Have you ever had the impression of being a spectator watching the movie of your own life?
Sometimes, I can’t help observing myself like I would observe a character in a movie and wonder: ‘Am I supposed to feel that way?’
Sitting at a funeral, not feeling anything, wishing you could cry but you can’t. Then two months later, you break down in tears after seeing an old photo.
Or failing to feel excited when you get something your really wanted. Then later you’re walking somewhere and you see something beautiful and you feel so grateful just to be alive.
Moving to the other side of the world gave my emotions many occasions to surprise me.
When I started saying goodbye to my friends, I felt okay at first. Everyday I saw someone else, or a group of people for the last time before at least a year and a half. I couldn’t help but thinking that I was going to see them again the next week as usual. Sometimes I need a moment to process little shocks and big changes.
On my second to last night in Switzerland, I finally broke down in tears and cried for a long time. I didn’t expect it because I was having a fun time with two good friends- lots of wine and laughs were involved. Towards the end of the evening though, I suddenly realised that I was leaving for real. And all the other goodbyes from the previous days added to the ones I had to say then.
A rush of fear assaulted me in the plane, to let a rush of excitement take over when the plane landed in Christchurch. I didn’t expect these reactions at these times. All the while I said goodbye to my friends and family, and when I was sitting on the place, I couldn’t help wondering: ‘Is it supposed to feel that way?’
I got out of the plane after 36 hours of traveling, exhausted and feeling like I’d just been bonked on the head. Being so drained turned the movie of my life off. I could only process the moment: Nick’s warm skin and big smile waiting for me at the airport, the hot summer air, the golden grass and the dark green trees, the welcoming smell of freshly baked mince pies in Nick’s parent’s house, and the lavender in the garden.
I felt good and found the answer to my question: there’s no right way to feel; there is just how you feel now. Even if you feel nothing for the moment. Take the time to be sad and cry when needed, and grin and chuckle if need be all the same. Life is not a movie, and there’s only one moment: here and now.
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