I’m the sister who makes the whole family walk around the neighborhood five times because it’s good for your soul, I’m the sister who drinks hot tea every night and leaves dark stains on the white counter, I’m the sister who stays up till 4am making everyone breakfast then sleeps in till 7 making everyone late to school, I’m the sister who ignores my chores so I can write three page long letters to the brother who is moving out, I’m the sister who cleans your room but misplaces your favorite shirt, the sister who always talks about all the dreams that nobody thinks will come true. I’m the sister who gets in trouble for staying out too late walking around the neighborhood six times, I’m the sister who gets in trouble for leaving dark stains on the white counter, the one who gets in trouble for making everyone late to school, for ignoring her chores, and loosing your favorite shirt, I’m the sister with all the dreams that will come true.
I can not remember my very first memory,
I have lost my first kiss,
and found my innocence buried under a tree in the backyard of a house I used to call home.
and even though I am blind to what I have not seen I can see what I know,
I have heard the wind whisper names and the man on the moon talk about the love of his life who orbits his heart with the sun.
I remember tasting strawberries for the first time and I remember becoming friends with the uncomfortable red itch they would leave on my face because each sweet bite was worth the elementary teasing,
and I now know, that I can not stare at the sun for too long without having everything I’ve ever loved be temporarily blacked out.
I have found my voice,
it is my first memory,
It is the ability to loose something I never had,
It is buried under a tree in the backyard of a house I used to call home
It is everything I have not seen and everything I now know
It is the wind whispering my name,
It is the man on the moon hoping to one day reach the sun,
It is the taste of strawberries and the teasing I survived,
It is the ability to see everything I’ve ever loved,
And it is me.
I miss being five years old and I miss trusting people, I miss rolling down a hill and feeling like I was on top of the world, I miss my best friend, I miss never completely understanding everything but still loving all of it at the same time, I miss thinking I would grow up to be some big inspiration, I miss the person I thought I would become, I miss the shadow I chased for ten years.
When you’re a kid you have dreams, aspirations and ideas of who you will grow up to be. And I guess you could say I still am a kid, a teenager with the will to change my life and determine who I become. But when you’re 16 it does not feel that way. When you get to a certain point in your life people look at you as if you are a responsible adult they expect things from you but they won’t say it. They will stare at you waiting for something to happen, for some big change.
I have lived my whole life watching, waiting for my time to step in for a chance to show everyone that I have paid attention and that I am ready for responsibility. I made mistakes, I got caught up in the thought of my myself in the chance to be alive and to feel real and I ignored others, and the way they thought of me. I ran to the finish line thinking it was a race for memories and chances. But driving cars, and walking miles to unknown places, chasing an idea never got me anywhere. I keep telling my self to wait, hold on because life will catch up with the height of your legs.
But people forgot about me, about how I felt and what I needed. Because I am not a sponge and I can not absorb your problems, I have my own.
You are born a certain way in a certain environment and you are taught to grow up and you are given certain privileges and you rely on certain things. But when you become a people person, a shadow chaser, a best friend, a survivor on an eulogy you loose your environment and you teach your self that anxiety is in the mind, you rely on stars and moons and thoughts of your self you rely on mirrors and leafs and things that will never leave you. You rely on something you will never have to catch up to something already in the grasp of your hand.
Because when I was five I started the never ending journey chasing after my shadow only to find it is a hollowed out version of five year old me. I surrounded myself with people only to be left with a silhouette of who I thought they were, and so I filled it with everything I have. If you do not like me, if you do not like your self then surround your self with things you love, things within your grasp stuff that won’t break or die or leave you. Do not become a shadow chaser or a best friend. Become your self.
My parents were the organized working type of hippies when I was younger. I’d throw fits and instead of first spanking me or locking me in my room they would sit me in a corner and give me three heavy metal balls with little bells inside that would jingle when they moved. I was to sit there and roll them in my hands and think about what made me upset. Of course when you’re seven years old and sitting in a corner with three balls you don’t appreciate the comfort the walls provide, and the jingle of the three beautiful spheres. Instead you throw them at what made you angry and then you get a spanking.
I was never allowed to watch caillou and I hated barney and every other show seemed a little too old for me at the time and since the barbie show wasn’t yet a thing I would make people read me books all the way until I was old enough to read my own. Both me and my younger sister loved Winnie the pooh. I always wanted to be pooh or maybe Christopher robin because everybody loved both of them and it was hard for me to find any flaws in either one. Tigger was cool but rabbit was always trying to get rid of him and I didn’t want rabbit to not like me cause I thought bunnies were pretty cute. Piglet was too anxious, sure he had fun but only cause pooh allowed him to tag along on all the adventures, and owl was too smart I didn’t want to give my self that much credit, roo didn’t seem to be as important as everybody else and I never wanted to be less than important, and Eeyore was funny but too sad. And in my house if you’re sad you got the three jingly balls and the beautiful life book which were not something I wanted.
So I was pooh. I related to him and tried to attain his simple mindedness and good ideas. But the other day I read a story from Winnie the pooh a familiar one, my favorite one in fact. In this story roo and tigger are walking past a large amount of pine trees and tigger is talking about all the things tiggers can do. When roo asks if he can swim cause roo fell in the river one day and he can swim. Of course tigger says “yes I can swim better than any roo.” Then roo asks if tigger can climb a tree and tigger says “yes I can climb a tree.” That’s when Tigger and roo get stuck in the tree and everyone comes over to save them. After tigger falls out of the tree crushing everyone below him and everyone below him crushing Eeyore, tigger says “Of course you won’t find me doing anything like that again.” then when he’s asked where he’s going next he replies “Roo and I are going swimming.”
Tigger doesn’t know his limitations, he thinks a lot about what he can do and not what he can’t. Since he has yet to try doing everything then he doesn’t know he can’t do everything. As much as poo was loved for his simplicity, in my eyes tigger is loved for being much more than simple. Even though I always wanted to be pooh I never was. I was always tigger, loving pooh for his simplicity and being loved for my lack of simplicity. Because who knows, maybe I too can fly just as high as a bird.
Everyday I try to understand my self more and more, but I never have understood my complete lack of trust for people who care about me and the doors to my mind that I leave open for people who question whether I’m even worth their time.
It’ll begin with my father who begs for an explanation. He’ll start off with the synonyms of why. “Why didn’t you tell me you had your first kiss? How come you never said you had a boy friend? How did this boy get up in your room at 2 am? Where are your clothes? Explain to me why you don’t own any longer shorts? What are you thinking? How did this happen?” But I never did care, none of it ever bothered me. They’re just boys, I would tell my self over and over again. But as I got older and I found myself wondering why nobody loved me, why nobody wanted me. I would run through the synonyms of why putting every question under the same category ‘Why?’ even if it was never why or how come but just a riddle or a question. To me, it was still ‘why’ it was always ‘why’. Because why was it even a question I can’t be the only one whose bed is too big for one person I can’t be the only one who gets tired of hugging them selves.
I found the answer, deep in the blue eyes of a boy down the street who would bring me what I wanted when I wanted and I found the answer in between my legs, I found the answer in his name under the sheets. But after, I wouldn’t ask myself why because I had the answer laying right beside me. Every night I would tell the moon I did it, I found the answer and he found me and I’m going to be okay.
But when the answer turned into a question, when the answer became unreliable, when the answer told me I wasn’t worth his time he told me he was in love but her name started with a C and that’s funny I thought because my name doesn’t start with a C. So I started asking the moon “How come I thought I had found the answer why did you let him come in my room if you knew I wasn’t the question he was looking for.” But it never made sense because my unfinished metaphors never made any sense to anybody but me.
So I was back to the beginning, running through the synonyms of ‘why’. I convinced my self it was okay I could clean my room, I could stop crying, I deserved better. But it never ends that way, not with me because I’m not any other letter of the alphabet I am who I am and I always know I can fix things I’ll make him fall in love with me eventually, it’ll happen. The night he told me he didn’t love C anymore was the same night we joked about how one day I’ll see him on the big screen and I’ll remember that guy as a good friend of mine.
That’s when I realized, you can’t fix everything. You can’t change people and you can’t avoid the unavoidable. No matter how many words you count the amount you say will never be enough to change her mind, because the plants that bring her to a state of euphoria you have never reached, will never leave her taste buds or escape her sight despite the tears she cries at night. His hands will never touch your heart no matter how many times they’ve skimmed the surface and taken your breathe away you will stay the same to him, just a figure moving in the dark drifting further into his past so he can continue his future without you.
Don’t get caught up in other people, you have enough to worry about and very few chances.
I thought I knew people, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I don’t because your haunting my nightmares.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry you were so stuck up. I’m sorry I loved you so much, I trusted too much. I put too much weight on your shoulders. I carried around so many of your problems as you did mine and now I have no idea what to do with the baggage you left me. What am I supposed to do with these shorts you left at my house? I can’t just leave them in this drawer I keep opening it on accident, god please. Your mom called and I couldn’t speak to her, I just kept apologizing. I don’t know what I did or how this is my fault but I need you can that be a good enough reason for you to be alive right now? Nothing feels right, this isn’t my life I can’t sleep because I found a brown curly hair on the pillow beside me and I’m pretty sure its yours, and I want to take these lights down because you helped me put them up and, why did you burn a q tip and leave it in the gutter on my roof right outside my window because it doesn’t belong but I can’t throw it away and why were there roses on your casket cause you know there’s a rose in my room, please leave me alone. I love you too much.”
and I wake up thinking I know people, people don’t die like they do in dreams. But I’m terrified cause I loose too much and nobody deserves to be a nightmare.
All I ever wanted to be was important, meaningful, significant, different.The kind of person nobody could read, the main character of the story. The kind of person who could ramble on and on without having their thoughts interrupted. I wanted to be as courageous as Junie B. Jones, moody as Judy moody, to have a friendship like Calvin and Hobbes. I yearned to be someone important.
We all want to be more than what we are. When I was younger I would stare up at the stars and beg to one day be equivalent to all the specs of glitter that littered the night sky. I didn’t want to be a star, no I wanted to be more than that. I wanted all of my memories, experiences, thoughts and ideas, I wanted every single one to equal up to the amount of stars that you could only find late at night on my uncles farm. But as I built them up, one by one tossing them into the sky hoping they find their way, I realized none of it was worth it. I didn’t want to be as courageous as Junie B Jones, when I realized how much trouble she was always getting into. I didn’t want to be as moody as Judy moody when I realized how stressed she always was, and Calvin and Hobbes friendship was nothing more than an imagination.
As I got older, braver, and more intelligent I found myself begging to just be something more than nothing. For months that’s all I wanted.
A life, no. A story. But recently I realized something; I’ve always been something more than nothing, I’ve always been as courageous as I could be, as moody as needed, and my friendships have been more amazing than I could ever imagine. I’ve always been Helen Forbes. The tall girl with an ever changing smile, the confident, loud, beautiful girl, that not every one loved but it’s okay because she loves herself. I love my self. I will always be something more than nothing.
Mentally I’m sometime okay and I’m sometimes not and that’s okay. Physically I most always feel not okay but sometimes I’m almost sure I could be a model.
Every since he’s moved in my stress level has increased. How can I possibly relate to someone who has both parents in prison. It was a mistake, I keep telling myself he’s not supposed to be here, it’s not his fault. He asks me “where are my jeans?” “I’m hungry could you make me something to eat?” “Helen, could you go on a walk with me?” and late on Sunday nights after he’s visits his parents The questions cease for a day. But around one am I can hear him in the other room crying his mothers name over and over again. I want to ignore his problems, handle mine then help him. But I can’t help it. I do his laundry, make his lunch, and go on long quiet walks with him. And Monday morning when I come to school with bags under my eyes and a slump in my walk, nobody will understand what it’s like to live with my nine year old cousin.
I’m upset that you’r gone, tired of holding in my emotions and regretting not helping you. I wish I would have said something, came up with a plan. Helped you in some way, because knowing that now you are gone locked up in rehab I feel guilty for missing you. Maybe I’m over dramatic, maybe the mother like responsibilities that my little cousin hangs over my head are finally getting to me. Maybe I’m just sad that you still don’t know how I feel. But how can I move on when you aren’t here to reassure me that my hair looks okay today and my braces are cute and not to worry because things are going to get better.
Self loathing. My body is like a building and my soul is the tiny people running around ringing phones and burning old files. My soul can be stable and quiet, all the little people sitting at their desks filling memory’s and remind me of my responsibilities and when everything is good on this inside most everything is good on the outside. But when I’m walking the halls or called up Infront of the class and dragged to my parents party’s, my little people go wild pressing every nerve and sending signals in all different places at all different times. They call that anxiety. And when I see him, with his green eyes and soft hands, the little people inside me get happy and jittery and quiet. And when I see him my soul screams from the inside out catching fire to every memory he gave me. They call this feelings. But lately, the mirror hasn’t agreed with me, I haven’t felt like a model or a princess and beautiful is a word my ears long to hear again from the little people inside of me. They call this self loathing and for me it’s a new type of torture.
When bad things come in threes, try to remember that good things come in fives.