Goodbye.

 

All of my adjectives might just never be enough for this.

It ended with a smile, a kiss and a hug.

It ended with pictures, gifts and moving words.

It ended with stories of the beginning and the excitement of adventures up ahead.

It ended with the feeling that I am incredibly cherished and loved.

It ended with the knowledge that these people, my people, believe in me.

It ended, and I’m feeling brave.

A long time ago I wrote in tiny letters along the edge of a collage: I know we’ll be fine when we learn to love the ride. I’m starting a new collage and along the edge I will write: She believed she could so she did.

It ended without a real goodbye, because we all know this isn’t the end…

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I’ll softly rise and I’ll gently call, goodnight and joy be with you all. -The Parting Glass, Ed Sheeran

Advertisements

Beach Happiness

Last year, on a particularly hard day, I spoke on the phone with my friend, Beatrice, about why we were both so depressed. We had many reasons, and this led us to a discussion about the different types of sadness. The list covers a lot of ground, including: hypothetical sadness, death sadness, projecting sadness, jealousy sadness, bittersweet sadness, extreme weather sadness… we ended up listing about 75 types.

 

After half an hour of compiling this list, I forced her to help me come up with the different types of happiness. Surprisingly, we found this extremely difficult. When we challenged ourselves to think of the bad it poured out of us as though we’d been mentally preparing our whole lives for the moment we’d need to recount it. But the good? It was slow to come to mind. Over the course of a few days, with the help of a couple more friends, we eventually had a list consisting of around 50 types of happiness.

 

One of these types is beach happiness. Neither Beatrice nor I thought of it initially, but it rings true for all of my peers and I. When I’m on the beach I just feel… peaceful, I suppose. The sound of the waves replaces the sound of worry in my mind.

IMG_1896

I stand on the beach looking out at the sea and marvel at how tiny I am compared to it all. If my life is so small compared to the world, then the problems in my life amount to nearly nothing. I’m never one to belittle my own suffering or the hefty challenges I face every day, but during certain rare moments I truly believe they aren’t all that important. The beach supplies the majority of these moments.

 

Yesterday was an odd summer day in the middle of February so I flocked to the beach with my friend and her boyfriend. The water was freezing but I almost prefer feeling numb to feeling my normal pain. The smell of the water and the sunscreen smeared on my (pathetically) sensitive skin remind me of summers past, in just the way that bug spray reminds me of hiking trails around my childhood hometown.

 

My mom reminded me that one year I had a birthday party at the beach and that I hated it. I remember the reasons for this being that sand got on my birthday cake and watermelon, that we never had time for the dance party or limbo (I’ve always been quite the planner), and that a boy from my class (who was not invited) saw me in my bathing suit (mortification. I hate you, Speedo.)

 

My mother remembered the reason being that I got salt water in my eye and that at that exact moment the love affair between the sea and I became a tale of regret and disappointment.

 

Safe to say the discord has dissipated, and I have kept a special place in my heart for the beach throughout it all. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I’m forced to miss out on fun – a seemingly harmless substance the majority of young adults seek and occasionally experience. I’m more of an 80-year-old stuck in an 18-year-old’s body type, and I have to “take care of my health”. Which means I often need to miss out on all sorts of experiences because fun has a clear consequence for me – pain. Pain leads to sadness, but mainly, pain leads to more pain. More pain leads to trouble sleeping, which leads to extra fatigue, which leads to extra pain, which leads to even more trouble sleeping… it’s only one of the viscous cycles that people with chronic illnesses need to live with.

 

But just because I have less fun doesn’t mean I have to be less happy. This year I’ve been privy to a few types of happiness that weren’t on my list before: proving myself happiness, spreading joy happiness, professional growth happiness and above all – somehow, it will all be okay happiness.

 

At the very least, that’s how I feel after I go to the beach.

 

Love,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Take me back to the basics and the simple life, tell me all of the things that make you feel at ease. –Ease, Troye Sivan

 

Have a suggestion to add to my lists? Share in the comments below please!

Cousins’ Babies

Newborn-baby-001

I pretty much looked like this when I found out the news…

 

A few days ago, my mom gave me the good news: my cousin’s wife is pregnant. I smiled, we laughed, and then I started crying.

I’m the youngest in my family, and therefore never got to have little ones in the house that weren’t, well… me. This is the difference between my friends and me: they have baby cousins, and I have cousins’ babies. My oldest cousin, the one who is soon to be a third time father, was 25 when I was born. He’s the oldest of the oldest (my dad’s older sister), and she got married young, and I’m the youngest of the youngest (my dad), who got married late. There you go.

Anyway, back to babies. I love ‘em.

I truly, truly, simply adore them so much. I don’t think I can even describe it. I just feel this connection to them (don’t let your mind make this sentence creepy). My family and friends have decided I have “baby heaven”, which contrary to its literal meaning (=where babies go when they are no longer alive) actually means I look and feel like I’m in heaven when I see babies.

As of now, I have five cousin’s babies (a new one two weeks ago!), but god willing, soon there will be eight. It’s so amazing!!!!! Two of the soon-to-be babies are girls, and the third is as of yet unknown. I can’t wait until they’re born, and we have this whole next generation in our family! Eight babies. That’s a lot. The oldest is… four? So technically she’s not a baby anymore, but still. Also, two of the new ones are meant to be born within a month of each other, so birthdays every year are going to be super cute.

I love babies!!!! I don’t think this is going anywhere. It’s mainly just, I LOVE BABIES.

Oh, I can tell you why I cried, I guess. I was in a bad mood that day, because of how horribly sick I was feeling, and my mom was trying to cheer me up a bit. I had been in school when my cousin, his wife and their two daughters came over, so I wasn’t around when the news was shared. I was alone at home with my mom, and she came and sat down near me on the couch and told me. I got this immediate grin on my face, so wide it hurt my cheeks and jaw terribly, but I couldn’t stop smiling. The two of us were smiling really wide, and then we just started laughing a bit. But instead of laughing a bit more, I started crying. The tears were falling freely. My cat, Squirt, is amazing, and I will tell you why. The second after I start crying, he’s there: it doesn’t matter where in the house I am and he is, if I start crying, he shows up and purrs next to me.

I don’t have a particularly close relationship with him, not like the rest of my family members, but the two of us (me and the cat) have come to terms with this, and we just live amicably side-by-side. He doesn’t sleep on my bed, I don’t sleep on his, but I’ll fill up his food and he won’t scratch me. That kind of thing, you know. But this, the crying dates – they mean a lot to me. Thanks, kitty.

Anywho, I started crying about the new baby, and Squirt came and purred on me. My mom didn’t want me touching my face while I had cat on me, so she brought a tissue and kind of stuck it in the collar of me shirt to collect the tears. I just kept thinking how awesome (in the literal sense awe) it is that my cousin’s wife has a person growing inside her right now, and that in a few months time she and my cousin are going to welcome another beautiful human being into their family. I may only be sixteen, and therefore wholly unready to start a family, but I already know that I have a whole lot of love in my heart, and I’m going to start my own family one day, and love each and every member with the whole of my being.

I can’t wait. I love babies.

The world can be awesome.

Yours truly,

The coolest cousin-ish thing ever,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

I was sixteen with an open heart…. When I was dumb and the world was young.

–Beautiful, Ben Rector

 

 

On a sadder note, the baby that was born two weeks ago was born into hard times. My cousin’s husband’s brother (the baby’s uncle) passed away shortly before she was born. Her middle name is his. I send all of that love that’s in my heart to the family. I can’t even imagine what you all must be going through.