“There is 7 billion 46 million people on this planet and most of us have the audacity to think we matter.” George Watsky, wrote those words at the exact time I thought I did not matter and this brought me to the question that pulls at the neurons that pulse throughout my brain. At that moment in your life when it feels as if God tugged on your lungs, the oxygen being vacuumed out, and your throat stabled shut, did you think you had a chance, that you mattered? Sitting at the edge of my seat; it feels like sitting at the edge of a cliff and waiting for somebody to push me off to feel everything at once. Those feelings fold together and combine to make a person feel alive. At that moment all the color in the world was drained, and my yearning for many human connections was brought out of the deepest parts of my soul. I wanted to feel the touch of another skin, and I wanted a touch from a hug I never received. The kind that feels like warm apple pie on a cold autumn day. The kind where you can feel the smooth cinnamon taste glide down your throat, making a mile wide smile. I want that kind of hug, but at that exact moment when those words hit my eardrum, everything stopped. It was like sand in the hour glass had ran out.
The flame from my candle on my nightstand had stopped flickering in the atmosphere. I could see the transition from blue to fiery orange standing still, letting its secrets show within the whip of its tip. The dust in the air that danced in sunlight streaming in from the window was unmoved by the breathing of my body. It was a surreal perspective as I picked up a glass of water and slowly moved my hand in a clockwise motion, counting the seconds to where I thought the water would explode on my floor, but as it fell, it stopped half way letting me see each dip, each curve, each molecule that gleamed like a star millions of miles away, burning alive, and exploding all at once. My eyes widened for everything was like a mannequin that could never be moved, floating still in time. At this moment I knew I was dreaming - either that or hallucinating. Realizing the words he had spoken only changed my perspective in life and that the object’s that stood still was my own imagination telling my inner-self that those words had matched the feelings I did not know I had. It was like realizing you only had one day left to live and the whole world knew all your secrets that you hid in the walls you built around yourself to protect your gullible heart. It had forced me to look and compare myself to the rest of the universe.
We are so small compared to the rest of the world, and yet when we look in the mirror, we have a choice to think that we are the most important or the least. It’s like a battle to the death, the armageddon between yourself and yourself, the classic conflict of many books. Imagine, there is one last cookie in that jar, the attention of your parents, the last good slice of pizza in the school lunch line, a race to the finish, to feel the relief of breaking the ribbon, hearing the cheer of millions of voices. That's the battle and if you choose to lose, to feel the least, to accept the fact that you are one out of so many, you might feel like the dirty rain trickling out of a gutter. You might feel like a low grey cloud or only a reflection of what you want to be. You might feel like nothing and to think about it, nothing comes from nothing. Therefore, you will become nothing, you will never be anything but a floating pass by, a forgotten memory. Confusing, yes, but something cannot come from nothing. It is science and a psychological fact of the human race. If a person does not become something to themselves or others, they become nothing, a withdrawn speck of human flesh from society.
Let me tell a story of a young girl who thought that she was the most important person in her family only to realize that she was nothing. My parents told me I couldn't join a sport or play in the band, it confused me to the very end of middle school. Why can’t I be like others and join something? The question was on repeat, a cycle of a profoundly deep crevice in my head. It had made me feel forgotten, something left in the back seat of a car, in the cracks, the ones nobody can reach, not even with their finger tips. My one brother who had never done one single good act in his life had those privileges that I did not. It was extremely confusing because, he had smashed, threatened, and hurt everything I loved, yet he was allowed to be important while the little girl is the weed that was cut off, sprayed with weed killer, shriveled up to die, and disintegrate into the Earth. He had locked me in boxes and left me for hours. The memory of the cold blackness that once touched my skin, in my mind is still fresh , not the fresh smell of a fresh baked cookie, but fresh like a winter blister on your lip. He had destroyed walls with his angry fists, creatings white flakes on the floor like dry snow in the summer. He was the nightmare in my dreams that kept me awake, and so a steak knife had accompanied me in my sleep, underneath my pillow. At that age I was nothing, just a punching bag, but he was everything to everyone.
As I grew older, I learned why my parents had let my brother rule over us, a delusional king he was, that hallucinated the crown he thought sat on his head. Through this a lesson was learned: a person will do anything to protect the ones they love. When he moved out, the sport that my spirit had ran to was swimming. The rush of the water hugged me like a blanket as my hands glided through the water. My weightless body would sink to the bottom, watching the lightening streaks dance along the walls and floor. My heart raced when the sound of the whistle hit my eardrum, and my feet left the platform springing me into the water like an arrow. With every stroke the strength grew in my heart and my name was muffled through the water in my ear, but clearly heard throughout the race. The girls at the end screaming, “Go Erica!” I grew strength and confidence, a feeling of importance.
George Watsky's words had stolen this from me. He made me realize that I am one out a thousand, why should I be conceited? There are many people who have won Grammys, they have met the president, they have risked their life for millions, and here I am feeling important because I jumped into a pool when a whistle was blown. You and everybody else in the world faces the question are we good enough? It is drilled into the back of our heads from magazines, people, the media, all telling us that we are not who we are supposed to be. Every day we come to a mirror and realize we are not who we want to be. We ask ourselves do I matter? It’s the question I will be asking myself for many years to come. What about you? Do you matter?