I have come here to write on many occasions and I have started each post the same way – with some sort of reference to the amount of times that I have come to the page and allowed my fingers to type nothingness before the mind tires or empties or frankly just can’t be bothered to continue typing. This time, I vow to myself, I will continue and I will click publish no matter what. I’m not really sure what that will achieve anyway. Perhaps some sort of mild victory against the self, in which case, if you’re only battling against yourself you are the winner, yet also the loser. Life is balance, they say.😉

2015 was a year of absolute firsts and unbelievable memories and I have myself to thank mostly for that. Of course, I can delve further into my past and thank the ways in which I was brought up which eventually led me to being the person I am today and thus forth spirited me to achieve the things I did last year, but if I just think about who it was who made those things possible last year, it was me. For once. I can take credit. And I am damned proud of myself for doing something different, for stepping beyond what I deem as comfort, for breaking self-imposed boundaries. I think I understood myself more than ever before and I feel most comfortable in who I am, which is quite an achievement, especially when I think of my twenties as a whole which was one big huge unknowing experiment. Well life is an experiment as a whole I guess, because we’re never really ready for anything and when we think we are we’re still probably a little bit scared and then once we’ve overcome that fear we feel great and then seek more to fear to overcome to fear to overcome.

Anyways.

I can’t sleep. It’s probably because my Christmas and New Year period was one filled with much joy. Remember what I said about balance though? What balances joy? That’s right. Pain. But not the emotional pain that some have to endure during these “festive” times, I mean self-inflicted, privileged pain. The body killing pain. The brain cell damaging pain. But altogether, fun pain.

And now it’s nearly 7am and my head is swirling with thoughts. I’ve been looking over some of the pictures I’ve taken in 2015 and I’ve stumbled across some videos as well – those videos that people record without a second watch. Ever. They just appear on nights like this when there’s nothing better to do than to click aimlessly on the keyboard or mouse, desperate to get some sleep.

I fell out of love at the beginning of 2015. It wasn’t tough at the time but later in the year, and particularly towards the end of the year actually, it hit me. It was as if I had a block against it, or as though I fooled myself into thinking it was actually easier because I saw rationale in the break up and so I concluded that I’d grown up a significant amount which worked as an extra tally on the points of manhood. But alas, no, I cried like a little baby again later in the year when I started to reminisce and in fact was a little bit angry at the raging fool who made me feel that way. Strangely enough, we share this weird little bond and have talked about it and it’s all out in the open and it’s like a sea of butterflies have taken our short-lived bad past, stuffed it into mini backpacks and flown it all away so that all was left to be see was an array of glittery flutters flying off into the sunset. So yeah, we’re “friends” now. He’s in love again and he loves to tell me just how perfect this new guy is for him. I sound bitter. I was bitter, but only at the way he expresses such things, as if to dig at me. I know him so well but still, I wouldn’t want anything less than for him to be completely consumed by puppy dog love. He was a big part of my 2015, seeing as I visited Poland in January and he visited my city and stayed at mine and met the family etc in March. He taught me a lot about myself and he taught me some new things and also reminded me of some things too. Such as patience, such as accepting viewpoints that I don’t agree with, such as being tolerant, such as being the bigger person, such as being there for someone who clearly needs helps even if it kills you inside and you actually want them to suffer a little bit because of the pain they have no idea you’re feeling. I saw some photos of our shared time together and his stupid face made me smile and even laugh sometimes – no hard feelings, no tears, just good memories shared. And I’m glad we figured it out together too, something which is very rare these days.

Another huge memory was of me turning 30. Yes, those days are over. Those days of.. well .. depression and not knowing who I was and all that awkward bullshit that doesn’t even matter anyway. My 30th birthday party was probably one of the best parties ever, even if I do say so myself. Everyone was there. My family, siblings, even some cousins surprised me!, my best friends from all walks, some new people and my family really turned the house into a celebration of me. It was pure joy and I’m so so so grateful for such a spectacle. Of course, it was also a sort of “bon voyage” party too as the trip of a lifetime was about to happen. That’s right. Brazil.

Brazil. Ah. I don’t know where to start. I wrote this on my facebook page:

“My final night in Sao Paulo, the city where my short travels around Brazil began, was made all the more apt by this illumination in the busy night-time city centre.

Want to thank everyone who I met (there’s loads of you), or who helped me, partied, danced in streets or sometimes in the rain or on the beach or in the sea, put me up, translated, showed me around, joined me in my travels, hitch-hiked, beached, cooked, CARNIVALLED, missioned from bloco to bloco, shared tents and stories, laughed, hiked, flew, walked, bussed, and everything else. Big shout to the hospitable Brasileiros who made my stay easier.

Brazil, you humongous crazy piece of rhythmic energy, I salute you! P.S. It’s pissing it down now.”

That was my final night. The picture shows the back of my head staring up at this skyscraper which had been illuminated with the Brazilian flag. I think a tear fell from eye at that point. I was standing with a Brazilian “friend” Diego, who I’d met online a couple of years before and who I consequently met up with and who pretty much looked after me the first week and last few days I was there in his city, Sao Paulo. He showed me a real good time. He took me to parties on skyscrapers lit up in green and took me to pre-carnival parties on the (very homosexual, shockingly to me?) streets of Sao Paulo. We had a funny old friendship because it had built over a couple of years and there was an obvious attraction but I didn’t want to get into anything like that with him. Not to forget that I had a failing relationship looming in the back of my mind, though that didn’t stop me from experimenting and taking up opportunities when they were thrust in my face. I’m not proud of that. But it was a complicated time, all of which I don’t regret. Hm, I have this warm feeling when I think about all of what Diego did for me. He even came to join me later on my trip in Florianopolis, a beautiful island south of his city by quite a fair bit. He organised for me and him to stay at his friends there and he accompanied me for a day or two. He really liked me. I think we gathered that. And I think I probably could have liked him a lot had I let myself go a bit. But I wasn’t prepared to 1) fall deep then have to say goodbye and 2) cheat wholeheartedly on my “boyfriend”, though looking back, the word boyfriend is a huge overstatement. Yes, Diego played a big part in my trip and I love him for it.

There was of course CARNIVAL. Yes, I went to Rio carnival, the greatest celebration of life in the world. It was absolutely crazy. Parties from day to night, the smell and stickiness of amor in the air, the lack of clothes, the beaches, the rhythmic pulse of the never-ending drumbeat. The boys. Oh, the boys.

Prior to going to Rio, I met another guy called Guillherme. A real cute guy. Young and innocent and cute looking and handsome and attractive and very very …horny. At one of these pre-carnival parties in Sao Paolo, Diego left me to go get with another guy and left me with Gui. We sat on some steps out of the way, while revellers passed by, and chatted for a long while. We connected on a different level. He has a gentle soul, a spiritual thing happened. He went on to tell me that his last boyfriend had fucked him over and gave him HIV. He explained a little bit about his ex but it didn’t bother me. I asked to kiss him. And we saw each other again, alongside Diego (yes, all a bit weird), a few times over the week that I was in Sao Paolo. He, much like Diego, played a big part in the beginnings of my stay in Brazil. They really made me feel comfortable.

Okay. I’m tired. There’s so much more. I wonder if I’ll have the late night agility to ever finish typing up my year. I’ve only just made it to February.

I have less of an attachment to people and material things.

I have felt what it is to be free in my own being.

I’m trying to find purpose which leads me with an unneeded dull feeling of dissatisfaction.

No palpitations.

No anxiousness.

I’ve never felt anything negative towards you.

I don’t need you any more, I just want you.

We spoke so much.

I’ve found a girl for you. There’s no pressure. Just talk.

His date had loads of drugs on him.

I was trying to click my heels in the air and landed funny. I heard the crack.

You’re my biggest fan – you come here all the time!

Tomorrow’s going to be tough. Can I just sneak out? Probably not.

I learnt that the most blissful moments are when you’re truly in the moment of now.

Watching and listening to the waves while the sand wraps around one’s feet.

If we went back to India, we could not do this.

We’re women. We can’t wear a bikini there.

I’m more free here.

Every human has free will. – No, they don’t.

It’s the 21st century.

We have a choice. We can do what the fuck we like.

Change alone is changeless.

Are you Chinese? No, I’m half Filipino.

What are you?

People have always used it in a bad way.

You fuckin’ what?

Oh shit, it’s 1 o’clock.

The yearn has returned. I’m not quite sure of what I am yearning but I feel it in my gut, it swirls with every thought and every time I haplessly read stories of wanderlust or love, or people relishing their opportunity to live. I’m not sure what it is that I want, but I know, or at least I should keep reminding myself, that I’m on the right path. I feel like my feet are itching in my current job, I’ve exhausted my creativity within that hospitable office, and although the students continuously change thus offering me new personalities and dynamics, I’m still reaching forward, trying to grasp at something of which I can’t see. Sometimes I get like this; I feel a little bit lost but I try to embrace this feeling of imbalance because after all we are but human and we are entitled to every waking thought and feeling that we have. I sigh longingly, caged within my own desires, knowing full well that I can somehow explore my full potential. I had the trip of a lifetime this year and it was whilst on that trip that I truly felt what it is to be alive. It was a temporary feeling but a wholesome insight into how life could be. I don’t take up opportunities and I don’t live to the full – that’s just truth, or perhaps my own huge expectations of what life should be, because I know how it is to feel fulfilled. I recently ended a relationship which I sort of knew was never right but it’s one’s desire to keep on trying. I don’t feel sad that it’s over, not any more, which makes me think: Was It Even Real? We dipped in and out of moments of blissfulness, but they were few and far between. Sometimes, people remain together out of fear, subconscious fear. Knowing that somebody is there regardless gives a little bit of hope. However, it’s not how I’m made. Love can be beautiful and yes we yearn for it, but every tiny encounter has the possibility to be special, to create a moment in time that leaves one feeling awash with warm nostalgia. I had this in Brazil, I had this with my relationship, I’ve had/am having this with work. So what’s next?

What’s next?

Since returning from Brazil, I’ve been in a bit of daze. I described it as floating from the sky like a feather, no crash landing was imminent but the inevitable was coming. For the year previous to Brazil, I was focused on only that, and in the knowledge that I’d be going away, I was constantly upbeat and determined. It was a good feeling and I realise that I work well towards goals, of having a goal is pretty good for me. I mean, I do retain my typical viewpoint of not trying to work too hard or focusing solely on work because I’ve realised throughout my years that a balance is needed in everything. Everything in balance.

I’m currently in a daze again, but this time with my feet firmly on the ground. I have no idea what’s going on with me emotionally in terms of a significant other. It’s head against heart, and I’m starting to lose heart because of the exerted effort that is required to make something work. My premonitions have come into fruition and although the universe knows what the hell is going on, as a human with compassion it’s still difficult to face the end of something. Although I’m not sure it is the end. Or whether it really began. See, long distance relationships can work. I’ve seen it happen. And in fact, for a person like me, there’s loads of benefits to those kinds of relationship. But perhaps I’m in a stage of my life where I’d rather share moments that I can physically remember. We were given senses for a reason on this Earth and one of the best uses for them is with a significant other, they are never more heightened than when the heart is involved. Or food. Yeah. Food. God I love food. And music. These things evoke strong feelings. I dunno.

I don’t know what I’m doing again. I’m just plodding along but I’ve been a bit of a misery guts the last couple of weeks. It’s probably because I haven’t allowed my body to rest after Brazil, I’ve been partying like a mad 21 year old. This 30 year old body doesn’t allow for the same debauchery. Or perhaps it’s because after finding some form of love, even though I don’t know in what way it has manifested, it probably won’t work because we’re just so different.

It makes me sad to think it actually, after having pondered it just now, between paragraphs, listening to mournful music that aims to make one nostalgic.  I always know that people enter your life for a reason. I felt like I understood that with The Pole before we entered into anything “serious”, but despite that, I’m human, and I followed a twinkle that I felt. A couple of years on and the twinkle is diminishing and it’s hard to work at something when we’re challenged by distance as well as disagreements (to put it lightly). I guess we’ll see what happens. Ultimately, the universe wants what it wants and I’ll learn from it either way, tears and smiles included.

“Another day, another chance to get it right, must I still be learning, still be learning….”

***

I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with, who will take me home

You go to loud places to find someone who will take you higher than I took you

Didn’t I take you to higher places you can’t reach without me?

I have never reached such heights

I see music in your eyes

I go to those places where we used to go

They seem so quiet now, I’m here all alone

You go to new places with I don’t know who

And I don’t know how to follow you

http://pitchfork.com/news/58982-jamie-xx-shares-loud-places-featuring-the-xxs-romy-madley-croft/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=general&utm_campaign=news

 **
I’ve been in Brazil for 8 weeks. One thing I missed, the only thing other than my dog, was music. And I’ve returned to some beauty. The above tune awakens the romantic in me. Beautifully produced and sung. I have a lot to say about Brazil but for now, I think my feet are steadily finding ground, like a feather floating from a few hundred miles up. There will be no crash landing, but hopefully a peaceful recognition of what the hell it was all about. Wow. I’m in awe, and currently stuck in between varying emotions. Brazil, I miss you. Freedom of spirit, I miss you. Not caring about who I am, I miss you. Exploring exciting, wondrous places, I miss you. Random people who made me smile, I miss you. Life away from here, I miss you.

He came to visit. He travelled from lands afar to meet and greet, indicated my family with a ceramic bowl, stroked the welcoming, yet sometimes glaring, head of my dog. He made a good impression on them and on me. We explored the city, some parts of which I hadn’t seen for so long and all of which he hadn’t ever seen or would have imagined he was going to see. He entered my safe haven, which wasn’t made any less safe by his arrival. He fitted in, he washed his dishes, he hung out with me and my sister as we watched on in pride as our family friend, sometimes referred to as our baby sis, sang shakily in a local, trendy bar to a receptive and generous crowd. We moved from action to action smoothly, naturally, at ease, as if we had known each other for years, as if this wasn’t the first time we had met in the flesh. He tried the “exotic” food of my mother, who fed him like he was her own. “Eat. Eat more.” Typical Indian hospitality. We walked the dog around my leafy neighbourhood and watched the route of my bus journey, strolled up and down Oxford Road and skated on some ice. He seemed impressed by my ability. He watched me as he took little strides, watched me as I went from holding on like a scared child to sprinting as fast as I could, absorbing the moment, allowing the fresh icy air to cool down my exerted efforts. We shared a bed, although unlike a new bout of passionate lust, we took it steady, making sure that we continued to follow suit, to not rush…. as per our journey so far. It had taken me over a year to let him in for fear of pain and even as I write this I do wonder, in a reflective manner, how I came to be so guarded. Shouldn’t an experience like this, and my life in general, make me feel content? If I’m questioning him still, should I be pursuing this? Why do I have to ask so many questions?

We slept easily after my volcanic eruption, like a felled tree lying heavy on the moss. Laughter happened – and that is most definitely the way to my heart.

I’ve got that feeling all up in me. One that has been inspired by a wholly unbelievable experience at a gathering of like-minded souls at the Southport Weekender. It happened last weekend and I, as well as my friends who accompanied, cannot get over it. I almost feel as though I can’t put into words what I feel but it’s a feeling of awareness, of self-awareness, of waking up to the plans of which I envisioned at the beginning of this self-proposed change. One of growing up and of focus and of achieving all that I want to while I’m still young and free and able.

The festival. I completely underestimated the effect it would have on me and the absolute grandness of what it would turn out to be. It was like a utopia, a congress of souls that all for a short period of time converged to unify as one. The music was like nothing I had ever heard at a festival before and the spirit of the place was alive and buzzing, depicted through every smile and every random burst of unified dance move. The funny thing about this is that even though I make bold statements about how amazing it was and how beautiful the atmosphere was, one thing I can’t escape from is the fact that it was held in Pontins. Yes, Pontins. This drab, grey, institutional British family getaway destination was the host of the complete opposite of what it stands for. That aside, the music was incredible and I’ve never been to an event that hosted music that I’ve always been interested in, soulful house, jazzy beats, afro house, Latin beats, strong percussion, divaesque vocal house and good old plain soul.