on reading

I have started reading when I was 5. I remember my mum taking me to the library for the very first time and for me it was an ultimate wonderland. The first book I remember laying my hands on was ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and it was in English. Now, at that time the only language I knew was Lithuanian, so the librarian kindly pointed that out to me.

I’ve been a regular visitor of the library. It was my favourite place in town. We’ve moved a lot and in every place, I found a nearby library no matter where we went. I wanted to be a librarian at one point. There was something about being surrounded by books all day long that fascinated me.

Reading is one of those things I stuck to throughout my entire life. I loved reading then, I love reading now. There is something about waking up in your bedroom, picking up a book and suddenly being somewhere far away with the travellers or adventurers and then picking up another book and having a conversation with a philosopher or a scientist about what the future holds. You go to numerous places, you meet numerous people who may even become your close friends and most importantly you learn.

I remember how me and my best friend used to make a trip to a local library every now and then; we would pick our books, go back to her place, make ourselves some tea, sit on a sofa and read for hours. Two of us were in different places with different characters despite being right next to each other. Then we would compete who could read more pages…

Reading is crucial to our intellectual well-being. Whether we read novels, or encyclopaedias, we learn how to speak eloquently and how to think creatively. Reading was crucial for my mental well-being; it kept me sane at the moments when I thought I’d lose it. Reading is not something to be taken for granted; words are the most valuable things we as humans can share.

Advertisements

i’m not happy. but i’m happy to admit it

i’m not happy and i won’t pretend to be like i always have.

i don’t want to force myself to overlook my own feelings that actually make sense.

it makes sense to be disappointed in my lack of effort.

it makes sense to be upset about not being at home.

it makes sense to cry when i feel isolated and lonely.

it makes sense to just not be happy when i’m not supposed to be.

i used to beat myself up for not being ‘grateful enough’ for what i have.

i used to ignore my feelings because i trust my rational mind instead.

i used to think it’s irrational to feel the way i have; but it’s not –

my feelings make sense. and this will become my daily prayer.

it all makes sense, and it always has.

the only thing that does not make sense is repression of my own emotions which simply act like warning signs that something is wrong – not pathetic, but wrong. 

if i’m sad – it’s for a reason, if i’m annoyed – it’s for a reason, if i’m holding my ‘irrational’ feelings back – i become passive aggressive.

and guess what’s worse; pretending to be happy and letting everything build up to the point where you take it out on the wrong people at the wrong time

or being honest with yourself and paying attention to what you really feel, and at the end of the day, what you really are?

i’ll make this my belated new year’s resolution i suppose – to me this is revolutionary and enlightening. instead of suffering i will be a little bit sad. instead of suffering i will cry a little bit and won’t be ashamed of it. suffering is not even an understatement anymore; if you keep your emotions locked up at the back of your mind they will spread like a disease. it will become anxiety, it will become depression and it will last for years.. until one moment, when you will realise that feeling something is okay. there is no need to look down on those who cry and those who are depressed and those who are not happy even though they ‘have it better’ than someone else – it doesn’t make them weak. it doesn’t make me weak and it doesn’t make me any less grateful; it just makes me more honest and more in touch with, well, myself.

today i feel like shit. i am disappointed in myself, i am feeling hopeless, but i’m not covering it up. i know why i’m feeling like this and it will pass, because it’s something i can easily change. maybe tomorrow i will be happy – nothing wrong with that either. as long as i’ll know what i feel and listen to it, i will be fine, and being fine is okay.

 

*just an exclaimer; this has nothing to do with mental illness, i’m not some kind of professional to speak about such matters. these are just free-flowing words from my head.

Barcelona (pt.1)

I have visited Barcelona at the beginning of September this year, but it is only now that I can write about it, following months of reflecting on my week-long experience in this exotic and deeply touching city.

The first word that comes to my mind when I remember wanderings in the streets of Barcelona is intimate. The narrow streets with heavy stone buildings embrace you. They have a sense of secrecy and a very strong sense of history, which sounds very vague, but words are vague compared to elaborate and vivid first-hand experience.

P9072023.jpg

Gothic quarter is not just intimate; it is absolutely breathtaking. There is something dynamic about its streets, perhaps it’s the ever-shifting light and ever-shifting shadows – I don’t know, but that something seemed to move the buildings closer to my body. You become one with the street; a part of its stone tile, a part of its strange perspective, a part of its history.

P9072022.jpg

This is the first and most memorable image of Barcelona in my mind. It was an expectation turned into a more impressive reality. It is strange how whilst thinking of definition of Barcelona I instantly thought of the single recurring thing – intimacy. I did not expect it, knowing how diverse this city is in its architecture, but I suppose every city has a soul that permeates throughout its entirety, and this is that of Barcelona.

Homesickness

I know why it’s called sickness; it’s an actual disease. I feel it in my bones; it eats away my strength and leaves my limbs feeling limp. I feel it in my heart; it makes it miss every other beat and makes my chest feel empty. It deteriorates my state of mind, making it a negative place I try to escape by working too hard and driving myself to exhaustion.

I didn’t think I had home until I left it. I have never treasured the spaces I slept in, the pathways I took on a daily basis, the language I’ve heard and spoke even in my dreams.

I’m glad, however, that leaving home forced me to discover myself; once something tries to pull you away from your true identity, even if you don’t quite know it yourself, you almost subconsciously hold onto it and it always tries to bring you back where you belong. I dream of places where I belong, I dream of people I belong with and all of this is anywhere but here and God knows it hurts.

The Walk

She was walking down the wavy path, not knowing what is going to wait for her around each corner. ‘That’s why the curves of landscape are so beautiful’ she thought, ‘you never know what comes next’. The bright sun rays shone onto her, making the bronze of her hair shimmer. The warmth gave her cheeks a rosy shade of pink. Her breath became heavier as she started making her way up a hill. As the road started curving to the right, she saw something on the left side of it. There was an old inn – ‘The Greyhound’ it was called. Even though it was old, it was taken care of rather well. The golden patterns of the big letters and sides of the lamps that probably emphasised the letters at night looked almost as if they were polished. There were large baskets hanging down from the hooks fixed at random parts of the façade, filled with various flowers; yellow, white and purple violets, lantanas with colourful clusters of pink and yellow and red, the blue lobelia plants as well as bright orange begonias. She stood there for a moment, observing the inn quietly. It was like a small shelter, blooming in the middle of dense greenery of trees and bushes. It was a place where one would come to look for safety. She raised eyebrow at such thought; this whole land seemed to be the safest place her eyes have ever witnessed. She started making her way forward and walked to the left of the inn where the road started going further up. The road was almost enclosed by the trees that arched over it from both sides. The sunlight that made its way through the branches and the leaves created patterns on the dark surface of the road, which almost made it look like a shadow play. There were sounds of birds singing with their high voices, flies buzzing as they were dancing in circles in spots of sunlight and somewhere in the distance, she could hear faint music. She kept walking upwards, with her breath deepening as she made each careful step, until she reached the top of the hill, where the road stretched forward. She stopped there for a moment, to catch her breath and made her way further and deeper into the woods.

The Town

It was a small town, purposefully built on the highest hill on land known to man. The church was right at the centre of the town; it was known as a godless place to the locals for its dark appearance both on the outside and on the inside. It had countless arches stretching towards the sky as if in an attempt to reach the clouds. When it rains, the raindrops seem to form a river in-between the pointed arches of the church, which rapidly drops down almost like a waterfall, onto the ground, flooding the rest of the town. It rains almost every day; thus the locals have to commute on boats a lot of the time. When it is sunny, barely anyone leaves their home. Those who arrive to visit the town from the outside world, only hear whispers and see no inhabitants. Their impression is always of a mysterious and secretive nature. A lot of them get lost, and when they do…very few of them make their way out, no one knows why, not even the locals. The houses are very small in comparison to the church, but they are built in a similar fashion; pointed arches at the doorways and the windows, slightly arched roofs with what looks like swords at the tops of them. It is a strange place to be in, very strange indeed. It attracts you like a mindless magnet but at the same time wants to get rid of you. The only thing that could ever make you stay is curiosity, which sometimes is overshadowed by mere fear.