I Am Still Here

Twenty four.

This is how many hours are in one day. One day to show you how far you can fall, you far you have come, and how arrogant to think there is any distance between the two. Imagine if you will, a constant onslaught of whips and lashes, with no break in between. Scars on your back, the thickness of skin necessary to live a life like mine or yours. I can’t count how many times I’ve bled, at my own hand or that of life. I cannot count the amount of times I have not eaten, trying to be perfect while others went to bed hungry. I have lived in the dirt and associated myself with what was found there. My life is one of contradictions, none bigger than those in my own mind. I am insecure and conceited in the same thought. Lightness and dark coexist within my mind.

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I say these things as a precursor to the last 24 hours of my life. It can always be worse. Within 24 hours I’ve been shown exactly how much I can endure emotionally and where I do not want to be in my life. From every angle, there has been a barrage of bullets, with me trying like hell to avoid getting shot… Do you know how thin the barrier is between a happy life and living in your own nightmare? There is no damn barrier. Unless brick by brick, we accumulate what we need to ensure a wall stands between us and disaster. However, just like the levies that let in Katrina, there are weaknesses everywhere. I am grateful my walls held strong and did not tumble down. I see where the weaknesses lie and how to keep the flood waters at bay. I know how to dodge a bullet and never have a hair out of place while doing so. Perhaps this makes little sense, the ramblings I seem to go on these days … That’s fine. There will be a moment in your own life, though I pray that moment does not come, where you will understand.

I saw a place like where I lived once; I will not go back. I saw a previous version of myself; I will not go back. I felt old scars opening into new wounds; they are stitched tight. I will not go back. I will not bow, I will not break, I will go forward, step by step and brick by brick. I will do whatever is necessary to accomplish my goals. I had grown complacent in my life, even lazy. Comfort and safety have a way of doing that. Whether its cars spinning on icy roads, blue lights flashing or fainting onto the pavement, I’m still here. I will not be knocked down with a feather or a damn sledgehammer; try as things might, I’m still here. I’m not going any damn where.

Thank you. Thank you to the world for showing me how close danger is. Thank you for showing me how far I think I have come and how far I really have. There’s little space in between. Stripped down to the bareness of myself, I am still here. I’m still Laura, I’m still me. I’m selfish and I’m selfless. I’m loud and I’m too quiet. I never think and over think. I’m black and I’m white. Gray areas abound.

24 hours later. I am still here.

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