“Take a long shower, Em. It’ll help.”
The water was hot. I had heard it’s not good for your skin, but I needed it that way. I needed it.
Leaning my head back, I felt the heat moving through my hair and down my shoulders, running over my face, my eyes, lips. My body was made of stone, and not even water could smooth me. I put my hands on my face and held them there. It stung. I breathed.
I used to dream of feeling this way. It was nicer in the dream. Then, I’d imagine myself floating into space, weightless. My arms and legs spread out, my chest lifting my body up, out of itself. I didn’t know if that was possible now, once I’d turned to stone. I tried. I tried to float out of the tub, through the ceiling, into the clouds.
The room was empty when I got out of the shower. It felt weird and different. Weird, like when someone is with you one day and the next, they're not. Different, like something you have to get used to. I unwrapped my towel and looked at myself in the mirror. My skin was red from the heat. I looked at my face, my stomach, my knees. There was a small bruise on my right thigh that was unaccounted for. It was the same height as my nightstand. Bodies look different when you stare at them. I lifted my toes up and pressed them into the ground.
I'm not sure when it was that I'd abandoned everything I cared about. They say that by letting go, you will end up finding yourself in the process.
Over the next 6 months, I reacquainted myself with everything that mattered to me. I used to play piano; I don’t know why I stopped. After a while, I moved my fingers over the piano keys again, remembering what they felt like, relearning how to touch them. I’d forgotten the songs I used to play, but I knew it would be different this time. It sounded different. Gradually, my fingers started to move, skipping over the octaves, building a melody. It was mine.
We hope you enjoyed Emily's piece about letting go.