Tuesday, July 11, 2017

squeezing kisses and handjobs out of the day.

As I stirred my mug of Maxwell House, I had a sudden flashback to ten years ago when, instead of trying to complete an essay for my masters, I was struggling to do some preparatory sketches for art class in secondary school. I stayed up so late those nights with my first boyfriend, trying to squeeze enough kisses and handjobs out of the day, that I’d be too exhausted to do any homework, so I’d have to wake up at 6 am to do those sketches – or get an earful from Ms. Walsh. A lifetime ago. A different Emma. But still remarkably the exact same person. Fifteen year old me was a coffee novice, gulping cups of instant shite, then slurping down mochas from the vending machine in school before after-school study. Mochas, imagine! I’d get irritable around 4 pm, whether from coffee-withdrawal or downright tiredness, who’s to say?


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fifteen year old, almost sixteen year old me. Ten years seems like a very significant milestone. I’m happy to put some distance between then me and now me. I think I had a pretty by-the-book adolescence: boyfriends, underage drinking, all those teenage dramas. It was never dull. I’m glad it happened the way it did (if nothing else, it provided enough fodder for all that teen-angst blogging). However, I’m also happy to say it was forever ago. Not that twenty-five year old me is all that different. Given the time, resources, and attention, I’d probably behave the exact same way, making the same mistakes and embarrassing myself in the exact same way. Maybe the only thing preventing that from happening is the fact that I have a job and – somehow – a reputation that I’m rather keen not to tarnish. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

touch.

I want so desperately to have something tangible. Pictures online, memes, beautiful imagery are wonderful, and often necessary, but I want to touch them, to climb into the screen and really feel them. And printing the pictures you like best is something, but it’s not quite enough. Objects, then, should be satisfying but buying things feels like another imaginary endeavour. I see grass and rocks and the real world and I touch it and it still feels very far away. Why is that? I want so desperately to be in the moment (whatever that means) that I’ve rendered the moment a facsimile. None of this feels real.

The last ten years raced and crawled and slithered by. I remember so vividly being almost sixteen years old. I remember the beginning of that first love. The one I still think about all the time. And I wish I could remember the finer details, rather than just the sense of love, or worse – the sense of impending doom. Being an adult is often exhausting, depressing, and futile. But I wouldn’t do adolescence over again for all the money in the world. But maybe my adolescence, like my college experience, was particularly painful because I hadn’t found the right antidepressants yet. Imagine if I could do it all over again with Lexapro in my arsenal. Would it make a difference?

Maybe it’s not just the drugs. Maybe all that misery adds up to something. Maybe it has fundamentally changed my chemistry. Moving away has surely helped. But I’m never quite gone. Always teasing myself with the idea of coming back. And it seems like it comes down to a choice between two nouns that really mean the same thing. Do I want money? Of course. But I can get money anywhere with any job – that’s the whole idea. So then it’s about comfort, right? The comfort of being able to go to the supermarket and buy whatever I want, or go to the MAC counter and buy whatever I want even though it doesn’t make me happy. Maybe the comfort of the familiar? It’s the only real job I’ve ever had and I’m pretty good at it. How on earth would I ever do something else? 

So it’s a choice between faux-comfort and love. Faux-love. Because I can’t help but shake the feeling that I’d fare much better, romantically speaking, here than I would there. All I have to give the world is my wit and my weirdness but that currency is null and void over there. I am not an Instagram picture or a Snapchat story. I’m a little delinquent and I am at odds but anyone but Irish boys who’ll follow me into graveyards at 2 am.

But if I really did live here, it wouldn’t be the escape that it is now. It would be ordinary drudgery. The same old ding-dong. Maybe I wouldn’t get to engage in all the summer lunacy that I do now. (By which I obviously mean sitting on my bed, drinking wine, and blogging.) Maybe this is all just a weird exercise in seeing how long I can survive. Just stay alive as long as possible. But I’m trying to gain extra points by ticking off all the boxes. Trying to lose weight. Go to the gym. Get the promotion. Buy nice Christmas presents. Find The One™?

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no “One.” But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a One?

Why does it always boil down to the same fucking thing? 

Saturday, July 08, 2017

things i wish i hadn't done: a non-comprehensive list.

  • Drink three cans of cider.
  • Eat almost a full tin of own-brand sour cream and onion Pringles.
  • Message boys on Tinder.
  • Move Tinder conversation over to Snapchat and converse with strange ginger man frighteningly reminiscent of Crazy Cian.
  • Re-read old messages from an ex.
  • Everything.

Monday, May 01, 2017

unlucky streak?

It feels like everything is going wrong lately and no matter what I do, I can't win. Or maybe I just have a chip on my shoulder? Maybe I'm still hung up on the fact that I'm not conventionally attractive? But I am trying so goddamn fucking hard to be what I'm supposed to be and it's still not working. Or maybe that's just my imagination? It doesn't matter because, either way, I lose. 

And after all this time, am I really still doing the whole passive-aggressive blogging thing? It's literally been ten years ... What a terrifying thought. But writing (or blogging or venting or whining to the only entity I can) feels good and necessary. I feel lonely and isolated. Sometimes I feel independent and strong. But mostly I just want to tell someone about my weird dreams in the morning. The internet's good, but I dunno if it's that good.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

5:20 am

When the anxiety is too much and you're dressed and made up for the day by 5:20 am. And you don't need to leave the house 'til 7.

Wow, I haven't blogged in forever. I'm rusty. And I'm only writing because I don't know what else to do with my stupid thoughts.

I haven't been drinking in two months, and it's been no harm. I drank in Oman for my birthday and ended up bawling my eyes out because I was convinced that I was the ugliest person in the world. (Even I'm bored with that routine now.) It's been a good two months. I've drank some wine since then, but I've been far from drunk. I love not drinking. I wake up every morning with some semblance of dignity and some sort of grasp on my life. But Thursday night I felt obliged to go out for my friend's birthday. I wish I could blame alcohol for my dickish behaviour but that began before I even touched a drop. I had been pretty excited for this night out with my pals, but that quickly changed when, in the process of getting dressed, I realised once again that I was a tremendously ugly individual. So, with that conviction, I joined my friend in her apartment before going out. But I was grumpy and negative and bitter. And so, when she told me to (basically) get over it, I responded by childishly leaving her apartment to come and stew in my own for twenty minutes.

When I did rejoin the group, I apologised to my friend, but it must have been a very half-assed apology because it didn't solve anything, and I felt the tension for the rest of the night. Despite my initial grumpiness, I did end up having a nice time at the brunch, and got chatting to my other friend's boyfriend's friend, and we really hit it off. Having drank upwards of five glasses of wine, I decided to accompany those three to another bar afterwards. I vaguely remember being in the taxi with them, and my memory of arriving at the bar is even foggier. I had sporadic memories of hanging out with some Indian or Pakistani guy and eventually escaping to get a taxi home by myself. Complete with McDonald's. When I woke up on Friday morning, I appeared reasonably intact. Except I had a grazed knee and a long cut on my shin. And an ache in my neck. And stabbing pains in my vagina. And (I didn't discover until Saturday) a love bite on my neck. What the fuck happened?

I have been gripped by fear and anxiety all weekend. Not only did I seriously piss off my good friend (and in probably more ways than I even remember), I also came home with a myriad of unexplained ailments, which is terrifying. This is exactly why I don't drink, and why I won't be drinking again for a long, long time. In fact, my 2017 new year's resolution might just be to stop drinking for a year ...

On Friday, the fear was expected, if unwelcome. I did what I could to get through the day, including changing my bedsheets and having a shower. I texted my friend. No reply. That's okay, she's still mad, that's expected. Saturday dawned with that same anxiety. I tried my best. I hoovered, I made my bed, I prepared my lunch for the week, I got dressed, I looked up new jobs for next year, I even left the house. I went to a coffee shop and corrected some exams and daydreamed. I joined a gym. I cooked a new meal. I showered. I messaged my friend again. Still no reply. Okay. I went to bed early. And then I woke up at 3:30 am after a sweaty, fitful sleep and at 4 am I decided to just get up and be done with it. So I'm here now at 6 am, dressed and looking reasonably presentable - with my hair down to hide the hickey. Radiohead is playing. I'm scared of seeing my friend at work. God almighty, I even have heartburn.

What's my strategy? Act like nothing happened? Low lie and wait for her to come to me (pray that she comes to me)? Early morning thoughts: I am not a good person.

Friday, June 05, 2015

it is not unnatural.

Here's the thing: it has taken me a very long time to realise that it is okay to want to eventually find a boyfriend/partner/whatever and settle down. I spent so many years thinking it was an inherent weakness to want someone. Last year, a psychiatrist assured me that actually it is okay, that most people want that. And now I find myself arguing that point to my own mother. I guess she's never wanted that or, if she has, has long since given up on the idea. But I am 23 and a romantic and a sexually (in)active adult and, yes, a long-term boyfriend or even husband is something that I want for myself. I know that it's something many of my friends want also. And that's not weird. That's normal. I've finally accepted that.

At the moment, I'm really struggling with my sense of self. Who the fuck am I? Is this what I want for my life? Lately (read: for the last twelve months), I have felt like the ugliest person in the world and that feeling was exacerbated when I moved to the UAE last August. Last August, I still wore bright colours but by December I was rocking the goth look almost exclusively. But not even in a cool way. More in a dowdy middle-aged loner type of way. But, with all due respect to dowdy middle-aged loners, that's not who I am. At least, it's not who I want to be. And it's just gotten worse and worse.

In an ideal world, what a parent wants for their child is happiness, in whatever format. I've always felt like, for my family, money and appearance was most important. Maybe everyone feels like that. I dunno. Both of those things are important to me too. But I have lived here for 12 months and I am still broke. Yes, I've done a couple of cool things and I've bought a couple of cool things but ultimately I have practically no social life and other that my Urban Decay Electric palette which I rarely use, I have nothing to show for the last ten months of my life. And fuck that shit.

I'm not happy here. I'm not happy at home. I think I want to get a teaching qualification because I think it would make me happy and provide me with a vocation and a stable career but would it actually make me happy? I had a brainwave the other day (rare, lately) and thought that maybe what I wanna do is work for an LGBT activist organisation and live in Dublin or Cork or England or some other western place.  Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of love for the Arab countries. I am fascinated by the language, the culture, the religion. But I can't see myself living here forever. I'm too alt for the Las Vegas of the Middle East.

I'll paint you a picture of my dream life right now. (Honestly, I'm happy to have even thought of something that I want to do. Recently I've felt so meh about my life, thinking that maybe nothing would make me happy, that I have no dream. It feels delicious to have finally found something that I'm passionate about.) In college, I spent two semesters working with the LGBT society as public relations officer and I loved it. I got to spend time with interesting, passionate people, I got to write, and I got to employ some of the skills my degree apparently provided me with. Feminism and LGBTQ issues are something I have felt strongly about for so many years and the other day it finally hit me that that is where my passion lies. I thought there was something wrong with me for not having a dream job but there it is right there. My only concern is that if I did find a suitable job in that area, it wouldn't pay very well and I've lived a pov life too long. I want nice things. I dunno.

What I also want is a partner. Someone I love and who loves me. My mother said, "I thought you wanted more from your life than that." At the moment, I'm working in a place that doesn't offer a whole lot of job satisfaction, in a country that doesn't offer a whole lot of anything except poor human rights, bad water supply and unbearable fifty degree heat. Is this the "more" my mother was referring to? It's not unnatural to want someone. But I know I will not find someone here. And that's the point.

For the last two days, I've been toying with the idea of just moving home. I guess I'd still be me at home though. I know that certain people would hate to see me return home because for them it would indicate failure on my part. And I know that certain people would love to see me return because for them it would indicate failure on my part. Which basically means that I would be as miserable at home as I am here.

Another major problem is that, thanks to my darling brother, I have a substantial debt to pay. Even with my steady income here, I'll struggle to pay it but I have a better chance of doing it here than at home. Of course, when it is paid, I will happily tell my brother to go fuck himself. At that will be a proud moment.

I'm acting as though I'm in two minds about coming back here after summer vacation but I know I'll return. Honestly, right now I don't even want to go home because I know that I don't have anyone's support in what I do. I lose either way.

The only upshot is ... Actually, I just realised that there is no upshot. Oh well.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

piece of shit.

I am literally lying in bed right now crying my eyes out because I fucking hate this country. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. If you want to live in a country where the people are rude and nothing - not grocery shopping, not paying your phone bill - is straight-forward, then come here.

What the fuck am I doing here in a country where I don't feel like myself and where I think most of the people are living, breathing pieces of shit? I am not happy.

Maybe I'm just tired. Or maybe I've lived here for almost a year and I'm still fucking broke. Fuck my life. Fuck this country. I want to go home. Now.

goth life.

Who the fuck am I these days? I have never before in my life been the type of person who veers towards the black clothes in the shop. So why now? Why is half my wardrobe a black abyss? I'm hiding. I'm trying to make myself invisible. A spy. A funeral guest. It's not me and it never has been. Why now? The identity crisis. I need help. I need to change. I'm not sure who I am anymore but I know that I am denying a certain part of my identity - the part that is drawn to obnoxious colours, tacky clothes and MAKING A STATEMENT. But what am I so scared of? I mean, it's not as if the goth look is doing me any favours. In this heat, with this level of sweat, I still look fucking disgusting. So what's the point?

I need to stop eating shit food, I need to exercise, and I need to wear whatever the fuck I want to wear.

I also need to write more.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

i'm thinking about a brand new hope.

It's been five months since I've written anything other than whiny scribbling in my journal. But here I am. Feeling sorry for myself. Ready to postulate the validity of my feelings to the internet at large. (Fun fact: no one reads me anymore.) I'm listening to Green Day and I'm hungover and I want to punch myself in the face five thousand times. This is why I don't really drink anymore. I'm a hot mess. And what was the benefit? I guess I talked to some people I might not otherwise have gotten a chance to talk to but I could just make more of an effort to talk to them sober. Because no amount of talking is worth this. I'm fucked up, man. But I'm here. And I wanna be here more. I wanna be less scared of my feelings and my ambitions and my dreams.

Maybe I'll never achieve everything - or even anything - that I want to do but it's important to at least admit your dreams, right? Why am I so ashamed of what I want? I can't even fucking think straight.

Fuck cider and fuck vodka and fuck fuckboys.

Monday, December 08, 2014

hating lyf bcuz boys don't luv me.

School wasn't awful today. Yay. It was pretty standard, nothing special. I rushed to get a grade 6 lesson plan written so that I could go to the Irish Village (pub) in Dubai for the turning on of the Christmas tree. Got the lesson plan done and went for a nap after school so that I'd be fresh for Dubai but of course that didn't happen: I woke up groggy and cranky. What's new? But I put on some make-up, a pair of shorts and that Such Christmas t-shirt I have since last year. And off I went. I had a pint and hated life because a boy doesn't love me. But me and Brigid had such lovely chats so all is well. :)

I'm here in bed at the moment with all my make-up still in place and half-typing up that lesson plan that has to be emailed to Scott before morning. It's 11 pm. Ugh.

I set up a bank account yesterday and applied for a credit card. I'd love to have the credit card before I go home for Christmas but that probably won't happen. Ah well. School needs my bank account details soon otherwise I won't get paid at all. Fine, except I don't have the details yet. The bank person will email on my IBAN number as soon as he has it, apparently. And then dolla dolla bills. And as of now only 12 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes until I land in Dublin airport on December 21. :)

In the meantime, lots of early mornings and English lessons. And shouting abuse and eight year olds. Cool.

x

Sunday, December 07, 2014

non-catatonic.

Today was my first day back at work/school after five days off. I had the worst sleep ever last night: I slept peacefully from 10 pm to midnight and then I was awake for at least two hours sweating and rolling around and then my alarm went off at 5:30 am. Excellent. School wasn't too bad though. I was sort of unprepared though and had zero clue of what I was doing in grade 6. But it worked out in the end. I got my Emirates ID today as well which meant that I was finally able to open a bank account. After school I stayed around in my grade 4 classroom and did some planning for the next two weeks (after which I'll be flying home to lovely √Čire!). I got a taxi home and had a quick Google of local banks. I ended up going with Emirates NBD which is in the nearest mall - Al Nasserya. It's handy because I know exactly where it is and I could easily walk there if I had to. I signed up for a credit card along with a current account but it's unlikely I'll have the credit card before I go home for Christmas, which is annoying because dolla dolla bills. Ah well. After the bank, I popped into Carrefour supermarket and got some random kitchen utensils, a candle, tissues and conditioner. Then I got a sneaky McDonald's. Yuck. It's weird because I haven't even been craving McDonald's lately - probably because it's so ubiquitous - and yet I went and ate far too fucking much of it anyway. Now I'm at home drinking a bottle of cider and contemplating doing lesson plans of some description. I might ring my mother as well. Miss that lady.

Ring now I don't feel as catatonically depressed as I normally do. Win.

Friday, July 11, 2014

exercises in loving thyself, lady.

Yesterday I did things to make me feel good:

  • Went for a little walk
  • Had a nice shower (shaved my underarms, scrubbed my hair with a shampoo/baking soda mix, exfoliated, and used lovely new deodorant)
  • Did my hair in cute milkmaid braids
  • Wore real people clothes as opposed to the tracksuit/hoodie combo I've been rocking almost exclusively for the past two months
  • Read some Harry Potter
  • Rejoined Weight Watchers(!) and discovered that instead of gaining back all the weight I'd lost, which I fully anticipated, I actually lost a pound, meaning I don't have to start all over again. I'm looking forward to getting back on track now. And only three more pounds to lose before I hit my next milestone!

Today I nursed a slight hangover and finally started watching the first series of Orange is the New Black (so far so good!). Tomorrow I plan on exercising and writing and reading and doing other fun stuff for me. I’m starting to feel a little more control of my feelings. Hooray!

(Transformers is on telly now. I am nostalgic for the days when Shia LaBeouf seemed relatively normal.)

(The coat I’m wearing in the photo above makes me feel like a trainspotter.)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

sad gurrls w/ perfect brows + zero megapixels.

Today I met with my new psychologist/counsellor for the first time. She seems really lovely and I'm really happy and excited about getting to share my madness with her(!). When I sat down in her office I started crying instantly. I think I had been so psyched(!) all morning at the opportunity to talk about my feelings and stuff that they were just bubbling beneath the surface and erupted when the pressure became too much. I bawled my eyes out for an hour but I think I feel good. I mean, my psychologist was so lovely and so encouraging and so hopeful. And she's made me hopeful. But I'm sad that I'll only get to see her a couple of times before I move away (13th August, holla!). She gave me some homework to do before I see her again next week: I have to do a little of something that makes me feel good, like reading or going for a walk, and I have to fill in a mood/activity chart that attempts to identify how my mood correlates to my level of activity (which probably seems obvious because endorphins but it also includes activities like talking to friends or writing or whatever). I'm nervous and excited and happy at the thoughts of finally addressing the thoughts and behaviours that have been making me miserable for so fucking long. I'm a work in progress.

Today I also took my mother to her eye test appointment, ate Subway, ate two chocolate éclairs(!), finished season 8 of The Office and started re-watching The Mindy Project. (Words cannot express how much I love Mindy Kaling.) As well as all those fun activities, I put on make-up for no reason at all (a first for me) and managed to achieve a perfect eye liner flick (another miraculous first). I'm now drinking Diet Coke (full blown addiction) and ogling my one tru luv (MK).

Bad writing is my best friend.

(I want to start wearing more black.)