This I Believe

Emily - Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Tears of Wisdom

I like who I am. I can say this now with a conviction unprecedented in my life. There are others, I have noticed, who cannot utter these words with the same vitality. Primarily, I think of my mother, an individual who I feel does not fully grasp who she is, what she wants, and the extent of her potential. Why? She does not allow herself to be vulnerable; she is untouchable. Recently I have begun to divulge these feelings to her, and still she refuses to show that I have hurt her, but I know that I have, and knowing this I ache as well. I believe in feeling pain. It forces growth and self-understanding upon us. It helps us define who we really are.

I am growing. I am sure of it. Not physically but spiritually. The child, who for so long as been an integral part of my being, has grown too rapidly for my tiny frame. I feel like a cube of ice dropped into a glass of warm water, cracking under the rapid expansion of knowledge and insight. I guess, the first thing I’ve learned about learning is that it hurts, a lot.

Yet I have come to realize that this pain is ultimately a good thing. Learning coexists with humbling experiences, which ought to be valued because they teach the importance of vulnerability, the importance of being a human. The act of learning should never be without its hardships; coming of age requires a certain degree of acceptance, as aspects of life take new meaning. I observe my parents and notice that the foundations of their relationship, once established in passion and love, have eroded in the years past. I have cried with the comprehension that the love story that preceded my creation has withered. I have cried as I have attempted to shield my younger siblings from my grim realization, and cried even harder when my efforts have failed. From all of this I have discovered that I love to cry, it feels natural, it feels human.

Pain should be embraced, not tolerated, because it is the catalyst for change, growth and understanding. I know who I am and who I love. I know I love my mother, and for the same reason I cry for her inability to let pain into her life. I hope that someday soon, that I’ll no longer do the crying alone, that my mother and I will weep for us, weep for our relationship, and help it mature into something deeper and stronger. I will not continue to protect those who I love from themselves and the world around them, because I wish for them the same happiness that I have found in myself. I wish for them the ability to celebrate all aspects of life, because I believe in swallowing the good, the bad, and the ugly, and relishing every second of it.