I guess life never prepared me for all its paradoxes. It takes experience to discover that you can be held and feel lonely, be full and feel empty, be excited and afraid all at the same time.
I wasn’t prepared to learn that sometimes it is a person who becomes our home, rather than an actual place – and that when they leave, we can be truly homeless, no matter where we go.
I didn’t know.
I didn’t realize that people would lie the way they sometimes do, or that sometimes someone can mean something when they say it, but when things change, their minds can change. And although it wasn’t a lie to begin with, it becomes an expired truth – for them, it no longer holds true. To me, truth was immutable. There could be fluidity within truth?
I would never have known.
I thought time would always be on my side. But I’ve discovered that while it sometimes takes things and people away from you, it doesn’t take their memories with it. So time goes on unbothered, leaving you with the rubble of all the collapsed structures from your past. And oh, how the rubble will build up – and no matter how far through time you go, it will follow. It’s up to you to sweep it up before it buries you.
This, I did not know.
I didn’t realize that sometimes, goodbye is forever – not in terms of death, but in terms of change. Sometimes you don’t get to say goodbye to a best friend or an old flame, because the change occurring in both of you is so gradual but so sudden that the people you once were disappear before you knew an ending was imminent.
I didn’t realize that every moment would be like a wave, sweeping things away, and washing new things onto shore. And the things it would sweep with it, well, would be lost forever in the vastness of time. And if you stand staring into the horizon, waiting for something to be washed back onto shore, you risk sacrificing forever, waiting.
The impermanence of life, I always knew – but the way an unsaid goodbye would twist into my core, I could never have known.