There will come a time when you want to cut off all your hair. Do it. Realise that the thing you want rid of doesn’t lie in the long curls that frame your face so perfectly. Live with short hair for a while. It’ll grow.
You won’t always want to talk to people. That’s okay. When it’s late and you hear your friends talking in the next room, you don’t have to join them. You’re allowed your solitude. It makes company sweeter and it teaches you how to survive alone. You will need that skill.
In the winter, you’ll believe that nothing will ever grow again. You’re wrong. Every year, London looks like it’s on its last legs, wheezing through those last cold days in March. Every year, spring comes like an explosion and the city shakes off its sleep.
Mundane problems will get the better of you sometimes. Don’t worry. Try as you might, life cannot be an endless, beautiful, intense moment. Find comfort in money worries and late trains; they’re a welcome rest in between heartbreaks and breakdowns.
People will call you a cynic, a wry smile on their faces. Pay them no mind. You alone know that you are capable of a love greater than anything they can comprehend. You alone know that you are not willing to sell your identity and respect to the first smirking halfwit to pass by. It is not cynicism. It is reverence for your own vast and fathomless heart, and it makes sense only to love someone who understands that and is awed by it.
You will not always get what you want when you want it. Accept it. Your goals are not set in stone and you are not on a fixed trajectory. Sometimes, life will take its time and you will have to play the long, interminable game. Play it well and with as much grace as you can muster. Live at your own pace.
At night, you will occasionally wake up afraid, wanting to die. Don’t give in. Night plays its tricks, but you are not so easily fooled. Your mind will play its tricks, too. It will make you believe that you’re not who you are, but you must not give in. You take a breath and you tell yourself that you are here. That you always were.”
He knew for a long time now. She guarded her heart fiercely. She had demons that beat her into believing she couldn’t win anything, didn’t deserve anything. He knew that there was something there for him, for them, but she wouldn’t let him in. Despite everything, despite the past year—she still wouldn’t let him in.
"You deserve to be happy, you know," he said. "I don’t know what it is that you struggle with, but… you have every right to be happy."
She closed her eyes and turned her face away. She… knew that. But her instinct was to run. Always, to run. Not just for her heart’s benefit, but for the other person’s as well. She knew and accepted that she was this broken and battered little thing that might not ever be in one piece again. She knew she deserved happiness; she just wasn’t sure that it was possible for her anymore. All she did was hurt—others first, and then herself.
"Maybe this is selfish," he continued. "But I want to be here for that, for your happiness."
She understood what he meant. He wanted to be her happiness, and that wasn’t right, either. She’d been someone else’s happiness before. It wasn’t a job anyone should want.
She returned her eyes to his with a smile on her lips that she knew wasn’t convincing. Now was the time.
"I don’t have anything the give," she murmured, her voice barely heard over the hustle and bustle of the holiday season shoppers around them.
He looked at her with heartbroken eyes. His lips parted to say something, but she shook her head at him.
"I’m sorry, but I know what you want from me, what you want to be in my life. And I can’t do that. I… I want to, but…"
She finished on a sigh, her words just suddenly taken out from under her. She couldn’t look at him anymore. His eyes were pooling with tears.
Good. At least he knew where this was headed. She’d said this before, and he needed to accept it once and for all.
He snuffled, trying to rein it all in. It looked like he had something to say, but the words weren’t coming together, so she continued.
"I, uh… I like you, but not nearly enough to make this work."
She inwardly grimaced at how blunt that sounded. It was… not like her. But, really, there was no easy way of putting this. If she said it any other way, he’d keep trying. She couldn’t let him waste anymore time on her when she was so obviously not in it with him, not yet… capable.
He turned his face away from her, but she nonetheless saw the sheen of tears that blanketed his cheek. She wanted to apologize; she wanted to just make him stop hurting. But anything she could possibly say after that statement would just be mean.
So, she didn’t speak. She waited him out. Waited until he was ready to go.
for all things begin in this:
in newness and in mystery,
but sometimes, too,
and dear, my dear,
you need to know—
you were made
not simply in joy,
but also in love,
and in tenderness, too.