Today is one of those rare, perfect Cape Town days. Cool, clear sunshine, and no wind. Summer days that are made for day trips to Silvermine, and gin cocktails by the dam.

I am sitting in the corner of the living room, burrowed in amongst pillows and cushions. Next to me, Wilson is having his early afternoon nap. It is the prelude to a hyperactive late night, I’m sure.

But for the most part, time has slowed down. I’m positive of it. Life seems infinitely long without you around. Today is one week down (and at least seven more to go). Despite having all sorts of plans and goals for getting my life routine back on track, all I seem to be able to do is think about you, and us, and the future. I say think, I mean obsess.

Today has been particularly difficult. Lost deep in my missing you, I scrolled through a couple of photos of you on Facebook and I felt an overwhelming sense of detachment and uncertainty. Not in that I feel differently; but that I was faced with how little I actually know about you and your life.

I know that our lives from before we met each other have little to do with where we are going and that knowing who you are as a person should be more than enough. But there is some instinctive part of me – I think it’s the me that spent most of her formative years lost in a cycle of mistrust and chaos, watching people betray each other – that compels me to want to know everything about a person before I offer them any semblance of trust or faith.

In my adult years, this has been the primary contributing factor to my own internal anxiety. It has caused constant disruptions in relationships and friendships. As far as I was concerned, people were messy terrors who given half the chance would ruin you, in reckless messy ways. It didn’t help that my previous relationship enforced and exacerbated this sentiment. Especially since its initiation was predicated on me attempting to re-wire that part of my thinking.

But in its wake, I knew that despite having failed once, I needed to try once more. For better or worse, people deserved a chance right? Or rather, I deserved a chance to escape the inescapable loneliness that comes with keeping everyone you know at an arm’s length.

So I created a new set of rules for myself, and how I would interact with people.

We ask questions as they occur to us. We say things as we think or feel them. We say them honestly with the confidence that the other person will receive them for what they are, and not with personal connotations and triggers. And when we fail miserably at this, which we will because we’re all of us messy terrors, we will say even that. And if we do this, if we could feel this deep comfort then perhaps it wouldn’t matter that we didn’t know every detail about each other.

I resolved to have faith in this system of communication. And with you, it has been particularly easy thus far. You arrived with your own insecurities and uncertainties, and I am forever grateful that you arrived also with a willingness and courage to share them.

But today has tested my resolve in a remarkable way. I felt my instinct to self preserve kick in as I thought on how casually I had embarked on this tremendous journey with you.

I choked back tears as I felt my heartbeat accelerate and my head began to spin. Do I really know anything about the kind of person that you are? Why did you choose to study Nature Conservation? What makes you sad? What makes you angry? When did you fall in love for the first time? What is it like in your head when you’re all alone? Where are you happiest? What draws you to the ocean? If you could change one decision that you’d made in your life, what would you change? 

The resulting panic from the lack of answers was hard to contain because, I suppose, this all comes down to one thing: Have I made a good decision about you and us? 

You are offering up so much of yourself, and your life, in the pursuit of us. On the list of people that I have disappointed in my life, I hope to never add your name. My penchant for mistrust is deeply embedded in the core of who I am, try as I might to undo it.

So darling, while you’re away, I am learning and unlearning. I am holding onto faith and finding courage.

I keep sending myself back to my closest moments with you; the moments when I felt so confidently that I was safe with you, at home with you.

I promised to take this risk with you. So into the deep, we go.

Wherever you are out there, I hope you are having a better time with this than I am.

With love,







Today, I assembled a table – including usage of screw driver and box cutter. I know that you had asked to do it for me before you left, but I find an odd satisfaction in doing these things by myself. They make this apartment feel more like my home, and less like a graveyard of memories.

This has year has brought more learning and growth for me than all 25 years before it.

I’ve experienced the absolute heights of happiness and sadness. I have travelled into the depths of who I am as a person, and grieved loss in a way that I hadn’t conceived of before.

And 6 months ago, I doubted that I would ever truly recover.

But I have also been more vulnerable and courageous this year than ever before, and whatever criticisms there are leveled against me (there are many, most of them probably fair), there can be no claim that I didn’t give it everything I had.

It’s this quality of mine that I hold onto during days and nights when the anxious terror seems endless; that I have always been resilient, always able to continue moving forward and do what has to be done. At heart I suppose, I have always been overly idealistic, perhaps a little too romantic, and all at once enamoured with the idea that my life could be exactly all the things I want it to be.

It is this quality, I think, that has given me the courage to move forward with you.

Nothing about my life is the same as it was a year ago. Literally, not a thing.

I have a completely different job. A year ago, my job was a fire in my soul, surging through any stability and peace I had; part of me thrived in the flames but most of me suffocated. I made the decision to leave that behind not without many nights of restless, racing thoughts. To be entirely defined by my work was the only life that I knew, who would I be without it?

Also this year, I made the decision to get a dog – Wilson. I had twirled the idea around for months, I apartment hunted with the dream in mind. I asked myself all kinds of questions, big and small. The biggest was looking into the future, what would my life look like ten or fifteen years from now? Because if there was even the slightest chance that that picture wouldn’t be able to accommodate a dog, then I knew I shouldn’t go ahead with it. But I realised, like everything else in life, that there would never be a right moment for it. And the only way was to dive right in and figure it out along the way. If the picture didn’t work with Wilson included, then I would change the picture.

This conviction steadied me through some of my worst moments this year. When nothing else remained, and the picture changed so rapidly I could barely keep up, I could rely on this one thing being the same.

And then, of course, there was the apartment. The beloved apartment with its parkade floors and ceiling-to-floor windows and glorious afternoon sunshine and kitchen just big enough for home cooking and dancing while you wait for the kettle to boil.

This apartment has felt more like home than any other place I have ever lived in.

But in the aftermath of this year, I didn’t know if it would ever be anything more than a place that reminded me of how everything fell apart. I say fell apart, though in reality my old relationship was never really put together if I was being honest.

There were certainly weeks when I trembled at the thought of going into the study, and the empty cupboard in my bedroom made my heart race. But night by night, I rewrote every inch of this flat into my own.

I let myself spill out into every room, and one day, a few weeks later, I stopped saying “our apartment”. He was gone: unceremonious, piece by piece and then one morning, nothing.

And then, there came you.

Unexpected. Overwhelming. Thrilling. Terrifying.

Meeting you was like inhaling fresh air after years of suffocating.

I close this year lighter, happier, and more in love with myself, and my life than ever before. And you too. In love with you too.

You laugh and share with me as if we have done this all our lives.

You’re my best friend.

Sometimes I wish I had met you years ago, but I think that I had lessons to learn and growing to do, and I think that we met at exactly the right time for both of us (though inconvenient for you …).

Being with you looks good on me. I think it’s because when people see us together, we glow and beam and shine and our goodness sort of spills over onto them. At least that’s what I feel like.

I love watching you with Wilson. Seeing how much you love him.

I love that the what-ifs of life don’t scare you.

I love that you’re sincere and reliable in a way that is so exclusively you.

And if I thought that I was crazy, I love that everyone loves you.

Now when I look back at the relationship I was in for so long, I know why it never worked the way I wanted it to. We weren’t right. And I’m grateful that I let go of it in time to meet you and not miss out on this.

Anyway, I’m nearing novel length, so I’m signing off here.

I miss you as always. I hope you’re happy and safe out there. I hope you’re smiling and thinking of us.

Love love love you!




Facebook tells me that it has been 44 minutes since you were last online. For the next two weeks, you will disappear into imagination.

What little I can imagine, of course. I have never sailed into fading light, or watched the shoreline disappear from sight. I can almost imagine the sway of the yacht through the waves; and how after a while it seems rather ordinary.

Back home, things are a little slower. Wilson, I think, is convinced that at any moment, I may walk out the door, never to be seen again. In his first year of life, he has experienced more people leaving than arriving and I think he is beginning to question that people ever do return.

The heat of the day hasn’t yet given way to the calm evening. I find this kind of weather particularly nostalgia-provoking and so, as I write, fragmented, random memories (mostly of you) float through my mind. Some return with a slightly sharper twinge than others. Like a second ago, a gentle breeze swirled momentarily through the room and I paused mid-sentence to indulge in the memory of walking hand-in-hand with you to Fat Cactus, last Friday.

I’ve decided to start this journal because I feel in some way as if I may contemplate all of life in your absence, and that this may turn out to be one of the most significant summers of my life. And so, I’m going to do my best to document it here.

Along with all the necessary whines and sulks that come with having your love sail away for 8 weeks.

My heartbeat has been very vocal about your leaving all day – even now it feels as if I’ve just come off running a marathon. But the rest of me has been in denial I think, and as I sit here, still for the first time today, and reflect on it all, I can feel the gap you’ve left behind in my home.

So quickly I’d settled into the routine of welcoming you home at the end of a day –.

In the last hour, I have spent every other second making mental notes of things to share with you; only to remind myself that you will only hear about them in two weeks when it will hardly matter that Wilson attempted to hunt a mosquito and dived straight into the side of a box.

Despite your ire at my constant phone checking, I must admit that scrolling through all our past messages and photos has been more comforting than I thought it would be. Something I am sure I will do countless times in the weeks to come.

But more than, I have scrolled through my own Facebook posts, from long before I had met you. Trying to remind myself of what life was like before you were here. What did I fill these evenings with? It’s not the same, of course. But still, those memories are so far away, I can barely pull them into the light of memory.

Even the night I met you is some distant, foggy thought with only vague twinklings of recall – that you hugged me, and wore a black jacket that you took off and put back on numerous times through the evening, and stared at me when you thought I may not notice, even though I can always feel your eyes on me.

Tuesday this week marked two months since I’d met you. 8 weeks.

When you return, you will have been long for the same amount of time that I’ve known you for as I write this.

Being with you has been effortless – neither of us trying too much, or thinking too hard. Truly effortless. In a way that nothing else has ever been.

With you, I feel an ease and lightness that I had forgotten I could have. It’s hard to put into words how close we have grown in the short time we’ve known each other. I’m sure, positive even, that to many people it must appear bizarre. It feels that way for me too.

In hindsight, I think it was precisely because I wasn’t trying with you that everything seemed to work. Wasn’t trying to be what I thought was more attractive. Wasn’t looking for anything other than what was in front of me.

And in this profound connection, I have made a best friend.

I love you. I could probably write the night away but I’ll stop here.

Sail safe.