Longing for myself

“It was always a big tragedy when my father had to leave the house without me. Even though I wasn’t a crybaby as a toddler, I had other ways of showing my despair.
I’d wrap myself around his leg, silently begging with my eyes to take me with him or to just stay with me. In my innocence, I was so mad that I wasn’t enough for him, even if he only had to leave for half an hour. I couldn’t understand why he ever needed to be somewhere else than just there, with me. My mother couldn’t make me understand in reasonable terms why my father needed to leave every morning, so she started telling all sorts of adventure stories, to reassure me that he’ll be coming home with even more adventures for me and him.
When I was 8, on my way home from school I crossed paths with him coming home, and I remember seeing him suddenly from afar and felt this scream come out of me. It was so unexpected and powerful, I startled myself. “Father!”, then started running madly towards him, like the few hours we were apart were actually years. Decades. He started laughing as he caught me in his arms and for the rest of the day I remained there.
Now, whenever I have to let someone go, no matter if it is a lover or a friend, the same feeling goes through me. That startle of my own voice desperately shouting for my father. That’s how I know how much someone matters to me. The first time my father told me to have that kind of longing for myself I was 20 years old and it changed everything.”

text & image:
Iulia Lazarean, 25
Bistrita, Romania

February 2019