Almost exactly two years ago I was, too, on a flight to India.
Only then I did not know exactly how drastic a turn my life would take on when I returned.
More and more of my friends are getting diagnosed with diseases similar to mine. Autoimmune diseases are the new black.
Across all of these experiences the one we’ve all had has been the extreme upheaval in all of our emotional lives.
Sometimes I wonder if the person who made those decisions at the time was me, or the severely impaired bodily part that’s wreaked havoc in my head and my heart.
Even if the conclusions are the same in the end, I would still like to know that I had some control. But I did not.
There is nothing I hate more than feeling like my self-determinism, even if it doesn’t really exist, has been impinged upon.
Even if the other person making decisions for me was just a temporarily damaged version of myself.
I’ve spent almost two years rebuilding my life.
I’ve subjected it to some pretty extreme versions of what it could have been and can be, and now I’ve chosen the version I like best.
I like this one.
This one is happy and confident, pushing 30.
This one is writing more, and better.
This one has had a handful of career highlights and is working harder to create the sorts of situations and opportunities that will define the next decade; it’s within grasp.
This one has an incredible support system in Singapore, Malaysia, India and all around the world and feels like the luckiest person in the world to experience such love.
This one has a loving, intact family. A beautiful dog. A lovely house in a magical part of the city that she loves more and more. A slew of projects taking shape.
This one is learning to finish what she’s started.
That girl is an anomaly, someone told me.
She should terrify you — and amaze you.
I’ve struggled to articulate what I feel whenever I return to the city I once lived in.
It is a living museum of my loves and losses.
It is a diptych where one side is the city that I once knew and the other is the one I no longer do.
Time has stopped for me in that city. But I am learning to love it again after.
I had an argument with someone recently.
She believed all of these feelings come from unresolved pain — but she was wrong about nearly everything in the end.
The city that is a living museum of love and loss merely preserves them so I can learn to love again.
The streets I walked in in them will never be the same.
Just as it should be possible to hold two opposing positions at once so as to form a better informed opinion, so too should it be possible to hold multiple feelings simultaneously so that we can love better.
For now I pick: terrifying, amazing.
Life’s too short for compromises. I’m too fond of jumping off boats then learning to swim, anyway.