There was a time when I had so many questions in my mind
When I used to think that the issues of the mind
are just issues of the mind and nothing more
There was a time when I believed strong people are the ones who never cry
That was the time when I knew nothing at all….
There was once a woman I knew
She smiles a lot, she laughs a lot and in front of us all, she seems radiant
But I saw her without anyone, she had her sunglasses on and wore a jacket
I knew it was her when she took off her sunglasses to wipe them
In my head I was asking, “why was she dressed that way? It is so not her”
In my head I was assuming, “perhaps she was doing something she does not want anyone to know”
In my head I was trying to understand things
and presume thoughts without even trying to ask her
Then I saw her again the next day,
….completely different from the woman I saw the day before
I was 15 then, and I thought, maybe she’s just living another life
I could not help it to the point that one time, I came up to her and asked
I told her I saw her outside wearing her sunglasses and then again with the group
I told her how I saw two different people in her, and asked her “why”
She was 32 years old then…
she just kissed my forehead and said “you’ll understand soon”
I was puzzled… but I smiled back-
but I cannot help myself from creating stories in my head
Now that I am older, I realized what she meant
I understand now why some people put up a happy cover
I understand now why sometimes, people choose to pretend
I understand now why people tend to talk about the less important things
I know now why some people laugh at the pettiest joke they have heard
Now that I have grown and have been shattered into pieces
Now that I have known what it means to be broken
Now that I understand what temporary patches mean
Now I get her, Now I understand why…
Now that I am her….
Perhaps you have heard it several times already; “You’ll never know unless you’ve been there”. Well, I have. Ever since I was growing up at nine years old, I was already opened to different stories of different people.
I remember how interested I was to hear others tell their story. Often times, I ask “why”, I ask “how”, I ask “what happened”.
And like everyone else, I learned to presume on things, to assume on my questions when they are not being answered.
Not until I came to a point of experiencing what other oppressed individuals feel was I able to come into terms that life is not easy. It is a complicated series of road stops and intersections. It is a road that has its danger signs. It is a journey that may have bumps along the way before you could ever get to your destination- if you even know where you are going.
Now, that I am in that journey, I understand why some people choose not to speak anymore. Why some settle for short conversations and seldom the long and meaningful ones. Life has made them tiresome of reality. Some are too broken to even try to find anything to cure their pain- many others are seeking patches just to cover up their bleeding wounds.
Some, for many years, let their wounds bleed because it is just too hard to heal them. Scarring these wounds mean hard work- and they have become too tired of even trying to find the right cure.
Life can be daunting- and it can be much harder to deal with when words of pain come from the closest ones from whom cure is expected. When I was younger, I assume. I think of possible answers to questions I have- just to satisfy my desire- but I really never cared to ask. Not because I did not want to, but because I was afraid I would not be answered.
Then again, as I go through my own journey, I now understand how presumptions in our head add up to the pain of another.
When asking is not an option, understanding is the next best thing to consider.
Because a lot of people now are broken and are choosing to cover up the pain than share it; I learned how to respect them- not because they are weak, but because they are strong enough to hold themselves together and still move forward beyond all the scars and the breakages they may be carrying.
I laud those who enjoy small victories of simply being able to wake up in the morning and smile and perhaps even go out with friends and try to survive beyond all the confusions in their mind. It’s not easy being in their shoe.