“There is no greater sorrow
Than to recall a happy time
Than to recall a happy time
Reminiscing on my teenage years - friendship with Zhi Hui, trip to Europe, long hair and bangs at various points, at least 10 kgs lighter, listening to Bon Iver in M's room under the blankets, cherry blossoms, simple friendship with Sarpedon, literature classes in the upstairs building with lots of natural sunlight, weekly email exchanges with Zhi Hui (anything from online shopping/books/movies/gossip to trauma/pain/grief/illness), matching outfits with Pod during her good days, living in a beautiful suburb with an abundance of local cafes and trendy hangouts, group holidays to the seaside with underage drinking, trips to the beach and stupid games of truth and dare, constantly sharing and exchanging music in the form of mix CDs and USBs, the comfort found in everyone openly accepting and discussing my sexuality (now it's up to me to come out to new friends and family and it sucks), Polaroids and 4-lens photo documentation, feeling fit and powerful in various different sporting pursuits, the way that others treated me with authority on topics such as periods, books and love life advice, Ellen doing my make-up before parties, feeling like part of Zhi Hui's family when I got invited to extended family dinners and birthdays, travelling to Borneo with school and sleeping in hammocks in the middle of the Sarawak jungle, dinners at Violet Bow's house on a Friday or Hagrid's place with yummy vego food, hobbies and extracurricular activities before everything became anxiety provoking (esp. music), late night texting, watching Fringe on the couch in my undies, op-shopping during spares or on weekends and experimenting with my style, the regulars at work, routine, predictability, in-promptitude sleep overs, pink streaks and ear piercings...
But there are things I don't miss - constantly holding it together, the fear of home, threat of violence, hospital visits and appointments, constant consideration of others need over my own (physical needs, preferences, likes, dislikes, moods, situations, traumas), the looming sadness and tight chests because no one was really listening to me and my experiences (unheard/invalidated pain), the absolute dread of year 12 Chinese and everything that entailed, the suffocation of an enclosed high school space (every corridor was a reminder, every teacher a memory), laptops that didn't work and internet switched off at 9.30pm, scratching at my skin till it bleed and following months of band-aids, concealer and shame, navigating the horrible world of acute psychiatric care for my suicidal girlfriend with minimal coping strategies or support systems in place, creepy bus drivers, judgements about the death of my god-mother leading me to tell no one and grieve alone, restrictive meals of almonds, cheese on biscuits, spinach and tomato sandwiches and a complete lack of interest in food for enjoyment, the various horrible fuckwits in the mental health industry who attempted to “treat” me and probably only reinforced the trauma, isolation and stigma of such diagnoses, crying on pavements because my best friend wouldn't speak to me with the care and respect I deserved, cutting obituaries from the newspaper, writing letters to grieving families, learning the lingo of childhood cancer, sitting with Sanchez in the sick bay til her panic eased, pretending to study and napping instead, shouting matches with my parents, picking life milestones to aim for in an attempt to feign enjoyment or delay suicide...
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” ―Marcel Proust