SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME


Hi Everyone!


I've been eagerly anticipating this day for the entire academic year. The day when I can finally put all my exams behind me and declare;

I'M FREE!


Yet while it feels so incredibly amazing to be done with exams; that's not actually what I wanted to write about.  I want to write about goodbyes. Tonight I started thinking about all the ways in which we say goodbye and all the times I’ve left situations, relationships, places etc. and  I thought about the situations I’m in now. These exams will be nothing more than a memory in a year’s time. It's so strange to think about that the life you live now and to realise it’s impermanence. 

Take a look at the photo at the top; Glasgow's Buchanan Street in the distant past; and think about what its like now. (if you are unfamiliar with Glasgow just imagine a constant stream of never ending people.)


Goodbyes and endings are all so different, yet they are similar in so many ways. Goodbyes never happen in the ways we think they will. They tend to happen in the same ways hellos often do: subtle and unexpected, yet powerful enough that they can turn your whole life upside down in an instant. Sometimes we think we can plan goodbyes. We overthink and estimate and rehearse everything we’ll say – all the final words and thoughts left in another person’s care to think about and consider.


If they only knew this. If I could only say these words to them then they’ll know. Then they’ll really understand.


Goodbyes and endings start differently than hellos and beginnings, though. A goodbye starts slowly, in your sleep, when you lay upon dreamless pillows, waking to the morning light where nothing feels quite as it did the morning before. It hits you there, in the stomach, in the shallow waves of your nerves. Something’s different, and you know it is, but you can never quite put your finger on what. Goodbyes begin in a text or phone call gone unanswered just a little bit longer than usual. They begin in a tone of voice used that surprises even yourself when you use it. They’re the hesitation before speaking, the way you sit with someone and wonder if you’ll ever share another moment like this again, the longing for something you can’t quite name but you know you want it regardless. We say goodbye in ways that can haunt us for years and other times we abandon situations so carelessly it’s as if the experience was merely a story in someone else’s book we read while half-asleep.


I know these things and I wish I could get better at goodbyes, at endings. I wish I could hold every person’s hand I’ve had to leave and look them in the eye and tell them truthfully the impact they’ve had on me. I often think about this when I’m leaving a foreign country, a city I’m visiting, a house I know I’ll never see again, or when I’m walking away from an afternoon of coffee and conversation with an old friend. But of course, I don’t say those things. It would be too weird, too intimate. The words we want to say are too awkward; words that break up the regular routine of human interaction that we’re all so used to. The other person would look at me strangely and stutter with their words until my cheeks flushed and I'd run away or maybe they’d just stare at me a little to see if I’m feeling well. That’s the thing about goodbyes – sometimes we feel more comfortable in what’s left unsaid than to ever lay out on the table what lies within our hearts. I know the mind can become saturated in its own anxiety and frustrations, doubt and ego, contradicting the very thing the human heart wants, but when will we stop abandoning one another and abandoning our own truths for what we think is easier?


We don’t often get to choose the souls we collide with, the people that make us feel at home in their care, the infatuated ones whose arms we get lost in that we ultimately leave when our hearts are bruised and we need to find our way again. I know we don’t choose who enters into our lives and when they exit, I only want the goodbyes to be as memorable as the hellos.


I'm writing this post for all the people in my life right now. Whether we're close, or used to be close or we only talk online, or you only read my blog. Whoever you are. It's especially for the ones I've told that I love them; and the ones I fear I'll lose, even though I don't want to. It's for the ones who know me best.


Dear_____________


All I want from you is a promise. I want you to say that if ever there comes a day that we're not in each others lives anymore you’ll look back and laugh at the things we did. Just think of me once in a while and how I look standing here. Remember me telling you that I love you; because it will always be true, even if I'm not there to say it.  You don’t have to do it often. Please, just don’t let me fade away. I want you to say that if I ever become someone you think I'm not, that you will tell me so. That if you don't agree with me, you will argue with me until the break of dawn. Tell me, and please don't hold back. Always tell me exactly what you think of me, even if it's not always positive. I promise I'll always have time to listen when it's your voice I hear.


I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the times I hurt you, and I promise I don’t mean to. I'm sorry for loving you but not as much as you deserve. I'm sorry for the moments I seem distant and for being silent and not talking. I'm sorry for expecting you to know what I’m thinking and getting annoyed when you don’t. I'm sorry for all of that. I'm sorry for talking too much sometimes, because I know I do.  I’m sorry if you ever feel like I’m pushing you away. I’m sorry for doing that. I'm sorry for not always being totally honest with you. I'm sorry for not always being kind towards you. I'm sorry for not being there enough.  I’m sorry I’m not good at keeping people around and holding it against them when they leave.  I'm sorry for so many things.

I hope we're still in each other's lives years and years from now. But if we aren’t, this is how I want you to remember me:

I want you to remember me telling you I loved you and all my silly stories. I want you to remember my clumsy soul and the values I hold. Remember me laughing at your jokes, even the stupid ones. Remember me in hysterics for absolutely no reason and in tears because of it. Remember me brave; remember me scared and gentle and delicate and trying. Remember me happy, and all the ridiculous ways I try to make you smile. Remember how stubborn I am and how absolutely insane it drives you. Remember all the firsts and how they were so delightful we come back for seconds and thirds and fourths. Remember the songs you can’t stop listening to and the childish dreams you allow yourself about the future. If it’s any consolation I allow myself to have them too. If it comes to it I don’t want you to remember the ending. Remember the beginning. Remember the first time you knew you wanted me in your life. And if you still want me there, have faith that fate will bring us back together every time we slip away.


I don't know where we'll be years from now. But take pictures for me, okay? Wherever you are, I want to know what the sky looks like. I’ll take them for you too; of the streets, of the clouds; of the people who smile and frown as they walk. I’ll capture stray cats and monkeys at the zoo. And the sunset, and the sunrise, and the rain as it falls and makes the ground shiny and wet.


Take pictures of your hands. Photograph that sapling tree, and the cherry blossoms that float down past your window. Show me the mess that the petals make on the pavement. I’d like to see the sky, and the bakery at the end of your road. Show me everything, or anything. I want to see it all. I want to see it wherever you are, because I know that even if they are out of my life, the people who mattered to me once and matter to me now and will matter to me one day, will always matter to me.

 I  promise that if ever there comes a day that we're not in each others lives anymore I’ll look back and laugh at the things we did. I'll think of you once in a while and how you look standing here. I'll remember you telling me that you love me; because I hope it will always be true. I promise I won't let you fade away. I promise that if you ever become someone I think you're not, that I will tell you so. That if I don't agree with you, I will argue with you until the break of dawn. I promise I will tell you, and not hold back. I promise I will always tell you exactly what I think. I promise I'll always have time to listen when it's your voice I hear. I promise to be here for as long as you need someone. If time zones or distance or bad phone or internet connection keep us apart, I promise I'll still be there. I don't care if it's three am and you're drunk and bawling down the phone, but please let that be a worst case scenario, because I need all the beauty sleep I can get.


I promise to remember you laughing at my  jokes, even the stupid ones. I promise I'll remember you in hysterics for absolutely no reason and in tears because of it. I'll remember you brave and scared and gentle and delicate and trying. I'll remember you happy, and all the ridiculous ways you try to make me smile. I'll remember all the firsts and how they were so delightful we come back for seconds and thirds and fourths. I'll remember the songs I can’t stop listening to and the childish dreams I allow myself about the future. I'll remember the first time I knew I wanted you in my life. And I'll have faith that fate will bring us back together every time we slip away.


 Love,


Anne


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