Tag Archives: Teenagers

Romanticising other things.

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Source: weheartit.com

I haven’t written anything on here in over 2 months.

I totally get that these moments of total writer’s block happen from time to time. I’m only human, my brain can only spew out so many melodramatic metaphors before it gets tired of itself. There’s only so many cliches I can avoid before I become a walking one.

I’m not sure why it’s been so long. I’ve been writing things down, obviously. Disappointed little scribbles in my journal. At one point I experimented and wrote out an entire paragraph whilst under the influence – there was a lot of wiggles and a lot of pent up angst, wow.

I lost my muse…well, my muse lost me. So I’ve had to kind of learn to romanticise other things – like the suffocating smell of festival toilets and the feeling of new socks on cold feet. But over my brief hiatus from publishing anything on my favourite corner of the internet, I’ve managed to write down a few short little blurbs.

So here it is; Harriet’s random 2am/ every day thoughts: an anthology.

On places I’d rather avoid:

“I equate places with feelings. And if it were up to me, the train station where I last saw you would be simultaneously the favourite and most despised place in my entire world.”

In an email from my grandmother:

“I went to New York when I was 20 to see if it was any different from Nottinghamshire. If it was the same, I could always come back and settle down. Instead I found your grandfather and no, New York was not the same as Notts.”

I went to the edge and found you.

On weekends that turn into melodramatic moments:

“It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.

Ever have one of those weekends? The spell-binding, soul-searching, over-the-moon kind of weekend? I am at the end of one and I’ve got this sinking feeling that I’ll never feel something so definite, so completely euphoric. I feel my youth creeping up on me, I can feel the fire start in my heart and I can feel my toes curl as I yearn for moments that last.

I don’t want to stop being 21. I want nights that beat the sun and glowing embers that don’t know how to die.

I want to carry on living this spontaneously forever.

It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.”

“I’ve had a weekend.

A destructive, ridiculous, incredible weekend; filled with sobbing and catchphrases and loving people despite it all.”

shhh

Source: weheartit.com

On people who don’t know how to stay:

“I can’t blame you for walking away. How can I possibly? We both know I burn too brightly to be extinguished. There’s a ‘no vacancy’ sign just for you hanging over my vibrant, unbelievable, explosive life.”

“Because our entire existence was me trying to hold on to what you used to be, and you trying to show me how much you’ve changed.”

“I hope when you retell our story, you describe me as ‘the girl who screamed poetry at you when you told her to run, even though she was never yours to walk away from.'”

“I’m glad you’ve found ways to smother your grief for humanity, but don’t you dare do it at my expense.”

On what they never taught me in school:

“In 5th grade English class they told us to write down everything with as much detail as possible. They told us that parts of speech were imperative, adjectives meant something.

They never told us that, in reality, adjectives are just as superficial as their intentions. And some people will say anything just to gain a piece of your soul.”

On how much can change over several months:

“I am not the person I was last November. I am nowhere near the girl who blushed electric at your empty cosmic promises.

I am not who I was last November. I got ripped from that body by circumstance and change. I got pummeled into this shape by disappointment. I am not who I was last November.

I am not last November. I haven’t written poetry in months. I don’t believe in shutting out the world any more, I let the cold seep in to wake me up and chill my bones.

I am not who I was last November. I am not a Mississippi sunset, I am not burning up as I race down a wooden dock towards you. I am not superlunary, I am not yours.

I am not who I was last November. I have run out of time; you wasted it. You, and all those after you. I have run out of time and sand and clock hands.

I am not who I was last November. I have an iron soul that can’t be thawed and eyes that flash sunlight. I will burn you up. I will make you miss me. I will drive you insane, kiss you catatonic and then leave you to combust.

Because I am not who I was last November. I am not who you pretended to love. I am not even myself.”

On how much better everything has turned out to be:

“If I end up living a life that is anything short of vibrant, I won’t survive. Tonight I braided a man’s hair whilst sitting on the floor of a bar. I drove around my neighbourhood yelling promises at strangers, I kissed my friends goodnight and flopped onto my bed. I am blissfully surprised at how wonderful everything has turned out to be.”

The bit about festival toilets:

“There’s nothing more carnal or cathartic than finally having a poo in a festival porter-loo.”

And despite all these ridiculous metaphors, here is my final WTF moment:

“Squeaky swings sound like children screaming.”

(What the fuck, Harriet?)

Think of this as a farewell to all the moody posts about something that is now a nothing.

There you have it. The sneakiest peak into my drafts folder.

Not much else to say, except goodbye.

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I promise this time will be different.

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source: weheartit.com

I am not going to cry when you leave.

I know that’s what you’re expecting, I don’t blame you. All my actions leading up to this point have been emotionally raw. The last time you left we sat at the train station for 45 minutes with my head on your chest, trying to pull ourselves together.

I promise this time will be different.

When you leave, when I finally stop smelling your sweater, stop running my hands through your hair, stop leaning over to kiss you gently on the cheek; I will allow myself one minute to let despair catch up with me. I will clench my fists, breathe deeply and then choose to be happy.

I am going to miss you, my god, I am going to miss you. But as I’ve learnt, my dear, I can not afford to burden you with the responsibility of my happiness. You are a small part of my joy, but you are not the force holding me together. I am my own little hero, I am saving my own little heart.

When you leave, when I stop living in the golden haze that comes with you, I am going to continue studying for my test tomorrow. I am going to wake up early for class, celebrate my birthday with the people I love and read books that I will clutch to my chest, laughing until my breath stops.

When you leave I am still going to sprint down boulevards, yelling after all the devils I’m chasing. I am still going to dance around my bedroom to aggressive banjo solos and obscure bands. I am still going to grin maniacally at absurdities.

I am my happiness, darling. There may be a place for you in my ribcage, but I own my soul.

And my soul has decided to be euphoric.

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Kid, you gotta love yourself.

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source: weheartit.com

I got to spend time with one of my favourite people this January which is significant as we’re currently averaging on seeing eachother every 700 days. The distance between Canada and South Africa is a bit awkward for visits to be more frequent, so we make do with the time we have.

We met on his 15th birthday, I was 14 and obsessed with side-fringes, converse sneakers and bright skinny jeans. I thought jumping off a golf cart would look super cool and ended up with a spectacular face plant to leave a lasting impression. He has therefore essentially seen me at my worst and most embarrassing- it’s been 6 years of tripping over my own feet, running head-first into fire places, acquiring various black eyes and dropping a number of objects he has chucked at me to realise that not a lot of people have seen the parts of me that he has.

When I was 17, I got to spend almost 2 weeks with him in Kenya. It was 10 days of constant exposure to the pros and cons of a particular human being. We both learned the colours of each other’s anger, we spent a full day in the hot sun after getting half an hour of sleep and by the end of it were bickering more than usual, we spoke about our respective futures like they weren’t right around the corner and some days when we ran out of topics of conversation, we’d sit in silence until the things we desperately wanted to say came bursting out of us.

We had such a moment this week. It was hot and we had stopped talking for a bit. He was lounging on the couch that I had my back pressed against and I was feeling rather conflicted about the emotions that were running rampant in my chest. He looked at me like he knew what I was thinking, I stared back, trying to figure out how to phrase my crazy.

“Do you think that someone can wake up one day and just stop missing you?”

He gave me a skeptical look, a constant calculation shooting off in his head, I’d told him about everything that’s happened and how I’m still trying to figure out where I fit, he knows me well enough to say the right things. So he leaned over and flicked the bottom of my chin before stretching back and uttering this resonating statement:

“You don’t need to be missed Harriet. You have to learn to be autonomously happy, regardless of whether you are missed. You can’t tear yourself apart being emotionally dependent on anyone.”

He knows me. God, he knows me. He knows how easily I leap into my emotions like they haven’t let me down before, he knows how I feel about effort, how desperately I cling to any hint of romanticism. It’s been 6 years and countless mistakes and so many letters home trying to figure out why I like my life to be filled with intensity- and the man summed up what I needed to hear in 3 succinct sentences.

I do not need to be missed.

I need to have autonomous happiness.

I can’t afford to tear myself apart.

I can’t afford to tear myself apart.

 

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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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We are no longer invincible.

My life is currently half of a beloved Hugh Grant movie: one wedding and one funeral in the past month. The only difference is I am nowhere near as slutty as Andy McDowell.

It’s ironically contradictory; I’ve bore witness to the start of a new life and the death of one with nothing but my own sick soul to remind me that only one of these events is something I’m guaranteed to be an active participant in.

It’s hard to think that a month ago I was full of red wine and dancing barefoot in a party dress. I was toasting the bride and groom and laughing-mouth wide and eyes closed- as I spun for the stars, the world and its people that had made me so uncontrollably happy.

I spent this afternoon crying mascara-stained tears and feeling guiltily thankful that I was still able to reach out and feel the pulse of my mom’s wrist. I can still turn and recognise my cheekbones and my eye shape staring back at me, very much alive and responsive to my childlike emotions.

I have yet to feel a loss like that. I have yet to experience the feeling of having a heart so heavy I can’t pick it up and bring it with me. The universe still needs to bestow on me a tragedy I can never come back from.

Last month my heart was drunk on good spirits and music, today it’s sober and very much aware of how fragile joy and the people that come with it are.

We are no longer invincible.

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I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

large“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.” -Jeffery Eugenides

I’m currently on a strange journey of self-reflection. I think it’s healthy to indulge in such things every once in a while.

I like turning off all the lights in my bedroom, lying on the floor and thinking about my place in the universe; how I’m supposed to impact the world and the people around me, how I expect myself to behave in certain situations and wishing I could behave differently in others. Lying on the floor probably has some deep poetic meaning behind it that I’ll come up with at a later stage when I want to make my life seem more like a novel, but really I just like the feeling of a different perspective and how worn the carpet feels under my fingers.It’s as if people other than me have lain down on that exact spot and felt as misunderstood as I do.

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That’s the teenage angst talking. I think I’m more ordinary than I think I am. There are probably millions of 19 year old feelings out there who lie on their backs and cry over songs and carpets. It’s an unspoken rite of passage.

Tonight I’m lying on the floor and thinking about a conversation.

“You thought quite deeply about that” he remarked

I pause, “I think about everything deeply.”

I haven’t decided yet if I like this about myself. Often it feels like I live in a world where showing emotions is a weakness and yet the very core of my being demands to feel. This makes me too emotional, too insane, too passionate. Nothing I do or say is meaningless, in this fast-paced, cold Earth I don’t believe in brevity or being numb. I agonise and overthink every misplaced semi-colon, every pause in a sentence, someone’s tone of voice and the underlying intention of their actions. I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

That, in a nutshell, is what I am lying on my bedroom floor thinking about.

Can you see me yet?

No?

You probably glanced over me, heard how I talk about things like they’re incredibly important, noticed how I like to burst into people’s lives with poetry and how I force them to have feelings or how I pry something beautiful from their mouths. I like soul searching, I like learning how dark the deepest parts of people’s souls are and then adding some light to it. You probably skimmed over all this and decided I’m crazy. I’m not crazy, I just think too deeply.

I look for people who see at least some parts of me, who look past the superficial, who want to sweep away my inner cobwebs and let in a little sunshine. I look for people who don’t ask me my favourite colour or my favourite food; they ask me if I had an imaginary friend, ask me what my biggest regret is, figure out what makes me sad and the things I’d change in the world if only I could.

These are questions I ask myself when I’m listening to Youngblood Hawke and trying to figure out who the fuck I want to be when I grow up.

When I grow up I want to be understood.

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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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