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Saturday, April 22, 2017

[because the night belongs to lovers]

Two years ago, my last post had the subject of lyrics from an Ed Sheeran song. No one really knows this, but I love Ed Sheeran because of him.

I have lived in the city of London for over four months now. I moved across the world. I got the strength to do that because I believe my time is short. It's something I've felt my entire life - maybe it comes from a life of medical issues or being young when other young loved ones died. I don't believe living until 80+ years is guaranteed. I struggle to believe I will make it past 40. I have been that way for as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember the day I realised most people assume they will live into old age and I realised how strange it is that I have never felt that way.

Then the love of my life died at the age of 40 three years ago. He is the reason I am here, the reason I finally had the courage to do this thing. Despite my face, despite looking different, despite being alone. I don't have a husband, I've never had a long-term partner. But I've sat across from someone and listened to them talk about how they feel about the fact that they're dying and what they want for their funeral and have them tell me they haven't discussed this in these details with anyone. I don't know what is more true love than that. His experience of dying and his loss affects every aspect of my life (in a good way now for the most part) and I would not have it any other way. He is always with me.

I keep planning to start a whole new blog. I write all the time. I always have. I consider myself a writer before anything else. Another thing I've done my entire life. But I think I need to write publicly again, even if no one reads it.

I read a book last year about temporal lobe epilepsy, the type of seizures I have on occasion. A direct quote was, "They may also develop compulsive writing or unusually intense artistic or musical passion," and I just stopped short, because I had never seen a better summary of myself as a person. I have always written because I need to. When I want to write something (in my journal, in a Word document, on a random scrap of paper, in my phone because it's all I have) I have to do it or I can't sleep and I can't think about anything else until it's done. (Let alone this intense musical passion... Haha.)

Hmm, perhaps it's time to get around to that new-blog thing I've been planning to do.

maybe you're hoping for a fairytale too

Sunday, April 12, 2015

[you just need to breathe, to feel my heart against yours now]

I turned 30 recently and leading up to my birthday, people kept asking me how I was feeling about turning 30 and was I freaking out about it, etc. I'd joke about it, but I felt no concern about it at all. I was grateful to be turning 30. I am alive when so easily, for various medical reasons and mental health reasons (last year more than ever), that might not have been the case. I'm proud of the fact that I'm 30 years old, despite not having a husband or kids or whatever everyone seems to think is the normal thing I should be having by this age.

What date did "freak me out" this year, is today. I have been thinking about this date for many years in this year for a really long time. On this date 15 years ago, I had major surgery on my face and jaw. I spent 6.5 hours under a general anaesthetic. A month later when the swelling was gone and some of the bruising was gone (I was black and blue quite some weeks after I went back to school, but mostly not on my actual face), I looked in the mirror and thought, "This is what I look like. This is me." And I had no idea how I felt about that. It wasn't a huge change and I looked "better" to myself, but my face was different. And that is something no one else can understand how scary that can be when you're barely 15 years old unless they've been through it. It's part of the reason I love my work as an audiologist, because I see those kids and they have a professional in their lives (and they always have 5-10 of them that they're seeing all the time) that really, really understands what they're going through.

The reason this year's "anniversary" of that operation (which really, is actually only one of 19 operations I've had and 25+ general anaesthetics) has been on my mind for a long time is that it's 15 years. I was 15 years old when I had that operation. I had the face I was born with for 15 years (and three weeks). I've now that had this face for 15 years now. So from now, I have had this face for longer than my real one. I read some of my journals recently while I was packing them away into a box to move house soon and I read something on 12th April 2010 that said, "Imagine five years from now. How weird will it be knowing I've had this face as long as I had my real face for?" Yet, how can I look in the mirror every once and a while and still think, "Is that really me?"

But it is me. And I love my face. It's been through a lot of stuff and caused me a lot of crap, but I wouldn't be me without it: the face that I was born with or the face that I have now. Both are equally me.

After everything that happened in the last half of 2013 (both the happiest and scariest period of time in my life) and early 2014 (just the most devastating part of my life), that operation feels like nothing to me. But I know it wasn't. It was a decision I made for myself and I never regretted and something I'm also incredibly proud of.

All of my medical problems and history led me to feeling quite comfortable in hospital the very first time I visited a man I loved/love more than anyone when he'd just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and he said that it helped him feel calm because he'd never been in hospital before and still didn't know how things went.

Lots of things to be grateful for.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

[don't give up]

Without you in it, there's no point to our story.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

[twelve bands]

[twelve]

AFI

I really struggled with this last one (based purely on the music I would’ve put Jesse Malin, Against Me! or even Alkaline Trio), but I decided to put AFI because of what happened because of this band. I first heard them in early 1998, but didn’t really get into them until 1999. I only knew who they were because I decided to listen to all of the bands that were on Nitro Records, the label owned by Dexter Holland (lead singer of The Offspring). AFI were really hard to find here back then and you could only find their albums at 78 Records if you were lucky. I actually found Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes there once, then ordered Black Sails in the Sunset in after I became obsessed with Shut Your Mouth. I do still love a lot of their songs, even if there’s just as many (if not more) songs I don’t care for at all. The funny thing with this band is that the songs I DO like, I really love. Third Season, A Single Second, The Prayer Position, Narrative of Soul Against Soul, 6 To 8, Morningstar, The Killing Lights, Rabbits Are Roadkill on Rt 37, Veronica Sawyer Smokes, et al. I started reading their message board properly in early 2000. A huge amount of music I love came through reading that board; I properly got into Ryan Adams (further than just New York, New York which I found thanks to Rage) because of him being mentioned on there in 2000, I fell in love with The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Refused, Tiger Army, etc. And because of that band’s message board, I met two of my best friends online in 2003 (and in person five years later) and for that, I will forever be grateful.

Plus, meeting Hunter and Smith was pretty much the most amusing night ever (Adam/Davey/Jade were lovely, too, but you know). I told Hunter that they sure took their time to come to Perth for the first time (because their previous Australian tour when they FINALLY came here didn’t include Perth) and he said, “Don’t worry, we won’t skip Perth again. I think you’re my favourite Australian yet.” Pretty sure that’s only because I made fun of him and called him a doofus, though, while most of the other people just asked him to sign stuff for them. Then in between my going backstage to meet them and the show itself, Simone and I went out to dinner and were sitting at a table outside the restaurant when Smith, Jade, and Adam were walking down the street in our direction. I tried to quietly say, “So there’s AFI...” to Simone, but she was like, “What do you mean?” and after multiple subtle attempts, I just said, “AFI. Walking. Up. The. Street.” But she didn’t have time to have a inconspicuous look, because Smith saw me, ran up to our table, stole our table number, blew me a kiss, and ran away while Jade and Adam just laughed. Luckily he brought the table number back. Then he was hanging around the front when people were entering Metro City for the show when Simone and I walked past and most people were oblivious to his awesomeness, but he said, “Have a good dinner?” to me and I laughed. I like dorky bands, don’t I?

I’d throw away everything to live

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

[twelve bands]

[eleven]

Darren Hayes (including Savage Garden)

Savage Garden was my first introduction to real ‘pop’ music that I truly loved. I never really liked a lot of other pop music pre-2001, not because it was “popular” or mainstream, but because it just never appealed to me like the passion of a lot of punk/metal/rock music did. I think Darren Hayes is one of the most incredible songwriters in existence and very few people can write a true beautiful pop song like he can. His lyrics and melodies always make me happy, even if they’re sad songs. I can still listen to Violet and Affirmation on repeat, 16 and 14 years after I first heard them. I still adore the lyrics of Spin, find Crush (1980 Me) awesome, The Tension and the Spark is still one of my favourite albums ever, On the Verge of Something Wonderful and Me Myself & I can make me dance no matter what mood I’m in, The Future Hold’s a Lion’s Heart is amazing, the lyrics to Don’t Give Up and Hurt can make me cry and make me fall in love with pop music all over again at the same time. I will never not adore Darren Hayes, his music, and defend him to all the ridiculous haters, because he’s extremely talented and lovely.

I like the way you move in the dark

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

[twelve bands]

[ten]

The Clash

Before Paul Hester, Joe Strummer’s death probably affected me the most out of people that I’d never met. I will never forget sitting at the dining room table reading my book eating breakfast while my mum was reading the paper across from me when she suddenly went, “Oh my god!” and literally covered something up in the paper. I just said, “What the hell?” and she just said, “Oh, Linda, you’re going to be so upset about this.” My mum was genuinely concerned about how sad I would be that the lead singer of The Clash had died. That moment, more than anything before then or since, made me realise my mum really understands my love for music – even though she is where I got it from the first place, it still took me something like that to realise it.

What is there to say about The Clash? One of the seminal punk bands, influenced countless bands and musicians across all types of music, blah blah blah. All I ever cared about is how happy their songs make me. And as if there’s a better song in the world than Train in Vain. <3

Some things you can explain away, but my heartache’s in me ‘til this day

Monday, March 25, 2013

[twelve bands]

[nine]

Nirvana

I will never leave Nirvana behind. Without my brother having Nevermind and Bleach, I never would’ve found Hole as early as I did and at such a crucial part of my music life. It was the intro to Come As You Are when my brother played it for me one day that got me hooked when I was 11 years old, but it was Blew and About A Girl that really made me fall in love with them. I still have my brother’s copies of Nevermind and Bleach, because he never really got them back. The passion and the lyrics and Kurt’s voice is why I love this band, not because they are “Nirvana”. The beauty of Heart-Shaped Box and About a Girl and All Apologies and the screaming of Sliver and Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle and the music of Blew and Come as You Are and Floyd the Barber and the covers of The Man Who Sold the World and Old Age will never get old to me.

She eyes me like a Pisces