We Are Like Time and Other Things I’ve Got on My Mind

He asked me what I did and I said I didn’t know. He said I had plenty of time to decide. I said I’d been here too many times before.

I would like to play a game in a circle of friends, in which everyone writes down what they love and hate about themselves on a piece of paper, and then what they love about everyone else. I would like to see the surprised faces.

Just when I’m feeling like an ugly itchy sweater, someone I kind of knew a long time ago messages me with an article from the New Yorker. Thought of you! The truth is you never know who is thinking about you or how others think about you. The truth is that the more I see myself through my friends’ eyes, the more I like  myself.

It occurred to me the other day, how ironic it is that I miss who I used to be, seeing as I did everything I could not to be her. It makes me sad. Maybe I wasn’t so bad after all. But I’ve already changed. And you can only change into something else, never into what you were, because you can’t unknow or unsee of unfeel. We are like time.

The more comfortable I get with my body, the fatter I get. It still feels wrong. I still have dreams of thinness.

I look at photos taken in my early twenties and I look so slim and fresh and sweet and I wonder what the hell I hated so much.

My desires are splitting me in half. My life is King Solomon and the baby with the baby going to neither mother. Half of me wants to get a charming little apartment and my own plates and to frequent antique markets and to get a cushy 9-to-5 and play trivia on Mondays. That half wants a local bar and a group of friends who all know each other. It is tired of dating and just wants to meet a good, charming, funny man with whom to bicker. It wants a manicurist who knows me by name and a cupboard stock-full of spices. It wants to stop scrimping all the fucking time. Even as I write this, I am convinced that this is what I want, for sure, no doubt, 100%.

And yet.

There is the other half that remembers how free I felt in India. How being on the road is when I feel most comfortable with myself. There is the half that thinks getting a manicure is irresponsible when there are people who don’t have enough to eat. That half of me that doesn’t want to live for the weekend or be trapped by owning things. It wants to fight the traditional definition of success, make a career out of wholesomeness and soulfulness. It wants to let go of materialism, to roll up its sleeves and help in a real way, not just by boycotting companies that test on animals or posting articles about sexism on Facebook. That half doesn’t think it’s lived in enough countries or had enough love affairs. Even as I write this, I am convinced that this is what I want, for sure, no doubt, 100%.

The thing is, the best I will ever have is an almost home. Everyone always talks about how exquisite and exotic it is to go to international school and have lives and friends all over the world. I rose-tint that life myself. I boast that my best friends live in Athens, London and Budapest. I joke about being a nomad. I excuse my lack of commitment in career and relationship. But no one talks about how to be international is to be alone. No one talks about the grief in the understanding that no matter where you live, most of your favourite people will be somewhere else. No one talks about how you’re always going to be missing out something. No one talks about how you leave a little bit of home everywhere you move so that, eventually, you don’t know where home actually is. And so you just keep on moving, keep finding new people to love and miss so you don’t have to think about how you already love and miss, keep haha-ing about having too much air inside you.

Somehow I know I will never be lonely again. Maybe I hit capacity in my twenties.

Current mantras: I am safe. I am loved. I am powerful.

I feel better than I did when I started writing this post.

Advertisements

thoughts on a berlin morning

we sat by the canal drinking beer and eating blueberries, talking about the things we usually talk about, noticing the ways we’ve changed. there is grey in our hair.

i am sitting by a big window in an apartment with high ceilings in berlin. i have already written this but i lost it somehow and i cried before i tried to remember. berlin is very german. things it seems to have a lot of: smokers, italians, wheelchairs. things it has few of: smiles, sunshine, good wine.

it’s in the lingering fingers. running through my hair like water. pressing the bone at the back of my neck like a button. i am liking these moments because there is no directionanxiety. his fingers and my skin are not exclusive. i like the way i’m skimming from boy to boy, collecting lovers like souvenirs. there is more freedom is belonging to several than belonging to one.

when his fingers found the crescent line of my jaw, i threw an arm over my eyes and rolled over, leaving a hand still in his. because there was too much sunlight and it seems that i am still scared of being seen. perhaps this is why my mood ripens at night. i am brave in the dark.

a she from a long time ago invited me out clubbing last night but i couldn’t be bothered to deal with the anxiety of the unknown. i might regret the no because i’m almost thirty and when will i get the chance to go clubbing in berlin again? but i have regretted many things and none of them have broken me. we stayed in, drinking organic red wine and watching youtube videos. when i went to sleep at four am, they seemed bemused.

a someone is playing the piano is the apartment across the courtyard. the sky is still. the sun has ripped through after a grey morning. there is a smell of cheap cigarettes. and also croissants.