The Amsterdam Journals - Finding peace In Lessons and Loss

Friday, 25 September 2015

(Max's writing desk at midday, these thoughts written here.)

In life we sometimes win or we sometimes learn.
The truth, in its ardent and dispiriting address, is that we very rarely win.
Understanding this as a meditation ironically became my biggest accomplishment, my most cherished win, but to see it I've had to spend a lot of time flailing and falling and learning.

Learning is often in the mask of loss, in the last few years it has felt like I've lost a lot.
I allowed acts of losing to render me as someone who denominated themselves as an all year loser.
I trudged through the damp and pocketed these clouds of winter wind that felt like they could burst into an aggressive flood that I'd be trapped in forever. 
They've been awful, truly difficult - I allowed the puppet of loss to pull my own strings and lead my hands into temptation, my head into destruction and my heart into self-loathing.

But for the first time in my life, I have allowed myself the opportunity to rip off the mask of loss and see lesson.
It's a difficult structure, this haphazard scaffold you place against the unsure, often feeling ugly and clunky and too high here and lacking width there, but all of the pieces tessellate eventually.
They fit, they mould, they create a utility for leaning and protection. 

It's still mastering in size as I grow, still wobbling even when I see peace, but most importantly I have made the decision to begin the build and know its foundations will remain until I'm ready to advance them further. 
This not a declaration of readiness as a whole, but a wink and salute to welcoming the start line.
Whatever, wherever, whoever - peace is a decision and one you can't make until you've accepted learning and appreciated it just as much as you would winning. 
It's as difficult as it feels profound, in the times I've needed peace I've not felt worth of attaining it, strong enough to hold it.
There have been years and will be more where I don't believe it exists. 
Pain has a comfort that peace cannot see and that's why the latter is brave.

But here in Amsterdam I got to look it in the eyes, study its face and introduce myself as the foreign stranger that I am.
We may not be cosy confidants just yet, merely passers by who lusted for each other, but the joy in knowing that we've been acquainted excites me enough to push out an invitation for us to meet again.
It is here I am letting learning throw me into adventure and in turn discovering teachings that haven't been bred from pain. 


  1. Beautiful, profound. Your words continually blow me away Charlie. x

    1. Maybe you can lend me your thesaurus, dictionary and encyclopedia to decipher this post then. You're gifted beyond on your years but damn girl where is the regular posts about young lady stuff, you write like you're a 50 yr old divorcee.

  2. Charly I haven't been reading your blog for very long, but this is lovely - some tough thoughts and realisations but ultimately brave and upbeat. I can totally relate to this. Please don't be regular. You've a unique view on life, but us other young ladies can relate to feeling like this occasionally.

    x Síle
    Any Idle Sunday

  3. Really useful and important words to keep in my head :)

  4. Honestly, this blog is not updated as I would like it to be, but this post is (like all of the others) pure gold! I love the fact that you always find the right words for all the feelingsI can not properly explain myself.
    Life is hard, but in the end we are all going to be okay. :)

  5. You are a great writer and you have inspired me ever since I started reading your work and blog. One day I hope I can write posts that will inspire others!



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