I may not see everything there is to see, but what does catch my gaze is seen with knowing eyes. The veil is not white or black, but rather an easy shade of grey. And when they tell me I dig too deeply into things, I say only when what’s on the surface cannot be. Because it usually isn’t. They don’t like when I expose them, when my veil does not hide their fallacies and misinformation. And I do not blame them. For darkness at times bemoans the light. But that will not stop me from lifting their imposed veil, because I was born to see.
worst of all, i can’t tell you how it happened. there was no burial. no evidence recovered. but one day i awoke to learn she was gone. in her place was a new name, one that tripped off my tongue. but i had to accept her existence, because i was gone. before i even knew who i was, i was no more. and i have tripped over her name ever since. we inhabit the same skin, but my attic of memories recalls her dreaming of a different life. she wanted to travel. she wanted to be free. she was a writer, a dancer, and she was on the verge of becoming a woman. by the time of death she had stopped dreaming. that much i know. it was no one else’s fault but her own. because she let the reins to her life free. now life simply happens to her. she no longer lives it, but is shackled to the day.
i think of the person i wish to be, who isn’t the image staring at me on the glass but someone else. someone with the gumption to say ‘no’. someone who does not seek approval but is content, if not damn pleased, with her own satisfaction. her clothes look like they were designed for her. everything down to the arch of her brows and the curve of her fingernails oozes confidence. she knows herself well enough to juggle any role without getting lost in it, without resentment or anger. she draws boundaries and stands guard of them, because she will not allow anyone to compromise her being. she is not me, and memory correctly tells me that she never was. but i miss her. and i hope one day we will meet again.
Alone. How many of us can truly be alone? With no one but ourselves, our thoughts our only company. No television; no music; no calls or texts or tweets. Just self. Few. Very few. They say people fear the unknown, and this is true, because so few of us truly know ourselves. We are afraid to be alone because we may not be our manufactured selves after all. So much of what we see is a product, a persona, an image, that we have not become mere consumers but rather producers of our own product: ourselves. Solitude is nourishing. We cannot be who we were meant to without first being alone.
If who I am must be defined by what I do, then the definition must be in my own words. Otherwise my self will not be mine. My reflection a stranger’s; I will not know her eyes. I must gather the artifacts of my life and record them on my own notepad and on my own terms. Lest my existence be merely on a string. I am a marionette no more. Scissors, pen and paper are my arsenal. A threat to no one except myself. But once I conquer myself the world may be caught off-guard. Stay alert. The truth awaits.
These conditions-both self-made and by chance-these conditions make me question my journey’s purpose. What meanings can I derive from this seemingly never-ending state of fluctuation? How long must my heels feel the heat of hell, and my ears hear the songs of heaven? What, I ask, is the Rite of Passage I must encounter before I find solid footing? When will I find my place, and where will it be? This state of transition is so uncertain. I long to simply belong.
The skin I’m in today is not the same as it was five years ago. Each drop of dead cells is like a reincarnation of self. I am more comfortable in my skin now than I ever was in the last ten years. I spent those years trying to change who I was instead of just being who I am. Amidst the noise of others’ expectations, my own were never met. And I felt as if I wore a costume, disguised as who I thought I was supposed to be–who I was expected to be. Only I loathed the skin I was in; I did not know who I was. As I exfoliate my former self, I feel the liberation that comes with being unconcerned with whether anyone else likes me, as long as I can recognize myself in the mirror and love what I see.