I don’t believe that going back to old places fixes things, I always have fond memories of places I used to be but I guess that’s where the quote “nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists things were better than they seemed” comes from, because I know deep down things were never really as rose tinted as the way I see them now – I was sad. I had happy times but underneath I was still sad, though you forget that once you’re looking back, kind of like when you’re thinking of past relationships and only remembering the good parts, making you wonder why things ever ended. Believe me, there was a reason.
There’s places in my life, whether they’re physical locations or just periods of time, that I wish I could go back to. Not to necessarily re-live in the same way as I did back then, but just to experience them one more time, as the person I am now – changed and different. I always wonder if it will fix things even though I already know the answer is that it won’t, I’ve allowed people from my past back into my life because things were unfinished and I thought allowing myself to re-experience them would heal the wounds and give me closure but it never did, it just opened them back up.
When I was younger, after what happened in June, the time after was just that – time. It wasn’t attributed to anything, it was just a pocket of air space I was living in, kind of like I left the real world for a little while and lived there for the next 6 months. September of that year? I don’t remember it. I don’t know what I was doing or where I was, there were no dates or time stamps, I was just in this bubble living outside of lineal time as we know it, and then I crashed back down to Earth and suddenly it was 2014 and I was leaving school, though those memories are still hazy for me, even now.
After it happened, I went abroad. I didn’t want to go, I’d spent the last 8 weeks living in a nightmare trying to sort out my universe and piece things back together, but it was comfortable because things were still fresh, I didn’t want to leave just yet.
But I had no choice and suddenly there I was in a country full of sun, in a swanky hotel with a piano bar and lots of foreign guys that were apparently interested in me even though I was only 15. I spent my days reading books and listening to happy music which, when I listen back to it now, reminds me of that endless Summer. It took me away from everything which was both a blessing and a curse because I wanted to be there, but it was better if I wasn’t, looking back on it now I think I needed that time away even though I was in complete denial and had to be metaphorically dragged away kicking and screaming.
I thought about it and I didn’t, I was so consumed with everything that was currently going on around me that I didn’t have the time. It’s harder to be depressed when you’re surrounded by constant light and warmth, where everything is new to you and a distraction. There was one night I stood on the balcony which overlooked the ocean, the sun was setting and the sky was golden, shimmering out across the water. I looked out and wished she was there with me, I called out her name and said I hoped she was seeing this, I hoped that in some other parallel universe where this hadn’t happened to us, she was there, holding my hand. I cried and then pulled myself back together, turning away from the sun and going back inside. That’s the only time I can remember letting myself feel it in those 2 weeks.
During this time, before and after, I kind of went a little crazy. I’d stay up until 3am with my windows open watching the moon, letting the warm Summer air roll in, listening to songs that made me feel light. I was obsessed with sunshine and colour, bright and beautiful things. I couldn’t stop preaching about how life was beautiful and how our experience was all based on the way we saw it, even though I was crumbling on the inside. I believed I could cure myself by surrounding myself with light – look how beautiful everything is! What a wonderful life I have, my world has just ended but my, isn’t it beautiful? Aren’t we lucky? My friends tried to shake me out of it, they didn’t buy any of what I was saying and I was fooling nobody, though the fact I was fooling myself was enough for me. That’s why I think I was crazy, or maybe I was just desperate. I was clinging on to hope full stop, I was clinging on to life as I’d known it, and as I now never would, because everything was slipping away from me and all I wanted was goodness, though I could find no evidence of any of that left in the world.
I think back to that time now and wonder if things would be different if I went back to it. I was 15 then, I’m 21 now. I wonder if I would feel the same way, if I would have some kind of big realisation due to how much I’ve grown, due to how much more life I’ve lived and how I’ve coped with my own existence, the reality of being alive. Everything back then was so, quiet. It felt like no one else on the Earth existed apart from me, I was just walking and wandering and nobody could say a thing about it, because they didn’t understand. I have fond memories of it but the lines between the real and the fake are blurred, I can’t tell if nostalgia is telling me the truth or not. Sometimes our minds block out the things we don’t want to remember.
Or would it ruin things? Would it override my previous memories and replace them with worse ones? With the reality that actually, things were never as good as I believed them to be, I just conjured up a memory in my mind that never really existed. For what reason I don’t know, maybe my mind was just looking for a way to cope, because I sure couldn’t figure one out. It’s a risk you have to take, though I’d like to remember it for what it was and therefore it’s one I wouldn’t take, I think that shows how precious the memory maybe was in the first place, the fact you don’t want to do anything that could jeopardise it.
I like to get memories down on paper because there are some I’d prefer not to lose – moments where time seemed to almost stop and I was given a feeling I’ll always remember – I’d like to keep those. This is one of them. A period of time that didn’t really feel like time at all, life stops for nobody but during this time, it felt like it did, and I appreciate it for that, whatever it was. Everything was rose tinted and warm, and even though maybe I did go a little crazy, it worked for the short period of time that I believed it, and since everything about me apart from my physical body was dying, I needed anything that would keep me going – if that was it then so be it.
My brother is the same age now as I was when it happened to me, and no one will understand how terrifying that is until it happens to you. To look into the eyes of someone so young and realise that that’s how old you were when your whole world came crashing down around you and nothing would make you feel okay ever again. I can’t imagine it happening to him, when I think about it all I can hear is everyone whispering how sorry they are, wishing there was something they could do. But they can’t, you’re on your own now. You’ll be on your own for the rest of time after this. Imagine if it happened to him and I knew all of this inside my mind, would I tell him? I couldn’t bear it. I’d tell him I was sorry.
I had something to say recently and I didn’t know what it was, but I know it was affecting me, the fact that I couldn’t figure it out. I think it was this. I felt like I hadn’t said anything worth saying, worth feeling, lately, but I needed to because I missed it, I needed to get back to that place but couldn’t figure out where it was, but now I’ve shone the light on it and here we are, this is it. It was an endless Summer and that in itself is Lana – sometimes I think we’re the same person and sometimes I even believe it, I’d like to hope so. I think we’re all connected somehow, our souls are two parts of the same thing. Maybe we came from the same star.
When my endless Summer ended, which is existential in itself, all I remember is grey. Cold rain and fogged up windows that I couldn’t see out of, and it felt like my Summer had ceased to exist at all. Where was I during that period of time? Not on Earth, not anywhere, I was floating through time and space dealing with the likes of God and Angels and once I came back, I couldn’t tell anyone where I’d been, because they didn’t know what I knew, didn’t feel what I felt, hadn’t seen what I’d seen. They’d never understand, they never will. I struggled with that for a long time, but there are some things that can never be understood on the same level by another human, because it’s too raw and personal for even ourselves to comprehend, I know that now.
Look now, the sky is golden.