Growing out

Life under construction

AideeEverAfter has been a solace, portfolio, hobby, safe space, and gallery of my growth and experiences. Thank you for dropping by an old home

Moving on from university, from old habits, other head spaces, and on to new places 🍃


A Lone State

A year and a half ago I stumbled on what is still one of my favorite silent shorts and I’m revisiting it. If you watch it, you’ll find it isn’t so silent after all. The only words uttered in the voice message in the beginning leaves a painful spell that remains long after anything is ever said. It nudges most who are familiar with this kind of feeling, a feeling unsure of what it is and what it can be as it changes minute by minute. The film rests on these changing internal tides where accepted solitude is constant. Backed up by a new retro inspired score, my favorite specifically being Video Dreams by Haunt, it explores the varying emotional states of heartbreak that turns into a stabilizing peace. He doesn’t seem lonely to me, just alone and as is with having nowhere to be with nobody else. But I can sense his state of missing.

The frustrated com arts major in me would’ve liked to work on a project quite like this one. If not for the unique play on music, it was a treat to the eyes more than anything. Viktor Pakpour’s cinematography is subtle in his panorama but particular with his setting. His color choices almost look surreal in the day then alternates with a relatable rawness in the evening which wonderfully capture the boredom and beauty in “life goes on”.

It’s not romantic, it’s the anti-romantic but especially artistic take on the reality of solitude today. I do enjoy taking romantic trips to convenient stores on my own too, does that count? I don’t live in the US but if this looks nothing like the high soaring American dream, this might just be the high point of its opposite in fact. He’s lost and he doesn’t mind, and this looks to me and obviously Victor Pakpour as one of the nicer places to go missing. We live in a pressing time wherein so many of us are actually being missed and missing the other, but always surrounded by the wrong crowds among things.

The six and a half minute short is like a trip back in time to my favorite decade, the 80s with hints of the 90s. I’m almost jealous because it’s hard to find yourself comfortably alone in the cross between what we’re never sure is suburbia or a mega city anymore. This is an acceptable form of withdrawal he was almost forced into by his situation, and he’s taking it rather chill, rather well if I might add. He does it in style. It’s interesting to note that he never once brought out his phone to connect to the past or to the far off others unlike all proper young adults living out realities posted online or y’know, it didn’t happen. And it looks like he can’t be bothered to. This film reminds me of the times I found myself under one of the sky’s many pastel hues despite being remotely removed from the side of the world I’d rather be in, and for a minute I can’t be bothered to as well.

Toy Stories

Earlier we had our annual (sometimes biannual but sometimes we skip) garage sale. After what feels like three moves and more than two decades of growing up and out, I surveyed the mini bazaar in our lanai hoping not to sneeze from the dust. Nobody wants to buy my pink gingham dress from when I was fourteen. Everyone insists to pay too little for that literal hot dog floater I climbed on in the pool when I was ten. I see my brothers’ old matching toddler clothes and think about how they still look nothing alike but brothers nonetheless. My mom’s now vintage bags and clothes from the 90s have been such a joy to salvage. Is this the throwaway society I read about the evils of capitalism? Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure? We’ll donate the rest. The old you’s belongings will be the older you’s pocket money after a hopefully successful garage sale.

After what feels like three moves, more than two decades of growing up and out, I know there will probably be more moves. We can’t hold on to every single thing other than the hope we start to buy less but more in terms of quality. I guess they’re just treasures we can’t drag along or keep in boxes to line our walls. Earlier we had our annual garage sale and it was a sight to see bits of our childhood and memories on display for usually less than a hundred. Thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who came. Money can’t buy the underlying value of my Hello Kitty cassette player or the toy cars and building blocks from my brothers’ long gone playtime two to three houses ago.

The way we get by

*This is to anyone out there who’s feeling a little hurt and maybe even rejected or betrayed. One way or another, we’ve all been there. Most of all, this is for my friend. And because I’ve been there, here’s what I wanna say. 

Nights are long and hard
Your eyes just burn out trying to marathon your favorite series
Because you’ve been crying all day
And you’ve never felt more alone at 2:30
You’re tired but you can’t stop thinking
So you try to sleep it off
You doze off with tears rolling down the side of your face
Blotting your sheets and wetting the pillow you used to hug
But you sleep all curled up hoping not to dream
And the next thing you know it’s already morning
You survived the night and the birds are chirping
But mornings are even harder than the nights before
You have to pull your own weight out of bed
Forced to face another day, like yesterday, the day before
When will it all be okay?
The lovely bitter taste of coffee you used to adore
Is just the bitter medicine you take to keep you going
So you can go about your day without saying a word
Of the billions of thoughts nobody needs to hear
Looking like the opposite of how you feel inside
And in a room full of people you still feel alone
But it gets better
You no longer ball your eyes out to sad songs in the bathroom
Slowly without even noticing, you forget to remember them
You begin to laugh at the funniest sitcoms
And live out new good days
With new people or completely on your own
And though you miss them and you still search for them
Familiar faces in crowds and corners here and there
You just remind yourself again of why you walked away
Cause you know your worth
Because love shouldn’t have to be that difficult
And loving you really isn’t
And you believe that there’s a big world out there
You have a long way to go
So anyone who wants to be a part of it will make the ride with you