Today marks 4 years since you left this world. 4 years since you last texted me, or told me you loved me. It’s weird, 4 years seems like such a long time, but it also feels like no time at all. For those 4 years you have been dead, I have lived. I have cried, screamed, laughed, talked, drank, ate, danced, and ran. I have had 4 birthdays, 4 Christmases, 4 summers, and 4 New Years without you. I graduated from university, spoke in front of over 700 people, got several jobs, travelled to France, moved technically 8 times(!) have loved, and been loved in return, made friends, reconnected with old ones, and figured out who the important people in my life are.
I kept saying I’d moved forward, and that I had ‘got through the worst of it’ and for a long time that wasn’t really true, it was just what I told people (and myself) in order to keep going. But now I honestly feel I’m starting a new chapter. I’ve finally turned the page, and whilst I will always hold onto your memory, and always feel your absence, it’s become a scar now rather than a wound. I am learning to appreciate the good things in life, big and small, to make good things happen, and to deal with the not so good parts a little better too.
Life has a funny way of working out, and I’m realising that usually things happen how they’re supposed to. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have started this blog, and whilst it hasn’t exactly ‘taken off’ I know I wouldn’t be doing the work I am now without it. Because of you, I faced my demons head on, and merely blinked when they tried to make me tremble. I have learned to be happy by going through the worst pain and sadness, and I appreciate true friendship and love because I lost the first love I ever knew.
Losing a parent just as you’re becoming an adult yourself is weird, because it sets you back in your journey. Instead of figuring out my tax code and applying for grad jobs, I just wanted to curl into a ball and watch YouTube videos whilst eating pizza (though I still stand by that as a life choice.) When most of my friends were graduating from uni I was growing tired of having to be responsible for myself, and wished that I could opt out of the whole grown up thing. I was lost, suddenly untethered from the reality which I had known for 21 years. Imagine sitting in a boat, in the middle of the ocean at night, with only a compass to guide your way. Then imagine the boat tips upside-down and you lose your compass. That was what losing you felt like. I was already stranded in the dark sea, but something was keeping me afloat. Little did I know once I learned to swim I’d find land.
Now I’m back in London, where I belong, surrounded by amazing people, living the life I dreamed of growing up. I’m just about to start a new job – the day I got the news that I’d been chosen I so desperately wanted to call and tell you. I could imagine your voice, telling me how happy you were, and how proud of me for keeping going. Even though I couldn’t pick up the phone, I know you were letting me know ❤ I will always love you and miss you, but I know that you wouldn’t want me to live with my life on hold. So I go bravely onwards, knowing you would be proud of the woman I’ve become, and grateful for all that you taught me about life.