I used to have an apartment with my two best friends. It was like it was from a dream.
I remember thinking, this is what a home is. Our living room was decorated with leftover decorations from our own rooms. Weird things I’d find outside. Drawings we did together. So many fucking stickers. There was a huge poster of us above the 3ft. tall table. Maybe 2. It’s a really low table. And there was a huge window directly across the kitchen; during sunsets, you’d be drowning in pink. Kind of breathtaking or whatever.
Besides the impeccable decor, what made it really feel like home were my roommates, Ben and Jan. Our mornings were legendary. Our nights, a party, even if everyone was in their own rooms. One time after a really bad night, I woke up the next morning with a note stuck to my door from Jan. On the note were two menthols. I smoked the menthols but left the note on my door until we moved out. And I still have the doll that Ben made me (it’s a tiny stuffed pair of pink pants with a cat face on it. With a ponytail.) Also, all of our jokes and conversations about life are permanently burned inside my brain. We really were a family. It was healing, not because it was perfect, but because it never needed to be. It just was. It was just. I felt safe. I felt loved. I needed that.
During our 1 year lease, life proved herself to be one crazy motherfucker. I went from being a full-time student to working full time, working part-time, to moving back into my parents’ house (big L). And in the middle of it all, I decided that I wanted to move to a different country with a friend. Life has this way of accelerating sometimes and I have this tendency to think it means something to me. So, I push myself, always. And simply, I believe I just love to dream but Girl, with what emotional management skills?
I’ve always enjoyed change. I love chaos. I love life. But I never checked to see if I was okay because I was too busy having fun. Or I was too busy finding things to fix about myself because I thought that would help me feel some type of control in my life. I was chasing this idea of independence. Invincibility. Yes, I learned a lot about myself. Yes, I still believe I am a better version of myself thanks to everything. I can’t discredit all the positive things I experienced. My life is my favourite movie and I will never take it for granted. But despite knowing that’s true, I haven’t always felt like it was true. It just never felt like there was enough time to feel. Somewhere along the way, I stopped feeling things. And life felt better because of it. I don’t like that.
My constant and various forms of escapism were eating away at my insides. The same way my shadow splits in two at 2 AM. You end up with one robot and one burnt out little girl. I think what I’m trying to say is that I always tried my best to be happy. But my best was never enough for me. Am I okay? What the fuck am I doing all this for? For growth? Fuck out of here.
In my sheltered bubble at my parents’ house, I have the privilege to slow down and feel comfortable during a crisis. My brain kicked in around day 4 and I found myself wondering how I could use this time to my advantage. How could I continue doing what I was doing before lockdown, during lockdown? It’s day 16 or something now, and I don’t recognize whoever I was before all of this. I can’t force myself to continue being someone I no longer am. I don’t want to. And I think I was under the illusion that life was linear. Because anything non-linear would make me feel like I was sinking. In my sheltered bubble, I’m seeing how I’ve been running away from who I truly was without questioning it, but instead criticizing or questioning myself every time I felt something.
There’s no oracle or psychic that can tell me who I will be after this quarantine. If there is one, I don’t want to hear it. I want to stop having solutions for everything. I just want to shut up and listen to myself. I want to make feeling a priority. Like truly feeling. Believing. I want to know what it’s like to be safe and loved again without needing a sense of where I’m going in my life. I want to feel lazy and be okay with it. I want to feel everything and not be okay with it just so I can be okay with it and pat myself on the back. I want to leave behind my own voice that tells me that there’s something wrong with me. I want to leave behind everything that made me feel like I was in a rush. I just don’t have time for that anymore.
A part of me still wonders about the future, and I can’t say for sure that I see myself moving slowly forever. But I don’t want whatever mutated, inhumane version of freedom I was chasing. My Co-star asked me the other day, what are the highest rewards? And I thought back to my time at that apartment. Not the apartment itself, throw the fucking thing away it had roaches. But I look back at the memories I’ve collected on my phone, and it’s like I’m there again. And that feeling, I want to chase that feeling wherever I am or whoever I am. Pandemic or no pandemic. I’d like to believe that’s enough.Return to issues