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How I Was Made

My aunt always asked me how my ears were so flat… you always told her that they just were, but I realised that maybe it was from all the times that I clamped them to my head with my hands so I wouldn’t hear the yelling.

I’ve been trying to listen to what people are saying for years but even now I still phase out after a while and I have to concentrate on listening. I’ve realised that after a while I’d stopped listening to you when you kept repeating the same things and just expecting my answers to change.

I’m messy, I hate doing things I’m told to and I can’t manage to keep up with people’s expectations of me, no matter how benign. I knew that if I showed you I was capable of certain things like keeping my room tidy and doing all of my homework immediately you would only ask more of me. I tried to lower your expectations so that the pressure would become more bearable and I’d have some time for myself.

I’m bad at saying things, expressing my feelings, speaking my thoughts or ideas and standing up for myself. You would never let me talk back, I was only allowed a few words before you would yell again and they were almost never the right ones. I learned to stay quiet so there would be less reason for you to yell at me.

I’m trying to come out of my shell, I want to be affectionate to the people I care about but it’s so hard and I’m always being awkward about it. You were never very good at expressing your affection and the more time passed the less you tried until I stopped hearing “I love you”.

My friends worry that I’m always trying to help others but I neglect myself. But I remember you calling me selfish as soon as I took so much as a second for me when you or a little brother could’ve used a little help, or when I didn’t leave what I wanted for others when they might’ve wanted it.

I’m a good judge of character, I can notice small changes in a person’s attitude that could indicate that something’s wrong or someone’s mad. You were never openly hostile until you exploded from all the little things in your life that were going wrong. So I had to learn to notice the small changes and signs indicating that you were angry so that I could avoid you or try to soften the metaphorical blow.

You made me, with my strengths and weaknesses and all these problems. You had the biggest part of all in shaping my personality and temperament but we’re so different and we still disagree on many things.
I know who you are, but for all the influence you’ve had in moulding me you still don’t understand much about who I am. I only wish that you could clear your mind of how you think I am and see me for myself, who I’ve become, for once.
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Posted by on 26 September 2017 in Banzaï

 

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Christmas Miracles

Although it was only 5 o’clock, it was already pitch black. A chill went through the world. Small stars illuminated by the new lampposts fell from the heavens to purify the earth. Snow had always been beautiful. There were lights on the houses: shaped like sleighs or reindeers in the garden. Selena thought about Santa; how, as a child, she had dreamed of going in his magical flying sleigh. It made her laugh a short, sad laugh. She didn’t believe in anything now.
“Dear Santa, for Christmas this time, I just want a family.” Like that had ended well…

Two years ago, around that time, that wish had finally been granted: a family, with a mum, a dad and a brother had wanted her. She got to spend Christmas with them and get to know them: the mother was very perfectionist, she wanted everything to always look and be its best; the father was an engineer and his study was full of blueprints and models; the brother was 11 years old, 3 years younger than she had been at the time. He liked cars and robots and shooting and racing video-games: the best game was one where you could race AND shoot at the same time. Selena had been a young girl, happy to be out of the orphanage at last, with her own room and private space. But she liked being alone, she did art and read books (and wrote a few story ideas but they never lasted). Selena was an indoorsy person: she didn’t like going out and doing stuff.
Selena and her family turned out to be very different from each other and she could never be perfect enough for her very demanding mother: her results at school (though quite good) were not high enough, she didn’t spend enough time with her family preferring her room, she didn’t play with her brother (who, in her defence was 3 years younger than her (and a boy)), she didn’t go out with her friends (who were also indoorsy and they already saw each other every day), she didn’t have the perfect boyfriend (she didn’t even have a boy friend: she went to a girls school). These differences created a gap in the new family: a crack that got wider and wider until her mother finally told her that “the orphanage is a good place you know, you have friends there, people like you, who understand you. You don’t really belong here, I think you should go back” after which Selena burst into tears. All her life she had tried to be loved, to find a family who would care for her, to be normal, to belong. She hadn’t even lasted a year. It was so hard to be loved for what you were. She had been told that God gave everyone what they deserved to have, that she deserved to have a family and that she would get one. Selena stopped believing in God. And Santa. She believed in luck and at that point she believed that she was the unluckiest person in the world.
Paperwork was done and Selena was Returned. Back to the orphanage. Back to the people who had failed but by that time, it was this time of the year again, almost Christmas. She spent it with the care workers and the unlucky children, the ones God apparently deemed Unworthy, the ones who got to stay.
But things change and this year was different: this year she is spending Christmas with her best friends, the ones who supported her all along, the ones who go through the hardships with her, who help her with things big and small, who’s smiles are the first and brightest things she sees every morning and the last things she sees in the evenings, the ones who never gave up on her. Because, blinded by her selfishness of wanting to be be like others, she couldn’t see that God had already given her the best family she could have, and that she was the luckiest person in the world, she could be whoever she wanted to be. And she realised “I shouldn’t want to be like other people, other people should want to be like me”.
And so she laughed at herself, for being so naïve and not knowing that she had everything she needed. She smiled and sang softly merry Christmas songs and she didn’t feel the cold because the place she was walking to was warming her heart.
And so she sang to the snow and the decorations and the light, knowing that she was going Home.

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I wrote this for my friend last Christmas, when my tumblr blog was not much and this one nonexistent. It’s not even on tumblr yet (though I only revived that today) but it’s near the beginning of the summer long waiting list of “things that aren’t on tumblr yet”. Hope you like it 🙂

 
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Posted by on 22 June 2014 in Banzaï

 

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Family Meals

Some families sit at a table,
Mind their manners,
Talk of grown-up stuff as if they knew everything about anything.
The kids or the mother (or sometimes even just the girls) get the dishes and clean up afterwards.

Other families take their meal in front of the TV,
Not speaking, not looking at each other,
Then everything goes in the dishwasher and not a word is spoken.

Some families each take their plate, like at a buffet
And then go to sit somewhere alone, do homework, watch TV, read…
And you can often find various pieces of cutlery, plates and glasses around their house.

Some families have the boring table full of grown-ups in the dining room
And the fun table of children in the kitchen: eating food with their hands, challenging each other to try to slurp their spaghetti without using hands, getting the whipped cream, ice cream and sugar out for any desert and getting some all over the place.
Then the children go to bed while the adults stay to tidy up and wonder why maple syrup is dripping from the ceiling.

Some families sit at the table and argue about everything,
They have such different views that the only way for the conversation to end is declaring a stalemate at the end of the meal,
Picking food from different dishes around the table.

My family…
We talk about “what did you do today?”
And then the meal ends with us poking each other, saying silly things, making funny noises and making faces across the table…
Washing the dishes takes place in good humour and songs we sing, my brothers and I and in these times I’m happy to be just who and where I am.

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Posted by on 15 May 2014 in Banzaï

 

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