I don’t even know if I recognise the girl who left.
She was different. She was me without all of this. I wonder if we met would she believe me. Would I even be able to convey to her the rollercoaster adventure she was about to embark upon. She loved her life deeply. She didn’t want to leave, but she was excited. She was excited because she didn’t know what was out there and she was finally going to see for herself. By herself. Freedom. Limitless possibilities and opportunities awaited, and she would soon be making choices that would take her on a journey that she never would have expected. Some of the things she had hoped and assumed would happen did happen. Things that had not occurred to her continued to surprise her, adding to an inventory of experiences she would carry along with her. She knew it would be difficult to cut loose and go but she didn’t realise it would be impossible, or that strings the length of thousands of miles would drag along behind her, tangling her in a web that sometimes seemed overwhelming. There were moments when cutting free from the web seemed like the best option, or just sitting where she got stuck for a few days seemed like the best possible idea. But every time she would pick herself back up one way or another and pick a new string to pull her forward, a new direction to head in. She reached corners and dead ends that caused her to rethink or get a different perspective in order to carry on or decide upon the next best possible approach. She was not against advice, but she discovered that forging her own path forward, sometimes tentatively, lead to some of most incredible discoveries, enlightening moments and instances of utter perfection and realization. Would she believe me if I told her that she would have countless epiphanies triggered by moments she wouldn’t have even thought significant. Would she believe me if I told her that today she looks back with an eye that three days ago would not have been nearly as appreciative. Three days ago she was content, whilst last week, yesterday and today she is ecstatic. Beautifully so, in a way that makes leaves fall off trees and warmth radiate from the sun. Today she looks back with a fondness that inspires her to surge forwards. Today she loves the person she has let herself become. Today those strings that trailed after her, including those that were shorter than others still exist but are worn, flexible and wearing. Would she listen when I try to warn her about being naïve. Would she do anything differently if I told her about this. I hope not because I like this person, although I have to remember to treat her the way that the girl at the start would have treated her. I have to remember to do what is best for her, and put her first, put myself first and not be swayed by others. I need to remember how much she loves to fly and how I shouldn’t pin her wings. Would she be proud if I told her I regret nothing but first must ask her to be strong. Would she be able to do it when I couldn’t? Would warning her make her step over challenges like a fallen branch in her path rather than tripping up on them like I did. Would I even want to warn her incase there was a possibility that warning her might mean she didn’t emerge like this, having learnt from those challenging fallen branches. Would warning her mean she emerges unscathed and unchanged. Would it change me? Would she recognize me? I don’t know that she would. But give her time, give her six months to catch me, to learn and love and dream and feel.