As I push the stroller up the hill for what feels like the 500th time (and probably is), I am reminded of my mistakes. The physical burden of pushing a child in a stroller up a hill is heavy. It’s hard work, but not as hard as the emotional toll I face everyday. Pushing a stroller up the hill is a metaphor for my struggles.The mistakes that I made lead me to drag myself up the hills of life, with the weight of them taking their toll on me constantly. At first it didn’t seem like it would be this hard. The bottom of the hill was just the beginning of the struggle, but here I am still on this hill, slowly pushing my way to the top. I’m fighting. I’m fighting everything that life has to throw at me. All of the stones and cracks in the ground make it hard for the stroller to have a smooth ride up the hill. I can relate this to the stones and cracks in the ground in my life. Sometimes the struggles that come my way are small. They are just mere stones that make life a little bumpy for a while, but overall don’t cause too much pain. Then there are the cracks in the ground. The struggles that seem so big that I have no clue how to even begin to tackle them. I have to slow down the stroller almost completely just to go over them. This is no different than the cracks that are on the ground in my life. It feels as though I am walking up this giant hill and a huge gap gets in the way, causing me to have to slow down. I have to slow my plans down. I have to slow my life down just to make it over the crack without being completely thrown off the path I am headed on, but still I keep fighting. I’m fighting with myself. I’m fighting with myself everyday to keep pushing on up the hill. I am exhausted. I feel as though the top of the hill will never come, and the truth is, I’m still far from it. I know that I still have a long ways to go. I know that I will be pushing the stroller up the hill for what seems like forever, but I still have hope. I pull down the sun visor on the top of the stroller and see two glistening eyes staring into mine. A smile begins to appear across the cheeks of a baby boy. A baby boy who is the product of my mistakes, but is not a mistake at all. He is a blessing. He is my blessing. He gives me hope. He physically wears me out to the point where I don’t think I can go on any longer. He mentally wears me out to the point where I don’t even know what to do with him anymore. He emotionally wears me out with the amount of attention that he needs constantly, but the second he looks into my eyes and flashes me that sweet smile, all the pain seems to just go away. The hill doesn’t seem as challenging anymore. It may be bumpier and slower than I ever thought it would be, but I will keep fighting. I will keep fighting until I reach the top, for I know when I get there, I will be able to turn around and look back at what I accomplished. I will be able to look into the sky and see the most beautiful sunset in the distance amidst the houses and the trees. I will be able to look back and see the crazy path that I accomplished, and it will be beautiful. But for now, I have to keep pushing the stroller up that hill. I have to keep going. If I stop pushing the stroller because I am too exhausted, I will miss the sunset at the top of the hill. If I give up because the road gets tough, I won’t ever make it to the top. Just like the sun sets in the distance, the struggles that I am facing will soon set as well. I just have to keep going.
Am I losing you? It seems like our trust is slowly being taken away. Our memories are fading to black. Our experiences are feeling decreasing meaningless each time they arise. My heart is on a roller coaster of emotions that I didn’t buy a ticket for, and for some reason the ride won’t stop. It won’t end. I want to get off the ride. I’m begging. I’m pleading. But for some reason, the ride won’t stop. They won’t let me off. You won’t let me off. You won’t let me go. Everyday there is repetition. We go around the curves. Up and over the bumps. The hills get steeper. The drops get farther, taking my breath away more and more each time. Taking my life away more and more each time. No freedom. No choices. Just one path. One course. One destination. At first, the ride was fun. I was able to raise my arms in the air without a care. I was able to lean back, let go of the handle bar, and scream. I was able to let it all out. But now, there is nothing to let out. My arms don’t rise into the air anymore. My hands don’t leave the handle bar anymore. They refuse. They refuse to let me lean back. They refuse to let me scream. They refuse to allow me to let it all out. I can only “enjoy the ride.” Such a simple phrase that every ride includes. They list all the stipulations you are supposed to follow. All the rules you can’t break. All the things you can’t do. You just have to sit there in a box and “enjoy the ride.” But is it really that easy? Is it really easy enough to be imperative and expect everyone to do as you say? You can pretend while they pretend. Even I pretend. I pretend that my life is not a routine. I pretend like each lap around the course will be different. I close my eyes and pretend that the ending will be different. At the end of the course, when I finally open up my eyes, the reality sinks in. The disappointment I had feared is blatantly spilled before my eyes. It’s the same. It always has been. It always will be. So when I ask if I’m losing you, the question is rhetorical. It’s not a matter of if I’m losing you or anyone else for that matter. It’s a matter of whether I’m going to allow our trust to be demolished, our memories slip through the cracks, and our experiences together feel the same every time. It’s a matter of whether or not I’m going to jump the ride. Of whether or not I’m going to break the rules, the stipulations, the things I can’t do, and do them all anyways. You and many others will always be there waiting for me to lap the course with them for a while. To “enjoy the ride.” You and many others will close their eyes and will pretend they enjoy the ride. You’ll take me and many others through all the twists and turns, up and down the bumps, and you will just sit there. You will just sit there in your little box holding the handle bar. You and many others will one day open your eyes at the end of the course you’ve been lapping around your whole life, and realize you are in the same place you’ve always been. You went along and avoided the change, but the change still happened around you. Before your eyes, will be the disappointment you never saw coming. You never saw it coming because everyone left. No -one will be there. So I ask you again. Am I losing you, or are you losing me?
Sometimes I feel like a toy. Like an inanimate object kept around for pleasure of when someone gets a little bored. Some men like to make us feel that way these days. They all convince us that they really LOVE us. That we really MATTER. When in reality, we’re just matter. They just keep us around for someone to listen to their problems when no one else will. When they need a little excitement in their lives. Then they come around. It’s sad but true. There is no more Cinderella and Prince Charming. The man that follows you home from the ball wants to take everything from you whether the shoe fits or not. He doesn’t care what he has to do to make it fit. It sounds crazy. Disgusting. Ridiculous. But it’s true. Every last word of it. But who is really to blame? Cinderella wouldn’t have gone to the ball without her Fairy Godmother. Maybe an everyday force in our lives is our Fairy Godmother. Making us feel like our dreams can be turned into reality. Getting us to a point where we just throw ourselves at them and hope for the best ending. The best outcome. The best fall. When we wish upon a star, is it really our luck that makes our dreams come true? Or is it the idea of a false reality where our dreams are being morphed into what society calls acceptable? What society calls right. Our innocent minds have been corrupted. We are no longer innocent bodies. Just innocent minds. Innocent minds that are naïve. That are deceived. Deceived on a subject so well known to man that it should do nothing but shatter our innocent souls and make us realize we are something more than ourselves. We instead are given the opposite. Our minds are shattered. Our hearts attacked. Our souls are relentlessly crying for help under the deep surface that embodies our every desire. Our desire to be loved. Our desire to matter. We desire to be convinced that all men are not the same. Are you there Prince Charming? Are you there?
Ten. The age of double digits. The age of new discoveries. The age on the peak of growing up. Well, sort of. We felt so old, yet we were so young. We still had so much to discover, and to be honest, we still do. We felt as if we could conquer the world. Our plastic shields and sword battles, our pillow and blanket forts, and our cardboard box houses full of dreams allowed us to imagine and create our reality. As our heads hit the pillow at night, our eyes shut immediately, not waiting for our minds to stop, but allowing them to lead us as we dreamed of sugar plum fairies, knights in shining armor, spaceships, adventures, and princesses. In the mornings, our little bodies would bolt down the stairs, as the smells of breakfast awaited us. We were in the age of cops and robbers. The age of pirates and indians. Those were the days where happiness was found in the bottom of a cereal box, and sadness was found from a scrape on your knee. Christmas involved Santa, Easter had the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy still left money under your head while you slept. Boys still had cooties, tag was the game of the block, and the dream of being a ballerina was still on the table. Simplicity was at its finest. Heads were held high. Dreams were held higher, and there wasn’t a care in the world. Look at us now. My how times have changed.
I think I’m starting to get over it. I think I’m starting to get over you, or at least I’m trying. I get it. I really do. You aren’t over her yet, and it will be a while, but times ticking my dear friend. Time is ticking by as fast as lightning, yet you still cannot let it go. It has been so long. You have had so many chances. Time is ticking by my friend. Time is ticking by. I told you last week. I told you how I felt. I told you how I felt about you, and you neither claimed nor denied feelings. You left me with a piece of hope that intertwined into the deepest portions of my heart, and I no longer will be able to heal. There will always be a piece of me with you, and a piece of you with me. Whether we establish this or not, it will always be with you. It will always be with me. You will always be with me and there is nowhere in the world that I can run to change it. There is no way to erase the vivid memories from my brain. There is no way to escape the stitches in my heart. There is no way to erase you. There is no way to escape you. I have been forever scarred because of you, and because of you, my heart can no longer love.
All of you. All of you show off yourselves as if we are at a club. As if we are in a club of whores. It’s sad but true. You wear shorts too short and shirts too low. Your clothes too tight and your dresses are as see-through as a window. A window with no blinds. A window that shows no modesty, but shame, and you know it. You know it and you crave it. You crave the attention. You crave the attention because all your life there has been no one there. There has been no one there to give you the simple attention you needed to thrive, and so you went elsewhere. You found yourself sleeping, dating, and cheating on boys. Not men, boys. That’s why you’re empty. That’s why everything you do makes you feel more worthless than when you started. Not just because of the boys. Not just because of the windows you allow them to look through. Not just because you are a whore. It’s because you have looked all your life for attention, but you have been looking in the wrong places. Look up darling. Look up to the sky and realize there is a father up there. He thinks you are beautiful. He thinks you are worth it. So, look up sweet child. Let your tears flow. Let your masks fall. Let yourself run into arms full of all the love and attention you’ll ever need. Let yourself run darling. Just look up.
Innocent minds of innocent bodies, all built up into what we call youth. When we are young, we are taught to dream, to believe, to trust, and to embrace love, yet as our innocent souls reverb and change, so do our innocent minds. Love flees as we dream, and just when we believe enough to embrace, it runs even farther away, breaking our trust, and building up walls over our hearts. With those walls come regret, pain, and fear, but somehow we are able to push them away and overthrow our thoughts as we build the walls higher and higher. But as our youth flees, our excess thoughts and insecurities slowly begin to swallow up our minds. The passion that flowed from our souls begins to fade, as the innocent echoes of our past are slowly and subtly mottled under the surface. We are unclean now, and we know it. We have ourselves a strand of hope and they broke it. They burned it. They did whatever they could to tear it down, and we let them. We let them tear us down.