JCM

"I'm a little lost at sea
I'm a little birdie in a big old tree
Ain't nobody looking for me
Here out on the highway

Baby, I'm a runaway train
Baby, I'm a feather in a hurricane
Maybe it's a long way game
But maybe that's a good thing

I will be found when my time comes down
I will be found

So I keep running 'til my run is gone
Keep on riding 'til I see that dawn
And I will be found


I will be found"

Anna Myers
This is how you start over, vol. II
IMG_4808.JPG

It feels fitting, to run into you and your beautiful new girlfriend today of all days.

Thinking back on how badly I wanted to start anew, even back then. Even when I was completely oblivious to everything else that was going to happen, as that summer unfolded in a haze of color and stardust -part of me probably already knew. 

 

It took the rest of me almost two years longer than I thought it would, but.

 

I got there in the end. 

 

It's still a little crazy to me. I still don't know how to talk about it.

I don't think I'll ever be ready for your smile changing as I listen and take my punishment. Soft and pitying, your eyes zooming right into my face as I ramble and swing my hands around like it doesn't cut a hole in my chest to be saying any of this out loud -please don't make me hide in the bathroom again. Look away, make it easy, just this once.

 

Timing is a funny thing.

 

So is hindsight. 

 

I wasn't meant to stay in that flat, or the one after that one, just like I wasn't a lot of other places, metaphorical and not, that I ended up at. 

 

I wasn't meant to be brave, not with you, not that time.

I wasn't meant to live the life I was living, but I wasn't to realize that until much later.

I wasn't meant to try and force a lot of what I tried so hard to -not you, not change, not everything else I'd have never predicted that June. I guess some things are just not meant to be forced. 

It's almost comical. But it's also real life, not some fantasy I made up at seventeen. And god, does the real thing feel better than the fantasy ever did. 

Not because it's perfect, not even remotely close. But because I've worked so fucking hard for it, given it everything I had at times when I really did think there was nothing left to give.

 

I had to learn how to be brave after finding every excuse not to. 

 

You see, I couldn't have done that with you. 

 

But I also think I couldn't have done that without you

 

*

 

You hold the door open with your foot as your girl looks on and our friends come calling. I've got two years on my mind and one evening at heart. It's over now and it was when it started but it lives on as it lived then. Another life, maybe.

 

*

This is how you start over, vol. I

Anna Myers
Reverse FOMO: Fear Of Not Documenting Enough Of Our Lives

A friend recently told me, completely unprompted, that she was worried for me. Specifically, she was worried my life wasn’t ‘fun enough’. When I asked for clarification, she explained that my social media feeds didn’t look particularly fun: it’d been a while since she’d seen any group outings or nights out on my Instagram, there was no drunk dancing on my Stories, and I just stopped using Facebook altogether. Twitter is the one I do use the most, but it’s mostly yelling about politics and gushing over Harry Styles, so I didn’t tell her that.

Confused, I assured her I was having a great time and didn’t give it much more thought. It was almost funny to me at the time, how she seemed to jump to conclusions based on what my feed showed – first, because this is a friend who knows me quite well in real life, not someone I talk to once a year whose only way of keeping in touch would be through Instagram. Second -because she must have known, on some level, that not posting anything for a couple of weeks does not equate staying in bed and actually doing nothing for two weeks… right?

I started to wonder, and then to panic.

Anna Myers
Dear Damsels Get Together
Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 19.59.29.png

Abby & Bridie created Dear Damsels in January ‘16 to champion creative women, give them a voice and the best platform they could wish for. Six months later I submitted my very first piece This Is How You Start Over and last night we celebrated their second birthday (!!) with the most incredible & supportive community, women I admire and am endlessly inspired by.

It does not go unnoticed, how incredible it feels to be surrounded by brilliant, fierce, brave, talented creative women coming together to find their voices. Entering a space where you know you could fall flat on your face stepping offstage and still all you'd feel is love and support. Saying hi to familiar faces and meeting new ones by opening with 'I read your piece last month, it was amazing', and meaning every word. 

It's rare, and precious, and powerful.

 

41C0277E-D923-48A7-8BB4-E06C220174BD.jpg

 

Maria Ilona Moore read her piece A Personal History of Remembering and Forgetting, Sinéad Gordon read Ash (A Love Story) with Ash present to hear it (my heart!!!) Tutku Barbaros read her poem Coconut, Molly Alexandra Cooper read An Extra Grating of Parmesan, Hattie Clark A Window of One's Own, and Jen Burrows Your Call.

Bride Wilkinson read a piece she wrote for The Riff Raff called Women, we must find out voices, and we all cried (I cried three times, but oh well). 

Abbie & Bridie, together with all the other damsels, championed me & my #feels like no one else, I’m forever thankful and can’t wait to see what else they get up to. Big plans coming! 💁🏻‍

Check them out!

Submit your work to Dear Damsels!

Buy the annual here (you definitely, definitely should it's so good)!

Cry with me! Let's always cry together!

the joy of pretending
IMG_3630.jpg

She says we should go out because it’s my last night and warm outside. There’s an underground bar by the park where we used to hang around as kids, between the house where I had a very bad kiss on the back of a ratty red couch and the stretch of road where she fell off her bike and called me screaming because she thought she had a concussion, but she promises it’s not gonna be as depressing as it sounds and I believe her.

I pretend not to see them when I do, blame it on the wine or the dark or the fact that I haven’t seen their faces in almost six years; but I have, and I do, and soon they’re the ones approaching me. 

I’m suddenly hyper-aware of the fact that I’m wearing a bright yellow coat, big glasses and no makeup -which, retrospectively, might not have been my greatest idea, not tonight. I feel small, insignificant. Ugly. Sixteen. 

There’s only one person I would have wanted to see and I know he’s not here, which should ease my tension a little but doesn’t -because if this is how I react to them, how am I ever gonna survive that?

I say stupid things, make myself even smaller. 

They ask about work and I downplay it to the point where it sounds like I’m just hanging around doing nothing, which couldn’t be farther from the truth but makes me mad because why, why would I do that, what’s the point in pretending? 

 

I’ve spent the last four years pretending for a living, but the last two getting closer to the truth and the last six months being so unabashedly honest I could hardly believe the words coming out of my mouth sometimes. And for tonight, none of that matters. 

 

For tonight, I can only smile and nod and try my best to conceal the fact that I’m jumping out of my skin. The smell of smoke in the air is making me nauseous, and the mulled wine they’re cooking in the corner won’t be ready for another thirty fucking minutes, and the jazz music coming from the other room is slowly fading which means the concert is almost over. Applause roars over our heads and a new stream of people walk in, all in various stages of inebriation and probably, definitely, intoxication.

I don’t belong, not with my big glasses and bright yellow coat and all the guilt and remorse and fear of not fitting in, still after all this time. I don’t belong, but for tonight I can pretend.

I pretend I don’t remember the things they used to call me, all the different ways they had of making it hurt. I pretend I don’t have a home and people who love me somewhere thousands of miles away. I let my gaze linger a minute too long on the tall guy with the long hair whose name I desperately wish I could remember, and let myself wish for the kind of life I never wanted. 

 

I could still live down the road, come down to the bar for a smoke and a chat, gossip about the one who’s become a model and the one who left for Australia and the one who can’t be named. I could still run into their mothers at the Thursday market and spend balmy summer nights by the water and the castle, laughing at nothing and crying at everything.

I’d still be in school, probably, and I wouldn’t know what it feels like to break and heal and be reborn the way I did in the last four years. She sounds sweet, this different me. I wish I could envy her.

 

Maybe I do, for only a moment -if only because the room is dark and the smell is intoxicating and it’s always, always easier to pretend we could have been different. 

She asks if I want to get out of there, and I say we should wait for the mulled wine at least. She gives me a look, and we walk out hand in hand minutes later. My flight home is in less than ten hours. I’m done pretending.

personalAnna Myershome life
leaving wasn't easy
IMG_3947.JPG

 

"Low moon don the yellow road
I remember something
That leaving wasn't easing
All that heaving in my vines
And as certain it is evening 'at is now is not the time

I remember something
Finding both your hands as second sun came past the glass
Love, a second glance it is not something that we'll need"

-BI

Anna Myers
new york, from me to me
IMG_3060 (1).jpg

 

the pink umbrella diaries: got caught in a snow storm in brooklyn, celebrated a kid's party in greenwich, got lost in tribeca, saw a lot of art, ate the best tacos of my life (sorry Nic ily), got approached by four different girls who winked and started a conversation over my 'treat people with kindness' bag, which greatly confused my dad but made me the very, very happiest, thought I could ice skate for a brief second then realized I really shouldn't, wore a lot of yellow, was very very cold, found broome and greene and cried a little, talked to a lot of strangers and cried some more, saved dad from a killer squirrel, met a dog named maisie, met a boy named connor --

made peace with new york

 

 

I used to wonder how things would be different, had I ended up in NY as planned instead of London. I used to think I'd be a different person, perhaps happier, perhaps less lost -because however bad things got, I still had shiny new york as an ideal image of how life could have been. Because… that's the kind of thought an eighteen year old girl has, I guess. 

And god, do I kinda wish I could still believe that.

In the end, it wasn't the dream that died nor me who killed it --it just twisted on itself one too many times and fizzled out without a sound. Without me noticing, really, until I walked the same streets I did all those years ago and struggled to recognize them. I struggled not to compare them to the ones I found across the ocean -the ones I made my home, broken bones and all. 

 

 

I found a way to bury the dream and only keep the memories I wanted to keep. 

The smell of coffee as I walked into a gallery on 26th and 10th, the spot I cried all those tears at when I was fourteen, the bagels by the bookshop. The square where I sat for 20 minutes trying to gather myself before going into the building because I was so nervous, road signs making me laugh, brooklyn in the clouds. The people, the volume, the glitter, the gold. 

Myself at fourteen, and seventeen, and nineteen. At twenty-three, saying goodbye to a few things but also saying thank you

Until next time.

some things for the new year
IMAGE

Your gut instinct is almost always right. Oil on toast is not dinner. Stop making excuses for people who gratuitously & continuously hurt you. Water the fucking plants. Support your friends’ art. It's okay to struggle: that's probably what makes this whole thing worth it. Learn your favorite songs on the piano even though you’re not a virtuoso. Drink more wine, less tequila. Drink more tequila, less coffee. You're allowed to change your mind. Take more baths. Stop saving the nice candles for special occasions. Unfollow Kendall Jenner on instagram. Your mom is probably right, just accept that. Realize there’s a difference between eating an entire cake at 3AM and getting a second serving of the same cake at 10PM: one will make your stomach hate you, the other will make you very happy. Go to the cinema by yourself. Call your grandmother more. It’s okay to want what you want. It’s okay stop wanting what you don’t want. Send thank you notes. Get over your fucking self and stop sending emails two minutes before deadline. Try not to pop a coronary every time you open twitter -you really can’t live like that for the next three years. Never go months without listening to your favorite One Direction album again, that shit is happiness in a bottle and you know it. Take more bad pictures, take more good pictures. Fuck the bullshit you don’t wanna deal with anymore, just fuck the bullshit. Fuck the fucking bullshit. Delete those numbers off your phone. Listen to your body. Accept that some days you won’t have the energy to leave your bed, and that doesn’t make you any less of a good person. Eat more pasta. Wear your red boots more. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, not people who make you want to cry.

Keep showing up. Keep coming up with reasons to keep trying.

Forget your new year's resolutions on the first of january, do whatever the hell you want. 

Treat people, but especially yourself, with motherfucking kindness.

Happy 2018, baby.

A xx

listAnna Myersnew year
Diamond Dust
CSC_0219.JPG

This piece was first published on Dear Damsels.

It was a split second, barely even noticeable. One moment I’m handing my card to the woman behind the counter and trying my hardest to tune out the song blasted through the speakers. Something about a bird, freedom, driving down a midnight road. Groundbreaking lyrical genius, undoubtedly. I’m bitter, and cold, and I can’t wait to get out of there. One moment I’m counting cheese, pesto, red peppers, batteries and liquid soap, and did I forget anything? why can I never just make a fucking list, why did mother never teach me that becoming the kind of person who makes lists will solve like, 70% of my problems, why can I not just pretend I’ve got this under control. The next, something cracks and hisses in the air, I feel my knees buckle and my hands lose their grip. It was a split second, barely even noticeable. Anyone could have missed it.

 

I wish I had. I really do.

 

*

 

The drive back to the house is short and silent. I don’t turn the radio on, you don’t ask me to. You leave the bags in the back and I lock the car, we walk to the door together, but not really. You leave the light off and the living room door open, but for the first time in a long time it feels more mocking than it does an invitation. I scrub the snow off my boots, watch slivers fall to the carpet like traces of diamond dust I wish I could bottle up, like fragile unspeakable secrets that grip my heart and shake my shoulders as I listen to you whispering into the phone on the other side of the wall. Little white dust for little white lies, I think, and I suddenly can’t stop shaking. I walk up to the bathroom and turn the tap on, wait until a thick fog has settled on every surface then step under the scorching hot water, alone. 

 

*

 

Winter brings a few surprises, old and new. A frosty wind runs through the house and my frozen bones, my insides grey like mold, weak and rotten like I’ve never felt before. The car keeps stopping and starting. When we get it checked at the place in town they say it’s only old and run its course, and I feel like crying although I’ve never even liked that stupid car. I start shopping at a new supermarket further down over the hills. Their vegetables are mostly brown and they never have my favorite brand of pickles but I can walk around the neon-lit aisles without looking over my shoulders, so I think that’s a plus. I start making lists. It doesn’t solve anything, but it’s a start. The neighbors’ dog runs away and we spend two days looking for him. We find him on the third day, curled into a ball by a log near the lake, quivering and terrified and small, so small. I hold him tight and stroke him softly, thinking I know how he feels. I start working late. The phone is always ringing. You take your phone calls in the bathroom with the water running, loud, and I shut my eyes and feel my body sinking into the bed, into the floor, into the foundations of the house, deep at the center of the Earth where I won’t hear whispers and I won’t make a sound. We eat melted cheese on stale breadsticks sitting on the armchair by the fireplace, flames cracking either side of us as I dream they’d rise higher and higher and engulf us, destroy us, forgive us.

Some good things: NOVEMBER
november hampstead

 

Hi hi hi! Well. I've always wanted to do a monthly roundup of things I've been loving, if only so that I can look back after some time has passed and cringe at my nonexistent (read: excellent) music taste, or count the number of times I can recommend the kind of books that make you want to stay in bed all day / buy a large bottle of wine before my friends start yelling at me again (sorry, guys). 

And I mean, if anyone gets recs or ideas out of this, I'll definitely be happy about that, too. I mainly expect yelling, but we'll see what happens.

So, here it goes: some things I've loved in November! Things that made me cry! Things that taught me something! Things that made me want to curl up in a ball and die (in a cool way -get it? get it?)! Things, things, things! All the good things!


I started off things in November on a very happy note (lol) by reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I carried it in my bag for a month before finally forcing myself to start it -not because I thought I wouldn’t like it but because I knew it was gonna break my heart into a million little pieces… and boy oh boy, was I right. Here’s what I wrote down when I finished it: how something could rip your soul out and heal it at the same time I do not know. What I do know is I have never, ever read anything more hauntingly beautiful, and though I might never find the words to describe what it meant to me, I can borrow Willem’s (and someone else’s, which is a whole other story) to express what it felt like: home. 

‘So tell me this: I must be absolutely sure. This place I’ve reached, is it truly Ithaca?’

 

I bought The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith at a time when I desperately needed to read it (funny how that works, isn’t it?) and I 100% wholeheartedly recommend it if you don’t know what to do with your life / want to feel better about the state of humanity (all of us, right?)

 

Everyone’s favorite thing in the entire world is currently Call Me By Your Name, and I am everyone. It is my favorite thing in the entire world. I saw the movie twice and haven’t been able to shut up about it since. I still wake up in the middle of the night whispering ‘Is it a video? IS IT A VIDEO?’ and start crying again. It’s THAT good -and if you haven’t seen/read it, I don’t even know what to say to you. If you have, come cry with me on Twitter. 

ps. shoutout to my flatmate who had to witness me bawling my eyes out in the fetal position first thing on a monday morning, courtesy of the last 50 pages of the book. André Aciman, you know what you did, you bastard. 

 

My dear friend Bianca Bass took me to see Battle Of The Sexes and MAN, IT’S SO GOOD. So!! good!! Thoughts:

1) the trailer doesn’t do it justice at. all.

2) I love Steve Carrell

3) I really really love Emma Stone

4) I FUCKING LOVE WOMEN

5) I cried so hard (in a good way… sense a theme yet?)

 

Let’s talk about this season of Crazy Ex Girlfriend. Why? Oh, it’s only one of THE BEST shows currently on television. Rachel Bloom is a major badass and ever the source of life inspiration when you feel like you’re never gonna get out of bed and do adult things with your adult life again. I’ve felt like that a lot in 2017, and a lot of my friends have too, which is why this show is so important. I’ve never seen mental illness depicted the way it is in Crazy Ex-gf, and for that I am forever thankful. 

 

Onto the Nonexistent Music Taste Section, my favorite part! Because even though I've been yelling I HATE ALL MUSIC FUCK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY since the Grammys failed to nominate my baby Harry (f u grammys), I really really love music. Some stuff I’ve been playing on repeat this month:


Recite Remorse by Waxahatchee, whom I discovered through Laurie Anne. THANKS LAURIE ANNE! I love Waxahatchee now!

mood: hampstead early on a sunday morning, coffee in hand, leaves crunching, doggies playing

 

Magnolia by Eric Clapton & John Mayer, which I’m aware is technically is a summer song, but it’s John fucking Mayer. There’s never a wrong time to listen to John Mayer.

mood: lights off, candles lit, bathtub filled, quiet paradise

 

Cherry by Luna Shadows, but listen to all her songs because she's so so good. 

mood: friday night walking through crowded London with headphones on. bonus points for views from millennium bridge

 

Miss You by Louis Tomlinson, because if you thought I was gonna get through an entire post without mentioning 1D, you don’t know me at all.

mood: HELL YEAH, THE POP PUNK 1D KING WE DESERVE!

 

Your best american girl by Mitski. Thanks for rec’ing it and making me cry, Ally, ily. 

mood: I have a lot of feelings

 

Burning by Sam Smith, because boy, the boy is good. Like, really fucking good. 

mood: I miss my ex (I don’t really, but this song almost makes me wish I did)

 

Relief next to me by MUNA because it makes me wanna DANCE and SCREAM and LAUGH HYSTERICALLY for reasons I am not gonna go into since I don’t *really* want people to yell at me  

mood: I miss 2014 / I'm not gonna open ao3, I'm not gonna open ao3, I'm not gonna open ao3

 

Landslide (cover) by The Japanese House, since my Spotify Discover playlist is A LITTLE BITCH whose only mission is to reduce me to a sobbing mess. Not that it takes much, but still. 

mood: writing and feeling like I’ve got my life together until the last chorus hits and I just stare into the void forever

 

Bye Bye Blackbird by Joe Cocker. Listen, it’s fall and I’m a nostalgic 90s baby, sue me.

mood: Meg Ryan old style rom-coms, autumn in New York

 

Visions of Gideon by Sufjan Stevens. Do I even need to explain this one?

mood: literally just crying until the end of time

 

Some other stuff:

Australia voted in favor of same sex marriage! The world is (occasionally) a very good place!

 

I went to Emma Gannon’s CTRL ALT DELETE podcast live recording on the topic of Money x Starling Bank, found my friend Martyna there, had a very good evening and heard some very good advice on a topic that usually makes my throat close up. Stop tapping that damn card anywhere and everywhere, Anna, and learn how to budget. And for the love of god, don’t leave your taxes until half an hour before deadline like you did last year.

 

I did a photoshoot with a team very very talented women and I’m in love with the results / the side of me they managed to capture. You can see them here

 

My friend Jackie hosted a Thanksgiving dinner (two turkeys! five pies! three servings of mash! ‘MURICA!) and it was the perfect evening, complete with lots of wine and cute hand-drawn menus and familiar accents and me losing at charades but loving every minute.

 

This got very long! I’m kinda sorry but I also had lots of fun writing it, so I’m not really that sorry at all. Love you all (and by all I mean my one faithful reader, my mother, but also anyone else who bothered to read this entire thing, you’re my heroes).

 

I just realized that next time I do one of these it’ll be 2018 and now I’m sad. Bye.

 

A xx