And I'm beginning to remember the tiniest of details in my story.
Like the bird's nest in the garden of our house in North London, Turnpike Lane, April. Saturday morning, the sun was out, and Liam and I were doing the Guardian crossword. We had already broken up, but we lived together, like we always did. I remember the baby birds, singing like they never sang before, and I was annoyed, suffocating.
I wanted to stand up and yell at him to make this work, to love me like I was willing to love him. But it was too hard. Always too hard.
Yet here we were. Like nothing had changed. Sipping coffee in the garden, listening to the screeching baby birds. Reading the fucking Guardian.
There are days I feel like I've been sitting on my hands for my entire life, listening to others map out a course that would be perfect for me, lists of things I should do, and biting my tongue.
The little girl me is kind of ticked off. Where did she go? Why did I tell her to get lost? When did depression find me? Huddled inside of myself, unable to tear down the walls in front of my own eyes.
And when I did begin to take the walls apart, I found that the clarity, thanks to my own imagination, was superb.
I probably punished Liam for a lot of things for which he was not responsible. It's okay, though, because I punished myself pretty hard with my next boyfriend, and even harder after that for punishing myself so hard with him. I mean, I liked my last boyfriend. We had some magical times, but we hurt each other pretty badly, and I surprised myself at the amount of total bullshit with which I was willing to put up just to feel like I had some semblance of the beginnings of a nuclear family to prove that I was, indeed, capable.
|Yes. There was a time I took cute pictures with boys.|
Plus, I was on the precipice of depression, untreated, and even I wasn't prepared for what was coming.
Every day I have to forgive myself. To remember that I am worth courting, worth chasing. Because I didn't believe it when it first happened to me, and I wasn't able to fully accept it.
The more I open up, however, slow down, breathe, half smile, speak softy to myself, the more I am able to remember those details and mine them for what they mean to me. What they can teach me.
On my last night in London, at the pub with the whole gang, my friend Paul asked me what the real reason behind all of my wandering was, and I don't even think I hesitated when I replied, " For my daughter, so she will wander further, live more fully, and be proud of me."
I may not have a daughter, or a son, but the message is still very clear.
Life continues. People are born and people die. Love is found and lost, and baby birds yell like little boys when they're waiting for breakfast in the back of some house in North London.
None of my experiences stand alone, and even the tiniest details, regardless of the circumstances, combine to comfort me when I feel lost, when I forget who I am and where I'm going.