G2K.

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• Who has always stood by your side?

I’d say my Mum, because she has, even if I didn’t know it or she didn’t express it, but a person about whom I know that always has stood by my side, even if he’s been doing it silently, is my grandad.

• What year were you born?
1997.

• Where were you born?
Pretty much in the same area where I live now, just in the town where the closest hospital with a delivery room was, and I live in the north of Poland.

• When is your birthday?
1st February.

• How many siblings do you have?
19-year-old brother Olek (Aleksander), currently learning to become a mechanic, exploring all the pleasures of newly gained adulthood, and also finishing this year, and exploring tons of new strategies for how to make money easily, and 10-year-old sis Zofijka (Zofia, or Sophie), a real scary screamy monster, but with a huge and fragile heart, always craving for attention, company, fun, movement and food, and since a few weeks a keen lover of skunks.

• Why is mental health important?
Because it affects your life on all its levels and it is essential to your overall well-being.

Journal prompt: Write a thank you letter to the person who has stood by your side.

Dear Grandad!

I’d like to tell you something I’ve actually never told you in a direct way, and which I now see really needs to be said. There’s so much I can thank you for – your love, acceptance, wisdom, strength, all these loads and loads of useful and not useful at all but interesting things, all the traits I have inherited after you, Mum says I have all your advantages and flaws, and although I think it is a little exaggeration, I still think we share a lot and I’m proud that I am similar to you because I admire you for so much…

But what I want to thank you for particularly now is that you’ve always stood by my side. Silently, but confidently, consistently and loyally. I love my family, I think I am lucky because I get along somehow with at least the maternal side of my family and I know they all love me each in their own ways and I love all of them in my own ways, but often there were times when I felt like I’m rejected by them or just not understood at all, like I am not one of them. But you have always believed in me. I think because we are so similar, it was easier for you to step into my shoes and feel what I feel in a certain situation, which wsn’t always what the rest of the family expected from me. Other people had their expectations towards me, often too high for me to meet, but you’ve always accepted me as I am and believed in me, maybe were even a little too uncritical, but well that’s what grandparents are for sometimes. Even if standing by my side meant to oppose all the others, even your most favourite daughter, you never hesitated. And that means so much to me because you could as well stand with them and be just expecting things. But you were always so understanding.

If someone knows me well, they know I hardly ever feel fully safe and secure. But anytime I’m with you, I feel more safe. ‘Cause I know you care about me more that I could expect, even if you never told me about it directly. Words are needless, if someone is a man of action. You’ve never used words more than you have to. And you taught me it’s nothing wrong when you can’t find words for what you feel. I remember all those moments when I was coming home from boarding school for a break and was struggling with something, and I always came to you with it. Not in search for advice, or to talk it through. Just to sit with you in silence, feel the warmth and strength of your hands. If we talked, it was either very brief, ’cause you always seemed to know what I feel, or on a completely different topic. I actually don’t remember talking to you about my struggles a lot or you asking me about them. But that was OK, that’s how our relationship is, and that’s how we both are, it would feel weird and kinda overly sentimental to talk with you about that, imagining it actually makes me laugh. I could describe to you different awful situations, or other bad stuff than happened, but never my feelings in detail,

Thank you for all the support, particularly in the years when no one else was truly and consistently supportive.

Thank you for your humourous approach to all the difficult stuff. You’ve never been overly positive or even optimistic about things, which annoyed me so much in my teen years in other people, but you taught me to laugh off sad things.

There are many more things I want to thank you for, but I’ll just say, thank you for being for me in every sense of this word. You were always somewhere in the background of my life, I even didn’t realise for a long time how much you help me and support me, but I believe so many things would be much more harder to go through without your presence or you thinking about me hundreds of miles away from me.

Mila

 

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