The Sounds of Summer


Surf’s up on Repulse Bay

So it’s goodbye to blue skies and long days drinking in the summer; hello to a work desk and clocking in/out again. Yes, ’tis the season for work after a long hiatus away from employment. (Blame it on the recurring blues) This is make-or-break time, unfortunately…my last-gasp attempt at middle-class propriety. But I’m trying to convince myself that I should treat everything with the utmost lightness.

Until it gets so light that I cancel myself out.

I’ve never been quite able to figure out how much effort to actually make, especially when it comes to work and friendship. I’ve always persisted, up to a point, before letting things go entirely, which now seems to me a particularly inelegant and futile way to live. Why can’t I achieve that golden mean where I keep everything light but not too light, where I reap the benefits of work and the comforts of friendship without falling into a hole of obsession, and depression?

These days, I often find myself looking and gawping at other people’s lives and wondering how that state of perfection is achieved. Other people have reassured me that nothing’s perfect and that 9 times out of 10 it’s simply a facade for deeper, underlying worries, but I’m too insecure to be entirely convinced. Deep down, I know everybody hurts, but damn I want that flat that family those babies that job that high tea-set that mega discount those air miles that Instagram account that bright future that lovely brain that lovely body! I don’t need everything on that list but one or two lifelines once in a while would be good, to buffer me against whatever comes knocking at the door.

Jealousy+pride is a lethal combination. I want, badly, and I hate and punish myself for wanting. This is how I drive myself nuts in the wee small hours of the morning.

Sometimes I think all those years of therapy had absolutely zero effect on me at all, except maybe as a primer on mindfulness-lite. Maybe I just had the wrong therapist. Maybe I held back too much. Maybe I didn’t hold back enough. Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed away everything, including that time D pinned me against the bed and all I could think about was the yoghurt rotting away in the fridge. Maybe I should’ve mentioned the gender of my first love. Maybe I should’ve talked about the love of my life, and not just fleetingly, as a joke, but in all seriousness, as a fact. But anyway, it’s all too late now. I’ve quitted therapy, for good.

‘You intellectualize everything,’ my therapist once grumbled. She meant this as a reprimand, to guide me back to feeling instead of thinking, but I am too afraid to feel. And I’ve been afraid for so long that I’ve just about lost the ability to do so.

Perhaps, one day, if I managed to feel properly again (oh Emotions, where art thou?), I might find my life turning around. Lay down the torch, get on with life. Until then, one could only live in hope. (or, rather, I need to manufacture my own hope)

Dum spiro spero – while I breathe, I hope.

Finally…let’s throw in another beach pic to cheer myself up!


Sunny Day Real Estate 


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