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.

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Annual Questionnaire #5

What was 2013 for you?

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I became fully financially independent. I tried anti-depressants. I bought a Christmas tree. I became a master of the raw brownie.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last Year’s Happiness Project lasted maybe a month.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, we’ve added spunky Ayrton to the brood! And a whole bunch of peers gave birth to some spawn which makes me feel very adult.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. Sad face.

6. What would you like to have had in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

I want to improve my willpower. And take of myself more.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

March 12th: I did what I said I would never do again- get a job at Zara. But shit, I’m so glad I did. The women I work with are warm and kind and funny. Work is a constant stream of laughs and hugs.
April 25th. Full moon: the night we became official; the night I met people I knew would change my life.
September 14th: something happened that completely challenged the way I view love and relationships.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Remembering that I am a fighter and a survivor, no matter how often I have felt weak. I am strong just because I keep going. Practising the art of gratitude and embracing the way its impacted my life.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Letting myself be walked over in the name of love. Giving too much without taking care of myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, though I have been suffering from mild, temporary headaches and/or fevers all year. I wonder what Louise Hay has to say about that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A massive wooden trunk with ships carved all over it. Another ticket to Bali.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

The divine souls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting that are dotted around the globe, too far from me. The sweethearts at work that are always there with a smile and a hug. The free spirits I have met that constantly challenge the way that I think. And my mother, always my mother, with her wit and wisdom, who doesn’t judge, and, in her words, will always tell me when I’m being a little bitch.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I don’t hold on to anyone’s negative behaviour. When someone acts in a way that I do not like, they are teaching me how not to be.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent. Coffee. Savers.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Falling in love. Meeting wonderful people who get me and have already taught me so much about life, about love, about myself. The full moon, every month.

16. What song will always remind of you 2012?

17. Compared to this time last year, are:

a)happier or sadder? 

b)thinner or fatter? 

c) richer or poorer?

Happier.
Thinner.
Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Been more assertive. Met more people, listened to their stories. I wish I’d travelled more. I wish I’d felt more beautiful more often.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Been less scared. Cried less. Panicked less. Had less tantrums!

20. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes. I love a beautiful, stubborn, dignified Latin boy in a way I’ve never loved anyone before: quiet, doubtless, clear. We fell together, the odd couple. A complicated animal of a relationship. But what a gentle, constant voice of love. I have learnt so much about myself as a lover and have been inspired to be a better person in general.

21. What was your favourite TV program?

Misfits. But I literally discovered it today, on December 30th.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

23. What was the best book you read? 

The Lover by Marguerite Duras.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Really getting into Erykah Badu.

25. What did you want and get?

I wanted love and I got it. I wanted to be myself again and I am. I wanted to feel like Melbourne was my home and it is.

26. What did you want and not get?

Distinctions on all my subjects. But then,  perhaps I should have studied harder. I also wanted to lose some weight.

27. What was your favourite film of this year?

I don’t really watch movies. City of God isn’t my favourite, that’s for sure. It scared the shit out of me!

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday was almost a year ago so it’s tough to remember. I went to a rooftop bar and invited a bunch of random people. I was pretty and tipsy so it was good. I wore a large lime flower necklace made out of shells.

29. How you would describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

All-stars, boyfriend jumpers and bindhis.

30. What kept you sane?

Connecting with lots of wonderful, weird people. Writing. The idea of perseverance. Awakening.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

NATHAN FROM THE MISFITS.

32. Who did you miss?

People in Athens in London in Wales  in Budapest in Miami in LA in Sydney in Minnesota in Nova Scotia

33. Who was the best new person you met?

M.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

That people can love you but only you can save you. That loving others isn’t enough; if you don’t love yourself, you will suffer constantly. That falling in love is overwhelming no matter how many times you’ve done it before.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

No.