The Beauty of Life | Teen Ink

The Beauty of Life

June 25, 2014
By Emma.H.96 DIAMOND, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Emma.H.96 DIAMOND, Kalamazoo, Michigan
65 articles 0 photos 67 comments

Favorite Quote:
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. -Anne Lamott, from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

It seems less intimidating to write in a smaller book and yet all the more terrifying; to fill the pages with meaning, substance, bravado, wisdom. It's scary to know how many pages and lines and spaces you have left. And what if someone reads them? Will they find humor in the same things you do? Will they understand your anecdotes and the wisdom behind your words or will they laugh at your unfortunate circumstances and curse your name for your lack of syntactical continuity? And yet, that’s the beauty of life-to become undone and unraveled in the face of adversity and simplicity, to read and to write about the human endeavor because no one else shares the same view point as you. No one has been in your body; no one has felt the sharp pains of nails on the tender skin covering your shoulders. No one has felt the wetness of morning yawns in your eyes or the shattering shakes of winter in the tops of your toes. Not a single soul has stepping into the vessel of your body and puppeteared it around your life.

I cannot think of all the ways I would die-fire, knives, wooden stakes, humiliations- if I was ever made to think my words were not important. Slow, familiar deaths where I would spend my last moments living in the agony of truly knowing I lived for nothing because if you aren't going to share yourself in some way then what's the point? Living day to day with no sense of importance seems like cruelty, like banishment and vulgarity and paper cuts on the tops of frozen winter feet. Like the string quartet on the Titanic, but even then they had some importance; to clam, to steady the raging waters of the passenger's hostile tears while they were accepting their place. It's not any different from the ways we accept our places in front of the mirror or the dumpsters or the building blocks of college textbooks in a pile by the door. We share ourselves in such shameful ways. Nicotine and aspartame coating our teeth and fingers in denial of the fact we are good enough. Methamphetamines and charity clothes in bags on the table hoping to find importance, memories, and forgiveness for all that we are or we aren't. That's never good enough though, it calms the shakes and stops the late night tears into the soiled pillows but it's never good enough. It will never be because there's nothing for our out of breath, overindulgent fingers to grasp and pull on. We need something, the online horoscope, the Sunday free press, God, the preaching homeless man who sells himself and his words to the greater sin of "I have been in your shoes." But the truth is no one has been in my shoes. The cork black wedges I wore on Thursday or the blue trainers I lace up to feel the threads in my muscles and my mind loose tension and unravel. No one has seen the things my eyes-who can't decide if they're green of brown or both-have seen. No one has heard the subtle whispers of warm, unwelcome lips on my virgin ears tickling the fluids of upright ownership. No one can write or say what I am going to because if they did they would be lying and lying is simply not important. It's not important enough to matter at all. The false face of male bravado in the line of fire or the female tenderness of warm apple pies she just put in the oven. The beauty, importance, wisdom comes in the raw truth of holding too many doors open and chewing the excess ice in the cup of water to get more in case I run out. The beauty is in the hardship. It's in the beat up phone calls where I have no words left in me. It's in the uneven pavement where I don't know whether to give up or take another step. That is the importance because it is real and warmcold, all sufficient in its color and blush. It feels of itchy wool sweaters with nothing but air in between it and your skin. It tastes of sour apples and bruised meat coated in rice and beans, the staples of American hardship. Even then no one talks about the true hardships. We talk and write and dance of lost careers, torn up money, not having someone to love. Although it's scary and real it doesn't equate to the true hardships we face every day. Those are different for each person but for some it's the hardships or wanting to die the slow familiar deaths of fire and knives one day and needing sunshine the next. The demons that we find in ourselves hold the pair of scissors and the restraining hand of "What if this is all there is?" and hush of our breaths saying "it's just one day." Sometimes it's not the hundred days or the six months that kill us, it's the one days. The days the mirror isn't kind to our over involved society. The days your thoughts come out more frivolously pretentious than you meant them to, the days the denim and cotton and personalities don't fit you quite like they use to, the days the hymns and prayers seem more romantic than the rose scented candles on the table. The intimacy we all feel with our reflections in the muddy waters our feet have trailed through. But continue to tell me this is not important or beautiful because some of us don't like the see the flocks of should've, would've, could've at our doorsteps; leaning against the frames of your house threatening to crack and splinter as soon as they leave. When they're gone we can taste the bitterness and woodsy scent of all we were built of. We are continuously taking more from the world so we could have more room for our wrap around porches, lamp posts, and guest houses. We are always taking so that we can have more. We indulge in the over indulgent, slurping up the excess as if we didn't have enough in our swollen, stretch-marked stomachs. There is beauty in simplicity, in not having enough, in refusing to taste the media sponsored ads no matter how many times they're shoved down our throats. The doctor prescribes medicine for the paper cuts on your feet from walking on the money we no longer have. And dust collects like protestors on the edges of our picture frames. But at least I would know I tried to live for something brave and nothing cowardly like business ethics or restoring what we have already destroyed with the newest synthetic biology. The pictures are all lined with synthetic smiles and red lipstick to hide the loneliness of tan, tight skin lined with pale hairs. The thought that we are beautiful in the excess soaked meat steaks and carbonated lies of brown fizzy bubbles sink into our pale skin like apple scented lotion; the same kind with a red bow, the color of the lipstick, of sports cars, of lust and romance.

Those are all the colors I did not want to be a part of but was always somehow dragged into by the straps of my work boots. The colors of fireworks to signal the New Year and tick away the years I have left; only so many lines, so many spaces to fill. I can't decide whether or not to fill them quickly for the sake of having then filled. For the wondering if I will ever truly be alone or if I will just pretend to be. To be alone in the true sense of no missing socks; of other feet to scold for tripping you up on your adventures or the fake kind of alone or the type of alone where you push everyone away and don't feed them the same hardships they want to eat. The type of alone where you have no one by circumstance or by choice, the kind of alone where you see it or feel it, he bright red alone or the dark blue kind or the pale white of absolute nothingness, the place where you don't think the lake will swallow you up or the place where you don't care if it does, the place where the voice does not restrain you from picking up the scissors or the steak knives, the place where there is still beauty in every word you speak, your first or your last. There is beauty in each and every one of us.

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