Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sad Stories


Practically my whole morning has been spent getting wet.  It started with dragon boating training - my bench partner described the boat as 'a freaking water park' which is incredibly accurate - and the rest of it was spent spouting waves of tears while watching the final episodes of the short-lived TV show, Red Band Society.

Being a hospital drama, I should have known there would be crying involved when I began the series on Wednesday.  I got attached to the characters within forty minutes of footage.  Kara, the cold-hearted ex-cheerleader who needed a new heart; Leo, the charismatic superhero who has almost survived cancer; Dash, the hilarious boy with a lung problem who wants to go out with a bang; Emma, the complicated, intelligent girl with anorexia and insecurity issues; Jordi, the cute Mexican boy with family issues and a whole lot of independence; and Charlie, the 9 year old in a coma who knows everything.

I must say, Red Band Society really won the idea of a hospital atmosphere over for me.  It's made me excited for my work experience next week, even though I'm sure I'll end up disappointed.  For some reason this show makes me feel like becoming a Doctor would be worth it, that helping people in serious need would be happiness enough, that hours spent in a hospital doing surgery and putting your brain towards fixing a body would be plausible.  Or maybe I'm just gullible and pathetic, basing real life decisions on some drama ABC concocted up.

The show was full of family drama, romance, love for Nurse Jackson, and then finally there was one scarring death that left me crying over every little thing after.  The saddest thing of all though, is that there is no Season 2.  After 13 episodes of a beautiful show, it's over.  I don't understand how the 'numbers' were apparently too low to save it.  How could people not watch this show!?

You'd think it's stupid to spend your time entertaining yourself by crying unnecessarily over fictional stories depicted by people who understand the medium, so why do we do it?  It's like when Day loses his memory of June in Legend, or Augustus' matter-of-fact death in The Fault in Our Stars, or when Tris dies.  Even the final scene of Mockingjay is melancholy, and neither Peeta nor Katniss died.

I reckon all must be right in the world when your only source of sadness comes from TV shows or books.  I'm currently reading All the Bright Places and I feel like I've spoilt it for myself.  I think I know he dies.  The beautiful, different, deep Theodore Finch is going to kill himself, and I am going to cry.  He's one of the first male characters I've liked more than the female, and one day he will be gone.

These stories feel so heavy, and I wonder why I can feel empathy for these characters but not for real people.  If anyone real were going through the same situations, I would feel awkward or judgmental.  I wouldn't know what to do.  Maybe it's because books and movies show us everything.  In real life it's not possible to know all these personal inner feelings of people, but directors and authors make sure we know when they write it or film it.

Or maybe sad stories are simply inaccurate.  Maybe this utter understanding and empathy doesn't exist in real life because we never really know what a truly real and complicated person is going through.  And maybe it's because sad stories are the only way to expose ourselves to the surrealism of watching sad circumstances in detail from an outside viewpoint.

The thing about sad stories though, is that they're always remembered in this melancholy light.  Every time you hear the name or think about it, every emotion comes back.  They're memorable.  I can't say the same about happy endings.

Love,
M

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Self-focused Ideas on Compassion

Maybe the iRun person is running from my parents

Today my parents told me that I rank very low on the compassionate scale.  According to my mum I was born without the ability to see past my own nose.  My dad says I'm incredibly self-focused, but he hopes that I'll change when I turn 30, and apparently self-focused people are more successful, to which my mum replied that it's because they don't give money away to charity.

It's just sad that my parents are the people who know me best, and if anyone were able to judge how compassionate I am, or how self-focused I am, it would be them.  So does that mean they're right?  Does that mean that when my mum tells me I don't feel as much I really am cold-hearted?  She said it was a fact - not an opinion, but the truth.

They made these allegations based on what they thought my sister would do.  They hypothesised that my sister would go to the hospital with my dad for his sprained leg, or that she would most definitely ride in the car with my mum to pick me up (in this case they were asking me to come and fetch her).  So here's how the situation played out: We went to pick up my sister, and she started by questioning why I was in the car.  She didn't understand why I would come to pick her up, which shows that she most definitely wouldn't come to fetch me.  Then, when my dad asks her if she'll come with him to wait in the hospital, she replies the exact same way I did - "If you drop me off at the hospital I can walk home.  Why do you need me there when you're clearly fine?"  Somehow my parents still think she's infinitely more compassionate than me.

So based on their dodgy evidence, I can't be certain their opinions are facts, but they're still their opinions.  When my mum tells me that I was born without the ability to see from other people's viewpoints, that I don't feel as much, it really really hurts.  I don't believe that I feel any less than the average person, and I don't believe that I'm incapable of feeling compassion, but do I come off as heartless to general people?  Do I come off as extremely self-focused?

As an insecure 12-13 year old I used to pretend to be over-confident.  I wanted my parents to think I was fine.  I wanted them to think I had loads of friends, and I was never pushed around, and I was good at everything, and I had no reason to be upset - and it's sad how easy they were to fool.  Well, they seem fooled anyway, even until this day.  Maybe they do see through the cracks but just don't say anything, but they honestly think I'm a super strong-willed person who never lets anyone get the upper hand.  I actually wanted them to think I was self-centred.  I told them countless times that I wanted to be a billionaire when I grew up, that I aspired to be some kind of Bill Gates and have servants.  I think they believed me.

And even to this day, when I've stopped pretending to be someone else and I've started to tell them my real problems, they still think I'm that pretend person.  They haven't caught up.  They think I'm insensitive, that they can later use the issues I've spoken about to justify why my friends are weird.  They say my sister's friends are all perfectly nice, but I know for a fact that she doesn't tell them about the conflicts that happen in her friendships.  If she told them they wouldn't use the information to get back to her when they're mad as they do to me.

You see, they have this stigma that she's weak, that she needs help with everything, that she doesn't have very many friends.  As a result they give her rides to the far corners of the city, they think she's super compassionate, they think she's sensitive and feels more.  Seeming insecure doesn't make you feel any more than the next person.  Just because I don't act insecure around them doesn't mean I'm not.  Even if I tell them about any insecurities I have, they don't view it as real.  They dismiss it.

But if my parents don't know who I really am, then who does?  Will anyone really know me or am I all alone in that aspect?  But if my parents do really know me, that means I'm uncompassionate and self-absorbed, and I don't know which is worse.

I'm not saying I'm not self-focused, because I honestly know that I am.  I honestly know that most people in this generation at least are.  In fact, most people are.  We think of ourselves because that's who we spend the most time with.  We think of how people see us, who we have relationships with, how we spend our time.  We're just as self-focused as the next person, and I think it's unfair of my parents to tell me I'm this way when they're no different.

My dad used to force us off the computer when he wanted to use it.  When I tell him about my day he doesn't listen or empathise - he moves on to asking if I got any marks back.  My dad refuses to drive me anywhere, whether it's 5 minutes away or causes him to wake up earlier (which is still later than me). I know for a fact that he worries about how people see him, or how many friends he has, or getting recognition.  He goes on about how he himself is so compassionate.

They're disrespectful in the sense that no matter how often I tell them my opinion, or my plans for the day, they disregard it.  Even my sister mentioned that I spent a whole chunk of yesterday going on about how today was my rest day, but instead my dad sent a message to my mum going "I changed my appointment to 1 so we can delay her more. Ha ha."  Now how childish and spiteful is that?

It's sad how once they have an opinion, they can't change it.  I've called them closed-minded in the same way they've called me cold-hearted, so maybe we're even, or not.  I don't know if they have the capacity to feel compassion for the way they treat me.

I still need them, but one day I won't.  One day they'll have nothing to childishly hold over me, and maybe on that day I'll drive away and not come back.  The friend we picked my sister up from today apparently has an older sister, and apparently she got into an argument with her mum and they didn't speak for 6 months.  I can imagine that happening if things don't change.  If my parents see me as this person forever, maybe I won't be able to deal with this negativity in my life.  If they can't change their opinions, they won't change the way they treat me.  They won't stop disregarding my opinions as wrong, or yelling at me for looking out for myself even though my sister does the same.  My mum had the nerve to call me resentful of my sister - and that's true in the sense that she gets much better treatment, but not true in the sense that she 'feels more'.

I spent three hours of the morning of my 'rest day' in a yelling match with my parents.  I cried for the first time in ages, which shows that their comments must have really hurt.  They didn't stop though.  Does that make them bullies?  No eggs benedict is worth this amount of disrespect and maybe they're right - I really don't enjoy spending time with them.  Let's just say I won't be going out for breakfast with either of them for a long time.

Love,
M




Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Proving Myself


My diary since January 1st 2014 is coming to a close, with a mere three pages left to write in.  Perhaps a new volume of thoughts calls for a change in the way I think.

I have spent the last month or so of my life in a pathetically moody state, trying to prove myself.  It seems as if my self-love is directly dependent on validation from everyone around me, and that makes me so weak.  Dependency doesn't suit anyone, and after spending thirty minutes of my day looking in the mirror of a public bathroom and sitting on a bench with my neglected mum, I think I'm a few steps closer to the person I want to be.

Tomorrow morning I am going to wake up with clean hair and good posture.

Here's some diary excerpts from the last month or so, in early celebration of the end of a fully transformed self over the course of almost two years.  Just warning you, this post is quite long so feel free to skip the boring bits.



2.10.15

"But if we call that freedom, then it's the freedom of someone with a gun to their head, choosing between rebelling and following orders.  We're born and raised to follow the leader, to trust society to know better than us, because the only alternative is the chance that we'll end up in the dregs of the world, bypassed and forgotten."

...

Why do the people I'm with influence my mood so much when it should all be under my control?
I feel like I've fallen into that rigid state at work, where I already have friends and can't be bothered to make more.  I'm silent and awkward because I never make an effort.  I have to be fluid again.  Opinions can change and I refuse to be an unchangeable biased person like Daddy.


7.10.15

"Divert these passionate energies towards your school work and squat routines."

I watched the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants for around 4 hours today and I honestly wish I were one of them.  Having a super close friendship from birth and complicated full personal lives at the same time sounds perfect.  I want to be objective and separated from the real world like them.  I want to be content with myself with fabulous friends like them.  I want to be able to know what matters and realise that everything else doesn't.

AS was meant to come over today but she isn't.  It's like I'm desperate to see people, but not in the sense that it's cooler, but rather that I crave company.  Yesterday's little picnic endeavour was perfect, and today was unproductive as hell despite doing nothing.  Why aren't I content without company?  Today could've gone so differently, not that I haven't had a good day.  I just want to be my own person, independent, objective, separated, I can't find the right adjective...

You know, I always used to wish for a friend as a neighbour and now technically I have two.  Why am I so ungrateful?


9.10.15

...and I get that she has good social skills but that doesn't mean she can think she's better than someone else.  I hate people like that, and I hate that I can't do anything about it.  She used to want to go on break with me and go with me to a meeting when ** wasn't around, and it sucks how pathetic it sounds that I enjoyed that.  It sucks that she's the kind of person she is and it sucks that I'm succumb to this...

I feel like there's some who intimidate me, and they are the ones I need to make an effort towards, because no one should intimidate me.


11.10.15

I'm like a time bomb, because I seem to get mad at the tiniest things at the most random moments, and my temper makes me an embarrassment.  There was this cute guy at the mall today looking at me, but I was mad at Daddy and being a bitch and I literally face palmed right in front of him.  Now I'm in a mad mood.

...

...I guess that the lesson here for me is that having a boyfriend isn't about having one for the sake of it, but rather because you have an actual relationship.  My fear though, is that I won't find that somebody.  I don't understand how I could become that close to a guy, be best friends, feel absolutely special - it's incomprehensible.  But then, I'd rather be alone than with someone because I think that's what's 'normal'.  I'd like to think I'm independent enough.


15.10.15

Apparently Aunty Jennifer was on her way to the clinic when this two year old kid fell onto the curb and hit his head.  This guy picked up the kid and ran him straight into the hospital and moments later you could hear the pregnant mother crying.  He had died.  It's crazy and absolutely tragic how life can be taken away in a flash - and even I felt like crying when I heard this story.  I actually can't imagine how I would cope with the non-existence of someone I love, how life would even go on.  And here I am worrying about how I am in band.

...

Oh god, that woman has just experienced the saddest day of her life.


16.10.15

As the awards ceremony draws nearer I'm getting more and more concerned that I won't win one.


17.10.15

It's like I think that everyone is better than me and I'm not worth anything.  Why can't I register that I may be better than them, and I don't need their approval.  Why can't I see that I'm just as capable as anyone else?... When I look in the mirror I see a normal looking person, but some of those pressured words coming out of my mouth don't suit my appearance.  I can see myself being that happy other girl, so I need to imagine myself in that position when I open my mouth.

...

Work was fun today, so clearly it's my social anxiety that makes me miserable.  I can be fun and funny and even extremely dorky and I like that me.  It's time to stop being so nervous.  I need to repeat this to myself,


22.10.15

What is wrong with me?  Why don't I care about my grades anymore?  They seem like a secondary priority and now it's finally hit me how badly I'm doing, and how little I care in some aspects.  I realise this is the first time I have handed in a half-hearted assignment.  I need to bring it all back up again.  Thinking, work, captainship, friends - grades are more important.  I think the reason I'm denying my downfall is because I can't accept coming to terms with failure.  I'm acknowledging it now and it's time to pick myself up.


24.10.15

I want to create something.  When I think of writing a blog post I think of the now, but I keep forgetting that I can write a piece on the everything.  So many things happened in the past that mean something - and 15 years of acquired experiences gets forgotten along the way.  I'm going to write a piece, not a rant.


25.10.15

Work today was actually amazing.  I love talking to the new people, and one of them goes to ** and is taking all of the subjects I'm planning on taking next year.  I also saw A for the first time in ages and JD and BC also seem to think I'm fun.  Maybe that's because I am fun.  I don't understand why I doubt myself so much.

** also told me about how some people are still talking about that formal blog post, but my question is do I really care?  I mean, it's a little humiliating but the people I know have gotten over it, and all the other little repercussions don't matter.

I read this Vogue article on Taylor Swift today, and I want to be able to write an article like that.  I want to have the ability to convey complex ideas in a way that people will fully understand.


27.10.15

"She's always told me that changing looks has nothing to do with leading a unique life.  It's usually a sign of a pretty ordinary inner self."


29.10.15

I'm using being sick as an excuse to justify the things that come out of my mouth.  I'm continuously phasing out and everything feels like a constant buzz, but I don't think that has anything to do with feeling sick.  I always used to write that I wanted to be that disjointed floater, but all that does is leave me being completely random, and I do care what people think.  I should be focused enough to do my work to the best of my abilities, as well as be present for conversations and what I do.  I don't want to be scared, but I don't want to be awkward.  I don't know what I want to do, but I'm telling myself that I'm not sick, I'm just daydreaming.


30.10.15

I'm currently in my formal attire and after nights like these there's always a lot to think about - which shows how uncarefree I truly am.  Getting ready with RT and TN was exactly like the makeovers that happen in movies...

...But then I did enjoy myself.  I really did.  I met some nice people... and that's always nice.  I guess social events are made for making yourself look good and meeting new people.  Or maybe I should just go for the dancing.  I always love the dancing.


31.10.15

I don't like the person I am.  I keep thinking I'm one of those deeper self-assured people, but I'm the opposite.  I'm an insecure, unempowered person and everyone seems to know it.  I want to be able to do independent things without seeming pathetic.  I want to hold my head high and stop making jokes about how much I suck, or acting as if I'm inferior when I know I'm not.  If I stop believing it, I'll stop being it.  I don't need people to think I'm awesome, and I don't need them to know I've changed either.  They can figure it our for themselves.  What I do shouldn't be affected by what they think.  I'm not trying to create an image, I'm trying to be a being.


2.11.15

Today I went to one of those cliche slam poetry readings you see in movies and books, and I am so glad I went.  It's people - real people from my very real school - reciting rants about life and their problems and human nature in the specific society we live in.  It's like Rookie or any of the blogs I read, but in real life.  I heard about anxiety, youth, gender, confusion, depression, refugees, feminism and the schooling experience.  These people opened their deepest feelings up so eloquently and I don't understand how someone has the courage to do that.  I felt like such an artsy cliche, but a try-hard because I don't feel hipster or cool enough.  All I can say is: I'm glad I went and I would go again.

"How every now and then she'd stare off into the distance, or chew on her pen, or examine her split ends, then come to again."


4.11.15

I need to stand taller, both figuratively and physically.


6.11.15

I'm able to talk perfectly and laugh perfectly, but somehow they would prefer others over me.  Right now I sound like a jealous show-dog...

I was walking with ** after school today and almost every person we passed said goodbye to her - "Have a nice weekend."  How does someone become approachable like her?

CARPE DIEM - Dead Poet's Society

"We don't read and write poetry because we think it's cute.  We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.  And the human race is full of passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life; but poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for."

"I'm not like you, alright?  You say things and people listen.  I'm not like that."
"But you could be."


7.11.15

It's like she's trying to separate me.
She has been for a while.
The story of the cart and the pelican
It's repeated every time.
Is she jealous?

I'm so incredibly tired.
It's been a long day.
From 6am to 1am
Even though my eyes are closing
I will read tonight.


10.11.15

I need some love and I don't want to go to sleep and be alone with my thoughts.  How long is it going to take before I get over this damn leadership thing!?


13.11.15

She's one of those people they describe in memes where they're like "When everyone likes a person and you're just like WHYYY" or "Person I hate: breathes.  Me: Can you not."  I never thought there'd be a person like that for me, but it turns out that's her.  And the biggest problem: I can't bitch about her to anyone so it's like there's this pent up dislike for her boringness, unfullness, unoriginality and conforming nature inside of me.  Why can't I let it all go?  If she's that unimportant then why does she even occupy space in my brain?


14.11.15

MY PEOPLE REVIEW GOT PUBLISHED IN ROOKIE!!!!!!!


15.11.15

I question the way I carry myself.  I question my fashion choices, and why it's cool to be minimalistic or dress in a hoodie that screams "not trying hard."  Why must I stick one leg out as if I'm relaxed, or not treat clothes like art to cover my body?  Do I swim with society or paint myself?  Do I act intimidating and too pretty or do I act down-to-earth and borderline insecure?  Is it better to be proud or beneath?  Is this all based on others' opinions?  Should I care?

...

As for the #PrayforParis trend going around, I don't know what to think.  The recent events are absolutely appalling and I wonder what could possibly cause humans to invoke such cruelty on their neighbours - with the motive of what?  What could they possibly think justifies this much violence?  It seems as if there's always a war taking place - Australia's history is dotted with them with no break.

Girls are using this #PrayforParis thing as a way to show their humanitarian side, whether honest or following the crowd or trying to prove themselves.  Despite the motives behind this social media sharing, it can't be bad the amount of support being created, even though those changing their profile pictures aren't helping those affected by the attacks or have any idea how much pain they must be going through.

And when the #Prayfor... extends to other countries going through turmoil (who have been for a while), I wonder whether those being activists for these acts of violence are trying to one-up the rest or are simply using this as an opportunity to create more awareness.  Some people seem to be being put down for only acknowledging Paris, and I think that's stupid.  These hashtags weren't created for the purpose of showing how humanitarian you are - or maybe they were.  They think those acknowledging every other country care more and it's as if this trend has made people feel the need to prove themselves - prove they care.

I guess people are the power behind a movement, but I still don't understand how we will ever reach world peace when it is in human nature to fight.


16.11.15

I don't understand why people are the way they are: whether completely heartless and inhumane, or mildly judgemental and deluded.  But then, maybe there's a way to not be the forgotten one.

...

I'm a fraudy fake fraud and I feel as weak as the mentally unstable James in the book I'm reading and I hate it.  Why do I say things I don't mean?


17.11.15

I was doubtful about whether I should've dropped my shift at work to go to the Peru meeting today, but I'm really glad I did.  Maybe it's that I'm easily persuaded by well-made 'inspiring' videos or that I'm in serious need of an adventure, but I really want to go on this thing in 2017 no matter who goes with me.

Over the last month or less J from Melbourne/my childhood has been texting me, and she's coming to this city for some camp thing next month, so that means I think I'll be able to visit her.  This thought only just hit me and I am surprisingly excited.  My best friend from 2005 will be here, and it'll be a nice change having kept in contact with someone who could've been if I'd never moved.

...

While I may have made changed, I think my sister has too.  The difference between her and me though, is that while it's taken me this long, she's already two years ahead.

Love,
M

Friday, 13 November 2015

Coming of Age

This girl today was telling me about how her English class were doing their orals based on the theme 'Coming of Age' and I guess you could categorise the books I've been reading lately under that general heading.  As you probably already know, the jump between the lengths of the third Harry Potter book and the fourth go from short and sweet to long and increasingly complicated.  So after enjoying the tedious journey through the Goblet of Fire I decided to take a break by reading some teen book, and never really got back to it.  I will return to the fifth book after finishing my current book though - don't you worry.

I've seen a change in my book and movie choices lately, from revolving around chick flicks and rom coms to focusing on more relatable aspects of life - because in case you haven't noticed, there's not a lot of love going on in mine.  Although the majority of the texts we read, hear or see nowadays depict a romantic relationship as the centre of life, I think we need to realise all the other more important individual aspects as well, because friendships and personal feelings are way more complex than what we deem as 'cute couples'.


Even in Paradise - Chelsey Philpot



The second YA (young adult) book I read -I think?- was this one about Charlie, an all girls' private boarding school girl, who falls in with this classic John Green character-type, Julia.  Julia's family is dazzling, larger-than-life, mysterious, adventurous, owns this palatial beach house, and contains her hot brother, Sebastian.

If I remember correctly, Charlie gets so deep into Julia's life that she begins to neglect all her previous friends.  She doesn't seem to care either.  It's like she's dumped them for someone she deems as better and they're not good enough anymore.  In some ways, I feel as if she wanted to be more like Julia, go on adventures like Julia, be rich like Julia, and I also understand how easy it can be to see people who have qualities you wish for, and immediately think they're worth more somehow.  I know it's horrible to neglect your friends, even when there's all those quotes about surrounding yourself with people who are already who you want to be.  I just reckon that while it may be easy to get caught up with certain people, the friends you're close to always deserve all your respect and attention, or at least some sincere apologies if you stuff up.

But then, I read this article today where the writer said something about how as you grow up, you stop seeing your friends in this hierarchy from closest to less-close, and you begin to see them as separate relationships or just influential beings of sorts.  Maybe once I start seeing people as names rather than closeness ratings, all these 'ethical friendship dilemmas' won't apply anymore.

Charlie was also this artsy sculptor character who kept this memory box throughout the whole book.  At the end of the book she uses all the little memory trinkets - sea shells from the beach house, the rock from her first encounter with Julia - to make this sculpture, and I just think that's so cool.  Memories are the most influential things, and turning them into a piece of art would actually represent something real.

There was also this quote: "You don't judge people do you, Charlie?  You just kind of watch them." (p148) and it epitomises how much I liked her character.


13 Reasons Why - Jay Asher



I've read the blurb of this book quite a few times over the last few years, but I never picked it up because I thought it seemed too depressing or boring or not cute enough.  After a friend recommended it though, I thought about it some more and even went through the trouble of buying it rather than borrowing it.  That just goes to show how much other peoples' opinions can impact mine, even though it was definitely worth it.

The book is written in the point of view of Clay, about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves tapes describing the thirteen reasons why she did it.  The reasons go over many different aspects of high school and friendship and respect, and to be honest, I reckon Hannah was incredibly stupid at many points throughout her story and Clay knew it.  It was like she was just searching for reasons to die, instigating them, and then finally acting upon it.

It's crazy how rumours can spread, how they can go from something seemingly innocent to something warped by other peoples' opinions.  The thing is though, when you do something you think honestly won't matter, even when people begin talking about it, it still doesn't really.  People talk about other people and what they do daily as a way of small talk, or as just another conversation.  It doesn't matter to them, but if it's about you or something you're part of, it seems so much bigger than it really is.  And while these may be seemingly meaningless conversations, they still impact how people think of you and your reputation, and therefore how people treat you.

Hannah writes all this 'bad poetry'.  She goes to this garden cafe and writes her feelings in incomprehensible semi-sentences in her notebook.  She talks about how people change for other people, and how daunting it is to sit in the diner where everyone hangs out alone.  One of the people who constitute as a 'reason why' is the publisher of this lost and found zine, filled with the things he finds on scrap pieces of paper people leave lying around the school.  While what he publishes by her isn't right, the idea just seems appealing.


Never Sometimes Always - Adi Alsaid



This one's about an 'artsy' pair who want nothing but to go through high school originally.  As freshmen they write this 'nevers' list of all the cliches they refuse to do throughout high school, and at the end of their senior year they decide to do them all.

I just love the 'artsiness' of it all.  They people-watch on this bench at this beautiful harbour, the girl dyes her hair pink, they take a road trip to watch some indie band (this was actually a cliche), they build a treehouse in the middle of the night at school, they bring cupcakes to a notorious party house, the girl recites an inappropriate slam poem as a joke.

I dog-eared quite a few pages in this book and here are some quotes I'll share from them:

I start thinking about exactly that: how people can edit a thought before sending it out into the world.  They can make themselves seem more well-spoken than they are, or funnier, smarter.  I start thinking that no one in the world is who they say they are, then my mind goes to how I also edit myself, not just online but in real life, except for those real instances like right now where I'm ranting - even though that's a lie because I've had this train of thought before and damned if I didn't tweak it in my head a few times to make it sound better - and then my mind starts racing so furiously I can't control my thoughts, and I start thinking about robots and wondering if I'm even a real person.  Then I have to watch cartoons to shut my brain off. -p81

I know it's weird to even say or think this, but that book has made me who I am... But certain lines felt like they were thoughts I'd had my whole life that just hadn't taken shape until I read them.  'A little better than you found it' is how I see everything now.  Not just the world, but everything.  People, too.  I want people I know to be a little better off than when I found them. -p111

'How's your day been?' Julia always hated the question.  It had always felt to her like a question asked between people with nothing else to say -p236

It was lazy.  Love was lazy as hell.  Love laid around in bed, warm from the sheets and the sun pouring into the room.  Love was too lazy to get up to close the blinds.  Love was too comfortable to get up to go pee.  Love took too many naps, it watched TV, but not really, because it was too busy kissing and napping.  Love was also funny, which somehow made the bed more comfortable -p229


Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin



This is the book I'm currently reading and it's basically about this 17 year old girl who loses her memories from the last 6 years.

It's haunting the way she wonders why she's friends with the people she's friends with.  When she asks her real best friend why she even likes her boyfriend, he tells her honestly that it's because she likes being seen with him, the same way she likes being seen with her 'friends' in the cafeteria, who she realises she doesn't enjoy the company of.  It's crazy how being seen in certain ways can affect how we spend our time, and I'm trying to make my actions more genuine than to have anything to do with reputation.

She's also the co-editor of her school year book, and when she asks her best friend why she likes it, he says it's because the year book is what people refer to in the past and the present.  When you're young, you look at the people in the Yearbook to see who you aspire to be, and when you're older the Yearbook is what you take out to remember that time: the people, the activities, the school year.  So the Yearbook is basically a community memory bank, something people truly do refer to, an impact on reputations and school and the creator of nostalgia.

Reading this made me think of my own failures at becoming the sub-editor (and then editor) of my own school's yearbook, which I found out about earlier this week.  Sure I was disappointed, but at the same time, the girl who did get it deserves the position just as much as me.

...

I reckon we gain so many ideas from reading books without knowing it, and there are also so many books I've read in the past that have had a huge impact on my worldview, and so many I would love to reread to fully appreciate this time round.

I think it's time I got my life sorted out, so that the only problems I have are the ones happening to the characters in my books.

Love,
M

Friday, 6 November 2015

I Feel Unwhole


Today I came to the realisation that I'm separate.  The classroom dynamic has changed drastically since the beginning of this year and I feel as if I've become that annoying person; the second choice, the one left behind, the one to be pitied.  I used to be the ultimate pitier.  It's not very nice being on the other side.

I don't know whether I consciously distanced myself from that group and am only now realising the repercussions.  I don't know whether the inevitable change in friendship dynamics overall have affected their opinion of me.  Either way, I am no longer part of that group, and I no longer have a place in these classes.

I could try making an effort to reinstate myself, but maybe it's not worth it.  I always say that talking to those who you want to talk to at the time is the way to go, but I've found that it's not enough.  Being seen as someone who belongs by those I belong with is what I want, and I may have taken that away from myself.  I may be seen as someone to talk to, but that's not the same thing.

They seem to think I'm friends with people I'm not, and seeing as I'm not friends with a lot of people I'm expected to be friends with, does that mean I don't have enough friends?  I know that when it comes to friends, being able to count them on one hand is meant to be plenty, but I feel so much more drained than I used to be.  I may talk to more people, but I certainly don't have as many people to talk to.

All those people I considered my friends last year, I don't see them as people to save a seat for anymore.  But then, I have a lot of people I consider close this year, and I can't say I've ever considered many people close before.  Maybe my friendships have shifted, and maybe they're an accurate reflection of personalities rather than class streaming.

I just feel so unapproachable.  I feel so rigid and cold-hearted and negative.  I'm untouchable, and that's not a good thing.  My dad is always saying I look like a bulldog, like I always have a purpose to where I'm going, but I don't think I look that way.  I wouldn't even want to somewhat look that way, because no one ever wants to approach the tough bulldog with a purpose.

It's like my personality is dying half the time.  Is it the social anxiety that is killing it?  Or is it the repetitiveness of school, the repetitiveness of people, the repetitiveness of phrases and conversations until every day feels the same, and everything I say becomes robotic.  Maybe I'm unapproachable because I've become boring.

Or maybe I'm not making an effort to be interesting.  But should I be?  Should I feel the need to make an effort?  I know I'm not some kind of 2D being.  If I feel the need to say or do something interesting, I will, but there's no need to make a serious effort.

I'm not the huggable type either.  Occasionally I'll ask for a hug, but I'm not the one they lean on or embrace when they first see me.  I'm not sure if I'd want to be that type anyway.  But why do I seem so unaffectionate?  Is anyone really whole if they don't feel the warm feelings of belongingness and friendship in the gooey sense, symbolised by hugs?

I bet when people think M they think serious, intense, negative, shy.  Or maybe they just don't think of me at all.

Then again, all these thoughts only came about today, and maybe it's all just a phase.  As they say, don't let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.

Love,
M

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Poetry


I've always had the stigma that poetry was all metaphors and analysis, full of flowery words that were a complete waste of time and made no sense.

Yesterday night I was talked into going to this slam poetry reading (I know. How hipster does that make me?) and I found that the poetry wasn't 'poetry' at all.  Each reading felt more like a life rant, rife with metaphors and descriptions, but seemingly full sentences that made sense all the same.  These poems were eloquent, somewhat relatable and absolutely intriguing.  They were like spoken short stories, but extremely personal ones.

I don't think poetry can be said or read or written without being meaningful in some way.  The words are so specific and limited, and I guess the entire purpose of writing poetry is to convey some form of inner emotion or thought that's been eating up your brain.  I can't imagine being one of the girls who stood up in front of the staring eyes, against the backdrop of the pristine bookshelf behind them, sharing something so personal through a beautiful medium.  They were so brave.

...

The first girl I saw spoke of the young being the old.  If I remember correctly, she said We are the young with grey hair.  She spoke about how we are so so stressed, and we drink caffeine, and we have all these issues that the previous generations never seemed to have - or at least that's what I think she was saying.

She spoke about how we comply to the walls the other generations have built around us, and how we need to learn to say no.  I somewhat get this, but maybe you'll get it more than I do?

...

I'm not a humanitarian type, and when it comes to the less fortunate they have a tiny place at the back of my mind, but I don't acknowledge them very often.  I know.  That makes me sound like a terrible person.

This girl recited this poem that sounded like a rap, entitled Welcome to Australia.  At first I thought it would be funny, rife with Australian puns and shrimps on barbies; but it was about the refugees in Syria, yet another neglected and rejected group of people I'd prefer not to acknowledge.  Her poem was so emphasised and intriguing and heartfelt, and I think that's what poetry is meant to be.  She used her writing to send a message of awareness, and maybe I should be more humanitarian than the cold-blooded human I seem to be.

...

The most relatable poem of the night would have to have been The Price of Doing Well At School.  I've been considering the issue of the repetitiveness of school for a long long while now, and it's gotten to the point where I can't believe this is my life.  She spoke of a memorised timetable and how tests are just tests and she knows it, but why does it seem like the make it and break it of life?

Some will become doctors and lawyers and businessmen, and some will just fall.  According to her poem school is an institution where they test sixteen year old girls on how well they cope with anxiety.  Every test was another battle, and it's like these stupid answers and questions are the bane of our existence.

I know I used to feel the same way, where I would measure time and dates by which assessment I had or had already had.  But now I feel nothing but absolute worry at the lack of stress and care I feel for these tests and assignments.  I would never half-heartedly do an assignment, but I don't feel particularly motivated either.  Studying for tests never involves taking those detailed notes anymore.  I use material from class and read the textbook.  I have so much confidence in myself and that will be my eventual downfall.

...

One of my friends recited a last minute poem on anxiety.  It was one big metaphor that finally made sense at the very end, like some kind of mystery novel where the final chapter reveals everything.

As a human being who undoubtedly feels emotion, the idea of having anxiety trapped inside oneself is obscurely relatable.  All those times you're dreading an event, dreading the people you're about to see, anxiously awaiting the encounters you've been imagining in your head; it's like the feeling is trapped and you just. can't. get rid of it.  I tell myself 'normal people do these things' 'normal people would be doing this.  There's no need to be nervous.' but I just am, and I guess that's the only reason I'm ever constantly unhappy.  I'm so busy being anxious about whatever the next event is, whether it be someone one-off or even a weekly activity.

I'm getting better though.  I've been talking myself into realising that there's absolutely nothing to be worried about, because nothing is ever that bad and I'll always be able to talk my way through whatever the event is, no matter how awkward or inferior I may feel.  If I decide I don't want to feel that way, I won't.

...

There was this girl who was so immensely brave who shared a huge piece of her identity.  She was so eloquent and her metaphors were personal perfection and I feel like she could be one of those inspirational speakers or a writer in Rookie or something.

...

Here's the first poem I realised I somewhat liked.  It's from Stuck in Love and yes, I realise that this is the second post in a row where I've mentioned it, but it's a really good movie.  You should watch it.

Anyway, a poem by Rusty:

In the sea of desks
There is talk of bags and games
And long pipes that leak dreams
With the strike of a match.

And there's a loudness to the whispers I hear.
Whispers shouldn't be that loud, should they?

There's a girl over there who everyone knows
And men without ears who will stand at the door
For a price.

And long hallways; there are always angry mobs of dwarves,
and rats

And 
One
Single
Angel.

I mean, I can't say I know exactly what it means - but it just sounds so so nice.

...

Maybe I'll attempt writing some poetry some day.
Or not.

Love,
M