Journalism, Reviews, Interviews, Opinion, Travel, Culinary, Creative Fiction, Short Stories & Poetry

I am a Writer, Artist, Musician and Philosopher who believes the reason to be alive is to learn, experience, grow, influence and if you're lucky, inspire.

I've created this blog to introduce my own literature to the rest of the world in the hope that it will - and I will - in some way, make a difference.

There is a quote by a Greek philosopher, Epictetus, which I love: First Learn the Meaning of What You Say and then Speak. I believe in making life as meaningful as possible, and that is why everything you find here was created with meaning which I believe, in turn, gives it the power to inspire.

I hope you will enjoy reading my writing and be sure to check out my website at for samples of my artwork, photography and music.

From Inspiration to Creation...


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Sunday, 29 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 29 - change

Sunday January 29th 2012

Change. We either crave it or are resistant to it. It’s a natural part of life – we evolve and we adapt… and only the fittest survive. Humanity is proof of this; our existence is all the evidence we need that change is an inescapable aspect of life. How you embrace it depends on how you feel about your life right now, on your attitude in general, and on your previous experience with change and how it affected you. If you are not content with your life with the way it is right now, change may be welcome, and this more so if you share the positive view that generally everything works out for the best. If you believe that things happen for a reason and that wherever you end up in life it is your destiny, then you are more likely to be able to accept change and live with it. Of course your past will also be a factor in determining just how you view change. If you have not come to terms with major changes in your history, if you have not understood why they happened or what you benefited or learnt from them, then you probably will not face change with a smile. You will not be open to it if it has not opened doors for you in the past, or if it has but it only to cause you pain. Nevertheless, if you truly think about it right now, hasn’t even that suffering been some sort of life lesson? Are you not all the wiser, stronger and more experienced for all the difficulties change has brought to you up until now? We are who we are because of everything that has happened in our lives so far, so if we like who we are then surely we must give change some credit. And if we don’t love ourselves or where we are right now in our lives, then surely change must be the first thing we desire and seek?

There is a saying: if you can’t change things, then change the way you look at them. Well, even changing your point of view on something is an act of change. Your aspect on a situation is as versatile as you choose it to be. You may not always have the choice over what changes takes place or not, but you do have the choice how the change affects you, how you see it. You have the choice to modify the effects of change to some degree, by altering your opinion on it and reaction to it. You may not be able to control external things but you can control your behaviour and therefore you have the power to decide that the change is for the best.
Change changes us. It’s inevitable. We cannot avoid the clutches of transformation no matter how hard we try to run and hide. Just like everything else in the universe, we constantly morph into different forms of ourselves. Nothing out there remains static forever – including us. It is mankind’s innate right to move and to develop: we grow, progress, advance. Everything that surrounds us is energy: a continuously flowing and changeable force. We too belong in this vast world of energy. The planet, and everything on it - including us - is subject to change, at any given time and any given point, in any given way. Coming to terms with all this, our reaction to metamorphosis should not be one of despair, discomfort and fear. Instead - no matter how hard or impossible it seems - we should put our faith in change and invite it in, not just for dinner but to stay the night. We may end up liking this unpredictable stranger bearing surprise gifts, and ask him to live with us!
For those of us who crave change and wish it would come sooner, for those of us who need it desperately but have no idea how to set the wheels of transformation in motion…here is a small piece of advice: take action (even waiting is an act) and have a little more patience and belief. Change will come. In the meantime, while you wait, change is probably already occurring inside you. Simply the act of changing your habits or beliefs, or doing even one small thing differently will ultimately change you. Often, you don’t even realize it’s happening until much later. Change can be crafty, it can come in disguise. Don’t be fooled. No matter how insusceptible you think you are to it, change is bound to find you, and whether you know it or not, change you.

Monday, 9 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 8 - love hurts

Sunday January 8th 2012

Love hurts. Those of you who haven’t experienced that haven’t truly lived… or truly loved. Only if you know the feeling of having your heart shattered into a million pieces, of not being able to breathe because of the pain inside, do you really know what it means to suffer because of love. Heart-break is called such because of the sensation of an actual breaking pain inside when your love is in some way destroyed, rejected or taken away from you. Crack! Snap! Bang! That is how real and intense it can feel.
Only when you actually lose something you had, can you appreciate it; the same applies with love. Only the loss of love or the person you loved really gives you a sense of its value – because of its absence. With each painful experience, we become deeper people, more able to experience the highs of life. Only when we feel completely empty inside (sometimes because our love has been stolen or has run dry) are we able to fill ourselves up (again) with love. A paradigm would be the clay pot being burned in the potter’s oven; only after it has been scalded with heat can the vessel be ready to be filled with food. A wooden goblet must be carved hollow in order for it to be able to contain wine. The pot and goblet are vessels, like our souls and our hearts, and the food and wine represent love. In other words, it may take some burning and emptiness in order to produce something ready, with the right texture and depth in which to carry nourishing, intoxicating, pleasurable and satisfying love.
Love is without doubt, one of the – if not the most – powerful thing in the world, and this is obvious simply from the fact that countless living creatures have done amazing and crazy things for it and because of it. Love drives all sorts of animals and people to do and feel all sorts of things, often without logical explanation. There is nothing to match this thing called love or completely explain it. For everyone, love is different – it could be described in similar ways by many, but no-one really know how each of us feels within when we identify it, and that is why love is relative and personal. Alternatively, one can look at love at a more universal level. Love is a ubiquitous force that exists independent of the people experiencing it. That idea of omnipresent love can be much more powerful. Either way you look at it, love has immense strength and energy, which is why it can be amazingly good. However when you have tasted its sweet, delicious fruit… and then the tree is chopped down, it can feel incredibly bad. You hurt because you no longer have any fruit to nourish yourself with, because you don’t even know if another tree bearing that fruit exists in any other orchard on earth, and because you don’t know if you will like or be able to eat any of the other fruit on any of the other trees around. You feel like you will starve and die without it.
Love indeed hurts. That is perhaps why they say that people “fall in love”, because when you fall you often hurt yourself. But people keep doing it, so we know it’s got to be worth it. It has never, ever gone out of fashion. We are made to love and be loved – it’s in our nature as humans. Denying ourselves of that would be like denying the day of sun, or the ocean of water. We cannot fully experience the height of our existence if we spend a lifetime without love at all, and that is why we go to all lengths to find the real thing, and then keep hold of it when we find it. Which is why, if we have to give it up or lose it or realize we have never even had it in the first place, the pain seems unbearable, catastrophic even.
What we must remember when it comes down to it, is that love is accessible to all – there is a form of love both out there and within us which is easily tapped into if you just believe in it and allow yourself to feel it – and it is free. Imagine that: what is perhaps the most powerful thing ever to exist is free for all! The only cost you may have to pay is the pain and hurt you will most probably feel when some other factor affects your love in a detrimental way. Nevertheless, if you can truly love yourself, no-one can ever take that away from you. So it is worth it, at the end of the day, because, unlike everything else in life - including life itself – some kinds of love can last forever.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 5 - time

Thursday January 5th 2012

Time is a tricky thing. Paradoxically, it lasts forever, but somehow always runs out. My challenge for this piece of writing is to do it in limited time. Since I never seem to have enough time on my hands, and it’s always “too late” (it is 1am as I type this), I am giving myself 15 minutes at most to complete today’s writing. Time is of the essence.
There are so many famous quotes and phrases about time, I could spend my “15 minutes of fame” listing them, but you would have probably heard them before and that wouldn’t be interesting, now would it? So instead I have decided to make up my own sayings: “time is all we have left, when we strip away all else”. Or, how about: “time makes no excuses, gives no reasons or explanations - it just is…” Another one: “without time we would not exist; because we exist in time, it is part of our existence”. A rhyme anyone? “Tick, tock, tick tock, Time is racing round the clock”. What about a riddle? “What keeps moving forward, but never gets anywhere? Time!” One last one: “we are enslaved by that which we created: time”.
Whether those phrases reach out to you or not, you cannot deny that time is a huge factor in each and every one of your lives. It has affected you from the moment you were born, up to this day – in fact, nothing else has ever had a bigger impact on your life than this radical element. Because of it we age. Because of it we are born. We only have a limited amount of it in our life -“time” on this earth. Such a little word that stands for such a huge magic of science, a monumental part of the history of our universe.
Whether you personally are stuck in the past, longing and dreaming of the future, or actually aware and enjoying every minute of the present, chances are - like the minute hand on your watch - your life is revolving around a ticking clock. It would be a miracle if we could ever discover what exactly happened before that clock began ticking, and what would happen if it ever stopped. What came before the time bomb which we call the Big Bang exploded? What comes after? Is time really that fragile… or will it “stand the test of time?” It may be constant, yet time always appears to move at a different pace – it speeds up, rushes by, slows down. Who has not experienced a boring or scary minute that seemed to last a lifetime, or an hour of fun or hard work which passed by in no time at all? The biggest puzzle - and perhaps miracle - of all is how this organized thing we call time allows the world to function harmoniously. Without it we could not control travel or conduct successful experiments, we would not be able to count down the days of the year or monitor space travel. We could not even cook the perfect boiled egg! We would be lost - our world as we know it would end up in utter chaos.
Sometimes when my life feels like it is in chaos, I wish that I had more time to sort it out. I try to fill up my hours with productive actions rather than procrastinate, but even I admit that sometimes I just enjoy “wasting time”. This guilty pleasure is an act of rebellion; it shouts out to time “no, I won’t let you govern me, I will spend you as I wish and waste you if I want!” Doing nothing is the ultimate time waster, and arguably the best way to enjoy time itself. Didn’t the wisest of men say that simply allowing ourselves to be, and not do anything, is the most powerful state of existence anyone can achieve? When the mind and body are still, time ceases to exist… Is that not ultimate bliss, true freedom? And if time stops existing in the mind, does that mean that it stops existing altogether? If for a moment we can entertain the thought that we are the ones who created this incredible phenomenon, then do we have the power to make it disappear as well?
There are many questions about time, and few answers. The truth is that time is a mystery, but one dominant enough to captivate all of humanity. Time is timeless. Timespace, as quantum physicists call it, is what our universe is made of. How can it not affects us all? But how will it change your life? Only time will tell.
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – Time out. My fifteen minutes are up.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 4 - sleep

Wednesday January 4th 2012

Sleep - I can never get enough of it. It’s something that we all need and can’t function without. It takes up at least a third of our lives. It’s something that renders us unconscious and not in control of ourselves. We sleepwalk, we sleeptalk and we dream. We access a part of our brain where deep emotions, desires and thoughts run freely, and we unconsciously work through all the info we have inputted into our brains while we were awake. Sleep is time for our brains to organize themselves, storing what is necessary into long-term memory, accessing other sensations and visions that we could not possible do in our normal waking state. Sleep is a complex thing that most of us do not even understand fully. But what we do know for sure is that we enjoy it. We love to sleep, we wish we could sleep more. We wish we could sleep better.
Who hasn’t at least once in their lives wished that their alarm in the morning did not have to go off, or that they could go to bed when they are tired and wake when refreshed, without any interruption? That is unfortunately most of the time impossible. Our daily lives are governed by work, habits, family and lifestyle, and this is reflected in our sleep patterns, which also tend to revolve around all those things. We become a slave to being awake. I honestly envy the person who falls asleep as soon as they feel tired, and who can sleep deeply without waking, until their body naturally tells them that it is time to awaken. I think that someone is called a baby.
For me it is an entirely different story. I do get tired, as everyone does, but I force myself to stay awake. Why do I do it, I ask myself sometimes, but the answer is because I have not done everything thing I wanted to or needed to in that day and so I must stay up and finish. No matter how much I do, I still never finish, thus, the feeling of time never being enough overpowers my exhaustion and affects my sleeping habits. I stay up late, enjoying the silence of the night, the lack of distraction, the moments when time seems to slow down a little and I can concentrate and get some work done. Then suddenly I realize that it is very late and I start to panic. Oh no, I think to myself, not again! I feel bad that I have let myself down once again; my new year’s resolution to sleep earlier each night and wake up earlier each morning is unlikely to ever happen now! If only I did not need more than a few hours sleep a night. Why do I have to be the kind of person who needs their 9 hours? Imagine how much more I could achieve and get done if I could function on only 6 hours. Or 4? How do new mothers do it? What about that guy in the States who conducted an experiment on himself and forced himself into the habit of sleeping only for 15 minutes, every 4 hours, and never having a full night’s sleep. He managed to make it work for him – he learnt how to train his body to fall immediately into a deep sleep, and those 15 minutes every few hours were a good enough substitute for a full night’s rest. In fact, in the 2 years that this student did this, he managed to earn himself 2 degrees, and never miss a college party!
If I don’t get my 9 hours I feel shattered. If I wake up with not enough sleep, my body simply does not function. I start dropping things. I move in slow motion. I begin to shut down and get shaky. The next morning, no matter how late I sleep in, if I slept late the night before, I always feel tired. And since I never sleep early at night, I never seem to wake up rested. Maybe I don’t breathe deeply enough and don’t get enough oxygen in my sleep. (I must remember to put that plant in my bedroom during the day so it can emit oxygen). Or maybe the old wives’ tale that sleep before midnight is worth much more than sleep after midnight is actually true (I don’t remember the last time I slept before 12am). Either way, my mornings are usually uncomfortable - I wake up feeling groggy, sore and irritated. Instead of cherishing those moments when I allow myself to sleep in a little – snoozing is a guilty pleasure many will admit to being used to – I dread them, because it means I am only prolonging my suffering. I would prefer to just wake up later, rather than be awoken early and sleep back, knowing that I must go through the whole unpleasant experience of waking up all over again. But I wonder sometimes what it would be like if waking up was not like that. If it was a pleasant thing. I have heard of those people who say they jump up bright and early every morning with anticipation and glee at the wonderful day ahead of them, excited to get it started. Oh, how I wish I could feel like this. I dislike going to sleep and I dislike even more, waking up. That is why I post-pone both (I am not weird – people often put off facing unpleasant things!). Mornings for me are for dealing with annoying phone calls, emails, household chores, errands, shopping etc. Not things I like to do. So perhaps the clever thing would be to make sure I do things I love in the morning, like write and read and paint, so that I look forward to getting up. I love nighttime, because I can switch off, I don’t have to face the world if I don’t want to, or communicate with anyone. I can just sit home and work and relax and do the creative but productive things I enjoy. That is why I want to stay awake at night and not sleep. I have a brilliant idea…maybe I should sleep in the day and wake up at night! Don’t people get paid more for night shifts?
When I finally do get to bed at night, if I am not exhausted by the late hour – or rather early hour of the morning – then that is because I have “lost my sleep”. Yes, sleep is something that one can lose, unfortunately. When I was young I used to suffer from insomnia a lot. I would try and fall asleep and fail, then worry about not being able to sleep, or not getting enough sleep because I had to wake up in the morning, and that would make it even harder to sleep. Insomnia was tough – a horrible feeling – and the next day I was usually unable to function. It kept happening to me repeatedly and I never completely figured out why. Then one day it just stopped happening. But the tendency for it is still there, lurking deep down within me. I am scared of not being able to sleep. Or not sleeping well.
Nowadays I suffer from lack of good quality sleep, and because of that I am always tired, no matter how much sleep I get. I always want to sleep more, and usually I wake up because of other factors, like feeling stiff, or from lack of breath, or the most annoying of all, from some sort of external noise – primarily my neighbours. From construction, to dogs barking, to crows crowing outside my window, to garbage trucks roaring their engines, to cats’ mating calls, to the neighbours fighting, to children crying, to the man in his van yelling that he is selling potatoes and watermelons, to the tv of the next door neighbour blaring, or the music from the other neighbour pounding, or the scraping of the other neighbours’ chairs, clanging of kitchen pots, banging of cupboards or tapping of heels on the floor above or beneath me…. I am incessantly plagued my noise, and my sleep is completely disturbed by it, day in, day out. It would help a bit if I slept early like most people do and woke up early, but hey… I’m an artist, a writer, and you know that all artists get inspiration late at night! There are those other kinds of writers who don’t stay up writing into the wee hours, but wake up at the crack of dawn to work on their book – that is the kind of writer I aspire to be. The one I am right now though is the writer who is constantly tired, doesn’t get enough sleep and writes about it.
Tonight is the first time that I feel truly exhausted (perhaps from detoxing), and believe I could actually sleep early for a change. It is not even 9pm yet, but the idea of me falling asleep before midnight is actually so alien to me that it is a little scary. I think that if I dare to sleep so early, if I succeed in doing it, I will surely wake up at 4am and not have any more sleep. What on earth would I do at 4 in the morning, I worry? Well, silly me, the answer is: whatever it is I normally do at 4am, when I am still awake as I have not gone to bed yet!
I once went to a sleep clinic to have my sleep analyzed. They connected me up to a million tubes and wires, all over my head and body (I looked really scary when I saw a photo taken of me afterwards), and then monitored my sleep overnight. Thing is, I was stuck in a clinic, in a strange bed, and forced to sleep early. I mean that is so unrealistic for me, what did they expect? Of course I would not be able to sleep properly! What a waste of time. Perhaps I do have sleep apnea, perhaps I just make it difficult for myself by drinking caffeine late in the day, or too much water before I retire, or maybe I just think too much at night and over-stimulate my brain cells making it hard to relax and fall asleep, but whatever the case, the point is that there actually is an easy and quick solution to my sleep problem. I need to simply go to bed to sleep as soon as I feel tired, without worrying that I have more work to do or that I would miss out on something good, like a night out, or a film on television or reading a book I keep wanting to but never get round to doing. Instead I should just relax my body, meditate and stretch, and fall into a lovely slumber, not allowing myself to stress about the morning and what time I will wake up, and how many hours sleep I will get, and what I will have to do the next day, and what noise will awaken me! I just need to feel the enjoyment of being tucked up cosily in bed, and melt into my mattress and doze off happily and easily. What a guilty pleasure it may be to do that.The feeling would be similar to indulging myeslf in an afternoon nap, when I am sleepy but feel that I shouldn’t really take a break. Yes, I should, because my body is giving me a sign. I must take the sign and treat my body well, and when I show it the respect it deserves, then it will reward me with a deep and restful sleep, from which I will awaken refreshed.
Goodnight and sweet dreams!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 3 - walking

Tuesday January 3rd 2012

Walking helps cure a lot. It’s not just exercise for the body, but also for the mind. The repetitive motion of your legs, the sound of your feet as they hit the ground, the swish of your arms by your side as you move forward - all of this helps you focus on what you are actually doing, and forget what plagues you. By concentrating on the motion, you can empty your mind and thus rid yourself of your troubles, or at the very least ignore them for a while. The repetitive action of walking induces a form of light self-hypnosis, whereby the mind is triggered and the imagination soars. Thoughts are clearer in fresh air, and therefore solutions to problems are more easily found. Visions and memories appear sharper, dreams flood your brain, hope seems within reach. As you draw in the clean sea-side air, your lungs breathe in oxygen which stimulates the cerebral cortex which orders blood to flow faster around the body. The heart beats faster, as it also needs to pump extra blood to all the moving muscles, and not surprisingly, with a quickened pulse, you feel energized before you can feel any tiredness. As your heels draw soothing energy up into you from the ground beneath, you feel a sense of relaxation, and your emotions cool off as your body warms up. This allows you to think more sensibly, to feel more powerfully, and asses more accurately. Everything appears to work better, answers arrive without struggle, questions arise without warning, ideas flow freely. Everything seems to move with natural force, as we gather momentum.
The two legs we were born with were made for walking. We humans were destined to walk, and to move ahead, to be more exact. Walking is therefore a metaphor for life; as we take steps forward, we propel ourselves into the future, creating our own continuously changing destiny. With each stride, we change where we are, we change our point of view, and at any given moment - as long as we keep moving - we will find ourselves in a different place, and a different time.
Walking is essential, and keeps us in good health and even better spirits. Without regular walks, our bodies would not function properly. Our muscles would become atrophied and deteriorate, our bones would shrivel up and crack, our tendons would become weak and tear, and our internal organs would become blocked and inflammed. Our bodies would be clogged up and stiff, and circulation would be poor. We would be in pain, and unable to support ourselves on our very own two feet. We all know the expression “to stand on your own two feet” which means to be able to support yourself – not just physically but mentally i.e be independent. So, in a sense, standing or walking on your own feet, is a symbol of taking care of yourself and being your own boss, making decisions for yourself, taking charge of your life and making progress. That is how important walking actually is.
Walking with company is a way to share and can be fun when done with friends, and intimate when done with loved ones. Walking alone, however, is truly relaxing and a different experience altogether. When you put one foot in front of the other and take that stroll on your own, your isolation allows your senses to become fully aware, and you benefit from the walk the most. Alone you can notice everything: your attention is on the buildings and trees one minute, then on the sea and ground the next. You can see every detail of the world around you; you can watch people as they pass you by or sit around in cafes or on benches; you can absorb the most minute fluctuations in the waves, clouds and sky; you can distinguish each and every sound, from the bird cry to the engine humming of the car as it zooms by. And each time you walk alone, even if you are taking the same path, over and over again, you will notice something different, something amazing, fun, interesting, or new. You will experience the things you are familiar with too, and derive some sort of comfort from this. All in all, the promenade will be one full of experiences, full of life. Simply full.
So take that walk, empty yourself of your problems, so you can fill yourself up with that incredible feeling and all the benefits that you can only get when you walk.

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 2 - emotional detoxing

Monday January 2nd 2012

Detoxing is hard. The hardest day is always the first, when the craving is strong, when habits are still so firmly imprinted in you that they seem impossible to change. Change is the ultimate goal, the biggest challenge to face, because detoxing is simply another way to change your life by ridding yourself of things you are normally used to which are not good for you.
A detox diet is hard enough when it comes to ridding the body of physical toxins – like sugar and alcohol, caffeine and nicotine - but even harder when attempting to rid it of emotional poisons. There are those people who we have grown accustomed to in our lives to whom we turn, speak or see regularly – but are they really good for us? Perhaps those people we have become somewhat attached to are actually hazardous to our emotional well-being. Maybe they throw stones at our spiritual walls and leave us with large gaping holes, or perhaps they abuse us in ways that are not obvious, silently chipping away at the paint, exposing the cement beneath, slowly picking at our emotional well-being, until there is nothing left. There is no denying that there exists such a thing as a poisonous relationship, and ridding your self of it will no doubt make you mentally healthier.
The first few days, weeks even, will be torture – there is no avoiding that. But what will keep you going is the knowledge deep down that it is for the best. After all, you would not be detoxing if you were not sure that all the suffering you will put yourself through will be worth it, that you will be better off at the end of the day. Deep down you know that you need to free yourself of the emotional and physical addictions in your life, so you can experience true freedom of body and mind, and thus true health and happiness.
How do you identify the toxic relationship, the person you need to detox from? They are the one who you turn to when you need something, but who don’t actually do you any good at the end of the day. Like a drink to an alcoholic, they are a shot of vodka when you feel reckless. Like a cigarette to a smoker, they are nicotine to calm you down, like sex to a sex addict, they give you a high when you feel low, like drugs to a drug addict, they provide a distraction from your own loneliness and depression, a boost when you feel down. But like all those things, they come with undesirable consequences too. Your obsessive compulsive behavior towards them is a clue that your involvement with them is toxic, and this is further confirmed by the withdrawal symptoms you experience when you are unable to speak/see/be with them. This person will have you in some sort of trap, a sort of endless cycle, and only with the detox can this destructive catch-22 end. Only when you have completely eliminated them from your life can you be independent and responsible for your own happiness. Only then do you have the power to control your life and steer it in the direction you wish.
Detoxing may be excruciating at times, but if you have tried it before and succeeded, you will know that it is worth it. That is works. Every detox is a little different depending on the object of elimination, but the test of endurance is always same. You will suffer, but feel better for it in the end. Whether it is food, drink or other substances, emptying or detaching your body from it all, will help cleanse your mind, and clearing your mind will in turn help purify your heart and soul. Finally, the decontamination of your heart, the distillation of your soul will help get rid of the hurt, pain, worry, angst, fear, anger and sadness that are clogging up your arteries and blocking your spiritual sensors. Only when you are entirely empty again, can you begin to fill yourself up with good, nutritious, consoling and healthy energy, be it in the form of physical or emotional sustenance.
Detoxing is hard, but necessary. Who wouldn’t want to better themselves, be happier and healthier? I don’t want to be attached or addicted, I don’t want to be a slave to anything or anyone… ever again. Which is why I choose to detox, now. I can envision myself lighter and feel myself freer already.

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 1 - goodbye

Sunday January 1st 2012

This is the first time I write to you, but these words must be said, as I have spent the entire last year of my life with you. You were good to me, kind in many ways, but sometimes you gave me pain and sorrow. I shared so many new and memorable experiences with you – so many highs, so many lows - that you have become a part of me altogether now. You were my inspiration for every tear and every heartbreak, each and every laugh and smile, song and word I wrote. Through tough times and joyful ones, you were always there.
You were with me, all along the way, forever in my thoughts. I could never get you out of my mind. I worried about you constantly, about not having enough time with you, of wasting any time we had left together. I tried to make myself as present and conscious as I could be, with every moment that we shared. I tried to live each day like it was my last… and makes things last. But it wasn’t so easy. The clock seemed to tick too fast; the days and nights with you never seemed long enough.
There were times when I struggled. I felt old ties pulling me back, I felt myself repeating past mistakes. Yet, for a change, I sometimes managed to stop myself in time, or at the very least be aware of the error of my ways - enough to learn from every wrong move and every wrong turn. You showed me how everything is a life experience worth having – even the difficult or seemingly bad moments. I may have taken some risks that did not pay off, but I don’t regret them. In life, it’s easier to regret things you haven’t done, than things you have. Now, upon reflection, my time with you was a turning point for me. With you I ended a cycle of my life, where I kept clinging to things I didn’t need any longer, or needing things that weren’t good for me, where my cynical self ruled and there was no faith.
You made a believer out of me. You gave me hope. It was with you that I realized that I was over the past, and ready to dare to wish for a better future. You made me feel like I deserved to be more than just content, that I deserved to be immensely happy once again, and that it was fine to ask for more. You made it clear to me that if I desire things in my life it is not because I am unfulfilled but only because I have the imagination for dreams and the capacity to make them come true.
Because of you, I realized that I was ready to love again, to truly live again, and more importantly, to accept the way my life is for now and feel blessed for it. You made me understand that my life is good, and that I don’t have to focus on what I don’t have all the time. Being happy with what I do have is not settling. It’s simply a wise way to be peaceful… as long as it does not stop me from aspiring for whatever my soul seeks. Searching for my soul mate or striving for success has nothing to do with lack of acceptance or gratitude. I grew to see that I could be both happy and ambitious. With time by my side, anything was possible. All I needed to do was to enjoy every moment I had and have faith that there would be many more to come - just as wonderful, if not better.
Since with the first day of the new year, one has to say goodbye to the last, and farewell to the past, I thought it appropriate to write this final letter to you – an apt way to say adieu and let you go, as I begin a new era of my life. A part of me wishes we did not have to part; I grew used to you and somewhat secure with you, but the future beckons me. Thank you for all that you have given me, for all the love you have bestowed upon me, for everything we have shared and that you have silently promised me. For all that I will never forget you. You stood by me through all this. You meant so much to me, and still do, but now it’s time to move on.
Goodbye 2011. Happy New Year!