There are a lot of things that we all feel that nobody likes to talk about. There are a lot of half-truths that we all tell to fulfil our desire to be better than the person next to us. We have learnt that it is impossible to be both happy and sad, scared and put together, unsure and ready. We have learnt that we cannot be a contradiction.
Except we are human, and all that we are is easy to love, easy to hate – contradictory by nature even when we are trying to make sense.
And it just makes me mad because people are at their strongest when they are vulnerable and yet everybody makes you feel so ashamed of it. As if talking about it means you are broken. As if figuring things out is also trying too hard. As if you can’t be fun if you are also not feeling your best. It’s all bullshit. My silence doesn’t make how I feel any less real. Talking about it doesn’t make me any less of myself. I can be everything.
So let’s talk about things.
Like ok, there are realities to growing up. Something that I personally have learnt this year is even when you are surrounded by good people being an adult means being alone.
It’s welcome sometimes. You can be easy and peaceful. You can drink tea and watch movies and lie upside down in your bed listening to shitty music and eating a whole packet of biscuits. You are soft and smooth and clean and fit nicely into the borders of your own person. You learn to appreciate for yourself how nice your hair feels freshly washed and taste the nutrients in the the bitterness of green tea. Everybody needs time to themselves.
But also sometimes being by yourself is hard. It’s the hardest, shittiest part of being a grown up. There are decisions you will have to make and risks that you must take and you’re the only person who can do it. Being a person is lonely and exhausting, but it’s rewarding. You, out of all of the people, have the most right to be proud of yourself.
Other times though, the reason you’re alone is because somebody left you like that and that’s a different battle. You will ask yourself who you are now that they are gone? The kind of person that is alone. That isn’t necessarily smiling. That somebody else found easy to leave. The answers, evidently, aren’t always good.
Left alone you will be both strange and a stranger. It’s true that people can change you and the absence of them is the same. It takes weeks to settle into yourself; to relearn who you are, what you have lost, how you have grown. Loss can change you from a pond to an ocean, so much harder to navigate. Nobody warns you – but I will now – that it is fucking frightening to wake up in the morning and realise that you are lost inside of yourself.
Because no matter how long you’ve spent alone before now, you will never become well acquainted with the quiet. Every time you lose again you have to start from scratch, trying the same desperate search for common ground and something familiar to grasp at. Nobody ever tells you that it will take a while to love yourself again. Nobody ever says that sometimes, after all the changes, it’s really possible to believe that you never will (trust me though, you will).
It will always be hard. You will look in the mirror and the reflection will be raw and expansive and terrifying. Coloured way outside of the lines you thought you had been drawing. You are still beautiful, but it’s the beauty of a glacier or a faraway mountain range – you are magnificent, unreachable, impossible. It’s incomprehensible that it is still you, unfamiliar and achingly sad you, that is the only person who can find yourself again.
So what else do you learn? You learn that time doesn’t heal loneliness – heck, time doesn’t heal anything that they say it will. You will have gaps inside you that begin as wounds and slowly empty out. Spaces that will always be there, that can not be filled but you also learn that you do not have to be full to be complete. Let it settle. Let yourself grieve, properly, for what you’ve lost – and then look in the mirror again.
You are so beautiful. You have a heart that has been used for something good, skin that has been kissed, eyes that have seen so much random shit – things you can never explain properly but also you will never forget.
Beautiful people are born but mostly they grow: From the hardest times, the loneliest hours – nothing reconnects you more with humankind than learning to understand loss. Empathy is a cruel gift, but one of the most valuable and precious things that I know. A person who can empathise with you is someone you will never be able to thank enough.
And remember, if its not you but the people around you who are hurting, that there is grace in being able to listen without feeling that you are burdened. There is beauty in being able to choose somebody even when they are making it impossible for you. Walk away from toxic relationships but don’t confuse pain with posion. Trust your gut.
And if the person is good, then let them need you. Let yourself be there for them and don’t be afraid to talk about it. I was chatting to a friend the other day and she said that they couldn’t understand people who ‘could choose not to feel things which are so much.’ That really is what I am trying to say with this post:
It’s not weak to choose to feel so much. It’s not weird. It is possible to feel more than one thing. It is possible to hurt and be happy. It is possible to be living your worst nightmare and still find the time to dance. Sometimes life isn’t beautiful but you are still alive and trying, and please believe me when I tell you, that is enough.
All my love always x