It’s 5:30 am and I lie in my bed listening to the rain gently tap against the window. Once again, I have woken before my alarm and despite my best intentions, I couldn’t be happy about it. I dont feel the urge to leap out of bed, fling open the curtains and shout, “good morning beautiful world” or put music in my ears and have a sweaty workout.
In fact, I felt the complete opposite. I felt empty, unfulfilled and rather lonely. I want nothing more than the night before to start again, so that I could fall asleep and not have to think about anything, just dream.
But no, time travel was only for TV shows and if real, it certainly wouldn’t be used for something as trivial as staying in bed for a few extra hours.
Eventually dragging myself out of bed, I wander dazed into the bathroom, and stand with my hands resting on the sink. I stand for a moment looking into the mirror. My pale face stares back at me, blankly. And then it hit me, all at once, faster than the speed of light and harder than as if a tonne of bricks had just fallen on me.
I didn’t recognise the girl in the mirror!
The girl looked unhappy, empty and tired. Her eyes didn’t smile back at me, she just stared deep into my soul, I blinked but her stare did not waver. My mind began ticking, slowly, like a clock. Some “ticks” were slower than others, some “tocks” were out of time. Ever so carefully, I began to trace back in my mind to when I first noticed the emptiness and when the dark clouds began gathering in my head. But I couldn’t remember.
I gripped the sink tightly, my expression turned to one of panic. For weeks and even months I had stopped noticing her, stopped caring for her and yet, she was always there with me, my shadow, my reflection, my inner voice. I felt so ashamed as I stared into the plughole. I couldn’t understand how I’d let her go, how I’d somehow lost her on my journey.
My mind began to race through memories, searching for answers. Up until the moment I looked into the mirror, I was oblivious to what had happened. I began blaming other people in my life for pulling me away from my path, for distracting me from my dreams and for not keeping me on my toes. I became angry and confused.
But maybe, I thought, maybe I am the one to blame.
In my confusion and torment, my inner voice spoke out. She didn’t judge and didn’t question why it had taken me so long to realise what was happening. In that precise moment, I knew that somehow, everything was going to be all right. Because even though I’d wandered far from my path and into the darkness without her, I had faith that we would be reunited and that this moment in my life, like all moments, happy or sad, would pass.
She is always there, sometimes hiding behind shyness and excuses, but nevertheless, always there. Never judging, never second guessing you, just waiting patiently for you to take her by the hand.