Hug me tight before you go… Summertime sadness

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I saw these days on Facebook a list of the most amazing feelings in the world, and one of them was tight hugs. And after thinking a little, I knew I couldn’t agree more – hugs are the best, but the feeling depends of a lot of factors.

Not anyone can give you a good hug. A stranger, for example, or someone you barely know, is most likely to make you feel a little uncomfortable if they offer to hug you – especially if you don’t trust that person. Cause hugs mean trust. I trust you, so I agree to have a hug together. The best part is that you most usually receive a hug while you give one – that is, if you hug a real person, and they are willing to cooperate – but I say that this ‘best’ part is in the same time the worst…

Imagine a scenario where you really need a hug. Have you ever felt like that? I used not to. I didn’t care about hugs, I didn’t need them. I vaguely remember my mom trying to hug me from time to time, but I think most of the time I was feeling quite awkward. Why should we hug?!… But recently I changed my mind. We all need hugs from time to time. Maybe we feel alone, maybe we crave for human interaction and human touch. Or maybe you’re in the most unluckiest situation when you need a hug from that one person. What do you do? Well, I guess anyone would show that person the intention to hug them. Cause you feel down, and you know there’s only one way of getting over this – with that special hug that never fails in making you feel nothing and everything in the same time. Which makes you feel relaxed and forget everything. It makes you think of nothing in particular, enjoying the inexplicable feeling of… feeling better, I guess. Cause that person has just shared with you one of the most precious gift of your friendship, and you are grateful for that.

But in our scenario, you get rejected. That only person who could make you feel better with a hug rejects you. Whatever the reasons, this rejection is one of the most painful of all, or at least that’s how I felt it. More painful perhaps that getting rejected in love – but it is infinitely more painful if the rejected hug implies rejected love – because a true friendship should mean more than a romantic relationship. It’s painful, cause hugs mean trust, and a rejected hug questions the trust behind it. It’s painful, because you were counting on that hug to get rid of some other pain, which now only grew bigger. It’s painful, because now you feel lonelier than ever, and finally it’s painful because it may mean that there won’t be hugs anymore. (And even if there will be, who can guarantee they’ll be as they used to be?… Who wants to risk getting rejected again?! Of course you’ll be more reticent next time. So it can’t be the same, can it?… At least not until some period of time) And while you’ll wonder what happened, you’ll see what I meant by the fact that, unfortunately, we can’t hug ourselves…

But perhaps you’re luckier. Perhaps that other person feels the same, and so the feeling is even nicer if both share the same intention. Cause it’s nice to actually ‘feel’ that the other person wants to hug you as well. It’s just the perfect situation, I guess, and surely this minimises the risks of being rejected. But if not, are you brave enough to be the one who takes the first step? It is worth trying, I guess.

I don’t know anything about the chemistry that happens during a hug. But I know I usually sigh. The same way my dog sigh when you pat her on the head or back 🙂 It’s completely different from the sigh I have when too many unplanned things happen and I can hardly cope with them. I still don’t know why I feel the need to sigh, if it’s from the hug itself or from the memories it brings, but it’s a good-type of sigh and I am grateful for that.

I found that a – let’s say – perfect hug should last at least 5 seconds, and should be tight, and of course with both arms. Anything less than 5 seconds, or a half-hug – with one arm only – is, I dare say, just a superficial simulation of a hug, the one you give/receive automatically when it’s necessary, like when a friend is leaving somewhere. A special hug doesn’t really need a reason – although a break-up or something similar obviously calls for such a hug – as we don’t always know why we feel the way we feel. A special hug is a hug that makes you realise you didn’t feel too OK beforehand, compared to how you feel now. A special hug lasts even more than 5 seconds, maybe a lot more. Cause it takes time for your body to actually feel the other person and get used to them, and it takes time for your mind to reach that peacefulness. And then it feels like the clock has just stopped, and it’s only the heartbeats and the occasional sighs that remind you time still passes by – but you can try ignore them and pretend you’ll stay there forever, in your little infinite loop, where it feels so good. Pretend no one has to go away, pretend no one chose to leave, pretend everything is fine at least in those special moments that may never come again, and which you should learn to value before it’s too late.

But for those situations when you have nobody to share a hug with, someone very smart and very lonely invented this:
Imagecause one ‘papoi‘ can change everything. Don’t believe me? Then check this out. 😀

I just wanted you to know… that ‘papoi’ is the best.

Writing101 Challenge – Person(alities)

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Today I’m supposed to describe someone I’ve met in the past year, whose path intersected mine. Well, I had someone in mind from the first seconds I saw the assignment, but after other few seconds, I’ve decided I’d rather not write about that person. Why? Well, read this post here and perhaps you’ll understand the reason… Instead I’m going to write about something else. Different personalities that I recently met.

First I met the “self-sufficient” girl. She didn’t have anyone in particular in her life, but she didn’t have to. She was happy and others were happy around her. She wore glasses and she didn’t mind, she dressed as she wanted to, and others’ opinions didn’t matter to her. She preferred staying home and revising instead of getting drunk in a pub somewhere. She had boy friends but no boyfriend, and she didn’t seem bothered about this; she never cried, or at least she was laughing much more often than she was crying. She was free…

Then I met a dreamer. She wanted love, without knowing what that means. She wanted to fall, hoping that this way she’d feel alive. She sometimes wore contact lenses and make-up, trying to look different, trying to impress who knows who, trying everything without knowing what to do. She was laughing and talking to the guys, always aware of how she moved, what she said, what she looked like. But she didn’t know what to do. She was just dreaming…

Then I met one “half”. Deep in love, with the whole world surrounding around that one person. She didn’t care too much about the others, cause she lived in her perfect world. With a smile on her face and always dressed pretty, she believed in second chances and was really optimistic. She was happy to have all her happiness depending on one person only, and she didn’t care about that. She was flying above the others, above the ordinary things. Floating on a cloud, I’d say.

Then I met the lost girl. She didn’t care about anything that happened around her, she had a lost look in her eyes, eyes that have been washed with so many tears. She was skinny and the clothes didn’t fit her any more and her hair was a mess, but she didn’t mind it. She enjoyed being alone and she thought too much. She rarely laughed, and even more rarely tried to make other laugh. She was sad… And it was even sadder to see her like that.

Then I met Violet. Violet seems an interesting girl, as you can see from her short description presented in my first post, here. Violet is challenging herself to stay in the middle. In the middle of what? Of everything, I guess… She cries, she laughs, she stays with her friends but also enjoys being alone, she’s putting everything in balance and tries to keep things that way. It’s hard, I’d say. Almost impossible not to fall on one side or another. But who am I to judge?

And now I meet my own eyes in the mirror, and I wonder who I’ll be next.

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Writing101 Challenge – The Letter

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Should I open this envelope with no name on it? Cause my address is here… Maybe I can find a clue inside about who it is addressed to. Let’s see.

Hopefully it’s the right time now… I’m glad you’re fine and everything is settled now in your life cause, as you know, things aren’t too good here… Congrats for everything that you’ve done – see, it wasn’t as hard as I’ve imagined, right?!! It was good that you kept going without looking back. I’m as proud of you as you are of me.

And I remember… The point of the pen touching the paper, the intense feeling of wanting to believe in those words when the second exclamation mark was brutally added… A sigh of sadness but, above all, hope.

I skip the rest of the message. I know it’s not for me, I know who it is for. I know the last line says

You from the past

and I remember my voice… “Could you send this at this address, on this date please?”

I seal the envelope back and put it somewhere safe. I know it will stay there until the rightful owner is ready for it. Cause it’s not for me. It’s for a future me. I can’t read the dialogue between me from the past and me from the future. Because I’m living in another dimension, in the wrong moment, in the present. I’ll just wait here…

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“I want to be a writer. What shall I do?”

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I know I’ve said I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Even when I didn’t know exactly what was required in order to be one. There are some reasons why I decided I would like to be a writer, but we don’t always do what we want to, do we?

First of all, I enjoy reading. Since I was little I was absolutely fascinated of how many new worlds, characters and adventures can be found inside a book. There were simply things I needed to know. I needed to know what’s with The Wizard of Oz, a strange name from a strange country. I needed to know who is Heidi, a girl whose name I still haven’t got used to pronounce correctly, even after so many years of German. These were my first two books, and since then, I devoured each and every one I could find for my age, and was surprised to see how many stories are out there, waiting for you to live them through just some words printed on paper… I don’t know what made me start reading – maybe it was boredom, maybe curiosity, maybe a bit of both.

The experience of giving voice to your thoughts was shared with me by my father. He used to invent stories for me and my brother, and I never really understood how he was capable of coming with such magnificent characters, plots, surroundings, just from his head. I think I still don’t know how. But I remember me writing down in a few sentences and a few drawings what each ‘chapter’ was about. And that was my first encounter with taking notes of someone’s ideas, thoughts and imagination. Why did I do that? Probably because I knew I never wanted to forget those stories. Probably because my memory was never too good, and I knew thoughts are sometimes safer on a piece of paper rather than in the labyrinth of your own mind (another reason why I started this blog). Probably because my father told me so, probably because I was hoping that someday we were going to write a book out of all those stories, probably because deep inside my heart I knew I wanted to write, to say my own story amongst the thousands that are already out there.

Because I loved reading a particular series, I started translating it in my mother language, at the beginning of high school or so. And even though of course it was not my own creation, I enjoyed it and I somehow experienced what writing actually means. But apart from some other little trials that went nowhere in particular, that was all. Then I started college, I continued reading from time to time, but I never considered writing again, anything. Probably because of the lack of free time, or too much technology around, or too many other choices of spending my time… I continued keeping the dream of becoming a writer somewhere inside my heart but, as I said in a previous post, it was a dream I just thought I would like to achieve some day, but did nothing about it.

And then I received an email. Something that brought me tears in my eyes; I read it and then forgot about it, until last week when I was writing the previous post, and I remembered the email, searched for it, and here they were, tears again for some reason… It looks like it was exactly a month between my two encounters with that email, and now I see that it was sent to me on a day that some things happened, that changed my path in life a little bit… Or at least I think so. If you had asked me at the end of that day, I would have said that I had a huge loss on one side and a not-so-huge gain on another (but perhaps in the future I’ll realise it was exactly the opposite; it’s hard to accurately see how important love vs work situations are for your future, and which counts more). But anyway, perhaps with that email I have gained that day even more than I thought I have, and I dare say, more than I lost.

It was an ordinary email from Google+, like the ones I keep receiving from time to time, informing me that someone shared a link with me. Who else does that except my father, of course. But surprisingly, the title of the article he had shared was not one of the usuals, although they all cover a wide range of topics. It was “How to be a writer”, and I’ll put a link to it down below – it really worth reading.

So I read it because of the title, not because I expected it to be THAT good, motivational, inspirational, touching, funny and sad in the same time and, most of all, not because I expected it to fit me. I thought it was just going to be a boring list of things to do in order to be capable of writing. But I couldn’t be more wrong. It was a list indeed, but not of ordinary to-do’s. And the way it was presented actually brought me into tears for some reason. Cause the whole article is not addressed to someone who wants to be a writer, but to a parent who seeks advice about how to help their teenage daughter achieving her dream of becoming a writer…

I won’t say those are the best advices, cause you can’t be sure until you’ve tried them. Did my father try them? I don’t know that either – I’m not even sure my dream was big enough to worth fighting for. But one thing’s certain, if the article made me burst into tears again, while reading it one month later, it sure touched me somehow. And lucky me, I guess, that some events from that month made me start blogging, so that after reading the article a couple more times, I’ve decided to write this post, to try and see what’s so special about some parts of it.

I won’t summarise it for you, in case you want to read it – it’s quite short. Split into 3 parts, in the first one the parent is told that ”Fact: writers write. Fact: In order to be a writer you have to write a lot. A LOT. Fact: there’s no shortcut.” And indeed, you can’t be a writer without writing, you can’t magically become a writer without putting one word on a paper. In the last part, the author reveals all the journals that she wrote during past years – cause that’s how she became a writer, by writing a lot. But it was the middle part that completely amazed me. I suppose I just imagined my father in the situation described, I just imagined myself taking the path suggested there, by checking off each and every key point of becoming a writer. I will discuss a little about some of my favourites:

“First of all, let her be bored.” – cause boredom makes her think, and if she thinks too much, it may happen that she has some interesting thoughts she may want to write down; as I said, there’s no other better way of keeping your ideas, dreams and imagination safe from being overwhelmed inside your head.

“Give her some tedious chores to do.” – cause not only she’ll get bored pretty soon (see point above), but if she has to keep her body occupied with repetitive actions, such as ”mowing the lawn, doing the dishes by hand, painting the garage”, her mind will tend to go even further away. And who knows what she may find there? She may explore new ideas, open unknown doors inside her mind, follow chains of thoughts that otherwise she wouldn’t have time to follow.

“Let her be lonely. Let her believe that no one in the world truly understands her.” – cause loneliness and the feeling of not being completely understood by anyone will make her express herself through words on a paper, hoping that this way at least she will discover who exactly is the person who wrote them.

“Give her the freedom to fall in love with the wrong person, to lose her heart, to have it smashed and abused and broken.” – cause if a broken heart doesn’t make her write, I don’t know what else will.

“Let her get a job. Let her work long hours for crappy pay with a mean employer and rude customers.” – can’t really comment on this one, but I guess she’ll have to experience it sooner or later 🙂

“Let her fail. Let her make mistakes.” – cause nothing is perfect from the first trial, but it’s fine as long as she learns from past experiences.

“Let her find her own voice, even if she has to try on the voices of a hundred others first to do so. Let her find her own truth, even if she has to spin outrageous lies in search of it.” – cause if she searches long enough, she will find these sooner or later.

“Above all else, love her and support her. Love her and believe in her. Love her, and let her go.” – cause if you don’t support her and believe in her, then who else will?!

So thanks dad for all of these, for the email, and much more… And thanks to M. Molly Backes for the great article (read it here: https://medium.com/human-parts/dfdcf0c7b961) , which made me immediately purchase her book, “Princesses of Iowa”. I read it in a few days, and, as expected, it had the same impact on me as the article: I just somehow found myself in this book, and I really recommend it. It’s about how things that seemed to be important suddenly don’t matter that much, about old and new friendships, old and new love, about how writing can really help when you’re kind of lost, about the fact that you shouldn’t drink and drive, about family, poetry, feelings, being different, starting over and not looking back … It’s a really great book 🙂

Tomorrow is the first day of a write-every-day challenge called Writing 101, and I signed up for it. I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to write each and every day, but at least the topics given will provide me inspiration for future posts, and hopefully the challenge will help me improve my writing skills. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a proper writer, but at least I write in this blog. Cause “in the end, writers write, and writing’s what matters.”