a loss that never was

we did not exist. still, i was alone. the lessons he taught me; they showed me the truth. he educated me in the art of loneliness – paving the way – there was no future for us.

we did not start and we did not end. never were we ever. and that was okay. warmth and a blush of red – what more could i have needed at the time?

such softness in you both that i could not look away; the same error i would repeat had you not firmly told me “no”. you are my two: you held the view that i was not strong enough to support. i acknowledge that we never could be because we are not better together, and that alone would be cause to sever.

thoughts of the day

  • i have booked a flight back to london in may to visit family & friends for one month before returning to thailand
  • there’s a lump in my throat that makes it hard to breathe and it is because you keep making me feel tense and afraid and not good enough. over and over again
  • i will then spend another month or two in south east asia before going to new zealand to live & work
  • you didn’t put in the effort, so i gave up on you. it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that i no longer want you in my life
  • i really love my bottle green jumper. it’s so lovely and snug
  • buy a new menstrual cup when i get back in the UK
  • tenderness and affection will always be feigned by you
  • stop and breathe
  • order new bank card with later expiry dates
  • extend and renew travel insurance
  • i am grateful for my friends. the ones who are actually supportive and there for me

at the core

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for as long as i can remember, i have always

identified myself based on my relationships with other

people. one day, my spirit was awakened, and i

realised that i could still be me without

someone else to affirm my worth. i began to unravel, slowly,

from the outside, in. soon the artifice ebbed away

from my little core, and my authentic being was finally

free.

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zeroo tattoo

Situated in a non-descript road in the old city of Chiang Mai, it would be easy to overlook this tattoo shop. A friend of mine was visiting, and she was looking to get a tattoo. After extensively researching online, she settled on Zeroo Tattoo, but unfortunately, the artist she wanted was working in Bangkok. Sadly, my friend didn’t get tattooed because of this, but I decided that I would get inked there next.

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On March 30th, I rocked up at 6PM, basically as a walk-in appointment, and was seen that day. I was tattooed by Tao, my first experience with a female tattoo artist. Her Instagram can be found here. I contacted her previously with the design that I wanted, so she was aware of the size and placement of my tattoo.

First impressions:

Through the shop window, I see a Thai guy getting his shoulder coloured in. He has a large torso piece already outlined, and he is lying on his side, grimacing slightly as the artist inks away at his skin. As I walk through the door, I am greeted by Tao and asked to sit down. She recognises me from our fairly long back-and-forth exchange on Facebook.

Tao traces up a copy of the design I want, and gets to work. The shop is clean, and I see the staff select a new needle from a sealed packet. I can tell the staff love their job because of the fact they go above and beyond for each of their customers. Further samples of their work can be viewed here and you can contact them here.

I lie down on the black leather chair with my arm stretched out and I hear the familiar sound of the tattoo machine buzzing. I wait in anticipation for the process to begin, and finally, the sharp needle rapidly punctures my flesh, leaving behind a permanent trail of black ink.

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let sleeping dogs lie

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  • the way you see someone can change all too quickly – sometimes you are soft, light, and deep. other times, your eyes do not meet mine and you are cold
  • filling the void of loneliness with other people is probably not healthy but i still continue to do so
  • travelling solo gave me the freedom to be myself, unapologetically so. so why do i suddenly feel all too unlike myself when i stay in one place?
  • i can’t forget the way you used to make me feel
  • i no longer feel the same way about you

this chemistry has been compromised

Pressure, press down.

This toxic mist is increasing

the strain on our cleft.

Choke, splutter; chisel it out from your lungs.

I must accept that I am on the cusp

of forgiving you, bereft casket.

 

My tinny expulsion is scraping out the excess

of our fragile lining.

It is not an easy task and I feel sick.

I peel you back to the quick;

put on this mask, we are on the brink

of collapse.
 

A fissure of spoiled tissue

engenders haemorrhage.

Warning: This Chest Is Sinking!

Raise the alarm; we are suffocating.

Caution wanes – I corrupt this.

This chemistry has been compromised.

 

 

 

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walk more

I’m don’t know why I’m so lazy, but walking is the bare minimum exercise that I force myself to do on a daily basis. In Chiang Mai, the preferred mode of transport is definitely by scooter, but this beautiful city is so walkable, it stumps me why so few people walk. 

The route is not mapped out and your legs simply carry you. Inhaling deeply, your lungs fill to full capacity with air of a questionable quality, and you feel alive.

It’s a form of meditation: one foot in front of the other, getting lost in the deepest of thoughts, taking in all of your surroundings.

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Just brave the outside world and walk.

But. Sometimes I need to have an end goal – I need a measurable target to motivate myself to get off my ass.

Step Counting:

Getting hold of a step-counter (eg a fitbit or an app on your phone) can really help you achieve a daily step goal. Having your steps quantified can certainly help in seeing how much more you walk. I love being able to see how far I’ve walked and it makes me feel great knowing I haven’t just wasted time being idle indoors.

Geocaching:

Okay – so this requires using your phone (but hey, we live in a technological age, so why completely eschew our mobiles?) and also you will need a pen.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, it opens up your GPS and you walk to real life spaces. By a certain space, there is a secret hidden cache somewhere – these can vary from the size of a penlid to a large tupperware box – which you have to locate using your GPS location and the clues on the app. Once you locate the cache, you write your name & the date you found the cache, and you move on to the next one. Some of the larger caches contain little “treasures” which you can take and keep, and replace with an item for the next geocacher who comes along. I have found badges, foreign currency, and short poems in these little magical caches.

What is great about this is you get to see well-known routes with a fresh pair of eyes. In my local park alone there are a handful of geocaches hidden away in plain sight. It feels great to be sneaking around, trying to locate this little treasure! Not only does it give your walk purpose, it is also fun to be part of a secret community

Being Frugal:

I get a real kick out of not spending money on public transport whenever this is possible. I feel a sense of accomplishment if I walk a few miles to reach my destination whilst saving a bit of cash too. Not only do you no longer have to rely on dodgy transport-timetables, you can fall in love with your surroundings again. You really can miss so much if you are zooming underground on the tube or whizzing past in a bus.

 

Ingress:

Online gaming to get you out of the house? Yes please! 

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Anyway, so this app (it’s free by the way) is similar to Geocaching in the sense that it is GPS based. You need to be outside to play and the rules are simple:

  • Pick a team (Enlightened or Resistance)
  • Hack enemy & friendly portals to gain kit (XM bursters, resonators, and other “mods”. You will gain experience from this, so that you can level up quickly
  • Capture neutral portals for your team as well as attack enemy portals to neutralise them.
  • Link friendly portals via keys obtained from hacking to create fields to gain points

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So what makes this game fun? You’re walking around, you get to walk (or run) to portals and battle against other players. The Ingress community is also very social, so you get to go to meet ups and interact with fellow players of the game.

This game is extremely absorbing: you really feel peeved if someone neutralises your portal and you feel euphoric when you attack an enemy portal and claim it as your own. There are a few more rules to the game, but I’ll leave you to discover them on your own.

Just as a final note though, Ingress also lets you see what distances you’ve covered. I’ve been playing on and off for a few months, and have walked over 250km.

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The creators of Ingress then went on to make Pokemon Go. Though the craze has died down a lot since it came out last year, but I occasionally crack out my phone and play these games to up my step count.