“perhaps the names we cherish in our hearts are like our diaries, journals, and precious records of our lives.“
-tune in for love (movie)
i’ve been thinking a lot about what i want to write, how i want it to feel. over the past few months, a lot of things for all of us have changed, in the matter of a few days. now we probably have time to think, maybe too much time to think. i guess for me, i’ve had more time to write. i guess that always helps me explain the way i feel. so let me start with this.
have you ever been somewhere and you just want to remember it so clearly? i think these moments are counted. when you’re not worried about the way you look or how you think your smile is not pretty enough. when you can feel the happiness in your chest. like it couldn’t wait to come out? like you want to capture the feeing and keep it for whenever you feel like you can’t go on? thats what i want to be for other people.thats what i’ve been thinking of lately. i want to be someone they can come home to. someone who’s door they can show up at crying or beaming with happiness. someone that other people have been to me. a little pocket of happiness on your saddest days. thats what i want to be.
i guess i forgot how much i love to write. i randomly find myself writing things down in the middle of the day or when i wake up early or when i can’t sleep (you should see my desk). and i guess i really missed that feeling. ever since i moved here- i have been different. i know that now. and i don’t say this often about myself- but i am so proud. in my earlier years- the situation that were living in would have probably thrown me into a spiral. sitting alone with my overthinking capabilities is not something that would’ve, how can i say this? it wouldn’t have been something good in my life. and i’m definitely not saying this situation is ideal. i miss my people and i miss mindlessly doing things i never thought would be taken away. but in the middle of all of this chaos- i realized that i can now deal with it. and at one point i couldn’t handle a lot of things. i guess some of it is valuing my worth. the other bit of it all these random systems i unknowingly built for myself. i hardly ever let myself get to the point of breaking down anymore. my body knows what to do.
it usually goes this way, more or less. i wake up and feel like its all catching up. i make myself eat, drink a lot of water. sometimes i go on really long walks and listen to fix you by coldplay and sometimes that does the trick. now, when i’m so tired and i really can’t sleep, i remember that ill only feel that way tonight. that its not temporary. looking at the sky always helps. i remember at my old house, I would go up to the roof at night when i couldn’t sleep. i’d stay there for hours. that place brings me back to a lot of things. like accepting the possibility of being alone. finding good people even when you thought you were done for. forgiving people doesn’t mean you like what they did. differentiating a change of heart and not caring. the difference between loving and embracing change vs just accepting it. asking myself if i would ever be okay? and will it be okay if i never am?
going up to the roof is the only thing that made me feel better for a whole year. all because of someone who was never worth it to begin with. but it taught me that not many things can still be a problem after looking at the sky for a while. it taught me the value of remembering what i did have. even in the most painful moments of my life. i had so many good things. and i started writing again. i actually started writing again through a really hard time in my life. i felt as if i could let go of all my emotions once i put them into words.
is this what moving on feels like? is this what growing up feels like?
this is what that feels like. like a dumb indie movie. you always know how it ends but you watch it anyways. thats how it feels like to watch myself live now. thats how it feels at the end of the movies when the main character is dancing at the beach alone, or taking a drive with her friends with the best song in the background. preferably to come on eileen (if you know where that’s from, i love you).
it sounds ridiculously cheesy to say that at a time like this. at a time where i’m not even sure what the next few months will bring. i would usually feel guilty. but i don’t. i have bad days just like everyone else. but if I told you what my bad days looked like years ago, you would understand if i chose the bad days now. it gets better. thats what i was telling my sister today. it gets better. you can get through crappy friends. you can get through a hard time at home. you can get through being looked down on just because you’re not the same as everyone else. you can go through all of that and still have a soft heart. you can get through all of that if you never lose the sense of who you are. if you never lose hope even when you’re about to. every time i felt hopeless through the years (and unfortunately didn’t have harry styles new music) i would ask myself, vi…what if things DO get better? what if you DO find good people? what if you DO get over that boy? what if you DO get to be happy? what if you just hold out a little while longer and you DO get what you need. what if you just keep that small thread of hope and you get what you’ve been praying for?
and i guess what i’m saying is that you get there. its never ever easy. it definitely wasn’t for me. there are things that will affect and have shaped me for the rest of my life. no matter how much i try for them not to. and to accept. to reallllly really accept that you went through that and process it is harder than it looks. some people will never know what thats like. but i can almost always tell now when someone has really been through it. its the kindest, most loving people in my life who have been through the worst of the messy waters that there’s been. the people who have probably shed more tears than anyone else i know. but i like to think those people exist to show you the way out. to show you that there will be those few people who won’t run away. who will climb into the dark side with you and walk with you until you’re strong enough to handle it on your own. and they can do it because they’ve already walked through it.
trust that you are growing, even in the dark.
trust that you are healing, even in the quiet.
even in the dark, and even in the quiet times, we are continuously growing.
and you see, all my life. my whole life, my whole identity revolved around trying not to be the odd one out. in my family i always was. even in my group of friends back home. i never knew if people knew what they were doing, but i would be lying if i said it didn’t affect me. i would be lying if i said i didn’t question myself all the time growing up. something a teenage girl shouldn’t have to do. why are you so quiet? you might end up alone. why are you not going out? why do you read so much? why why why. and more. years of peer pressure and feeling insufficient. most of my time growing up was spent alone for this reason. and lately i’ve been asking myself, violet what would you tell yourself then?
i would tell my 12 year old self that 10 years from now, her life would be good. i would tell her to keep holding on. just like she always has. just like dad always tells you. to always, always be strong. even when things get scary. even when you’re not sure if you should speak up. even when you’re not sure if you should do the right thing. even when you’re scared, you have to be strong. and things will be better. you’ll never believe you worked up the nerve to start a blog. oh, and you went to europe with your best friend. and you loved someone who broke your heart, but you also came out of that okay. you survived things at home, and in life, and in love. and you made it out.
it has taken me 22 years to learn to love myself. to accept the imperfect person i am. i realized i never gave myself room for mistakes. so whenever things went wrong, which was constantly, it was hard to not take it to heart. i now find myself laughing when things go wrong. i don’t even ask people for reasons anymore when they apologize. because it doesn’t matter anymore. i don’t flinch anymore when i hear certain names. not even on the inside. i don’t stutter when i talk about my past anymore. i don’t feel like i’m drowning anymore. and it would be really ridiculous to just let anyone undo all that work, right?
i think i’ve said this to a couple of my close friends when they ask me what its like. what its like to feel happy now. and i can only describe it as this: i had this idea of who i was growing up, but it all felt like a fantasy because i was never seen that way. and now i am. it feels like coming home my own self. i just thought of that, and i like the way it sounds. and i love the way it feels. i thought it was just me at first, but then i started asking the people around me what they thought of me. what my strengths and weaknesses were, what they valued in me as a person. and i almost always got this as the answer: you are introverted, but we know that when you love someone, you really love them. its deep. and i love that. i love that more than words can express. and the best part, is that they are okay with everything i am. i never feel like i have to change my values or my words or pretty much anything about myself. i never have to worry about being embarrassed or uncomfortable. i never have to worry about being too much or too little. this is it. this is the biggest leap of faith i have ever taken. and to think the this would be the outcome. i can’t stop smiling while writing this. this is probably one of the happiest posts i’ve written in a long time. it feels good.
i wrote a while back, about seasons and how things are always changing in our lives. and to be completely honest, back then i felt as if my world might end if the next season was worse than whatever one i was in. but now i’m not worried, now i look forward to the new things. and maybe things can get bad again, i won’t know that until i’m there. but i’m not scared anymore. i took the biggest leap to be where i am. so a lot of things don’t feel as scary as they did before. i used to pray a lot about getting what i needed even if it wasn’t what i wanted. and now i have more than i would have ever needed in this life. surely more than i deserve.
i feel as if all those times spent telling myself to hold on have turned me into the kind of person who works for what she wants. the girl who used to cry before class or work, kept crying sometimes (realistically) but she also pulled it together and went inside anyways. i’m not afraid of telling people how i feel anymore. i’m not scared of telling people i love them anymore. of letting them in. because a lot of things can change. most things in this life are so temporary that its hard to keep up. but what’s not going to change is the memories. so i want to strive to do the most with what i have, because its all i have right now. so go the extra mile. sometimes your friends aren’t okay, sometimes they don’t act like themselves but wouldn’t you want your people to love you anyways. to love you especially when you feel like you’re hard to love. thats what i wanted my whole life. so now its what i’ve turned into. and i get that wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t everyones jam. but its definitely mines. and i love it. i want to look back years from now and know that i did everything, everything for the people i’ve loved. i don’t want anyone to have bad memories of me. and i know thats completely impossible. someone out there is bound to have a bad memory of me. but i really want to try my hardest. i really really do.
they will be precious records in my life. and in other peoples lives too. and that’s all i need now. i’ve been through what i hope was the worst part of my life. and i understand that things won’t all be good just because i like myself now. but i’m at least hoping that the good records, the good people that have come in and out of my life will hold me over if things happen again. truth is, i never expect things not to get bad. but i always see it as an opportunity to do better now. to be better. to be closer to yourself. because fortunately and unfortunately the trials are what shape us into who we are. and isn’t that something?
i thought my life would like a lot different than it does right now. if you asked me, i would’ve chosen something else at the time, to be painfully honest. but i can only be happy to know this is how things worked out. right now, right now i’m happy that all the april showers happened. they seemed continuous. like they were never going to stop. i never lived in a place that made me think of that saying, but now i do. and it hasn’t stopped raining.
but much like my life the last few years, i knew the rain would stop. i didn’t know how long it would take, but i knew if i did i would witness something beautiful.
and the flowers will bloom. and it will be beautiful. it might not be everything you imagined. because who wants to be rained on so much? but the sun does come out, i promise you it does. if you’re looking for a sign this it it. it’ll be okay. you always had it in you.
finding yourself is actually returning to yourself.
an unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.
– emily mcdowell