Saturday, 22 October 2016

My Dead Friend

Today would've been my best friend Luca's 24th birthday. And you, non-existent reader, never had the pleasure of meeting him, but trust me when I say that if ever there was someone in this world who was the kindest creature that had ever graced and purified the entire planet with his presence, that would be my friend, Luca. If someone truly deserved heaven, it was him.

Which is ironic because he was gay and according to church, he wouldn't qualify for that. But anyways.

Luca's death, a month and 21 days ago, taught me about the irreversibility of things. 

I had never known about just how fleeting everything in this world can be until I woke up the past September 2nd, brushed my teeth and got dressed to go to uni, did a quick Facebook browse before I left my boyfriend's apartment, and collapsed into tears and despair on his couch as I scrolled down the posts of people wishing him an easier existence and grieving his departure, in disbelief.

I couldn't stop crying for hours, hysterically. I skipped classes that day. I called my mother to tell her about it and we cried together. One of his best friends and I talked for about two hours about all of the things he meant to both of us. I wrote something on his Facebook profile, as if I was able to let him know how big was the hole he was leaving in my life. As if he could read it. And some part of me was expecting him to reply with some snarky geek reference, like he always did.

A month later, I haven't been able to shake that feeling. The feeling that he's not gone, not really, and I have a hard time understanding why. The conscious part of me knows he's dead, but somehow I still expect him to make a post about the fifth season of Game of Thrones or tell a funny anecdote from work, like he used to.

I thought about this all afternoon, and I think I've come up with an answer to the fact that while I know and understand that he died that day, I feel like he might show up again from a long vacation, with his skin burnt (he was too white for this world) and a thousand anecdotes to share. I thought about the possibility of it being closure, but it doesn't really feel like it, although I believe it is a contributing factor.

I think that I'm just not used to things being out of my reach. Because until the day Luca died, I felt that everything in my life, the things I had and the things I didn't and were part of my imagination, were within the realm of possible things. Being a Hollywood actress is near to impossible for a girl living in the third world like me, but it's achievable as long as you do all it takes to get to the big screen, like acting in plays and throwing yourself out there for people to know you. Being the next Marta Argerich is inconceivable for a regular pianist like me, but it's a doable thing, if I practiced double as much as I currently do. Living in Europe is almost an utopia for me, but I can get there if I work hard and save everything I earn.

Getting a dead friend back, however, is impossible, no matter what you do. You can whine all you want, you can cry all you want, you can pray all you want if you believe in that sort of thing; nothing is going to bring him back. 

I'm not used for doors to be closed for me, because, as I was saying, I could become a famous artist if I wanted. It sure would take enormous amounts of effort and talent (things I don't think I have), but it's humanly possible. All the things I've ever wanted are things I can get: living in a big apartment in a city where it always rains, growing old with my husband and lead an easy life living in a cabin in the woods, adopting thirty dogs, mastering an instrument and two languages, growing a tree, having twins and teaching them to play the piano, taking a picture in every city around the globe, reading three thousand books, becoming a historian, writing a pretentious novel...I doubt I'll achieve any of these things in my life, but I know I can do it if I really wanted to, if I put my every breath into making these things happen. These things that I want, I can get: all I have to do is muster all my courage and motivation, and I'm already halfway there. Will I commit to making them happen? Who knows, but that's a matter of whether I want them to happen or not, that's my decision. I can always count on my will and effort to get these things; they'll always be there, waiting.

Talking to my friend ever again is not one of these things, as I fail to realise every day.

I've never experienced this kind of death, the death that makes everything around you change and become a stranger place. When I was a child, a grandfather and an aunt I knew as much as a child can know someone died; a year ago, my dog died, this year two of my teachers at uni died. But death has never hit so close to home like this, death has never been so real to me like it felt when I learned of my friend's death. I hadn't properly experienced death until then. Sure, I cried and mourned all those demises in some level (I spent days crying for my late dog, and I felt a little sad for my Language teacher), but never like this. Death wasn't a thing in my life.

When I think about his death, I get the feeling that I could somehow fix this. That the only thing between me and my goal (it being getting my friend back from the dead, in this scenario) is an incredible amount of effort, like the effort I'd have to make to earn a shitload of money and move to Europe. And though I know there are no such things as spells to raise the dead and that I'm not living in a Life is Strange video-game where I could just take a picture and jump back to the last time I was with my friend in order to save him, I can't stop feeling like it's achievable. I'm delusional. 

The thing about my friendship with Luca is that we talked online, mostly. We saw each other a maximum of four or five times in our seven-years-old friendship. I existed to him as a couple of Doctor Who references on Facebook and he existed to me as a variety of opinions about life and TV series. And though this may seem like we were strangers to each other, I feel like this existence was enough for both of us, we loved each other all the same. The fact that we didn't see each other face to face very often meant nothing, we still knew each other like the very palm of our hands.

And since he existed to me as a little Facebook beep and a string of words in pixels, the only way I can perceive his absence is through the lack of the notification that let me know he's sent me a text or that he's posted a funny video on my wall. If a uni friend were to die tomorrow, perhaps I would be more able to come to terms with his/her death, because s/he would leave a physical empty space behind. But with Luca, who I knew more as a spirit than a body, it's not so easy. It feels like little has changed since he passed away, because when he was alive we wouldn't see each other in person much. And perhaps that's why I feel like I'm about to receive a text from him, any second now.

I don't think I'll ever be able to fully acknowledge his death. A part of me feels like the next time I talk to him, I'll say something along the lines of "Oh my god, I'm so glad you're alive. I'm so glad you're alive. Get away from that house. Please leave. It's been hell without you."

I don't feel like translating this one.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Changes // Cambios

Leer en español Hello darlings!
I won't make this any longer than I must because I know myself, I know how I can get caught up in trying to explain why I haven't posted in a long time and in trying to make a fine, decent text, so I'll just skip to the point.

new year, new me url

You may notice there is a slight change in the blog: the old learnwanderlustfly url has been replaced by a, in my opinion, much nicer url: valentineonapaperplane.

The reason why I have changed the url is because ever since I created this blog with the purpose of jotting down all my travelling experiences and the steps I take towards my one goal (travelling the world, as if that wasn't clear enough up to this point), I've burdened myself with the guilt of not updating this blog in forever.

And a blog shouldn't give you guilt, it should be a space where you can feel free to unwind, download, share, express, whatever. Something you do because you like it, not because you have to.

This guilt stems, of course, from my own I-never-get-any-shit-done-complex like tidying up my room srsly val it's been a year which I'm always trying to eradicate but never seems to go away. I set myself to have at least one post per week in this blog, of which I would feel proud of by the end of the year: it didn't seem like a hard task to accomplish, yet I have failed. Again.

So for the purposes of working hard towards my goal of not being a lazy fuck who can't even write a paragraph a week about any topic (a goal I need to accomplish in order to and before I focus on my bigger, aforementioned goal), I've sort of...steered the direction of this blog.

I know I promised not to make of this blog a very personal one (as in my everyday non-travelling related experiences) but I guess I'm kind of...unpromising that? wow val that says a lot about you I don't think anyone really cares if I do or don't tell my personal experiences, so let's move on.

Now I've gone from a purely 'travellish' url (learnwanderlustfly) to a more wide valentineonapaperplane which still captures the essence of travelling, but at the same time it has my name on it, making me a part of the blog. And by "me" I mean all the experiences and thoughts and likes and dislikes that make me...well, me.

Thanks. Moving on.

The main reason behind this was that sometimes I felt I couldn't come up with enough topics related to travelling, culture and languages (there are plenty, I know) that I could relate to. 

(To begin with, I have not seen many places so as to claim to be a 'blog about travelling'.)

I felt like I had a list of certain things I had to check off: today I have to talk about this, tomorrow I have to talk about that. It felt pretty unnatural and it took away all the fun from writing and building a blog step by step, little by little; in the end, this cycle would result in me giving up on everything I started writing, starting all over again, scrapping what I had written...tons of unpublished drafts that kept piling up as the months went by.

So now I guess I'll write about whatever I want.

Easy fellas, I'll still write about stuff ya'll can relate to, not just my whines and complaints that no one wants to hear about when did i become an american and start saying ya'll. The goal of this blog remains the same: to record my life and improve my English as I do so.

As for me, a lot has changed. The ending of 2k15 and the beggining of 2k16 have given me a lot of new perspectives, but...I will tell you about that in another post, maybe. At this very moment it's 6:17 AM and I'm watching the sunrise from the window of my bedroom, which would be pretty kickass if it wasn't for the fact that I've spent the whole night awoken and I haven't had any sleep in thirty hours, so I'm kinda dying here...but at least the sight is pretty, yay.

Will I see you in a couple of days? Who knows.
I'm mysterious like that.

¡Hola gente!
No voy a hacer de esto algo más largo de lo que debo ya que me conozco y sé cómo siempre termino enredándome en explicaciones sobre por qué no he publicado en un largo tiempo y en tratar de hacer un texto lindo y decente, así que voy a saltearme esa parte y voy a ir directo al punto.

nuevo año, nueva yo url

Quizá noten que hay un pequeño cambio en el blog: el url antiguo, learnwanderlustfly fue reemplazado por un url que en mi opinión es mucho más bonito: valentineonapaperplane.

La razón por la cual he cambiado de url es porque desde que creé este blog con el propósito de anotar todas mis experiencias viajeras y los pasos que doy en pos de mi gran objetivo (que es viajar por el mundo, como si eso no hubiera quedado lo suficientemente claro ya), me he cargado con la culpa de no actualizar este blog casi nunca.

Y un blog no debería darte culpa, debería ser un espacio donde te sientas libre para desenvolverte, para descargarte, para compartir, expresar, lo que sea. Algo que hacés porque te gusta, no porque tenés que hacerlo.

Y esta culpa surge, por supuesto, de mi complejo de nunca-consigo-terminar-un-carajo como limpiar mi pieza el cual siempre trato de erradicar pero que nunca parece irse. Me propuse tener al menos un post por semana en este blog, algo de lo cual me sentiría orgullosa al terminar el año: no parecía una tarea difícil de realizar, y aquí heme, fallé. Otra vez.

Así que con el objetivo de alcanzar mi meta de no ser una haragana de mierda que no puede siquiera escribir un párrafo por semana sobre cualquier tema (una meta que necesito alcanzar para y antes de enfocarme en mi más grande y previamente mencionada meta), he hecho algo así como…redirigir la dirección de este blog.

Sé que prometí no hacer de este blog uno muy personal (refiriéndome a todas mis experiencias diarias no relacionadas con el tema de viajar) pero ahora estoy como…”desprometiéndolo”? wow eso dice mucho de vos val No creo que a nadie le importe si cuento o no mis experiencias personales, así que sigamos.

Ahora he pasado de un url puramente “viajero” a uno más amplio, que sigue capturando la esencia de viajar, pero al mismo tiempo tiene mi nombre en él, haciéndome a mí parte del blog. Y por “mí” me refiero a todas las experiencias, pensamientos, gustos y disgustos que hacen de mí…bueno…mí.

La principal razón detrás de esto fue que a veces sentía que no se me ocurrían suficientes temas relacionados a viajar, a las culturas y a los idiomas (hay muchos, lo sé) con los que me identificara.

(Para empezar, no he viajado a tantos lugares como para pretender ser un “blog sobre viajes”.)

Sentía que tenía una lista de ciertas cosas que tachar: hoy tengo que hablar de esto, mañana tengo que hablar de aquello. Se sentía poco natural y le sacaba toda la diversión a escribir y a construir un blog paso a paso, poquito a poco; al final, este ciclo resultaba en mí dándome por vencida con todo lo que empezaba a escribir, empezando todo de vuelta, desechando lo que había escrito…y muchos borradores no publicados que empezaban a apilarse a medida que pasaban los meses.

Así que supongo que ahora voy a escribir de lo que quiera.

Tranquilos, todavía voy a escribir sobre cosas pa’que todos se sientan identificados, no solamente sobre mis quejas y lloriqueos que nadie quiere escuchar ¿desde cuándo empecé a decir pa’que? El objetivo de este blog sigue siendo el mismo: grabar mi vida y mejorar mi manejo del inglés mientras lo hago.

Hablando de mí, mucho ha cambiado. El final del 2015 y el comienzo del 2016 me han dado muchas nuevas perspectivas, pero…les voy a contar sobre eso en otro post, tal vez. En este momento son las 6:17 de la mañana y estoy viendo amanecer desde la ventana de mi pieza, lo cual estaría muy bueno si no fuera por el hecho de que pasé toda la noche despierta y no he dormido en treinta horas, así que estoy como muriéndome…pero al menos el paisaje es lindo, yay.

¿Los veré en un par de días? Quién sabe.

Soy así de misteriosa.