Dear Dazai,

It’s been a week of connections, or more honestly, reconnections. Those moments that you don’t realise you’re missing until you experience them again, the people you miss without realising that you miss them so much.

I had lunch with an old friend, one whom I haven’t seen since before Christmas, and it was like it had always been. There was an ease in communication, yet I found myself too shy to mention some of the things I’ve been doing these last few months. Not that I’m ashamed of them, but it’s much easier for me to put words to paper than to talk about these things with people.

I can tell you how proud I am of the work that I’ve done, how much I feel I’ve grown and how much all of this has benefitted me, but it’s hard to explain that to someone when I’m faced with them. Even with my therapist, I find this raw honesty just that little bit out of my reach.

Then there’s the sensation that the more I talk about these things, the more insincere I feel. As if there’s a barrier between me and expressing how I truly feel about these things. Even Nathaniel, who knows my work better than anyone, when I get positive feedback from him, I feel as though it’s the first time it’s happening and it’s always a surprise. As if the words I write are never quite good enough for me, but perhaps, only me. It’s not that I’m being falsely modest about this, but I can’t ever think that something I write is as good as I’d like it to be.

I was reading a quote the other day about people who create art, loving it to begin with, but how no one ever tells them that when they want to create their own, they’re going to be terrible at it for such a long time after that. It’s like having violin lessons, and waiting 10 years for someone to say your playing sounds good all over again.

Still I couldn’t tell my friend that I was a finalist in a competition, until I got another message from a mutual friend, congratulating me. Then as well, to make sure there wasn’t too much focus on it, I told her just before we left, walking to our cars, with a bitter wind that discouraged too much conversation about it.

It was much easier to talk about animals.

Lunch was delicious and the company excellent, and I’m glad I made the time when I was desperate to finish the piece that I was working on at the moment so it can be submitted. It was nice to take a break and reconnect. To talk with someone who isn’t you, or who isn’t Eliza, or who isn’t my parents, or my cats. The people I speak with on an almost daily basis.

Nicer as well was the lovely message from Scarlet, the one that reminded how much I miss her when she lives halfway across the world with pitiful internet. How I miss having someone who got so excited about things, and who introduced me to some of the most beloved things in my existence. It was nice hearing that she’ll be visiting soon, that she could do the favour I asked, because I was panicking and I needed someone desperately who was awake at 2am to talk to. Someone who could give me some worthwhile feedback, and who could tell me it will all be ok.

I’m a bit selfish like that. Most of all it was nice just speaking to her.

I have missed it.

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