Punctuality

I feel as though my soul has taken off its shoes and I sit on the side of the river feeling the waves between my toes. Its a cold feeling. I kind of want to jump in and forget everything.

Lets just say, this week was rough.

Rough doesn’t cut it; this week was brutal.

Brutal as in I feel as if I have bruises from the difficulty of this week.

One of my many “very easily butthurt” incidents always deals with time. Punctuality and reliability. Those are things I was always raised on.

I was told that I was unreliable today. That I often said things and never showed up.

I was told that my bosses would hear about this.

Few agree with this particular individual. But one thing is for certain: he hit home. If he wanted to hurt me he finally found the way.

I don’t know, at the moment I’m trying to remember all of the favors and volunteering that I showed up for. And those I didn’t show up for – with reasons. And I’m trying to pinpoint more than once where I deviated from my word.

Perhaps I’m biased, perhaps I am wrong in my ideas where I always was punctual, was always reliable.

That and mix in a guy. Another one. This one who made me smile, made me laugh and made me hate him in one swell move.

“Nothings worse than a boy you hate than a boy you love.” Markus Zusak.

I feel the fictional water flowing through my toes, my body turns back to reality where I’m sitting, cross-legged on my mattress, fuming about something that really shouldn’t matter to me.

Who cares what the man who thinks I’m unreliable thinks. Who cares that everybody else has a deviating opinion from him.
Who cares that the man who told me he loved me multiple times but told himself he was no good for me kissed another girl and sent me a text message.

I stress myself out by caring too much what others think of me. And that will be my downfall.

Changes

I am now nineteen and I’ve flown around the world and done things many people only dream of. I’ve managed to make people laugh, cry, smile, and get frustrated. I myself have found myself in those situations. In the past few months I’ve done a lot of growing up, realized what pain was, and held onto those I cared about. They held me up when I needed it the most.

The past few months have been a complete struggle for me. There was no moment where I never asked myself if I should quit now and leave, go back to who I was. There were moments where I pretended I was okay but I really wasn’t. I kept telling myself that people prayed for me and knew I could do it but I kept falling down and struggled to get back up. People helped me up, but I kept getting scared and forgetting my own strength. But despite the fear I smiled and found humor in the situation.

“Mem, you are resilient and that will be your greatest ally in your life.” Says a man I truly respect on the last day I was there. The changes are now set forth, and suddenly I feel lighthearted and stronger.

In my moment of weakness I found myself. I found humor in any situation that was given to me and spread it like an infection in an environment that tended to crush souls. Humor doesn’t transfer well on paper, but, at least it sticks in memory forever.

It never mattered who I was or where I came from, what I wanted to be or what I ended up doing. I’m living, breathing and supported by friends and family.

I’m now nineteen years old, still wondering about my future but now feel secure enough to let God lead me. I have a better understanding of myself and I’m still learning. My life and possibilities now seem so endless.

Good teacher vs. bad teacher

All my life I’ve been surrounded by teachers. Teachers of all different languages and races because I’ve lived in so many places and so many countries. Never before have I ever truly experienced a good teacher until now, until I decided not to go to college and volunteer with a teacher I know.

This has been the best decision of my life.

I take a role as one of her students, sit at their desk while running copies and doing menial tasks while commenting on some children, some dreams and some themes in their stories. I learn more in her class than in twelve years of schooling. My eyes brim with tears and my mind searches for a way to learn more – yes learn more after attending a fifth grade class seven, eight years later.

I’ve never once had a teacher make me want to learn, make me want to think, make me want to be better. And even at the coffee table discussing one child and a problem that he has, she tells me what I can do to help.

“Mem, you know what the problem is, we’ll fix him like we fixed you.”

“Yes, and I’ll continue to be a good example for him, and let him know we love him while reaching back and letting him grow on his own.”

Teaching is hard. I’m just a volunteer that’s there everyday and I know; I’ve seen it on a teachers face. We discuss the stories, the pictures, the arithmetic, and the lesson plans. How do we approach it in a user friendly way? How do we let them explore with their overbearing parents?

So many questions, so many possible answers. So much love. I hope that my being there will help them change, grow and blossom.

Walking with mama

After a tumultuous year, I (and my mother) get to spend few solitary and peaceful moments together. It’s not that we don’t want to but our personalities clash so heavily and we aren’t very good talkers, always keeping quiet unless our honest truths come out.

Which in our conversations, happens a lot.

Yesterday, she and I walked alone for a while, got along and suddenly I realize, this is the mother I love and adore, who loves and adores me. I’ve missed so many moments of my life being torn up by her and she by me.

Throughout the human life, especially in adolescence, it’s healthy to rebel, and rebel I did. I also knew it would hurt her but at the same time, in order to preserve my sanity I did.

“Mem, how many days left?”
“86.”
“I’m going to hold onto each of those 86 days and miss you terribly when you’re gone.”
“Regardless of all the fighting?”
“You’re still my baby girl. And you bright this light into this household.”

I didn’t cry then. But I cry recalling these words to anonymously show the world how much I love my mother, and my mother loves me.

Mom, in 86 days I won’t be a child anymore. I’ll be growing up. I’ll always be your youngest and you’ll always be the mother who lay in bed for three months straight after four miscarriages trying to keep me alive in those pivotal few months and watched over helplessly as doctors kept me in an ICU for a week because they thought I was defective because I was born to older parents. You watched me grow in three different continents, always struggling to make the right friends and choices, in the end you are the reason why I made it so far without too many problems.

Closing this horribly sentimental blog post, last night I realized. No matter how hard I try, or seek. I’ll never understand a mothers love and strength until I am a mother myself.

Old friends

I am looking through some friends Facebook pages. Some of them it’s been over eight years and I’m staring at the screen.

I want to say something

But ten years is forever, they’re on my friends list but we’ve never talked, I’ve always wanted to know, I’ve always wanted to be there with them

forever.

My heart breaks when I get to two friends who I was inseparable from in sixth grade. Two boys, back then I was like Arya Stark, I was a young girl, a better fighter than most boys and often questioned as one. We even had a cat episode together. I was one of the boys, and when girls would ask me out they’d protect me.

I was the first to move the next one followed a few months later.

we never got back together

There was a Skype call here and there and we tried, well, I tried. I moved to a new country and was supremely unhappy, whereas the one who stayed wanted to try, as well. The one who moved as well wanted to move on. He wanted to grow up without us. We kept somewhat a tab on each other for years. I was very close to the one who stayed growing up. He listened to me, he tried to help and when I got suspended from the school he listened and didn’t judge. He saw it as my way out of hell.

We continued correspondence and high school came along. I had never heard from the boy who moved ever again except on his birthday when Facebook would tell me where I’d grin and write him something nice and he responded to everybody but me. The other one drifted too and suddenly I became popular at my new school, in my new home home and I forgot them as well.

Soon people remembered me as the girl who hung with the boys, the straight edge who cursed like a sailor but made cookies for everyone hoping they’d feel better. The kind girl with the sharp tongue who came from everywhere and nowhere. They found me and added me on Facebook, scarcely trying to keep a friendship but discussing their private lives publicly online and realize how much they – and I – have changed.

There is no common ground anymore. The years have killed so many of my friendships and made me into a harder person, but a more realistic person. My fingers hover over the keyboard, my brain tries to think of something to write because “happy birthday” will not suffice.

I’ve tried all my life.

I close the window

And tell myself they have the means to reach me, I’m tired of trying only to be pushed away and I won’t treat them like they’ve treated me over the years.

Pass

Walking home today in the chilled October weather, I walked past a house that had a lot of meaning to me. A house whose doors were always open and smiling hearts and warm food awaited.

I was a year younger, dressed in confusion. Newly out of the house with an argument behind me, I stumbled in once and fell in love. I felt like I was finally home after eighteen years of searching.

Well, the family left and the house still stands. I stood before it for a long while, thanking it but also regretting that I spent so much time there when really in my stubbornness, I should have been home with my parents. Talking things out, perhaps the situation I came under would have been easier to deal with.

The wind whipped my hair and chilled my cheeks, the door opened and I was almost happy and a little boy came out and I knew it was time for me to leave.

Skipping stones

My father and I, mother watching warily from a height above us, sat by the riverfront. I watch as the river swells, laughter rises, and beauty both diminishes and is soon replaced by the nighttime sky.

I wait until the sun sets the world on fire. I let this moment drag.

“Dad, I’ve never learned how to skip stones.”

“What kind of childhood have you had?”

A nomadic one, a cultural one, a confusing one thoughts flow into my head.

“The one you gave me.”

He bends down with his aching knees and has a fist full of rocks in his hands. He puts one into my hand and shows me how to throw it as if I’m still a child.

Moments like this make my mothers heart swell and my father regrets momentarily how much of a normal life I’ve never had. Then he laughs about it and realizes he could never change it. I’m eighteen now, I look and act nothing like a normal eighteen year old and that’s what makes me their child.

I continue to skip rocks until the fires dim out and the world is cold and cool again. I listen to the sounds of splashing in the canoes we rode earlier, the chanting of the temple we visited and although so much joy and beauty existed, I found my most favorite part of the journey was skipping stones along the river bank with my father watching the first ripple, create a second ripple, then a third, to sink into the bottom of the bank.

What was, what is, and what will be.