From the Air

Dear Emma,

So this week was a school holiday in England, and so I went on holiday with my family to see the rest of my family.

Wow. I said holiday and family too many times in one sentence there.

After a fair amount of arguing with my sister, I was able to secure the window seat on the plane. Okay, maybe you wouldn’t think that was too exciting. 

Seeing as it was only an hour’s flight, I was able to keep myself occupied with my new Johanna Basford colouring book (love those things) and the music from my iPod.

The journey there was pretty uneventful: there was a lot of thick clouds obscuring my view, so there wasn’t much to see. A bit disappointing, but it didn’t really matter, seeing as our flight was in the morning.

The flight home was where it really got interesting. 

Our flight was scheduled to land at about 10pm, so we came into London just as the clouds were breaking.

And wow, it took my breath away.

The whole city was just laid out in front of me like a picture book, a million twinkling lights stretched out across the horizon as far as the eye can see. 

I suppose it was like a reflection of the sky. Each of the different lights meeting and intersecting, together in the vast expanse of space.

And then there was me, sat in a shooting star going at hundreds of miles an hour. 

And I just sat there thinking, wow, humans made this. Humans, people. A million individuals coming together to create something spectacular. 

Each one of those twinkling lights on the road is its own person, with their own story. Each one of those lights will have their ups and downs, but at that moment they were part of an amazing picture for me and for everyone. I suppose I was a part of someone’s picture too. People would have seen my star streaking across the sky, and I might have made that moment special. I can picture someone havering their first kiss under the stars that night. 

I guess everything looks different from the air. 

When you look at something so amazing, so awe-inspiring, it just makes your own problems seem a bit trivial. Those things that you were so obsessed by, do they deserve to make you feel rubbish about yourself?

No.

Because you are a part of something special. Something incredible. You exist, in a beautiful, beautiful universe filled with wonderful people.

The human experience is incredible, especially when you’re in a moment like that and you can really, really see, for the first time, what we can do.

The human race may have destroyed a lot of things, but there’s no denying that they can make some things too.

There was this adorable little girl sat behind me, saying, “I’m flying! I wish this could go forever.” That beautiful childhood innocence, that feeling of magic and wonderment, is a joy to watch.

I’m still feeling it.

I’m just going to leave you with a quote from one of my favourite songs,

With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.

Love from,

XXX

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Split Second

Dear Emma,

So I almost got run over this week. I was walking home from work and this car brushed past literally within an inch of where I was. 

After I made sure that I was, in fact, living, I just continued on my way home.

But then when I got home I started to think. If I had been standing an inch to the left, that car probably would have hit me. And then where would I be? Clinging to life in a hospital?

Okay, I’m probably being overly melodramatic, but you see where I’m coming from.

Sometimes it all comes down to the tiniest of things. A second, an inch. It’s the difference between being shot in the  heart and being shot in the arm. 

Most likely you’ll make a full recovery from a shot in the arm. But if that bullet had gone an inch to the left, your life would have gone in a dramatically different direction. 

It’s those split-second decisions, the ones that you don’t even realise you’re making. 

I suppose it’s like those adverts where they tell you not to drink and drive. They’ll show a person who says “I will always remember that moment.” It could have been the moment they chose to drink. It could have been the moment they got in the car. But there will always be one moment that they look back on as being the one that impacted their life the most.

I guess we all have similar moment. Life’s full of different pathways and opportunities: whether we take them or not is our choice. There could be hundreds, thousands of different directions your life can go in.

And you might decide where you’re going in a split second.

Love from,

XXX

P.S. So I also do a lot of creative writing – would you guys be interested in me posting it here? Tell me 🙂 

Music

Dear Emma,

I’m just going to come out and say it. I can honestly say that I would never be able to live without music.

For one thing, I always have a song in my head. Even if I don’t notice it, I’ll always be humming or tapping something. Ask my friends. 

But it’s more than that. Music plays quite a significant role in my life. I play two musical instruments – piano and guitar – and I sing a lot. There are singers and people in bands that, when I listen to their music, I can vividly remember different portions of my life. 

For example, the first album I ever listened to was this really old Celine Dion album: my mother used to play it in the car on repeat for ever when I was around three years old. And then the other day one of the songs came on the radio, and I knew all of the words. Yes, I was as surprised as you probably are.

But that album was the first time I had ever listened to something with a melody and words and instruments. The Wheels On The Bus does not count, okay. And I loved it, which is probably why the lyrics were engraved into my tiny brain.

Another musical moment was when I stopped listening to the various CDs and tapes (yes, tapes) that my parents had and turned on the radio for a bit of pop music. I’m talking “Fight for This Love” and “Hallelujah”. Those songs are also stuck in my brain, simply because they were the first “current” songs I heard at the time.

My third and final little musical anecdote is quite possibly one of the most special. When I was 10 years old I entered a talent competition that was run by my school, and that was open to various other schools in the area. I wanted to sing, and it was something I’d never done before. I considered singing to be something you do at home, not in front of hundreds of people.

But standing on that stage and opening my mouth to sing, it just gave me this incredible feeling. And when I reached the end of the song, the whole theatre was clapping and cheering. For me.

I guess that’s when I discovered my own voice.

From then on, I realised that I loved singing, and that it was something that I can actually do. It happens to be one of the only things I’ll admit pride in. 

Music gives me the power to express things that I wouldn’t be able to say otherwise. I’m pretty rubbish at explaining my feelings to people, but singing about them? About a million times easier.

I owe certain artists and bands a debt of gratitude for being here with me throughout my life, putting up with my drama and helping me find ways to tell people how I feel.

Okay, maybe I won’t go up to people and start singing at them, but thinking in the right way is a good start.

Love from,

XXX

Competition

Dear Emma,

So this week I entered a competition (for the millionth time). I guess it’s just a psychological thing, because no matter how many times I enter and inevitably lose a competition, I will always do it again if I see another one.

Unfortunately I then allow myself to get incredibly excited about whatever competition I have just entered, which usually leads to disappointment further down the line. As much as I try, I can’t help my brain thinking about what would happen if I won the competition. I know: bad decision.

The logical part of my brain sits there saying, “You know you’re going to regret this when you lose.” But the rest of my brain pushes that part to one side, as it often does, and continues fantasising about what could happen.

This may be the reason why I get so disappointed when I lose, because I’ve realised what could have happened if I won.

That might be where people go wrong. They think so much about what could happen, what could make them happy, if only this and this happened. Maybe they’ll be happy without all of that happening.

Most of the things that have made me happy have done so without me thinking that they are ever in a million years going to happen. Usually when I think about things they don’t end up happening.

Oh crap, that means I’m not going to win the lottery. Definitely thought about that.

The lottery aside, what I’m trying to say is don’t turn life into a competition. You don’t need to base your happiness on “I just need this to happen.” Base it on what actually does happen, and then you’ll be a lot happier than you were when you were thinking of what could be…

Love from,

XXX

Secrets

Dear Emma,

Can you keep a secret? Probably not.

Most, if not all people have got at least one secret in their lives. I do. I bet you do. It’s just a natural part of life, having things that you don’t want anyone else to know (well, my parents don’t think so, but that’s a story for another time).

Apparently the number one reason for keeping secrets is “to keep the peace”. We keep secrets to make people happier – protecting them from a truth that could maybe hurt them. And I understand that. There’s definitely some things that I really wish I didn’t know.

But then there are two types of secrets. I guess it’s the same with lies. There are two kinds of lie – the white lies and the massive horrible lies that no-one likes to hear.

With white lies, it doesn’t really matter if you reveal that they’re lies. For example, you could say something like, “Oh yeah, I saw that movie” even though you haven’t (don’t worry, I do that ALL the time – mostly I just hear other people talking about stuff and then I kinda understand what it is enough to talk about it) and then you could admit that you haven’t seen it and people wouldn’t mind too much. It might be a bit embarrassing for you, but it won’t be life-changingly horrible. I guess secrets are the same. Would they be called white secrets? Probably not.

Wow. Did that last paragraph even make sense?

But then there are the big secrets, the ones that are truly crucial to someone’s life, the ones that, if they are revealed, it would make a big difference. And not in a good way.

I guess that schools are the worst places for secrets. Especially seeing as social media makes it so easy to share something that you maybe shouldn’t share. For example, I know a friend who had a crush on a guy, and then she told another one of her friends. By the next morning, pretty much everyone in the school knew.

For future reference, that’s not cool. In any way.

If someone you know has told you a secret, it’s because they trust you enough to not tell anyone else. Breaking that trust… it’s one of the worst things  you can do.

I only feel like there are a few people who I can tell my secrets to, and even then I’m scared to because I don’t know what they might think.

For example, this blog is a secret. I have only told a few people that I write it (most of you don’t know who I am) and that did feel good, after I did it. But before I did I was so scared to.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t tell people your secrets unless you trust them not to tell anyone, and do not under any circumstances share people’s secrets. 

Sorry. It’s just a sensitive topic.

I’m just going to leave you with this sentence about trust.

Breaking someone’s trust is like crumpling up a perfect piece of paper. You can open it out and smooth it over, but it’s never going to be the same again.

Love from,

XXX

P.S. Wow, it’s my tenth post already! Thanks for all the support guys 🙂