It’s beginning to look like Christmas only now…

I haven’t posted in quite a while here, but hey, I’m still alive and kicking. First of all, I would like to wish you all happy holidays, I hope you are enjoying it. I’ve been so absent because holidays here are actually days we use to study. I’ve got exams in January, so ever day I lock myself away and study… Which is hard for brains like mine. Concentration remains an issue, but hey, I’m not doing that bad at all! I think. We’ll see how the grades turn out.
A side effect of this, is that I’m OCD’ing real hard these days. Ever since I returned to university at the end of September I have been OCD’ing more than before. I figured that maybe it was caused by the lack of control I had over the situation with Russia. It completely exploded once I stayed home to study. I can check it the doors are closed ten times and still something in me isn’t convinced that yes, the door is closed. The same with shutting out the lights. I return almost every time just to see if I really did that. It’s quite annoying, but I try to stop it.

Further on we’ve got snow here – which was unexpected! To me, at least. I heard that it would snow here, but something in me didn’t believe it. The day before it wasn’t even so cold… But one morning I woke up and saw that everything was covered in snow, and I just stood there staring at it because I was so surprised. But you know, it looks good, and I don’t mind it at all. Also the cold doesn’t disturb me. I don’t go outside that often, because studying, but when I do, I tell myself that it still feels okay.
Which is actually just an attempt to train myself for Poland.

Well, there isn’t anything exciting these days, so I will leave you with this sign of life. I hope to write some intersting posts soon, but currently I’m lacking inspiration – this atmosphere doesn’t create the best ideas, believe me. I’ll leave the talking to you for now!

Do you like snow? Do you mind cold? And do you perhaps know how to stop yourself from OCD’ing?

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You wouldn’t want to swap this summer with me…

I was talking to a friend and suddenly, I don’t know how we got to the topic, she said she’d rather have had my summer than hers. Fast forward: 45 min later I’m still thinking about that. It kind of hit me, in a way this can still hit me.
You know what I’ve been through this summer. Now, her summer wasn’t fun either. She had to retake five heavy exams, so she basically had one week of holiday before the new academic year started again. That sucks a whole lot.

But swapping with me? I don’t think she knows how hard it was. I mean, of course, it’s something kind of unusual, and I don’t think you can really understand it unless you’ve been through it yourself. It’s a first world problem for sure, but having your big dream being shattered in front of your eyes while standing there powerless affects so much more than many people think.

First of all, I’ve been working an entire year for it. I sometimes locked myself inside, I had a minimum social life, just to make sure I’d get good grades and no retakes so I could go to Russia. There were problems from the very beginning with the exchange program, so we’ve been living an insecure life for a few months. Waiting, waiting and never knowing when we would finally know more.
I had no plans during the summer, because I didn’t know when I could go for visa and when I could leave. I didn’t go on a holiday. She did, during the week holiday she had. But I was at home, three long months I spent at home. Every single day.

During July I worked every weekday. That was sometimes hard, but it was okay, and I still thought that things would turn out fine. But in August, the stream of bad news sucked me in and wouldn’t let me out until the end of that month. I couldn’t do anything. I could barely meet up with anyone, because I tried to save my trip to Russia, there could be something happening every moment, I was mentally stand-by all the time. Sleeping got more difficult. And bad news, one after the other. Never a positive note.
I was powerless. I did what I could, but in the end that was not much. When you have to rely upon other people, you can only try to push them to do it faster. But everything went so slow, so slow… And I did my best, I did my best, I tried so hard, but it was in vain. I had no control.

During September, everyone seemed to be busy. Busy going on holidays, busy retaking exams. Trying to meet up with someone was hard, and I didn’t know what to talk about anymore. I could only think about Russia, about what I still had to do, about what went wrong. It controlled my mind, and I felt so bad about it that I wasn’t so keen on talking to people anymore. I could only give them bad news, and I couldn’t take hearing too much happy news from their side. Of course I was happy for everyone having a good time, but I couldn’t handle it too often.

It affected way more, it wasn’t just a lonely, frustrating summer. I was genuinely scared of staying in Belgium. I knew I would be left behind while everyone would be abroad having a good time. Staying here meant staying in these old patterns, staying in this old shit. The old shit I wanted to get away from so desperately. It got so bad that I couldn’t look in the mirror without thinking about how ugly I was. I was convinced that I would be alone forever. That everything could only get worse and worse. That no boy or man would ever get to like me.
I knew that this too was an effect of all the bad things happening. I knew that I wouldn’t have stared into the mirror thinking ‘my forehead is so huge!’ if I would have known everything was alright and I could leave in time. It took over my life and sucked out what was still good, it seemed. Try staying positive when you didn’t have any positive news in months. Try staying positive when your big dream gets taken away, piece by piece, with you standing next to it, unable to do anything about it. Try to stay positive when you know that what will come is three months of isolation and loneliness. I was the only one who ended up staying here. Everyone else left, even though I was the first one to point out that something wasn’t right, even though I was the one who immediately jumped on it to fix things. But everyone left. And I didn’t.

As you may remember, it felt like a punishment, in a way. I felt like I must have done something wrong in order to deserve this series of bad luck. Maybe someone was playing a sick joke on me. Maybe someone was testing me, to see how much bad news I could take before snapping. Maybe I deserved this all, but in that case, what did I do wrong?

When we singed the contract for my room in the city of my university, I cried. It made everything definitive. All the effort, all the work, everything I had done in order to save it, it was finally definitely clear that it was all in vain. I’ve wasted a summer, an entire summer for nothing at all.

This sounds very dramatic, but at that point, this was really how it felt. It felt this heavy. Even at this point I get tears in my eyes upon writing this down. It still hurts.

In the end she had one more course she now retakes, and my semester wasn’t as lonely and desperate as I expected, luckily.

But swapping the summer with me, I don’t think she really wants that. I wish this upon no one. The best proof of that is the fact that I’m sitting here trying not to cry. Even after all these months…

Not to say I would have loved her summer, because that one sucked so hard too. And I’m not mad at her for saying this or something. She really doesn’t know the extent of this plan failing. Just to point out that this was and still is something that cuts deep.

It won’t work today

It won’t work today. I won’t work today. For some reason, I lack the energy and above all the will to keep going. It’s only 11 am and I feel like I’m supposed to keep on working until 12 am. But see, it doesn’t work today. I feel like having too little time and too much to do. I have to study for my finals, but I also have three more deadlines to keep an eye on. And that’s too much for me to handle. Days are short, subjects are boring, and translating turns out not to make me happy. Instead I feel like I’m zombiefying. I get up at around half past 9 in the morning, start working an hour after that and don’t really stop, only to eat, until midnight. It’s the sixth day today and I’m broken and frustrated and angry and tired, so tired. At the same time I don’t see how I’ll ever manage to do all these things I’m supposed to do. If I fail an exam though, it will give me troubles.

So… A most uncomfortable situation. To top it off I suck at doing things when I don’t want to do them. Up until a certain level I will manage to get over my not wanting, but this, this is too much. Then my inner fiver-year-old shows up and starts screaming NO NO NO DON’T WANNAAAA! NO NO NO! This never fails to make me feel torn apart by guilt and stuborness. It’s sad, because so very often you have to do things against your will, but when I doo it too much, it affects me physically. I will have no hunger anymore, I will sleep bad, I will feel sick. I’m not there yet, but my body doesn’t agree on this system either. My elbows hurt from leaning on them, my neck hurts because I’m always looking down, my spine begs for movement and the best one: my jaws hurt from yawning. I kid you not.

I barely see people, I barely talk to them, I have nothing to say anyway. This is a dead period, with nothing but obligatory stuff and endless guilt because you’re not working. Even eating feels wrong sometimes. Mainly because I really don’t know how I’ll get everything over and done with it. It’s so much and it should all be so good… But how am I supposed to do that? What more can I do? I need my sleep, you know, I have to eat, I have to take a break every now and then… But how will I be able to finish it all then?

In short, I hate this. I hate this so much. I want it to be over but it will only end at the end of June. Hopefully I’ll survive. It wouldn’t surprise me if that weren’t the case though… *sigh*

Why libraries are like swimming pools

My concentration span is ridiculous. Pathetic. Disastrous. My priorities are good, but not good enough – when I’ve got Internet, music becomes my priority, and nothing else. Or writing. Or checking 9gag. I know very well what to do in case I don’t want to work – which is often. I thought it was impossible to change that, until I made a radical decision:

I would go studying in the library.

Now, that was radical. Normally I like to eat and drink whenever I want, or I need music, or… No. I threw all excuses overboard and grew some balls. There I went, straight to the library, where it was bloody warm, but I sat near the window and put my books in front of me. Strangely enough, this actually worked. Or rather, I actually worked. By the time I left the library, I had seen quite a big part of what I still had to see that day. Without a break. I managed to keep on going for four hours straight, only looking up to see what other people were doing. Because, yeah, I still needed to know what was happening around me, you know. These things are important as well.

Then one day, I went to the library, fully prepared – not dressed all too warm because it’s really hot in there, but with a scarf and a big bottle of water. I sat down, put my books in front of me and suddenly felt something weird.

It felt like holiday. It smelt like swimming pools.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what this was. How can studying feel like being on a holiday? This wasn’t meant to be fun at all. So how could I smell swimming pools?

Is this a library?

Then I realized what it was. I don’t know if you, reader, have had the pleasure of going to hotels while on vacation? And if yes, did those hotels have swimming pools? Or did your camping place have one nearby? Because then you might know why I felt this weird way. You know, when you go to a hotel, there are many people you don’t know. In fact, you probably don’t know a single one of them (though sometimes you do – I’ve been there). But after a while, you recognise them and they start to feel so familiar. Even though you haven’t talked with them, it still feels as if they’re some kind of friends, or acquaintances. When it comes to the swimming pool though, you become enemies – everyone wants a good place there. Sometimes people put their towels on a sunlounger in the morning already, so their place is safe for the afternoon. You have to be in time to have a lounger there.

And that’s exactly how the library worked. I couldn’t study at my floor because there was too little space, so I sat in between people I didn’t know. After a while, after a day more precisely, they started feeling familiar. If you weren’t on time though, you might not have a seat where you normally sat.

Very swimming pool.

I like studying in a library. Because there are still people, because it makes you put on nice clothes, because there is barely anything else to pay attention to. Okay, I have to admit I saw every movement around me, and I mostly knew what the others were wearing, but next to that, I would really pay attention to my books. It made me feel better to actually do something. And it smelt like swimming pools. In some twisted way, that made it lighter…

Welcome to the cage

Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable. You’ll be spending the next three weeks here, between these four walls, only coming out to eat and get something to drink. No, not in a bar. I mean to get yourself coffee in the kitchen. To stay awake and hydrated.

Between these four walls you’ll stay, you’ll sleep here, study here, sneaking around on the Internet while you really shouldn’t. After three weeks of continually being here, you’ll have the finals – you’ll be spending equally as much time here as between those other four walls. But those four walls, there you’ll do everything: sleeping, eating, studying, sneaking on the Internet, and drinking (coffee and tea, still). Repeat.

Every once in a while there might be a moment when you see someone else – they will be alive, but you just won’t be sure, because you don’t get to see anyone. You can suppose they’re alive, but you won’t see them often enough to really have the prove. Seeing people again will be weird. What are you supposed to say again? What can you even talk about? Nothing really happens. Your books will become your new best friends. (Though it’s going to be a hate/love relationship.)

You’ll forget what good-looking clothes feel like, or shoes, let alone makeup. You will partly forget what being in a bar feels like, but that won’t change the missing. It feels like being buried alive. Buried in books. The outside world, with people living and leaving the house and everything – too unreal. Can it be that there’s still a life after this? If you survive, that is.

The good part is that your parents take care of you. Food will be served, dishes will be done (with a machine that does the work for you, can you believe that?), groceries will be shopped. Your only job is to ram all the information into your head and survive.

Survive.

Welcome to the cage.

Current condition: Studying

It’s summer, the sun is shining, it’s that kind of perfect weather… And I’m inside, studying to retake an exam. But I don’t really mind, as I don’t have the money to do all the fun stuff anyways. My life is so tragic.
Either way, here’s a sort of closer look, analysing of my current condition: studying.

Clothes: yoga pants and loose T-shirt with owl print.

However important elegance is to me, it doesn’t apply to all situations, okay? It’s bloody hot in my room, and I need the freedom to change my position every five to ten seconds. Plus: my inner dancer is very happy with these yoga pants. I can get up and throw my leg in the air whenever I want. Which is something I frequently do. (It sounds as if I’ve got a prosthesis. I mean to say I do a grand battement.)
The owl print is really cool, by the way. It’s more of a drawing made of stripes. Maybe I make it sound worse with every word I add, but seriously, it’s one of my favourite T-shirts. And it’s loose. Literally cool.

Makeup & Hair: Not really, and a mess.

Self conscious as I am, I do put on makeup when I leave the house, even if it’s just to buy bread or something. It makes passing by a mirror somewhat easier to deal with as well. But I got to the point where I sincerely long to dressing up and going all the way with makeup… Not just mascara, but eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, everything I can find here (which isn’t that much after all). The only makeup thing I have done now, is nail polish. I don’t think I’ve ever had such well done toe and finger nail polish. Seriously.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

The hair, well, that’s more of a bun, if you want to call it like that. In reality it’s more like hair surrounded by a rubber band (the ones you use for hair, not like car tires).

Physical condition: hypochondriac.

Insomnia has been kicking in, I’m hungry all the time, headaches, chest ache for the moment, and so on. I’m always convinced I’ve got some terrible illness, but that’s probably not true. I mean, everyone has aches every now and then. I just wish I could sleep well. That would be so great.

Mental condition: happy as ever.

Hehe. I’m not really the shiny happy person who’s always optimistic. Things have been better, things have been worse. My self-esteem has decided to go on a holiday, but hey, he deserves it. He’s had a hard time after all. I hope he sends a post card.

Concentration: what’s that? Some kind of illness? It’s certainly not something I’ve got.

Desk condition: pretty crowded!

I’ve got like four piles of papers in the running, a book, Word documents, books I use to procrastinate, pens, pencils, movies I still have to watch, a Spanish fan (the ones you have in your hand. the automatic one has a place on the floor) and a stuffed pig. I’m not sure what to do with that pig. He’s kinda cute, and I got it once at a dance performance. Good memories. I’ll just let him be another witness of my struggle.

Knowledge condition: however much I’m trying to get all facts straight and in my head, I’m sure he’ll ask something I don’t know. Plus: it’s history I have to retake. Only the Polish, but all history is so tied together. Hurray hurray. I wish I had the feeling I know stuff, but I still feel like I don’t know anything at all. Like ‘Poland? It’s a country, right? Somewhere, I don’t know, south from America?’.

Only five more days to go.

Five’s not much.

Dear lord.

June

It was Mooselicker saying I should write poems on every month, so thank him if you like these.

It’s June, the sun has returned
(And guess what, my legs were already burned)
But now I’m inside, finals coming up
And I’m so tired I can’t even use rhyme anymore…