- Vol. 10
- Chapter 10
I only realized this year that
I’ve spent much of my life showing
up in the world the way
I thought I had to.
As a child, I quickly learned
to guess who needed what,
whose mood had shifted,
what was required of me.
To grow smaller but work harder.
To smile bigger but talk quieter.
To nod more but answer less.
It almost worked.
Around the age of 26,
my body had had enough.
If only it had been more obvious,
like the look I flash my best friend
across a crowded room.
“Psicosomática,” said the last doctor
in Spain, coincidentally also the first.
After two years of inexplicable,
insufferable pain, someone finally heard
my brain cry out.
Enough dirt had shifted by 31 that
we finally got to the root of it all.
Sparkling beneath the surface was
ready to be revealed at long last.
Hiding is hard to unlearn,
but slowly, my mask sheds
like old bark, weathered
yet intentionally soft.
Some days, she falls easily.
On others, I cling to her,
teetering between fear and exhaustion,
though sometimes, I impulsively
rip her off like a hangnail.
To welcome you into my core,
I must discard my exterior.
The ultimate exercise of love,
this is how I finally do something