that feeling you get when you just drop everything and collapse on the nearest furniture, not caring that your legs are dangling off the edge and that you’ll fall asleep to dreams of everything that you can remember until you wake up later with fire in your whole body, and you know that sleep is just your way of waiting to wake up to the next best thing, the next adventure.
that night on the beach, cass had pulled me aside and reminded me - sloppily, in her inebriated state - of those oft-quoted words that i probably needed to hear more than ever:
“no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
i don’t think people who haven’t experienced the limits we push to do what we do will ever truly understand our motivations. to them, it’s easily the most nonsensical thing with practical solutions - pathetic, perhaps, in extremes - but i realized that being belittled for being genuine to yourself is quite possibly the saddest and most hurtful thing anyone can inflict upon you.
no one has the right to make you feel guilty or regretful or ashamed for what you’re feeling - to diminish the essential components that make you, you. i used to think that the easiest way was to steel yourself - turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder, live and let live. but i don’t like doing it. i see what it does to people and the lengths they go to keep themselves enclosed. i know first-hand what it does, and many others are familiar with the feeling. keep it up for too long, and it will take years to break them down, if at all.
i don’t want to have to harden my heart so young. the world is too good and too lovely for that.
there’s only one person who knows how i feel - stripped down, unedited, absolute - and that’s me. sometimes when i give advice to others, i always fall back on the one thing i know to be true:
“only you know how you’re feeling.”
i know what feels wrong, what feels right, what hurts, what feels good, what makes me smile or angry or sad, and what confuses me. but i also know what makes sense, i know my boundaries, and i act within my means. all i ask is that people respect that.
how it started:
“do you always joke around this much?” he makes a slow right turn, but he nearly clips a passing bicyclist and curses, widens his eyes as he looks to me in shared, sort of amused mortification about what might have happened.
i scrunch my nose and idly turn my phone over in my hands. we’re approaching the ramp to the freeway, heading home, and i mentally calculate how much longer we have to talk - and if i’m not finished or dissatisfied, would it be okay to ask for a detour?
“yeah,” i say, as we merge with the speeding traffic. “but i don’t really think i like doing it.”
this was the beginning of a rather important (i think) conversation i had last night, and i subsequently used it as an introduction to the initial entry.
i decided i wasn’t really going to post what i wanted to, but here are a few bits from it:
- he and i also discussed how shy i am and how that might be detrimental to nourishing relationships i’ve at least started to form with others.
- my more concrete relationships exist because the people have stuck around long enough for me to get comfortable, which takes a lot of time and constant exposure, but clearly not every relationship made is going to work that way or possess that same amount of patience.
- i don’t know if there’s a sociological science behind this, but the majority of my long-lasting relations are comprised of extroverted individuals.
- i’m largely passive about my interactions with people because i constantly think that i have to wait for some “OK” signal that i can assess as “permission” for me to take initiative and not made to feel weird or insecure about it.
- what it ultimately comes down to is that i’m afraid of losing people - so much that i oftentimes find myself paralyzed from forming bonds with others. it’s essentially a passive way of saying, it’s your call; do whatever you want, leave whenever you want. i don’t want to sound like a cliché, but it’s kind of something i’ve grown accustomed to, so i use the concept of “initiation” as a way to determine whether my presence means anything to another person.
complexes: what ever would i do without them?
as for the whole bit about joking around, it really became more about how i felt towards those who (unknowingly) make me feel like there’s a certain way i can only be around them. and in the bigger picture, i intuit the perceptions people have of me and consequently live up to a designated role, which is why some aspects of my personality are emphasized depending on whose company i’m sharing. to say i’ve lost myself is a bit of an understatement.
preparing myself to mentally unload onto my keyboard as much as i can stand, without regard for making any sense. this is for me, and i have a lot on my mind, and sometimes i don’t know too much about the things that are bothering me. if i have an inkling, i choose to ignore it for fear of what i might find, and that’s always been a problem - this running and running away and always reluctant to come back and properly unravel and sort out my own issues.
there are people i love in my life, and then there are the people i love to tolerate. both groups make bits and pieces of my every day worthwhile. sometimes the least favorable provides the most excitement, in the same way junk food tastes wonderful during a 2 am intoxication binge, in the same way one night stands with strangers make you feel emotionally invincible. but then they hurt you. of course they do. they do things your deer-in-headlights expression can’t even begin to fathom, and you remember why you have the people you love - your healthy moderation, your emotional stability - and even if sometimes you’re unsure of how you measure up, they’re there. they’re always there. okay? okay.
that job. that job you crave and don’t want but want so passionately, so desperately you are willing to lay yourself in front of that opportunity, heart open, neck bared submissively, arms outstretched. the one that can prepare you for the things you’ve desired, like finally living a life in that modern loft in a high-rise or feeding your wanderlust with the sights and smells of exotic cities you only see in world books, in maps, in moving pictures. and here it is, it’s right there, and i can try with nothing to lose except that high-strung desire, and i’m not prepared for that to snap because i’m already imagining what i could do, what i could plan, and developing rich expectations are always the worst.
you know that one person? the one that could choke out a syllable, and you’d find it the most attractive sound you’ve ever heard? that smug smirk that weakens the knees and liquefies the bones and turns you dumber than a fool? one cannot possibly invest all their emotions into that one person and stay sane. but here we are, here i am, losing focus at even the slightest breath and chuckle and movement, and how utterly sad that anything and everything - those tiny shards of uncertainty, of worrying that what you’ve built can be swiped from you by someone better because there’s always somebody better - can puncture that funny and inescapably idealistic fog you’ve created for yourself. it’s why you have that one friend or two, who think you’re hopelessly stupid and depressing but hopeful and yearning for your happiness, that they withstand your ups and downs and let you grieve at your lowest and smile at your highest, give you wisdom that they know you won’t take in this kingdom you’ve built and locked yourself in. and sometimes they’ll do crazy things like text you at three in the morning if you’re awake, just to see how you are, and tell you that people love you and to keep loving hard until you’ve run out of fuel and find it in yourself to treasure someone else just as hard and just as loyal who’ll give back as good as you do.
but you know. you know, that’s always been a problem. me, not making sense, always changing my mind and what i want, what i think i deserve, what i think i’m capable of, and settling. or not settling. because frankly, sometimes “decent,” “okay,” “nice,” “average” is better and might even be better than best.
and then there’s me and i have no idea where to start because i feel directionless and yet pulled in all these directions. i have the world at my feet, and people tell you it’s up to you to create the life you want to live, which is much easier for an ambition that isn’t chained to comfort. i’ve unfortunately let it idle, and it’s like trying to rev up a dead engine in the middle of nowhere, so i wander those straight roads until someone stops beside me, and i can ride off of their aspirations, addicted to their future goals and wanting to replicate it over and over like that surge of ecstasy and the inevitable crash that follows. and despite how bad the experience, you recreate and recreate because it’s the only thing that makes you feel alive and there was good. there was definitely good, and that’s always the best part, you know?
there are things, ideas, and people that i want and need, and it’s a feeling so interchangeable i’ve mixed them up permanently. maybe it’s okay. it’s fine. i don’t know. one day, amusingly and shockingly, i might be able to separate my wants and needs, learn them from the inside out, and look back on this with conviction on what’s remained constant.
i am in a constant state of movement.
i don’t mean that in the physical sense, but i’ve always had this sense of urgency and panic and this resistance towards “sitting still,” despite catching myself in those little limbos, but it’s very uncomfortable. i think it’s a mind thing, an awareness of being or what-have-you - or maybe it’s bred from this innate anxiety i have. i will always find something to dislike, or i’ll give myself reasons why so-and-so isn’t satisfactory enough.
“how are you?”
my default answers to questions about my lifestyle is almost always the equivalent of “fine.” it’s not unhappiness; i just never feel quite settled. the same thing happens when people ask me what i want to do with my life. hell if i know. i want to do everything. i am content doing the boring, repetitive jobs; i am content doing busy, exciting jobs. it’s all so in-between, though, and kind of irritating.
i guess i’m a little wayward. and i’m trying to put a leash on that, but if today is of any indication, it’s a good thing i’m like this.
on the other hand, i hate when i’m forced into a position where i have to act sooner than i have to.
i finally took some pictures of my room as it was being set up (with 100% help from friends because i am apparently a useless fool in anything that concerns tools and manual labor), but because it’s unfinished i refuse to post anything. i’m still in the middle of cleaning, setting things up, and decorating (though this is far less a priority at the moment in terms of spending), and it’s true what they say about moving being a huge stressor.
however, during this process of cleaning and organizing, i’ve since allowed my inner compulsive cathy to wreak organized havoc. i was never really like this when i lived at my former (weird) home, and i feel a lot of that has to do with the fact that i never felt anything belonged to me. i don’t know, i think i’m some kind of control freak within my personal bubble, or like i need those feelings of mine-mine-mine to justify action (silly, but i think this is deep-rooted). anyway, the point of this was really just to say that i hate dirty things, dirty spaces. mind you, this doesn’t include clutter. i understand organization in clutter (if it’s within reason), but dirt and dust and just - blah, just blah.
there are things i do have to settle with, but it’s currently minor what with the extreme sessions of de-germing i did this morning. i also need a mattress, which i will be hunting for today.
other than that, though, it’s somewhat satisfying. but i’ll also say that all the feelings i’ve been suppressing lately are slowly starting to take form, and i’m dreading them.
this post is mostly for me. a lot of it is valuable to me. it should be private, but i found that i have to go rummaging through my virtual shelf if i want to access it, so this is my only option. i can’t stop people from reading what’s below the cut, but this is something that is wholeheartedly personal. and to you: seriously, no pressure, but come back to the states, please. also, thank you. ♥
how is it that people who know they’re bad for each other keep coming back for one another? that they insist there’s something left to be salvaged?
i mean, this is hilariously ironic, given my ignorance for the same problem. it’s just easier to see it in other people and call it out for what it is instead of doing the same for your own. i should probably keep this in mind the next time i ruminate over my to-be-shipwrecked relationships and wonder why my friends demand why i bother to sustain them.
(i like to think i’m addicted to longevity or loyalty and that there’s something good waiting on the other side if i stick it out. right?)
the problem with pushing things off to “deal with later” is that whatever they are will come rushing towards you ten-fold when you least expect it. but my main thing is that i let other unrelated things pile on top of it, and it’s like shoving a bunch of useless junk into the closet until it can hold no more, and everything comes tumbling out. so i know what’s going to happen, but the feeling still feels unexpected when it actually does.
i felt so overwhelmed by the time i got home late this afternoon that when my mom spoke up (who, earlier today, was one source of my stress), the tears just started falling, and i had to run upstairs because i didn’t want her to see me in this state.
i want to be able to talk to someone about this stuff without having to condense it so that it seems unimportant. i always feel like i have to trivialize the internal conflicts i experience because i think no one’s going to understand, or that all they have to offer is a nod, as if to say, “i hear you” but it still leaves you wondering if they really get it at all.
it’s not that i’m ungrateful for the advice i do get from my friends. but sometimes i wish i had somebody a lot older with a lot more experience that i could talk to about this sort of thing. as it is, i’m left to my own devices, and i rarely ever make myself feel better about stuff. it just seems like i make them worse or more complicated than they could be.
a couple of weeks ago, i bought this mini journal of sorts with an image from le petit prince on the cover. it’s a cute thing and, to confirm what i told my friend, is currently sitting unused in my bag. it’s not that i don’t want to use it, but i don’t want to ruin it with silly things. and if i do write in it, whatever i write is inevitably going to shift to personal reflections and just - it’s strange to carry my thoughts around like that with me. like those i least want to see it can just pull it out and curl up in whatever secrets and vulnerabilities i have, and who wants that?
but i have been thinking, and it would be nice if i started. just to get something going, you know? last night, i spent a good four hours staring into the darkness of my room and closing my eyes to whatever music was playing at the time. so a lot of my private thoughts are now gone, and i can only retrieve some of them as i’ve forgotten the rest. it’s a little sad because i feel like i need all those details to put things into a better perspective.
i’m - as my friend would say, i’m in a terrifying place of limbo right now. it’s unfamiliar territory, and i’m not entirely sure how to cope with this vast space of nothingness and uncertainty. it’s unbearably suffocating. every time i feel like i’m scraping the surface and getting over everything, something happens and it’s like i’m pulled twenty feet under again.
it’s getting exhausting.