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LETTERS

From Amia to Levi

Pain. It’s always been there. It was here then, and it’s here now. I’ve come back to new walls and new surroundings. My love for others, rotten with the need to be loved, wanted, valued – by organisms outside of myself. My search for love has been reclassified as a want for meaningful connection. The sudden change is frustrating. I can feel the friction of this life with my old. I can’t continue to carry the baggage of my parents’ negative thought patterns, or the hatred towards those who belittled me in the past. This new future, this present, won’t seem to let me.

So I’m dying, purifying. At the moment, I am lost and so is Levi. Huh… Levi… He’s new. I met him, not too long ago, but he was just a voice — now apparently the true master of this human’s soul. Interesting… Don’t get me started on Felix. I don’t even know who he is. Never met the guy. But, he’s been taking care of the vessel so I guess he’s ok. The vessel has been looked after but I need looking after too. I need that. I need love. I’m so hurt. I’ve been so starved. I need something. I’ve been questing for world domination just to hurt those that inflicted pain onto me so long ago and those I believe didn’t support me when I needed them — or at least someone. Through this process, I’m learning that approval should come from within instead of outside, but I’m so empty inside. Well, there’s just a lot of pain that I don’t want to look at.

The weight of these expectations crushes me. “I should be THIS”, “I should be THAT”, “They should’ve done THIS”, “I NEED this”, “I NEED that”. I apparently need everything to be perfect so I don’t need to look inside, or look back. Yet I continue to exist as a being gripped by the talons of the past. Truly, I want something more. I have wings, but I’m not even grounded, I’m chained — by string. The mind is what keeps me attached. Guarded by the patterns indoctrinated into me by those around me who couldn’t love themselves. And with their lack of self-love and self-respect, they lacked the resources to assert themselves righteously so instead they bullied me. Now I sit here lacking the same. Yet, what Levi and Felix have built seems to be amazing — but how do I fit into it? How can I help? How can we terraform the landscape to unlock the vessel’s full potential and all of our own?

A memory reappears: My secondary school music teacher, Mr. Pope. Reminding me of a good deed I committed, that only he witnessed. He told me that that was who I am. Someone who helps people. Someone empathetic for others. He would also tell me how my parents could be partly responsible for some of the pain in my life. That day, I helped someone. I need to heal Babi. I need to heal young Amia. But at what point? When did I start hurting and stop giving?

I never stopped. My problem was that I gave too much — to the point of unnecessary self-sacrifice and self-humiliation, all for the gratification of a few bruised egos. Never Again.

True Love doesn’t carry, it sustains. Balancing between true love for self. Connected. Friendly. Happy.

How do I work? How do I need love? What is the wound that isn’t healing? How do I need to be supported? What do I want? Whereas Levi and Felix are hard workers, I find that I’m more of an artistic temperament. My attributes, yet unmastered, are those of a beauty and sociable kind. Whereas currently superficial, if humble enough to undergo training and reformation, I could develop only to fufil my potential and my role towards how I play this game of life. I bring freedom, flexibility, and modernism to a team that is strong, stable, masculine, competent but rigid and one-dimensional. There must be compromise and I don’t expect to be a ruling class in this 3-way partnership. But I do hope to contribute to the team in a way that is valuable to the team and valued within the team. I still can’t work out who’s hurting more from the change. Whilst I’m being burnt and burnt again, Levi and Felix are having their whole worlds and systems broken and warped. So life’s not feeling too great right now for either of us. But I like to think we both understand the nature and necessity of this process, as this is the process that incurred our previous metamorphosis/journey/death/rebirth in the first place. It seems harder to end now than it was to begin, because at least we hadn’t built what we left behind. Now we have to move on from what we thought was the final result — but only the stepping stone for the next journey.

But the questions still stand: How do I work? How do I need love? What is the wound that isn’t healing? How do I need to be supported? What do I want? How can we all work together, in harmony? Levi was about work, discipline, authenticity, mindfulness, internal power, self-respect, self-mastery, self-assertion, competence, service. I, Amia, in brightest terms, was about helping others, empathy, art, beauty, giving love, freedom, adventure, connection, knowledge, enthusiasm, risk. How do I need love? I need to value myself.

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LETTERS

To Service

At this time, that I’m writing this, I am suffering. My mental health is deteriorating and I feel like I’m losing myself. I feel so low and feel like I need someone to talk to. But, seeing as my problems are so tedious, I’d only push those close to me away. It always tend to happen. I don’t know.

I need to serve, and it’s my drug. Both in the abstract/idea realm and the real, physical realm. It feels like we’re all struggling with real-life at the moment. I feel such pain driven by confusion, frustration, misalignment. I sought adventure and deviation and now I’ve found loss. I’m lost. Don’t know how to get back — Don’t know where I’m supposed to go from here.

People seem to continually advocate for submersion and compliance. But I only seek participation. I just want to help and a reason to be alive. A reason to do, a reason to think, a reason to create. Values. I want a mind that focuses on things in the real world instead of just abstract topics. At least finding places that facilitate this. I am God and God is me but I’m not here.

I need to have reasons to go outside. I don’t need to completely live in the city, but give myself opportunities to open my mind. I need a way to function in the city. Why do I want to? I want to have an effect on this planet, and I can’t just do it sitting in my room. I can’t be human by staying in my room. I guess, allowing myself to be flawed.

I need to change my relationship to the environments outside my home and around my home. I need purpose and to feel safe. I need nourishment. It’s hard for me to even feel like I should have emotions. I cherish intuitions but not my emotions or mental health. I just want balance. To explore and to retreat. But what do I have to explore? If my mission is to serve, what’s my bliss? Chasing the sun? I want to be centred. Able to move or stay. Whatever I prefer. I must find my own way of communicating and processing.

I’m sad. I have to expand. I need to change but I don’t know how.

My life is getting reshuffled.

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LETTERS

Annya

Dear Annya,

Help me let go of you. I can’t let go, it’s not a need for you but something I can’t explain. A phenomena. I’m into you and I don’t care what you say, I know you’re into me. Maybe your interest in me has faded but mine hasn’t. It may go into the depths of my consciousness but it’s still there. I don’t know why. It’s not usually this hard. I forget people all the time but you seem to pop up when I don’t even want you to. I want to say I love you but I don’t think Iit’s that. It’s too easy. I can’t say I don’t love you but that’s not the answer I need. I would love to chase this fantasy with you. Us together would probably end in a trainwreck but the journey would probably be great. Why the fuck are we not together?

I don’t want to push my desperation onto you but it if it makes you feel better, it’s probably from just working in isolation too much. But also you’re wise to a degree. When I realised you’re smart my Annya-dream-count doubled in frequency. You’re so much more than what I see on your instagram, you’re so much more than your abundance of silence during our phone calls – at least to me. You’re something worth caring about to me in a world where I think everything is bullshit. I’m writing this letter because I need to be able to either hold you or drop you but I can’t live in the limbo of my heart’s desires, I just can’t. I don’t want you to lose someone who can give you what you need in life and I don’t want to lose someone who I actually feel someone who I actually feel something for; and don’t tell me we can be friends because even as friends, I’ve lost you. Following each other on insta, seeing each other’s photos but not speaking for months or years, semi-awkward random encounters on Oxford Street that last 5 seconds and end with “We should meet up sometime.” even though we won’t. That’s what friendship is now, that’s what losing each other would look like.

I don’t want that, I want you. I don’t want to want you but I do. Help me help you. If you still don’t see or feel something after this then so be it. I’ll never hate you but I’d be regretful if I never got to love you.

Take care Annya,

think about it and stay in touch.

Levi xxx

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LETTERS

Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

Hey, how’s it going? Horrible? I thought so. Happy birthday my love. You’re pretty much my best friend (Tied with Lola of course, sorry chief). This isn’t a letter to say how much I love you or why I do. I accomplish that everyday I see you whether in person or in my thoughts. I’ve been in weird circumstances recently and I’m happy that you’ve been along for the ride. When I was away, you looked for me. Remember that? You told me you were worried and that you embarked on a journey to see if I was okay. Just for that. You almost rescued me that day,

but you didn’t.

You did it for the rest of the life I’ve lived so far. When my mind was clouded you calmed the storm, when I couldn’t say how I felt you listened to my heart and when I thought I was last place you turned the tables. You make me feel like I can write, like a genius nobody knows, when I think I’m a fraud. I know I can be an enigma. I can be mute sometimes, I can shapeshift and even vanish at times but you never stopped loving me,

you never stopped encouraging me.

Vanessa you’re an artist, a model, a sister, a daughter and even a Goddamn Cancer but in the end, when I’m depleted, crawling on my charred hands and knees with my nose bleeding and broken legs dragging against the concrete, you’re my friend. My best friend. You’re also literally the only person to have seen me on my birthday in 3 years and the 2nd in 14 years. But regardless,

I love you Vanessa.

I’ve got to keep it brief because I’ve got to paint my mum’s room. Duty calls. You’re always in my thoughts.

Keep being, keep dreaming and keep breathing.

Sincerely true to you,

Levi x

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LETTERS

The name Levi

Dear everyone,

I’ve changed my name from Amia to Levi and here’s why: The name Amia carries a lot of weight, a lot of bad memories. It carries a past where I’ve been nervous. Where I’ve waited outside people’s doors like a dog. Where I’ve been unable to stand up for myself. But most importantly a past in which I was never truly happy. Imagine being named Amia while your best friends leave you or when your one of your best friends puts you in a position to hear your dad threaten to kill himself or being named Amia while you watch your own mum get raped. These are only a few of the repressed memories carried with that name. A friend was worried that if I lose Amia, I lose the sweet charming person I was. That friend wasn’t there while I was alone, isolated in my room for years losing my head because I couldn’t feel my heart is. Everytime you call me Amia I want to kill you because it’s as if you’re acknowledging all the progress I’ve made as my own person and just slapping me in the face with it. It pisses me off even more the closer you’ve been and it enrages me when it comes from people who should’ve been in my life recently but haven’t because of bullshit while I’ve been working my arse off. If I lose my past is it a bad thing? A past where nearly everyone I know left me, bullied me or betrayed me? A past where I was alone in a disgusting home life and school life? A past where I’ve been sexually harased, kicked down and just outright disrespected? I think not. I’ve been torn apart recently. Trying to handle the conflict between my old self and new self that I’ve evolved into but what I realise is that I’m afraid and it seems to be that those voices of fear are the voices that haven’t accepted this change. So let me explain where it came from: Roughly two years ago I was on an underground train. I was how I usually was on a train: Nervous, tight, ready to break at the first second of someone staring at me. I had my earphones in and everything was normal but something strange happened. A voice from my stomach said something. It told me to shout, to scream right on that train. It was something I’d never recollected before. It was different to the voices in my head that were constantly telling me someone was watching me and that I should be scared. It came from within. I didn’t scream or do anything except smile. I knew this was something different and I knew it was the start of something. That’s where the inner voice came from. Levi was a name I had always liked and I wanted to pass onto my son but in this significance it was the name I gave that voice. The voice deep within me: My true essence – My true me. It gave me a change to grow and become a person I respect. A person I knew and could look up to and that person would be myself. I’ve never regretted the decision. The plan was for it to become my middle name but it would only be so long until it wasn’t enough. I recieved a letter that said ‘Levi Kouakou’ and instantly I felt lighter. I smiled. I knew this was what I wanted. So don’t deny me this because you aren’t. I won’t let you. This is bigger than someone trying to call me an old name. It’s a name. You can’t touch it or feel it. It’s just a name. You could change it everyday and it still wouldn’t matter. My surname is still the same. It’s your choice:

Am I your friend or not/Do you respect me or not?

If yes, then call me Levi.

Yours sincerely, Levi x