Feel everything. To resist is to prolong; you need to hurry. It will begin slowly, as an ache afar off, in a distant antechamber of the mind, this memory of a maize-colored boy with grey eyes, whose skin smelled ever of Cool Water. Think of him and his disinterest, think of the adolescent years you spent watching him want every girl but you, and of those brief moments of hope when your friends would play Telephone and deliver you the message that you were not as big a bore to him as you supposed.
Sensation will return first to your marrow. It will warm when you remember what it was to want and not receive. Absorb this hurt and other tinglings will return.
Reanimation is burdensome. You will find that coming back from years spent literally chilling in a cryonic chamber is not as simple as sci-fi tropes would lead you to believe.
Your looks have altered; an ashenness will ever overlay your brown. And though your irises may glisten again, the whites surrounding them are veined and yellowed. This frigid state has leathered you.
It will not be an easy adjustment, confronting old insecurities head-on, while battling these new ones. All the women to whom you’ve compared yourself have chosen to continue evolving, while you chose to pause, under pressure.
Many men who might’ve been matches have gone forward and grown while you froze.
Love will return; it is hardy. It has been known to thrive, even in tundras. But it will not be as unabashed as it was. In fact, love will be the last of the things you re-learn. You cannot redeem it at any location you’d left it before.
This isn’t a lost-and-found. There will be no retracing of steps. Forge new paths.
And in each new space, expose more. You are not the numb woman you were; you’re bionic: every nerve an electrode, a-sizzle, every bruise, an absorption of power.
Feel. This has been foolish.
No respite is worth the loss of recollection, no pain worth relinquishing feeling.
It is time to come back. Go forward.