There’s one thing that irks me most, and it’s not arrogant people or the valley-girl accent. In fact, it can be fully encapsulated in a few words. “What? You’re…doing what?” Now, this phrase does not discriminate. I’ve heard it from parents, friends, people who’ve known me for a long time, classmates. It’s almost as if I’ve been a different species to them. It’s that moment that they realize that no, I’m not only Yada the girl who trips all the time and cannot play sports for her life. That I have a bit a secret persona, the girl who has founded an organization, doing all these “crazy things.” Their reactions are all the same.
They start off with a nervous giggle.
“Woah. You’re like, so….I don’t even know.”
“Don’t you wanna chill?”
“How do you do it?”
And from then on, everything’s changed. I’m suddenly some untouchable, not the girl who can’t help falling asleep in buses or who sings in the shower. No, I’m that young one who’s a workaholic and just so unattainable.
Do you really want to know my secret?
Because that’s what I’m about to tell you.
It’s when I don’t do, that I’m at my lowest. When people tell me, “You need a break.” To me, that is pain. Because if I live without purpose, without meaning to my stride.
I will become
You know, when I was younger, it wasn’t always this way. Going through the motions, wild commotion
I was a straight-cut girl tied by the strings at my ankles to follow the road already taken.
But that girl is long gone.
I’ve seen the hopelessness of youth whose dreams have been stripped.
Cried tears of joy after summiting a mountain while at the brink of collapse.
Seen the world, cultures, people, different tastes and sounds.
There is so much more, than our daily lives.
Because what are the possibilities, that endless sight? The problem with this world is that people don’t see. We’ve been conditioned to think that change is too ambitious, to only be herded, drifting towards a cliff, where we’ll fall. Look straight, don’t ask questions.
Ssssh. Stay in your place.
Because there is so much more.
And when you’ve seen, grasped, almost touched it, you’ll see-
There’s no stopping, turning back.
Because if you do,
you’ll be met with
When people tell me to try to do nothing for a week, be a normal 17-year-old,
I feel cold.
In that life, there is no feeling, no fire. No anger, no happiness that brings tears in my eyes. No vision that keeps awake at night, drives me to push harder, to give every bit of myself to the realization of a future.
In that life, everything is dark.
So no thank you, I will have to decline on your offer about “being a normal 17-year-old,” although I know you mean well.
But tell you what, I’ll make you an offer.
And I hope you’ll accept.
If you’re willing to come, I can bring you with me.
It’s not going to be easy, it never is.
But I believe you can do it.
And we can fuel this fire together.
“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” (Marianne Williamson)