I remember everything, although I pretend not to. Sometimes it’s easier to believe that some things never happened and it was just a figment of my wild imagination. When people ask me what my story is, I never know where to start. It’s like the first 16 or so pages are missing. Maybe I have sealed them up in a cardboard packing box and locked them up in a store room somewhere.
What holds us back from moving on? I am not asking this rhetorically, I genuinely want an answer. All this time I thought it was memories. Then I see people around me look back on their childhood so fondly. I envy them. My childhood just seems like a blur. The routine was simple- fold your clothes, put them in suitcases, collect all the books, put them in one packing box, collect all the toys, plates, kitchen utensils, glassware, CDs, flower vases, show pieces, footprints, the smell, the atmosphere, the colours and put them all in boxes. Put your home in a box. Seal it. Transport it. Move to a new house. Re-open the box. Build a new home. And adjust. And repeat.
Before the moving van left and my parents were in the car telling us to hurry up, I’d go back to my room again and again to see if I have forgotten anything.
I’m sorry my childhood, I think I left you behind.
Talking to people who are genuinely happy is a punishment I designed for myself. I envy them. It fucks me up so bad I feel the urge to destroy their happiness.When my doctor asked me, all so professionally, “when was the last time you felt happy?” I said “I don’t know.”
I hate the fact that some people take it for granted. I hate that I have to take medication to feel what comes to them so naturally and even then you are never sure if you are happy or just alive. The thought itself is so sickening. Thanks to my exceptional skills in adjusting, I have adjusted to depression. I have wrapped this blanket of confusion around me so tightly that even though it is suffocating me to death I find so much warmth and comfort in it. I think if right now someone told me that happiness is a choice, I will not choose it.
I remember what my first school was like. I remember the blue uniform I wore. I remember how short my hair was. I remember running for the bus because I was late.
I remember lunchtimes with my friends and the singing in the bus. The after school ‘adda’ under the tree and sound of the pouring rain on the corrugated tin roof.
I remember everyone’s names and how they made me feel. And I remember how I felt every single time I left them.
I wish, just like my clothes and toys and books, I could collect all these memories, fold them up, put them neatly in a pile and seal them inside a cardboard box. Then I wish I could go back to the bridge and throw the box into the river. But that is not the definition of moving on.
I wish that next time I pack my suitcase, it will be to move on from my past, not to run away from it.