Let me tell you a story. I was never the girl that boys wrote love songs for never the girl that had the world yoyoed around her fingers, never the girl that spent midnights on the beach with red plastic cups in her hands I was the girl that spent recess on the swings, my palms stretched around chains that locked me to the earth and swung me to the stars I was the girl that hid behind four corners of a novel because words have always been more patience than people I was the girl that held the superpower of invisibility behind the cloak of indifference.
On my yearbook, they would write: “You rock, don’t ever change.” But how do you listen when you stare at your reflection in mirrors and only see a paper crane falling apart at the seams? I told myself what no one else would tell me, I said, “Your body is made of ivory bridges beneath the pavement of skin, You are the causeway to every destination where you go and what you do is entirely up to you.” I said, “If you don’t like the route you’re taking, the car you’re driving, the world you’re in, you can change it. If you don’t like you, you can change it.
You want to be a writer, so let this life be your work of art. You are the poet and the poem, the conductor and the orchestra. Write your life like you would read it. Remember that every line within you can be crossed out, every noun not needed, every adjective all wrong. Throw yourself down unexpected roads, turn right when you want to go left. Remember that it’s okay to take more than one route, it’s okay to be more than one genre. You’re allowed to sit down on park benches reading Bukowski at midnight and stand up listening to Kayne. You’re allowed to always wear black when your favorite color is pink. You’re allowed to be a sonnet and also a country song.” I told the girl filled with self-hate, “It’s okay, this is only the first draft.””
— Kelsey Danielle, “First Draft”
Last Thursday, I went back to UP. It was breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. In hindsight, I guess my visit can be compared to Harry going back to Hogwarts - though I’m not saying that where I’ve been these few months are like the Dursley’s - but I just miss the campus, I miss the people, I miss the atmosphere there.
Thursday noon, I found myself suddenly gifted with free time. And. I. Didn’t. Know. What. To. Do. On a regular free day, I would usually spend it at home. But I found myself in Quezon city on a sunny afternoon, and all I could think of was: I needed to get out of the heat. What happened afterward wasn’t an adventure, but I wouldn’t say it was wasted time. Quiet time, probably. And I learned a valuable lesson - two, actually. One, never leave home without a notebook. Two, be a less boring (as in idea-less) person.
I’ve been reading David Nicholl’s Starter for Ten and I’m loving every bit of it. The protagonist, Brian, reminds me of myself back when I was a college freshman: idealistic, neurotic and awkward. (And in many ways, I still am.) Coincidentally, Brian is 19 years old in the book and a freshman in college. I am 19, and I’m (almost) in my senior year.
I wanted to share a particular paragraph in the book that struck me:
You know what ‘independence’ is? ‘Independence’ is staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night with your fingernails digging into the palms of your hand. ‘Independence’ is realizing that the only person you’ve spoken to all day is the man in the off-licence. ‘Independence’ is a value meal in the basement of Burger King on a Saturday afternoon. When Alice talks about ‘independence’ she means something completely different. ‘Independence’ is the luxury of all those people who are too confident, and busy, and popular, and attractive to be just plain old ‘lonely’.
And make no mistake, lonely is absolutely the worst thing to be. Tell someone that you’ve got a drink problem, or an eating disorder, or your dad died when you were a kid even, and you can almost see their eyes light up with the sheer fascinating drama and pathos of it all, because you’ve got an issue, something for them to be involved in, to talk about and analyse and discuss and maybe even cure. But tell someone you’re lonely of course they’ll seem sympathetic, but look very carefully and you’ll see one hand snaking behind their back, groping for the door handle, ready to make a run for it, as if loneliness itself were contagious. Because being lonely is just so banal, so shaming, so plain and dull and ugly.
Honest, and just simply the perfect words. I want to be able write about things the same way, bravely.
(Still in search for the perfect words, I found bits of inspiration from a song, a vlog and a blog post.)
Another inspiring song from Ms. Sara Bareilles that I’ve been itching to put on repeat on my iPod, only the connector is broken so… moving on. Here’s a vlog that’s apparently gone viral. They’re perfect and honest words, just like Ms. Isa’s words on leaving.
Scattered thoughts, but I blame frustration rather than weariness.
I’ve developed an aversion to online posts, Facebook statuses and tweets proclaiming the tiredness or stressfulness of people and glorifying “busyness”. After reaching new levels of exhaustion last semester, I realized that a tired or stressed out person does not have time to tweet or post a Facebook status. He or she would rather use the time to rest.
“I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.