It starts the same as any other day, boring, uneventful, dull. Today is a new day in a never ending stream of bad days. I wake up in a hurry, shower, dress and eat in a hurry. Life, I find is so hurried in every action, in every moment someone is hurrying. Some say that we should live moment to moment, that life could be over in a blink of an eye. Why is it so terrible to want to wake up, fill the coffee pot and wait the few minutes instead of tossing in a pod and having a cup in the blink of an eye. Why do we instantly google the news instead of walking to a stand and buying a news paper, sit down and take our time to read it, be informed of our society? Why, can’t one leisurely pick out a book and sit down somewhere quiet and read for a while? Why, must everything be done in a fraction of a second?

I used to love to sit and read, sit and write, sit and enjoy. However, these days I can barely find the time to call my mom and say “hello”. I wake up everyday wanting to be better, do better, take everything in as I go along my day. One might say it’s wishful thinking, there’s bills that need to be paid, necessities to be bought, work to be done. Why is it that I have no care to do this? Why, seems to be the question in the back of my mind. 

I used to write short stories, novels and poems. I used to have this deep appreciation for literature, the construction of well thought out lines. This appreciation of deconstructing the meaning and reading between the lines. Of finding the secrets every author leaves lying in this beautiful object bound by paper and twine. I love finding the clues, the antitotes, the secret words and mysteries. In every book, and in every individual who picks it up there is a wonder and excitement. The curiosity of a good book. You start reading and it peaks your interest, it always plays at a feeling deep in your chest. As you move along, read word after word, page after page, you feel it connecting to your soul, pulling at things laying deep within. Soon you’ve reached a point in hopes of your favourite character achieving their goals, getting the romance, winning the tournament, you feel this happiness maybe even gleefulness. That even though you could not have it yourself, that this fictional character has become your friend and so you share the emotions that you would for your own friends. 

You reach the climax, you watch these pieces of yourself start getting closure, happy endings, self acutalization, and sometimes you find out that your heroine didn’t get the closure she neeeded, the guy didn’t get the girl. Sometimes happy endings are not what the reader needs. The reader needs hope that not everyone comes out squeaky clean, shiny and fixed. The occasions where a reader picks up a book and hopes that by the end they now have an understanding that while things may not go as planned they do not need a partner to be whole, they do not need possessions and objects to be a better them. No, the reader has found that you can be strong on your own, you can piece yourself back together without having to depend on someone, and maybe its that all you need are good friends. 

I said to a friend once, “We’re always a little broken, life is like that. We fill our lives with things we like, people we love and whom love us back. Eventually we go from being shattered pieces to being mended. We will never be 100% whole or perfect but instead we will have wrinkles and rips. We start to surround ourselves with people who remind us, maybe being damaged isn’t so bad when you aren’t alone. Being okay, is a state of mind that happens when you realize everything will start to hurt a little less and breathing is a little easier. You’ll get there one day, doesn’t have to be today or the next. It could be next week, or next year, but one day it’ll be better.” 

I think that’s the point of life. We trudge through it with our defences up because somewhere along the way we kept getting hurt and we started building these walls around ourselves. We meet people along the way who tear those down and help you realize that not everyone is bad, not everything hurts and we become the walls for our friends, the ones to be leaned on and supporting. Perhaps that’s the whole point, perhaps we are simply meant to be here to support others because when the time comes and we can no longer stand alone, there is this wall that as broken and crumbly as it is, it is there for us. It is our wall, made by the love of our friends, the wear and tear of adventures, fights and make ups.

A single face in a sea of bodies

Today, I woke up and laid in bed just as I do every day. I knew today would be similar to many of the other mornings. I told myself, today I can do this. Today, can be a good day, you just need to get up. Every morning I go through this, it’s a mental pep talk to try and convince myself maybe today I can do this.

I get up, I walk into the bathroom and go right past the mirror without looking at myself, this too happens many mornings. Most mornings I can’t stand to look at myself. I turn the shower on as hot as I can handle it, I strip down and get in. Maybe I’m punishing myself in a way, trying to burn a layer of disgust, hurt, or maybe a layer of anxiety off my skin. I stand here until my skin turns red and raw. Most mornings I spend the first 10 minutes crying, some mornings before I can even make it into the shower I get my first panic attack of the day. Sometimes I’m on autopilot and I don’t think I’m capable of any thoughts or actions except what I know on instinct.

By now at least 30 minutes has passed, I stand in front of a steamed up mirror and I think, if I wipe the steam away I might see a different person, I will see someone who is ready to start a fresh day, who is happy to be alive and well…. Other times I know if I wipe the steam away I’ll see someone broken, someone who isn’t ready to leave the room and start her day, maybe, today I’ll see the eyes of someone who is able to look at themselves, maybe I’ll see a smile that is genuine. Maybe I’ll see myself and thi, I am worth living.

I go into my room and the anxiety kicks in, do I throw my hair up in a bun, throw on sweats and a hoodie and go to work or do I pick a nice outfit out, do my hair and makeup and look as put together as I make everyone think I am? Today is a day that I am going to look put together, if I look the part maybe they won’t look in my eyes too long enough to see the person who is falling apart behind the smile and sparkling eyes

I go about my day and I hear the comments of “you look great today!”, “I wish I had eyes like yours” and sometimes I get the question “how do you always look so put together?” The honest answer to that would be, I have no idea what I’m doing, but as always Ill say what people want to hear, I’ll chuckle and say oh, you know how it is. Some days things just fall into place. I’ll smile big and maybe place my hand on your arm or shoulder as a gesture of thanks.

One once said “practise makes perfect”, many people believe this to be true and will show this true, in dance, in academics, in careers and contests. I, however, think this was said by someone who knew how hard it was to try to be someone you wanted to be, but weren’t really. I think practising makes it easier to hide the mistakes, to hide the amount of effort it would take one to continue the ruse and amount of deception it takes to skillfully execute such things.

Throughout the day many thoughts have gone through my head, perhaps, if I reached out to someone and told them the things going through my mind, if they’d understand? Or perhaps they’d tell me I’m being silly, my life isn’t that hard. I have a good job, a new car, an education, friends and family… I often tell myself in dark moods, remember someone else has it worse than you, someone else is deeper in this hole than you… But who am I, and who are you to dismiss what I am feeling… Perhaps one day I will be able to speak up and say, today is a hard day, today I didn’t want to get out of bed, today I thought of six different ways I could die, that wouldn’t be my fault, and someone will say, your thoughts, fears and anxieties are valid!

So today, I will be a single face, in a sea of bodies. Today, as many other days, I will avoid eye contact, I will chuckle at questions I don’t want to answer… Today, I’ll be the biggest hypocrite I know.