Aug 1, 2014

The Merry-Go-Round

“I am suddenly consumed by nostalgia for the little girl who was me, who loved the fields and believed in God, who spent winter days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew and sucking menthol cough drops, who could keep a secret.”

 Beaded Organza and Pleated Chiffon Dress: Romwe

In so many ways, this photo is a throwback, a memorial and a tribute to my childhood. Everything was easier back then and all life was about was merry-go-rounds and arcade games. But now that I have resigned myself to growing up, I realize that eras end. Friendships, daily routines, jobs, locations, lives, relationships... anything I am part if right now is really actually liable to end some day. Those are my most hated words: some day. Things end maybe temporarily but possibly forever. Endings as a whole tend to always be crappy. A popular quote goes, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard..." I never quite understood that clearly until now. It is 6 a.m. in the morning and my neurosis is on full mode as I am counting down the hours. More on this below...

"Cruel Summer" Angel Wing Shoes: Kanye West x Zanotti

Chanel-inspired Acrylic and Swarovski Crystal Case with Strap: Boxful of Accessories

“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.”

Satin Rosette Clutch: Custom Made by Queen Street Bags

 Pearls: Mikimoto | Forever 21

I am still not sure when it will hit.
(And that's what's making me anxious...)

It could come when I say goodbye to him at the airport.
Or it could come when I start saying goodbye to someone I cannot imagine living my life wihout.
It could come when everyone is gone on a weekday afternoon and I am left alone in an empty house, an empty room.

Whatever way, it is inevitable and it is guaranteed not to be easier at any particular moment.

I promised and kept on telling people (convincing them, actually) that I am not sad and that I will not cry. Funny how I seem to always contradict myself. You see, endings in real life- in our lives, are simply not that simple. Goodbyes are directly linked to endings. A career change, a decision to move to another city/state/country/continent, our significant other breaking up with us or vise versa... these types of life altering occurrences feature endings that weigh heavily on our emotions. Whether you saw it coming (like this one I say to my brother as it has been planned for over a year) or were completely blindsided (of which I am an expert), the feelings are still going to be present. It has been building for quite some time already. Maybe I first felt it a month ago when I stepped into my brother's room and saw he had began packing. Or when I flew back from our summer beach trip, noting that this would be the last time we could act all young and wild and free. I think the real first time I felt it was a rainy night on the 1st day of August when I was with my family and realized this would be our last dinner with him. I began riding to my car and then this familiar but still completely new feeling came over me. It was a pull in my gut and a simultaneous weight in my chest. You most probably have felt that before. I had, when my sister had to leave, but never to this extent because now, my brother is also leaving and I will be left behind. 

Generally speaking, saying "goodbye" is kind of uneasy and it does not at all go smoothly and often feels uncomfortable. Parting ways always gets awkward. There are simply too many unanswerable questions for comfort. Too many unknowns to be at ease. The best goodbyes I know and can vouch for are the ones that don't ever actually happen. Those stuff that do not necessarily come to an ending so much as it slowly disintegrates less and less over months and years. As a big bummer as that epiphany could be, it does not have that sudden shock effect of an actual goodbye. No hugs, no kisses, no handshakes, no airports, no packed bags or tears- just time. 

The reality is there is no amount of time in advance that can fully prepare us for the actual goodbye... the part where the moment we have been dreading comes to fruition or the waste case scenario, suddenly snatches comfort from your grasps. 

The only way I can label the entirety of this dark cloud looming is as a wave of emotion, and an ending. This weight on my chest... on your chest... is the push. It is what pushes us on to something new, the other person perhaps on to something better. It will be crucial that we feel this way. It means that a certain chapter has taught us something about the world, and about endings. It is  a way to test relationships, perhaps a way to make room for new experiences. It is what releases that "big cry" or the force behind a life-altering decision. At some points, the weight makes it hard to breathe. But it is not in our nature to suffocate. Whatever is coming will allow us to take full, deep breaths once more. That is what makes having and losing something uniquely human. It reminds us that nothing is permanent and no good things should be taken for granted. 

But whatever is coming (and that is what I am dreading me now, unable to make me sleep) will release the strain of the pull. Whatever is coming won't be over in one moment and it will hit us all over again. For now, as I am counting down the hours, all I know I can do is wait it out. I know that when it comes, I will most definitely not be ready. But I will have to try to handle it. Perhaps I will cry (or as my entire family calls it- ugly cry) uncontrollably for an hour then completely throw myself into this strange and unfamiliar chapter of my life... the next two years without him.

Goodbyes are never going to be something we can adapt to. All are different and each one is due to a person, place or thing being absent in our lives. There are the necessary goodbyes that we feel a sense of relief after, but even then, to know that something, someone we are comfortable with is going away is scary. Maybe I should eliminate the word "goodbye" from my vocabulary. Ciao, adios, ta-ta, Laters- take your pick because any of these feel a lot less concrete and final... even if in the end... goodbye is the inevitable and sad reality.

Photos by: Celyn Jaravata

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