I am 21 now and I can feel myself settling so comfortably into this age.
It’s been a long time since eighteen. That was the year where I learnt how to feel like I was on fire. The whole world was electrically charged and I couldn’t touch anything without some flame sparking up. I was fizzing, laughing blissfully happy. Innocent in a yellow jacket and hopeful. Nothing outrageous or outstanding had happened but the possibility was all the fuel I needed. I was sad too. As far down as I could be up. I was passionate and fiery and flirty and so unaware of myself.
It was the kind of year where I was different before, I was different during and I was different after.I knew more. I knew suddenly what I had gained and what I had lost but I didn’t know how to handle that. Even though knowledge is supposedly power, I knew enough that I wished I knew nothing. Ignorance being bliss is true honestly.
It was a brain thumping, fuck-you-over emotional hangover that I spent two years learning how to unfeel. To master being able to accept sadness as something gentle rather than straight up drowning. To recognise happiness when it comes from the outside in. To appreciate it for being mellow and sweet and persevering rather than hating it for not being the technicolour whirlwind I had known.
They have been years of subtle growth. It’s been slow, every second had to measured and absorbed and felt. It dragged, forever but I did feel everything. I experienced it all one hundred times over until I learnt to handle it. Often I’m pretty shocked with the person I’ve grown into but this is who I am. Natural selection picked these traits, moulded me into this woman. Even though there are aspects I don’t want, who I am now is the person who has survived life so far and I am proud of that.
Who I am has led me here.
Here is cracked and worn, but there is a window that lets the light in just right. It has a freshly potted aloe vera plant and the heady scent of flowers. Here isn’t clean but how can it be when it has housed the harshest battles and held the weight of one million whispered secrets? It is rough but still stained pink from all kissing and holding and quiet nothing afternoons. Here, isn’t static. It will change soon into something new – but even if here is relative it is always who I am when I am at home. Just me. Here I am. Back again.