Change My World

There’s a lot that I don’t know. I can’t even write a complete list for you because I wouldn’t know what to put on it. But throughout my entire life there have been a few things that I’ve always known, and one of them is writing. I will always have writing.

In the past half a year I’ve written more than I’ve ever written before (even though this blog doesn’t necessarily showcase it. Sorry about that), and it’s been so good for me. I have another world, separate from the real one, which lives inside of me. Worlds are created all the time, practically every time I read a book, watch a movie or binge watch a TV show. The difference is that this world is something I invented, the people living in it are characters I dreamt up, and the meaning of it is the culmination of many, many, inner conversations and turmoil.

The cool thing about my world is that I have writing. You see, I’m in the process of turning this inner world into a world accessible to other people by writing it. I’ve done this for nearly two years with my thoughts and feelings on this blog (this is where we all freak out and scream over the fact that I’ve been writing on here for two years. I mean, sheesh, I’ve had my driver’s license for a year! Remember that saga? I remember).

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I googled “freak out and scream” and of all the amusing photos, this one won

This is different though. This isn’t me sharing the thoughts I have on my life and my body and my situation. This is me sharing a story. A story I’m building, crafting, imagining, and loving. I really love it.

It’s cool to think that maybe someday, you will all read my book. Like, in an actual physical copy, with my name embossed on the front and the blurb about the author including this very blog. You’re all going to be famous!

I’ve had ideas for novels before but they were never real. This one is real. This one is serious. This one is actually happening.

On the list of things that I don’t know goes my plans for next year. I have __ months of high school left (I can’t bring myself to count). I don’t know what I’ll be doing, because stinking fibro cancels out all of my options. But I’ll always have writing. Who knows, maybe this is fate stepping in and making sure I won’t be able to move on to the next natural step so that I can sit down and write this book.

Will it change the world? Probably not.

Will it change mine? Probably.

Yours,

Ella

Song Quote:

I put my faith in me. –Long Shot, Newton Faulkner

A Valentine’s Day Story

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Her laugh broke the silence. “Was that an echo?” she thought to herself as her embarrassing bark came to a sharp end. “Is my home really so empty?”

Truthfully, it was. Not only did it lack the pink, red and naked baby decorations that adorned every surface today, it was also devoid of humans beside her. The silence was just a tangible portrayal of her loneliness, bone deep and soul solid.

She had used to think the sky was blue; she now knew it was only painted blue. Remembering she had believed differently reminded her of her past, though. It was the past that had made her laugh.

This loneliness was all her doing. After all, it was she who had moved away. It was she who had made them all say good-bye. And it was she who had, at the last minute, requested a rain check on her date tonight. Tonight, the 14th.

The only time loyalty came to play in her life was when it came to her MO: running away.

“But,” she thought as she unwrapped a chocolate from the gold box, “I still like this more than what was before. I’m happier now.”

Because now, she didn’t have to deal with the pain of others or how they felt about her. Now, she was free. Plopping down onto her wide couch all by her lonesome, she popped another chocolate into her mouth and reached for the remote. Because now, now one knew her secret.

It had been foolish of her to accept a date request for tonight. She had her own tradition to uphold. Every year, on the 14th of the 2nd, she reveled in her successful cover-up. Today being the 10 year anniversary, she could finally be sure the truth would never, ever see light. Let’s just say, there was a body that would stay buried.

This loneliness really was all her doing.

Flicking through the channels, she laughed loudly to herself once more.

 

FIN

 

I had way too much fun writing this. 

Love,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

So what became of loving man and what became of you? -Handshake, Two Door Cinema Club

I’m Going Home

 

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Not my window, but a dreamy window indeed

 

I can totally do this.

The past few days have been filled with pain and the past few nights have been filled with consciousness. I am tired and tired of studying. I am sick and suffering, but I can do this.

Two tests left. My window is open to let the cold, crisp air in and onto my face, and every now and then I remember to breathe. I have a playlist of Coldplay, Maroon 5 and Beyoncé to keep me from getting too bored of my material, and a yellow highlighter that matches my dried mango (god’s gift to man).

A classic study set-up.

Not only am I motivated and uplifted by the light I can glimpse at the end of the tunnel, but I now have something to look forward to: I’m going home. I moved away from my hometown when I was 7, and in many ways where I live now is a larger part of my identity. It’s where my family is, where most of my friends are, my school, and my past ten years of life. This culture now feels as much an inseparable part of my identity as the culture of my early childhood.

But still, the thought of going back for a visit makes the words “I’m going home!” shout in my mind, bang around and jump up and down (primarily as I try to study). For once I have something to look forward to, and by golly, is it uplifting.

I just feel like I can do this, I can make it through these tests and then go home. The first time I went back to visit was many years after we moved away, and at the sight of my neighborhood I began to cry in the back of the cab. Those tears were because I missed it all and I wished we’d never moved. The tears I’m sure will come this time will not be the same. I’m no longer a 7-year-old girl. In a few months time I will turn 18 and I will need to accept that the fibromyalgia will become a part of my adult life too.

This time I will cry because I really need a break from the reality of my life that is so often sad and frustrating.

This time I will cry tears of joy, because despite it all I love the person I have become and I know I would not be the same if we had never moved away.

This time I will cry, and then leave the tears aside and focus on being where I am. The Dalai Lama said that there are only two days that do not exist: yesterday and tomorrow. In my life, my yesterdays always carry over to my todays (in the form of a headache) and I can’t help but worry about all of my tomorrows.

This time I will cry.

Yours,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Millions of miles from home in the swirling, swimming on, when I’m rolling with the thunder, but bleed from thorns, leave a light, leave a light on. –Midnight, Coldplay

 

Stay tuned for part 2! I plan to write all about my trip.

Part 1: I’m Going Home

Part 2: I’m Home!

A Letter to My Enemy

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Dear Fibromyalgia,

I’d like to talk doogree with you.

           Doogree- straightforwardly, with no beating around the bush

I am no longer naïve enough to believe that despite your presence I can make my life the way I’d like it to be. I am old enough now to realize that I can never make peace with you. I will never be my truest self until I am rid of you.

Did you hear that? I will not be free until I am free of you.

You are constricting me. You are suffocating me. You are the enemy I fear, the pain I dread, and the negative I cannot escape. You. Suck.

My friends wonder how I do it, how I live with you in my life. I wonder why.

I just want to make sure you are not mistaken on this: we are not friends. It has been years and I tolerate you, but that does not mean I do not hate you with every fiber of my being.

See what I did there?

There is not much more to say.

The next time I write to you, I hope it will be a goodbye.

Ella

Song Quote:

Light up, light up, as if you have a choice. –Run, Snow Patrol

The True Reason You Should Be Kind

How cool is the world? I mean, seriously, how cool is it? Because I think it’s pretty freaking cool. There are just so many people. Every single one of them has a name, has thoughts, feelings, and a story. Then I think of how many people have lived since ever, how many nights have been slept through and how many sunrises watched. How many breaths have been breathed!!! The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day, and there are about 7.2 billion people alive today. And that’s just one single day…

I am the only person who will ever be me, and there is so much to me. That means that… it’s just… wow. I can’t wrap my mind around the vastness of it all.

I think these thoughts more often than is probably normal (we’re talking at least once a day, usually more), but especially prompted by two things: good news and bad news.

The good news is when I’m uplifted, when I realize how awesome and incredible the world is (in other words, a Big Thinking Moment). Things like the “Project for Awesome” remind me how many people have good values and are creative and inspiring. Music and books and movies remind me that I am not alone. Nature brings me back to earth (literally), and it’s when I feel peaceful and whole that I value the beauty of our surroundings and remember to stay connected to it. My family and friends remind me how lucky I am to have them. Or all of these at the same time.

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Had quite the onslaught of Big Thinking Moments as I stood staring at this and wondering how the colors could possibly be natural. I didn’t edit this picture at all — it was real life, in all it’s glory.

The bad news is when I hear about suffering. War makes me sad, and I become sadder when I realize that if we haven’t yet found a way to eradicate it, we are not as developed as we think we are. My hopelessness strips away the beauty I previously saw. Racism, cruelty, prejudice, hate, torture, rape, murder… I lose my faith in humanity, if only for a few moments. This is when I realize that if there are so many people in the world and we each experience hardships, there’s a sh*t-load of hardship going around.

The bad news is also what leads to me keeping things in perspective and not taking anything for granted. So on the personal scale I suppose you could say I find a way to make something positive of it, but in reality it just sucks and I hate the world sometimes.

I would say I range from being realistic and practical to being truly optimistic, and this is what keeps me going. My ability to find good and change the way I look at situations is something I have worked to cultivate and plan to fall back on throughout life.

So the way I approach the bad news? I try to be nice. Because yes, there are those with a vision who can change the world, and yes, I could set myself the goal of being one of those people, but that isn’t me (at least not yet). What I can do now is see people. I can notice when they’re having a hard time and need a kind word or gesture. I can tell when they need to be recognized for their personal successes and their abilities, and I try to do that for them. I also just say “hi” and ask how they are because I genuinely want to know. The ways are endless…

This doesn’t mean I’m perfect. This doesn’t mean I’m a good person. What this means is that I’m trying. That is all that can be asked of a person, and that is what I ask of you: please, try to be nice to all of those around you. Small gestures can make such a difference to people, and I’m not going to get all cliché and say that together we can change the world, but together we can make someone happy. Maybe that’s enough.

In the words of the great Ellen Degeneres, be kind to one another. Bye-bye.

Ella

Song Quote:

So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell, blue skies from pain. -Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

On Self Defense and Being Awkward

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A* has intimidated my entire grade since we were in our early teens. He’s tall, broad, staring and deep-voiced. One might think his stutter could even out the playing field a bit, but it simply gives him an additional edge: it’s ominous.

When his legs were hurt this summer, my friend and I wanted to go visit him in the hospital to be nice and show we cared. But what do you bring with you to visit someone you don’t really know? I had no clue as to what to bring, say or do. So I went with what I know: writing. I wrote him a card. Damn that stupid card.

We got there and instantly felt out of place, because his friends were there and he didn’t really know us that well. And we were intimidated. We tried to stick as close to the wall as possible to leave room for the people he actually liked to be near him. We kind of wanted to leave, but we were dependent on busses to get home and we didn’t want to wait outside the hospital for forever. So we stood, awkwardly, praying we disappeared into the background.

Finally, an hour later, it was time to go catch our bus. But I was still holding the letter that I’d taken out of my bag as we’d entered, and had since clasped in my clammy claws of hands. Eventually I said, “Where can I put this?” and he said, “Here, you can give it to me.” I passed it to him, wanting to snatch it back and burn it.

Months later, I was sitting in the school lobby and looked up to see him standing next to me. Standing. I squeaked out “hi!” (Intimidated).

“Hey. How are you?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine. You’re walking!”

“Limping,” he corrected, and thus ended our interaction.

After that, they told us in class to bring our gym clothing for the next day, because A was going to teach us some self-defense. A few weeks before there had been an incident with a knife outside our school that ended, thankfully, with no injuries, but with an injured sense of security.

Knowing I wouldn’t be able to participate fully, I decided to at least dress the part. I might stand out because of everything else, but I refuse to stick out because of my clothing. So I come in my t-shirt, leggings and sneakers, and slowly take in that everyone else on the field is dressed normally. So much for that.

I also knew that I would have to let A and the other instructor know in advance that I wouldn’t be taking part in everything and I would be more of an observer. In theory, that part shouldn’t have been so bad.

Except that I miscalculated how far away they were from me. I started off at my normal walking pace, which I wouldn’t call slow but also can’t categorize as fast. If they hadn’t looked up I would have been fine. I would have had my time to collect my thoughts and call out to them in my own time. But they looked up, and saw me coming from a distance. They halted their conversation and focused on watching me approach them. Let me stress this: they were just standing there, watching me walk to them. Eye contact? Yeah, there was some of that. Awkward eye contact? Yeah, heaps of that. I kept walking and walking and walking and it felt like I might never reach them.

Then came the dilemma: do I speed up, now that they see me coming? I mean, these hulks of men might get impatient and why would I want to add fire to their wrath? But I decided to stick to my original pace, feeling that that might exude a sense of calm and normalcy about my gait. Once I was within earshot, one of them called out, “Hi.”

“Hi,” I said. Steady breaths. I didn’t feel as short as I thought I would, but that didn’t improve things much. “So here’s the thing I have health problems and I can’t participate in everything but it’s okay I came to watch and I’ll do what I can and it will all be fine so yeah thanks.” And breathe.

“Okay.”

Okay. So, I guess I leave now… right? I said what I came to say, but they’re still looking at me. Deciding once again that consistency is best, I turn around walk away from them at my steady pace, except I now feel their eyes on my back (or butt? *Nervously tugs down the hem of her T-shirt*).

Did he read my card? As the thought occurs to me during my time-consuming departure from them, I’m almost sure they can see my blush through the back of my head. He never said anything. I never said anything. Did he read it? Does he think I’m stupid? Am I stupid?

Uh oh, hell no, how do I stop these thoughts? Well, having to turn around and face them as they called us to attention was probably not the best way. Turns out that they were following me, about five paces behind me (of course).

The value of the self-defense that I learned most probably outweighs the discomfort I felt for a few hours, and will likely stick with me for much longer, so I’m going with positivity for this case.

Until the next time I cross paths with A….

Ella

Song Quote:

And the only solution was to stand and fight, and my body was bruised and I was set alight. -If Only For A Night, Florence and the Machine

*Want to guess what A is short for? Leave it in the comments, and get creative!

Silent Night, Peaceful Drive

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Driving at night is so peaceful. I spent almost an hour in the car last night, and even though I had music on, it felt silent. The world was rushing by but my brain wasn’t whirring at full speed.

In the car, I have power. Control. I may not be able to decide how my body behaves or how I wake up feeling, but I do get to decide where I drive and how fast I go.

In the car, my headlights form spotlights. For once, what the light illuminates is not the good, the bad or the ugly. It is the road. Always showing you where you are headed and gives you a way to survive.

Okay, reading that back, that last bit came out really pretty. Excuse me as I pat myself on the back.

In the car, my physical limitations evaporate. I can get where I want to get to, and nothing is a struggle. I am patient, and thus not even traffic can damper my mood.

In the car, I am safe from the rain. I stay cozy and dry, and watch for once as the bad thing is outside and not within me, not a part of me. I am but a bystander. The pain? Not mine. It is the clouds that are crying.

If only I could stay in my car and face the world from within, protected.

Yours,

Ella

Song Quote:

Good morning freedom, goodnight lullabies. –Drive Darling, Boy