Of Learning How To Dance


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The Universe twists and twirls in a dance only to its own accord and following a rhythm known to no one but itself. We’re yet to prove our worthiness of something more, is what I believe. The grand old Universe is under no obligation to make any sense to any of us, is the way Neil deGrasse Tyson phrased it, but that shouldn’t stop us from still trying to learn the steps – our steps – and join in the party as best as we can. Awkward, silly, broken and limping, shy and self-conscious. No matter, there’ll always be someone willing to dance along.

Call me a cynic if you will, but I’m so happy the Valentine’s (and Galentine’s and what not) madness is over, for the year at least.

There’s been so much talk about love these few days, and for those who’ve not reached a level of emotional maturity where celebrating the small and great alike has become part of everyday life, I can understand why having a pin in the calendar a few times a year can help with not getting completely
buried under the mundane. But if we make an effort to look beyond the Pepto Bismol-colored clichés, it becomes clear that it all runs much deeper. The dance is much more sensual and much more filled with thoughtfulness than these little nothings let on.

What I’ve been noticing a lot around me (and Netflix has been brilliant at reinforcing for a few weeks now via mind-bending flicks like Russian Doll and The Umbrella Academy) is that trust is harder to come by than strawberries used to be in the winter. Understandably so – it’s one of the aspects of our day to day interactions we struggle with the most. The heartbreaks, the betrayals to a minute or a huge extent, the broken promises, the not showing ups, the always maybes and we’ll sees.

What we fail to grasp is that while connection might be instant, trust is something earned (and lost) in the tiniest of increments.

I’m lucky enough to have people around me that I’m still in awe of for their capacity to accept me as I am. Remembering how I came to meet some of them, a slight shiver goes down my spine at the thought that I might have decided against taking a leap of faith. It’s thanks to these moments of ‘weakness’, moments of ‘sure, let’s give this a try’, of ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ and moments of ‘daring to step off the sidewalk’ that I’ve managed to surround myself with people one can only dream of having as friends. Oh, the stories I could tell you of how it all started!

Little by little, we’ve shared laughs, concerts in the rain, road trips, movies, shots, tears, stories, glasses of wine, worries, fears and dreams. And we’ve danced like nobody was watching, all along knowing we had each other’s backs if ever life got to us.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

In the back of my mind, along with the feeling of gratefulness, the inner critic hasn’t fallen asleep on the job. It’s relentless in asking why these amazing people stick around and what’s so great about me to deserve them and their trust. I answer it: “I don’t know, but I have to trust they do. Maybe they just like to dance.” So I say cheers and raise a glass to all of them, hoping they keep trusting me to not step on their feet while dancing to this wild and unpredictable music.


Bouts Of Spring And Starry Skies


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When the only scenery you see every morning and every evening are your shoes hitting the grey surface of the city sidewalk, it’s time to ask yourself a very important question: when was the last time your looked up?

So, when was the last time you looked up at the buildings you walk by every day or maybe only once in a few months? How about at the stars? You used to love looking at the deep, starry skies on balmy summer nights and on freezing winter ones alike. The endless blue sky? Or even the fast running clouds? More importantly, do you remember when was the last time that you truly looked into another person’s eyes and saw them for who they are?

I bet it’s been a while. I bet it feels strange and awkward and as if you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. Any moment now, someone will catch onto your transgression and expose you to the world, shame you for your audacity to be more and feel more.

Hold on to that intoxicating sensation – like you’ve had one too many glasses of wine – and relish in it. Subtle and profound, there’s nothing like it in the world. These are the kind of moments we should be running after, not away from – if only our experiences and societal expectations didn’t prime us for anxiety instead of boldness.

There may be bouts of autumn in the middle of summer, but there are also bouts of spring in the middle of winter. Live them.

Photo by Derek Truninger on Unsplash

Of Time


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Time, time, it’s always about time.

My time is mine, your time is yours; but when is time ours and what does it feel like? Would it be like having skin covered in soft velvet, or more like the sound of ripping cloth and the randomness of threads that will never really fit together? What does our time look like, do you know?

My time crashing into your time.

Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Not enough time. Not offered. Time given spitefully – useless, rotten, poisoning the life around it. You deserve your own time. Don’t we all, though?

Time put in that you never get back, until you feel there’s not a shred more you can give. That’s when the regrets rush in for the instants you thought moved and mattered, but were just fleeting seconds and nothing more. That’s when you ask yourself what was it all even for. Regrets are hard not to have when there’s been pain. They’re the collateral you either weren’t warned about or decided not to think about, to help you with the leap. That’s hopefully also when the lessons start to be learnt.

My time is mine, and your time is yours. So if it turns out that our time doesn’t exist, then I think I can still share mine – will you share yours?

Of Strange Songs


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The poetry of a heart that’s been hurt is harsh, it’s jarring and raw.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

The songs of a broken heart sing lyrics of tears shed and pains that you’d never thought would come to pass. They did, though.

Don’t stifle its voice and don’t deny it. Yes, it’s confusing and strange, but also beautiful in its awkwardness and shyness once the rough shards have been sanded down properly and patiently. It will find a way to make itself noticed, even when words aren’t enough or feel too heavy. So listen, without demanding. Look, without judgement.

That look, it will kill you or heal you. Or maybe both, but the order counts. It’s a coin flip, they say. I say, it is until you decide it shouldn’t be and start listening instead of just hearing, looking instead of merely seeing.

Don’t quiet the heart, even if the song playing in the background right now isn’t one you’d dance to. You’ll soon dance again.

Raise Yourself


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I raise another glass of wine
to the thunder rolling through my mind.

The last one, I promise to nobody,
not even to myself, 
because I know I’m playing pretend for the thrill of it –
a test of wills and wits between
myself and nobody in particular.

The wings I’ve grown for myself
from the ashes of the old me
still feel heavy and awkward;
getting used to the new face in the mirror
can sometimes take eons –
so better not look for too long and too intently,
lest I get drawn in the depths of the nevermore.

‘Just keep practicing your flying’ I urge myself, while balancing
a glass of wine I said I’d not be having.

Photo by Luke Besley on Unsplash

Of Disappointment and What Comes After


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For a while, my social media presence was negative to say the least and downright depressing if we’re being honest all the way. I was once jokingly told that I should stop being so upset about everything and anything. I also realize now that I was causing concern in a lot of the people around me, which is something I feel I should apologize for, while at the same time saying ‘thank you’. The intention of my words was far from that, but at the same time it made me happy (or just a little bit less sad at the time) that people I wouldn’t have imagined cared about my wellbeing enough to reach out.

The moment thankfully passed and I came out better for it. The cynical phase couldn’t have lasted forever – haven’t you met me? I’m that person, (one of) the last of her kind, the idealist who can’t let go of the habit to hope and to believe in the moment’s potential. And while this state of being isn’t without its perils, it’s not something I can run away from for long. I’ve tried, but it catches up with me every single time. So I’ve just given up on trying to outrun it and embraced it as who I am at my core.

Mindfulness is a word I’ve been using often lately, but not something I’ve yet completely understood or grasped. Then, out of the blue comes the right question from someone who doesn’t even know me that well, and my answer sums up what it’s supposed to be better than I was able to after months spent thinking about it and trying to enact it.

Q: “When were you happiest in your life?”

A: “Right now.”

Simple. Brilliantly simple. I was unaware of it until the moment the words left my mouth. It’s in this moment that I’m happiest, giving myself a real chance at joy from things small and large alike, surrounded by people who’ve stuck with me through the worst and have continued to remind me they care even when I wasn’t very kind to myself, and most of all still daring to believe in the good in people.

Photo by Miguel Orós on Unsplash

I’ll stumble along the way, of that I’m sure. I’ll curse through my teeth when struck by disappointment anew. I’ll swear off being open and showing vulnerability when hurt again. I’ll doubt my words, their brightness, color and strength when criticism will touch some raw spot still in need of healing. I’ll have my low moments and be infinitely sad, while some will tell me nothing is worth feeling the cuts so deeply.

This is all fine, even the hurt, disappointment and sadness. What’s more important it knowing it’s temporary and that there’s much more warmth around us than we can fathom. So I say let’s allow ourselves to feel it all, both the lows and the highs, without fear, and remember that time is long.

Of Looking Beyond


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Every now and again, I fall into a sort of absolute daydreaming which is acceptable at age 20, but ends up causing trouble later on when real life demands consistent chunks of your attention. Still for a few more days, it’s an indulgence I don’t regret in the slightest, since it feels very much appropriate at the turning of the year to revisit dreams temporarily set aside.

If there’s one thing I refuse to accept is the death of dreams. Even in the most inhospitable of contexts or in the most discouraging of conditions, once our dreams are buried, there’s no more joy in the lives we lead, there’s not more purpose in any of our actions. How else can we become more than what we were a year ago, a month ago, or yesterday even, if we don’t allow our dreams to carry us there?

So call me silly, call me naive, tell me I’m setting myself up for a world of hurt for being too trusting. But don’t tell me to give up on my dreams, because that’s when you’re going to lose me. Words spoken in anger or in ignorance, pettiness born out of unacknowledged hurts – the things I can forgive and forget are many. Telling me to resign myself to a monotonous, dreary existence, to give up hope of fixing what should be fixed mainly because it requires more effort than the bare minimum and more than a couple of days to see results – that is not one of them.

So I’ll be daydreaming my way into 2019, as a self-respecting idealist should. What about you?

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Of A Very Merry Christmas


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Good morning, Christmas!

I’ve decided I’m going to give you a real chance this year. No unrealistic expectations from my part (although it would be nice to have a white Christmas for once in a very long time), I’m just going to allow you to be and enjoy your presence as it is. No rush, no drama if a detail doesn’t fit just right or if a dish I’m trying to prepare for the first time flops spectacularly (doesn’t it usually? No? Maybe it’s just me).

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If you have to force a celebration, just like a relationship, then it’s missing something essential for it to be successful and fulfilling in its truest sense.

It’s my first Christmas in my own place. Yes, folks, I finally managed to move into the apartment I bought nearly two years ago and took my sweet time turning into somewhere I can call home. For a few moments this year, I though I wouldn’t feel at home here anytime soon (circumstances were such to make me feel that way), not to mention thinking I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own. I did it, nonetheless.

Not quite on my own, though.

It would have been a much more physically and mentally taxing journey had it not been for my never tiring family and for some absolutely fantastic friends being there for me anytime I needed them (especially when I was too ashamed to ask for their help and support once again). I’m endlessly grateful to each one, because it’s thanks to them that I found resources of strength I didn’t believe I had and managed to make it so much farther than I dared hope in the span of a year.

There’s a reason we’re social creatures. We need one another to grow, to progress, to make discovery meaningful. It’s through one another that we make our lives meaningful.

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

Good morning, Christmas! I’m welcoming you with open arms as you are because I know for a fact you are more than I asked for and so thankful for it!

Of Where It All Began


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I fell into the world of words by chance, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, equally confused and fascinated by the newfound stirring around – and within – me.

I was given the opportunity to go to a literary camp back in junior high. I didn’t understand why exactly they’d picked me. I’d never felt any particular pull towards writing and I’d not distinguished myself with any of the articles that somehow ended up in the school magazine. In hindsight, the way I understood a good article should be written was flawed at its core. At the time, there was nobody to tell me that while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, that doesn’t however make the original piece valuable or worthy of such compliment.

It took me a few more years after that fateful camp (and later on returning for a second year) to crystalize a style that was my own instead of relying on the knowledge that other people’s writing had already been validated by public opinion and was therefore safe. Blogging was where I found myself, even while there were other pieces taking form offline that I’ve still not found the courage to show.

Vulnerability comes in degrees, so the moments to reveal your raw and hidden sides will need to be scoped and seized as they present themselves. Being mindful instead of being regretful is an approach I can adhere to now, after looking back on years of missteps and mistakes.

Being aware of others at the same time as staying true to yourself remains the greatest challenge as long as the writing is meant for an audience and not destined for secrecy in some dusty diary hidden under piles of useless papers. I tackle it every time I sit down to write something new: will this touch anybody? will it offend someone? will it simply be ignored? And always: is this any good? and what will the ones reading it think of me?

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

It sometimes gets to be such a balancing act that despite my impulse to publish a post immediately, I have to remind myself to take a breath (and maybe sleep on it), revisit and refine before sending something into the world that has a high chance of being misinterpreted. The risk could never be reduced to zero, but a rational mind will still try.

The questions I mentioned earlier, those I’m sure will never truly be silenced either. Should one even try to do so completely, if one is to remain humble and continue to strive for betterment? 

Of Anger And Other Demons


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Half a year ago, I thought I’d break. I was firm in my conviction I’d break beyond repair this time round, the irony of it being that I’d triggered the shattering myself. To me, it was one of those things you never see yourself capable of doing – until, that is, there’s no other option left but to do it.

In case you’re wondering, I did break. Into a zillion tiny shards that were so sharp I ended up making deeper and deeper cuts into my heart, and so oddly shaped that they didn’t seem to fit together into an identifiable version of myself anymore.

I was in a rush to make my universe better, normal again. But it wouldn’t work that way, so I got angry. I was angry at the world, at certain people, but mostly – and most of the time – at myself for months during which I didn’t want to understand the anger, let alone to confront it. I just lived in it. Something which, once again, I’d never seen myself capable of doing. 

It wasn’t a pretty sight, it wasn’t an emotion that you’d normally associate with progress. You see, I’d never acknowledged anger as an acceptable emotion to experience, as if in order to be a good person you couldn’t have any negative emotions infect your being. All the anger that I’d let build up for much of my existence over all sorts of topics was finding an outlet and it was not about to be bottled up anytime soon. 

Photo by Vishal Joshi on Unsplash

So I let it run its course, until one day I woke up and realised I’m just not angry anymore. I was able to recognise my reflection in the mirror. I was able to enjoy who I was after for much too long I’d spread myself so thin for the sake of everyone except me that I’d forgotten the life I truly wanted and needed.

I also realised anger could be the fuel one sometimes needs in life as the catalyst for change (to be used wisely and in moderate doses). Lesson to learn: all emotions deserve to be acknowledged, even if not all emotions should be acted upon.