Calm, Dear Heart

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My heart craves freedom but it also craves stability. I used to think these two were mutually exclusive, that I would always have to choose one or the other and in the end settle down with one for good. They are not, though. My heart can be free while still relying on something stable. My spirit can roam free while having a place to always come back to. My feet can carry me over the mountains and rivers, yet there will always be a place to arrive to when I get too tired.

The world is a beautiful place, full of wonders and magic. There are times when I forget this for a little while, and then am reminded by something small – such as the way the sun plays with the tree leaves, the way the bee comes through my open window but then finds its way back out, the way the golden hour sun shines through my hair, the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the garden that reminds me of past summers. It’s the little things that make me realise just how precious this life is. Nothing is certain, and nothing is granted. Things can change in seconds, for better or for worse, and it is not us humans who rule this place – we are only tiny breathing creatures made of atoms just like everything else.

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While the world is a beautiful place, and life is a precious thing, there are days when things get dark. When the night comes far too soon, the sun I rely on to help me keep myself together leaving so suddenly I want to chase it across the world just to be able to pretend I have everything under control for a bit longer. But I don’t, not always. Sometimes the shadows reach inside me and make a little home out of me. Sometimes my mind gets so clouded I forget to get up in the morning, or I forget to leave the house for a few days. The nights feel like weeks, me staring at the moon light crawling on my bedroom walls, counting how many times I blink during another sleepless night.

And it’s okay. It was such a struggle to get to a place where I feel comfortable accepting that my brain chemistry isn’t always on my side. To accept that I do sometimes need more time to feel okay. And to accept that sometimes I am simply not okay – and that is okay too. Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

When people ask me whether I’m okay, the first instinct is to reply ‘I am all good’ and ‘of course,’ because that is the acceptable response. When I reply I am not quite alright, I need to have an explanation and a reason ready because that is the only way we as humans understand each other – by constant explanation of our feelings and moods.

I used to tell myself I am okay even when I felt so many different things inside that were most certainly not okay – sometimes these feelings come, like an avalanche inside my soul, burying everything that is good deep under. And it takes days, or weeks, to dig it back out – hell, once it took several months. I used to play pretend with myself, denying to myself the fact that it is okay to fall apart every now and again. To take time to take care of myself before I take care of others.

The moment I accepted all of this about myself, it became easier to admit it to others. To say I need to be alone, and that no I am not doing great but I will also be okay in a while. To not become the one who needs to be taken care of all the time because I can take care of myself – I mean, it has been 12 years that I have been living with these shadow monsters inside me, and I have learned in so many different ways what works for me when they attack, what really doesn’t work for me (and boy did I try to force myself into situations thinking that it was the right thing at the right time to do), and what my safe places are in times of total darkness.

Today I had a long discussion with my friend about ourselves as humans, parts of this massive thing called society, and how we put who we are to other people, and how from then on other people perceive and treat us a certain way. We also discussed how easy it can be to lose yourself, so quickly you don’t even realise until it is too late. She made me feel so good about who I am today several times just by saying things she believes in and by being honest, and I can’t quite wrap my head around just how lucky I am to have somebody like that enter my life – at exactly the time she was meant to.

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