I spent a year of my life stuck on ‘rewind’, reliving the stories told by ghosts and compromising with the demons that rise out of my shadow and wreak havoc at night. But that didn’t work. So I spent a year thinking, trying with all my might to foretell the future, so maybe this time I would be ready for it. But I’m no fortune teller and nothing is ever how you think it will be.
I spent a year of my life helping people, trying to help people. But some people don’t want help. And others do, but they have found a friend in their demons and aren’t quite ready to let them go. Instead they latch on to you, pulling you under while keeping themselves afloat. You can run from yourself, immerse yourself in other people’s problems, and lives and fears, and dreams, but they’re not your own. You have to enter your own world one day, and it is better sooner than later because your own demons will chase you through the dark and hide in your shadows once more until there is nowhere else to run, nowhere else to hide.
I spent a year of my life in limbo, wondering what to do, what to think, what you were doing, what you were thinking. Then I realised this was my life, not yours. And my years, once wasted, won’t come back.
So I stopped. I took a gap year. Not in the literal sense. I didn’t move a mile out of this small town; but it’s amazing the travelling you can do whilst staying still, stationary. People say the best thing you can do in life is travel. I agree, but not in the sense they intend. You can travel from person to person, collecting thoughts, and dreams, and ambitions. You can open their eyes to the world they’ve been living in all along, if they only looked up instead of down. You can tear down their walls, break apart their fears and peel their thoughts apart like orange peel; and gaze in wonder and what appears. Sometimes that’s all somebody needs, someone to say ‘I’m here. It’s okay.’ and show them it’s not all bad. Whole castles and moats have been hidden by overbearing forests when all they needed was some cutting back. You can travel a million miles without moving a step, all you need is to peel back somebody’s fears, someone’s pain and set it free.
Then I hit fast forward, and skipped all the pain, all the flashbacks and fears and trouble. I didn’t pause; not this time. I knew this part, I knew it like the back of my hand. Some things happen for a reason, and they are in your past for a reason. Other things happen so you can learn something. Others exist to remind you to push ‘play’ more, for no one else can do that for you and the clock’s ticking, even now.