How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

A kiss. A brush of fingertips. Fire on your skin so you can’t breathe.

How long can you hold your breath?

Melting happiness, wrapped in a shroud of hope.

Wait. Don’t move. Don’t breathe. Don’t blink.

Wonder. Is it worth it?



Flying and floating. The wind, a friend.

Rise up.

Waves in the sky. Cold that can’t touch me, can’t wake me. Dreams that are no dreams.


Pure. Untempered. Untouched.

The colour of peace. The colour of my happiness. The glow around me.

The sunrise that is soft light and music and warmth stealing up on me.

I dream, while the shadows sleep.

Past or present?

I’ve looked at the past for a long time. Not long enough, and yet… Long enough.

I’m not ready to look at the future. Except for cautious sideways glances so brief that the brain can’t catch up with what the eye sees.

Forced to exist in the present, I’m not really sure what to do. It is a little scary, and a little thrilling. It has also forced the question – where did I live earlier? I know I’ve never lived in the future. No grand dreams consumed me, not every step I took was to lead me down a predetermined path to a predetermined goal.

That left the past, and the present. And that is where it got a little confusing.

The past has always been my happy place. Good memories bathed in a golden glow that probably made them more beautiful than reality, and bad memories with angles softened till there were no sharp edges – and enough soft haze to blunt out the pain. This is not to say that I don’t have painful memories. It is just that those are more like memories of memories. Enough distance to make it not hurt.

And the present? The whole “living in the moment” bit has never been my thing. But is “the present” bigger than “the moment?” I hope so. I’ve almost always been happy with my circumstances, never looking back on past riches (whether real or perceived) with regret or a sense of loss. Maybe just a little wistfulness. I’ve never really mourned lost friends. Out of sight equals out of mind. Or lost opportunities. Might have been great but this isn’t too bad either.

So, then, what? Where? Am I just floating along on the clouds? Is any part of my life real to me? Or is it all just dream-haze?

10 Reasons I Hate Being Told I’m Pretty

Listicle. A hot new word I learnt at my hot new job. What better way to celebrate a new job, a new city, and, hopefully, a new phase in the life of my blog, and, even more hopefully, a new phase in my life, than a new type of blog post? Well, honestly, I can think of a few but mentioning those here wouldn’t really go with the flow, would it? So much better to ignore that thought. So here is my first ever listicle – 10 Reasons I Hate Being Told I’m Pretty.

  1. Because I don’t really believe that I am.
  2. Because it brings up the thought that I’m not really pretty, and that makes me a little sad because I like pretty things. Of course, if I had to choose between pretty things and functional things I’d almost always go for functional, but pretty AND functional doesn’t hurt, right?
  3. Because it makes me feel like I’m pretending to be something I’m not, somehow fooling the other person into seeing something that doesn’t exist. Why? See point No. 1.
  4. Because any time I do believe it, it makes me blush.
  5. Because I’m uncomfortable being judged for something I have no control over.
    • Actually, I’m just uncomfortable being judged.
  6. Because I have a problem with labels. “Hey, pretty girl!” or “Hey, Cool/ Smart/ Loving/ Intelligent/ Wise/ Funny/ Caring girl”, I’d just rather do without the label.
  7. Because despite point No. 6, if I had to pick a label I wouldn’t go with pretty. Wise sounds pretty good (unless it is used sarcastically), as does funny (unless it is used sarcastically.) Hmmm… maybe there is a point there after all.
  8. Because I’m scared of stereotypes, even as I recognize their necessity. And the “pretty girl” stereotype isn’t one I am comfortable with.
  9. Because prettiness fades. And I’m scared of what happens when it does. If all you see when you look at me is pretty, what when the pretty no longer exists?
  10. Because deep down, I’m just a shy little girl, who, suddenly, for one moment, wonders if she is a princess after all.

What is it that breaks so quietly?

Shards of glass. Beautiful diamonds reflecting light. Transparent. Look through and see that there is no heart. Childish faith in innocence. You cannot hear it break.

The pieces surround you. Even the screams make no sound.

You are here. The start of the puzzle. Remake and live. But can you remake belief? Flounder, then, in scattered existence.

Don’t look. For that will bring fear. But it hurts anyway. Colour spreads and the bowl fills with red. If only the pain would flow as easily.

Come to me as a friend. Hold me in your embrace. Strip away everything. Till there is nothing left to do but cower quietly, and watch the pieces fall as they may.


There are dreams. So many dreams. Not all are pretty, but I wish they were.

Dreams that carry me into tranquility. Dreams that darken my soul. Dreams I wander unconscious.

Shaken by memory, I wake. Even as part of me is fighting. It is easier to float in dreams. Not knowing that your world is not real.

I want to close my eyes. Even if I can’t go back to sleep again. Even if it’s just pretend.

The light is too harsh, the edges too sharp. And what I must do is too hard.


Safe. For no one can see you. Safe. For no one can find you.
When you walk out of the shadows, they follow. For you are their own. Cloak you in their cold embrace. The kiss, that lasts forever.
Do you hide? Or do they hide you?
You are safe, regardless.
Feel the seeping cold in your mind, the clenching of your heart easing, the shadow turning to darkness.
Invisible, you roam the world. Unseen. Unheard. Unreal.


The truly beautiful soul will never know its own beauty, never be comfortable with its own praise, never believe in its own greatness. It will resist, even going so far as to reject, what it deems to be undue praise, even that which is far less than what it actually deserves.

No soul can be deemed beautiful unless true humility forms a part of it.

A soul that shines brightly as the sun must needs be blind to it. This is one area where self-awareness should fail. It is not for you to see how brightly you shine, it is for others to wonder at, and respect, and love, and aspire to.

You don’t know who you are. The intensity of your glow is untempered, your heart untainted by any thoughts of greatness. You are one of us. And yet, you are so much more.

Shine on.

Your essence brings light to the universe.


“To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too.” – Victoria Moran

I’ve wondered, a lot, about what people see when they look at me. I wonder if they see the mask, I wonder if they see the holes in me, I wonder if they see my soul.

My thoughts, as always, centered on me.

But what do I see when I look at others?

When I see you, do I see your soul? I don’t know, but I’d like to think that I see more than the shell around you. Just as every word one speaks carries the echoes of every word that has ever been spoken, so does every glance at you carry the weight of every experience we’ve had together, every thought I’ve had of you, everything I know about you. The faults, the cracks, the things about you that glow brighter than the sun.

Look beyond. Look within.

See, if you can, what lies inside. Heart. Mind. Soul.

And there hope to find something beautiful and precious and rare.

A beautiful soul.


Chasing dreams. Don’t give in to hope. But what when the dream smiles back at you? Do you hope then?

Promises made. Promises broken. Promises I didn’t ask for. Promises I didn’t want.

Resistance fades. The fight dies. And one day you give in and you smile and you open the door and let them in.

And hope.