when you start to say ‘no’

It is difficult.

For far, far too long I have nodded, smiled, replied with a positive hum or obeyed blandly. The list goes on.

I am trapped by my obligement, by my demure and people-pleasing manner. I am fully aware it is ingrained into my nature, to avoid confrontation and to follow the simplest path that would include the least amount of stammering justification, muttered tangents of explanation from a small, unsure voice. I decided this option was superior to any other in the way that I was made ‘easy’ for people, that they would talk kindly of my agreeable and similar personality, that I would laugh at their meaningless humour and that’s why they kept me around or even spoke to me at all.

A bland, giggling creature with no particular opinions other than whatever the person they accompanied at that moment believed.

My life is guided by the stories of others, expelled from the books I read, the films I view, the voices I hear. I soak up their characters and their individual voices, views and opinions. I stare dumbly as they stand up for what they believe in.

They argue and debate and protest and disagree. They say no.

Their personalities burn brightly and they become all the more noticeable, it colours peoples’ perspective upon them and makes them immensely interesting. They converse with strangers and share their views and do not exist to please others. They are entirely their own person. It can make one somewhat bitter when a fictional character has a significantly more complex personality than they (a living person) does.

They don’t laugh to fill the silences that seep in between conversations. They do not smile when they do not have to, they do when they genuinely want to encourage someone or when they are happy.

I smile far too much to stay what I thought to be polite, but I found it to be dumbed down obedience. A 2-D personality plastered on cardboard designed only to keep the other person happy. No controversy, no disagreements, no colour. There is no spark behind my agreeable words.

Last Tuesday I disagreed with my music teacher.

My heart thumped and skipped and went cold as she blanched and turned away, before I smiled at myself in the mirror adjacent. Only because I wanted to.

Eilidh.

 

 

 

warped

To see your body, differently, in the way you experience it is disorientating at the least.

I walk through school hallways, my limbs feeling tangled and my arms absurdly long as I attempt to put one foot in front of the other in a clear, definitive manner. My thin hair feels like string and grease as it slides weightlessly yet heavily over my face despite having washed it the night before. My jaw is clenched and hands firmly remain in the pockets of a long grey coat that falls down to just upwards of the inside of my knees. My skin did not look too bad in the small mirror by my bedside that morning and my eyebrows appeared dark and obedient. My lips pink and my eyes massively circular.

I pass people of all different walks of life. Small and tall, pretty and plain, striking and strange, painted and pure. Ones that smell of cigarettes, deodorant, sweet perfume, sour perfume and chemicals. The thin girls with the good postures and the neatly tucked in shirts pass by, walking without staring at their feet and laughing even and open-mouthed amongst friends. I walk between many of my classes independently, none of my friends possessing an identical timetable of subjects, which gives me time to observe, to think, a paper-thin attempt to justify. I see them and I walk by and I know, they do not feel clumsy.

I am quite thin but I stand funny and feel heavy, with long arms and strangely circular, blue eyes. A small curved nose that is spherical at the end and an awkward walk, a puffed bottom lip and an even grin. Wrists with pointy bones, a fluffy uneven hairline, clumsy fumbling fingers.  I smell of nothing in particular but I feel slightly sweaty and unnerved. This was what I saw in the mirror, what I saw with my eyes and senses.

Through the eyes of my friends, their cameras and double mirrors I was told differently. I am thin and light with long arms and long, long legs. My eyes are blue and somewhat slanted above bruised bags, in the centre fits a small, arced nose. My walk is cautious and consistent of small, careful steps in big, heavy boots and I have pointy bones. Pointy bones in my wrists and collarbones and elbows and shoulder blades. My grin is crooked. I smell of something sweet but they don’t know what.

I do not feel like any of these things.

My mind tricks me and my frustration grows and my slanted eyes narrow and I do not know who I am.

A body dysphoria of everything from my manner to my walk, from my nose to my talk. I save every photo I infrequently appear in, I stare at them and try to figure out why I do not feel the way I look and I why I do not look the way I feel. The person I am stuck with the most fascinates me and disgusts me in equal measure.

A lock of thin hair slides across my shoulder, the picture shows my parting looking like a zig-zag instead of the neat, straight line I saw. My head is an odd shape. I thought I knew what category I belonged in, what league, what level. My eyes look like they are different sizes, my hands look smaller than I thought.

My warped vision looks away bemusedly after passing the thin girls in the hallway and guides its way through the weaving, chattering walks of life through the veil of circus mirrors. Never knowing, never understanding, never truly seeing.

Eilidh.

 

holidays

The occasional holidays throughout the school year are simultaneously a gift and a curse.

A break is always very much required, to be removed from the repetitive and somewhat pressurised environment and be left to one’s own devices. It reassures my introverted mind into a sense of temporary safety from the constant up-playing of personality; you see, a quiet demeanour, I was taught from a very young age, was a negative thing. If you were not confidant and sociable, extroverted and loud then you were not a successfully well-rounded person. As I have grown older, I have now seen this not to be the case however I am unable to break free from this fake mannerism, the flipped switch stuck. I am envious of those who have been able to maintain the solitary quietness, the kind where they look so sure and gently confidant in their silence.

However, aside from the positive effect a break brings, a brief period of isolation rings true.

I am not good at arranging things with friends, the first issue being my brain constantly second-guessing itself and whether my friends actually like me or not. The motivation to leave the house, a solid comfort-zone of mine, is not within reach. I barely possess said motivation for extremely important things such as revising for exams. The majority of my holidays have been spent inside the safety of my room, through no one’s fault but my own being and rubbish brain. Other than that, it has been walking through fields such as the one above with my earless dog and unknown music.

This sudden blog post arrives on the last day, the Sunday before the Monday. I am aware I am terrible with consistency in posting and I will try to improve, however the build-up towards prelims (mock exams) may prove challenging within my endeavour.

My work for school piles up rapidly through procrastination : I have art pieces that are disgustingly unrefined and of a bad quality that I wish to burn into ashes before my teacher even catches sight of them, unedited English portfolio pieces, unrevised¬† Philosophy and Biology notes and I haven’t touched a single History sheet since the Friday two weeks ago. I despise myself intensely. My violin is severely under-practised and I am dropping out a music group I was forced to be a part of which will only end in lecturing.

At the end of it all, I am taking control back over my life, in terms of interest and happiness, enjoyment and living.

Ever so slightly,

little by little,

Eilidh.