Belle Âme

One of the most common societal misconceptions about life is that it is linear. From the moment that we are old enough to process complex thoughts, we are told that we will spend our time between birth and death transitioning from one progressive stage to the next. We’re told that we will go to school, graduate and attend college, get a job, meet a partner, have a family and eventually grow old, contented in the knowledge that we have ticked all the boxes that we are advised we must.

Because of this, we believe that everything has a time and place. We convince ourselves that there is a right time to fall in love, to focus on personal development, or to pursue our careers and education. When we believe that we should be directing our energy towards one aspect of our wellbeing, many of us begin to neglect all others, creating an imbalance within our lives that can damage the happiness we all strive towards.

We convince ourselves that because we haven’t finished our education or landed our dream job, that we shouldn’t find a partner and fall in love. Or that because we had a child at a young age, we can’t go back and complete our studies or start the business we have always yearned to create.

But life’s trajectory isn’t linear. It’s cyclical. And we as human beings must learn to be malleable, drifting with the ebbs and flows of the universe as they pull us to and from our heart’s truest desires.

In 2016, I set myself a goal. I wanted to write a love story. My reason for doing so was simple: I had hit rock bottom in my life, and I needed a way to find my feet again. At twenty-seven years of age, I had just had my heart ripped out by a girl and was so down that I became convinced that I would never find someone to fall in love with. I had to fight just to find a reason to stay alive. In addition to feeling like life had just knocked me down, I was viewing my life as a linear progression of events that had just been derailed, exacerbating the pain that I was feeling.

But rather than throw away what was left of my life, I made a choice to write about the very thing that pained me, confronting my fears and creating the happy ending that I believed I would never experience. When I first started to work on the novel, I told myself that it was time for me to focus on my career as a writer. I put everything else in my life on hold to concentrate on creating a manuscript that showed my own personal enlightenment and growth.

A lot of positives came out of what I did. Through producing the script, I began to understand who I really was, what I valued most, and how to shed the fears and anxieties that had lived inside of my head. But I also created a new imbalance between the world I was creating in my mind, and the one that I was withdrawing from on a daily basis. I was so focused on achieving a goal that had spawned from a place of great pain, that I missed out on experiencing some truly special moments, as well as opportunities to appreciate just how wonderful life really is.

The first time that I realised I had created an imbalance within myself was when I was partway through editing my novel. I met a girl. Well, kind of. We actually met a long time ago, and I have always known that there was something about her that could take my breath away. But I somehow convinced her to meet me for a coffee. When she showed up and smiled at me, there was a shift inside my soul and I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a really long time.

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I felt butterflies in my stomach, and a pinch in my chest as if I’d taken an arrow through the heart. By the time our brief encounter was over I had realised that meeting her was the universe’s way of pulling me away from focusing so intensely on producing a manuscript, and guiding me towards something far greater. I didn’t fall for her because she was beautiful. That would be too clichéd. I fell for her because even though she has a smile that causes a kaleidoscope of butterflies to take flight within my abdomen, she’s also intelligent, mischievous, funny, brave, bold, compassionate and so connected to her own heart and mind that she makes me want to be a better man.

In the months since we first sat on a patch of grass and rubbed her dog’s belly while she teased me for taking milk with my coffee, I have made a fool of myself more than once. I’ve told her that I want to be her partner, that I love her, and that when I’m around her I feel as though I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’ve written blog posts about flowers coming to bloom, and sent her a short story just because she was on my mind. And yet, while the cyclical arc of my life has brought me to the most unlikely of places where I have found someone I would walk through hell for, her life hasn’t arrived at that point just yet.

The person that I was a year ago would have struggled with the knowledge that he had fallen for someone who wasn’t in the same headspace that he was. He would have crumbled underneath the weight of his own insecurities, and cursed at the universe for constantly trying to pull him away from his linear path. But that’s not who I am anymore. In the space of twelve months I have transitioned from boy with no desire to live, to a writer who momentarily hid himself away from the world, to a man comfortable enough with himself to acknowledge that he has found a woman he could happily spend his life sharing adventures and creating memories with.

Yet while I know what my heart wants, I don’t think that the time for her and I is right now.

The universe hasn’t brought her to the same place as I am for a reason. She still has a few dreams that she wants to achieve on her own. But I honestly believe that she’ll be a part of my life forever. And that one day soon our souls will melt together like colours smeared across an artist’s canvas. Until then, I’ll cherish the moments that we share together and remind myself that you should never rush something that is meant to last.

When I started writing this post I had planned on doing a wrap up of 2017. I was going to talk about the challenges I had faced writing a love story, and what I had learned about myself while producing entries for this blog. But then I realized that doing so would be falling into the same mindset of predetermined progression that I always had. So, I decided to acknowledge that right now I’m happier than I have ever been in my life instead.

By allowing myself the freedom to open my heart and write with absolutely vulnerability, I’ve learned how to be free from the anxieties that turned much of my earlier work into disjointed garbage. By embracing my passions, I have been afforded the opportunity to work with one of my closest friends to launch a new venture that involves other artists and an origami wolf. And by taking a risk and asking a girl I’d always known was beautiful out for a coffee, I have found someone that I long to make memories with.

2017 was a year of introspection and rediscovering who I am. It was a year of slaving away at my desk, pouring my heart and soul into my work in an effort to understand what it is that I value, what I love, and what dreams I truly wish to become my reality. But as the new year fast approaches, I realise that I’ve always known who I am. I just lost sight of that person for a while.

My name is Chris Nicholas. I’m a writer, a wolf, a brother and son. I’m a man about to embark on a new journey with his creative passions; and a lover excited at the possibility of a lifetime of adventures with a soul who vibrates at a frequency that mirrors my own. I hope that when I can finally share my new venture with my readers, they are as excited as I am to be a part of something new, and that together we can change the literary industry forever. And I dream that one day I no longer have to refer to the woman I fell for as my Horizon or Belle Âme.

Forelsket

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.”

–          Alfred Tennyson

Inside the heart of every man and woman lies a little patch of soil. This foundation for the garden bed of our deepest desires sits buried beneath the soft tissue of our atriums and ventricles in a place so sacred we share it only with those worthy of our truest affections. As children our gardens are bare, and we look to those that we love the most to teach us how to bring flowers to bloom. But as we grow and find our place in this world, we begin to cultivate a space that is uniquely our own.

Some people learn quickly; as though horticulture is ingrained into their DNA. They create nurseries bursting with life, or build a bedframe around their plot of dirt, allowing exotic flowers to grow in the empty space where a mattress once was. But some, like me, spend their lives patiently toiling away at an empty plot held together by weather worn timber and rusty nails; determined to grow something more than the florets of a winter’s frost that have settled against the earth.

There have been times when my garden has known the flowers and fragrance of seasonal romance. In my younger years I gave life to blooms that were never meant to last. I knew that my actions were foolish. But with each change of season I learned more about how to nurture the florae that blossomed within my chest. I didn’t realise it then, but as I broke my own heart over and over again, I was preparing myself for something far greater than anything that I had ever known. I was preparing myself for you.

When I was a boy I experienced the blooms of passing fancies. I smelled the scents of fleeting passion and marvelled at the petals of brief affairs. But my garden has never known a flower as beautiful as you…

You came into my life like spores floating on a gentle breeze, burying yourself inside of me with a mischievous smile that you sealed with a kiss. I was so captivated by who you were that I opened my chest, letting you sink beneath my dirt so that your roots could grow. I watered you, and let the sun warm your features until the first tiny green shoots of love grew inside my chest.

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You became the first thing on my mind when I woke each morning, and the last before I fell asleep at night. With each passing thought of you I watched in awe as the flowers of my garden continued to blossom. Some of my thoughts have been more pure than others; I often dream of rubbing your stomach when you’re sick, or sharing in your moments of success and personal growth. But I have also longed to know how your breath catches in your throat when I press my hips hard against yours, or what it feels like to leave goose bumps across your naked body as my lips softly caress your skin.

I know that this sounds scary. Believe me, I’m scared too. But I knew from the moment that I saw you that you were destined to be so much more than just another seasonal romance. 

You are the kindred spirit that I was always meant to find; the flower brought to bloom in the dirt of my soul. The way that my imagination has traversed the contours of your landscape, explored the depths of your heart and mind, and contemplated a future by your side has caused a shift within me. Because of you, what was once a tiny patch of dirt held together by worn timber beams buried in my chest is now a spectacular garden that stretches as far as my mind’s eye can conceive.

Because of you, I stroll through lilies when I picture your smile, or peonies when I remind myself of how I can feel your heart beat through your fingertips when we touch. I smell the allure of roses when I think of the moments of lust that I long to share together, and the fragrance of lavender and honeysuckle when I imagine you asleep beneath my sheets.

I have never known a flower as beautiful as you. I have never met a woman who could smile at me so mischievously and steal my heart. But now that I know how it feels to find someone who can take my breath away, I want to spend forever wandering through my garden, exploring the blooms that you have brought to life within me. I want to spend my life falling in love with the woman that you are every single day, and grow into the man that you need me to be. And I want to smell the subtle scent of lavender and honeysuckle beneath my sheets each morning until our bodies grow old and wrinkly.

I yearn to become lost inside of you, and to find myself again in your sensuousness and beauty. I want to be the flower that blooms within your chest; to be the man who devotes his life to nurturing your mind, holding your heart, and worshiping the intricacies of your flesh. I want to spend our time walking through our gardens, hand in hand, until our souls melt together as one.

We can spend the rest of our lives smelling the fragrance of roses when our bodies collide, or cooling ourselves beneath the shade of palms when we are tired and weary. And when we grow old, we can spend our afternoons lost amongst the fields of lilies that were once nothing more than little patches of soil in our chests. We can watch the setting sun as it sinks beneath the horizon. I can be yours; and you can be mine forever.

Eudaimonia

I have always hated the idea of wearing shoes when I drive. Ever since I first learned how to navigate the quiet back streets close to my family home with my parents by my side, I have felt uncomfortable with the idea that my foot is separated from the accelerator by a rubber sole. I often try to rationalise my behaviour by telling myself that because I grew up near the ocean and spent much of my youth commuting around town with my feet covered in sand, I have become accustomed to travelling barefoot. But the truth is that I don’t know exactly what compels me to kick off my shoes when I get behind the wheel.

Regardless of why I prefer to drive the way that I do; I always try to arrive at my destination a few minutes early so that I have time to pull on my socks and lace up my shoes.

Weird right? And totally pointless. I haven’t blogged in almost a month and now here I am writing about feet. I know that it seems like a weird topic, but there is a point to this story…

Had it not have been for this strange habit, I never would have recently found myself inadvertently eavesdropping on a conversation between a young girl and her grandmother. The girl must have been six years old, and presumably in her first few years of education. She was dressed in her school uniform and held her grandmother’s hand tightly as they walked down the footpath near where I was pulling on my shoes in the front seat of my car.

“I don’t really have many friends at school,” I heard the little girl say. “I think that it’s because I’m not a very fast runner.”

The girl’s comment made me stop what I was doing and glance up at the duo just in time to watch her grandmother pause and turn towards her. She explained that the little girl had lots of friends, and that even though she may not be the fastest runner in her class, she excelled at plenty of other things. Hearing that she was special in her own unique way brought a huge smile to the little girl’s lips. With the conversation seemingly settled, they continued their journey down the footpath to wherever they were heading hand-in-hand.

Although a part of me felt guilty for having overheard such an intimate moment shared between a grandmother and her granddaughter, the conversation struck a chord with me. Over the past few years I have come to understand that I am a deeply empathetic person, so to hear a small child voice their insecurities and self-doubt caused a chasm to open within my chest. In the three weeks since the conversation took place, I have replayed it over and over inside of my head, and it’s only just now that I have begun to understand why I was so affected by what I heard.

Initially I told myself that I was moved by the conversation because it caused me to consider my own future. I imagined a time when it was my child who doubted themselves, or felt as though they didn’t quite fit in with their peers. I told myself that I didn’t ever want them to feel like the little girl did; I wanted them to always know that they were loved. And I made a promise to myself that neither my children, nor the woman that I grow old with, would ever feel as though they weren’t good enough, or question my love for them.

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But then I realised that I was being foolish. Moments of self-doubt are inevitable; eventually my loved ones are going to have moments where they struggle, or where they must acknowledge that they’re not be the fastest runner in their class. It took some time to figure it out, but eventually I understood that the reason the conversation had such a profound impact on me is because at some point in our lives we have all felt, or a destined to feel, what that little girl walking down the footpath felt when she told her grandmother that she felt alone.

I don’t really have many friends… I think that it’s because I’m not a very fast runner.

Every single person in this world has had times where they have told themselves that they don’t quite fit in, that they’re not good enough, or have convinced themselves that they are alone. Sometimes it can feel as though we as a species are hardwired to see the positives in everyone else, whilst only ever finding failures within ourselves. We have all been guilty of judging ourselves too harshly for what we perceive to be our flaws, instead of celebrating the idiosyncrasies and strengths that make us who we are.  And we have all manufactured faults within our heads that don’t exist, or told ourselves that we must be broken, rather than simply accepting that sometimes it’s alright to not be OK.

The classmates of the little girl in my story don’t dislike her because she’s not the fastest runner at their school. They love her for all the reasons that her grandmother listed, and probably many more. But because she is so fixated on what she perceives to be her one fault, instead of acknowledging her many strengths, she can’t see the positives in who she is that so many others do.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that life is about perspectives.

Although we may live underneath the same sky, we don’t share the same realities, the same hopes and dreams, or even the same horizons. We are the sum of our past experiences. Because we have all lived through separate journeys, and seen the world through different eyes, no two people will ever experience the world in the same way. It’s just not possible. What that means is that it is highly likely that what you perceive to be a flaw in who you are, could be the very thing that causes someone else to fall hopelessly in love with you.

So next time you stare at your reflection the mirror and see something wrong with your physical appearance, just remember that someone else is looking at you and wondering how it’s possible for another human being to be so beautiful. When you’re convinced that you don’t fit in, remind yourself that others are in awe of the magnetism in your actions and the way that your words make those around you feel safe.  And when you feel like you don’t have many friends because you’re not the fastest runner in your class, remember that the people who matter most will celebrate who you are regardless of whether you ever win a damn race or not.

But perhaps most importantly, remember to talk to someone close to you if you’re ever having one of those days where your insecurities are causing you to feel vulnerable or afraid.

When those moments arrive, take a page out of the book of the little girl ambling down the footpath with her grandmother, and find the courage to acknowledge that you’re experiencing self doubt. I guarantee that when you do, the people who love you will take the time to remind you that despite your one perceived flaw, you have countless strengths and positive attributes that make you the person that you are. We are all perfectly imperfect. And we are beautiful in our own idiosyncratic ways.

World Eater Shares Life, Writing, and Why the World Isn’t Eating Him Anymore [Q&A]

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to catch up with Franki from Hamline University’s Lit Link for a conversation about life and writing.

It has been a little while since I had participated in a formalised interview, and I had forgotten just how much fun it is to really reflect on who I am, what I have achieved, and what it is that I want in my life.

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can read the interview in its entirety below.

Hamline Lit Link

This is a Q&A with Chris Nicholas. Chris Nicholas is a twenty-eight-year-old author and blogger from Brisbane, Australia. With over a decade of writing experience, Chris won his first writing competition in 2011, appearing as the winner and panellist of the Heading Northing Young Writers Competition at the Byron Bay Writers Festival. Since the event, he has entered numerous competitions (with varying degrees of success), had works featured on websites throughout America and Europe, run a weblog, published his debut novel, and completed a manuscript for his sophomore release.

How did you first get into writing?

I started writing in my final year of high school. I was seventeen at the time and should have been studying for my final exams, but every time I sat down at my desk to study I would suddenly find myself absentmindedly creating character profiles, plot points and endless pages of horribly punctuated stories.

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In Bloom

Imagine that you are standing before a rose garden. In front of you a series of stems rise from the earth and reach towards the heavens above. Some are tall; some short.  Some are straighter than others, and a select few carry more thorns than the rest. Their petals are in various stages of bloom too. Whereas some are wrapped up tightly in sepals, others have opened and allowed their oils to warm in the sun, emitting a fragrance that smells divine.

Imagine kicking off your shoes and stepping into garden. If you have a partner, or a child, or just a friend that you wish to take with you, then grab their hand and ask them to follow. Feel the dirt between your toes, and the heavenly scent on your tastebuds as you carefully weave your way through the maze of stems and thorns. Now imagine finding the perfect rose; a flower so striking that you sink to your knees and stare at its beauty. Its blood red petals are fanned wide to soak up the sun; it’s tantalising scent is unlike anything you have ever smelled before.

To the left of this perfect rose is a smaller flower; not quite in bloom. To the right of it stands a withered flower with petals falling towards the soil below. As you shift your gaze from left to right, you can’t help but feel as though the perfect rose in the middle is made even more magical by the two surrounding it. It’s as though you’re seeing it at the pinnacle of its existence. Had you arrived a day earlier, it may have looked more like the flower to the left. Had you of arrived a day later, it may have begun to wilt and die.

Alright. Enough with the visuals. You’re probably wondering why I’m asking you to conjure up images of blood red roses and soil shifting between your toes. It’s a new year; the fifth in the history of this site, and the angry boy who started blogging is now a grown man with a deep love of analogies and flowers (one needs to only click back through previous posts to find countless images and references to roses, peonies, etc.), and for the first time in my life I feel as though I understand what it means to be in bloom.

Yep. You heard that right. The writer who has spent years calling himself a wolf and tearing apart anything in his wake just mixed things up and labelled himself as a flower. Confused? Well, I can explain. But first we need to go backwards so that we can then go forwards…

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Every year between Christmas and New Year a group of friends and I return to our home town and host an annual cricket tournament. The event has been running for over a decade, with two teams of twenty men chosen based on the suburbs we lived in as children. In our younger years, the tournament was merely a way to bring together friends that had been separated by time, geography and walks of life. But nowadays both teams have lost members to mental illness and suicide, and the day is used as a means of touching base and talking openly about issues in our lives that we may never have been brave enough to discuss in our youth.

At the 2016 event, I found myself standing alone with a friend when he looked at me and asked me about a few of the darker days that I have faced in recent months. We talked openly for a while about loss, change, and what it is that we value in life. I told him that I had shed a lot of tears in previous months; but that I was happy, I just wished I hadn’t had to lose so much in order to find myself. When I finished speaking he smiled at me and said:

“I’m proud of you Chris. You’ve been through some shit. And a lot of your friends have worried about you over the years. But we love you. You’re family.  And it’s good to finally see you coming into yourself.”

“Thanks,” I said, feeling my heart break at the realisation that I had been so lost in life that my friends had been concerned. “I guess that sometimes we just need to go through a little bit of shit before we can grow.”

In the days since the event I have replayed the conversation over inside my head on numerous occassions, casting a look back at the evolution of who I am, and the metamorphosis that has taken place inside of my heart and mind. As a boy I was fuelled by anger, a fear of death, and a deep jealousy of anyone who achieved more than I did. I wanted to pen a best seller and become the greatest writer of my generation so badly that I turned myself into a horribly bitter person in my quest to succeed. I worried my family, bared my fangs, said terrible things about others, and lost my own happiness and smile.

But as a man I have learned that just because someone else is achieving, it doesn’t mean that I can’t; or won’t. I have learned that anger and jealousy breed anxiety and depression, and that neither I, or anyone else is defined by their faults and failures. We are however, defined by our friends and family, and the impact that we have on the lives of those around us. Our successes are measured not through making a best sellers list, or through earning a million dollars. They’re measured through the smiles we leave on the faces of strangers and those we care about.

Sometimes we just need to go through a little bit of shit before we can grow…

And we grow at different rates. We bloom in different seasons. And some of us experience more shit in our lives than the people around us. But just because that perfect flower in the rose garden isn’t you today, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be you tomorrow. Life isn’t a race. No one is born as a rose in full bloom; and every flower is as unique as our fingerprints, or a snowflake. We grow in the dirt and we’re shaped by the unique realities and experiences of our lives as we reach towards the heavens above, making us perfectly imperfect and beautiful in our own idiosyncratic ways. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone but ourselves, because no one else has experienced the world as we have.

Sometimes it can be easy to focus on the negatives in our lives. For me it would be easy to fall into my old thought patterns and to say that after a decade of writing I’m still not the best seller that I thought I would be. Or that I became so bitter that I drove away the love of my life and lost a publishing deal. But for every darker experience that I have lived through, feeling as though life was pushing me into the dirt, I have also had some amazing moments of sunshine. I published a book at the age of twenty-six; I fell in love with a beautiful woman who made me genuinely happy, and who I was ready to give my life to; and I still have a family that supports me, and loves me unconditionally. Together that combination of soil and sunlight, along with a little rain has allowed me to grow, and will continue to do so for as long as I live.

I am still waiting for my moment to come into bloom and flower into the best version of Chris Nicholas that I can possibly be. And even though I have been fortunate enough to watch so many people around me blossom, the time just hasn’t been right for me to do so just yet. But it will come. Each of us will eventually become the most beautiful flower in the rose garden; sometimes it just takes longer than we anticipate for us to bloom. But just because you aren’t that breathtakingly beautiful flower today, or just because you’re going through some shit; it doesn’t mean that you can’t, or won’t bloom brighter than ever tomorrow.

If you ever feel as though you’re not the person you thought you would be, or that life has pushed you down into the dirt. Just remember that you’re not alone; you’re with me, and millions of other people across the globe. Our time to be in bloom will come. And when yours arrives I promise that you will be breathtaking in your beauty, and that you will blossom into someone so incredible that your friends and family will fall in love with you all over again. Sometimes we just need to go through a little bit of shit before we can grow. And sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and remember that one day we will blossom. One day it’ll be our turn to be in bloom.

Mirrors

“A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

I used to believe that I was a man who had been blessed with the gift of intellect. I spent years convinced that I was the smartest person in any room; often closing myself off from the opinions of others. I would gnash my teeth at the slightest hint of conflict, and reveled in my ability to push my own agendas onto others, whilst belittling theirs. Yet while I thought that I was a magnificent mind perpetually on the cusp of achieving great things, the truth is that I was a bit of a dick. I bruised egos, hurt feelings, and let down the people closest to me.

During these volatile years, I was tolerable at best, and a horribly bitter person at my worst. I convinced myself that I was the most important individual in the world, and I forced myself to suffer through a fear of death, anxiety and self-loathing because I believed I would become a stronger writer and a better man through doing so. I repeatedly told myself that I deserved everything, and that the people around me, who had never walked through the hells that I had, deserved nothing.

I was so angry at everything, and everyone. And I was so afraid of asking myself why that I never confronted the bitterness festering inside of me. I was afraid of death, and petrified of failing. I didn’t have a place in the world; I merely existed in my own reality of anger and unjustified resentment. So, while I pushed myself as hard as I could to chase my dreams of becoming an author, I tore other people apart so that I wasn’t the only one hurting.

I was so lost in my own sickening reality that not even the girl of my dreams was spared from my bitterness. There were times when I was so proud of who she was, and all I wanted to do was tell her I loved her; but when I opened my mouth all the wrong words came tumbling out. I broke her heart. And eventually she broke mine back; walking out of my life and forcing me to look introspectively at the monster that I had become.

When she left, I realized that I wasn’t a man of intellect after all; nor was I ever the smartest person in any room. In fact, it turns out that I’m the furthest thing from intelligent, because I knew that she was my soulmate from the very first time that I saw her; and yet I was so goddamn stupid that I pushed her way.  Blinded by my own illogical quest to make her love me, I could never see that she already did, and that she spent our entire relationship holding my hand and asking me to stare into the mirror of her soul so that I could see and become the man that she saw hidden inside of me.

She could see the man that was buried beneath the anger and loathing; the man that still loves her unconditionally, and with such intensity that a smile still spreads across his face at the faintest thought of her.

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She is the first person who ever made me realise that I am not as intelligent as they are, and the only person in this world that I would give up everything I have just to spend one more day with. She is the woman that I want to travel the world, create beautiful memories, and grow old and wrinkly with. But because I was too afraid to look into the mirror that she held before me, I’m no longer the man who gets to tell her how much he loves her when she succeeds; or kiss her forehead and tell her everything will be alright when she is feeling down.

Agh. Alright. Let’s take a break for a moment. Because this is starting to sound a little depressing and my eyes filling with tears. This isn’t supposed to be a post about sadness or loss. It’s supposed to something positive. I fucked up. I fucked up really badly and I lost the woman I want to spend my life with. But one man’s loss can be another’s gain, and the whole point of writing this is so that people can learn from my mistakes. 

It took losing everything that I have ever wanted to finally become a man capable of looking at himself in the mirror. I had to give my heart away to a woman who left before I could find the strength to acknowledge my fractures and flaws. But by learning how to be open with myself I have come to realise that while I spent years believing that I had overcome depression and was healthy; the truth is that I was on a downward spiral of poor mental health caused by my own incessant desires to become the greatest author of all time, to make my partner proud, and to bury my own heartache regarding issues such as the death of friends and my crippling fear of being unable to provide a beautiful life for the girl of my dreams.

I had to pay a terrible price to find the courage to confront myself, but by facing my own reflection I have learned how to lay to rest the demons of my past, and how to be happy. Shit, I’m even starting to love the man that I see staring back at me with grin spread across his face, making me wish that I had of found the nerve to face my own demons years ago, rather than waiting until I lost my soulmate to do so. Because as great as it feels to be staring at the man that I should have always been, there’s still an element of heartbreak in seeing your reflection in a mirror that was once held by your soulmate, but now sits dusty and alone in the corner of a room you once shared together.

Since finding myself I have just one regret left in my life; and that is that I can’t go back in time and start over with my former lover. I can’t take back all my screw ups and my flaws and sweep her off her feet. If I could, I wouldn’t be the angry, bitter man that I was. I would be the version of me that I have become since she left; the man that she always saw hidden beneath a veneer of angst. And instead of saying all the wrong things I would simply say this:

Hi. My name is Chris Nicholas. And you don’t know it just yet; but I fell in love with you from the moment that I saw you. And if you give me a chance I promise that I will spend my life doing everything that I can to make you smile. If you want me… I am yours now and forever; because you have stolen my heart, and I hope to God that you hold onto it for the rest of our lives.

But I can’t go back in time, and I can’t tell her just how much I miss her. There are so many wonderful moments happening in my life every single day that I wish I could share with her, but I can’t. Nor can I share in the great moments happening in her life either. And while that breaks my heart, I can say this to my readers: find your soulmate; hold their hand, and stare into the mirrors of each other’s souls so that together you can change your lives.

If you have already found that person, give them a hug and a kiss and tell them that you love them dearly every single day. Let them know that they mean the world to you, because no matter your circumstance; the cost of love is priceless and there is no greater feeling in this world than being told that you are loved, and that you are beautiful. Just as there is nothing more wonderful, or fulfilling than finding that one person who you value, and adore more than anything else in the world.

Don’t do what I did. Don’t wait until you have lost the woman (or man) of your dreams to become the person you should have always been. Find your soulmate and stare into their mirror and become the very best version of you; then take their hand and make one hell of a life, jam-packed with wonderful memories together.

To the woman with the little blue hearts… If you ever read this: I miss you. More than you’ll ever know. I’m nothing without you.

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