With all pitfalls in life comes something that can be learned – whether it is a tough lesson to learn or not.
I’m not “old”; I turn 25 in October. Already, I know for a fact that my 25th birthday will be the best yet. For SURE. In 25 years, I feel just in stating that I’ve lived many lives beyond my years; I have certainly faced rejection; I was prematurely exposed to corruption and in turn, the evils of the world (some of the most evil evils in fact), and so few people know that about me, that they refuse to take me seriously. I’m about to come forward publicly with one dimension of my life story, just a couple of months short of the beginning of my 25th year. Lately, as I have mentioned, my life is stoic; my life should be changing, but I’ve yet to find that golden opportunity for change. Instead, here I am, and nothing has changed, and it’s made me increasingly less patient and more resentful. However, there are so many good things that could happen to me and I’m trying not to be resentful; instead, I’m trying very hard to be embracing and try new things and support my dreams instead of automatically crushing them with my own painful and pessimistic views of reality. Life has handed me very difficult lessons to swallow, and because of that, I feel the need to speak to what I’ve learned, cohesively and coherently, before I pass this message onto the world I’ve been so afraid of in the first place.
Firstly, when tragedy strikes, it’s so common to blame yourself: I wasn’t good enough; I wasn’t strong enough; I could have prevented this — I could have stopped it in its tracks, or started something else; I could have said something to prevent what happened. The fact is, you didn’t; you couldn’t have. The world – your world, is more than ‘what-ifs’, and ‘what-ifs’ will never make you feel better, more validated or more ‘whole’; they will only shroud you in darkness and regret and self-hatred. And they’re irrelevant. What if something worse had happened? It didn’t though; you’re still alive. You may still have people who love you and you may have a reason to get up in the morning and drag yourself out of bed. It may even be a small reason that is seemingly insignificant to the world. But to find that reason, is to realize that there might not have been a reason. You might be six feet underground with no reason, thought or ‘what-if’. Don’t let the ‘what-if’s rule you. You could’ve, you should’ve, but you didn’t. Instead of tearing yourself apart for that, work with what you still have. Even if it is just scraps.
Second of all, understand that it’s more than okay to be angry. I’m angry all the time; it manifests itself in different ways; oftentimes, abstract ways. I get angry and lash out in the car, on the bus, in my own head, in my writing, and even at people I love. Or people I loved. I look at anger and see the sole source of it all. In one swooping motion, it covers me. I could never relate that anger to its root until recently. Once you know why you’re angry, it’s easier not to be. Because you think, “am I angry because of this person I love? Or because of the person I trusted who let me down?” It has occurred to me that whenever I’ve been angry, about anything, his face has even briefly crossed my mind. Every single time.
I’ve learned to be grateful for the person I am. As I said, working with what you’ve been given is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I believe circumstances dictate what we’re made of, and what our “purpose” is on earth; we give what we’ve been given; the best advice we can give is first-hand advice. Being able to dispense that advice to someone else is something to truly be grateful for. I know who I am and I know why I am; I’m not always happy with this. Sometimes I hate the person I am. Sometimes I question what my life would be like otherwise, and sometimes I feel trapped inside a body and mind that I know for a fact aren’t mine; but these are the darkest days. Even in dark moments though, I can take a look in the mirror and see someone who has overcome a lot, and who is genuinely satisfied with their inner accomplishments. I have much to be proud of, but what I’m most proud of is realizing that to be grateful allows you to move on.
I’m not a forgiver; I know this about myself. I am hard-edged, I am mean-spirited, I hold grudges, and I never let them go. And the reason for this is that I truly know in my heart of hearts just how difficult it is to be ‘wronged’; by love interests, by authority figures, by friends — and never truly be able to explain to them WHY I feel so wronged, and WHY being ‘wronged’ affects me so deeply. Even those who know, can’t understand. I’m glad so few people can understand. I don’t personally believe that one needs to forgive. I think it’s sometimes perfectly just not to. ‘They’ always say that to forgive is healthy and healing and enables us to move on. However, who are ‘they’ anyways? And why do ‘they’ feel they are just in telling people who to forgive and why? In my life I’ve learned it’s okay to be angry. Sometimes anger drives me. Sometimes anger reminds me who I am and why I am who I am. Sometimes anger helps me deal with my problems, because I am able to hammer out words with pen on paper and it is just that: the pen and paper, that relieve me of my inner demons; not drugs, not external therapy, not alcohol – pen and paper. There’s a lot of anger that comes out on that pen and paper. Constructive anger, eloquent anger, anger that I am thankful for having. For if not for this anger, I would not write. I’d be an empty shell; the nine-year old regressive child, and that’s all.