My nephew just learned the power of saying NO.
When I try to take his favorite pillow—”No, no, no!” When I try to get him off the stairs—”No, no, no!” When I try to keep him still so we can change his nappies—”No, no, no!”
Cute, I think. But I know that someday, the world will take the tenacity of his nos. He will learn to nod his head even when his mind clearly wants to disagree. He will learn that his words can hurt; that, should he grow up to be disconcertingly frank, his opinions can affect someone else’s life. He will learn to lie.
Try as I may, I can never fully shield him when he finally discovers that yes and no aren’t that easy to give away. But I know I’d be there to remind him that during a certain period in his life, he stood before us, head vigorously shaking, and with all the integrity that his 16-month-old body could muster, he was able to say no.
I don’t know how not to love you. Not since you caught me in your spider web, mastered the art of me, put me by your side and allowed no one else to hurt me but myself.
I don’t want to know how not to love you. I wasn’t whole when you came into my life, but I was never really broken. At least I didn’t know I was. But you helped me cut off the rope that kept me in the shadows. You pushed me out into the field, threw away my umbrella, and let me bask in the afternoon sun while you smiled and gathered flowers that soon found their way into my newly freed hands.
I may never know how not to love you. I am who I am because you allowed me to be me. I am who I am because you reintroduced me to the world where my tree grows, roots all strong and mighty. I am who I am because you allowed me to see the world, my family and friends, to see strangers differently. I am who I am because somewhere between our introduction and a silly bus ride that others will never know about, you started loving me.
Thank God you did.
Tonight I whisper prayers for brains that question and hearts that break.
I hate the rain.
I hate the clouds.
I hate myself for believing that the drops of rain are actually their tears. That for whatever stupid reason, the clouds are crying.
How dare they?!
How can they cry on us when most of us have to fight off tears? When we’re trying to hold it in for someone else’s sake, or maybe for our own?
The clouds are crying and I’ve no choice but to walk amongst their tears.
The clouds are selfish. And I’m f*cking pathetic.
You won’t ever forget that moment your “friend” almost revealed one of your deepest insecurities. You won’t forget how you swore never to tell that person anything that can be used to belittle you in any form. You won’t forget the regret—the disappointment in your heart that you’re trying to hide from everyone else. You just won’t. At the very least, you’d learn not to care. You might forgive, but you’d have that one experience to go back to. You know what almost happened. And you sure as hell won’t let that person have a second shot at it.
I created a neat little area on cyberspace. Therein lies everything: wishes, dreams, annoying secrets. There, I have everything. Except hope. And a fuckingly awesome book. Not really everything now, is it?
I was once a kid.
I used to ride my bicycle around three street blocks. Always just three. I’d go for four or five if I wanted to feel adventurous. Or if I were being chased by a dog.
I used to ring people’s doorbells then run away. I got caught once, though. Some stupid teens who thought they were “too mature” to pull pranks on people pointed at me when a neighbor came out the door. So stupid of me not to check whether there were teens hiding behind bushes, doing “mature” stuff a.k.a. smoking.
I used to come home from school feeling all giddy ’cause me and my friends promised to play marbles. I never really played against anyone. It was always the boys who competed. The girls were there to cheer for whoever they like.
Then, I grew up.
I’m supposed to know stuff now. I’m supposed to understand, to forgive, to think before I act, to look at the bigger picture, to know how to make a difference, to be a difference.
Sometimes, though, you just don’t want to. I don’t want to. At least for a certain period of time, I wanna look at the world with my unpolluted, clutter-free brain and just smile.
Maybe we knew everything about life when we were kids. Maybe we once held the knowledge of the world in the silence of our young brains and hearts.
Then, we just had to grow up.