Untitled Novel #1

Chapter One

-Where do you want to go?

I hear the question, but I can’t respond. Not now. And most of all, I don’t really know the answer. The Snake insists, high on his tree branch.

-Where do you want to go, young Sir? You know you can’t stay here, don’t you? And you also know that you won’t be young forever. One day you’ll be old and you’ll remember this moment. Don’t you want to go in the right direction?

I still don’t answer. The Snake looks at me, with his piercing eyes, as though he could see through me. WIthin me. I guess he’s looking for answers. I am too.

I look at my surroundings. It’s weird here; not really nice, not really welcoming. The ground is hard, dry, arid. Nothing has grown here in a while, except for the tree the Snake is standing on, of course. Except for him and me, there is not a single living creature around. I don’t really know where I am, to be honest, but I know I am not lost.

I am now thinking hard. Thinking of all the roads, ways, paths, that brought me to this very place.

Love is like a Lazy Afternoon

Raindrops ticking on the window,

I can’t hear them; you’re all I see.

Your love around me like a shadow,

Take me back to that Sunday spree.

 

Why the need for fancy? I ask.

Us two, wrapped up in a blanket,

Netflix and chill, maybe a flask,

And a morning at the market.

 

Some may want diamonds, flowers, gold,

I just want peace, love, and freedom.

These moments make us infinite,

And that is all I want from life.

Doubt.

Light as a feather,

but dark as a shadow,

Doubt comes, crippling,

but passes, then goes.

 

Never had it occured to me, that in my life,

Doubt would become somehow, such a powerful ally.

From a comfort zone, it pushed me forward,

allowing me to create, and perform my art.

The Summer of Diet Culture or How to Look Good in a Bikini?

May. The weather is getting a little warmer everyday. Flowers are blooming in the gardens, and the bees are making their comeback. Along with these lovely things, each and every year come the pressure of preparing your body for summer. Women’s magazine flourish on newsstands’ stalls, their glossy covers providing advice on what to eat, how often to workout, and how to dress to finally lose these last 3 lbs and look good in a bikini. On social media, all influencers are trying to sell you skinny tea or a gym membership, always with the same argument : “Summer’s right on the corner, don’t you want to feel good in your bikini?”

I’m not going to lie to you; I have been a slave to diet culture for more than a decade. I always felt like my body was to be improved, that it was under construction, and with each new spring came the crazy run to lose weight quickly to be in shape for summer. I was never satisfied with my body, because it did not look like the those of models you see in the magazines, but mostly, I was never satisfied with my body because society was telling me that I shouldn’t, couldn’t be satisfied. According to surveys, 90% of women are not satisfied with their body. Feeling like having weight to lose is normal in today’s society. Have you ever try telling someone that you don’t want to lose weight for summer, that you’re fine with your body just the way it is, that you workout to exert yourself, not to lose weight? I have. People are suspicious. They don’t really believe you and think this is all an attitude, because, in the end, having the perfect body is that everyone wants, right?

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” “Abs are made in the kitchen”. “I’m not dieting, I’m changing my lifestyle.” “This month’s diet is next month’s body”  –

We all know these little sentences, we all have integrated them, yet we don’t realise how offensive and dangerous they are. Aren’t you tired to be dictated how you must feel about your body? Aren’t you tired of feeling like you’re not enough the whole.damn.time? My journey to self-love and body acceptance began 3 years ago, and I have decided that this summer 2017 would be the one when I would proudly display my body on the beach, breaking free of the chains of diet culture. During those 3 years, I haven’t lost weight. Quite the contrary, what I lost was the feeling of guilt when I eat “bad” food; the notion of what “good” and “bad” food are; and the need to conform to a standard that is simply not attainable. I have gained 20 kg, and my whole self-esteem back. I can wait to flash it to everybody who will try to impose their judgemental views. Will you join me?

I Feel Fat Today…

Gosh I feel fat today. Fat is not a feeling, they say. Right, but it’s how I feel right now. I say “how I feel”, because, objectively, I am not fat. I have some body fat, as does any normal human being (and I hate the word “normal”, but still) but I am not what would be considered as a fat woman.

I have always been self-conscious growing up, and as far as I can remember, I have always struggled with body image, loving myself one day, hating myself the next. I think that has a lot to do with the way my mom behaved, praising my beauty and intelligence whilst despising her own physique. My mom has been dieting all her life, and it was very important for her to teach me nutrition; she didn’t want me to be in a lifelong fight with my body and my weight, as she did (and still does). Here I am, nevertheless; a self-love advocate, crying over my squishy tummy on my bedroom floor.

Does that make me a hypocrite? Don’t get me wrong, I feel very good about myself most of the time. This little voice inside always comes back though, at times when I am a little more vulnerable: when I am trying on new underwear, or when my really hot 20-year-old colleague wears a particularly revealing outfit. The question is : “Where does that little voice come from?” I now it is hard for us all, women in particular, to feel good in our own skin, since society is so mean to us and always willing to impose its standards. The thing is, when I am trying to rationalise my issues, I always come to the same conclusion: I do not have any valid reason to feel that way. I check nearly, if not all, society’s imposed boxes, and I still can’t reach a perfect peace of mind, or an absolute self-love. Torturing myself with this thoughts, refusing to watch my own reflection in my bedroom mirror, it suddenly hits me: I can’t, and will never, check all of society’s boxes, because it is truly impossible! Everybody has a role model, an example of an ideal body in mind that they would like to resemble, but this model is different from one person to the other. Society imposes its vision of perfection, and of “what must be”, but doesn’t acknowledge perfection. You will always find someone to criticize you, no matter how good you look, how smart, or kind, you are. We tend to dismiss this simple fact, making us forget that what we think of ourselves when we take a look in a mirror is not really our thoughts, but merely a reflection of society’s ruling.

In society, there’s so much about what a woman should be, and, of course, it’s just so unobtainable. You can never become that thing, because it’s such a projection.” – Agyness Deyn

Now that I have realized that, I have decided to come to terms with the fact that I cannot feel good about myself all the time. And you cannot either. We should not ever feel that way, but it doesn’t mean that our feelings are any less valid. When you feel it coming though, when you begin to hear that little voice telling you that you are not enough, don’t listen! Find coping mechanisms that will make you happy again. Set your ideals goals and stick to them, trying to become the best version of yourself you can ever be, based on YOUR OWN standards. Find your happy. Do what you want to do, for you.  

“My business is to create.” – a Story of Fear and Anguish in the life of an ordinary girl

“My business is to create.”  William Blake’s words are resonating in my head, as I am frantically browsing the internet, searching for the original quote, after tearfully watching P.S. I love you for the umpteenth time. This words are giving me life; it has awaken something in my mind, in my soul, I can feel it. But well – something awakens in me every now and then and all dies out as quickly as it came. I’m an artist that never produced anything – a frustrated and frustrating artist.

Okay, hold on, I’ve found it :

“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s

I will not reason and compare: my business is to create”

It’s from Jerusalem, The Emanation of the Giant Albion, and I have honestly no idea of the true meaning of this phrase (I must do my research; I am, after all, an English literature graduate). Still, it has ignited something in me and this time, I have to do something. Why now? Maybe because I’m not getting any younger, and that I haven’t done anything significantly interesting yet. I’m sure you know these kind of people; the ones who are smart, good-looking, who can achieve anything, but who basically do nothing, because they are too afraid to fail. Well, that’s me, and yes, I would slap the hell out of myself if I were to meet me.

Am I suffering from the “blank page syndrome” like countless other writers out there? The thing is, the blank page is not the one in front of me (which is, apparently, not that blank); it is my life. I will be entering my thirties next year, and my biggest achievement so far are my studies. Since I was a little girl, I have always known that I wanted to go to university, to study history and literature. I did, but what now that I got my degree? My dream job – writing for money – is not the easiest to get, especially in my country, but I feel like I have to try. In the masterpiece that I want my life to be (ah these artists! always the megalomaniacs…), my ambitions need to be fulfilled, and I need to trust the law of attraction. Of course I could let go of my artistic ambitions and get an office job, which could be slightly rewarding and well-paid, given my education. But how long will I last? I happen to have the answer, actually : two years. That’s how long it lasted the last time I tried, and trust me, that was my utter maximum. Maybe I am a misfit, not well-adjusted to this society. Even though it has been really enjoyable not to worry about anything more than my daily routine for the past two years, to be able to buy me and my loved ones gifts whenever I wanted, and to go on weekend trips wherever I wanted, I felt empty. Now, I’m broke, but I’m happy, as I’m trying to get my life back on the right tracks; I just keep feeling this fear. Fear that I won’t be good enough, or strong enough, to pursue my dreams. Fear that even though I like to say that I know myself rather well, I’m mistaken about my own needs and that sometime sooner than later I would give in to the comfortable office life once again because yes, at 30, you want to make money, to be able to travel and to put a little something on your savings account.

All this thinking leads me to another point : why am I writing? What is my aim? The answer is quite simple. Writing has always been a therapy for me; as an introvert, it’s easier for me to write than it is to speak. Recently I discovered that I was also hoping to help other people who were going through the same struggles as I did, so I guess it is as simple as it gets: if I don’t confront my fear right now, I won’t ever do anything with my life, let alone helping other people. After all, as an inspirational quote on a Pinterest board would say, Fear is only temporary, but regret lasts forever.