i can't seem to find my mind
I had trouble lifting my head up to look at people today.
Sometimes I think I'm slowly falling into my own pit of insanity, that someday I'll hit the bottom, and nothing will be left of me but a disfigured smile.
I have a very loose grip on reality right now. Other people surround me; ground lies underneath my feet; blood moves through my veins, but I'm not really here. I go to bed at night thinking how strange it is that I'll wake up the next day, and the day after that, and after that. And that I don't really know what I'm doing.
People speak to me, and I answer, sometimes smile, and while looking in their the eyes I can barely see them. I'm able to answer programmed responses while my mind lies elsewhere.
Isn't it amazing how much more there is to a person than the words that escape from their mouths? We are so quick to judge when we really don't know anyone.
I couldn't even see myself in the mirror today. I would look at myself, but I wasn't even able to focus in, and all I could think was the word 'ugly'. It didn't matter if I looked the same as every other day...ugly...ugly...I was looking back at ugly. When I tried to see myself as a stranger, I saw an ordinary girl. Average. Looked again as if it was myself...ugly.
I'm afraid of losing myself to the monsters of my mind.
Something about fraternities has always given me the creeps. A group of cult like students get together, push each others boundaries, and drink obscene amounts of beer. I had to see for myself, if only for a laugh.
Last night we made our way down to a guy's frat house, $5 cover for girls, $15 for guys, and all the beer your stomach can handle before being pumped.
With my room mate's 40 of R&R whiskey we were wasted before we got there. As one of my friend's took his nth shot he said: "If Jesus was an alcoholic he'd drink R&R."
In the taxi I swore obscenities along with the driver at cars that cut us off. He admitted to me that sometimes he had a few drinks before going on the job...I asked him to be careful.
I don't always get the university scene...I don't drink beer...I don't like messy hook ups...and I don't like waking up in my own vomit. But the night was good. The party was well organized, the company was great, and there ended up being a dark purple room with plaster falling off the walls where we were able to dance. If I can dance I'm always happy.
I took some photos that speak much louder than my words:
hair today, gone tommorrow
I sweat profusely when I watch someone cut my hair.
Blonde locks fall to the floor with my femininity. They always keep cutting, and keep cutting, and keep cutting until I'm ready to grab the scissors from the hairdresser's hand and yell "stop!"
I got my hair cut today.
After trying to cut my own split ends my hair was uneven and in desperate need of help. The winter air had gotten to it and my once healthy locks had become brittle broomstick straw.
He said he wouldn't cut it much shorter, just add some layers, some flow, and a clean finish. Sixty dollars later I felt like half my hair was gone. I thanked the man, smiled, and left without leaving a tip.
Doesn't it seem that the one day you start to like your hair you decide to get it cut?
I once read a story about an old woman with long beautiful hair who asked a barber for a trim. As a man he couldn't see what the hair meant to her and chopped it all off. He thought he was doing her a favor by relieving her of the weight. She then spent the night vomiting and died the next day.
This is how I've often felt with my hair.
We all hold onto things that we think are a part of our identity. They're only fragments of who we are but we grasp onto them for a sense of knowing ourselves.
And so the blonde locks fell to the floor.
My hair feels lighter...but it will take some getting used to...I feel as if I've been wearing a mask and part of it has been torn away. I feel exposed.
I feel depressed by the fact that I've put so much thought and meaning into my hair.
putting myself together
I am refueled by the words of others. Sometimes I just need to hear "No you are not an idiot, and yes you have a brain."
It's easy to suddenly become very self-conscience and overly aware of yourself. Today I was walking and found myself overly aware of my body. My pants felt too tight. My movements felt awkward. I was aware for once that I was not invisible and felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Like when you're dancing and you are suddenly aware of it, and every move you pull becomes forced. If you let yourself get lost in the music your body surprises you with rhythm.
I am triggered by small things. A small comment can be passed off or taken the wrong way.
If someone tells me I've put on a tiny bit of weight I might suddenly feel as if I'm bulging out everywhere.
It's not vanity, or being pre-occupied with what other people think, but suddenly focusing in on something. It's like looking too closely at an Impressionist's painting and seeing large globs of paint. Monet's beautiful lilly pads are suddenly lost and the bigger picture is gone.
It works both ways. You can feel ugly for days, and out of the blue a stranger tells you you're beautiful and the spell is broken.
Thanks for the words of encouragements. My life seems to depend on words sometimes.
I'm putting myself together. Life is too tough to feel fragile and broken.
Leaving you with some words from Sylvia Plath, live from my very own bookshelf:
where do i go from here
My friend was telling me how my blogs are basically about my emotions, about my ups and downs, with a lot of 'Walking down the street I..'
It wasn't meant in a bad way...but now I...don't know what to say.
I re-read old entries and even the poetry seems so cliche.
My room mate says I'm more like a writer than a journalist...lost in creative writing rather than the real world that surrounds me.
And I'm not aware of the world around me. And the newspaper bores me to tears. And the only thing that keeps me breathing is being able to get lost in my mind and focusing in on what I'm attracted to. I live off colour, emotion, art, faces...abstract things that make the days worth while.
And I don't know what to do with myself now or what path to follow.
Should I discipline myself and dig deeper into journalism?
I've been feeling much better today but am suddenly sick to my stomach.
Maybe it takes showing weakness to find your strength.
It's not like anyone thinks I'm tough, so I don't know why I cringe at the thought of being dependent on other people. But after talking openly and intimately with the woman I work with, who tells me broadly "I tell it like it is,"; after crying on the phone to my mother who I've found myself calling more than usual lately, the weight is lifting.
Tomorrow my soul may scream like a woman off Weight Watchers: "I just feel 10 pounds lighter!"
When I'm overly happy I think I must have finally turned into the airhead my hair color labels me. I wonder how could one could be happy and at the same time aware of the world that surrounds them.
I wrote a simple poem for my cluttered mind:
Maybe it’s the air I’m breathing
Maybe it’s this food I’m eating
Nothing seems quite right
Through my eyes anymore
Maybe I should try and sleep
But I’ve lost every morning this week
Maybe I should move my body
But every limb feels weak
Maybe I need a different location
Maybe I need a reservation
But then the bank might break
Even faster than my heart
So I call every number
And then hang up
I finish my dinner
To find food’s just not enough
And while my mascara eyes keep lying
They can’t keep me from crying
Still feel locked up in handcuffs
With no one searching for the key
Blackout hits the city
And while the morning light is pretty
The icy air that blows through the streets
It sinks deep into my skin
Maybe it’s the weather
That’s chained weights to my feet
Maybe it’s the air I’m breathing
Maybe it’s just me
you're acting a little cold
The usually uber stylish Torontonians have turned into a mass of bundled up faces, only the eyes left peeping out.
As I walk the streets with a large eskimo hood pulled over my head I feel as if I'm in an arctic film. Something with a name like 'Lost in Alaska' or 'The Big Chill'. Snow lifts and swirls at my feet as I take careful steps. Suddenly it blows up in my face as I tug my hood down with a gloved hand. An even stronger gush comes and I practically lose my balance.
I am still a little off emotionally. Talking and writing about the pains I'm feeling have helped. The biggest problem seems to be that I want to be everything at once. To exceed at everything and to make an impression. I am burning with so much drive that I've gone into overdrive.
I fear I may never be good enough for myself.
Keeping close keeps us warm at work.
My screened window was left a crack open and I came home to snow inside my room!
self pity is anything but pretty
Walking down the street I'm weighed down by my own body. A young man passes and tells me I'd be more beautiful if I smiled. I keep walking and think he'd be more beautiful if he fucked off and let me be upset.
I don't even know how to smile when I talk to people. It's just my mood.
I want so much right now it makes me cry. I have this insane urge to be frighteningly good at everything. The reality life shows me I'm not and I spit back in it's face.
I want the world to be madly in love with me. Funny that even if it was I'd wind up overwhelmed and upset by it.
I may be in a great mood tomorrow.
I just feel so ugly right now.
Sings like a bad love song
And my self pity
Is anything but pretty
Washing the dishes
Fake soap opera smile
Should anyone appear
My necklace breaks
It falls to the floor
My face is fake
And I’m really just a whore
Whoring my face
And feeding it to life
Sitting on a cushion;
Screaming of pain and strife
I’ll clean your shoes
If you show up at my door
If you sing me the blues
And show me something more
Looks back at me
I hide my face
Afraid of what he’ll see
A girl in women's clothing
Wallowing in self pity
Dressed head to toe in loathing
Anything but pretty
baby, it's cold outside
Cold weather reports are hitting news rooms and 24 hour shelters are being opened. No more dressing lightly. No more exposed skin. I had to walk a few blocks to the mall to do a survey for journalism and found my whole face aching in pain. The other day I felt like crying as my hands were in agonizing pain under my fleece gloves as I walked to work.
A couple of times today I have felt like going outside, running, and continuing to run until I disappear into oblivion.
I am too tired and it's making my emotions shaky.
I have been around people constantly for the past week. As much as I love to socialize, help people at work, survey people for journalism, and live on a floor full of people...I am running dry. I am feeding myself to the world and have little left for myself to feast on.
The other day a Toronto entertainment news crew came into work and I had to be on camera for a few minutes. The woman said something like "And we'll be talking about what not to wear at the Globes," holding up a mismatching skirt and top, "maybe they should get some help from a stylist!" and I whip out a matching top for her to put with the skirt.
I was a little tired, feeling a little less than attractive, and far too exposed when I was in the mood I was in.
My cheeky Aimee leaves Thursday and I wish her the best on her travels.
For now I need to rest and find my place in my body again. Regain fluent trains of thought, find my ground, and make an effort to sleep.
This morning my emotions fluctuate like waves on the water.
I have no idea how people do jobs that involve hard labour. After a week of school, socializing, and a weekend of working, I went to bed at nine last night as my body couldn't take anymore. After sitting staring at the wall for a good 30 minutes I knew I was tired. Practically too tired to brush my teeth I dragged sad sorry body to bed.
Today I go to work again...hopefully revitalized even though I woke a few times in the night. I never sleep enough. I think too much, wake up and pace, then toss and turn in my bed half the night. I wake up with the sun.
I worry about my writing. I read some blog entries shamefully. So effortless, so dry, so barely thought provoking. I put so much energy into everything else that when it comes to writing I just want it to seep out of me. To write beautifully it's not that easy.
I'm taking on more and more in the store. My boss, owner, designer, and head honcho of the store is going on vacation. I have my own key now and open up the store, get everything ready. I am learning to pin. To fix mistakes on the cash register. To wrap. Take orders. Write up alteration slips. Find people's fixed alterations. All the while trying to be cheery and sell to customers. I love to learn and it's invigorating, but by the time I've walked home and taken the elevator up to floor 14 my body is numb.
I've found that a lot of the combinations and clothing I suggest to customers sell well. This puts me on a cloud, blissfully happy to know my eye is working for me. Working as a stylist is one of my dream jobs.
This morning there's a baby blue sky and the sidewalks are painted white.
I am trying to stretch, listen to music, and ease myself into the day. There's still so much to learn.
Last night, barely awake, taking pictures of myself to see how tired I looked in comparison to how I felt. My face doesn't lie.
Very early this fine morning.
dancing with myself
Dancing is a drug. On a packed dance floor green lazer lights fly past my eyes. The sound from the speakers make my body vibrate. I close my eyes. My body moves on it's own, thinks on it's own, has a life of it's own. I move away from the crowd, in my own world, feeling every beat. A stranger named Marco looks at me and says 'You are the best dancer I have ever seen'.
This is what brings me back time and time again to over crowded clubs. It's not the under dressed girls, expensive drinks, smokey air or men in polyester shirts and too much gel in their hair that get me hot.
Fueled by whiskey and coke my body was warm and my intentions innocent. Aimee and I hit Toronto's club scene with the hopes of dancing til we dropped. And we did.
At three in the morning we were still up on the pedestals sacrificing our bodies to the music.
At three-thirty we were back in my room at residence feasting on available snacks.
I think I was in bed by four.
By nine I was up and showering for work. At Ten-thirty I was walking down Yonge Street, hood over my head, Damien Rice singing to me through my head phones. The sun was so bright it illuminated the cracks in the sidewalk. The music from my discman made the cars move like a chorus. Made strangers sour expressions so understandable, so strangely beautiful. Made the beautiful people remain beautiful, yet their beauty so obviously disposable.
These days my life moves like a soundtrack. There's the upbeat tracks, the slow sad songs; the dance songs. There's always music in my head and I can't seem to stop dancing.
My partner in crime and I.
happiness, a strange thing
My melancholic soul's been touched with a peculiar feeling this past while.
I once thought I'd never be happy. That I would never feel comfortable in a life where everything is always being broken. Broken legs, broken dreams, broken countries, broken leaders, broken buildings; broken hearts.
It's not that I've become numb to pain or blind to suffering. A bold headline jumps out from the newspaper beside me: 'Somebody is going to die'. Clever journalist. Is it dark to say that people will always be dying? Because they will. It's the cycle of life. The moment you are born you start living and you start dying. So cut the crap and make the most of it. Choosing to be tortured and depressed by this doesn't help. I'm stuck with this body until it's buried ten feet under the soil, so I might as well feel good in it.
The day has been wet and surprisingly warm. I sat through my classes, not taking notes, but attentive as I know how to be, and content. Throwing my hand up when I felt I may combust if my opinions were kept to myself.
I'm accepting journalism too. Kate: the advice helped. Today in sociology I sat with another journalism student; the rest of the class mainly childhood education students. Mainly women. They are the ones who will go on to care for and teach young children. Looking at statistics the teacher asked why men seem to commit suicide more than women. Some of the responses were shocking.
One woman said matter-of-factly that "it's because men set their standards higher, they're happy if they make a lot of money, have a nice car, have a really great job. Women are happy if they can raise a good family."
Looks were exchanged between me and the other journalism student. We talked about it afterwards and decided that some of the comments must have been due to the different interests and view points that come with being in the childhood education program. As journalists we are taught to be sexless. Unless of course a push up bra helps you get an interview. And we in fact do want the good job. And a family may not be our idea of happiness. Whether we are a woman or not.
And at that moment, and for the moment, journalism seems right. Whether or not I will ever understand the news, I am happy to have an insatiable curiosity. To be forced to use my creativity and personality to the best of their ability. To push generalizations and statistics.
To find my own happy.
bare your body
and i might bare my soul,
much more pornographic
than my skin has ever been.
my soul loves a sin;
more of a rebel than my body,
the body of a girl,
small chest, small hips.
if the soul's exposed
the body will follow,
buttons and zippers
will come undone.
my small hands
and long fingers
will glide into your palm,
they'll write you a song.
i'll break down
my wall of china,
break all the plates
that block me from intimacy.
i'll stop looking away
i'll stop staring at street signs,
i'll stop making up
something else to say.
if you come out bare
i can't promise i won't stare,
but i swear
i'll stop looking away.
I've been playing with the idea of becoming a vegetarian. It all started while living amongst vegetarians and a vegan in residence. Next I discovered the joy of tofu and soy milk in Kensington Market. It became more serious after watching the procedures involved in getting the chicken from the farm to your grocery store on a television special.
I've been eating a lot of tofu. I had ham the other day for protein and had difficulty eating it. After drinking soy milk regular milk just doesn't seem to cut it anymore.
The problem is I want to make a well thought out decision. I am held back by the worry that I will go somewhere for dinner, where a main dish of meat has been prepared for me, and I will have to push it away as politely as possible. That I will be traveling in France and unable to enjoy dishes of the region. That one day I will need my steak.
Then it struck me: I don't need to label myself a vegetarian. In the same way that I feel no need to label myself an atheist or an agnostic. I don't need to slide into a category.
I don't want to have to put myself somewhere where I must adhere to certain rules. Where I must live within certain boundaries.
A friend told me I could call myself a 'flexitarian'. I guess if I have to call it something then that would be it.
I'm going to eat what feels write for my body as well as my mind. Food for thought anyone? If I'm turned off by meat no one will force me to eat it. If I feel I need some good old fashioned protein then I shall go right ahead.
I don't think I'll give up tuna either. The thought of little fish being killed somehow doesn't disturb me. I'm a sick sick woman.
To all those who saw me gladly eat pure meat last year...this may come as a shocker. My ideal meal was as much beef as possible-great thanks go out to Memphis Blues for supporting this. Now I have great faith in veggie burgers. Fried tofu makes my mouth water.
I am not strictly vegetarian and do not regard meat as the enemy. It's just not the first thing on my grocery list anymore.
Aimee is here in toronto, we are both sick with colds and yet sharing the love.
I am starting to do purses again. I finished the first tonight.
closer to what?
Even Jude Law's jaw line wasn't enough to distract me from the simple dialogue and repetitive scenes of the new film 'Closer'. The highlight of the film was listening to Damien Rice sing his sweet laments in the background. This singer knows love; pain; everything the movie was going for. But in a film that tried so hard for raw emotion and presenting the complexities of relationships...good vocals and strong lyrics prove to be much more powerful.
And so it is. Like many graduates I'm wondering what the hell to do with myself.
Is journalism for me?
Should I be in fashion? Styles, clothing, textures, fashion shows...the whole deal excites me. But will it end up leaving me feel vain and shallow? Even jobless?
Do I want to write for life? Or do I just love to hear my mother tell me she loves my writing?
I worry I'm too eager to please.
I want to be happy. I want to do everything. I have so much bursting inside of me and have no idea where to aim.
I need to get closer. To what? To myself. To my desires.
What happens if you look too closely and you don't like what you see?
she gives me fever
Warm drops of water hit my sore back and relieved me of my pain. It was as if I was taking a shower for the first time. After lying in bed with a fever all day, the relief of a shower was a beautiful thing.
Sometimes it takes feeling like shit to appreciate the simple things. A clear head; a normal temperature; a hot shower.
I hope this is the end of my sick days. I've had enough of kleenexes piled up on my floor. I miss my high energy and need to get things done.
Even through sickness I feel rather in love with the world. I love the snow flying past my window. A young man flying past me in a grocery cart in the aisle of a grocery store while I search for oatmeal. Everything about music. The loving nature of people on my floor at residence. My room mate catering to me while I lie half dead in bed.
I ache for love and yet find the ability to ache for it beautiful within itself. A stranger reminded me that I'm still able to look into a man's eyes and feel something. That not all kisses need to feel forced and only a prelude to something more. I never saw him after that one night, but the memory lingers. It lingers in my mind and runs through my body. It gives me hope. Every time I would kiss him he would look at me, shake his head in disbelief, and give me a new compliment. I could do no wrong. Even my hands were beautiful.
I guess anything can be see as beautiful when seen through the right eyes.
back to life, back to reality
Yesterday I said goodbye to Vancouver.
I left with a cold, a few extra pounds of winter indulgence, and the feeling that I still had a home.
Vancouver did make me a little restless. I didn't like how my room was always cold, dark, and not really mine. But I am crazy in love with the people in Vancouver. My friends will never cease to make me laugh at my highest pitch. My family will never cease to love me for more than I'm worth. The ocean will never fail to seduce me. And the night before leaving I went through my things, getting rid of excess stuff in my closet that had been sitting in the back of my mind. Clearing my head with every item. I now know only a few pieces of me lie at home; that is enough.
As the shuttle drove into Toronto in a bright winter sky, I was happy to be home...home...one of many of my so called homes. I like it here. I like the business. I like going up 14 floors to my room in residence which carries more of my personality than my room ever has. As much as I love Vancouver, the city doesn't suit me, the familiar surroundings always strange to me.
Me and my room mate have been organizing and re-decorating. Everything is being refreshed.
A beautiful woman with long blue colored hair did tarot cards for me the other day in her dream-like home. I am using them to sort my thoughts for the new year. Some went something like this:
FORGIVE SOMEONE FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR OWN HEALTH
Diseases and cancer form with negativity bursting on the inside. Anger controls your mind and distracts you from what's really important. I have forgiven myself. For bingeing. For starving. For abusing my body in any way. It has been taking over my mind; I need to forgive myself and move on.
DANCE AT MIDNIGHT
This card said that I hated to be judged. That feeling judged brought me down. That I needed the feeling that comes with dancing at midnight. The night before Shirin and I had accidentally ended up at a gay club. We danced through midnight. I had felt insecure that night, but in a room of gay men danced freely. I need this feeling. This is why I so often crave travel, free to be whoever I feel like being without being judged.
I want this year to be about refreshment. Cleaning out my closets; opening myself up; dancing at midnight.
I want to feel bigger than Vancouver's Pacific Ocean; taller than Toronto's high rises.
welcome to 2005 ladies and gentlemen
Last night we screamed at the top of our lungs at midnight to a crowd of thirty somethings. We were in the western room, clad with slutty cowgirl dancers and all. I did my best to move to the house music, occasionally adjusting my tight black dress and feeling blisters forming on my feet. Ah, to be a woman at Storyeum's black tie new years eve bash, darting away from an overly energized male in a tight tank top trying to get his groove on with me.
Now I am starting my first day of the year with a cough, a sniffle, and a sneeze. I am sick with a cold, sitting in my pyjamas, yet still hopeful that this new year will be as bright as the sunshine today, not my infected insides.
Looking back on the year, I'd like to quote Sinatra: 'Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention!'
I'm trying to think of New Years resolutions. For many years it was the classic 'lose weight'. Too common on many women's list of resolutions. Last year I was much smarter, my resolution as not to hold back. I'd like to think I worked that one, as I seem to become more and more outgoing. Reaching out for my desires rather than shying away from them.
Here's all I can think of for this year:
-take a dance class
-read the newspaper (this one's for journalism...)
-love myself and see that I am capable of anything
It's a good start. I hope this year brings good fortune to everyone. Or better yet, that everyone finds it within themselves to create their own good fortune. To exceed their expectations of themselves. To test themselves. To make an effort to change bad fortune. To make the most of life, of the year, of every single bloody day.
It will rain, it will pour; snow will be blown into my face. Lets make the most of it. Lets get closer for warmth. Let us curse everything that is wrong but see what is right.
Congested sinuses and all, I'm ready.
Me checking how my dress looks on my digital camera. Portrait courtesy of Brendan Young, perfect as everything he does.