Sunday, July 31, 2016

Feel Anything

We'd stepped outside for a quick study break and found ourselves settling into the field nearby. All I could hear was wind gliding past the trees and the soft breathing of the moon. After three hours of being affronted by the constant buzz of the fluorescent lights in the library, this was nice. I heard a light sigh from a couple inches away.

"What's wrong, Erin? Tired?"

"Yeah, kind of." She paused. "I dunno, there's just a lot going on."

I scrunched my eyebrows together before questioning, "Like with school?"

She shuffled pensively and sighed again. "Do you ever feel like you have too many emotions? Like there's more energy or feelings sitting in your body than there's supposed to be?"

I blinked back and exhaled. "I guess sometimes. Like when I'm excited about something. Is that what you mean?"

"Not exactly... I mean sometimes I've got all this energy, and it makes me want to do something big. Sometimes I'll just be sitting there, and then all of a sudden my heart starts racing, and I just get this urge to find a friend and start laughing--

"Is that why you randomly showed up at my room yesterday?"

"Or I want to run forever or talk for hours or do something big. And happy, ya know?"

There was a quick pulse in my chest when I asked, "Like falling in love?"

Erin shot up to sit and face me. "Yes! Exactly! I just feel this need to do something grand and wonderful. Something significant."

Raising my eyebrow, I glanced at her. "Well that sounds great. Why'd you sound so down about it a minute ago?"

Her gaze dropped to hands, and she began to pick at her nails. She let out a light chuckle and said, "Well it's only like that half the time. And even so, it kind of sucks wanting to fall in love and having no one to fall in love with."

"You could fall in love with me," I joked, and she just laughed. A soft laugh that rang through the night and mingled with the stars.

"But half of the time there's just so many emotions that I just kind of go numb. Like I sit there with something swirling inside of me, but my head feels empty and I don't want to move. Occasionally it'll last awhile, and it makes me feel trapped. Then I start thinking about those bad things I told you about."

I pressed my lips together in a line and brought my gaze up to meet hers. She was staring off into the space behind me, her eyes a mix of exhaustion and daze. She worries me sometimes. "Please don't."

"I don't choose to," she replied curtly. "It just happens sometimes."

With a heavy sigh, I lifted myself up so I was sat in front of her. "I know, I'm sorry. Can I do anything? I want to help."

She forgave me with a smile and laughed gently before looking at me. "Thank you. That means a lot."

I gave her a confused grin and teased, "Hey. You didn't tell me what to do!"

"Just be here. Be my friend, please."

I held her hand and her gaze. "Always."

The photo above is something I drew last night while watching Friends. I've actually been drawing a ton recently, so I'm thinking of doing a little peek-into-my-sketchbook type post soon. So look forward to that! Or don't. To each her own.

<Lucy Cartin

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Corner

hat: Daiso; bandana: Michael's;
shirt: hand-me-down/DIY; dress: Free People

Her head falls back to rest on the wall behind her. Hair sticks to the sweat on her face as she trembles to the ground, sliding into the corner. Eyes seal shut to block out the darkness that cloaks the room--that doesn't help. She can still sense their energy, hear their hungry panting. Legs kick frantically at the ground, trying to push her further into the corner, as if somehow she can escape. Her muscles are so tense they quiver, and she waits for them to come for her. Whatever they are. Those things that have been following her for ages. She's certain that this time they'll attack.
They keep following her, wherever she goes. Sometimes they quietly trail a few paces behind her. She doesn't mind it then. It's almost like having company. Other times they work up to a brisk walk and move in step with her. That's kind of okay, too. She can manage them, keep them in check. But whenever she starts getting comfortable, they start growling. Then they screech and yell. Then they break into a predatory sprint and reach and scratch and grab and claw and scare her, so she starts running until her legs go numb and her head feels dizzy.
Hit a wall. Ball on the floor. Her legs can't carry her anymore. All the energy's gone to her arms and hands and fingers. She's not in control anymore, so she shuts her eyes and lets the energy take over as her arms flail and twist. Wrists roll, fingers curl, tears run. She's twisting into herself as her nails scratch down her forearms and fists punch at nothing.

Nothing, huh.

Deep breath in. Hold it. Let it go. Arms pinned down. Daring to open her eyes, she realizes she's alone again. Nothing's there. Everything's fine.
This keeps happening. Try as she might, she never understands why. And God knows she doesn't know how to make it stop. At this point, she'd rather have them finish the job. Reach inside her and cut the cord. End the suffering. But they never even lay a finger on her. That's why she can't get help. No one would believe her, even the people who claim to "care" would say she's lying. Right? There's no proof, so it's not a real problem.
* * *
Went to a Hello Kitty pop up cafe with some friends the other day! Honestly, it was overpriced and there wasn't much there (especially since I've been to a full-on two story Hello Kitty cafe in Taiwan), but it was still adorable. Anyway, I'm super psyched about this dress! About five years ago, I saw Free People post this dress style on their Facebook, and I fell in love. Unfortunately, it was $90. Ouch. My mom said we'd buy it as soon as it went on sale. I checked the Free People section in every store for years with no success, until FINALLY I found this one for $35 in a Nordstrom Rack. And they say Tauruses aren't patient. Pssh.

Someone once told my that my mind bounces around a lot.

<Lucy Cartin

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cool Albums

I've done music posts before, but I'm trying something new. Here are some albums that I've enjoyed over the past year. (These are in alphabetical order by album title, not chronological order.)
1. Astoria by Marianas Trench. Things aren't exactly going to plan... I'm clinging onto this thinning rope and can only see everything getting worse. All that lies in front of me is my desk--no future, no progress. Breathe in, breathe out. There's this busy street between my room and my classes that I cross every day. For some reason I can't stop thinking about just running into it. Don't worry, I don't intend to do it. But it's this notion I can't drop. I'm happiest when I sleep. I've never looked forward to bedtime so much in my life. At first, it's just a distraction--something fun while I do homework. It turns into lyrics that mean a lot to me. I start writing the words on my arms, so I can always have them with me. Suddenly I know every word, and I'm singing along and dancing.
2. Badlands by Halsey. Warm sunshine. Okay, blazing hot sunshine. I almost feel like the sun has a personal vendetta against me. A/C blasting in my face as my hands rest on the steering wheel. The love child of a hipster scowl and a knowing smirk dance across my lips as I bob my head and roll my arm like a wave. Fast forward a few weeks to a hot, stuffy dorm room. I'm reading when I hear it faintly playing from her laptop. Excitedly I scream, "WHO'S PLAYING HALSEY?" and run towards the sound. Roommates bond for the first time.
3. Blue Neighborhood by Troye Sivan. The album drops and I play it instantly, listening while I do homework. His voice and tone and intention are all so raw and emotional. I feel my heart shifting as I drop my pen on my desk. Muscles go limp. Not moving an inch, I pause and stare into space as I listen to Troye. And that's all I wanna do right now.
4. Crybaby by Melanie Martinez. Eyes wide, lips parted in an oh. My head falls lazily to the side, and my shoulders fall into a rhythm. Her music's like a mirror. Truthful cynicism shrouded in an innocent facade. Eyelids droop, lips loosen to let lyrics flow by a sharp tongue. Sharp. Movements. Wit. Glaring because she's angered me using nothing but reality. But you know me--I love having something to be angry about.
5. HAIZ by Hailee Steinfeld. Lying on my bed with headphones on. Last I remember, I was lip singing with my eyes closed, but somehow I'm now sitting up and belting out the words. My eyes squeeze shut, and my hands close into fists as I pull them down to my sides. I start bobbing my head and shoulders as the chorus fills my head again.
6. That's the Spirit by Bring Me the Horizon. Something's not right. I don't feel like myself lately. A thousand reasons come to mind, but I decide to ignore all of them. I'll stay here for awhile. I hate that I think so, but there's something romantic about depression. There's a form of beauty in being stripped down to nothing, in having your optimism torn out of your hands. It's kind of addicting--being sucked in like that. My mind wanders to the depths of my memories, searching for ways to fall deeper. The sun went to bed a few hours ago, but no one's bothered to turn on the lights yet. Settling into the couch, I turn up the volume and listen--a blank gaze taking over my eyes.
7. This Side of Paradise by Hayley Kiyoko. The music videos came first, from my perspective, at least. Youthful. She embodies this youthfulness, this sense of adventure. I want that. Intensity arrives, but my muscles relax as I envision myself in her place. The sound is dynamic, and I can't help but nod my head in agreement. Her voice flows in vivid color, and I want nothing more than to be drenched in her rainbow.
Hope you enjoyed that! I know that nobody has time to listen to an entire album these days (especially if the person telling you to listen to it is some random girl on the internet), but below I've linked one song from each album that stood out to me. Please give one of the songs a listen if any of the albums interested you even a little bit.

1.  -Marianas Trench
2.  -Halsey
3.  -Troye Sivan
4.  -Melanie Martinez
5.  -Hailee Steinfeld
6.  -Bring Me The Horizon
7.  -Hayley Kiyoko

hellokuo on Spotify if you're interested in stalking what I listen to.

<Lucy Cartin

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Abandoning Normativity

dress: Nordstrom Rack; bomber: Zara; purse: BCBGeneration;
socks: Kohl's; shoes: Topshop

Weird has become mainstream over the last few years. Or at least saying you're weird has become popular. Forgive me for being absolutely ridiculous, but I get mildly annoyed when normal people with a minor quirk call themselves weird.

Let me explain.
As a person who doesn't easily mesh with her fellow human beings, I'm quite sensitive about the word "weird." I've recently concluded that I have a different idea of what words and topics are acceptable in casual conversations. It's quite common for me to say extremely depressing, violent, or strange things as a form of humor. Sue me--I'm a product of Internet culture. Consequently, when people tell me they're weird, I take that to mean that they're familiar with japes of the aforementioned manner, and I just let the dark humor flow.
A year ago, I thought I was quirky. Upon meeting oodles of new people during my first year of college, I realized that I'm weird. And not fun "iCarly" weird. I'm talking "people give me weird looks and don't know how to respond when I speak" weird. For awhile there, I spent a lot of down time wondering if I'd make more friends by training myself to be more like the people around me. Luckily, I shut that idea down quickly. I've mentioned before how much I , but I'm also very against changing who I am to please other people. It's definitely not the easiest way to live, but I choose to believe that being the "me" that makes me happy is the best way to live.
I live by a different checklist than most people, and I move at a different pace. Meaning, my milestones do not necessarily align with those of the people around me, and I don't reach said milestones in a way that corresponds with the timeline dictated by societal expectations. This also implies that if I choose to measure my life by the same ruler as everyone else, I'll always be dissatisfied.

Although it means that I'll probably never be one of those girls who has a ton of friends, I embrace the elements of my character that estrange me from the norm.

Relevant song: "" by Troye Sivan

<Lucy Cartin

Friday, July 1, 2016

and then Bethany came along

As she opened her arms to hug me, I reached my arm out to shake her hand--in which our first interaction serves as a relevant depiction of our relationship.

One of the first things I learned in college is that, compared to most people my age, I go to bed quite early. 90% of the time, I'll be in bed by midnight--whereas my roommate, Bethany, typically rolls in around 2 A.M. (at least that's what I assume... I rarely see her actually get into bed). One day, we actually went to sleep at the same time *gasp*, and as we're lying in our respective bunks, Bethany says, "You know, us living together is like having a sleepover every night." And in true sleepover fashion, she starts asking me all kinds of questions about any and all aspects of my life.

This may sound weird, but before I met Bethany, I never had a friend ask me so many questions. I guess I've never actually tried to get to know someone before. In the past, I always kind of let it happen over the course of a few years. Despite how foreign it was at first, I can't express how grateful I am to have had someone with such a deep interest and sincere care for other human beings thrown into my life. Not only have I been blessed with my own personal ray of sunshine, but she's made me slightly more comfortable with getting to know people (which is something I've struggled with for a long time  and ).

Unfortunately for everyone around me, I'm one of those disgusting humans who's annoyingly subtle whenever I'm upset. Even when people ask, I really struggle to put my thoughts into words, to say something other than "everything's fine". For some reason, Bethany has the power to know when I'm in a mood before a pout can even reach my face. And for some reason, whenever she asks me what's wrong I manage to explain. Crazy stuff. Well, not too crazy, I suppose. In my nineteen years of life, no one has been more honest and open with me than Bethany. I guess that's a good reason.

Aside from all this mushy crap, Bethany and I have all the good bants. A general highlight of my first year of college is a blur of our sleepover-movie-night-chicken-nugget-quests. We've talked about everything from boys ("Yeah, but cute how?" "... in the face?") to fears to our least favorite colors. We've literally talked to the point where we've looked at each other and said, "What haven't I told you?" and then continued talking.

The conversation falls to silence as I start dozing off, and after a few moments of nothing but our breathing, she whispers (creepily, might I add), "This was the best sleepover ever." And then I'm dying in a fit of snorts and eye-rolls.

Bethany, you seem to have an endless supply of dirty laundry and empty boba cups, but there isn't another person I'd rather room with. Here's to another year of Man and Than.