It seems in life that we hit the ground running at 100 miles per minute and we aren’t allowed to stop until we find that end that society deems acceptable, whether that be retirement, death, what have you. But no one ever says it’s ok to stop and not smell the roses, to just stop and do nothing for even a moment. You are told from day one to work the hardest you can and meet goals, to achieve success but do it in the right way. Yes, it’s ok to fail because you have plenty of time to try again, and try again you must. Because if you don’t, then you have failed. Failed those you love, failed society, and most of all failed yourself. But I don’t want to fail, and I have been trying for so long to keep going even though the gas has run out. I look around and I am swallowed in pain and exhaustion. I am pulled in a thousand directions and told to walk in one. And yet, the words of wiser ones are displayed in front of me telling me to dream and imagine, to dance as if no one is watching….and I am lost. I am the child who can’t swim, who can’t ride a bike, and who doesn’t understand the latest trends because she sits alone in the corner trying to comprehend the hand life has given her before it is really her time to worry about questioning. I am adrift in my own mind while others talk of societal woes and countries at war. And somehow I am still expected to be “ok” and just going through the motions to make life continue on. But what happens when I do stop? Will I find happiness in the silence? Or does everything come crashing down around me, the failure and disappointment settling in? Im not sure. But so far, for the first time in my life since I pushed down on the gas pedal of life, I feel alive.
I am a young 23 year old woman that when I ask how old I am, I tell you to guess. I don’t care if you know, I just want to see if you can tell. Have the years really laid a heavy hand on me or am I a naive child still to your wondering eyes. Most guesses? Usually late 20s and a few shocks when I reveal I am the youngest in the room. My husband always says I’m the oldest 23 year old he knows. I was 13 when my life flipped and I think I aged five years that first year. I became a stone angel, the weeping angel if your familiar, and lay dormant within myself, crying for none to see. Without realizing I became this person that I am today and found that I am no where near who I wanted to be or who I want to be now. I was a gracious and loving friend who cared too much and if you dared pulled back my hands that covered my weeping eyes,a vicious monster lay inside. I put myself on my pedestal and thought I was better somehow because I was strong for surviving these past ten years, and instead I had fallen so far. In November last year, it all came crashing down though, and reality laid down her heavy hand. I was constantly about to step off a giant cliff in my head every moment of the day, and panic attacks had become the norm. The depression I coddled inside of me had grown out of control and I could no longer keep it tamed. I was sitting alone on the bathroom floor and realized that this woman huddled alone was not a woman at all, but a 13 year old girl who had never really grown up. She had played the charade and used her smarts, but she had hit the ground running before the light ever turned green and now was lost.
So where do I go from here? I don’t know, not really. You can ask me what my plans are, and I’ll give you some educated guess, but the goals are off the table and the concrete agendas are thrown out the window, I’ve stopped, and not to smell the roses, but to plant a garden, to wipe the slate clean and become the woman I know she wanted me to be. And while this may be the harder path, the longer road to get home, I think I have some catching up to do.