A reason to stay

I write because …

This world, too, is beautiful.

I look through old photographs. There’s me, a little girl-child with a curious visage. She’s not faraway, not ethereal, not cold. Distant, yet present. On her island birthplace, she’s not that noticeable unless she finds the sweets and takes what she can. With her body requiring higher glucose consumption than the rest, she’s a mischievous sugar bunny.

She’s still here.

Why write? I’m a terrible novelist. I stumble over words despite English being my native tongue. Well, with the world around me so focused on written verbal communication, it’s hard to escape. Instead, I play.

Words are amusing at best, devastating at worst. I developed a new quirk lately, a loud exaggerated sigh preceding the declaration, “I hate words!” Sometimes the frequent miscommunication has me laugh, other times I want to be buried under a pile of snow and just fade. But, you know, words come by and brush that snow off my sleepy bunny.

I’m not sure what to feel when I compose. Being in constant liminality, I select an emotional expression according to my judgment. This often gets me in trouble because it’s assumed that the expression I display is my truest internal state, but usually it’s reflective. If/when I do attempt to assert myself, it tends to be a shock or surprise.

I figured, well nowadays, other than academia and demands of contextual literacy, I should write to uncover my actual feelings and learn to express them in healthier ways, i.e., not self-punitive or indirectly asking to be punished.

Ahh, I saw that dear girl today
Looking for her own path, she moved onward
Ahh, I sent a cheer with all my might
At her retreating back, until I couldn’t see her anymore

But like, that’s exhausting. I already am analyzing my environment without pause – welcome to being physiologically hypersensitive – do I really need to examine fluctuations in emotional patterning as well? Yes, because I’m in a psychotherapy training program. I have to be highly self-aware to attend with clients, colleagues, and my own self-care.

So why write? If expressing myself verbally is so tiring, other than for survival reasons, why bother?

I already said it. This world, too, is beautiful.

That’s what I want to convey through my writing. I lost many in my life to various forms of death, turned my face from family of origin, walked in and out of persons’ life after life. Change should be the only stationary aspect of my life. Isn’t that what is taught by the great thinkers of this present time?

No. I didn’t temper my amazing capacity for resilience by expecting everyone to go, for everyone to leave. Why am I still here? Why didn’t I succumb to numerous demands for me to pay my life in exchange for prescribed bliss? Or die from health issue after health issue?

Because this world, too, is beautiful!

There are times I will say, and quite chilled too, “I hate this world and these people in it.” I feel my wrath, my rage, my pain at being a victim many times over and realizing something crucial to abuse culture:

The law said, “You are innocent until proven guilty.”

Abuse culture says, “You are guilty until proven innocent.”

So why write? Should I expend my every waking moment to prove my right to exist? Should I explain to the two young women on the bus who pointed at me that I’m not Muslim, not a refugee, and likely held full Canadian citizenship longer than they were alive? Should I make an example of my experiences how insidious abuse culture is? Should I assert my identities to qualify for entry in any given space? Should I articulate why I refuse to be labelled as a feminist?

Is that the purpose of writing? Having a voice in my own space to speak up?

Ahh, in this limited time we have
I don’t wish to regret a single moment of it
Ahh, in this short span we call life
Just how much can we really smile from the bottom of our hearts?

No. I’m human. If I do those things, it should be because I choose to.

“What does the world owe you?” Andrei’s father asked during a particularly heated discussion on abuse culture in socioeconomic theory.

I had an answer for that, but the words came much later. One day, I brought up the topic again. We’d defaulted to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but of course that wasn’t good enough.

So I prepared another response. “The world doesn’t owe me anything. I don’t owe the world anything in return.”

My roommate liked that. It’s not as if we actually believe and stand by that response, but it’s quite fascinating to turn someone’s reasoning against them using their same pattern. The unravelling and rebuilding is mesmerizing as it is heart-wrenching.

So I write.

That people can access and choose, of their own volition, to peek at the secret to my resilience. I have my moments of deepest despair. Moments when I want nothing to do with life. Moments when I’m determined to give up. To fall down, to the ground, and be buried. To decay to feed other lives. To not take up space, to let another have the resources bestowed unto me and do better according to what is wanted.

But then I realize something so incredible. It relights me every single time.

I may not be wanted, but I certainly am needed.

“I’m okay. I’ll always be okay.”

I write to you of beauty. I write to you of pain, of bliss, of the harmonics as all of life’s sea shards meld and weave and interrelate in a celesterral (celestial-terrestrial) live performance. A performance not meant to deceive or convince.

A tale weaved by this endless wanderer that I be.

A performance living!!

In the end, I just wish to see your smile


REFERENCES


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