Without you, I would be a bitter woman with stale memories of how life had a good laugh at me. I would remember the worst of the situations I have been through, and I wouldn’t have learnt or grown or changed like I did. But thanks to you, and your gentle nudging, I have seen through the thin veil of the present and realised that it is only one of three tenses. The future and past are opposing magnets, one seeped in regret because of its permanence and the other drenched with hope and fear because it depends wholly on my choices. But hindsight, you have let me release my regret, hope and fear about the past and the future, because I believe what will happen will happen regardless of my emotions. You light-heartedly showed me the humour in dire situations, the lessons in hopeless places, and the room for growth in my labyrinthine mind.
Without you, I wouldn’t see that every miniscule decision I have made has led me to this exact point, Friday the 10th of July at 7:35 am, in bed with my laptop resting on my thighs and only my arms exposed to the cold air outside the quilt covers, in my bare room filled with small travelling mementos in my small shared apartment in the West End of Glasgow, with a grey sky and rain and patient swaying trees and a lonely pigeon on a lamppost outside my window. You have taught me that because of the past, and because of the future, I am here, exactly where I am meant to be, because it will lead me on to the next place I’m meant to be.
With you, I see that it was right of me to repeat grade two to be in the same class as my best friend, because it led me to my tiny primary school among the sugarcane fields where I made lifelong friends. In year seven, it was right of me to rebel against my caring parents, because now I understand that they will go through anything to make me happy, even the wrath of a teenage girl. It was right of me to experiment with alcohol at a younger age, because I could focus on my studies later when it was no longer exciting to me. It was right of me to stay with my first boyfriend for four years, because it changed me from a self-centered teenager to a person mindful of others, and it was right of us to break up because it taught me to be independent. It was right of me to move to Melbourne alone, because there I met the next chapter of my life. It was right of me to fall in love again, because it reminded me of what the heart is capable of. It was right of me to go travelling with my second boyfriend, and it was right of us to break up at what seemed the most inconvenient place on Earth, Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas, for if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have gotten to safety before the Nepal earthquake. It was right of me to experience heartbreak and an earthquake in a small village by myself, because I made a friend who taught me an unforgettable lesson that hope and strength is always to be found. I was right to travel to Vietnam alone, because despite the initial loneliness I felt in a country where I knew not one soul, I discovered that I’m capable of doing things I would never have imagined. I was right to crash that scooter, because I now know how not to turn a scooter around. I was right to make fleeting friendships with everyone I did, because they all taught me something about the world or myself. I was right to move to Scotland, because it has reminded me that I can go wherever I want in this world.
You show me that every choice I have made has only ever been the right thing to do, even if it seemed wrong at the time. It was right simply because it was the decision I chose, and there is no changing this.
With you, hindsight, I can appreciate the beauty or meaning or lesson in everything.
Please never leave my side, please continue eternally to whisper into my ear the deeper meaning of things and explain the course of my life to me, please guide me and balance my unsure foal legs I’m still learning to stand on, please be the one companion I can always turn to for advice.
Your humble disciple and admirer.