I still get butterflies when I suddenly think of you and when I come across one of your random posts. I try to hide from any traces of you because, it’s hard enough scraping you from my mind after all was said and done. This “space” I’m taking seems like, I’m a million miles away and all that we shared over the last few years has become undone and unremembered somehow. I remember all these times I sat with you marinating in that thing I feared most, the hardest thing I didn’t want to face-the thought of losing you, in any form. The idea of one day having to let go. I would fight against my memories and say to each one of them, the best ones, “You will stay right there. I will remember you. I can keep you. You are apart of me now.”
I was determined to remember your voice, the way you got so excited about the things that happened to you. The way you told jokes and when you sang songs and knew most of the lyrics. Your favorite words and expressions that I can’t quite recall, but I’d know in an instant if I heard them again. The way you smiled or laughed and tears would fall from your eyes. I’m wondering in this very minute, Should I even be writing of you or thinking about you…am I allowed? Is it a sign of weakness? Am I still holding on? But the truth is, missing you is not the problem, it’s trying to move past what I lost, forgetting the way things turned out and move on. Am I doing it right? Am I facing my fears? Is this what they meant by moving on? Is this something that everyone goes through? There’s a poem that I read some time ago that describes how I feel so perfectly-
“i am trying to remember you and let you go at the same time. -the mourn” – Nayyirah Waheed from ‘Nejma’
Just today I was sitting in my gallery and thinking that there are so many things I’m unsure about like, how to meet someone, how to let someone go, how to get over loss. How to face my fears and conquer them at the same time and how to be a writer and write what I feel without being repetitious and without these (memories of you) or anything that affects me so deeply, emotionally. I’ve been writing about you for so long, but it’s been a while since I had to remember you with only words. I was so used to having you here, knowing what your felt like, what you smelled like, what you sounded like, if you were happy or angry or indifferent, I knew because I could reach you freely. Now I’m struggling with putting you aside in my quiet moments, the moments just for myself when I’m not working and doing something more productive. When I don’t have to think.
My heart still skips a beat when I see evidence of you unexpectedly- a post online, a tag…a memory. I still get butterflies looking at your photographs, but then I remind myself that you made your choice and I made my own. I chose to not stand for the pain. I chose myself when you couldn’t. And so I’ll carry the memories and I’ll make examples of them because I learned a lot about myself and that pain is just a symptom of life. I’m only human and I don’t think I’ve ever said that to myself before today. I hurt still, I feel loss, i feel anger and bitterness and I feel the agony of having to start all over again, to find someone else to eventually build something with. I remember you and that’s okay. I’m only human and you were only my first ‘one’.
“…I’m trying to remember you and let you go at the same time…”