Plans & dreams.

So I still haven’t seen XXX. It’s ages now that I’ve been wanting to speak to him, but what can I do if he is too busy to make enough time for a deep & meaningful conversation? 😦 I can only be patient and wait for the right time to come. And not lose my temper nor my faith.

At least he seems a little better than last week – although here I am judging from Facebook conversation, and how unreliable they can be. But he did say he felt happier, that he felt organised for his exam, and I think he is also excited about our future musical plans which include: a gig on the 25th, a video on the 27th, a CD (long-term project), another gig in October, and a possible concert (in December?). 😀 I think it is very good that he has some of these plans in mind. I know how much he loves music so these are very positive things he can look forward to when the rest of his life is bleak.

He also said I was his favourite muso! 😀 YAY! I remember last month I had written him a letter in which I had basically said how much I enjoyed playing music with him, that it was different to playing with anyone else. So I guess he feels the same way about me 🙂

I sent him a video this morning – it was Oprah Winfrey talking about failures and how really nothing is a failure – it’s just something pointing us in our right path. The video came up on my Facebook newsfeed and as soon as I heard the first few seconds I was like, “XXX. I need to show this to him.” Unsurprisingly, he said it had been a very good video and that he had really needed it.

I really cannot wait to see him again! It’s nearly 2 full weeks since I last saw him. We will have so much to say to each other, and I just know it’s going to be so awesome to be together once again! :’)

On a somewhat related note, my parents have bought a big house in Mauritius and they said they’d be happy if our family went (my 2 parents, my two sisters and I). The best part is there would be enough room in the house for boyfriends (both my sisters are in a relationship), and they said I could invite XXX!!! 😀 😀 😀 Ok I know you are all thinking it is a bit of a crazy idea but I don’t care! How awesome would it be if XXX came to Mauritius with my family!!! It probably wouldn’t happen until next year anyway but I’m quite excited just by the idea – a girl can dream, right?! 😛

Oh, I thought I would post a photo of me and XXX. This was taken in November last year, after my harp recital at university.

unnamed

Look at that smile ♥

Music, songwriting etc …

Marketa Irglova has to be my favourite musician. I first heard of her after watching the movie “Once” (in which she played a young Czech migrant in Ireland). I loved that movie, by the way; I feel it mirrored, in a way, my own relationship with XXX: two musos meet, and musically connect but one is in a long distance relationship so things just can’t be. I also really, really loved the music of the movie, which WAS actually written by the two main actors. They even won an Oscar for the original theme song “Falling Slowly”. (As a side note, XXX and I watched that movie and he also really enjoyed it, I remember him saying it had hit close to home). 🙂

Marketa has written two albums and I got them both for my birthday earlier this month. I love her musical style and like to think my own style is similar to hers. Sentimental, emotional, and very pure. All her songs are absolutely stunning and seem to come right from her soul, they are not fake or “album fillers”. Her first album Anar has relationships as a central theme, but her second album Muna (in her own words) explores her faith quite a lot.

This Right Here (the song above) is one of my (many) favourites. I feel it really resonates with me on a personal level. My favourite line is probably, “hold my hand, and listen with your skin” – how genius is that!!! I think for those who read my blog, it is clear to see why I relate so much to this song 🙂

I myself have been working on songs on and off for a few years. I have a musical structure for basically all of them (except maybe one or two), but I get very stuck with lyrics – All. The. Time. I take lyrics very seriously and they are an integral part of the song. That’s why I struggle so much. I can’t just write whatever I feel; everything has to be phrased nicely. I want my lyrics to be both personal yet accessible, simple yet poetic, raw yet beautiful. I struggle to write texts like that, not to mention there are other constraints including length (of a stanza/verse), rhythm, and number of syllables …

Yesterday, I played the harp for a morning tea:

sans-titre

I performed one of my original songs, because I felt like it, and also because they asked me to sing. After the show, one of the staff came up to me and asked if I had a CD. I had to say no but recording a CD has been on my mind for a while now. I don’t want to become a superstar, but rather I would indeed like to have a little musical memento of all my feelings and experiences, and share it with those who mean the most to me – that would really be the only two reasons for recording a CD. But I was quite surprised that this lady had asked me if I had a CD, and it gave me some confidence in my song-writing skills. I’ve already got one fan! 😀

Anyway, XXX and I should hopefully record our CD this year. We’re yet to start rehearsals but maybe we will start next week. Thankfully we have a deadline by which to have 3 arrangements ready for a video filming session towards the end of June. Once the video is done it might be on YouTube so I’ll definitely put it up on this blog and you can all see how lovely XXX is (and maybe me, lol).

But if you guys are wondering what my music sounds like, here’s a little simple song I wrote some months back (this song was a response to the Paris attacks in November):

We are all humans (Soundcloud)

Ok maybe I’ll spend the rest of my evening trying to write beautiful poetic lyrics. 🙂 (About XXX).

us.

If you were here you’d be sitting right across from me on this chair. We’d be sharing this piece of caramel slice and you’d probably call me greedy although deep down you would like the fact that I’m stuffing my face with so much sugar. We’d tease each other a lot the way we always do. And occasionally I’d look in your eyes a little too long, and I’ll remember how I like you so much more than you let me, so much more than I ever expected. And I’d also look at your lips when you talk, and think of the last time we kissed, the last time we slept together. Our love will come surging back like a tidal wave; but it’s always been there, only more quiet, perhaps like an ocean on a calm summer morning. We’d talk of our day and of our plans and of our hopes and of our failures; of the weather and of the plants, of the birds and of the water. We’d share our childhood memories as we stare across at the park quietly, and eventually we’d fall silent, both of us lost in thoughts, yet comfortable in each other’s company. Then we’d stand up and decide to go home, and we’d walk side by side, smiling; not speaking, just smiling; and not holding hands – just being. We’d head back home as the sun sets. In the car, we’d listen to music, tapping our hands, feet or fingers along to the beat, or singing along maybe. We’d play our game of “guess the composer” and fail miserably. Or you’d challenge me to spot a blue number plate before you do, even though we both know you always win. And my eyes will be focused on the road but sometimes you’d turn your face and look at me for a second or two, and smile, and I’d ask you “what?” and you’d just say “nothing”, and I wouldn’t push it. We’d arrive at your home and you’d remove your seatbelt and breathe out, and look at me and smile, asking for a hug. We’d lean in each other and for a moment there, our arms would be wrapped around each other. And you’d pull away and open the door and get out, and press the lock button down before shutting the door because you always remember the lock is broken, and we’d just say “see you later” without even knowing when we’d see each other next, but knowing there will always be a next time …

 

instrument.

I feel the bed move under me from your swaying as you play the guitar. I am behind you. I like the sight of you from this angle. I imagine creeping in on you and locking my arms around you from behind. Or maybe taking the guitar away from your hands and whispering, “hold me and touch me the way you hold and touch this instrument”. Oh, the things I think of when I see you here, sitting on the edge of my bed, serenading me with your music. I only wish to be united to you; it doesn’t sound like much but it is everything …

Written on the 4th of May.

Never stop having faith.

Update: didn’t get to see/speak to XXX today! Although we’d agreed on around 5pm, he messaged me earlier that afternoon to tell me he was finishing off some university assignment that is due tomorrow and he’d call me to organise a time. Except he still hasn’t called and it’s 10pm 😦 So I guess I won’t see him today then as I know he’s got to get up early tomorrow for work. He also said other things that I won’t mention here but they got me concerned and again made me realise there’s a lot he is coping with at the moment.

So I didn’t get mad. Phew. If I were in the same mood as last week I would have had another rant at him. Lucky that my thinking has changed. Yes last week-end I made the mistake of sending him a big rant. I didn’t suspect he could be depressed, hence why I did it: I thought I should stand up for myself, let him know how pissed off I was and maybe he could finally realise he wasn’t treating me right! Well now I realise I really shouldn’t have done that and that all I wrote in my letter probably did not even HELP him and in fact probably made him feel like sh*t. So guess what, I am going to apologise.

In a way this is quite challenging for me, I don’t think I have ever experienced something like this before and it is all very new. I am a very organised person, a very happy & peaceful person, I like to get things done and I like to be active and I try to be as reliable as I can; I spend an awful amount of time organising my life and making sure everything is in place. And here I am with this friend who seems to lack any control over his life, whose plans are ever changing and who is probably as unhappy as I am happy.

(He is the ying to my yang. lol. ok, terrible joke.)

I’ve only known him for 10 months but already so much of myself has been challenged. My patience has often been stretched (like waiting for a letter, or sometimes even for a message, and in this case, waiting for this conversation to happen, which I feel is an urgent matter – the wait is just killing me!). Obviously being flexible is a huge challenge as I like to have my plans set in concrete well in advance and I hate having to change them. And because of this I’ve often just had to forgive him for changing my plans and as you know, forgiving can be difficult.

I’m not saying I hate knowing him because actually I feel like all those challenges make me enjoy the friendship even more. How to explain … on one hand, our friendship is terribly EASY because when we are together we just have the best time ever, may it be playing music, watching movies, or just hanging out. It’s always very fun. And on the other hand, the friendship is difficult (for the reasons I outlined above). So it is a very rewarding friendship for me; I get a lot out of the easiness, and I grow a lot as a person through the challenges.

I’ve been so close to giving up on him in the past. Even two weeks ago I had gone to his house to tell him I needed a break from seeing him? But he hadn’t been there so in the end I didn’t get the chance to. Maybe that was a sign! Sometimes when things get difficult or you make a mistake or the person hurts you, it is so tempting to give up and move on. It’s probably one of the most confusing cross-road.

I guess the reason I am holding on now is because he might need me and – I don’t know, we are actually both willing to admit we’ve hurt each other and we have to make things right again. He may have been very closed off lately but at least he has agreed that we need to have a long chat and that is a beautiful thought for me to hold onto because it means he values our friendship enough to communicate face-to-face about the things that are not just troubling him or me personally, but our shared friendship.

And it’s rare, isn’t it, the ability to have difficult conversations? Or maybe it is just a question of maturity. And courage. It fills me with a lot of hope & happiness that he is brave enough to speak to me. Especially since I may have hurt him, too. He wants to save our friendship, too. ♥

Damn I’m actually all teary now. I feel so silly for ever considering abandoning him. But I really cannot wait until I see him. I’ll really want to kiss him (I always do) and give his hand a squeeze, and hug him close & tight & for a very long while. I should never doubt him again. Whenever a new challenge rises I shall have courage and be kind (my life mantra) and have faith in our friendship.

Can’t sleep …

And an hour after switching off the lights I’m still wide awake. Obviously thinking of XXX.

I saw him very briefly last night as we were both performing in the same concert. I was only in the second half; he was in the first, and he also played with the guitar ensemble before the concert. So I tried to arrive a little while earlier so that I could listen to him perform on the guitar.

I was relieved when I saw him there. I might have been mad at him Sunday but I was so happy to see him again. As he was playing I obviously couldn’t randomly walk up to him and say hello, so I mostly hung around and tried to listen. I say tried because I was thinking about him more than listening to the music: did he look depressed tonight? What does depression look like (if it looks like anything?). As I said, I’m not certain he is depressed but I am going to try to be a lot more observant than before.

He actually seemed pretty happy, and watching him perform reminded me of how much music means to him. He seemed to be so much in the music, nodding his head, smiling, raising his eyebrows, tapping his foot; and of course communicating with the other members of the ensemble. It was very delightful to watch because I could tell he was really enjoying it. I’ve always known he loves music – after all, it is the main force through which him and I bonded so quickly – but I wonder if music is a safe place for him, a place where he can express the emotions he tries to keep bottled up inside? Is music his salvation, his best friend? I am starting to think so.

As I observed him play, I thought about other things too. If I am right about the depression, no matter how severe it is, he has to be one of the strongest person I know. I wonder how much he suffers and how often he has to put on a mask – I guess all the time, except when he is alone. I wonder if he feels like no one understands him, like no one “gets it”. And how lonely that must be. And how tiring it must be having that mask on. Usually the reason he cancels any plans we make is that he is “too tired” – I think I am starting to understand what he means.

When finally the pre-concert guitar music was over, I rushed towards him and even called his name. He turned around, saw me, smiled, said “hey!” and we hugged. I don’t know if he’d been mad at me this week, but if we were mad at each other then it really didn’t feel like it at all. Unfortunately he had to pack up his instrument and run off to the choir warm-up so I barely got the chance to say anything more to him.

I thought I’d get a better opportunity to speak to him during the interval but we only got the chance to exchange a sentence or two as I had to go set up the harp on the stage. I tried to find him after the concert but it seemed he had already left, which made me feel quite disappointed. I had written him a letter earlier that afternoon and had wanted to give it to him.

We have agreed to see each other tomorrow afternoon to have a long chat. I have spent my whole week-end thinking about how to best talk to him about my concerns. I got the idea of making a mind map of his life, so that he can assess clearly all the different aspects of his life currently (and also so that I get an idea of what his life is like – I know there are a lot of things I don’t know about it). I.e. there would be a branch for friendship; romantic relationships; family; work; university; physical health; mental health; thoughts … etc. And then within each branch there would be more branches describing that particular aspect of his life – and I could even write my own opinions. For example, under Friendship there would be my name and maybe “ups & downs”, “withdraws from her when overwhelmed”. I think some kind of visual representation would be helpful for him, for me, and even for any doctor or psychologist he sees.

I cannot wait to see him again. I have so many things to tell him. Not just my concerns but also an apology. Well I really hope I am right about everything and I hope that it will give him some confidence that perhaps someone is closer to understanding him a little better, too. I hope that by tomorrow we will have turned the page from last week’s incident and that he agrees to the things I say regarding his well-being; and that we keep being great friends; and that if he decides to tackle his demons, he knows he won’t be alone.

In case you haven’t read yesterday’s post, I suspect my friend to have depression. It gives me hope to think that his behaviour can be explained by depression; and also that it can consequently be treated. Obviously I am no expert in depression but the more I think about it, the more I think he might have it.

I have already completed Step 1 of my action plan, which was to call an info-line on depression to get some opinions on my friend’s well-being and how to go about helping him and him getting the help he needs. I spoke to a very kind lady from Beyondblue. She asked me to describe why I thought XXX might be depressed, so I mentioned all the symptoms I had jotted down in my post. She said that it seemed he was going through dark times, so I guess she agreed with me. But I have to tell you something funny. I had started the conversation saying, “I am actually calling in regards to a friend I am worried for … ” and within ten minutes of speaking to her, the lady was like, “you have feelings other than friendship for this guy don’t you?” lol. Great! Apparently someone can tell I’m in love with him just from a 10minute conversation!! Is it that obvious?!

I also made sure to ask about how to get treatment. First it’s a GP, who will provide a mental health plan, and then a psychologist. She gave me the name of two psychologists in our area (XXX and I live close-by). Therefore, if he decides to see someone (which I hope he will), he won’t have to do any research (which could lead to putting treatment off or not even having any).

I am currently preparing for step 2; it’s probably the stage I am most afraid of, simply because I’ve always been crappy at face-to-face conversation, but even more so about a topic as serious and as sensitive about depression. Although XXX and I are performing at a concert tomorrow, I doubt we will get the opportunity to speak properly, so I have asked him if I could see him Sunday (but I still don’t know if I will 😦 ). So hopefully I will see him Sunday. I’m trying to think of ways to bring the issue up. It’s going to be so difficult, but I can’t be bothered being afraid. I’ll just have to do it, because in the end it’s for his own good. I just hope he’ll be cooperative and honest with himself and I, and actually admit that perhaps there is something that he is suffering from. The Beyondblue website has a “depression checklist” and I might suggest he does it to see what rating he gets. I tried the checklist yesterday and pretended to be XXX and the result came as “High” … so we’ll see.

Sometimes I get crazy ideas and I think they are so good that I just do them. One such idea was making a “journey out of depression” sort of notebook for XXX. Let me explain. I went to the shops and found a nice notebook which is divided into four sections. 3 of those sections has a purpose:

One is a “feelings tracker” and it will be for XXX to write down on a regular or not basis his emotions. As the name suggests, it’s mostly for him to keep track of his feelings – what is staying the same, what is changing, patterns etc etc.

Another is a “communication” section where XXX can write letters, messages – anything – he wants to but cannot say to anyone. I might leave a message myself for him to find (a very positive one of course).

The third section is a “happy” journal, so this is where XXX can go to when he is feeling crap or needs cheering up. Happy Memories, positive affirmations, inspirational quotes, jokes, etc etc.

There’s a fourth section but I haven’t given it any purpose, I might actually leave it blank and XXX can think of something.

Anyhow, I’m not saying XXX will use it. He might not even be depressed! I guess I will give him the notebook if he wants it but I’m definitely not going to force him to write in it, although I think he could benefit from it.

I truly hope I get to talk to him Sunday. I said it was urgent and important so I hope he got the message!!! What I’d really like to happen is that he feels willing to take the issue of his mental well-being as an adult (i.e. very seriously) and considers making an appointment with his GP. I don’t want to appear too imposing but I feel maybe I should go and talk to the GP too – wouldn’t it be good for him/her to have a second opinion? Plus, it would be useful for me to be kept up to date with my friend’s condition (and learn more about depression).

I just hope he’s not going to say something like, “nah I’m fine, it’ll just pass”. I’ll probably have to find different ways to tackle the issue. If he says that I’ll just have to go, “I’ve known you for 10 months, you’ll always been like this, it hasn’t passed yet and I don’t think it will”. Obviously in a gentle voice!

Anyhow as you can tell I’m probably over-thinking everything but actually I’m not. I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m looking out for my friend, that is all. As I’ve said before, I’m not certain he is depressed but I am 80% sure that he is. And I don’t think his parents have noticed it because he lived out of home all of last year, by himself, and he hides it well in public, which is probably why his other friends haven’t noticed it either and why it took me so long to understand something might actually be very wrong.

So next part of the story if you want to join me: conversation with XXX about his possible depression!