gao qi gao pa (久久) from natalie chin on Vimeo.

iphone summer scenes + a lot of dancing
music: dripping by blonde redhead

past week + important things

7th october 2014

it's tuesday morning, i'm sitting at home and the scaffolding outside my window that had been there for a month has finally been removed, which means that the morning light comes through my window in thicker folds. i have a bunch of things i want to write abt (my week) but then i want/ (need?) to write about something important

the past week has been interesting for a bunch of reasons; on friday night there was a poetry reading at laura's place with some of my friends, and some of the people who read that night were people i hadn't heard before, and i really loved some of their work, which was really exciting. the night before ben and i went to laura's for dinner and to make twix cookies for the poetry reading the next day. on friday night i read something that made me really angry, and i thought about staying home to write about it, but i decided that doing what i said i would do is really important, and i said that i would do the 5km run at hyde park on saturday morning, so i decided to get to sleep on time.

on saturday morning i did the run and it was really good - for the first time in the long time i felt myself sink into the clearest head space i've felt in ages, a whole wide stretch of clarity, that somehow came from pushing my body and telling myself to pace, and not to give up. i downloaded the nike running app right before the race started, thank god, i think i would have cried if i didn't know how far i had run and how far left i had to go. the first km was ok, i paced myself well and when a woman's voice said '1km' in my ear i felt surprised and pleased. the second km was kinda shitty i kept looking at my phone and thinking what the heck, why haven't i run a whole other km yet. it started raining right before i finished the second km, and the third and fourth seemed to roll into each other, i mean the mental space - telling myself that i only had as much left to go as i had already run. my back started hurting and i slowed down a little then to stretch my neck. and for the last bit, when i could see the finish line, i sped up and sprinted through. i hadn't done that in ages, pushing myself/sprinting. i liked it a lot. for the next two days my skin seemed to glow. i was talking to a friend about a thing i read somewhere which was that the two things money can never buy is youth and health and youth is something everyone will lose but health is something you can protect, so i think i am going to make a concerted effort to take better care of my body. ben and caroline and i signed up for another 5km run last night, for world aids day, and i'm really excited about that.

i finished in right under thirty mins which seems ok i think, but i can definitely do better. not preparing for the run at all and thinking 'haha i'm 22 i still got it i can run without preparing!' meant all of sunday and yesterday my butt and thighs hurt and i moved really slowly. after the run we got burgers and fries! and i came home and napped all day, and then rowan <3 came over for dinner. while ben was making dinner (pei dan chicken porridge) rowan and i snacked on crisps and caught up, she's moved to bristol and is 'restarting' (?) university as a first year again, and doing a course she actually wants. felt weird seeing her here, strange because now that i see ben everyday in some sense i think i forgot that i used to see rowan everyday and that we used to live together. and hartham house and my room there isn't somewhere i can ever revisit. the day i moved out i remember walking out early to tesco's to buy replacement light bulbs and thinking that if ever i had enough money i'd like to buy it but that's a dumb dream i think. mostly because in part the reason why i'd like to have/own is because i want to protect those memories (?) from vanishing entirely (?) / return to them. becoming more aware of how nostalgia is a motivating factor for a large number of people (thinking of books i've read i think), either acting against or for it.

on sunday becky and i walked around peckham for a long time. becky had the art licks map with the different exhibition sites marked out, some of them were in cafes and a couple were in the front room of a person's home. i don't think i saw anything especially memorable but it felt nice to explore, like it was a game, and it was nice to know that there were so many pockets of spaces for these things. the weather was really beautiful on sunday. in the evening i came home and slept alone for the first time in ages and kept waking up because it was so cold. yesterday ben came over after his classes and after dinner we went for a long walk, which we do every night really, and then stayed up talking - we were talking about hong kong + pan-democracy right before i said ok i think i need to sleep - on our walks i feel like we get to talk about things we've been thinking about and be best friends and 'understand' (?) each other in longer veins of thought. now it is tuesday morning and i have mandarin classes in an hour, and i've been typing this for an hour almost.

important

if you've not already read these things, then click on them, and read these in order:

1) we don't have to do anything by sophia katz
https://medium.com/human-parts/we-dont-have-to-do-anything-9148a953f39d
2) sarah naming the person in the medium article
http://sarahjeanalex.tumblr.com/post/98722085091
3) these tweets from e. r. kennedy
http://saramountain.tumblr.com/post/98901057460/from-e-r-kennedys-twitter-boosting-with
4) this not very well-written article but gives you an idea of what's going on
http://jezebel.com/alt-lit-icon-tao-lin-accused-of-horrific-rape-and-abuse-1641641060
5) another account from lily dawn
 http://lilyyydawn.tumblr.com/post/99147578105/years-spanning-harrassment-with-stephen-tully-dierks
6) this article titled "an open letter to the internet" by elizabeth ellen, which i think, is one of the silliest/most absurd things i've ever read, but interesting in that ben and i wholly agree on disagreeing with her
http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/an-open-letter-to-the-internet
7) an important & elegant response to ee's article by mallory ortberg
http://the-toast.net/2014/10/06/deciding-counts-elizabeth-ellen-makes-victim/

i think everything i wanted to say after reading number six has been said in link number seven; it's been really sad, on facebook and twitter friends i've known for years are falling out and i've felt anger and hostility, have written an apology email to a friend for not telling her upfront that i felt she was dismissive abt rape, have seen other people being really angry and hostile in ways that are not constructive; on the other hand i think it's really important to have these discussions, even if it blows the community apart - now that everything is all out in the open - even if sexual assault is a difficult and painful thing to think about. what shd be the point here is not the falling apart of a 'scene', trying to defend/defame individual actors, or viewing this as there being sides to be taken, but to ask what it is exactly that makes it so hard for girls to say an explicit no, and why boys assume that what is necessary is an explicit no, and in the absence of that, assume that consent has been given. idk. some friends are being smart and not speaking publicly about this because if you don't have an opinion to give no one can attack you for it i think. there is nothing really specific i want to say except think about what it might feel like to have your voice taken away from you in an act of violation, because you didn't know how to say no, and the pain that would come from that. i used to think of my internet friends as "not my real friends" but i think i am a lot closer to some of them now - since i see them all the time and since it is thru this circle that ben and i met - than other people i have met irl, whether in uni or back home. i cried a lot this week, thinking about certain things, but on the other hand, i emailed one of my friends about something we hadn't talked about in two years, and even though it had for me healed over, in its own way, it feels better, i think, and more resolved. on the way home i thought the internet is as much a respite from irl as irl is a respite from the internet.

anyway, it is nearly mid-week, i am going to collect a wardrobe in ladbroke grove now and ride home in the van. i need to put more drake in my phone


luis barragan, architect

23/09/14

a tuesday afternoon, been here since just after noon, at a cafe down the road from where i live sitting next to ben and at the windows. really happy to have found a place that seems solid for me to do work at, looking forward to spending whole days here with my laptop working on readings or writing things. also they have a really good honey and orange polenta cake; for the longest time (all of summer?) i had been craving polenta cake, after having a slice of pistachio polenta cake with pomegranate syrup for dessert with becky at mildred's, keep dreaming about the density of that cake

lately feel more interested in shapes, forms of architecture, shapes that stretch out without sharpening, still contained by the landscape, and yet without making you feel like you're being restrained by it.. more interested in shapes of furniture and shapes of buildings and how colours come together within a space, than fashion/clothes which all seem increasingly boring/unnecessary. although i did just get really pretty/shiny shoes i really like.. thought that they might be too shiny/too [trend] when i first saw them but i was like.. i love them.. fuck it



got back to london on friday morning; mom had packed me a whole bunch of snacks, like five packets of bakwa, half a pandan cake, a loaf of sugee cake, ten chicken pies that mama baked, a tub of pineapple tarts. it's tuesday morning now and ben and i finished all of the snacks (except the bakwa) yesterday.. on the day before i left for london, mama stayed over at my place and i made a roast beef tenderloin for mom, dad and mama. don't think i've really fucked with cooking whole slabs of meat before, and there was a beautiful streak of silver running through the tenderloin, which was surprising. kept touching it and feeling amazed at the way synthetic/man-made(?) things can't ever come close to replacing/touching the colours found in [nature]. feel really attracted to deep/surprising flushes of colour, like yesterday night when i accidentally cut my toe and placed a piece of tissue to the wound i lifted the tissue up to the light to look at the patch of blood because it was so red, in a way that other things that can be said to be red, like the water bottle on my desk really isn't.

i'm about to finish reading julian barnes' 'the sense of an ending', and i think i'm going to give athena a copy of it as a belated birthday present; i don't feel like i've read any book as clear and as heavy with [something like nostalgia, but not really, i think the word i am looking for has to do with the clarity that one has when one looks back at the same situation only years later] and also is testament to the failures of one's memory, i guess how what you receive and then keep is so far from what actually happened, which is maybe why looking at old diaries or journals or letters is disconcerting, because they serve as some kind of corroboration i guess, that you were a certain way (not how you think of your old self as being/thinking), and a lot of times pointing to the fact that you misremembered the way you used to be. i guess how i feel about this book is that the author/protagonist, writing in his sixties, and recalling things that happened forty years ago, feels like a letter from the future, or like an insight - like what he's saying/what he feels might possibly be something i might feel as well, in time to come - and at age sixty the things i would later understand, would probably be things i wish i had understood as a twenty-something year old - like things at that age that i would wish my past self (my current self) knew - which i think is really beautiful, but also a kind of exquisite pain or ache - knowing you're subject to time - not just regrets and remorse but how i guess it seems everything pans out & grows muted, your pains and joys evening over the year.. and to always remember that these are the years i am going to remember and feel nostalgic about

over the weekend ben and i went to the camden garden centre and i bought two pots of ferns and a spray bottle for watering them, and now my room feels a lot happier and sometimes i say 'hi baby how are you feeling today' and ben says 'i'm fine' and i say 'i wasn't talking to you dumbass'. today we got up early and walked down to the matilda box office and managed to get £5 tickets for tonight's show :) always feel something like pride when we actually get to do the things we've been meaning to do, because so often we (i) get lazy and lie in bed with my phone close to my face refreshing twitter or guardian.co.uk when there are so many things to do all the time

yesterday i went to school to help out with the first years and it was disconcerting to feel.. everything slipping away, and the feeling like it's all about to be over soon. in our first year we were the first batch of basc students which i guess was really nice, we didn't have seniors to contend with or edge around, and the common room was split between 80 people, instead of the 300 or so now. there's a sense of overcrowding i guess, all around school, like i don't remember school being an overwhelming river of lost humans. can't believe it's third year! can't believe it's all about to be over! can't believe i'm 22 going on 23! will i have lost all the friends of my youth by the time i'm 60? i hope not :( just questions the sense of an ending is making me think about i guess. going to type out the passages/lines i liked in my book blog when i finish reading it. after coming home from school i waited for ben to came over and then laura came over after her work ended and i fried soba noodles in dark soy sauce with slices of chicken and mushrooms and it was so nice.. i'm hungry now.. all the time.. a lot of times when i wake up and have to force myself to be alert so i can get ready for whatever i am leaving the house for i cram some food into my mouth so i'll be jerked into consciousness

a song i've been listening to a lot



first few seconds of kairosis in real life/sophie makes me want to roll over to reach for ben's hand in bed next to me and kiss his forehead and close my eyes

now i am whatsapping eve and talking about the books that i lent her and the sense of an ending (which i'm not done with but she has read) and i..~ guess u never realise how good something was until it's gone ~ and this is the first year eve and i will be apart.. like we've always been in the same place/country/city together until this year :( i once told ben i would totally trade all my friends for us to be in the same city and it feels like i actually have - eve graduated, stace left for new zealand, rowan left for bristol, max left for a year in paris, half of the familiar faces are gone ~ oh well ~

going to finish reading the sense of an ending now
16/9/14

it's past midnight now and i am sitting on the balcony with the lights off/my laptop close to me and it is when i am here - somehow - that i feel closest to myself, most like myself, whatever that really means - like it is so good to have my thoughts just be mine, pulled out slowly, watching them become whole, instead of the way it is with ben, when any thought begins by being said aloud, and that's probably what is going to happen when i go back to london, being happy together and finishing a thought by saying it to each other, and even though i maybe wouldn't want it any other way it's nice to be alone for a while, like earlier tonight when i decided to go for a walk and my phone was dead and so all of myself was watching the street ahead of me stretch into the darkness and i felt alone, but that there wasn't anyone else i wanted to share being alone with besides myself

i'm proper sleepy for the first time in a week, yesterday night and the night before yesterday sleep felt far away and i got out of bed to turn the lights back on/off several times, walked downstairs and stared at the fridge and realised i wasn't hungry, just bored, walked into my sister's empty room to look at her books. i keep telling myself i'm going to read something, and i guess i have been - right now i'm reading the rings of saturn by w g sebald - but reading feels difficult too, like a commitment not only to stare at pages but to consider emotions and nostalgia and lately idk i don't really want to feel/stare at my feelings, because it makes me feel like i should document/write (?) more, which is what i am doing now. sometimes i toy with the idea of moving to a cheap city after graduating and locking myself in a cheap but large and bright room and writing all day, and that 'doing something with my life' could mean putting together enough of things that could be a collection of poems, and sewing tiny books myself and giving them to whoever wants to, and i guess that is a dream but it frightens me to spell dreams out because who am i if i have all these dreams that i am doing anything about? why am i prioritising other things over these things that i want and seem important to me? i mean, i know though, it just makes me sad sometimes - i don't think these dreams are dead yet

when eve came over yesterday we talked about jobs (always feel like placing jobs between quotation marks like "jobs" to indicate that i am using it in the same context/same way someone else who believes it is important/necessary to discuss it is, i think) she talked abt someone wanting to be a curator, and i said i never thought abt doing that even though it seems like something i would like and now it is too late (?) it's never too late but doing that seems like something you have to want to do for years and be really into, and i don't care/know enough abt art to actively pursue that, i think. yesterday night right before i fell asleep (for some reason this guided sleep meditation video seems to help a lot) i scrolled through a list of companies that could/would sponsor a tier 2 general work visa and felt happy about finding some companies that i would feel ok about working for - but then - it's so much effort - this is what i am working hard for now i guess - eve said people don't usually talk about wanting to stay because what if they fail and have to come back - but i said it seems important to me to be upfront about wanting things and also wanting them knowing that you might not actually get them - because whatever! it's your own life anyway - but yeah i think i can do it

re sleeping not very well lately, it's mostly because i have a really bad back that i like talking abt because it gets so personal so fast n people don't want to know n im like haha! let me tell u abt my pain! jk - in first year when i was doing cheerleading (which i still love...) i was being a flyer on a stunt and a girl was supporting me by holding my left arm  - while i was being thrown up to [idk the names of the stunt positions anymore] she yanked it while i was being thrown up and it popped out, because i have dumb loose joints and so i sustained a really bad shoulder injury from that, and it happened again with my right arm in june one day - and over the summer the aches got really bad, especially when i was sitting at my desk - felt like i spent a lot of my lunch money on weird gels for sports injuries and heat plasters - the real solution is tiger balm and very expensive physiotherapy - but anyway the pain keeps me up a lot of nights, and i have to do painkillers very often - not really a complaint right now because the physiotherapy has actually helped - but over the summer some nights i would wake up with my joints on fire and it scares me that if it doesn't get better/if i don't take painkillers it might be bad enough to be debilitating. i had to google how to spell that word bc it always looks like there should be a h somewhere there

anyway this morning i woke up late (again) - this annoys me bc i woke up before 7am every day to get to work for weeks and now i am killing time not even doing good sleep - and picked my grandmother up in a cab and brought her to eat japanese food but i forget that my grandmother eats 1/3 of a normal person's share and ordered enough for two people and then had to eat most of her food. feels weird to eat such nice food all the time, because obviously after a while you stop appreciating it as much / compared to the way you would if you eat really simple meals all the time - but i guess i'm looking forward to that in london, having meals not be the focus of my day, i'm laughing now because i feel obsessed with eating when i'm back in singapore, and i mostly do a [wake up - eat - get sleepy - nap - eat - nap - eat - try to fall asleep] cycle. tomorrow night i am cooking for my parents & grandma, doing a thyme-crusted beef tenderloin + mashed garlic sweet potatoes + honey + soy sauce rocket salad, because i missed my mom's birthday and i'm going to miss my dad and grandma's birthday. today while watching my grandma eat her fav food (unagi) i felt like, ok, if i didn't manage to find a job in london - although today rowan volunteered to marry me hehe - i would be really content being a filial daughter... devoting my life to make someone else happy makes me happy (?) i feel like i'm becoming more like my mom in that respect - i told her this and she's like is that good or bad and i said it's neither mom not everything has to be good or bad

most of the day passes now without me remembering the specific thing that feels like a knife cut - most of the time it feels ok when i think 'this happened to me' ok i wrote about this in a poem called "ladies first" - teaching yourself not to think abt something and skating along the edge of the image instead - but it's a choice u have to make everyday... happiness that is... growing older -> learning that after enough things have happened, to be happy you have to choose to be happy, and that it doesn't always.. come to you, like a delight or surprise the way it did when i first met him.... and it's a different kind of happy but you have to learn not to question it

some new things at http://gemstonereadings.net/garden/natalie/ :)




i've been listening to the new blonde redhead a lot/on the flight home (full album - the opening song with the flute is so beautiful) and also all day and it hasn't gotten old yet - going to see them with ben in two weeks - it feels texturally a lot closer to early yeah yeah yeahs, and also makes me feel like 2009 when i couldn't see past or through anything, not in an emotional way, just never imagining being older than i was then, which was eighteen, and now that i am twenty-two i think about myself at age thirty or fifty and older. today i said something about growing older and my dad said you're still young! i'm in my fifties! and i looked at him and felt amazed that my dad has been alive for so long, and never once thought about giving up on being alive, and that i have so much to learn from him.... feel like i value/respect experience/other people's length of experience a lot more than i used to

bb if ur reading this it's now 1am in singapore i love you and i'm coming home soon
rough summer
14/9/14

earlier today i walked out to get a cab to my grandmother's house, after i woke up late and after my parents sent me a text saying that i should have made an effort to wake up in time for lunch with them, and i felt bad because i should have and wanted to, and should have tried to get back to sleep after waking up around 4am with my head hurting, instead of looking at things on my phone and on my computer. i feel the same things each time i come back to singapore - as though nothing has changed - and i guess what i realised that implies, when i say that ("feels like i've never left at all") is that any thing that has changed, the things that have happened over in london that are part of the way i feel older/different - feel nullified when i return, or as though those things did not occur at all - and the external stimuli/reminders point to the last person i was before i left, instead of whatever it is i feel like i am now

since being home i've hung out with athena twice, once when we went to get coffee while outside it poured, and another time when adele shan and athena came over for dinner and i cooked slow-roasted lemon and garlic chicken + tuna pasta + potatoes, and after dinner athena and i walked to her grandmother's house to get eggs to make a souffle, and it felt really nice to hang with people i've known for years, and for it to all come together easily even though i hadn't seen shan or adele in a year really, to know that i still have people to come home to here; and with qi & nathalia on saturday afternoon when we looked at magazines together, then ate shaker fries, and earlier that week qi and i had gotten ba chor mee which i thought about the whole plane ride home; i'm just happy and grateful re that

spent most of this summer getting better at not thinking about things and not trying to record/remember things in any kind of form but today i felt like doing it, which is why i am typing this right now; i was sitting on my grandmother's bed and she took out a photo album of pictures of my sister and i when we were younger, photos of her husband and of her parents, and i leaned on my grandmother's shoulder and cried for a long time because my grandmother and my grandfather (who died before i was born) looked so beautiful and happy, and i fell asleep listening to her tell me how he died, that she was walking him to the bathroom and he had a heart failure, and that she shouted for my dad and her brother to come, and my aunt was in her first year of university then, which was right around my age, and that my grandma has spent the last twenty years without my grandfather, and that my father hasn't had a dad around for years ;(

and then i begin to feel afraid that i will no longer get to spend time with my grandmother, that i'll lose all the hours i had with her if i don't write about them, like when i ate one of the chicken pies she baked today i remembered having them during recess in primary school, and the flaky pastry crumbling in my mouth makes me feel safe and as though she's near.. and i cried again when i remembered losing the necklace she gave me in france.. i just want more time with her - i don't want to feel like things are nearing its end - but mama gave me a folder with all her/my favourite recipes and i'm going to bring it back to london with me, and keep it safe in my room - wish i could consolidate everything i own and have them in one place - although it's weird that like, for most of the year i go without all these things because they are in singapore and when i come back i can't bear to get rid of any of them - don't want to look through old letters or journals bc they feel overwhelming

mama kept saying that the kind of joys she feels now are flatter than the kind of happiness she felt when she was younger, even twenty years ago, and when i listen to her talk about the things she did that week and remember that she hardly goes out at all because she gets tired so quickly i remember that this will happen to me too, especially when i look at pictures of my mom and dad when they first had me, maybe ten years older than my age right now, how young and sparkly they looked, that if i live for another sixty years i'm going to be my grandmother's age - fuck knows what things will be like then, but i think i'm afraid of that to some extent, not life slowing down as it will, but being less able to find joy in small things around me because less and less things will ever seem new - feeling resigned to life - missing everything and people i used to know - my mom and dad maybe no longer being around

keep feeling wretched about time keeps passing and things keep happening to us as though that can actually hurt you, like i try to avoid nostalgia or listening to songs that remind me of a certain time and as much as possible i want to stay in the present and avoid retrieving memories. but it happens anyway, when you look through things that contain what once was before you - i feel slowed down by it, as though a single memory is experienced as a wave crashing towards you, but stretched into whole years - and i hate it - during my internship and at my desk i taught myself how to distance myself from feeling but now that it's over and this is the first time all summer really that i don't have anything to do and ben isn't around it feels as though i have to close my eyes or watch an episode of party down instead of addressing/staring down things i feel

the one thing i feel really happy about this summer was my internship, i sat at a desk for eleven weeks and waking up everyday before 7am wasn't torturous; i was staying at my sister's apartment and so crossed the bridges on the way to work in the mornings and once more on the way home. it felt good to know that i was doing this for myself (?) - like waking up without anyone telling you to, making sure to be early, being able to stay alert and focused and completing tasks on time. establishing and getting used to a routine was way easier than i expected, and i feel good about that too - not being as afraid of graduating next year and what that will be like, when i will have to work all the time. one thing that my aunts keep asking me is whether working at a bank has changed what i want to do or if i still don't really know, and i feel like having enjoyed this internship doesn't mean i now know that i want to work in finance, it means that the company i worked for and the specific people i worked with were great and maybe even ideal, but are conditions specific to this time/place and that aren't necessarily industry-wide characteristic, and i guess the answer isn't that i don't know what i want to do, but that the options available right now or the ones i am aware of still don't quite fit what i am looking for, and i don't know if what i am looking for exists/exists yet

the other day i had dinner with a friend who is going into his final year in england as well and he said that knowing that he's definitely going to come back to singapore after he graduates will make it easier to prepare to leave, like he's going back with that knowledge and will have all of now till next june to get ready to go - and i know that if i want to stay, which i do, i'll have to fight hard to find a way to get a working visa - and i don't know if i've done a comprehensive cost-benefit evaluation - for example given that there are only certain kinds of companies/certain kinds of jobs that could be a sponsor for a tier two visa - would i really be willing to do a job i wouldn't have thought about doing or really wanted to just so i could stay in london - what exactly are my priorities - even if i get to stay in london is it worth it if half my pay will go towards rent, especially if i could stay with my parents back in singapore - what kind of life do i want who are my friends if my friends are not from london and will come and go where are the people i want to be around really going to be - idk these are things that drift through my head more often than it used to

anyway this summer has been really rough for one main reason - but now that that thing has happened several months ago - it doesn't make it hurt any less - time is a form of distance i guess and even though sometimes i still cry - i totally cry all the time - i feel able to close my eyes and move away from it, and sometimes even move through images of pain without feeling like i'm going to die. the nights where i wake up sweating from nightmares are the worst and the worst nights are when it feels like i don't know who to talk to about things anymore partly because i don't want to talk about it anyway - i dream about punching a face in the reflection of a train and wake up with nothing to say - besides the fact that it hurts - also haven't written about it (my feelings) and am having a feeling dump here

when ben first got to london - he's here for a year now - i used to feel sick/anxious that we were still running out of time or that i had to get ready to be apart again - i don't feel that anymore but i feel something like that when i think about my flight back to london - not just abt being confined in a tiny space for thirteen hours - but like, ~ the sense of time passing ~ and not knowing when i will come back to singapore again, thinking about the quote (no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man) and sickening guilt (?) for not spending more time with my parents or grandmother, and then by extension/feelings seeping, feeling bad about being alive or something

on my way to france - that morning we woke up early, had packed our suitcases the night before, had time to have breakfast, clean up the kitchen, leave for the airport early - i remember thinking that despite 'all' that had happened this summer i was finally happy, ready to go on a holiday and not feel exhausted from traveling, going somewhere else with my best friend - and then when we got to the apartment, put our things down, then walked out to the supermarket to get some snacks, i realised i lost my wallet and i panicked. i hadn't lost anything for a while and i guess i always feel really overwhelmed when i lose something - and feeling that in a place that's not where you usually are, my first instinct is to regroup i think, like stay in one place and not move for a long time. but then letting that ruin a holiday would also make things worse, so instead ben and i walked down to the pier late at night to sit by the waters, and on our way home got chinese takeaway. and i remember thinking that with anyone else i would have just said bye i think i want to go back to london i can't do the rest of the holiday while stressed about losing my wallet and the diamond cross necklace my grandmother gave me that i left in the coin pouch - but he makes things ok. lately things with ben have been so good - when he first came it took some adjusting i think - getting through painful things together - but when i moved into my new flat and when he moved into his it felt like hanging out together no longer was the default option and a choice we were making instead - sometimes i would look at him and think 'wow i spent everyday with this person, just the two of us, and i never once felt bored or as though something was amazing' and when i remember this i feel really blessed and amazed again at the way we found each other

there's a boy i stopped talking to recently - i deleted his number but from time to time i remember hanging out with him and my friends - and even if i don't think what this guy and i would come anywhere close to what it's like with ben and i - there was something small and quiet about not knowing someone very well at all - like when we climbed the ladder up to his roof and didn't say anything for a long time and i felt all of myself belong to only me because i didn't want to share me with anyone else i knew

one of the hardest things right now is still feeling loved - this never used to be a problem and now is - although not a terrible one because when i say 'i don't feel like you love me' he says 'but i do' and holds me for a long time. i feel like a dumb girl! like it would have never mattered at all that i looked the way i do (average ~) and i have to stop myself from comparing my face/body with someone else now / shadowy figure in the background of every new poem / trying to find the evidence that what he feels towards me is love - i wish that i felt that immediately and that i didn't need proof for it - feel like you never come back quite the same person - the week before eve's parents got here eve met up with ben and it was really nice to hear her talk about getting to know him as a person independent of me

feel like with the past few paragraphs i am only scratching the surface of things i have been thinking about lately - always so much i want to say, like how much i miss rowan and max and how i'm grateful for the adventure time chat group we have and other things that happened this summer, like stacey leaving for new zealand, the night we had pizza at my place and everyone came round to watch aladdin, the weekend that i went up to norwich for a pool party, ciroc boys party, going to crispin's parents place for a bbq, the weekend my internship ended and max and rowan and matt coming over and kicking everyone else out to fall asleep, how i'm living with singaporeans this year - with caroline - how that came together so unexpectedly but also altogether perfect - days i woke up feeling content and how my new room feels free of the earlier months of pain - the friday morning i told my boss i couldn't go to work because i was ill then spent the whole day crying and drinking orange juice - how i still dream about slamming her against the windshield of a car until her teeth break and until she tells me she wishes she was dead - trying to move through anger and unforgiveness instead of walking away because i don't want to become an unforgiving person - anyway

eve is coming over tomorrow morning and i'm really excited to see her & spend a whole day with her, i feel like when eve and i talk things through it feels like everything that has happened begins to consolidate, come together in a way that it doesn't with ben, as though sifting through my/her thoughts together makes them more real, and therefore i feel more able to let go of them

i don't feel ready to go - not ready for this to be the last year of university and the last few months before i no longer have time (the way it was during my internship).. to write/indulge.. playing hard & i don't want the next time i look back on things to be a year from now aka both ways is the only way i want it :( but i have things to do - dumb things like packing my bag for london and making sure i have space for pineapple tarts and cans of braised peanuts for caroline and a silk blanket + looking for furniture for my new room - other things like working hard at sch & working hard on being a better person and being good at loving and being loved & i should go!