I have always been curious as to how people view me, especially upon first impression. Depending on what sort of social situation I am in, I will put out a certain front. If I know most of the group I try to act as I normally am. I will crack jokes, maybe have a few conversations, and then I recluse after I’ve had enough.
As an introvert, I realize I am most at ease when I am alone. After a while, however, I start to crave human company. I need a conversation, an exchange, something to remind myself that I am not a complete recluse. I sit in coffee shops or browse bookstores for the sake of interaction. I don’t need to have a full-blown conversation, normally. I simply need other humans in my vicinity to acknowledge.
So how do people see me, then? Am I a wallflower? A flash of colour passing by? Am I mysterious or intriguing or do I even stand out in any way? Would I be considered awkward or strange? I can be open and talkative one second and then closed up the next. Does that make me confusing or sullen? Seemingly mature or the exact opposite? Do I look world-weary or naive?
What do people see when they see me?
I can’t help but be drawn to languages. Communication and the fine use of words are beautiful things. It bothers me when people do not care about the language they are speaking. A lot of people only speak half a language; they speak a watered-down version of English, full of crass and mispronounced verbalizations. I understand that upbringing plays a large part in this, but then there is also the world of the Internet in which many people get lazy. From laziness comes a lack of care which becomes a bounty of grammatical errors. I am not perfect in this as I also grow lazy with my words.
My mom read to me and my five brothers when we were younger. She has always had a compelling storyteller voice, and even as we grew older, we would still listen in as she read to the younger kids. This brought a love of books to our family. We would collect series and try to read books before anyone else got to them. Our favourite series was the Redwall series, written by a man named Brian Jacques. We would take his fantastical stories to the backyard and pretend to be talking mice and otters and foxes. Even as an adult I am sure I would still play those games if it were societally acceptable.
I was lucky to have the childhood I did. I can speak and write and I hold a desire to learn inside of me. There are those, however, that never were given the chance. Kids drop out of school, dread homework, can’t even add sums or multiply simple numbers. It’s a hard world for learning, but I must reiterate: the language you speak is important. It is the difference between a high-paying career and minimum wage. It is the difference between forgiveness for a ticket and an instant fine. This is a prejudice but oftentimes a truth. We can use language to our advantage. After all, it is what convinces a nation to vote for a president, to believe what they read, and to take a single comment as complete truth. The moment someone types your instead of you’re, their opinion is instantly disregarded. It matters.
While I intend to complete my knowledge of the Spanish language, I am still learning the English language. There are words that I have never heard or have never dared to utter for fear of mispronunciation. English is complex and brimming with rules and exceptions to these rules. I occasionally bend these rules for the sake of rebellion and/or poeticism. All in all, maybe I simply wish for everyone to have the same draw toward their own language. Perhaps then our communication wouldn’t be so lacking.
While I look at my child as he crawls and climbs and falls, it occurs to me that I was once a child like this.
I look back at my childhood dreams and teenage stupidities and wonder what sort of dreams and stupidities my baby will have as he ages.
I made life so hard for my parents. I hated them at some points, even. The worse thing my child does to me is try to run away as I change his diaper. He may have a day where he hates me. It may last longer than a day and it seems so hard to believe.
Motherhood is hard. Parenthood is hard. My husband just had to do compressions on a man who committed suicide. His own mother was the one that found him, and that scares me.
I guess all I can really do is teach my child to love and to value the fragility of life. As his mother, I want to protect him and keep him in a perfectly safe bubble, but this will make him value so little. He needs to experience the harshness of life to understand the beauty of it.
But I am afraid. I cannot help it. Forgive me.
Pain was necessary to make me who I am. Even though sometimes the thought of what I’ve gone through is crippling, I know for a fact that it was the turning point for my becoming. Without pain, I would never have held a relationship to the wild step of marriage. Without pain, I would never had given it my all to birth a child. I wouldn’t have the determination that I have now to experience life to its fullest. But, oh, how it hurt at the time.
When a fifteen-year-old finds herself at the mercy of two grown men, so many things can happen. I could have died. I could have been abducted, sold, lost. I was violated but so much worse could have occurred in that moment. I survived to have a family and a life of potential. It killed me then, but it drives me now to love beyond reason the harshest of humans. Somehow I still see the light in this world.
In the year following that moment, I was dark in my soul. My mind shouted and my nails were used to scratch red, bloody words onto my skin. I wrote horrible notes to myself where no one would see them. To me, I was nothing. Ruined. A whore. I kept my dark secrets buried and let them simmer and shape me into a bitter cynic. I felt ugly, inside and out. And to me, every man, both young and old, wanted me as a toy to play with and then leave in the dirt.
What changed this horrible mindset? I had a mental disease that was eating away at my core. Whatever could possibly heal me of it?
There is a love that reaches deep into your heart and strengthens it and fills it where it once was empty. I may yet be cynical but I believe wholeheartedly that there is a God that mends the broken mind and drives us to live again. He let me realize that the darkness in me was my soul crying to be whole. I was not abandoned or ruined or the putrid heap I thought I was. I was loved. I was beautiful.
I hope that in my sharing of this there will be someone that will understand. Do not allow those that hurt you to win. You can still stand strong and tall and live life wonderfully. I hope you find the healing that I did. I hope you have better days. I hope you grow old with your family and can look back to see that pain only made you tougher and didn’t cripple you. You may still cry or flinch at little things but it will get better over time. Survive. Do not dwell on the past, as it cannot change, but it can change you for the better if you’ll allow it.
Being young and having a baby puts me in an awkward place with my peers. Most women my age are only just getting engaged, or otherwise they are in school and working five days a week. This places me at the edge of circles, not yet old enough to be considered in the mom groups and in such a different place in life that I feel strangely mature in my usual group of friends.
I know I’m not the only mom to feel this way. My life doesn’t revolve fully around my child and husband. I don’t have dinner on the table every night. I just want to go on long runs in the forest and come home to a smiling baby, but that’s an impossible daydream.
I do like to work. I enjoy the feeling of earning my money and paying bills. I enjoy helping others.
Maybe what I’m trying to say is that I feel too young, too old, too busy, too lazy, and nowhere near where I wish I were in life.
I’ve always dreamt of traveling the world and learning new languages, of meeting new people and living in both poverty and riches in order to fully understand the world. I wanted to be a police officer, unbiased toward even the most distinctly different person. I wanted to be a writer, able to carry emotions in my words and change people though them. I wanted to be a wanderer, untethered by family or feelings and able to explore the entire expanse of the earth by wit alone.
But I found myself married at twenty years old and it’s possible that none of those dreams will ever come into fruition. And perhaps that is all they ever were: dreams. They were ideas that I latched onto and ruminated over so often that I found no fault in them.
Now I do find fault in them. They are missing my husband and my son and my family and friends and perhaps I feel for them more than I let on. I can be stoic and tired and hard and untouchable but I don’t think I can live without the people that surround me.
I sympathize for moody teenagers because I was one, but I also understand the need for stability and nine to fives and those days that drag on because they mean you love and are loved. I love and am loved, and I could continue to pine away for my unfulfilled dreams but sometimes things come into your life that you never expect and you never knew you needed.
I never meant for this to become what it is, but I guess I needed to write some things out for them to make sense in my head. Thank you for listening.
This is the account of an unnamed man
Who lost his way in the ways of the land
Who never once thought to look down at his hands
And wonder where exactly to stand
Yesterday, a child died
A father, a sister, a mother cried
And despite a good name it was black and white
The white holding all of the right
Our unnamed man felt a twinge in his heart
Although he was fully engulfed in his part
A witness to tell the details, to chart
The steps of those only a hue apart
We hope he decides to see past the colours
Because life could be a bit easier for others
If lives were respected as though we were all brothers
And the loaded guns remained holstered
© 2017 singinthebreeze.wordpress.com
Have you ever noticed how different we all are? Even people that are similar have differences. We dress different, give our bodies our own flair. Celebrities try to be each other, we try to be them, and yet we cannot. Do you know why? Because we can never be the same as someone else. We are not clones cut from the same mold or the same exact ingredients. Even children are different from those who made them. There are changes in personality, changes in the way they walk, differences in what they prefer to eat. Twins, the people who are the closest to each other, are different. None of us is like another.
Still we try.
We shape our bodies and our faces to be like people we know. Mass groups are changing themselves, compromising their images to be false. Why do we do it? What have we to gain? We have so much to gain from being unique. From each person we can learn. We all have thoughts and words ready to break forth out of our lips. Our ways are our signatures, the signatures that we leave behind when we walk out of a building. They leave people wondering, wanting to know more about us. Our differences hold the interest of those we meet. They are what make friends and enemies and rumors and job offers. Without these, life is lifeless, colorless.
Can you see the sparks?
Leaping off our faces and out our eyes, surrounding our sighs with light and laughter. Those are our desires and feelings. Those are me, drinking my coffee without any sugar. Those are you, drinking your coffee with several spoonfuls. Those are the world, preferring one movie over another, one fabric over another, one topping over another. Those are also the pain that each of us feels. The reason a father hurts his family and the reason a friend betrays a brother.
Without. We are purposeless, gray matter amidst rainbows. Nothing we do can change that we are not alike. Hello, you. It’s me, a person. I am not you. You are not me. Now let us be friends in that broken harmony.