One Day You Will Look Back

One day you will look back and everything will be okay.

I promise you.

An image you held in your head, cushioned with all the walls and barricades you could build; that appeared in black and white, will slowly over the years turn back to colour.

Taking the colour out of things is something I do when thinking of those things is too much for me. I think it’s because I view black and white images as something from which nothing else can be taken away. A black and white image is complete in my eyes. Immutable.

This rather innocuous photo could be taken in any inner city street in Sydney.

It doesn’t look like anything special. It doesn’t have the buttons or bows or neon signs I ascribed to it in my head.

It is just a street.

I used to live in that street. Right up the end near the park. I sold a house I loved in that street and plunged into a kind of madness combined with the fiscal torture you might only expect to see in one of Dante’s circles of Hell.

Yes, I am waxing melodramatic again.

Or as my friend’s ten year old daughter says : melodramatical.

The point is that I didn’t want to leave that street. I kind of wanted it to be my street for good. I didn’t want to leave that street at all.

But I had to.

For the longest time I felt an actual physical pang when I saw my old street. I heard an elegaic string quartet in my head, walking slowly with my head down and shoulders bowed like the lead actress in a postmodernist drama.

Enough with the melodramaticals.

The real point I am trying to make is that the things you think you can’t bear you actually can bear. You will get over them. You will move forward. You will turn the pain and grief into something else like hope. Maybe laughter.

One day you won’t have to cross the road to avoid seeing what you used to see when it was still yours. It will be okay. I want you to know that.

One day you will look back – really look back – and instead of seeing the greys and blacks of the street – all you will see is the colour.

12 thoughts on “One Day You Will Look Back

  1. Thanks for sharing a personal about you Selma. I think if there is one message that I would hope to get through to every young person that I speak with, it is yours: “One day you will look back and everthing will be okay.”


  2. Oh Sel, talk about pangs! I felt them through my heart, reading this. I’ve got one of those places too, you already know….I agree, the colors come back, the sun shines again but it’s never the same in another way, losing a house you love. At least it’s not for me. A regret/sadness I still live with every day. We will be homeowners again. I feel a turn to abundance in my life now, in a very real way. That’s what I wish for you too. I wish also that I could help that come true for you, if I could, I would.

    Hugs my friend, G


  3. I have sold two houses I loved in the last few years; two houses I poured my heart and soul into. Luckily we didn’t have to move for financial reasons, rather for work, but when we sold the last one I couldn’t bear to go back to the street. I’m still jealous of the new owner. We moved to Bahrain and I cried my way through 6 months of hell but you’re right, Selma, things change and I now look at Bahrain through totally different eyes. Time really is a healer.


  4. You’ve helped me deal with loss that I never thought I’d bounce back from. That is one of your great skills – you’re not afraid to delve into the dark stuff and you are able to look at the bigger picture. Your perspective changed my own and helped me move forward.


  5. great piece, selma, and another way that leeching the color out of memories helps (for me, anyway) is that it makes it seem more like an old movie and gives that distance that helps things not hurt so sharply, more just a dull pain


    I agree with you completely. It is such an important message. When we are experiencing bad times or hard times it can be hard to see that – you feel so miserable that it seems impossible the misery will end – but it does. And the flowers bloom again. I think that if adults share their experiences with young people then they realise that everyone goes through some awful stuff and they feel less alone. It is crucial to discuss the bad times as well as the good.

    I don’t feel the regret so much anymore. It happened and in many ways it helped me become a better person. I am grateful for that even though it has been difficult. Time has helped me move past it as well as knowing it is not the worst thing in the world. More than anything I am happy about the shift in perspective – it has shown me I can cope with most things. One day I hope you get a house of your own again. That would make me happy 😀

    Hi KATE:
    That must have been so hard for you. It is tough when you have such a deep connection with a house. Leaving it is like leaving behind a person. I know exactly what you mean. But time does heal and sometimes the new experiences turn out to be things we would also miss. We are funny creatures, we humans!

    Hi GINA:
    Any time at all I will do that. It is my pleasure. You have also helped me more than you know…

    HEY. Great to hear from you. You haven’t blogged for ages. Wassup??? How’s things in that beautiful place you live? It has made my day to hear from you.

    Hi JASON:
    There is definitely an old movie feel to it. I get that too. I can bear things much better in black and white. But it is nice when the colour comes back. Great to see you.


  7. I don’t think I could do that; move only a short distance to somewhere I loved.

    The couple I bought this house from moved to Cornwall, then came back here, only a couple of streets away, and they were always ‘just passing by’ (even though our street is a dead end!)

    First, there was criticism … ‘I see you chopped the rowan tree down’; ‘Oh, you took the box hedge up’ etc.

    Then compliments: ‘Your roses are beautiful’; ‘Those fuchsias are doing well!’ ‘What a beautiful fountain!’

    I haven’t seen them around lately; hopefully, they’re concentrating on their own garden.


  8. Lovely uplifting post.

    “Maybe laughter.”

    I told my mom last night I was reading fanfiction trying to run from the fact that I don’t get to laugh much right now. Oh, I laugh with the kids and stuff…. but Redbeard’s 2 weeks away for work has turned into a month and it’s starting to take a toll. I miss him. It’s good to be reminded that at some point – he IS coming home. And we’ll laugh together again. 🙂


  9. Hi TBALL:
    I am so glad. I hope it will apply to you very soon!!

    That would be very hard. Some people do have trouble letting go. I think it’s because a house isn’t just a commodity it is also our home and we put our hearts and souls into it. Glad they seem to have moved on now !!

    Hi AINE:
    Oh you will laugh together again. I know you miss him. It must be really hard. Sorry, hon.

    Awww. Thank you so much!


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