tooartytoparty

20

I’ve turned 20 now and have to admit that my first week as a twenty-year-old was very similar to my last week as a nineteen-year-old. Minus the fact that I don’t have a birthday to look forward to any longer. As usual, getting older doesn’t make you feel different in any way but at the same time I can feel myself moving further and further away from my 16/17-year-old self. I like the person I was then. I was no-nonsense and I got by on my own, didn’t really think too much about what others thought of me, rarely cried and was waiting with suspense for the day when I would get my first kiss. I did quite well at school, I thought I didn’t have much time to see my friends but in comparison with now I had loads of time. I took a lot of photographs, spent the weekend nights up alone late doodling and wrote things down in my diary almost everyday. I felt grown up because I was drinking coffee. I was looking forward to the future and to move away from home but it was still far enough away in the future to be too exciting or too scary. Sometimes I miss the old version of me.

It is a little bit scary to be twenty but I feel like I’m in good company. Twenty is when it all happens. Like the stuff that matters. Growing up (or maybe just growing old). Graduation, career, buying houses, having serious relationships = real life, or something like that. Gaaaah.

I mostly wonder if it is part of being 20 to feel that I just want to spend all my time in bed with my boyfriend and never get up other than shuffling down the stairs to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee before I crawl back into bed again?

Lately from my phone

Week 3, Term 1, Year 3.

It is incredible how draining university is. On every single level. When can I make time for downtime? At the moment the answer seems to be never. There’s just so much to take in all the time. All the time.

Since the beginning of term I’ve read three critical texts about autobiography, two plays, a Shakespeare play (needs a category of itself because it takes so much longer to read than the average modern play), a play about the self, two texts about enlightenment, two introductions for books (one about memory and Europe and one about Eurovision song context). I’ve been to three theatre performances and I’m going to another one on Wednesday. I’ve worked at the Fresher’s fair two days and I’ve tried running a student ambassador campaign for the Arts Centre without much help from the others in my group who have just ignored my suggestions. I’ve applied for a job, been for an interview for a job, got a job and been to a training session for said job. I’ve tried to catch up with my friends, been to a birthday party at which I drank an entire bottle of wine myself in the time period of about two hours and regretted it a lot the day after (especially as I was working), I’ve been to lunch and coffee and pre-drinks (I skipped the clubbing to save energy). I’ve been for walks with my boyfriend, had communal meals with my flatmates, cooked a lot of dinners with my boyfriend and tried some new vegan recipes. I’ve been to five lectures about Shakespeare and two in Literary and Cultural Theory. I’ve been to a seminar where my homework is to create and alter-ego (how do you even do that?). I’ve had the question: “What are you doing after uni?” about three times a day. I’ve only had one breakdown that is directly related to university work but cried a few more times and that has probably been brought on partly by the stress that begins to creep into the middle of my chest again. I’ve been tired (read: completely exhausted) for a week from what I think is menstruation-caused iron deficiency and that also made me more vulnerable.

And on top of all that the season is changing (summer-autumn) and it is always at those moments that I miss home most because I know that it is autumn but it is not the autumn that I am used to but a different autumn. The signifiers for autumn that I need are absent.

There are just so many thoughts going around in my head, so many people that I meet all the time and so many things I need to think clever things about. I always need to have an answer for everything but all I want to do is just crawl up in bed. I don’t like being this busy. Don’t get me wrong, I like having things to do, otherwise I get really restless, but I am also not very good at dealing with stress. At university it is also really hard to deal with the distinction of what is private life and what is part of your degree. The simple answer is that there is no such thing as private life as everything is very focused on university all the time. Everything around you becomes university. The city you live in you’ve moved to because of uni, the friends you have are all at the same uni as you and have similar uni-related problems, your room is a shitty room in a shitty student house with things like pink plastic sofas and neon green kitchen walls that you just live in because there’s nothing else available while you are at uni. All your time is spent either being on campus, studying or thinking about that you should study right now. I like to imagine the future being a place where you leave work behind  when you go home at 5pm and something which you don’t have to think about at weekends.

But you know, apart from that I’m fine.

Now

Sometimes I write because I have to. I need to write to somehow order my thoughts and understand what I feel and all that. I write things down instead of bothering other people around me with my problems. I write things because it makes me see things clearer. I write for purely therapeutic reasons.

At other times I really don’t feel like writing. Now is that kind of time. I moved into my new house yesterday. I like my room and I like the people I am living with but I’m still not used to living here. I am about to start my third and final year as an undergrad at university and I don’t know what to expect from it. There are lots of people I haven’t seen for a long time that I am about to meet soon again and I have to get used to the life where my boyfriend probably only stays over once a week. Maybe twice if I’m lucky. All I can say is that so far, so good but I don’t really know how things will be this year. Therefore, I don’t really have anything to write right now. We’ll have to wait and see. I think it will turn out for the good though.

Horror avoided

I get a message late evening which says that the page where you sign up for seminars is open. Which one will you be in? I want Tuesday, I say, but then I see it. For Term 1 I don’t recognise the name of the man who will tutor but for Term 2 it changes. To her. To the woman I was so happy I’d never ever need to have as a seminar tutor ever again. I instantly feel sick. I instantly feel like crying. I think to myself that there is no way I am going to sit through another year of her treating me like I am stupid and discarding my ideas before I even have had time to express them fully. She who says things like “You’re only saying that because you’re a white girl” and whether it is to provoke or to make us think I do not know. I just know you don’t say that. She dissected my entire essay and told me that I show signs of “inattentive technical writing”. I would have thought that one of my previous teachers or tutors would have told me about that before she does it straight to my face while I am crying and she ignores it.

Luckily I can change to a different seminar group, the Thursday one. It means that my Thursdays are hell – 10am start, 6h of seminar time in total of which 5 are back to back, and 8h in total on campus (11h if I join the hip hop dancing sessions in the SU) – but it is worth it if it means I won’t have to spend 2h per week in a small circle in a big room with that woman staring at me, expecting me to say something clever about what we have just read at the same time as she has already made up her mind about me being stupid so that she expects nothing of value to ever pour from my mouth.

I don’t think that I really realised it fully last year while it was still happening, but she made me feel like crap every week. On Mondays my mood would get worse and worse until I got home and made dinner, went to bed and woke up on Tuesday mornings already extremely stressed. The pressure in my chest would only increase as the day went on and not lighten until after the seminar when I knew it would be another week until I had to see her again. I will be open-minded and say that she did teach me things as well and she made me think about my essay writing and what/how I argue but she also made me completely doubt myself and my academic abilities instead of inspiring me to develop. It’s a fine line that. Too strict, too soft. Too forgiving, too harsh. She was too much of everything and seemed to dislike students just because they wear fake tan or a lot of make-up. One of the best parts of finishing second year was knowing that I would never have her as a seminar tutor again and for a moment I almost thought it would all repeat itself. Luckily it didn’t but it also made me think that if my reaction, the physical reaction of feeling sick, is so strong months after the actual event I mustn’t have been feeling very well at the time when it actually took place and all the sobbing I did against my boyfriends shoulder further proves that.

Paradoxical

Bittersweet. It is bittersweet missing someone when you know that you are missed in return. At the same time as it is horrible to be without that person for a long-ish time, you know that said person also misses you. At the same time as the hole of longing in your chest aches to be filled, you feel loved when you notice he longs as well. At the same time as I say I miss you, you say I miss you too and being apart for most of the summer feels a little bit easier.

image

Time flies

It’s nice to know that my low moments mostly come around the time of menstruation these days. That gnawing feeling in my chest is not there permanently any longer and when the blood drips against the white porcelain in the bathroom I know that I am calmer.

It’s also nice to know that I’ve been back in Sweden for a longer period of time (10 days) than what is left before he comes over (9 days).

01.02

My heart is a little bit lonely tonight. My body is lonely tonight. I am lonely tonight. God I miss him!!!

Extra-emotional and a little bit cliché. It’s just that I haven’t spoken to him in a while. Haven’t seen him in a while. And the Skype call we had the other day just made me miss him even more.

It’s “only” 3 weeks and 1 has already passed but I can’t escape the feeling of being stuck somewhere I don’t want to be for too long. People, family, friends, everywhere. The routines I have built up for myself are shattered. I know that people miss me when I am gone and I understand that they want to see me. I want to see them too, I really do, but I don’t like feeling the pressure of having to see this person and that person. Or the pressure of having to do something special with the people I see all the time. Can’t we sometimes just take it easy and enjoy each other’s company in quiet?

I hate not living in the same country as you because it makes the relationship I have to my home country a lot more complicated. I hate us living 2000 km apart extra much tonight. My period is on its way; my breasts are tender and I just WANT YOU BY MY SIDE HERE AND NOW.

Things to do this summer

  • Read loads of books that I want to read and not books that I have to read.
  • Paint with water colours.
  • Spend loads of time with my little sister. She’s nine now and so much older than she was when I moved away from home.
  • Take long evening walks when it is still light outside.
  • Take up writing again.
  • Swim.
  • Go for runs – I want to try and get my time for 5k down to under 30 min.
  • Finish watching True Blood. For some reason I stopped halfway through the sixth season.
  • Get photographing again.
  • Make (n)ice cream (banana ice cream). It looks so simple and everyone goes on about how nice it is but I haven’t tried it yet.
  • Spend time with my best friend whom I haven’t seen for over 9 months.
  • Cut my hair. It’s been too long for too long.
  • Try yoga.
  • Experiment with new vegan recipes.
  • Chill.
  • Start reading the course literature for next year. I think I’ll begin with Shakespeare’s collected works.

 

But still I don’t want to be the needy girlfriend

Do you give love just to take love? Like, do I want to see you because I want to spend time with you or because I know that you want to spend time with me? I’d say it is purely because I want to see you, because you make me feel good. It is not for you – it is for me. So actually, love is really selfish. It is an addiction. I need you. And I don’t really care whether you need me or not. Oh well, I do, because if you wouldn’t need me, say if you’d want to break up with me, I think I would not be able to see that from your perspective. That’s where the selfishness comes in. Even if I know that it might be better for you to not be with me and that you need time for yourself I want to see you and I want you in my life – for my own sake not for yours.

Well, I think that I can see things from your perspective sometimes, as long as I know that you still want me. Because if you don’t, if you don’t complement me or kiss me or feel that you have to talk to me I don’t know what I would do. I want you to need me.

So it is not about mutual love. It is about mutual need. A mutual addiction and what we both (hopefully) do is to fuel it meaning that you need to spend time with you and you need to spend time with me. Ok?