Displaced.

 

It’s okay to be afraid to leave the first place I’ve ever truly been happy.

 

The microwave outside the door that we kept the spare key in.

The nighttime and the relief it brought with it.

The criss-cross paths around my office and the new staircases I discovered every day.

The watermelon and coal store.

The roof where I worked out under sunset skies.

The delicate brush on the light rail door.

The blue-pink-white-green-gray horizon from my bedroom window.

The gap at the bottom of the shower door that let all the water out.

The approximately 12 people it felt like I lived with.

The glass and marble table.

The pedestrian rage when tourists walked too slowly.

The park on Saturday afternoons and the market on Friday mornings.

The breeze that always played with the hemline of my dress..

The shop owners who knew my order.

The top step.

The beep that meant the laundry cycle was done.

The road I parked my car on – half an hour away from my apartment.

The trucks and cars and busses and ambulances and motorcycles – the noise I filtered out.

All the other noise I tried to filter out.

The spur-of-the-moment excursions that didn’t always make much sense.

The sunlight or the moonlight.

The view.

From the porch.

The porch, the porch, the porch.

With the swing.

The swing, the swing, the swing.

 

I’m really going to miss it.

 

I’ve left.

I’ve left the first place I’ve ever truly been happy

And now

I feel a little bit displaced.

 

~

Ella

 

“There is a place where I can go, when I feel low, when I feel blue, and it’s my mind, and there’s no time when I’m alone.” -The Beatles

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Honestly.

It’s stupid

But I so feel

Like this

Is goodbye.

  • A turning point

 

If anyone deserves

To have the world

Smile back at them,

It’s you.

  • Neither of us said what we really meant that day

 

I miss him and

I’m not even sure he’s

Mine

To miss.

  • Can we talk now?

 

I missed you,

I said.

I missed you,

He said,

The following night.

  • I’ve got a really good feeling about this

 

What was that?

A self five.

For what?

You.

  • What if this is the guy?

 

My feet are cold.

I guess that’s what you get

With a winter romance.

  • “Not just a winter romance”

 

Good morning,

Sunshine,

This time tomorrow

I’ll be 

On my way to you.

  • A day never felt so far away

 

Good night,

Darling,

I miss you dearly.

Was nice talking to you

However briefly

Thinking of you

Hoping to dream

Of you.

  • It’s okay to cry because he isn’t here to see it

 

I have to go

I’m really sorry

You finish at 9.30

I’ll call you then

I love you

I’m sorry

I know I said

I love you

We’ll talk about it later

I have to go

Bye.

  • “You realize two weeks ago I didn’t know if you liked me or not?”

 

I think my patience will outlast your ability not to say it back.

  • Could you read it in my eyes?

 

Why are you dancing?

Because I want to.

  • 3 in the morning, wrapped in a fluffy, orange blanket

 

I have never

Seen him this happy.

  • He doesn’t know she said that

 

I have never

Felt this good in my entire life.

  • Only I know he said that

 

I just want to cuddle the fuck out of you

Already.

Read to me?

I can’t sleep because of you.

I miss you so goddamned much, it’s crazy.

How is it fair that so much of my

Thoughts are taken up by you?

I can’t wait to simply hear your

Voice.

  • Thoughts from a distance

 

Honestly

If in three years’ time

We’re still together

I can hand on heart say

I’ll marry you.

  • You made my heart stop. I love you too

 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love. -Make You Feel My Love, Adele

Bloom.

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.

-Ernest Hemingway

I never thought I would have the life I have now. I thought it was impossible, that I would be denied and deprived of it until the day I was no longer sick. I thought Bloom had been stolen from me. I thought like that up until so recently… and then everything changed.

Except that’s just it. Nothing changed. I changed. Sick and tired of waiting to be better to do what I wanted to do and live the way I wanted to live, I’d finally had enough. I remember telling my friends about this crazy idea I had. I told them where I wanted to move, that I had no idea what I would do, where I would live, or how I would get by, but that I was going to figure it out.

And I did. I turned it from something I thought would never happen, from a crazy idea, to a plan, then to a reality, to the life I have now that I can’t begin to tell you how much I love. I find myself thinking, always during the most humdrum moments, “This is Bloom”. My life was so lacking, and now I have everything I was missing. Minus health, of course.

It’s winter now and my pain is ever-present. The cold has turned my body into fragile marble. I feel like I’m drowning beneath the pain, suffocating because breathing takes too much out of me, freezing because my head can’t think over the sound of the struggle. And still —

I’ve never been as happy as I’ve been these last three months since moving. I’ve never felt this happy for this long. I’ve never been as happy to be buying fresh produce, walking to a train stop or doing my laundry. I’ve never been as happy to be in pain, because unlike in the past, I know the pain isn’t winning.

I’m winning. This is Bloom.

I’ll never forget I thought this life was something I would never have. I have it now, and not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for it. I’m grateful for it and I’m grateful for myself, for trusting my instincts and not letting my lack of hope or my lack of health stop me from daring to live.

To live in spite of it all.

Someone recently asked me how I manage to deal with all the pain, and my answer was simple: “I just really love life.”

That is the truest sentence I know.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I live for this feeling, this everglow. -Everglow, Coldplay

Remember the Truth

Isn’t it crazy that you write the truth and then forget how it feels? You believe in looking at things as beautiful, but you simply don’t remember to. Because bad monsters clout everything, because you can’t remember what it’s like to feel like yourself, because sadness is so overwhelming while happiness is so fleeting.

But yes. For the first time in forever, you feel like you’re going to be okay. And for even just a few days, you felt good. You existed under a new sky, you rediscovered what it is to hope, you felt optimistic about new opportunities and you felt worthy of love. You also believed in it.

A new sky... (Taken in Baveno, Italy, this summer)

A new sky…
(Taken in Baveno, Italy, this summer)

So relax. Take a deep breath. Tell your brain that everything is going to be okay. Sleep well. Dream happy.

Just live. Isn’t it beautiful seeing the magic?

Ella

Song Quote:

I just want to be ok today. –Be OK, Ingrid Michaelson

(The third in an unintentional trilogy… Some Truths, Actual Truth, Remember the Truth.)

All About Happiness (winning piece)

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All great things come to an end, but sometimes the end is even greater than what was before. Five weeks ago I launched a competition (“Twenty-Five-Hundred”) to give someone else a chance to reach a new audience and feature their thoughts on a new platform, and last week the deadline passed. It is with great pleasure that I announce Paola R. as the winner! Without further ado, the winning entry:

 

Some time ago, I was searching for a quote about happiness. Because for me, being happy, is one of the most important things. I have to admit that I read A LOT of quotes, but none of them really inspired me.

There was one by Henry David Thoreau appearing over and over again and the more I read it, the more I disagreed with it. To the point that I started to hate it deeply.

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Sorry Thoreau, I don’t think you did a good job with this one.

Why would someone choose to compare happiness with a butterfly? Among ALL the animals, why to choose the one whose life is ephemeral? (Or really, really short, ranging from one week to one year maximum, in the case of some species).

We humans live a lot more than one year and if you tell me that I’m going to get only one year of happiness I start getting depressed and ask myself if life is worth living.

Then when/how do you get to be happy? Apparently, in order to be happy, you also need to be very lucky.   And even so, it’s not sure that you’ll be happy for a long time.

So if I understood properly, you get to be happy for a little while IF:

1) The butterfly sits on your shoulder immediately after it gets to adult stage. That way you have better chances of being happy for longer time.

2) Then you need to be extra lucky and hope to get the butterfly that lives more than one week. (If you get the short living butterfly AND you get it the day it dies, what can I say?! You are screwed!).

And, if you don’t pursue happiness, what should you do? Start a knitting course? Wouldn’t it be better to get a butterfly net and catch as many as you can?

Then let’s say that finally the butterfly sits on your shoulder (AND it’s the long living one AND it sits on your shoulder the same day that it leaves its pupa stage), can you move and be happy or you have to vegetate because there is the chance that it’ll fly away and take YOUR happiness with it?!?

 

 

Paola’s thought process was so easy to follow and expressed the kind of feeling that we all get at times: what’s up with happiness, and why is it so hard to find? My answer to her is this: you are right that Thoreau is wrong. Happiness is not something that comes to you; it is something you search for and ultimately find, though not always in the form you wished for or in plain sight. Seeing the happiness is a skill you can acquire, and I encourage you to practice.

This is the part of the post where I get all mushy. I just wanted to take a minute, as I so often do, to tell you that this blog has been a source of great happiness for me and to thank you all for your part in that. I’ve been contacted, either through the comments section or my email address (sickandsickofit@gmx.com), by so many compassionate and thoughtful people who had kind words to share with me. I find it hard to express how much these kind words mean to me.

This is the part where I ask you for a favor. I want to expand this blog, but I don’t know how. Instead of it only being a place where the conversation takes place between you and me, I want it to be a place where the conversation takes place between you all. All of the advice you give to me, you can give to other people as well. All of the kind words? Other people could use them too. I’ll keep thinking about how to make this happen, but if you have any ideas I would love to hear from you.

 

Be kind,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Where you invest your love, you invest your life. –Awake My Soul, Mumford & Sons

 

P.s. Thank you so much to all of those who entered the competition, you are all very talented people!

 

About Paola:

I’m Paola, I’m a dreamer, I’m 42 years old and I have five kids. I never realized how much I loved writing until my real life started to suck terribly. I couldn’t leave my life, so I decided to write a story. I posted the chapters on my blog (http://dotedon.wordpress.com). The story became a book and hopefully I will publish it soon. After one year intermission, I started writing again.

Supermarket Kind Of Feeling

 Stop-N-Shop-Photo-01A

I love the possibilities that supermarkets represent. You walk in through the sliding doors (I call them “vooshing doors”), smell the smell of groceries (there is such a thing), and you just have so many options. You can turn right, left, or continue straight. You can walk down the aisles, or skip, or run, or crawl. You can go by a grocery list, or you can trust your instincts. You can pick things up, then put them back, then hug them, and apologize for making them feel unwanted. You can buy whatever you want, be it milk, meat, bread, soap, flowers, towels, or a shopping cart. Well, not the latter, but you get the point.

There is something about supermarkets that makes me really happy. Today, I went into one with my mom, and it was a sight to be seen. We were standing by the cheese circle (or stand, but circle sounds cooler), and my mother turned to me, and asked me to get the milk.

So I happily skipped off, and picked up three drink yogurts, the milk, and a box of cereal. As you can imagine, though my arms are long, it was kind of hard to keep a hold on all of these. But hey, they were on the way. I was walking back to The Circle, and trying to navigate my way in between people. People who thought I was a maniac, because I was walking with my arms full of food, dodging shopping carts, with a maniac-like smile on my face. So I kind of get them. My hair was also full of chlorine, not that that has anything to do with anything. I just thought I would put it out there.

You see, when I think a situation is awkward, or weird, or funny, I find it amusing. It’s the part of me that sees the bigger picture, that views the scene as a spectator would, and simply finds it funny. There I am, looking loco, and power walking to my mom. She looks up, smiles, and says, “I think we’re going to need a cart”. The carts are stationed outside of the supermarket, so I tried to pass her my items, and we ended up piling them against the edge of The Circle. I found this amusing as well. Which made me almost topple our beloved pile over. As I passed my mother, heading to the entrance/exit, she said very quietly and humor-fully, “don’t embarrass me”. I found this very funny too, so my smile simply seized more ground on my face.

Now, I’m walking, walking, walking, and I just think this is really fun, and humorous. People are looking at me kind of oddly, or to be exact, like I’m odd, so I try to tone it down a bit. Once I get to the carts, and turn one around to head back in, I think to myself, what the heck? So I smile. Really widely. The guard, at the entrance to the supermarket, started looking at me kind of weirdly. If you haven’t gotten the gist yet, that made me smile even more. I stood up tall, gripped the pushy-bar really tight, and walked through the vooshing doors giggling. That turned into full-out laughing, and by the time I got to my mom, I was practically crying from joy.

We just put everything into the cart, and off I flew. I was really just laughing at this point. Laughing here, laughing there, laughing up the aisle, down the aisle, laughing by the cereal (yes, I bought two boxes), laughing by the hair accessories, by the cute guy buying junk food, by the old lady who moved her cart so I could pass without having to stop laughing. I swear I must have been high on the chlorine or something, because I just found all of it so darn merry. Or maybe I was just happy. Maybe I’m in love with supermarkets.

When we eventually made it to check out, I was striding tall, laughing openly. Everything I saw was uplifting. When the cashier asked if we have a membership card, and my mother pulled hers out, I said, “We’re so cool, we’re members”. That made my mom and the cashier laugh, which made me crack up again.

But really, everyone, to top all of that off, was the look the guard gave me as were leaving. He clearly recognized me as the wacko who pushed her cart like it was a brand-new baby or something, and he was giving me those wary eyes that people give you when they’re not quite sure what to make of you. Guess what I did? No really, guess.

I laughed. I looked him in the eyes, beamed, and laughed. I felt like I was on top of the world, because I had a mom, a shopping cart, and breakfast food. And I am, I am on the top of the world. It feels good, let me tell you that.

So try it some time, go to a supermarket, and grin every time you see something you like. You’ll get some weird looks, and that will make you laugh. Once you’re laughing, and people are staring, you’ll feel like you’ve got the power. You are now on top of the world.

It’s a supermarket kind of feeling.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song quote:

Been dreaming of this since a child, I’m on top of the world. -On Top Of The World, Imagine Dragons

(I got the power….)

(I got a feeling that I never, never, never had before….)