My Crazy Quilt
It'd be easy to say
it's my mom's fault
for telling me she never wanted me
until the day she died
or my father who
was never told he was loved as a child
so couldn't say it to his children either.
It'd be easy to blame their genes
passed on to make
my one sure thing in life.
I could blame it on
being raised poor
without cool clothes
sitting by myself at lunch
never picked for anything
much less popular with anyone ever.
I could blame it
on all the destructive things I tried
to fill the hole in my soul.
I could blame it all
I wouldn't get credit
for the life I made from it all.
Something in me took every
slap punch put-down rejection failure
and whispered, "Show them."
and I did.
I took control
all the crazy pieces life had given me
arranging and rearranging to my liking
then stitched them together
into the zany masterpiece
that is me.
Bursting at the seams
I almost see the sun eroding the asphalt as I pushed a mountain of grocery-store carts towards the store, up the slow incline of the parking lot. My stomach gurgled angrily. Money had been tight that Summer. I'd eaten two full containers of peanuts I'd gotten on a discount. It had seemed like a smart decision at the time. Hot honey-flavored bile rose in the back of my throat.
"No." I squeaked aloud. "No." It was all I could manage. The sliding door opened with a ding. The air conditioning chilled me to the bone, my body drenched in sweat. If I loosed my lunch I knew exactly who'd have to clean it up.
"Dagan, are you alright?" my boss asked as I rolled past.
At last, I wheeled the carts into the stockroom, and threw up into an empty trash bag. Success.
When I was young
my parents were strong
Invincible, untouched, never wrong
But as I grew the cracks began to spread
wider and wider
everywhere I tread
The mist was disappearing
my mind finally clearing
to what I had been fearing all along
That they were human too
and soon I knew
that meant faults and all
So when I first saw them cry
about cancer, gray hairs, and
not enough time
I told myself that its okay
to finally leave my childhood behind
So while I still laugh and I still play
I no longer live in a perfect world
as I did yesterday
"I'm going to college," I said.
"How can you possibly afford that?" They replied.
"I'm graduating school early," I said.
"Why the rush?" They replied.
"We're getting married," I said.
"But you're so young," they replied.
"I'm pregnant," I said.
"What about your career?" They replied.
"I'm resigning," I said.
"To stay home with your baby?" They replied.
"I'm pregnant," I said.
"You're fired," they replied.
"I'd like to work for you, but I'll need maternity leave in two months," I said.
"You're hired," they replied.
"I'm going to grad school," I said.
"How can you prioritize that over your family?" They replied.
"I'm applying for a promotion," I said.
"When will you be happy to just be?" They replied.
"I'm getting a divorce," I said.
"You have only yourself to blame," they replied.
"I found love," I said.
"Probably just because he has money." They replied.
"I make more money than my husband," I said.
"We don't believe you," they replied.
"I have many plans for this role," I said.
"You need to smile more and be less direct," they replied.
"I've found a new position elsewhere," I said.
"What did we do wrong?" They replied.
"I have big ideas," I said.
"We're promoting you," they replied.
"I can afford that," I said.
"How?" they replied.
"I'm happy," I said.
"Good for you," they replied as they rolled their eyes.
"I no longer care what they think," I said. And then I knew I'd succeeded.
Life isn't easy
and it hasn't been the best.
Once I thought,
"maybe it won't ever get better,"
feared the worst,
couldn't see past the darkness.
I was told I wouldn't make it.
"How will you survive real life
if you can't survive high school?"
"How will you have a job
if you can't talk to people?"
"How will you be loved
if you don't put yourself out there?
If you look like that?
If you aren't even sure love is real?"
And I believed them.
I couldn't talk to people.
Anxiety and depression controlled me.
I didn't trust people;
too many had shown me I shouldn't.
And I didn't believe in true love.
My parents convinced me marriage would just end in hate.
Then my heart got broken
and it was the lowest I had ever been
and probably ever will be.
But it made me grow.
It finally destroyed me enough
for me to seek help.
I went to therapy
and slowly my mind was convinced
that not all my thoughts are real or true.
Not everyone hates me.
I am not solely what I look like.
I am creative and funny and hopeful.
People like me and want to be my friend.
So maybe I'm not rich or famous
but I have a job
and I have friends
and I talk to people.
I'm doing okay.
And that's much more than I thought I would ever be able to say.
My therapist tells me that my brain is different than most people's. She says that it sees things differently, bigger. But bigger isn't always better.
Most of the obstacles in my life come from my brain. Seeing the bigger picture, seeing what everyone's thinking (even if it's not real), seeing words and phrases all in my own imagination. I'm afraid of most things and most things produce melancholy for me. That's why I take psychiatric medications.
Recently when I've been lost in thought, hating the way I think, the way my brain works, I daydream, vividly, about reaching into my skull with clawlike fingers and removing the brain. I suppose the brain isn't actually pink like in most picture books. But I'll imagine it is in the daydream, and it's stained with blood. Then I'll set the brain, my brain, on the table and point a gun at it (which makes no sense, I'm too chicken to hold a gun), and shoot it. BANG. Because I don't want it. I don't want this brain.
It holds too much. Too, too much.
The medication helps me overcome it. My therapist helps me overcome it. But it seems to be a much harder journey than I anticipated. An uphill struggle. Perhaps success will come. Perhaps someday I'll measure my success by overcoming the mountainous obstacle that my brain seems to be (really, it's only three pounds or something, but it seems so much larger now). And if that day comes, until that day comes (I have to be positive-- my therapist says so), I'll keep breathing and lightening the load on my brain. Till the day where I don't believe I have to shoot it to relieve the pressure.
There are always road blocks in life, some of us have more than others and I know I have had quite a few. Some have been smaller, some have been bigger, and I can't remember all of the obstacles I have faced, but one has been my ability to get better at the sport I love, horseback riding.
With two of my brothers also being sports and the fact that my family isn't the richest in the world, horse's are also quite expensive, it means that I'm not able to ride horses more than one a week and I definitely can't get myself a horse. Which means that I can't excel and improve beyond the few chances that I get monthly.
I have had road blocks in school as well. Being that I am not great with confidence in asking questions to certain teachers, or even raising my hand to answer a question in certain classes, it is harder for me to thrive in those classes. I believe myself to not be as smart as some of the kids in certain classes which forces me into silence even if I don't understand a problem or answer.
Road blocks will always be there for me, I just hope I can eventually get past them.
The term obstacle could be seen as derogatory for success. There really isn't no success without obstacles, not because life is just hard but because it was made to be so. Alot of times we are poised to believe our obstacles define the level of our success... Well, not really. Success and obstacles go hand in hand, but, you might just need to scratch the surface and an obstacle becomes your success story. Whereas, someone else needs to dig deeper, and clear the bushes before even having a glimpse of what success may look like. Time plays the protagonist, and the antagonist which we really do not see. "It's all in time". Why? You might ask. It is simply because we are measured, and guided by it. My greatest obstacle is more than one. They are so numerous a (500) paged novel may not be able to do justice. The truth I came in contact with which I share is oneness with time. You see, time starts to tick immediately you enlisted into the legions of "sperms" about to be gushed out into your mom. You already started running with the clock, trying to get to the ovary as quickly as possible to quickly fertilize. Time beats every other sperm, once one sperm gets to fertilize the egg and then the rest wither away-like a leaf loosing it's grip to a tree. Onwards you go chasing after time in the form of so many things. It is called "Obstacles", and also "Success" to many. Ever wondered why billionaires never stop trying to retain their positions, or the young teenager wanting so bad to be an adult, is it the adult wanting to be a teenager once again so bad, or the worker trying so hard to be a boss. The athletes strive to remain in shape, whilst the politicians never want to loose power. Analytically, it's all deposited in time, not the shame nor the fame. Time is what it is. Everyday opportunity comes by, you either take it or leave it, that's time. One child could start saving whilst a toddler, another begins when an adult. Another never saves, and becomes richer than both. Time my friend is where it is all buried. The success you have today, or that which you shall have is buried in time, Obstacles are part of the process. Time is your only way to success, and the only way to succeed! Time is in itself "obstacles". There really isn't "overcoming obstacles" without time!
The challenge I strive to overcome is the voice inside that sings a different song.
That says I am weak when try to be strong.
That counts the future as marked in stone.
That treats help as an unnecessary chaperone.
That seizes the time it takes to run as successive
That takes training a step far to obsessive
But I listen and rise above the echoes inside
Success only I define, I calm my pride
Against never ending doubts I survive
By accepting not avoiding that which makes me alive.
I never knew just how much power a single storm had. I used to have a friend called Sky, eyes gray, and white shining smile. I used to be scared of the rain. I know, right?
What a funny thing to be scared of, what a silly fear.
Did you know that one in five hundred thousand people get struck by lightning? Never thought I'd say this, but Sky was right. I really am one in a million.
I was looking up when the first thunderbolt struck.
That first time I remember clearly, as it made me go blind. “This is a one time mistake, ignore it for now” said my hopeful mind, all while ignoring the tears running down a newly made scar.
Eternal sunshine Sky'd always promise, but his promises were made of rubber bands. Stretch them too much and it will just SNAP! No warning at all. A hurtful surprise.
I wondered how everyone loved Sky so much, was it his eyes? Or shiny smile? I wanted to be Sky’s ocean of pure water, though somehow ended up being regarded as no more than a sad drizzle of rain. I helped him through stormy nights, dusk to dawn. Exhausted. That's how I felt. Drained. Drowned. But he still saw me as no more than a drizzle of rain.
I wondered whether Sky felt as drained as I did. After hours of crying, and dying, and lying, there must be a shock, a boom! A pom! Because in no time he’d be happy, full of life.
Even in the midst of my own dark storms I always remembered Sky was still my person and I would never want to hurt his sky. On his sky he showed his feelings, love and pain. Despite his storms I couldn't storm away. I learnt to dance in the rain but be careful to not trip, cause one single bad drop could make me forget how to swim.
Was the rain bad though? I was his soft rain, always staying with him through the storms. I turned the rage in his sky into a rainbow, turned the red rage in his eyes into happy shades of yellow. So maybe Sky meant good when seeing me as rain, after all he needed me and wanted me to stay.
The last storm I remember of Sky’s he spat words full of bitterness and slapped me once or twice. I tried being gentle, soft, but it's impossible to not crack egg shells on slippery floors. For the first time, his storm felt nothing but ...warm?
Either Sky was hot or I'd gone cold.
Id gone cold.
I realised then that the Sky I saw in front of me was not the sky that fought, I was up in the sky far, far away from the Sky I once knew. Id be mistaken to think I was free though. Free of the problem, but trauma still stands, my hair still feels wet from time to time.