So I’ve been trying to write this piece for almost a year. I’ve started it about eight times and every time I’ve stopped. This post has quickly become the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. And it’s because I want it to be perfect and I know it never will. But it’s happening this time. And I’ll try my best to articulate my feelings.
2017 was the worst year of my life. To anyone who knows me, this will be no surprise. It tested me in ways I never knew I could be tested. It broke me, quite frankly, and I couldn’t really be bothered to continue participating in the world. I sat back and just existed. Just barely. It was an abyss of grief I didn’t think was ever going to reach an ending. I still don’t think it will. But I’m at least navigating it slightly better than one year ago.
Over this past year I have been gifted such generosity and kindness and love. And often I wasn’t even able to return it. But I want to try and say thank you. To every person who has shown me tenderness and friendship and patience these past twelve months. Because even the smallest and simplest of acts – that you may have thought completely insignificant – blew me away and made me feel so loved. I’m so fucking grateful to share my life with the people I do. And I need you to know that.
I think people are inherently good. Now even in the most pessimistic state I’ve ever been in I can still appreciate that. People piss me off on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a minute. I live in the night time because it’s quiet then. Peaceful. And because I don’t have to deal with the thunderous waves of other people’s garbage lives and problems. Yet I believe people to be inherently good. Paradox? Probably. But I think it’s the truth. When you need them, people will drop everything for you. They will put aside their problems or experiences to be completely there for you.
I think of the strength people have shown me and it blows my mind. To the relative stranger, who on that fateful day, put aside your own heartbreak and managed to keep me from falling to pieces. Your strength baffles me. Completely. You were efficient, kind and caring. I hope I will be able to do the same for someone someday. Although our paths may never cross again, I will never forget you. You will always be my samaritan and I fucking thank you.
To the friends I’ve known longer than myself, where to even begin. For taking me back out into a public place when I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to again, thank you. For gifting me endless vegan treats, thank you. For getting me drunk when I was ready to, thank you. For allowing me to fall apart in front of you with no judgement, thank you. For understanding when I didn’t reply to a message for months on end, thank you. For still messaging me to check in, thank you. For writing me beautiful letters that I will cherish forever, thank you. For supporting me when I made big, somewhat irrational decisions, thank you. For getting me an avocado when I left my job, thank you. For keeping my mind busy, thank you. For giving me things to look forward to, thank you. For making me laugh even when I was determined not to, I thank you the most.
I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I feel harder and more cold in someways. Sometimes I just feel empty. Numb. But other times I feel more free than I ever have before. In ways I’m more reckless and spontaneous because you might as well be. And on some days I have moments of euphoria and extreme happiness and that’s because of the people I get to call friends. The people who I will fight to keep in my life forever. The people who put up with me. I’m positive for the future, you have to be. Otherwise what kind of future would it be? So I’m excited. I’m excited for the future adventures I will take with old friends. I’m excited for the memories I’ll make with the new people in my life and the happiness they have already brought to my days. I’m excited to be alive. And I think you should be too. Don’t ever forget that this world would be a terrible place without your light. And I’m here for you, just as you were here for me.
I’ve decided to add in the previous incarnations of this article because although none of them will ever have endings I think they all have important beginnings. Also, now you can see I really wasn’t kidding when I said I could not for the life of me write this fucking post. If you’re still reading, I love you.
Some people live to drag you down. But most are inherently good. It takes a hard time in ones life – possibly the worst you’ll ever have – to realise people really do care. Family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers. People exude goodness, it’s natural. We are not wired to pit ourselves viciously against each other (that’s propaganda) (but maybe that’s just the vegan in me). We are beings of compassion, love, kindness. We feel empathy. We feel people’s pain. We crave to fix people’s problems and make them feel better because we need them to know that we care. We need them to know we’re there even if we’re geographically not. Small texts, cards, care packages, chocolate, flowers. Just something small. Something to show our love. Just letting you know I’m thinking of you. Don’t feel obliged to respond. Is there anything I can do? If you need space that’s okay. Feel free to message me whenever. I’m always here. For normal or abnormal.
I don’t know, people are just there. They make you feel less alone when you’re so deeply lonely. And sometimes there’s nothing they can do but sometimes there is and they’ll do it willingly. Even if it’s just getting you drunk. If it’s what you need they’re in. You should trust them more. They can deal. Try and stop holding it in so much. Release it. If you don’t voice it you won’t work through it.
I believe people come into your life for a reason. I don’t believe in God, Allah, Buddha, the Messiah, Saviour, Coca Cola, Apple, the Skinny Jean or the Iced Coffee. But I believe in people and what they can do for your soul. As Jake Peralta says, ‘I’m in. Eyes closed. Head first. Can’t lose.’ Let’s go.
But seriously, this isn’t a jokey post. I want to thank everyone who’s helped me in the past few months more than they know. So here goes.
But what makes people inherently good? Is it different with everyone or is there a general rule? I think it’s probably both. I think people have their own little quirks that make them them. Whether it’s getting you pissed because you ask them to, talking about the issue directly or tagging you in homemade cocktail videos on instagram. They’re showing you in their own way that they care. And that gives me a warm feeling inside. It makes me feel special, loved. It makes me feel important which is all humans really crave.
Right, I’m giving this post another go cos this is getting ridiculous. You’ll experience many people in life. People who push past you in the street, cut the line in a shop, demand all the energy from a room because they exude self-importance and don’t respect other people’s existence. But I’d like to believe these people are a minority. The world would be a terrible place if you left the house every day expecting to be annoyed or disappointed. Life is too short to spend it angry. I’ve definitely learnt that recently. Now, at the time in my life when I’ve never been more angry.
But you’ve got to choose to be happy. No one’s going to do it for you. They can definitely try but if you don’t feel it it’s not substantial. It won’t last.
And people aren’t all bad, in fact, I think they’re inherently good. Family, friends, even strangers will constantly surprise you. They bring goodness to your life and sometimes you don’t always get to thank them. Or you don’t know how. Whether it’s something as simple as saying good morning to you in the street when you’re having a rubbish day. Or your friend coming home with your favourite flavour of pringles just because they saw them and thought of you. Or maybe they were there for you on the single worst day of your life. People take control of the situation and inject happiness, calmness, safety even action. Whatever the situation calls for.
I’ve thought a lot about the moments in my life recently where people have shown selflessness. Where they’re shown compassion, love, generosity, and kindness. People drop everything and instead just give you everything you need. Even something as simple as holding a door open – they’re halting their day and where they need to be just to let you through the door.
So thank you.