Remember to be humble
Remember to be nice
Remember to have backbone
Remember to have spice
Remember to be grateful
Remember to be fair
Remember, always humble
When breathing in the air
Remember to be patient
Remember, don’t be numb
Remember that it’s all okay
Even if you’re glum
Remember to be selfless
Remember the despair
Of those who walked before you
When breathing in the air
Remember to be cautious
But remember to have fun
Remember to be carefree
When dancing in the sun
Remember your sweet family
Remember how they care
Remember that we’re all the same
All breathing the same air
There are patterns in this world
Whose tip will not break from the tracing paper
Last night when you held me close
After I had sobbed into your arm
You called me by her name
And you did it so naturally that you repeated it
So softly, a much prettier name than mine
Same amount of syllables
You can’t look me in the eye sometimes
You find it much harder to lie to me in front of others
I am paranoid and obsessed
I want all of you, at my disposal
But you want the same
I always wanted to write a love poem
But I didn’t imagine it this bitter
I feel like a mentally exhausted, Valium-fed housewife
A broken Doors record spinning on an axis of madness
I don’t want to be left to my own devices
They are vanity, viciousness, Valium – in this state
I don’t know what to do except for
Fantasise about a malicious suicide
Born from the boredom of depression
I know what this feels like, I know how it goes
All I do is wait till it’s over
And then after that extended period
After the come-down, when I have my drugs again
I am alive
I relish the love that surrounds me and bathe in philosophical discussion
In my own mind and out loud I dance between
Theories which explain the why and the where and the way I am.
I can imagine a future of wealth and beauty and happiness
And I know what to do to make it my reality
Aware and Intelligent
And how many times have I been here
Don’t tell me I can’t have it my way
If I try my hardest why aren’t I entitled?
Because theory and reality are a cruel marriage of opposites
And I get tangled in the thick, emotional jungles of my mind
He calls them “rabbit holes” as if I am a naïve Alice,
He chides me, “What would you do without me”
But Alice is not the name he called me by last night.
Look at me, writing poetry about you.
I’m dying with you
Half the time
I used to tell Mum that I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could watch The Lord of the Rings every night and stay up as late as I pleased. And do decadent adult things, like eat cheese and biscuits in bed. And so that I had the authority to switch the channel on the TV away from the News (I had an unreasonable but insatiable hatred towards the Channel 10 TV news presenter Jessica Rowe). We are probably all too eager to grow up when we are younger – this transformation into an adult having seemingly limitless power. Mum used to say “you become an adult when you start taking responsibility for your actions”, which I thought was utterly trivial at the time (she’s right). Now that I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult (self-sufficient – employed & studying) I can’t help but revel in flittering moments that have made me actually feel adult, as well as moments that I had previously imagined would prove that shift towards the gold standard of becoming a grownup – but didn’t.
- Each of my roommates and I have our own shelf in our fridge, and my recent addiction to mineral water resulted in a grotesquely over-sized purchase history of the carbonated sugarless drink. The aesthetic of having around 7 Schweppes bottles (of varying infusions) on my fridge shelf had conjured in me this brief moment of utterly adult satisfaction.
- For over a year now, I have held onto the same pair of sunglasses. This might be about the sunglasses and upkeep of responsibility attached to accessories, however the constant in my life of these sunglasses represent a stable identity. These are my sunglasses. Not only do the sunglasses belong to me, but I belong in the sunglasses.
- I relish using idioms and clichés to the point where it is idiosyncratic makes me feel senile (in the best way for a 21-year-old). I have specific phrases that are the best: “Far out”; “Classic”, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”, “You know what they say… (Insert ANYTHING)”; “You win some you lose some” etc etc. I have found this to be a particularly useful dialect because it means when I’m tired but don’t want to be rude, I can calmly switch on my autopilot mode and use most of these phrases in any situation. The beauty of this system is that because I use these idioms in my speech anyway, people don’t really notice.
- When I lost my virginity, I expected some kind of thrill of adulthood to rip up my spine in a tingling sensation alongside the elusive “orgasm”. I didn’t get either, and wasn’t any more mature after the fact of it anyway. It was kind of just another tick off the list of firsts.
- I thought perhaps when I would find my first grey hair – or wisdom hairs, as mum calls them – it would be a marking on my passage through time. Perhaps by that stage I would have been fulfilling my fantasies of lazing around a palatial garden, donning Abercrombie and Fitch active wear and sipping on obnoxious martinis. But I regrettably ended up locating one on my scalp at the tender age of 15 – what an anticlimax.
- When in my mid-teens, I would imagine the grandiose feeling of not being asked for ID every time I wanted to make a purchase of cigarettes. I stopped being asked for my ID about 6 months ago. It literally just stopped out of nowhere. At the start I thought this was a brilliant turning of the tables but now, I’m just kind of offended. I hope I don’t look over 25? When I was younger I certainly didn’t think I would be worrying about how I was aging at 21.
- Owning a pet always seemed like an adult role – having the responsibility of another life as well as your own. When I finally had the financial stability to do so, I realised that buying a pet at this age could be a bit irresponsible, considering sometimes I still forget to feed myself. Moments of defying a pleasure-seeking impulse are defining. This inaction was more powerful than if I had pursued a kitten.
- After working in the corporate world for 6 months, I started to see everything as a business – the naivety of assuming a doctor is there to assist you and only there for that purpose passed without a second glance. I developed a twisted cynicism with regard to any institution. The most profound was the realisation that Melbourne University was probably one of the biggest businesses in Melbourne. The year before I first started university, two thirds of the students who had been accepted into the law discipline had been upfront fee-paying students. It could be just coincidence…
- When I was in high school, the boys used to ask the girls things like “Do you shave your pussy?”. This was absolutely horrifying, but there was obviously a pressure stemming, not only from that pubescent, hormone-fuelled high school culture, but also the massive paradigm of pornography that exists, for women to shave their pubic hair. I started doing this when I was about 15, which was perhaps (to some) a signal of sexual maturity – having purpose in the way that you land-scape your “lady-garden”. It was when I stopped doing this that I felt more like a woman. Hair grows for a reason, and wanting to look like a pre-pubescent girl downstairs is some kind of horrifying reflection of what society seems to value.
- I bought a membership to Adair’s after a particularly brutal day at work. The politics of an events management role is pretty much the whole role itself. I purchased a quilt cover set that day as a treat to myself for making it to 5:45pm without an intense and public conniption. Having a lovely bed-spread that is clean and comfortable is one of the small pleasures in life (even though it is a bit bourgeoise). It’s a microcosm of learning to love yourself.
- Maybe it was when I started writing this fragmented memoir.