Hallelujah – You’re Home

Last week, I read Sophie’s entry on losing her nan earlier this year. I lost my grandmother on October 25th, 2016. I’m still struggling with it myself. I’ve never really lost anyone before. A great-grandmother when I was a child, but we weren’t close and I was a child. But I’m 24 now, and my grandmother and I were really close.

She died on a Tuesday. I didn’t really know how sick she was until the Friday before. She had been in the hospital for a while, but I thought she’d recover. I thought maybe we could go there around Christmas, so that I could visit her; I hadn’t seen her since May 2015, it’s an 8-hour drive to where they live. Tuesday morning at 8am my mom called me, saying my uncle had called Monday afternoon. Grandma had been asking for my dad, and my uncle said he needed to get down there now. My dad drove all night and arrived early in the morning, right before my mom called me and told me all of this. I lit a candle in the morning. It’s like I knew. Around 5pm my phone rang. I was sure it was my mom, but it was my roommate inviting me to a customers’ night at a hair and beauty salon. It was barely 5 minutes after that that my phone rang again. It was my mom, and I could hear it in her voice when she asked if I was home. And then she said “Now, grandma has died.”

The funeral was on the 4th of November. I went back to the city on the 7th. I had a month and a half before Christmas. And I was just supposed to go back to my life? Like nothing had changed? Like my entire world hadn’t just changed? I couldn’t do it. I still can’t do it. My life isn’t the same. Sometimes I forget that she’s dead, and I think I should call her. And then I remember that I can’t. I don’t even remember the last time I spoke to her. I know I called her a few days before her birthday in February, because I would be abroad on her birthday. There’s a possibility that we talked in the summer while my parents were on vacation, my boyfriend thinks I talked to her while he was here with me. But I don’t remember. And I feel so incredibly guilty, because that means I didn’t call her often enough. How can I forgive myself for something like that?

It’s Easter time of year. I spend Easter with my grandparents many times as a child. Once, we were woken up and ran all around the house looking for Easter eggs – which we ended up finding in our beds. My grandmother had a lot of tiny fluffy yellow chickens around the house. I walked around collecting them in my tiny hand once, they were all so squished they never recovered. It’s Easter, and she’s not here. I couldn’t call her to wish her Happy Easter, I couldn’t catch her up on what’s been happening in my life, and her telling me not much has changed with her. Meaning to hang up at least four times but not doing it because we remembered something else to talk about. I miss my grandmother this Easter.

There are many songs that make me think of my grandmother, too. Some of them don’t even have anything to do with her. This song came out too recently for her to have heard it, but a couple of weeks ago it made me cry on the bus on my way to uni, because it made me think of her. This song, is Supermarked Flowers by Ed Sheeran.

~ Julie

A Note On Love

I’ve spent a great part of my life thinking that, you shouldn’t love someone who doesn’t or can’t love you back. My reason for this is quite natural: it only ends up hurting you. However, over the past several months, I’ve come to realize that I don’t quite like this anymore. And therefore, I wanted to share something with my readers, wherever you are, whatever your situation is, whether you’re in a happy loving relationship or you love someone you can’t have or you think you can’t love anymore because the last person you loved left you in pieces.

Love. Love everyone. Love all the time. Don’t let past experiences make you hard. Don’t let the world make you empty. Let yourself love people. Even if they don’t love you. Only love can fill the cracks and holes caused by loneliness, rejection, and betrayal. Only love can make us whole again. Maybe they can’t because they don’t know how to. Show them. Spread love everywhere you go. Leave pieces of yourself with everyone you meet. Love without the aim of being loved bad. Just love.

“Love until your heart gives out.” (writingsforwinter)

Allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to love. Cercei Lannister was wrong; loving people doesn’t make you weak. It opens you up and makes you different but it does not make you weak. Love is not weakness. Love is strength.

Give your all or give nothing. Devote yourself completely. Love with all you have and all that you are. Just love. When your love is rejected, do not dwell. Give more love, give love to someone else, to everyone else, Leave love everywhere. Love because you know what it feels like to be loved. Love because of what it feels like to love someone.

Don’t cross oceans for people who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you.

No, do it. Do cross oceans for people. Love people, all people. No conditions, no strings attached, no wondering whether or not they’re worthy. Cross oceans, climb mountains. Life and love isn’t about what you gain, it’s about what you give. Tell people you love them. Not to hear it back or to get anything out of it. Tell people you love them to make sure they know you do.

I am a firm believer in that only love can mend a broken heart. Love will make your heart soft. Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness. Bukowski said, how can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them?

And when your heart breaks… Fill all the cracks with love. Love people, romantically or otherwise. And if you can’t do that yet, fall in love with things. Fall in love with music. Fall in love with hobbies. Love. Until you’re able to love again. Love until your cracks become scars that eventually fade completely. Love until you become whole again.

How We Should Protect Ourselves (but never do)

Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
– 
Holden, The Catcher in the Rye

Personally, I have a twist on this quote, an idea I would like to share with you. Something I wish I was more capable of controlling myself. It goes like this:

Don’t ever think anything about anybody. If you do, you start missing everybody.

What I mean about this is… As people, when we get to know other people, we start thinking things. Imagining things. Creating scenarios in our heads that the people are a part of. It’s all good and well so far. We’re aware that they’re just daydreams and imaginations, they’re not real. But the people are. These imaginations and scenarios are things we want to do with these people. Things that maybe someday will happen. Conversations we’ll maybe have, someday. Places we’ll maybe go to. All good and well so far.

The problem with this, I propose to you, goes something like this: those people aren’t real either. They are our imagined versions of these people. How we want them to be. The things we want them to say. Things we imagine maybe someday they will actually say. We know them, we know how they talk and behave, and all we do is take this a step furter and create situations in our heads. Correction: All we think we do. But something else happens, that we may or may not be aware of. We begin to apply the imagined version to the real person. We look for traits in the real people that fit the fantasy. We begin to believe that the imaginary version is the real person. But they’re not.

People, sooner or later, in one way or another, will let you down. They’ll say or do or be something that doesn’t fit with the imagination. They’ll shatter the illusion. Naturally, we blame them. “This isn’t who you are, you’ve changed, you’ve never been like this before” we might say. It’s their fault. They don’t fit the version that we’ve created. The version WE’VE created. We. Us. I. The individual. Our mind. We are to blame. We created the imaginary version of the real person. We are to blame, not the person. They never promised to be this or do that or say a certain thing. We expected them to because the made-up version of them did. But the actual person never agreed to being who the imagined version them are.

We let ourselves down. We lead ourselves on. We break our own hearts. The person didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t do anythign at all. They just weren’t how you made them out to be in your head. And that’s your fault, my fault, each our own fault, and not the person’s fault. We hurt ourselves. If we didn’t do this, we’d be more protected. But it’s impossible not to. We can’t fight what’s inside of us. Well sometimes we can, but fighting ourselves is the most unnatural thing in the world because we are everything that we are. Maybe. Not necessarily. Other sides of this can be argued (think: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are”). But if you drag that statement into this it becomes a matter of distinguishing right from wrong and knowing the difference. What I propose is that imagining scenarios and creating versions of people is on the light side, the right side, we don’t see anything wrong with it, which is why it’s unnatural to fight this part of who we are.

Before I lose my point completely: the last part of my twist on the famous sentence from the famous book taught in most high school literature classes. If you do, you start missing everybody. People turn out not to be how we imagined them, how we wanted them to be. When we find this out, we have to come to terms with that. Accept that they’re not who we thought they were. And that isn’t necessarily easy. You may feel like you’ve been lied to (by the person, but really by your head). If you can come to terms with who they are, who the REAL person is, then maybe you can have a wonderful friendship (or relationship or whatever it is that you might have). But if you can’t, you’ll probably end up not having anything to do with them. And you may find yourself missing them. But you don’t miss the real person, you miss the imaginations, the fantasies, the daydreams, about the person you have by this point discovered doesn’t exist. Holding on to those is hard to do once you know the person isn’t like that. So you end up missing them, too.

Don’t ever think anything about anybody. If you do, you start missing everybody.

This entry was inspired by this tumblr post.

~ Julie

Call Me Hopeless, But Not Romantic

I want the human contact that being in a relationship brings.

I don’t mean sex. I’m doing just fine without sex.

I want holding hands in a crowded street in the morning when people are rushing to work, or on the bus in the late afternoon when everyone’s exhausted. I want the comfort of having someone there with me, that I’m not alone in the crowd.

I want to make and eat dinner with another human being. To try new dishes. To fuck up completely and end up ordering pizza. To have a conversation with someone instead of sitting in silence in front of my laptop.

I want to be with a person who will give me a hug and stay hugging for a moment before they let go, at least once a day. Both for their sake and for mine. Someone who wants to do that.

I want someone I can fall asleep with, not sleep with. I want someone who will fall asleep next to me, a tangled mess of arms and legs and hair and t-shirts and blankets. Someone who will hold me. Someone I can hold.

I want intimacy. Not sex.

Love Is Not A Choice

If you have to choose between me and someone else, please don’t choose me.

I don’t want to be anyone’s choice. First, second… Nothing. Love isn’t supposed to be a choice. This isn’t Pokémon. It’s not a matter of “I choose you”… It’s a matter of, “I had no choice, I fell in love with you, I couldn’t help it, it just happened”.

If someone chose you… There’s always a chance of them choosing someone else, later on. I don’t believe love should be about choosing someone to be with, not the way you choose which book to read next because you’re bored or you choose which university to attend because of its attractiveness (to you or future employers) or because it will benefit you. It’s not about lining up the people you could potentially be in a relationship with and choosing one based on how good-looking they are, or smart, or rich. If you find yourself in that situation, my advice would be to turn around and walk away from all of them. You’re not going to find love that way.

Love is about magnetism. You’re being pulled towards a person, and they’re being pulled towards you, and you can’t help each other, you have to have each other, be together, and no one else matters.

To quote Gone Girl: We have each other – everything else is background noise.

Or to quote Ygritte in Game of Thrones: It’s you and me that matters to me and you. You’re mine, mine as I’m yours. If we die, we die. All men must die. But first, we’ll live.

Love is about not being able to stay away from each other. It’s about not being able to get them out of your head. Not being able to let anyone else take their place. You want only them. You need them. You can’t imagine your life without them. You can’t imagine living without them, in one way or another. You need them in your life. You forgive them for the mistakes they make, because the thought of being without them is too much, to overwhelming, it makes your heart ache and insides shiver and eyes water.

Love is not a choice. Love just happens. And if you’re lucky, love will just happen to the other person as well. And that, could be the best thing that ever happens to you.

Mission First. People Always.

This is a quote I learned when I was watching the Lifetime TV show Army Wives. However, I did grow up with a father in uniform. And this is one of my all-time favorite quotes. When I told a friend about it, he didn’t get it. But then I explained.

To me it’s like, people are what matter, people are what’s important. Not all people – but like, the people that matter to you. Your friends, family, who you love… They’re the most important thing in your life. And I’ll always choose them over doing something. Not like, use them to avoid doing something I wanna do but like, if/when they need me, I’ll choose them over sleep and I’ll ditch a lecture and I’ll drop what I’d been looking forward to doing on my day off to be with them because they’re more imporant than things. Mission first. People always.

I would gladly stay up all night for someone who needed me to be there for them. I would do anything in my power to help. It’s like that song by The Fray: And I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life. I would stay up regardless of whether I am capable of helping. I would stay up no matter what the situation was. No matter who it was – I would do that for anyone who came to me for help.

I have another friend. Actually, he’s more than just a friend. He’s special. And I can always tell when something isn’t right, even though we’ve never met. I get a feeling, and I can also see it in how he writes – that’s how well I know him. Tonight is one of these nights, when something isn’t exactly right. I got the feeling when I asked me a question. He confirmed with how he replied when I asked why he asked after answering his question.

I wish he was closer. I wish I could just get in a car and drive to be with him – I can’t drive but how hard could it be? I’d get there. I’d kick down the door if I had to (or at least break the window so I could unlock it from the inside). I’d hold him. Talk to him. Listen to him. Not say a word. Whatever he needs, that’s what I’d do. Make him feel less lonely. Show him that everything will be okay. Be there for him. Tell him that this is the part that sucks but it will get better and that I’ll be here through it all. I’ll always be here. He’s never alone.

It’s terrifying to love someone and worry about them when you’re too far away to do a damn thing about it. But I’ll stay up all night tonight if that’s what he needs. I’ll talk on whatever social media or skype or whatever he wants. I’ll do whatever he wants. I’ll be a wreck tomorrow and my parents will ask why on earth I didn’t sleep and I’ll tell them that someone needed me and I’ll tell them “Mission first – people always”.

I’ve been listening to All Time Low while writing this, and the song Missing You came on and it reminded me of him. The lyrics are perfect, so I will end this entry with them:

I heard that you’ve been self-medicating
In the quiet of your room
Your sweet suburban tomb
And if you need a friend
I’ll help you stitch up your wounds

I’ve heard that you’ve been having some trouble
Finding your place in the world
I know how much that hurts
But if you need a friend
Then please, just say the word

You’ve come this far
You’re all cleaned up
You made a mess again
There’s no more trying
It’s time to sort yourself out

Hold on tight
This ride is a wild one
Make no mistake, the day will come
When you can’t cover up what you’ve done
Now don’t lose your fight, kid
It only takes a little push to pull on through
With so much left to do
You’ll be missing out
And we’ll be missing you

Grit your teeth
Pull your hair
Paint the walls black and scream
“Fuck the world!
It’s my life and I’m gonna take it back”
And never for a second blame yourself

– Julie

Movie Love in Real Life?

I wonder what it’s like, to kiss the love of your life for the first time…

Every kiss before the right kiss doesn’t count anyway. I’ve kissed a lot of women. The first time I kissed my wife… Well, I mean she wasn’t my wife then; she was just this girl in a bar. And when we kissed, it was like – I got to tell you – it was like I never kissed any other woman before. It was like the first kiss, the right kiss. ~ Derek Sheppherd, “Grey’s Anatomy”

A lot of people kiss a lot of people throughout their life. And at some point they decide that they don’t want to kiss any other person than this one person, that they want to spend their life with that person. But did they know that, the first time they kissed? Or did they find out after they got to know this person, after many dates, many kisses, many nights spent together… I wonder.

A lot of people don’t even get to be alone in the same room as their spouse until they’re married. In many cultures, that is the norm. Some people don’t get to choose the person they have to spend the rest of their life with. Some of these couples end up loving each other. Some become friends but nothing more. Some never get anywhere. Do they know where they will end up when they kiss for the first time?

Books and movies are one thing. Derek knew when he first kissed Meredith in “Grey’s Anatomy”. Lucy in “My Name Is Memory” knew it was Daniel even though she couldn’t remember her past lives but he could. She knew it before they kissed. Nicholas Sparks is perhaps the best known contrmporary author of true love and romance novels. These people they meet, they kiss, something happens and they’re forced apart, they fight, they end up back together, they’re meant to be.

But what about real life? Is it possible to meet someone and just know that they’re the one? To kiss someone and know that they’re the love of your life? I haven’t experienced it, otherwise I would probably be with the person right now… But I’m not. But like I said, I do wonder what it’s like, to kiss the love of your life for the first time…