On Other People’s Advice

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Being a human being is, like, super difficult. Sometimes there are no seemingly /right/ moves, and lines you learnt from films, which were meant to be winning, lead-drop and conversation stop. Problem pages are retro and all you post-millennial kids won’t even know what that is but, basically, any answer one person gives claiming expertise, is almost certainly wrong, if it’s on something subjective like love or sex or friends or just how to make a decision. (Although I’d really like to learn how to comprehensively make a decision: why don’t they teach that in school?)

And I’ve read self-help books. I’ve clutched that shit like it’s Bible-accurate (erm…) and stuck to it even if my heart wanted the opposite. I felt misguided pride at listening to advice and not being the dumb bitch the book said I’d be if I’d given a second chance that time I kinda, sorta, wanted to give a second chance. Even though on TV they always, always give the second chance (Hello Jordan Catalano).

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And that’s a problem, isn’t it? If advice implies you’re a thick bitch, fucking stupid, to do the opposite of what’s instructed? Even if it’s seriously what you want.

I read a lot of internet articles and forums and threads, to see what’s said, like maybe I could piece together the perfect instructions from various locations. But I usually end up more confused, or with labels I didn’t know existed, and never with the answer I set out to get. Because I’m pretty sure that, even if it’s deeply buried, we know what we want to find when we seek advice. We hope there’s justification for what it is that we’ve done, or that maybe we’re not alone, and that there’s a way forward, and a template to help us navigate it. Y’know, the way we keep giving Ben Affleck chances to be a human again, against our collective better judgement.

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I guess it’s sort of sadly that this year I’ve learnt even people I thought were close, didn’t always have my best interests at heart. They might not want to fuck me over intentionally, but some people’s advice giving is more to do with justifying decisions they’ve made in their own lives than helping you with yours. By convincing you to make the choices they have, it validates their life and decision-making. And I choose to believe that none of the terrible advice I received this year was vindictive, that is was always the best answer the person had at the time, according to the compass they use to navigate the scattered territory of their own life. But the judgement weighed heavy. Especially when all I wanted was a person to listen.

Morality’s also at play, and it’s like some people never saw an episode of an American TV show (read Felicity, Scandal, Nashville, etc.), and still think there’s such thing as a concrete right and concrete wrongs. Like, for reals. But there isn’t, not in the polarising, religious, youth group, patronising commandments sense, anyway. Life is super fucking complicated. And this needs to be taken into account. 

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If someone asks your advice, tells you something that happened, something they did, something they’re thinking, listen to them. And find out the context, because context is bloody important. If someone’s asking at all, they’re probably not after a lecture, but an opinion, someone to take them seriously without judgement, who won’t tell them they’re going to hell or, to a lesser degree, that their actions are bad and they’re not a good person anymore. I mean, maybe they are a shitty person. Especially if they’re friends with you. But stock advice has to stop. We’ve got to be kinder to the people we like and love, and tailor our responses to that.

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At times, other people’s advice bites. I just really want you to rely on your own head and your own heart and your own gut. Which is totally easier said than done. But if you could even 10% not give a shit what other people think, you’d be so much happier. Immeasurably so. You’re probably not a bad person, anyway. Life is just hard. Do what makes you happy. And fuck anyone who makes you feel anything less than Jennifer Aniston: a total fucking goddess, yo!

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Loser

Cellophane wrap or sealed pack or paper bag: clutch me. Try not to drop me.

It, this, crept like damp from the doorway until there was mould along the skirting.

I consciously partook in phone calls and friendings and 56,000 FB messages.

A lie would be I was absent for it. I was absent very little of it.

And now, history book months later, all I want is that wheezing breath next to me.

Hearts suck. Seriously. I mean.

hate you

Forever

How do you make decisions of forever in slip-moments? When words are so untrustable. If he’d left notes, too, on slips of paper in pillow cases, in make-up cases, on your shelf behind the clock, you’d also question his authenticity like your friend’s Uggs she bought from an online shop for less than half the price.

How do you choose the right thing when everyone weighs and already your skin buckles with the weight of rigorous schedule?

How long will you question and quest?

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Scratch

I had this dream, or it was like 5 dreams, in 9 hours sleep; you were scattered between 3am and 11, in fabric-like fragments, and each extra doze was a salt pinch of you, until I couldn’t close my eyes more.

You finished playing, and in the green room after, someone wanted a photo, so you stood on the ledge with the others. The open window was a straight drop but no-one was phased. I felt the outside air buffer you, and when they all got down, untwining arms from you, I felt you waver and, instinctively, pulled you down, took your hand even if etiquette said don’t. And that was enough to start it.

I don’t know who asked. Whose idea it was. But we said let’s spend some time alone, to see; we both agreed.

The rest’s a badly cut movie, jumps making the narrative incoherent, if incomparable. I trawled strangely linked hotel rooms, mostly empty. But, remember this: we kissed like a TV kiss, where you can’t but you kiss because the script dictates. And even if it didn’t, you’d do it anyway, because it’s a dream, so why fucking not?

And that’s the essence of it, like a retina scratch, not on an eye but the screen of a MacBook, so all the more serious. I’ve been looking at it all day. You’re not online. But you’re writing this shit too. I know that you are. Will you always be writing it, the way that I’ll always be writing it? Do the words urge?

make it

Lame Quit

One thing they instilled, mum and dad, was don’t quit. Like quitting is a bad thing. It can be. And church did this. You try. Trying is what people do. And if you don’t, you’re dead, basically. If you’re not slogging for something, regardless of want, you’re not alive. That’s hindsight fucked.

There are things I’m glad I never quit, though I was truly tempted, like, my teaching degree and Grey’s Anatomy and writing, generally. And there are plenty things I wish I quit sooner like Girl Guides and The Walking Dead and this one unnameable ex who thought I was a name-change away from being a fixer upper. But I’m not and was never.

A sense of duty pins me: doesn’t it everybody? Makes decisions tricky, because what if a little trying is all it’d shoe-shine take? I weigh it all up like I’m un-fault-able electronic scales but, truth is, I’m in the aftermath of an earthquake, and even if my mind is conducive and lucid, I’m surrounded by bricks. I better start picking those up.

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Didn’t Work

You might think the things I say are completely correlated to alcohol consumption but, you know what? I’d say them sober, or think, at least. My January thoughts, through June, have been book burned, totalitarian-ed, because they’re not norm-fitting, the way A-levels ask. And I should’ve learned better. If you were my tutor. That’s a thought I had earlier, actually, but I can’t write it to its conclusion. I’m too prim. But my brain will go there. Repeatedly.

I realise you tried to shut talk down purely from a proprietary standpoint. But I’m past that. You must know that I’m past that.

And that ridiculous stuff you wish I’d not said but I said anyway because a quart of cocktails does that. You pointed out, I  blogged  back in February. And nothing’s altered. I’m still fucked. Stuck. Rotating the same problems like I’m roasting the underside. But the ridiculous stuff I didn’t say out loud to you, trust, I thought it every time I looked. Really: every. Sorry.

I was never after a response of the same. It ain’t simple, babe. What it is, is, genuinely, I thought I’d never feel it. It’s clearly just a blip. TTYN. Or always. Who even knows which?

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Coincidence/Superstition/Serendipity

You say it’s all we have. Not us but, like, everyone. There’s no actual god, just these moments of total coincidence which make our feet rock and stomachs scrunch like cellophane wrap, which tie us. We’re tied like turkeys with string.

I’m cautiously superstitious, if a person can be, total doubter, holding on to the tiniest hint there’s sparkle in chaotic disorder. Because all I’ve got is chaos, when you think about it. I’ve been trying to memory foam sink in it, but it isn’t working. The turmoil doesn’t get easy. It’s steady like water pressure: occasional tweaks make it work better.

This lady read my mind earlier. From small sentences, knew where I wanted to be, what I might do, that I was in ____. And I wanted to believe Serendipity badly. The movie. That crossed paths meant something. But I could never take it seriously. And star signs, drilled like religion, practically the brain blemishes, identifiable as fucked-up-ness. Who cares what compatible is?

If coincidences really mean something, what about dreams? Books don’t know, and the internet’s a misinformation plethora, But I want to know what my dreams mean. Because last night it was everyday, and everyone overreacted, but it was us and it was okay. And you held my hand momentarily. You took it. And I want you to keep on doing that. Would you do that again, please?

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Wax Wane

If you’re dead wood, what am I? Deader? Or algae growing on wood, ready for a scrape, or shade, power washer.

I instruct you how to block someone even though you’re versed in blocking me, just, maybe not when I’ve already blocked you. Strange how a thread disappears, a confusing edit making a 52 message string almost incomprehensible; people balking at nothing.

But we don’t balk, really. We’re blitzed and escalation sits bemused on our eyeballs. And really, I didn’t digest a thing which happened the last 6 months, or before, and I don’t see how I’m going to. Because the future is this unthinkable thing, you know? This unpredictable, potentially awful, ungrabbable, unimaginable, not-Disney-movie, piece of shit to plan for.

So if the choice is mine, like, seriously, and I get to pick anything I think will make me happy, then, what should I? How much longer can this wax and wane fester, like yesterday’s guac? And what’s with the wait?

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I’ll Take Us Right Through From Sunrise To Sunset

I want to hate like a magazine misquote. The ingrained, un-heal-able stitch hate, there’s always a reminder of. I thought that’s what this was.

Lily Allen can’t win: offending somebody somewhere whatever it is she says and for every person saying I have a sound mind, all see-through Heisenberg blue, ten tell me I don’t and I’m not and what the fuck am I actually thinking?

Total privilege of being understood. How much I’d pay for, biscuit packets. I’m glad you don’t roll cigarettes, though it’s better than licking envelopes. The gum’s not gluten-free, you know? And neither’s my shower gel.

Domestication’s the death of me for un-obvious reasons. Because looking at you like this, is, insert adjectives here. Shit, I think all of them.

__________. ____________. ______________. ❤

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I Keep Waiting

Expiration dates are loose and, like, wartime was tough, Mum says, not that she was there, and people ate tins ten years after, and they were okay. No-one’s going to blog about how brilliant old food was but it was better than nothing and that’s the sort of country this is: rationing’s ingrained like defects and illness developing slow like adaptations of books to TV shows, and Jennifer Aniston’s hair colour or, I guess, several colours at any one time because I can’t achieve that gold, no.

I wonder if we’ve a sell by, if we didn’t play out the exact arc of what this is, think we’re due a re-run for a singularly unacceptable blip. But some broadcasts don’t get a DVD release because the music royalties are too high, and when they switch in songs it’s never the same. Think you won’t notice, but you do, and half-fake is worse than full: a broad daylight cheat we’re not brazen to try.

But it’s not a repeat. It’s not the same for me. It’s rooted in a bagful of unrepeatable things, but it’s new, like a reboot but better because what reboot’s even good, actually? It’s like all those TV couples, dead now, you wish had met at other times and started then instead of fucking everything so spectacular-royally the first time. You think you fucked things up for me, even slightly; you didn’t. My medicine’s monthly, but don’t make me wait long like that. I can’t even take it.

An inscription in the front of a book in the charity: “To do something about this. When’s the time limit? Cross fingers, I won’t miss it.”

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