10. I’ve been to hell and back, I deserve some rest. But I’m not sure what else I deserve.

I recently read an article which said that love equals longevity, and that if you have someone in your life whom you could call at 4 A.M. to talk about your troubles, you’re more likely to reach the age of 80.

But I know now that if you want to be loved, you should love first. Always love.

Sometimes, I picture heaven as the people I hold dearest, other times I imagine a pack of dogs surrounding me, other times it’s just this intense feeling of contentment which I have felt very few times in my life, but which haunts me in the best way you could feel a spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is commonly attributed as having said, “To know that even one life has breathed easier because you lived, that is success”

That is so unbelievably important. 

We have to spend our lives fighting for a better world for others, and for ourselves. 

Don’t do things just for the sake of doing them, please, I urge you. Wait until you’re ready. Wait until you’re happy. I’ve always been rushing through life; I fast-forward scenes I don’t like in some of my favourite films. I rushed to do things at 17 only privileged, older, trained-in-singing-since-birth people have done. This kind of perfectionism came from wanting to live as much as possible in my short life; to suck up as much as I can, like a sponge. I want to live.

Iphigenia is so wise – she told me, about love, “Some people die in hospitals, but that doesn’t mean that hospitals are the ones causing the deaths!”. She insisted on how love was a living thing, like a flower, and if you water it it will grow, if not it will wither…. it is tended but not weak, it is delicate. Just because a lot of people can’t keep their flowers alive, doesn’t mean the flowers are to blame. That’s why you must always believe in love, dearest; even if you’ve only ever seen it fail, believe in it.

What would I be like if I went to the Athens School of Fine Arts? 

I’d most likely be the kind of person who paints vast amounts of flowers; but they wouldn’t be as lovely and sweetly scented as the flowers that I possess now; they’d be square and yellow and lonely. We are all flowers. Each of us are plucked from a garden and paraded around in a teenager’s flower crown; we’re isolated beings, incapable and alone.

when i think of ballet, i picture myself in a beautiful white tutu, crying on stage as giselle with rudolph nureyev by my side; or when, at 16, i was the arabian soloist in the nutcracker; or when i first tried on my pointe shoes. my feet hurt so bad! can you remember that? it was awful, it really hurt… 

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