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.

In Mourning.

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Today I mourn,
All the things that I lost.
Things that never belonged to me in the first place.
I’ll list it in no particular order,
So here it goes.

Love.
Dreams.
Happiness.
And laughter.

Children.
Peace.
Joy.
And a happily ever-after.

Of all the things I lost and
The ones that left me feeling like a ghost,
You come a close second.
But if I’m being honest, I miss myself the most.

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.

Stay another day.

Dear You,

I’ve been meaning to tell you that things are going to be okay. Maybe not the way they used to be, perhaps not the way you once wished it would.

But, you are going to be okay.

I don’t know if everything will work out in the end, but I know that you’ll be fine.

The scars from your battles will be gentle reminders of how you survived your worst nights. You will painfully remember that Saturday evening when you boarded the flight, without a single shard of hope.

But you’ll also remember how you made it to your destination.

Life is hard. The lows are somehow entrenched in our memory, while the highs seem so fleeting.

But if you’re breathing,

And your heart is beating,

And your brain, lungs and every other part is functioning well,

Then you’ll survive this, no matter how times in the past you fell.

And if it’s getting difficult please remember this.

Everything comes to an end.

Good, bad and life.

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.

Since you’ve been gone

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Dear You,

I’m beginning to wonder if you’re even reading this. Are my words reaching you? Are they providing you any solace at all?

How was your day? I ask far too many questions but I’m not nosy, I’m just wondering how you are.

I hope you get enough sleep these days. Tell me, has winter reached your doorstep yet?

I wonder if I should even post this letter. Or do I let it get lost in this huge world where unrequited love lives in every corner?

I’ve been thinking about you.

I close my eyes and remember your smile. The way your hand felt in mine – warm and soft. The way my heart slowed down as you held me close in your sleep, even when you snored heavily in my ears.

I have never felt yearning as I have since you’ve been gone. I have tasted it in the long evenings, as the sun slowly set.

I have felt it during a lonely lunch, surrounded by beautiful friends; On the way back home, in the elevator and in my room. I have crossed the road with it, as it held on to my dress, scared it would be left behind.

And then, on some days it feels like I’m drowning, on others I barely make it to the surface.

So if you ever get this letter, know that I miss you more than I can ever explain. Know that you’ve left a hole so big in my life that all the cold is beginning to seep in.

There’s so much more I’d like to ask you, darling,

But I’ll only end with this,

Won’t you come back home, please?

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?

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.