The heat of the summer and the unimportance of every task has left me afloat. My life has become a series of lying on the floor with my phone held above me, my room hot and stuffy, with things to do but nothing urgent to be done. Nothing matters for the next two months other than the bags I pack.
My birthday is in 3 days but I wish it wouldn't come. I enjoy the lead up: the presents, the food, the attention - but then the day comes with high expectations and many disappointments, because tradition puts so much weight on this one insignificant day of the year. I refuse to pack on my birthday, I refuse to check my phone, I refuse to play the piano, so what will I do? Why do I need this day to be so perfect? Most people don't remember my birthday for the day that it is. They'll remember the date of my party, what they'll wear to it, the photo they might post, but they'll never actually remember the day. And that's fair enough. I don't remember very many people's actual birthdays either. I'm just not looking forward to the disappointment of mine.
The past few weeks have been a cycle of eating too much and then working out in vain. 6 years of childhood spent on ballet has trained me to suck it in for hours, and this fools me into thinking it's all okay, but when I finally let go I see my love for food right there in its physical form. Tonight I went out for dinner with my long-legged friend in her tight shorts, while I was wearing my loose long shorts, having just returned from three hours of non-stop eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet. My skin was oily, on the verge of a breakout, and I felt like absolute trash. I feel so unhealthy and I'm worried because I know that once I leave for Malaysia there'll be no chance to make a comeback.
Justin Bieber's album Purpose has been playing on repeat as I wrap Christmas presents and slowly clear my room then mess it up again. My latest hobby has been collaging, and it's extremely messy. The desk feels gluey, the paper is everywhere, and yet I'm proud of the final result. The last collage I made was 21 inspired. It's this movie about some boring MIT kid who joins a secret society that counts cards in Las Vegas. The movie's called 21 because that's the magic number in the game Black Jack.
My dad taught my sister and I how to count cards the other day. As a bragging card counter himself, he's told me that counting cards in casinos does not lead to beating up and scary security guards, but rather polite ones who politely tell you to stop and leave. Although the theory behind counting cards is fairly easy, I can't seem to count fast enough. It's simple addition and subtraction, but my level of concentration nowadays is so low it worries me.
It seems as if the only thing I really am concentrating on is social media. I'm so unhealthily self conscious, or maybe I'm bored. I check Instagram, get bored and check it again, and refresh and refresh and post in order to make myself paranoid, and then check out what everyone else seems to be liking. I feel the need to share all the fun I theoretically should be having on snapchat, but in reality I'm not feeling a thing.
I think I'm living for the conversations nowadays. Yesterday we ate candy by a lake and told some truths. Today we walked along unfamiliar neighbourhoods and had the materialistic yet honest chats that seem to shape our shallow lives. We sat in a smothering car sharing 20 seconds of our varying music tastes without an ounce of embarrassment.
I'm beginning to feel as if there are real friends and some who aren't worth respecting anymore - some who, after talking it out, you realise aren't healthy to be around. They may be civil to your face, but there they go talking behind your back again. They may put on a strained voice that makes you realise they're even more insecure than you are. They may bring up topics specifically to show you their one area of superiority, even if all it does is reincarnate unwanted drama. They may just be fake. But then, maybe everyone's fake until you get to know them well enough.
I read a snippet of the play This is Our Youth yesterday. It was in something Jessica, the character played by the idealistic Tavi Gevinson, said:
"Everything you think will be different, and the way you act, and all your most passionately held beliefs are all gonna be different, and it's really depressing... Because it just basically invalidates whoever you are right now... that there's these huge swaths of time in your life that didn't register at all, and that you might just as well have been dead during them for all the difference they make to you now."
Judging from the amount my perceptions on everything have changed this year, I can't imagine how much they will change in the year to come. It feels somewhat sad knowing that everything I think now could be wrong, and that in a year all this analysis and writing will be meaningless to me, because I'll look back and see a lesser version of myself preaching unhealthy untruths.
I don't seem to want to go to sleep at night. Yesterday I watched an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians from 2008 until midnight, and then planned on working on some presents. Maybe excitement is what's keeping me awake at this exciting time of year. Maybe I'm dazed because I'm happy and there's nothing to worry about. Or maybe the fact that I've got no commitments has left my brain dopey and blank.
I don't feel very alive right now.