A life just begun. A life for me.
Upon the Stockholm subway on my way home, I wondered upon how far the groceries I’ve bought have come. I thought about the many hands that they have passed through, the many lands and sights they’ve seen, the miles that they’ve traveled. I thought about how their journeys never end. They only change hands, split up, become scattered about, and maybe, if they are lucky, come together to be one once more someday.
Then, I realized that that’s what we all are. In apple form, in polenta form. The fact is simply that we have, for one reason or another, come to being in a different form. Our atoms could easily have gone into the making of an apple or an ear of corn. Indeed those atoms become our atoms, and then they become replaced eventually.
See, humans are the same way. We go our separate ways. We travel, we go far, we meet different people, we live different lives, all in one massive journey. We come together someday. What we are made of - frankly, it doesn’t matter, because there are just so many of us, the diversity is forever beautiful and so precious, so incredibly valuable that we must do everything in our power to keep it alive. I fear no death, because I know, and in knowing, I have realized beauty and worth, feeling right in my own place and existence. I know, that it all will live on.
The avocadoes in this net have been plucked by the hands of a human being in South Africa. That human being just wants to make a life unto his or her own self. The human who shipped them to Holland also just wants to live a life. The human who packed them in Holland is on his or her own journey, too.
I, another human being on the subway, want to make a life special and worthwhile on my own, too. The human next to me also wants to live a beautiful life.
I’m just another human being, but I’m not just another human being.
Let me unravel this: I know I’m not just another human being because I know that my life is as beautiful and unique as anything else in existence. The person next to me has all her own thoughts, experiences, and traits that make her beautiful. The person who packed these avocadoes that I will soon make a part of me also has a family that makes him or her happy.
I know I’m not just another, because I know that I am a being. And I am being in the very best way that I can muster.
Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… Messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.
I’m going to share something relatively big in my life with you, and I feel that it’s important enough to be let known to overshadow its own weight.
Three and a half years is all it’s taken for me to attain my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, at the age of twenty-one. A whole lot of learning, work, and achievement that I managed to pack into a short amount of time. But at a big cost.
There has been some fire that has occurred in my life, whether I realized it or not. A simple fact of what has shaped me in my most recent formative years is that the person who has cared for me most, raised, and bore me almost singlehandedly is no longer there. I did not stop in my studies, for many reasons, for personal, for making my mother proud, and also for reassuring those in my life that I was going to be okay. My father even told me very recently, ‘I don’t understand how you’ve made it so far.’ (I have a mind on that phrase to share, and I can say it’s not about how nice it was to hear.) This happened right after my first year of studies’ finish, and I hadn’t slowed down since.
There’s a backlash to slowing down. It gives one time to think, to feel, to understand, contemplate, analyze. I feel so strange not having deadlines, due dates, class, or tests; I feel like they’re always there. But, clarity and truth are coming to the surface with the clearing and dispersal of the cloud of stress.
I’ve been in denial, and it’s very evident. My mother’s death was most likely not accidental or medical. I thought it was a nightmare come true when I was told that my mother had died, but the slow spread of possible truth sinking in like poison being distributed in the bloodstream is coming to be worse.
There were so many signs. As a small boy, I spent many nights afraid and scared because my mother was lost in total despair, irrational and hysteric in fits of sadness. She would call herself a failure, stupid, an idiot, and I would as hard as I could to tell her that she wasn’t. When she wouldn’t listen and continued to abuse herself mentally and physically by hitting herself, I would lock myself in my room. They were the most terrifying moments. I could hear her cry and I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew she was distressed about our homeless and penniless situations, and I knew I couldn’t do anything about it - and I felt like I was the cause. This kind of struggle wouldn’t be happening if I weren’t here, I thought. If I weren’t another mouth to feed, it wouldn’t be this way, I thought. And so I’d be terrified, telling myself I wasn’t worth this kind of pain.
As a young teenager I finally realized what these fits really were. One day, she was so completely out of it, she tried driving us, and crashed into a wall. I had to fight her a bit to take her keys away, and was so angry that she would risk both of our lives, that she would do such a thing. I had her come inside, and she was angry with me for trying to stop her. She was in bad mental shape. Afraid, I called a friend and his mother instructed me to call the hospital, and so I did. I was truly scared for what would happen now. In the hospital, I learned that she had taken antidepressants alongside alcohol, and was pretty dangerously affected by them; if I hadn’t called an ambulance, I don’t know what would have happened. My mom felt terrible, and she couldn’t stand the fact that I saw her as she was then, in the hospital, and before, in such bad shape. She likened the experience to seeing her mother in a dying state in the hospital when she was only 18. She had to take care of her mother in that state in her young life, and had lost a significant portion of her youth. She didn’t want me to experience the same thing.
After a heart attack caused by coronary heart disease, my mother’s secondary cause of death was actually alcohol poisoning.
I don’t know what to think about it all. If there was any intention, I am not sure, and it’s extremely difficult to even imagine there being any. It would make the worst nightmare come true even more of a serious blow to my life. But, it’s been awhile, and perhaps the only thing I can focus on are the certain things: that she loved me, raised me, and cared for me. That we were truly happy together. Though we had little, we were rich in our souls. These beautiful truths can overshadow all else.
But I’m still so confused, stirred, and hurt by the concept, the idea, the thought. It’s still an open wound and a painful ongoing shade coloring my life and my emotions…
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Wow, that’s one of the sweetest things anybody’s said to me ^_^ I’m always so excited to get to know people! Don’t be shy, life is all about contact and the crazy mystery of what happens when people gather :) And it’s not creepy to want to talk at all! I say, go for it. ^_^ Thank you so much for the beautiful message. My soul needed something like that… :)