14 November 2011


I’ve written a lot about writing before. And I’ve written about not being able to write, too. But the thing with me writing is that when I actually do sit down and write (which is, unfortunately, becoming less and less frequent), I do so with an idea in mind. A thought, most commonly. Something that I have intellectualized and analyzed and considered in various ways before committing to putting those thoughts into prose.

But then something happened last week.

I had been feeling like shit for a while, so I finally decided to have myself checked out by a nurse at the university. She found some lumps in my throat and recommended that I see a doctor immediately. Before you freak out, it turned out to just be a viral infection back there. Sure, it sucks, but I can handle it until it goes away.

But at that time, I was so freaked out, and so frustrated with everything that when I got home, I sat at my computer and wrote. Because I was so exhausted, my normal filters weren’t up. I wrote what I felt.

When I re-read what I had written, I was taken aback. Those pages were full of things that had been lingering in my head, not daring to come to fruition or unable to do so because I couldn’t find the right words. I had gotten to a point where I couldn’t have them in there anymore, and when I saw them all spelled out, I was scared. Shit got dark.

I did something that I had never done before. Instead of publishing, I sent the document to my mom, who, after reading said document, almost cried. What sort of person wants to make their mother cry? Needless to say, I didn’t upload.

I believe in expressing oneself. But I also believe in discretion. There are some things that I don’t feel comfortable sharing with strangers on the Internet. So sue me.

Reading that document made me realize something. I didn’t realize how much was actually getting to me. Yes, my first instinct is to think rather than feel. I may put on a tough act. But I am not invincible, and no one (besides me) expects me to be. I am not impervious to the sudden darkness, or to being alone in a foreign country, or to being frustrated with a body that can’t keep up with my mind.

But I am not fragile either.

So bring it on, Swedish winter. I can take you, mind, body, and soul.

Maybe posting this after a week’s worth of analysis on the incident is counterproductive. But hey, at least I’m writing.

06 November 2011

fortress of solitude

So, for some inexplicable reason, I am currently enjoying the second break of this semester. Not that I’m complaining. Stockholm University gets me. But, while my peers whisked away to various locations around Europe, I decided to stay put. Except, it wasn’t an actual conscious decision on my part, but rather an absence of a decision. My point is, I am here. And it is amazing.

I have this entire week to see Stockholm with fresh eyes. I walked around Central Stockholm as a tourist again yesterday, eyes wide open. I didn’t have to rush to class or to meet anyone. I got to be selfish and do everything at my own pace. I was planning on going to Gamla Stan today, but I decided that I woke up too late, so I read and cleaned my apartment. My life is terribly difficult.

While being alone is among my favorite things, I couldn’t help but notice that it emphasizes certain characteristics of mine that are a bit disturbing. For starters, I’ve been wearing the same shirt for the past two days. Of course, pants do not accompany this shirt. I have also found that it is entirely possible to subsist on coffee, but I know that I’m going to have to make a change soon.

But the most disturbing things about being alone is that all I hear are my own unfiltered thoughts.

A couple days ago, I noticed that there was the unpleasant sensation that something was lodged in my throat. It wasn’t painful and didn’t constrict my breathing, but it was annoying and even now I am very aware of its presence. No matter how violently I coughed or cleared my throat, the feeling persisted. I drank hot tea with honey, swallowed large quantities of bread, and even gargled with warm salt water (which can only be described as leaving the feeling of drinking hot ocean).

Finally, I inspected the back of my throat with a handheld mirror and my desk lamp. Then, I realized that I don’t exactly know what a normal throat should look like, so there is a possibility that something could be wrong but I simply wasn’t trained to spot it.

In a panic, I googled possible medical reason why I would feel this way. Biggest. Mistake. Ever.

Correction. Using Google Image search was the biggest mistake ever.

I was bombarded with images of strep throat and throat cancer, as well as lists of symptoms for the aforementioned that may or may not correspond with my condition. Of course, one website mentioned that it could be due to stress, so the best course of action would be to not think about it and calm down. Clearly that person does not understand how a hypochondriac functions (or does not function). I cannot stop thinking about whatever the fuck is back there, and I am far from calm. And, since there’s no distraction from it, I keep chugging tea and eating bread with the hope that it’ll just go away.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to do some more reading and figure out what I want to do for the rest of the week.