So many things changed. And so many things stayed exactly the same. New horizons that immediately felt like home. Some friends stayed, some friends came, some friends went, some friends died. New jobs that are actually old jobs. New scars – some inked and pretty, some sown and ugly. Old loves that never die. New worries and ancient anxieties. Feelings of never having grown out of my old skin and feelings of having shed multiple layers since. Sometimes I don’t remember how the day has gone by and have no time to ponder it, some other days I do nothing but ponder on their passing. The same old demons visit me on quiet nights. Sometimes they whisper the same old stories that I know by heart, some other times they drip creative new innuendos in my ear. On some nights I slip away from them into the world of sleep, some others I lay awake and listen to them till the early hours of the morning.
It was many years ago and seemingly a lifetime away that during a long and quiet night shift, I was talking to a friend and trying to find words for the whirl of half-formed thoughts and feelings that I was choking on. I groped at other people’s words for help and mentioned some lines from Stairway to Heaven. A decade later, the sheet music is etched in my skin and that verse has come to pass. And that sometimes feels too big, too scary, too crushing. Mostly though it is liberating, whatever the price.