I put my headphones in and let the music wash over me. Every note, every delicious beat, lessening the weight sitting so heavily on my shoulders. Ludovico Einaudi, Elements, an album brought to me by a girl who continuously shows me nothing but love. Support. Everything you could ever need in a friend.
The sun was shining; a blessing from the rain-filled days that had dampened the final few weeks of my travels. It seemed fitting. A lightness to break through the grey.
I’d allowed myself to become totally engrossed in a new book. A thriller, a real page-turner. Escapism at its very finest. A reminder of how much beauty lies in our passions. Literature, writing, art. How it can all join together to wipe its hand across the mirror and show you your honest reflection: the things that truly make you who you are.
Because I had lost sight of it. The reflection had become tinged with dirty fingerprints. My face was laced with questions of who I really was.
After all the work I had done on self-love, on becoming more than that self-destructive girl, I had smashed that detonator button with full force simply because I could. Watched as the platform I had built crumbled purely because it was the “easier” option.
I can see that now. My tendency to give in to this addictive behaviour, discarding my power, when the path starts to veer off its course. When things get too complicated. When I don’t have all the answers.
I thought I had conquered it. That I had become the girl who “lived in the moment” and embraced every glorious element of life that I was so lucky to be surrounded by. That I was living out my dreams and it was only going to get better and better.
And to those reading this blog, I know what you will be thinking. Another self-deprecating post. Another fall. Tell us a new story, right?
I agree. This story is not a new one. Its narrative has found a way to determine my days far too many times. The plot never changes.
But this time I am going to write a new chapter.
This chapter is going to be about how no matter how hard we try to stay upright, we are still going to trip… a lot. But every time we slip up? We will stand up stronger. Our sight will be clearer.
This chapter will speak of being present in those moments of despair; of not trying to gloss over them. Instead, finding the protagonist of the issue and finding ways to address it. To not ignore it. To ask ourselves “How would you rather feel right now? Who would you rather be?” and to take the stepping stones to reach that place.
Because every time I falter, every time I allow my weakness to take control, I will ultimately become stronger.
And whilst I believed I would be returning home from my travels entirely void of the faults that had governed my life for so long, I now know that I still have many lessons to learn. Yet to know this, to embrace this, is a blessing in itself. For I know my values. I know where and how I flourish: mentally, physically and emotionally.
My return home will be many things. It will be love, stability and comfort. It will test me and it will teach me. But most of all, it will be a chance to grow even further than I have in the 19 months since leaving. To become the person I will come to adore. To commit to writing, reading and caring. Nourish myself; mind, body and soul. To cut out all substances that poison my body and crush my spirit. To right my wrongs and accept myself, whole-heartedly.
To change finally and fully, we must learn to understand who we are, what we are doing and why we are doing it. To be compassionate. To tell ourselves “It’s okay” when the shadows start to appear. That we will beat them.
And then… maybe… we can create a reality that so much bigger, greater, than our past.
We can finally learn to heal.