Monday, 24 October 2016

happy

I don't think I've ever seen the stars this bright.
If this is happy, if it is walking the dog late at night, admiring the stars and having someone look at you like that, then I get it. Then I absolutely and completely get it and I take back everything I've ever said. If happy is small wooden stars and words scribbled on the back of blurry photographs and smiles over smiles over smiles, then it all makes sense now. If happy is standing in a bunch of stinging nettle cuddling a dog, if it is burning your tongue on freshly brewed coffee, if it is fireworks a few villages over and excited laughter and fingers intertwining with yours then heck, why haven't I been stupid earlier? Because I've definitely been missing out. If I can be that happy just within a few hours, I can't wait to see how happy I could be in the future.
I don't think I've ever seen the stars this bright. I don't think I've ever had that weird, slightly twisting ache in my chest thinking about someone. I don't think, for the most part. I didn't have to. All I could think was "Happy. Happy. Happy."
If this is falling in love, then I'm so down for it. If it means I can keep this person, I am so so down. If this is what happily ever afters and fairy tales are made of, I get it I get it I get it and I. Take back. Everything. If someone can fill my heart and my mind with so much joy I get why people think they need someone else than themselves to be happy.
If happy is falling asleep next to someone, tangled sheets and tangled limbs, soft early morning light on cheekbones and freckles, smiles that break hearts, laughter that makes you want to die of happiness, singing in the car together, stolen kisses that taste of coffee, if happy is this, then holy hell, I want it all. I now get truly madly deeply and I want it all, I want every goddamn morning and afternoon and night I can get.
I don't think I've ever seen the stars as bright, or the rain as refreshing, or the red and orange and yellow of autumn leaves as intense as these past few weeks and I can't decide whether it scares or excites me. I think it's a bit of both; it's uncharted territory, and people like me with walls around them as if they were medival castles made to survive hundreds of years of attacks don't fall easily. Don't let go easily, let alone hold on to someone easily, but this? This feels good. It even feels right. It feels meant to be. I've never seen the stars this bright.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

one, two, three, four, five

One. A kiss on her hand. Two. She leans in for a peck on the lips. Three. Our arms around each other, laughing, another peck. Four. Another one. Five. Six. She opens her mouth and so do I. Our teeth clash two or three times as we try not to miss each other's mouths. Seven. I bite her lip, she pushes her tongue into my mouth. Eight. We get braver. Teeth clash, tongues touch, we break apart again and again, bursting into laughter. Nine. I could do this all night. We're drunk and our kisses are sloppy, but I'm enjoying this. I know she won't remember tomorrow because she's already blackout drunk, but I don't really care. If I'm being honest, this is not about her. Sure, she's cute, and sure, I've wanted to make out with her a couple of times, but this? This is about kissing someone for kissing's sake. It could have been anyone at this point. Ten, eleven, twelve.

It's obvious. Her gaze holds mine captive whenever she looks up. Even when she doesn't I look at her. I smile, unconciously, and as soon as I notice I feel like an idiot. I feel everybody's nosy eyes on me, but when I look around everybody is preoccupied and probably don't even notice us. Even though you can see it, even though it's so obvious; I glow, when I look at her. I glow from the inside when her laugh is mine or she's so close to me that I can smell her perfume or her fingers intertwine with mine so thoughtlessly.

 
Her leg touching mine makes me hold my breath. Her hand on my neck makes me shiver. Her hair inbetween my fingers makes me thank every existent and non-existent god for those blissful moments. God, how much she means to me. Her every word makes me want to pull her closer and kiss it from her lips, everytime she moves I want to wrap my arms around her waist. God, how I adore her. I whisper my I love yous into the crook of her neck, when I trace the fine veins on her arms with my fingers, when she's sleeping safe and sound next to me, when she's in another room and the light hits her eyes at just the right angle and they look almost like the sea on sunny days, when she spills sugar all over the counter tops because she was laughing too much at one of my stupid jokes.
It's a miracle how you can love someone that much.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

distance

In January, I wrote as an Instagram caption: "Sometimes the people you love leave to have big adventures, and it's hard and awful and hurts like hell to see them walk away for the last time for what feels like forever. Thing is, you still are incredibly excited and happy for them."
Distance sucks, especially when you don't really know how you feel about someone in the first place. Distance leaves a helluvalot of room for speculation, for wondering and for driving yourself mad. Still, distance kinda gives you the chance to think about someone while not being influenced by them that much. It gives you the chance to see how much you actually like and therefore miss them, and to take a better look at what you actually hope to be for that person.
Distance makes friendships a lot harder. Distance, especially the time-zones-apart kind of distance really makes you see how much time you are willing to spare to talk to someone, and how much of their time goes towards you when they're exploring and adventuring on the opposite side of the globe.
Distance somehow makes a reunion so bittersweet that it almost hurts. I have a couple of friends that live train rides that sometimes last three and a half hours away, and seeing their faces light up when they spot me on the train platform makes up for the months we were apart, and still it hurts because I know after these few days I won't see them again for months.


A friend of mine recently returned from a year abroad, another one from a semester. Friends of mine are going to university a few hundred kilometers away and while I don't want things to change, they will. They will change over time, the way you behave around each other will shift - whether that's awkward silence when you see each other again because you haven't been involved in each others life and it feels off to share the same space on this planet again, or it's the excitement that's been bubbling in you since you made plans to see each other because oh god I missed you so much come here I'll hug you forever.
A lesson I've only recently learnt: sometimes it's the best to just let something go. People, relationships, dreams, things. Of course you should keep fighting for what you want, but sometimes it's better for you and any other involved party to realize it's time to quit. Distance can help realize that and make the decision, but it also can make it a whole lot harder. You've managed to keep at least somewhat of a connection going, so it's difficult to admit that somehow the line ripped off and you can't talk to each other anymore.
Distance is a weird thing: it rips you apart and sometimes brings you back together even closer, but sometimes the gap of a few months and a couple hundred kilometres stays the same, even after you've seen each other again. I guess it's not the distance but what you make of it.

Monday, 27 June 2016

changing skin

1. The girl I am today is shy and silent
she's two layers of cozy sweaters
that are perfect to hide in
she's burning candles and crying in the dark
and sad songs drifting through the air
she's notebook scribbles and dreams;
the fragile princess of castles on clouds

2. The girl I am today is tough and cold
she's red lipstick and all-black
and "I don't believe in anything at all"
she's made from ice and rocks
she'll throw at you if you come too close
she's built her throne from blood and bones;
the heir of a kingdom of pride and fear

3. The girl I am today is sweet and kind
she's dresses made of flowers and rosy cheeks
and the one who kisses goodbye
she'll hug the nightmares away and show you heaven
full of sunshine and warmth like hers;
she's the light in your life and your heart
winner of the crown to your soul


4. The girl I am today, the one I was yesterday and will be tomorrow
is not a girl at all.
she's a woman as tall and brave and wise
as anyone could be
she's armors and battles and fires in winter,
fairy tales and comfort and life.
she's a goddess, a conqueror, a heroine.
a patron, a lioness with claws and teeth of gold
she's a warrior queen, guarding her kingdom
till the last breath passes her lips
and the one you love and fear;
but never yours, never yours at all.

I wrote this poem in December '14, realizing I don't have to be the same person everyday.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

turning seventeen

I started typing this on my bed one day before my seventeenth birthday, thinking about the things that haven't happened to me yet.
I didn't get a Hogwarts letter when I was 11. That's fine. I can deal with it. There was no satyr to tell me I  am a half god. Well, that's cool too, seriously. I'm almost not sixteen anymore. I haven't started a revolution yet, nor overtrown a governement, nor do I have a sparkly vampire boyfriend, nor have I defeated an evil force that could destroy the world. As of tomorrow, I'd be considered an adult in the Wizarding World, and to be quite honest, it terrifies me.
I already am older than the main characters in my favourite book. Tomorrow, I'll be older than the main characters in most of the books I own, which is even more terrifying. I'm almost done with school, one year from now I'll have graduated and then I'm supposed to be able to take care of myself. I can definitely survive alone in our house for a few days. I can cook a few things, enough not to starve (maybe not enough for a balanced nutrition, but we'll ignore that), but completely being on my own and depend on myself? That's scarier than any horror film I've seen, and I've seen a bunch. 
I'm almost seventeen. Friends of mine have already graduted high school, friends of mine are already going to uni and being functioning adults, but I'm not sure I can be one. I've never actually lived on my own before. I've never mastered any instrument, though I've tried four up to this point.

While this probably seems very silly to most of you: I'm terrified. I am so afraid of the world that sometimes I think I'll never make it out of this small country village in the middle of nowhere, that I'll stay here forever and rot away between the fields and old houses. I'm terrified that I'm not good enough to make any difference in the world. That what I'll do won't matter, that I won't matter. I'm already almost seventeen, I haven't had any impact on the world yet and every day there's the chance that something horrible happens and I won't make it another year and then I wouldn't have done anything important yet. To say it with Orla Gartland: "I'm not sure I've got the heart for this."
But: in my almost seventeen years I've read well over 600 books, named at least 20 cats and one dog, travelled to four countries (not including my own) without my parents and finished writing two 100+ pages long stories. I've filled nine diaries, been published twice with very very short stories, I have made memories worth about 35 film rolls alone in the last three or four years, I've made a bunch of new friends in the past year, I've finally started to feel really good about myself. I finally cut my hair, after wanting to for maybe two years already, I've learnt that sometimes you just gotta. No buts, you just gotta do stuff. If I'd told my thirteen-year old self that one day before I turn seventeen I would still be here, that I'd be mostly happy and if not happy then at least content, she would have laughed, she would have thrown a few swear words at me and told me not to bullshit her. But I'm here, I'm fine, and while I might not have changed the world yet, I might one day, and, as much as the future scares me: I think I might actually gonna be completely fine.

Friday, 10 June 2016

on the streets of philadephia

The lovely Amy from Vermilion just finished her semester abroad at Penn State in Philadelphia. Her posts about the city made me miss my dear Philly even more than I already did, and the past months, I was reminicing more and more about the moments passed there. They're nothing more than snippets and scribbled words in old diaries in a handwriting I barely recognize as my own anymore, but they're still as clear and vivid as they were the very second I made those memories.
Stepping out of the airport terminal into a hall with a glass wall looking out on the highway and feeling such a sense of "I'm home" that I almost cried.
Me and a friend eating poptarts on a bench in Chestnut Hill, having just spent 2.95$ on giant erasors, enjoying the sun and fantasizing about opening our own bookshop/library/coffee shop somewhere on Germantown Ave. We'd definitely have a cat or two and a map on the wall where people could pin the place they're from.
Standing in Hideaway Music looking through the CDs and vinyls and soaking up the years and years of music embodied by all those plasic covers that went through so many people's hands.

Philly's lights at night as one of those yellow busses drove us back to a small church a few smalltowns over, the street lamps and windows and their reflections on Schuykill river, tears in my eyes caused by words about a god I didn't believe in spoken in the one church that makes me shiver more than any other, the aftertaste of spirituals sung between those wooden benches and stained glass windows, the black woman with the beautiful voice, the man who didn't stop playing the piano during the whole sermon, the 20-something year old almost-still-a-boy that was in charge of the churches choir with a voice range of at least eight octaves (he could sing everything from soprano to bass flawlessly).



Walking across JFK Plaza feeling so at home in a city I've never been to before, feeling so connected to every person passing, to every voice and every laughter I've heard, snapping a photo of the LOVE Sculpture I'd seen in so many Cold Case Episodes.

Stepping out of Reading Terminal Market just to hear an old man playing a guitar and his smile when he tells me "Thank you. You're gorgeous, princess." after putting a bit of money into his hat. (Thank you, dear old man, you have no idea how happy that memory still makes me feel.)
Street art next to churches on huge buildings and a woman telling us it's part of a project to keep the youth from the streets and from spraying senseless stuff on walls, Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and Washington Square, buying a way too expensive for it's condition second hand copy of Emily Dickinsons complete poems (it took me half a year but I read them all), two guys breakdancing in the middle of the street.
And above all, above every moment, every step, every conversation: the feeling of finally coming home after being away for too long. I don't know how my beloved Philadelphia did it, but the city that loves you back had me at hello, and it hasn't let go of my heart ever since, and it's been over three years now. So if you ever get the chance: go to Philly. Fall in love with it like Amy and I and probably everbody else who's ever been there did.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

love at third sight

On New Year's one and a half years ago, friends introduced me to a mutual friend of theirs. We exchanged a smile and a few words and didn't see each other again for the rest of my stay there. I met up with the same friends at a book festival two or three months later, met a whole bunch of other people they thought I should definitely knew. We got along pretty well; how could we not with a mutual love for books and stories? They left my conciousness as soon as I stepped on the train back home. Another two months later said friends wanted me to join them at a fabric printing workshop and of course I let them convince me. Their mutual friend that they'd already introduced me to on New Year's Eve was there too.
We hit it off immediately. Once we really started talking to each other we discovered similarity after similarity. Within the first 20 minutes of getting our room ready, we had exchanged opinions about Heros of Olympus' Jason (we both detest him) and expressed our mutual love for Jacob Reckless and even more for Fox (both characters from Cornelia Funke's Reckless Series), we laughed our butts of the first day and all three or four of us fell asleep semi-snuggling that night. She told me I looked like Helena Bonham Carter (way to win my heart) and Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, which lead to a hour long discussion about whether Dumbledore is a good man and whether Snape should be forgiven and about how freaking much we love Sirius like oh my god.


I call her my love at third sight now, because that's exactly what it is. Once we got to know each other, once we noticed that somehow our brains seem to work very similarly. Love at first sight is a pretty imagine, a nice dream for hopeless romantics. Even though an instant attraction is a fantastic thing I value my love at third sight more than I probably would value a love at first sight. Why? Because it means I almost missed an opportunity to make a great friend, but I didn't. I made that friend even though we didn't feel the spark the first time we saw each other. It took a bit of warming up but now we're good friends and I really like spending time with her. We could have easily not made this bond if we stopped trying, if we hadn't talked again and again after that first meeting even though we didn't feel like we're about to become partners in crime right away. We tried again, and tried again, and it took almost five months (though to be fair: we live quite a bit away from each other), but eventually we bonded. We didn't stop trying.
What I'm trying to say is, similar to this lesson i've learnt: just because you don't immediately become best buds with somebody, don't stop trying. You might miss a great friendship and don't get to know a pretty cool person.