Let my sleep be deep;
My work be driven;
And my love be filled with You.
Today, and everyday.
Never touch anything with half of your heart; be present; be endlessly loving and compassionate towards others; confront anything situation first with a deep breath; wander; remember that your own happiness and comfort are also important; before reacting, understand.
Eat breakfast; find the faces in the flowers; remember what is important to you; treat your body kindly; be honest; get to know yourself; take thing at your own pace; don’t feel embarrassed to feel, to laugh, to cry, to sing or to love; remember what is right for someone else may not be what is right for you, and that is okay; never be ashamed or afraid to ask for help; do what you love; remember that you always have a choice; find joy in what life really is: living.
And never, ever forget that everything happens for a reason.
Because life is on your side.
Living by yourself at seventeen is hard.
Playing both mother and child is hard.
Balancing work and daily routine is hard.
But none of it compares to the loneliness that I have to endure. Nothing compares to the nights that silently echo into the darkness of lying in bed, knowing that I’m alone. Nothing compares to knowing that everyone else at school, everyone else that I know, have mothers who will pick them up from school, make them dinner and say goodnight to them. They have comfort, they have love, and they have sustenance.
They are able to wake up everyday to the noise of a family getting ready for the day ahead. They have privilege of having overbearing and annoyingly encouraging parents when they are trying to have a break. They have the beauty of a loving family to make them tea and offer a warm shoulder when they have a bad day.
They have tangibility; they have face to face conversations; they have noise.
Many girls my age don’t even know the meaning of an empty house. They have never had to cook for themselves, or endure a night without seeing a member of their family. To them, the worst thing is not getting their straight As, or forgetting to do that maths homework.
They don’t know what it is like to go to sleep hearing deathly silence, and they don’t know what it is like to have to wake up to the same thing. They don’t know what it is like to have to continually strive to fulfill their future, whilst having to actively and daily run their life. They don’t know what it’s like to live as if you were years older than you actually are.
Because when I see these girls jump into their mother’s arms, I’m not angry. I don’t protest about the injustice of it all. Instead, I continue to feel alone. I continue to feel cold and empty and yearn to feel the warmth of my mother’s love that I did when I was younger. All I feel is the bitterness of being alone, and living alone and facing the cold, hard brutality that I cannot do anything but face it.
Because I know that there are people out there who have it much harder than me; people struggle even further, and feel so much bleaker. And I feel ever more guilty for feeling as if I’m the one that is suffering.
But sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes the world is just too sad.
Sometimes it’s the feeling of missing something, and never knowing when you’re going to get it back.
Like bullets in the midst of shadows, words are cataclysmic and send you spinning.
Your mother tells you that ‘sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you’, but you soon realise that they shatter everything that you once held dear; they penetrate deeper than any sword or spear and leave scars that may never heal. They make you question yourself, everyone else and anything else. Because under every word, is heartbreak. Under every last whisper is the crashing sound of torment.
Words make you lose faith. They shake you; they break you.
That is, if you let them.
You have the choice. You can let them burn you, or instead, you can let them burn. You can destroy every hushed syllable or streaked black letter and watch them emblazen in flames. Rather than succumb to their harsh criticism and deceit, you can use them as firewood in the inferno of your passions.
You can either become numb inside, or you can become numb to their appraisal.
You can either believe what they have to say, or you can believe yourself what you have instilled in yourself.
You can change their opinions of you, as long as you never change your opinion of yourself.
Because, you have what it takes.
You wouldn’t be where you are now if you didn’t.
Time is a strange thing. It doesn’t just distort and fade, but prospers and heals. Time withholds action, yet also blossoms and invigorates. Time mends friendships and shatters them. Time is deadly, and it is equally soothing. Time is both a constraint and a liberty.
Time holds the power to achieve anything.
Time only has one constant: it’s value. For there are few things which are more precious and unobtainable than time.
Go and tell your mothers and your fathers; your sisters and brothers; your lovers and friends just how much they mean to you. Tell everyone you know just how profoundly they mean to you. Don’t go a day without showing them your love.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
I don’t know whether I believe in love at first sight. Not because I’m a cynic, but because I can’t comprehend suddenly surrendering your life to someone the second your eyes meet. I can’t imagine my heart forgetting everyone and anybody else and replacing them for just that one person’s name just because they happened to be in the right place at the right time. I can’t imagine falling in love without the awkward hellos, the lingering goodbyes and discovering someone’s dreams at 1am.
But I certainly believe in meeting someone and knowing at that second that this person is special; they aren’t just going to be someone lining the framework. They’re going to be deep; they’re going to be intricate; they’re going to be the foreground. I’m not sure whether it’s the heart, or the mind, or either solely one of these which decides this, but all I know is that it happens.
Because meeting you was not just stumbling over another polite hello. It wasn’t shaking your hand and moving back across the room to more familiar territory. Instead, it was a terrifically clichéd glow; it was the sudden realisation that something was quite different about you. It was that very moment of looking up at your smile and finding something enchantingly comfortable; something scarily familiar in the face of a handsome stranger.
I remember each little moment I saw you since the very first meeting, and you still resounded that significance; the fact that I had never found myself drawn to someone I had just met. And then getting to know you? That was probably just as magical. Every moment, every crackle in your laugh and every wide-eyed gaze seemed to show just how different you were. Yet I still never realised how prominent you were going to be.
Because never before has letting someone leave been so easy, yet so excruciatingly hard at the same time. It was not just the absence of missing something that fit so comfortably, but the frantic search to find something which resembled something which could somehow fill the void and stop the pain. I’ve spent the past five months trying so hard to forget you, and I still cannot understand why you can’t be like anyone else; I don’t understand why you can’t fade yourself back into the framework.
In German, you ‘er fehlt mir so viel’, which comes from the infinitive of ‘fehlen’: to lack.
Because missing someone is more than an emotion: it’s the physical reality of something missing. It’s saying that without someone, you’re lacking a very own piece of you. It’s saying that without someone, you are not complete. Something is gone, and it’s not right, and that their very presence is esstential to your being.
You are not the same without that one missing part.
Go after her. Don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign because it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.
Because, it’s the things that we don’t do which we most regret. The worst case scenario is that things just don’t work out.
But at least then you’ll know. At least then you’ll know that you tried.
At least you had faith in something and had the courage to chase it and find that it wasn’t meant to be, rather than letting it burn out and constantly wonder what could have been.
And the best case scenario? They feel the exact same way.
And you never look back.
I don’t like being lonely. I don’t like feeling the pain of walking down the street and feeling like something is missing. Because, there’s a pain which loneliness bears which differs to anything else. It’s haunting, and it’s addicting, and its dark fog rolls over you until it’s all that your senses can comprehend.
The thing about loneliness is that it is not just absence, but a constant reminder of that it’s just you, and only you: it’s the ongoing process of sitting alone; eating alone and sleeping alone. It’s waking up in the morning, knowing how the day is going to end before it has even begun. It’s feeling happier in your dreams than in reality. It’s feeling disconnected from everything, and everyone, even when they’re trying to hold your hand.
Because, most of the time, I’m able to fight those dragons. I’m able to outrun those dark clouds. I’m able to breathe. But sometimes, you get tired. Sometimes you know that even the strongest warrior cannot win all of his battles. Sometimes even he has to sleep.
Sometimes you need to surrender, not as an act of cowardliness, but as the active choice to know that this is not the easy option and that things will get better if you just let them.
If you just endure a few more unending nights. If you just get up, and just keep pushing through those clouds.
I will get through this.