Where does it come from and where does it go?

I am delving into what the world is made of and what I find frightens me; but I am too ashamed to turn back.

Besides the fact that I have my head brimming with thoughts and my soul tense with emotions about ethics and conscious living and the consumer lifestyle right now, I can’t organise myself to write about a single topic. So, here goes.

In the beginning, I was a lost soul in more ways than I could understand; I kind of still am. It all started when I decided to invite minimalism into my life. Before that, my sister had been living out of a minimalist wardrobe for a quite a while already and was a huge advocate of “less stuff” in general and I had always been reluctant, thinking “But how will I ever function without my [insert some random wardrobe piece here]”.

Now that I’ve actually had more time made an effort to find out more about minimalism, it’s become more appealing to me and is starting to sound like the only kind of life that makes sense. All this thanks to my sister, The Minimalists and Into Mind. Fast forward passed all the articles about style, fashion and the minimalist wardrobe and I’ve stumbled upon ethics. More specifically, ethical fashion. Read more about that here and here.

Parallel to my pursuit of less stuff was my pursuit of less me, physically. While Nerd Fitness made its debut in my life before minimalism, I only recently got sucked into the rabbit hole of asking “why, food?”. Trying to lose weight led me to trying to heal my body image which lead me to trying to fix my relationship with food which led me to trying to understand food. I read about Health At Every Size and read about the Paleo lifestyle and I’m still trying to sort it all out in my head, let alone trying to figure out how to move forward with all this new information.

So what does all of this have to do with anything? I’ll tell you: everything.

I am so, for lack of a better word, angry. I’ve slowly become more conscious of my presence in the world and I’m frustrated that I don’t have a guide to tell me what to do and how to fix it.

Simply asking, “Where does it come from and where does it go?”, has sent me spiralling out in a panic because the answer is always “I don’t know”. Who made the clothes you’re wearing? Is the cotton from Uzbekistan, picked by people who are forced into labour? Does the person who put together the shoes I’m wearing get enough to eat, time to rest and sleep? Does the factory that made the iPad I want to buy respect the rights of its employees? Where does garbage go to die? Can that to-go coffee cup be recycled? What about that sheet my burger was wrapped in? Is my burger even made of real beef? Was that cow healthy?

I am paralysed by the fact that merely existing is costing this earth and its inhabitants. Damn right I feel guilty. And so should you. But, where to go from here?

“I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.” – Buddha

Let my lungs never forget its love of air

Let my heart never forget the relief of healing

Let my skin never forget how to dance in the sunlight

Let my lips never forget the taste of home

And the peace it brings.

Tips for Curvy Girls

1. Read beauty magazines and online articles and all those “curvy girl” style tips

And then promptly realise that you’ve been wearing everything wrong and your wardrobe is filled with all the wrong things.

2. Go through said wardrobe and attempt to put something together that all them fashion editors agree with

Once you’ve found an outfit suitable to be worn in public, feel proud and look forward to strutting your stuff.

3. Wear compiled outfit and break the f*** down

Once you’re done with that, think about what you’re doing with your life. You are not fat, you have fat, and who the hell are you trying to please by trying to hide it?

4. Start to feel good and you will also start to look good

Denial isn’t just a river in Africa. Don’t do things that make you unhappy. Don’t pretend you’re happy when you’re not. Don’t pretend that your life is over when it’s not. Don’t try convincing anyone that you’re going to change your life when you’re not convinced yourself, you’re only holding yourself back.

the people here
are empty to me
they do not have my trust
or care
and I can’t help but stifle
all the breath from my lungs
at times
I make myself
into nothing
and wish I didn’t feel
so impatient with the pain
and I fear
that I’ll be leaving here soon
empty too

I would love him

When I found him he was simply a stranger.
Soon after, I found him as friend but stranger still.
And, without realising it, I began to love him quietly, as strangers love on a long train ride, I filled in the gaps in his story and loved him more for being incomplete.
He was a landscape with colours not yet painted in.
And when I told him that I longed to be his muse, he laughed and said, “I know.”
I laughed, too, because it was funny how I could so easily absolve him of any wrong-doing against me or my heart.
But “I know” is not the same as “me too” or “I’m honoured” or “you’re too kind” or even “thank you”.
I left with my head and my heart full of him, as sure that he would never love me as I was sure I would love him still.

Daily Prompt: Third Rate Romance

Under Construction

Her body is a home under construction, empty walls, dry pools and plastic covering the carpets.

The cold had never been so comforting, humming quiet tunes and lullabies. But the air is clouded, as though the walls were crying, too.

Her heart was the heat, slowly dying and losing power.

Daily Post Challenge: Fifty

Introverted Loving

I can hardly express how much love I have for my friends. Sometimes, it trickles out and you see it in the smallest of ways, if you’re careful to look. I love them quietly and consistently and sometimes I don’t realise it until it’s too late. My allegiance, once formed, can rarely be swayed.

When I was in high school, your friends were the people you spent the most time with and sometimes the only reason you became friends, and stayed friends, was the fact that you had to see each other every day and do homework together and sit next to each other and just be present in each others’ lives.

I could probably count my close friends on two hands. But to count the number of people I would gladly answer late night calls for and console in a time of grief or defend their good name for, I don’t have enough appendages for that. I think, subconsciously, I make a trade: if you add goodness to my life, you’ll have my care. It’s hard to explain.

I don’t know how I make friends. There are ones I don’t remember being apart from and ones that I grew with and then there are the ones that made a lot of noise. The loud ones are the ones I really can’t explain. They came into my life, breaking down doors and turning up all the neatly arranged traps and fail-safes and cautions. They were bashful and forward and honest and I was spellbound. I still am.

Here’s an anecdote:
I met a friend of mine and his best friend for lunch one day. And even though this was the second time I was meeting this best friend, he was still more stranger than acquaintance. So we chat over lunch and eat pasta and drink soda and, between all this, these two pick food off my plate. This was a complete and utter crossing of boundaries and so unacceptable. But I didn’t care because they were funny and open and honest and had me in stitches half the time anyway. The fact that they were comfortable enough to tease and eat my food and, later, invite me for movies, was enough to skip the mandatory pending-friendship phase that I put everyone through.

I don’t know about you but I don’t get to make “fast-friends” often, or at all, and when it does happen it’s because there was so much goodness there and I wanted in. And I never want to have to let go.

Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends?

If I could turn back time

Daily Prompt: If I could turn back time

If I could turn back time, I would spend every reborn hour determinedly loving you. There is nothing I miss more than the chance I had to wile away the days with you, to show you how much I cared–and still care–about you.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching My Mad Fat Diary and it’s a little scary to relate to a character so wholly but at the same time realise what you missed out on. My highschool days and some days after were filled with so much goodness–good friends. If I could turn back time, I would want to do it all over again, but instead fill those moments with a little more of myself.

I’d like to think I know myself better now than I did before and so I can say that I trust myself better, too. There are people I wish I could have spent more time with because they were there for me through all the darkness and they’re here with me now, even though not really. There are people who I never got to know as well as I want to now because I never saw how much they cared about me just for being me.

It’s scary what time can do. It strips away all pretences and you finally see what you were hiding behind. It reminds you of what you did wrong and it teaches you that you cannot, in fact, go back.

If I could turn back time, I would spend more of it in love with the right people. Picnics and lunches and movies and I would have one less thing to regret right now.

Obligatory Nomad

Most people will believe that the opportunity of living someplace different every four months is nothing short of an adventure, others will disagree. I disagree. Being uprooted every four months, every time I’m starting to get comfortable again, has detached me physically, mentally and emotionally from everything I know to be familiar. I hardly recognise myself sometimes.

Don’t think, even for a second, that I don’t realise the opportunity I have been given. Even with all that I have to deal with, I know the life I live is one that isn’t easy to come by. It is rare and it is blessed. Forgive me if you feel I am undeserving of it, I wouldn’t argue that I am not.

But it’s the end of my first work term. I’ve lived alone in the core of downtown Toronto for the past three months and I can’t honestly say that I’ve made the most of it. I can’t even say that I’ve tried. It’s as though I don’t know how to multi-task my life right now, I haven’t quite mastered that skill. On the one hand, I’m living on my own in a new country, a new city, no friends within a sociable distance and starting work at the first job I’ve ever had. On the other hand, I’m holding on to my family and my friends and myself as I know myself to be. And between all of this, I’m trying to do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do, become the person I’m supposed to be and take a hold of the opportunity thrust upon me as any youth of 18 is expected to.

So, I crumbled. Under all of this, I could barely function. I took on so many things at once and managed to accomplish nothing but my own destruction.

But thank goodness for friends.

Here’s a little known, less shared, fact: after losing yourself and falling apart, when you pick yourself up and put yourself back together, you’re allowed to leave out all bits you don’t want back. If I ever want those pieces back, I’ll know where to find them. At least, right now, I know where I am and what the next step is. What comes after isn’t set in stone and worrying about it now doesn’t help.

That’s what’s so great about the future: you can always change it.

I’ll be moving back into residence in the beginning of May. That should be some kind of comfort–a twisted comfort in that I’ll know what to expect from myself and the mistakes I’ll have to stop myself from making again. But it’s still no place that I can call home. Home is far away and ever-changing and all I can do is hope that I can always call it that, no matter how different things are when we meet again.

It is my home. And it will be again one day.

Every four months will be different. This is both a gift and a curse. But I hope I’ll learn how to make myself happy, despite circumstances, however disagreeable or fortunate they may seem.