Because paper has more patience than people. Anne Frank
Today comes a narrative piece following my reflection on observation and experience of the iterative and reflexive nature of relationships. Even when you think it’s a final run, an ultimatum, sometimes you find that your processes keep repeating, and although cyclic in this sense, not in another, since each outcome is bidirectional and depends on both parties involved. Neither party can objectively be assigned as cause or effect.
From one end, it feels like Déjà vu, the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past. But from another end, it feels like Jamais vu; meeting the same person or visiting the same places, but with each time being the first, nothing ever in the realm of familiar.
This is the story of Jamais vu between Boy and Girl, through Déjà vu (via the universality of other people’s experience).
She looked over at him in the way that she did, not peering deep into his soul, but not glazing over him either. She saw him as you see the rings inside a tree trunk, sometimes she would look into his eyes and see the eleven year old him that wasn’t good enough or always said something stupid. Other times, it would be the obnoxious 20 year old. Today it was the playful 7 year old… his eyes were the keyhole, and his body was the cage. He proceeded to trap himself within himself as he swung her on a swing at the random park they decided to loiter that evening.
The cold hit of air preceded the rush of weightless freedom; the simultaneous feeling of stillness and motion, power over the environment, while still at its mercy. It was one of the feelings she clung on to. “Come join me” she said invitingly.
“I can’t…I’m too tall. I haven’t been able to stop my feet from dragging on a swing since I was 13. It’s alright. I like watching you enjoy it”.
Once again, his exterior was caging him and she was the avenue of relief. Because when you’re twenty four, you’re also twelve, and nine, and sixteen, and three. But only some people are willing to see you exist past your physical characterisation and into this dimensionality. Again and again, she was always the channel. Again and again, each expression was the first. Again and again, she was the first. But some channels only run in one direction- things poured out, but nothing came in. That one sentiment scared her, and in another way completely, scared him.
Are you a boy? Go to 24 Are you a girl? 31
[i] It’s easy to feel uncared for when people aren't able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. They aren't inherently bad or uncaring- they're just busy and self-focused. and that’s ok. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It just means that those people aren't very good at looking beyond their own world. Your work isn't to change who you are; It’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. you are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgement or affection, you are enough. Daniell Koepke [ii] Do you think moons really love the planes they circle around? I’ve been thinking: maybe they're just stuck. Maybe they don't know how to let go either. Maybe ‘gravitational pull’ is just code for ‘I don't know how to be away from you’- but on a massive scale like, ‘Baby, I know we don't work together. I just forget how to be a moon when you're not around’. I forget how to be a moon when you're not around, but I'm getting the hang of it. I'm working it out. Trista Mateer [Game over] Catch the feels later? Go to 50.
Any time you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna lose something. You’re losing what you’re hanging on to keep safe. You’re losing habits that you’re comfortable with. You’re losing familiarity. James Hillman. [Game over, good luck]
Life is beautiful, as long as it consumes you. when it is rushing through you, destroying you, life is gorgeous, glorious. It’s when you burn a slow fire and save fuel, that life’s not worth having. DH Lawrence. Is your partner rushing through you? Go to 12. Or do you have more of a slow fire? Go to 8.
[i] You’re accustomed to losing yourself in work/hobbies as a distraction: It is dreadful when something weighs on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to. You know what I mean. I tell my piano the things I used to tell you. Frederic Chopin. [ii] But step away: Your heart will become a dusty piano in the basement of a church and she will play you when no one is looking. Now you understand why it’s called an organ [your partner will access and see art in the person you were at every age, good luck]
[i] I’m fighting myself. I know I am. One minute i want to remember. The next minute I want to live in the land of forgetting. One minute I want to feel. The next minute I never want to feel ever again. Benjamin Alire Saenz. [ii] There are times when you don’t know yourself. There are times when you don’t want to know yourself. There are times when you want to be what you have never allowed yourself to be before. Aidan Chambers Embark on the fight and decide to try? 7 give up ? 23
I must learn to love the fool in me- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my Fool. Theodore I. Rubin Embrace your fool? go back to 24. Don’t want to? go to 47.
We assume others show love in the same way we do- and if they don’t, we worry it’s not there. Unknown. Are they trying? Go to 35. Are they being resistant? Go to 48.
Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. Terry pratchett, a hat full of sky. Have you both evolved? Go to 12. Did your partner go backwards? Go to 32
I have realised that the moon did not have to be full for us to love it [self acceptance unlocked] Catching feels? Go to 50
It’s not you. It’s what I’llll do to you. And I can see it even now, even clutching at the air around your body, trying to bring you closer. Once you get deep enough so that water swallows light, there are fish who dangle iridescent lures before their toothed mouths. Now listen closely, darling. Now follow my voice in the dark. It’s not me. It’s the way you’ll open for me, your mouth, your legs, your raw meat heart. Ali Shapiro, Anglers. Are you getting enough? Yes? Go to 29 no? Go to 40
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Do you both understand each other? 26 Do you challenge each other a lot? 38
People who have monsters recognize each other. They know each other without even saying a word. Benjamin Alire Saenz. If you love beauty, it’s because beauty lives within you. If you love art, it’s because you are creative. If it wakes up your heart, a receptor for it already exists within you. Your soul is drawn to the things that will help you unfold your most glorious expression. Cynthia Occelli. Give in to unfolding your expression? Yes? Go to 27. No? go to 7
[i] Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it. Swedish Proverb [ii] Perspective: The girl: ‘Has anyone ever noticed how people only love the ocean when the sun is out? Once darkness settles, breeze kicks in and sharks come out to play, no one wants to swim among its waves. And I hope I have never made someone feel like that… As if they’re only admirable in light. As if their darkness wasn’t worth exploring. Because it’s when the sun sets that I sit on the shore, and stare at the ocean in awe.’ —Alondra P., I See All Your Light, I Love All Your Dark [iii] I was listening to a teacher who said ‘you always have to have some breakdown to have a breakthrough’. When i heard that, it made the hair on my arms stand up. It goes all the way back to birth. The baby’s not comfortable when it’s leaving its comfort space, and it’s being pushed through violent contractions to who knows where. So i sorta developed that into my own saying: ‘Birth always looks like death from the other side’ Rob Seven Take a leap of faith? Go to 3 Don’t want to? Go to 23
And it’s hard to hate someone once you understand them. Lucy Christopher. You going to stay in the same circles? Go to 46. Rather make a clean cut? Go to 30.
[i] Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They're like messenger that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are. Pema Chodron [ii] You're never going to be 100% ready and it’s never going to be just the right time, but that’s the point. It means that every moment is also the right moment. If you want it, you just have to do it. Down to do it? Go to 5 Not down? Hit up 21
I just want to pour my soul out on someone and not have to worry about the mess I've made. Andrea Slicker. Found the courage? Head to 29 [i]. Wont? Go to 47.
[i] One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end- Jidda Krishnamurti [ii] Word of the day: finifugal. adj. hating endings; of someone who tries to avoid or prolong the final moments of a story, relationship, or some other journey. Do you choose to grow some balls? Go to 3. Stay stagnant instead? Move to 20.
[i] Let it go. Whatever it is that you should’ve let go long ago. Let it go. The freedom that comes next is something wild and unknown. [ii] Break often- not like porcelain, but like waves. Scherezade Siobhan Not sure how? Go to 37. Trying makes you angry? Go to 16.
No relationship can truly grow if you go on holding back. If you remain clever and go on safeguarding and protecting yourself, only personalities meet, and the essential centers remain alone. then only your mask is related, not you. Whenever such a thing happens, there are four persons in the relationship, not two. Two false persons go on meeting, and the two real persons remain worlds apart. Osho Agree to move forward? Be all in or out. In? Go to 25. Out? Go to 42. Stay in your comfort zone, without movement? Go to 36.
[i] You will either step forward into growth or back into safety. Abraham Maslow. [ii] You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there. Edwin Louis Cole. Do you choose to stay in the water? Go to 18 Rather step forward into growth? Go to 3
[i] I think perfection is ugly. i want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion. Yohji Yamamato [ii] It’s your flaws I want to taste. Your crooked mouth. The way you smell after being out all day. Your knees, so eager to bend to whatever song is playing in your head. Your chest, as it rises and falls and rises and falls on the carpeted ground. Your sometimes smooth chin. Your pimpled politeness. Your tangled hair. Your good morning, every morning. I don't want to be able to run my fingers through you easily. It is no fun writing about perfections. i want to talk about you. Flawed. Crooked. Endlessly interesting, you. Lora Mathis. [iii]I love unmade beds. I love when people are drunk and crying and cannot be anything but honest in that moment. I love the look in people’s eyes when they realize they're in love. I love the way people look when they first wake up and they have forgotten their surroundings. i love the gasp people take when their favorite character dies. I love when people close their eyes and drift to somewhere in the clouds. I fall in love with people and their honest moments all the time. I fall in love with their breakdowns and their smeared makeup and their daydreams. Honesty is just too beautiful to ever put into words. Unknown [iv] You think you’ve seen her naked because she took her clothes off? Tell me about her dreams. Tell me what breaks her heart. What is she passionate about, and what makes her cry? Tell me about her childhood. Better yet, tell me one story about her that you're not in. You've seen her skin, and you've touched her body. But you still know as much about her as a book you once found, but never got around to opening. Dominic Matthew Jackson. You don't have the courage to show them? Go to 45. You’re scared of what might come out? Go to 17.
[i] Love me when i least deserve it, because that’s when i really need it. Swedish Proverb. [ii] Shout out to all those people who crave affection but have no idea how to react when it comes their way, to all those who were never taught how to love and feel rejected and misunderstood because they want to show that they care about other people but they don't know how, to all those who use sarcasm as a defense mechanism and never talk about their problems to others and pretend everything is fine because they just don’t fucking know how to express their feelings and worries and emotions. Try to open up? Go to 3. Nah? Go to 36.
‘Everyone has a 2am and a 2pm personality. I’m more interested in the monster you become at 2am rather than the human being you pretend to be at 2pm.’ Agree? Go to 13. Disagree? Go to 39.
People inspire you, or they drain you- pick them wisely. Hans F Hansen. Does your partner inspire you? Go to 4. Do they drain you instead? Go to 28.
[i] There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand- without you even speaking a word. Yasmin Mogahed. [ii] There is a difference between kissing someone because they are attractive and kissing someone because words can no longer accurately express your feelings for the person. Anonymous [iii] One of the most satisfying experiences I know is fully to appreciate an individual in the same way I appreciate a sunset. When i look at a sunset…I don't find myself saying, ‘soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple in the cloud colour’… i don't try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds. It is this receptive, open attitude which is necessary to truly perceive something as it is. Carl Rogers [Game over, good luck]
[i] I think I fall in love a little bit with anyone who shows me their soul. this world is so guarded and fearful. I appreciate rawness so much. Emery Allen. [ii] It’s exciting when you find parts of yourself in someone else. Annaka Silvia [iii] At some point you have to stop being so angry, you have to stop being so sad, you have to stop killing yourself and start being gentle with yourself. At some point you just have to let it all go and be happy, you have to spread love instead of being afraid of it. You have to love yourself and everyone around you before it’s too late. [Game over, good luck] Tried and found it too hard? go to 6
That’s how you can tell that you’re filling yourself with the wrong things. You use a lot of energy, and in the end, you feel emptier and less comfortable than ever. Glennon D Melton. Have a break/try a sea change? Go to 9. Nah? Go to 33.
[i] Maybe when we say love, we mean a safe place to fall apart. Jason Bayani [game over, good luck] [ii] when i was little i picked up a flower and put it in a vase. after a few days, it died. i asked my mum why and she said ‘you can’t force a flower to thrive somewhere it doesn’t belong to’ and now i have realised that people are like that too. S.T, one time i picked up a flower.
I still love the people I've loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them. Uma Thurman [game over]
A healthy relationship is one where two independent people just make a deal that they will help make the other person the best version of themselves. Agree? yes? Go to 25 no? Go to 4
I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception- unknown [Game over]
[i] Don’t say maybe if you want to say no. The best advice I’ve ever read [ii] I see a lot of people in unstimulating relationships. They find themselves in stagnant relationships or friendships. If people were a little less scared of ending things they’d get more out of life… you meet the right person at the right time and they fulfil a certain something in your life. You fulfil something in theirs. But there’s a time limit to that. Laura Marling. [game over] 
You ruin your life by desensitizing yourself. We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Express, express, express. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how you love. There is courage in that. Bianca Sparacino. Willing to try? Yes? Go to 10 Unsure? Go to 19
[i] Loving someone who cannot love you the same way in return is not weakness. It’s one of the most courageous things you’ll ever do. You are putting your armor at their feet and you are saying ‘I will not fight you in this. I have loved you and that means that I have already won’. Aura Tabassum. [ii] I don't mess around or play games. I don't believe in them. I just want honesty. I’d rather wake up one morning and say, ‘You know what? I had a really terrible dream that you were fucking someone else. can you love me extra today?’ Instead of getting in a fight about some stupid shit and at the end of the day being like ‘okay, can i tell you why I've been acting like this?’. I’d rather say ‘heads up’ than ‘I’m sorry’ later. Your relationship is supposed to be the safe place. john mayer [Game over, good luck]
Why should I apologize for the monster I’ve become? No one ever apologised for making me this way. unknown. [game over]
[i] Pay attention to whom your energy increases and decreases around, because that’s the universe giving you a hint of who you should embrace or stay from. [ii] Soon you'll realize that many people will love the idea of you but will lack the maturity to handle the reality of you. Reyna Biddy [iii] If i love you, is that a fact or weapon? Margaret Atwood Down to? Go to 49. Scared? go to 14.
[i] We make each other alive. does it matter if it hurts? Ingmar Bergman, from a letter to Liv Ullman. [ii] I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning. Haruki Murakami Is there meaning to the challenge? Yes, you want to see more: Go to 11. Yes, they want to see more: Go to 22. No, it’s not constructive. Go to 41
Who has not asked himself at some time or other am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person? Clarice Lispector, a hora de estrela Still not interested? go to 34. Change your mind? go to 27
[i] I still remember you as a little girl who over waters plants because she doesn't know when to stop giving. Trista Mateer. I am an intense person. I don't do things half way; I'm all in or all out. You either have all of me or you don't get me at all. Izzy Smith. Is your partner all in? Go to 29 [i]&[ii] Are they all out? Go to 15
So when people leave, I've learned the secret: let them. Because most of the time, they have to. Let them walk away and go places. Let them have adventures in the wild without you. Let them travel the world and explore life beyond a horizon that you exist in. And know, deep down, that heroes aren't qualified by their capacity to stay but by their decision to return. The staying philosophy, Isa Garcia [Game over…for now] Catching feels later? Go to 50.
I see a lot of people in unstimulating relationships. They find themselves in stagnant relationships or friendships. If people were a little less scared of ending things they’d get more out of life… you meet the right person at the right time and they fulfil a certain something in your life. You fulfil something in theirs. but there’s a time limit to that. Laura Marling. [Game over] Catch feels later? Go to 50.
People inspire you or they drain you. pick them wisely. hans f hansen. inspired? 8 drained? 28
There are people we meet in life who miss being important to us by inches, days, or heartbeats. Another place or time or a different emotional frame of mind and we would willingly fall into their arms; gladly take up their challenge or invitation. But as it is, we encounter them when we are discontent or content and they are not. Whatever they are. we are not and vice versa. Two trains going in different directions that pass for a few powerful moments at full speed, blasting noise and wind but then they are gone. Whatever serious chemistry might have been possible if, isn’t. Jonathan Carroll. [game over] Catch the feels later? Go to 50
Being soft, gentle, and warm is a different kind of radical. The ability to allow yourself to be vulnerable is very powerful. marimopet. Are you down? Go to 29. Backing out? Go to 47.
Even if I see you again, I will never see you again. Margaret Atwood, from selected poems II: 1976- 1986 [Game over]
[i] Is it really that bad if someone sees who you are? Why is it humans have a problem with letting someone else see that they are human? Joseph Gogglier [ii] You can’t spend the rest of your life being afraid of people rejecting you. You have to start by not rejecting yourself. You don’t deserve it. unknown. [iii] I’m still learning to love the parts of myself that no one else claps for. rudy francisco Down to be vulnerable? Go to 9. No? I don't think people love me. they love versions of me I have spun for them, versions of me they have construed in their minds. The easy versions of me, the easy parts of me to love. Who’s going to love the boy that is losing control? The boy that keeps pushing everyone away? Who's going to love the monster in me? [Time to work on yourself. Game over]
Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is love that will be ready. Nayyirah Waheed. Do they take the leap? Go to 12 Are they scared? Go to 44. Do you two have a strong disconnect? Go to 2.
[i]Your only problem, perhaps, is that you scream without letting yourself cry. Friedrich Nietzsche, selected letters. [ii]I think I fall in love a little bit with anyone who shows me their soul. This would is so guarded and fearful. I appreciate rawness so much. Emery Allen [Game over, good luck]
[i] You never forget. It must be somewhere inside you. Even if the brain has forgotten, perhaps the teeth remember. Or the fingers. Neil Gaiman. [ii] But here’s a little secret for you: no one is ever the same thing again after anything. You are never the same twice, and much of your unhappiness comes from trying to pretend that you are. Accept that you are different each day, and do so joyfully, recognising it for the gift it is. work within the desires and goals of the person you are currently, until you aren’t that person anymore, and everything changes once again. Head back to 25.
Someone has to leave first. This is a very old story. There is no other version of this story. Richard Siken, The worm king’s lullaby