I finished high school with a sigh of relief. I was a noisy cycle of contradictions and complaints. A dribble of quick sentences. A shower of affection and emotion. Drunk on my youth. I was my highs and my lows and everything in between. I wore things, said things and did things with the anticipation of a reaction- and then suddenly I withdrew. This year I turned inwards toward my family to the friends that could stand my quiet. That understood my terrifying and my tender is one and the same.
I watched my sister grow and give life. I made new friends and fought to hold onto the old ones. I sat alone, read alone and walked alone until I could confidently say that I will be okay alone, if need be. My Brother broke my heart and I handed the pieces to a boy. I danced and drank and found an inner peace my former self could never grasp.
I’ve learnt that no year, no person and no moment is just good or bad. Every single one is a bit of both. One of my favourite poets Maya Angelou once said;
“we delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”
I’ve learnt that for every ounce of glee and every second of sorrow to remain thankful- because with out one we would not know the other. It’s such an odd sensation; to summarise ten months of life into five statements, and yet here I am doing exactly that.
1. Growth is not a linear process.
Your maturity in one area does not cancel out your innocence in another. Sometimes I feel my old soul and I think there’s nothing left to my youth. Until I see my best friends Rosie cheeks after we’ve had too much gin in the corner of the only pub open past one; and I remember the magic of adolescence. Grow where you can. Progress as you allow yourself to; but remember to trust in the timing of your life.
2. If it comes, let it. If it goes let it.
You are worth so much more than the disposable society we’ve created for ourselves. Remember that.
3. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
Your hometown is not the problem, the city is not the problem. Make the necessary changes within yourself because the moment I took responsibility for my own actions was the moment I found stillness. You don’t have to run away to be free.
4. Never apologise for the space you take up.
Ladies start being loud again, say what you feel as you feel it. Stop apologising. The word “No” doesn’t not require an explanation. Laugh at what you like. Wear what you like. Be with who you want and do it for yourself.
5. Sometimes home has a heartbeat.
No matter how many diaries I fill, or how much appreciation I send into the universe. A piece of me is missing. My biggest and most demanding lesson of the year is to let go of your pride. Forgive as soon as the adrenaline of your ego disappears. Love with your full attention, your whole commitment. Scream and shout and disagree, its only natural; but as soon as you find stillness again say it. Let the people around you know how much they mean to you, you never know how much they might need it.