While walking into town to buy groceries this morning I whiled away a few minutes scrolling through the Tumblr dashboard, and happened upon a distant friend mentioning a song by Christina Perri called “A Thousand Years”. A note had been left for them while saying goodbye to co-workers after moving jobs, with the lyrics in it.

I smiled. I love the idea of random acts of kindness, of candles being burned for others, of people burying thoughts and emotions deep. We all do it from time to time – some more successfully than others.

I pulled a set of headphones from my pocket, opened a music app, and searched for Christina Perri. I listened to “A Thousand Years”, and smiled while making my way through the stream of people walking into and back from town along the back roads.

And then the track changed. Suddenly I found myself listening to a song that struck a spear straight through me with it’s lyrics. The best songwriters have a talent for choosing a shared memory, or experience, and dismantling you slowly but surely. I carried on walking, and Christina Perri proceeded to pull me to pieces – a line at a time.

The song was “Human”.

I’ve written so many times in the past about being good at putting one foot in front of the other. The steadfast, consistent, reliable nature that results is of course an act. A good act, valued by friends and family, but othing is ever as simple as it first appears. I have been building walls for a very long time. It gets to the point where you’re not really sure how to let others through them any more.

You become everything everybody else expects of you, and slowly forget who you once were. Maybe it’s time I started trying to remember.

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