Ephemeral Beauty
ilenia - 18 - living in a rose labyrinth

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Trigger warning: funeral, cancer

I went to one of my highschool friend’s funeral today. There’s a heaviness that won’t leave my heart. I didn’t know her particularly well, but whenever we spoke she was so incredibly kind. Do you know those people who never ever say a bad thing about others? Those rare people who can be witty and sarcastic without actually being mean? She was one of those people.

During the eulogies, her mum spoke about how when Olivia found out she had cancer, she admitted that she was glad it was her and not anyone in her family. I find it difficult to breathe when I think about all of the things she will miss out on experiencing - all the people she would have met, the uni course she would have started this year, falling in love with a kind, funny boy, getting married, having kids, coaching the basketball team.

And now at seven o’clock at night, her body has already been buried, and I can’t think about anything other than how alone she is. And cold. I know she’s not alive and breathing so she can’t feel or see or hear anything, but my heart aches all of the same. I feel like running to the cemetery and just sitting by her grave so that she won’t be alone. How weird is that?

It’s strange how it takes something like this to make you realise how much someone meant to you. My highschool was tightly knit, and although you wouldn’t consider every single person a best friend, you couldn’t help but care for one another. I wish I had taken more time in year 12 to actually appreciate the people around me. I was constantly stressed about getting high marks so that I could get into uni. I never went out, never actually took the time to get to know the people around me. And now, it’s 2014. I received an Atar that put me in the top 5% of the whole state. I got into one of the best universities in Australia. And yet here I sit on my bed, feeling empty. It all kind of feels meaningless, doesn’t it? I feel so angry at myself because it’s taken me something like this to happen for me to realise how important life is. How important the people you love are. How important kindness and giving the people the time of day is. How pointless self hate and low self esteem is. I spend so much time worrying about stupid things - the way I look, the things I say, my marks, what people think of me - that I become terrified and retreat back into my comfortable, cautious boundaries. I don’t give people chances because I’m scared that I’ll end up getting hurt somehow - ignored, laughed at, gossiped about. Whatever. And it’s totally pointless. Selfish, even. I am healthy and happy and surrounding by loved ones. I feel like it would be an insult to her memory to not actually enjoy life. If olivia can’t enjoy her life, then we should do it for her.

I learnt today that Olivia was an incredible fighter. She fought right to the end. She hated being dependent on other people, but she accepted their support so that they could feel like they were helping her - even in a little way. She constantly thought of others. She worried about her family and how they would deal with life after she was gone. Even when her doctor told her there was nothing more he could do, she thanked him. I can’t imagine her fear and her sadness and all the times that she surely would have felt like giving up - I can’t. Because even when the world around her could visibly see she was ill, she cracked a joke and everything was normal. She was ok. Everything was ok. There was no need to tip-toe around her.

I know that there must have been times - a lot of times - that she did not feel brave. There must have been many instances where she felt scared, where she couldn’t smile or pretend to be ok. But that won’t stop me from saying that she is one of the bravest, kindness people I know of. The world would indeed be a better place if everyone was like Olivia.

14 April | 07:46pm

I have just finished watching episode 7 of My Mad Fat Diary and all I can say is: they did it. E4 did it.

Like many people out there, Rae’s character resonates with me. Throughout her whole journey, there hasn’t been an episode when I couldn’t see an aspect of myself in her actions, thoughts or selected behaviours. It was comforting. It was scary.

It was comforting because she gave me that little inkling of hope that I yearned for so desperately. Hope that I’m not the only one out there feeling the same way. Hope that it gets better. Hope that I can be strong like Rae. I bet after re-reading this I will cringe and want to delete the whole ‘dramatic’ post because here’s the thing: in reality, I have very little to feel sad about. I come from an extremely loving and supportive family. I have a small group of supportive friends. I’ve gotten into a fantastic university. Yeah, I’m a bit chubby, but that’s an insignificant problem compared to what many people go through. I am an extremely lucky person. You don’t have to tell me - I already know. At the same time, however, there’s times where I hate myself. I’m not talking about the perpetual ‘oh great I look like a stylish whale’ feeling or the sinking feeling you get when you realise that you’re once again the biggest girl/guy in the room. No, I’m talking about hatred. That one very bad day amongst your sea - ocean - of normal days. You know the day I’m talking about. The one where you ignore all of your assignments, ignore your family and just sit in your room or on your bathroom floor and cry until you get to the point where you don’t even know why you’re crying anymore. It’s nothing. It’s everything. And as much as it reminds you of those melodramatic teenage angst YA novels or teeny-bopper bands who sing about crushing 12-year-old breakups, it’s real. It’s you.

And you feel incredibly guilty. You feel guilty for shutting everyone out or snapping at people you love or love you. You feel guilty for being selfish and self absorbed. You feel guilty because there are so many people out there who have heavier burdens. Good, kind people who don’t deserve their pain or sadness.

But here’s the thing: neither do you. You don’t deserve feeling that way about yourself. You don’t deserve those very, very bad days where you feel isolated and conquered. You deserve happiness.

Don’t get caught up in romanizing isolation and sadness. I think that is a key underlying idea in MMFD. Rae is constantly putting herself down and hating herself, which is unfortunately a common occurrence in the media we consume. Can you think of one rom-com female star who hasn’t got a ‘deep buried secret’ or self esteem/self image issues? Even here on tumblr - especially here on tumblr - we romanticize this isolation and self hate, turning it into a communal ‘natural’ experience that we should relish in. Hell, I’m sure I’ve reblogged a quote or picture that had that sort of connotation once or twice. People are free to talk on tumblr and express their emotions and feelings without fear of insult or disgust or a lack of understanding. BUT there is a difference between expressing what you feel and actually believing these emotions. For example: you may feel like a failure for receiving a C mark on an assignment. That does not mean you ARE a failure. In fact, you passed. You’re the OPPOSITE of a failure.

The scene with Kester and Rae made me think very hard about the needless way I’m treating myself and how that’s affecting the people I love and my view of the world around me. For Rae to fix the people around her, she must fix herself first. The way to do this is through love. She must learn to love herself. She has to be able to tell herself what a wonderful person she is when she begins to freak out. She has to tell herself it will be ok. Because it will be. Don’t be afraid to tell yourself that you love or at least LIKE yourself. Or even an aspect of yourself. Ignore the unwritten rule that states you have to wait until someone points out that you’re a wonderful human being before you can actually start believing it. I think that’s something that society got totally wrong. I think you have to find YOURSELF wonderful before other people can.

If you’re in a similar position to me, let me tell you: this too will pass. It may not feel like it, but it will. Yeah, you might have another bad day where you feel super-crap, but that day will end and the next day will be better. I promise you, usually even on your worst days, there will be a part of you somewhere that isn’t poisoned by the temporary bitterness. And believe me, it’s even easier to feel better if you have someone to talk to.

25 March | 11:44pm

i don’t understand how to use snapchat lol

20 March | 10:01pm
I love uni and I love all of the friends I made during o-week and I love my manageable and interesting subjects and I love going to uni.
no one ever.
5 March | 05:40pm
My first day of uni was overwhelming. I want to go back to my comfortable high school existence where I knew everyone and knew where everything was and had friends. Ugh.
3 March | 08:23pm

oh my god. 

I think I want to be a nurse. 

But i’m in a bachelor of Arts. 

And i’m so incredibly terrible when it comes to math. 


27 February | 02:51pm
Unpopular opinion FinnxRae

I understand that many people are devastated about Rae and Finn breaking up. I also understand that they are devastated that there was little Finn exposure in episode 3. The thing is, however, that this show deals with a girl with multifaceted problems. Perhaps not exactly your normal girl, but a girl that many of us feel a connection to and can relate to on some level. I will be the first one to admit that there is ALWAYS that one line/scene in an episode that strikes a nerve. I usually find myself sobbing because I see myself clearly - acutely - in Rae during those few minutes. It’s almost as if I am absorbed into the show and I replace the protagonist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a nice feeling. It’s quite painful most of the time. In saying that, it’s almost therapeutic. Kind of like popping a huge blister on your foot to temporarily alleviate the pressure.

Anyway, back to my unpopular opinion: I’m glad Finn and Rae have broken up. Yes, a small part of me is waiting anxiously for both of them to make up and become a couple again, but I know in my heart it’s not the right thing to do. If I put myself in Rae’s shoes, I understand where she’s coming from. I don’t see the point of being with someone if you can’t ‘be with them’ wholly and truly. Now, I don’t mean sex. I mean feeling comfortable with them. I mean being able to talk to them about anything without worrying that they will suddenly say something nasty or think you’re weird or decide to leave you.

Before you die hard Finn fans begin to chase me with pitchforks, I’m not blaming Finn (well, entirely). I get it that he’s just a teenage boy. He doesn’t know how to support Rae as her boyfriend given her special circumstances - which makes sense. Yeah, he’s able to see more of Rae than just her looks, but he’s still your average guy who finds difficulty in conversing. And that right there is the crux of the problem! Here you have two teenagers. One battles with self hatred each day. Each time someone laughs, she always know it relates to her. She desperately wants to sink into the walls and become as inconspicuous as possible, but that’s kind of hard when you have a larger - than - average body. And the thing is, part of Rae wants to talk to Finn about her problems, but most of her wants to ignore their existence. It doesn’t help that Finn constantly reinforces how great it is that Rae is ‘normal’ and etc. I’m sure he doesn’t use it as a tactic to avoid discussing Rae’s problems. In fact, Finn is just a clueless boy who just likes Rae because of who she is. Finn just sees a happy, bubbly and down to earth girl who he loves spending time with. Rae loves the microcosm that they both create when they’re together. It’s her safe haven. She doesn’t want to disrupt it. Ultimately, She decides to break up so that her suffering is considerably less than if Finn was to choose to break up with her. Rae fears Finn’s rejection above everything else. It’s almost as if she’s weighing her worth and potential to be happy in a beauty-obsessed world on him. In her self doubting, immature teenage mind, Finn is her be-all end-all.

If Finn and Rae are to be together, Rae needs to begin to really accept herself. That’s not done overnight. Believe me. She needs to be able to confront Finn and tell him the truth about everything. Finn needs to learn to be more open with Rae. Rather than just accept Rae’s negative behavior and isolation, he should sit down with her and actively try to figure out the reasons behind it all. I’m not saying that they should discuss every single problem or fear. I’m just saying that rather than just accepting their isolation and sadness, both Rae and Finn need to rip off the metaphorical bandaid and start confronting each other. (Perhaps confronting is not the right word but you know what I mean).

In brief terms: Rae and Finn are not mature or confident enough to be in a positive relationship right now. They should talk more and stop avoiding problems.

27 February | 08:51am
26 February | 10:38pm
I have become obsessed with Star Wars.

(And so begins the attempt to learn every little thing about it)

24 February | 07:51pm


17 February | 07:24am
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