I’m starting to get so old I look back on my youth. Talking in nostalgic ways about how things once were, and trying to relieve the moments that can be relieved, or jump at the chance whenever I can do something that I never got to do. Tomorrow I’m buying tickets to a concert with The Libertines, a band I never got to see back when I was young and impressionable and a guy like Pete Doherty was the coolest thing there ever was in this world. Now it’s more a case of “I have to see them before Pete Doherty is no more,” and I have to pump myself up. I haven’t heard them in the last 6 or 7 years. But it’s good fun, I’m getting stoked! Good thing the concert is already in a month. I think the re-crush will be over quite quickly, but I’m glad it’s here. There are so many great reunions these years with bands I either never got to see when I was young and an obsessive fan, or bands that quit before I was old enough to appreciate their music or before I was even born. During the last year I’ve seen acts such as My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Neutral Milk Hotel. Bands I really never thought I’d be able to see live when first I discovered their music (Neutral Milk Hotel I didn’t even really love based just on their albums – their concert was a different story, though!). And now The Libertines. If Pete Doherty catches his plane. He was supposed to play here with Babyshambles a couple of weeks ago, where he missed his plane. Hope that doesn’t happen this time around.
But yes, I’m getting older. I read a quote in James A. Michener’s The Drifters earlier today that really spoke to me: nostalgia is not what it used to be. Both an absurdly funny saying, but at the same time it’s really how I feel sometimes. When I delve into nostalgia-trips, I sometimes feel like they aren’t what they used to be. Back when I was a teenager I used to dream about the simplicity of being a child. There was something so pure about yearning to be a kid again, dreaming of days with no responsibility, no mature thoughts of any kind, and just yearning to be able to get another go at that imagination that only children have, where everything in the world can be the start of a new game. Nowadays I dream of being a teenager, but not in a romanticized way. I dream of living it again, exactly like it was, with all its long days of pure self-inflicted pain because the world didn’t fit me or I didn’t fit the world or my shoes were just too tight. Whilst being at times extremely difficult to get out of bed, it also held with it quite an interesting take on life as a whole.
It was in those years, really, that I laid the foundations of how I think about the world now. I get through everything quite easily, because I learned that pain is something I could control (not in any cutting-myself kind of way, just mentally controlled). I taught myself that if I wanted to be happy, I should just smile. If I wanted to be sad, I should just frown, cry. If I wanted to be angry I should find something to direct my anger at. If I wanted to be forgiving I should brush someone on the back. I got so in control of myself that I could keep the world at bay. I see the consequences, as there are consequences to everything: I don’t feel the world in nearly the same way as some of my peers. My highs and lows are much closer to each other than others’. My roommate has extreme highs and extreme lows. It’s amazing how different we are in that regard. I’m just always pretty much in the middle. Unless I choose to be otherwise. But I rarely do. I function well in the middle. It’s only when I really want to write something a bit tragic that I force myself down into a hole.
I have a problem I still need to do something about: I love, love, love the chase. I cherish it. I can spend years on the chase. But as soon as I get what I have chased, I lose interest. This is happening with the girl I was with a couple of weeks ago. A tremendous girl. One of my very best friends, and a person I’ve always thought about as the person I wanted to end up with. But now that it suddenly seems a possibility, I’m scared off. I still really like her. I want to be with her. But I can feel my affection leaving my bones. I can feel that I have to change something if I am not to mess this up. And I really don’t want to mess it up.
I think I just didn’t expect her affection to be this outspoken. She told me she didn’t want to have a boyfriend. And we agreed that being a couple, at this moment in our lives, would be silly – if not outright stupid. But now she’s treating me very much like a boyfriend. More like a boyfriend than I’ve ever been treated, I guess. Maybe I just need to get used to this feeling. Maybe I just need to find my place in a relationship. Or maybe I have to wait a couple of years before I’m boyfriend-material.
With all the talk of being nostalgic, this is, though, by far the best I’ve ever felt in my life. These days. These weeks. These months. I finally feel like I know who I am, and I really know how to deal with me. Dealing with the outside world is a tougher task. But I know how I’m going to react in any given situation. I know what I have to look out for. I know when I have to take care of myself, and I know when I can let go. I know what face to use in what situation, what tone to speak in. I’m in a more creative place than I’ve ever been. I read and write and I play music. For the first time in my life I don’t just believe I can go anywhere, do anything; I also feel like I can do it. I finally feel like there’s a place for me; maybe it hasn’t been made yet, but if so, I am more than capable of creating that place in society. I feel like I can take care of myself.
Now I just need to find out whether or not I can take care of someone else.
Trying to decipher
your mind and its figures,
and it figures,
I am placed here
in the palm of your hand,
I am placed here –
don’t close me in,
if I am placed here
in the palm of your hand,
carry me around,
and I will fall into your arms.