Exactly a decade ago I was imprisoned by my mind, plagued by my fears, shattered by my sensitivities, robbed of hope by my daemons. For years I stood still and closed my eyes to the darkness surrounding me, only to find it behind my eyelids again. Every step I took felt so insignificant because I couldn’t see anything at all. But I kept on taking those steps because they gave me something to hope for, something to look forward for. Never did I even dare to fathom that a day would come when I’d be out in the open, free. Never dared the faintest whisper of hope enter my heart that one day I’d find myself. Never ever did I think that I’d stand in my truth, however fragile or flawed. But here I am.
I’m 25 but I feel like 35. Because my pain was intense, my growth was exponential. But once in the open, once I took the first wobbly steps outside, as my own person, I noticed that the world had moved on, and the world assumed I did too. No one wants to hear about a struggle unless you can quantify it, unless you’re paid $100 000 per speaking engagement. Because the truth is that majority of humans remain imprisoned within themselves. Their thoughts, their feelings,their dreams are limited to the tiny crook they assigned themselves to. People are afraid of the unknown because they are yet to explore the unknown within. They suppress their inner pain only to find it outside themselves,in the world, in other people and so they spend what’s left of their lives running away from it all, straight to their grave because the grave is a familiar comfort zone. The only freedom is the one you gain by fighting your fears, the only life is courage.
I’ve forgotten how to be a human. My reclusion made my muscles weak, the comfort eating that kept me company in the dark tunnels turned into unforgiving weight gain. Makeup is a confusing art. Black is my go-to colour. I throw on an abaya and put on sneakers and out I go. I don’t look…glam. But to be able to go out and laugh and not be afraid of being happy for fear of sadness…it’s such a miraculous feeling. I’ve forgotten how green it gets in the summer, how fresh dawn smells, how the horizon is so close yet so far away. I am so grateful, so so grateful that I’m finally…me. I DO care what people say or think, I DO get hurt, but I do not budge. I will not budge. I will not hide my unfavourable truth despite feeling embarrassed when I do . I own my truth and I will not let anyone taint that. My flaws, however horrible, are mine. Can I be too real? No. I can only be who I am, even if that person is….a weirdo.
“Jane, be still; don’t struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
— Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)