good things take time (hello, september)

September 1, 2016 | (Unfinished) Thoughts
Image by Andrew Ling.
Image by Andrew Ling.

Hello, September. Finally.

It came to me that I document life in waves. In waves that take after his rhythm; his appearances and disappearances. He became efficient and experienced in picking out the moments, in which he’d randomly decide to appear. For me, it became easier to let it slide. The first couple of years, I’d cling onto any sign of life that he might have shown obsessing over every little thing. It always hurt me and never helped anything at all.

After some time, it became apparent that our lives are lived in a strange parallel way, almost like a cosmic force, and there’s nothing to do about it. Not now, and not yet. Good things take time. I am grateful that there is no hate. I am grateful that a relationship formed between us — a relationship that is neither romantic nor platonic but of history and of complex intimacy. I am not bothered by our silences or by any of it. I have grown comfortable with his presence in the background of my life. The learning to live to with it became easier. The secret no longer feels like a dead weight at the pit of my stomach.

Some days I think to myself — I cannot do this anymore. Live like this; constantly absent-minded, never truly here or there, returning to the past so often my mind practically resides there. On those days, I listen to Deepak Chopra’s affirmations on repeat. And it helps. My feet are closer to the ground; my mind is less out there. Living becomes easier, fuller. I breathe with my lungs full and without fear. My thoughts metamorphose into specific and tangible things. I learned how to recognize when things need improving and then work n improving them. Sometimes, a simple realization is enough; the awareness of something being out of place.

There are the unsaid words, of course, and all that correspondence that was never graced with a response or acknowledgment of any kind. But it’s gotten easier with time; the learning to deal with it has gotten easier and I am grateful for that. It’s not the load, it’s how you carry it. I also learned something else:

Feel the love for him, send it out there, and then forget about it.

I was at Daluma, my favorite coffee shop in Berlin, with a long-time teacher-turned-friend and this was her advice for me. We sat over coffee and acai bowls and I stayed quiet at the weight of her words. I let out a heavy sigh; a wave of sadness overcame me because I knew she was right. She repeated it twice, waiting until the words sank in. She kept her eyes on me. Waiting. The lesson sank into me. Berlin sank into my bone marrow. It was my second time in the city but after that weekend Berlin became my city.

Feel the love, send it out there, forget about it.

Every time I do, I feel lighter. And so, I am welcoming this September with a lighter heart. September always feels like a beginning of something a little different and this seems like the appropriate way to start it. Everything feels right and I am allowing myself to get to used to the feeling without forgetting to appreciate it and practice gratefulness for the life I am living. Because gratitude needs to be practiced. Not unlike the art of loving.

(2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008)

prague, one year later

August 27, 2016 | (Unfinished) ThoughtsPrague
Újezd, Malostranské Náměstí.
Újezd, Malostranské Náměstí.

I have been living in Prague for a full year now. The word I prefer is based — I often say to people that I am based in Prague; that I live in Prague at the moment. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know with a shaky certainty that I will one day leave this city again. And this has allowed me, prompted me in fact, to enjoy the city more than I would if I felt stuck in it.

Somewhere in the past twelve months, I fell in love with Prague. With its seasons, neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, parks, and oh, the gorgeous Prague Castle. Every time I am on a tram on the Most Legií, I look up from my book to look at it. To look at the Prague Castle and admire it. I am usually the only person to do so and it reminds me of a conversation I had with a taxi driver once.

At the start of the year, I was on my way to the airport and the cab driver who drove me took the scenic route with a view at the Castle; and just as we were passing it by in the distance, he turned his head and said: “What a beautiful thing. Except people don’t appreciate it here enough. Tourists come to see the Castle and marvel at it — they pay money to see it! — but we as locals don’t appreciate it enough. We ignore it just because we see it every day.”

12556162_101325593589660_1327730688_n
Prague Castle.

His words stuck with me not only he was right but because I recognized myself and felt ashamed. I decided to live with more intent. The past year has been about that: seeing the beautiful things every day, taking the time to stop and take a breath, take in my surroundings. Because Prague (and my life here) is everything I want it to be.