I am writing to myself at 2 am, sick with fear and a loose understanding of the theme: coming of age.
I look in the mirror and for some reason I feel a change in me, I see something surrounding my body, like a silk shadow that lingers onto my chin and on the lump under my neck. What is different? I scold at my appearance as I observe the round, shapely, face that fills the mirror with wonder. My nose grows bigger like a impending guilt that lies on your chest at night, and my lips hide within each other until they are no longer seen.
Have I transformed the least bit? Has the trip to Peru really impacted me? I want to be different, I want to feel the new me, but I am full of doubt, I wear a blanket of worry, self-pity, and insecurities that where slowly disappearing in Urabamba.
I can’t get these feelings back. They will forever stay in Peru.
I can’t feel the raw happiness that someone feels when they’re isolated in glory. I cannot find the loneliness that I ironically craved during the afternoons. Now everything moves all at the same time, I must finish this, I must hang out with them, I must work out, and all of it.. for what? To keep up my social agenda? To ease back into LA’s standards? Why am I so caught up in all of it again?
I say these words with a nervous touch and blurry eyes. These confessions may no longer be true in the following days, but this is how I feel now.
I must learn how to control myself.
I need to grasp the mentality that I discovered when I was in Urubamba. I need to become involved physically, actively, mentally, and especially presently with the world around me.
Society is different. Values are different. People care about how they look, how they present themselves to others through actions and clothing. People smoke weed and drink alcohol, they buy shiny cars and new clothes. But what is the outcome? Praise because of the immense wealth that they have on spending useless, plastic s*** instead of helping others?
Maturity is not a game. Popularity has no meaning. But now days, the faster you mature, the more “popular” you get. Oh but you notice.. once you sit and see the wrinkles in the corners of your eyes and the cherry lipgloss that slowly melted onto your shirt without you noticing, you begin to think that all of it was all complete s***. Because now you look like you’re 70, have the lungs of 80, and the mind of a f***ed up 16 year old.
Purity is the cure to society. In an age where people think more is better, and that less is ancient, purity is an absolute necessity to a life where chaos is the appetite for the real hunger within. We add too much into our lives to the point where we actually forget we are living in it. It’s like a whirlpool of pressure, depression, stress, and expectation bundled into one.
People expect us to figure it out. Every second our world is becoming more and more “advanced”, but really more complicated. It weighs us down into a state of unrealistic mindsets. We think that we can balance all of it out, that it’s normal and that we cannot go beneath the water, but in reality we are holding onto a thousand rocks thinking it’s our only life jacket.
We break down over dresses and thigh gaps and eyeshadow palettes, when in other societies, mirrors aren’t even existent in a normal day-to-day life. Their values are different, their necessities are based on life or death situations instead of likes or hates.
The media feeds us our daily dosage of unrealistic body types and lifestyles, and we grow a disease full of envy and competition. We were taught to make ourselves more extravagant than our natural state, and share it with the ones around us. We were told that we could always look better, that we just needed to wait for a chance to get more, and feel less.
But we were never told the mental states of these skinny girls or rich boys on a regular night. We were just told that this was our goal, that once we reached this fame, this so called happiness, our life would no longer be a thing to worry about. And so we compare ourselves to others without even knowing it, counting followers and likes, looking at different widths of hips and thighs and waists and a**es.
When it started, It was demanding. It wanted more results, it craved exaggeration. We weren’t able to feed it until it then became almost.. dominating. We learned and adapted, forgot the original nature of our existence, and didn’t know how to live.
We just liked, commented, and shared.
We crave for images that can be pasted onto ourselves like paper maché. But little do we know that no matter how much we layer ourselves, we’ll always feel the same inside.
I catch myself indulge all of my attention into photographs on a phone screen, absorbing the false hopes and the strict rules that are involved in the minuscule dimension that constantly remains brimming with new content.
I look at my reflection and trace the flab that coats my toned arms and legs, and I hold my breath and crumple to the ground. I wish with all my might that I could pull it all off like an oversized coat in the summer.
Superficial values wave at me at the end of a long road as I stumble with high heels and a pair of hoop earrings that seem to swing back and forth on the tips of my fingers. I waver and look at the mist that’s painted onto the floor like a mural in a godly cathedral that’s glowing, moving, and talking to a woman dressed in dark blue. Closing my eyes, I suck in the air and feel its shallow darkness enwrap my lungs as I enter myself in a wormhole of repetitive self-doubt.
Who am I as a person?
It hurts too much. The sadness of the unknown stabs me like an old friend, and finally, the thoughts end.
I’m being pulled away. First softly, and then urgently like a father’s grasp in a crowded supermarket.
I am back in my bed. The tears have dried onto my lips like sticky frog legs. I smile at myself.
The clock turns itself away from me.
Time means nothing when it’s no longer kept. The space of life all feels the same when you no longer look at the clock on the wall. When it leaves you, the only track of existence is you’re own
and the shadows of the sun rising and falling.
I reach out into the darkness in front of me and think of a small child’s hand. I feel her fingers wrapped around my left palm, and then I suddenly notice: everything is going to be different. I’m holding the hand of the past, the purity that society so desperately needs. It rejuvenates me and gives me a reason to stay. I feel the simplicity of her blood traveling through my veins.
When I hold her, I feel a sense of security. Like I am the one being protected. She looks at me with innocence and independence, and I suddenly feel a strong connection to the redness of her cheeks. She reminds me that maybe society isn’t the answer to all of this sadness, and that maybe its just the art growing up.
She has different values and passions, different from my own. And this is because she is at an age where a child’s arms can shape the importance of most things and make it one’s own. Anything could matter to them if they wanted it to matter, they take matters into their own shoulders, press in glitter and toothpicks and name it after their dog. Their freedom and power will always be absolutely astonishing. It could shake the world.
I look up at the ceiling and see the shadows dance in the crevices of my heart. There’s still hope.
Maybe she’s the future.
She squeezes my hand.
She asks me if the world would bring her good things, and I kiss the place between her thumb and pointer finger.
I tell her that she is the key to my sanity. That she is the light for the future.
She does not take this as a compliment nor a concern.
She pats my head and lies down to close her eyes and
as I watch her freckled, dewy eyelashes fall upon her face, I close my eyes too.
Finally, we sleep.