My eyes flutter open to a dazzling luminosity. I peel my face off of the worn, cognac leather, only to realize that I passed out on the couch again. I reach in search of my pillow— which was somehow tossed to the floor during the night. I clutch onto the soft cotton of the cushion and smile at how it has abandoned my head nearly every day for as long as I can recall.
I glance up at the square window above the sofa. I always forget to close the blinds on that small window. Yet, every morning I awake after a night of television, writing, and caffeine-induced vigilance, that light is there. It’s warming my skin. It’s making me glow. It shines unto my eyes as an evident reminder of why we bask in the presence of the morning star. It’s clear why we revolve around the sun, for greater reasons than any science could explain.
I stretch, and my muscles are already warmed to take on the challenges of life’s daily rituals and surprises. I do my best to leave behind every ounce of turmoil trying to bubble within my mind. I try to see the world for the warmth it greets me with in the morning. I strive not to reach the sun’s smile half-way, but to shine upon the world, a grin of my own.
But just as every instance in my life has proven, hardships are difficult sufferings that we must endure and then endure anew. People create greater troubles when we have all but conquered our own. Even those we found the most promising— those who we poured our eternal faith unto— have exposed the ways of their characters. Loneliness embowers you. And you find that trusting yourself is not just a necessary key to both your growth and realization, but that such trust must be unconditional. You must love yourself unconditionally if you are to be okay with having nothing else.
People, situations, love— they’ve all made me sad. Circumstances I never once thought I’d have to endure, I am now withstanding alone.
My body aches as I wrench myself up in the cool air of a dark house. I look up to see the blinds cloaking the sunshine. The glimmering rays of dawn have been obscured from my vision. It is then I realized: I’ve lost the energy to create my own light. I’ve lost the energy to continue combating the ceaseless tortures of everyday life. I’ve succumbed to the stillness of regular living. I’ve given in to all that has disappointed me. I yearn to stretch and pull that string; but a heavy feeling weighs me down. What else can one do, when the weight of the world has suddenly become apparent?
You keep trying.
There are moments when you are going to be sad. Undoubtedly, there will be moments when you are frightfully consumed by anger. In those times, you are going to want to give up on your friends. You’ll want to give up on your family. You’ll want to give up on the world.
And you know what? Thats okay.
As long as you don’t give up on yourself.
It’s you that has to live this life. It’s you that has to make a mark on this world. It is you that controls your happiness, if only you are willing to realize it.
You are everything you can hope to be.
You are greater than what others think.
I don’t care who you are; there is good in you. So find it. Embrace it. Cherish it. Spread it. Love the world because you’re in it. Because this life would be worth nothing if we let our hatred vanquish all the great things we’ve created.
Don’t let those smiles have been for nought. Don’t let the tears drown you. Don’t let the world win. Stand on top of it. Smile. Shine. Remember why it is you fight to live.
Because every morning you get up— every morning you stand on your legs to open those shutters and give yourself a chance to see the light— is another morning you have risen to the challenge of life.
I stumbled at first, drowsy from awakening from my previously unconscious state, but then I did it. My cool fingers wrapped around a threaded string. They tugged down, feeling the chord ever-so-slightly burn my flesh as another heat shone through the glass surface with a magnificent luster. My palm presses against the golden glow and a tear streaks down my cheek. I giggle and rub it away.
It’s amazing how easy it is to find happiness when you choose to give it to yourself.
For those reading, look at yourself. You found a way to me; and I, hopefully to you. I know what it’s like to feel as if no one’s there for you. I know what it feels like to sit and do nothing because you’re not sure doing anything will help mend what’s cracked inside.
And that’s okay.
One thing I’ve learned for certain, is that there are always sad moments in life. There are always trials of hardship that test every ounce of your being. The struggle is consuming; the venom, toxic.
But you can get through it. So long as you believe you can. And even if you can’t, that’s okay too. For even when it’s as if the world has stopped seeing you, at least you know there is one person who unconditionally believes.
There’s an old saying, “Seeing is believing, but believing is seeing.” If you can’t see why you should be happy, then make yourself believe that you can be. Suddenly, you’ll find that you can no longer tell when these forced thoughts stopped being so forced.
All I had to do, was force myself up to the task of uncovering a shade. And what I found most surprising, was not that it was easier than I believed, but that I did it for myself. I did it by myself.
I’ve been through a great deal and I know, without a doubt, that there are greater hardships to be faced throughout my future. But I’ve also lived enough life to know that I’ll be okay no matter what comes my way.
Everything will be okay. Maybe not at the moment something happens. But eventually, it will be.
One day— if not now— you’ll believe it too. You will say it out loud. Your brow will furrow at your sudden positivity. Then you’ll realize that you stopped trusting the world.
And you began trusting yourself.
Somewhere, beyond the scope of my window, I’ve found a way to bring light to the world. But nothing could give me greater joy, than seeing that I can bask in it’s glow too.
-Kiran Bains Sahota