A phantom that inhabits me wherever I go

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I am in the cafe and veil myself in the proficiency a cup of coffee and a laptop presents. Today I am ok, but I have dragged displacement about me like a weight or like a phantom that inhabits me wherever I go. Only in the creative process of my work is this distilled and centres me like an internal compass, and I transmute the phantoms in the act of being an artist. I am the daughter of two migrants, each from separate countries who both fled or were war damaged. I was born in England but moved to Ireland over 20 years ago. I have negotiated 4 cultures now but belong to none. I look to what dissolves these boundaries that people are so fixed on. When I make work, I am exhilarated, it is the only thing that dissolves the unbelonging I have felt all my life. The atmospheric silent invisible treacle that can bind me is also dissolved when I meet others like me and it has taught me to find a meeting place and empathic listening in all people I encounter and somehow people give me their stories. It’s like I have been an atmospheric barometer all my life to work out the nuances of what is going on. This habit comes from being a child in situations where you are having to learn ways of being other people have embedded in them from being born in a place of belonging. I try not to dwell on displacement anymore, but it is a dwelling, it is where we , the others, dwell.

Love people - even the 'hard-to-love' ones

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I have educated myself out of a pattern of 'fixing' others, wanting to please others and into a space of self care, with compassion for self AND others. I have overcome bullying and discrimination in the workplace, made many friends along life's path and disconnected from the toxic people who have come across my meanders. I am eternally curious, love learning, love people - even the 'hard-to-love' ones. I savour the many simple moments of joy in a day, and seek to create and share more of these with others....life is too short to be bitter or miserable.... there are times of sadness usually the loss felt when love of someone so strong has died....and there have been many... I don't wish, I dream and do!

Always on the move

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project by Nicola Anthony

Always on the move, I have always felt out of place whenever I stand still so I just keep on moving.

I didn't fit in with the culture of my parents or that of those around me

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

Growing up to Indian muslim parents in the UK always meant that I didn't fit in with the culture of my parents or that of those around me in the UK. It's always been difficult to fit in with others and I've always felt that it's an ongoing struggle, though am now comfortable to know I'll never fit in and to be content with that.

That we are each a you-niverse of infinite possibilities.

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I am happy because I finally realised I am the love I have always wanted and deserve. That we are each a you-niverse of infinite possibilities. That I am and we are slowly unlearning our way into unconditional love. That the first step is self-care. That loving yourself is one step closer to loving nature and others in an authentic, sustainable, centered way. I am grateful.

The vast and unexpected mountain that is life

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

It was my 30th birthday, and while I have had some or happiest times in Singapore, it is occasions like this where the absence of friends and family from your home country is felt most deeply. It’s as if I could feel each and every step of the 10,800 km that separates you from the home in which you grew up in. As I sat up on my bed, and walked across to my kitchen, my girlfriend was instructing me to go back into the bedroom. I had no idea what was in store for me. She soon called me back into the living room, and said: “I have a very special day planned for you my dear, all I ask is that you keep an eye on your phone.”

She did not disappoint. Over the course of the day, I received 60 different video messages from friends and family across the world. I was overwhelmed with happiness. It’s as if at that point technology had help us overcome those 10,800km, and I was sitting at home in my family living room opening cards and sharing laughs all together. It turns out my girlfriend had spent the preceding weeks contacting each and everyone of the people closest to me, and asked them to send across a message. While it was the videos that brought about that moment of unexpected happiness, I cannot underplay the thoughtfulness of my partner in bringing about this moment. Her actions bring me moments of unexpected happiness each and every day, and I feel so grateful to have this person by my side, scaling the vast and unexpected mountain that is life.

It would be striking up a conversation with a stranger, where I would share that instant chemistry with and enjoy their attention, connection and the impromptu friendship and vulnerability.

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

It would be striking up a conversation with a stranger, where I would share that instant chemistry with and enjoy their attention, connection and the impromptu friendship and vulnerability. That gives me an unexpected happiness - as it gives some sort of hope that this conversation and acquaintance could grow into something more? A guilty pleasure/confession is feeling very satisfying, watching people who offended me and hurt me get their Karma pay-back, which always makes them suffer x10 more than what they did to me. That makes me happy and scared of my own self at the same time. The other confession is that there are some guys that would come across to me as intelligent and arrogant and hard to get - I like to use that chemistry I have with them and act completely uninterested and cold - other times low-key flirt - and just play with their minds. I need to stop doing that though.

I think I may be happier the other way round

I Have high IQ but low EQ. I think I may be happier the other way round.

Feeling responsible all the time

Feeling responsible all the time. Loving being alone. Hiding from the world because highly intelligente.

Lazy lazy lasy

I hate being a doormat

I like to please everyone and wants everyone to like me, but i dont like it. I hate being a doormat because i cant say no. And when i do share my feeling about how i feel to a particular person, i am deemed as rude. Sometimes i feel left out when it comes to friends. To be honest i rather live in solitude then live with my family because i want peace. Sometimes i wake up to my mum and grandma arguing. Sometimes my mum and dad. Sometimes i wake up and she argues with me. I just want a friend that doesnt take me for granted and just be there and if i cant get that. I rather be alone and live alone. Painting and drawing. I am happy though, because even though negativity outweighs my life more, doesnt mean i have to be negative. I am positive and i know one day ill be happy in an apartment i will buy and be a painter or an artist and just be content with life.

I like climbing buildings

I like adventures, I like climbing buildings. It makes me feel free and happy.

Staying in Koya-san changed me inside out

Staying in Koya-san changed me inside out, helped me to see what is and is not important and why getting upset about petty things is self-destructive.

I don't think I want kids

I don't think I want kids, but I feel compelled to have 1

I am magnificent and at the same time worthless

I have darkness; a deep malcontent which is always searching and yearning for satiation. I am the darkness, and it is me. But, by nature, it is unseen, which means I go unseen. I feel unheard, misunderstood, unfairly judged by the world and those in it. I feel a desire for objects to hold inside me. I feel like they will keep me safe, or at the least, distracted. But they do not, because they are part of the darkness, and so the more I focus on my acquisition and achievement the most I melt away from the light and become further from my ultimate goal - to be truly seen and understood by someone.

This cycle of madness is unending, and all-encompassing. Every so often it will bring me to my knees, where I will ask God for forgiveness and guidance. I do not know if He responds, but I always end up in the same place so I think not. Or perhaps I just stop listening. I feel empty and worthless. A sense of profound insignificance plagues my waking thoughts and destroys my drive. What's the point? I ask. No reply comes. At the same time, when my ideas are challenged I feel a pain somewhere deep inside, as if someone has not only challenged my thoughts but my person; my existence.

Though I try not to show it to the people I love most, there is a large part of me which believes I am supreme. I think in a way like no other. I come to conclusions that only the best might arrive at. And every thought spoken is backed by a sea of thoughts never uttered. So you see I exist in a constant state of flux. I am magnificent. And at the same time, worthless. And all the time I am yearning for something that I can never know, for as soon as I know my desire, it moves on to something else. So what is it like to be me? Like shifting sands in the nighttime.

I ran away

I ran away. I couldnt take the stress so I chose the easier way out. It seems like its a suitable choice, but I cant help feeling like a coward. Its not nice feeling mediocre. there's nothing that I'm special at, so it feels as if even if I disappear, not much will change. It doesnt feel good knowing you're forgettable, like the second choice when someone else is unavailable. but its okay!!! I'll do my best to bring positivity to make someone's else life a little brighter. I'll be as sincere as I can. Tomorrow will be a better day.

I'm comfortable talking about sex and masturbation

I'm comfortable talking about sex and masturbation with my friends. But many of these friends don't know that I'm still a virgin and have never been in any intimate situation before. The few instances that I confessed about this, I felt the other person judging me. I wish I could really own the term "virgin" and say it with confidence, but I'm still learning to destigmatize the term even for myself. One way I'm doing this is through writing. I'm learning that I don't have to go through something directly in order to write about it. Lewis Carroll was never a girl, and that didn't stop him from writing Alice in Wonderland. So even if I'm a virgin, I can still write about intimate experiences set in a fictional world.

I fell in love with resurrecting myself

I fell in love with resurrecting myself, replacing bits and pieces of my mind that needed something newand my life became the most colourful thing