For the friend who believed her undelivered letter would go unanswered.
I’m struggling to remember the last time I stripped down my defenses in front of a man and made a complete show of my vulnerabilities. I have no recollection whatsoever of any passionate dissolution of life in between hugs and kisses, the madness that follows, or the self-disgust and the guilt which overstays its welcome long after the sheets have been washed. Funnily enough I do remember, quite distinctly, how I had spent a long number of days convincing myself that I would never forget any of it and the want of it would haunt me for the rest of my life.
That doesn’t happen. Life is too long and we are short on time. Everything, at the end of the day, is either an afterthought, a lesson learnt or both.
The mind believes what it wants to believe. It takes a long interlude of mindless days of depression and self-torture to finally wake up to the reality that you’ve pretty much wasted your time while the world moved on. It’s an inevitable practical joke that your mind plays on you. It tricks you into thinking that the long hours of chewing over the same thoughts and reliving the same moments can somehow rewrite them. It takes a while for you to hold your mind by the scruff of its neck and make that mind, playing a broken record of memories, behave itself. I know the unavoidable pangs of memory. They creep up on you without warning and linger for longer than you’d wish. The best thing to do is so drain them out with the tears, the words, the rants or even small talk and distraction; it’s fine. It’s all good. I know the want for the want. There are certain things in life you don’t even realize that you wanted until someone dangles it in front of you like a carrot, luring, teasing, and finally snatching it away from you when you believe you’ve got to it. No one likes being mocked. No one likes being deprived of both love and pride at the same time. But there is clarity. There is clarity in knowing that you are capable of love and it expresses itself immeasurably in intimacy. There is clarity in knowing that you are selfish in your investment of that love and rightly so. Many people have shut doors to their hearts and not even hugs can ring the doorbell loud enough for them to answer. You will wake up with gratitude for that clarity one day. If pretension has been taken away from you and with it, a part of your innate desires, you are incredibly lucky. Some people go their entire lives wishing for that kind of clarity. They live out their lives stuck with something they thought was good for them. They don’t realize that they could have had a lot more for what they had to offer.
Longing is tricky. It’s the foundation for love to grow. One doesn’t function without the other. And it’s impossible to choose and to have foresight with longing. But one thing I know for sure. It fades. Life gets in the way of the longing, much like how the longing gets in the way of life. You don’t stop growing. You don’t stop exploring your realm of possibilities. You don’t stop living your own life.
And intimacy is encapsulated in the moment. Whatever you feel, whatever happens, whatever is said and done, is only meant once you’re dressed and work towards it with actions other than seduction. Otherwise it just stays there. It’s never meant to be taken out of context, and unfortunately, there is no easy way to learn this in life.
So confront those demons. Let them out. Let the cries out. Let the frustration out. And never, never, feel shame for what you felt. Take pride in your capacity for love. For there is a person of equal capacity for boundless affection who is out there, waiting for you to find them, and they wouldn’t want you beaten down by a low life who wasn’t even worth your time. You are, in all stages of love – curiosity, adventure, intimacy, longing, and guilt – beautiful. Be a fantastic storyteller for love. So don’t stop yourself from finding it when that longing finally fades.