11 days

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I was sitting on the dock beside a girl buried in her phone, afraid to look up- wondering if she too was about to face an emotional journey like mine. I looked around at all the families, couples, friends- they were all enjoying their beautiful vacation, in a place many would die to get a chance to visit.

I was leaving.

Whether I would return was still a question racing through my mind. It wasn’t much of a vacation for me anymore- it was hatred, fights, tears, and unhappiness. It was the bottomless pit in my stomach wondering where things went wrong. It was the fear of no longer being loved, and having nobody left to stand by me.

It was loneliness.

I was the first to board. I sat by the door to be the first one out, much like I always did. When the boat finally pulled away, I passed by every landmark where we had built a memory. Every single surface of the shore had a goddamn memory. The last bit of land within sight, before drifting into the middle of the ocean, was the beach where we spent many of our days. Tangled up in one another; collecting sea glass, challenging one another to stone skipping contests, and long, freezing walks through blizzards with Gypsy. The house that sheltered us from every season of weather was now miles away. The man who I had adored more than any other was now miles away.

I spent four hours traveling home, racking my brain for answers. Who was I going to turn to? How could I fix this? How would I even explain myself? What was going to happen next? I did a good job lying to myself that things would be better and nothing would change. To my disappointment, that was no longer the outcome. Two days later I reached out to the people I had. I quit my job, I collected a years worth of my memories along with my dog, and I left the island behind me. I roamed the city for two consecutive days and got myself a new job. With more disappointment and a weeks worth of failed success first to come, I finally found myself a beautiful apartment to live in. I confided in the people who really have stood by me, fought through the aching and pain, and pushed myself to achieve what needed to be achieved.

Our lives can change within a blink of an eye. Never assume that things will go according to plan, because that’s not the journey life has set us out on. We are here to face challenges, to meet people who will affect us for eternity- and leave them too. To feel pain, pleasure, and everything else in between.

Be strong no matter how comfortable you may feel.
Strength is what will make us the superior ones.

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