# 70 || “She’s never where she is,’ I said. ‘She’s only inside her head.”

"Why did I obsess over people like this? What is normal to fixate on strangers in this particular vivid, fevered way? I didn't think so. It was impossible to imagine some random passer-by on the street forming quite such an interest in me. And yet it was the main reason I'd gone in those houses with Tom: I was fascinated by strangers, wanted to know what food they ate and what dishes they ate it from, what movies they watched and what music they listened to, wanted to look under their beds and in their secret drawers and night tables and inside the pockets of their coats. Often I saw interesting-looking people on the street and thought about them restlessly for days, imagining their lives, making up stories about them on the subway or the crosstown bus." -- The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt.

Although this petit journal is hardly advertised anywhere, it makes me nervous to write anything here that is the opposite of joyous. But if not here, where? If not to you, who? In all honesty, I haven’t felt this incurably lonely in a very long time. My imagination has been working endless hours overtime over the last few weeks, unlike anything I have ever experienced. Perhaps it is the slight increase in maturity in recent years but the quasi-adult insight (or lackthereof, rather) has only made everything that much more complicated. I second-guess everything with some kind of backhanded logic reminding me to let go and be free. Yet I’ll take my feet off the brakes in the wild and fervent train-of-thought(s) that I am driving nonstop and indulge in the ridiculous art of overthinking and superhyperanalyasis. 

Nostalgia feels like the only cure to this despondence, but it both suppresses and encourages this hollow feeling at the bottom of my heart. I thought this childish melancholia would go away one day but maybe I am too frightened to let it go, maybe subconsciously I wrote it into my  identidy with a permanent marker - “I am sad. I am sad. I am sad.” I know better than to dwell on self-destructive thoughts and I know better than to recite antipathetic convictions in my head over and over again until what used to be ideas become whole truths that I can’t forget. 

This life can’t possibly be an eternal hunt for that darned elusive rabbit hole. I’m trying, I pinky swear that I am trying every day but I just wanted somewhere to scribble down some thoughts that don’t sound quite right when I say them aloud. To think that each forthcoming second is a prospective memory, to imagine that every space has the potential to be filled with nostalgia and to know that you have the opportunity to change everything at any given instant - I can hardly believe it, sometimes. I don't often write whilst feeling as uninspired as I do right now, but this strange sort of sorrow that has taken residence inside my heart has left me with little else to do but write. I could blame it on the weather, I could blame it on whatever series of events has taken or will take place in my life, or I could just write. When I think about the last six and a half years that I have had this diary, I never thought I would be here years later writing the essence of the same sentiment that I started with.

The peculiar thing is that there is so little that I regret and even after everything, I wouldn't trade myself in for anybody else. For all the lonely days and nights, for all the amplified emotion, for all the complexities and melancholia, for all the evanescent remorse - I wouldn't take it back. If there's one thing I've learned, it is that every feeling is impermanent and the only lasting lesson is that courage is a decision. And that decision is a commitment. But the choice in courage shouldn't always coax you towards a carpe diem-esque creation. Sometimes it takes courage to even contemplate an action, sometimes common-sense trumps courage and you don't have to feel like your inaction was a wasted opportunity.


Love, Afifa x