Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Breathe life into this feeble heart †
Lift this mortal veil of fears †
Take these crumbled hopes etched with tears †
We’ll rise above these earthly cares †

Maturity, I believe, is not measured by the amount of family parties you can stomach. Maturity does not depend on what paperwork you have managed to complete by yourself; it’s not a measure of how many mistakes you make, or how many points you score in an exam. Maturity is not determined by the people you frequent, the friendships you cement or those you choose love.

Maturity, however, must necessarily have something to do with how you treat them.

Maturity is not about many how colds you catch, when or how you take a bath, when or how you sleep, when or how you eat your dinner. Maturity is not dressing up for important occasions or doing your hair up every day. Maturity is not how many books you read a year or how big an equation you can handle.

But maturity is as simple as not laughing at someone when they don’t understand or listening to your children when they speak.

I don’t think anyone can become an adult instantly; I truly doubt that the moment you turn eighteen you’re automatically endowed with all the tidbits of how to operate in the world. Because society has decided that a certain numeral bestows on you the power to decide does not mean that you know how to do so yet.

Right now, at 11 pm, I cannot recall a moment in my life in which I have been so content as I am now. I cannot recall a time without strife, without constant battle with myself. I cannot recall when was the last time I could simply live… before now.

And because of this it mystifies me that so many people have decided they have issues with the person I am or the lives they lead, lives so close to my own that their mere breathing brushes against mine.

It is a frustrating thing to wish for my own place, my own space to make my own mistakes. It isn’t so bad but it’s getting worse, and when everyone’s problems are so much larger than your own brief flashes of discontent it’s hard to talk about with anyone. Not that it has ever been easy.

I’m very tired of compromising, of having to examine every move I make under some imaginary lens that tells me what is right, what is healthy, what is the best for me. I’m tired of trying think like my mother, tired of trying to not be like my father. Between two warring forces of what is mentally healthy, what is not, I just want to do what makes me happy.

I wish I could make those around me as happy as they make me. I wish I could do for them all they do for me. Except my father, I want to never so much as pass him a plate again.

I’d forgotten how it felt to talk to a brick wall. Somehow, I’d been lured into a false sense of security in which I though he might have begun to listen, he might have begun to care.

How is it that someone with so much faith in my intellectual prowess that he suggests I attempt two majors at the same time can think so little of me? I’m so tired of being confused, of being judged, of being unable to say that I am simply learning how to live. I won’t change, I won’t become anything for anyone, but I can’t help asking just… do all fathers want their daughters to become pretty, to dress up, to speak quietly, to never utter a swear word in their lives, to fall in love, marry and have a bunch of brats they can proudly call grandchildren?

Why is it that you make such a show of being different, of being modern, of not minding that I might be bisexual or lesbian or whatever… and yet you comment, you think your daughter isn’t pretty or she doesn’t take baths or she needs to loose weight. Why don’t you speak to me like you speak to your stepdaughter, why don’t you treat me gently, why don’t you gush over me and love me like you do her?

It’s different from what you did to my mother. Don’t tell me I’m not tender enough or pretty enough, I’m your daughter, you brought me here and you make yourself love or I don’t think I can live. What do I have to be, who do I have to become for you to love me?

I think I’ve reached the point in which I can decide what I want to do and what is important for me. I think I’ve reached a point in which I know what is worth it for me, what I will work for.

I feel guilty for not having studied for my exams because they are important for me. I want to pass this year and get through all the pressures and all the difficult bits because that is important for me. At the moment, learning how to drive, getting voting credential, getting my driver’s license is not as important to me as doing my homework, studying, attending my college exam class or laughing with the people I call friends is. Right now, learning how to manage money or taking note of your implied insults is not my first priority.

Out of all these years, all the days that you could have been there and weren’t, out of all the times I needed your help and you weren’t there, my high school revalidation was one in which you were. And by god you are charging me for it in tears and resentment.

You weren’t so grown-up just a few years ago. You cheated your eight-year-old daughter out of money when you were desperate. You cheated on my mother when she was pregnant.

You know what the sad truth is? You never wanted me, not really, you were too frightened to want me. And when I was a baby girl you were so good to me because I was like tiny doll someone had given you, so you’d rather I be doll forever, that I repeat what you say and think only of what think and look pretty and dress up because you are terrified that I might be a real person.

Do you know how hard it is to be unwanted?

I’ve never understood why some people can’t cry, it’s all I seem find as easy as writing or philosophy. Right now, I should be asleep, but instead I’m here sitting on my bed typing because… because every day, has something worth telling.

I have quite a cold and a nasty case of pre-exam nerves. I think I can manage if I study these afternoons, but I have to go to class in the afternoon now too and mom has to drive me there and she hates it because it’s taking precious time from her. I have no more free time at school that could suffice for studying and I’m seeing the math teacher only twice before the exam to clear any doubts and am not seeing the physics teacher at all.

I keep telling myself, if I don’t do this, all my tears, all my joy, all my resentment, all my anger will worth nothing in the eyes of my parents because I could never reclaim the confidence and respect I’ve earned from them.
That is the real problem. It has nothing with grades or lies. It never had.

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