I hope you will forgive me – I haven’t written anything in a long time. But I felt like I had to write this, even though I doubt anyone is still out there. I have always been terrible at saying Goodbye because I have always wrongly believed that saying Goodbye meant giving up. What I realize now, however, is that all that does is indefinitely postpone the inevitable. Our lives are cyclical – we have ups, we have downs. We make friends, we lose friends. We come to be, we cease to be.

Over the past few years I have experienced loss so profound that at times I felt so much anguish that I thought I couldn’t possibly keep going. But I am here today – and finding the courage, the right words to write this last blog post is more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

Yes, this is my last blog post and you most likely don’t care because I haven’t posted anything in years. I wanted every post to be so perfect that I usually ended up completely abandoning what I wrote. And it has been like this for the last five years for anything I have wanted to write. I have dozens and dozens of unfinished stories, poems and essays no one will ever read. I have already admitted to myself that as long as I can’t control the fear of being judged by a reader, I simply can’t be a writer. As long as I can’t let go of my crippling perfectionism, I won’t be a writer. It took me a while to accept this, because for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a story teller. As a child, I preferred telling stories over telling the truth. Then, I discovered that fiction was less harmful than telling lies, so I started doing that instead. If you had asked my parents what I would be when I grew up, they would have said “a writer” since I already was one. My teachers loved my stories in school. Some of them probably also thought that I was going to write in one way or another. Now, I am 30 years old and the only thing I write these days is angry work emails.

I started Late (for) Tea as a means to chronicle my university adventures. Being able to study in the UK and leave an oppressive home was a dream come true. I still consider those four and a half years the best years of my life. Honestly, it all went downhill after I left the UK. Sometimes I wonder how different my life could be now, if I had been able to stay. I ended up living so much during those years that I didn’t write much and I don’t regret that. My memories of that time are so crystal clear. And I can’t even remember most things I did in the last five years. When I look at photos of my time at university, I see a spark in my eyes. True joy. I felt true joy. I experienced moments of sadness, stress and anxiety as well, of course – but I mostly felt like everything was still game. I could do anything, be anyone. I certainly don’t feel that way now. When I look in the mirror now, all I see these days is sorrow. I am a marked woman. I am cynical on most days, regularly telling my husband that I better not die in Iowa out of all places. Like I said – our lives are cyclical. This knowledge – that there are better days ahead – is what keeps me going. It is also what ultimately made me decide to close down this blog and take my leave. It is a relic of the past. It is no longer relevant and it doesn’t represent who I am now.

I am not saying that my writing days are over – clearly, they are not. But Late (For) Tea is over. I appreciate how much of a refuge writing this blog was. It was a good way to make sense of the world around me. Writing can still have that effect on me, but these days I find more comfort in reading rather than writing. I love losing myself in a good book, temporarily forgetting who and where I am. We may meet again in relation to my love of the written word, but for now I am simply going to say “Ta ta, and farewell.”

– L.