It’s a warm Saturday afternoon. I meet up with the lovely Swiss-Portuguese blogger Ines in Berne. We sit by the river; the autumn sun warms our faces while we chat about all the world and his brother. Unfortunately, I have to leave pretty early – I have a client shoot with a really cute middle-aged couple in a wonderful garden in my town later in the afternoon.
The evening before, I went to a photography exhibition with my flatmate. I was so happy when he asked me if I wanted to go there with him; it’s lovely to realise that someone (who’s not too familiar yet) wants to spend time with you. We had a great conversation and it was fun to interpret the photographs with him, some attempts more successful than others, but always very interesting. I really love this sweet process of getting to know each other better.
Anyways, on my way home at the end of Saturday, I’m exhausted. But my heart is full, threatening to burst because of the happiness inside it. I randomly sing and smile. I’m so in love with life and can’t believe my luck.
The thought of staying at home, giving myself some much-needed introvert-time and enjoying the peace sounds tempting, but my best friend (I’m going to call her Crack from now on) is organising a home party and tells me sweetly that she’d be very happy if I came by, even if it’s just for a short while. I can’t say no even though I don’t like the thought of being in a group full of strangers who know each other, yet there’s the wish to socialise outside Lucerne as well. As a compromise, I decide to return before midnight.
Before leaving, I buy Tom Chaplin‘s new album and start listening to his beautiful songs. I’m so touched I feel like crying. That’s probably the trigger for my sudden change of mood.
When I rush to catch the bus, I have a really bad feeling about the evening. All the happiness is gone, replaced by chaos. I don’t know anyone, I don’t feel like socialising and my emotions are so overwhelming I can’t imagine getting in there, putting up a show and have fun. Just last month I tried it – with friends, not even strangers – and it ended quite ugly. Anxiety takes over and a few hundred meters away from her place, I realise I could still turn around.
I wish I had my camera and tripod with me, the desire to create something inspired by these emotions is overwhelming. But I keep going. Suddenly I realise that it hasn’t always been like that. A few years ago, when my emotions took over and I couldn’t handle them anymore, I dealt with it in an unhealthy way. I’ve never cut myself since I feel like fainting whenever I see a wound, but I had my own unhealthy outlet: binging (food), often followed by the degrading act of vomiting just to see myself at the bottom where I felt I was.
I’ve never though I’d share that openly. But here I am, a few years later, at times still having the mess in my head and heart, but dealing with it in a very different way.
So I keep going – because today, I’m stronger than the mess. And I promise myself that tomorrow, I can write about it as much as I like in order to process it. But it has to wait.
The first hours of the party are quite okay. People talk to me; I’m not really included, but not forgotten in the corner either. We start a drinking game, I decide to stay longer since I don’t feel as uncomfortable as I thought.
Suddenly it’s 3am, everyone has left or is going to sleep and just Crack’s male best friend and me are left. Crack’s already said that we had some ‘party traits’ in common, so it’s probably not too surprising that we are the two people who don’t want to sleep yet (though I certainly didn’t expect that I’d talk to him more than superficially – we didn’t have the best start, ignoring each other the first time we met).
The alcohol has made me more sociable (and apparently a bit too talkative as well), so we decide to stay in the living room and talk, talk, talk. We keep postponing our departure. Hours fly by, I know I should be sensible and get some sleep because of tomorrow’s plans, but I can’t remember the last time I had such an interesting, honest conversation with a stranger, so I stay.
We talk till 6.30 in the morning. My exhausted body screams for sleep, but I’m happy and so glad I went to the party. My exchange year experience in Uruguay has scarred me. I’m used to being in a group without anyone bothering to talk to me, being the one overlooked. So when people do see me, talk with me all night long, ask me if I want to spend time with them (like my flatmates), are kind to me for kindness’ sake and not because they want something from me, I’m surprised about it. And super happy, of course.
Life has been intense lately. Exciting days are followed by sleepless nights. My body suffers from the lack of care, but my happiness is flourishing.
When I return to my room in Lucerne the next day, I’m full of love. I wish I could give my flatmates a huge hug and tell them how happy I am to be there with them. Of course I don’t, I don’t want to freak them out, but I do bring some desserts for them, my way of showing people my affection (what I do tell them, since we’re going got have another party this week and I’d rather say it sober than tipsy).
These days are perfect and life is beautiful. My heart bubbles with so much love for the beautiful souls I got to meet in the last four weeks and I promise myself that I’ll create an environment in which I can be my affectionate me.