heaven help me, I need to make it right

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I’ve been waiting for this weekend for a long time. I’m part exhilarated, part terrified. I’ve been wracked with nerves for the last few days – desperately trying to plan every little detail, subconsciously thinking that maybe if I do I won’t feel so out of control, so vulnerable. I know I need to relax, and that the calmer I am the better things will be, but I can’t seem to just let go. I’ve always been very controlling. Sometimes, when I’m nervous, it feels as though I am not really myself, and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to get back to my regular personality. Someone else takes over – and she makes it easier to cope, but harder to connect. When this happens I have conversations with people in a voice that isn’t my own, using gestures that I don’t really choose. I completely close over, and no matter how long the situation goes on for (hours, days…), I am totally unreachable. Fake. Like a mannequin with someone alive, but silent, hidden inside. It happens without me even thinking about it. It is as if a part of my soul decides that the present moment is not safe, and so it hides somewhere, until I am alone again. I’m going to do whatever I can to find my balance before it all begins on Friday. But I wish I could know for sure what version of myself I will be.

I realise that sentence makes me sound like a psycho.

and in the spring I shed my skin and it blows away with the changing wind

Holly Cassell Fashion Blogger
I love Alice In Wonderland. And I know I’m not alone in that either (yeah Snow, that’s you!). She is a character with a serious Persephone Complex. I’ve had this dress for ages, and have never worn it out because, well, let’s be honest, it makes me look about 12. And I’m 22. But that’s okay - I’ve kept it all this time because I knew it would make a good Alice dress for my blog one day, so here it is! It’s from Topshop, according to the label, but I found it in a charity shop. I thought I’d team it with my favourite socks and my little gingham backpack (which you can’t see here but still, it’s all a part of the mood or whatever). Instead of an Alice-band, (which I thought would make me look 7 at best) I used a white and lilac ribbon. Now where's that rabbit?

In my simplified world we’re a boy and a girl

I have always believed that there is a world beyond this one, that is just reachable through art, and dreams. When I was growing up I had a very intense friendship with a man that I had known since childhood. We spoke to each other every day, and in many ways we were like brother and sister. There were nights when we slept side by side, with the same wild companionship of hyenas in the desert. As we got older the dynamic between us changed into something more complex, destructive, and changeable, and by the time I was 20 we could no longer bear the differences in our feelings, or the similarities. On a hot, humid night in late May - the kind of night where you just know that something in your life is going to crack like the pavement out in the street - I realised he was gone and gone for good. I was catatonic for some weeks. And then I began to dream of him. At first I accepted it as my mind’s way of holding on to him, of coping with the loss of someone who had seemed to be so close to my marrow, bones, and heart. And then after a while I started to look forward to going to sleep, knowing I would meet him there. I saw him so clearly, and felt his presence so vividly, that I began to believe our souls were meeting, in a dreamscape where we could be as children again, without the pain and the confusion and the tears that had come in our adulthood. In these dreams I had conversations with him, where he spoke to me of things that were happening in my life, and of things from within my subconscious that I had never told him. We would often be in a field or a forest, or by the sea, with no one else around to see us walk in the sun together or hear us speak. Sometimes it was simply torture to dream of him in this way. When I awoke I always felt sure that wherever he was, he must have dreamed the same thing – that since we couldn’t be together in reality, a dream-world had come into being out of necessity because our fate still needed to be fulfilled. That we were twins, somehow, and could not be separated. I felt this way even when the dreams became sinister, and instead of walking through the forest arm in arm, I was being hunted by something that was no longer entirely him.  I know I sound like I was extremely unstable then. That’s because I was. I’m not going to pretend I was in my right mind. But I have always believed in the soul, and in the countless realities between our hate and our love, our night and our day, our fact and our fiction. I know I was under a kind of spell during that time. Some people would say I was depressed, and they’d be right. But saying you’re depressed is just another way of saying that you’re under a spell. There was no logical way out of it for me – I had to wait for the spell to be broken. And it was. I woke up like Briar Rose and forgot all about the long, long time I had been in the dark. My dreams now are gentler, and have no hold over me.

But sometimes it is still as if I wake up with sand between my toes, or a leaf stuck in my hair.

I know we all have a cross that we bear, and I’d like to show it to you

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Some of these are old, some are new. Seriously, if you guys get sick of seeing my scrapbook pages, just tell me and I’ll stop. It’s no biggie.

A big, big thank you to everyone who commented on my last post – I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it. It was a tricky piece to publish, simply because it freaks me out that anyone who knows my name could Google me and find it… but that’s the price we pay for *art critic voice* creative freedom, am I right? It’s probably about time I got used to being honest with the world in general and not just presenting carefully chosen aspects of myself to different individuals. Part of me does feel pressured (by myself) to write in a squeaky clean, aspirational ‘profile’ way – the kind of way you would be happy to show future employers or past boyfriends – but that would be consummately uncool of me. Or, as a wise man once said, ‘Hemingway didn’t give no fuck about no Facebook’*. Besides, I’d probably be bored out of my face trying to keep that up. So thanks for all the wise words and acceptance. You’re an awesome bunch of women.

Oh and I almost got killed yesterday. I was walking on the pavement and a huge block of concrete fell off a high-rise and just about skimmed my hair, smashing into lots of golf-ball size pieces at my feet. I looked up to see where it had come from and there was a crow, pecking at loose rubble on the roof. How Hitchcock. I hope this doesn’t turn into some kind of Final Destination thingy. That would suck. Anyway, I’m psyched that I’m alive. Or maybe I’m not alive… maybe I died and I just can’t ACCEPT THAT I’M DEAD OH MY GOD!!!!!!! That totally sounds like me. Blogging from beyond the grave. Haunting the internet, a ghost trapped in HTML. That would be bitchin’.

*I may have been told that by an hallucination of F.Scott Fitzgerald that I saw once.

Tread softly on the words you used to write

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Some of the most significant moments and relationships in our lives aren’t necessarily the ones that have taken up the biggest chunk of our time or the ones which can be given a neat little title to categorise them. I’ve always had a bit of dubiousness around words like ‘boyfriend’, ‘girlfriend’, et cetera, and even though of course I do use them to describe other people’s arrangements, I’ve always preferred not to in my own personal life. The reason for that is because I’ve had a lot of truly absorbing, life-changing, heart-breaking or otherwise significant interactions with people that can’t really be defined in any of those ways, or in just one. For example, the two people I’ve been most in love with were not my boyfriends. I have, on occasion, had trouble loving the people right in front of me. So talking about love and exes with people is difficult, because when I talk about love I need to talk about things that happened outside of my physical world. One thing I understand is long-distance relationships - and long-distance non-relationships, where one or both of you is very much in love, but where there is still no boyfriend that you can introduce to your parents or take to prom. This is what they commonly refer to as ‘a pile of shit’. That being said, there is a certain beautiful pain and longing and drama that can come out of so much space between you. There is nothing quite like the ping of a text message that you know is from them. Or finding a private place so that you can open a gift wrapped in tissue. Or the freedom that comes from not having to face the person you are loving; it is so much easier to have a great romance with someone who is half-imagined. Having the time to write out your thoughts, and your feelings, creates a very different kind of communication to one that is based in the everyday, the spontaneous, the stressful, the physical. This kind of ‘intellectual love’ has been a part of my psyche since I was old enough to know how to keep a secret. It might strike some people as being very little fun, and in some ways that’s completely true. But in others it has been overwhelming - it has filled every corner of my mind.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I am about to let something imagined become real. I have no idea what will happen, whether we will be friends or lovers or if we’ll hate each other. Everything we have shared exists in some other world to this one, where people stay up all night, their faces illuminated by the screen of a mobile phone. And so I want to share the song I have always felt defined our…whatever it is. She is singing to a man she has known through his letters. I always thought I would be saying goodbye the way she is. In fact I have, a few times. But this time I am going to swallow my own fears about what might go wrong, and bring our whatever it is into the warm, unflinching light of spring. And turn it into something that can be given a name.

the motive changes like the wind, hard to control when it begins


Spring is here, but it’s still cold. Maybe that’s a sign? I’m making plans that I’m not sure I’ll have the courage to keep - things I’ve backed out of before. It feels as though part of me is desperately trying to hold on, and other parts are trying to run away. I have no idea what will happen. I’m scared of finding out things I’ll wish I hadn’t. I’m scared of caring – caring is so alien to me. But I also feel very young, and happy, and more capable than I did last year. Maybe this time will be different, because I am different. But have I changed enough for things to work? I have a bigger life now, and I know I can just walk away and thrive, if I have to. I’ve done it before. But I suppose more than anything I am scared I will find the place I want to be, and that I will have to stop, and ask to stay.

So what do I do? I take pictures. Of pretty things. And nail polish. Cause I’m just so great at confronting my issues…