The Privilege of Permanence

Living out of a suitcase seems like a dream to a lot of people. Oh, the adventures that await, right?

There are those who choose to take life by the horns and travel the world, carrying nothing but one suitcase, city to city. And then there are people who never stop looking for something to hold on to, somewhere to belong. When you go on vacation, you know you’re going home after. When you move into a new house, you know that this is your next big step forward, that this is where you are and where you are going to be for the foreseeable future. But living the way I have has wrecked me. It’s like a race car not having a pit stop, just driving ’round and ’round until you run out of fuel or crash. I have both run out of fuel and crashed, multiple times. And with no home base for a pit stop, I have no chance of repair.

Perhaps, I’ve played too much at dress up and I can’t get out of the costume anymore. The game face is now broken, I no longer know how to fake it.

I took for granted what it was like to have your very own space, where “home” actually stood for something. I had the privilege of permanence. Nowadays, every place is only a substitute for whatever is next, and then that is only temporary until the next place. I haven’t fully unpacked my bags in two years. But the sad thing is that I haven’t gone anywhere either.

Surely I’ve learnt something in all this time. If I have, then I don’t know what that is yet. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll miss this. Maybe I’ll miss never standing still long enough to taste the air or to see the sun set.

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You never fail to make me feel worse,
tell me stories about your own great character
and how you conquered all that stood before you
despite circumstances, despite having us, having me.

Don’t forget to rush my pain out the window,
tell me how it just does not measure up,
and then gather all the reasons that
my suffering cannot be real, for you have seen worse.

Count all the times you have been wronged
and remember all the times you have gallantly stood strong
because you have no bitterness to spare
since you preach a peace that you have failed to teach me.

Remind me that I have brought this upon myself
and all my ugliness too, only worsened by tears,
say you cannot help, as little as you want to,
so just wish me well and send me away once again

I can only hope to accomplish half of what you expect
for my heart is not as strong in adversity
as you claim yours to be for
unfortunately, like mother is not like daughter.

RE: This Blog

 

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to decide what this blog would be for. I still haven’t decided. I’m torn between using this as a platform for my writing but, at the same time, I feel like I should just give it all up. My writing can be incredibly personal because that’s just how I write. So where do I draw the line between personal writing and writing that’s personal? I think there is a difference. Or at least there should be.

There are parts of me that I hold back, out of instinct or out of fear–or the instinct of fear. Writing here reveals those parts of me that I haven’t quite been able to reconcile with the parts that the world sees. Some of my friends know this about me, I don’t know what to call it, I can be… closed off. And, sometimes, I wish I wasn’t. There are people I’ve hurt because of this and people I’ve missed out on and I bet there are still people I’ll hurt or miss out on in the future. But, hey, I’m human.

I’m not the same as I was last year, or the year before that. And, thank god, I’m not the same as I was five years ago. Or maybe not thank god, I still haven’t decided that either. Three years ago, I thought I was going through a transformation in my life where I finally learnt how to give in to people, people who I really cared for. And after that, it would be great, rainbows and sunshine! But it wasn’t. I’m still transforming, it’s not over.

So, I want to write here because I need to. And this will be where I remember things about myself and gather up bits I’ve lost while getting to where I am today, the parts I miss, maybe new parts too. Perhaps I’ll discard the parts I don’t need, the parts I would rather do without. But it’s nice to have someone to walk the journey with, even if that someone is just another part of myself.

I want my time back

I have this list. It’s a list of all the things I want to do (and accomplish) and I find myself lost and fumbling for a way around it.

My life has become a staccato of efforts, split up and distributed throughout the days, weeks and months. And I think I hate it. I don’t remember the last time I read a book for the sake of reading it. I have to find snippets of time here and there, standing at the bus stop or in between cooking and cleaning and sleeping, just to read. I haven’t understood what not having enough time meant until now.

It’s not that I don’t have the time, I don’t have it in the right places or in the right amounts. I want my time back. And I want it in large, undisturbed chunks that I can dedicate to doing one thing at a time, and doing it with my entire being. Instead, it’s an inconvenience.

I remember, in high school, when I used to spend hours in the darkroom. I would end up not seeing the sun for a whole three hours every Wednesday afternoon and I loved it. I could withdraw into this small room and be content, take a breath; only chemicals, paper and my photographs.

I think I just miss working on something and getting it done. To pour your energy into something and only stop when you feel you want to–it’s a luxury. I’m restless. Because I’m operating on short snippets of time to myself and time to work on things I want, I end up flustered and lost because it’s just not enough.

I wish I didn’t have to pace every minute of every day of my life. I need some freedom. I need to know that I have that control. I need a holiday.

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?

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