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Monday, August 20

You will never read this, and that's okay.

Earlier tonight, I was feeling a little bit sad. Sitting in the back of a friend's car, looking at the mountains as they became dark shadows on the horizon, I was feeling a little bit sad. I was thinking of you.

It had been a really good day, but somehow, my mind drifted to you. And I tried to focus on good things. Happy things that we shared. Laughs and dances and awesome dinners and kick-ass dates. There were a lot of those. Four years full of them, actually. But so frequently, when I think of you (which is less and less often, but that's just time, I guess), I don't think about the four years of really good things. All I can focus on is the last few months of intense shit that we went through. As I graduated and chose to live in my car, as you moved back home and chose to live the life that you had always lived, as secrets and stupid, stupid things surfaced and resurfaced -- that shit. All of those moments line up in my brain like a terrible, sick parade, and it makes me sad.

Abruptly, while feeling sad and thinking about that terrible, sick parade, I felt stupid for feeling sad (which only made me more sad, I think). I felt stupid, because, "What the fuck, Satpreet? You just had a great day and a great week and a great month and a great summer and a great year. Why are you sitting in the back of your friend's car on the drive home from Asheville and feeling sorry for yourself?" I felt stupid, because it all ended so long ago, and you're getting married, and I'm so much happier and better off now, so why was I still thinking about it?

And then while feeling sad about feeling stupid about feeling sad (oh god, my mind is such a mess), I realized that it's only been a little over a year.

Which, you know, in the grand scheme of a four year relationship ending, isn't actually that long. Sure, you're getting married and I'm way happier, but it was only a year ago. Even if it feels like a much, much longer amount of time has passed.

And it does. I have done so much and seen so much and lived in so many places and met so many people in the last year. I have grown and learned and done things that scared me shitless and been in moments that I honestly thought I would not survive (walking through the streets of Kashmir at night, surrounded by hostile men speaking in a language I could not understand, with just my backpack and no connection to the outside world, for instance). I have cried and laughed. I have laughed so hard and so often. I have discovered and cultivated so many new hobbies, so many new skills. I cannot tell you the number of mornings that I woke up and found myself in a new city, a new town, a new side of the country or the world.

And I am just getting started. I have changed my life completely, partly because this is the life I've always wanted to live, and partly as a reaction to the life that you are living. To the life that I vowed to myself I would never get stuck in.

In these ways, you are not just a year, you are a lifetime away. I have lived more in this last year than I ever thought was possible. And I don't think it's just a phase. I don't think it's been a fluke. The way that I am living, constantly on the move, constantly letting go of old things and old rituals and old people and learning to hold on to new things only to let those go too -- it's exhausting. It's exhausting and mind-numbing, and sometimes I just stand in the middle of the woods while on a long, isolated hike, and I just scream. Or I just cry. Or I just smile and smile and smile. Because for all the shit, it's beautiful.

And that's the difference between the life I had with you and the life I have now. This one, in the depths of my rib cage, in the core of my mind, feels right. And it feels worth fighting for. It makes my body reverberate from the sense of being in the right place at the right time, always, no matter where I am and what time it is. It is not an existence based on fear; rather, it is an existence that works in spite of fear, in spite of the risk of failure and dead ends and running out of money and ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This life is a life that I have had to fight for, and it is a life that I am still fighting for, but it settles my mind and feeds my soul, and I've never felt happier than I do when I am sitting in my car with a map in hand and good music and a vague idea of going somewhere, ending up somewhere, anywhere new.

These thoughts, and this feeling, are what make me sad when I think of you. Not because I wish for what we used to have. No. I get sad, partly because I wish we could talk about these things and how we're doing, but mostly because I want you to be okay. Because I hope that you are healthy and happy and have lived your new life as much and as loudly and with as much energy as I have lived mine. I hope that you have done things that have scared you shitless, and I hope that you have explored, even if it is on a smaller scale that is more suited to you.

I hope that you cry and laugh and feel as much as I do, all the time. I hope that you feel as much as I do. Well, maybe not all the time, because maybe I feel too much.

What's that song that we used to listen to? "I cry more often now; I laugh more often now. I am more me." I hope that you are more you now than ever before. I hope that, when you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, you smile. Because with every passing day, you are becoming more you. Because your life is constantly leading you to a place of greater truth and greater passion.

James, my darling. I don't know you anymore, and I don't think I really care to. But I know who you were, and I know that, no matter how much time passes, there will always be moments when I stop talking and take a moment, while looking out the window of a friend's car, to think about you and hope that, no matter where you are and what you are doing, you are happy.

I wish that for you always. Truly, I do.


Anonymous said...

You're such a beautiful person, Preet. I'm so lucky I met you while you're living you're loud passionate life. <3Kate

Anonymous said...

wow. i am so thankful our paths have crossed. for too may reasons for typing, this post gives me goosebumps, thank you.......corey