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.

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.

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.  

29 is just a number.

Dear You,

You’re currently packing your bags for that holiday in Pondicherry, so it’s rather endearing that you’re unaware about how next year this time, you’ll be in Muscat.

The year will be a whirlwind of good and bad – yes, yes like any other year. However this year will be about new things, like living alone. It’ll be about falling in love again, with new places and people and realising how awful and wonderful life can be. You’ll go through some terrifying moments and you’ll make it, but you’ll have to hold on tight.

You will find yourself lonely on some days, but you will also find out that the greatest lessons in life are learnt alone.

On some days you’ll bawl like a baby, but you’ll realise that sometimes there will be no one to soothe your fears. That’s all right, because you’ll learn that you can be your greatest friend.

You will not need a knight in shining armour, mainly because you are one. But on some days, you will graciously accept help from one who is armed with a plunger.

You are crazy, so when you find someone who is wholly accepting of you (despite all your flaws), hold on to them. Remember, it’s a privilege to be loved for who you are, don’t pass that up because of what someone else thinks.

Learn to love your family and friends. They can (and will be) annoying, but life can be incredibly tasteless without them.

Accept help when you can,

Stand your ground when you’re right,

Speak up for women and DO NOT let silence be your weapon,

Say please and thank you and always remember,

The best gift you can give yourself is

Love.

Happy birthday.

Ever yours,
P

Back to the future

Dear You,

If I tell you that a year from now you’d quit your job, take a break and travel across the world, would you believe me? Well, maybe you should. Because you’re going to do just that.

2017 could seem like just another year but it will make you brave. You will learn that there is no greater joy than standing up for what you believe in and asking for what you need. And when you realise that love, happiness and peace no longer features on the menu, you will politely move on.

Moving on, however, won’t be easy. It’ll bring with it moments of doubt, sadness and complete chaos. But you don’t have to worry, because it is only when you fall that you learn to look where you’re going. You will understand this soon, but I must tell you, there is no shame in putting yourself first. No shame in leaving behind things and people that no longer make you happy. You are after all your first priority, everything and everyone should come later.

This year, you will learn to be kind and loving to the one person who matters the most – you. It won’t be an easy process, but loving someone never really is. However, you’ll manage to strike up a friendship with yourself and it’ll be the best thing to ever happen.

Don’t ever doubt that you will be loved. You always were, you always will. You might be difficult to love, but not impossible. And there are people who always love a challenge, no?

You must and you will learn to see people for who they really are. Don’t let their judgements cloud you and don’t let harsh words break your spirit. Take a break from toxic people and if the break doesn’t work, cut them out of your life.

This year will bring you closer to people you love a lot but can’t find the means to express it. Hold on to that feeling, it’ll keep you warm.

And while you sit here right now, thinking about how life is going to pan out, I’ll leave you with one last clue. 2017 might keep you at home, but when the year ends, you’ll have to get ready for a new adventure. A fresh beginning, one that involves moving to a new country.

So don’t waste your time worrying about the future, what’s meant to happen simply will. Accept your losses and celebrate your victories, and remember whatever happens you will always be enough for yourself.

Love always,
P

Letters with love.

pp

A letter from my 27-year-old  self to my 26-year-old self. 

Dear Me,

Stop. Breathe a little.
Wait. Don’t rush, deadlines are for your newspaper and there is no need to get anxious, but you being you, will do just that.

Can’t wait to see how turning 26 would be eh? It’s amazing, said no one ever. Because it really isn’t that different. You will still panic every time you need to drive up a slope but you will make it to the top, exercise regimens will be a dream and you will sleep through them and yes, yes, you will get to travel.

You will meet new and amazing people, some will break your heart, some will leave with a piece of it, but you will always be loved. Life will take weird turns, the downs will drag you down and beat you black and blue, but the ups will liberate you.
You will NOT exercise, you will NOT. Shame on you. Tsk tsk.

February and March will bring with it surprises, love, gifts and people. March will be one of your favourite months. You will meet two kittens and will fall in love with them, whether you adopt them or not will remain a mystery.

No matter what you do, you will find your way back home – figuratively and well, literally.

Don’t stress over the small things because you will make it through all of them.
So why don’t you eat that extra piece of cake, enjoy the new year, go all mental and laugh out loud?

Also, before I forget.
Have a happy, happy birthday.