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from the attic

by M

i was thinking about how i wrote last year that some things don't change, and that lying on the attic floor writing after midnight is one of those few constants i can think of. and here i am again. i shut off the computer and went downstairs to get some food before bed, but i realised i wasn't sleepy so much as jetlagged. so i came back, turned on the dim lights, sat on the floor. it's been a while. if i'm honest i can't remember when was the last time this happened, probably some time in august, september. it feels the same, but not really. i realised i forgot what silence sounds like. it's overwhelming. my thoughts are so loud without the constant buzz of traffic, the sirens, people talking outside. another thing is—even though i've been coming back home every 2 months or so—this is the first time it truly feels like i'm on the other side of things. for a while it felt like i was living in the stretch of time and space between lightening and thunder. but the storm has passed now. the floor is still wet but the clouds have started to clear. when i was doing this last summer (writing in the attic at night) there was a sort of anxiety, or maybe just plain old fear. the kind of fear that moves mountains, but fear nonetheless. a lump in my throat. shaky hands. but not anymore. i haven't felt this peaceful in a very long time. and i don't wanna jinx it but i think this might very well be the happiest i've ever been. it's been a lesson, realising that happiness isn't engulfing or all-encompassing the way sadness or anguish or fear are. when you feel bad feelings, you feel them everywhere. in all things and all ways, sometimes more or less intense, but they're always there prying at you, demanding attention, unavoidable and exhausting. but happiness doesn't ask anything of you. hums, instead of yelling. she's gentle like the first sunny days of spring. you don't realise it's warm until you find yourself taking your jacket off, casually. or when you squint as you step outside and realise you forgot your shades. happiness is second nature, underlying, quiet, ever-present but invisible in its ways, so we forget about it. we fail to recognise it and find ways to undermine it instead. i know i did. took me forever to realise that thing that was going on in my life, after so many months of stress and exhaustion, wasn't wrong and didn't need to be fixed. it was just contentment. ease. that's when i found happiness again. in the little things of course. in tube rides and cute outfits. watercolours before bed. books and films galore. late night conversations with friends. dancing in my bedroom alone. going for walks before work. posters on the wall. extra large coffees. winter sunrays. but also, i learnt to find happiness in the bigger picture too. sometimes that's trickier, i think. you need to take a step back and let yourself believe that that pros outweigh the cons. took me a while to figure that out, and i'm still unsure—only time will tell. but when i think about my life now, i like it at a lot. i don't feel torn anymore, i don't think. it's life-in-the-making sure, but i've settled and i'm back to living each day as it comes. no buts no ifs. definitely no more looking back. i'm looking ahead now. only ahead.




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