Dear Patrick

I’m not going to lie, I feel a little older. 

It’s all happening so fast. I don’t feel like I used to, and every day I keep wondering if I ever will. I’m stuck. All I ever wanted to do was grow up, but now everything is different. It’s not like I thought it would be. But I guess since I’m here, I have to run with what I’m given and try to change it instead of complaining. But I can’t help but want more. I keep looking for someone to blame, someone to point to when I ask myself how I ended up feeling so short sided, but the truth is I’m just scared. I'm scared that what I have isn’t enough; I'm scared I’ll have to settle for things I don’t want. I’m hoping I won’t have to, but part of me is already planning how I’ll cope. I always make sure I’m strictly realistic when it comes to my goals, just in case I don’t get to where I’m trying to go. But this time, I don’t want realityI want something different, something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and never thought I could touch. I hate that it feels like I’m too late. 

Things I once cared about feel distant now. I’m starting to really change, and it’s a good thing. I guess you could say that’s a revolution. Change is a really big thing. These past few months, I’ve been really trying to be aware of my habits and just the way I live and think naturally with no filter. I feel like I really needed to take a step back and just be in the moment. One thing I’ve realized lately is how comforting it can be to let go and create a space for yourself to exist authentically. Little things help, like actually saying what you want to say regardless of how people may react, or wearing something other people may consider “weird.”

Just the idea of doing small things like this genuinely helps me in the long term. With that being said, it’s important to understand that this approach doesn’t always work. I, for instance, tend to overthink and overanalyze the simplest things. I guess you could say I take my mental health seriously, and that’s why I’m paying such close attention to myself. But it’s essential to know that sometimes, you're not going to want to change the energy in a room and say what you're really thinkingand that’s okay! No one is constantly anything. We’re not characters in a book or movie whose roles are to play a singular personality or emotion. I’ve always thought we are multifaceted. I hate when I’m in a mood or I feel like being quiet one day and someone says “You’re always like that.” It’s just unrealistic. 

I’ve learned to be okay with feeling what I feel, and I’ve honestly been trying to not worry about how I'm perceived. It’s nice to just live sometimes. 

I want to feel what I feel. What's mine. Even if it's not happiness, whatever that means. Because you're all you've got." - Toni Morrison

By Patrick Thompson

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