I shut up. I shut down.

I numbed my feelings to the world. I ignored the things that annoyed me because it felt like I wasted to much energy. I silenced myself, my voice, my words.

I shut up. I shut down.

I took a break from feelings. I needed a break from feeling helpless, hopeless and useless. I took a break from sadness, regret, pain. But inadvertently I took a break from happiness, hope and faith. And no I don't have I don't have religious faith. But faith that books, and films, and art and music can really bring a change in the world. Faith that what I'm doing, although will probably never give me job security, can possibly help someone, cheer someone up, brighten their day, bring hope in their world.

All I had left was anger, resentment and cynicism.

I stopped writing. I sit down and stare at my writing journal. I jot down mediocre notes about topics I used to argue vehemently about.

I gave up. I stopped fighting. I lost my voice.

I shut up. I shut down.


Breathe in, breath out

Breathe in, breath out
Trembling hands, antsy and impatient
Angry skin, red and blotchy
Fingers that cannot keep still

A heart beating faster than a bird’s
Lungs unable to extract the oxygen inhaled
Veins allergic to their own blood
A brain that cannot seize thinking

It’s a lost soul wandering among the living
Lovers with no love left to give
A man of god without his faith
A child who doesn't recognise his mother

The sleepless night, in a sleeping world
The vacuum of silence in a noise-filled place
The unsaid words between old friends
The distance of the heart, when two bodies unite

It’s the quiet before a storm
But it’s always darkest before the dawn
And the night withholds all sounds
Breathe in, Breath out



I am not the most expressive person when it comes to feelings. I’m quite rough around the edges.  I do not know how to talk about my emotions without feeling the need to crawl out of my own skin. I feel awkward and silly having to explain what’s in my heart because for me it’s so obvious, I tend think everyone knows.

But today I will try to use the words I've always cherished, put them together on a paper and hopefully be able to express my feelings in a way my mouth cannot seem to handle. So this is a little something for you, Ma, I hope you already know how I feel, even though I might not show it.

Ma, you are a strong woman, you were my hero while I was growing up. I felt you could move mountains and stop volcanoes from erupting. You were my supermom.

Growing up, like every other person, I started realising that you are human, and that the things you did were even more impressive, because you had no superpowers to help you, it was just your inner strength.

You showed me what it means to be a feminist without ever uttering a word. I grew up proud of being a woman, of our history, and hopeful for our future. You made me believe I could achieve anything if I just tried. You thought me how to fight for what I want, even if sometimes that fight is with you.

And we do fight, a lot. We don’t agree on so many things, that it would be better to mention the topics we do agree on. But I hope you know that the reason for this, is that you always pushed me to make my own way in the world. You taught me to have my own opinion, to not be swept away with the crowd. And yes that means that we clash sometimes, but that’s because you allowed me to be my own person.

Our characters are different. I’m an introvert and you’re an extrovert. We don’t always understand each other. I could never get on stage or in front of a camera and give the performance of a lifetime as you do each time. But you instilled in me the love of the atmosphere, the love of the arts. I won’t go in front of a lens, but I still want to be there, behind the lens, filming talented people like you and my sister. I thank you, for helping me find my passion in life, you led me to it.

I couldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you.  

Ma, I love you.



I write stories about strong, brave women. My women have the courage of a thousand soldiers. I write about women who can slay dragons and love so deeply and profoundly; women who face their fears. They’re beautiful women, not necessarily in appearance, but in their souls. I write about women with hearts so big they can love the world; the universe.

I live vicariously through these women’s lives. I wish I was them, I wish I had their strength, their courage. Because I’m scared, petrified, frozen on the spot. It’s ironic when you think about it really.

I’m scared of failure and of success. I’m scared of never being enough; for others but especially myself. I wait terrified of being stamped; branded with the word mediocrity, red and bright on my forehead.

I lie awake at night crippled by the fear of what life has in store. I wake up silently screaming, sweat running down my face, terrified of what lies in the depths of my subconscious.

I’m afraid my dad will have another heart attack, or another stroke, or another something that will take him away from me.

I’m afraid of failing in school, or worse graduating and then what?

I’m terrified of loving too deeply, of falling down to never get up again. I’m afraid I’ll end up alone, yet I’m also petrified that I’ll end up married, resentful towards the poor sod who got stuck with me, and mostly towards myself for succumbing to the pressures of society.

I used to see the world in shades of grey filled with possibilities, now all I see is black with specks of white, so small I can barely make them out.

I can go on and on about how courage isn't the absence of fear, but the battling through in spite of it. I know all the words the books say. How heroes are made from the desire to overcome the fear. I can even give you biblical references, like how David, the underdog was scared but still defeated Goliath.

But in reality, when the fear paralyses your very own thoughts how can a few words help. And how can I be a writer, how can I use words to comfort others, when they cease to comfort me?


I want to follow the yellow brick road

I lust after lives I read about in books. I lust after places I see in films. I cry over people I have never met. I miss people who do not exist. I fall in love a million times, I get my heart broken, and I get my hopes up only to be dashed again over and over again. I feel regret and embarrassment and butterflies in my stomach just from watching a show.

How can a simple song throw me so off balance? How can one book make me rethink all my decisions? How can a film fill my heart with so much emotion?

How can I be nostalgic for something I never had? How can I miss a moment I never lived? How can I feel more emotion, more human, more alive, while reading a few pages of a book than I can during the rest of my day? Why am I numb to the real life but so sensitive to the fictional world?

Is it a Wizard of Oz syndrome? Do I switch from the grey Kansas to the colourful Oz? How can I switch back to gray, when I got a taste of colour? It’s like having to take food supplements when you’re used to the delicious powerful taste that colours your mouth at the first touch.

I wish I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.


The magic number

How many times can someone wake up staring at the same ceiling, the same pillow, the same person?

How many times can someone go through the same exhausted arguments?

How many times can one turn a blind eye?

How many times can one say, I’m fine, when they’re not?

How many times can someone force a smile on their face, straining the muscles that should work so easily?

How many times can someone face the same desk, the same boring job, the same people, the same conversations, the same life?

What is the magic number that makes people realise it’s one too many?

What is the infamous number which makes a person snap?

Which number will make a person go out for cigarettes and never go back?

Which number will make a person pretend to get a dissociation disorder?

Which number will break the melancholia we surround ourselves with, not realising until it's too late, the grave we've dug ourselves in?

Pick your magic number, and get in line.


Lumps in the carpet

We live on an island were its society is an expert of camouflage. They are amazing at hiding things. Throwing things under their carpet and pretending everything is peachy.

I’m pretty sure that the game of Happy Families was based on the typical Maltese family. I wonder if one of the things that mothers provide to their daughters as part of their dowry is a carpet. And how do they choose how big a carpet to get? Maybe they start a wedding with a small one and they buy bigger ones as secrets start to come out.

Her husband is cheating. It’s time to buy a new carpet, because their relationship is perfect. His wife is really into girls, who’s in for a carpet ride? After all if Xandru’s married and gay why can’t it work the other way round? Their daughter is pregnant, shotgun wedding it is, with a side of carpet shopping and maybe they’ll find a small one for the new born. They haven’t had a proper ‘family’ moment in years but they’ll join efforts to buy a carpet big enough to cover the elephant in the room.

Maybe I should start saving up for my carpet, maybe a fitted one for the whole house. That should be enough right?


Who I am

When I still believed in god, I used to lie in my bed at night and pray for him to change me. I’d pray for him to make me a better person, prettier, charming and graceful. I used to read the ugly duckling and hope against hope that one day it would be my turn to be a swan.

I spent so many years despising myself. Hating who I was, how I acted, how I looked. I hated that I was shy, but never realised that all the hate I had towards myself made me shy.

I changed. Slowly, I did. I stopped praying, stopped hoping and decided to face myself. I am who I am. I’ll never be graceful, I’m a born klutz. I've fallen more times on my ass than Malta has failed at the Eurovision. I’m not a model, I’m not a princess. I’m me.

I no longer resent myself for who I am. I no longer wake up cursing the person I am. I don’t hate the person I am anymore. I changed.  I just don’t know who I am anymore.

Sometimes I get these out of body experiences as I see myself interacting with people. It’s like I’m not used to this new person. To this changed, hopefully improved person.

And like all other humans I find the need to try and place myself in a category. Who I am? Where do I fit? It’s silly isn't it? When we all know how complicated a person is, how many layers they have, how can you simplify them so as to fit into a box? How can you take something multidimensional and place it into one dimension and still have the same person.

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know in which category I fall in. I just know, I don’t mind who I am anymore.