Happiness, Anxiety and Late Night Talks

2016-10-25

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.

16 Comments
    1. Sounds wonderful and exciting! The time will come to rest, digest, and recharge. in the meantime, enjoy the process of experience and self discovery. Peace, love, and creativity!

      1. Thank you for reading and commenting! You’re right, I guess some phases are crazier than others, but they’ll come and go. Have a wonderful day :)

    1. Hi Monika! Social anxiety sucks and I can relate to several feelings you had in your “pre-party” experience.. I have a tip for you since I’m done with uni and stuff: don’t be too hard on yourself. Just let things flow, believe me they will! They are already flowing, right? :) Fortunately relations from the university are different from the ones from highschool, they are way lighter, you’ll see.
      Of course, sometimes you’ll need to do some effort and step out of your comfort zone, and that will hurt, but try to accept whatever comes, because every experience is important. Let the feelings come, you’ll see that the same way as they come they go, and you will be just fine. :)
      I love your pictures and I think you are very brave!

      Renata.

      1. Hi Renata, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me! Yes, things are definitely flowing and I actually have no reason to feel anxious, but then, unfortunately it’s not something you can reason with.
        What do you mean with “lighter” relations? More superficial?
        I do try to embrace all feelings and, in the worst case, try to make something creative out of it.
        Thank you for the lovely compliments <3
        Have a wonderful weekend! x

        1. By “lighter” I meant easier, weightless.. everyone seems to be more open minded. I hope you can relate to this or you`ll think I’m crazy haha!
          Have a nice week you too! :)

          1. Oh, that sounds very promising – I thought you mean in a negative sense! I’ve only made positive experiences in my residence so far so I think I understand what you mean – and even if I didn’t, I’d never think you’d be crazy, we all have different ways of perceiving things :) take care and thanks for the explanation! x

    1. Sounds like an evening you will remember for quite some time. I understand the apprehension to go to somewhere where you know no one. Kudos for the progress you’ve made on managing sudden emotions that hit you. Going on you found the experience to be something that you would have missed out on otherwise. Also, great photo here.

      1. Thank you very much for your lovely feedback! It’s indeed a great feeling to look and realise that I’ve made some progress, sometimes we feel stuck and don’t see how far we’ve come. I hope you’re doing great as well, take care and have a lovely weekend :)

    1. It was really nice meeting you! :) I’m glad to read you had such a great rest of the day/night on Saturday.
      And I agree with Renata’s comment above, people you meet at uni will come and go in a very smooth way. In 10 years most of them won’t be part of your life anymore and you might even forgot about a few…
      I love the soft tones of the photo and its vulnerability, it goes well with what you decided to share on the post. ♥

      1. It was wonderful to finally meet you too! <3 I saw a comment in Instagram, we really do look a tiny little bit like relatives/sisters haha
        Yeah, I know that those nightly encounters often go by without leaving a big impact, no matter how profound the conversation was. But sometimes, albeit rarely, it's a start of a lasting friendship. I think the biggest drive in my life comes from the connection with other people, so I'm open and curious to see what'll develop :)
        Thank you for the compliment :)) <3 have a lovely weekend! x

        1. haha yes! Even though we have such different origins ;)
          It’s true, I have an handful of very good friends that I met back in uni and we’re still part of each other’s life today.
          Have a great weekend as well!

    1. Sometimes the best way to get past anxiety is to just do it, you know? Like once you get started, it’s not as bad as you thought it would be. Or maybe it does suck and you go home right away, but at least you can say you tried! Then sometimes you get those perfect moments where just doing it was the right choice and you have a great time! So glad that this party turned out to be one of those moments <3

      1. Thank you for your comment, Arielle! <3 Yeah you're right - but unfortunately, I've made some bad experience with this attitude, so I wasn't too sure about it anymore. But after this magical time, I'll definitely keep trying :) trying to leave shortly after arriving is not easy haha
        take care xx

      1. Thank you, Harriet! Yeah sometimes it’s the right thing to do, unfortunately it doesn’t always turn out so well – but I think the good times are worth pushing through and getting disappointed! :) I hope you’re doing well x

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