We have yet to travel the world, and our savings for the Round the World ticket is in dire straits. But we’re driven and passionate, and you can trust that our ten-year plan to climb Mount Everest will happen.
I think it’s important I remember that, too.
On Monday, I’m going away. I don’t know how long for. I mean, I do actually have to come back – I’m unfortunately tied to various commitments that begin again in July, so disappearing into the wide world isn’t an option, just yet. But on Monday, I’ll go and I may come back after a week. Or I may not. Perhaps I’ll come back in a month. Who knows. And whilst I don’t know how long I’m going away for, or even where I may end up on my journey, I can tell you why I’m going…
I’m going away because if you asked me to stay, I would. I’d cancel my flight, get into your car, drive to your house, snuggle up on the couch with you, and stay. I would give up my adventure for you. And that’s the best reason I can think of not to. Whilst this may not make much sense, there is a point. Somewhere.. In all of my past relationships, I’ve given. I’ve given up things; I’ve given up myself; and my time and my dreams. I’ve given and given and given. And when it ended, I discovered, to my horror, I’d given so much that I had nothing left. I had given up pieces of my heart, my ‘ness’. So, I had to rebuild everything from scratch. And when I began this process of rebuilding, eight months ago, I decided never to deny myself something I wanted, for someone else who can’t give you a good enough reason to do. So, what I want right now, is to go on my adventure. But I can’t pretend that I don’t want you to want me to stay, either.
I’m going because if I stay, I will break us. I have never been very good at the whole relationships thing. It takes me a long time to love, yet when I do, I do so with a love that transcends gaps in distance, and lifestyle, and even logic. When I love, I am dedicated and hopeful. Every sign you give me – whether it’s intended or not – is one more sign for me to fall even more for you. And I know we said we’d just be friends and see where things went, but you didn’t help me when you kissed me. I mean, I have quite a few friends and you’re the only one that kisses me… So, naturally, I believed it meant more than it did. And when you didn’t make an effort to see me, in the build up to my leaving, well, it didn’t make sense to my head, or my heart. So, instead of ruining us by asking you a thousand questions so I can know exactly where I stand, I’m leaving.
I wish I felt as strong and brave as some people say I’m being. To walk away from someone you care about, and not only to walk away, but to hop on a plane and end up on the other side of the country… Well, apparently that takes some guts. But if I’m honest, and I do try to be, it doesn’t feel like bravery. Because when I get off of the train at the airport, I’ll hope you’re standing there. When I line up to check-in for my flight, I’ll listen out for your voice speaking my name, asking me to turn around and stay with you. And when I go through the gates, a hundred Romantic Comedy airport scenes will inspire my heart to beat faster as I walk slowly to the metal bird that promises to take me away from you, and any hope that I still might have…
Once I’ve gone, I’ll still think of you. I’ll hope that maybe you’ll think of me, too. Maybe, once I’ve gone, you’ll miss me. Maybe you’ll see who I am, and what I mean to you… Or maybe you won’t. And we’ll just grow further apart, until one day we’re nothing but the odd Facebook status update chanced upon on a normal Thursday afternoon. A flicker of recognition will cross your face as my name registers something to your brain; and a skipped heartbeat will jolt my heart as it recalls the feelings I felt for you…
So, I’m going away. But, dammit, I wish you’d ask me to stay.
When it’s good, it’ll be right. And when it’s right, you’ll know. You won’t have known all the time, but there’ll be moments when everything is suddenly so clear that you can’t understand why you’d ever considered doing things any other way. When it’s good, it’ll be so right that to behave, think, speak or feel any other way, will be wrong. And when it’s wrong, it’ll be the worst.
When it’s good, it’ll be the best. And this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be perfect. No one ever said that perfection was naturally the best. And whilst it may not be perfect, it’ll still be good. In a life where so very many things can go wrong, be wrong, feel wrong, the ability to recognise and hold onto what’s good may get a little lost. We’re so busy concerning ourselves with how the people and “traditions” of the world dictate us to feel, and who we ought to be, and what is or isn’t acceptable, that we lose sight of the most important fact: you get one life. One. And you’re the one who has to live it, everyday. So why would you choose anything other than what’s good, what’s right?
When it’s right, you’ll know. You can have faith in that. And when it’s wrong, you’ll know, too. The only thing that ever gets in the way in the pursuit of what’s right, is ourselves. We sit, and worry, and think, and wait. Instead of wondering who you are to have so much good, ask yourself who you are not to?
When I wonder who the people I have respect for are, my answers are probably somewhat unorthodox. It’s the man or woman who says “I don’t” when standing at the alter – arguably one of the most unacceptable places at which to be completely honest about how you feel. It’s the young rape victim who, pregnant with the rapist’s child, brings the child up to be the very antithesis of all of the evil of the man who caused his conception. It’s the mothers who love their children through the terrible two’s, teenage angst, drug addictions and worse. It’s the man who follows his heart in pursuit of the woman he loves, because even though his friends may tease him for being “whipped,” he’d rather sacrifice a man card or two, than ever risk losing her.
When it’s good, it won’t always be good, but it’ll be right. And you’ll know it. With every part of you. Once you know it, the times it isn’t so good will be okay. Because no one ever promised you that it would be easy, just that it’d be worth it. So, let go of the past. Let go of the fear. Start again. And this time, give more. Trust more. Love more. Find what’s good. Find what’s right.
Date a writer. Not only will she mean every word she ever uses, but she’ll also choose words that let you understand just how much you mean to her.
Date a writer. Your lives will be filled with magic from which she’ll find inspiration. She’ll immortalise your magical moments in words that will live long after you’ve both passed on. And who knows? Perhaps your own love story will inspire other not to settle for anything less than magical, either.
Date a writer. Because whilst she may not know precisely how to begin, or where it will end, the journey will always be worthwhile.
Date a writer. And discover a world you didn’t know existed, with a woman who always knew that it did.
Date a writer. Learn new words everyday. Whether she uses them in a loving moment that takes your breath away, or in a rage during which she condemns your preponderance toward hyperbole or the discombobulating manner in which you conduct yourself, you’ll never hear the same words twice.
Date a writer. For the attention to detail to which she will give everything cannot be matched. And happily ever after means more to her than just a phrase found at the end of a Fairy Tale.
Date a writer. And live a life filled with letters in your coat pockets; notes beneath your pillow, and a smile upon your face at every word she’d written.
Love a writer. Because if you mean it, she will return your love tenfold. And if you don’t, the pain and anguish you cause her will give her writing added depth, and ground the words she uses in her book.
Love a writer. For all of her idiosyncrasies and habits. She may not be able to sleep without rubbing her feet together, or won’t write until she’s procrastinated for seven hours by rearranging the furniture, but love her, and her writing. Because every piece she writes carries a little bit of her soul, a little bit of her very being, in it. And if you can’t take the time to read it, she’ll never give you another piece – of her writing, or her heart. But if you love it – and her – tell her. She’ll feel more proud than if she’d won a Pulitzer Prize.
So, date a writer. Or better yet, love one. And never lose her.
Love a writer.
A broken heart sucks balls. It’s crap. If you asked me to choose between a broken heart and taking my chances with Hannibal, I’d order you to lock me up with the man and throw away the key. But what’s worse than the sheer agony of a broken heart, is having to bear the broken heart in public. If you’re at home, no one minds if you rot in your pyjamas all day, or work your way through every make of tissue, grading them on the efficiency when it comes to tear-wiping and the gentleness of nose-blowing. I don’t know how, but movies feature broken hearted men and women who look relatively decent and who can afford to brave the harsh light of day and not be accused of mimicking the living dead. I am not this fortunate. Not only do my bigger-than-average eyes go bloodshot, thus drawing attention to the leaky make-up streaming down my face (which I only put on in the first place, in an attempt to look somewhat normal), but I also cry. And not politely or delicately either. Oh no. Gone are the days of a ladylike sniffle. I blubber, often resulting in the term “ugly crying” to be used as a description. What follows is my list of the Top 5 worst places in which to have a broken heart.
1. On an airplane
This tops the charts as the ultimate horror setting in which to suffer from a broken heart. Not only are you shoved into the plane in a proximity to strangers than not even sardines in a can could even comprehend, but your sniffles and elephant-like nose blows announce to all on board that there’s need for a serious clean up in aisle 2.
2. The dinner table
Not only does one’s appetite diminish or expand when it comes to a broken heart, but in my friendship group, any dinner table event means one thing and one thing only: repeatedly singly me making an odd number beside an empty place setting at a table full of couples in soon-to-be-wedded bliss. Yikes.
3. On social networks
Let’s face it. It’s just added insult to injury when you end your relationship and several people ‘like’ the notification. But having to relive the loss in every photograph and wall post of the past, just kicks you when you’re down. Do me a favour ex-boyfriend, and stop existing. Delete your account and take all of the pain you’ve caused with you. Oh and running commentary, pipe down. Only asshole ‘like’ that a relationship has ended, for all of the world wide web to see.
4. At university/work
Oh, how sweet! You couldn’t have waited until I got home to rip my heart out! You just had to come and see me at university/work to get it done. In public. And in front of all of my friend/colleagues. Well, that was very kind of you. Why didn’t you just ‘tweet’ me? It’d have been far less degrading than sitting here trying not to fall to pieces as you walk away – and then having to go back to my desk and actually function.
5. Anywhere. At. All.
Well done. You have successfully turned me into a wreck. Love songs make me feel ill and if I see one more RomCom that leads me to believe that I’m the exception and not the rule, I may kill someone. By breaking my heart, you’ve stolen a piece of it that I can never get back. A piece of me that you will always hold until my dying day. So, let me give you some advice for your next endeavour into the world of love – advice I wish someone had given you before me. Giving up is for cowards. If you’re a coward, rather don’t try at all. No, we can’t be friends after you’ve murdered every trace of happiness we ever shared. Honesty is all I ever wanted, no lies or deceit.
And the next time you tell someone you’ll love them forever, just the way they are – mean it.
1. “I don’t like you like that.”
I’m sure we’ve all had the pleasure of this conversation. At least, I hope we have – as I cling to the belief that I’m not the only one eternally falling for the people who just couldn’t care less. And the worst part of the whole thing is how truly amazing the person you’re keen on makes you sound. Well, thank you for telling me how beautiful, smart and funny you think I am, and oh, did you just say that anyone would be lucky to have me? Well, gee, I wasn’t hoping for anyone. I was sort of hoping for you. And excuse me if I ignore every compliment you pay me because no, you aren’t making me feel any better. Rather, do me a favour, and unless you want me, have the decency to move to Bosnia, and out of my life.
2. “I just want to be friends… who have sex.”
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but sex is meant to be good, and exciting, and full of the expression of feelings and thoughts for which we can’t find words. Oh… I’m wrong? Well, no one told me that. Not until after I’d willfully given myself over to you in excitement and anticipation of what the future could hold for us – an excitement that ended when you rolled over, high-fived me and then called me dude. Well, I guess that just makes you an asshole. And me angry. If you were a decent human being, you’d go and masturbate or hire a prostitute instead of attempting to turn me into your very own walking, talking, breathing and moving blow-up doll. And asking if we can still have sex without any emotions, just makes it worse. If you’re going to treat me like a whore, at least pay up afterwards so that I can finally afford those killer heels with which I plan to kick you in your manhood, before – sexily – strutting out of your life. For good.
3. “Let’s just keep this between us.”
Well, as if things weren’t bad enough, you’ve now sworn me to secrecy. I am officially your dirty little secret. And, whilst this may come as a surprise, that does absolutely nothing for my self esteem. Due to a lifetime of abusive relationships with abusive men, my first reaction is to wonder why I’m not good enough to be proudly paraded around the room? I mean, I’m sure I’m not entirely unattractive. And some have even gone so far to once or twice inform me that I’m a catch. Well, where’d you miss this fact? Did you not get the memo? No worries. Allow me to inform you on all that you’ve missed. You are a jerk. I deserve better. But I’ll still pine after you in silence, hoping one day that you’ll feel the same way that I do, and want to shout it out from the rooftops! Oh and yes, I’m a hopeless romantic whose heart you will break. But don’t worry. It can be our little secret.
I’m bored of the cynics. I’m bored of the moaning, and the people who give up because they got hurt. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s time for some tough loving. Having been on various social networking websites for a couple of years now, we all know the various motions that are bound to take place at certain points in the year, and in our lives. These include (but aren’t limited to): the Valentine’s Day “it’s a commercial holiday created by card and candy companies to boost sales” banter; the “my life is over, I’ll never love again, and I can’t even remember how to breath or brush my teeth without you” post-break-up statuses; and the “I am single and staying that way. You all suck. F*#% off,” posts that frequent our various news feeds. Well, I’m bored.
I hate to break to you all, but being a cynic, it’s easy. It’s a cop out, if you ask me. Seeing the negative in everything, it’s doesn’t take a genius. There’s so much of it out there in the world. It’s easy to focus on all the ways in which love, life, and people fall short of your hopes, dreams, and expectations. Oooh why don’t you be real controversial and say something about you hate love and couples in love? Look at you and your bad self. Because that’s all there is. You. And yourself.
I want to challenge you. Step up to the plate. Take the bat in hand, and swing! Stop reiterating the thoughts of the 92-year-old angry man next door. Let it go. Oscar Wilde stated that “hearts were made to be broken.” And it’ll happen. And when it happens, it will suck. It will hurt. It will cause you pain that starts in your toes and sits in your stomach and chokes at your throat. You’ll wish you were dead. You’ll cry. You’ll hope every SMS and phone call brings the words “I made a mistake.” You’ll laugh with your friends, but feel like you’ll never truly laugh again. And after all of this, you’ll move on. You’ll heal. A little bruised and scarred perhaps, but wiser and more thankful for all that you experienced.
We’re in a leap year that some say will end with the end of the world. Whatever your views on this, I just see it as a another reason to live. When it comes to things in life, if you’re doing them half-heartedly you may as well not do them at all. Having one foot in the door, means that you still have one foot out of it, ready to run should the smallest of reasons arise. And I’m bored with it. I’m bored with the excuses, the damaged goods, the baggage we choose to cart around with us. That’s right, we choose what we carry with us. And we choose what we let go. So when you eventually get far enough the road of love, turn back and be thankful for the moments and happiness you shared; send love and light, and let go.
I believe that we’re given fire to teach us about water; death to learn about life; and pain to learn about joy. So take the good with the bad. Pick yourself up when you fall. Never settle for anything less than butterflies. Never stay in a relationships when your loved ones ask you “how bad does it have to get?” And give yourself another chance. Believe in romance, in love. Have hope. And leave the cynicism to someone else. It’s not a good look for you. Rather reach for the moon and land amongst the stars.
I challenge you to be strong; to never give up; and to hand out love whenever you can. Remain open to the possibility that you, too, can be loved. And you will be. I promise.
I know the start of something new can be scary. It can be incredibly daunting. Every ‘first’ is so shiny, so new, and the exhilaration of sharing these firsts with another human being – a human being that you could grow to love – is quite unlike any feeling we experience in our lives. It’s not always perfect, and realistically, every relationship you have WILL end until you find the one relationship that doesn’t. And in the end, this may even be a relationship with yourself. However, as homage to the hopeful romantic inside of me (and every one of us, I believe), why not make a few promises on what I feel, an ‘us’ might be like…
There comes a time, it seems, in most bloggers’ repertoire of the written word, for them to give up all the answers. They’re required to sit and write down all the answers their lives have produced for them, often at arbitrary age intervals, such as 18, 21, 30 and so on. Well, I’d like to think I’ve learnt a thing or two over my past 23 (and 8 months) worth of existence. At least, I hope I have. However, these things we learn, I feel are somewhat universal truths. We all get to these lessons in the end, whether we’re 21 or 100. These universal truths include things such as: the heart was indeed made to be broken, but the pain won’t last forever, and you will love again. Men think women are complicated, and vice versa. You’ll never forget the first time you fall in love, your first kiss, or the first time you get your heart broken. We’re all travelling along our own paths in life, and we ought to be kind because the people we meet along the way are facing their own demons, just as we face ours. Presidents will screw up; natural disasters will claim innocent lives; and paying your taxes will leave you with a familiar feeling to that of being robbed blind.
What stands out more, for me, are the things I don’t yet know. And it is the 23 that first come to mind that shall be listed, although I’m pretty sure the number of things I don’t know ranks far higher than that (just don’t tell anyone, because I’ve successfully convinced some people that I know everything, and whilst this could be attributed to the fact that I’m a woman, I like to think it’s more personal than that).
1. Who was the first person to look at a cow and think “I’ll just tug on these pink things down here, and drink whatever comes out”?
2. Actually, on that note, who was the first person to witness an egg come out of a chicken’s behind and resolve to include it in a big ol’ tasty Sunday breakfast fry up?
3. When will human beings realise that terms such as “endangered,” and “nonrenewable,” mean that whatever noun comes after it, has a finite number still available, and yet we still choose to shoot, use and consume to our heart’s content – and well passed our needs?
4. What’s the deciding factor when it comes to whose armrest is whose in a movie theatre – does it depend on the size of the person or the sharpness of the elbow?
5. Why don’t we have an Idols format based general election, where we are given the opportunity to begin with a bigger candidate base, and whittle it down through a series of tasks that allow us to see exactly what type of President they’ll turn out to be?
6. Is there a “One”?
7. And if there is, do I need to believe that fate will lead us to one another? Because this Earth is a pretty big place, and I sometimes get lost just driving across-country, now I must find one human being whose my perfect match in the whole world!? I wasn’t ever that good at Where’s Wally…
8. On that note, where is Wally and why do we want to find him so badly?
9. Is your IQ indirectly proportioned to how much you enjoy Twilight? i.e. the more you enjoy it, the lower your IQ? (I think I know the answer to this one…)
10. Will we always want what we can’t have, and would we stop if we could have it?
11. If it’s true that Great Minds think alike, and Fools never differ – are all Great Minds Fools?
12. If you expect the unexpected, is the unexpected then expected and the expected unexpected?
13. How come whenever I dial a wrong number, it’s always answered after the first ring and followed by an embarrassing and rather awkward interchange, but when it’s the right number it’s always busy?
14. When did everyone learn to speak and write in SMS language, and what the hell does ‘smh’ mean?! (And how do you all know you’ve got the correct interpretation?!)
15. Who coined the phrase “the alarm just went off,” when in order for it to go off, it needs to come on?
16. Is there such a thing as a love that is equal from both sides, and will I ever find it?
17. Why does the term “break down” refer to things that aren’t working, but “break up” refers to the end of a relationship – surely the relationship wasn’t working, and did, in essence, “break down”?
18. If depression is a leading cause of insomnia, and insomnia is a leading cause of depression, how are you meant to treat it?
19. Am I a hopeless romantic if I can’t let you go, but a hopeful one if I just won’t?
20. Who would we each be if we didn’t have others to tell us?
21. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (And why won’t you just do it?)
22. If not now, when?
23. Why is the phrase that “life is short” so popular, when in actuality, it is the longest thing you will ever do?
So, there you have it. A mix-and-match hastily compiled list of 23 things I still don’t know… And yet, I’m ashamed to say, I could write so much more. Oh well. To finding answers, living life to the full, and never accepting anything less than butterflies 🙂