Coming home.

Dear You,

I have been driving endlessly, through valleys that are deeper than the highest mountains I have climbed. Through sunrises and sunsets, some lasting longer than the other.

Sleep is now a distant friend, so I carry on my journey alone. Often, I reach out my hand to hold yours, only to be reminded of your absence.

Voids the size of the Milky Way stare back at me.
So I wonder, how an empty heart can feel so heavy.

I thought I was running away from the mess I created. Driving away from you and your thoughts. But they’re all staring at me from the backseat.

Gently reminding me of the pain that has attached itself to me.

I want to come back home,
I want to come back to you.

But I am lost.
And I don’t think these roads can ever lead me back.

Flooded towns.

Dear You,

I can tell you this with all the wisdom I have gathered, broken hearts are the heaviest. As you watch the contents of your heart spill into the street, waves taking over the whole town, don’t look away.

This is all your love, washing down buildings of memories. You created that, and if the whole town drowns, cutting you off from the rest of the world, then so be it.

If someone wants to reach you, they will sail through the rising waters.

And when that happens all you have to do
Is decide if they can get to you.

Beginning of the end.

Dear You,

I think it’s time to go.

I leave behind memories and love, but I hope I have taken away all the sadness.

Don’t let the pain blind you, don’t let it change you. Let it gently lead you to the path you were always meant to walk.

I have loved you from a distance, I have loved you from close. And now I must learn to love you from wherever I am going. Or perhaps, not love you at all.

Dear You,

It’s time to go.

What would I tell you?

I sometimes wonder what I would tell you if I met you when you were younger.

Would I hold your hand right at that moment when your heart was going to break, or would I stop you from doing the things that would lead to a lifetime of pain?

On that note, you should perhaps remember that there really is no “lifetime of pain”. I just said it for dramatic effect.

Sometimes there are several flashes of pain, during other days the suffering is prolonged and feels never-ending, but it will.

I wouldn’t say that happiness is fleeting like a butterfly. Instead it’s like a wave, strong on a few days, on others it’s but a ripple. And even though it will recede, remember it always comes back.

So maybe take both with a pinch of salt? Let them shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.

You should however pay attention to the small pockets of peace when life traps you in a flooding cave of emotions. They will keep you alive.

And remember, life is beautiful but can be chaotic, so sometimes you’ll need people to help you stay afloat, hold on to them for dear life. They can be friends, family and a stranger in the airport who offers you water when you’re crying.

But on most days it will just be you.

Chaotic order

Dear You,

There’s so much beauty around you, why can’t you see it?

Listen to the beating of your own heart, sometimes fast like the turmoil in your head, sometimes slow like time that refuses to pass. But always fighting, always beating to keep you alive.

How can you ignore that? How can you give up when everything around you hasn’t?

The beauty and tragedy of life is the fact that it moves on. Days give way to nights just like winter gives way to spring.

No one promised life would be good all the time. It’s hard, it’s heartbreaking and will tear you down to pieces.

Sometimes people will choose you, sometimes they won’t. Sometimes you’ll choose people, sometimes you won’t.

But look around again, did that ever stop dawn from breaking?

It never did and it never will.

So I ask you this,

Why should it stop you?

Gestures big and small

Dear You,

We often go through life hoping and praying for big gestures.

That grand proclamation of love, him singing a popular Frankie Valli song that melts your heart, in front of a hundred strangers.

A beautiful proposal, over dinner or lunch or whatever meal you love. With flowers, chocolates, puppies or even a bloody howler monkey.

That big romantic airport gesture, where he magically gets past security and yells out how much he loves you. And you melt into a puddle because you love him too, but mostly because he’s getting dragged away by security.

But baby girl, do you not see that the biggest gestures are always the ones that don’t happen out in the open?

They are the ones that happen in the privacy of that beautiful café you visited twice, yes the one where surprisingly there aren’t many people. The one where the puppies outside were too lazy to heed to your loving calls.

The biggest gesture is choosing you, over and over again. During the good times and especially during the most dangerous storms.

The biggest gesture is fighting for you, even when the easiest thing to do is to walk away.

So answer this my darling,

They can sing their way right into your heart with their beautiful voice,

But what happens when the song ends?

Always on my mind.

As you were.

Learn to love

Dear You,

What did you want when you were younger?

To be loved wholly,

Even with all the broken parts,

That crumbled and fell at the slightest touch.

With all the strength that you mustered to pick up the pieces.

To find love that would hold you close on your darkest night,

When you were too afraid to sleep as thunder clouds gathered outside.

Darling,

What did you want when you were younger?

And why aren’t you giving it to yourself now?

Three decades

Dear you,

Growing older is not a choice, growing up is. What will happen to you? I don’t even know why you’re asking me this.

You’re 29 right now, next year you will be 30. Yes, that’s how math works. You will grow older. That’s all I have to say.

You’re wondering where life will take you, so let me ease your anxious mind, you will move to another country not very far.

Distances between people will increase drastically, you will still love them with everything you have, but really the next year is not going to be about anyone else but you.

You will learn that you hate living alone, that big cities with twinkling lights and bright skylines are beautiful to look at, but they will fail to light up the darkness inside.

Everything will feel fleeting, happiness, strength and even love. But everything will fall into place, if not the next year then the year after that.

You will never believe this, but YOU will jump into the middle of an ocean. You will panic even when you realise that you’re wearing a life jacket and that you can’t sink. And then you’ll realise that in life, you can have all the life jackets you want, but if you’re still struggling no one can help you.

Those are lessons that you can only learn when you dive into the deep. You’ll also learn that some jelly fish don’t sting like the bad jellyfish, but they still sting and that will hurt.

You will go house-hunting and will lose the will to live on some days. Some days you’ll come home and bawl because you can’t handle the loneliness, but like everything else, you will.

And just when summer leaves and the cool wind starts to caress your face, on one unsuspecting October evening, the roof in your kitchen will rain.

In other words, the geyser will burst open and will pour down on you like a storm. At least the water will be warm.

You will be so flustered about things that happen that you will forget to give yourself credit.

You will forget that people will come and go, but the only person who will remain with you is (for good or for worse) you.

I wish I could say everything will be a smooth sailing, but it really won’t. I can warn you all I want, but you will still play beer pong with vodka and that will not end well.

But you will learn to put furniture together, so that’s a good thing I guess.

Learning and accepting your flaws will be difficult, but if you ever want to grow you must learn to see where you’re going wrong.

And when you go through the darkest of times in life, when everything and everyone seems to leave you, you should know this,

I would never have done all of this with anyone but you.

So chin up,

Wipe your tears,

Pat yourself on the back,

Bake your cake and eat it too.

And remember this,

I’ve got you babe.

(Belated) Happy Birthday,

Love,

Your older self.

As you were.

Walking on sunshine

Dear You,

I don’t know how you’re doing right now, but I hope life is treating you well.

It’s a new year, which means we all have another 365 days to come up with new ways to ruin our lives.

This year was particularly challenging for me, since I moved away from home. Some moments were great and some were miserable, like that one time I managed to get bathroom cleaner in my eye and convinced myself that life with one eye wouldn’t be that bad.

However, despite all the ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’, one of my most special memories was during a hot summer evening at the vegetable aisle in a grocery store.

I’ve always struggled with opening plastic bags, the kind that holds vegetables. There have been many such occasions, but this day was particularly difficult. My day hadn’t been that great, and when the bag refused to open I was two seconds away from bawling. Until one kind stranger stepped in and opened a bag for me.

It might seem like an insignificant thing, but it is one of the most precious memories that I choose to carry with me into 2019. There were so many people that day, but no one stopped to help except for him and for that I’m very grateful.

I know life can get very, very bad at times and I really hope that you find all the strength to go through it. But I also want you to remember that it’s when things are at their worst that kindness will make its way to you.

So be kind and good.
And if you ever get the chance, open a bag for someone.
Have a fabulous year.

As you were.