As I start to type about a “problem” so ridiculous that I consider writing it in my diary and pushing it back to the darkness of my bed side drawers, I halt and decide that this “problem” or “situation” rather is in this very moment over occupying my thoughts and behaving like a fly in my wine. Therefore I must divulge.
As the “situation” stands, I believe I have become stifled by the so called “beauty” of my own long, natural in colour, product -less, soft, low maintenance and extremely well behaved head of hair. Don’t worry, I can not see your eyes rolling back because mine have rolled so far back and taken pause mid way that I can literally see the inside of my shallow brain. Laugh if you must, but there is depth amidst this first world problem.
Due to the compliments and demands from my parents to never cut or colour my hair due to it’s natural beauty, the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” theory, I grew to believe, until recently, that the only truly beautiful thing about me is my hair and without this accolade of natural beauty I would be lost amongst the idea of average or become frightfully invisible.
Now I look to my hair and see something I have never seen before, a canvas. For so long I envied those that took risks and braved the cut and chemicals that turned their locks into art. Perhaps what I truly envied was the risk and the bravery despite what form it came in. This “situation” has become a Segway to the realisation that I have been stifled by the fear of risk taking for the duration of my life thus far.
I am not or will no longer be bound by the so called “beauty” of my hair because if I were bald tomorrow, it would then be that that defined me amongst the drones of today’s media driven society. But in the presence of myself, I will feel like I might just be a little bit outrageous or fearless by the standards of a kitten at least.
And if all else fails, I will take a bottle of red to the hairdressers and by the time she is done I will be to drunk to care.
It was not a dream. It was a light switch that turned on while I slept. As the light shone I saw myself returning an item to its rightful owner. An item I had come upon by accident. At first I took pause, and asked myself if I should not keep the beautiful item, it was through no fault of my own that I had come to receive it. This thought seemed ridiculous and without rationality before it had even ended. Returning it was the right thing to do.
On the journey to returning this item, I did however, wonder whom I would tell of my good deed. This type of act was surely reason enough for a pat on the back, a few kind and reassuring words of praise? I returned the item, which was of course well received. I felt proud. I told myself I had acted respectfully not only to those who rightfully owned the item, but to myself. With that the light bulb exploded and my eyes shot open. Within that moment I realised that I am enough. I am enough of a person to appreciate my own actions and know unequivocally that they come from a place of truth. I am enough of a person to say thank you to myself and still feel recognised.
I am enough.
Today the pity stops. Today Tuesday, I reprimand myself for the years of self-loathing, self-hate and self-destruction. I am filled with shame and it is that shame that burns motivation in me. Perhaps not a motivation that will enable me to do great things by the standard of this generation or those that have preceded it, but a motivation that allows me the courage to take back the worth of my life that I so often shred away.
I realise today more than ever that I have frivolously discounted my existence more often than not. I have, what I now regrettably understand, insulted my own mother on numerous occasions just by simply questioning my purpose.
I question my path endlessly and yet all that is necessary is the knowledge that I walk any and all paths with shoes on. Not just shoes, but any shoes I choose because the freedom that I experience today, yesterday and all days is by far as close to the utopia of freedom we envision, than we have ever been.
I question myself; do I have the strength to carry out this desire to be a better person, to accept and be thankful for this life? Do I have the ability to throw away these man made demons and walk the life of a free individual with more rights than I know what to do with let alone utilise appropriately?
I answer this question with another question; Do I have the strength to bear a hundred lashings, to succumb to rape, torture or at best, death in the hope of change, in the hope of a better life? No I do not. Therefore I hope to no longer tarnish the strength of those that did, by devaluing my own presence.
I will carry the shame of all the days before today, Tuesday. Maybe I will not achieve any great feat by that of today’s standards, but the enlightenment of Tuesday has woken in me the desire to conquer Wednesday.
I had taken it upon myself to assume whole heartedly that his silence was a formed opinion. To me his silence was obvious, blunt and practically screaming in my face. Despite that no question had been asked, there had also been no mention made where it seemed only natural that one would commence.
I often start to stutter out a hint for his acknowledgement but quickly retrieve my tongue in fear of having to then decipher through lies told to spare my feelings or even worse, hear the truth. My uncertainties keep me in the dark, never to know what possible light is waiting for me: never knowing what doors could be unlocked from possible truths.
I fear that when the engine of aptitude was pairing people with purpose, it ran out of puff as I held out my hands. Now I watch the ones before me walking their paths and as I try to follow, the ground turns grey beneath my feet and I am reminded that I have no path.
Her eyes were apologetic. Her first breath of air stung her lungs and she cried out to the world. Tears were the only language she could speak and with each drop she tried to apologise to the world. “I am so sorry” she cried. “I am so sorry that I was forced upon you, so quickly, so harshly. I did not know,” she cried.
The truth was that soon enough the girl would be asking the world to apologise to her. Before the girl would have time to dry her own tears, she would learn that it would be the world that would so quickly and so harshly force itself on her.
I could see her falling into his smile. No safety net would ever catch the abrupt landing that awaited her. I could foresee the broken heart, the late night tears and the lost moments that would steal a year of her life, at best.
I tried to tell her a story, a story about a girl with a broken heart. She waved my words away with a smile but at the edge of her kiss hung the hook of doubt. She had to write her own story, travel her own path.
Her present brings back my past and I shudder at history repeating itself.
Now I ponder my current position, day in day out, a position not to be scoffed at. A position that allows me time, freedom and money. My eagerness to please no longer packs itself in my handbag before I leave to work, I no longer sit at the round table and I am most definitely replaceable. I have put aside my desire to be great at something because never knowing what that ‘something’ is, has been the Queen that keeps kicking me off the board of life.
I have only one strategy left: go to work, get paid and live.