It’s finally over- the exam and the stress it brought
The schoolwork that consumed us along with all of our time,
Turning us into mindless answering machines
That forgot who they were or if they ever had been.
The constant droning of the teacher’s voice
And the chattering of fellow classmates as they discussed scores-
All of it was over, and in its place a subscription to solitude.
A long-awaited pause before the cycle began again.
When better to finally get to know the person I am?
To find what I think, what I like, and what I think like
To read, to grow, to just be me-
When better than this very moment of free?
Oh what I could do with all this time on my hands!
I could doze in the sun with a book on my lap,
The warm sunlight kissing my skin
And the fresh breeze stroking my hair,
My mind swimming with dreams of wheat fields and sunsets,
My book patiently awaiting my return
From one dream to another,
Holding the voices of yore on its delicate pages.
I could think of all the thoughts
I’d carefully tucked away for later,
Knowing that they were worth more time and effort
Than I had back then to give them.
So I begin my days with an armful of plans
Of things to do to fill the coming pages
To make the most of this time on my hands
Of this sure but uncertain gift from Father Time.
But how much longer can the still mind sustain
Before it begins to reflect the emptiness of my day
And I begin to realise
That the autonomy is overwhelming.
I could do anything, you say?
But what are these things that I want to do?
There are heaps of sacrificed desires longing to be fulfilled-
There are so many that my mind is flooded in a second and empty the next.
Human Interaction is now confined to the walls of my screen:
Faces fill the squares and disappear just as fast.
My screen had never seemed so foreign to me-
Should I say hello? Is anyone listening?
Am I good enough to be here or is this mere luck?
Every emotion I feel, every interaction I encounter-
My bucket list finds its way to the corner of the top shelf
Knowing that the sight of it, will only make me yearn.
Months flew by unnoticed
With no definite memories to cherish,
I’m slowly drifting away
From myself and those around me
With nobody to hear me
As I scream into the abyss…
The void around me is begging to be filled,
Superficial boasts about being rich with time
No longer suffice to fulfill me.
What is it that you expect me to make of this time
When all I can do is attempt to cherish the laughter ringing from my speaker.
The uneasiness festers until all I feel is doubt-
Doubt seeping into the crevices of my mind until it flows through my veins
Reaching its scrawny fingers out and squeezing my heart sore.
I feel helplessly bitter
And all alone.
I don’t want to be alone anymore.
I want to be outside, where the people are
Where there’s new faces waiting to be befriended
And new places waiting to be explored
With streets packed with box cars chasing after green lights.
The sound of rushing traffic
Is no longer agitating
Can it ever be comforting?
Maybe I’ll never know.
A mystery it will remain
Until the day we step out again,
The day we press resume
And return to our roles for the second act.
But we can’t- not in times like these when our safety depends
On staying indoors and away from physical interaction
From hugs and handshakes and picnics on the square,
From fleeting touches and banter and friendly shoves,
Away, in our homes where the safety is suffocating.
I look out my window to seek comfort
The breeze nips at my fingers as I reach out
To the branches that call my name
As though calling for a friend
And my heart swells with warmth
For in that moment I’m not alone anymore.
It wasn’t just me,
It was me and the tree and the breeze in the sun.
And in that moment i feel complete again
After months of longing
For the company of friends
I find that I don’t mind when it’s just me and the tree
And the breeze in the sun.
Accustomed I become, until they disappear
And I’m suddenly all alone in the dark of night
But am I really?
No, I’ll be with me.
Instead of the ticking of the clock
I now hear the steady rhythm of my heart
Reminding me I’m alive.
And that tomorrow there will be more places to go
More ideas to explore and more things to think about
With just me
I’ll have the memories hanging on my wall
To reminisce and re-live,
I’ll have the time to take it slow,
To tick off the list one after another
Or maybe not have a list at all-
Whatever it is, it’s a choice I can make,
A possibility I can dictate.
I hear a conversation play out in my mind
Questions float in the stillness of night
What do I think of the stars in the sky?
How do I feel when the thunder strikes?
What is my favourite sound in the world?
The piano? Some laughter? An Elton John song?
I’m starting to learn more and more
About the person that I am
And the person I’ve begun to become.
As the ripples settle
I see clearly my reflection
And close my eyes and dive within
Suddenly aware of the water I’m in.
I whisper to myself, “let go”
Drifting away from the doubts that once haunted me.