I Am Still Alive. I Am Still Breathing. And I Have Few Things I Want To Say

I Am Still Alive. I Am Still Breathing. And I Have Few Things I Want To Say

I don't give up that easily.
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They hug me with such pity in their eyes and they say, "don't give up! You are so brave!" But their eyes twitch as they say this and I know that they are lying. They think that I can't hear them as they turn around and whisper to themselves; that girl is dead.

The phone rings and I ignore it because I am tired of explaining, "I am fine," to people that send me heart emojis and then start complaining about their ex. As if they were just asking about my soul because it was expected of them. I tune them out as they continue ranting about their insignificant daily struggle. All while my lifeless eyes dart back and forth. And I full on know that in their head they aren't rooting for me but actually enjoying the darkness that took over my life.

And so I move on. Cut ties. Burn lies.

But it's always funny how people want to be your friend when you come out of the flames but couldn't offer water when you were in the fire.

And so that's how I got here.

Now the people that commented on the lack of life inside of me pretend to be excited when they see me with fire in my eyes. "I knew you would get through it." They say to me with clenched teeth. I can see the steam and confusion radiating from them as they try to figure out how I am still alive.

Now people look at me and ask, "how did you move on from such pain?!"

Because I wanted to live.

That's why.

Because my grandparents didn't leave a country for freedom so that years later I could play victim on linoleum tile. Because when I looked up at the night sky I could still see the stars. And when I woke up in the morning the sun was back right where it said it would be. Because all around me the world told me to be ashamed of the tissue between my legs. That I should hold my dead down. Living in darkness is normal. Burning in flames is just life. I was not given the name of a Greek goddess so that I could wash up dead on the beach.

And I am alive. I am still breathing. The world is still turning. The tides, the sun, and the moon are all there. And me? I'm not going anywhere.

This is not where I offer up my testimony on how life gets better and one day you will smile. This is not where I preach to the choir. This is not where I tilt my head back with a laugh and say the pain was all worth it.

This is where I say; I am the warrior queen raging like fire. I am the girl that rolls her windows down so she can sing classic rock on the country roads. I am the girl that's seen fire, darkness, and Hell.

Eyes of a hawk.

Eyes of a survivor.

Eyes that will haunt you.

A queen until death.




Cover Image Credit: Matas Olsauskas

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12 Signs You're From Jackman Maine

You know you're from Jackman just by these few things.
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1. You never lock the doors

The entire parking lot at the store is filled with running cars, all of them with the keys still in the ignition. All are so easy to steal and yet no one touches them.

2. You almost never miss a sports game

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you almost never miss a game. Either you go to watch a friend play or to hang out, there are very few games that you have missed.

3. The cold doesn't bother you

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out in 20 degree weather in a t-shirt to do chores, or have shoveled off the deck in bare feet. Almost rarely the cold seems to be a bother.

4. You own either a snowmobile or ATV

Because what else is there to do in town? Seriously?

5. You've walked down the street all night

And you know that after 5, the road is silent. Unless it's on the weekends when everyone from Quebec is driving through.

6. You go to Old Mill and not the Town Park

Let the tourists go to the park and enjoy it, we'll just enjoy our sandy little b each.

7. You LOVE going to Slidedown

If you don't love the falls, are you even from around here? How can you not love going to Slidedown?

8. The tourists are hilarious

Now we won't say that to any of them because Jackman is a tourist town and needs to have the tourism, but some of the things that people say or do are laugh worthy.

9. Everyone has seen a moose in their backyard

And I mean everyone. I've seen one walk around in the Post Office parking lot, if they're wandering around there, they will be everywhere.

10. Hunting is a way of life

So is fishing. I don't think I know anyone in town who doesn't hunt or fish.

11. Everyone is shocked at your graduating class number

Every time I tell people I graduated in a class of 11, people stare at me like I just grew horns out of my head.

12. You know everyone

Self-explanatory.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Jarvis

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If You Think Belly Dancing Is Sexual, You're Missing The Whole Point

Believe it or not, exposed stomachs aren't inherently sexual.

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What we know as belly dancing here in America started in the middle east as a way for mothers to teach their daughters how to isolate certain muscles that they would use in childbirth, thus making the process an easier one when it was their time to go through it.

This cultural dance began with mothers teaching daughters behind closed doors where men weren't allowed to watch. It's possible that this fact helped cause some of the negative stigmas behind it by people who do not know its true origin.

Long story short (because I'm not looking to place false facts in this article), belly dancing moved over to America after a while and it wasn't necessarily accepted at first. Today, there is a multitude of belly dancing styles, including belly dance fusion which combines more traditional dancing with modern takes on it by blending multiple cultures or dancing styles.

You're probably wondering why a white girl such as myself is trying to educate you on something that clearly isn't a part of my own culture. Well, for those of you who don't know (or who couldn't recognize me from the cover photo), I belly dance at my university as part of an extracurricular club.

This club is easily one that I am most passionate about. I joined the club in my first semester as a freshman and have stuck with it for the past six semesters, and plan to stick with it for my last two. I came into the club with little previous dance experience and no previous belly dance experience, much like almost everyone else I've seen come and go.

I've heard of professors at my school who said they wouldn't go to our shows because it "made him uncomfortable." Why? Because our stomachs are out and we're moving our hips? That doesn't make our dancing inherently sexual.

We have a rule within our club that if any of us go out to parties, we cannot use belly dancing moves to try to woo guys or girls. Because guess what? That's not the point of belly dancing.

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