Three years, eight month, and four hours.
I was that shy freshman. Carefully dodging the walls of my high school. Struggling to find my destination, the next set of four walls that is to trap me for another forty-five minutes if not more. It was all happening so fast, as if there was something driving me down this road. Turning, twisting, dropping, obliterating the world into a tunnel of colors. I couldn’t breath.
It was a five minute rush. We were a herd chased from one pen to the next. Strapped down into conformity, not allowed to even whisper our dreams aloud. Seeing the upperclassman walk by with dreary eyes and an expression that hinted of the cruelty they know.
I was afraid, terrified, yet mesmerized by the system.
Two years, five month, and two hours.
The awkward Sophomore. That wise fool. The classrooms shifted into containers. “Find yourself! Explore!” they urged. Find myself? I lost myself somewhere in the middle of another four sided container against the dark of the night sky. I had lost myself sometime in the middle of summer when passion seemed all that counted. I had somehow lost myself before I even found her. My thoughts were elsewhere, drifting among clouds and rising against the stars. WHY CAN’T YOU LET ME OUT. Can’t you see I am trapped in this empty flesh? Drowning in the arms of others to find yourself. Stop being ridiculous. You have trapped me in an inviolable carving of your past dreams. Why am I crying? Let me go.
One year, six month, and one hour.
I left them. I left the ones I had so willingly complied with as an underclassman. Cleanse. Yes, that’s the word. I want to cleanse myself of everything I have ever done. I want to see the stars instead of covers. I want to run into the ocean on a cool summer’s night instead of lying on the sand covered in what was. “You changed”, they said. Yes, Yes I changed. I didn’t’ have to pretend to have it all together and be perfect. I cried for the first time in years in the arms of those who support me for me. I cried for days because I was happily sad. I found people who actually loved me as a human being. Who cared for more than what they can take. It seemed like I ruined everything, but I was saved.
This year, this month, this hour.
This is the life I lead. This is the life I want. This is the life I live.