Unusually, rather a lot has happened over the past week. I have ventured out of the safety of my snow globe cottage in order to meet my new ACT therapist. For the first time I think I have found someone I can talk to easily so I have hope that maybe this will work. While outside, I also made arrangements to start jujitsu with my brother next week. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for the past three years. Back in the living room, I started sketching out some designs for a ragdoll faery I want to make. My days are slowly filling up and even though I am still trapped inside my snow globe, at least now not all my time is spent in the library.
There are bay windows in the living room of my snow globe cottage now. I am sitting on the window seat and if I look out, I can see straight through the curved glass to the outside world. I am still isolated, but it doesn’t feel quite so far away as it once did. Looking out, in this moment, I feel some hope. So I’m going to do something a little bit different, I’m going to write a letter. A letter to Arlo, who knows better than most people how lonely it is to live in a pocket universe.
Nearly two years ago Tamlin told me that when he grew up he wanted to be you. When I told you that, what I didn’t say is that I do too. You always had a different kind of presence to most people, especially people our age. Like you knew exactly who you were and you completely accepted it. I know I’ve joked about how you’re better than everyone else….it isn’t a joke. With you there is no pretence, there is no self-obsession, you have nothing to prove. You are effortlessly good in a way that other people can only aspire to.
Most people aren’t like you. They don’t think like you. For a long time it didn’t seem like you noticed that, or if you did it never bothered you. I envied you that. Living in a different world to everyone else is lonely and sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I wish I could trade in seeing the world differently, trade in being ‘special’ just to belong. I know how it feels to sit in a room full of people and feel like you’re completely alone.
Our world is so different to most people around us. Mum, Tim, Narnie, Dad, all of our siblings and cousins, they are all unique, but they still belong in a way that we don’t. I doubt we see things exactly the same way, but I think the format we’re written in is the same. We’re digital, everyone else is analogue, they just haven’t caught up yet. I know that’s no consolation when you’re feeling miserable and wishing that you could find a world to belong in because wherever home is, it isn’t here.
Once you’ve finished school, you’ll have a chance to meet more interesting people. Chances are some of them will live in our world. A lot of them won’t, but of them, some of them will still recognise how special you are and the differences won’t matter as much as they do now. Besides, you are not alone, we belong together. We can navigate this world together and for sure we’ll pick up other people on the way.