So often, I think, we humans do what the title of this post suggests. We live in the world we’ve got, where we perceive things as nightmares and droll, dull, and bad, and yet still yearn to live in a place where dreams come true, life is good, and the boring things disappear in excitement and happiness.
Growing up sucks. I’m sorry, but it does. When you’re a kid, your imagination is the center of how you view things. Monsters exist, but so do heroes. If something bad happens, more often than not, there is someone there to direct you to something more positive and shelter you from all the “bad.” As an adult, that filter you most likely had as a kid is gone. Instead, every pain is felt deep, people really do go and not come back, people you love don’t love you back, and the world is a bit duller, the days move faster, and instead of holding onto hope it’ll be different, you start living in this doubt you’ve learned exists.
I wrote a poem recently. First poem I’ve written in 10 years. Nope. Not an exaggeration. It started off as most of my poems do. A simple line that triggers an image. Living in a nightmare…hoping for a dream. Then, as most writers can tell you, the words and ideas took charge and I ended up in a different place than I started. Thematically, it worked. The poem’s far from my best. But, rereading it tonight, it kinda did what a poem should do for me. It encapsulated exactly what I’m feeling and exactly what I’m filled with fear about.
I’ve always told people I tend to write when certain emotions take me over. I’ve been very reluctant to go there this year, as my last post would hint as to why. Growing up just sucks, and the difference between being the writer I used to be and the grown-up writer I am now is not just a measure of skill or technicality. I don’t want to jump and serve the feelings. I don’t want everything I write, everyone I communicate with, and everything I do serve what’s going on inside like I used to. My writing was prolific in quantity then, but I really don’t like it. It’s confusing. It’s angry. It’s alienating, and quite frankly, only shows one side of who I am. I’m mercurial. There’s always more than one side, and it’s about damn time people got to see it.
People get the angry, cranky, sheltered person I am. They don’t see the girl that feels everything everyone around her feels. If you’re hurt, I’m hurt. If you’re sad, I get sad. They don’t see the person who is willing to throw down and put everything on the line for someone who barely glances at her. The person that smiles when she wants to cry. The person that jumps cliffs just to prove herself to the one person that’s never watching. I’m the girl that sits against the walls at parties, watching everyone mingle and instead of being jealous, just enjoys the atmosphere of the room. I’m the girl whose voice muddles with everyone else’s. I’d rather feel than not, and I remember what it’s like when I shut myself down. I could read a book in a room surrounded by people talking among themselves, and feel a part of the book’s world and the people’s world I’m in at the same time.
I’m the girl that stares at stars and wonders who also looked. I like playing in mud and dirt, and I’ve been known to dance in the rain. I hate the cold, but I won’t hesitate to play in the snow. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want help. I want to be more than I am thought to be. I like to travel, even if I can’t go where I want. I love knowing where I came from. I want to see the land my ancestors walked. I want to know every bit of what made me me.
I miss the people that are gone. The same way anyone reading this misses the people they’ve lost. I miss the full heart I used to have when I could walk through a day and just know that this person existed. I miss being aggravated with them. I miss the normal of it.
Nothing’s gonna change with that. They’re gone. I’ve accepted it. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it. That’s what I am good at. I’m adaptable. I’m Gemini. I’m a Monkey (Chinese astrology y’all…look it up. haha). I can change. I can grow. I get it. But, I don’t like it. And, I think there’s just some things that won’t change.
My love for my family won’t change. I forgive everything, but I don’t forget everything. I’ll continue to put my heart and my soul out there for others, even all those people that logical part of my brain says not to. I’ll continue to stare out the window at night and gaze at the stars, listen to a song 12 times in a row to memorize lyrics that I won’t care about in two years, write crappy poems about crappy subjects that I’ll feel stupid about for years to come. I’ll continue to wake up, go to work, and put on that happy face, and I’ll continue to fall in love as I always do. I’ll still find the beauty in a sunset, or dance in a summer rain. I’ll still listen to the sound of peepers in summer, and shudder when the woodpecker sounds (it’s the Predator, don’t you know?). I’ll love the smell of manure, as bad as it is, and the smell of fresh mowed grass and the cold, brisk wind during a snowfall. I’ll still lift the snow’s weight on a shovel, and I’ll still enjoy the taste of hot cocoa (PEPPERMINT MOCHA FOR THE WIN!).
I left that world of dreams behind me more than a decade ago. That world was one where I willingly left responsibility to the side to foster being “taken care of.” I call it my world of dreams, not because I have given up getting them, but more that they were real then. Truth is, I felt I mattered in that world of dreams, not because of who I was, but because of who I wanted to be. It was easy to pretend, to fill a role, to let that become my focus and my life. I live in the world of nightmares now. It’s not that it’s scary. It’s just…not dreamy. It can hurt. It can bruise. But, it’s real. It’s who I am.
And yet, even so, the dreamer in me hasn’t let go. Maybe she never will. Maybe I’ll never let her.