts of things. We want to unload our most selfish, self-indulgent, and shameful thoughts on them, in hopes that they will absolve us from our burden, so that we can be light-hearted again, just like children after having confessed that it was us who has broken that glass jar.
But humans aren’t gods. We aren’t all-accepting, all-forgiving. We are often impatient and pre-occupied with our own lives. Other people unburdening on us feels intrusive –
I know all this and yet – and yet I find myself wanting to revert to being a kid and dump all of my problems on someone else’s shoes. The first person I think of is my mother, of course, perhaps also b/c I’m reading To the Lighthouse for my class and I am fascinated & daunted by Mrs Ramsay. …

off the cliff

Finally finding myself
Looking the way I want to
Behaving the way I feel like
Saying the way I think

No longer trying to break out of my skin
Ambiguity, uncertainty, contradictory
Fluidity, identities, changes –
Welcome! Be a part of me!

So there I am, all parts assembled together
The world embraces me the way I am
Finally being who I want to be
Surrounded by encouragements and smiles
All I ever wanted – so why am I not running to the center?
Why am I afraid to touch me, to embrace me?

Look, a mirage, I might disappear when I get too close
What if this is all a dream, too sweet to wake up from?

The trained response to duck my head
Blend in, don’t cause a scene
Hiding in my own shadows
Afraid of the full light showcasing all of me

I don’t I don’t I don’t

I don’t wanna live that way anymore
I’m not running away anymore
The only person I can be is me
There’s no wrong or no right way

Throw up your arms, let that laugh burst out
Rejoice in the self-discovery
Your delight has been buried for so long
Hug me tight, lift me up, toss me in the air
I’m not going anywhere; you’ll always be there

Numbers don’t brand you
Words don’t define you
They are there, but what are you going to do with them?

It’s as hard to face the light as it is to face the dark
It’s as scary to see every corner as it is to see none

You’re more than the sum of your faults, your virtues
Don’t be afraid of yourself; it’s okay to look
Your life is more than what you’re good at
Leave a piece of yourself in everything you do
I promise, there’s an unimagined hugeness of you

You’ve already got the key
Lift it up, close it in your fist
Push it in, gently
Turn it, deliberately
A step back, then leap off

A whole of You is waiting for you

remains

Flames, be it big or small
Fascinating
Their dangers are their beauty
Their lethality is our survival

I once laid my hand in the flame
And it welcomed me
So I let myself be embraced in its love and care

The next time I wanted to plunge in
It rejected me with blisters that burst, bled and scabbed over
What’s wrong, my love?
It did not answer

After that I was wary
The wounds wouldn’t heal
Sligthest chill made them bleedAnd flow like my tears

Knowledge gained, fruit consumed;
Once I saw its moodiness and unpredictability
I couldn’t unsee
Every time I approach heavy dread slows me down
Will it welcome me? Will it burn me alive?
Or: Will it extinguish itself, choosing non-existence over me?

So many bright sparks around me
But I’m afraid to step forward
Every burn has a pulse in my veins
Every extinction another blow to my heart
A bloody, beaten, dripping mess

I tried closing my eyes but the flames danced upon my lids
I tried turning my back until loneliness cut through to my core
I tried, countless times, imagining a beautiful spark coming to life in my palms
Each time it died without a trace and left an ever-lasting coldness behind

Make no mistake,
I’ve plenty fires surrounding me
They give me light, lend me their warmth
They comfort me wordlessly over every hurt
I’ve gotten so used to them I forget they exist
I take their hugs for granted
But their presence is no forever-guarantee
They forget, they die, they leave, but they also remain

I forget I am a flame too
I burn brightly to hide my scars
I am the barely visible embers to stay undetected
You might be afraid of me
Will I caress you? Or will I annihilate you without a backward glance?

Everything eventually withers
We all go back to ashes
Dust becomes nothingness
But we all carry each other as scars
We keep each other alive