What It Means To Be Someone Who Holds On To Everything, Even If It Hurts

Ian Keefe

It’s 5:15 am in Seville and I am in a cafe right now, sipping the most heavenly cup of coffee I’ve ever had and as I am watching the sun slowly peek through the glittering skyline, all I can think about is how much I love this moment. And how badly I want to never forget what it feels like. I want to bottle up the aroma of my coffee and smell it everyday and take a thousand pictures lest I ever forget the beauty of this moment.

You see, I am just like you. I would love time to slow down and wait for me sometimes. I love lying down under a starry sky, and savour the way my room lights up every morning as the golden beams fill up the spaces. I love the feeling of returning back home in a crowded metro after a long day, and stopping by at every busker to listen to their music. I love the mint carnations that line the path I take my dog for a walk on. And I’m absolutely doted on the way her eyes light up when we play catch.

My closet is filled with a lot of stuff. Stuff my mom disapproves of and tells me I don’t need. I’ve got train tickets that were more than just a ride for me, old school textbooks, my first ever cell phone, a broken mug that was once my favourite, the sea shells I collected on the shores of Corsica, a red beanie my grandmother knitted for me when I was a baby, lots of photographs and just so much more. I collect stories and moments and never let them go.

I adore people. Not just them, their habits. The way they make me feel. The person I become when I am with them. I give and love without expecting much in return. I’ve been the maid of honour so many times. I am always showered with gifts from my family on Christmas, even the distant relatives who always share fond stories of my childhood. I can have a conversation with anyone. I am friends with the bus conductor and know all about his kids. I chat with the old lady at the grocery store every time, who drops an extra apple in my shopping bag simply out of love. I cry when a fictional character dies. The mailman loves playing with my dog and my phone is always available to those who want to talk about their problems at 3 am.

I love too much. And I get hurt the most. I know you do too. I know what it feels like to carry that heavy emotional baggage everywhere you go. Because memories are more than just memories, they’re dreams. Because places are more than just places, they’re a time period. Because people are more than just people, they’re homes. And it is toxic sometimes. Memories hurt, places change and people leave. And you? You stay right where you are. Lost and hurt, trying to find a way back.

You find yourself speculating what it would be like to be like the others. To move on without looking back, to listen to that particular song without tears streaming down your cheeks, to delete the photos of a time when everything was perfect in a heartbeat. Failed relationships do not evoke vengeance in you, but merely sorrow. You miss the ones who broke you heart and continue to care. Sometimes you wonder if everything you felt was nothing but a sweet lie.

But here’s something I want you to know. In a world filled with people who only look out for themselves, in a world full of greed, self-regard and pride, in a world where everyone is so busy getting to their destination, they don’t even notice the beautiful journey they’re on, you are a work of art. You are strong and brave and beautiful. Because you have a soft heart in this cruel world. And I want you to never change.

I want you to, however, be stronger. Do not fall prey to your emotions. While you miss the good times, I want you to know that there are loads out there waiting for you. And you must move forward to welcome them. Embrace new beginnings. Visit the past, but don’t live there. Don’t find homes in people, build your own. Don’t change, but stop letting your own thoughts disturb you. Because I promise, one day, you’ll be so happy that the present is all you’ll think about.

So lie down under the starry sky and close your eyes. Smile at the sunshine when you wake up. Sing with the buskers and pick those carnations and wear them in your hair. Live loud. Be so in love with your life that the memories you create only fill your heart with warmth in the future. Until then, I’m going to find a way to bottle up the aroma of this coffee. TC mark

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