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A clean slate, a fresh start. [Jun. 5th, 2020|10:39 am]
Someone once said that each day of our lives, we must do at least one thing that scares us. So I told myself that this year, I'll try my hardest to be honest, I'll teach myself to be brave. It's not easy. But maybe this will help. 

My name is Anna. My heart is fickle, my memory is unreliable, and I tend to think of the past and look at the future with a drowning sense of nostalgia. I take pictures and write (although not as well as I'd like to) and I do both because I want to remember every thing. 

Come and read if you want. 
Leave everything at the door. 

(Mostly locked.) 
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(no subject) [Jan. 21st, 2012|02:07 pm]
The excitement that radiated from the sweaty skin of every single person in the vicinity was palpable, tinging the air with electricity. Laughter and loud chattering pervaded the crisp, summer air, and every few minutes or so an influx of people would arrive in large groups, making it quite difficult to move around. People pushed past each other to get to the front of the stage, holding up red plastic cups of their chosen type of poison, or gripping the hands of lovers they couldn’t bear to let go of. It was a night that would precede many others, but it was the night that my unreliable memory would fight the hardest not to forget.

As the band approached the stage and the opening lines of Hands Down was being sung, a crescendo of hollering and wolf-whistling and cheers emanated from the whole crowd. I looked up at the boy standing by my side, his hair ruffled and his eyes already slightly unfocused. He grinned at me as he searched for my left hand and squeezed it, brought his lips to my ear and slurred, “All the stars conspired to bring us here tonight.”

And when Chris Carrabba sang the chorus and everyone was singing along, I believed him. I believed him. You could feel all our hearts pounding in perfect synchronization to the drums. 
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This is how regret looks like [Jan. 12th, 2012|03:37 pm]
Over the week I listened to an old man talk about how things were like when he was younger. We sat and gave him our undivided attention, sitting on kitchen chairs and taking in everything in huge gulps: his tattered white shirt, tufts of balding white hair, wrinkled brown skin, and despite all the evident signs of old age, we were entranced by the still-youthful eyes that were fixed on a faraway place that none of us could follow. Memory. 

An illegitimate child, a working student, an undergraduate, he told us about how hard work could get you far, and how you should find your passion, that drive, and how a sheltered life can keep you from the things waiting for you outside while looking at me straight in the eye. A salesman, a husband, a father, but never a family man. "I never did this with my family, never got the chance to talk to them like this." He said, gesturing to the four of us.

He turned eighty-one on the fifteenth of September and currently lives in a house too big for himself. He's ready to go, he told us, but just has one major regret: he worked too hard in attempt to give his family the life that he wanted them to have and succeeded, but lost them one by one as their hearts grew distant in the process. He only sees his children, now middle-aged adults, once or twice a year. Three of them live in the States. One lives nearby. His wife left him after growing tired. 

"You can never take back lost time." He told us again and again. 
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Sonnet LXXI by Pablo Neruda [Jan. 7th, 2012|11:08 pm]

Love crosses its islands, from grief to grief,
it sets roots, watered with tears,
and no one - no one - can escape the heart’s progress
as it runs, silent and carnivorous.

You and I searched for a wide valley, for another planet
where the salt wouldn’t touch your hair,
where sorrows couldn’t grow because of anything I did,
where bread could live and not grow old.

A planet entwined with vistas and foliage,
a plain, a rock, hard and unoccupied:
we wanted to build a strong nest

with our own hands, without hurt or harm or speech,
but love was not like that: love was a lunatic city
with crowds of people blanching in their porches.

Because I have no words of my own. Because this is beautiful, and we all want, need, deserve more beauty in our lives. 
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Attraversiamo [Dec. 30th, 2011|02:33 am]
The morning after Christmas, I heaved a sigh and finally put down Eat Pray Love after a month or two of reading it (yes, it took me that long) (school eats up most of my energy and time). It's an account of a woman's journey who, after losing everything she deemed important in life, literally flew around the world to experience pleasure (Italy), to regain her faith (India), and finally, to attain balance and to find peace and love within herself (Indonesia). It was about change, about how it's possible to regain the things you've lost, including yourself. It was a story about redemption.

In two days, 2011 ends. And before I take another step forward and bid this year goodbye, all I'd like to say is despite the varying bouts of hell we've all had to go through now and then, despite the fact that this year has never been easy, never been without pain, I can still say with pure conviction that it has been amazing and I treasure every minute of it. I met new people, said goodbye to old friends, walked through the streets of places foreign and colossally different to the town I grew up in, moved to a different school, got worse, got better, and a whole lot of other things but what it all comes down to is somewhere in between 2011 I was given the opportunity to start again. And I promise that I will keep starting again and again after every mistake, after each time life spins around, hits me hard on the face and problems start resurfacing, no matter how much time it takes.

I never want to get older if it might mean looking back at my life someday and only feel regret, but to say that I don't have anything I might jump at the chance to change if I was given the opportunity would be a lie. After all, I'm the girl that when asked what superpower she'd want to have would answer without any hesitation, Time Control. But I can't change what's already been carved in stone. So here's to looking forward. Here's to savoring each moment, and learning from everything that will come my way.

And I have so many people to thank, a lot of things I am eternally grateful for. Mainly family, friends, God, and everyone else who's made me smile, people who've shed some light and has touched my life along the way. People who've come and left. People who stayed. You have all been a major part of the person I have become now, whoever that person even really is.

Let's all welcome the brand new year with bright eyes, open minds, and open hearts. This is a year of new possibilities. 

(Let's cross over!)
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Interlude [Dec. 17th, 2011|10:08 pm]
You've always been so good at detachment, so here you go: books and walls and places and words and songs and sentences and photographs processed by just a subtle touch of pressure on a camera's button wrapped around moments, hours, and days to protect yourself from thoughts, feelings, and situations you'd rather do away with for now. Stop talking to (some) people. Retreat into your shell. Let your absence be felt. Make them miss you. Make them not miss you. Whichever suits you best. Whichever is the better fit. Blend into the smoke and mist because you know that you're good at this. 

Dive into a pool of words that aren't your own. Throw yourself into the growing pile of books stacked by your bed that you've accumulated through all these months that you've spent doing something entirely else instead, for crying out loud. Stop complaining about this small, tiresome place and go. Mark Twain once said that books are for people who wish that they were somewhere else. Stow your passport away. This presents itself as an opportunity to step out of your shadow, to slip out of your life for once; to live and breathe the air from a world that isn't your own. 

Enclose yourself inside rooms with walls that do nothing but keep your secrets, that aren't bothered by the things you whisper in your sleep at night. Listen to songs that don't remind you of things, instead, listen to the ones that keep you afloat, the ones which defeat the whole purpose of you writing, the ones with loud guitar riffs, the ones imbued with forgetfulness. And finally, take pictures. Take a lot of them. Take a whole shit load. And always, always smile, so you can look back someday and when all you have left are pictures, then at least they were from a time when you looked happy.

(I've been rewriting this for days. Just finally got the nerve to publish it now. Nothing I write sounds any good and I guess what this all translates into is: I need a break. A long one. Two weeks doesn't feel quite enough. I've been reading, eating, sleeping more and writing less these days.) 
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A try at fiction [Aug. 20th, 2011|06:31 pm]

“If you could do it all over again, what would you change?” I asked. It was a long, dreary night and we were seated on her front porch, swinging our legs, whiling the time away, drinking coffee and chasing billows of smoke with our fingertips with the distant drone of television and chirping crickets behind us.

She took her time before answering, closing her eyes while she pondered on my query. I tried to see what she saw behind her closed eyelids but all I could see was black. And finally, she replied, “Everything.” 

I was watching her from the corner of my eye as her hands started to tremble, and then after sighing heavily she looked up and turned her head back to face me. “To start over would be…“ she paused.
“…an awfully big adventure.” 

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Arrival [Jul. 17th, 2011|06:58 pm]
I should have written this entry ages ago, but I hesitated-- procrastination (one of the few things I'm good at, and also a habit I am trying to shake off) took hold of me again. But I digress. 

I'm back. A plane took me and my mother home five days ago, and almost everything was just as I had left them, but the way I felt about things would never be the same. But to say that nothing else had changed would be incorrect. Home had aged while I was gone. We both did.

My best friend moved away and I am starting to feel the distance. I am sad but this is nothing new to me. I  have surrendered my life to change. 

I feel knots in my stomach and my eyes are misty. Tomorrow is my first day in a new school and I do not know what to expect.
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