As I have been prone to doing for almost the last year now, I find myself reflecting on some things at 4:25 in the morning. Tonight, while listening to “Bitter” by Me’shell Ndegeocello (a genius album by the way), I am thinking about myself, or more accurately the myself I have become.
Often, there are times I don’t recognize me. I’m quite far from the person I was even a short time ago and in some ways, this is good because Lord knows there have been some things about myself that even I could do without. However, I am considering the things I have lost which I believe have hindered me. In some ways, I have regressed. There was a time when I was shy. Now I know what you’re thinking; there is absolutely no way in hell that La has ever been shy a day in her life. And as usual you are WRONG.
I was shy for a very long time, until I FORCED myself to grow out of it. However, slowly but surely I have slipped back into some of my shy ways. Maybe a better word for it is guarded. I was a very guarded child because I didn’t have the most ideal of all childhoods. I was very distrustful of people, timid even. Again I’m sure that many think that these aren’t adjectives that one would ever use to describe me but that just goes to further prove that there are very few people on this planet that really KNOW me like they think they do, because even now, these are words that could be used to describe me as of late.
So I’m gonna call some things to your attention that, if you don’t know me that well like many of you reading this don’t, are gonna shock you. First and foremost, for those of you who have known me since freshman year, I want you to think back at who I was. (Those of you that just met me last year you can still do this as well.) I want you to remember me in the Cafe, think of me in Drew, with my sister at football games or various other school events. I want you to think, really concentrate very hard on who I was then. Do you see me? Do you feel as though you have a good picture? Okay.
Now I want you to picture who I am now. Different girl? It should be. It would be if you took the time to notice the small discrepancies. Do you see me much anymore? Do you talk to me as often? Do you hear about the party I went to last weekend or the date I went on last week? Do you see me in class, active and involved, excited to be in class? Do you see me surrounded by people on the yard? (Okay some things just aren’t gonna change; I can’t help that).
Now I want you to look at me, I’m inviting you here (very rare opportunity). I want you to look at me very closely. Focus. Look at my eyes. Do you see something different that you didn’t see in the girl who basically lived up on the penthouse level of Drew? You should. If you don’t, let me know… I’ve got some beautiful ocean front property in Kansas I would love to sell you.
I have always believed that emotional trauma should somehow be physically evident. So that people can witness the breaking, the change of something inherent in you so they can know where you’re coming from. Let me tell you who I am now. And I want you to listen because you won’t get this opportunity again and there will be a test.
I am a girl, who spends most of her time alone in her room, a self imposed solitary confinement I adopted last year and haven’t yet grown out of a need for. I am a girl who mostly ignores the millions of calls on her cell phone, lets you leave a message and then I decide if I want to call you back. Because honestly I just don’t wanna talk. I am a girl that avoids the knocks at her door because sometimes she just cannot fathom having to entertain someone else. I am a girl who is cynical, who is apathetic, sarcastic and mean. I am a girl who loves her friends very deeply and would do anything for them, but just can’t handle them right now or their own self-indulgent conversations about the issues in their lives they have blown up in their own minds just to have some issue. I am a girl in search of peace which I don’t think I will ever find. I am a girl that doesn’t have any faith in people, none at all, because not only have they continuously let me down, no one has ever even bothered to try to be any different. I am a girl that mainly, only speaks when spoken to, and can often be found walking behind a huge group of her “friends” looking somewhat distant and detached. I am a girl prone to often bouts of silence that you may snap me out of with a few words and that I dismiss the melancholy of with a smile. I am a girl who wanders around the city for hours alone, listening to music while crying and writing on a park bench. I am a girl that is considering moving to a totally different city, very soon, and not telling anyone I’m gone just so I can be as anonymous as I feel.
I have gone invisible. And this is not entirely by coincidence. See people get this idea of you, this image of who you should be, based on what you look like, where you’re from, small insignificant trivia about you. Are we ever really this person? Most often times not. I am nothing like who I “should” be, although to the outside world I am exactly what I should be. And I guess so long as your idea is confirmed then you don’t really care to look past the surface and see if there’s anything else, to see if you’re actually correct.
I realize no one really knows me. No one really knows my heart. And I take part responsibility in that, because there has been a regression for me, a backsliding if you will, to that guarded little girl I used to be. And I’m not ready to let go of her just yet. Because even though I keep myself closely guarded, how many people have bothered to notice a change? I can probably count the number on one hand, not even close to needing two.
Who sees me? Who bothered to notice a change?
I want you to go back and picture that girl from freshman year again. See her clearly in your head? Now I want you to look for her tomorrow on the yard. She died a long time ago, but there’s a good chance that someone who looks remarkably like her is sitting alone in her room, ignoring her phone.