There is strength and beauty in abiding, in enduring, in surviving. But it hurts.

Enduring means surviving and surviving means enduring. Both leave marks. Enduring means some form of hibernation, sleep walking, stasis. Surviving means loss. You lose the past versions of yourself, others, and your world. For whatever reason, nothing quite aches like the memory of something forever lost to you.

I have put much effort into being more positive, to live more in the now, focused on the future. Despite those things, I still don't want to let go of voices, the sounds of our laughter. The house that was my first home, and then no home at all. Vanilla chai lattes on our secret part of the dam, coruscating broken glass in a bad neighborhood. The love we made that was elevated from rudimentary friction to acts of mutual worship by our intensity.

I think part of my issue is that I see too much beauty in pain. When there's enough bitter, it's easy to give up the tiny bit of the sweet. When the bitterness has a sweetness of its own... My memories and experiences largely make up who I am. How can I give that up?