I always had really odd goals, growing up.
Most girls I knew wanted big flashy jobs, with big flashy husbands and lots of money and lots of kids, in random order. I wanted to live alone, preferably in a country where no one knew me, and from where I could send bucketloads of money to my mom, so that she wouldn’t have to depend on my dad. And to my siblings, so that they could at least have a ‘normal’ life growing up.
Normal. That’s the word I looked for. That’s what I dreamed of. My classmates would have stories of family movie nights and dinners and parties. I’d chime in with an almost entirely made up set of family stories, about a happy vacation or a farm in the outskirts where we went on the weekends. Or excuses, like how I couldn’t come to a camping trip because I was going out of town that weekend. Or no to a sleepover because I had to go to some important dinner or wedding. Stories of a normal childhood. Pages of a normal life. Normal, normal, normal. That was the recurring theme.
Till normal stopped being so important. Eventually so much of the truth and the bitterness slipped through the cracks, that the lies became too many for me to even carry around. I gave up on the lies, gave up trying to fit in. I stuck out. Like a sore toe. Like a bruised and bloody toe, lol. And I didn’t care. Bruised and battered does not exclude being occasionally happy, and that’s fine, really. I learnt that I didn’t need to lie, just because I was different and my hopes and dreams were different. Heck, I was stronger than most people I met, and I learnt that that was something to be proud of, not ashamed. I grew a spine, nurtured a modicum of self respect, and let the anger go, and some of the bitterness. I changed, and at some point the dreams changed too.
You’d think that at some point of being so continually lost, you’d give up on ever finding yourself. But apparently it doesn’t work that way. I should be used to this life by now, but I look back and I’m in exactly the same position I was ten years ago. At least I’m past being that girl who lifted weights, in the hope of bulking up her biceps and being able to hit dad back if he hit mum (unlike all the others who just wanted to be skinny and pretty). Still, forced to put up with my dad. Still living a bizarrely restricted and warped lifestyle. Still having to defend my mother and siblings, still struggling to figure out how to move out, how to get away. I know what I have to do, but I’m tired. I’m just so tired.
I’m tired of waiting for dreams to solidify. For a love I know I probably won’t ever get, and even though I got it, not the way I hoped. For freedom, for liberation. For not feeling like self destruction was the only control I had over my life.. and for not wanting to hurt myself, just to feel a little in control again. I’ll be twenty five in a couple weeks’ time, and I still go through the day feeling like I’m seventy five. I’m just tired, I’m so tired.
I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of hoping and planning and compromising. Being that incredibly strong and incredibly brave girl with the beautiful soul. I thought there would be more, to life. How do people get so much more, and even though I have it all – money, family, a career, even love, in a way – I still really have nothing at all?
I just thought that there’d be something more. That there would be a time when I would be able to sleep at night with none of these cares on my mind. With a person on the other side of the bed who would hold me while I slept, maybe. Who knows, maybe kids in the next room, a job the next day. Planning a road trip down to a concert for the weekend.
Or maybe none of that is meant to be, and I’ll just be living this life, for whatever is left of my life. Who knows.