I gather you’re in London, I was just there, but I guess you know that. We’ve been missing each other lately. I don’t know if it is me or you, but we haven’t caught up in a while. How are you? I hope that you are still your vivacious self, that you are revelling in your independence even in our locked down existences for the next month. Where are you living? I hear you were looking for a room in Battersea, if you’d told me you could’ve taken over the lease on the room I just left. I made the decision, as you’ve probably heard by now, to move home. It was the sensible thing to do. I am sad because it feels like a backwards step, reverting to what I know, who I once was and who I’m not sure I want to become again.
I envy you, your freedom, your ability to go out without letting anyone know, the ability to do as you wish. You have total control over yourself, I am stuck in a time capsule, playing out the oh so familiar role of the child. But I have to remind myself that if I were locked down anywhere other than this place of love and care I would be alone in my mind, a place that I can inhabit but can’t bear to be trapped, not for that length of time. I hope you are taking care of yourself, not just physically (I saw a photo of your new haircut) but emotionally too. When we can we really should meet for a proper talk. I want to hear all about what you’re up to, your plans for the future, your memories from the past. It’s been a year now since I opened that shell and let the embodiment of you, Charlotte, out into this world. I have such fond memories of our trip to Venice, all the times we met for tea, the large amount of time we spent following each other around to work each other out. When I left Wales and you stayed, I was heartbroken and confused. You left me alone with myself. I felt a huge sense of loss, you went from being a voice in my ear to the embodied woman to just gone. I didn’t see it at the time, but I wonder if you were testing, or challenging me. Wanting me to claim my independence. To do, rather than to fantasise. To be the character I in the past had given to you. I guess you gave me space to step out without you.
Now I’m lost.
Oh lets meet as soon as we can and do write back quickly.
Thank you for your letter, it was lovely to hear from you after the months of silence. In all honesty I am not sure where I am anymore. Having detached myself from you I feel, like you, a sense of loss. I have my independence yes, but I am feeling distinctly less purposeful as the weeks go by. I have found myself retracing your steps, I am in London, I do your daily walk around Battersea Park just out of curiosity. I think it is kind of funny how you are lusting after my lifestyle when I think you have the better circumstances right now. To be surrounded by all those people with whom you are so connected, to feel rooted and settled. But you are unsettled?
It feels like we are stuck in this cycle of push and pull. Of reaching a point where the tension snaps and we switch places. I envy you and you me, no matter which role we are each playing. We seem to be both trying to uncover the same answers. Answers about our place in the world. It seems to be the battle between ourselves and our inner children.
When you first released me into this world, I felt you were using me to explore who you could have been, now you look to me for what you could become. This constant lusting after what we are not can’t be healthy in the long run. I am beginning to wonder if we can’t just allow ourselves to be both at once, to try and rid ourselves of the pressure to grow up that seems to come from inside of us, and simply embrace the aspects of each role that we wish and make our own space to be both.
You need to get past the idea that living at home means you are the child and see the elements of independence you have, view yourself as an adult in the situation as I am sure others in your household do. And I need to find people, let them in, and become part of a community so I have a level of people to lean on, to be silly around, to have fun with. We may still yearn for each other’s places in the world but at least we will have tried to do something about it. I don’t know how much longer I can bare to continue this way, what do you think? I am sorry about how I left you after Wales, but I felt it had to be done. I have missed you, but I feel even though neither of us are yet settled, we are closer than ever to some answers, don’t you? Sorry it has taken me a month to respond, I have been doing a lot of thinking since your last letter and everything seems to just take longer these days doesn’t it? Yes, lets meet soon.