you say that nothing has changed, then why do I feel as though everything has? you no longer laugh at the jokes that once made you laugh, you no longer answer questions that you would have once carefully contemplated, you no longer spend the time telling detailed recounts the way you once would have. it is like we are two pieces of driftwood moving towards different horizons, no matter how hard we try to hold onto the other. why does something once so infinite now feel like it has an end?
I like to read stories, and in stories, the ending always signals to a maturity in the characters, a change that stems from the lessons they have learnt throughout the novel. they have a new sense of determination, a new sense of purpose, a new sense of what it means to be themselves. yet I feel more lost than ever. I can’t seem to find my way back. I can’t seem to find my way home. when home didn’t feel like home, you were my home. I never thought the day would come when I wondered: if you didn’t feel like home, then who would?
I don’t have any answers, only questions. and I’m afraid to ask any of the questions because I’m afraid I already know the answers to them. but maybe it is good to be afraid, maybe fear means that I still have something to lose. the battle isn’t lost yet. maybe we are only at the climax of the plot, and maybe by the resolution I will finally be able to admit that winning is not returning to the beginning where everything was familiar, it is arriving at a new beginning where nothing is recognisable yet somehow you still find the courage to move on anyway.
(I am just a shadow of who I used to be.)
I try to remember a time when the world was still innocent. When I was still innocent. The earth tremored in delight, not in fear… did it not? And blue… blue was the colour of fine skies, not of sadness. The flicker of every heartbeat signalled to life, not to this creaking pain. I was once unhinged, free to roam and dream and smile at the thought of having those dreams because fantasies defined my realities. But now, fantasies have become just that – fantasies and nothing more; a testament to what could have been but will never be. I am just a rusted piece of metal, too frail to swing open, drowning in my own papery breathes. The doors that once beckoned at me with the vitality of a billion lights have now closed upon me. I am alone. And it is dark. And it is cold.
Innocence is not ignorance. If life’s greatest purpose is to be happy and I was happiest in my innocence, then surely I was at my wisest point in those childhood years? The older I grew it seems, the more unsatisfied I became – it was as though age impaled upon me the inability to see the good through the bad; so much did I acknowledge the bad that I forgot to consider anything beyond that.
But maybe… maybe I think… there’s no point comparing who you were to who you are? Maybe to lose your innocence is to gain a deeper understanding of suffering? And maybe understanding suffering equates to understanding happiness… because how could one ever know how it feels to be happy if one did not know pain and sadness first?
I think maybe I shouldn’t try to remember, because to remember is to accentuate the differences between the past and present – differences that cast a dark cloud of longing and unfufilled dreams over your head ’til you’re reaching for a version of your childhood that never even existed. The doors are closed now, but maybe I still have a little energy left in me to open them up again. Maybe this is a choice. Nothing’s easy and simple anymore, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s achievable. And I have a choice now: either to stay in the dark or take a step forward towards the light.
(You know what I’ve always liked about shadows? They are indications that even in darkness, light exists close by. And you are the reflection of that light.)