How close am I to the jazz lounge
I’ve only ever seen it in my dreams
In the same way that I see him
When I close my eyes at night
When writing poems in the pages of novels
Peering out of windows from behind 3 monitors
All it takes is some jazz and rain
And I begin to wonder
If this is it
Surely there’s somewhere else I belong
Where I can slide into my dreams with ease
I wonder how long I can keep up this gag
Until the desire to express overtakes me
And I’ve no choice but to succumb.
At that point I’d be a slave to emotion
Incapable of turning my mind off
Losing myself in thought
Convincing others that it’s not a good thing
But proximity won’t let up
Because time only moves forward
And I know one day I’ll arrive,
The jazz lounge of my dreams
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MAKE SENSE. THE PHYSICAL WILL ALWAYS REFLECT THE MENTAL – THE SEEN WILL EXPOSE THE UNSEEN.
So this is what it means to be figuring things out…
I wish I had more to say because I haven’t written since December. I made it clear enough in Peace in my mess, that I don’t have an assuring grip on life anymore. I have been floating around ever since. Sometimes I feel very free because of it. My book really helped me with that. Other times I’m fixated on the fact that there’s more freedom to possess. But it leads me to thoughts of whether any freedom I attain will be enough. It’s in my/our nature to crave an impossible satisfaction.
People always advise having a plan; one that you don’t necessarily have to stick beside, but an idea of your future nonetheless. I would like to implement that advice into my own life because I listen to clichés. But I can no longer see past a few months at a time. Up until a month ago, I couldn’t see past February 23rd. But I started an internship this month that I could only dream of. It’s for 6 months. So, I know what I’ll be doing until September. But that’s it. I don’t have a 1-year plan talk less of a 5-year one.
I was meant to make a vision board this year, I just remembered. But I am afraid that there will be nothing on it. I don’t know what I want anymore. I left 2021 so deflated that my only aspirations were my book, a new job, and happiness. I am almost there. Now I’m hesitant to ask life for more in the upcoming 9 months. What if I am disappointed? I know there’s no telling really. Now that I’ve achieved something big, I strangely wonder if I am strong enough for anything bigger. I’m paralysed by this new fear and I have never been scared of dreaming big before.
I have dimmed my light a bit, to come across unknowing of how much I could achieve. Then I get lost in my mind wondering if it’s faux humility, delusion, laziness, or nothing at all. There are people so close to me that I didn’t tell about my book because felt like I was being self-concerned – bragging or asking for money. I have regrets from some brave behaviour in the past. Bravery is another fear of mine.
Sometimes I think very far ahead. And I see novelty eventually wearing off everything – myself included. Pure dissatisfaction. I worry that I will get bored of my career and hobbies, a husband and children, travelling, my faith, living…
Because novelty can wear off anything. So I don’t really want any of it. All of that makes the present very bleak and that makes me existential. I wonder what the point is of anything. So, befittingly, my biggest goal is contentment.
In the water
Somehow I am still happy – I achieved that goal.
Though I know happiness is a tide. But for now it’s here, and I’m in the water.
Whenever I reach this conclusion, I calm down a bit. “Well, at least you’re okay now.” Perhaps that’s why I don’t like long term plans anymore – I know that not being okay is on its way.
I have made choices lately that probably aren’t the best for me. But I’m hiding behind my youth concerning it all. Maybe I’ll learn something from this. Maybe I’m just 22 and figuring life out. I get what that means now.
But no matter what, I always hope that I will reach my truth in the end.
Open yourself up
even though that’s hard
find someone who
makes you believe
they want to see that side of you
that they can take it
allow them to be closed off to you
and stay down when
they throw you away
and tell you it was a
think about them
for months afterwards
let them back in
when they knock again
lol! i had to do something with *all* of the footage i had from April 2021 – January 2022. during this time i completed the NCTJ, a journalism diploma. it was challenging but worth it. i also just learnt a lot about life – something you’ll notice as the video progresses.
i missed the grip that video editing can have on me. i live for it. maybe you can get something from this… or maybe you will just be nosy.
Something exciting is on the way.. stay tuned for my poetry book! It’s been years in the making and I didn’t even know. I’m so excited. This Friday, we’ll welcome the old and the new with intention. It will be the end of an emotional (and beautiful) labour. 🤎
TO CONTINUE TREATING MY LIFE LIKE IT’S SOMETHING FROM A SCREEN IS TO EXPERIENCE IT IN INCOMPLETION. SO NOW I TELL MYSELF; THIS IS NOT A TV SHOW – THIS IS REAL AND IT IS HAPPENING. THIS IS NOT A MOVIE – THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
I can put this simply. But I will journey first, because that is what I like to do, and background is important.
University life was cut short in March 2020. Then I was locked up for four months because I was immunocompromised! In the Summer I was finally allowed to go outside and enjoy the sun, but with extreme caution. I fought pessimism throughout Autumn and Winter, and I was obsessed with love as a spectacle. Someone (for lack of the better word, according to them) described me as a female incel (LOL), but I believe I was reacting to the love I was seeing, rather than responding to an absence of love in my life. I regret nothing about the conclusions I came to, I stick beside them!
I started a course in March 2021, which ended in August – it was challenging. I’d also moved out in April and I felt so free. Some of the things I’ve experienced since moving out have felt like a movie – so surreal and ideal at the same time. So dreamlike.
Autumn began beautifully but became not so beautiful as I started going in circles about my career, self-perception, love life, faith, and future. It took a huge toll on my mental health. Habits I developed during the pandemic had more control over me than I would like to admit and I felt hopeless. Sometimes I still do. Apathy towards my faith was unhelpful in all of this because I didn’t care to pray about any of it. Music is all that kept me going.
But one thing I have picked up on is the phenomenon of speed in my life since 2020.
Life was moving at an expected pace during university; I had no complaints other than busyness here and there. Then from March 2020 – March 2021, everything was on pause. I found joy in my creative endeavours but sometimes I had no motivation to carry them out. Also in February 2021 I carried out a fast from secular music, social media and TV, and it showed me just how empty I was without distractions. But life pressed play in March 2021 and it has been like diarrhoea since. Non-stop, and painful (yes).
The weight lies in the way everything has played out. So many situations feel extremely symbolic, down to body language and my physical positioning in relation to others. Different people are saying the same words to me at different times as if they all agreed to do so. The convenience of some situations is perfectly orchestrated, and some curveballs feel like they are spitefully placed just to see me suffer. The lessons I am learning feel like something I’d hear a wise man say and so many songs speak my exact situation. I feel better just as fast as I feel awful, as if yesterday didn’t even happen.
At one point I thought to myself, “This feels like a script. It’s so eventful and tumultuous.” So I began holding my life at arm’s length, and during Autumn I decided to view it like a TV show. Was this a bad idea?
“January to March was season one,” I said. “March to August season two, and September to now is season three.” I told people about it – it was in line with my year after all.
I may rain on a parade here.
Though it was fun to see new people in my life (there were many of them) as new characters and romantic interactions as mere love interests, it soon felt tiring, because this fictional character that I made myself into was dealing with real, non-fictional emotion. There was a disconnect.
I was in disbelief when crazy or symbolic things happened to me because I had been distancing myself from the ownership of my experiences. Yet the truth is that these experiences were not ‘plot-twists’ – they were real! My life was not emulating cinema, because in fact, cinema emulates life. I just hadn’t experienced anything like it before.
What we see on our screens is a perfected version of real-life experiences. In most cases, writers write from a place of truth and identity; they just exaggerate or downplay what they choose.
To continue treating my life like it’s something from a screen is to experience it in incompletion. So now I tell myself; this is not a TV show – this is real and it is happening. This is not a movie – this is your life.
This year, hearing ‘you only have one life’ resonated more than ever before. I think this is what it means. I am not a spectator, I am real, so will be real! I realised that I need to stop being passive, and to instead, actively participate in my life. Sometimes I need to be more serious about these things.
Yes, life can feel unexpected and surreal, but that’s what makes art so beautiful, as art itself imitates life.
Maybe it is just personal. But I am teaching myself to say it feels like a movie less. Now I would like to say, it is beautiful. It is my experience and it is exclusive to me, I won’t give credit to a non-existent writer’s room.
So, when I am walking down the street feeling any type of way while listening to a song that fits my mood perfectly and it ‘feels like movie’, I remind myself that life really is just like that.
Beauty starts with me, not on screen. I will participate in that wonder, not spectate it from afar. That is a blessing.
I think it should have always been that way. But at the same time, I don’t mind learning this now.
Be it tragic or beautiful, I’m playing the fullest part in my life now.