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17092023 - unrequitedness

i mindlessly bike around montreal to memorize new streets & discover neighbourhoods, mentally jotting down cafes and bars i must return to try. some days i wake up with my calendar empty, so i hop on google maps and choose a random saved pin to bike several kilometres to. i sit alone at bars and sample glasses of wine with a book. i ask waiters for their favourite wine, sample it and wince, then ask them for their funkiest wine and that usually appeases my pallets. living life like this feels like a murakami novel, including how i somehow encounter multiple wandering well-fed cats, get cat-called on the daily, and smoke cigarettes with painted freckles on my face. but this isn’t the life i enjoy living; i undoubtedly live to have a higher purpose for others.

i’ve been reading a lot of far-left literature recently. part of this is due to my extended syllabus, but another part of it is that i wanted to learn how my communist sister sees the world. it’s hard for me to actually define my own ideology. this statement feels like a copout but i don’t particularly identify with many ideological agendas, rather i just take action on the sidebars i care deeply about (see: climate) and thus it trickles down into my political leanings (if it wasn’t clear, i think very collectively as well). yet, reading all of these pieces does not evoke any sake of urgency in my head to do anything about my current life. i simply read, absorb, mourn, and life moves on.

this is simply not me! this is not arielle to my core!

i am reclaiming my agency. i am winding down on whimsiness and beginning to pedal towards stronger foundational knowledge. i am dipping my toes back into policy-writing, into critiques of failing interventions and into impassioned dives of scientific papers, breaking my brain trying to make sense of unbeknownst acronyms and fleeting trend lines on ever-changing axes.

i’m taken back to moments of (extreme) optimism and excitement of the world when i bike down streets of montreal i used to frequent as a freshly minted eighteen year old. in many ways, i am still her but in a more rickety body. now, my body aches after every drunken wine night in contrast to 8ams after sunrises of warm honey brown sleemans. non-physically though, i still wake up every morning and think about how i, as one person, can make an impact that last generations to come. i ideally daydream with more maturity with how the world works but i undoubtedly still lack the experience and knowledge that forms over years of drudgery and harsh realities.


a rediscovered feeling has made its comeback in my frontal cortex; the unrequited love for love. on many occasions i have loved love and it has not loved me in return. i sit in my perfumed bed in 2am afterdark silence and yearn for the inexistent. strange, but i have lost the qualities of the person of my dreams. my heart aches for the feeling of a crush on a real person instead of figments of qualities, of made up moments in serendipity. i sit in bed and think about how wonderful it must feel, how it had felt to be wholeheartedly with the right people at the right times. i think of raw chemistry and relive odd memories of when words and minds click in an instance. the “what-could-be’s” overwhelmingly flood my synapses and what makes them so exciting is that they are not real. my forbidden-pres are my delusional plans of how to make these come to life.

these odd ramblings scream into the void of the internet. i have come to hate revealing my name to strangers that i may meet in-person in fear that they fall down a deep rabbit hole of arielle; my deepest thoughts accessible to the public eye although i treat my omnipresent online persona as a diary. i think it’s wonderful to share all parts of my brain with others. i admired the way trisolarians were transparent and i make every effort to present my thoughts in the same essence. i do not enjoy playing games and i love my own candidness, whether it be via my words or actions or facial expressions, i am there in my full-bodied mind and self.

nowadays, my life trajectory feels as if i am waiting for the arrival of an unknown presence, whether it be a cause i care deeply about or a person i will come to love in their entirety. it feels like an autumn of patience rather than fixating on a path and hitting the gas as fast as i can to accelerate my progress. i drive along an off-road unmarked by any gps system and continue forward in the hope that i once again find a paved street, but i know that i’m ultimately heading in the right direction.

it’s an odd feeling to not know what is ahead. i imagine that it is a warm feeling of complete focus, of pride in my work once again. perhaps it’s the feeling of completeness, of finding myself invigorated in fired neurons that have longed for activation. today, all i know is that i am idling; i am learning, yes, but this is not the arielle that i know and love - this is an arielle who is charging up for something wonderful in ways beyond my current imagination. enjoy the time off, but you will enjoy the years ahead much more. drive safe.

A/N: in the minutes following writing this, arielle closes her laptop with 7% battery, pays her wine tab, then proceeds to bixi home as the sun sets. she eats pavement after hitting a pothole on a busy intersection. ouch!

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