There comes a time in life where after a horrific break-up of some kind, you fall back into patterns and motions. Your life becomes a series of routines that make you feel like you’re on auto-pilot for most of the time. The days become shorter because the nights are longer, and you find yourself smoking a cigarette outside on an abandoned picnic table, wanting nothing more than to feel the wind cut into your skin amidst the solitude.
Then winter comes, and the cold numbing feeling on your fingertips and toes start to trickle into your heart, and you realise that the burning furnace of passion that used to drive you has extinguished.
And it’s fucking terrifying.
Of course, you’ll still have friends and meet new people, constant reinforcements of very brief happiness that nights of drinking and talking will bring, but at the end of the day, there’s an overwhelming sense of apathy. It’s much harder to admit that you’re not actually sad; you just feel like the world around you is going at a pace that you just don’t recognise, nor do you really even care that you can’t fit into its’ rhythm anymore. You’ll try to join activity groups in attempts to feed your boredom, only to know that once the event is over you’ll feel incredibly alone again, so it’s not even worth it.
But then, you meet someone.
You meet someone who feels the same kind of mundane existence. Who’s also lost their sense of purpose. They are only too familiar with the efforts to feel at home in a country that isn’t their own. The fact that they’re willing to share their worries with you even though you have only just met makes you feel privileged to see their vulnerability. In that, you find solace that there is this someone who exists, and if you happen to have a tonne of interests in common, a new sense of elation takes over you heart. In time you’ll see that you cannot get enough of them, because they know of this indie band that no one you know has ever heard of, and you can’t help but feel just a little bit more gratified when they laugh at your jokes.
Eventually, you’ll start to think about them a lot, and start to notice just how intensely beautiful their eyes are. Staring into them would be like swimming in a luxurious pool of mysteriousness, and you love to take the occasional dip into someone’s soul. The world looks a bit brighter, and even though the frost of the weather might make your hands feel tight and raw, a cup of tea with them is all that you need.
You’ll tell your friends about them; how there’s this amazing person that you never knew existed who makes you want nothing more than to talk into the night about everything. You’ll do double-takes when you walk around, seeing the features of their face everywhere, only to discover inferior doppelgangers. Everything you find amusing will be screenshot and documented because you want to share the things that light up your life with someone who lights up your life.
Soon enough, you’ll realise that you have a crush, and the expired membership to the world of love-fantasies suddenly will be renewed. Poems explode of your smitten heart, as the words start to come out like mushy-gushy cheese worthy of a pop song. You will tell people about your re-discovered optimism, who will point out in delight that you’re no longer deeply unsatisfied with life.
And though you might know that this person could potentially never feel the same way that you do, you’re just completely thankful that they were there in the right moment and the right time, opening up the bit of you that was starting to completely shut down; cultivating the withering flower of your heart back to full health, even if they didn’t mean to. Most of all, you thank them so fiercely from the inside of your mind, hoping that they might know; all these emotions inside of you were just patiently waiting for someone like them to allow growth again. As much as it would hurt to hear rejection of some kind, it’s just simply sublime to walk around with a little bit of liveliness in your step. Something from what seems like a past life.
So, to the person who inspired this article, I can’t help but say, “I have to thank you for helping me feel again.”