You’re going to have people walk into your life and it’s going to kind of feel like the whole world has let out a massive sigh of relief. You’ll be gasping for air, your lungs suddenly so free and so empty as if you had been holding your breath your whole life and didn’t even know it. They’re the kind of people who walk in and you look at them and you just think, ‘Oh of course, of course you’re here, of course it’s you.’
They’ll make you laugh. God, they’ll make you laugh so much. Ugly laugh until you cry. You will be sitting there breathless with red cheeks, tears pouring out of your eyes because they’re so funny you can’t even handle it. You won’t remember ever having laughed that hard before. The dopey smile you’ll wear will linger until you go to sleep.
And kid, I’m so excited to tell you this.
When you go to sleep, you’re going to wake up happy.
Anger is there too though. I won’t pretend that it’s not. They’re going to make you feel angry until your fingertips are fire and you can’t touch anything without it singing a hole. They’ll make the ocean possess you. You’ll be clutching at your bin because of the waves heaving in your stomach and there will be salt water everywhere: Staining your cheeks, marking your clothes, crystallising in your hair. It’s not sadness, it’s drowning.
But mostly they’ll make you feel – how do I explain it? I don’t write poetry, I can’t write poetry but they’ll make you feel like you’re standing on top of a mountain looking down, right? You can see snow glowing white and far, far below the sea is glittering and it feels like the whole world is stretching forward from your feet. And the sky is this brilliant, brilliant blue and the wind is flicking your hair in your face and everything you shout is being whipped away from you and flung into the universe. You are breathless and your face is stinging and your eyes are crying and you’re trying to talk but the wind is in your mouth so you’re laughing instead and you just feel alive. They’ll make you feel so fucking alive.
You’re going to have people walk into your life, and kid, you’re going to love them. It’s going to burn slowly into your skin the same way that the sun has soaked into your shoulders and you’ll hear their name in the lyrics of all your favourite songs. You will think about them between every breath and in each quiet moment – that’s when you’ll begin to suspect. But you won’t know for sure how you feel until you hug them goodnight and realise that you don’t want to leave because they have become the thing that feels like home.
When life is moving so quickly it’s making you dizzy it will be seeing them again that stops the world spinning so fast and lets you finally find your balance. And it’s going to be then, in the sudden quiet that you’ll look at them and think, ‘Wow, I love you. I really, really love you.’
But here’s the important bit – and I’m sorry to tell you that it’s the sad bit too. Sometimes those people who walk in to your life, they’re not going to stay.
You’re going to fight harder than you have fought for anything to keep them. But sometimes you’re going to have to let them go. Even if you love them, even if they still love you, even if it goes against everything you want to believe in – you’ll let go. And kid, it will hurt. You’ll have bruises in the parts of yourself you didn’t know could bruise.
That person that you love will eventually love somebody else. When you go to sleep, sometimes you’re going to wake up crying.
And it will hurt for a long time, maybe even forever. You’ll be reading a book or brushing your teeth or making a cup of tea and it will suddenly hit you that you don’t know that person anymore and it will suck. It does suck, it really does
But you’ll keep going and the sun will keep rising. Kid, please remember that your baby steps are still steps. You may be moving down the mountain but you are still carrying yourself forward. Out there in the world there are people who search their whole life trying to artificially create the kind of love that you will have already found. And because of that love you will know that there is a heat inside of you and there is light and more than anything there is fight left over. And you can’t fight for them anymore so this time, you have to fight for you.
I can tell you right now that when you start to fight you will win. And I’m really, really proud of you. Because I know and you’ll know that it was worth it.
They were worth it. You are worth it.
I love you very much.
(But also please stop growing up so fast)