Day 35 – Serendipitous strangers…

… and small talk.

 

Somewhere past first introductions, being acquaintances and small talk, you find similarities and intimacy with strangers you didn’t imagine possible. Over those many texts and phone calls, the best part about these friendships is getting to know each other.

Whenever I’m in a room with new people, I’m always tongue tied and my gut always pulls back. There is this sudden need for boundaries from people you’ve met only moments ago. How much information is too much? How much is enough? Funny enough, this guard just drops when I see who I am with, and tongue tied who?

All these life-long friendships have grown from being serendipitous strangers to being friends like family. One such human of joy is Aakansha aka Keds aka Lover & Keeper of Fairy Lights. After months of texting each other and planning, Aakansha and I finally met at Pancake Parlour about a year ago. One thing led to another and the evening ended with me being at her house and hanging out like we were friends from some other life, in her backyard. We found ourselves sharing stories that were a lot more intimate than those you usually would in a first meet. Strangely enough when we have to share our story, we were introduced to each other by another common friend (shoutout to Rhuta). I remember one of us pointing out how easily we connected despite being just acquaintances the day before.

Getting to know someone for the first time is like diving into that delicious molten cake from your favourite Friday night restaurant. You start out with some vanilla ice-cream, move on to that warm layer of cake, and finally dive straight into that rich molten chocolate. Each element tells its own story while you’re unravelling all those flavours. A lot like new friendships and getting to know someone. It’s all in the details; in the stories.

Serendipitous strangers

Now that I’m reliving that moment, all it was was two serendipitous strangers sitting on the grass with their glasses of wine, talking about life instead of making small talk.

My daily affirmations are proof of the impact these beautiful strangers can have on your life…on you.

Get out. Stay out. Find your stranger(s).

Today’s tune: Perfect Strangers (Cover) by Grace Grundy.

Day 35 – 19 September 2017.
331 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Day 33 – How deep is your love?

Hi Big,

How deep is your love?

I wore my heart on my sleeve and told you I loved you. You turned around said you did too but you see yourself with her. I get it. I broke us up once, I could do it again. Yet, you keep coming back. I keep giving in. In the hope that maybe I will still have a part of you. You keep coming back because you know you still have a part of me. It almost makes me believe that you want me. Is that true? Or is it just a version of me that completes you? You’ve said it before and I know it now. It is the puzzle piece that is missing to complete your perfect picture. How pathetic do I sound?

I don’t want to be the other woman. Not anymore. I don’t want to do your midnight rendezvous or your early morning sip of coffee. Yet, here I am, always knocking on your door. Thinking maybe if I can have some of you, it’s only a matter of time till we’re together. I know this is selfish. Ten years ago, I would never approve of this person. Of this version of myself. Now, I’m using this version because it pleases you. And you please me, my heart, my mind, me.

You tell me that you love me and then you don’t. You’re clouded by what you want until you return to your reality. Until you return to her. I am clouded even though I know better. Even though we know better.

In the real world, what good is this for us? I mean, you can’t seem to do justice to a relationship with someone you say you love and see yourself with? There’s no excuse, is there? So, who is selfish? My sins aren’t any wiser than yours. I want to commit and you love the idea of having the best of both worlds. I would never want to be her. Hell, I was her. And now you’ve made me into the women I’ve hated. You’ve made me someone I hate. No, you’re not to blame. Not entirely anyway. But then, I keep thinking about it. About us and our fantasy. I’ve had feelings for you and you see right through me. I keep telling myself that you’re taking advantage of me. But how I can blame you, when I am equally guilty? I wake up dreaming about us in a boathouse or the back of a bar. My legs wrapped around your waist and my back against the wall. Our moans echo through the walls and I want more. You make my mouth dry and I want nothing more. My hands are stroking through your hair and arms, pulling your closer. Not willing to let go. But in the back, there’s a shadow of her, wandering around looking for you.

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When you say you love me, it’s this version of me that completes you or your wants. You don’t love all of me. If you did, you wouldn’t treat me like just another number to be deleted from your call-log. Would you?

I really mean to learn

For the times that we speak, there is no one else. In that moment, I am the girlfriend. I get the compliments, the love, the lust, and your attention. I cave and never want to let go. I know what turns you on, and use it. I know what makes you moan and I love that I know. I love that it’s all me. So I am guilty too. Guilty of wanting you to moan and sweat because of me. I am guilty of wanting to wake up cradled in your embrace. I am guilty of wanting to be the person you vent to but also share the new of your next best thing with. I want to be her.

You’re in denial. As am I. What are we doing, stranger? I tell the world you’re my best friend. Maybe you were. Maybe you are. It’s all a blur now. I can’t trust myself with you anymore. You don’t seem to care beyond our platonic relationship anyway, anymore. You ask questions on the surface of things because one must. Then…we trail. We get lost and we get intimate. There’s an adrenaline rush and we don’t thinks straight anymore. Again.

This feels like an addiction. One that I’m not particularly proud of. I am so addicted to you. All of you, that I keep coming back for more. It’s not just the sex. Yes, you make my body feel things I’ve never felt before. You also make me feel sparks and the entire zoo flipping my insides, like never before.

Flash forward, now all I am to you is someone with walls and cranky conversations. Yes. These are my walls. This is my guard to protect myself from the toxicity of this relationship because it’s affecting my mental health. It’s affecting my sense of self and my potential of ever truly being loved and wanted by someone. But just like any other addiction, your presence alone brings back that adrenaline rush and I want you pinned under me. Again.

carrie-big-satc.jpg

We’re living in a world of fools, breaking us down when they all should let us be

We all deserve love. Even those that once turned it down or deceived someone. You’re taking that away from me. You’re taking that away from me because you think you know better – for both of us.

What is love if it isn’t all of you? With her? With me? With yourself?

What is love if all I am is a mystery you can’t solve? What is love if all I am is an unspeakable secret? What is love if you’re never willing to find out? What is love if it’s too late to find out?

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How deep is your love?

All yours,

Carrie

Today’s tune: How Deep Is Your Love by The Bird and The Bee.

Day 33 – 17 September 2017.
333 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Day 32 – I’m back (barely)

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When this project turned a month old, I promised myself to not worry about filters or what others thought. Let’s be honest, obviously that was an empty promise. I haven’t written since. Not because I didn’t want to but because this because this felt and became obligatory. This became something I was not. The same trickled down to my art too. I haven’t drawn in months and it hurts. You cannot imagine how much it hurts but I hate that what I love (used to anyway) seems like a task instead of a hobby.

These may seem like excuses but they’re really not. They are daily battles and I am at the losing end.

Just don’t give up
I’m workin’ it out

These past couple months have been draining in so many ways. My biggest source of exhaustion has been me, myself and I. Yet, despite the exhaustion I feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. Nowhere with work, nowhere with school, nowhere with life. This should scare right? It should at least worry me? Instead I’ve gotten comfortable with doing nothing. I have become complacent. I am tired most days and nights, and wake up with no will whatsoever. And while I’ve always loved my alone time, this time round, it isn’t as pleasant. Not at all.

Please don’t give in
I won’t let you down

Am I running away from responsibility and hiding beneath this whole pile of excuses? Am I using it as a defense mechanism against all expectations from self and others?

Having said that, a lot has happened in the last few months. I moved to a new home, I got a new job, I started a new semester at school. All this seems and sounds really overwhelming. And now, it feels really overwhelming too. The time that I get to myself, which is mostly nights wrapped in exhaustion and anxiety, is all I have. I have also started seeing a counsellor because I suddenly feel like I need to be diagnosed. It’s strange, this need for diagnosis, because you want to believe something is wrong with you irrespective of reality. I’m scared genes I thought were suppressed may suddenly take over my life.

It messed me up, need a second to breathe

I am sick and I am tired and I cannot wait for this phase to end. And like you’re going to tell me and like I already know, this won’t just end unless I do something about it. Here’s what I have been struggling with – how?

You will know how Chriselle, you just have to take that first step and be open to change. After all…you only live once, carpe damn diem, zindagi na milegi dobara, you’re the captain of your own ship, affirmation after affirmation, yada yada.

how???

Just keep coming around

Today’s tune: Whataya Want from Me by Adam Lambert.

Day 32 – 16 September 2017.
334 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

Day 31 – 22 June 2008

We got in the elevator and he wrapped his arm around me to try and comfort me. Comfort is a funny thing. Most other times it’s just awkward. I mean what do you tell your niece who understands nothing about death? I feel my uncle’s hand trembling against my arm. I know he’s trying to be strong and comfort me but seeing how shaken he is, makes me a lot more anxious and nervous.

It was only earlier this morning when mum rushed dad to the hospital. He was getting better, they said. A while later, the phone rang and I saw my aunt quiver as she listened silently to the person on the other end. It was my uncle. It wasn’t good news. It never is when there’s silence on one end of the conversation. The look in her eyes changed from concern to shock and pain. That gave it away. Looks were exchanged across the room and everyone was different now. For a while, I was excluded from this “sensitive” conversation. How do you tell a fifteen year old that she just lost her father? The man who was sitting on the same dining table as her two nights before he fell cold to a heart attack? Comfort, my awkward companion, they didn’t know how.

I was finally sat down and told that my dad didn’t survive his second heart attack. I don’t know if I was even listening to them in that moment, let alone grieving. I started making calls to extended family and friends to let them know.

Ring, talk, cut.
Ring, talk, cut.
Ring, talk, cut.

People were crying at the unexpected news but I responded with nothing more than a cold thank you. How could I be so cold? How could I be so clueless? Was anything sinking in?

The elevator opens and we’re almost at the ICU. I can feel this lump growing in my stomach but I’m moving mechanically. I feel cold and jaded. Have you ever dreamt of death? I have, far too many times. I’ve woken up in cold sweats and filled with guilt because the people in my dreams are my family and people I care too much about. They say dreams are often alternate realities of your sub-conscience. But I didn’t want him to die, I would never want him to die, how could he die? Two weeks before this horrific day, I dreamt that my father was dying. Two weeks later, it’s not a dream anymore. This was death in all its realness closing in on us, on me.

We walk down this corridor that smelt of that familiar disinfectant. As we reached the ICU, I could see beds of patients weak under their sheets, attached to monitors and drips. Some breathing by choice, some because of a simple switch. It’s ironic how peaceful the ICU seems to a lay person, only to be a sanctuary to fate of the very ill patients, tired medics and grieving families.

I see my mother from a distance. Her body is pale and her eyes are sore from crying endlessly. She’s repeating these words filled with regret, pain, anger and confusion. I can tell she’s been saying this all day. She is in denial. Her body is cold and she’s lost. Through those tears, I see pain and guilt all at once. I see how much she tried. I see how much she wished it was her instead of him. I see a part of her has died with him. I watched her age before my eyes in just a few minutes. Despite that, she’s trying to comfort me but I can feel her bones quiver beneath her body trying to stay strong for me.

We drew the curtain and there he was. The man I once knew to be fit and a champion of life, lying wrapped in a thin white cloth in nothing but his bare skin. He lay there in that hospital bed, naked and vulnerable. His body small, cold and helpless. A man once resounding with humour and candour, now silent and lifeless.

We stood by that ICU bed, holding each other and broke into hard sobs.

You tell me I’m strong. You tell me how proud he must feel to see me now. But really, I’m not. How would you know when you haven’t lived a day in our lives or walked in my shoes? How would you ever know what it’s like? How can you know what he thinks of me or my way of life? You don’t, I don’t. I lost a part of my mother too that day. A part I haven’t seen in nine years. A part you and I will never see again. She’s a strong new woman and yet nothing like she used to be before. How do you know everything is going to be okay?

22 June 2008.

On my way to work this morning, I felt that hand around me again. I was back in that damned elevator reliving a day I wished never happened.
It was every minute of a man once full of life lying cold in cloth.
It was every minute of a five year old boy never having the chance to get to know his father.
It was every minute a wife losing her best friend and companion, and herself.
It was every minute of me losing my childhood and father.
It wasn’t one person we lost nine years ago, it was our way of life and love.

Mum messaged me this afternoon telling me how she couldn’t stop crying because she missed him. For forty-five minutes on my bus this morning, I couldn’t stop crying because of how much I missed him. I cried again then because of how much I missed her. I couldn’t stop crying because for the first time in a long time I felt lonely. And like every other year since 2008, I was back in the ICU lost and alone.

This isn’t a cry for help. It’s the only way I know to cope, so bear with me.

It’s been a long day but maybe we could end it with one of our favourite songs and go back to a day that had more smiles than tears.

Today’s tune: Walk of Life by Dire Straits.

It’s time we moved on.

Day 31 – 22 June 2017.
335 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Greg Ortega on Unsplash

Day 29 – I’m yelling Tinder

I get rebellious every now and then, and download Tinder. I suppose it’s my way to getting back to the person who hurt me and letting them know that I could move on too. Who am I kidding? (but that’s besides the point)

The last two times I used Tinder, I was surprised with a few matches but none that ever led to a conversation. A lot of these guys seemed really good but not hearing from them crushes the little self-confidence you have left in you. Worse still, most of my other friends who used Tinder seemed to find dates, even if not a companion, and move on. What was happening here? Was I not good enough? I had my brave moments and even messaged some but I was left staring at my own message over and over (World 1 Chriselle 0). I would feel pathetic, and cry and complain over never hearing back from people. Being rejected by strangers suddenly felt so much worse. What do they know? Eventually it made me feel more bitter. I deleted Tinder and swore never to download it again, that was until the next time I felt alone and vulnerable and wanted a partner to talk to.

Distractions, Anagha said, you need distractions.

It is my lunch break at work and my mind keeps drifting to the boy. I open Google Play Store and at the risk of facing more rejection, I download Tinder again. I think it couldn’t get any worse than I already feel. And this anger might be better than the way I’m pining for someone I can’t have. So I set up my profile, and paste this description I had previously written and we’re ready go. I pick out pictures that I’m told look nice; not too much but just enough. I pick out my Spotify anthem and John Mayer is strumming the strings on his guitar in my ears, and I’m thinking, “Let’s go to wonderland“.

Swipe left.
Swipe left.
Swipe left.
Swipe right.

This goes on for a while and suddenly there’s a flame flashing in my notification bar. I got super liked (Heart 1 World 0). And it happened again. And for the first time in my otherwise failed attempts on Tinder, there is a message and I am beyond excited. Suddenly, all is forgotten because I feel confident and liked? I’m not sure why but I feel validated. I felt better the next day because I started swiping yes for people I thought were out of my league (something I never did before), and I was matched yes again (self-esteem 8503804803843, anxiety 0).

My close guy friends always mocked me being on Tinder because it isn’t meant to be an app for something other than a hookup. But I know of friends who have found love. Sure, the chances are one in a million or two, but it’s possible. Right? When I first joined Tinder, it was a distraction and to fill a void. That makes me a horrible person but I have to honest – that’s what it was. So imagine my excitement when someone is actually interested in having a conversation about me and about him, and the things that matter. It shifted something in me. I don’t see us turning into something just yet but knowing that I could have a conversation with someone other than boys from my past that I have been holding on to for years made me feel really really good.

There will always be a guy like you out there. Today, maybe not, but maybe someday you will find your match. On Tinder or not, just believe.

I don’t want to be just an option for people to swipe yes or no to. But being wanted felt bloody damn good, and no, it’s not the solution but it feels like a step towards finding one.

You want love?
We’ll make it
Swim in a deep sea
Of blankets

Today’s tune: Your Body Is A Wonderland by John Mayer.

Day 29 – 1 June 2017.
337 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 28 – Alive

Heartbreak can be as liberating as it is painful. For the most part, I am okay because I have been distracted. It gets tough when I am alone and staring at silence storm its fist at me. It get though when my thought drift towards what could be and what isn’t. It is tough but for the most part I am okay. Continue reading “Day 28 – Alive”

Day 27 – I booked my first solo trip

My hands are still trembling from doing the exact opposite of what I intended to do. I booked my first solo trip for a week in Tasmania. OH-MY-GOD, YES, I DID! WHAT WAS I THINKING? Continue reading “Day 27 – I booked my first solo trip”

Day 23 – Unforced errors

I have been trying too hard to make things work the way I imagine or expect them to be. I am not allowing them to take their own course. I am so used to control, it is making everything else spiral out of control. I must not force things, I will not force things, I no longer force things.

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind

What is meant to be will be — swim, float or drown, it will be, in its own time and course.

Today’s tune: Skinny Love by Birdy.

Day 23 – 26 May 2017.
343 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 22 – I should have known better but…

I should have known better than to chase something that seemed like a fantasy, but I wandered into the choppy waters anyway, unprepared. I sought something I thought I deserved but in truth, it wasn’t mine to begin with.

Love is like the wind and you’re the sailor trying to find your shore. Like the wind, it gives you direction but it may not always to the right destination.

I have always been one to follow my heart and instinct with people because sometimes you just know. You just know know in that moment that you want to pursue someone and that they could complete you. You know that you’re willing to be vulnerable (and I am rarely willing to be vulnerable). The problem with that though is that you are also risking everything that once was for something you think might exist in the future – a risk that could end in (at least) two ways. One that could make you happy and the other other that will strip you of every emotion you once felt.

I should’ve listened to the part of me that screamed no but I chose to take the risk anyway. Sometimes those voices in your head screaming all the reasons of doubt can save you from yourself. I should have listened!

In trying to keep myself occupied, my mind kept drifting to a place of unresolved issues, so I started typing.

it started two months ago
our relationship began to crumble
I kept shelving the discomfort
but now I see it unravel

you’re tearing me to pieces
you’re driving me insane
you tell me you love me
but give me darkness instead

you want her heart
but crave my body
you say I make your heart race
but won’t come out and call me

I thought we shared our souls
maybe it was just me
all those hours of laughter and tears
was that just heat?

it’s been a year and you’ve said nothing
you tell me you can’t choose
you don’t know how
though I see you drifting loose

you say it’s all in my head
you say I got here on my own
I’m wrapped up in a dark fantasy
chasing pavements and your heart of stone

so here we are
torn apart
hiding in the shadows of our guilt
holding on to our past

is this guilt
was it a mistake?
this lust turned to love
how do I make it go away?

where is this love you professed?
where is the castle your promised to build?
were we ever okay to begin with?
will you hold me, still?

it’s not your fault
it’s not mine either
it’s just this heart
that’s grown weaker

I wish I made you happy
I wish you could choose me
maybe in another lifetime
our forever could be

truth is, I loved you then
I love you now
and if you ever come knocking
I will love you again, every minute of every hour

Today’s tune: Justin Bieber (Acoustic Set) – BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.

Day 22 – 25 May 2017.
344 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 19 – Soulful stories

We all have a rehearsed set of lines similar to our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn bios. These are usually simple yet exciting enough, witty but safe. It is the story you know people want to hear even if it is not yours to tell. It is a story of our past achievements, our future aspirations, our talents and outward appearances. It is a story meant for the file.

Are you your hobbies or your values?

This morning, mum and I were talking about people judging each other based on what they see or read on social media. It is most often the first point of contact, and if it doesn’t match one’s expectations, it could be the last. She suggested that maybe I should tone down my blog posts and not get too personal on such a public platform. That I was giving away too much information, the kind that may not be appreciated. A few years ago, I would worry. I would worry about who read what I wrote and filter my audience due of the fear of being judged. Today, I have grown to be comfortable with myself. Today, I want my story to be heard. So my argument back was why not let people know what makes me the person I am, rather than letting them see what they think they know. Or for those who didn’t know me, why ruin the first impression? I was confident of being true to my values and I see no wrong in sharing that with the world.

I guess our real stories are most pure and beautiful because they are uncensored and vulnerable. These are stories about our journey to what got us to this point. It is the story in which we bear our souls and talk about who we are beneath the layers on display. It is the story that extends beyond our comfort zone and leaves us raw and exposed. It is intense but it is honest, and it is out there for someone to love or leave you. So why isn’t it okay to share? Why are we wired to put out something we’re not?

I have heard some of the most inspiring stories from friends who might seem to have it all together but have struggled to get where they are today. It isn’t easy but they shared their stories with me anyway. They opened their doors and exposed their lives. Listening to them, in that moment, was magical and pure. It was when I fell in love with them because I got to know these friends for who they really were and not just what they wanted the rest of the world to see. It was magical because I could see myself in them. When I heard their honest soul-bearing stories, I knew that I had to have them in my life forever. How else do you know whether or not you might like someone?

This 365 project is my story and it is 365 shades of honesty. Occasionally, it is also my (many) shades of complication. What is your story?

Today’s tune: Fresh Eyes by Andy Grammer.

Day 19 – 22 May 2017.
347 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.