After the Fact.

After-the-fact-short-story
Since posting that infamous short story last week, I have noticed them lurking in my dreams. Not haunting me as such, but just there in the background. A reminder; the Ghost of Exes Past.

I think when ‘it’ happened, I was so horrified by my behaviour that I refused to even acknowlegde it. Instead of facing what I had done head on, I pushed it to the back of my mind (or more like pushed it off the cliff of my memories) and never let it resurface. I didn’t want to face it because I was embarressed. Of myself, of my actions, but also that I let myself feel such a way about someone. That I let them effect the the way that they did.

I was ashamed because what we had wasn’t real in the slightest, and I was so disppointed in myself for falling for the idea of a person, rather than looking beyond the rose-tinted glasses. I don’t know if this is hindsight, or if I always knew on some level, but it was never built to last. And I was humiliated when it didn’t.

When I published that short story, a bit of the shame came trickling back in. Not only in form of my dreams, replaying the experience over and over, but having people from my real life tell me, “I remember that night, too.” I kept that snapshot of my life hidden in the dark corners of my mind for so long, that I had almost forgotten the memories didn’t only reside in me, but in the minds of other’s as well.

It’s an… unusual feeling, to say the least. Uneasy.

And I feel so dumb, that this part of my life –  and this particular person – happened so long ago, yet can still have such an impact on me. Despite the fact I’m so happy now, living a new life, with someone who more than deserves the love I give them, and who also reciprocates it, fully and gladly.

It’s hard to say that I’m still a little bit messed up by it, the night when everything and nothing happened all at once.

I’ve been avoiding Facebook more than usual, because the top post whenever I log in these days is always a memory to do with that time. We were such different people four years ago. Yet, the memories still haunt me, not only in my mind, but on social media, too.

It took a good six months of regular counselling after the fact for me to talk about that night. But even then I was sparing of the details. I guess that’s the thing about art; it lets you face things in a way you can’t quite do when talking about them out loud. Writing, painting, singing – whatever the medium, it allows you to detach yourself, yet completely live in that moment, again and again. It’s a very unique situation, but cathartic all the same.

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Woman.


Don’t be loud, don’t show off.

If you love yourself too much, you won’t fit through the door.

Don’t take up too much space.

Stand out from the crowd, but don’t attract too much attention.Β Be smart, but be humble, and be nice.

You are everything and nothing all at once.

Be dominant, but don’t dominate. Be useful, be valuable, but don’t feel enough.

Aspire to the masculine, but stay feminine.

Stay pretty, don’t age. Don’t you dare age. You are here to be looked at, to be touched, to be an object.

Compete, but only with other women. You don’t live up to man.

You are woman. You are everything but Nothing all at once.

But I am strong, and I am capable. I am insecure and secure. I am vulnerable and human and good. I am determind, I am able.

I am intelligent.

I can move mountains with my words.

I am complex. I can challange you, question you, learn from you. Change.

I am strong. I am capable.

I take up space.

I am larger than life.

I demand to be seen.

I am Woman. And I am Everything.

*

Happy International Women’s Day, loves. I thought I’d post a bonus little Short in honour of this wonderous day. Keep fighting the good fight, ladies.

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Stardust.


“Ella!” 

The voice echos as I disappeared into the night.

I was the kind of drunk where I was up and aware of everything, but could barely see. And although my memories of that evening, even while I was living it, were hazy at points, I knew exactly where I was going and what I needed to do.

Next thing I knew, I was banging on the door. The back door that was really the front door, because that’s how student houses work. I was banging on the door, loudly, unapologetically, tears streaming down my face, as I stood in the pouring rain. Actions that sound more romantic and profilic than they actually were.

I had a moment of completely sobering clarity when the door swung open. I realised what I had done just by the look on his face.

He used to look at me like I was stardust, but now, I instantly didn’t matter.

*

This is part of my creative writing series, Shorts. Check out my last one here.

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More Podcasts to Listen to.

More podcasts you should subscribe to
Back in August, I wrote a little post delving into my journey with podcasts called 5 Podcasts You Should Listen To, and this time I am back to tell you about some more.

I’ve really taken to this form of media. It reminds me of my childhood and early teens, when I would turn on the radio to tune into Southern FM’s daily breakfast show (any Brighton natives remember Danny and Nicky in the Morning?). Hearing the bright chirpy voices was a great start to the day. However, as I got older, I started to favour listening to music or watching YouTube.

Podcasts are great, because they give you a chance to consume something as passively or actively as you want. I not only listen to podcasts when I travel, but when I’m cooking or cleaning, before I fall asleep, or even just in my bedroom when I feel like closing my eyes for a bit and not have to endure the silent abyss.

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