In all seriousness though, I decided to pull out my blog entry from when I was 17 on the 30/11/2003. It was too embarrassing to publish for anyone’s including my own (I could barely read it), so instead I found one from 1/12/2003 which shows how dramatic and emo I used to to be.
Raw.Raw emotion.I haven't felt it in so long. Yes, I have felt emotions - pure love and pure hate - but only for split seconds, after which I try to block it out of my memory.I guess blocking my memory - or emotions - began long before I can remember. I stopped after awhile, I thought it was bad for me. But when production started, I began to block things. All those negative comments. That sort of thing.I kept telling myself 'After production, I can unblock all these horrible memories. I'll deal with them later, because this is more important.' But I guess... I just couldn't stop. Every time something bad happens, I acknowledge it, but lock it away, pretend it didn't happen, detach myself from that circumstance.So... to get thru year 12, I mainly relied on doing this... it just became an addiction. But, not only was I blocking memories, I was locking important parts of me which made me... well, me.So, today, I decided (Jewel's poetry kinda helped) that I'm gonna deal with problems when they arise. No, not by making big scenes, not by crying and not by trying to laugh it off. I want to feel <i>raw emotion</i> again.
Yeah, sorry about the coding there.
For some reason, I thought the first time I employed this technique was a lot later in my life. What’s been interesting for me as an adult has been to process a lot of the weird and wacky things that happened which I couldn’t deal with at the time. For me, the daily grind saved me. If it wasn’t for routine and rostering, I’d probably be a really different person. I had a really awful time in my final year of school, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, or even talk about it. I blogged a lot, because even though I had some great friends, I didn’t know how to say the things I was feeling, or I thought I’d get shunned for feeling the way I did. I also had some other friends who I had been leaning on too heavily, and that’s no good for anyone.
Without my little job at the supermarket, I would have lost the plot completely.
It’s interesting. I know where things started to go wrong. I know when things got better. But all that stuff in between could have been avoided, but when you’re sixteen, or seventeen, or eighteen, you know everything! No one else will tell you what to do, damn it!
I stopped blogging so regularly when I actually got more of a life. Once I had moved away and lived alone I had a lot more determination. I decided I wanted to go to uni (which I did). I had reliable and kind friends who wanted to hang out with me. I had more choices, and I was in a place where I wasn’t too different from everyone else.
Growing up as a teenager in my adopted hometown, I always felt I didn’t fit. I didn’t have cousins or extended family. Being the eldest meant that I did everything first. Going to church gave me some kind of connection to my community. Eventually I found it stifling, but it also brought a lot of happiness and meaning to my life. There was more to life than striving for your own success.
It also meant I made a hell of a lot of shit choices which I wouldn’t have made otherwise.
I dropped a lot of my school friends — I no longer saw them outside of school, which was a bit isolating, even though I considered them to be ‘bad influences’ (says she who went to a party and was the only one drinking Fanta.)
At the ripe old age of 16 I was engaged to someone from church, who is a nice person, but outside of our families, the engagement was encouraged by some church folk…. I don’t know why. It all seemed kind of romantic at the time, but I didn’t really think we were going to get married, so it was kind of dumb and a waste of money. A damn good party though.
I didn’t try very hard in year 12, because the college I was attending based their applications solely on an interview process. I also chose subjects which I thought I ‘should’ choose, like Social Studies (so boring), or Religion Studies (which I studied at a different school on the other side of town. I also tried to use Christian ‘stuff’ for any assignment — I research Christian organisations, shared Christian texts and lyrics, etc. This was based a lot on a book called ‘Rachel’s Tears’ which was a huge influence on my life.
Church was my social occasion. While everyone else was doing whatever they did on Fridays or Saturdays or Sundays, I was at church or youth events, trying desperately to fit in. (Sometimes I did. It was pretty hit and miss.)
When I moved to Adelaide, I did a gap year course and met my best friends, most of whom are in my life now. Coming to Adelaide was what I needed at the time. My last two years I found stifling, and I hated living in a country town (regional centre, my foot). I still found some of the thinking and belief systems different to my own. Some people were doing the course specifically to find a partner (heads up, none of the YITS couples stayed together), others didn’t have anything better to do. When I’d tell people about coming from the Mount they would look at me incredulously. ‘You mean, you moved here just to do this course?’ I certainly wasn’t the only one who relocated, but I was the one with the most clicks between here and there.
And then, I stayed, and I was happy.
I started feeling things again though. April 2005, something kicked in. Things started hurting. I was angry, and mad, and confused and happy, and that could just be in an hour. Whatever raw emotion I was craving at 17 came back.
And now, look, I don’t know.
Too much has happened. I don’t think I’ve really allowed myself to feel a lot, apart from fleeting moments. I remember my trip to India in 2014. I felt more like myself in a foreign country than I did back home. I remember the last day of our event. We all cried, knowing we wouldn’t see each other as a group again. I miss those ladies more than words can say, and I only knew them for a week. One of my friends assures me that this connection is pretty rare at these events, so that’s one thing I’m sure of.
I’m scared to start feeling again. I started crying during an episode of The Nanny today, and couldn’t even cheer up when Fran steals chocolates from a sleeping Niles. Music seems to hurt. Nothing makes sense right now.
Worse though, what if I become super intense, I’d catch a grenade for ya, again? That me was bloody annoying. I can be like that but man, I can’t stand people who are that either. It’s hard too, being dramatic. No one takes you seriously when things suck. Hopefully I have sat through enough counselling sessions to rid myself of that trend.
I don’t know the answers to any of this stuff, and it’s annoying. But, 17 year old Lisa, I can tell you the raw emotion I felt when watching The Nanny tonight. Maybe this isn’t all-or-nothing. Maybe you can feel everything for a while, and then fade into nothingness for a bit too. I don’t know, I don’t know.