When days are hard and tomorrow promises to be new and fresh and hopeful, you find yourself chasing after that hope. You look forward to sleeping off the day you just lived and to waking up empty, ready to be filled with whatever this new tomorrow will bring and if that one is bad too, then there’s always the next tomorrow. More and more, I’ve found myself chasing sunsets that signal that these tomorrows are almost here and hoping they’ll set on more than just the day.
Sunsets bring about the darkness I can sleep through. They signal the peace I can fabricate. Thoughts like, “I can’t go anywhere anymore, the sun is gone. What business do I have in the dark?” have become mantras that have etched themselves into my brain. I’ve allowed them to make me weary of the day I have lived, to reject it for the possibilities of tomorrow. Normal depression things, I suppose.
While it’s easy for me to recognize the physical sunsets, the escaping of light I’ve seen everyday of my life, it’s not the end of my bad habit. I can try to live in the present, to revel in the day I am living and try to ignore tomorrow because it doesn’t exist yet, but it’s harder to recognize the other golden hours I keep anticipating. They are subtle and buried somewhere deep inside my mind, only appearing for seconds at a time, not always long enough for me to recognize and record them for fixing.
These days, I keep anticipating the sun to set on the people in my life. I keep waiting for long messages calling an end to a friendship or short conversations that tell me I’m too much to handle. Despite having found loves that have lasted through the test of time and changing tides, I still expect them to fade out into darkness. I still expect love to leave me like every second I’ve ever lived and every day that’s come and gone. I expect it to be punctual in the same way, predictable like the hands of a clock.
It’s not an apparent anxiety I think of every moment of the day. Sometimes I feel the warmth leaving me when I think I’ve said something wrong or when someone says they need to talk to me about something important. My heart only skips a beat for a moment before I feel the sun on my face again, but somewhere in the depths of me I still think I’ll end up alone in the darkness. Worse still, I think I’m going to end up there because I’m not worth the effort of loving.
So far, I haven’t found a clear way to combat this feeling. All I’ve come up with is to try to believe people when they say they’re sticking around, to take it to heart when they say they love me.
More and more, I’ve tried to be grateful for the sunsets. Not only because they’re gorgeous and because they produce amazing lighting for photographs, but because they make me appreciate the daylight. It’s hard for me to be grateful for the part of life that hurts me the most, for people leaving me with the love I had for them in the palms of my hands, light from damage and misuse, but it’s all I have. All I can do is try to stand in the sun and let it wash over me, to enjoy people that could very well leave me tomorrow. The threat of them going should not hinder me from loving them while I have them. The love I had for the people that left does not mean less because they are gone. The sun is always going to set in some way, but I can’t think about that right now and I should hardly think about it at all. I should sit in the sun instead and enjoy the light while it’s still around.