I tend to forget how strong I am. My best friend made me aware of this last week. She said to me, “Corrine, you are such a strong person that it’s scary.” I almost cried and I don’t cry easily. She was right though. I think about the experiences I’ve been through, how hard I’ve worked and where I am now and it all feels like a dream, like someone else did it and I’m just observing. It’s because I never stop working hard.
Being here in Michigan, I’m reflecting a lot on my mental health. I never thought I had any mental health problems. I don’t think I have any severe problems, however I am considering the way I think because I have been so used to living the same routine life in little old Gozo. Being here is very different that I react differently to things. It makes me think of when I will finally move back home to New York City and how I will think there. Again, it will be another big change in my life that will affect me. Being here in Michigan, I have been dedicating a lot of time to relaxing. In Malta, I’m always on the go, I never stop. Here in Michigan, I finally can be at peace and just enjoy the little things here at Oakland University. I was not expecting my experience here to be as such; I thought I would be partying and seeing all of Michigan and travelling around. What I am experiencing is not what I expected, which might sound disappointing, but it’s not really. I’m glad I have this time to be alone and independent and calm. I need this time. When I go back to Malta, it’s back to hard hard work and tons of partying.
Sometimes I think that maybe I’m being lazy here in Michigan, that I’m not trying hard enough. Maybe I am. But why not? Why not just sit back for a while and just be peaceful? Don’t we get tired after a while? This contrasts greatly with who I am. I never settle. I work hard even when I’ve had enough. I always strive to do everything and anything even with an already busy schedule. This is who I am, but I’m not right now.
Oh Yes I Can is a tattoo I got three weeks ago on my left arm. It is a representation of me coming back to the United States. I’ve proven a lot of people wrong by being here and I intend to continue doing so. I have a list of people who I am going to continue proving wrong. Yes, a list. I really do believe I can do whatever I set my mind on doing. The tattoo is also a reminder. Sometimes we forget ourselves, or we loose ourselves. I have travelled all the way here, to Michigan, on my own. I have led student organizations. I am a leader! I wrote two books. Yet I forget these things. I’m not stating these things to brag. God help me, I’m humble, yet there are times when “humble” becomes an excuse for “not good enough”. What’s next?
We have so much power that we tend to forget. We can make our own paths. We can make our own choices. We have the choice to actually live. Gosh some people are just so invested in their normality that they don’t know how to be weird sometimes. Dance in the street! Sing at the top of your lungs! Play in the park like a 5-year-old kid. Climb a tree. Laugh with friends and play drinking games. Book a one-way flight to God knows where. Let people look at you weirdly, and take satisfaction out of that. I hate that we just study throughout all of our youth and then work for the rest of our lonesome miserable lives. I’m a huge planner and my plan is to move back to New York City and find a job to pay my bills and just live my youth in the most beautiful city in the world, but again the emphasis is on that I have to live. Now, we have to study and we have to work. Fine. But for Pete’s sake, can we make it bearable whilst doing so? Some people just don’t know how to!! Go out for drinks in a small bar and listen to live music. Appreciate art. Talk to new and interesting people. Discuss philosophy and life’s purpose. Do some vintage shopping. Dye your hair pink. Go skinny dipping! Buy a goldish! Be a kid again. Make something out of this life that is always never enough. What’s next?
You see, these are all actions that make us feel alive. Living is a feeling, it is a state of mind. Just close your eyes and feel the world around you. Feel the blood flowing through your veins. When you open your eyes, there’s going to be a source of energy in that look. You’re in a daze of an awakening.
You’re probably thinking: “Gosh she’s being so unrealistic”. Well maybe I am!! What I know for sure is that “boring” is not a part of my vocabulary. Why live life like every body else? Make your own rules and your own form of a life. Society already pressures us enough. This is what I mean!! I mean to live a life according to my views. What is your philosophy? What is the lens that you see the world through? Look at the world for what it truly is; it’s all air and we’re breathing. That is such a phenomena. Take a deep breath and full up your lungs. Appreciate every shade of color, every line, every touch, every movement you see. How can I explain it? This way of being? It’s like you’re looking at a train when it’s coming into the station, the subway in New York City that is so fast that it blows your hair. It’s fast, you can’t see it. Gosh that’s life most of the time. But actually look at the train and appreciate its speed and its color and the in between movements, the glimpses of the tiled wall behind it and the faces behind the dirty glass windows. And just feel your body move in response; your eyes become hazed and you’re in your own little universe called the mind.
Maybe it’s because I’ve met so many people that wander. They travel to places, live there a few years and then go somewhere else. They’re always meeting new people, trying new things, making new memories. You don’t need a lot of money for that. Work and spend. Live a minimal life. Save up and do what you’ve been wanting to do for ages! We’re going to die soon anyways! I don’t know what is going to get us first; either global warming or an atomic war. Basically, we all have an expiration date, but the end is not important. Gosh I hate that term; expiration date. We’re too young to think like that!! It’s how we make use of our time, our limited time, and cherish it.
Memories! I love that word. Memories. We have to look back on something because those are the things that make our lives bearable. We need to have past memories, and live in new memories whilst they’re happening. Some memories are horrible. I have plenty. We all do. But turning those moments into a strength is what makes us positive for whatever memory that is going to be engraved in our minds next.
We stay up at night. We can’t sleep. Our brains can’t switch off. We’re thinking about our problems. We don’t show them to anybody during the day and battle with them in that small dark mind space, but really we’re only tormenting ourselves. We tell ourselves it’s going to be ok but by the time you know it, the night has passed and it’s already tomorrow once you wake up with the same damn problem. We conjure scenarios that will never exist. Why does the brain play such dirty tricks on us?
I have come to realize that I am a closed off person. I ask for advice about my problems but I always figure them out on my own. This may be a strength, but when your problems become too heavy for you to bear and you have no idea how to keep holding them up, you suddenly crash. And gosh you crash hard, and it’s so hard to get back up. But you have to. And you will. I realized that I don’t show a lot of my real emotions. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I mean, who does? I deal with my emotions, I hide them, I face them on my own, I battle them, I manipulate them. I scream once in a while. I sigh and push them aside. I be strong and tell them to go away. They do for a while. I think dealing with certain emotions is like you’re side-tracking from what’s important; progress. What’s next? I’m not saying that what I’m saying is right; this is just who I am. I’m certainly not perfect. But that’s what it means to be “strong”. I am strong, maybe too strong.
We’re all forced to take on this journey called life. We drive behind every body else on the same road because such “things” (call them societal pressures, capitalism, health issues or life in general) don’t allow us to take any other road. It doesn’t matter what car you’re driving. There are gonna be so many bumpy parts (no road is ever smooth). What matters is what music you’re playing, what lyrics you listen to, who you’re driving next to, and that you’re driving your own car. We start off this journey knowing that it’s going to end in a fatal crash. Only the remains of the car will survive.
Say it; Oh Yes I Can. A lot of people want to push us down. Do we let them? Say it again. Oh Yes I Can. Goddamn believe it. We have this one wild and precious life. Let’s make it worthwhile. So drive like a maniac and hope for the best.