I didn’t make the world this way, I was born into it. I never asked my parents to have me, but I was born into it. I didn’t ask for five more children to be born into an unhappy marriage, resulting in 6 unhappy little lives left to fend for themselves. I never asked to be in charge of them, I never asked to be eldest. I never asked for the responsibility. I never asked for my daddy to stay gone when momma kicked him out. I never wanted any of this.
But I was born into it.
When you’re born into struggle, into hate, into hurt, the world teaches that is all you deserve. That’s all you will ever get. You can’t reach for more; no matter how many plates you set your table will only ever be this small. You’ll only ever feed these morsels and scraps of food to ungrateful mouths who will never know your joy, your specialities, your talents, your soul. You’ll sit forever at a small table feeding the same foreign mouths soul food that they can’t digest, that will forever have to be translated.
The struggle teaches those born into it, that this is life. To struggle, to hurt, to want but never be satiated, to work but never have enough. We get so lost in the cycle that we keep the same friends who drag us back, we protect the family that tears us apart, all because if one struggles, than we all must struggle, because struggle, like misery, loves company.
So it’s crazy. Struggle told me I was crazy to believe in love. To watch princesses all saved by a prince, and think “I don’t want to be saved. I just want to be loved”. Struggle equated a white savior with love, thought any man willing to be near me must care for me because my own father couldn’t bother to stay close. Struggle is sometimes loud, overpowering. But struggle late at night whispers, spins webs and tales of every reason no one will love you, why no one will stay, why everyone around you is happy and in love, and yet you can’t seem to figure this thing out. Struggle reminds me that I am unworthy of a soulmate, suggests that life would be more fun unattached, never caring for anyone who got too close, never staying where I was wanted, always leaving before the hurt could ice my spine and chill my bones. Struggle wrote me love notes that all ended in “its easier this way. Trust me”.
And it’s crazy. Despite the years of frost Struggle barricaded my heart in, despite the ball and chain attached to the mouth of my soul, despite all the people who swore it was impossible to know me well enough to love me-
I listened to her instead.
She says I love you thousands of miles away from me, and the ice melts.
She says I love you in the language my soul speaks, and the locks fall away.
She says I love you; all I can say back is I love you too. But what I really want to say is thank you, I’ve been waiting for you.