Some things really do get better as they age, and the little old house that sits at the top of a hill is the perfect example.
This little house is strong and mighty, and it has seen its fair share of heartbreaks, makeups, first moments, last goodbyes, tears, smiles, storms, fires, spring rain, and much more.
It sits atop a hill, with a view of the mountains surrounding and a window through the trees to look down into the valley surrounding below it. This little house has aged, but it has a story to tell.
The house has sat atop the same hill for over seventy years, watching multiple families grow, being a safe place for kids to run to after the rain starts, a place that is not just a house, but a home.
Even though the white picket fence with the red fence is tipping over with chipped paint, the porch does not keep the rain out, the wood floors inside are warped and worn, the ceiling leaks, and the doors do not keep the winter chill out, it has aged beautifully.
Although those little details seem off-putting to most, to me they make that little ageing house a home.
So I found myself looking deep in the eyes of a green eyed boy with dark hair and an illuminating smile and felt the corners of my moth turn upwards on their own.
What is this feeling? I tend to know what feelings rush through my body, but this human has created a new, different, unusual feeling. There is no sort of nervous fear or butterflies, there is just this comfortable glow surrounding the green eyed boy.
Am I finding myself falling…?
Falling for what you ask? Well simply put, I do not know. The only thing I can relate to the feeling of the green eyed boy is falling.
It is not a bad sort of falling, but rather a floating or soaring, but weightless none the less.
I think I am okay with this new feeling entering my body, but I am still very perplexed by the unknown sense that looking into the green eyes of the boy with the dark brown hair and illuminating smile brings to me.
It’s exciting, yet I feel like I am losing the security of youth. This is my last chance to live guilt-free as a dependent before I look upon myself as an adult who must do adult things.
I will be held accountable and have obligations (more so than I already do.)
I can vote.
I can go to prison.
I can adopt a cat.
I will now be one of the “grown-ups” I never thought I’d be. I will still be seen as a “kid,” though the number to my name proves my maturity when people find it convenient. I’m old enough for financial shame. Adults will look at me as a young teenager in the hierarchy of age, yet call me an adult when I make a mistake. I’ll have been alive for eighteen years. I’ll no longer be grouped with the “children” at family Christmas parties.
But I’m still in high school. I’m living at home. The title of “adult” on government documents makes no difference to my level of maturity. I will be a true functioning adult when I move away to college. I will soon become independent, but for now, I am happy where I am – finishing high school with my supportive family.
I understand where you are coming from, I must seem pretty awful to you. I am sorry you feel that way, I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I didn’t mess up too. But I really want to talk about your point because I feel like we can all benefit from thinking more deeply about what your words mean to people like me. So, I thought maybe I should propose a little thought experiment:
So, lets presume for a second that I am a bigot, that I am intolerant of other cultures, of races that arent white (although I am brown,) of gay people, of transgender folk, and of women. And I was trying to adjust my image so some college would admit me, would it be a good thing to reprimand me for trying to seem less intolerant? Presumably showing me that there is no way I can fit into a society that you live in. Maybe I would feel hurt and I would confide in communities which tell me that my bigotry is okay. Is that what you want? Or, on the other hand, would it be better to tell me, a bigot, that I had improved and that I am a better person, to offer me acceptance and forgiveness, which would probably encourage me to continue on a path that would eventually lead me to abandon my bigoted views and instead embrace diversity and inclusion.
Now, presume for just a moment that I am not, in fact, a bigot. That I am someone who genuinely has learned from my mistakes. I am someone who has been educated and now has an understanding of both sides of the story, I am someone who is trying to make a difference in this world, to teach other people that don’t understand the impacts of their actions the importance of forethought and understanding of other peoples. Would it be a good idea to tell this person that they are a bigot? Showing them that maybe despite their 180º that no one will ever accept them within a diverse community. Showing them that they are permanently canceled and they may never be able to rejoin your part of society. Maybe I would internalize this and come to the conclusion that no longer should I try in vain to be a good person and instead sink back into my past. Into the uneducation that led me to make my mistakes in the first place. Is this the impact you want to have with your post?
I think you intend to do good by calling me out. I really do. I think you are trying to do something to benefit communities which I hurt. To defend them in some way, by not letting me return to society easily. But I think you need to think more deeply about the repercussions of your actions.
Luckily, I know I am not a bigot, I know that the pain I caused my peers at —— was a result of my uneducation, not of prejudice. I know I posted those things in satire. I know that the mistakes I made were not because of hatred but because of stupidity. And I also know that the people in my life who I respect and love are of the same opinion. So I won’t seep into the recesses of hatred and intolerance, I will continue to do my best to make this world a better place. But that is luck. If I didn’t know any of that, your words could have done real harm. Real harm to communities that you think you are helping by calling me out. So, once again, in the best interest of the communities you think you are defending, don’t call me a bigot.
I am not one.
I tried to frame this argument as objectively as I could, but I still feel like I need to address my feelings a little bit. You really hurt me by calling me a bigot. I feel like someone who has tried my best to not only try to learn from my mistakes but to actively try to make others not fall into the mistakes that I made. I know that the actions I have taken after ——— have done good in this world and in the communities that I am a part of. And for that to be met with your post and comment really hurts me, I know that is probably not worth much in your eyes but I still felt like my feelings needed to be acknowledged.
Recently I have found myself looking back and reflecting on life before March 13, 2020.
Prior to that date, i was busy being social, going out with people, even sharing drinks from friends waterbottles. But today, that all seems so bizzar.
Its crazy how much seven months can change someone.
I now can’t seem to remember how life was before we had to wear masks or make sure we obsessively washed our hands.
I am now so used to making sure I put my mask on before I enter a building or if I am around people, but why was it so easy to completely re-program the way I live my life.
I do miss the days where I did not have to think twice about approaching someone. I miss long hugs with friends and family that you haven’t seen in a long time. I miss meeting someone for the first time and shaking their hand. I miss being in a room with people all together and seeing smiling faces. I miss it all.
I miss life before March 13, 2020. It was simpler and there seemed to be less evil in the world, even if that was not the case.
“It started a year ago. I lost all awareness of time and the space around me. All I could see was his trembling body aching for help. It was my brother’s fifth seizure, a battle that he was in the midst of conquering for years. The control I took at that moment was beyond my personal relationship with him and the pain coursing through my heart, the control was my ache to heal. Since that day, I have had the ambition to heal, heal the broken, and heal people in dire need. ”
I wrote this a month ago for a scholarship essay. Even though it has become “normal” for my family, it’s not easy for me to talk about.
Three days ago was mothers day. Three days ago was also an anniversary.
May 10th was easily one of the harder days that I faced in my short lifetime despite the loss that I have experienced.
Death was introduced to me at a young age and has been one of the more consistent concepts in my life: my grandmothers, my grandfather, my aunt, a friend.
But this was worse. Grieving loss is one thing but the anxiety that is paired with the potential and fear of death is a much larger burden to bear.
Over the past 6 years, I have internalized many emotions and fears that I have for his life: Once I speak of my fears do they come true? Is his safety my responsibility? When does care cross into obsessive anxiety?
Eventually, I found acceptance. But it wasn’t easy.
Three days ago, we celebrated mother’s day with … peace and gratitude. I held my tongue as we sat under the sycamore trees while the birds sang above us and simply enjoyed what God had given us.