Last year I wrote “Maybe sadness is the longest relationship I will ever have.”

But I am not sad now, so in this break or perhaps break-up I wanted to make a list.

Things Depression Has Given Me:

one million sadness lipsticks

a streamlined cleaning regimen (stopped washing my face in 2011. stopped washing my hair for a couple months this year.)

loss of emotions that used to take up the wrongest space in me, like bad vanity

a couple half-finished young-adult novels

better listening skills, better empathy, better sincerity

so much practice going to therapy

the ability to stand at the automatic hand-dryer until my hands are absolutely dry

many ‘…and then I started crying’ anecdotes

a lot of black v-necks

the desperation to take far-away jobs in the hope that sadness is geographical
it’s not

Big Time Rush, iCarly, Vin Diesel, One Direction, Sarah Dessen

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I am ready to swing for the fences.  I’m ready to be a body and a mind, to own all the parts of me that are embarrassing or ugly, and I’m ready to admit that most of me is not embarrassing or ugly and I deserve a life that isn’t either.

The thing is that Ryan Adams only reminds me of Elizabethtown, but I didn’t hate that movie the first time I saw it and I didn’t hate it the tenth; actually I love it.  A swing and a miss is still a swing.

I’ve said before that beginnings are the scariest part, that I don’t like to write about them while they’re happening because it’s too painful to look back on, at the end.  So you can just imagine it all here, the feeling of reemergence, fear and giddiness, a heart pumping blood.

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A few days ago I went for a run along St Antoine, through St Henri and then past it, where the road merges with St Jacques and goes up a hill and you can look out at the tangle of highways.  It was late evening and the view was incredibly moving, so much more beautiful than I expected.  And then I walked through NDG some and took the metro home.

A bunch of nice things have happened.  I’m having a good week.  It’s unsettling, even though most all of my weeks are good these days.  The only times I’ve cried in like the past month were when I was thinking about how sad I used to be.

It was so hard, and now it isn’t.  I went on a field trip last weekend and it wasn’t even that stressful, after a while, and I got to sit in a canoe and write some haikus in someone else’s notebook, and people laughed at my jokes, because I can make jokes.  I feel nervous a lot, mostly about the future, but also hopeful, and the hope makes me more nervous.  That’s it.

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A brief list of what is happening:

took four years but I finally saw a Montreal raccoon

been swimming so much that I’m having trouble keeping track of when I’m actually showering, and my hair is constantly matted and chlorine-y.  feels gross and looks gross, but I love swimming

custard-filled buns from the chinese chain bakery

ridiculous moisturizing regimen

professor for ‘Geography of Nunavut’ is possibly my most favorite person in the entire world

I have to go on a field trip this weekend and I’m scaredddddd

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There are songs that I wish I could write about.  Did I ever write about music?  Maybe boy bands, once.  The R5 album from this year was really important to me.  They’re almost a boy band.

What could I write about Tinashe, anyway?  My greatest strength when it comes to music is falling hard for songs a little before everyone else.  I was listening to “2 On” in dead winter and I thought it was great and I still think that but now so does everyone else too.  Her new song’s great also.  “Pretend.”  Whenever I listen to Tinashe I remember that she’s younger than me and the first time that shocked me but now it makes sense.

I had “Habits” on repeat last fall, pushing it on everybody, and now I don’t have to because it’s gone Top 20 and I heard it on the pool radio today when I was swimming laps.

If I was going to go long on anything that you haven’t heard it would be “Quarterback,” a Kira Isabella song, but it can be pretty succinctly described as ‘dark-side ‘Fifteen” with all that implies.  There’s nothing I can tell you about “Quarterback” that’s not in it.  Her voice when she sings ‘lied to her–imagine that,’ and I don’t think that tone is hard to achieve but I hear it so rarely, especially in country music.

I would rather listen to music than write about it, now.

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There are things I see here that seem unbearably meaningful, too poignant, too real.  And they don’t even make sense, translated to text:  travel bruises appearing in little clusters a few days after I take planes, teenagers in school uniforms getting off the subway, a local baseball team playing in the park down the street.  Putting on lipstick in public bathroom mirrors.  The spaceship house on the corner of Georges-Vanier and Lionel-Groulx.  It just has a slate facade, but the first time I saw it I thought it looked like a spaceship, so I still call it that.

And I don’t know what to say about this, about anything really.  Permanence and impermanence.  Joy and fear.  I will be leaving a life behind here and that will be a sad thing so maybe I am witnessing harder than usual, trying to hold it in my hands: the tunnel on Guy from Rene-Levesque to St Antoine, construction workers catcalling and me turning up my music, runners along the Lachine Canal, drunk kids out in the Ghetto at night, my broken fridge, the sculpture of the angel with hands on its face–

I can’t describe it right.  I think sometimes about belonging, how I almost belong here but not quite, how I sort of belong in Virginia but not very much, how I have the energy now to go places and soon I’ll graduate and I can go anywhere.  But that I don’t know what to do, or even what I want, and that in a way it was simpler when I didn’t have the functionality to think past the next three days.  But feeling confused about the direction of your life is typical, and it’s soothing to be another 22-year-old.  Maybe I will make a list of things I want.

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I know, you’re all, what’s going on, Leela, you’re turning into one of those so-annoying bloggers who never blogs.

Well, yeah.


Came back to school.  It is amazingly weird to be a fifth-year senior.  Most of the people I knew here graduated after three, because of the Quebec post-high school pre-university CEGEP college system, or because of IB, or AP credits, or whatever.  I am a fifth-year and there are so many first-years and I’m trying to make my peace with it.  It’s not even that big a deal but: First-years with their expensive backpacks and their hopeful nerves.  First-years with their new friends and their clean clothes.  First-year boys with rolled-up jeans and neat button-downs, girls with their beautiful hair, I don’t even know what I’m talking about.  It is always a little overwhelming to come back to the city.

But speaking of new friends, look at this great cat I got to meet yesterday:



I am easily overwhelmed.  It is overwhelming, now, not to be sad all the time, to feel my own heartbeat.  It’s scary in a different way than I’m used to being scared.  That’s all.

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