At least once in your life, do something truly great. Something greater than you.
This thought came to disrupt my concentration, like a grain of sand in a well-oiled machine.I had been typing away an article about new tile collections (not as boring as it sounds) when it happened. So ensconced I was in my seat, in my thoughts and combination of words that it did not seem possible that this had come from me.
Yet left and right, everyone was as sucked into their own screens as I was.
It dawned on me then what caused it. All the generous amount of time I had been spending slowly, intentionally was reaping its fruits : creativity, disruption.
Doing “nothing” and being alone lets the mind wander. Instead of only exposing the mind to others’ ideas, you let the ones from your own sprout. They grow in silence until, one day out of the blue, their tender leaves tickle your clouds of thoughts and startle you awake.
“For even one time in your life,” some part of my brain pressed on, “see how far you can go for no other reason than to just know. Journey all the way to your last limit and discover, uncover new and old things about you. Push your small clay body to its earthly limits, show the universe what you’re made of. Don’t you want to experience even once the feeling of being the ultimate form you can be? What’s the point of being given a life if once at least, you don’t live it above and beyond the average? Set out to conquer yourself, to overcome the version of you that you are now!”
Be better, burn, burn in the pursuit of a nameless truth. Burn from passion, and do not ever satisfy yourself with the safety of a lukewarm life.
I let my hair down at night so the stars will mistake it for the midnight sky and settle there. I think it works, because often I awake to stardust woven in my hair and galactic visions streaked in my mind’s eye.
My hair, I have noted, has grown out, giving an air of incredible softness to my face. A sort of gentle femininity I am unused to. For about a year now, I’ve been sporting what I call an office-girl hairstyle : shoulder length with long layers. But now I feel as though it’s all worn in, if a hairstyle can be that. The straight, sharp edges have mellowed out, the humidity is creating waves out of my hair, making it undulate with every nascent thought, every momentary, imagined world. My hair has seen one too many case of bedhead, has been too warm —spread out about my pillow during long, contemplative mornings— for it to be office-like.
An overlong fringe now brushes my cheekbones, long layers tickle the underside of my jaw all day long. My hair has ventured well past my clavicle. Can a hairstyle feel homey? Because this one does.
I have never known myself to be this soft-looking, even when I had hair tumbling all the way down my back. I’ve never woken up to so many stars caught in my hair. I want to think it’s this inner gentleness I have been working on, drawing it out gently from a well inside of me, wisp by wisp.
Now it’s time to cut this wispy warmth, but I feel in me that this won’t change a thing, that it won’t stop the stars from coming.
Since I stopped being a child, I’ve always taken care to keep my dreams and the real world separate.
Even if I would dip my toes back in the other worlds on bus journeys or open a window into daydream in the middle of class, both these worlds were left relatively estranged, sealed off from the other.
By day I slipped into reality and meandered down its labyrinthine alleyways. By night I flew into dreams, and strange visions awakened in me, tickling parts of my psyche I did not even know were alive. It felt strangely like I was sectioning myself, partitioning two opposing sides. Without need for any foul concoctions, I had somehow landed myself into a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of conundrum.
And yet, one without the other was incomplete : the real world without dreams felt hollow ; dreams that were not grounded in reality lost their meaning, fading like smoke in a gust of wind.
Still, it had to be done. My dreams were far too great to ever achieve. I didn’t, couldn’t possibly have what it takes — everyone else said so. Or rather, they didn’t have to. Their deep-held beliefs spoke for themselves. You see, my dreams bled into life every time I held a pen and while that meant I was good at languages and writing, it was not a very special skill to have. Everyone can write. Millions of people master two languages. At any point in time, your skill and therefore you, are replaceable. There are countless other people who are better at it than you anyway, who’ve been doing it for longer. How likely would it be that of all the writers in the world, I would be the one to make something out of my writing ? Not very, apparently. So if you have a replaceable skill like that, don’t turn it into a dream. Don’t take it seriously. Try something else, and do some writing on the side, if you want.
That’s what it started out as : “Writing is not a real skill. Languages are easy. Only the very few people who are really good at it ever succeed.”
For my own good, I should not dream big. I should settle for some average occupation or the other, safe in the knowledge that I would never have made it had I followed the inconsistent path of dreams. I would have lost momentum halfway through and would have fallen flat on my face. And yet, in spite of all that being drilled into me, in spite of me telling myself these things, dreams kept spilling onto the well-constructed reality others had built for me.
Disbelief met with determination, and after many years, my dreams infiltrated reality, and I am now a little of what I thought I would never be : a writer.
It didn’t turn out exactly how I pictured it, but it is what it is and it is more than what I ever thought I would get.
The greatest point of tension is that now the two worlds do not mix well. They are each wary of the other, unused to being anything but two separate entities. Now that my dreams are grounded in a kind of reality, I don’t know what to do next. I cannot tell apart the dreams I have just for the sake of having them from the ones I actually want to bring into the real world.
I mean, is writing even my thing anymore? I just happened to be good at it and did it. Could it be I’ve yet to find my “thing”? I don’t know.
I cannot keep being content, stagnating in the kind of joy I am experiencing now.
Because I am being gifted a luxury very few people have the privilege to experience : I have a little bit of everything, and the winds are in my favour. I have some time, some money, perspective, freedom, support… I am being given everything I need to achieve my dreams.
The question is, do I even have one?
I’m not sure what I want. All this time I’ve told myself dreams were impossible and now it turns out they aren’t all that unusual here in the real world.
It’s that feeling, you know, when you just want to make something out of yourself. It would be such a waste not to.
I know that however life ends, I will not die deeply pained, aching, ever longing.
I have already been seen, been acknowledged. Not as myself necessarily (because how rare is that, that someone else would understand what you yourself cannot express?). But I’ve been seen nonetheless : there are stories, movies and music out in the world that make my truths go wild, hammering against the underside of my skin.
There are moments. God there are momentswhen I feel as though all the dots have connected and I can explain to myself that I was born to live this moment, however simple and solitary and ordinary-looking. I was made so one day I could gaze at the stars, shivering under the midnight drizzles-turned-showers that make you feel more alive than anything else has or could.
In nature, I find myself. It is that simple, that inexplicable. Perhaps it is also in the expression of their own selves that I find myself in others. And you know, maybe I’d like to do that, too. Maybe, maybe I’m hoping that this, whatever this is, can make someone feel that they aren’t the only one who feels the way they do.
It’s that simple, that unattainable. The feeling of being seen, understood.
This weekend, find me at home, teetering over the edges of my own universe, immersed in tasks I do with love. Find me pouring all my skill in the very tip of my finger, in the slice-thin pointiness of a size 0 paintbrush, where I will be painting both daisies and pokemon alike on the cream paper of birthday cards.
Well actually, this weekend I do not plan to be found at all. I will lose myself instead in all the worlds I have been born into : my worlds of rainy days I long for, of carefree summer days, childhood scents, a hidden world of vulnerability…And all through this cosmos, these interlinked planets and blinking constellations, music will play, soft and tender, with words that ring true or beautiful and harmonies that make my own heartstrings vibrate.
Yes, this weekend I am in immersion, astronaut helmet and all. I won’t be answering the phone, because I’ll be making even more long-distance calls…Yeah, this weekend you won’t find me at all. Not on this planet, not in this world. My body will be somewhere in a cozy room, but my soul will be out there, longing for more.
So naturally pink! It looks like the sky has been dyed in cotton candy colours, like you could reach out, pluck a piece of the sky and put it in your mouth. It is the exact shade I rave about endlessly in my blog posts and I cannot get enough of it.
I tried going up the roof to capture that colour without any inconvenience, but it just did not look the same. And I found myself being grateful for being exactly where I was in life. I was suddenly grateful for how the whole day had gone, for how it lead up to me looking up at the right place, at the right time to witness that sky.
Most days I have so many regrets. So many forever unanswered what-ifs that taunt me. Yet today, I was grateful to be just where I was. And to have been where I have been because without it, without the good and the bad, I would not have today, as it is.
Note : I realise on certain screens the pink colour does not really appear. Plus, I’m not really a photographer either so bear with me kindly.
What a beautiful Saturday it has been. All slow and liberating, the kind of simple thing that takes a huge weight off your chest, like going on a stroll for fresh air. I feel like I have turned into a cloud, that if I were a colour I would probably be peach, and if I were to be anyone I could be, I would really much rather be me.
It is the first time though that this kind of weightlessness has not felt like drifting. There is something so strong in me: the feeling of being grounded. It is not like before, when weightlessness made me feel like a kite that had broken its string. Now, I am more like a flag wound about a mast, enjoying the freshness of the breeze. Or like a boat, moored to the docks, rocking from side-to-side with the tide.
I am so grounded, so at peace with all that I am.
I am conscious of my issues and challenges, all the flaws I must work on, all the regrets and anxieties I have accumulated. But not now. Not as I cut my overgrown nails with care, not as I exfoliate my skin with some divine, peach-scented, pebbly scrub. Not as I scrape the toxic fumes of city life from my lungs, or as I apply some sea-coloured gel (All Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel) to the darkened bumps on my face.
My troubles will wait.
They will not be going away anytime soon, so what is the hurry to worry about them? Will that change anything?
I’ve decided to not worry about things I cannot change anymore.
What does worry even do anyway? It takes away time and peace of mind and gives nothing but anxiety in return.
I will not worry about things I cannot change.
So here I am, enjoying a casual Saturday with myself, rediscovering my own thoughts, remembering my own little life fondly. I haven’t done this in a long time:
I don’t like the word. I don’t like that I don’t like it.
But for a moment, that moment of…of self care feels like greeting an old friend again after a long time. There’s a lot to catch up on, but at the same time you talk about non-big-life-events-or-changes for much longer than necessary. You have a conversation for pleasure, because you can. There is no practical purpose to the talking. It is not a means to an end. It is an end in and of itself. I am talking to you not because I have something in particular to say, but because I want to talk to you. What we talk about is secondary, so long as I am talking to, with you.
And so I had conversations with myself, had my conscious brain meet my imagination again. Peacefully, Saturday went by.
Note: Hi, I hope all of you have been doing well ! That is all, that’s the note 😂 Sending you all good vibes! ^^