No Return

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Things never go back to the way they were. It is a realization that I find myself constantly reminded of in the bitterest moments, when painful longing strikes and I slide into imagining what-could’ve-been’s. I think we all take things for granted. We do not know how to genuinely appreciate presence of anything in particular. We realize each breath was precious when we’re taking our last; when there is no longer the comfort of a thousand tomorrows of ever-present oxygen. And in a world where change is too quick and constant, we often find ourselves wallowing in this regret, but still make the same mistake of having too much faith in someday.

Things never go back to the way they were. Once a plate is broken you can’t very well make it whole, but only make it an imitation of what it was before. I remember, once, when I visited my hometown after years of opting out of going, it struck me as new and different even though it was the same chilly air and the same place. I set foot into where my childhood was shaped without any sense of familiarity. The silence was too loud. The sky was too dark. Everything paled in comparison to what I had experienced once; what I can only remember now. And with situations we turn our backs on; people we leave, and even the books we drop underneath our beds and don’t crouch over for – we’d only get to keep the memories before they turned worse or better or died or got a shot at fame or gathered dust and eaten by mice, and nothing more.

Things never go back to the way they were. So sometimes I find myself memorizing people’s faces, knowing at one point our lives could completely go different ways. Sometimes I stop myself from worrying about later or tomorrow and just make the moment last longer. Sometimes, at particularly bad days, I find myself going through everything that made me smile today. Sometimes I just blurt out what I feel. It is a way to make up for everything I’ve withheld.

Things never go back to the way they were. Once everybody reaches that point of realization at some time or other, it becomes the cause of gratitude and more happiness and effort. Days will get brighter. Smiles would appear more.

Things never go back to the way they were. It was once a bitter statement for me, but now, I associate it with a feeling close to hope.

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