Burgundy pebble stone-paved, medium-size streets. The crisp colours of ashy brown, black, yellow, orange, everything leaves. I sigh a sigh of relief. Of contentment. I’m here. With you. You’re far but you’re actually here. I’m not sure how I feel your presence without your physical body. Trust me; I’ve wondered, questioned, remained curious. To no avail. I don’t care. I’m selfish. I don’t want to research these feelings. Find any semblance of an explanation for how on earth you make me feel the way you do. You just do. And it’s enough for me. More than enough. I consider myself greedy for even thinking of you sometimes. How dare I have you all to myself? I sit down on a bench, the park where we spoke. Over the phone of course. I bask in your love. Even when you don’t give it anymore. Especially when you don’t give it anymore. And I wonder – do you think of me?
You’re sat here pondering over that time. A distant memory now but it feels so near. Maybe because you haven’t let it go. You’re immersed in your past. You regret those moments you didn’t cherish. Because you didn’t know how perfect your life was. Maybe not perfect. But ideal. But, my darling, can you go back and live that time again? Cherish those moments again? No. Then let it go. Focus on the now. What really matters? The feel of your bed sheets under you at this very moment. Whether your stomach is full from your meal. And maybe that exam you have this week. And yes, I know. I know it’s so hard to constantly fight to bring yourself back to the time that truly matters. To the now. But maybe your journey isn’t about being the one who had it all together in the first place. Maybe it’s about being the one who tried her damn hardest to get it together. And that’s more than okay. In fact, it’s perfect.
This is us in an indie film. One of those small ones that never made it to cinemas but got released at a film festival. Of us walking in pavements under cloudy skies. By the pier. The tide comes in slowly. It’s a slow afternoon and we sit in a small cafe and pretend that for one moment everything is alright. A salty breeze whips my hair into my face. Into my coffee. I laugh because, naturally, I’m messy with my food. Maybe everything is alright.
How do you connect with yourself again like you once did? I know it is possible. It is possible to be plunged into the depths of misery and re-emerge a phoenix, having risen from the ashes of pain and despair. I feel it is possible. But maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe it’s not about doing what worked before. Eating what you ate before. Breathing like you breathed before. Every breath was a new lease of life. Maybe I can have a new lease of life again. But it will be different. Because I am different. I’m no longer the woman I was, so why do I think I can find solitude in the same way? I am smarter, stronger, bolder, faster. I am different, better, and getting better with each trial I face. I am a seasoned professional. A veteran, expert in the ways of surviving. So let’s try this again.
Before you were ever someone’s daughter, sister, or even cousin. Before you were anyone’s friend. Before you attended school and started to develop yourself. Your identity. Before you became an employee or a work colleague. You were you. And that is why you belong to you. You can be covered in the dirt that surrounds you but that does not make you dirt. Maybe you need to think about who you are. Without anyone around you making you feel like you’re one of them, and you blindly accepting. You were you, first.
You know when nothing else will do, except for sitting in a coffee shop when sunlight creeps back to the Sun herself. And you say fuck it and buy your hipster hot drink – think Chai Latte – and find a corner. Your corner. And open up a book, pages worn. A Crime Thriller, obviously. And just sit. And take in the fact that you’ve been thinking of doing this for so long. And now you’re doing it. And could it be because you are an inherently lazy person? Or your anxiety stops you from following through with your ideas, sometimes? Or it’s just always been typical British dreary weather? But it doesn’t matter anymore. Because you’re doing it. Well done. You’re doing okay.
I’ve rewritten this so many times, which is unusual. Usually my feelings are strong and swayed to one side. Even when I’m confused, I am strongly confused. But now I feel something, and it scarpers from my grasp. I don’t know how to feel about this. This. This emptiness but also heaviness in the pit of my stomach. The feeling of assertiveness, yet also weakness. Sometimes it’s okay to feel in limbo. To feel without support, without an anchor to the ground. Free-floating between clouds of sadness, and anger. Frustration, and renewal. I don’t know what I’m feeling, because I’m feeling everything. Is this the transition that everyone speaks of? The neither here, nor there. The place in between all the places.