Category Archives: Sometimes I Rant

This is not how I expected independence would be.

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Source:weheartit.com

I’m stressed.

Holy fuck, this must be adulthood. I do not like it one bit. I’m not even out of University yet, I’m not even at the stage of having to buy my own toothpaste and paying my own mortgage (or whatever it is real adults do) and I’m panicking.

This is NOT how I expected independence would be.

I have a growing list of, so far, about 20 things I need to get done in the next 2 weeks, most of which involve money, some of which include tracking down rogue lecturers in an attempt to figure out what is required of me for this next year- all of which I desperately DO NOT want to do.

I’ve recently found myself in the company of several recent university graduates who are on the cusp of adultish oblivion. As they stare into the void, waiting for it to stare back, I am standing nervously in the background listening to them stress about things I forgot existed- things like tax returns and monthly incomes and petrol prices.

I assure you, when I crawled out of my mother’s womb almost 21 years ago, I did not sign up for taxes.

There is a ball of anxiety growing in my chest that has been festering since I moved away from home. It’s about the size of two fists and it’s punching its way out of my torso. If this is what it means to be independent and self-sustaining, I would really like to retreat back into my pillow fort until all my responsibility goes away.

When I was 8 I remember looking at my incredibly stressed out mother and asking her what was wrong. She replied with a curt “I’m just worried”. Thus 8 year old Harriet did the only thing she could do and started to worry about the day when she would have to start worrying too. I was worried about worrying.

What a dumb kid. You have no idea how to worry, grade 2 me- eat an oreo and read your book, you’ll be fine for the next 10 years.

Here’s the thing though, 40 year old me probably envies almost 21 year old me. Look at her- so young and dependent on her parents. She has no kids to yell at, no bills to pay, no husband to boss around. She can travel after she studies, she’s currently worrying about things that are supposed to happen 2 years in the future, she still thinks she’s going to figure everything out. Almost 21 Harriet is actually doing okay.

I have 20 things to cross off my list, none of which involve taxes or monthly installments on things. I’m terrified for the day that’s no longer true.

But for now I think I’m just going to be almost 21.

 

 

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We are, in all finality, alone.

So many people in my life are under the impression that getting into a relationship is going to save them. Save them from the bitterness that can come from being left alone, or from their own dissatisfaction with themselves, I don’t know, I’m not particularly omnipresent. All I know is that we are obsessed with finding other people to fill the empty spaces, to confirm that we are, in fact, beautiful and to fulfill our basic desires to fix what we recognise is broken in ourselves and other people. As soon as we find that person, we put our lives on hold, we choose them over our friends, we stop socialising and spend Saturdays huddled in a two-man love bubble of pyjamas and movies. It seems like we are species who wish to explore the world and extract all we can get out of our lives, but only as a temporary distraction from our own perpetual loneliness.

I have such a problem with that though. Out of all of the potential things in the world that could possibly irk me, co-dependent relationships take one of the top spots, right next to self-righteous bigotry, but that’s a rant for another day.

Why does it upset me? I seem to be perfectly happy curled up in bed, eating Chinese food, listening to obscure indie playlists and blogging furiously. I’ve got this whole independence thing down ya’ll. I don’t have to teach someone that I hate too much icing on my cupcakes (not a euphemism) or that they don’t have to ask which kind of tea I’d prefer because I honestly can’t tell the difference, or that drinking coffee makes me anxious. I like disappearing for a few hours without telling someone where I am and I love not feeling obligated to tell that someone what they mean to me every 2 god damn minutes. I like not being smothered (things that irk me number 3).

It upsets me because I’ve done it. I spent quite a chunk of last year being completely suffocated under the weight of someone who needed my external validation, who hated it when I did anything without him and who felt threatened by how many friends I had because he had none besides for me and his dog. I let it happen because I thought the fact that he was trying so hard was a good thing and I’m stubborn and competitive so proving everyone wrong makes me really happy. Now I’ve been cursed with the gift of foresight and experience. I have to stand by and watch while most of my friends go through the same thing I did, and I can’t do anything because they have to decide for themselves that they’re worth more than persistent phone calls and constant tears.

They need to be able to walk away at any time. They need to have the strength to delete their number, erase their messages and walk away intact. They need to reserve some attachment, they need to know that if they leave that they carry enough self-respect to be able to patch themselves up without falling apart.

I feel like society keeps telling us to love and be ourselves while at the same time pushing the point that we can only love ourselves fully when someone else is loving us too. It’s this sick vicious cycle of falling into a less-than-ideal partnership all in the name of loving ourselves and then not loving ourselves enough to be able to crawl out of the toxic hole we’ve gotten sucked into.

I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t let the presence of 2 blue ticks and no reply define me, that I’ll never let someone tell me I can’t do something and that I’m not going to die alone just because I prefer sitting on the floor of libraries and reading poetry anthologies instead of going on coffee dates with some guy who doesn’t read and who I feel obligated to like because society says I’m not a complete person without him.

The thing is, Society, we’re essentially, perpetually, alone. We’re born alone, die alone and despite the fleeting company we keep, we are, in all finality, alone.

We need to figure out how to gain back the love we keep losing before we can give anymore of it away. Co-dependency is a temporary madness in which most people never recover, because hardly anyone can fully except that we are just an advanced breed of monkeys, on a minor planet of a very average star, and we’re alone.

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Too Much or Not Enough? An Existential Tragedy.

kissI’ve been going through the motions of having an existential crisis for several months now. I think it started when I was ejected from my mother’s house at the end of my incredibly sheltered high school career and dumped in the middle of what can only be referred to as “The Ghetto” for the start of my new life as a fresh-faced, relatively experimental student.

After at least 18 years of having morals stronger than Dwayne Johnson’s pecks and crying whenever I came in contact with a drunk person (okay, once, it was one time), I found myself wanting to style my hair into dreadlocks, date guys who wear spiked collars (it was a 2 week phase, I don’t want to talk about it) and became immediately “one with the universe”. My dabble with accepting everyone and anyone into my “Island of Misfit Toys” ended with me dating a complete lunatic (minus the spiked collar) who liked trying to communicate with ghosts in graveyards, tears and a lot of angsty poetry.

Now, a year later: my hair is a normal colour, I’ve stopped believing that crack-heads should be “accepted into society”, and I’m actually using my brain. I’m still in the middle of a crisis regarding my place in the universe but at a much more toned down level (thank fuck). I’ve become myself again with the added bonus of keeping myself awake at night trying to fit pieces of my existence together. This constant state of acatalepsy has led to some sound conclusions on how shit works around here.

It all started with him, the way he makes me feel and how desperately I clutch to any thought that doesn’t involve at least a sliver of his presence in my life. My brain embodies a quote favoured by white girls “my thoughts can not move an inch without bumping into some piece of you”  and it’s excruciating. I miss having my conscience all to myself, but that’s the risk that comes with suppressing years of unspoken feelings; they eventually burst out of their constraints and run havoc in your mind. Unrequited inadequacy can make you crazy.

It’s also made me consider the fact that the world is very much divided into two kinds of people: Too Much and Not Enough.

I am Too Much. We’re the people who engulf our souls in an excess of light and life. We’re too wild, too loud, too emotional, too impulsive. If we’re doing a Meyers-Briggs assessment we’d be more “F” than “T”. Society percieves us as over-the-top and eccentric, we just consider ourselves ablaze with whatever passion sets our spirits on fire. In terms of relationships we often try to make ourselves smaller to fit the other person’s idea as to how we’re supposed to be. Alternatively, we end up with a Not Enough: someone who doesn’t fill the burning void we have inside of us. They don’t talk enough, or feel enough, or read enough books. For the same reasons that we’re Too Much, they’re simply not enough.

I’ve started involuntarily placing the people in my life into these kinds of categories. In their relationships with other people are they more likely to be too much or not enough? My November fling is Not Enough, I was Too Much for my old friend from High School, the guy in French class who tried to attack kiss me is Not Enough, the bat-shit crazy ex-boyfriend is Too Much for everyone. It’s depressing to think that we, as members of the human race, who are sold dreams of being heterogeneous entities, unique just like everybody else, can be classified into 2 personality categories.

I’ve found a paradox in the theory. As it turns out you could be the most Too Much person on the entire planet, you could smother yourself to sleep from all the emotions in your over-exerted heart, you could burst into people’s lives with passion and drive and start singing randomly like you’re mother-flipping Ferris Bueller, you could feel insane and half-drunk on how much you are as a person. You could be Too Much, and yet, when someone worms their way under your skin, kisses you and then leaves you outside to deal with the starlight and the cosmos by yourself, they can make you feel like you’re Not Enough.

cityThat’s my existential tragedy. I can read all the right books, watch all the good shows and show interest in all the right things; I can start gyming and doing my hair nicely in the mornings and stop wearing sweat pants to lectures. I can try to be more than Too Much as much as I want, and I’ll still never be enough.

So I’ll have a shower, put my sweat pants back on, get under the covers and pretend like I don’t notice how incredibly inadequate he makes me feel. I’ll wake up and I’ll be gentle with myself and hold onto the notion that I am white hot and consumed with being Too Much for everything and everyone.

And hopefully one day he’ll wake up and realise that he was simply Not Enough.

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I Need A Win.

My sister and I are currently having an argument over what our Myers-Briggs personality types are. We both think we’re ENFP, in our opinions the other one clearly isn’t. This makes us both really mad to have what type of people we are dictated by the other person. We both refuse to back down.

I need a win. She’s been winning her entire life. She knows what career path she’s going to take and what kind of husband she wants to have, she probably knows what school her kids are going to go to. I don’t, I’m currently struggling in a degree with no definite career outcome, a passion that’s impossible to make a living out of and this crippling feeling of self-doubt that’s been slowly creeping it’s way into my heart since I moved out of home. It sounds pathetic but the only thing that I’ve been able to hold onto is that dumb personality test from http://www.humanmetrics.com that explained exactly who I am. I’m on a constant quest to find inner peace and I have a strong need to be liked and sometimes it seems like I’m directionless but I’m actually just trying to figure out why the universe is the way it is and why I can’t find a solid piece of ground to place my feet.

I’m drowning in fear of losing who I am.

And I need this win.

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Running away…or at least fantasising about it.

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“I’m running away” I announce to my mother who’s kneeling down on the bathroom floor washing my little brother’s hair. I had been given a time out and was marinating in the injustice of it all when I marched up to her, drew myself to my full 6 year-old height and told her of my intention to leave and never come back.

“Perfect,” she says, “which suitcase would like me to pack for you?”

Sheer terror and I haven’t felt the urge to leave since then.

Yet recently, I’ve been feeling this incredibly strong pull to be anywhere but here and, perhaps, anyone but me.

This year hasn’t exactly gone the way I planned. In fact, if I could go back in time and talk to the me who existed in the beginning of this year, the one standing on the doorstep of independence,  I’d say “don’t get your hopes up kid, in fact, it’s better if you don’t even ring the doorbell.”

But how do you tell the hopeful, fresh out of high school little girl that she’s about the walk into a house of abuse and intense loneliness? That she’s going to lose so many friends and that just when she thinks she’s found where she’s meant to be and the people she’s meant to spend time with she’s going to have to leave them too? This girl has just had her heart broken, she’s just gone through hell to get to a point where she truly believes that everything will be better only to be told that nothing gets better, nothing gets fixed, nothing feels okay.

Nothing feels okay.

18 years old, standing in a crowd of people who feel and think less than me, with my heart and pride smashed like a beer bottle on the floor, only to have it taped back up and thrown against a wall, just so it can be stood on almost a year later. Lying under a tree, surrounded by people who think and feel less, cradling my shredded soul with what I have left. I wish someone had told beer bottle girl to watch out for the liars and the name-callers, the crazies and the manipulators, the friends who make her feel worthless and the boys who refuse to make eye contact even when she’s a kiss away. She could have been told that if she carries on believing too much in people she would eventually find herself alone with only a tree to cling to in the world, trees don’t hurt like people do.

Tree girl got on a bus yesterday. Unfortunately the furthest it would take her was Monte Casino and back but the thought of catching the next flight out of her circumstances and away from her problems was the most hopeful she felt in a while. But how do you tell the girl who’s about to step onto a plane away from all her problems that she’s about to go somewhere that’s exactly the same as the house she got away from? How do you tell the girl with the crooked soul, the crippled heart and the constantly blind optimism that wherever she goes she’s going to get hurt?

You can’t. She has to figure it out for herself.

“Which suitcase would you like me to pack for you?”

I don’t care. Just stop this feeling.

I wrote this a few hours ago. I was mad at my cousin for cancelling our plans for the umpteenth time and feeling deeply melodramatic about the entire 1AM tree debacle. My mom came in to ask about dinner, read my post over my shoulder, saw my puffy eyes and just held me. She stroked my hair, called me sweetheart and held me like I was, in fact, 6 years old and had just been called “ugly” on the playground.

Apparently when I actually got into the adult world I was under the impression that it was something I’d have to face by myself. I’m too independent and hard-headed for my own good. Sometimes I don’t realise how hard I’ve been fighting to keep my head above water until someone finally comes along and tosses a life jacket and I’m able to crumple and cry tears of relief.

She took me to Bubble tea, spoke to me about everything else but the fantasy of me disappearing into great oblivion and I suddenly felt okay.

Being okay- being happy-  isn’t being kissed when you want to be kissed or having a perfect year with no disappointing people in it. Being happy is tea while it’s raining, having one’s hair stroked and, despite everything that’s happened in the past year, being able to make jokes and find things to laugh about.

Happiness is what you make of it, the girl under the tree has no clue how she’s going to feel about that moment next year, but hopefully she won’t still be damaged.

Plus she’s still got people to keep her at home.

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Stop Seeing Through Tunnels.

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I can’t help but feel like there should be something more to my life. I don’t want to spend the next four years working my butt off for a piece of paper that informs the world that I am of value, only to get stuck behind the desk of a company that adds no sustainable value to the world anyway.

To be honest, if I could make a living out of volunteer work I would put down my degree and help humanity immediately. Unfortunately economics aren’t very forgiving if you do such a thing.

Since high school I’ve been involved in community outreach. I spent every Wednesday in shacks that were meant to be pre-schools teaching children cognitive skills they were meant to have developed already, I went on a mission trip to Mozambique to do the exact same thing but with children who lived in reed huts and whose parents decided drinking while pregnant would be a good idea.

I never really thought anything I did would change someone’s life. I gave myself up for service because it felt good to help. This all changed in Mozambique when I met two of the most precious little boys on this planet.

smileThe first one smelled almost as dirty as he looked. He obviously hadn’t been clean in weeks and I was told the children often only have 2 sets of clothes. I can’t remember how we became friends or why I took such a shining to him but every day I went to the village he would run up to me and hold onto me until I left and every day his grandmother would sit against the side of the reed school house, drink cheap booze and glare at our fun. She probably hated me, I didn’t care. I decided to teach the little one about music, at least the good stuff like Aerosmith, so I sat him down in the dust and belted out “Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” to this squirming sponge for learning. I wanted him to atleast learn to keep music in his life and not to let his grandmother get him down. I don’t know if I succeeded, I just know that we both cried when I left.

The second one had the Measles and no one would play with him or touch him for fear of infection. He was isolated, snotty, tired and in the sun the whole day. The other volunteers couldn’t hold him, they hadn’t had the vaccine, I’d been vaccinated so I held him, that little untouchable kid, until he fell asleep.

I stopped community service in my last year of highschool. I figured studying, being a prefect and playing volleyball was more important than helping little kids. Since then I’ve had no passion in my life, no source of joy, I have my studies and my writing. The writing part comes with difficulty, there’s nothing to write about, I’m tired of 1st world people with 1st world problems like being “victimised” or not knowing whether to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge in a bath tub or outside; I’m tired of Tweets and stressing about getting 11 likes on an Instagram post, I hate relationship issues and reading dumb Thought Catalog articles on “11 signs he’s a cheater.”  I don’t like dealing with stupid ceremonies like SRC elections that will only benefit people who are already studying towards a future, who already have more opportunities than my two little boys could ever dream of.

“Vote for me and I’ll make sure the clubhouses stay open longer and the booze will be cheaper.”

“Vote for me and we’ll create more jobs in the Humanities department.”

“Vote for me so I can have something that looks good on my resume.”

Is it so hard to have goals outside of our own little bubbles? Why can’t we stop talking about the theme for the next party and start talking about the refugee crisis in Syria? I don’t want to hear about Solange hitting Jay-Z in an elevator or how funny that “21” Vine is.duley iman

It feels like the state of humanity is getting worse because our brains are getting smaller, we’ve started seeing everything in tunnel vision and only think about wifi passwords and becoming “YouTube Famous.” We’ve become empty people living shallow lives only helping ourselves.

I feel like we as a generation of capable, open-minded, thinking people can find more ways to help people beyond taking no-make up selfies and pouring a bucket of ice water over our heads.

The only thing I want to do with my life is help people and then write about it along the way.

So I think I’m going to do just that.

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Girls Like Me Don’t Get Songs Written For Them.

guitarI get so mad when S.O plays songs about his exes. It’s not a jealousy thing, I don’t believe in being petty like that. Jealousy isn’t a trait I ever want to add to my infantry of worse quirks, jealousy will cut you up for no reason, it’s the side-effect of over-thinking that I have yet to develop.

It’s not jealousy that cuts me every time he strums out the chords of betrayal and abandon, girls who have “drugs” and “trash” slung across their backs, weighing down my opinion of them. Girls who don’t care much for properly loving someone as lovely as him, lost girls, dumb girls, girls who don’t arrive for dinner. There’s an artillery of girls (okay, like five) who have lyrics and notes wrapped around their stories, they didn’t stay, they’re chords did.

And I get mad. I get so angry, the type of quiet angry where my eyes flash and my face gets flushed as I think of every painful note, every strained syllable of hurt that went into his songs.

Girls like me won’t get songs written for them. Girls like me aren’t so heartless.

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