Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you, physically. Words can’t be stitched up, leaving a faint scar in three to six weeks. Words can’t be removed with relief of tweezers or the cold lather of numbing cream. Words are a verbal slap, leaving pain long after the swelling goes down. They create a label, a definition, a restriction of who you are. Even if you don’t believe them, even if they depict the old you, words are a stamp you can’t seem to escape.
You will always remember when someone asked why your tooth was discoloured, why your laugh cracks the way it does, why you’re selling yourself for a simpler life. You will always hold onto the idea that the bad words will follow while the good words are gone in the breath they are said.
The pictures in your cubical prove that happiness isn’t a paycheck, a Christmas party, or a dress down Friday. Happiness is the grass your family lays on, the yoga lessons you rush to after work, the pizza tradition you cling to, every Friday night. It’s the journal entries you keep at three a.m, the guitar lessons you apologize for ahead of time, the Netflix shows you binge watch on a rainy Sunday morning.
You have a job beyond rush hour and cafeteria lines. You have a job to live effortlessly. A job to live happy.
There’s a way to be rich doing what you love but for as long as you look at fabric lined walls, with lifeless eyes and a painful routine, the pictures in your cubical will remind you of the chances you didn’t take. They will absorb your possibilities. Your wasted potential. They will remind you that you’re there because your heart may speak the loudest but your head plays the safest.
We remember the seconds before a kiss, before a crash, before a life-changing matter. We care about the seconds that affect us, change us, do something for us.
We strive to live life to the fullest, to live every second like it’s our last, but if every second were to be so special, full of memorable moments, it would no longer stand out from average. It would be just another second, mixed up with the rest.
We value seconds like we should value the people who fill them.
If we fill our lives with many people, how can we know who the special ones are? The ones that will affect us, change us, do something for us. The ones worth spending seconds on.
Value triggers greed. We want more. We want perfection; but the more people we have in our lives, the less seconds we have to give them. They will no longer stand out from average and we will no longer know the difference.
Some people are simply motivation. Your enemy should make you want to be better, your ex should make you want to do better. You need someone to push you on stage despite stage fright. Someone to chase you in threat so you’ll run. Someone to taint your once confidence so you’re driven to get it back.
Don’t say someone never gave you anything because for better or for worse, they gave you a reason to wake up in the morning. As long as you come out stronger, you can’t wish for anything better. So, don’t feel sorry for yourself in hopes that someone else will too.
You don’t want to breakdown because you don’t want to challenge the people around you. You don’t want to see who would be there; you just want to believe they would all be.
You may mean the world to them, but no one’s life stops when yours does. You want them to push you, comfort you, convince you there’s good you can’t see. Maybe they can’t keep telling you things will be okay. They can’t call every lunchtime or skip every dinner. They can’t give you expectations that they’ll always be there because sometimes they won’t be. Sometimes your call will go unanswered. Your mind will be left to wander. You don’t want to breakdown because you know; sometimes the idea of someone has to be enough.
Stop and look around or you’ll miss a puppy see it’s first flower, or a baby take it’s first steps. You’ll miss the teen on the bus give their seat to an elderly women and your neighbor will hold open the door. You’ll miss one homeless person share their sandwich with another and you’ll watch a child’s face light up, with a new teddy in their arms.
You’ll look at your feet because life doesn’t deserve your smiles. You have the ability to be selective. To see what you want – to want what you know. And with every step you’ll remind yourself of heartbreak and pain. The humans that start wars and the evil on the news. You look down to avoid a truth you can’t stand. The world is full of messed up people. Broken people, but for as long as you let yourself turn your head to reality, you’re letting yourself be one of them.
You spend your days left to wonder where you went wrong, what you said in error. The ridiculous regrets that exhaust your mind. If your life has gone wrong and disappointment is constant, realization is the bittersweet battle. You now have the power of hindsight. The ability to use your past to revise your future.
Unfortunately, hindsight stirs anxiety. You over think the things you wish could be over and forgotten about. You think everyone remembers your mistakes without realizing they’re trying to erase their own. It’s an uneasy circle. You must choose to take control of your life or live in a distorted reality. You must never take for granted the power of a second or the power of a second chance.
Jack-in-the-boxes taught us to expect the unexpected. Show and Tell taught us the worth of having more, having better, having the best. Finger painting taught us the mess we’re capable of and the colours we show, without any intention. Skipping rocks taught us the fight of sink versus swim and a simple game of tag, taught the power of a touch.
We’ve spent years finding lessons within life, yet there’s still so much we don’t know, and so much we haven’t learned. A frustrating idea to some, but a sense of excitement for those who understand, we should be so fortunate to live in a world of the unknown.
So remember the things you learned in the rows of a classroom, but, don’t be mislead. Our educations leave us staring at a wall, and once we turn around, we fall into life’s depths and with that we learn, we must embrace the fall because those who fall are wiser, then those who grab for air.
They’ll care if you eat all the food on your plate and they’ll care if you throw it away. They’ll care if you spend three hours at the gym and they’ll care if you waste your day, eating popcorn on the couch. They’ll care if you care, and they’ll care if you don’t.
They’ll hate the tone in which you say hi and stories you love to tell. They’ll hate the sweater you pulled from the depths of your closet. The one reeking with memories and tattered loose ends. The sweater you haven’t yet realized, means more then their opinions.
They’ll resent every flaw you won’t admit – and the ones you can’t defeat. But, for as long as you wait for their stinging words and glaring eyes to kill you, you’re only killing yourself. You cannot live a life without tripping over your own two feet just as you cannot live a life without being shoved from behind. So, let them hate you, let them judge you and let them push you farther.
There’s more to life than a textbook definition. There’s something about it that can’t be put into words and that scares you because you think it means you don’t understand it, you don’t have control. Society has taught us only to love what we know. What we can see, and hear, and touch. You know there’s more and that’s why you’re looking for something you don’t even know exists and you’re driving yourself crazy doing it.