To all who might assume, from the title of this post, that I have returned to critiquing films, a word of warning: this is not my interpretation of one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s finest hours. This isn’t to say this will never happen, it’s just to say this isn’t it - yet. I have just returned from an amazing week in Paris with my friend (let’s call her Julia, for artistic purposes), who is quite remarkable for many reasons - not least for her amazing ability to inception anyone she chooses. In this particular case, the person that she chose to flex her mind-altering muscles on, was me. Let me paint a picture for you…

Julia is not wholly remarkable for her amazing ability to plant ideas into people’s heads. Oh no. In my case, she is also unique in the aspect that she is a friend, who also happens to be my ex’s sister (for more information on this topic, read my previous post, Don’t Worry, Baby). To all intensive purposes, we had a marvelous trip. Despite Paris being, on average, a scorching 32 degrees (that’s in Celsius, for all you American lovers of Fahrenheit), we managed to see, and enjoy, a plethora of cultural activities. But I won’t bore you with a myriad of Instagram-doctored photos of Paris and its attractions, instead I’d rather talk about our last night. There I was, winding down after a week of sightseeing and cultural exploits of the French capital, quietly packing my bag in the private confines of our beautiful hotel off the Champs Elysees (how’s this picture working for you?), making general small-talk about what we’ve got to look forward to after this trip has ended, when she interrupts me to say: “You’re so sad.” I stop packing and slowly turn to her. “What do you mean, like, ‘gay’ sad?” (Not one of my most mature interpretations, I admit.) “No,” she continued, “you’re just so unhappy - and the saddest thing is, you don’t even realise it.” Well, that last part was certainly true. As far as I was concerned, I am pretty happy - I mean, I haven’t got much to get down about at the moment: I’ve recently graduated with a not-too-shabby 2.1, I’ve landed a dream job in fashion marketing, I’m living in a lovely house, in a new city, and have money to shop, see friends, and travel with. Why would I be sad? “It pains me to see you so depressed about your ex-boyfriends,” she finished with. Well hold on there, Sally. I don’t remember mentioning anything about my ex-boyfriends. In fact, apart from the passing thought, I really don’t dwell on them much at all. Until now.

What I hadn’t realized was, with one, carefully placed comment, I had been totally inceptioned. I began to doubt whether I really was happy. Was I just pretending to be happy because I didn’t think I had anything to be sad about? Did I not have any time to be sad anymore because of the job? Was I so out of touch with myself that I project an exterior of sadness and depression that I was not even aware of? In other words, was what she was saying right? Shortly after our subsequent conversation, in which I talked - for the first time in months - about my disappointment in my inability to sustain friendship with my exes, we went to sleep. But this was only the beginning of her carefully planted seed. On the Eurostar home, I didn’t reminisce on our time in Paris. I reminisced about my old relationships, on where it went wrong after they ended, on where they went wrong before they ended - poisonous, black musings that plunged me right back to a mindset that I hadn’t wished to revisit ever again. Like a bad dream that I couldn’t wake myself from, I let every memory of failure, regret, and remorse wash over me, accompanied by the most depressing songs in my iTunes library. I started doubting whether I was truly over my relationships, whether I should have stuck them out, not ended them when I did, whether things would have gotten better. 

A year ago, I wrote a journal. Well, I call it a journal, but what it really was was therapy. I had come out of a relationship that had obliterated me to the core. I was working, so had no time to talk to anyone about it, so instead I worked through my thoughts by putting them down on paper (sound familiar?). I was sad then. In fact, sad would probably be an understatement. But am I still sad? No. There are memories, people, places, that bring up feelings of sadness. But if I let every one of those affect me, I’d be a nervous wreck. I think that goes for everyone. I have a scar on my wrist. I got it at boarding school when some girls pressed the heated metal on a lighter against my skin. People ask me about it, and I tell them that it hurt, but it used to be redder and now it’s faded. I think that’s like relationships. Time heals scars, but scars are still scars. People will ask you how you got them, and you will tell them the story. It doesn’t diminish their healing process, or the pain you felt when you got them. Julia’s inception was like pointing to the scar on my wrist and telling me “it’s bleeding”. All I had to do was look down to see it was fine. 

Belle x

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...