a snapshot by Robin – I love what he captured here: me looking 100% unglamorous, but happy and comfortable
Today was amazing. Yesterday’s tears and overwhelming loneliness seem like a surreal nightmare to me now.
I spent the whole day – from getting up at 10am till 9pm – with my flatmate Robin and his close friend “C” (he appears at the bottom of yesterday’s post). It’s the first time I voluntarily spent so much time with someone (besides my boyfriend) during a day this year.
In the morning, I look amazingly fresh with my pajama pants on. My hair’s like a bird’s nest on my head (“voluminous“, Robin says while laughing) and traces of sleep and exhaustion are on my bare face. But I don’t care. These are people I’m comfortable around. They’re their random selves around me and haven’t been trying to hide their true character either. So I don’t mind showing them my raw me. There is no reason to hide.
After breakfast – some tummy-filling banana pancakes topped with hot cherries and maple syrup – we move a couple of meters onto the grubby second-hand couches where we laze around for the next four hours, alternately fooling around, talking, being silent, photographing, laughing.
Shortly before four, the sun is going to set soon, we decide to get some fresh air and take my daily photo outside. It’s time to make myself more presentable. I get rid of the bird’s nest. Concealer, powder, mascara, lipstick – I see a different person in the mirror. And I feel different. Unapproachable.
I don’t look like the plain, nice girl from next door anymore, more like the superficial-party-girl-persona I acquired in Uruguay four years ago in a desperate and successful attempt to protect myself. Try your best to look great and hide your vulnerability behind it. It used to be a mask that makes me self-confident, but over time, it has become a part of me as well. Nowadays I simply enjoy looking a bit more decent every now and then.
Feeling self-conscious, I enter the living room again. C sits with his back to me and for some reason, I feel like I might startle him with my change of look, so I say “I feel like a different person” before I appear in his field of vision. He gives me one of his intense looks. He seems thoughtful; I feel scrutinized. “What?” – “You also look like a different person“, he says laughing. I don’t ask whether it’s a good or bad thing.
In the forest – my beloved forest, I’ve missed it so much! – the guys fool around with the camera while I’m getting ready for my self-portrait. I take it with the help of Robin while C is watching. It feels a bit awkward, ‘performing’ in front of them. For me, taking self-portraits is often a very intimate process (though it depends on the photo) and most of the time, I feel ashamed for my project, afraid of seeming self-absorbed. But when I trust someone and think they won’t judge, I let them be there.
Our tummies signal hunger on our way back and we decide to have dinner at C’s place. Just like he did in the morning, we quickly fetch missing ingredients from our nearby apartment. Everything is casual and spontaneous, and I love this – sharing this comfortable everyday life, being able to do everything and nothing together without having to make plans.
After dinner, we stay at C’s place for another three hours. I lie on the sofa as if I were at home, curled up like an embryo, surrounded by a lot of cozy pillows. We look at old photos (Robin’s and my favourite activity lately) and laugh and laugh about how we used to look. I wonder whether it’s possible to pinpoint the beginning of a friendship or whether it’s a gradual process.
After today, I’m sure: No matter what my doubts told me yesterday, I’m not alone. I could have told one of them about my breakdown and they’d have listened and supported me. But yes, the timing was bad. It was a busy event, they had to focus on something and I didn’t want to distract them. And their busyness stupidly made me feel unnecessary. But I’ll never let the negativity in my mind convince me again in this aspect: I’m not alone.