I couldn’t sleep last night because my head was filled with thoughts of you. Would you believe me if I told you that, face to face? Maybe not. You would think that with the distance that has accumulated between us, I would have better- other things to think about. But as always, I remain awake at night and think about you. I think about the people you’ve met and who was lucky enough to become your friend. I wonder about the current obstacles you face and if there is someone that you’re able to confide in. I lie down and wonder if you still go outside in the middle of the night, sit on the bench on the right side of your house, and look at the stars that populate the sky. I wonder if you have similar thoughts about me. As you might have guessed, I can no longer sleep at night. At least I’m unable to sleep well or at a reasonable time. The night has become somewhat of a home for me. It’s become a safe haven, a place that I’m able to visit whenever life gets a little hard, a security blanket or pillow that helps me keep the monsters at bay. Sometimes I wonder if our relationship had lasted, would I have ended up like this? Would we have remained as friends? Would I be slightly happier knowing that I could turn to you, as a friend, when I am unable to sleep at night? But I’m not a time traveler, as much as I wish I could be, nor do I know of one. The past cannot be changed or altered. It is not a home that can be touched up or repaired if something becomes broken or damaged. The past happened for a reason. Or at least I’d like to think that way. This letter will never reach you nor will I ever be able to say this in public. It is just something that I like to do in order to pass the time before I’m able to sleep. So if you hear or read that I am thinking of you, do not be alarmed and you don’t need to call. I just hope that sometimes, you think about me, too.
And sometimes, I hope we’re both awake at night, staring at the same night sky,
At first, I could only remember the beginning. I remembered how we exchanged glances, with a pinch of awkward in our body language. I remembered you smiling hello while I wondered whether you were actually speaking to me. Thankfully, you were. From that point forward, we were no longer strangers. At first, It was difficult to talk to you because of our differences. If I were an alley cat roaming the streets, you were a bird that called the skies home. I don’t think I envied your ability to fly, but more so, I believe I was amazed at the courage that allowed you to fly. My entire life was spent on the ground, searching for something greater. There were a few moments, here and there, where I believed that I had found this greater purpose that only I could fulfill. However, circumstances would change and then I would choose to scurry away, tail between my legs. Then, there was you. In the sky there may have been turbulent winds, maybe there was a parade of clouds that shrouded you in darkness, maybe the wind would cause you to lose your way. But you continued to spread your wings, despite the obstacles and you continued to fly. I believe that is what made you great. That is what made you who you are. You never gave up and I think that is why I became so attracted to you. I think that’s why I’m still attracted to you. And I couldn’t wait to become a better person with you by my side. At first, I only remembered the beginning.
But now, I can’t forget the end,
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s been longer than a month, I know that for certain. The circles under your eyes have become more luxurious. It’s apparent that the bounce in your step is absent and forgotten. Your smile seems to have vacated it’s usual space, leaving behind no note of when it will return. I will not and refuse to ask you to tell me what’s wrong. Even though you shied away from that question, in the end you always expressed what was on your mind. And I appreciated that you freely chose to come to me with how you felt. Thank you. I was truly grateful for that. Which is why I believe it can happen again. I believe that you will be able to lay your heart out on the table and dissect it in a way so that I will understand. And I promise, that I will. I will understand the brokenness of your heart and the fragile nature that it now carries with it. I promise to understand why your posture has changed. As if you’re carrying a particular weight on your shoulders and it has suddenly become too heavy to bear and carry on your own. When things become difficult and when you feel up to it, please don’t be afraid to scream for help. Do not whisper. Do not say it in passing. Do not hide it. Scream if you must and I will coming running. I promise you that much. So please, accept my help. Accept my understanding. Accept that I want you to get better. Before it- before you get any worse.
I love you, and I need you to accept that,
When I was with you, I felt a plethora of feelings, some good and some bad. But I always enjoyed my time with you. I remember smiling as you spoke, silently wondering how you decided that you wanted to spend this time with me. I fondly remember dancing in the lobby of the hotel after prom and how I felt infinite, twirling around to the music in our heads. I am able to recall the daily phone calls, the ones that would last for hours until we- or more accurately, until I fell asleep. Everything about us seemed so harmonious, so peaceful, and so right. But I realized this too late. Underneath all of the good, underneath our seemingly perfect relationship, absent of fights, that’s when the red flag should have appeared. And slowly, but surely, you grew tired of me. I kept pushing forward and was not able to realize that in order to change and to mature, there needs to be some sort of obstacle that we must overcome. And when it did, I failed miserably. At the time, I became engulfed in my emotions and didn’t realize that my next action would hurt you. That what I did next shattered our seemingly harmonious relationship into a thousand pieces that disappeared into the stream of time. Now, the us that I had grown so accustomed to, became the past and truth be told, I haven’t forgiven myself since. But the years have passed, we’ve grown older, and although I still feel apologetic and guilty, I hope that you are doing well. I hope that we will both be able to find someone that we can argue with, someone that we can grow with. I often imagine what it would be like if we coincidentally met on the street. It is my sincere hope that we’ll be able to greet each other with a smile, a sign of a simple hello. Of course this scenario has changed countless times, but I hope you know that I hold the time that we shared together precious.
Thank you for that season of my life,
These are the lessons I have learned, the words left unsaid, the words that have resonated in my heart.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people. Each and every person goes about life at their own pace. It doesn’t matter if it takes you one month, three weeks, or a few years longer than everyone else. Do not lose your individual color trying to catch up to the world.
- Look at where you are, who you’re with, what you’ve become. That is exactly where you need to be. Do not be afraid of the future and do not dwell on the past, because at this exact moment you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Do not doubt that.
- If you’re depressed and you know it, admit it. That is the first and most important step to recovery. Don’t cover it up with facades like a band-aid. Nor should you wrap yourself with it like a blanket. But throughout that whole process of healing, know that you are still you. When you’re humming along to your favorite Daphne Loves Derby song or when you’re crying in the corner of the bathroom, that is still you.
- Accept that others want to help you, too. You are not meant to go about this life alone. No one is. There will always be a community of people, small or large, that is willing to stay by your side. Some moments might be obvious and come in the form of a telephone call or a hug. Other times it may be that they see bits and pieces of you in their day, and that is enough. You don’t need to do everything alone.
- Guard your heart but do not barricade it from the world, even from yourself. I believe it’s been long enough and you owe it to yourself to open up.
- You had a very simple dream in high school. You wanted to touch people’s lives, to help them love themselves in a way that you never could. You wanted to make sure that everyone saw a light, even when they couldn’t see it themselves. Even if it was only one person, that was your dream. Right now, at this moment, you are accomplishing your dream. Remember that.
- You will have your time to leave on a new adventure. It may not be now or in the next month, but that time will come. And when it does, be ready to leave without looking back. One day you’ll be able to stretch your wings.
- You will be okay.
Many things invoke fear into my heart; ceramic dolls that stare for one second too long, heights, trying to find a common topic of interest. Trust me, there are more things on this list. What I am most afraid of, however, is losing you. I fear that one day you will disappear like sea foam. I fear that you will vanish right in front of my eyes, and that there will be nothing that I can do to stop you. You will disappear quite naturally and leave behind no reason other than “it was bound to happen.” As I think about it now, however, I do not believe I am ready. I am not ready to wake up one day and fully accept that you are gone. I may seem strong enough so you can do that, but I am lacking in many aspects of life. I know that one day, I will be fine. I know that one day I will be able to live with the absence of you. So please, won’t you remain here for just a few moments longer?
Won’t you stay?
Like many things, I felt this at the tender age of six. It was when we were asked to pick seat partners for the upcoming field trip. For some odd reason, I wanted to sit next to a girl, covered in an infectious coating of cooties, something that I had failed to see. I was turned down with the ever-so-innocent “ew”, and while the class erupted in playful laughter, I accepted defeat and took a seat next to my friend.
I felt this way throughout high school. But let’s be honest, it’s only natural during that season of life. In a place where cliques run rampant, top grades lead to acceptance letters, and awkward sloppy first kisses are had, high school is filled with inferiority complexes. But one particular moment that comes to mind is when she left without any warning. The days that followed, I had so many unanswered questions, so many words left unsaid, and a knife slowly twisting in my chest.
Then it came again after college graduation. When the ‘good job’ turned into whispers behind cupped hands and the triumphant smiles turned into looks of disappointment, that is when I knew. The feeling began to swell in the depths of my chest for God knows how long. Maybe for a few months? Maybe even until now? Either way, the feeling remained rooted in my chest, making it difficult to comprehend my worth. Or if I was worth anything for that matter.
In these moments, I do not feel infinite. In these moments, I felt inferior and weak and that everything I did/do/continue-to-do is for naught. And sometimes, I think those words are right. That I really won’t amount to anything. But in these moments of darkness, I also look for strength. I somehow gather the courage to become a beacon of hope to others, to serve as a reminder that there is an end to the darkness. You need to only realize that there is a light. A light that is called “you”.