THE FEAR

I often wonder if it’s just me, or if we all have a massive fear of pursuing the the thing we love. I suppose it really comes down to a fear of rejection. That we won’t succeed, or that even if we do, it won’t be in quite the ways we set out to.

After four and a half years, I’ve completed my university degree. A double degree in Journalism and Creative Writing– I am verging on 24 years old and I have two bachelors recently tucked under my belt. I’m chuffed, to say the least. What’s slightly freaking me out is the horizon, and the thing sitting on top of it: a cocktail of tantalising and daunting. I need to keep writing. At uni, that was my homework: go home and write. Whether they gave me a topic, a prompt, or nothing. I was doing the thing I love all the time, but mainly because there was an eccentric lady or a surly man 45 minutes north of here waiting for my content. Now, nobody really gives a damn about whether I write or whether I knit. I mean, the people close to me maybe care a little, but more because they want me to continue relishing in the thing I love and the thing that gave me a hefty hecs debt. So here I am, once again, writing about writing or rather, writing about how scared I am of writing.

The most wonderful and inspiring lecturer I had at uni– Hi Shady! (if you so happen to be reading)– once gave us a lecture about rejection. She put everything she had on the line and literally read out every moment of rejection or failure in her life. But then, she read another list: the silver lining that came from each of those moments. I guess we have to continue pursuing the dreams we have because the silver lining will always shine brighter than the mishap. Well, that’s what I’ll continue to tell myself, otherwise we’ll never do anything we really want to.

I’m really here to say that my butt is going to be whipped into gear and producing more content for my “readers” or even just the empty, cyberspace abyss. Either way.

In the next few months I could be writing any kind of nonsense: anecdotes, observations, fiction pieces, whatever.

Then come October, the blog might get a little more riveting. My boyfriend Abel and I will be heading back to my mother land. First stop: Hawaii. We’ll stay there for a brief stint, four nights, before we head to San Francisco, where we’ll visit my Aunty Lauren, her husband Kurt and their two kiddies. Next stop: NYC, about five nights there and then it’ll be crunch time. After our little city-hop, we’ll be buying a van, and visiting my family and friends in my hometown in Connecticut. We’ll drive up north along the east coast and head back down to be with family over Christmas. Once the holiday season comes to a close, we’ll make our way south along the coast, visiting my Nan in South Carolina and my parents in Florida. Then we’ll go west, ensuring we’re in California for Coachella in April. This is a pretty rough outline of what we’ll be doing, we’re both open to all kinds of possibilities and changes to our plans. I’m an organiser, but travelling is about spontaneity and going with the flow, whichever way that may be.

In the meantime, I’ll be working, reading and hopefully writing.

A

 

BIRTHDAY DEJAVU.

I remember last year when I wrote a blog post about how I had to change my ‘about me’. I had to change the age from 19 to 20. About two seconds ago, I was visiting my page and realised, that’s not me anymore. I’ve been 21 years old for the past month. It was time to edit my about me again.
Looking back on that post from a year ago, https://annikatague.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/a-slight-change-in-my-about-me/, a lot of things have changed and a lot of things have not.
I still worship Stephen Markley as a writer, but only recently have I begun divulging back into this passion. Some crippling anxiety was holding me back; as a writer and as a person in general. I feel like I’m finally on my way back and hopefully I’ll be finding new and exciting things to write about. I’m 21, I’m young, but I’m getting on, and I think it’s time I put some focus into the things I love to do, and work out how to spin them into a successful career. Look, I’m not stupid. I know that this is going to take some time, I haven’t even finished my degree for christ’s sake– I’m just feeling itchy!

For the past, I’m not even sure how long, I’ve felt pretty lost. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I think this happens to most students in the midst of their degree. I feel like I’m not doing anything with my life, while actually, I’m doing a lot. I’m just starting off. But I guess, for me, I wish the launching of a career path ensued lots and lots of dough, meaning I could travel and learn all at once. I know, I knoooooow, “go on exchange!” everyone tells me. I really don’t have an excuse not to, except that I don’t really want to? That’s legit enough.

Some of my friends are moving out of home– to Sydney, to London, to anywhere but here. And I guess I feel a little trapped, and when I say trapped, I mean trapped by myself.
I’m not scared to leave, I just don’t know where I want to go. Moving out of home would require transferring university’s and would mean zero savings for travel. That just doesn’t seem like an option at this point. I have to buckle down for the next 2.5 years and finish off this degree, because if I defer, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. My good friend Elle has just made plans to polish off an intensive personal training course, and then she’s jetting off to live in New Zealand for three months-indefinitely. My boyfriend’s brother is going over there with some friends around the same time as well, and if Abel hadn’t suggest that we go and visit them for a few weeks during my uni break in June/July, I just think I would go crazy. Finally I have something to look forward to.
It’s crazy how quick things change, how we easily change our minds about what it is we want to do, based on certain circumstances. Earlier this year, Olivia and I were planning on setting off to Europe in two weeks time, for a crazy, drunken, winterland escapade! Neither of us predicted falling in love and settling into committed relationships (a little cocktail of vomit and swoon, I apologise).

I honestly don’t know what the point of this ramble was. Scroll through my entire blog and most of my posts wind up this way. They start out promising- full of purpose and with a solid point, and end up being a super lame spiel about my current emotions. I’m gonna peace out before this gets super sappy and I start talking more intently about love– because I’m known for that these days.

LONG TIME

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. Anything at all. It’s been a while since I read anything. I go back to uni next week and I’m excited to be immersed in both sides of the literary practice, but I’m also scared that I won’t read for leisure. What a thing to complain about, hey?

Here’s a poem I stumbled across. Something I wrote down in my notebook during a CACW101 lecture, when I was feeling particularly sad. It has no title.

And it pains me
to know that the moon
is the only soul who
will understand–
for he too, is lonely
like I.
Looking over the others
with curiosity,
always asking,
why?

SHUT UP ABOUT WRITING. TALK ABOUT TRAVEL.

Sometimes, instead of actually sitting down and writing something, I’ll read through my blog and feel like I accomplished something. But not really, that was just me admiring myself accomplishing something that I posted a few weeks ago. So in actual fact, I’ve wasted my time again. Turns out, most of my posts are about writing, my generic thoughts on my fairly vague life events, or whinging about how little writing I’m doing and making lame excuses like, “Oh, I was studying”. No I fucking wasn’t.

SO NOW, I’m gonna talk about something that is completely mind consuming as of late. A little something I’ve discussed before, in more ways than one. Traveling. Traveling Europe. I’m going back, bitches! I started saving the other week; I put $200 away. Sitting in 1 of my 2 copies of Tolstoy’s War and Peace next to my bed. Do you think that’ll be enough?

The plan is to leave in December (alongside my dear pal, Olive) and come back sometime in February, just before the dawning autumn uni session commences. Maybe by that point I’ll genuinely feel like a second year student; and not the third year student that I’ll actually be.
I never really understood the whole concept of “the travel bug” while I was over there (have I said this schpiel before? Cause you’re about to hear it again), but since being home, I daydream of getting lost in a city and thinking, “what is there to do here?” and then wandering around aimlessly, until I find it. Truth is, you don’t usually understand the beauty of a foreign city until you’re not in it anymore. Once you’ve left it, you kind of long for the essence that it holds, the things you can’t describe to people. You know how sometimes you’ll get a whiff of something, and it reminds you of a certain time, a certain place in your life? Like how every time I smell gardenias, I feel as though I’m a fresh 12 year old, just arriving with her family in Australia, nervous at the prospect of making new friends. Or every time I wear my Coco Mademoiselle Chanel perfume, I remember being 15 and vomiting at 11:30 on NYE and my best friend losing her virginity.
Foreign places are like those scents that force your brain to rush back in time; except they’re the scents you’ll never really smell again, unless you travel back. It’s not something you can explain to someone. But then, someone will mention that they’ve also been to Barcelona, and you’ll discuss a building you both saw. You’ll know that you both once stood in the same place you are now, and also the same place on a random street corner across the world, and you two will share a little something. That’s a little something that induces the travel bug.
The other, and here’s the reason I couldn’t go traveling alone, even though I like to think I could; it’s the random shit that happens with you and other people that you don’t remember. Not the “remember that time we sat in a cafe in Dublin for 6 hours because we were all too scared to ask for the cheque”. It’s the ridiculous games of eye spy and would you rather that you play on countless bus and train trips, that they all blur into one. It’s the random little chats that you have while waiting for the shower. The “who’s turn is it?” game you invented, where you could ask any ridiculous question, open ended or multiple choice, just to kill a bit of time. None of these you remember (apart from when Olivia asked what the best sandwich we ever had was, and only I could answer), because at the time it seemed rather hollow, but in actual fact it was those little moments that made the whole trip what it was.
So, yeah, I’m going back. To further explore cities and their countries to a greater to extent. To see new places I haven’t ventured to yet. To meet people I might not have met otherwise. To get shit cold, to get lost, to get tired, to get grumpy, to get drunk, to get homesick. To be spontaneous. That’s the ultimate plan this time. A random from the youth hostel asks us to go on a walking tour with him and some mates? Ima say yes. Cause that’s when those little, inconsequential moments happen that you don’t really remember, but you almost kinda do.

AND NOW I FEEL GOOD.

For the first time in quite a while, I feel good. For right now, it’s not a state of mental wellbeing (although I wish it was), but I feel cleansed. Exercising and eating healthy foods are definitely a large part of it. I was once told by a good friend that we’re supposed to treat our bodies like temples and nurture them accordingly, by only allowing them to feed off of positive nutrients and only we are in control of that. True. But I like burritos and snickers a lot. Today however, I deprived myself of those two delectable items and only gave my body good things; and I’ll be honest, the outcomes are outstanding.

While this hasn’t changed anything about my state of mind at the moment, it’s almost helping me work on it more. During two rounds of exercise today, I was able to clear my mind and not think about the consuming thoughts of why a pretty boy didn’t reply to my text message (it’s sincerely heart breaking stuff, but it’s a real joy when your mind isn’t circling for answers 12 hours of the day).

I then did something a little crazy. A little something out of the ordinary. Something I always shame myself for not doing, and get angry that it’ll never occur and thus my dreams will never even be capable of coming true.
I wrote something that wasn’t a blog post. I wrote something that wasn’t a cheesy short story. And I didn’t type it on my computer.
I got out my beautiful leather bound notebook that I purchased while in Florence, something that I have written in approximately two times for a fear of making it’s insides hideous. But this time, I opened that notebook, grabbed myself a pencil and did what all the teachers have told me and just put that lead to the paper. I didn’t even think (well, I mean, I guess I was thinking at the time, but it honestly just flowed on out of me). I wrote a poem. And then I wrote another one. And now, wait for it… I liked it. I enjoyed writing something that doesn’t make sense, but it almost doesn’t have to (hey, it’s a literary device, I’ll do whatever the fuck I want, man). I can literally use some of my incoherent thoughts, transfer them into some analogies and metaphors (without realising I’m doing it) and it doesn’t have to be technical or make sense to the average eye. Interpret it how you will, and all the while, I’m releasing some serious aggression that would be inappropriate to take out on the average bystander.

I’m gonna keep doing this. And then you know what? Maybe you’ll even get some poetry to read.