Natalie By R. Cary
When I was young, I would continually sit in thought in my home, pondering was part of my growing up. I would ponder about others, for as long I can remember. From my classmates at school and their plight to the ones wearing their families finances on their sleeve. I was curious about each and every one of them. I never spoke much in school, let alone to others. But I watched, I studied, I learned. I did this from afar, from within me. When I would get home, I would write down notes about my day, studying my own thoughts, weighing who I was as a child against those around me. I did this almost every day. Do you know why I did this?
I did this because I had no other way to learn. Both my parents lived in isolation from the world and that included isolation from me. Our relationship was built upon formalities and routine, lacking what I believed to be what a relationship between a daughter and mother and father to be. Given my home life, my upbringing, I was curious as to how others lived. How others just like me, how others with less than me, how others with much more than me perceived their situation. I studied their behavior and would look for discreet changes in mannerisms, in behavior, in anything, anything at all and weigh it against my previous perceptions of them. I noticed, during this process, that while most of us, including me, were all different, we all lived in each of our days with a unique set of perceptions; about ourselves, about others, but we had no way to express our uniqueness. I could see a desire in each of those around me as a child to simply be. They were not concerned about what they wore on their sleeves as I perceived. They were not concerned about their plight as I perceived. The only thing they were concerned about was themselves. A constant reflection of themselves arrived daily. Just slightly, I could see each of them arrive in subtleties, in small, but noticeable intentions that were always constrained. You could see each individual’s desire to respond differently, just once, just one time. Respond to themselves, to others, to on one occasion, just be. To absorb the world as it is, rather than in the routine of what is to be expected of them, from their home life, to our school, to our peers. This is what I studied, what I learned, what irked me; as I, just as them, would quell my natural instinct to just be, meeting the expectations of those around me, of my family, of my peers, of my school. I was much too introverted to dare attempt this at school or with anyone else for that matter. But in my own time, I could be myself, I could ponder my thoughts, developing my beliefs early in life. While my parents lived their life of solitude, I was left to my own volition, my own journey of self-discovery, my own path to who I am today. My introverted self soon developed a pattern of living in my own mind, a secret I held desperately until I was done with school. When I was done with school, I told my parents I was leaving them. They were sad, but did not have much to say about my decision. My parents were so depleted from life, I promised myself I would not become them, I would not live in the constraints that caused them, in my view, suffering; suffering because they lacked hope for anything different. When I walked out the door, my father only said one thing to me. GO and never come back. I believe this was my father’s way of saying, ‘I have faith in you’, you can do better, you can live in the depths of your inner self and bring that self into the world. I promised myself that day, I will never go back, go back to that way of life. In time it became my goal that others should not live in such constraints of human design and deliverance. We are people, we deserve love, hope, joy, fear, failure, and the opportunity to experience our existence as it is meant to be. Each of us are on our own path, our own journey and it is up to each of us to live in what life puts in our path, not anyone else. Do you understand?
By R. Cary