Context: a man that I’ve known since middle school. An old friend. Sends me this message after noticing a picture of my mother on my profile. My mother passed away almost a decade ago, I just started speaking about her 2 years ago.
I don’t think people understand what it means to be guarded. Guarded for me is not a choice. In fact I’m in a constant battle with myself everyday pleading with my mind to let my heart speak. I hate talking about things that genuinely have an impact on the quality of my life.
Losing my mother had been one of those things. I would say that majority of the people I went to school with had no idea that my mother passed away. I actually just started letting people know. I had gotten so used to avoiding having to speak about her death. Focusing so much on other people and their lives that there wasn’t any time to focus on me. I liked it that way. Focusing on me came with pity from others, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want anyone treating me different. I didn’t want people to feel forced to be nice to me. I let the people think what they want. I believe that’s what my friends liked most about me. I let people think what they want and if they never spoke to me, I found no reason to clear up any misconceptions. I knew who I was. I knew what I had been through. Nobody could take that from me.
However, I didn’t realize that me withholding that emotion was noticeable. There had been so many things that transpired in my life, that losing my mother was not the start or the end of the pain in my life. I refrain from talking about it because it sounds unreal. The people that I do let know always tell me my life is like a movie. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. Foolish of me to think nobody would see through my smile or hear anything other than the sound of my laughter.
I was never taught to keep a smile and keep it pushing, but I saw what it looked like to dwell and I decided that wasn’t where I wanted to go in this lifetime. I made that decision by myself, I had little to no guidance in this life so I like to appreciate the little things I accomplish.
Even now, I struggle with vulnerability on this page, because just when I start feeling like I’m writing in my own personal diary, people start sending me my posts, responding to them, talking back to me, appreciating me and what I do. I love it, and I don’t know if I would still be here without the support. But it just reminds me that this is for the world to see. I don’t know who might see me, but it’s scary. Having someone see me. In a world where we all live our truth behind a facade, I am choosing to be open and it’s invigorating and frightening all at once.
Why is it that when we start new relationships, we question ourselves more than normal ? We want to be perfect. Every response must come across exactly the way we mean it, because we are thoughtful with our words. Not too nice, but not too mean. We want to be just right all the time, keep the conversation flowing. Keep it light. Sometimes at the expense of having conversations with any real depth.
And what happens when we come across a person who quite literally says whatever they want whenever they want? They don't care if some thing they say offends you or even if they lose you.
Logically you should want someone who also thinks before they speak. Consider you before they say the things they say and do the things they do.
But we don't always follow logic... We stay, we work with what we have and go through the motions. Going through the motions. It's dangerous territory.
What happens when things are no longer light and you need someone to support you. Is the foundation strong enough?
Since this has all started, things have been popping up in the forefront of my mind that would've otherwise been lost amongst the chaos that lives in my head. Memories, people, conversations.
My new favorite memory: randomly attending an open mic night on fairfax with my best friend, and coincidentally seeing one of my cousins bare his soul to the crowd with words that pierced like a knife. Displaying confidence I can only dream of having.
You see, that moment was everything to me. I knew my cousin to be shy and quiet, never really having much to say. That night I found out that everything that I thought I knew was absolutely wrong. I knew him all my life, but I feel like I met him for the first time that night.
July 25th, 2020
I am young, and still trying to figure this adult thing out. I come from a West Indian household, and my life has been a series of unexpected events, like most.