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

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Okay, What Now?

 

 

Stick Figures

 

I want to reach out my hand and participate, but before my hand can move a fog wafts before my brain and all optional activity halts. I stop thinking, stop moving, and stop feeling. Then, surprise surprise, I feel disconnected. For the past two weeks, it has just felt like I’m going through the motions but I’m not really there. Though feeling disconnected can happen to anyone, this feels like fibro fog. I hate it.

The only times when I’ve felt present in these couple of weeks has been while driving. I’ve had four driving lessons so far, and I love it. When I’m driving, I have to be present, and nothing else exists in my brain except the steering wheel, the pedals, the driving teacher and the road. And other cars and pedestrians, I guess. But it’s like there is nothing wrong with life, nothing sad or hard going on, no headache even, because I am completely focused on being alert and aware of my surroundings and in control of where I’m headed. It’s a welcome change, being so wholly focused on one thing that I can’t feel pain.

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with myself. Lately I end up in these situations where I get to a certain point and I go blank; what now? Like talking to a group of people, for example: we’re talking, getting along, I feel happy to be with people, and then suddenly I just feel my brain being wiped clear and I’m vacant inside. I’m looking at the people around me, at my friends, and I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. Do I say something? Should I get up? Should I stuff food into my mouth? I usually do the latter, but it has become increasingly hard seeing as I’ve been put on a gluten-free, dairy-free, processed-free diet for medical reasons. You don’t really get to have comfort food when you’re on a fun-free diet.

I told my friend about this void that appears within me, and about how unmotivated I seem to be (notice the missing post that should have shown up a week ago but that I never wrote), and she told me that she understands and maybe I need to give myself a break. So I did. Well, sort of. I did whatever homework was for the following day, but didn’t plan ahead and do the opposite of procrastination (which is what I usually do because I seem to have been born that way). It helped a little, mainly with feeling guilty about not getting things done; when you decided not to do it, it’s less bad than just not having the inclination to do it. That said, the feeling still showed up today, and I feel it looking back on everything that has gone on. I still feel detached.

I’ve decided it’s just a defense mechanism, and it will go away. I’m sure everyone gets this way sometimes. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have a wide range of emotions, and feeling disconnected is somewhere on that range. This is life: I embrace it. There are going to be ups and downs. Like hills. Which I have mastered. Ooh I have a good metaphor similie thing!!! I know when to press the gas, and when to use the breaks- I know how to take care of myself. Ah get it?! Oh my, I am so so proud right now. Just saying.

Also, Tim over on tcopelandfilm/storiesnotworthreading wrote something that was inspired by my blog. I suggest reading our discussion at the bottom of the page because it actually made way more sense to me after he replied to my comment and explained where he was going with it. Thank you, Tim, it meant a lot to see that what I’ve been writing has been able to inspire someone else.                                                http://storiesnotworthreading.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/hinged-lives/

 

Yours truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

I took a walk on a Saturday night, fog in the air, just to make my mind seem clear. –My Fault, Imagine Dragons

P.s. It’s been forever since I sat down to write something. This feels good. Anyone else notice that I’m getting frighteningly close to a thousand followers?! Technically it doesn’t count until 1001, because I do follow myself, but 1000 is just a prettier number.

 

 

Try To Keep Up

 

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My week, summed up very well.

Hey, wait up! Time, where are you? This isn’t fun, I don’t like hide-and-seek. Or tag. Or whatever this is in game form. There’s so much going on, I just have to keep up and keep my head from rolling onto the floor and out the door (and under a bush, until I turn into mush).

I’ll start from the beginning, shall I?

My cousins are visiting. It’s great to see them, it truly is, it’s just time consuming. Over the weekend we went to our second cousins where I played pool for the first time (!) and other fun games fit for our old age. I loved it, though my head hurt me a ton, and I didn’t have time to study for my tests. And…. I was gonna say something…. I swear I knew what I wanted to say…. Shoot. It’s gone. I’m trying to think back to what happened at the beginning of the week. It’s been erased from my memory, apparently.

Oh! Now I remember. We started the day (at school) with triple biology (always a blast), and then we found out about a nasty rumor.  For those of you that have been following diligently, you know that I have already started my driving process (see Colloquial Miss if you want to catch up on that lovely experience). Well, after getting your green slip/form (where they check your eyesight and take the picture for your license), you need to get it signed by your doctor before you can go take your theory test. The theory test is basically made up of thirty multiple choice questions that test your knowledge of the road signs, laws, right of way, and all of those de facto important things. Up until now, you would study for it independently then arrive at the government ministry and take your test. You’re allowed to get up to four questions wrong (meaning if four are wrong, you’ve passed).

Okay, there’s your background information. What we found out was that as of the first of January, they’re changing the whole system. Or in other words, we all need to take our theory tests by January first. A bunch of us, including myself (us being my friends and schoolmates), were already in the process of studying for the theory test. Using either books or online websites, you spend some time learning what each thing means and what the rules are, then you test yourself over and over. Time consuming (keep track of how many times I need to use that phrase to describe my week and I’ll give you a sticker), but not too hard. Out of four chapters, I had finished the first.

We all kind of stressed out, until my good friend J had the idea to call the higher ups and ask them if the rumor is true before we all vomit up anxiety on our textbooks. I apologize for crudeness. She did, and they told her that they don’t know anything, and when prompted for information on who does, they replied that they do. But they “won’t know anything until two days before the system changes”. Essentially, they can’t confirm the rumors but the system will be changing. That was bad thing number one.

All day long, even before the rumor surfaced, I had a head splitting headache. Is that a thing? Can I say that? Too late. It was horrible. Sometimes it’s manageable, but that day I just put my head down in class and tried to block the world out. It hurt so much, I don’t know how to describe it (oh wait, I kind of did. Check out Shining, Elegant, Weightless White). Usually, no matter how bad I feel, I can put up a pretty good front, to the point where people don’t know I’m sick until I tell them. But this time my teachers were asking if I was okay, and I wanted to cry. We also found out that our teachers had organized to take us to go see snow the following day as a fun stress-reliever (it doesn’t snow in our area), and I knew that I couldn’t go because busses make me really sick.

I got home, and studied through the pain because I had no other choice, going back and forth between theory and a year-and-a-half’s worth of biology material. Later in the day I went to physical therapy, where my physical therapist/study buddy and I went over some of my biology terms, and then we talked about his cute kids for the remainder of the time.  Then I got home, and guess what I did? I studied! Shocker!

Wow I just realized I can’t tell you about everything that has happened because it would take me until next week to write all of that, and I don’t have that kind of time. Okay, fast-forward:

1)   My sister collapsed and I had to take care of her until my parents could get home and figure out whether she needed to be taken to the emergency room or not (she was in the end, and then sent home). That’s what I did on the day my friends went to play in the snow.

2)   The biology test went all right for me though it was pretty hard, but it went badly for most of my friends, which was very upsetting.

3)   I had to go to the doctor to get my form signed, and that took a long time that should have been spent studying for theory. The whole process was time consuming.

4)   I was told I need to go on another upsetting diet (my friend D said I should call it a “regime”), this time dairy-free, gluten-free and no processed foods. If anyone feels it’s important, I can explain why at some point. Mainly, it sucks and I hate being sick. It’s so time consuming having to prepare food every time I want to eat something.

5)   My parents bought me a new phone, and I chipped in for about a third of the cost, but it doesn’t work. I went to six stores to try to set it up, then my dad went to five stores to try to set up (time consuming), and he finally found someone who knows how to do it for the added cost of over 100 dollars… Meanwhile, all of the back and forth has messed up my old phone (a cute little red Sony Ericson), so it’s not really working. Hopefully next week my phone will be set, and then I’ll be able to post from my phone! Ah! Though I probably won’t, let’s be realistic here. No mobile version is better than the real thing.

6)   That very bad headache? Still here. It won’t go away, I think it’s going to drive me insane if it doesn’t let up soon.

7)   Hey my lucky number! Ooh, which reminds me, I have to tell you about the theory test itself! Man this post is really long.

Anyway, today J and I got a ride with her dad and went to take our test. First off, the office was in a deserted building, on the second floor, on a landing outside the building, past a bunch of workshops where men with masks on and working heavy machinery turned to stare at us as we walked past. Briskly. Then we got to office, opened the door and a guard jumped up and told us to put our things on the desk while he ran his metal detector over us and stuffed our things into lockers. A pleasant welcome if I’ve ever seen one. Then we were told to sit, and after being sent back to put more of our things into our lockers (including my scarf, because it’s all the rage to hide answers in them nowadays), they finally called my name. J wished me luck, and I went up to the desk. They had me sign some forms, then told me to look at the camera. I suddenly got worried, because I did not want my license picture to be taken then, seeing as I already worked so hard to get a nice one of my green slip. I asked the lady what the picture was for, and said that I had already taken mine, and she went, “You’re pretty, what do you care?” *clears throat* I insisted, and then she told me it was for “identification purposes”. Fine. I smiled. By the way, I saw the picture later and it was not pretty.

Then she sent me into the room, where I was lead to cubicle number 7 (hence the memory trigger) and shown how to work the test. It’s on the computer; I was basically told how to use a mouse to press the “next” and “finish” buttons. J was seated next to me at cubicle 8. I took my time, answered everything very carefully, then went back and counted up how many I thought might be wrong. I got to three, so I decided to go for it and pressed the finish button. I came out, waited with J on the waiting chairs (that’s their official name) and then the same lady who thinks I’m pretty came up with both of our forms and went, “One of you passed, one of you failed”. Such a kind, tactful lady. Now, J and I had discussed what might happen if we went together, and we both came to the conclusion that one of was going to pass and the other one wasn’t, because it’s just been that kind of week. It was so bad that our friend D sent us both a text saying (after I updated them about the new regime), that she doesn’t know what to say but she thinks “we should commune and create a cry session for one of the worst weeks in 2013”.  J said, “Spot on”, and I declared that “I concur. It’s a date.” J said she would laugh if she fails, I warned her and her dad that I would cry.

So when she said that to J and I, we looked at each other and turned to our forms, and she started laughing before I had time to process the little word on my form that let me know that I passed. The second we made eye contact we started laughing hysterically because we were right, and then my favorite lady asked us to leave because we were being disruptive. We grabbed out things and headed for the door, where the guard stopped us and gave us his advice on when to come again and what website to use to study. He was actually sweet in the end, surprisingly. We quickly walked into the building from the landing and left.

I’m glad we’re such good friends that the situation wasn’t awkward. I was sad for her, she was happy for me, and mainly we were both exhausted, tired and angry about what a bad week it’s been. Luckily everyone is going there to take the test in the next few days, so she has plenty of opportunities to go again with someone, and then I’m sure she’ll pass because she did eleven practice tests the night before and passed all of them, so it was really just a fluke that she didn’t pass the real one. And I know she’s reading this, and laughing. Go get some food and stop doing more practice tests.

I was so tired last night that when I wrote my checklist for this morning, this is what came out:

–       Green slip

–       Wallot

–       Phone + id

–       Wallet

Yeah, it was that bad. I showed it to my dad this morning and he laughed at me. Understandably, I suppose. Ooh, and I scheduled my first driving lesson for next week!

Wow, I’m at two thousand words. Maybe it’s time to stop talking. Maybe I should edit some of this stuff out. But we all know I won’t.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

We have paved these streets with moments of defeat. –These Streets, Bastille

 

P.s. Who got the meatball reference?

 

Colloquial Miss

 

What a colloquial miss. We tried, we really did. This is just the I-don’t-know-how-many-I’ve-lost-count day that has gone down this way. My friends are all away, having themselves some great adventures, and I made my peace with the fact that I was going to be sticking out our weeklong break at home (sweet home). I had a highlight planned: completing the first step in the agonizingly long process of getting my driver’s license.

First thing’s first, I have to get my “green slip”- green as in go. Or Kermit. It’s mainly a technicality, an eyesight check, but you need it before you can start everything. I’ve been spending my days trying to catch up on homework, which I’m somehow still behind on, and I haven’t had any fun. At all. This was the one thing I was really looking forward to. The first step- it’s so momentous.

When you go, they make sure you don’t need glasses, take your picture (which is the one that will go on your license) and hand you your green slip. So, I purposely straightened my bangs today, picked out a shirt that makes my neck look great (just go with it) and brings out the blue in my eyes, and put on a tad of make up. I spent the whole entire day doing homework, primarily math (a whooping 65 geometry proofs and differential math equations for over vacation), making it through solely because I had something to look forward to. I was alone at home all day, with the excitement just growing and throbbing inside of me, pulsing with my heart.

My mom swooped by the house at a quarter to seven, and we drove to the mall, to the store that green slips people (awkward verb improvisation going on here). We arrive, after my long day of anticipation, and my mom and I talk about how exciting all of this is, and how it’s such a big step even though it’s a technicality. We walk into the store, tell them why we’re there and what do they say? “We don’t do that anymore”. You’re kidding me right?

We find out that as of a few days ago or something equally annoying in a ridiculous manner, a store on the main street is in charge of green slipping people. My puffed up plastic bag of anticipation started deflating. My mom and I leave the mall, get back in the car and start driving again. It was so anticlimactic. She agrees with me. We parked in the municipal parking lot off of the Main Street and start in our mad dash to find the infamous store. We’re running, running, running, (running), and we arrive out of breath as we see the overhead sign. We practically leap forward, and guess what? It’s closed. It closed at seven.

You’re frickin’ kidding me, right?! RIGHT?!

Wrong.

Closed.

That plastic bag still half full of spitty air? Punctured. Slashed. Empty. Hollow. Deflated. Depressing. Gone. Lost for eternity.

In an attempt to rebound into something positive, we brought my memory stick over to a photography store to get the pictures on it developed. All’s great, all’s well, until they let us know that because they’re closing soon, we’ll need to come back tomorrow to pick up the pictures. Yippee.

So we got frozen yogurt.

But do you know what this means? This means, that when we go back tomorrow my hair will be oily, I will no longer be wearing my perfect picture shirt, I’ll have dark circles under my eyes (because I can’t sleep when I’m upset) and I will have no spitty bag of anticipation. I will look tired and depressed in my picture. And the lighting in that store is awful. I will end up looking grotesque.

But here’s to being optimistic, eh?

As we were sitting outside the frozen yogurt shop, while I drowned my sorrows in banana-date flavored yogurt, I explained to my mom why the situation sucks so much. I was just getting to the part about how I look pretty today, and I won’t tomorrow, when someone walked right by our table. So a random woman got a mouthful about how “I looked pretty today!!!” My mom started laughing when the woman looked back at us, and tried to console me with the fact that at least it wasn’t a boy from my class. You know why it wasn’t one of them? Because they’re all abroad! I’ve got friends right now in Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Thailand, New York… Everywhere but right here, suffering with me. Although I think J will be back from Barcelona soon. Maybe I can depress her too. Here’s to hoping.

You know what? I wasn’t planning on doing this tomorrow. This is messing up my schedule! I’m lying, I have no plans. It’s just annoying. It’s doubly sad: I need to go there again, and I don’t have any plans.

I’m just gonna go to bed now. I think it’s safe.

It’s me,

Ella

Song Quote:

The worst things in life come free to us. –The A Team, Ed Sheeran

P.s. You know what? I’m gonna wear this shirt again. Take that.