When You Don’t Always Recognize Yourself

Perhaps it means nothing to you. You’ve learned to be okay with it and you no longer fight. You were never an outwardly passionate person to begin with, but you did believe in stuff. It made you who you are. Your mother called you a fairytale baby; a firm believer in faeries and magic and bubbles. But at the same time you knew where the stories ended and where reality began. You also understood that reality was a fluid concept; everyone was entitled to their own version of it. Perhaps that is what made you so good at weaving stories. Grand sentences and beautiful tales conjured up late at night to help your younger sister sleep. You saw the sparkle in her eye, the excited questions, that satisfied drowsy smile at the end of it. And the next day you could do it all over again.

People thought you were a bubbly person, you knew otherwise. Your mother feared you lived in a land of fairytales and would end up being hurt by the Big Bad World. Again, you knew otherwise. You weaved stories and so knew it wasn’t real. You told of happy endings and castles while being painfully aware of suicides and abrupt ends. You were rooted in reality while still having the privilege of floating away from it from time to time. You knew all the ways things could go wrong but believed in all the times they won’t. You had beliefs and ideals and the occasional pretty bubble. You fought for people, for those beliefs. Fought against the concept of evil and its incidence. You believed people to be fundamentally good, no matter how naive others thought that made you.

Nowadays you tell friends that people are selfish. You don’t truly believe that, you know you don’t, but you say it anyway. Because it’s the smart thing to do. Terrible things happen in the world making it a terrible place filled with terrible people. You’ve met a few. You’ve met truly evil people who made your blood crawl and your eyes fill up in despair because you couldn’t bear the level of hatred you felt for that human being. You never believed in the concept of hate. And for a while, after meeting them and finding out the horrible things they’ve thought, you forgave them. Or you simply didn’t believe anybody capable of such thoughts. You’ve accepted it now. And so you tell your friends that people are selfish and mean. You don’t believe that. But you’re okay with saying it, because that is who you are now. You have fewer beliefs than you did before. You haven’t made up a bedtime story for your younger sister for a long while now. Her eyes still sparkle and you look at it and pray to God that never goes away. Your mother says she’s a fairytale baby too, just like her oldest sister. And you see it. You see it in the way she looks up at the night sky with you on the days you come out of your room, in the way she flips her pretend hair this way and that and talks in a strange language, in the way she treats her toys like they’re actual living beings—in the way she believes them to be actual living beings. In the way she believes in magic while still being able to question the absurd. You’ve gotten rusty at telling her about fairies and you realize she doesn’t believe in half the things she used to. When you told her stories. You look at that and think maybe it’s a good thing.

Perhaps it meant nothing to you. The stories and the belief and the magic. Maybe you feel silly talking about spells and fantasies. And maybe that’s what’s killing you. You can’t write stories anymore. You haven’t in a long while. Not happy ones anyway. You write of sick mothers and poetic deaths. You tell yourself that’s what you should be writing anyway because it’s the best kind of beautiful there is: tragic and grown up. You’re a sham.

You believe in people being fundamentally good and you believe in fairies in the garden. Or maybe you actually don’t. Maybe it truly means nothing to you and you’ve actually changed. Its why you can’t write stories. Not ones you love.

Magic never denies its evil side. There are witches and hags and greedy giants. You fight it with the good. You’ve learned to simply be. And you hate yourself for it.

Yours Truly,

sign-off

Advertisements

Egad.

And maybe that’s how it works. Bit by bit. Settling in and cutting deep—but blunt so you think its just a tiny dent, a groove, harmless. And there it sits. And there it cuts. Barely noticeable, for now.

And you hum and you sing and you go about with your daily grin, and that’s that.

Until it’s late at night and you’ve been alone for too long. Thought it all out for too long, but still you hum, and still you sing and still there it is, your daily grin. Strained maybe, but practised long enough to not remain that way for long. And you wonder how no one else sees it; how they don’t notice it cutting in deeper and deeper in you, hollowing you out. It’s obvious to you; can’t they see it in the eyes? In the daily grin, strained and perfect for too long? In the drastic, rapid oscillations between the too-good-to-be-true bubbly to the quiet, smiling still?

And always the hum, and always the dull throb of it digging deeper, scooping out another part of you and flinging it to the wind and settling in inside the new, shiny hollow. And always, that daily grin.

Wrong

Smile–not right. A little

to the left? Deeper on the right.

And they cast shadows on her face

where there had been none.


That dent again, tiny, insignificant,

Another shadow, another wrinkle,

Another blemish where she could

Afford for there to be none.


Easy enough, for most.

Slight tightening of the muscle.

But not right, no, not hers.

A little to the left and deeper on the right.

And there, again, a shadow.

Where there was supposed to be none.


And so it goes, and on it goes,

A broken merry-go-round no one boards.

I Spiral, Therefore I Am.

I wish I could be as eloquent about the whole thing as Sylvia Plath  or Stephen Czochywatshisname but I know that’s not happening so I’m not even going to try.

Instead let’s focus on the happy:

I discovered my sister cheats at scrabble today. When I confronted her about it she threw a word tile at me (her chosen mode of communicating that she was no longer going to spend the afternoon placing plastic pieces on a cardboard square) and huffed away to complain about me with Kid #4 who, in turn, had just had a fight with Kid #3. Both of them spent a very pleasant hour listing the shortcomings of elder siblings while Kid #3 and I continued with whatever it was that we were doing, blissfully unaware of the curses being cast at us.

We just played the Game of LIFE and I may or may not have had a mini breakdown somewhere in there. But we’re going to conveniently move past that to the bey-blade battle Kid #4 and I had. He won. I have never known such shame.

We have also recently acquired a plastic tent-playhouse or whatever it is that its called. It was fun assembling it with the cool pre-rain air blowing in.

I have forgotten the art of making conversation now so I think I’ll just go. I apologize for the pathetic-ness of it all.

Sorryaboutwastingyourtimeokaybye!

Yours Truly,

sign-off

Because I Said So and Other Crappy Titles

The tea I’m drinking seems to be all sugar. But I drink it anyway because even though it is sickeningly sweet, it is still hot and this is one of those days and I need a hot beverage. Its soothing—even if the excess sugar leaves too much of an aftertaste. I’m having such horrible mood swings. And I’m too blah. I’m always blah, but not as much as right now.

And I was so happy today. There wasn’t any reason for it, I just was. And now I’m not and I’m sick, but in a not-sick-but-still-sick way. The pre-sickness-sick I call it, where my body is just starting to shut down and my mind is only just getting drowsy. I suppose I’ll be proper sick in 2 days. Such a wimp. Me that is, not you. You’re nice with your enviously good, strong immune system which is destroying all antigens like a boss with its B and T cells.

Slaaaaaaaayyyy

I just gave the ‘because I said so’ reason to my brother. I have a brother, by the way. He’s young—younger. About 4. Why don’t I know his exact age? I swear I normally do. But I don’t right now. Anyway he asked me why he shouldn’t wear his shoes on the bed and I said, “Because I said so.”—the pre-sick-sickyness is messing with my patience and reasoning capabilities. I could’ve told him his shoes are dirty and that it’ll make the bed dirty too, or that it’s common courtesy to take your shoes off at the door. But no. Instead: because I said so.

Everyone is going out to dinner. I’m not. Because I said so. All right, I’m not insolent or inconsiderate enough to say that to my mother. I’m just drained. Drained and tired and PSS-inflicted (PSS: pre-sickness-sick, FYI). Not to mention I have an English assignment to do. I’m missing out on good food, though. And if it weren’t for the PSS, I wouldn’t have minded going and just staying up later to finish the homework, because food. The aunty makes good food and she’s nice and her grandkid is the cutest kid I’ve ever met (after my younger brother and sister, of course). But I’m home. Because I said so.

Am I even making sense? I seem very disjointed to me. I was happy and now PSS. So blah much tired.

I haven’t written a story in ages.  I drank all of my tea

I believe in God. I don’t know why I said that right now. As long as we’re getting to know each other, I figured why not? (Not that I ever leave you any time to say anything about yourself here—and no, not ‘cause this is my blog—turf—I’m like that in real life too. Just jabberjabberjabber)

I’m pukish. I’m such a brat when I’m sick/near-sick.  I’m not used to being sick. I don’t handle it well. My skin’s peeling off of my fingers. Does anyone else feel inadequate when their skin is peeling off? Half-done and faulty? Not in a broad, philosophical sense, but in an everyday sort of way.

I have a hair on my knuckle. A singular strand of hair—tiny, disappears completely some days and comes back when I’m not doing so well to kick me down further—taunting me with the utter ridiculousness of its existence.

Because I said so.

Well, buhbye now,

sign-off

The Wrong Side of The Tracks

Once upon a time in a land inhabited by fairy godmothers and creative geniuses and bubbles and bright, bright futures, entered a shadow. It wasn’t a dark shadow; it was really just more of a greyish mist—hardly intimidating. It was silent and seemingly harmless. It never interfered much, just hung about on the sidelines, happy to simply have been considered worthy enough of being allowed in the company of all the magical creatures; watching and smiling and laughing at their silly shenanigans. All too intimidated to even look any of the creatures in the eye, that mass of transparent greyish-blue was never properly noticed by the others; they felt its presence but could never be entirely sure of its existence because it was so very foreign and seeing it wasn’t easy. The shadow hung about and slowly grew, gradual enough to be ignored or denied.  Unable to take the loneliness anymore it sent out a thin tendril of mist, hesitant and curious. It felt good. And so it grew, bigger and bigger, still as transparent and seemingly harmless. But bigger. And the mist clung to the land, seeped into its creatures until the colours were muted and all was a transparent greyish-blue.

And just like that, I was done.

I didn’t know what to name it then, and I still wasn’t sure it wasn’t all just in my head. It just…it didn’t feel real. Because, well, this was me. It couldn’t be real. Could it? So I pushed it aside and went on as normal. But the mist was still there, tainting all that it touched. It wasn’t solid enough to be confidently termed “real”. Ignoring it was still possible.

Because it couldn’t be real.

I had never gone through any life-altering, traumatic event. I had a sheltered childhood for the most part and a normal life. It couldn’t be real.

I was afraid to name it. Naming it…validated it. And I didn’t want it to be true. Still believed it wasn’t. Told myself I was simply being dramatic and making things up so I could have some “character”, so I wasn’t just another face in the crowd. So I could have a story.

On the nth day that I had woken up…uhh–sad? Wrong? Empty?–language isn’t enough to describe it appropriately—I couldn’t ignore it. The mist was heavier.  But now it was a comforting heavy. A heavy I had grown used to. Didn’t want to, but had because of some twisted survival technique. I wanted out but didn’t at the same time. I had grown used to it, so maybe I could just live with it.

The mist made things duller. Red became faded-brick, green became a sickly shade of vomit. Blue was a muted, barely-even-there thing. It made other things in my life seem duller. I wasn’t me. The mist was slowly spreading all over, like a warm, safe cocoon, shielding me from everything else.  Making me indifferent to everything else. I was rarely ever passionate before to begin with and the mist just further distanced me from everything.

I wouldn’t come out of my room. After school I would head straight to my room and lock it and sit or lie on the bed or sometimes on the floor, soaking in the cool. I didn’t want to be seen until I was fixed. Until the ‘sun came out’ as they say, burning through the mist so I could see properly again. It didn’t do good to the people who knew me to see it. The mist leaked out of me, I could feel it floating out of my ears, slowly encircling whoever was nearest until I scooped it all back in again.

I call it the mist because saying the actual word doesn’t make me seem like me. Because it couldn’t happen to me. It just seems too big to happen to me.

I’m sorry if this whole thing seems like some pretentious, dramatic little thing.

Because like I said, the mist is barely even there. It recedes and currently has and I can see and touch and feel and it’s nice. The mist is a harmless little thing watching from the sidelines and laughing at the games the magical creatures play–once again all too intimidated to even look them in the eye.

For now.

Yours Truly,

sign-off

I’d Like It To Mean Something.

We’re always running through life. Scrambling for that promotion or grade or interview that’ll catapult us to the very end of the race so we can finally settle down for a comfortable, peaceful life. Except we spend the wonderful lives we’re handed worrying and running to the finish line—because (and maybe that’s just me) we don’t think we deserve it yet–so we jump through hoops and do things we don’t like so we can say we earned the wonderful life that awaits us; that we worked for it and once you reach the finish line, the time to reap the rewards will come. But before we know it, we sign up for the marathon, and are running, sprinting, leaping. And this is our life.

I’m not talking about stopping to smell the roses and all that…I’m saying you don’t always have to step on the thorns to get to it. There’s more to things. There has to be; our life cannot be all about the finish line. Because, there isn’t one. After that one job position, there’s the one above that, and after you pass that very important exam, there are about a hundred more in your future. Going through all the unpleasantness thinking it will all eventually end is not what we should be doing. Because it won’t. This is our life.

The sooner we accept that, the sooner we decide if that is enough. And, if it isn’t, the sooner we can work at changing it.

Because right now? It doesn’t seem all that worth it. I don’t know how adults do it. But I better learn how to because I’m part of the race now. It’s all about beating that other person to the trophy so we can move on to the next level where we run to beat another person to another trophy and then another, and another. It won’t stop. As much as I’d like to believe it will, it won’t. There’ll be competition to get into a college, then competition to beat to excel in it, then competition to beat to be the best at what you do. And then competition to beat so you maintain your position. Somewhere along the line, we grew up, you and me. And we can spend the rest of our lives wondering how it happened and trying to figure out ways to stop it. But this is our life.

I’m tired already. But we don’t have to take all the bad thinking the good will come later. This is our life, and we decide if it’s worth it.

I’d just really like it to be worth it.

download

Yours Truly,

sign-off