do/don’t

the tips of my fingers trembled as i touched the journal.
i had quoted you endless times. i wanted to know what your words felt like rolling off of my tongue and onto the page. i took my comfort in you, in this unoriginality.

i couldn’t dare face my own creativity. it was too fierce and wild and took me over with one single exhale of a word. all i could focus on were the do’s and don’ts. 

don’t.
one command. one life-threatening, soul-altering word.
don’t yell. don’t cheat. don’t fight. don’t push. don’t cry.

everything suppressed, screaming to get out.

i had recreated myself into a pristine, obedient woman. i had created myself into you.
you were the rule follower, the epitome of perfection. of course, i could never fully become you.

but i could try.

i could paint my life in your subtle, pastel colors, hiding the darkness within. i could suffocate myself in your rainbow of niceties and politeness. i could choke all of this down, and pretend.

but i would always be your opponent. the one standing at the end of the spectrum, inches away from dropping into nothingness. oblivion.

if i am so aware of this fact, why do i bother? why do i put myself through this pain in order to transform myself from something i cannot escape?

it’s easy. plain and simple and clear.

we’re all bred to want something we can’t have. straight hair, perfect nose, skinnier waist, bronze skin. it’s programmed into our beings. it’s a natural chase, from the moment we are born. constantly surrounded by the do’s and don’ts of society. we inhale the do’s and exhale the don’ts, telling ourselves this is how to survive. to become something we are not. to bury ourselves in the artificiality. to become it.

so that’s where i am. in the endless sea of artificiality, drowning among the others.

while i am struggling to become her, she’s struggling to become someone else.

maybe she’s struggling to become me.

maybe she wants to strip herself of the inbred pleasantries. the smile she can’t hide. the desire to help, to be selfless, to never let them down. to be that model for them. a leader.

maybe she wants to jump across this predestined spectrum and take my place at the precipice.

maybe she has darkness too, but she’s just beginning to discover it.

maybe she’s had it all along.

funny, right? how everything is opposite? how you never really know who someone is? who they want to be? what they want us to be?

in the end, the choice is really ours.

do. or don’t.

 

 

 


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