Written by Kayla Guevara
It’s been more than a year. More than 365 days. More than 525,600 minutes. More than what my restless heart can bear.
More than what my tired shoulders can carry. More than what my words can express. More than what I can accept.
In what feels like a blink of an eye, phases of life have said their warm hello, and swiftly waved goodbye. In the past year, I have excitedly said my greetings to a stranger named Adulthood and her acquaintance College. Yet, in another blink of an eye, my simple dream of becoming their friend is whisked away. My eyes are still set on that dream, but truthfully, it is all a blur. I extend my arms and I stretch my tired legs, excited to head out, but the four walls of a room get in my way – these four walls have never felt ever-so small and ever-so restricting. My bedroom, which has always been my comfort zone and my favorite space, is what I genuinely long to escape from. Each new morning is accompanied by the now familiar feeling of unending repetition. Every day, I am softly touched by the sun, but never has it felt so dreary. I feel the comfort of its warm rays, but never have I felt so numb. Could this be what it feels like to be trapped? Maybe.
Everyday, it is a battle with Frustration and Emotion. There are some days wherein it begins to feel like I am settling into this new lifestyle. I think to myself, “Okay, this doesn’t seem so bad.” Yet, just as I start to think that I am beginning to be fine… okay, that was a joke. To this day, many questions remain unanswered; I wonder why the question marks never turn into periods. I pray to the heavens, and nothing. Why am I still in the same place I’ve been? Why does it seem like I am never going to escape? Why do I take deep breaths, yet feel like I’m drowning? Why do I walk on new paths, yet feel like I’m going in circles? What should I do? Everyday, it is a battle – a battle that seems unending, a battle where Loss is a friend.
One year ago, I had a dream of breathing in the fresh air, with my feet on the campus streets. I did not think I would be living out that dream by watching Youtube videos titled “A week in my life as a college student.” I did not think that my experience would consist of conversations through a computer screen. Everything and everyone seems so distant. This reality, crippling and weighty, was unfathomable to me many months ago. I did not think this would be it – I do not want this to be it. I do not want to wait, but that is all I can do – and truthfully, it is exhausting.
And yet, sometimes, I am taken aback by my own strength. There come days where I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to acknowledge my emotions. There come days when I get to recognize the privilege I hold in my hands. In my weary hands, I hold the privilege of learning, of having a roof over my head, of not having to worry about what to eat tomorrow, and of freedom of speech. They are rare, but they come – and I am thankful.
It’s been more than a year. More than 365 days. More than 525,600 minutes. More than what my restless heart can bear. More than what my tired shoulders can carry. More than my words can express. More than what I can accept. All I long for is the key to this locked door, and everyday, I am waiting for it to be handed to me.
Thirteen months have swiftly passed since I wrote down these words, yet I am all too familiar with them still. Nothing has changed. I continue to wait. I continue to wrestle. I rest in the same bed and wake up under the same window through which the sun’s rays say hello to me. The cycle continues. The only difference is that I have started to settle where I am – an emotion that I find to be both of strength and of weakness.
I start to ground my feet where I am because I have recognized that it is beyond my own power to change the course of life. The what-could-have-beens are too far in the distance, so I have decided to focus on what I can touch – because truthfully, that’s all I can do. Hope has become unfamiliar. The goals that I set are no longer “goals”, but ambitious to-do’s to keep myself sane. Did I give up? Maybe. Am I still hoping? I don’t know. What I do know is that the everyday battle where Loss is a friend is ever so real. My hand is still stretched out, waiting for the key to be handed to me, but my head and heart are growing weary.