7 – 2016 [a nutshell… almost]

It’s here again: that time of year where as usual, the mind of yours truly enters a phase of reminiscing and finds a way to join all the dots between every single event which happened throughout 2016 – even if such connections aren’t meant to be there 😀 Because let’s face it: there’s nothing like being a naive girl who loves to wander off into the abyss of what was to recollect every memory that was created throughout a long yet ever-changing period of time. But guess what: that girl is me *insert sarcastic shocking face* (although I do hope I became a bit less naive than I was at the beginning of the year ><).

For the last few years or so, life has been an emotional roller coaster ride, which at times – if not most of the time – was a bit too overwhelming for me to handle. However, unlike previous years, 2016 didn’t go to plan as my 2015 self ingenuously envisioned it to be . In fact, most of the things I set out to do this year didn’t go as I planned, or  didn’t happen at all! This is strange to say the least: because people tell you to draw a mind map of what you want to be, what goals you want to achieve, where would you rather see yourself a year (or twenty) from now. And because of this apparent must, I tend to fall into the overthinking trap of anxiously guessing what will happen in the coming months or where will I end up being in the next decade, as though I’m some sort of fortune teller – and I failed miserably. Not only did I engulf my brain with self sabotaging thoughts and useless worry, I realised that the greatest moments in my life during 2016 weren’t even thought of in the first place – they just happened unexpectedly, in an organic manner. And for a girl who constantly wrecks herself in doubting what the future has in store for her, this is such a relieving reminder that I shouldn’t live in my head obsessing over what might happen if I do something: I should go out there and (like Shia LaBeouf says) just do it, if that’s what I truly want to do – in that moment: because I also need to remember that goals and desires, whilst at times being an important motivator in stressful situations, are never fixed. I can change my mind over what I want to eat for lunch within five minutes – so there’s a high probability that my mind map of where I want to be in a year from now will perhaps undergo some few (or a lot) of revisions along the way 😛 

2016 was a turning point on so many levels.  It was a year in which I’ve experienced every single human emotion possible to the maximum. That’s because it was a year of many firsts for me.

I can now say that I dressed up as Ursula for a Carnival weekender, and that I ended up in a bitch fight even though I usually avoid drama. I auditioned for a main role on two occasions but didn’t get the part. I became drunk with 3 glasses of white wine in front of my crush. I anxiously and abruptly confessed my feelings to that crush, not anticipating that I would end up falling for a completely different human being who also happened to see me get drunk with 3 glasses of white wine. I felt calm for the first time in a very long while. I wasn’t overthinking it too much. I ended up experiencing the most serene yet intoxicating infatuation during a stressful period of exams . I allowed myself to open up to someone: to feel beautiful, fearless, and confident. I shared; I laughed; I kissed. In a span of two weeks I ended up travelling on my own for the first time to Belgium. I managed to get lost by turning the wrong way whilst trying to get to a foreign town. I became friends with people from across Europe, a few of whom I still talk to today. I made children smile, drank good cherry beer and took Speculoos home with me. I came back to Malta only to get heartbroken. I wrote about it. I cried, I got worried, I became scared, I was hurt. I became bitter, hopeless and negative in a split second. I began healing but I still thought I had to put a person who hurt me on a pedestal because of the good they had given me. I thought people are who they appear to be. I learnt that such people aren’t who they appear to be. I got angry, I lost hope, I cried again. I whined and nagged about all things which appeared horrible. I felt ugly, useless and helpless. I felt alone. I took part in my first acting production and got to work with and share a stage with talented women I look up to dearly. I began healing again, and I moved on. I created this blog to express myself. I slowly began to trust God again. I became closer to friends, I drifted apart from others. I met new people and I’m getting to know them better. I learned not to feel guilty for cutting negative people out of my life. I spoke and wrote my mind out more often. I doubted myself and my abilities. I cried again, I worried again. I prayed more. I relapsed into grieving for irrelevant people. I got to speak to influential people. I danced and sang my heart out at gigs and at clubs. I ate good food. I saw great theatre shows and films. I got inspired. I shared again, I laughed again, I smiled again. I started to feel better about myself.

Certainly, there are other things which I haven’t mentioned that happened over the past year. It was not easy, life is still not easy. I still struggle with my mind to stop worrying about unsolvable hypothetical problems. I still can be pessimistic. But I am grateful for every single moment within 2016, and I still wrap my mind around such moments. I am fortunate to have a family which supports me, friends who stuck by my side even when they’ve seen me in my worst, when I least deserved it. I still keep dear the memories I shared with people I’m no longer close to nor talk to as much. I am thankful for this blog, for having the ability not to refrain to share what I truly think and feel and I owe it to those who have influenced me enough to write about such experiences. I am thankful to God for always being a shoulder to lean on, even when I didn’t deserve His mercy. I am grateful to 2016 for being another fruitful lesson.

I don’t know what 2017 has up its sleeves for me, but I’m happy to say I’m a little more hopeful and a little less worried to what’s coming up next! When the clock strikes midnight and dives into a new year, I will not become a new me, but I hope it will be the continuation of becoming a better me 🙂 Bring on 2017 ^.^


6 – Let it Be [a pep talk – not a spin off on The Beatles’ song]

hey Mer,

this might seem odd and cheesy to write a post to yourself on your own blog, but i felt that you needed this: with university work piling up as your motivation to do such work is decreasing, together with yourself allowing a billion doubts racing through the neurons of your brain about probably every single aspect in your life – about what was and what might be – and then becoming obsessed as to whether such thoughts are rational or irrational, so you end up overthinking about such a conflict which might not be real after all – and the vicious cycle continues even after your brain declines in trying to understand what you really want after all and you give up trying to figure out what is going on.

it’s ironic, because ’tis the season to be jolly: yet you’re ending up worrying about futile things which you cannot do much about right now, which in turn are making you feel overwhelmed to the point that you end up stuck – which makes feel you grumpy and pessimistic about everything which appears to be wrong in your life! yes, i know it becomes tiring to get through such obstacles during the day because they make you feel overwhelmed, but then again who doesn’t have such obstacles? EVERYONE: from the people you’re closest to, to those who might have drifted apart from you, are struggling with something – and although that thing might be different to yours, it doesn’t make their struggling any less valid. you’re right, you might be alone going through such a situation, but you’re definitely not alone trying to get through life. 

all i ask you to do is to let it be: to try not to over-analyse or believe every single thought passing through your mind but instead focusing on doing what’s most important for YOU right now. do the things which you know you love and which may turn your negative vibes into positive ones. prioritise your work on your assignments and study hard instead of wasting time feeding your doubts (i know you’ll regret leaving everything to the last minute). be grateful for every opportunity you have coming your way. Be thankful for every person who has stuck by you in your lowest, when you nag and whine about life. don’t let any negative and petty thing overshadow the small BUT good things you have in your life. acknowledge the tiny successes you have, but don’t boast about them. acknowledge the mistakes you do, but don’t dwell on them so much to the point that you remain stuck and end up doing nothing about them. acknowledge every feeling you might feel when a situation crops up, but don’t let those emotions make you bitter. finally, pray as much as you can – God will get you through this, i know deep down that he’s got something great for you (remember Psalm 46:10)!

despite the life fails you do, you are a beautiful and a strong girl Mer – and i know you can get through this all 🙂 now stop procrastinating and go do your assignments! 

hang in there – you got this 🙂 
much love,

Marilyn xxxx


 

5 – A Special Gift [an old school essay]

If one finds the definitions of what a gift is in the Oxford Dictionary, the first one which strikes us refers to it as “a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present”. Although it may have other definitions in reality, I find this one really effective. The ability for one to give someone else something precious out of one’s own free will is already amazing in itself. However people tend to associate gifts nowadays with materialistic objects, which although may look grand and cost a lot, they can eventually depreciate through time. A special gift has nothing to do with money or magnitude – it has to do with what matters most: its value. I believe the life of a human being is a special gift!

It may sound odd to one’s ears, as life becomes hectic over the years and hard obstacles increase and become challenges we have to face every day. But coming to think of it, no one would know what would happen if life is non-existent in the first place. I suppose nothing would exist if life wasn’t a reality – nothing but giant rocks floating around in the spacious absence of gravity. It is not known when life began: scientists believe in the Big Bang theory; others believe that God has a plan for every creature which lives. The life of a human being is truly a special gift because it’s more than just one thing: in fact, it’s not even a thing!

It all starts from a man and a woman who fall in love, and create a beating heart out of nothing but love. Everything one does for-granted, whether if it’s moving his legs, seeing the sun rise, or breathing air: it is all thanks to his parents who wanted him to live on this earth. The beating heart is a small fragile baby, who over the years becomes a person with ambitions and goals like everyone else has. At first he begins to cry for all of his necessities, but as he grows day by day, with the help of his parents, the child starts to see objects more clearly and begins to identify them with words. He then starts to try and take his first few steps; he improves on them every single day, till he eventually starts taking steps in the direction he wants to for his well being.

Life does not only give humans the ability to breathe and grow physically. It gives new experiences to individuals everyday to become the person they want to be without letting anyone from interfering. Some experiences will be amazing; others might become a nightmare which may haunt one forever. Then, there are other experiences which may taste bitter, but later on they will serve as a purpose for growth in understanding how life works. Life is not about gaining experiences only – it’s also about giving happiness to someone else, be it through a simple smile, or a word of gratitude. It’s about surrounding oneself with people who make living life easier. It’s the smallest details like these which at the end make life worth living!

If I had to sum up what this special gift is, I would say that it is one full of surprises. It gives humans something to reflect on every night before bed time, yet contributes in creating memories which remain in one’s heart till the moment one passes away. An old friend of mine once told me that life is a roller coaster ride: it goes through highs and lows, but at the end it’s up to the passenger himself to close his eyes and scream all the way through – or to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!


 

4 – Aren’t Boys Sluts (too)? [It’s Rant Time]

Before reading on:
I’m actually scared to be posting this, even though I’ve been wanting to share this for a long time. This is not going to be a cheery post – it’s more about a controversial yet delicate, complex and grey situation – one which I can’t fully understand myself (and something which I’m preparing myself to receive backlash for). But after recent events in my life and coincidentally having girl friends of mine debating about this too, I thought it’s best to share my view in my own way. This post is directed mainly to a small but prevalent percentage of [heterosexual] boys (it can also be directed to any person, despite their gender or orientation, who does what’s listed below). To any boy reading this: no, I am not a radical feminist ready to slice 
your head off or tear you up in pieces through this post. I do not want you to assume that I hate your gender and that all of you do what is written below. This is MY humble opinion: yes, I may be wrong and if you do disagree, you are more than welcome to share your side of the argument with me. I am truly grateful for men who were a shoulder to lean on through hard times, and I’m even thankful for those who have hurt me or picked on me for what I do, say or look like – they made me grow a tougher skin. Onto the actual rant!

Dear Boys,

You have always been told to respect women as much as possible –  yes, you might be fed up of hearing this rant over and over because it might make you think that you’re never doing anything right. It might imply that you don’t do enough for us women, or that you’re stupid enough not to realise the mistakes you’re always doing. I get it, those few words of advice have been used way too many times, and you might think that women expect something grand or extra effort from your part to make us feel comfortable around you. It might have made you feel that respecting women involves doing something spectacular and unattainable which is out of this world, but I guess you tend to forget that respecting women is also about not doing.

I think it’s safe to say that there are things which I dislike about you (in the same way you might dislike things about women) – or rather, things which I dislike about your doings. There are studies which clearly indicate sex differences in brain morphology, which in turn might explain why the female sex and the male sex act and react differently to the same situation. However, the one seemingly petty thing I cannot grasp my mind around is your ways of expressing your provocativeness. It’s not that women aren’t provocative – evolutionary speaking, it is crucial for both men and women to be provocative if we intend to continue the Homo sapiens legacy. Nevertheless, it’s crystal clear that women tend to be provocative in different ways to you guys (that is, if society doesn’t label them).

I shall explain myself better by referring to a famous scenario – the classic Paceville Night Out : the land where the booze flows and the beats drop (or the place where Hugo managed to make it his own, but we don’t need to delve into that). Looking at one side of the coin, you see women flaunting their curves through sleek dresses and strutting their way in high heels – whether they do this for attention or for a confidence boost, you can’t help but notice them. But all hell breaks if she’s seen being provocative with random guys, and society erases her name and writes SLUT in black marker on a sticky note to label her. Now flip to the other side of the coin – and it seems accepting and awesome for you boys to express your provocativeness openly, particularly in such a clubbing scene: and it starts with young bachelors sitting in a bar, eyes beaming towards a woman with attractive big (or small) assets. It’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with looking at a woman and stating the fact that she’s hot: girls including myself are guilty of stating such facts – for both men AND women. But the cherry starts tasting sour when the night ends up being a hunters’ gathering – or worse, when it’s revealed that the night was meant to be a hunters’ gathering after all!

In a blink of an eye, a group of single men become a pack of lions, assuming they are rulers of a supposed animal kingdom as they prepare themselves to attract mates. They put on pride so efficiently and this makes them secure that they will conquer at all costs. They pounce as they enter every possible territory, sneaking and sniffing at every corner to snare the lucky catch to spend the night with them. A potential candidate is spotted: and their engine is turned on faster than the speed of light and the search suddenly becomes a race! And the lions can’t contain their drives because they are now in it to win it and if they don’t manage to achieve this goal it will be devastating! You can see them compete for the survival of the fittest: teasing each other and battling out to determine who has most potential to sweep their catch first and call it their own. And then one of the lions gets in the arena and scores his tongue through – AND THE PACK GOES WILD: and all the lions gather around, roaring and cheering as the now hero is winning for the whole team! There are those mammals appearing to emerge from other tribes (if not from the same winning pack) who glare enviously by the side wishing they weren’t losers whilst their urges to score continue to erupt in their bones and become more vigorous: it must suck not to be victorious – but the champions do not fret for a second because the pack’s aim has been reached! The night is complete!

In a perhaps exaggerated and detailed manner, the above paragraph may metaphorically describe perfectly what a minority of you boys do on a night out clubbing away whenever a girl catches your eye: You suddenly put on this pride and the night is yours to take over, and the source of pleasure doesn’t become the company you share with whoever you’re with: it is more a battle of who will get the girl first, or who will get as many girls as they possibly can. Do learn that there’s nothing cool about acting and doing such things, because it is disgusting! No, I do not see a strong and heroic pack of lions in such situations – I see an immature group of buffoons desperate to extract pleasure from sticking their tongue inside a girl’s throat to tame their sexual engine, hence in that way, have the best night ever. Instead of just appreciating a girl’s beauty, you decide to take the opportunity to ‘get in there’ instead of taking a step back. But it’s fine for boys like you to do this – it’s not like society degrades you and stamps SLUT on you when you buffoon around with girls, because society doesn’t care! Everyone else seems to brush it off – but why should I simply brush it off? Why should I define the above as ‘respect towards a woman’ when it clearly isn’t?

This may be such a futile argument coming from a girl like me: I shouldn’t whine about your doings if it has nothing to do with me, but it actually does: because I know boys who act like this and I also have [girl] friends who fall for such buffoons: so I will whine because although this argument may not have to do with me, it does have to do with the way you objectify women!

A girl isn’t the prey you fish for just so you could boast with everyone what your catch of the day is – She is not the snack you binge on to feed your sexual appetite – She is not the chill pill you take whenever you find yourself on the brink of bursting into hot fits – She is not the vitamin you chew on to boost up your self-esteem! You do not do these things just so you can satisfy your horniness! 

I don’t know why you behave in such a manner: whether if it’s out of choice, or  more of an instinct. What I do know is that I don’t want to spend my whole life perceiving you as buffoons just because a small (or large – it’s still debatable) percentage of you act like ones! I don’t want to let something like this overshadow who you truly are, because regardless of how you might treat women, you are not buffoons! You are humans encapsulating a heart which can be good and understanding. You experience hardships as much as us women do and there are girls who have also acted like buffoons towards you -which is not right because no gender should experience being objectified! But why are women still being slut-shamed for doing the same thing that you boys are glorified for?!

I can keep on venting out my feelings about this topic forever, but this shall be the end of my statement. I unfortunately don’t have the answers for what you can do to stop this, but at least I can make you aware that this behaviour irritates me a bit a lot – and I’m sure I am not the only one. So NO, dear boys: us women aren’t your objects of satisfaction, and we shouldn’t lose faith in you because of this – you can do and be so much better than this!

rant over. 

3 – The Wrong Side of Empathy [a poem]

I had a go at trying on your shoes to get a grasp
of your ways in managing to walk through life –
to gain a better insight into your perceptions, your feelings,
your methods of dealing with everything being thrown at you.

Now I’m learning that my feet continue to blister
since I became stuck in these shoes I’m growing out of
as they make my knees faint – yet I choose not to remove them.
My heart has been hooked to these shoe laces which I tied so forcefully
around my ankles and they make me tumble in useless worry for you.
Yet I still long to jump in pools of rain, grind through slime and mud,
crawl through weeds and thorns and climb rocky landslides
for the person you no longer are.

These knots which stifle my lower limbs have now shrunk
and it’s almost too futile to undo their strength and I’m struggling to let go.
But slowly they are loosening themselves, and so is my heart
as it remembers what it feels like to slip into a pair which fits me;
which suits me; which doesn’t weaken my knees nor bruise my feet
as I get through this rocky pathway life is unfolding ahead of me.

It’s now that I realise I should’ve never lost myself in your shoes
when you don’t even think about stopping for a second to seek mine.
It’s time to throw away the burdened closet of clogs
belonging to strangers I no longer talk to
and burn the sneakers and boots which others gave me
just because they ran out style – well I ran out of patience!

I shall kindly return your pair to your cobbler friends – ­
they’re full of holes and tatters and I have finally accepted
I cannot repair holes and tatters of those I once called mine.

I will ground myself firmly using my own two bare feet
amidst the presence of burnt skin and scarred toes
and allow earth’s soil to heal the wounds I’m unable to cure.
Let clouds of rain pour down to nourish my senses,
let bricks and stones trip me over and make me fall
I will finally let my hands to pick myself up and stand tall
by myself! For myself!


 

 

2 – The First to Fall [a short story]

It started with an instant risk: you being the first to fall. At first, I didn’t even realise you were doing so because it was a turbulent sky in a dark May and so was my heart, in its normality failing to navigate through the confused labyrinth of thoughts my brain failed to control. But noticing you fall startled me – it didn’t freak me out nor scare me, but it did feed my curiosity. Although I did not know where we would end up, I still wanted to join you. So I closed my eyes and leapt into your atmosphere. I squeezed your hand as we descended through June, through the forces of exam stress, work load and last-minute studying coming our way – yet somehow, we didn’t let each other blur out of sight.

We spent our time making up inside jokes that strangers would never get, and we bonded over common joys, bad puns and food – doing spontaneous and unusual things which felt so right. However, the most surprising part of it all was that free-falling felt different to what my physics teachers taught me at school, because nothing – not even one sabotaging thought – was acting upon me. So we shared; we laughed; we held each other; we kissed, not allowing an ounce of gravity seep into the ambience we moulded together. Being someone who experiences constant adrenaline rushes, free-falling with you was the epitome of serenity! It wasn’t an intense roller-coaster ride, nor was it a perfect dream, but I did not faint from anxiety. Instead I floated from cloud one to cloud nine in awe of you, and for the first time I felt safe within danger – I felt calm within mayhem.

July came in a flash and even though we had to be apart for a while, I kept in touch with you amidst the distance. For the next 19 days, I was prepared to send paragraphs to you through satellite connections across approximately 1151 miles. And in doing so, I suddenly flew up above the stratosphere thinking of you. I sketched blueprints of what life could be with you, petrified that my feelings for you were shifting but still craving to see you again and dive into the ocean with you in hopes to sink into the beauty of your underworld. Finally the time had come to latch on to you again – but you were unresponsive. I found out that you invited gravity to part our ways. You were the first to land on the ground, and seeing your feelings drift away, I lost my balance.

A few hours later I woke up to the sound of reality, finding myself below a rocky landslide. There was no one around but my own bruised heart questioning what went wrong with us. Why did such an adventure together end so soon? Why did I draw too many constellations of hope for us every night before tucking myself to sleep? Why did you leave, when you were the first person I refused myself to hold back from? When you were the one to see beyond my frizzy hair tooth-crooked goofy self and call me beautiful, the first to finally succeed in making a very neurotic me feel calm in spite of the chaos I thought I had stirring up in my life!  Why did you decide to land first, when you the first to fall – for me?!

I’d be lying if I said that none of this mattered to me. I’d also be lying if I stated it was the easiest thing to let go of what we had because it surely wasn’t:  it still isn’t – it still matters to me! However, in the presence of tears and anger and hopelessness, I can’t stop being grateful for you! Being mad at you or bitter for your decisions is futile, for what you’ve left me with is more precious and life changing than words could describe. The time we spent together is now a reminder that sharing is beautiful and something which one should never be afraid of. I use the care you gave me to love myself more and spread the wings I didn’t know I have. I’m still weary to take flight but when I do, I’ll soar higher than any other eagle and break through every rainfall, every hailstorm and every hurricane coming my way.

Every now and then I think about the last time I held you: my head being cradled in your chest, your heart making music to my ears, the same moment a rush of glee inhaled my lungs and painted a smile on my face. Do know that it was your beating heart which helped me breathe again after years on end feeling suffocated in my cynical worry. Furthermore, you are still wrapped up in my thoughts, even after having to lose all that you meant to me. It’s because you are the first boy I allowed myself to truly fall for, and you’ve pushed me to rise into someone I never thought I’d be.

A girl who had been locked up in my dreams since forever is now living freely since you’ve bailed her out of that wishful prison cell. And yes, she sometimes still struggles not to listen to the thoughts echoing disruption in the walls of her mind, but she now peeks out as I glance at my own reflection, her eyes gleaming faithfully for what the future has up its sleeves for me. She is now learning how to move forward without letting all of this weigh on her shoulders, so instead she uses it as a pedestal to stand taller, to show everyone her strength and beauty!

I had no idea that such an instant risk could unfold itself into a bitter-sweet melody, but it doesn’t make it any less worthwhile to listen to. This has been the first one I’ve composed, and you couldn’t have been a better person to create this beautiful short lived harmony with. You were the boon I had been anticipating my whole life – thank you for finally coming true!


1 – Hello (it’s me… hihi)

To anyone reading this,

I welcome you to this tiny fraction of my life 😀 (excuse me for the bad overused Adele pun in the title but I couldn’t resist 😛 ). I don’t expect many people to read this since this is just my first post, but if you are one of those rare visitors doing so right now – thank you  🙂 I really appreciate it!

This blog shall be a small space where I vent out my thoughts and feelings through the medium of writing. Close friends of mine have always told me I should publish the few poems and short stories I’ve written over the years, so I decided to take their word and create this page!

Girl Wearing Sweatpants is a phrase which definitely resonates with me, apart from also being my former Tumblr username (yes – I’ve been there >< ). I used to be a teenager who always chose comfort over being fashionable, which meant wearing baggy trousers and and sweaters at any chance I get. Although this may have been portrayed as laziness to others, to me it meant being my own comfortable self. A few years have passed and even though I’d like to think my fashion sense has upgraded, I still may choose to relapse in wearing a baggy hoodie or my favourite pair of harem pants every once in a while because I would feel like doing so. I’d like to think that this reflects my style of writing – being honest and genuine! I rarely hold back from spilling what I feel, whether it’s writing a poem or an opinion post, because that is my way of dealing with life. And perhaps through writing my honest thoughts and feelings , maybe I’ll be able to inspire minds, challenge thoughts  or help someone 🙂 

That’s it from this bubble – again, I thank you if you stuck by  and continued reading this! I hope you will enjoy my blog as much as I like sharing this tiny fraction of my life with you 😀  I’m not sure where this will go, but I do hope it will go far 🙂

Happy reading ^.^
Mer. xx