collateral beauty

I have been lost for a while now and I need to find my way back. I have been angry with a lot of good reasons, with a lot of people to blame, but at the end of the day I am not happy with the person I have become.

Yes, I have been hurt, but I don’t want to make excuses. I have failed to rise above it. I know I should have.

But this foggy, messed up, mistaken version of myself is yet to learn one of the most important lessons of all; forgiveness and self love.

I need to cut myself some slack, let myself learn and grow and – for gods sake – stop holding myself back and writing myself off as irredeemable. I have friends whom I would love no matter what but why is it so difficult for me to give myself that same chance. I am not proud of my past, but I am going to be that friend, to myself; and she might be difficult to like right now but I like to think that the person who grows out of this part of her life is going to be worth all that trouble and I am going to try and help her believe it.



My life feels just like the pictures of Paris on my wall; a pristine, untouched view of a city from the sky; the perfect instagram filter; a ray of sunlight breaking through a corner of the frame taking everything the tiniest bit out of focus so you’d have to spend just a little bit of extra time trying to soak in all the fine detail.

Meanwhile the real Paris waits for me, 8135 miles away; waiting to be discovered, to create new memories, to have adventures and to fall in love! I can’t wait to walk its cobbled streets, sit at a café, read a book, learn to speak the language like a native and know every unknown bookshop, museum and alley that you wouldn’t find on the tourist brochures.

I know real Paris isn’t going to be as picture perfect and I’m romanticizing the whole thing but in my defense all I have for now is a picture on a wall, a view from the sky, a whole city of chaos preserved in a single moment of stillness as if time itself had stopped for me. Paris isn’t even a place; It’s a time in space, it’s freedom, it’s living life on my own terms and.. I have no way of knowing what happens outside that frame any more than I can predict my own future; the sounds, the smells, the heaviness of its atmosphere or the feeling of its air in my lungs, the millions of stories that run through its lanes every day imprinting deeper and deeper into the history of their city. I’d just have to wait till I get there to find out.

sinking ships

My faith is fading. I can try to fight it but I just feel too much like I have been let down. I don’t care if that’s wrong and that I’m not allowed to question God. All the hope and excitement I felt for my life and my future a week ago now just feels like a ship sinking with her harbor in sight, and right now I don’t want to hear about how the timing was probably not right. I don’t care what lesson I am supposed to learn from this, the disappointment of it all makes it feel more like a bad joke by the universe than a learning experience.

The weather these days fits my mood perfectly, it almost made me want to go out and stand in the rain and ponder on the direction my life is going in but then again, no need to be quite so melodramatic, I thought to myself. Right now I’ll take any suggestions on how to stop this feeling like this; like a heavy tree was growing on my heart, weighing it down and its roots were piercing my lungs, slowly wrapping itself around it till it grew tighter and tighter.

I know I have a roof above my head and food on my table and that already makes me luckier than most, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but this time I have decided that I am going to give myself a chance to feel what I want to feel because I have kept my faith through every other shitty thing I have had to deal with and now I just want to know, why?

Why do we try to explain everything in terms of Gods will – I don’t even know what that means anymore.. Right now it just seems to be something we need to tell ourselves for comfort. When we feel completely helpless it feels good to believe that somebody is in control, and there’s always a possibility for things to drastically get better.

What if good things don’t happen to good people; but good things happen to people that good things always happen to? It makes more sense to me to explain this in terms of a mysterious force that worked on something like radio wave frequency that was different for every individual. Our lives have highs and lows but they always balance each other out and you can almost work out a pattern to the way things end up.

I don’t know what any of this means to be in terms of my faith. Only that this is the opposite of acceptance, it’s the bitter post written in an impulsive haste at a time when my life feels like it’s coming apart at the seams because I needed to begin trying to figure out what I believe in.


I’ve had to deal with a lot of disappointment recently. For a moment though, it seemed like everything was finally falling into place. This was a huge development for me because I’m young and I don’t need to know what my destination is as long as I have a sign or even a clue to let me know that I was ‘on my way home, the long way round’.

Do you think destiny the name we give the place we land – where ever it may be – after years of floating around like feathers in the wind, or can we trust that wind to actually be taking us somewhere we were always meant to be; and does that mean there isn’t a point in trying to fight those forces of nature that are controlling the direction of our lives?

I know now and all too well that I can’t plan my life too extensively so I’ve decided to stop praying for specific things like an opportunity to study at my dream university or getting that perfect job because it would mean that I have already limited my chances of finding happiness by deciding that I couldn’t be happy without these things. There’s always room in life for us to discover and develop new passions and be opened up to new opportunities and experiences that we hadn’t even thought of before and while I agree that happiness isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind, I think it can also become a place when your nightmares are in the world you wake up to and all you can do about it is look forward to the day you finally get to leave it behind.

Instead I have decided that my new prayer for life and whatever comes my way is just to be okay; with the disappointment and the lost hope and anything else that might be keeping me down because I think that if I can make myself be okay, then I can move on from everything that is going wrong right now and keep moving until I create my own destiny.


I thought you were the best person I knew even when your words stabbed my heart like the cold. It was the power that I had given you at a time when I didn’t know any better that you still wielded, even now when I did, simply because I don’t know how to take it back.

You’ve built me up with your kindness only to be torn down by your anger. All my life I have wished for some sort of clarity because I struggled to define the role you played in my life. Were you on my side or against it by default? Maybe I knew all along but I didn’t want to accept it because if I did you would lose me, and sometimes I was all you had. I tried to protect you from that hurt by silently taking in every word as you dissected my life, every little action and reaction, till you were convinced that you had me figured out but every shot that I didn’t take at you just made me look weaker in your eyes.

You broke my spirit just so you could have a better grip on my heart and tied up my emotions like hands behind my back so that you could tell me what I was and was not allowed to feel.

There isn’t a moment I can put a finger on to call it a turning point, but the dust is finally settling and our relationship is reaching its equilibrium. Maybe it’s because I am older now and I don’t need you the way I used to. A part of me still craves your approval but a growing part of me just doesn’t care anymore. I have tried to be the person you wanted me to be, at the cost of being myself. While accepting the fact that nothing I do will ever be good enough for you gives me the strength to walk away, realizing that I shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place makes me regret all the time I have already wasted.

I think I am finally learning that no matter what the circumstances are, I deserve to be treated with respect and dignity as an individual; and if not acceptance, at least an understanding of the fact that I am my own person, with my own thoughts and dreams and quirks and idiosyncrasies and a unique way of seeing the world. They may be completely different from the views that you hold to be the foundation of your life and your priorities and your successes, but they are not necessarily wrong.

I can’t tell you what choices to make but I can sure as hell tell you what your choices are.


I have watched my life unfold, with good days and bad days wondering what it would all come down to and I think this might be it, the opportunity of a lifetime.

One of two things can happen. I could get the perfect job, become independent and live the rest of my life happily ever after or I could lose it to someone else, someone who has paid the gatekeepers their dues and my life would continue the same way it always has, close to being something special but not quite there yet.

I’ve been waiting for a grand gesture by the universe that hardly seems to be paying attention. Life isn’t like a movie where a lifetime of struggle culminates in one crowing moment of glory that makes it all seem worth it, a petrichor moment when the dry earth finally receives its rain. At best, it might be a series of little victories, just enough to keep us going a little while longer.

I believe in a God in whom all things are possible but (and this is hard to admit) I don’t know if I believe because I so desperately need it to be true. There is a part of my brain that truly loves God but there is also a part of me that wonders if it’s just a crutch I need to depend on to make up for all the things that I cannot be.

I have seen impossible things. It shouldn’t be this hard to believe. I know its nothing but my own skepticism but sometimes I wonder if we’re just like leaves blowing in the wind and what we call miracles is the universe fooling us into believing we’re flying when we’ve really only been slowly falling to the earth this whole time.

If I keep reminding myself that good things have happened to me, no matter how they might have found me, whether you call it being lucky or blessed I have been both and I just might make it.


My life is like an old photograph, chipped and creased from years of wear and tear. I can’t tell you exactly when it became this way, only show you what it is. None of this happened overnight.

Our parents were too busy nursing their own bruised egos to realize what they were doing to us.

I remember when we were kids our mother used to pretend to leave if we didn’t behave. She would take her bag and walk outside and we would run to the gate and beg her to come back promising her that we would be good. I also remember the day I realized she wasn’t really leaving and refused to come with you, even though you kept begging me to. I couldn’t have been more than 5 and you not more than 3. I couldn’t explain it to you then because I couldn’t quite understand it myself at the time, the concept of manipulation, and that it was a thing adults did to each other to get their way. It was selfish and cowardly and wrong and we fell for it because we weren’t expected to know any better.

I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood but this one is vivid because I think of it a lot when I wonder why I have so much trouble letting her in.

The rest of our childhood can be summed up as a series of shouting matches and having to listen to both of them tell us terrible stories about each other hoping to win their own war by elimination and our affection by default.

The result, unfortunately, was the exact opposite. It took us further away from both of them. We were filled with poison where it should have been filled with love. We will spend the rest of our lives trying find ‘normal’ without even knowing what that means.

I don’t think they realized what they were doing though. They are being childish and blind (but mostly childish) so I can’t hold any of this against them and my heart continues to find a way to make itself love them. It would be a much easier fight if they had just been evil and my monsters were not such a foggy blur of an image.

I know your story. I understand the reasons you are angry but they loved you and I think you should know that. They just had a crappy way of showing it sometimes.