Home.

I love the life I lead. I love the (brave) new world I’ve built for myself here. I love everyone around me – all of these people I didn’t know four months ago, who are intertwined in my story now. I love the aspects of my life that didn’t exist before.

But I want to go home. Real home. Just for a few days.

For a few days I want to go to sleep in my old bed – a bed that knew more restless nights than restful ones. A bed that is soaked to the core and coated in memories of pain upon pain upon pain. A bed I used to lay in and dream about having the life I have now.

I want to go home, so I can crawl into that bed and cry.

I want to cry surrounded by walls that are used to containing my tears, walls that know how to stay standing in the face of whatever it is I’m feeling. I want to cry covered by the blankets that have kept out the cold, harsh reality and kept in my dreams when I just wasn’t strong enough to get up. I want to cry looking out the window and seeing the view I saw every time I cried until I went and upended my world four months ago.

I’m tired.

There, I said it. A word that I use all the time, still, but the implications of which I’ve been pretending no longer exist.

My (brave) new world is intense. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I feel physically, mentally and emotionally wrung out by all that has happened since August. I have everything I was hoping to have, everything is going so well, and being happy about that is exhausting me. I never stop moving. I never stop feeling. (I never stop feeling like I’m missing out on things, whether I spend time in my new world or my old world. I’m always torn between the two – I want to be in both at once.) I never stop missing people.

“I miss you.”

Tomorrow, I’ll go home. I’m so overwhelmed I just want to cry. I wouldn’t change a thing.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

Must be love on the brain, that’s got me feeling this way. -Love on the Brain, Rihanna

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Where I Belong

The wildest thing about time is that I see it coming.

I dream of having my own apartment someday, decorated corner to corner by me, myself and I. I see it as a cozy, homely place where amazing things will happen. It will be a home not only to me but to my friends, who will probably like it way more than wherever they’re living.

It’ll be my little spot in the world.

My music will be my soundtrack.

I won’t own two of the same mug. I don’t do that set thing. Every mug will have a story.

I’ll have really cool coffee table books.

Pillows and blankets will be in abundance, heaped in corners next to piles of books and collecting a musky smell that I will come to love.

It’ll be marvelous.

Love,

Ella

Song Quote:

When my heart is ready to burst, when the world spins in reverse, I’ll keep running to the place where I belong. –Running, James Bay

Oh, and fairy lights! I’ll have fairy lights!

I’m Going Home

 

antique-art-curtains-home-photo-Favim.com-136368

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!

I’m Scared

Okay world, here’s your chance: what are you trying to tell me? Us? What’s the idea behind all of this? Third car accident in two months. Is there a reason? A message? Because if there is, I’m not getting it. I’m just getting that my family is getting hurt, and scared.

We’re okay. I mean, we’re not, but none of us are in the hospital, or seriously hurt. I just feel my sister’s pain so much. She and my other sister were driving to school six weeks ago and were rammed into from behind. Both were mildly hurt (the middle one has fibromyalgia too), but mainly the oldest suffered a lot from whiplash. This was her first time driving to school since (the middle sister wasn’t with her this time). And again, rear-ended on the same stretch of road as last time.

I just spent the last hour with her and my mom. We were trying to calm her down. She couldn’t stop crying. I hope her neck won’t have any permanent damage at this point. She and my mom just left for the doctor’s.

We’ve been having a hard time as a family. The middle sister and I both have fibro, my dad is always travelling for work (he was abroad for the previous two accidents, and now this one too), and now with all of these accidents happening… Oh, and my mom has shingles right now, to top it all off. My oldest sister was only just starting to regain some sense of normalcy, of being able to move about. I’ve been under a lot of pressure. It’s test season at school, I have all of these tests on everything I am supposed to have learnt in the past two years, back to back, and I’m starting to buckle under the pressure.

So what’s the point, huh? Why is this happening? Because clearly, I must be missing something. If the world wants to say something, it can just frickin’ say it already. Stop hurting my family. I can’t deal with this anymore, it’s too much, I just can’t. My friends are stressed out about tests. That’s it. Why am I the one that has to have all of the bad things? Sick self, sick sister, sick mother, car accidents… When is it going to end? Is our luck going to run out?

I’ve been walking around for the past few weeks being afraid to say good-bye to parents. I’m always scared it will be the last time I see them. The night my dad flew abroad a week and a half ago, I didn’t sleep. At all. I was too scared. There was a storm a few days ago, with thunder shaking up the house. My mom left to go to the doctor, leaving me in charge of the kitchen where we happened to be cooking up our own storm. I was left alone in charge of everything that was cooking at the time, frying this, measuring that, checking on that, stirring whatever. The thunder was so loud, I was in such a frenzy multitasking, I just suddenly got this feeling that something really, really bad was happening, right at that second. As my mom was leaving, my sister was trying to get the other car to start so she could drive herself to the physical therapist’s office, a five-minute drive. The car alarm went off, and it wouldn’t stop. It was the siren, the thunder, the sizzling, and I felt like I was drowning. Drowning in worry, I guess.

I didn’t burn any of the food. My sisters complained that the chicken was a little underdone. My family made it home okay. My dad is safe, far away at work. I told myself to calm down. I wrote in my diary that I’m really scared something is going to happen to one of my loved ones, and told myself that now I could let it be and try to move on. But then I was talking to my friends, and they all said that even with school pressure and things, they still felt like it was going to be a really great week. I was the only one that did not agree. I couldn’t help it, I was upset and worried, still. I told them I had a bad feeling about the week.

Then today I woke up, and my mom pulled me aside as I headed to get some breakfast and whispered, “she was in another car accident”. She whispered because she could barely bare to say the words. Now I’m alone at home, sitting in my room and writing. I actually woke up today, with this feeling that maybe I could make this week be a little more fun. I decided to have a dance party, but who can dance on an empty stomach?

So I never had my dance party. All my energy went to my sister, I have none left right now. I still have to go to school, and I have art later. I’m exhausted.

I don’t know why this is happening. I’m not sure I ever will. Just please, please, whoever makes these decisions, take pity on us already. We’re good people. My parents, my sisters, myself – we’re all very good, decent people. We don’t deserve this. I know no one does, but still, we really don’t. We have enough troubles already.

We don’t need more.

If you’re religious, any kind of religion, pray for us. If you’re not, just hope in your hearts for my family and me that we’ll be okay. I’ll take any help I can get at this point.

I’m scared,

Ella

Song quote:

Alice, there’s no reflection in the looking glass, you wear your party dress but there’s no party to attend… She’s looking for a way to escape and wondering whether she can find a way out without being seen… There’s no one left in paradise, just a pack of cards without the hearts. –Alice, Mononoke

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.

Cousins’ Babies

Newborn-baby-001

I pretty much looked like this when I found out the news…

 

A few days ago, my mom gave me the good news: my cousin’s wife is pregnant. I smiled, we laughed, and then I started crying.

I’m the youngest in my family, and therefore never got to have little ones in the house that weren’t, well… me. This is the difference between my friends and me: they have baby cousins, and I have cousins’ babies. My oldest cousin, the one who is soon to be a third time father, was 25 when I was born. He’s the oldest of the oldest (my dad’s older sister), and she got married young, and I’m the youngest of the youngest (my dad), who got married late. There you go.

Anyway, back to babies. I love ‘em.

I truly, truly, simply adore them so much. I don’t think I can even describe it. I just feel this connection to them (don’t let your mind make this sentence creepy). My family and friends have decided I have “baby heaven”, which contrary to its literal meaning (=where babies go when they are no longer alive) actually means I look and feel like I’m in heaven when I see babies.

As of now, I have five cousin’s babies (a new one two weeks ago!), but god willing, soon there will be eight. It’s so amazing!!!!! Two of the soon-to-be babies are girls, and the third is as of yet unknown. I can’t wait until they’re born, and we have this whole next generation in our family! Eight babies. That’s a lot. The oldest is… four? So technically she’s not a baby anymore, but still. Also, two of the new ones are meant to be born within a month of each other, so birthdays every year are going to be super cute.

I love babies!!!! I don’t think this is going anywhere. It’s mainly just, I LOVE BABIES.

Oh, I can tell you why I cried, I guess. I was in a bad mood that day, because of how horribly sick I was feeling, and my mom was trying to cheer me up a bit. I had been in school when my cousin, his wife and their two daughters came over, so I wasn’t around when the news was shared. I was alone at home with my mom, and she came and sat down near me on the couch and told me. I got this immediate grin on my face, so wide it hurt my cheeks and jaw terribly, but I couldn’t stop smiling. The two of us were smiling really wide, and then we just started laughing a bit. But instead of laughing a bit more, I started crying. The tears were falling freely. My cat, Squirt, is amazing, and I will tell you why. The second after I start crying, he’s there: it doesn’t matter where in the house I am and he is, if I start crying, he shows up and purrs next to me.

I don’t have a particularly close relationship with him, not like the rest of my family members, but the two of us (me and the cat) have come to terms with this, and we just live amicably side-by-side. He doesn’t sleep on my bed, I don’t sleep on his, but I’ll fill up his food and he won’t scratch me. That kind of thing, you know. But this, the crying dates – they mean a lot to me. Thanks, kitty.

Anywho, I started crying about the new baby, and Squirt came and purred on me. My mom didn’t want me touching my face while I had cat on me, so she brought a tissue and kind of stuck it in the collar of me shirt to collect the tears. I just kept thinking how awesome (in the literal sense awe) it is that my cousin’s wife has a person growing inside her right now, and that in a few months time she and my cousin are going to welcome another beautiful human being into their family. I may only be sixteen, and therefore wholly unready to start a family, but I already know that I have a whole lot of love in my heart, and I’m going to start my own family one day, and love each and every member with the whole of my being.

I can’t wait. I love babies.

The world can be awesome.

Yours truly,

The coolest cousin-ish thing ever,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

I was sixteen with an open heart…. When I was dumb and the world was young.

–Beautiful, Ben Rector

 

 

On a sadder note, the baby that was born two weeks ago was born into hard times. My cousin’s husband’s brother (the baby’s uncle) passed away shortly before she was born. Her middle name is his. I send all of that love that’s in my heart to the family. I can’t even imagine what you all must be going through.

Let It All Rain Down

Ice cream, red, melting

It looks good doesn’t it? Well you’re about to be told you can’t eat it. Then it’s going to drip, and rain down on your brand new boots, and you’re going to slip in the puddle of your own misery. I’m in a good mood.

I want to quit. I’m sick of feeling this way, like I’m doomed, because of the pile of homework that is staring at me. I want to quit advanced math and advanced biology. They’re making me miserable. I’m just barely managing to go to school every day, and they’re making it impossible for me to ever feel okay.

I don’t think I can do school. I just don’t think I can do it. I know there are harder things in life, but I don’t see how it’s possible for me to survive this. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t see how I can survive this while not losing my mind and my health.

Guys, I’m so tired. It’s insane. My entire body feels like it needs to stop and wheeze every time I try to move because I just have no energy. Every day I wake up and something else is hurting me, and I just have to deal with it. I don’t have a choice. I don’t get to say, “well, it’s my fault, because I should be going to bed earlier”, then change my ways and see results. I get eight or nine hours of sleep every night, and it makes no difference. My pain and fatigue are the same.

The homework, the pressure, the stress: it’s all becoming a little much for me. I have a stiff neck right now on top of it all, and I literally can’t look down, so homework has become this hill I can’t climb over. Every teacher thinks they are teaching the only subject that matters, so they happily grant us the gift of hours of work, without thinking about the fact that maybe we have other stuff to do.

I don’t want to complain about it anymore. I don’t think it would help. I just want to officially put it out there: I am sick of this. My brain is tired, my body is tired, my neck is tense and my patience is gone.

 

_______________________________

 

My school is going on a trip next week. I don’t know how I’ll manage. It’s a three day trip, so for now the plan is for me to leave with the school in the morning (5:45 am), and in the afternoon let my mom know how I’m doing: if I’m fine, she’ll come the following afternoon to pick me up, and if I’m not, she’ll come that evening. The thing is though, that I can’t do any of the hikes, so I’m just going on the bus with them (the student body), dropping them off at the trail, and then going with a bunch of teachers and the secretary to do the food shopping. Then we go pick them up, and when we get back to camp, I’m on kitchen duty (every year, 11th grade is in charge of food). So I’m basically there to be the mom.

Last year I missed the trip entirely, which pretty much sucked. I don’t want that this year, so here I am. I just hope it’s worth it. I have a feeling that ten minutes into the bus ride I’m going to feel sick to my stomach, and half an hour later my head will explode. Then I’ll go do the shopping, and I’ll hurt my neck and knees. When I get on the bus and pick everyone else up, I’ll get a horrible migraine. When I’m working in the kitchen, I’ll hurt my hands. Not to mention I’ll be having cramps all day.

But I’m not pessimistic at all.

Dammit, I just want to have a good time and feel like a normal human being! Is that too much to ask for?!

Virtual hugs are welcome,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Let it all rain down from the blood-stained clouds, come out, come out, to the sea my love, and just drown with me. –Shallows, Daughter

P.s. Yes, I know the song quote is dramatic and depressing. It matches my mood. It is what it is.