Life is Good

Sept 24 2012

I am currently sitting at one of the computers in the library of my university. That feels strange to say. My “university”. It would not be exaggeration if I said there have been times when I thought I’d never make it this far, both in terms of my life expectancy and the actual affordability of such an education.

Yet here I am. Still alive. At one of the most prestigious universities in this country, and one of the top 500 in the world. I did not do this alone. I did not make it here alone. To say that I did would be self-centered, not to mention ridiculous. But I refuse to sell myself short anymore and say that I didn’t have something to do with it.

I am here because I want to be. Because I pushed, and pulled, and broke, and put myself back together, examined, looked before jumping, jumped before looking, and sometimes even flew for a glorious while. I am here because in this moment, it is where I am meant to be.

There is no need for me to back-read past posts to know how many times I have written about renewed strength, renewed hope and determination and desire to make my life my own. To start my life over on my terms. There is no need for me to play memories through my mind of how I failed, each of those times. Those bursts of energy were necessary; they gave me the boost I needed at the time in order to hold on, to keep going and working for something better. Yet they were merely shooting stars, flying brilliant and dazzling across the sky before crashing and dying out.

Over the past couple of months or so, there has been a shift inside me. I’ve tried to write about it numerous times, without ever being able to find the words. It started slow. Things that would normally have bothered me, didn’t as much, or rolled off my shoulders entirely. I found myself slightly more patient, more understanding, towards my family, my friends, and most surprising of all, myself. I was not happy… but I was okay. Not sad, not resentful, bitter, hurt… Just okay.

At first, I thought that that which I had both feared and wished for most had finally come to be: I’d lost all emotion, so nothing could faze me. The foreign feeling made it so where even that possibility was merely accepted and shrugged off. Then I realised it was more than that. I still felt; I was merely less excitable, more capable, more careful with how I allowed myself to feel.

For all my life, controlling myself used to be denying urges and emotions from ever being seen or heard. Silencing myself, hiding, making myself small, invisible, out of the way, not a burden…

Somehow, controlling myself has now become what I choose to let myself be affected by. An ability every one longs for, is told to have, and so few achieve.

Negative emotions still come through me, but the moment I choose to, I can let it go so easily it makes me wonder how I found it so hard before. I allow myself the validity of my emotion, then I breathe deep and just let it go. And when I need to articulate, I do, confidently and without giving a damn how it’ll be received by the other party.

Whatever comes my way, I am ready to face. I see my life now really isn’t so bad, and I’ve come to accept the (albeit restricting) downsides with the up. I feel less pressure to escape escape get out escape get away and more willing to do things at my own pace, in my own time, while making the best of and tweaking the life I have now. My desire for more than this still lives within me, but it is fueled with both passion and practicality. I am not burdening and taking myself to task for things that are not in my control yet, or perhaps never will be. I am not stressing myself out with responsibilities that are not my own.

In short, these past couple of months I have been transforming from within, without actively pursuing this transformation. I feel older, wiser, yet not in the jaded sense. Merely in the sense that I have come through a phase in my life, understood its lesson, and am finally ready for the next. I am so much more confident, so much more self-accepting, and so, so grateful for it all.

I am not happy yet. That’s okay. I am content. And for now, that is good enough.

Aug 1st, 2012 4:39:00am

I’m not really sure what to say here. I’m not really sure why I’m even here to begin with, on this page, talking about my uncertainty about things that don’t matter. Maybe I just need an outlet. A stream of conscious thought to flow out of me so my head doesn’t feel so cluttered with noises I can’t make out.

Then there’s the things I’m uncertain about that do matter. Things I can’t talk about yet, because it’s all up in the air at the moment and I’m scared voicing anything will send it all crashing down. Then there’s uncertainty about that, about whether actually letting out what’s bothering me really will jinx things or whether superstition and my own guarded self are just sabotaging me again.

Every decision I’ve ever made has brought more bad than good, even those I truly followed my instincts on. I have no doubt they were meant to happen, but I wonder why my choices are meant to bring such grief… where it fits into the “Plan”, if there even is such a thing.  It all.. hurts.

There are just days where I wake up and wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Where is it meant to go and whether I’m helping myself get there, or just making one wrong turn after another hoping I’ll get there eventually. My life feels like a series of stumbles and near-misses (while some are all-out disasters), a series of wandering around blind and terrified that the next step is going to be off a cliff I never even knew was there, with sheer dumb luck being the only thing that’s prevented it so far.

I don’t know what to choose, or how to choose for that matter. Whether I’m guided by instinct or stupidity. Whether I need to distance myself for the good of those I care about or keep trying and hope I don’t fuck it all up.

I’m not sure of anything. And really, that’s what hurts and terrifies me the most.

“Don’t Over-think, Just Do.”

Jul 8th, 2012 9:19:50pm

Since I was deemed “officially a lady” and “too old to be mucking about outside” a few years ago, I’ve been limited in what I can and can not do, and how often I can do them. I went from being outdoors everyday jumping around, playing sports and even just making grocery runs to being cooped up at home day in, day out. The only times I am allowed outside were when I went to school, the rare (and constantly becoming rarer) occasions I am allowed to go out with friends, or family outings that generally consist of a whole lot of bickering and not a lot of family time.

Over the years, new rules have continued popping up and it’s like the older I get, the tighter the leash around my neck. This has made me angry, frustrated, and depressed. It has made me feel like a caged animal, with so much pent up energy and nowhere to release it. Attempts to argue have been shot down, further attempts discouraged by threats of banning me from the internet and television which is where I am apparently learning this “insolent”, “rude” and “disrespectful” behaviour. So I obeyed. Have been obeying.

Today, I went out just for me, just to the park. Yet the entire walk I felt self-conscious, exposed, unsafe. Many times I just wanted to turn around and go back home. Every one seemed to be looking at me. Even through the windows of the buildings around. I was too out in the open and it made me insecure.

That’s when it hit me, really hit me, the damage I and my unwitting parents had done. I have been inside so long that even something as simple as walking to the park is out of my comfort zone and makes me squirm inside all the way there. I feel slightly safer when someone’s with me. I can hide. But alone and I feel too vulnerable. This is bad, and it needs to change fast.

Bit by bit, I need to get back to who I was. When I was younger I genuinely did not care. I cherished every opportunity to go outside and be wild and let out energy that seems to build as soon as it’s released. This was not meant for me, this constantly-indoors thing. It’s been wasting away my soul. I am the sporty, outdoorsy tomboy who needs physical activity. Every accidental scrape or bruise is  a thing of pride, not irritation. It’s a mark that I was out there doing something and I got away with nothing but a couple of scratches.

I love movement. I need movement. If I don’t get it, the resentment builds, and the energy builds, and it leads to this: an insecure, scared little girl.

It is not going to be easy. My family will oppose me nearly every step of the way. Just today, when I came home my mom questioned me about where I went, why, and why I did not ask her permission. She had been asleep. I had told my sister where I was going. It was the PARK. Yet even this needs to be under her and my father’s control and I am sick of it. I can not do it anymore.

I plan to move away and live independently. I plan to travel and see the world. Yet how can I do that when just being outside in my own neighbourhood, in the country I’ve lived in since I was six, scares me? It has to change. I will change it.

No more fear and blind obedience. No more over-thinking everything. Just action. I will do, not think about doing yet fear it yet talk myself out of it then hate myself and regret it all.

I Am Lost Tonight.

May 4th, 2012 3:48:00am

This is my light. This blog is where I post of hope, of strength, of one-day freedom and the lessons learned in between it all. This is where I write my way to the truth within me.
Yet tonight’s truth is that I am weary. Emotionally, as well as physically. And that’s okay, too. Because I am not giving in to despair, else this is not where I would retreat to. It’s okay to be tired, to be lost, as long as you still have hope that it won’t last.

It never lasts.

My heart is strong, despite the pieces it has been broken into. Despite the dust of powdered blood and muscle it has been crushed into. It knows how to repair itself enough to continue to function, to hope, to love, to beat for me and those around me.
Ask me my favourite part of me and I will not point to my eyes or my lips, my hands or my hips, my legs or stomach or thighs, instead opening the caverns of my chest and holding out my heart for you to see. I will proudly point out the scars and show you what I have survived. I will let you hold it so you can feel the force with which it still beats, hopeful and determined as ever.

Yet there are some nights… like tonight… where it slows. Where the damage that can’t be seen begins to act up and weakens me, just for a little while. An arthritis of the soul. There is so much I hold inside me that it is all an unrecognisable lump now. I can’t tell one source of ache from the other, like a ball made from chewed-up gum or different coloured play-dough. There are times where I will want to cry for apparently no reason at all, no trigger, no cause.

There are things inside me that are still broken and on nights like this, it shows.
Yet by morning I will wake and the shadows will have retreated. I will breathe as free and deep as I possibly can again. My heart will return to its resilient beat, feeding me dreams and hopes and plans for a future that is entirely my own, untainted and unaffected by anyone else.

So yes, I am lost tonight.

But it won’t last.

It never lasts.

To the Truth

Mar 10th, 2012 12:18:00pm

I shut people out. Simple present, not past. It’s not something I had been doing in the time that I have been missing from this place, it’s what I do. I shut people out. I have built walls so high that the terms “expressionless” and “uncaring” are often used in conjunction with my name. And don’t just imagine a single boundary of brick and cement, oh no, but layers of them. Once you get over one, you find another, and another.
Someone very dear to me recently said, “They don’t even know you.”

I have always been aware of this. Anyone who has ever met me and tried to penetrate themselves into my psyche, tried to find out what goes on beneath the exterior I show them, is aware of this. They’re not stupid, and more than once I’ve felt their frustration and my ensuing guilt. However, it’s only when those words were spoken to me directly, pained and frustrated, that the thought has haunted me more than usual, resounding in my head whenever I interact with people.

Every time I’m speaking to a friend, there will be a moment that jars with it: “They don’t even know you.”

Every time I’m speaking to my family, even worse and more persistent: “They don’t even know you.”

No, they don’t. No one does. Not even me.

I’m a sensitive person (though this is the first time I’ve ever openly admitted it), who is growing up in a world where you’re taught that the sensitive don’t survive. Or at least are more beat down than the rest. This world has phenomenal beauty, tenderness, and kindness; that is undeniable. Yet to think that one can get by without a thick skin and a whole lot of strength is self-deluding. I learned that early, and found out that I couldn’t give myself thicker skin. I didn’t know how. So instead of learning how to keep as much of the world’s harshness out as I could, I learned to keep my weakness in where no one could see and take advantage of it.

I built walls.

And they’re cracking.

This blog was a place where I could reveal the part of me that I was too scared to show out in “reality”. It was a place where I could think more deeply, wonder more, dream more. It was a place where I dared to hope that I could make a difference, not only in the people who read it, but in myself. The truth is, though, this past year I have shrunk further and further inside myself. Walls I thought I was finally learning to let go of, came up bigger and more ominous than ever until I was so lost the people who meant most to me were literally terrified I was gone for good. Or would be, soon enough.

I stopped dreaming. I stopped thinking deeper. I stopped wondering. I stopped writing, and reading, the two things that could always induce me to feel. I didn’t even have an interest for them anymore. I stopped being the person this blog is an embodiment of, because I couldn’t stand the weight of it. Have you ever felt that? That crushing weight of all the people you could be, all the people you want to be and all the people you don’t, screaming and shoving each other inside of you like it’s a crowd at the most popular ride in the fair…

And you don’t know who’s who, so you don’t know who to let out, what the consequences would be.. So you sit there being practically nothing. Playing different roles for different people, never really knowing which one is you. They all are, but they all aren’t, and it does your head in just thinking about it. Then you start feeling like a fake, like maybe none of you is real and you’ve always been an empty shell made only to be what people need you to be at any given moment.

It’s been a long, dark rabbit hole that I’ve been travelling in this past year, and there’s more to go yet.

However, a few days ago, I decided to try writing myself to the truth once more. “Writing my way to the truth” is a phrase a former tumblr-writer used to use. I’ve always adored it, and I hope she doesn’t mind my borrowing it now, because that’s what I used to do here. I have not found my cause, so I tried writing myself into one. I have not the strength that people think I do, so I made my words my pillars. I could not, can not, guide myself to where I need to be yet, so I try to guide others in the hope that one day, maybe I’ll give myself the courage I still don’t have to follow the dreams I refuse to admit to. I don’t reveal myself in person, to anyone, so I revealed little bits of myself through writing.

I don’t even know all of me yet, so I hoped to discover it along the way.

It felt wrong, sometimes. It felt hypocritical and fake. And I’m sure it will again, during days where it’s darker in the tunnel than usual, but it’s all I have for now.

So maybe someday I will find the truth I seek. I don’t know what it is yet, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? We’re all searching for a truth that we won’t recognize till we’re ready to find.

I think it’s time I shared my search with you again.

I shall not return to signing off. Because truly, whatever I choose to call myself, be it Dreamer, Warrior or perhaps even Seeker, it will always end up subject to change dependent upon the stage I am in in that moment. A dreamer imagines, a warrior fights for the right to make that imagination reality and a seeker searches for the truth that will help him obtain that reality.

Right now, though?

I dream.

‘Work Is Worship’

Sep 6th, 2011 2:47:00am

I wrote a poem of that title, a long time ago. I wrote it is a reminder to myself during a time long ago where my heart was weakened by events that rendered it bruised and sore. I felt the best way to get through the pain would be to bury myself in whatever work I could find. Schoolwork. Homework. Housework. Writing, running, anything to keep me occupied and keep me from dwelling on the slow, hesitant way my heart beat. Gingerly, as if to avoid any more pressure than it needed and so avoiding any more hurt.

It was a sad time, and I don’t think I ever did take my own advice. Instead I ploughed on the best I could, always aware of my pain, but pushing it aside until I didn’t feel it anymore, except when a memory would send me reeling back to that place. My heart did heal, yet it did so with me being aware of every slow step towards recovery when that was not initially my intention. I wanted to so bury myself in things to do that by the time I looked up from my work, I’d find my heart alright again.

I all but forgot about that poem.

However, I find myself thinking about it a lot today, and wanting to finally put the words into action. Except this time – thankfully – for different reasons entirely.

This time, I do not want to work as a way of escape. I want the work to be invested towards my escape. My freedom. That involves working on myself, I admit fully. I may be a hopeless dreamer now, but I’m finally sick of being so. I don’t want to continue hopelessly dreaming yet never taking any action towards those dreams. I don’t want this blog to be merely a storage for my thoughts and fantasies, a place to return to and smile bitterly at all I’ve never had the courage to do, to show the world.

There is so much in me. So much more than a hopeless dreamer. I am a rebel. I am a fighter. I am no longer a survivor. I refuse to call myself as such, because from now on, I am going to live.

This is going to involve doing things I’m not going to like at first, but are necessary all the same. It’s going to involve fighting my own inhibitions, fears, and shackles I myself have placed on my mind, even more than than it will fighting the restrictions set by people around me. It’s going to involve work.

And so I shall bury myself in it. I will take the plunge and I won’t come up for oxygen because the air around me is stale until I purify it. Only me. This is my battle, and I shall live up to everything I’ve posted, everything I’ve thought that I haven’t shared here. I shall live my dreams and show this world all that I am. No more masks. No more pretenses. No more hiding behind my own words, this hopeless dreamer has turned into a hopeful warrior, fighting for her own life and not giving in till she has it.

The world is changing all around us. It is up to us to decide whether we want to let it change to whatever the hell it wants to and have us adapt, or whether we are going to get up, push back and mold it to what we want it to be. Feel the sweat escaping through your pores through work that is good, work that is pure, work that will lead to your salvation. You make your world a better place and the rest of it will follow suit. You want to change the world for good? Start with your own and watch the chain reaction blow your mind and everyone else too scared to see the truth until you shove it in their faces and force them to. Until it can not be denied even by those most determined to be blind.

Work for what you want. Fight for it and don’t let anyone get in your way. Be kind, but don’t be taken advantage of. Be brave, but don’t be reckless. Find that balance and you’ll be able to do more than walk the tightrope of life: You’ll be doing flips on it and loving every second. Make life a thrill, the best kind, the thrill of happiness. Light a match in the dark and keep going till you find the kindle to set the tunnel aflame. Don’t give up hope.

I am diving into the work I need to do and I will relish every drop of sweat and blood that will be invested into it. I will smile, even when it gets hard, gets excruciating and inside I just want to give in and cry, because I’ll know that it will pass. That it’s worth this effort, this pain. I will overcome, knowing that every second is working towards a purpose: freedom to live.

So yes, right now, and for however long it takes to reach my goals?

Work is worship.

The Future Is Bright

Apr 15th, 2011 4:34:00pm

I am officially in my last year of high school. Then A-levels (which is considered as college) then university.

Just yesterday, it was my first day in first grade, and I was silently crying because my bag’s zipper broke and I didn’t know how to get my books out, scared I’d get in trouble on my very first day.

I don’t really feel all that much about it. I don’t think it’s hit me yet. Or maybe I’m not one to put a whole lot of significance on something that is really just the end of another school year. I do know one thing, though. It sneaked up on me, this one. After years of complaining, unable to wait until I’m finally done with school, this year feels like it came out of nowhere. “Whoa. How did I get here so soon?”

There are three possibilities. To look back, and wonder about the “Shoulda” “Coulda” and “Woulda”s that one inevitably comes across during life. Or to panic and feel unprepared. Or, to remember that what is to come is going to be just as fleeting as what has been. To remember to start slowing down, not speeding up, before your whole life becomes a blur of “How did I get here?”

I want to slow down. I am looking forward to the future. Because I promise you all this, and I am going to take control of it. There is only one person whom you can allow to shape your future, and that is you. Only you. I don’t want to look back and wonder where my life went. I plan to look back and smile, with not a single regret.

I want to meet death as an old friend, and fear nothing, regret nothing, worry of nothing, because I lived my life the way I wanted.

I want to look beside me and see the person I made it through with, and smile happily because we did it together.

I want to grab time, that ever-in-flight spirit, and bring it close, forcing it to slow down for me so each moment is savoured.

I want to live life the way it is meant to be lived. To the fullest.

Don’t let the years sneak up on you. Run towards them with determination and ambition. With passion. Follow your heart. There is a quote that says something along the lines of, if you don’t know what you want, then figure out what you don’t want and avoid it. Then what you want will come to you naturally. With every elimination of what you don’t want, you are walking closer to what you do. Keep walking. Never stop. You’ll get there.

The future is bright. It is always, always bright. The only darkness comes from the bleakness of the present. Don’t let it blind you.

Seize every moment. Take every chance. Remember to stop every once in a while, and look around. Make it so whenever you do, all you see is cause for a smile.

The world is ours. It’s ours. It’s ours.

See you on the other side. No regrets.

The Wisdom of Youth

Jul 18th, 2010 12:43:00am

When I was 11, I wrote a story. The plot and writing were quite terrible, really, but back then it was my pride and joy. A plain single-lined notebook was its home, in my best handwriting at the time, and a little picture was carefully drawn at the end of each chapter. I wrote in it whenever I could, excited as I watched the story unfold beneath my own hand, coming to life on the pages. And when I finished it, I was oh-so-proud and couldn’t wait to show it off.

The point of that little snippet? Well, read that last line again: “…I finished it…” It was the first and last time I did.

I have written since, of course. Stories of all kinds but all with one thing in common: they put the “short” in “short stories”, some even being no more than a few paragraphs long. And I have started stories. Stories that I hoped to convert to novels, or at least to something longer than my usual writing. However, I have always surrendered just a few chapters in, and have yet to recapture the enthusiasm I had felt more than 6 years ago…

This, I attribute to growing up.

When we are young, our lives are more filled with wonder. There is more joy in every new discovery, more imagination in every aspect of life. Ordinary concrete floors are rivers of lava. Trees are mountains to climb high and plant one’s flag in victory. Cardboard boxes are trains, cars, castles or forts. And almost everything we do is an adventure. It’s exciting.

When we grow up, however, many of us lose that. The real world reveals itself to us in all its harshness and cold reality, and the exuberant times of our youth fade away as we take on more responsibility, more duties, more activities better suited to our age. Our excitement about life disappears, or does not last for long, as doubts, procrastination and people bringing you back down to earth interfere.

Why is that? Why is it that when we grow, we lose faith in innocence and fall into the trap so many people before us have? Cynicism, negativity, lack of enthusiasm and just sticking to the things you have to do rather than that which makes you happy. Or abandoning the path you had once so gladly taken as faith gives way to doubt, and “reality” calls you back from your dreams.

Let me tell you something. It took me three days just to get this far in this column. Three days ago I started it. Two days ago I started it again. And since then I have written no more than a few lines. In fact, what I have been writing now, which started from the last two lines of the fifth paragraph, is the longest thus far that I have committed myself to it. I started it gladly, excited to be writing again. But, inevitably, it faded away.

Now that I am writing, I can feel a glimmer of what had got me starting this column in the first place, but not as strong as during those first few lines, and apparently not strong enough to get me back to writing it whenever I have to stop. Ironic, considering the topic, but simultaneously helpful in making my point.

Not everyone loses it. That feeling of stimulation and thrill that used to be our driving force. They cherish it and keep it close, because they know that kids’ attitude about life is something to be retained, not something to grow out of. It is wiser than how most teenagers and adults act now. And if it is combined with the enhanced wisdom and knowledge that comes to us as we grow, the possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless, simply because we believe it, and we have the determination and knowledge to achieve it.

I wish I knew where that notebook had gone. I wish I had kept it safer, to remind me of how I felt when writing that story, when finishing it. Of how passionate and enthusiastic I was.

The energy, exuberance, excitement of childhood…

I miss it.

Desire to Be

Feb 22nd, 2010 3:19:00am

In slightly less than twenty four hours, I have finished two books by the same author: Paulo Coelho’s Like the Flowing River and Veronika Decides to Die. After first reading The Alchemist, I had become a great fan of his writing, because I felt it spoke to me in a way that was deep, profound and understanding of the inner psyche of man. Of me.

The effect his books have on me are quite unlike anything else I have ever experienced while reading. I have enjoyed books. Some have made me think. Others were simply read for pleasure and a desire to escape into a world that was not my own. But his work resonates within me. He has formed characters in such a way that anyone can read and feel the book was written about them, simply because his unflinching insight into the general thoughts and desires everyone experiences is shared through his writing.

However, I have decided not to read his books any longer.

This may seem a strange decision. Did I not just describe the way his books spoke to me? So I shall explain.

The effect his books have is unlike any other, because it inspires me. Ideas flow faster through my mind, sometimes to the point that I have yet to register the thought before moving on to the next one. I feel inspired, invigourated, ready for a challenge, an experience. Something new.

Still not making sense?

The thing is, after reading his writing, I am filled with the intense desire to do something crazy. Something mad, something unexpected. Something that I want to do, rather than all the things that I have to do. I want to run. I want to write. I want to go insane and unleash myself unto the world. I want to stop wasting my time with learning things I know will never serve me later on and learn only what I am interested in. I want to express myself to the people who look at me and show me the doubts they have about who I am, ever-present in their eyes.

I want to show the world myself. Every aspect. I want to go against the rules society has imposed upon us, that we blindly follow despite knowing that they are useless. I want to be against the general consensus and I want to live.

But this is a dangerous desire. Dangerous because it will drive me to insanity. I know it will.

And it will drive me to insanity because I know I do not yet have the freedom nor the courage to do these things. I am old enough to know what I want, but I am young enough to be forced into submission. And my heart, despite yearning to be free, has many years to wait before it can be.

And that is why I can not read his work any longer. Because the feeling they incur in me will drive me to a madness and frustration that I will not be able to bear. The desire has always been there in my heart, a small flame, but his work makes it a roaring blaze, and I fear that it will burn my heart to cinders if I allow it to be that intense for long.

I can not feel this yet.

Who else is out there? Who else, like me, wants escape, but is not yet able to do so? Who else can not yet be? Who else is yet to overcome the restrictions of family and society? Who else is not ready to disappoint them? Who else is also restricted by age, because independence is still years away?

There has only been one period in my life that I did not feel completely frustrated with the things I can not do. Only once that I felt that freedom I craved. Freedom to be myself with no secrets and no restrictions. Only once that I did not feel completely restless and perfectly content with where I was in those moments. But that is another story. Perhaps one never meant to be told. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I carefully nurture the flame of desire, but avoid letting it get too strong, until a time when I can unleash it in all it’s glory, and satisfy it completely and without regret.

“You’ve Changed.”

Nov 19th, 2009 10:49:00pm

I can not tell you how many times I have heard those words uttered to me these past few months. And every time, I ask how I have been altered. And every time, they do not have an answer, except for the fact that I am different than I was before.

A few days ago, I was on the phone with one of my best friends. I heard them again. Just two words. “You’ve changed.”

I wonder how many others have faced a similar situation. You’re changing, but you’re also the only one who doesn’t notice it happening. It’s sneaky, like a lioness hiding in the tall grass, getting ever closer, until it pounces. Everyone else sees it but you, until it’s too late.

Why is it so, however? How does it happen that your inner self; your personality; everything that makes you yourself, is slowly being turned into something else, and you don’t even know it?

People tell you. They say you’re different. They’re not sure in what way, and neither are you, but it’s true. At some point in your life something clicked out of – or into – place, and you just aren’t the same anymore. You can’t be sure what triggered it.. What exactly happened. Or when.

Frustrating? Definitely. Tiring? Completely. It does depend, though, on whether you’re changing for the better or the worse. If it’s for the better, then that’s great. It’s a wonderful feeling, waking up in the morning one day, and realising you’re a better person. Someone who’s happier. Someone who smiles more, laughs more, is kinder, is more generous. It truly is.

If it’s for the worse, then your only hope is to change back before it’s too late. Before those subtle alterations become a part of you, things becoming a million times harder. Before you stop caring how you turn out. Because that’s when it all goes to hell.

Unfortunately, there is a middle ground as well. One that is the most exhausting of all, once people point it out: just.. changing. Not for the better, nor the worse. You’re stuck because you have no idea what’s happening to you. No idea whether you should stop it or not. After all, it could be bad at first, then improve with time, could it not? Or perhaps it’s the other way around? You’re losing touch with yourself, completely confused as to whether the new you will be a better version of yourself.

Not sure if you’ll even recognise yourself anymore the next time you look in the mirror.
So, voice cracking, tears running down my cheeks for the first time in the longest time, I admitted something I had not yet told anyone: “I’m scared.”