“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
― Maya Angelou
Two weeks ago, on a painfully lonely Monday afternoon, my phone vibrated from across the room. I had half a mind not to pick it up. I was half asleep and generally regretting my own existence. Nonetheless, I stumbled out of bed.
I don’t usually get phone calls from anyone other than my parents (mostly because I never answer when anyone else calls) so I sort of warmed up from head to toe when a familiar name popped up on my screen, one I didn’t think I’d see for a while. My friend, Mo (who runs a blog called seasonal words abroad, go have a look) had arrived in Amsterdam where she’ll be staying for the next 6 months and I guess she was missing home a little. I mean, who wouldn’t if they were alone on a whole different continent.
We talked about all sorts of things – school, friends, the grown up the world and how it was different to what we imagined it would be, but perhaps better. We talked about our plans and how the future was scary. Mostly, talked about feeling a little lost.
We didn’t really exchange advice, from what I can remember. Yet, things just started to make a bit more sense after that talk, at least for me. It’s amazing what a willing ear and a few words of encouragement can do.
I will forever be so grateful for the people in my life. The ones who accept me without judgement though I can be strange and unbearable at times. They are always there for me, to support my grand schemes or comfort me on my lowest… even if they’re oceans away.
Mo, you said you really needed that phone call. But I needed it more. Thank you.
I was sitting in an open field picking flowers and writing down my plans for escape when the fog rolled in. I’d never seen anything like it. Black and thick as tar, it obscured every hill and home in sight. Just like that, the little village I’d grown up in and everything I’d known since I was a child, disappeared from view.
There was no way to call for help, no chance of navigating through the ever-growing ocean of darkness. I could barely move. My lungs were on fire as if I’d inhaled smoke. My body became as heavy and useless as a sack of flour.
As I lay there in despair, I wondered how long it would take for this pulsating creature of darkness to reach my home and engulf my family. Or would it reach them?
My mother used to read me a story about a little girl who dishonoured her family, chasing fanciful dreams and telling tall tales. One night, as the girl prepared to run away from home and join the traveling theatre she was surrounded by a thick and impenetrable darkness.
It stole her soul.
Perhaps those bedtime stories were true. I always knew someday I’d have to atone for my crimes. There is no room in this world for whimsical dreams and grand schemes. I should have listened to my mother and done the dishes and cleaned my room and married Mr Wood like I was told.
Ah well… I suppose it’s too late now. I’m being erased.
I really don’t have anything to say. I think there’s some danger in writing when you don’t have anything to say. You put yourself at risk of saying something stupid or possibly oversharing. So, why am I sitting here writing? At this stage, writing has become almost a compulsion. Even if I cringe at how terrible my writing is, I do it anyway because I don’t know how not to.
Let’s see then… what to talk about…
Ah, yesterday, I bought a puzzle. It was such an impulse move. Do people build puzzles anymore? No one I know does. But, I’ve always loved them. I remember being six years old, sitting on my bedroom floor with the radio on and just putting the pieces together. There’s something soothing about that.
Doing it again 15 years later, it still has the same effect. I can feel the stress evaporate from my body. Perhaps, it’s about being able to make the pieces fit when you have no chance of getting the pieces of your life to fit together half as well.
Anyway, I don’t regret the purchase. I’d call it the perfect distraction.
I lose sleep again.
New thoughts, new words
Spill out of me,
Play hide-and-seek in the air,
In the faint light of the moon.
Reason runs in circles, just out of reach
Angered by the lies I’ve told…
Temptation gently taps on my shoulder
Interrupting an illusion of innocence, saying:
“Once you open a can of worms
No one can close it for you”
[Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Some sources are good and others are not as much. But writing about it the good and the bad keeps us alive.]
A familiar feeling settled in, a feeling that set off deafening sirens. She smiled to herself knowingly. This could only spell disaster. She even left a mental note of warning, knowing it would be buried with the rest of her sense because just then, their eyes met – collapsing all reason.