i can (fall) asleep on airplanes now.

i fell asleep this morning on my flight. i don’t know if it was the fact that im exhausted from what my life has been lately. but its just what it is, you know? its neither good or bad. it just is. i missed it so much. it made me remember why i used to love it so much. and also why i hated it at one point. how can you love and hate something for the same exact reasons?

it disconnects you from everything and for a few hours you’re unreachable (unless you pay for overpriced wifi of course). but i am not one of those people. it makes me feel calm and safe. like nothing could ever be wrong if you’re suspended in time. and i always think about how beautiful it would be if everything felt that way. you have no room to be insecure. you have no room to think about the messages you’re getting (or not getting). i think airplanes and airports have seen my biggest smiles and also my most frustrated tears. its the coming and going. you go somewhere and you see someone you love and you can’t imagine things being more perfect that they are in this exact moment. but then you go back. and you can’t sleep because you’re not sure what going home even means anymore. things change in an instant. they change before you expect them to. changes build up over the years and then one day you’re facing them all at once. one day you can’t escape them anymore. i remember being so proud of myself. by the time i was 21 id been on 21 flights. its the only thing i ever did. but even when the sky twinkles in paris just by looking at it, i still had to come back home and that was as confusing as ever. it seemed like each time it became more and more confusing. there were so many voids i was trying to fill. but none of those things could ever fill the things i had lost. no amount of trips could fix the fact that i wasn’t okay. not one of those things could change the time i flew back from new york in tears. i guess it was okay because nobody knew me. in their minds i was just some girl who they saw on an airplane crying once. (but we can save that story for some other time). those were the days filled with the most things i’ve probably ever done all into like two years. the funnest and the…saddest? don’t know how that came to be. they were filled with constant getting jobs and quitting them to travel again even though i was flat out confused with everything going in my life. millennial life, right? (cries in 25). those were the days filled with iced coffee 4 times a day just to get through every part of it. those were the days of singing the love club at the top of my lungs and my most prized possession at the the time- my tumblr blog (which has since been deleted). can you guys believe i used to be a minimalist? like own-only-40-things-in-my-closet kind of minimalist. i guess it worked for my lifestyle at the time and for living only in summer all my life. my closet and life now would very much disagree.

it really is weird to look back on all of it. chaotic and beautiful. thats what i like remembering it as. in the words of lorde- “i was in but i want out”. thats what it felt like to grow up.

i used to never be able to sleep anywhere that wasn’t my bed. and even then i had a hard time falling asleep. it seemed like whenever i was traveling and night-time were the only times my life was calm. it was the only times i could even think with a clear head. without all the noise around me. i guess for a long time i wasn’t calm enough to even sleep properly. i guess thats the way i thought everyone lived. i remember driving to new york and promising myself i was going to stop being broken. as if it was as easy as telling myself to stop. i learned this past year that it isn’t the easiest thing to do. its not easy to stop missing people. especially when you don’t know why they left in the first place. and its definitely not easy to start trusting anyone again. its not easy to tell people about your life. its not easy to tell them why you’re so guarded in the first place. its not easy to let them come to know you in ways that nobody else does. its not until someone tells you about how much you say “you know?” basically at the end of each sentence. its not until someone points it out that you realize you’re letting people in. its not until you tell your best friend about something that happened when you were 19 and why it changed your life. this has all made me realize that its in my person to just keep looking for genuine people until i find them. its something i strive for. but sometimes i miss even the people that didn’t work out. my biggest problem is always letting them back in- in what feels like a heartbeat. i forget about wanting a real apology and just take whatever i can get. thats how it is when i love someone. once i love you- its really hard for me to stop. its really hard for me to not do anything you ask. one of the biggest things i’ve learned lately is that recognizing my worth also means i have the right to stop letting people come and go as they please. i think everyone deserves people who will be stable in your life. i know things change, circumstances more than anything. but people hardly change. no one ever really changes unless they want to. and that goes for myself too. there are things that i wouldn’t listen to anyone about. there are things i’ve been so stubborn about that it took something really big for me to finally realize that i needed to get up and change. that i needed to stop letting one person continuously break my heart. that i needed to stop letting even people i loved more than anything step all over me as if it was the easiest thing in the world. that i needed to stop. i knew i needed to even if that meant i would be alone for a little while. i wanted things and people that were better than that- but if i didn’t change and start asking for better than i would never get those things. so i asked for them. and to my (honest) surprise, i got the things i asked for. it has been 480 days since i left that behind. its been 480 days of me no longer asking myself why i wasn’t worth proper love.

i don’t want to be okay with behavior that makes me feel like i’m living in a constant circle of confusion anymore. and the better i try to become as a person overall, the better i feel about that decision. the better i feel about all the decisions i’ve second- guessed in the past. because i decided long ago that no matter how hard they were- it was the best i could have done at the time and there’s not much of a use in looking back anymore, other than to learn from it.

i recently came back to my hometown for a few weeks and i honestly couldn’t believe how different it felt. it felt like i didn’t miss any part of it other than a few people. it made me remember what it felt like to live here. it reinforced my decision so much more than i thought it would. everything seemed so much smaller and less heavy than it used to.

my heart didn’t feel heavy while driving down the highway to go to my parents house anymore. thats the moment i realized it. my heart was no longer heavy. it doesn’t hurt to breathe anymore. it no longer hurts to hear certain peoples names. it didn’t hurt to listen to medicine by the 1975 anymore. no- instead i felt so happy. some text messages mean nothing now. just a simple exchange with people who once meant the world. who are now reduced to acquaintances. thinking that could happen one day scared me more than most things. but i guess its okay. the days of crying in my car on my way home are long and gone. and theres a certain sadness to it. i heard a really pretty song the other day, it said at one point “mereces que te amen de verdad.” and my heart felt warm when i heard it. i deserve real love. we all do. sometimes people don’t come through. they don’t call when you need them. they don’t show up when they said they would. sometimes when you needed them the most. they never respond to your letters. sometimes you never hear from them again. they become a very distant memory of a time when you were happy with them. after a while i learned to excuse them in my mind. to remember that everyones lives are going way too fast with way too many things going on. thats what has helped me. even when i never received explanations for certain things- i made the explanations up myself so that i would no longer be sad about it. there must be a reason why people just walk out of your life right? right. so i decided to believe that sometimes, if not most times it had nothing to do with me but everything to do with how they handled things.

i didn’t know how beautiful it could actually be to get over someone and let them get over you. to be genuinely happy and only hope for the best and put the past behind you. how there will always be a place in my heart for someone else’s happiness. we never know the real reasons why people treat us the way they do, or why they leave us the way they do. its in our best interest to not take it personally. i used to think i could never get over it. and that it would literally be with me forever. and although yes- these things stay with you forever, they do. the first time you love someone is so beautiful you feel like you can’t breathe. its a kind of happy you don’t really ever feel again. its beautiful and tragic. but they stay with you in a different sense now- they stay with you in the way that it shapes you. it makes you a better person. it makes you the person you are now. without them, you wouldn’t be here. without them, maybe you wouldn’t have fallen love with new york the way you did. sometimes i go back to the places i used to go to, but its like seeing an old friend after a really long time. you slightly remember what it felt like. you slightly remember the conversations and the laughter but you don’t miss it. you just remember them and kindly say hi. there are things that stay with us forever. as distant or near memories. as blurry ones or very clear ones. whatever the case is, from time to time we tend to remember how they made us feel at a very specific time and place. they remind you of what it was like to lose yourself for someone else. in all the good ways, and all the bad ways.

there were some times when i felt so blue i thought i could sleep forever. just remembering the drives upstate and holding hands in the car laughing sent me into a spiral. or how i had no idea that an awkward goodbye in the middle of the city would be the last time we ever saw eachother. you don’t have any idea that the last time is the last time until it is. you can see it in eachothers eyes. that this is really the last time.

you don’t know that you don’t want something anymore until its right in front of you, and you willingly let it go.

you willingly let all those things go. once i did that, i felt like i slept peacefully through the night for the first time in years. and if you’ve never felt that way, let me tell you- its one of the best feelings i’ve ever had. someone i used to be friends with would tell me that one day i would wake up and just feel better. and i always told her that was too hard to believe. i didn’t believe her to be honest. but one day i did. and that was enough. that was enough for me. that was enough to validate everything that had happened.

i passed by the place i first worked at when i was younger the other day. i remember getting up at 4 am was the worst thing i knew back then. i didn’t see it coming that one day i would quit simply because i couldn’t even get myself to get out of bed. those times are still a bit blurry in my brain but if i got one thing about going back for a little bit is that things don’t change- only you do. someone asked me how it felt to be back home, but all i could think of when they said that was that it wasn’t home. home isn’t here. home is wherever i want it to be. and its most certainly not here, not anymore.

what i feel now, what i feel when i talk to my best friends is what i think of when people say the word home. when people say home- i think of the place that has taught me the true value of myself and what i bring into other peoples lives over the past year. when i think of home, i think of the love my friends show me when i can’t stop crying because i’m scared to get hurt again. when i think of home i think of them cleaning the tears off my face. when i think of home i think of what it feels like to feel warm inside. like when you come home to a warm house in the dead of winter. i never knew what that felt like- literally and metaphorically. until now.

do you know what i think makes a sad song, a really good sad song? when it gives you hope at the end. when you hold on to those very last words that tell you that it’s going to be okay.

i feel enough now. i feel warm even in the worst of winters. i feel at home. i sleep well and i think well(most of the time). and i dance to ribs in my room by myself. and i make plans even if i don’t know if they’re going to happen. deciding to move on with my life and only think of the good things. and only think of all the things i still have yet to do and experience- is the best thing i’ve ever done.

and even when i feel like things are falling apart- im constantly reminded of my worth that im finally starting to really really believe it. it used to feel hard to breathe when i felt like things were going bad before. i guess i can say i can breathe now. 1,2,3- and i feel better. even the darkest winters can’t take this kind of feeling away anymore. and the moment that you finally, finally realize you’re not just another sad story. you’re not just another person with a hard past. that moment is worth it all. its worth every bit of it. realizing what and who you are isn’t something that happens randomly. its not supposed to be huge and monumental. it happens slowly but surely. it happens when you’re singing the same songs in your car but this time, they don’t make you cry. it happens when you stop thinking of them little by little every day until one day you just don’t anymore. it happens when you realize little by little that not everything needs an explanation. it happens when you learn to accept that. it happens when you learn to accept yourself.

and guess what? i can fall asleep on airplanes now.

-vi

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