‘it hurts to be thirteen’

a visual illustration of the blur that was last year and a literate vision of how i lived through it

how light affects mood both in reality and picture is too complex to describe in some kind of futile term your photography teacher tells you, and although these photos (below below) were taken last summer, they resonate so meticulously well with tavi’s editors letter from December 2013, which was the theme of forever. perhaps because summer is something you want to last forever and at december I was thinking alot about the past year, including the summer and what may have gone well/wrong and how much I have achieved or rather how little I have achieved in comparison to the year before, in which I probably hit the peak of my blogging career with features in three different magazines in one month. It seems apparent that 2013 was a considerably less publicity-driven year than it’s predecessor.

It’s hard to tell exactly why, and although I could blame going to Australia in Christmas 2012 (year 8) and then coming back and having exams and then the vacuum that is summer and then getting back to school in year nine and more work and things like that, my sister manages to get her stuff done and she has probably been 10x more busy than me over the years. It is infact usually the case that one is more productive when presented with less time in which to complete a task, so with an increase in work I should have been perfectly capable of getting back on top of things. But it is less so to do with the time frame or amount of work but more so the fact that when you miss things out or don’t have time to document things, (for an obbsessive about chronology and not leaving things forgotten or undone) it is hard to move on from a memory or event- without tying up loose ends and doing everything perfect. And once you tell yourself you don’t have time to complete the (what is becoming in your mind an increasingly more prominently taxing task) it becomes easier and easier to avoid it and as time slips by it becomes less pressing and lingers somewhere in your mind, stopping you from creating or sharing anything more because you are so secretly adamant about waiting until that one thing is done. The overwhelming build up of things missed out on or forgotten about or needing to be done provides the perfect source for procrastination and this, among other things, on the internet, that is not blogging, have kept me occupied. I got instagram in december 2012, which of course is something you can quickly get into, but then there’s also tumblr and twitter -and I started watching twin peaks last year too and wow there are just so many things you can do on the internet that are not as productive as they seem/ or should be. It is so so easy to get into the habit of not using the internet as a way of sharing the stuff you’re creating but instead a mere tool in order to trick yourself into thinking you’re sharing creativity when actually you’re not making anything at all.

I started to consume alot of stuff but developed little opinion about it online and became increasingly less interested in the cliché of fashion. I think I just got sick of all the press that I had been exposed to in my first term of year 8 (fall 2012) – in like the middle of all this stuff -but I think I just began to feel more misinterpreted and estranged to it all and I kind of said something about it here. so for that reason i started drifting from my past self and any associations to it. I think this, so far has been my last proper update post where I am talking about things going on and diaries and created stuff and talking about things I like. And that has definitely been something I have missed because news that you see on your twitter and big things like new albums and editorials and people news aren’t things you can talk about months later because they are totally irrelevant by then. The same goes for vibes  -you can’t catch up on them later on, because then you are feeling something different, you know? I kind of talked about how confused and annoyed I was about the start of last year here. I feel like I should explain that’s it’s not like I just stopped doing stuff altogether. I’ve made skills in other mediums of sharing, like photography. I got my first film camera in easter and started documenting less stuff on digital, which is more straightaway. I started contributing to the pulp zine and the wandering collective. I had exams and things and then in the summer i met so many new people and did lots of cool stuff.

Like, it’s crazy how different I was as a person, at the end of year eight, in comparison to the beginning of year eight. This was also a reason that at the start of the new year, I was still reluctant to turn back to my stalemate of  problems and to go back to blogging -there was an antagonizing grossness that I had to get past to even start working again. Like I can’t even remember my feelings as a year 7/beginning of year eight when I was blogging regularly. I feel like you go, or at least I went through alot of (character/emotional/friendship/discovery) stuff in (for uk people) that second year of high school (or 8th grade / like the middle of middle school) that made me a different person to who I was at the beginning of the school year in 2012, when I was basically still a cringe ass year seven who thought they weren’t a prep anymore but actual had no idea. even though I turned thirteen at the beginning of the school year i definitely don’t feel like I was a teenager till the end of the school year. Like it was a gradual thing that I made it thru experiences to get to, if that makes sense. Like you had to live through it (hole references oh so cliché but it rightly describes the idea)…some things were little things i grew out of (like caring about who other people liked, other people’s secrets) and some were big events (like first times) (or super amazing new friendships) but either way, alot of stuff happened. And I felt at the end of the year that I wasn’t a child anymore. it’s kind of pretentious, but still.

-anyway, in T editors letter for forever she says alot of stuff that harmonises with this:

Forever is the state, exclusive to those between the ages of 13 and 17, in which one feels both eternally invincible and permanently trapped

-and I feel like this validates the sense of growing up that I found hard to translate or link to my old self and therefore let get in the way of last year. plus all the ongoing stuff at the moment:

‘it wasn’t perfect, but therein lies its perfection … there are enough teen movies that make high school’s terribleness into something interesting at worst and beautiful at best…even the darkest times were not lonely, but strangely magical…’

-and all the contradictions:

‘Forever is when you have the height and width of a miniature person with the density of an alpha-person. Forever is when you’re a human cartoon with every vein and skin cell as exaggerated as Minnie Mouse’s gloves. Forever is when you experience all kinds of things for the first time, as do your hormones, which will never again be this crazed, never again experience things as either so bleak or so technicolor. Forever is when your brain is still developing, so everything sticks, like a lot. Forever is when you have tunnel vision because you (I) have not yet understood that you (I) are not the center of the world, so you (I) grant yourself permission to see things as though you (I) are (am)’

-and change:

‘teenagers are characters that are in the midst of a transition and trying to find their place in the world and their identity’

-and the beauty of sad moments, or the shittiest of sad moments.and moments when he light and sound are subconsciously huge parts of your feelings and memories and then you realise the beauty of the lights and the sound and those ‘moments of strange magic’ where somehow the moment is ‘aesthetically cohesive and perfect and synesthetic’ despite all it’s imperfections and it’s okay and it’s good.

for lack of better example because I didn’t keep a diary last year (hugest regret ever), tavi says:

‘shadows in their white guest room as we lay on our backs’ or ‘soft yellow light coming from the lamp on the floor in the corner’ ‘or ‘the way Chicago looks from the top of an Oak Park parking garage, a cluster of Lego buildings against a sky orange from the city lights, a soundtrack of gossip between two kids I only kind of knew but already decided I really liked’ ‘thinking he liked me too, and then he didn’t, and I decided that this was better, because now I could listen to Heart and Carole King records and light candles and gaze out my window and feel sorry for myself’ or ‘I remember walking down Anne and Lizzy’s alley with Galaxie 500’s “Here She Comes Now” on my headphones, each garage’s sensor light going on in sync with the song as I went past’ or ‘I leaned against Anne’s lipstick-covered mirror and smiled as everyone sang along to “Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed’

But I do remember several moments like this:

I remember

in the summer i went to an open air cinema with my friends rosalind and jess. the sky dimmed to a brooding twilight and then darkness, before the movie started. it got kind of cold so we all tried to get some space in my tiny sleeping bag and i remember it being such a great moment: seeing the stars above us, watching the big bright screen and singing along to “the babe with the power” along with David bowie (as the goblin king) and everyone else watching the movie/—/ the peachy sunsets or yellow glows or blue nights outside my bedroom window in the summer /—/ sitting out of Maddie’s window last easter, listening to her playlist and vinyls and inhaling the cool air and watching the sun set. the next day we swam in the water at the lido for abit and it was freezing and breezy and then we laughed and ran on the fields and ate ice cream. when we had to leave, walking back from Maddie’s house there were pink blossoms everywhere. when we got to the top of the hill we were exhausted and so me and Theo and Grace slumped on the grass by the bustop, staring at the vast expanse of the heath as the bus drew closer. and i remember on the bus staring out the window and wondering. and in the car home sucking on that icy pop thing and wondering more. the soundtrack to this is definitely sweater weather by the neighbourhood. i know all the words/—/ running out onto the fields in the bright days of spring 2013, with the girls. and bringing sandwiches and sneaking out and everything being almost identical to those photos (here, here, here) of the Lisbon girls doing cartwheels on fields in the virgin suicides /—/ listening to sweet tunes on the overground train and it was really sunny and I was wearing all black and yellow and sunglasses and my hair in bunchies and doc martens and I was clicking my heels together feeling like a cheerleader /—/trying to swing high on that swing in Pia’s garden in the dead of night and laughing and talking to Minnie who probably doesn’t remember this. Walking around my area in the heat the next day and feeling that odd feeling/—/sitting in biology and the lights were dimmed and everything had a green tint to it. We passed notes with the regs whilst an old fashioned biology film (a la ____ ) played on the projector/—/ izzie’s house with frankie and claire and freya. listening to fancy in the garden and singing really loudly and hysterical laughing and rolling around in the night/—/ sitting in this huge blow up balloon- tent thing at school and this dude was talking to us about space and projecting constellations onto the ceiling of the tent and it was dark inside and I wished that I was sitting next to the boy I liked and imagined him holding my hand and I sat there staring at everything and felt like I was in that episode of freaks and geeks in the cinema/—/ riding down the huge main road next to my house, from the top of the hill, down through the park when the sun is about to set and everything is basking in its glow/—/ sitting in sunlight and the long green grass at the bottom of the hill next to my house with Maddie and Theo and listening to grimes and the bees buzzing and thinking ‘what now’ /—/ moments at six in the morning like this when the cars are revving past and the sky is made of amethyst /—/a slumber party me and ibe had when she came to london in the summer. we ate pizza and stuck stickers all over our faces and the light was soft and all colors and we danced to honey by swim deep and then we fell asleep to the film submarine

multiple baths in the artificial light of my loo, listening to sad tunes \ and seeing how long i could hold my breath for + crying in bed with the harsh bright bed light on blasting on headphones mixes by my friend dani (here, here, here, here) — sitting on the gold / creme / mustard sofa by the windows in my front room and listening to sinead‘s version of ‘Friday I’m in Love’ and wondering what everyone was doing and looking at the orange sunset and the trees in the breeze turning into brooding blue. —half asleep saturday morning car runs with dad like this —sitting awkwardly in the lime green decor-ed dentist or getting my first period and sitting in this kitsch loo like ‘shit’ whilst this harajuku pop music played

biking in il de re in la rochelle in the summer. we all had to ride past the fields of hay and the green sea spray and the sun was shining and we rode past scrub and forest and the sun sparkled through gaps in the trees and it was beautiful/—/ feeling like i was part of my neighbour totoro or spirted away, whilst rolling past the green fields and blue sky and white clouds on the eurostar back to london after visiting ibe /—/ on the plane on the way to melbourne with the purple lights in the cabin, listening to the suburbs by arcade fire and annotating the virgin suicides and watching the sunset over the patchwork earth below/—/ the night we left perth. we drove to my mums house. me and my dad. and it was perth’s usual suburb feel. but everything was so much more blue and red  /—/ running down the maze corridors and past the billowing curtains of open windows, at our hotel in paris which was scarily similair to scenes from the shining.  trying to work out what kind of people were in each hotel room by what food they left out on their shiny room service trays /—/ in Kuala Lumpur city in Malaysia. It was the most beautiful pink and purple sunset. A dusk fell over everything like looking through the lenses of fuscia-stained classes and as i stepped out into the sweltering heat this warbling boom came over everything -a call from the mosque over the road. It was like I was in the hunger games or something. Everyone and Everything suddenly stopped and it was like time froze and all I could feel was dew and sweat and all I could hear was this mesmerizing hypnotic call and all I could see was red & pink/—/ this time when it was sunset and ibe took me down loads of backstreets on the back of her bike when i visited her in melbourne

so as I may or may not have said before, these are some completely arbitary photos from the summer that don’t cover any of the moments above, or anything at all – infact most are accidental photos and shit like that, but which radiate the blur of summer. and the forever that was 2013 (and onwards) and colors and atmosphere and everything/nothing. somehow what was going to be a simple post analysing different light has become I hope this has helped you understand my absence from this website in the past year.

DSC_1212 DSC_1305 DSC_0138 DSC_1337  DSC_0233DSC_1257  DSC_0303 DSC_0222

2 Responses to “‘it hurts to be thirteen’”
  1. Lil Ashton says:

    This was such a good read and I feel/remember a lot of what you’ve said here even though I really don’t remember being 13 specifically!

  2. Aida says:

    You always take such amazing photos. I kinda feel you as well about GSD (getting stuff done) everyone seems to be doing and creating so much. you’re one of them though. your photos just get better and better

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: