A letter to a friend 5

Dear friend,

I feel sad.
It’s not very often that I take time to assess how I’m feeling.
But, today, I felt an abnormal desire to occupy my mind with things that make me happy: an extra five minutes in bed, a glass of orange juice in the morning, videos from my favourite youtubers, an apple cider at lunch, good music while I get dressed, a doughnut and a romantic comedy in the afternoon and cuddling with my cat.
The thing is, after all that, I still felt quite sad.
And when I feel sad, I have the horrible tendency to desperately search the reason why.
And then I conveniently start to overthink the matter and I end up over exaggerating everything that’s wrong with my life.
As a result, I become even sadder.
And to top it all off, I’ve always been such an easy weeper.
That’s when I usually tend to shake up whatever I’m thinking and get on with my life, until the next time I feel depressed again.
Not today though. I stopped myself from shaking off those feelings and I let them sink in.
What’s wrong with being sad?
I know every reason why (although not every solution they require) and some are, predictably, out of my hands. But that’s quite a common predicament, isn’t it?
Although I live in a world filled with injustice and unkindness far worse than the ones I get to experience in my daily life, I’m still allowed my sadness and my worries. Because I’m human and emotions are what makes us who we are. Why then should I feel ashamed of not feeling happy?
All this to say, I’m sad. And that doesn’t mean that tomorrow I will be.
But, if by chance, I find myself again on the verge of shaking my sadness off my shoulders, I will let it rest and “comfort” me for as long as she deserves it.
Because, after all, she’s part of what I’m made of too.

Yours truly,
A human

A letter to a friend 4

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Dear friend,

I pray you find yourself in good health and high spirits.
How I long to write you with good news about my journey through life, for once.
Lately, it seems I’m only able to share my sorrows and misfortunes with you.
I fear, this time, won’t be any different.

In all honesty, I’ve been wishing time would stop for a while. Just so I could take a breath and prepare my heart for what’s coming next.
I’ve been watching life happen these past few years. Waiting and living and loving and working and failing and waiting again.
But when I have the time to stop and look at where I’m standing I find myself endlessly in the same spot.
I remember you telling me, not so long ago, good things come to those who wait. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness it happen to you and to relish in the happiness it brought to your eyes. But I can’t help feel left out and a tiny bit jealous that I’m not the receiver of such good graces…because I too have waited for so long and, when waiting was not enough, I have fought for even longer…still, everything has been constantly denied to me.
Believe me when I say I am grateful for everything good that comes my way! And that I am perfectly able to rejoice in the small and simple things of life. I just wish they would stay for a little longer than they do. Just long enough so I could feel my life is not a series of ups and downs with no sign of getting a deserved rest. Because I do deserve to rest. And I do feel exhausted, my friend…

Is it too much to ask for a life where you don’t have to dread what the following day will bring?
To arrive home, at the end of a full and fatiguing day at work, but happy that whatever you’re doing makes your heart soar and your mind awake?
Or is it too much to ask for a person to understand you when you can’t even understand your own self and share with you the little somethings that make life an adventure?
Someone whom to buy chocolates and flowers for? Or someone to taste the food you so carefully and proudly prepared?
A kind soul to share a blanket and lie with, when sleep takes over your body and dreamland makes it’s nightly visit?

I’ve been a good friend, a good daughter, a good student, a good person.
And somehow I feel all this goodness has been in vain.
If good people are not the kind who deserve the best, who is?
I want to believe that being genuinely good is the right way to go. That noble feelings like love and kindness are still what touches and moves us so deeply through the course of our brief lives on earth.

You’ve told me once that my future would surely be brighter than my present, because, although rejected and let down at every step of the way, I never backed down or gave up fighting. But if you allow me to be honest with you, as you have always been with me, my dearest friend, I don’t feel like fighting anymore.
And the funny fact is, that after I came to this realization and acknowledged my awkward trail of thought (so opposed to what I always believed in), I became frightened. Frightened because, above anything else in this world, I’ve always wanted to live. I still do!
I still dream of waking up in the morning after a long and peaceful night of sleep; of having piles and stacks of books scattered around the house and keep buying new ones, although I have no space to store them anymore; of actually getting to read them all; of having a dog, a cat, a ferret, a turtle and an aquarium full of fishes; of feeling my love returned once again; of making that love the most precious thing I’ll ever hold; of watching endless sunsets filled with vivid orange colors; of living in a small cottage near a quiet river; of strolls in the park hand in hand, while the wind caresses the flowers in bloom; of whispered conversations beneath the moon and stars; of parties and dinners full of friends, laughter and good wine; or kisses so light as a feather’s touch.
I deserve and want this with all my heart!

Don’t get me wrong, I know I have my own faults to attend to. Too many if you ask me.
I’m insecure, stubborn, lazy, immature, clingy, selfish, weak, jealous, vengeful, loud, clumsy and over-emotional.
I often over-think, over-act and over-care.
But on top of all this, I’m just human. And I believe, as humans, we have this inherent aptitude to be wrong, to be flawed, to feel incomplete and misunderstood.

So, I’m sorry if this letter sounds depressing and hopeless.
I’m sorry I can’t fully share your so rightfully deserved happiness.
I’m sorry your love and friendship aren’t enough to cure my sadness, my emptiness, my new found apathy.

So as not to leave you so dejectedly, I can only promise that, after this apparent and fleeting rest, I’ll be back to my old self.
Because, besides all the faults in my character, I have qualities too.
And my human condition compels me to be optimist, kind, warm, loyal, fun, friendly, responsible, nice, creative, lovable and lovely, smart, calm, helpful, huggable and hard working.

Now on a final note: have you ever noticed I’m the most contradictory person you have ever met?

Your undeniable and constant friend,
A.J.

A letter to a friend 3

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Dear friend,

Here I am, once again, sharing with you my most recent adventures!
As you might have noticed, I’ve been absent these past few days. I’ve been discovering a new place outside and inside of me.

I found myself sitting on a park bench, today, seemingly lost.
After all, wandering around a city you don’t actually know, alone, it’s quite frightening. At least for me, it is! There’s this immediate sense of smallness when I look around me, of not knowing which way to go and of not being able to fully explore everything you desire. Quite contradictory, aren’t I?
Lately, I feel my mind has been filled with so very different thoughts and smells and colors! They keep reminding me of how little of the world I know yet. And of how much more I want to discover still.

I have the impression I’ve been lucky, so far!
Contrary to what most people warned me about, I’ve met quite a lot of nice people: each bump in a crowded place has been met with a sincere, looked in the eye, apology and a smile; bus drivers who let me ride the bus for free, because I had just arrived in their country and I really didn’t have any change (yes, it happened more than once, my dear!); even the little squirrels – every tourists attraction – seem to give me their welcome, while they run away from the people who try to feed them, climbing up my leg although I had no food to offer. I must not forget the typical “Can I just say you look beautiful?” approach on the street, that always ended with a “It was nice meeting you. Hope you have a lovely day!” smile (more than once, as well!). Those were the sort of things that kept me smiling and warm, despite the wind blowing so strong sometimes.

I know I left your side feeling a bit disappointed with myself, I really don’t know why…maybe because every time I think about what I want in life, everything seems so far away in time. Borrowing an example shown to me, while I’ve been away, imagine life as the act of taking a photograph: in the time and society we live in, the process is quite fast – you grab your phone, you take a picture, you edit it (or not) and you post it for everybody to see, and like and comment – it’s a matter of minutes, seconds even. Now let’s go back a few years in time: imagine you have a little roll of film, you put it in your camera, you take your pictures until the roll’s finished and when it is you send it to someone to develop it. Still the process isn’t finished. The developer goes into a very dark room, with your little roll of film, and one by one, he’ll make your pictures start to show, always careful that no light enters the room and damages his work, your memories. One week would pass and you would come and get them (and pray that your shaky hands wouldn’t have ruined the whole film). That’s how long it took for you to be able to share it with your friends, your family, those most close to you. That’s how much you cared about the result and how much you were willing to wait.
I feel I’ve been in “the dark room” these past few years, and I really long to come out. But what if I’m not ready yet? What if I’m meant to get stronger and win each little battle that has crossed my path, so I can grow better than I’ve ever thought I’d be?
Instead of fear, all this things I’ve learned have awakened in me a longing to do better, be greater, to know more and not settle for less, as I so often did before.
I’ve found a peace of mind and heart I never imagined possible…not here, where the ghosts of my failures are so near.
And although it’s certain I will eventually have to depart, I know I will leave a little piece of me behind. A very important one.
But that’s what life is all about, isn’t it, my dearest friend? A big book with chapters that need closing, so the story can continue.

I now take the time to be grateful for what my life and my choices have thrown my way.
Because, besides all the heartbreaks and disillusions, I have been given hope and patience, and joy and love.

Hoping to hear from you soon, my friend,
A.J.

A letter to a friend 2

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Dear friend,

A few months have passed since we last spoke or seen each other.
So much has happened since…it feels like a lifetime!
I find myself growing everyday in age and in understanding. Solitude can be a great ally in the discovery of one’s thoughts and feelings.

This time, I wish I could tell you I found what I was looking for.
In fact, for a very brief time of my recent life, I thought I did.
But as you might have guessed from my use of the past tense, another failure has come my way.
Please don’t be alarmed!
I had the time to grieve and think abundantly about it, before I addressed the matter with you. It’s in the past now.
And I’ll be myself again in no time! My “unwavering smile” as you so often and kindly called it, is ever present and steady.

He was the most amiable soul I have ever crossed paths with. With such kindness and sensibility. A true gentleman, like you always wished and imagined it would be.
I was given a tender love to hold, and I cared for it as if it were a new born baby in arms.
Maybe I was too excited, or just too inexperienced…maybe too young or too naive. I don’t really know.
For once, I couldn’t care for nothing about him but his love. And in the end, I couldn’t convince him of that.
Although our attachment was rather short, I was certainly happy it happened…I am still.
He let me down as gently as he could and, although I couldn’t see his face, I always imagined he had left me with a smile on his lips. And I thank him for that everyday in my prayers.
I watched him go silently, as I always do, without any angry words or big fights and resentments. Just a “Goodnight” whispered from the heart, a promise to remain friends and a couple of tears who fell unseen.

I feel I did the right thing, but I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had I lashed out and cursed like so many of our sex have done before. They always seem to get exactly what they want. I guess I’ll never know…

Meanwhile, I grow older by the day. Time quietly keeps flying away in front of my eyes, and with each new day gone my heart sighs with another wasted ride.
Will it ever find a place to rest?
As an undeniable part of who I am, my hopefulness and my optimism tell me yes. But even the most patient and strong heart can waver in it’s fight.

I am tired, my dear friend, immensely tired.

And I wish I could have your shoulder to lean on, in this moment. You always knew what to do, what to say or not to. Your love was always unwavering and unconditional…even when we were apart. And for that I will eternally be grateful to you.

As for the rest, the love and the life denied to me, I’ll keep believing in them…I’ve heard they’re quite unpredictable, most of the time!
Who knows if I might get surprised again one day?
And when that day comes, I want you to be the first to know.

Between the plans for the future and the rush of the present, I’ll keep my memories alive and ready, so I can look at them whenever my heart appears to stop or my eyes get too dry.
After all, emotions are a great part of what makes us human, don’t you think?

Eternally your friend,
A. J.

A letter to a friend

Dear friend,

Thank you for your kind letter. It made me enormously happy that you would miss my company as much as I missed yours.

As for your concern about my condition, rest assured, all is well.

It is true that there was a time I suffered. I cried for his gentle eyes, for his sweet and sensible words, for his warm and manly hands, but never for his affection.

I now believe it was never given to me in the first place. For what are playful looks and sweet spoken words than expectations and outpourings of our imagination? I am inclined to think actions speak louder than everything else. And, indeed, there is a positively huge lack of those in our short attachment, if I dare say. In so many years of existence, and so many more to come, two or three years would not count as much, don’t you think?

Even so, it felt like a lifetime. A lifetime of misunderstandings, unsent letters, unfinished conversations and unanswered questions.

I pray you will not think ill of him. I cannot place any guilt on his part, nor can I say he misled me in some sort of way. He was, as always, a gentleman and a sincere and amiable one. The memories I have of him are nothing short of fond. And I wish him every happiness.

As for the tears, they never came back. They dried with the hope of finding him again. All that is left is a vague picture of a beautiful past that never was…and an emptiness I cannot explain. I feel as if all this is nothing but a story and I, the author, left to face reality once again, now that the work is done.

Am I wrong or foolish to believe in honorable people who say what they mean and show what they feel without going back on their promises, or turn their words vague or feelings uncertain? Maybe my mind, and my heart, have long since surpassed my body in age. I feel like an old maid who had her chance at happiness and was afraid of taking it. And now it is too late to start the search again…very silly of me, don’t you think?

Let us hope that a new breeze may pass my window and bring better days with it. In all honesty, I would like to feel young again, to feel the blood pumping in my veins and the butterflies restless in my stomach. I wish to see promises written in the eyes and words full of love, certain, unwavering. And finally understand what it is to love and be loved in return.

Until then, I’ll stay here – unmoved, unchanged, unfeeling.

But with the utmost happiness of knowing I have in you a friend, a confidant and the best company I could have asked for in this life.

Your always affectionate friend,

A.J.