On Losing Friends // Letters to October (10)

Dear October,

Some moments in life happen within a heartbeat. Others take their time, crawling at first within the edge and rooting into your life while you’re looking the other way. Losing the first of my best friends happened so gradually that I was surprised when the word ‘friends’ didn’t really fit with their names anymore. Why did it happen? Physical distance, to some extent. Something shifts when the rhythms of a friendship aren’t dictated by the regularity of school schedules and shared experiences within classroom walls.

Suddenly you don’t know detailed aspects of the other person’s life. The names and faces they embrace in familiarity are foreign to you. Doubt emerges. Where do you fit into their new life? Will your continued presence bother them? Will they read your words and care about what you say? And the childish speculation of whether new, immediate friendships take precedence over those steadily growing distant. After all, there’s only so much that can fit in the palm of the hand before the excess starts to slip away.

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Moving // Letters to October (8)

Dear October,

We’re always moving. From one step to the next, one side to the other, one corner of the world to another. As I sat waiting for my flight to land this evening, it struck me how a single journey can contain a multitude of meanings.

The young woman sitting beside me, who spoke with an English twang, took her glasses off and hid her face as the plane descended. The relief of homecoming was hidden by what appeared to be a curtain of dread as the plane landed with a thud.

A row ahead, an elderly lady turned off flight mode on her phone. Closing a game of Candy Crush Saga, she slowly typed out a message in another language. Having left home, maybe reassuring someone of her safe arrival.

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7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)

Dear October,

This evening I stood on my balcony and looked up at the stars. A train trundled by in the distance, then all was quiet. There, in the darkness mingling with the light of my bedside lamp, I felt torn. I’m both leaving home and going home tomorrow — leaving my family home and going back to England. I’ll be back soon, but even that reassurance is fleeting.

I looked at the apartment buildings facing ours. Lit kitchens and living rooms with families enveloped within. TVs turned on, people sitting around tables. It reminded me of a time when I was in that secure bubble. In a way, I’m lucky enough to still be in that bubble. I come home from time to time and enjoy the comforts of a child on holiday from school. But then I have to leave again, and real life begins.

It’s easy to forget in the long months of summer, but there’s something particularly ambivalent about repeating this pattern in the late months of the year. The murky sky seems to seep the energy from my bones. But the house seems cosier as the air turns chilly.

But because I don’t want every letter to be quite so pensive, here are a few things I really like about autumn.

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