I have always been on the path to self discovery. Realizing in my wild twenty-one years what this beautiful life could consist of if I ever found it. I thought I knew who I was and what I was capable of but I find myself looking for more. I want more than the simple life I lead behind my brown eyes or the tint in my skin or trying to be everything.
I have loved and loved and love. I will always. Love has always been a large part of my life and for the longest time I lost my faith in the meaning of love. I was sick thinking of love as some go to reserve. Love was an idealist way of thinking and in my life it was never just as simple as to love and be loved. I was in love with a man who didn’t love me back, wholeheartedly. I ended up bearing his child as he left me for another. I’m now with this same man, finding out he was heartless. After fake promises and excess lies, I’ve learned to question the love I have for him. I’ve lost the faith I have in people and find myself settling. I’m too tired, too terrified to put myself out there. It has been tough on my soul.
School has been tough on my soul. It makes me question my abilities and the identity I always thought I was filling. I want so eagerly to impress my professors, my former classmates and my parents. My parents who still don’t think I am capable of finishing. My parents who still burden me to be the best and it‘s been like that my entire life. My judgmental parents reminding me not to fail, when that changes my thought process to “What if I fail?” My strict parents who shaped me into this overly-emotional-newly-liberal-lack-of-a-religion character. All my life I wished I could have had motivating and thoughtful parents; parents I wasn’t always trying to prove myself to. My parents that made me question the love they have for me or for each other. Their relationship shaped me into expecting what I want in mine. I wished I had parents to help me in my search of self-discovery. ‘I’m trying,’ I find myself saying continuously. ‘I can do this,” I remind myself every morning as the alarm scolds me awake and sleeping next to me is the man I call the love of my life. The love of my life who is half of my baby; who leaves me easily every time his ex comes into town. This love who breaks my heart daily, just to make me fall in love again. But reality beeps every time the alarm clock does.
That is another thing: I could sleep for hours. No, I could sleep for days at this point. I’m so mentally tired and physically exhausted, I find myself sleeping awake! The kind of sleeping I see in faces of students walking class to class or sitting in the cafeteria- even in zombies. Waking at five in the morning is taking its toll on my body and mind. I try exploring options to fight the pain; coffee requires massive amount of sugar and cream for me to be able to drink it; those energy drinks make me pee like I’m pregnant; all the candy I’m eating is making me gain weight; and then the option of sleeping just isn’t an option. People say it gets better- easier even, but those people are zombies, I think.
As I roam the lonely halls from class to class, I see unique, zombie-like faces and feel the brisk warmth of hearts and souls from the lives of the people around me, like schools of fish. We are all like schools of fish, some of us get caught up in the big, blue ocean; some of us are continuously looking for something more; and then the rest of us realize that we are just fish.
I'm not caught up in the world. I don't think it needs to change. I don't think there are things I need to see to make me love it any more. I think the world is an amazing gift, I'm happy I was given a life, love and family to share it all with everyday I breathe. I know no matter what we do in the lives we are given, change is minimal. It is in our fate what is to happen when it does. I think the people in this world- me included, need to just realize everyday is another day to be thankful for what you have. I don't need to be caught up in the world to understand my blessings.
I'm not continuously looking for more. I don't need to travel, I'm happy where I am in the life I live. I know where I want to be. I don't need to find and look for peace. I have it in my heart and I think everyone does within their souls. Peace is acceptance. Peace is love. Peace is everyday in the normal, simple lives we live. When we breathe, laugh, dream and think- we are at peace. Peace is what is means to just be human.
That is all we are. We are human. We are meant to be just the way we are in our faults.
And our perfections. James Tuy Norrman. I have developed a fear of being without him. I feel like he is questioning where his mommy is when he stays with his grandmothers. I get over anxious, just in case something goes wrong. I fear he’s as lost without me as I am lost without him.
I began to think I under-estimated how difficult it actually is to be a full time student and mother. Recently, I was on the subway and some stranger won a seat right next to me. After a couple of stops he breaks the silence with his broken English, “You a Umass student?” Of course, I answered with a simple ‘yes.’ He continued, “What year are you?” I retorted, “It’s my first year.” He chuckled, implying his age.
I felt a tad embarrassed, “It shouldn’t be my first, though,” feeling my cheeks fill with color. He chuckled some more and retorted, “Oh yeah, and why shouldn’t it be your first?” I told him how I took off three years and that I wasn’t as young as I may have looked in my tiny mini skirt.
His face soon turned from his experienced chuckle to confusion. “What could you have done in those three years to put off school?” I felt somewhat of a stab. Like who was this man questioning my decisions? And how he wasn’t displaying an acceptable, societal behavior- for subway talk, anyway. “I took off three years because I had to,” realizing my choice of words were terrible, I felt a need to begin explaining my motives. “I originally took off a year because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then I applied to Umass and got in for the 2008 fall semester. I didn’t have my finances in order and missed the mark, so I didn’t attend. I wasn’t living at home-- made some bad decisions. I decided, after moving back home, to attend school in the 2009 fall semester. Then I found out I was pregnant.” His face turned again in acceptance, “Ahhh!” I continued with my story, “I didn’t want to leave my infant alone after I gave birth. And I didn’t want to make it in the winter semester with my boyfriend still at work. So I just started. My baby is old enough to know I’m here for him and I made a schedule to convenience me and my choice to go back to school.” He sat there in silence for a minute or two. Then he smiled. “Wow. Wow. Wow. I underestimated you.” Satisfaction filled me. ‘Damn right you did!’ I wanted to scream. But all I could do was smile. He laughed, “That’s honorable of you. You going back to school and raising your child. I don’t know how you do it.” I sensed an ooze of respect. He didn’t have to say it or anything for that matter.
Here was this man somewhere in his late twenties and he was showing me respect. After overcoming his pre-prejudice and his pride, he realized I wasn’t just some little girl. I felt like I held a different sense of wisdom than he. Our fate lead us in completely different paths, as we bid our farewells and he got off on the next stop. I then sat in reflection and realized I was capable of so much more. Just not in the R&R department and we’ll see where it all goes- hopefully not into that door with my zombie-like sleeping.