By SOFIA AHMED
I forgot to eat, again.
I had to be called home, then dragged when I didn’t comply, to eat something. I was too happy, too alive, how was I supposed to remember that I needed food when I was this content? My thoughts, feelings and actions were so seamless that there were only a few moments where I heard myself think. Memories, I didn’t know it back then but I was making so many vivid memories, I was happy when I was sad, I was happy when I was angry, I was happy when I felt down. I was happy simply because I was alive. There was only one small taint that later became a big part of my life. Waking up to go to school. It wasn’t so much having to rise early alone, but the entire idea of it that I found suffocating. Why was I being hauled in the unforgiving cold of the dawn to go somewhere I didn’t want to be? This thought along with an abyss that seemed to swallow me whole would occupy my thoughts for just a fraction of a minute, but it was dreadful and I smiled less and less, I started to become aware of my thoughts. I remembered to feel hungry.
I was growing up, and by the age of eight, I had convinced myself that I had life figured out. I was practically an adult, I believed. I started building layers onto my persona. Sometimes, I reacted in ways that I didn’t understand. Sometimes, I would feel jealous, but I couldn’t realize what it was, only that it was an unpleasant, hopeless, rotten emotion. Most often I felt like no amount of explanation on my part was going to get me heard. But who am I, anyways? And why do I need to be heard? Am I another victim of life with whatever circumstances I was born in? Was I lucky to have been born into my circumstances? And why did everything have to be so fluid? Anchor, I looked for anchors everywhere around me. I looked for something real and everlasting without knowing what it was. In my desperate search, I found many pseudo-anchors, some lasted longer than others, but I always seemed to outgrow them faster than they had any hope of providing shelter. I was growing too fast. My tiny, designated space in the place I call home wasn’t quite enough anymore, it was time to find a new space. My desire for room far outweighed my need for belonging, and so, here I am, an imprint of my eight year old self, more stranded than ever on my own volition.
When every day begins with my wake, I am aware but not really in control of my day, of my life, and ultimately, myself. Fleetingly, on occasion, I feel the decay of my inner person and I have since cultivated a hatred for it. The rot, however, is not consuming, it only feels like it, which doesn’t necessarily make things better. The rot is there to stay, but can I learn to give it its space so that it doesn’t invade mine?