I have not met you, but I have known you for three years now. Our correspondence has only been through the Internet, yet in this time, I have learnt enough about you to adore you, and I have learnt enough through you to know you are significant to me.
Today, you published a very personal, brave post and I cried for you twice: once for your news, the second for your strength. My heart ached as I realised, although we’ve never met, hearing your news upset me greatly, and it’s all I can think about today. This, dear Ally, speaks so much of your character. It takes someone truly exceptional to have others weep for you before they have even met you.
I don’t know why things happen, and I believe people spend most of their lives in the pursuit of these reasons. It’s heartbreaking to realise that most of the time, there really are no reasons. Things happen as a response to something else that has happened, this cycle repeats, and this is life. The story of 2 lovers at Bed, Bath and Beyond becomes so much more complicated when you think about all the decisions required to make that moment possible: the BB&B stockist’s decision to stock a certain item that prompted one or both lovers to go that day, the car company’s decision to create that car and make it available to both lovers, the socio-economic capabilities of both lovers to afford such a car, all the factors that led to the achievement of their capabilities…the damn list keeps getting longer the more I think about it, and I did think about it until my head turned into a labyrinth, where two dots starting from different sides of the maze somehow found their way to the centre at the same time, despite the likelihood that either one could have chosen to turn a different path at any moment. That’s crazy! That’s frightening! If I had solved the world’s most complicated maze on my first try, you would have accused me of witchery. Yet here we are, so many decisions and intuitive turns in the maze by the both of us so that you and I could know each other. I don’t know how we did it, but our dots met somewhere on this stupid, wonderful labyrinth and I am so grateful. Man, I am so grateful.
It’s okay to be scared Ally. And it sure as hell is okay to be angry. You are allowed to be sad, we will love you more for it. Happiness is not the absence of sadness, it’s the conquering of it. I think this is true for so many things: bravery & fear, selflessness & selfishness, good & evil. Emotions exist not in isolation but in spite of others. Happiness was created to defeat the demons, and as long as you keep on fighting it will continue to dominate your life. There is no shame in losing sometimes, just like there is no legitimacy to believing you are better than those who are sad. So, dear Ally, if writing and sharing your happiness makes you feel fab, then we will be here to listen to your sorrows and worries too.
You have created a community of readers and writers through sheer charisma, positivity and dedication, and just as we have all drawn strength from your positivity, please now let us be your source of hope.
All of my love,
Whenever something significant happens in my life - new job, graduation, birthdays - I clean my room. It’s become a ritual for me, a turning of a new page in my life. So I clean out my cupboards and throw away the things that a year ago I could not let go of, and it reminds me that I’ve grown, and it reminds me to not be so afraid of change.
Two days ago as my 19th birthday approached, I found myself lying on the floor again amidst spring clean, as per tradition, completely lost in a memory. That’s the thing about digging through cupboards, you tend to re-live moments you’ve long forgotten, and it sort of throws you off balance for a while.
See, I spend a majority of my time thinking about the future, but not so much time reflecting on the past. But on this day, I found a piece of writing from when I was 13 years old and dreaming about the kind of person I’d be when I graduated high school. And it got me thinking about the kind of person I used to be at 13, and how much has changed & not changed since then. I’ve always feared change, and each birthday usually marked some sort of crisis on my behalf, because I too suffer from the Peter Pan syndrome.
But last night I realised something. I fear change, but I should not fear growth. Growth is necessary to sustain life. Growth is about the choices we make when change inevitably comes knocking down our doors. There is so much that is empowering about growth.
19 is not a special age, nobody writes songs about being 19. But at 19, I feel myself growing in a very real and overwhelming way. It’s difficult for me to explain, but last night I finally started thinking about who I am now, not who I want to become. What kind of person do I want to be now, and how can I get there? I’ve figured it out, & I’m on my way there. I can feel myself growing, and it’s ridiculously inspiring.