Daughter of Fire and Smoke

The journey to self-discovery is turning out a lot differently than I presumed it would be. it isn’t roses and rainbows and cute quotations from Instagram posts or even motivational videos that leave you ecstatic the first few seconds after watching them. It’s proving to be a slippery slope where the only way you can go is down. Swimming in muddy waters. You build yourself up throughout the years. You plan and dream about the kind of life you want for yourself.

You visualize the person you long to be, throwing empowering adjectives here and there as if you’re making up an avatar, then you spend every waking hour fighting to be that person and have their life.

You do it so often, and so blindly that sometimes you lose touch with your reality. Tragically, sometimes you even lose track of the person you are now. The person who is present in your life and is split between the rosy dream and the painful reality. What happens when all these things unfold?

You start to become someone who is a bit of both. A woman you don’t recognize when you look in the mirror.

She’s growing under your skin and fighting to be le out. She’s the product of pain and struggle. She’s wise and as real as could be. She’s quiet and reserved. A little bit selfish and a lot more distant. Her eyes don’t sparkle with the fire of a thousand suns like they used to, they have grown darker to hide their depth. Her smile is no longer open and inviting. It’s reserved and almost never there, like a long distant relative. She is not brave. She’s hungry. she’s starving to find meaning in this small existence of hers. So she lies low, like unprovoked fire. She is present and waiting, sitting on a throne of rubble and stones. A stranger to even herself.

Random Thoughts

Life is not a linear line, it never was and never will be. Not for me, or anyone else. It goes up and down, back and forth, and pretty much in all possible directions.

It’s probably one of the hardest lessons I had to learn these past few years. I had to learn to console myself the way I would another person. Adopt a gentle tone as if I’m speaking to a skittish child. It’s okay to stay in the same place if you’re scared or confused. You don’t have to walk forward just because everyone else is. You don’t have to have an obnoxious Linkedin profile. You don’t have to own that white picket fence or go on that trip to Paris to feel like you are doing something.

It’s okay to sit in your living room and sip green tea with a warm blanket around you.

 I’ve been there before and it may seem like you’re anxious to be in a lot of places and keep thinking of all the things you could be doing but instead you’re stuck in a rut. I have felt these things before. They’re intense enough to drive you mad, but a walk by the beach can do you wonders. Maybe talking to a friend can also help. God knows I’ve tried it all.

I can’t control life and that is okay.

I can’t walk a straight line and I don’t necessarily have to. I’m not obliged to go the same road everyone else goes and that is okay.

I don’t want to.

I want to stop, see, feel, listen, and taste.

I want to keep looking for those missing pieces. Perhaps find new ones.

I remember one time I went into this antique shop, in a city five hours away from where I live, I just walked in and the moment my eyes landed on all those ancient items my heart wouldn’t stop racing. I felt alive and immediately wanted to know everything about every piece. I saw myself in those lives that were before me. Insignificant but also remarkably just there.

 I find myself in unexpected places.

Staying in one place used to drive me insane. Even the idea of settling down makes me break out in hives, but suddenly the idea doesn’t sound so bad. I am starting to crave stability and having a place to call my own.

 I just don’t understand this fear, or how it started in the first place. My thoughts are all over the place, yet I feel this strange calm within.

I can’t control how life unfolds around me, but I can at least learn to appreciate it.

Maybe I will always feel lost, but I’d rather have this fire burning inside of me pushing me to try harder than be left with nothing but smoke.

Ashes to Ashes. Dust to Dust.

I let myself sink.

I let myself crumble to the ground.

I reach out to life and come up empty but for ash and dust. The remains of what once was. the remains of what could have been.

I felt my knees fail me and my joints crack.

My soul clung stubbornly and tried nursing those ashes back to life. it craved colors and air. It refused to leave this machine of a body.

It got stuck in my chest and it built a prison around my heart.

Stone by stone.

Brick by brick.

A home of flesh and bone.

I reached out to life and my eyes burned out. unseeing.

The world is a blur. lights flickering in and out. Movement so fast it made me dizzy.

Voices loud, I could catch their whisper.

I let myself down and I don’t know to get back up.

I let myself drown and I don’t know how to break the surface of these murky waters. so thick and unyielding.

I don’t know how to come up for air.

I don’t want to try anymore.

I let myself go

Teetering on the edge of time

To go or to stay. I can’t make up my mind.

I always thought it was unfair how we could only be one thing, do one thing, live in one place. lead a life with one dimension. same faces, same streets, same sounds. The idea of going through these same things everyday makes me feel like someone is sucking life out of me. I figured this out a long time ago, I decided that I can’t commit to anything. I can’t belong anywhere, with anyone. My soul is like a chameleon, It survives upon diversity, It changes color and it thrives only in change.

Commitments make me feel caged, imprisoned. I must have been a traveler in a previous life, because this craving I have wasn’t born with me. it feels as old as time. It even smells like ancient artifacts and musty books. I once started reading a book about a woman who’s cursed of living forever, but is never memorable. people forget her the moment their eyes lose the sight of her. she can’t have a family, she can’t fall in love. she just exists without a trace. It felt way too familiar and scary. I never finished that book. I don’t know what happened with her or to her, and I have no desire to find out.

I want to stay and I want to go. I want to be everywhere but never stay too long. I want to touch lives and leave happiness behind. I want to eat good food and watch sunsets and sit in my porch surrounded by trees. Even as I’m writing this I feel weird. my soul is constantly looking for something, It always feels like something is missing. Behind every beuatiful moment there’s a secret wish that I can’t translate into words.

I keep looking and I don’t find anything. I’m not sure what I’m looking for. I’m not even sure I’ll ever find it. what will happen if I find it? maybe that void of desire will finally feel whole. Maybe not. it’s the curse of the lonesome. Eyes wandering and soul searching. One life is not enough.


Dear paperboy,

I’m listening to Adan in a place thousands of miles away from you. different faces, different smells, different sounds. It’s all so different. A little bittersweet.

Before I turned on my laptop, I had this word go round and round in my mind.


I’m not a tree but I feel as if I am. My roots run so deep it hurts when I try to move away from them. It hurts now because I know I must stay away, For me.

Before I left I refused to say goodbye, I thought I’d go back. I’ll surely go there one day and see you again, and maybe tell you all about it. I was trying to find myself but instead I found you. I went on a quest to find myself and I left you behind. These words don’t even make sense to me but they’re all I have.

I think about you a lot, I can almost see you. shelving books and nodding to people, left and right. patting children on the head and adjusting that damn cap you never go without. Sitting in the corner and looking up every few seconds, glancing at me.

I want to tell you everything that happened and everything I’m feeling. I want to unfold in front of you and I know you’d listen to every word and take in all that I have to say.

I found somewhere new. A place that I’ll call home from now on. so far away from you and it hurts, but I’m doing it for me. I hope one day we can sit together and all this will be a memory of that time we were strangers. I hope you think of me sometimes and you wonder where that girl went and why she’s no longer around. I hope you’re happy wherever you are. I hope that when I write my first book you’ll read it.

I wish you well.

Breathing lessons

I’m learning to float. I’m learning to get back to myself.

Take back what I had, What I want, What I owe myself.

I’m learning to stay afloat in the deep end. Deep breaths. My chest caving in and out. Breathing life into these lungs of mine. Legs moving in soft, smooth motions. These legs that I walk on everyday. Legs that have carried me since I learned how to walk. My arms tread water gently. we’re on a truce. I would be gentle and it would caress my skin softly. Keep me up. I’m learning to trust.

I can’t see much, But I see colors. and that is enough. Blue of the vast sky. Green of the trees and grass, and white. White of the small butterfly that keeps coming and going through the low branches. She’s keeping me company. I feel wind, water, and sun. That’s all I ever needed. All I need.

Once upon a time…

Twenty-one years ago in a city that was then still colorful and bustling with life, there lived a little girl. Truthfully, that girl didn’t know much about the city. She lived in a safe bubble that included her home, her best friend’s. The fruit place across from it. Her school and the beach. Like any other girl, she was always accompanied by an adult. And even during those times where she was around other children she had nothing to say to anyone. Her eyes were the only feature she used to express her feelings and needs. Day in, day out. She noticed the colors everywhere. The sky, the peach, and the watermelon. The grass and the ocean. Nature and colors were the first hints of magic she encountered in her early years. Then came the smells. She was addicted to the smell of chocolate chips and mint cookies. There was something about that smell that made her so happy in that way only little girls could be. More magic unfolded through time. She discovered a pile of books in her dad’s room one day, she was just learning to read so those words seemed like a big, exciting mystery to her. Her small hands and wide eyes skimmed the pages trying to make sense of what they said. She’d smell those books and touch the words, some of them were inked and some of them were printed. She couldn’t wait to be able to read them all. She wanted to read them all. It wasn’t long before she indeed read each and every book her dad had. Her favorites were one of crime. She was a kid, it was majorly inappropriate, but she inhaled those books and shifted through them so fast. Being outside didn’t interest her anymore, because there were monsters outside. It was safe in her room with her father’s books. As she grew older her interests didn’t change. All she wanted to do was read. More words, more pages, more books. More, more, more. One day, she started a new book written by that woman whose books she always read and re-read. All it took was a quick research to find out more about her. The woman who left her old life behind in her quest for more. Her inspiration. The little girl fell in love with books, dust, and ancient things. she dreamt of being an archeologist, digging up the lives of those who are long gone, and maybe finding herself in the process, but life had other plans, as it always does.

 That girl is me, I think. You see, I’ve been through the worst couple of months of my life. I’ve witnessed my greatest fear take shape and become a reality. My worst fear became a reality and in those weeks I’ve lost track of life. It started when my dad got sick. At first, I thought he had a cold! but then his face became paler and smaller. His hands trembled and he couldn’t hold himself up anymore. Surely, that couldn’t be right. He’s my dad. Nothing can happen to him. He’ll be okay, right?

As the days went by, he started getting better slowly. I started getting worse. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone because I was fucking terrified that if I took a deep breath and closed my eyes even for a second he’d be gone. It was a nightmare. I spent nights on end watching the night turn into day. Life went on, unsurprisingly, yet something halted within me. I didn’t notice it at first because all I did was cry. I cried in hospital corridors and in bathrooms and in cabs. Then there were no more tears for me to cry. Do you know that feeling when you cry so much you no longer are able to shed any more tears? it feels sober and yet so distant. Kinda drunk and still aware of everything?

Everything became distant and non-relatable. I wanted to call my friends and cry and tell them everything, but talking about it made it even more real. Even writing about it was out of the question. Suddenly I was overwhelmed by reality. A reality I spent my whole life escaping. It was then i realized that maybe that’s the problem, maybe i was wrong. Maybe life wasn’t unicorns and roses and happy endings. Maybe it wasn’t enough to just believe in my plans and surround myself with love. Maybe my to-do list and bedtime couldn’t save me. And maybe it was all a lie. Maybe I’ve been lying to myself. Maybe the words I’ve been reading and loving since i was a child are the reason all this is happening. I blame them. I blame books. I could’ve been normal, yet I still find myself hanging on every word i read. I still feel every letter in my bones and imagine scenarios and people. I imagine lives that aren’t my own and feel them under my skin. But what if the things that used to bring me joy don’t anymore? what if the person i was before doesn’t exist anymore. What if I can never read again ? or write?

I used to escape life through those books piled on the floor of my bedroom, now i can’t even look at them anymore. I kind of feel like a middle-aged woman who wakes up one day and decides she wants a divorce.

A poem

Love After love by Derek Walcott

The time will come when with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

At your own door, in your own mirror

And each will smile at the other’s welcome.

And say, sit here, Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine. Give bread.

Give back your heart to yourself.

To the stranger who has loved you all your life,

Whom you ignored for another

Who knows you by heart.

Sit. Feast on your life.

A moment of utter joy in a city full of ancient charm and magic. October 2019

A cracked heart( kind of)

I can close my eyes and pretend it never happened, he never happened. I can play it cool and be the forever chill me who doesn’t allow much to unphase her, but no. I’m allowed to process things out, to get them out of my system, and the only way I know how is to write about them ( of course, after crying my eyeballs out on NEW YEAR’S EVE).

It started like a fairytale of the realistic kind. From the first time I saw him I felt this crazy pull towards him, like I’ve seen him somewhere but I knew that wasn’t it. I would have remembered. I never forget faces. He was the one.

After I realized the dude was way out of my league, I stopped having crazy ideas about him, but then he had to say the magical words and I was all in. I allowed myself to fall head over heels for him, the classical way and any other way. I ignored my crippling fear of losing him one day and not having him in my life anymore. People with anxiety problems will get it. How painful it is to let your walls crumble and believe that the other person is worthy of being in YOUR zone, that they would never hurt you. you love them and make plans. you make promises you swear you’ll never break and you mean it. But then something happened and I all got was a text. a break up text.

I read the first words while still asleep ( I was napping, because naps are life) and I SWEAR, I swear I felt like something died inside of me. It was exactly like that feeling when they called me to say my grandpa died. EXACTLY LIKE IT. it must be a joke, right? like he can’t break up with me, OVER  a text! can he? he can, and he did. He did. he did. he . DID.

then follows the hiccups and ugly crying and ohgodwhy. then no eating for two whole days (which is so weird because food is life) and then the now, where I try to hate him for stupid things that I used to love. it’s so much more than that. Even as i’m typing this I know I’m not giving it my all. feelings can’t be rationalized and I never thought it possible that someone would have the power to destroy me, ( except for Leigh Bardugo) but he did. without so much as an explanation, I can’t put in words the immense pain I feel or the void he left, but I know that I’ll be okay, eventually. you see love is literally a drug. I’m talking about the Oxytocin or the hormone of love( as they call it),  that is released by the brain when you start loving someone. it’s an addiction. all you need for recovery is to minimize contact and get them out of your system.

The Floodgates

And as I go through everyday I keep wondering what it would be like if my life isn’t mine. What If I was born into another body, had another life. what if I had to fight for my life every second of everyday like some people. What if I was laying down on a hospital bed waiting for merciful death and regretting the chances I missed at living. What does it take to really start appreciating everything you’re blessed with everyday? What does it take to live your life the way YOU see fit? because when you lay your head on the pillow at night and go to sleep it’s just you there, the rest of the world disappears, shuts off. 

I’m such a coward, it took me years to try and figure out what I want, what could bring me true joy and just when I pieced it all together I don’t do a thing to make it happen. I just sit back and live my boring life, go to my boring job and settle, but I can’t do it anymore. I can’t. there is no other word for it. I can’t breathe easy anymore. it’s not my fault that I was born with an awareness of everything around me, such a sharp and heavy thing to carry around all the time. why couldn’t I be a traditional girl with nothing on her mind but settling into a safe job, get a car, get married, have kids, make a family, sacrifice myself for them, give it my all. be the perfect mother, and wife. CAN YOU SEE ME CRINGING?!!!

NO. that’s not who I am. 

the wishes that I whisper when no one is listening never involved any of those things. the words that my heart and soul keep repeating cannot be fulfilled that easily. The truth is, I have lives inside of me, stories, people, places, words, scenarios that keep playing on and on and on and sometimes I grab the closest pen and paper and write until my hand aches. sometimes I trace pictures of places I want to visit gently with my finger and wish I could go, if it was easy to just pack and leave. wouldn’t that be great?

The only reason I’m typing these words is my need to let them out, so while I’m at it, I promise I will not settle. I will find my own brand of happy and cherish it. I will satisfy my craving from this life. I will collect those moments that make warmth fill my chest and keep them for rainy days. I will find my way out there and keep going until there’s nothing left of me but my words.